Euro Youth Chess Champs 2018

— from Mohammud Jaufarally

Goodbye from Riga …

As we cannot take chess away from the chess lovers, the ceremony would not have been complete without a banter blitz tournament involving parents, parents and coaches. We played six rounds with 3 mins + 2 sec per game with 30 participants in total. The winner on the night was Coach Lorin D’Costa after winning the playoff against GM John Emms.

Team England had a fantastic time in Latvia. All parents, players and coaches work extremely hard and were very determined to do well. We manage to throw our own closing ceremony where gifts were handed out to all the players and coaches as well as the Head of Delegation.

Round 9

Team England scored 12 points out of possible 27.

U8 Open
Harry Zheng 5.5 | Ruwan Dias 3.0 | Max Bird 5.5 | Jude Shearsby 4.0

U8 Girls
Yashasvini Sreeram 5.5

U10 Open
Nishchal Thatte 6.0 | Dimitrios Levon Zakarian 5.5 | Denis Dupuis 4.0
Denis improved on one of his earlier games, after which his opponent reacted badly seeking to grab a hot pawn. Denis calculated a sharp line, quickly won material and then mated his opponent in an elegant fashion.

U10 Girls
Keerthana Easwar 4.5 | Roxolana Chaban 3.5 | Tanvi Gatne 3.0

U12 Open
Savin Dias 4.5 | Adam Hussain 5.0
Savin drew after making a positional exchange sacrifice for a bind. He kept the grip, but couldn’t use it to make any progress, so a draw resulted.
Adam again showed he is tactically alert and cool-headed in even the wildest positions. He seemed to be on the back foot against Lazar Davidov (Serbia) but found the tactical flaw in his opponent’s play. He finished the tournament strongly to end above 50%.

U12 Girls
Nandinee Thatte 4.0 | Alisha Vyas 3.0
Nandinee played an enterprising opening which involved advancing her kingside pawns whilst leaving her king in the centre – for one move too long as it turned out. She had to defend resolutely after dropping a pawn, but this was enough to outwit Evelina Tokranova (Latvia) who blundered a piece. Slowly but surely Nandinee wrapped things up.

U14 Open
Aditya Munshi 5.5 | Dhruv Easwar 3.0 | Robert Akeya-Price 3.0
Aditya equalized comfortably and then tried to grind away against his higher-rated opponent, but the position was too solid and he had to accept a draw.
Dhruv and Bobby had some tough opponents and tried their best until the very last handshake.

U14 Girls
Nadia Jaufarally 5.0 | Nilomi Desai 3.5 | Lavanya Maladkar 3.5

Nadia had a mixed tournament where she expected a better performance. She has refused to enter the playing area for the top board players until she earned the right to enter and also will not hold Akshaya’s trophy until she holds her own one day. She has worked really hard and the experience has been invaluable.

Nilomi had a pleasant advantage, but she was frustrated by her opponent who was able to exchange off most of the pieces and batten down the hatches to save the game.

U16 Open
Koby Kalavannan 5.0

U16 Girls
Ritika Maladkar 3.0

U18 Open
Joseph Dalton 3.5 | Elliot Cocks 2.0

U18 Girls
Akshaya Kalaiyalahan 7.0 | Elizaveta Sheremetyeva 3.5
Looking for a place in the top three, Akshaya maintained a slight but enduring advantage from the opening against Maria Palma – the perfect strategy for a decisive last round game. The Italian wilted under the pressure allowing the England player to break through and win material. Akshaya thus finished on 7/9, equal second with one other player, and gained the Bronze Medal. A convincing end to a fine tournament performance.
Elizaveta finished with a flourish against a much higher rated opponent. Noela-Joyce Lomandong launched an unsound attack which was refuted in precise style. The Monaco player had no choice but to resign when facing colossal material losses. Elizaveta had a good second half to the tournament.


Round 8

Team England scored 12 points out of possible 27. Going to the last rounds, we only have three players who are possible prize winners, namely Yashasvini Sreeram (U8 Girls), Nischal Thatte (U10 Open) and Akshaya Kalaiyalahan (U18 Girls). They will play on live boards in Round 9 and can be followed via the Chess24 website from 9.15 am

U8 Open
Harry Zheng 4.5 | Ruwan Dias 3.0 | Max Bird 4.5 | Jude Shearsby 4.0

Ruwan has shown a great attitude in his first participation for England.

