Three rounds to go in Colombia super-open
Medellin heats up!
Up to 1993 Medellin was best known for Pablo Escobar and his notorious cocaine cartel. More recently Medellin’s Sandra Valencia (above; born 1987) has brought a more elegant and fashionable reputation. THIS week, however, it is the 12th Continental Chess Championship that all Medellin is talking about…
Kovalyov charms Medellin!
Twenty-five year old Anton Kovalyov is no stranger to this blog. Ukraine-born, he first learned chess when his family moved to Argentina (2000) and by the time his family finally settled in Montreal (Canada) in 2007 Anton was already one of the very top juniors in the world.
While in Canada, the Canadian chess community did its best to destroy any chances of the young prodigy developing his exceptional talent and possibly even pursuing a professional career, and had it not been for a full scholarship in the USA (because of his remarkable chess skills) at the University of Texas, Anton would have probably already long ago abandoned the game. (You can read about this at the above links)
Fortunately for chess, Anton is still active in the game and plays regularly for the University of Texas in Dallas. During the summer months he allows himself the luxury of playing in some of the more prestigious events in the Americas. In 2015 Anton qualified from the Continental. Last year he played on the Canadian National Team and was a key figure in helping the National Team to achieve one of it’s best results ever.
Anton does his best to avoid playing in Canada, as do 90% of Canada’s top players. Chess is not just pretty dead in Canada, but the chess community and organizers can be very nasty and unforgiving, especially if a young player shows signs of world-class talent.
The CFC’s recipe for chess promotion: no vaseline and minimal foreplay.
There are 6 places available to qualify for in Medellin. These lucky fellows will earn the right to participate in the World Cup to be held in Georgia in September. I am certain that my readers wish Anton the best in the final 3 rounds of play in Medellin!
More Sandra Valencia.