World Junior in Chotowa: exciting final round on Monday.

8/15/2010 – Things looked clear in the World Junior Chess Championship in Poland, but after the penultimate round there are two leaders with three striving to join them. In the (very fashionable) girls' section Anna Muzychuk lost her first game after winning nine and drawing two. It was enough to be caught by Russian WGM Olga Girya. Meanwhile we were sternly criticized for a remark about Copernicus.

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The World under 20 Junior and Girls Championships 2010 is taking place from 2-17 August in Chotova, a small town in Czarna, a rural municipality in the southeast Poland. The nearest big city, about 120 km away, is Krakow. A total of 203 players– 81 girls, 122 boys – from 56 federations are participating. The contenders include 19 GMs, 36 IMs, 20 FMs, six WGMs, 13 WIMs and 24 WFMs. They will be vying for eight cash prizes in each group, the first being 4,000 Euro for juniors and 3,000 Euro for girls.

In the penultimate round of this event Sanan Sjugirov from Elista, Kalmykia, was able to grind out a win against Erik Blomqvist of Sweden and catch the leader Dmitry Andreikin, who drew (in eight moves!) with white against Maxim Matlakov, who is in 3rd-5th place.

Top standings after twelve (of 13) rounds

# Ti. Player Nat. Rtng. Pts Perf.
1 GM Andreikin, Dmitry RUS 2650 9.5 2650
2 GM Sjugirov, Sanan RUS 2610 9.5 2610
3 GM Matlakov, Maxim RUS 2603 8.5 2603
4 GM Salem, A.R. Saleh UAE 2469 8.5 2469
5 GM Hammer, Jon Ludvig NOR 2636 8.5 2636
6 IM Blomqvist, Erik SWE 2407 8.0 2407
7 GM Swiercz, Dariusz POL 2492 8.0 2492
8 IM Tomczak, Jacek POL 2509 8.0 2509
9 GM Bindrich, Falko GER 2522 8.0 2522
10 IM Nabaty, Tamir ISR 2523 8.0 2523
11 GM Safarli, Eltaj AZE 2603 8.0 2603
12 IM Can, Emre TUR 2477 8.0 2477
13 IM Martinovic, Sasa CRO 2505 8.0 2505
14 GM Negi, Parimarjan IND 2615 8.0 2615
15 FM Kasyan, Aleksandr UZB 2326 7.5 2326
16 Soors, Stef BEL 2259 7.5 2259
17 GM Cordova, Emilio Arturo PER 2560 7.5 2560
18 IM Stupak, Kirill BLR 2504 7.5 2504
19 IM Delorme, Axel FRA 2455 7.5 2455
20 IM Nyzhnyk, Illya UKR 2543 7.5 2543
21 IM Sethuraman, S P IND 2513 7.5 2513

In the final round, which starts at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, Andreikin will have black against Jon Ludvig Hammer, as will Sanan Sjugirov against Salem Saleh. Maxim Matlakov has white against Parimarjan Negi and could join the leading group. In one scenario we could see five players all with 9.5 points at the top of the table.


GM Dmitry Andreikin, Russian champion in the category under 20,
at 2650 Elo is the highest seed at this tournament, is in the lead


GM Sanan Sjugirov (Kalmykia, RUS) has joined Andreikin in the lead


GM Saleh A. R. Salem, the strongest young GM in the UAE

Girls' section

In the girls' section IM Anna Muzychuk, who had been leading by a full point for a number of rounds, lost track on move 26 of her game against Peruvian WGM Deysi Estela Cori Tello and gave up a full point. Meanwhile Russian WGM Olga Girya won a black game against Georgian WGM Sopiko Guramishvili to join Muzychuk in the lead.

