71 boys and 54 girls, born 2009 and younger, from 74 countries and 4 continents (Asia, Africa, America, Europe) have participated in the online qualification for the WR Junior Ches. From Tuesday, February 21, the five male and five female winners and two wildcards will meet in Düsseldorf.
Under the supervision of event director Anastasia Sorokina, the twelve participants face an intensive chess week: several hours of training every day with former world championship finalist Boris Gelfand and the best German player Elisabeth Pähtz, as well as competition: the six girls and the six boys will play a round robin tournament. To conclude the chess week, a blitz tournament is also on the agenda for all twelve on February 26.
We have asked the participants to introduce themselves with a few lines (slightly edited):
Ilamparthi A R (IND) – 2385/ 2330/ 2009/ future IM
Since the tender age of four, I have been playing chess and have participated in many National and International tournaments, often ranking within the top three. For me, chess is my passion. I spend more than 8 hours daily practicing and am dedicating my holidays to the game to build my technique and strategy. Recent Achievements in International Level: World ChampionU14 in 2022. I have already three IM norms and short of 15 ELO points to become International Master
Johnathan Han (CAN) – 2147/ 2041/ 2009
Johnathan is from Canada. He started to play chess when he was five years old. He won the first national champion (U8) in 2017, and consecutively in 2019 (U10) and 2021 (U12). He represented Canada three times (official player in 2017 and 2019) to play in the World Cadet Chess Championship. He won 2nd place in the North America Youth Chess Championship in 2021. In 2022, he won the World School Chess Championship in Panama and obtained the FM title.
Patryk Cieslak (POL) – 2261/ 2212/ 2010/ FM
I am Patryk, I’m from Poland, 12 years old. I am playing chess for 4 years. My greatest success is a win in European Youth Chess Championship U12 in 2022 in Turkey. In this same year I have been European Team Chess Champion U12 with the Poland team and won the bronze medal in the European Youth Chess Championship U12 blitz in Salloniki (Greece). I'm Poland chess champion U12 in rapid chess. I’m a FIDE Master.
Rheyansh Reddy Annapureddy (AUS) – 1791/ 1787/ 2014
I am Rheyansh (8 years old) from Australia, passionate about chess. I got inspired from my brother, Dhruthin, who played interschool tournaments and got medals and trophies. I have been also following and getting inspired from many talented top players in the world. I like tactics in chess and playing short format chess games. Besides various medals and trophies, I have won the U8 Asian Youth Chess Championships 2022 in Bali, Indonesia.
Magnus Ermitsch (GER) – 2258/ 2177/ 2009/ FM
I'm 13 years old and I like to play chess. I learned it from my father when I was 6 years old. At the age of 7, I started playing my first tournaments. I come from Germany and live in Berlin. With my club I became German youth team champion several times. Most recently the team took first place in the U16 Club Championship and I scored 7/7 on Board One. At the German Individual Championships, I came second in the U8 age group and third in the U14 age group. I've been FM for about half a year. Chess fascinates me because it is so multifaceted and profound. I consider myself lucky to be part of this top-class event.
Mohamed Seder (PLE) – 2056/ 1832/ 2009/ FM
Sofja Vasiljeva (LAT) – 1752/ 1641/ 2009
Sofia started playing chess at the age of 8. She and her classmates went to the city chess club, where they were taught to play chess. She really liked it and got carried away seriously. In 2019, Sofia took third place at the Latvian Championship in the group of girls under 10 years old, in 2020, first place among girls under 12 years old, in 2021, second place among girls under 12 years old, in 2022, first place among girls under 14 years old. In 2022, at the European Championships, Sofia took first place in rapid and blitz among girls under 14 years old. Also in 2022, at the World Championships, Sofia took 11th place among girls under 14 years old.
Mariam Tsetskhladze (GEO) – 1747/ 1592/ 2009
Hello, I am Mariam Tsetskhladze, 14 years old, from the city of Batumi, Georgia. I am very happy that I have the opportunity to participate in this great chess event. I was born on January 18, 2009. I study in the 8th grade. I started playing chess at the age of 8 and it has been an integral part of my life for 6 years. I am a multiple prize-winner of Georgian age championships, winner and prize-winner of many international festivals, silver prize-winner of the 2022 European School Championship (girls under 13 years old), II-IV place in the 2022 European Cadet Championship (girls under 14 years old). For the second year already, my coach is a GM Davit Maghalashvili.
Wartenberg Alissa (GER) – 1835/ 2009
I’m Alissa Wartenberg, 13 years old. My first contact with chess was in a working group in the first grade and since then I love the game and spend most of my free time with it. My greatest successes were the two titles in the German Championships (girls).
Kler Caku (ALB) – 1656/ 1691/ 2010
At the age of 7, I watched my grandpa play chess and it seemed interesting to me. He taught me how to move the pieces. I started more seriously at the age of 8 (2018). My first championship was here in Albania. Chess to me is not just about moving some pieces on the board, but it is about the creativity and magic you put into moving them. Now I truly enjoy playing chess and never regret starting to play chess. I have 11 trophies so far in chess and lots of medals. At the age of 11, I won the title of Albanian Women Champion. Among other successes, in Chess Olympiad, Chennai I got the WCM title with 5 out of 10 points. The most memorable moment arrived when we had a lecture with the legendary Judit Polgar in which we actually got to talk to her, which was amazing. She’s my idol since.
Tamila Trunz (GER) – 1659/ 2010
Tamila has learned chess when she was 6 years old. These are her best results so far: 5th place European Championship U8 Girls (2018), 3nd place German Championship U10 Girls (2019), 2nd place German Championship U10 Girls (2020), 2nd place German Championship U12 Girls (2022). Besides chess, she does taekwondo, draws and plays the piano.