1st World Youth U26 Team Chess Championship: Mexico City 1978

[ Information || Final A | Final B || Group 1 | Group 2 | Group 3 | Group 4 | Group 5 || Statistics ] >>


[ Basic data | Tournament review | Best board results | Interesting games ]

Basic data

1st World Youth U26 Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 19th August - 7th September 1978
City: Mexico City
Venue: Antonio Caso Theatre and The Plaza Hotel
Honorary Patron: Mr. José López Portillo (MEX, The President)
President of Organizing Committee: Mr. Fernando Solana Morales (MEX)
General Director: Mr. Sandalio Sainz de la Maza (MEX)
Technical Director: Mr. Carlos Topete Topete (MEX)
Chief Arbiter: IA Ronald Câmara (BRA)
Teams participating: 19 (incl. Mexico "B")
Players participating: 108 (incl. 5 GMs and 10 IMs)
Games played: 432
Competition format: Two stage four board round robin. Five preliminary groups and two final groups.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points
Time control: 40 moves in 2 hours 30 mintes, then 1 hour for each next 16 moves
Official logo: Mexico 1978
Downloadable game file: 78wtch-u26.zip
Tournament bulletin: 1978_mexico.pdf
Special thanks to José Miguel Barrueco Martín.

Tournament review


After an inauguration, full of colours and happy facet in the Hotel Presidente Chapultepec, last Sunday, with dances from the State of Veracruz as "Estudiantina", a choir and two military bands, the day thereafter, all teams entered in action. The first round developed without big problems of organization; some players arrived late at the hotel, carrying them from the Plaza Hotel to the Antonio Caso Theather, but after a while everything was arranged, and the First World Youth Team Chess Championship began...

In Group I, Timothy Upton of Scotland adjourned his game with Grandmaster Kochiev from the Soviet Union, y eventually he was able to cash half a point from his opponent of reknown. Mexico "B" started well, winning from Puerto Rico; Monroy even in 21 moves, Result 2½-1½, improving its classifying possibilities. In the second round Mexico "B" lost against the favourite team, the U.S.S.R., but... What a fight! The man from Pueblo, Humberto Morales had Kochiev against the wall and lost by time. Rolando Anguiano adjourned his game against Ivanov, but the latter with a perfect technique could materialize his one pawn advantage. Scotland defeated Puerto Rico; Upton, the hero of the day before, needed only 13 moves to win vs. Vázques. Positions in this group I: U.S.S.R. 7½, Scotland 4; Puerto Rico 2 and Mexico "B" 2½; Mexico will need point and a half against Scotland to classify; very difficult.

In Group II, Cuba won against Luxembourg: Rodriguez-J.M.Weber adjourned. Canada ran over Ecuador 4-0. On the first board, the Cuban Grandmaster Guillermo Garcia had a pawn plus against Plinio Pazos from Ecuador in the second round, in the second session. Of course his idea was to win. But Mexican nights are more impregnated with soft guitar music than supermathematical thoughts, and at move 57 Guillermo wanted to play Rc1, and suddenly he discovered a horrible double attack, so he sustained his rook for a long time in the air, he hid the rook in his fist (for a moment he was thinking of sending the piece to Havana....) and then his opponent took advantage of the situation offering a draw.

Canada imposes itself on Luxembourg 3-0 (one game adjourned) and here after two rounds the positions are Canada 6 (2 adj.), Cuba 6 (1 adj.), Ecuador 1 (1 adj), Luxembourg 0 (1 adj.).

In Group III, the U.S.A. brought some big "chess shots" with Grandmaster Christiansen on second board and 3 I.M. In the first round, they began with flying colors: four to love against Australia. By the way, the tennis expression "love" for zero comes from the French l'œuf (egg) and not from other erotical considerations. At 5 p.m., in the first round a heavy rain created an eardeafening noise on the movable roof of the Antonio Caso Theatre. Joking, Fedorowicz asked for adjournment due to rain. Nicaragua wins 3-1 against the still unknown Lybians. The second round recorded strengths: Australia-Lybia 4-0, and the U.S.A. ensures its classification winning from Nicaragua 3½-½. Taylor on the last board tries and tries but the position is too drawish and Georgio Borge from Nicaragua lets not slip the half point. Positions: USA 7½; Australia 4; Nicaragua 3½; Lybia 1.

