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Wales at the World Youth Chess Championships 2015

Round Eleven Report


Wales finished on a high today after our payers equalled yesterday's score of 10.5 points out of twenty. This time, it was the boys' turn to shine. 

Early victories were recorded by James and Ethan before Robert capitalised on his great draw yesterday by finishing with a win today. Karanvir ended a fine tournament with a win and can look forward to a large increase in his FIDE rating. As can Ifan who came from a piece down to secure his win today. 

Chirag and Nick both scored fine draws to complete their events on a high. 

Hiya Ray and Nayana both share the girls' accolades as their wins today helped both of them to final scores of 5.5 and 6 respectively. Nayana deserves huge praise for her plus 0.5 score considering her original low placing in the seeding list. 

Draws for Imogen, Emily, Madeleine, Neya and Susie completed our scoring today. 

So ends the event and we have much to digest and upon which to reflect. We move now to our closing ceremony before departures tomorrow. 

A closing report will be issued upon upon our return home. 

HoD's Player of the Round: Nayana Kalavala 


Round Ten Report 

Today was our most successful day at the Championships yet as our players combined to score 10.5 points, our first over-50% score and while this was predominantly down to the numerous points scored by our female players, it is only right that we give star-billing today to a young man who has proven to be inspirational to the whole squad. 

Robert Goodwin has not had the best of tournaments. A relatively new player on the scene, he has proven to be a very handy rapidplay player as evidenced by his two North Wales Championship titles. He performed very well at last year's Welsh Championships and is a regular member of our Junior 4NCL team. The jump to World Championship play has been difficult and yet he has stuck at it, worked hard with his coach and never given up. His first score today, a hard-fought three hour draw was met with as much joy from the Welsh camp as would have any Welsh World Champion. Congratulations must go to Robert for all his efforts - never was a half point more deserved or welcomed. 

The girls had a superb day today scoring 7.5 points out of ten. Wins came from Shayanna, Hiya, Aishwarya (playing her third Welsh player in the event!), Neya, Nayana, Madeleine and Venetia. Imogen's draw completed the girls' scoring. 

Arjan was out in under an hour with a good win following his opponent's blunder and draws from Robert, Nick, James and Ben brought us our top score so far this tournament. 

Morale is once again high as we go into our early morning final round tomorrow. 

An early night is needed... 

HoD's Player of the Round: Robert Goodwin 


Round Nine


Wales returned to form today as ten different players managed to score giving us a total for the round of 8.5. 

Emily Wang started the ball rolling with her second win of the tournament saving her from a promised dunking in the pool had she lost. 

Hiya Ray also returned to form after a flat run of results following her blistering start last week. She now moves on to 3.5 points. 

Nayana Kalavala is having a fine tournament and she secured another win today with the black pieces. She now has four points. 

Susie Fraser had another long game and was deleted to bring home the full point...almost as much as she was with the blue elephant her opponent had given her. 

In the boys sections, Karanvir Lutchman-Singh added to his impressive wins with another superb victory over an opponent rated at 1838. Karanvir is on target for a superb TPR if he keeps this up. 

Ethan Chung continues to impress in the Open Eights and his win today was a fine display of accuracy and aggression. Win the opening, pile on the pressure and secure the win. Ethan now moves on to four points. 

Our final winner of the day was Chirag Guha who is enjoying a much better second week here. He also moves on to four points. 

So seven winners to celebrate here alongside those who also secured a score with hard-fought draws: Arjan, Shayanna and Nick. 

Only two rounds now remain and the finishing line is creeping into sight. It is vital though that all players keep their focus until the end. 

HoD's Players of the Round: Ethan Chung and Susie Fraser 


Round Eight 

Our players faced another set of very tough opponents in round eight but knuckled down hard leading to nine of them scoring and gaining a total of six points for the team. 

After a series of draws and losses, Imogen Camp started to turn the tide by emerging with a conclusive victory in her game meaning that she has now fought back to a score of 50% (4/8). 

Our other two winners were Ifan Rathbone-Jones and Ben Choo-yin who needed over four hours each to secure their points, both excellent examples of fighting to the death and never giving up. 

Our other points came in the form of draws from: James, Arjan, Neil, Neya, Susanna and Nayanna. 

HoD's Player of the Round: Ben Choo-yin 

HoD's 'Do it for the Team' award: Claire Evans for finding an old score sheet of Imogen's opponent and handing it to Imogen to aid her prep! 


Round Seven Report 

After the highs of round six, we came back down to earth a little in round seven however, as it turned out, we ended up doing slightly better than we originally thought after the first five boys all came out with early losses. Thankfully, the rest helped us to fight our way back to a score of 6.5. 

The girls performed really well and lifted team spirits thanks to wins from Venetia (against a WCM), Aishwarya and Madeleine. Draws from Imogen, Shayanna and Neya also helped add to our score. 

