The FIDE World University Online Rapid Championship organized by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Tornelo platform saw a huge turnout comparable with the blitz event: 884 university students took part in the qualifying stage (March 20-21, 2021).
Six divisions of approximately equal strength played 12-round Swiss preliminary tournaments. One winner and the best female player from each group qualified for the final stage. The time control was 10 minutes for the entire game, plus a 5-second increment starting from the first move.
The finals of the FIDE World University Online Rapid Championship were played on March 25 with the six division winners and six best female players battling for the titles in two short round-robins.
After three rounds in the open final, the rating-favourite Grigoriy Oparin (University of Missouri) was leading the field followed by his teammate Mikhail Antipov and Kirill Shevchenko (Ivan Boberskyj Lviv State University of Physical Culture). In Round 4 Shevchenko beat Oparin with black pieces and pulled a half point ahead of his opponent together with Antipov who also won his game.
Photo: Kirill Shevchenko Facebook
As tournament fortune would have it, the leaders locked horns in the final round. Kirill Shevchenko (pictured above) scored a convincing victory and clinched the title. Mikhail Antipov got silver (it is his second medal after bronze in blitz) thanks to better tiebreaks over Grigoriy Oparin.
Final standings open:
1. GM Kirill Shevchenko (UKR Ivan Boberskyj Lviv State University of Physical Culture) – 4
2. GM Mikhail Antipov (RUS University of Missouri) – 3
3. GM Grigoriy Oparin (RUS University of Missouri) – 3
4. IM Leon Livaic (CRO University of Zagreb) – 2½
5. IM Robby Kevlishvili (NED Saint Louis University) – 2
6. GM Cemil Can Ali Marandi (TUR Saint Louis University) – ½
Despite losing the direct encounter to her main competitor Anna Sargsyan (Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture) in the women's final, Julia Antolak (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley) won all her other games and secured the title. The champion of the blitz event Anna Sargsyan finished a half-point behind and took silver. Olga Badelka came in third and earned bronze.
WIM Julia Antolak Photo: trojmiasto.pl
Final standings women:
1. WIM Julia Antolak (POL University of Texas Rio Grande Valley) – 4
2. WGM Anna Sargsyan (ARM Armenian State Institute of Physical Culture) – 3½
3. IM Olga Badelka (BLR University of Missouri) – 2½
4. WFM Shengxin Zhao (CHN Shanghai University of Finance and Economics) – 1½
5. WIM Isha Sharma (IND Mangalore University) – 1½
6. IM Iulija Osmak (UKR University of Texas Rio Grande Valley) – 0