Top standings after twelve (of 13) rounds

# Ti. Player Nat. Rtng. Pts Perf.
1 IM Muzychuk, Anna SLO 2527 10.0 2527
2 WGM Girya, Olga RUS 2376 10.0 2376
3 WGM Padmini, Rout IND 2275 9.5 2275
4 WFM Mammadova, Gulnar AZE 2260 8.0 2260
5 WIM Melekhina, Alisa USA 2265 8.0 2265
6 WGM Guramishvili, Sopiko GEO 2298 8.0 2298
7 WIM Pavlidou, Ekaterini GRE 2182 8.0 2182
8 WGM Cori Tello, Deysi Estela PER 2403 8.0 2403
9 WGM Corke, Anya ENG 2257 7.5 2257
10 WFM Kulon, Klaudia POL 2230 7.5 2230
11 WFM Adamowicz, Katarzyna POL 2123 7.5 2123
12 WIM Muminova, Nafisa UZB 2290 7.5 2290
13 WIM Heredia, Carla Sofia ECU 2080 7.0 2080
14 WGM Nemcova, Katerina CZE 2282 7.0 2282
15 CM Bhakti, Kulkarni Pradip IND 2249 7.0 2249
16 WIM Ziaziulkina, Nastassia BLR 2293 7.0 2293
17 WIM Nakhbayeva, Guliskhan KAZ 2216 7.0 2216
18 Jablonska, Sabina POL 1876 7.0 1876
19 WIM Ohme, Melanie GER 2326 7.0 2326
20 WIM Severiukhina, Zoja RUS 2341 7.0 2341
21 WIM Andrenko, Irina UKR 2133 7.0 2133
22 WFM Warakomska, Anna POL 2192 7.0 2192

Anna Muzychuk has white against WIM Ekaterini Pavlidou of Greece, who is 345 points lower than her on the FIDE rating scale. Olga Girya has white against Ukrainian WIM Irina Andrenko, who is 243 rating points below her. So there will probably be a tie for first. WGM Rout Padmini, 2275, faces Peruvian WGM Deysi Estela Cori Tello, who is rated 2403, so that the 16-year-old Indian has the most daunting task.


The leader in the girls’ section, IM Anna Muzychuk (2527)


16-year-old Indian WGM Rout Padmini (2275) from India

Rout is just half a point behind the leaders Muzychuk and Girya, with one round to go. She was the winner in the 2008 World Youth Championship, under 14. In 2009 Rout was Asian Junior Champion (under 20).


A chess championship uniting girls and boys under 20 from around the world would naturally be a clash of youth, energy and fighting spirit. On the top of that, an unavoidable observation is the lightness and femininity that the girls are bringing to it. Starting from the first day, they have been decorating the playing hall in pretty attires, suitable for a fashion parade. Who said that chess is a dull sport!?


The six inch heels are worth 2527 Elo and belong to
the highest seed, IM Anna Muzychuk (SLO)


The pretty Georgian WGM Sopiko Guramishvilli (2298)
brought the Great Gatsby epoch to the playing hall


Confortable in shorts: Zrinka Deur (CRO, 2061)


WFM Anna Warakomska (POL, 2192) in polka dots


Marcelina Lis (POL,1905) in freely, summer skirt


Anna Skrzypczak (POL, 2028)


WIM Melanie Ohme (GER, 2326)


WIM Nafisa Muminova (UZB)


Home grown talent: (front row) WFM Anna Iwanow, WFM Anna Warakomska,
WFM Klaudia Kulon, (second row) Zmarzly Aleksandra, WFM Aleksandra Lach

Whether a screeching or quiet femininity – everything is a matter of choice and taste – the girls are making the World Junior Championship a celebration of chess, youth and beauty. In the other half of the same playing hall, the boys seem obliviously down to chess.


GM Dariusz Swiercz is in place seven

Dariusz is playing on home territory. He is the youngest Polish GM. In 2003 he won gold in the European Youth Championship (under 9); he got twice bronze, in 2004 (under 10) and in 2007 (under 14). He got bronze also in the World Youth Championship (under 14), in Vietnam, 2008.


Indian GM Parimarjan Negi, after his unexciting Young Grandmasters
tournament in Biel, has 8.0/12 and is in place 6-15


GM Falko Bindrich (GER), also with 8.0/12 and in place 6-15


Ukrainian IM and child prodigy Illya Nyzhnyk (2543) has 7.5/12. Illya was a
European Champion under 16 in 2008, and won the strong Groningen Open in 2009


GM Nils Grandelius from Sweden had to visit the hospital two
days in a row because of an infection and lost a game by default


IM Mark Tyler Arnold (USA)


GM Jon Ludvig Hammer (NOR)


Dutchmen GM Wouter Spoelman and his coach GM Jan Smeets

Many of the players came accompanied by their coaches. A working meeting chaired by GM Adrian Mikhalchishin, a FIDE Senior Trainer and Chairman of the FIDE Trainers Committee, took place during the first half of the tournament.