In Group IV Colombia affirms its strength; captain Jorge González defeats Alvarez in a struggle of strong emotions. Miguel Abdías Rivera saves his country's honor. 3-1 for Colombia. Jamaica-England. The friendly John Mestel is the first to win and quietly goes to the other boards to see how things are going. Unfortunately the rule is that only the captain may stay in the area; all players have to leave the area immediately after their games. A pity, but the rules are the rules. The British team had arrived late, last Sunday. The captains meeting was in full development when John Mestel entered the room: "finally back after a long trip", in the "civilized" world of chess players. Ian Rogers from Australia informed him about the pairings and in one second John was "in". The English team has 3 Jonathans and one David, so "biblical inspiration" will help them a lot... well, anyhow... In the second round Marco Tulio Pérez wins brilliantly against Taulbut, a win for the English 2½-1½. Mundell from Jamaica oversteps the time limit against González of Colombia. Wong obtains half a point from Agudelo, Colombia. But so they classify: Colombia 6½; England 6;; Dom. Rep. 2½; Jamaica 1.

In Group V Brazil-Guatemala is postponed. Now Guatemala is eliminated for non-assistance. A pity! Mexico wins 3-0 to El Salvador, and the adjourned game is for Grimaldi who defeats our man from Tijuana, Félix Villarreal, after 80 moves. Final result: 3-1 for Mexico. Sisniega is the first man winning. Then Navarro. Rodriguez (El Salvador) against Raul Ocampo is full of tactics. In the second round Mexico rests and Brazil wins over El Salvador 3½;-½. Only the promise of Brazil Sunye Neto grants half a point. Positions in this group V: Brazil 3½ (one match); Mexico 3 (one match), El Salvador 1½ (two matches). Friday the struggle for the first place: Mexico-Brazil, both countries enter the Final Group A.

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Stamps Mexico 1978The Mexican Government decreed the issuance of two postage stamps, (air mail) at the occasion of the FIRST WORLD CHESS TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP, held from the 19th of August to the 7th of September, 1978, in Mexico City. The design is of Dr. Carlos Encinas González, father of the FIDE-delegate of the Mexican Chess Federation. The first day canceling was effected with a seal bearing the logotype of the Mexican Chess Federation and the slogan: "CHESS FOR EVERYBODY".

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Today, Wednesday, the 30th of August, 1978, all players visited the famous pyramids of Teotihuacan, at some 50 miles from the Mexican capital. A well-deserved rest. Of course the favorite, the Soviet Union goes in first place, and it is only a fine feeling for our English friends to be very near to these giants. If Mestel wins hist adjourned game against Nikoloff of Canada, England will also have 12½ points. An interesting experience was the match Mexico-Scotland, played before TV cameras. The match was played in the corridor outside the studio, in an acceptable condition regarding silence and light. About 30 million people watch this program, called "Sunday to Sunday" and programs are relayed to the U.S.A. and Guatemala. It was really an excellent program of chess promotion, because, as far as we know, this has been the first international match played completely in a TV studio. The most interesting, game was the match between Navarro and Timothy John Upton, which was an enerving tactical struggle from beginning to end, much to the delight of spectators. Even before the end of the program, Navarro could be interviewed. Although it was not the cause of his defeat, Walter Buchanan had at the beginning much more interest in VEMA (very beautiful Mexican artist) than in his game, but such things happen...

In group "B" the situation is still confusing. A great surprise was the victory of Libia over Puerto Rico. And at the same moment as occurs this First World Chess Team Championship, in Baguio City, The Philippines, Karpov defends his title against Korchnoi, up to now with great success. Karpov has an advantage of 4 to 1 against the defiant, who today asked for a glass window to be placed between the stage and the audience, to protect him against hypnotic rays emited by the Soviet parapsychologist Zukhar. Whether such is true or not, we don't know, and maybe nobody knows. Oh... yes, one person i sure. His name: Viktor Korchnoi... Back to Group "A". The U.S.A. started with flying banners in the preliminaries, but suddenly in the final rounds they have lost, here and there, some little point on the way, and at this moment they will have to fight hard, to be among the leaders. Good luck, Christiansen & Co.

For endgame lovers, we recommend the study of the famous endgame of King and Rook against King, Rook and Bishop, as occurred in the game below. This is also, up to now, the longest game of the tourney. We may point out that very few moves were left for mating by white, considering the time limit of 50 moves, after the last capture or pawn movement.

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For the first time in many years, a Soviet team lost. It was the good old country, that did the trick, and with a glorious 3-1, Mestel, Speelman, Taulbut and Goodman defeated their strong and fearful (well, not anymore, says Goodman...) opponents. Cuba walked over Scotland. The draw between Mexico and Brazil was strange, and full of errors.

The game Leal-Filguth went as follows after second time control. White's last move was excellent, escaping from check to f8, and the members of Mexican teams came back to their hotel rooms assured of reaching draw in this game. What happened next? No analysis, or bad analysis. Then after Rf1+ Leal moved back to g7 which is a weak move, but still holds (Kg8 is better), yet after Rf7+ he blundered with Kg8?? and after Kf6 mate is inevitable. If White had moved King to g6 he could save the game and half of a point. A good lesson for anyone... It is almost inconceivable that such a mistake of analysis, or carelessness, has occurred.

