The big celebration of scholastic chess – the FIDE World Schools Team Championship 2023 – has ended. Istanbul ENKA High School (Turkey) in the U18 section and Velammal MHS Mogappair (India) in the U12 were unstoppable! Both winning teams won all eight matches and deservingly claimed gold medals.
Lviv Academic Gymnasium takes home the trophy for second place in the U12 tournament. Solely trailing the leaders going into the last day of the competition, the Ukrainian squad finished solidly with a match win and a draw.
The match points (2 for a win, 1 for a draw, and 0 for a loss) determined the winners. If the match points were equal, the Olympiad-Sonneborn-Berger tiebreak came into play. It added the scores of each defeated team and half the scores of each drawn team, excluding the lowest result. Five teams tied for third, but the tiebreak favoured National Physics & Mathematics School from Kazakhstan.
The tiebreak also decided the silver and bronze in the under-18 category. The local team, Republican School of Physics and Mathematics (Kazakhstan), and Velammal Vidyalaya Alapakkam, Chennai (India), had 12 points each, but the tiebreaks gave the edge to the former.
More exceptional performances deserve special mention: Aarav A (IND), Aziz Degenbaev (KGZ), FM Adar Tarhan (TUR), and Suleyman Akhmet (KAZ) all scored 8 out of 8 and won individual gold medals.
The 2023 FIDE World Schools Team Championship took place in Aktau, Kazakhstan, from 4-7 August. More than 300 schoolchildren from 53 countries came to the city on the Caspian shore to defend the honour of their schools by competing in two age categories: up to 12 years old and 18 years old. The award ceremony was held in the Amphitheater on the promenade by the sea.
Mr Timur Turlov, the President of the Kazakhstan Chess Federation, addressed the audience: “Today, dozens of teams from more than 50 countries have gathered in this hall. This is a clear marker of the incredible popularity of the chess movement throughout the world and the influence of Kazakhstan on the global chess agenda. I am convinced that this tournament became the starting point in hundreds of young chess players’ careers and allowed you to find new friends and like-minded people, enjoy the beauties of Aktau and get to know Kazakh culture better.”
Mr Nurlan Nogaev, Akim of Mangistau region, noted that more tournaments like this will be held in Aktau. “Chess is not only an exciting game that enhances brain development but also a valuable tool that positively affects a person’s mindset. By engaging in the sport of chess, our teenagers and kids foster their creativity and set an example for their peers,” he said.
The closing ceremony ended with colourful fireworks.
Top 10 finishers Under 18:
Top 10 finishers Under 12: