Monday, 22 September 2014

World Youth - a marathon day

Day 2 was an exhausting double round marathon. The time control for this event is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, then 30 minutes to complete the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move from move 1. Many games took almost 5 hours to complete, with one round 2 game going almost 6 hours after the players got into the notorious Rook and Bishop versus Rook ending (drawn after about 125 moves because of the 50-move rule).

The World Youth is divided by age group and by gender, from under 8 up till under 18. The top 10 boards in each are using DGT boards so that moves played on these boards can be seen by spectators outside the playing hall. Strictly no spectators are allowed inside the playing hall! There is a complicated system of coloured lanyards in place to enforce this. My photo ID has two coloured dots, giving me access to the playing hall and to the arbiters room. If you see somebody with all the colours of the rainbow, then you know they are a numzaan.

In between the rounds I was able to chat to several of the visiting international arbiters. I was shown the following position that was reached in one of the under 8 games, with White to move. White accepted his opponent's draw offer, thinking that stalemate was inevitable:

After the score sheets had been signed, Black confessed that he knew White has a forced win! His winning line went 1.Kf3 g4+ 2.Ke3 g3 3.Kd2 g2 4.Kc2 g1=Q 5.Qb2#. I improved on that with a mate in 3, which you might like to calculate. So, even the under 8's are capable of gamesmanship!

After 3 rounds our local KZN players are struggling to get to grips with players from the rest of the world. Only Aarti Datharam (in the under 8 girls section) still has a plus score (2 points out of 3). Our KZN players seem to be doing better in the Grandmaster open which is being played alongside the World Youth. In the GM open we still have 4 players on a plus score, namely Jason Subke, Lindokuhle Xulu, Joseph Mwale and Jerry Zuma, all with 2 points.

For more information and detailed results, go to the chess-results (RSA) server.