Sadly, the boys were only able to add two points to our total but they came from excellent wins from Nick and Chirag. 

Some heads have inevitably gone down and it is our responsibility to get them all back up again for the final four rounds. 

HoD's Player of the Round: Venetia Sivaragasingam 


Round Six Report 

Well, what a day that was! Fresh from their day off yesterday when they were given time and activities to help them blow off steam and the relative disappointment of the previous two rounds, Welsh juniors returned with a bang today and bagged enough points to ensure that a certain Head of Delegation will be meeting with a splash in the very near future. 

Wales scored a fantastic ten points today - our first fifty percent round, increasing our overall percentage even further. What made it even more remarkable was that these ten points came in the form of nine wins and only two draws. A superb achievement. 

So, in no particular order: 

Madeleine Smith scored her first win of the event to the absolute joy of the team. She has worked so hard for this and her confidence must surely soar. She is now on 2/6. 

Nayana Kalavala gained another good win with the black pieces against a 1293 and she is improving with every game and is capable of even more, we have no doubt. She now moves on to 3.5/6. 

Ethan Chung was another winner today in relatively quick time and he moves on to 3/6. 

Shayanna Sivaragasingam continues to improve and she grabbed an early win to take her on to 2.5/6. 

Susie Fraser scored a beautiful win which led to her lovely smile lighting up the hotel and she now moves on to 2.5/6. 

Imogen Camp put aside her devastating loss in round five after over five hours to score a straight-forward win against her American opponent today in a Queen and Knight ending. She moves on to 2.5/6. 

Nicholas Evans was relieved to get his first win of the tournament and moves on to 1.5/6. 

Chirag Guha was also an early finisher with a crushing victory over his opponent. This was a much-needed boost to his confidence. He now stands on 2/6. 

Arjan Bolina was our ninth winner today with a very tough, strategical battle and he moves on to 2.5/6. 

Draws from Ben Choo-yin and Ifan Rathbone-Jones cemented our ten points this round leading to a huge rise in team morale and confidence. We next all meet together at 1.30pm tomorrow at the pool where yours truly will be ceremoniously dumped and dunked beneath its waters. The things we do to motivate... 


HoD's Player of the Round: Arjan Bolina


Round Five Report 

Round five proved to be another very difficult one for Wales but our players still managed to accumulate seven points keeping them above the thirty percent strike rate that they have achieved so far in this incredibly tough event that seems to have no tail this year. 

Karanvir returned to blistering form with a fantastic win against an opponent who out-rated him by three hundred points. His confidence once again is high as we move into the second week. 

Venetia scored her fourth win in a row and is now on four out of five. Excitement is growing and we look forward to seeing her on the live boards in round five.  

The delegation was thrilled to see Neil Stevenson gain his first win of the event against a 1330. Neil has worked extremely hard for this and put all his disappointment aside from the first four rounds to brush his opponent aside. 

Ben also scored a decent win (his second of the week) after his opponent failed to capitalise on his early advantage. Ben made sure that he did not get a second chance and brought the point home. 

Decent draws from James and Arjan as well as Madeleine's bye completed our scoring. 

Friday was our much-needed rest day which was filled with shopping, football, swimming and ten-pin bowling which all contributed towards our players letting off steam leaving them hopefully with clear heads to focus on the second half of their tournaments. 

On we go... 


HoD's Players of the Round: Neil Stevenson and Karanvir Lutchman-Singh 


Round Four Report


The cooler and breezier weather that put paid to our morning volleyball game seems ominous and so it proved as it was a tougher day for the Welsh juniors today but it was still one that yielded another seven points and one that saw two more of our players get off the mark.  


Sincerest congratulations must go initially to James Evans who was delighted to win his first game and secure his first point today.  A straight-forward battle resulted in him being the first Welsh player to return to base and his grin was more than enough compensation for the lack of sunshine.    His brother, Nick also got off the mark with a draw and despite his natural tendency to be hard on himself, he should be extremely pleased with himself and things will surely improve from now on.


Emily Wang also deserved masses of praise after gaining her first win of what has been a difficult week for her so far.  The team was delighted when she came bouncing out of the hall and the whole hotel was in no doubt as to who had won.


Venetia picked up her third straight win and is now stalking the leaders venomously.  She is once again playing extremely well and there is a cautious optimism around the team about just how far this talented young lady can go.


Added to these wins were decent draws for Hiya Ray, Karanvir, Imogen, Ifan and Nayana. 


We hope for more sunshine and even more points tomorrow.


HoD’s Players of the Round:  James Evans and Emily Wang


Round Three Report


So, after scoring five and a half points on day one and six points on day two, Wales improved even further today by taking eight points!


