Friday, August 22, 2008

World Junior Chess Champion

On my way home, I noticed a crowd watching an exciting match between a man about 45 years old and a very young boy. I had a quick conversation on the man watching at his back who happens to be the young boy’s father/coach. He said that his son is only 9 years old and already represented our country on a chess competition in Vietnam. The boy, he added, has an ELO rating of 1600+. Before our small talk ends, I noticed that the old man’s defense gradually collapses from the relentless attack of the boy. In few minutes, the young boy’s opponent conceded.

Our country indeed has a lot of potential young players for chess. One of them is GM Wesley So who is currently the world’s youngest chess grandmaster. Expect a lot of kibitzing on this blog later on about his games and other notable players in the world of chess.

Together with fellow filipino Haridas Pascua who did well although non-rated, So competed and finished 9th on the World Junior Chess Championship held at Gaziantep, Turkey. So fell in the 11th round against German Arik Braun, only an International Master yet sporting a grandmaster rating of 2551. The competition was dominated by India’s GM Ahibjeet Gupta, and the girls through IM Harika Dronavalli.

The World Junior Chess Championship is an under-20 chess tournament. Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, and Viswanathan Anand have gone on to win the World Chess Championship.

Pascua, So and the young boy playing on our street are our country’s future, a force to reckon with some day in the world of chess. Below is the final ranking after the competition:

1 comment:

Latika said...

Well written article.