The World Chess Youth Championship is undoubtedly the best place to find out who the hottest chess talents of the future are going to be, and 2012 was no exception! As well as the two overall winners, Aleksandra Goryachkina for the girls’ category, and Dariusz Świercz for the boys, some scintillating new chess players were on show throughout the Championship. The World Chess Youth Championship includes categories for a number of different age groups, as well as both an open and a female-only category. It is fair to say that the winners of each category are going to be real rising stars in the years to come. Świercz became a Grandmaster at the age of 14 and has won a number of competitions, both internationally and in his native Poland. Goryachkina, who was born in Russia, is the youngest living Woman Grandmaster, having earned this title at the age of just thirteen, and she has always put in a strong performance at World Youth chess events. These two are certainly two to watch out for!
This year, the World Chess Youth Championship was held in Maribor in Slovenia. Maribor truly is a stunning historic city with a vibrant cultural scene. Maribor is built around the peaceful winding river Drava, and us usually a lazy, quiet place to spend your time. And yet during the week of the Chess Youth Championship, as 1584 brilliant young chess players descended on this sleepy little city, tensions were certainly running high and minds were working on overdrive! The Championship was held between November 16th and November 19th, and though it was short and sweet compared to some other more drawn-out chess events, it certainly made for an intense three days. With so many inspiring young chess players and their supporters thronging the halls of the city.
Perhaps what is most inspiring about the World Youth Chess Championship this year is that it has confirmed for so many of us the vital place that chess continues to have in the lives of so many young people. The intellectual acuity and wide range of opening gambits and other moves on display here certainly demonstrated that the future of chess is going to be as fast-paced and as full of surprises and unstoppable talents as ever.
We absolutely cannot wait for the 2013 World Youth Chess Championship, which is going to be held on the campus of the United Arab Emirates University. This was confirmed after the Al Ain Chess Club made a very successful bid to host the event in 2013. With the players from 2012 a little older and a little wiser and more experienced, and with some fresh new faces thrown into the mix, the 2013 World Youth Chess Championship can only be more exciting than the one this year, so watch this space!