2011 World Youth Championship (Brazil)

The World Youth Championships begin today in Caldas Novas, Brazil. The tournament will have twelve categories (six each for both open and girls). There are 78 countries competing for top honors and titles. There are several Grandmasters on hand including top seed Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (2556) of Armenia. The under-18 section has three GMs. The under-12 section is the largest with 134 players. The U.S. team is sending a contingent of more than 40 players. GM Ray Robson did not make the trip. Several players will be looking to make a mark.

Drum visitors will no doubt recognized the highly-touted trio of Justus Williams, Josh Colas and James Black, Jr.. The three will be looking for medals in under-14 as will Darrian Robinson (under-18) and Rochelle Ballantyne (under-16). The sibling duo of WGM Deysi Cori and GM Jorge Cori of Peru will certainly be ones to watch. Deysi is playing in the open under-18.

Official Site: https://www.wycc2011.com/
Standings: https://chess-results.com/tnr58159.aspx?art=3&lan=10&flag=30

Daaim Shabazz

Daaim Shabazz is the founder of The Chess Drum, while serving as a tenured faculty member of Global Business & Marketing at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He holds a B.S. Computer Science from Chicago State University, an MBA in Marketing and a Ph.D. in International Affairs & Development, both from Clark Atlanta University. He has served the journalist community for more than 30 years and still competes in tournaments occasionally.

28 Comments

  1. The Internet is available off and on. I Will send some pictures later on. So far Josh got a quick win against Finland. James , Justus and Rochelle are still fighting. Too bad Darrian is not with us. No idea what happened.

  2. Internet access is dismal at our location. I´ve sent some pictures about 3 hours ago, but because of the Internet issues, theý are still waiting to be sent in outlook . Last night, there was a blackout which lasted about 20 minutes. Today, The second round is expected to be thrilling as Josh will have to face a top FM from India. Justus and James will also be facing stiffer competition . It really makes a big difference with all three of them being here together. They are supporting each other and they all seem very relax and confident. Game starts at 12 ET.

  3. Josh had a tough loss in the Albin gambit against the Indian FM. I am not sure where he went wrong as the game seems to have been headed for a draw. James got a quick win and Justus pulled a draw. Today, James will play up while Josh and Justus will play down. Although, here, playing up or down means absolutely nothing. Every game requires 100 % effort or you’ll get dust-up quickly.

  4. It’s all about opening prep! You prepare for one line and they come out with a different line or a completely different opening. Everybody is checking up on each other and coming out with surprises. It’s a MUST to be more than familiar with all major openings at this level to finish on top. The spirit of the boys are high so I am hoping for a strong finish.

  5. NM Justus Williams (FIDE 2186)
    Title Player
    Nation
    Flag
    ELO Result
    Juan Pablo Lozada
    Bolivia
    Bolivia
    1780
    Henrik Haavamae
    Estonia
    Estonia
    1946
    ½
    Jan Machan
    Czech Rep.
    Czech Republic
    1988
    Richard Wang
    Canada
    Canada
    2256
    Issac Leon Magallanes
    Ecuador
    Ecuador
    2008
    1
    Johan Salomon
    Norway
    Switzerland
    1973
    1
    IM Grigoriy Oparin
    Russia
    Russia
    2476
    FM Matthias Bluebaum
    Germany
    Russia
    2403
    0
    Lazar Lekic
    Montenegro
    Montenegro
    1941
    ½
    Score: 5½-3½

    NM James Black, Jr. (FIDE 2132)
    Title Player
    Nation
    Flag
    ELO Result
    Jose Palacion Ilancari
    Peru
    Peru
    1719
    1F
    Rumen Nikolov
    Bulgaria
    Bulgaria
    1916
    1
    FM Guillermo Vazquez
    Paraguay
    Paraguay
    2309
    Ronnie Pires Stone
    Brazil
    Brazil
    1943
    FM Diego Cuellar
    Peru
    Peru
    2179
    0
    William Foo
    England
    England
    1925
    ½
    Sofocles Cruz Arquias
    Brazil
    Brazil
    1811
    1
    FM Joshua Ruiz
    Columbia
    Columbia
    2241
    0
    Gijir Munkhbayar
    Mongolia
    Mongolia
    1838
    0
    Score: 4½-4½

