At the European Capital of the Culture (1)

Maribor, the second largest city in Slovenia was the proud owner of this name at the year 2012. Many interesting activities took, and still take place in this beautiful town where the Drava river flows, and which is famous for its ski resorts. But the pearl in the crown of events without any doubt (at least for us) was the WYCC which was held at the middle of November.
A huge crowd of players (I am not sure about the exact number, but around 2000) plus an approximately the same number of entourage (parents, coaches, arbiters, etc.) flooded the quiet streets of Maribor and gave the start of many interesting battles.
The friendly Slovenians did their best to please the participants and succeeded in most of the things. Wonderful hotels, nature, air, badges for the players with which they could travel in the public transportation for free, warm attitude and understanding from the hosts-these were the main advantages of the event. The participants had also the chance to visit some more of the interesting cities in Europe like the Slovenian capital-Ljubljana, the famous chess town-Bled where the Olympiad from 2002 took place as well as the capital of Austria- Vienna.
Add to this all the presence of the almighty Garry Kasparov at the closing ceremony and you will know why this event was special.
When you gather together so many children and make them compete each other there are always many interesting stories to happen. One of my students who played under the group under eight had one of those. She played 1.e4 on the first move to see 1…Nc6 in reply. But just went the move was made her opponent started crying and explained that she meant to move first 1…c5 and only after that 2…Nc6. She even called the arbiter, explained the situation and demanded to take back the move in order to play properly what she meant to. When she did not receive the desired understanding the game continued 2.d4 Nc6-b8 and Black offered a draw. She did it twice more until my student who was at that time two pawns up blundered in piece at one. The draw offers then stopped…
It will probably take a month to tell all the interesting things that happened in Maribor, to describe all the emotions. But it is time now to have a look at the champions, those who will surely remember this championship all their lives.
Girls under eight section was won by Motahare Asadi from Iran with impressive 10.5/11. This girl is very tough; you will hardly find many mistakes in her games despite her age.
The rating favorite in the boys ‘section Nodirbek Abdusattorov from Uzbekistan scored 10/11 for a clear first. Sharp tactician, he played with noteworthy self-confidence and this gave him a chance to stay cool in the decisive games.
The gold at the 10 years and younger ladies went in India. N. Priyanka somewhat surprised the opposition as at her starting number was only thirty-three. But she became a champion with a spare round!
Boys under ten section saw the most merciless participant! Vietnamese Nguyen Anh Khoi did not allow even a draw to his opponents and scored eleven wins! Comment is not required here…
Most challenging were the groups under twelve. The young ladies got a princess from India again. Her name is R. Vaishali, she managed to edge out the competition by a half point after a tough and long battle in the final round.
Even more competitive was the boys ‘section. This group had one of the largest number of participants (192) and the tie for the first place of four players shows one small part of the suspense. While the kids were playing blitz in the foyer long after the end of the last game one could see parents playing for the tiebreaks to be the right ones.
Prayers were heard in USA and Samuel Sevian took home the most precious medal.
I suggest now that you try your tactics with the young world champs:

1) Asadi,Motahare - Ismayil,Malak
Maribor World U/8 Girls (10.1), 17.11.2012

28.f5! Ne7 [28...exf5 29.Rxe8; 28...gxf5 29.Nxf5 Ra7 30.Nh6+ Bxh6 31.gxh6 followed by Re2–g2 when mate is coming soon.; 28...Bd7 29.f6 Bh8 30.Rh2 and next Bd3xg6 is coming- 30...Ra7 31.Bxg6!+–]

29.f6+– [White won a piece and the game later.]


2) Nguyen,Anh Khoi (1923) - Ram,Aravind L N (1983)
Maribor World U/10 Open (10.1), 17.11.2012

23.Nf5+! Qxf5 [After: 23...gxf5 24.Rxd5 Rc6 25.Qd2 Rxc1+ 26.Qxc1 White is better due to the damaged pawn structure of the opponent.]

24.Rxd5 Rc6 [Otherwise White wins the pawn after- 24...f6 25.Qd4]

25.Rc5 Rxc5 26.Qxc5 [White wins a pawn:]

26...Nc6 [26...Ra8 27.Qd4]

27.Qc4 Re8 28.b5 Nb8 29.Qd4+ Kg8 30.Rc5+– [and White won later.]


3) Batjargal,Irmuuntulga - Abdusattorov,Nodirbek (1949)
Maribor World U/8 Open (10.1), 17.11.2012

24...Bxa2+! 25.Kxa2 b1Q+! 26.Rxb1 Qa4+ 27.Kb2 Rxc2#


4) Sevian,Samuel (2347) - Xiong,Jeffrey (2252)
Maribor World U/12 Open (7.1), 14.11.2012

16.Nf5! exf5 17.exf5 Bxf5 18.Rxe8+– Bg6 19.Rxf8+ Kxf8 20.Qxd6+ [and White won later.]


5) Vaishali,R (1970) - Abdumalik,Zhansaya (2173)
Maribor World U/12 Girls (8.1), 15.11.2012
[Dejan Bojkov]

31.Rxf6! Rxf6 32.Bxe5 Raf8 33.Rd8 Kg8 34.Bxf6