World Youth Championship: challenges and results

12/22/2013 – The World Youth Chess Championship is underway, and after an initial report, we were accused of spreading the "propaganda of the organizers" as complaints were legion after round one. We inquired about this with a reply from a friend in Al Ain, as well as reports from others there. It is not all dire, and many issues are being resolved, as the children fight over the board. A large illustrated report.

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World Youth Chess Championship 2013

17-29 December 2013, Al Ain, UAE

There has been quite a bit of controversy over the World Youth Championship that is being staged in one of the world's richest countries. We published the announcement sent to us by the organisers, and pictures from the opening ceremony. But when the event actually started there was a flood of very negative emails, echoed in Facebook posts, accusing us of spreading the "propaganda of the organisers." One participant, a GM playing in the open section, and one of the trainers, sent us the following specific complaints:

  • The food is of bad quality, no choice, one hall for serving over 2,500 people;

The queue for breakfast, at 9:45 a.m. which is 15 minutes before the end of serving time

Endless lines, with a one-hour wait before one got to the serving area

The breakfast line extended onto the street

  • The first round of of the WYCCh 2014 had to be postponed for three hours; the open section for the next day at 9 a.m. (!);
  • Pairings are sometimes changed, even in the morning after everyone has already prepared, because the arbiters had put incorrect results;
  • The live broadcast didn't work during the first round;
  • Volunteers are willing to help, but they are absolutely unable to do so;
  • The organization lacks around 20 arbiters, and some players from the open section were asked to be arbiters;
  • There is simply not enough physical place for the Open tournament because of the huge participation in WYCCh, with the second and subsequently open A and B sections (over 150 players in total) being played in the corridor.

We asked a friend in the organisation committee to comment on these complaints, and the reply was:

The reports we sent you contained general information on the organisation, location, the opening ceremony, etc. So it was not wrong or misleading. No doubt there were problems that some players mentioned in their letter to you, but a) these problems occurred after the start of the event; b) the organisers have been trying to solve them right away; and c) the organizers realize that they were not properly prepared to receive so many participants at one time, and they don't claim that everything is ok. Let's address some of the points:

  • Canteen: It is not one of the fine restaurants of course, but the food is adequate and has quite a bit of variety. The big queue situation did take place, but the organizers reacted immediately, so that after round two they installed more queues in the canteen. In round three it took me five minutes to get food. Also, you can ask for more portions if you want. During the rounds there are free juices, water, pizzas, cakes, etc. with no limit.
  • Accommodations: The rooms in the Campus are comfortable and have the necessary amenities in them. Of course they are not like five-stars hotels, but to accommodate thousands of people is not easy.
  • The first round was indeed delayed, due to technical problems, something that may always happen. The second and following rounds started in time.
  • The Al Ain Open tournament had to be transferred to a corridor hall. The original hall was occupied by Youth Championship players, maybe due to a larger number of participants.
  • Finally the volunteers and organizers are doing their utmost to address all requests and complains. Also, there are more positive opinions than negative, and many parents are happy with the conditions.

The willingness to reply to the accusations and complaints is fine, but what do the actual participants and players think? GM Finegold, accompanying some of the US delegation there, reported at the USCF site:

The situation at the World Youth Championship has improved significantly the last two days. The lines for food are shorter, pairings are up several hours before the round. Rounds start on time and some games were shown live today.  I think things will continue to improve, although, I am bit worried about Saturday, as there will be two rounds, at 9AM and 4PM! This is the only day with two rounds, but it allows December 25 to be a rest day.

I asked several coaches, parents, and players what they thought of everything here in Al Ain, from the food, to the playing hall, to the chess sets and clocks, and for the most part everyone had a positive attitude and thought things were improving.  I think a lot of the parents are hoping many more games will be shown live and not have glitches in the broadcast, and that is sure to get better as the event goes on.

Click for full report

One very unfortunate development concerns the Israeli players and delegation. The official site, which lists all the players and nationalities, took down the Israeli flag and has even gone so far as to rename them from the country "FIDE", attributing them the FIDE flag as well. It is a very unfortunate precedent for the World Youth, and unheard of until now.

After Chess City, there is now the new country FIDE

The tournament is now at the midway point, and the competition is extremely hard fought as can be expected. It bears remembering that aside from the medals, and prestigious entires onto their curriculums, all gold medalists received FIDE titles if they do not already have them. Thus the winner of the world under-8 championship automatically becomes a FIDE Master for life, regardless of their rating.

While scrutinizing the blogs, news pages, and official resources connected to the World Youth Chess Championship, quite a number stood out. In fact, even the offical event has a separate and very well maintained Facebook page, referring to players and others. It can be found here.

However, one in particular stood above the others, with truly gorgeous photos of the venus, the players, and more: the Team South Africa WYCC 2013 Facebook page. We cannot recommend it enough, and share here a mere sample of the pictures to be found:

The venue where the event is hosted

Flag delivery

A lineup of the flags representing the nations

The girls all in deep concentration

The games start with a handshake, and sometimes end with one

Young Yashil Modi representing South Africa in the U8 Open section

When you are this focused, everything else is a blur

Mininke Smith playing for South Africa in the U8 Girls section receives words of
encouragement. South Africa has come with 38 warriors to vie for the titles.

Hampus Sorensen playing for Zambia in the U10 Open section

Is it that cold?

"Oh dear, oh dear, what have I done?"

