Will top seed India win the World Youth Olympiad 2017?
With a rating average of 2503 and talents like Aryan Chopra, Praggnanandhaa and Nihal Sarin India green team is definitely a favourite to win the World Youth Olympiad 2017. But they will have some stiff competition from Iran, Russia and Armenia. Not to forget India's blue and red teams. The games begin from the 11th of December. For now we bring you the colourful opening ceremony with some of the brilliant pictures by the official photographer of the event Amruta Mokal.
One of the biggest dreams for any chess player is to represent his country at the Olympiad. The Olympiad is held every two years and the next one will be in Batumi, Georgia in 2018. The only other event which is comparable to the Olympiad is the World Youth Olympiad under-16! These talented young boys and girls get an opportunity to feel what it would be like to play for the country. It’s a preparation for the Olympiad which they would play after a few years. In fact some of the youngsters are already a part of the main Olympiad team!
The World Youth Olympiad 2017 is being held from 10th to the 19th of December 2017 in Karnavati Club in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Each team consists of four boards and it is compulsory that the female player in your team plays at least three rounds out of the stipulated nine.
Chess is mainly an individualistic game and to play in a team gives you important lessons of camaraderie, understanding and team spirit. You cannot just make some rash decision in your game as the entire team will have to suffer the consequences. In that sense the responsibility on your shoulders is considerably higher. But so is the glory. Nothing can be sweeter than finding that winning continuation when you team is tied at a score of 1.5 points a-piece.
This World Youth Olympiad 2017 is a special event. We have 30 teams participating this year from six continents.
|20||South Africa A||1778|
|24||South Africa B||1646|
This is truly a global event. Here are a few statistics comparing the current world youth Olympiad with the one that was held in 2016 in Slovakia. In 2016 we had 40 countries taking part, this time we have 25. The quantity of teams has reduced, but the quality has increased tremendously. 2016 had only 4 IMs and no GMs taking part. While this time we have 14 IMs and also one Grandmaster – Aryan Chopra.
The average rating of the top seed in 2016 was 2461, while this time the Indian team which is the top seed has an average rating of 2503. Iran, Russia and Armenia all have a rating average of above 2400. This is going to be a tremendously well fought event.
Nihal Sarin just finished his tournament in London where he narrowly missed out on a GM norm by half a point. He will be reaching Ahmedabad on 11th morning. Iniyan just reached Ahmedabad at night. FM Prasenjit Dutta is the coach of the team. Speaking to ChessBase India Prasenjit said, "This team is a bundle of talent and this does not need my certification. Personally while I am the appointed trainer, I think it will be a great opportunity for me to learn a lot from this massive talent pool - Aryan, Praggnanandhaa, Nihal, Iniyan and Vaishali, I think this is the sum of the current brigade who are likely to make it very big in coming years. I guess I am very blessed to be part of this journey in the World Youth Olympiad and god willing, we will win!"
The Iranian team arrived from a long journey and had to wait for their rooms. So instead of attending the opening ceremony, they decided to take some rest. This is their team composition which is extremely strong:
|4||Gholami Orimi Mahdi||2298||IRI||12558486||0,0|
|5||Sargsyan Anna M.||2160||ARM||13308130||0,0|
|1||FM||Moazaz Dhahir Habeeb||2046||IRQ||4807421||0,0|
|2||FM||Rabeea Sabah Nori||2039||IRQ||4806212||0,0|
|3||Ahmed Jaza Jamal||2037||IRQ||4808509||0,0|
|4||Nabaa Sami Abbas||1755||IRQ||4806255||0,0|
|5||WCM||Al-Fayyadh Yamama Asif Abdula||1718||IRQ||4806700||0,0|
Round one will take place on 11th of December at 14.30 hours IST.
Pictorial impressions by Amruta Mokal:
This tournament will also witness the use of a new chess set by DGT. It looks like a wooden chess set, but is made from plastic. This makes it very light weight and also cost effective. ChessBase India caught up with the CEO of DGT Hans Pees and asked him to share some of the salient features of this new chess set.