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Wednesday, 11 Mar 2020 21:57
WSTCC 2020 crossed the halfway mark

The participants of the World Senior Teams Chess Championship in Prague passed the halfway mark.

In these complicated days, organizers had to expend much more effort to ensure the smooth running of this important event. The resolution by the Czech government on COVID-19 caused some doubts and worries among the players and resulted in dozens of telephone calls and questions.  But the perfect preparation for the event and the flexible attitude of the organizers allowed an undisturbed continuation of the battles on chessboards.

To comply with the resolution (which restricts all events with more than 100 people), some changes in the arrangement of the tables had to be made. Playing halls are now divided into smaller, separated venues. Visitors are not allowed to go into the playing halls, but can still watch the games online, or on the projection in front of the playing hall.

On Tuesday, March 10th the weather was good for chess - showers and mostly cloudy. One more reason for 34 chess players to stay indoors and play a Blitz tournament in the Hotel Olympic in Prague. The format was nine rounds with 2 x 4 minutes plus 2 seconds per move.

IM Yuri Boidman from Germany scored 7 points and won the event. Second place went to FM Viktor Plotkin from Canada, GM Jouni Yrjola from Finland finished third, followed by  FM Adolf Denk from Austria (4th) and FM Frantisek Vrana from Czech Republic (5th).

The fifth round featured the duels of the leaders in both age categories. In the 50+ category, team USA prevailed over Czech Republic 1 2.5 - 1.5 thanks to the victory of Gregory Kaidanov on the first board. On the other tables, five matches, namely Yamal - Lasker Schachstiftung GK, Slovakia - England 1, Sk Ziguda Turnov - Moscow, Canada - Czech Republic 2, and USA Too - Russia Women 2:2 were drawn. After five rounds, the USA is clear first with a perfect team score, followed by the Czech Republic 1, Island, and Slovakia.

In the 65+ category, Germany 1 and Russia were pitted one against another on the first table. Germany 1 won 2.5:1.5 and pulled away. Schachfreunde Leipzig lost to Czech Republic 1 1.5 - 2.5, France edged out Germany 3 2.5 - 1.5. After five rounds, Germany 1 is leading the field, with Germany 2, Russia, Israel, Hungary, Czech Republic 1, Die Franken trailing by two points.

With four rounds left to play, we look forward to more exciting chess games and hope for less exciting life circumstances. Chess must go on!

All results you can find at Chess-Results.

All photos are available at Zonerama.

Text: Marta Motuzova, Venuse Souralova

Photos: Vladimir Jagr