"It is going to take more than that to beat me"

Cinnamon and spice...

...and everything nice...

...that is what little girls are made of.

The hosts have their special form of representing themselves

Since the parents and coaches cannot be in the playing hall during competition this
is where they stay, following the boards on the live screens or on their laptops

Sometimes that is not enough though

The playing hall

The championship has played six of eleven rounds, and here are the standings for each category:

WYCC U8 Girls Classic

Rk
SNo
Tit
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1 3 WFM Divya Deshmukh IND
1482
6.0
24.5
2 57   Kamalidenova Meruert KAZ
0
5.0
27.5
3 5   Bhagyashree Patil IND
1423
5.0
25.0
4 111   Wan Qian CHN
0
5.0
23.0
5 1   Allahverdiyeva Ayan AZE
1794
5.0
22.0

WYCC U10 Girls Classic

Rk
SNo
Tit
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1 6 WFM Lakshmi C IND
1757
6.0
23.0
2 41 WCM Fernandes Krystal IND
1514
5.0
23.0
3 11 WFM Asadi Motahare IRI
1657
5.0
22.5
4 14 WCM Salonika Saina IND
1642
5.0
22.5
5 38 WFM Kutyanina Mariya RUS
1523
5.0
22.5

WYCC U12 Girls Classic

Rk
SNo
Tit
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1 2   Shuvalova Polina
2052
5.5
23.0
2 18 WFM Antova Gabriela
1815
5.5
22.5
3 21 WCM Balajayeva Khanim
1804
5.5
21.5
4 3 WFM Vaishali R
2028
5.0
26.0
5 4 WFM Obolentseva Alexandra
1988
5.0
22.5

WYCC U14 Girls Classic

Rk
SNo
Tit
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1 4 WFM Vasenina Anna RUS
2053
6.0
23.5
2 8   Mammadova Narmin AZE
2012
5.0
23.5
3 14   Bykovtsev Agata USA
1970
5.0
23.5
4 42 WCM Feng Maggie USA
1833
5.0
22.5
5 9   Yao Lan CHN
2009
5.0
22.5

WYCC U16 Girls Classic

Rk
SNo
Tit
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1 6   Gu Tianlu
2128
6.0
24.5
2 44   Harutyunyan Ani
1916
5.5
22.5
3 3 WIM Nicolas Zapata Irene
2237
5.0
25.0
4 11 WFM Derakhshani Dorsa
2087
5.0
22.0
5 1 WGM Khademalsharieh Sarasadat
2298
5.0
22.0

WYCC U18 Girls Classic

Rk
SNo
Tit
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1 2 WGM Ziaziulkina Nastassia
2354
5.0
24.5
2 5 WIM Aranaz Murillo Amalia
2262
5.0
24.0
3 1 WGM Saduakassova Dinara
2357
5.0
24.0
4 13 WIM Castrillon Gomez Melissa
2155
5.0
22.0
5 9 WIM Ibrahimova Sabina
2205
5.0
21.5

WYCC U8 Open Classic

Rk
SNo
Tit
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1 4 FM Praggnanandhaa R
1852
6.0
22.0
2 5   Can Isik
1751
6.0
20.0
3 12 CM Amartuvshin Ganzorig
1627
5.5
22.0
4 127   Muradyan Robert
0
5.0
24.0
5 2   Sindarov Javokhir
1896
5.0
22.5

WYCC U10 Open Classic

Rk SNo Tit Name FED Rtg Pts TB
1 1 FM Liang Awonder USA 2246 6.0 23.5
2 10   Firoozja Alireza IRI 1946 6.0 19.5
3 66 CM Kushagra Mohan IND 1602 5.5 21.0
4 182   Stearman Josiah P USA 0 5.0 24.5
5 3 CM Peng David T USA 2042 5.0 24.5

WYCC U12 Open Classic

Rk SNo Tit Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1 2 FM Esipenko Andrey
2287
5.5
24.5
2 19   Kevlishvili Robby
2070
5.5
23.5
  30   Hakobyan Aram
2015
5.5
23.5
4 4   Lobanov Sergei
2239
5.0
24.0
5 10 FM Raghunandan K. Srihari
2168
5.0
24.0

WYCC U14 Open Classic

Rk
SNo
Tit
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1 40   Li Di
2091
6.0
21.5
2 13   Liu Yan
2256
5.5
23.5
3 19   Atabayev Saparmyrat
2203
5.5
21.5
4 4 FM Rambaldi Francesco
2385
5.0
24.5
5 3 FM Gledura Benjamin
2399
5.0
22.5

WYCC U16 Open Classic

Rk
SNo
Tit
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1 5 IM Paravyan David
2441
5.0
25.0
2 1 GM Duda Jan-Krzysztof
2557
5.0
24.0
3 11 IM Sanal Vahap
2397
5.0
23.5
  22 FM Saiyn Zhanat
2360
5.0
23.5
5 6 IM Karthikeyan Murali
2431
5.0
22.5

WYCC U18 Open Classic

Rk
SNo
Tit
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB
1 14 IM Idani Pouya
2483
5.5
20.0
2 7 GM Naroditsky Daniel
2531
5.0
24.5
3 23   Ma Zhonghan
2412
5.0
21.5
4 3 GM Anton Guijarro David
2558
5.0
20.5
5 6 GM Gabuzyan Hovhannes
2532
4.5
24.5

 

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


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