    NM Josh Colas (FIDE 2047)
    Title Player
    Nation
    Flag
    ELO Result
    Ellis Saavalainen
    Finland
    Finland
    1490
    FM Diptayan Ghosh
    India
    IND
    2341
    0
    Diego Cisneros Avendano
    Peru
    Peru
    1826
    1
    Rasmus Svane
    Germany
    Germany
    2363
    Mahiro Abe
    Japan
    Japan
    1867
    1
    Gustavo Silva
    Brazil
    Brazil
    1920
    1
    Michael Bodek
    USA
    USA
    2236
    Ivan Krsnik
    Croatia
    Croatia
    1937
    0
    Mark Plotkin
    Canada
    Canada
    1826
    0
    Score: 4-5
    Rochelle Ballantyne
    Title Player
    Nation
    Flag
    ELO Result
    Maria Oliveira
    Portugal
    Portugal
    1870
    0
    Maria Delgado Ayala
    Mexico
    Mexico
    1815
    1
    Daniela Jensen Recupero
    Chile
    Chile
    1821
    1
    Valentina Jorquera Cabello
    Chile
    Chile
    1952
    WFM Melissa Castrillon Gomez
    Columbia
    Columbia
    2210
    0
    Mila Zarkovic
    Serbia
    Serbia
    1972
    0
    Yun Chang
    Canada
    Canada
    1905
    1
    Raana Hakimifard
    Iran
    Iran
    2016
    ½
    Denitza Dragieva
    Bulgaria
    Bulgaria
    2025
    0
    Score: 4½-4½
  6. I was told not to bother with openings when kids are first introduced to chess. In hindsight, I think it should be the opposite. I think knowing your openings well is the foundation to built upon in chess. Otherwise, talent or not, you will eventually get stuck at some point. I welcome anyone who has a different point of view.

    1. I almost exclusively studied openings (as a junior) and it gave me a good understanding of many types of positions. However, I neglected the other phases, especially the endgame. I believe a good sound knowledge of endgames is very important because it shows you which positions to strive for. The key endings are rook and pawn since they occur so frequently. Also knight endings are good to study. Only when I was more mature did I study an encyclopedia of chess endings and my appreciation of chess increased dramatically.

  7. Thanks Daaim. I am bit frustrated hearing over and over from post-analysis of the coaches that his middle game and end-game are fantastic, but he’s throwing away games because of his opening.

    1. At the top levels, openings are crucial because it is so hard to get an advantage. I believe junior players benefit from opening knowledge because it gives them more confidence going into the game and it allows them to play with more rhythm and not spend too much time figuring out the opening over the board.

      I was always very “booked up” and never got caught off guard in the opening, but as I got stronger (around 2100), getting advantages were much harder. However, it is still easy to catch people off guard in prepared lines. In fact, if Josh is playing a GM and goes into the main line, they can’t be sure he hasn’t prepared some secret line or got some megadatabase. That is a real fear of GMs when they play a “kid”. Josh should establish a solid repertoire and study the lines deeply. He can have practice sessions playing only that opening (from both sides).

  8. Hello Guy, I also believe it is correct to emphasis the end game when “kids are first introduced to chess” since endgame mastery win games!! With over 80 openings not considering variations available, most kids would give up due to complexity before they even get to the middle and endgame principles and theory. After obtaining some end game knowledge they can then tailor their positional and tactical play to match their endgame strength.

    Hope Joshua has a wonderful trip

  9. Hi Cleveland,
    Thanks for the advice. I do agree with you to some degree, but if you know where you want to go, but take the wrong path, you will never reach your destination. So the question remains, is it more important to know where you want to go, or knowing how to get where you want to go? Maybe there is no right or wrong answer, but we have to be careful here. If our kids are really serious about their chess, then at a certain point, they will have to do whatever it takes to know what needs to be known. Knowing 80 openings as you referred to might seems impossible, but it’s doable if they do a little at a time.

