SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
The World Youth took place at Porto Carras, Greece from October 19th to 30th. The organizers were expecting 1000 to attend, but were stunned when 1,500 players from 85 countries showed up, making this year’s event a big money winner. By all accounts the event was well run, with an excellent webpage. The only negative side that I noticed was that the published games were often late and only included the top handful of boards in each section.
The World Youth is really a whole series of separate tournaments divided by age and sex (Under-8, Under-10, etc with a girls secion in each category). A large contingent from Canada participated (photo above), achieving mixed results. It is worth visiting the Canadian blog (above) for great photos and details.
But the real story of Canada’s participation this year was Victoria’s Jason Cao gold medal in the Under-10 section! Congrats
Jason!! Jason has earned bragging rights to being the strongest 9-year old in the world by virtue of his 8 wins, 2 draws and only 1 loss.
Jason has been playing for just 2 years, and much credit should go to the Victoria Junior Chess Society (http://victoriajuniorchess.pbworks.com/
About the Victoria Junior Chess Society
The Victoria Junior Chess Society is comprised of a group of volunteers and is registered under the B.C. Societies Act as a non-profit society (established 2000). We promote chess in the Greater Victoria Area and its various School Systems (K-12), by:
o Organizing Island Junior Open Chess tournaments and Regional Championships
o Organizing workshops, seminars and classes for novice, intermediate and advanced players
o Introducing young players to competitive tournament chess
o Assisting with the development of School Chess Clubs
o Organizing other related chess events for children/students
o Introducing and teaching chess basics to children
The Victoria Junior Chess Society supports and will assist, upon request, any individual school, teacher or group with junior chess activities and instruction.
Other Notable CanadianFinishes, result above 50%:
Jackie Peng (U12 girls) 7.0/11.0 = 12th place
Andrea Botez (U08 girls) 6.5/11.0 = 25th place
Joshua Doknjas (U08 open) 6.5/11.0 = 32nd place
Joseph Bellissimo (U10 open) 6.0/11.0 = 51st place
Veronicka (Nicka) Kalaydina (U14 girls) 6.0/11.0 = 31st place
Janet Peng (U10 girls) 6.0/11.0 = 45th place
Roman Sapozhnikov (U16 open) 6.0/11.0 = 48th place
Terry Song (U12 open) 6.0/11.0 = 60th place
Kelly Wang (U10 girls) 6.0/11.0 = 35th place
Jerry Xiong (U16 open) 6.0/11.0 = 55th place
Jackie Peng finished an excellent 12th place in the Under-12 section. Congrats!
Jason had qualified for the World Youth Championship by virtue of his 2nd place finish in Canadian Youth Championship this past summer. Already something of a media star in BC, Jason hopes one day to win the World Championship. I am certain that all my readers wish him the best of success in the future!
Taking a fast look at the top finishers of the other sections, I could not help but notice that starting from the Under-12 section and above there is a big leap in average strength of the players. For example, the Under-12 already has a number of master level players; the Under-18 has GM-level players.
If Jason is to repeat his success next year, then he will need some serious coaching and training. Players really start to develop between the age of 10 and 12, and this is when Canadian players usually start to lose ground and competitiveness with their colleagues from countries that have a more professional infrastructure in organized chess.
That is why, for instance, the top places in the older sections almost always go to players from India, China, Russia, Armenia, Poland, Turkey and so on. It makes a big difference if a player gets coaching from an experienced GM as opposed to a local trainer at the chess club. And for this reason Peng’s 12th place finish is a REALLY good result.
I was able to find a few of Jason’s games from the event. From what I can tell, Jason has an excellent combinative vision and his play is characterized by imaginative invention and a penchant for attacking. He certainly has a lot of talent for a player just 9 years old!
Black had just advanced his d-pawn, an overly ambitious move that he can not really be faulted with as it was very difficult to see Jason’s next move!
A fabulous move that sets up a mate threat on the back rank! If Black captures the Bishop with his Rook then Jason sacrifices his Queen (23…RxB 24.QxRch!!) and mates the next move on f8. So Black played the only good ‘move’: resigning!
WHAT DID JASON PLAY?
WHAT DID JASON PLAY?
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS