Uzbekistan tops World Youth Olympiad

by André Schulz
12/5/2018 – Following the example of the massive bi-annual Chess Olympiad, an Under-16 youth version was held in Konya, Turkey, a 9-round Swiss team tournament which took place from November 25th to December 2nd, 2018. The Uzbek team won with 16 points ahead of India and China. Iran's top board, Alireza Firouzja scored 8.0/9 for a performance rating of 2736! | Photo: Official site

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Firouzja top individual scorer

Almost immediately after the World Youth Championship (U18-U14) and the World Cadet Championships (U12-U8), the World Youth Under-16 Chess Olympiad was held in the Turkish city of Konya. 39 federations took part, and some countries sent more than one team — the hosts, Turkey, even competed with four teams — for a total of 46 teams.

As in the open Chess Olympiads, each round was a math across four boards. Rather than having a separate section for girls, the regulations called for each team to play a girl in three of the total of 36 games in the competition. Some teams, like the German team simply brought one or more girls as regular team members. Other teams, including the overall winner, played a girl for the absolute minimum under the rules, as German junior coach Bernd Vökler explains below. 

The German squad: Luis Engel, Jana Schneider, Jakob Pajeken, David Faerber and Nikolas Wachinger were seeded 11th (2351 average) | Photo: Bernd Vökler

The top-seeded team by average Elo was the team of Uzbekistan by a wide margin — the young Uzbeks came to Konya with four players rated over 2500!. Not even the mighty Russians could match that despite having Andrey Esipenko (2609) on top board — the team was seeded second. The Iranian star Alireza Firouzja (2607), followed in the individual ranking with Uzbek talents Nodirbek Abdusattorov and Nodirbek Yakubboev close behind.

Top Uzbekistan players | Photo: Bernd Vökler

India, Azerbaijan and Iran all brought teams with an average of over 2400 into the tournament. But the favourites triumphed in the end. The young Uzbeks won eight of their nine matches, with their only defeat coming in the 4th round against the United States. Yakubboev Nodirbek was the team's best player with eight wins and only one loss.

India and China took second and third place.


Final standings (top 20)

Rg. Team  TB1 
1 UZBEKISTAN 16
2 INDIA 14
3 CHINA 13
4 BELARUS 13
5 IRAN 12
6 ARMENIA 12
7 UKRAINE 12
8 AZERBAIJAN 12
9 KAZAKHSTAN 12
10 USA 11
11 ISRAEL 11
12 TURKEY - WHITE 11
13 RUSSIA 10
14 GREECE 10
15 GEORGIA 10
16 FRANCE 10
17 TURKEY-GIRLS 10
18 MOLDOVA 10
19 SERBIA 10
20 SLOVAKIA 10

...46 Teams


All games of the Uzbekistan team

 

All tournament games for download

Uzbekistan against Russia | Photo: Bernd Vökler


Top overall performances

1
 
GM Firouzja Alireza 2607 IRAN 2736 8,0 9 88,9 1
2
 
IM Yakubboev Nodirbek 2549 UZBEKISTAN 2713 8,0 9 88,9 2
3
 
IM Vokhidov Shamsiddin 2456 UZBEKISTAN 2709 7,5 8 93,8 3
4
 
GM Erigaisi Arjun 2531 INDIA 2678 7,0 9 77,8 1
5
 
  Wang Yanbin 2220 CHINA 2620 7,5 9 83,3 2
6
 
FM Travadon Loic 2310 FRANCE 2613 6,5 7 92,9 2

Top performance on board one

1
 
GM Firouzja Alireza 2607 IRAN 8,0 88,9 2736 9
2
 
GM Erigaisi Arjun 2531 INDIA 7,0 77,8 2678 9
3
 
FM Petriashvili Nikoloz 2389 GEORGIA 7,0 77,8 2547 9
4
 
FM Sahidi Samir 2309 SLOVAKIA 6,5 72,2 2398 9
5
 
  Engel Luis 2459 GERMANY 6,0 75,0 2455 8

Girl rules

by Bernd Vökler

In the Under-16 Olympiad, three out of 36 games for each team must be played by one girl according to the regulations. Thus one-twelfth of all games in FIDE's imagination may represent the real share of girls in chess. This lead to some strange-looking crosstables and team decisions.