  10. Hello Guy,
    Just wanted to say that I was just reaffirming advice for beginners to maintain their interest and joy with playing chess. It is my understanding that endgame theory is finite (remaining constant) while opening and middle game theory is subject to infinite logic, current popularity and unlimited creative opportunities. For the competitive players who wish to become a grandmaster or future world champion the self discipline and intensive independent study is an investment of time that should be considered with muture contemplation of life long goals. Several world champions combined their academic studies with chess and held doctorates in mathematic or engineering, etc. I wonder, Did chess help their educational development or if academic development help their chess?

  11. Cleveland,

    That is true about endings. I remember Anatoly Karpov making the statement as well… “It should be noted that current opening variations come and go, and the evaluation of certain positions change. But the value of knowing how to play endgames well remains constant.”

    In my case, chess may have helped me earn a Ph.D. in an indirect way, but mostly the training in discipline. It wasn’t so much the chess as it was the virtues that chess taught me. There is little use for knowing the Sicilian Dragon outside of chess, but actually studying a myriad of variations (as I did) takes time, discipline and focus.

    It is a misnomer that chess makes one smart, but the analytical exercise is transferrable to other academic pursuits. In my experience, establishing discipline and a routine seems to be a good recipe. However, if we are talking about chess, I still believe opening knowledge is crucial in order to set the ideas on the right path toward desired endings. Hard to start off wrong and end up right.

  12. Before speaking about my observation at the WYCC-2011, I’d like to briefly say a word about Cleveland’s interesting question. I think chess definitely helps kids improve in certain areas of school, such as math, which requires memory and systemic thinking. However, I don’t think academic development helps improve chess ability. There are academic geniuses that play chess and even with some coaching they cannot go beyond the expert level. On the other hand, there are tons of stories about how a kid’s math or science grade has improved after being introduced to chess. This is my opinion. Now what did I observe in Brazil? First, our kids are spoiled! And we have to change that if we want them to become top chess players or to even get into good colleges. The kids that finished with top scores were noticeably disciplined and obviously came to Brazil with a define goal, which was to win the tournament. For a major championship tournament like the WYCC, you need at least six month of tailored preparation to do well. Justus was the most focus of the three and his result was evident. James and Josh seemed to have lost steam after the 5th round. They stayed up too late yakking and playing with their foreign friends. Perhaps, next time around they will be better prepared and show some maturity.

    1. Focus and discipline is everything. These players are “kids in a candy store”. So much excitement, new country, new competition. Of course you’re right Guy. Spoiled. Those representing the U.S. may come from middle-class and well-to-do families whereas some of the others have to fight, scrape and save just to get a plane ticket. They come very focused and understand the sacrifices made by country, federation and parents.

      There is also not the understanding that the FIDE rating system is different. You cannot look at someone’s FIDE rating at 1900 and think that because you are 2200 USCF that it will be an easy fight. National ratings are usually inflated somewhat.

  13. I have told that comments were made by one chess parent suggesting that the Black players got there because of affirmative action and not because of merit and/or playing ability. That is a common notion that every Black person has accomplished something due to “affirmative action” and not through hard work and talent. Certainly jealousy comes into play when their children may not get the same amount of attention, but why make such comments when their child has not had the same level of accomplishments? It’s disingenuous and even racist to suggest this. These people will be exposed for the racists that they are to show that such pathological thoughts still exist.

  14. It was an unfortunate comment. Although, the parent did offer an apology, but the damage was already sealed. Some people shoot before they aim and hurt the wrong people. JJJ earned their recognition–They are not the best, but that misses the point. I believe that all three have the ability to become elite players through dedicated work , determination and community support.

  15. I feel so bad i missed out on this tournament ..my flight gat cancelled but am happy to see other players managed to get there,,,i wanted so bad to represent my country Kenya on the under 18 girls category but i guess it wasent my time..

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