GM Adrian Mikhalchishin in discussion with trainers at the World Junior Championships


Coaching younger counterparts – GMs Emil Sutovsky and Victor Michalevski

The organisers are making their utmost to make the event run smoothly and manage on most accounts. Often players are overwhelmed with the welcoming, warm reception and the common conclusion is that Polish people are very kind. The one exception that is a matter of concern is the food: one pasta dish too many as an evening meal, if anything has remained by the time the latest players have arrived, provides occasional work for the local pizza delivery boys. However, lately there has been a visible attempt for improvement of the food variety.


After a hard working day, a congenial dinner at the "Lord" hotel: IM Raja Panjwani (CAN),
Raja’s coach GM Victor Michalevski, WIM Alisa Melekhina (USA) and FM Shiyam Thavandiran (CAN)

Pictures and captions by Diana Mihajlova


Copernicus and the Church

In our previous report we showed the Collegium Maius, the oldest building of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, and noted that it was here that "its famous student, the Renaissance astronomer and mathematician Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543) attempted to ‘displace’ the Earth from the centre of the Universe and was was accused of being a heretic by the Catholic Church." Copernicus published his findings about the Earth’s daily motion about its axis and its yearly motion around a stationary sun in his famous theses De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres).

The above brought us a couple of indignant letters – one from Canada in which the reader was positively livid – it contained the words ignorant (twice), malicious (twice), bad taste, hogwash (twice) and barefaced (as in lie). We were told Copernicus had been asked by at least two popes and three cardinals to present his theory, which he did indirectly through a student. "It was only much later that surprisingly Melanchton and other Lutheran divines attacked Copernicus for promulgating non scriptural theories. The Holy Roman Apostolic Catholic Church did precisely nothing. And so to accuse the Church of calling Copernicus a heretic or formally so designating him is simply an error due to ignorance on your part or simply a barefaced malicious lie. You do not need to reasearch a hundred periodicals and histories of science – all you need to do is search the Wikipedia article on Copernicus which seems to miss most of the modern urban legend hogwash which you ascribe to and spout gratuitously."


The courtyard of Collegium Maius, Krakow [Photo Wikipedia]

Since we were just a click away we actually did as advised and consulted Wikipedia, which says: "At original publication, Copernicus' epoch-making book caused only mild controversy, and provoked no fierce sermons about contradicting Holy Scripture. It was only three years later, in 1546, that a Dominican, Giovanni Maria Tolosani, denounced the theory in an appendix to a work defending the absolute truth of Scripture. He also noted that the Master of the Sacred Palace (i.e., the Catholic Church's chief censor), Bartolomeo Spina, a friend and fellow Dominican, had planned to condemn De revolutionibus but had been prevented from doing so by his illness and death. ... In March 1616, in connection with the Galileo affair, the Roman Catholic Church's Congregation of the Index issued a decree suspending De revolutionibus until it could be 'corrected,' on the grounds that the supposedly Pythagorean doctrine that the Earth moves and the Sun does not was 'false and altogether opposed to Holy Scripture.' The same decree also prohibited any work that defended the mobility of the Earth or the immobility of the Sun, or that attempted to reconcile these assertions with Scripture."


Copernicus Tower in Frombork, where the astronomer settled and worked during the latter part of his life. The tower was recently restored [photo Hans Weingartz in Wikipedia]

There is more on the subject in the Wiki article "Catholic Church and science", which is indeed fascinating to read. Elsewhere we were told that it was in the early 1960’s and in 1979 that the Vatican Council pardoned Galileo for adopting Copernicus' view, and accepted that he had suffered at the hands of the Church. In 1992, three years after a spacecraft named after Galileo had been launched on its way to Jupiter, the Vatican formally and publicly cleared him of any wrongdoing.


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