World Youth U16 Chess Olympics in China have begun

Despite all modern free time activities and the broad range of gadgets such as tablets and smartphones, chess remains a popular pastime for young people. Proof for this is the large crowd attending the World Youth U16 Olympics in chess which are currently carried out in Beijing.

72 teams from 26 countries line up in Beijing

The promoters of this major event for chess juniors have reported a heavy rush of participants. Overall, 72 teams from 26 associations travelled to China to compete in the World Youth Olympics of teenagers under 16. Among the participants are even 40 players with titles. The tournament is organized and carried out at the Chongqing Yucai Middle School.

Players from all corners of the earth participating

A glance at the field of participants shows that at the U16 World Olympics indeed teenagers from all over the world participate. Obviously, Chinese participants outweigh all other competing groups at the event, but also other Asian teams such as India and South Korea take part of the tournament. Europe is represented by England, Sweden, Georgia, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Turkey, and Russia – German-speaking teams cannot be found in Beijing this time. While South Africa is the only team from the African continent, many teams from Australia have lined up. Also, American teams from the United States of America and Chile have come to participate in the World Youth U16 Olympics.

Chinese grandmaster Wie Yi leads the field

When observing the competitors, one quickly notices the partaking of several very strong players at the U16 tournament. This regards to Wie Yi from China in particular: The chess player not only has an Elo-rating of 2557, but is also the only grandmaster among the participants. Also, the Russians Vladislav Artemyev (Elo 2554) and Grigory Oparin (ELO 2497) and the Indian Ghosh Diptayan (Elo 2497) and many other players show the impressive strengths of chess juniors from all over the world – even in times of PlayStation, xbox and others.

 written by Michael, translated by Birthe