At this point, the 27th Universade is taking place in Kasan, Russia. The international games of college students officially started off and will last seven days.
Players from 46 countires line up
Since 2001, when the Universade took place in Shenzhen, chess is listed as an option in the program of the World Games of college students. Back then, the Chinese hosting the games obtained six out of nine medals. All three gold medallists were from China which also earned one silver medal and two bronze. Mongolia, as well as the Ukraine, received one silver medal, while one Georgian student won bronze. This year, players from 46 nations have registered to participate.
86 men will compete for medals at the Universade
Overall, 86 players registered for the men’s competition, eager to obtain the victory at the 27th Universade in Kasan. Favorite players are the locals Dmitry Andreikin (Elo 2727) and Evgeny Alekseev (Elo 2714), who currently rank 24th and 31st in the worldwide FIDE rankings. In the first three rounds, though, they only obtained 2.0 points and only played an average performance. On the contrary, Vladimir Onischuk from the Ukraine (Elo 2576 / 76th in worldwide rankings) and the Chinese Li Chao B (Elo 2686 / 61st) won all three duels. Elisha Thabo from Zimbabwe (Elo 0) and Lee Hwichul from Korea (Elo 0) unsurprisingly have obtained 0 points at this time.
Women’s chess tournament in Kasan with 71 players
The chess tournament of women at the 27th Universade even has 71 players participating. The three top-favorites originate from China (grandmaster Zhao Xue, Elo 2553), Ju Venjun (Elo 2531), and Tan Zhongyi (Elo 2478), ranking 6th, 8th, and 25th in international rankings. The world’s number 8 – Ju Venjun – played her role in the tournament well until now. She won all three duels like Shen Yang (Elo 2405/ 43rd), the Mongolian Batkhuyag Munguntuul (Elo 2452/ 35th), the Russian Anastasia Bodnaruk (Elo 2440/ 43rd), and Irina Bulmaga from Romania (Elo 2403/ 61st). On the other hand, Zaho Xue and Tan Zhongyi had to each accept one drawn in three meetings. The only German player at the tournament is Manuela Mader (Elo 2212) obtained 2.0 points in her first three duels.
written by Michael, translated by Birthe