WYCC 2014: Nobody is perfect

by Albert Silver
9/27/2014 – The World Youth Chess Championship continues to unfold in Durban, South Africa, and it has been dramatic for the many top-seeds, some of whom are past champions or huge favorites. The fighting over the boards has been so intense, that no player has been able to maintain a perfect 100% score. The coverage has included live video, as well as a slew of great pictures.

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The players arrive at the playing venue

The Durban International Conference Center where the event is taking place

Stars such as FM Aliang Wonder from the US, who won last year, and who came as a the highest rated player in the Under-12 Boys with 2323, suffered not one loss but two straight in rounds seven and eight, pretty much evicting him from the podium this year. His is hardly the only tale of woe, and he can console himself that other stars have also suffered.

An example of the intensity can be seen in the last game of round seven that finished after
five and a half hours. Mikaela Ebeling (FIN) vs Svetlana Tishova (RUS) fought to the end in
a draw in the Girls Under-14 section.

It isn't all about grim faces of concentration as the kids have ample support from coaches and family

Loving every second

Showing that competition can be both exhilirating and fun

Showing some of the pictures taken

The LOC and Friends


South African Nanique Buitendag in the Girls Under-10 competition

Francesca Garau brings her inseparable companion to all her games

Chess mirrors life, and life mirrors chess

Peruvian FM Chumbe Gonzalo Quirhuayo, 11 years old, has 5.0/8

American David Peng (2011 FIDE) has had a great tournament so far
and is one of the surprise leaders in the Boys Under-12 with 6.5/8

American WFM Jennifer Yu is the sole leader of the Girls Under-12 with 7.0/8

Ashritha Eswaran, who starred in the US Women's championship earlier
this year, has struggled to shine in the Girls Under-14, and has 5.0/8

Here we see Honorine Auvray from France, playing in the Under-16 Girls,
while leading the category on tiebreak is her compatriot 
Cecile Haussernot 
(2011 FIDE) with 6.5/8 and a 2291 performance 

Ukrainian IM Olexandr Bortnyk (2505 FIDE) is out to prove that blitz
is not detrimental to one's chess, as he leads the Boys Under-18 with
7.0/8 and a 2732 performance. What does this have to do with blitz?
The lad is a very active player, whose FIDE blitz rating is an impressive
2677, placing him at world no. 66, the only non-GM in the Top 100 list.

GM Suri Vaibhav (2521) is the only full-fledged grandmaster in the
entire event, and is fighting for the gold, trailing Olexandr (see above)
by half a point with 6.5/8

Kirill Shevchenko of Ukraine is the "one-second man". He was playing
Dimitri Lagarde of France on board nine for the Boys Under-12...

...and twice found himself with less than one second(!) on the clock.
He ultimately won his game with a powerful passed pawn.

We would like to extend special thanks to Reint Dykema who has provided wonderful pictures at the South African Chess federation's Facebook page. The pictures presented here are but the smallest sample of his work.


The games are being 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.

Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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