U8 Girls
Yashasvini Sreeram 5.5
Yashasvini showed great determination in her game. After going a piece down early in the game, she never gave up and fought right till the end and manage to secure a draw. A great score for her first participation for England, she is definitely going to be one to watch for the future.

U10 Open
Nishchal Thatte 6.0 | Dimitrios Levon Zakarian 5.0 | Denis Dupuis 3.0
Nishchal has made this competition look quite easy at times as he always has a smile on his face. He works really hard both before and after his games.
Dimitrios is also a very nice lad with a great attitude and a willingness to work hard.

Have been unwell during the tournament, Denis has showed a brave character and determination. I have no doubt that great things will happen from these boys in the future.

U10 Girls
Keerthana Easwar 3.5 | Roxolana Chaban 3.5 | Tanvi Gatne 2.5

U12 Open
Savin Dias 4.0 | Adam Hussain 4.0
Adam had another fierce battle against Bartolo Filipe Diogo Correia of Portugal. Both players thought that they were winning, but the England player had calculated further and finished the game with a mating attack.

U12 Girls
Nandinee Thatte 3.0 | Alisha Vyas 2.5

U14 Open
Aditya Munshi 5.0 | Dhruv Easwar 2.5 | Robert Akeya-Price 2.0

Aditya is potentially a future England Grandmaster. He was unlucky in his game and has narrowly missed out on a prize.
Bobby seized the initiative early on, opened up the position with pawn exchanges and overwhelmed his opponent’s king.

U14 Girls
Nadia Jaufarally 4.0 | Nilomi Desai 3.0 | Lavanya Maladkar 3.0

Being among the youngest her category, Lavanya showed great spirits in her games and will certainly be rewarded for her efforts one day.

U16 Open
Koby Kalavannan 5.0
Koby exploited a tactical mistake to win a rook for a knight and smoothly converted his advantage.

U16 Girls
Ritika Maladkar 3.0

Ritika started her game with a clear opening plan and implemented the sharp Grünfeld line against her higher rated player. In less then 20 moves her opponent resigned after she was incarcerated in a tactical net.

U18 Open
Joseph Dalton 2.5 | Elliot Cocks 2.0


Both Joseph and Elliot epitomise the ‘never give up’ attitude. Together with Koby, they’ve been very good role models for the younger players.

U18 Girls
Akshaya Kalaiyalahan 6.0 | Elizaveta Sheremetyeva 2.5
Akshaya faced WFM Maria Palma on one of the top boards. She resisted her opponent’s pressure and then exploited a serious oversight by the Italian to move further up the rankings.


Round 7

Team England scored 11 points out of possible 27. We have got four players on 5 out of 7 with chances of a podium finish and prizes going to the final rounds, namely — Yashasvini Sreeram (U8 Girls), Nischal Thatte (U10 Open), Aditya Munshi (U14 Open) and Akshaya Kalaiyalahan (U18 Girls). They will play on live boards in Round 8, and can be followed via the Chess24 website and app.

U8 Open
Harry Zheng 3.5 | Ruwan Dias 3.0 | Max Bird 4.5 | Jude Shearsby 4.0
According to GM Peter Wells, Harry’s game was one of the most sophisticated positional battles ever seen in the U8s. He defended very well for a time, but his opponent did very well to sustain the pressure and sadly this ultimately proved enough to net the full point.
Ruwan used a clever discovered attack tactic to win his opponent’s rook early on, and finished the game by checkmating with his queen and two rooks.
Max continued his lead of Team D’Costa with a great finish to reach 4.5.
Jude Shearsby continued to impress with some great opening dynamism.

U8 Girls
Yashasvini Sreeram 5.0
A great win for Yashasvini by outplaying her opponent in the opening with great central space control. She then used a Pawn Storm to create a winning tactic and bring home a great point for England.

U10 Open
Nishchal Thatte 5.0 | Dimitrios Levon Zakarian 4.0 | Denis Dupuis 2.5
Nischal neatly transposed into his preparation, but his Russian opponent played quickly and was clearly ready for the variation, which meant they reached an interesting balanced position with slight weaknesses on both sides. Nishchal then handled the manoeuvring phase with more purpose, and once he found the opportunity to attack directly, he broke through surprisingly quickly for an excellent win.
Denis ambitiously sacrificed a piece for long-term pressure and this led to his opponent having to go completely on the defensive throughout. It was a well-played game as his opponent carefully constructed a fortress, and despite Denis’s best efforts a draw was all his could obtain.

