The European Youth Championships are taking place in Bratislava (Slovakia) and officially come to an end tomorrow, though the last round is being played today.
Some 1367 participants, grouped into age categories starting from U8-years to U18-years, further divided into male and female sections, plus parents, trainers and federation delegates make this one of the ECU’s most lucrative activities in the calendar year.
I have been following the action in the U_18 section (Open) because I am interested in seeing the new generation of masters that Europe is producing. This year’s tournament is very competitive.
No doubt there is lots of talent here in Europe. But even so, one thing that struck me is how far removed Europe is from being at the centre of the huge pool of global talent out there.
Iran, India, China and much of the rest of Asia are way ahead of Europe in both numbers of young players and top rated players. (You can check out the rating stats at THIS site for more precise information). Perhaps this has been the trend for some time now, but this year it really is noticeable.
As we can see from the ranking going into today’s final round of play, a good number of the top seeds have suffered setbacks. Which I suppose is to be expected for young players who are constantly improving and their ratings always lag behind. Below is a small selection of games that I consider very good, and interesting. Enjoy!