Chess commentators often have much to say about child prodigies, fuelling the international obsession about what age players where when they first earned their Grandmaster, WGM, or IM status. And that is why the World Senior Chess Championship is such a refreshing event. This awesome annual chess extravaganza for players who are aged over 60 is always packed with fantastic talents. As such, the event reminds us that great chess can be played at any age, and that not all acclaimed players need to have followed ‘traditional’ trajectory of starting early and earning their titles early in order to play a gripping and intelligent game of chess.
This November, the World Senior Chess Championship was held in the placid waterside town of Kamena Vourla in Greece. Amid the ancient buildings, renowned natural beauty, and dark, lofty trees, a new chapter of history was certainly being written as the seniors battled it out for the top spot in the 2012 Championship! This year, the championship ran between November 12th and November 25th, making for an intense, and relentlessly thrilling couple of weeks of chess.
It came as no surprise to many that Russian-born WGM Galina Strutinskaya beat off all the other women to the top spot this year. Strutinskaya is a formidable opponent, and her measured, smart performance also earned her the winning place in the World Senior Championship last year. Strutinskaya is definitely on something of a winning streak, and we can’t wait to see if she can keep up this amazing performance in the 2013 Senior Championship as well!
The open element of the tournament was won by Danish IM Jens Kristiansen, who played an exemplary game as always. Kristiansen never fails to be a joy to watch as he plays with a certain dry humour. He is most known for playing the Sicilian opening with both black and white pieces, and he certainly turned his characteristic Sicilian to his advantage this year!
Next year, the World Senior Chess Championship will be held in Croatia, in the beautiful city of Opatija from November 14. Once again, the event in Opatija, which will be the 23rd World Senior Chess Championship, promises non-stop excitement, great atmosphere, and a chance to visit one of the most beautiful places on earth. So make sure that you book your stay as soon as you can, we certainly will be!