U10 Girls
Keerthana Easwar 3.5 | Roxolana Chaban 3.5 | Tanvi Gatne 2.0

U12 Open
Savin Dias 4.0 | Adam Hussain 3.0
Savin kept control and nurtured a small positional edge into the endgame. Nevertheless, a draw felt like the most likely result, but an error from his opponent enabled Savin to decisively take the opposition in the king and pawn endgame.
Adam fought extremely hard but was unable to overcome his Georgian opponent.

U12 Girls
Nandinee Thatte 3.0 | Alisha Vyas 2.0
Alisha had a very tough game where key decisions at crucial moments cost her. Lesson learnt, she is now looking forward to Round 8.
Nandinee outplayed Lucie Fizerova with some elegant middlegame strategy to reach a promising bishop and pawn endgame, but the Czech player somehow survived.

U14 Open
Aditya Munshi 5.0 | Dhruv Easwar 2.5 | Robert Akeya-Price 1.0
Aditya understood the opening and middlegame better than his higher-rated opponent and was able to obtain good pressure without allowing any counterplay. It led to a surprisingly one-sided win for the high-flying Englishman.
Bobby is having a really unfortunate spell. He is working so hard but finding the fruit of his labours very hard to come by.

U14 Girls
Nadia Jaufarally 4.0 | Nilomi Desai 2.0 | Lavanya Maladkar 3.0
Nadia gave a glimpse of what she is capable of with a very precise display, in which, according to GM Peter Wells, even some grandmasters would have struggled to improve on any of her moves. She netted a pawn coming out of the opening and showed excellent technique in an ending with rooks and opposite coloured bishops, which simply afforded her opponent no chance to fight back at any stage.

Nilomi’s opponent handled the opening well and obtained good play. Although Nilomi carefully avoided any immediate problems she gradually slipped into a passive endgame, which proved to be too difficult to hold.

U16 Open
Koby Kalavannan 4.0
Koby was the final player to finish. He experienced an epic 95-move battle with his Lithuanian opponent, and the players finally agreed to a draw in a position with kings and just one pawn remaining.

U16 Girls
Ritika Maladkar 2.0

U18 Open
Joseph Dalton 2.5 | Elliot Cocks 2.0
Joseph scored his first win with black in this tournament with another nice tactical end.

U18 Girls
Akshaya Kalaiyalahan 5.0 | Elizaveta Sheremetyeva 2.5
Elizaveta outplayed her Greek opponent with paradoxical moves such as Nh1! In the style of Nimzowitsch. She should have clinched the win with a general pawn advance, but instead loosened her grip by attacking only with her pieces. Still all’s well that ends well as the attack was too much for Magdalini Louka to handle in time pressure.
Akshaya moved to 4th in her tournament by beating Elizabeta Limanoska. She gradually wore down the Latvian’s resistance until facing mate or heavy loss of material she had no choice but to resign. A classy positional win.


Round 6

After a well deserved and much needed rest day, all our players were excited to tackle the remaining rounds. England score 13 points out of possible 25 as we had two England clashes. Overall, after Round 6, England has gained 48% of possible points.

U8 Open
Harry Zheng 3.5 | Ruwan Dias 2 | Max Bird 3.5 | Jude Shearsby 3.5

U8 Girls
Yashasvini Sreeram 4.0

U10 Open
Nishchal Thatte 4.0 | Dimitrios Levon Zakarian 4.0 | Denis Dupuis 2.0
Denis was poorly during the game and this led to a controversial decision. He was obliged by the officials to go to the medical room, but his clock was still running and when he returned he had lost on time (in a favourable position). A strange situation and quite a grey area in the rules. An appeal received a sympathetic hearing, but it’s very rare that an arbiter is over-ruled in such situations.
Dimitrios got a very comfortable position out of the opening, put pressure on the opponent’s position until the latter cracked and blundered to a nice tactical blow.

U10 Girls
Keerthana Easwar 3.5 | Roxolana Chaban 3.0 | Tanvi Gatne 2.0

U12 Open
Savin Dias 3.0 | Adam Hussain 3.0
Adam scored his third win of the tournament in a hard fought battle with Karl Mattias Kokk. The England player had fallen under a strong attack but keeping his cool he noticed a hidden tactical trick. The Estonian evaded the trap for a couple of moves, but then let down his guard, allowing Adam to strike a deadly blow.
Savin had a complex position where he picked the wrong moment to play the thematic liberating move, which enabled his opponent to pounce.

U12 Girls
Nandinee Thatte 3.0 | Alisha Vyas 2.0
After a good opening from Alisha, in which her opponent had a slightly passive position, she managed to create a strong battery with the queen and the bishop, targeting the h7 square. This was followed up by the launch of the h-pawn, and Alisha managed to gain control of the h-file and won the game.