The U.S. team is beginning to show its teeth, but it will be difficult to get more than 4th place. Cuba, the U.S.S.R. and England are fighting for first, with some points of advantage. Ray Stone suffers from a fractured 5th metacarpus in his hand, and also the other members of his team have some health troubles. We hope, they will recover physically and chessically... In the B group, maybe the Dominican Rep. will carry away the first price, but Mexico B and Ecuador are also highly interested in this prominent site.

Downstairs the playing hall, participants and public may enjoy themselves, playing blitz-games: there is an exhibition of chess boards and pieces, coffee and sodas are served, stamps are exhibited as well as Mexican chess publications, and a wall-newspaper is also shown. The whole building exhales chess. Chess is really the beginning and end of all things... In Spanish "Ajedrez", begins with the first letter and ends with the last letter of the alphabet. What more do you wish?

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Really euphoria were the British after their victory over the U.S.S.R. in the sixth round mestel played a deverish game against Beliavsky, with brilliant sacrifices, but ran out of time and could force a draw by repetition of moves. Probably the position did not contain more. Taulbut forces Mikhalchishin to give up his Queen for insufficient material, and Goodman played excellently even in time trouble against Ivanov. In the seventh round only lost half a point advantage with regard to the Soviet Union. In the last round England-Cuba and U.S.S.R. versus the U.S.A. The last round starts at 3.30 and will be played until the end, the really bitter, hard fought, final, irrevocable end. Who will be the winner? Tomorrow Mexico-England and Colombia-U.S.S.R. and also Cuba-Brazil. The trio England, Soviet Union and Cuba should win, but with how many points?

According to FIDE rules a Committee of Appeal was appointed at the captains meeting, before the event started. Above is the list of the persons who were proposed and accepted as members of the Committee, by the captains present:
1. GM Yury Averbach (USSR)
2. IM Kim Commons (USA)
3. IM John Mestel (England)
4. IM Eleazar Jiménez (Cuba)
5. Cor. Joaquín Saldívar (El Salvador)
6. Ing. Jorge Aldrete (President of Mexican Chess Fed.)

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A great tension precedes the last round. Where are three fore-runners with just half a point difference between each of them. For the last round Cuba against England and the Soviet Union versus the United States. For the first time, in a long chess history, there is no clear winner, so there will not occur those famous saloon draws, or whatever you may call them.

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An unforgettable last round. Hundreds of chess-fans had come to see for the last time the best youngsters of the world, fighting for the championship. The U.S. fought as never before and held the U.S.S.R at a distance from the top; with four draws. The match between England and Cuba was full of emotions. The first victory was for Amador Rodriguez, beating Speelman. But Goodman defeated Vera, and Taulbut won from Vilela, and suddenly England was the WORLD CHAMPION, because they would win, even with tie-break. Mestel played as if the final result depended from his game, and drew against Guillermo Garcia, so Brittain ruled the waves with a full point ahead of the Soviet Union. Then, congratulations, smiles, pictures, jokes, and everybody to the hotel to go on enjoying the victory. The last game C.Braga (BRA)-G.García (COL) was a torture for players, judges, controllers and not the least for the editor of the bulletin, who had a commitment to present the book at the closing ceremony, just a couple of hours thereafter, at 11.30 at the Polyforum Siqueiros. At the moment of writing these lines it is 6 o'clock in the morning, and Xerox has to reduce the sheets, the printer has to do his job, and bookbinding in the last item. Will it be possible?

Goodbye everybody, and come back to Mexico, very soon.

/ Bulletin editor: NM Willy De Winter /

Best board resultss

bd name flag code fin. pts gms %
=1. GM Beliavsky, Alexander Soviet Union URS A 9 11 81.8
=1. GM García Gonzáles, Guillermo Cuba CUB A 9 11 81.8
=2. GM Kochiev, Alexander Soviet Union URS A 10 75.0
=2. IM González Rodríguez, Jorge Colombia COL A 10 75.0
3. IM Mikhalchishin, Adrian Soviet Union URS A 10 75.0
4. Filguth, Rubens Brazil BRA A 9 83.3
1 res. Pérez, Eliseo Dominican Republic DOM B 6 75.0
2 res. Rivera Abdías, Miguel Dominican Republic DOM B 6 75.0

Interesting games

Lurking Bishop lying in wait to unleash.
Kochiev, Alexander (URS) - West, Guy (AUS) 1 - 0

A Rook in fight with two minor pieces.
Rogers, Ian (AUS) - García, Gildardo (COL) ½ - ½

Fantastic Rook sac leading to sensational win.
Filguth, Rubens (BRA) - Panchenko, Alexander (URS) 1 - 0