World Youth Chess Championship 2018

Round 5
[photography by Steph French]

Callum Brewer was playing black today against a lower-rated opponent. Callum has rightly felt that the quality of his play should have merited greater reward. Today he bucked the trend and converted a good position into victory. The truth is he is not the only one of the England team having this kind of issue. I have seen several games where the pressure applied by England players would be enough to make most other players crumble. However, the strength of competitor is high enough here that, to use a metaphor, a foot on the throat is required from start to finish to ensure the desired result. If there is any carelessness, lack of concentration or weakness in technique it will be exposed. So well done to Callum, you can be proud of a well-earned victory.

Gautam Jain was also playing black against a Greek player rated above 2000. Gautam emerged from his game suggesting that he drew a game that he should have won and that in general drawing won positions and losing drawn positions was a common feature within his chess. I said nothing at the time but on reflection I just don’t buy that. Maybe we just remember the ones that slipped away more than the ones that were easily won? These players have continued with chess this long partly because they love it but partly too because they have achieved great success and any ‘failure’ is felt more keenly. Well done Gautam for getting a draw. I think it was important to consolidate in order to get your tournament back on track.

FM Koby Kalavannan had another tough one playing white against a +2150 player. Yesterday he drew his game against a lower-rated player and was looking for a win in this one – a feat which he achieved with aplomb in this game. The game was quite even up till move 17 but started moving away from his opponent after this. Koby continued to build the pressure and finished the game with excellent endgame technique. Now if I were you Koby, I would have under-promoted to a Bishop in that final position but that’s because I’m a nasty horrible person and Koby is a nice boy who has respect for his opponent!

Kalavannan, Koby (2365) – Petkov, Matey (2164) [D26]

Max French was white against a similarly rated player, Leif Hafstad was playing white against a higher-rated Norwegian player, Aditya Munshi was playing white against a lower rated Greek player and Nilomi Desai was black in her game. All four drew with their opponents. Particular credit must go to Leif who started feeling unwell during his game and managed to tough out a draw. Unfortunately, a tummy bug of some sort has affected a few of our England players to varying degrees over the last few days. Well done Leif for keeping it together and not blowing the position completely.

Ilya Misyura was playing black against a lower rated Japanese player who has an AIM title. I love watching Ilya during his analysis. He is so confident in himself and in his ability to understand a chess position. He slams down the pieces on to the squares like it is obvious to one and all that they belong there. It is not a question of analysis but a matter of fact! Obviously, there would be no way I could prove him wrong but when he is proven wrong by one of the Coach GM’s he shrugs it off with grace and wit and its just very funny. Ilya won his game today. He turned to me and said, ‘Glafcos, in 3 moves he’s just going to blunder a piece’
Anyway we get to the decisive moment, ‘…and this is what he did’ – Ilya shows me the capture that led to his opponents resignation. At this point Ilya looks at me wide-eyed and open-mouthed – like how could anyone in a thousand years who wasn’t a total imbecile ever make a move like that, and I’m left having to share a look of agreement with him because I don’t want to look like an idiot and admit I didn’t actually understand the position myself. Honestly, I have to say that in this company that tends to happen rather a lot. I end up just nodding in agreement much of the time without fathoming the facts fully (I believe that’s alliteration, Steph), just because it’s easier.

Christopher Tombolis was playing white against his slightly lower-rated opponent this afternoon. I must say it has been tough to watch my son whilst writing these reports. The results have not gone his way so far in this tournament and it is hard to suffer defeat with him. Today, very much like yesterday was an almost won position which he built up playing excellent chess. Unfortunately, the advantage whittled away and went in favour of his opponent all too quickly, and Christopher eventually lost the game. The day did not start well when Christopher came down with an unpleasant tummy bug. We had to reschedule his coaching and he literally had bread and water all day. As I write this report he sleeps soundly, feeling better, beside me and I look on proudly anyway. It is in adversity, son, that we find our true character. Better days for Christopher hopefully not too far away.

Nadia Jaufarally had a good win as black in round 5. This was a controlled game were she just played consistently better moves, and this eventually built into a decisive advantage. Peter Wells rates Nadia very highly. You can see why by looking at this game.

(60) Altynbek Kyzy, Asel – Jaufarally, Nadia (1810) [B72]

Anita Somton also won her game as black today to get her first win of the tournament and though a tactic was missed at one-point Anita eventually took full advantage of her opponent’s mistakes. Well done Anita – some more games like this please.

(61) Hoshino, Meilin (1533) – Somton, Anita (1787) [D63

A much better day for England with 5 draws, 5 wins and 1 loss. On to round six and we’re in the mix.

— Glafcos Tombolis

Scroll Up