Nandinee outplayed Lucie Fizerova with some elegant middlegame strategy to reach a promising bishop and pawn endgame, but the Czech player somehow survived.

U14 Open
Aditya Munshi 4.0 | Dhruv Easwar 2.5 | Robert Akeya-Price 1.0
Aditya had a complicated opening where his higher-rated opponent went on a unwise ‘adventure course’ with his queen, got it trapped, and had to shed material to put up any resistance. Aditya took his time but had no problems converting his advantage.

U14 Girls
Nadia Jaufarally 3.0 | Nilomi Desai 2.0 | Lavanya Maladkar 3.0
In the all-England battle, Nilomi was faced with a tricky gambit line, but coped well and emerged into the middlegame with both a material and positional advantage. Unfortunately, she allowed her opponent to bring her reserves into the fray a shade too easily and Nilomi was punished for her more vulnerable king.

U16 Open
Koby Kalavannan 3.5

U16 Girls
Ritika Maladkar 2.0

U18 Open
Joseph Dalton 1.5 | Elliot Cocks 2.0

U18 Girls
Akshaya Kalaiyalahan 4.0 | Elizaveta Sheremetyeva 1.5
Elizaveta likes to try offbeat openings. In this round she confused  Elsa Hanten Blond (Luxembourg) with her original play. Both players had winning chances before a draw was finally agreed.
Akshaya had a tough Russian WFM opponent as Black. She gained the initiative after a neat sacrifice which couldn’t be accepted. Unfortunately Mariya Nosachenko was able to simplify and hold the endgame.


Round 5

Today England were back with a vengeance, scoring a magnificent 17.5 out of 27 (65%) —

  Name Rtg FED 1 2 3 4 5 Pts. Rk. K rtg+/- Group
1 Yashasvini Sreeram 0 ENG 0 1 1 0 1 3,0 21 0 0,00 Girls U8
2 Keerthana Easwar 1434 ENG 0 1 1 0 ½ 2,5 39 40 -64,40 Girls U10
3 Roxolana Chaban 1327 ENG 1 1 0 0 1 3,0 28 40 -23,20 Girls U10
4 Tanvi Gatne 0 ENG 0 ½ 1 0 ½ 2,0 49 0 0,00 Girls U10
5 Nandinee Thatte 1282 ENG 0 1 0 ½ 1 2,5 49 40 46,80 Girls U12
6 Alisha Vyas 0 ENG 0 0 1 0 0 1,0 77 0 0,00 Girls U12
7 Nadia Jaufarally 1914 ENG 1 0 0 1 0 2,0 64 40 -75,20 Girls U14
8 Nilomi Desai 1695 ENG 0 1 0 ½ ½ 2,0 61 40 -30,40 Girls U14
9 Lavanya Maladkar 1644 ENG 0 1 0 0 1 2,0 68 40 -16,40 Girls U14
10 Ritika Maladkar 0 ENG 1 0 0 0 0 1,0 59 0 0,00 Girls U16
11 Akshaya Kalaiyalahan 2138 ENG 1 1 ½ 0 1 3,5 9 40 17,20 Girls U18
12 Elizaveta Sheremetyeva 1733 ENG 0 0 0 0 1 1,0 62 40 -54,40 Girls U18
13 Harry Z Zheng 1530 ENG 1 ½ 1 0 1 3,5 14 40 -36,80 Open U8
14 Ruwan Dias 1261 ENG 0 1 1 0 0 2,0 57 40 -28,00 Open U8
15 Max Bird 0 ENG 1 0 1 ½ 1 3,5 16 0 0,00 Open U8
16 Jude Shearsby 0 ENG 0 1 ½ 0 1 2,5 41 0 0,00 Open U8
17 Nishchal Thatte 1739 ENG 1 1 1 0 1 4,0 10 40 18,80 Open U10
18 Dimitrios Levon Zakarian 1518 ENG 1 0 ½ ½ 1 3,0 44 40 -9,20 Open U10
19 Denis K Dupuis 1405 ENG ½ 0 0 ½ 1 2,0 88 40 -18,00 Open U10
20 Savin Dias 1749 ENG ½ 0 1 ½ 1 3,0 52 40 -30,80 Open U12
21 Adam Hussain 1557 ENG 0 1 0 0 1 2,0 82 40 -21,20 Open U12
22 Aditya Munshi 2018 ENG 1 1 ½ 0 ½ 3,0 32 40 52,40 Open U14
23 Dhruv Easwar 1793 ENG 0 0 1 0 1 2,0 96 40 -4,40 Open U14
24 Robert Akeya-Price 1781 ENG 0 0 1 0 0 1,0 116 40 -50,40 Open U14
25 Koby Kalavannan 2326 ENG 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 3,5 16 20 -0,20 Open U16
26 Joseph Dalton 2078 ENG 0 1 0 ½ 0 1,5 62 40 -7,60 Open U18
27 Elliot Cocks 1985 ENG 0 0 0 1 0 1,0 72 40 -20,80 Open U18

