Friday, 19 August 2011

World Juniors 2011 - Wrap-up

"We'll see you guys at another tournament - in this life"

Goodbye, Chennai
 by Junta

The 50th World Junior Championships has come to an end, leaving us reflecting over a rollercoaster of a fortnight. I wish I could play again in 2012 when it will be held in Athens, but will be a few weeks too old (sucks to be born in December). Having played in World Youth events (U/12, 14 and 16) in 2003, 2005 and 2007, I'm glad to have been able to experience the two weeks in Chennai as my last ever overseas junior event, though of course it did have its negatives (the food provided for the players wasn't great, stomach pains were a daily annoyance, and the Internet connection was horrible).

From the tour on the rest day (though we went shopping instead)
Strong Australian juniors should definitely consider playing in the World Juniors at least once before they are 20, as the event is so unique, having the opportunity to play alongside some of the best teenage players in the world, see how tough a 13-round tournament can be in a foreign environment (unlike anything in Australia), and most of all make new friends with people from all around the world who share the same passion. Next year you might be lucky enough to have Moulthun as the team coach.

"There were people who beat you before the game began by the way they arranged their pieces, the authority with which they made a move, almost by the way they looked out the window" - Sir John Simon
Overall, the Australian players did not perform too well (scores ranging between 4/13 and 7/13), but hopefully there'll be a bigger contingent waving the Australian flag in Athens next August.

Round 6: Australians vs. 2500's (0-2)
There are lots and lots of videos you can check out on the tournament website, from round reports to player interviews and prizegiving. There was a very nice 3-minute video unveiled at the closing ceremony with shots of many of the players at the board, in sync with dramatic music, but I haven't been able to find it on the public domain yet. Edit: You can watch it at the end of this ChessBase article.

Celebrating the birthday of our friend from Bahrain at a restaurant - subsequently each of us had to eat our slices without using our hands, which a Bulgarian FM won in under 10 seconds leaving us amazed
Final ranking crosstable for the Juniors is here, and Girls is here. ChessBase final report is here.

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