Juni 15, 2024

World Youth Champions crowned in Montesilvano, Italy

After eleven exciting rounds, the World Youth Championship under 14, 16 and 18 in the open and girls categories concluded in Montesilvano, Italy. Honorary guests Ottavio De Martinis, Major of Montesilvano, Lukasz Turlej, FIDE Secretary General, and Luigi Maggi, the President of the Italian Chess Federation, awarded newly crowned world champions and top-finishers.

IM Aleksey Grebnev (FIDE, 2500) clinched the title in the U18 Open section with a round to spare, scoring 9.5/11. Grebnev lost his last game against top seed GM Volodar Murzin (FIDE, 2625), who took the silver medal with 9 points. IM Aldiyar Ansat came third with 8.5 points.

WFM Ayan Allahverdiyeva (AZE, 2152) outplayed Luong Hoang Tu Linh (VIE, 1887) in a sharp Sicilian battle to claim gold, in the Girls U18 category with eight wins and three draws. WGM Rochelle Wu (USA, 2228) also won her last game against WCM Nguyen Hong Nhung (VIE, 1975) and got the silver medal. WIM Yelyzaveta Hrebenshchykova (UKR, 2292) was third with 8.5 points.

The Open U16 tournament turned out to be the most dramatic. Two Polish players and good friends, IMs Jakub Seeman (2417) and Jan Klimkowski (2520) came to the final rounds as the joint leaders on 8.5/10. Seeman had better tiebreaks and needed to win to secure a gold medal. Seeman gained an advantage in a sharp Sicilian variation, later converted it with a powerful queen sacrifice and became the world champion in the U16 category. Klimkowski held a worse ending in a nerve-wracking game against FM Rajat Makkar (FRA, 2452) and took the silver medal with 9 points. FM Leonardo Costa (GER, 2492) also netted 9 points but had to settle for bronze due to inferior tiebreaks.

Chuqiao Wang (CHN, 2215) was undefeated in the girls U16 category. She delivered a very strong performance of 9 wins and two draws (10/11) and became the champion in the Girls U16 competition. WFM Alexandra Shvedova (FIDE, 2170) finished a full point behind Wang and earned silver. WIM Alua Nurmanova (KAZ, 2367) and Tejaswini G (IND, 1956) tied for third place, with the former taking bronze thanks to a better Buchholz.

FM Pawel Sowinski (POL, 2347) lifted the trophy in the Open U14, scoring 9/11. Sowinski and FM Magnus Ermitsch (GER, 2206) were neck and neck coming into the final round. Sowinski secured first place with a draw, as Ermitsch lost his last game against FM Nicolas Perossa (ITA, 2330). As a result, Ermitsch, Perossa and David Akhmedov (FIDE, 2240) tied for second place with 8.5 points. The Buchholz tiebreaker favoured Ermitsch and Perossa, who took silver and bronze, respectively.

WFM Afruza Khamdamova (UZB, 2199) displayed an unwavering fighting spirit in every game to claim the title in the Girls U14 category with an impressive score of 10/11. Khamdamova forfeited her first-round game due to flight cancellation but went on to reel off ten consecutive victories. WFM Elnaz Kaliakhmet (KAZ,1933) finished one point behind the champions and got silver. The bronze medal goes to WIM Iris Mou (USA, 2086), who netted 8.5/11.

Poland won the gold medal for overall results at the FIDE World Youth Championship 2023 with two gold and one silver medal. Uzbekistan and China shared second place.

Final standings Open U18

Final standings Open U16

Final standings Open U14

Final standings Girls U18

Final standings Girls U16

Final standings Girls U14

Photos: Przemek Nikiel

Official website: worldyouth2023.com/