Heading into the final round 9, both Uzbekistan and Iran had each used their (relatively weaker) girl twice in the previous rounds — the earlier rounds with easier pairings. Both teams aimed to wrack up a significant enough margin to play their girl the final round anticipating a board 4 loss. That strategy worked out for Uzbekistan, but not for Iran, which lost their last two matches.

1. UZBEKISTAN (EloDS:2520, Kapitän: GM, FT Iuldachev, Saidali / Wtg1: 16 / Wtg2: 264)
Br.   Name Elo Land 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Pkt. Anz EloDS Rp
1 GM Abdusattorov Nodirbek 2560 UZB 1 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 5,5 9 2449 2529
2 IM Yakubboev Nodirbek 2549 UZB 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 8,0 9 2362 2713
3 IM Sindarov Javokhir 2513 UZB 1   1 0 ½ 1 ½ ½   4,5 7 2313 2415
4 IM Vokhidov Shamsiddin 2456 UZB   1 1 1 1 1 1 ½ 1 7,5 8 2250 2709
5   Saparova Sitora 1848 UZB 1 0             0 1,0 3 2108 1983
5. IRAN (EloDS:2401, Kapitän: Mahjoob Zardast, Morteza / Wtg1: 12 / Wtg2: 242)
Br.   Name Elo Land 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Pkt. Anz EloDS Rp
1 GM Firouzja Alireza 2607 IRI 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ½ ½ 8,0 9 2309 2736
2   Pour Agha Bala Amirreza 2319 IRI   1 1 0 ½ 1 1 0 ½ 5,0 8 2292 2422
3 FM Daghli Arash 2352 IRI ½   1 1 1 0 ½ ½   4,5 7 2305 2407
4   Gholami Orimi Mahdi 2326 IRI 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ ½ 6,5 9 2166 2380
5 WFM Asadi Motahare 2216 IRI 0 1             0 1,0 3 1929 1907

Greece even employed a strategy of putting their 1729-rated girl on second board — "fed to the lions" if you will, while their third and fourth boards each posted big scores.

14. GREECE (EloDS:2368, Kapitän: GM, FT Kapnisis, Spyridon / Wtg1: 10 / Wtg2: 163,5)
Br.   Name Elo Land 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Pkt. Anz EloDS Rp
1 FM Vlachos Anatole 2434 GRE 0   0 1 0 0 0 1 ½ 2,5 8 2402 2261
2   Chrysogelou Athanasia-Panagiota 1729 GRE 0 ½   0   0   0   0,5 5 2228 1749
3 FM Spyropoulos Nikolaos 2378 GRE 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 0   ½ 6,0 8 2221 2417
4   Mitsis Georgios 2350 GRE   1 1 1 1 1 1 1 0 7,0 8 2195 2540
5 FM Katopodis Dimitrios 2310 GRE 1 0 0   ½   ½ ½ ½ 3,0 7 2119 2093

Teams like the aforementioned Germany and Belarus each played their girls (Jana Schneider and Olga Badelka) as much as any other team members for at least seven rounds. China did one better and game with an economical team of three boys and one girl, 2206-rated Song Yuxin who therefore played all nine rounds!

One of the four Turkish managed not three but 36 games by girls — it was an all-girls team — but that's another story.

Another curious case was the team from Sri Lanka which opted to put their weakest link, Wijesinghe N L C Dojitha — a boy this time — on board one, with an Elo of just 1688. Talk about a sacrificial lamb! He went 0-4 against the likes of GM Firouzja.


Translation from German: Macauley Peterson

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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excalibur2 excalibur2 12/8/2018 12:51
This Uzbek team has 2 of the top 5 youngest GM's in history. Yakubboev and Vokhidov are also very impressive. Uzbekistan is a serious force in the future of chess.
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