7 April 2022

New Names

Dmitry Kryakvin's report about the Russian Youth Rapid and Blitz Championships

The Russian township called Loo has given start to the national youth championships, and the morning shift is given to the age groups from 11 to 13 years old. Health resort AquaLoo welcomed guests with a number of innovations, such as Building No.10, which is almost entirely populated by chess players, their coaches and parents.

The new building features modern rooms with a convenient layout, a hydromassage cabin, snow-white towels, superb cleaning service, all types of kettles, hair dryers, but there is also a significant drawback: made of cardboard, the walls' quality of soundproofing leaves much to be desired. I stay in such a room myself to share my impressions with you: my son sleeps like a log, and every morning my neighbor, who is an early riser, wakes me up at six in the morning when he turns on TV to get to know the world news. There is no hiding from the world news anyway, not even while sleeping...

This time the schedule of competitions is organized in the reverse order than usual: chess problems, blitz, rapid and only then the classical chess. The first three "warm-up" categories (it should be noted, however, that fast disciplines are rapidly catching up with classical ones in popularity) have already finished. One of the positive aspects that I want to highlight is that it has significantly reduced the registration time for tournaments — I have seen neither lengthy queues nor an "assault" on the credentials committee, headed by the most vigilant supervisor in the country, Dmitry Feofanov.

On the other side, it is not so easy to adapt yourself when switching from more rapid to slower time controls. In the pursuit of medals at various competitions of the district championship I was barely alive towards the end of the classical section. Let's see how the newly-introduced schedule is going to affect the standings among our leading boys and girls. Off the top of my head, I say that many favorites fought furiously in rapid and blitz and that they outnumber those who registered only for a classical time format.

The weather is still cold and rainy. Well, it does not matter as long as it clears up before the start of the recreation program. If you still remember it, it was raining for the entire first half of the children's championships back in 2021.

Your correspondent came in time to witness the blitz battles, where several memorable events have taken place simultaneously. Thus, in girls under 11, there excelled Victoriya Lapa of Novosibirsk Oblast (high five to Dmitry Bocharov and Pavel Maletin!), Her tournament triumph coincided with her birthday! As for boys of the same age group, Roma Shogdzhiev, born in 2015, was in the lead for a long time! But then he went down to the future champion Matfey Yurasov (Georgy Castaneda's student gave his competitors a slight head start to catch up and overtake them later on) and finished third. This is a very impressive achievement for such a young athlete! By the way, all prize-takers in this competition are from Moscow!

When Roma participated in the anniversary 50th session, organized by the CFR Grandmaster Center in Kostroma, the well-known coach Mikhail Shereshevsky immediately noticed and predicted him a bright future. I hope that it be so!

In the U13 boys group, there triumphed a rising star of Tyumen Ivan Zemlyanskii (as you may already know from my previous reports, your author has had a hard time in games against Vanya), and in the girls group — Veronika Iudina from St. Petersburg. The only thing that cast a shadow over the blitz competitions was that in some games the athletes (and already experienced ones!) forgot to report their game results to get a mutual zero. However, the team of arbiters worked in their usual professional way so that no protests were filed.

Zemlyanskii and Iudina achieved a "golden double" in the rapid competition — my sincere congratulations to their coaches Jaroslav Prizant and Roman Lovkov (both coaches work hard remotely, and you won't see them in the pictures). In the younger age groups, there shined Ksenia Asachenko of Moscow (Vladimir Vulfson's factory of young champions in action!) and Ruslan Minkhajdarov of Tatarstan, the latter is tutored by my old friend Sergey Rodchenkov.

In general, the zeroing the weapons is over, and it's time to move on to the most important competition! Please, do not forget about our picture gallery!