April 16, 2024

FIDE World Junior Rapid Championship: A Thrilling Start to a Grand Battle

The highly anticipated World Junior Rapid Chess Championship commenced on October 10, bringing together some of the brightest young chess talents from around the world at the „Maria Carta“ Municipal Theatre in Pula, Sardinia. Hosted by the Italian Chess Federation, this prestigious tournament promises to be a battleground of skill, strategy, and intense competition.

The technical meeting took place in the morning, with a significant turnout of registered players. Led by the Chief Arbiter, IA Stephane Escafre, the arbitral team provided essential instructions to both players and accompanying personnel regarding the regulations and guidelines of this event.

The opening ceremony set the stage for an exciting competition. Chess enthusiasts, dignitaries, and players gathered to witness the beginning of the World Junior Rapid Chess Champion.

On stage, the tournament director, GM Roberto Mogranzini, welcomed everyone and left the floor to FIDE Secretary General Lukasz Turlej and the mayor Walter Calabasino, who made the first ceremonial move in the competition.

In the first round, all eyes were on the top boards, where even before the tournament began, the players garnered significant attention from spectators and chess enthusiasts.

The duel on the first board Sadhwani – Casadio was among the most followed games, although due to an inaccuracy made by Black, the rating favourite scored a confident victory. However, in his next game, Sadhwani suffered a defeat at the hands of 16-seed Robert Piliposyan of Armenia, who is sharing the top position with Tobias Koelle (Germany) and Abilmansur Abdilkhair (Kazakhstan) after three rounds of play.

In the girls‘ section, Paula Hernandez Diaz of Mexico and Govhar Beyullayeva from Azerbaijan (pictured below, left) took a great start, netting 3/3 and jointly leading the race after the first day. Anastasia Kirtadze of Georgia is trailing the leaders by a half-point, while the top seed, Amina Kairbekova (Kazakhstan), is in 6th place with 2/3. 

Standings after Round 3:



The first day of the World Junior Rapid Chess Championship lived up to its billing as a showcase of young chess talent. With gripping battles, surprising upsets, and moments of brilliance, the stage is set for an unforgettable tournament. As the competition progresses, chess enthusiasts worldwide eagerly await the unfolding drama and the emergence of the next generation of chess champions.

Photos: Maria Balashova

Official website: juniorrapidandblitz2023.com/