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A colourful closing ceremony at the World Youth Olympiad 2017

by Sagar Shah - 20/12/2017

ChessBase India covered all the nine rounds of World Youth Olympiad 2017 held at Ahmedabad, Gujarat in great detail. We now bring to you the final report from the Closing ceremony that was held at 5 p.m. on the 18th of December 2017. It was a tastefully conducted ceremony. Russia won the gold, India the silver and Iran settled for bronze. Amruta Mokal brings you the pictorial impressions, while Sagar Shah interviews few of the players and which give you some interesting insights.

The prize ceremony was scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. and the organizers did begin exactly at that time. It was a refreshing change from the endless delay that we experience at the closing ceremonies.

22 minutes of the closing ceremony captured in video

The Russians picked up the gold medal. They had sealed their victory with one round to spare! In the picture are (from L-R): Semen Lomasov, Sergei Lobanov, coach Mikhail Kobalia, Artur Gaifullin, Timur Fakhrutdinov and Alexandra Obolentseva

It was a unique achievement for Russia that each of their players also won an individual medal. Semen Lomasov was the only player in the tournament hall who had two gold medals around his neck. When we caught up with the players and coach after they won the medals, they all were in high spirits. All the players spoke highly about their coach, while Kobalia credited the victory to Artur Lobanov! (That's the combination of Artur Gaifullin and Sergei Lobanov who did not lose even a single game on boards two and three for Russia).

ChessBase India talks with the Russian team

The young Indian team garnered the silver medal. From left to right: GM Aryan Chopra, P. Iniyan, R.Praggnanandhaa, Nihal Sarin, coach Prasenjit Dutta and R. Vaishali

Indians played decently well for seven wins, one draw and one loss to Russia. All the players of the Indian squad congratulated Russia and agreed that the Russian team thoroughly deserved the gold medal. For India we received two individual gold medals - Nihal Sarin on board three and P. Iniyan on board four.

The cutest pair in town! Nihal and Praggnanandhaa

This is the first time I saw Nihal and Praggnanandhaa together after World Juniors 2014. Both of them were rated around 2000 back in 2014. In three years the duo have garnered 500 Elo points each! Their friendship is one that is developed as a result of their chess talent. For Pragg it's only Nihal who can understand his amazing calculations, while for Nihal it is only Pragg who gets his passion related to chess. You can see the two walking around together, eating food together, playing blitz together and also sharing a chair like they did in the Prize giving ceremony!

Always happy, always cheerful - Nihal and Pragg! The poster boys of Indian chess.

One might imagine some rivalry to crop up between two boys who are roughly of the same age and talent, but that is absolutely not the case. Rivalry is a word that doesn't even come up in their dictionary! It's so refreshing, and definitely something for all the youngsters out there to learn from. We hope that their friendship goes on like this for years to come.

Check this video from 11 minutes. Nihal enters the analysis room and shows his game and a thoroughly animated Pragg and Iniyan enjoy his moves!

Pragg congratulates Nihal on his individual gold 
Nihal Sarin speaks about the silver medal for Team India green, how he is able to remember his openings, and what is difference in style of play between him and Pragg.

Iniyan won the gold medal on the fourth board, while Vaishali won the silver medal in girls. Of course Aryan Chopra would have been happier if he had a better tournament, but I think playing on the top board is never easy. Also because he was playing on the top board, others got relatively easier oppositions. Hence, the argument that Aryan should have been rested is not the correct one in my opinion.

R.Vaishali talks about her four rounds in this event, and her education.

The Iran team finished third

Team Armenia were fourth

India Red team stunned the Russians in the last round and finished fifth

Tarigan Gilbert Elroy from Indonesia scored 6.5/9 and gained the bronze medal on third board. The boy doesn't travel with a laptop. His achievement is truly fantastic!

Check out the best performers on the basis on percentage on different boards:

Board prizes for different boards

GSCA President Ajay Patel with AICF Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan. Ajay Patel is the Chairman of Gujarat State Co-operative Bank and Ahmedabad District Co-Operative Bank.

FIDE Vide-President D.V. Sundar is a powerful orator

A huge thanks to Jayesh Modi, President of Karnavati Club, for giving the golden glory hall in the Karnavati Club to organize this event

Silva Patel, director Karnavati Club, honoured the gathering with her presence

Secretary of Gujarat State Chess Association Bhavesh Patel believes in action speaks louder than words. Hence, you will hardly see him holding the microphone. The man likes to let his working do the talking.

The experienced and respected arbiter of India R. Ananthram was the chief arbiter and conducted the event with great control and minimum accidents

This man hardly slept, he made sure that the entire event would be a huge success - Joint Secretary GSCA Ankit Dalal

The volunteers from Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences ensured the everything was taken care off. While they made the life of players easy, it was also a valuable addition to their CV that they managed an event of this magnitude.
The entire closing ceremony covered in two minutes!

Final Ranking after 9 Rounds

Rk.SNo TeamGames  +   =   -  TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
India Green97111525,00517,0192,5
India Red96031218,50367,8190,5
India Blue9414921,02377,5169,5
South Africa A9414916,00268,5162,0
Sri Lanka9405818,00283,5159,5
South Africa B9324817,00176,0136,0
Nepal A9234716,00146,5118,0
Kenya - Simba9315712,00108,5135,0
Nepal B911736,0036,0138,0
Kenya - Ndovu901818,0075,3124,0

An excellently organized World Youth Olympiad 2017 came to an end! Each player could take this pad back home as a souvenier

ChessBase India's homeless nomadic duo are now in Bhopal to cover the Bhopal Grandmaster tournament that will begin from the 21st of December 2017 | Photo: Dharmendra Kumar

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