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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

World Junior Chess Championship ..... and Nihal Sarin, the U10 Champ

Do you know or group … : Dariusz Świercz,   Alexander Ipatov , Yu Yangyi  -  couple of names give an inkling that they could be associated with some game like Chess – there is odd one in that too.

Heartening to read the Gold medal winning Men’s Hockey team were accorded a rousing reception on their arrival in the national Capital in the wee hours of Sunday.   "Cricket is politics. Bad politics. Things change overnight. I believe that the governing body of cricket could change; I believe it should change. I am happy for now, but I would be happy to come back. Anything can happen in cricket." – words of a famous player who made 8181 test runs and 4440 One day runs ….  No prize for guessing the person who released his autobiography recently – Kevin Pietersen who said  this about his sacking - "They needed a scapegoat, preferably someone big, boisterous and annoying. Somebody with a little history. Somebody who left colourful footprints on the pristine white carpets. I didn't always tread wisely. I was often naive and sometimes stupid. I was no villain, though.

Back home, India's selectors have gambled on teenage chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav, who has had an impressive Champions League T20 campaign, in the 14-man squad for the first three ODIs against West Indies. The major changes in the squad came in the spin department, with lead spinner R Ashwin rested, Amit Mishra returning and legspinner Karn Sharma missing out. Or should it read Ashwin dropped !!  WI are to play 5 One dayers, a solitary T20 and 3 tests.  

After IPL and CLT20, we had Kabbadi league too – and there is news of Indian Super League -  aided by marquee signings like Alessandro del Piero, Robert Pires, Zico, Peter Reid, Marco Materazzi, David James, Nicolas Anelka, Manuel Friedrich, Luis Garcia, Adrian Mutu, David Trezeguet and Freddie Ljungberg —  While those names would attract the football fan,  the sponsors too had to be famous to attract and  in came Ranbir Kapoor, John Abraham, Varun Dhawan and Salman Khan from Bollywood. And to top it, cricketers Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli and finally, the one and only MS Dhoni.

Getting back to the Q – those are the World Junior Chess Champions in recent years.  Dariusz Świercz   is a Polish chess grandmaster; the youngest Polish grandmaster of all time, achieving the title at the age of 14 years and seven months in 2009.  Świercz won the U20 section of the 2011 World Junior Chess Championship at the age of 17; Alexander Ipatov   is an International Chess Grand Master and one of the top chess players inTurkey. Yu Yangyi  at the age of 15, became China's 29th Grandmaster.

The World Junior Chess Championship is an under-20 chess tournament (players must have been under 20 years old on 1 January in the year of competition) organized by the World Chess Federation (FIDE). The idea was the brainchild of William Ritson-Morry, who organized the 1951 inaugural event to take place in Birmingham, England.   Each FIDE member nation may select one entrant except for the host nation, which may select two.  Currently the winner receives the Grandmaster or Woman Grandmaster title. Four winners – Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Viswanathan Anand – have gone on to win the World Chess Championship.

The Championship is underway ….. Ten-year old Nihal Sarin, the freshly crowned World-Under 10 champion, stole the limelight with a 94-move victory over higher ranked IM Jonathan Westerberg of Sweden as the LIC-sponsored World Junior Chess championship got underway here Monday. Interestingly, it was the very first time that Nihal played against a titled player though his handling of two pieces for his opponent's rook in a Bogo Indian Defence defied his age and experience.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

7th Oct 2014.

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