Some comments from our coaches —

Elizaveta outplayed Asif Zach of Israel step by step and won a model game in Botvinnik style. Her opponent became more helpless with every move after she lost control of the dark squares. Meanwhile Akshaya moved back into contention by steadily increasing the pressure on Anna Stashis. Her iron grip never relented and all the Belorussian’s wriggling was in vain. Dmitrijs Jonins representing Latvia was content to set up a solid position as White, but this was expertly dismantled by Adam. In the end it was the aesthetically pleasing advance of the black king that clinched it for the England player. Luna Morote played an off beat opening, but after overcoming her surprise it was Nandinee who took control with some bold and impressive moves. Having established her initiative she then set a cunning trap and tried to look innocent until her Belgium opponent fell into it.

Aditya found it hard to make any early progress against a well-prepared opponent. However, when his adversary started making inroads on the queenside he created enough play on the other wing to earn a draw by perpetual check.

Nilomi was pressing strongly and even invaded her opponent’s camp which perhaps brought her close to victory. However, her opponent’s fine defensive play meant she had to be satisfied with a draw.

After a quiet opening, Savin’s opponent rather optimistically sacrificed a piece for two pawns to open his king. There then followed a careful defensive display, where he gradually nullified his opponent’s initiative to obtain a winning endgame.

Denis took advantage of his opponent’s oversight in the opening and won a piece. Then despite having a slightly passive game he gradually freed his position after which the extra material gave him a decisive advantage.


Round 4

It was a bad day at the office for the England delegation – we only managed to score 6 out of 26 (23%). However, I would have to give credit to all our players who are trying extremely hard. Most of the games lasted a very long time.

In terms of individual performances —

Aditya had difficulty handling a surprising opening choice and struggled to find a route to a comfortable game. His temporary pawn sacrifice turned out to be a permanent one and he couldn’t save the endgame.

 Denis tried to catch his opponent’s uncastled king out with a piece sacrifice, but it only led to a perpetual check.

Despite trying very hard, Nilomi was unable to breakthrough her opponent’s defences as the position was just too blocked and she had to accept that it was just drawn.

Curiously there are two players called Jekaterina Smirnova, one from Estonia, the other from Latvia, playing in the Girls’ Under 12 tournament. This made preparation a tad difficult. Nandinee exploited the Latvian Smirnova’s imprecise opening play by grabbing a pawn at the expense of leaving her king in the centre. She seemed to be close to a win but the game fizzled out to a draw after her opponent succeeded in liquidating too many pawns.

I have prepared a table of the all the participating countries and ranked them according to the average points per player. After Round 4, England is currently 29 out of 46. Can we make the Top 10 by the time we reach Round 9?


Round 3

England managed an overall score of 13.5 out 27 (50%) … and second time lucky, we managed to get our 27 players together for a team photo.

Nischal is maintaining his top form and is now our only player on 3 out of 3.

Today Akshaya had a hard fought struggle on board one against the second seed in her tournament, the Russian Woman Grandmaster Alexandra Obolentseva. Playing some tough positional chess she got her opponent in a bind. Of course Obolentseva wasn’t going to go down without a fight and broke free at the cost of a pawn. The situation was very tense as Akshaya had a winning move, which was very difficult to see. Short of time she settled for a draw by perpetual check. A near miss but nonetheless an impressive game which keeps Akshaya near the top of the table.

Savin confidentially sacrificed a pawn and his opponent was unable to cope with his big lead in development. Savin soon got at the king!

On the other hand, Denis sacrificed a pawn, but perhaps a little prematurely. He still had a chance to obtain enough compensation before losing his way while seeking an attack.

Nilomi obtained a good-looking middlegame where there were plenty of options to seek the initiative. Unfortunately, she chose one which weakened her own king and was punished with a timely piece sacrifice.