Off the mark are Chirag Guha who won very early on, Ben Choo-yin, whose preparation went to plan leading him to convert the win and Nayana Kalavala who was overjoyed with her first point after a tough three hour game.  Venetia also won her second game in a row taking her to two points out of three and moving into contention once again.  Neil Stevenson was unlucky to receive a full point bye but at least he is now off the mark and eager to get back into action tomorrow.


Ethan Chung in the Open Under 8s remains unbeaten after his second draw of the week leaving him also in contention on two points out of three.  Aishwarya, arguably the most unlucky player on the resort after being drawn against a fellow Welsh player for the second time scored a good draw against Susie Fraser.  


Neya Govindaraj also remains unbeaten after another draw and she too is placed nicely on two points.  Arjan Bolina was our final scorer of the day after negotiating an extremely tricky Queen and pawn ending to secure a decent half point.


Once again, a superb bout of team-bonding took place in what is now becoming our regular volleyball game in the warm morning sea.  Morale in the camp remains high as we continue to enjoy fine surroundings, weather and food.  


Yours truly remains in a warm, dry condition after the team failed to score their target of ten points this round, the achievement of which would have led to me being dragged into the sea and dunked.  The team has vowed to reach this target soon…towels and hot-water bottles at the ready…


HoD’s Player of the Round:  Venetia Sivaragasingam


Round Two Report


Hiya Ray…leads the way!


Welsh juniors had an excellent round and improved on their 5.5 points scored yesterday. The morning was spent in preparation and coaching as well as a fantastic team bonding volleyball game in the sea led by the raucous Evans family. If anyone was still in doubt…Wales have arrived at Porto Carras!


The chess led to even more excitement when Hiya Ray appeared after two hours with her second win out of two. This makes her an early joint leader of her section and she is likely to be on a live board tomorrow. Ifan Rathbone-Jones continued his fine start with an astonishing win taking him to 1.5 points out of two. His win was a triumph of coaching and preparation as Tom Thorpe accurately predicted that Ifan’s opponent would attempt a Siberian Trap against the Smith-Morra. So it came to pass but Ifan was more than ready to avoid the trap and proceeded to launch a vicious counter-attack leading to his win. Our third win came from Venetia Sivarajasingam, more than making up for her disappointing start yesterday. Imogen Camp came out after four hours having secured her first win of the event in a comfortable game. Once a piece had been won, the point was inevitable.


Further scores came in the form of draws for Ethan Chung (1.5), Neya Govindaraj (1.5), Arjan Bolina (0.5) and Aishwarya Lutchman-Singh (0.5).  


The spirit in the Welsh camp is at a high level I have never witnessed before. I anticipate things will only continue to improve and we have many celebrations to come.


HoD’s Player of the Round:  Ifan Rathbone-Jones


Round One Report


It is certainly no exaggeration to say that the World Youth this year is being held in paradise.  Porto Carras is without doubt a beautiful location with the entire resort being handed over to FIDE for this event.  Through superb organisation by Syringa Camp, the entire Welsh delegation had arrived safely by Saturday night and were almost the sole occupants of the sixth floor of our hotel enjoying spectacular views across the marina and sea.  The only complaint most of the Federations have is the poor WIFI access that exists across the complex and this might cause problems with submission of future reports; however, we will endeavour to do our best here.


Twenty of our best players rose bright and early this morning to meet with their coaches for the first time.  Games were prepped, opponents studied and plans made.  A team meeting was held at 2.15pm where the strict rules of the event were spelled out clearly.  With support from parents ringing in their ears, the kids made their way to the playing halls to play their first round.


The usual problem was encountered whereby the vast majority of our under-rated players were placed in the lower half of the draw and therefore were seeded to play opponents with significantly higher ratings.  We need not have worried as the Welsh players conspired to produced one of the best opening days at an international event that we have ever seen.


Within an hour, Hia Ray emerged from the playing hall celebrating a tremendous win.  She was followed by Neya Govindaraj who defeated fellow Welsh player Aishwarya Dutchman-Singh - a desperately unlucky pairing for the delegation.  Ethan Chung was the next to appear after two hours having won his first round game in the Open Eights.  A superb win was also recorded by Susanna Fraser after an epic four and a half hour battle in her game.  Ifan Rathbone-Jones, the boy who cannot be slain rescued an incredible draw in what appeared to be a totally lost endgame.


Result of the round though must go to Karanvir Lutchman-Singh who defeated an opponent rated in the 2100s to kick-start what we hope will be a memorable campaign for him.


The rest of the players (at the time of writing) lost their games but all used their time well and did not appear for at least three hours.  Chirag Guha is currently still playing and may yet well add to our tremendous opening day score.


HoD’s Player of the Round:  Karanvir Lutchman-Singh

Junior chess activities are generously supported by a

 grant from the

Welsh Assembly