July 31st - August 9th
Well done to our players in the European Union Youth Chess Championships in Mureck, Austria.
Wales was represented by Mateusz Sieduszewski in the U14, Sam Thomas in the U10 and Chirag Guha in the U8 section all making their international debuts. The results are here and Chirag finished with a win scoring 4/9 and both Mateusz and Sam drew their last game.
Ian Eustis was their coach and a report from him follows.
Then tenth European Union Championships were held in the small market town of Mureck in south east Austria, from the first to the ninth of August. We had three players competing, Mateusz Sieduszewski in the U.14 section, Sam Thomas in the U.10 and Chirag Guha in the U.8. For all of them it was their first tournament outside Wales, if we discount Chirag playing in the British junior championships the week before, and their first tournament at this exalted level.
After the summer we have suffered this year it seems churlish to complain about warm weather, but with the temperature reaching 40 degrees at its worst, I, for one, felt uncomfortably hot, if not bothered. Mureck doubles as a holiday resort in summer and the players quickly established a routine of finishing their games and heading straight for the nearby swimming pool. We were accommodated in a guest house about three miles from the playing hall and were bussed there and back each day. We were sharing the guest house with the Scottish delegation, which contained four players and assorted relatives. Mateusz recognised two of them from the Four Nations competition in Daventry in July and we quickly established an excellent rapport, typical of celtic nations and something which international chess tournaments should always be about. Of course, we finished up by playing them. Mateusz lost to Andrew McCusker and drew with Stuart Wynne and Sam drew with Robert Pirrie.
In this kind of tournament a lap top is essential, as every team has one and the tournament organisers no longer bother to produce a printed bulletin of the games. I was therefore very grateful that Chirag’s father (a) was an I.T. expert and (b) had brought a lap top with him. I was thus able to access the games played by the boys’ opponents and to prepare them for the next day’s battle.
Such is the standard of this tournament that I did not expect our players to score any points in the first three rounds. Chirag confounded these expectations by kicking off with a win and a draw and finished with a very respectable four points out of nine, a remarkable result for someone who started playing chess last November. Lack of experience at this level told heavily against our other two players and they struggled to score points for the entire tournament. Mateusz suffered the most from the heat and lack of sleep and played well below his normal standard.
Ian Eustis ~ EU Youth Coach/Junior Director