Aditya played a solid game with Black, but was unable to obtain any real winning chances despite all his efforts.
Ruwan won his opponent’s knight early on and later played a lovely combination which led to checkmate. Bobby created a deadly pin to win a knight, and he skilfully converted his advantage. Koby was involved in a long hard-fought and exciting battle with his opponent, with Koby finally coming out on top in the endgame.

Tanvi (left) shakes hands with her Hungarian opponent

Max picked up a pawn in the opening and after 17…Qa6? In this position (below), he trapped his Belgian opponent’s queen with 18.Bf1 Qd6 19.Na4 and won smoothly afterwards.

Roxolana (below right) faced a tough challenge from last year’s European U8 Champion Sofya Svergina of Russia. Roxolana, playing black, was in a fairly even position after the first 11 moves but then some imprecise moves allowed the Russian opponent to dominate the game and mate on move 43.

After a slow start, Alisha (below left) made a strong comeback in Round 3 against her Portuguese opponent. She managed to squeeze an advantage in the endgame to secure a win.


Round 2

England managed an overall score of 14.5 out 27 (54%). We tried to take our first team photo, which as not an easy task at all, as we still managed to miss three players. We’ll try for another one in the coming days. The missing ones were – Ruwan Dias, Savin Dias and Joseph Dalton.

Our highest scorers so far on 2 wins out of 2 are Akshaya Kalaiyalahan, Aditya Munshi, Nishchal Thatte and Roxolana Chaban.

In the Girls U10 section Roxolana (below), playing white, was facing Alexandra Sofieva from Finland on Board 17. She will now face Russian WCM Sofia Svergina in Round 3.

Team England is very fortunate to have the players in this delegation. Their attitude and determination are exemplary, and the future look really promising.

Jude had a great game showing very good tactical awareness and is one to watch for the future.

From Round 1 — Max had a great game against an 1800 rated player.


Arrival

Team England has settled well at the Daugava Radisson Blu Hotel which is 2.4 kms away from the playing venue. Apart from a few issues with delays in checking everyone in the hotel and the variety of the food served, everyone is in good spirits and looking forward to the tournament. Some of us have a nice view from the hotel which overlooks a beautiful river and were fortunate watch a beautiful fireworks display from the comfort of their bedrooms as Riga was in celebratory spirit

Our 27 England players are divided into 7 Coaches’ Teams – we have —

Team Martin – Elliot Cocks, Ritika Maladkar, Lavanya Maladkar and Dimitrios Zakarian 
Team Mc Donald – Akshaya Kalaiyalahan, Elizaveta Sheremetyeva, Nandinee Thatte and Adam Hussain 
Team Flear – Aditya Munshi, Savin Dias, Nilomi Desai and Denis Dupuis 
Team D’Costa – Joseph Dalton, Keerthana Easwar, Alisha Vyas and Max Bird 
Team Storey – Tanvi Gatne, Yashasvini Sreeram, Jude Shearsby and Dhruv Easwar 
Team Emms – Koby Kalavannan, Robert Akeya-Price, Ruwan Dias and Roxolana Chaban 
Team Wells – Nadia Jaufarally, Nischal Thatte and Harry Zheng

Round 1 report

It’s always difficult to start Round 1 as pairings appears very late in the day with little time for preparation. With lunches being served at the venue, players are having to leave the hotel earlier for their games. England performance reasonably well scoring 12 points out of a possible 26 with Team Wells in the lead with 100% scoring points.

Individually, we had some good performances and lots of determination from the England players. In the U10 Girls Section, Roxolana Chaban played a solid active game against Iana Luca of Moldova on board 20 and mated her opponent’s after 44 moves. GM John Emms particularly liked her attacking move 15…e4 in this position here.

The icing on the cake for Roxolana was to be broadcast live on the Europe Chess TV Channel when she was about to checkmate her opponent.

Elizaveta sadly lost her game after an intense 5 hours of head to head battle and missing a promising pawn sacrifice in the opening.

Denis Dupuis (below right) had a good draw against one of the top seeds (1838) from Serbia.

Alisha had a long 4.5 hours of tough play and was leading in the middle game. However, her opponent used a tactic to win a minor piece and outplayed her in the endgame. However, she is now more determined for the next round.


This event takes place in Riga, the capital of Latvia from 19th to 30th August 2018. The Tournament Director is IO Egons Lavendelis Email: info@eycc2018.eu and the official website is here

Reports and pictures will appear here as we get them. In the meantime, follow this link to meet the team – https://www.englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/european-youth-chess-championships-2018/

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