4th World Youth U26 Team Chess Championship: Chicago 1983

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Basic data

4th World Youth U26 Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 22nd August - 3rd September 1983
City: Chicago, Illinois, US
Venue: International House at the University of Chicago
Tournament Director: Mr. Eric Schiller (USA)
Chief Arbiter: IA Carlos Encinas Ferrer (MEX)
Teams participating: 30 (incl. three US teams)
Players participating: 163 (incl. 4 GMs, 26 IMs and 17 FMs)
Games played: 660 (six games were forfeited)
Competition format: Four board eleven round Swiss.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. ?Buchholz
Time control: N/A
Downloadable game file: 83wtch-u26.zip (only 106 games are available)

Tournament review

The 4th World Youth Team Chess Championship
as related by Eric Schiller

In the beginning there was nothing, as far as FIDE was concerned. That is, the United States had not held a single world Championship event in the nearly 60 years of FIDE's existence. For this we get 3 Interzonal participants? Something clearly had to be done.

It all started in February when I was convesing with Florencio Campomanes, the President of FIDE. I innocently inquired as to where the World Youth Team Championship would be held in 1983, since I wanted to repeat my performance as Captain of the American team (in Graz, 1981-ed.) He advised me that the federations who had taken options on the event had all pulled out, so no event would be held, unless... perhaps the US would be interested? Well, with only 6 months lead time it did seem a rather far fetched idea, but I didn't want to admit that so I made a lame statement about looking into the possibility of hosting it here in Chicago. I had had previous conversations with the Director of International House about the possibility of hosting chess events at the magnificent facilities built in the 20's by John D. Rockefeller to promote international friendship. This event seemed a natural, since it brought together young (under 26) players from all over the world. I thought that there might be an outside chance of holding the tournament if I could arrange room and board at reasonable cost, since the players are only required to pay $6.00 per day under FIDE statutes. International House was enthusiastic about the idea and agreed to help sponsor the event at very generous rates. Having taken the plunge it was time to start swimming.

After preliminary dicussions with the USCF and ACF, I went to the next ICA meeting and received the unanimous support of the state organization. The USCF policy board also unanimously approved the activity, with a $7500 grant and the offer of FIDE liason and technical support. What was a mere dream had become a reality - Chicago would host the games, brinding a FIDE World Championship to the US for the first time.

As preparations continued support was gained from a number of important sources. The ACF approved a $5000.00 grant, and substantial donations were received from Norbert Leopoldi and Cloverline, Inc. Despite the upcoming (but eventually aborted) Kasparov - Korchnoi match, the top brass of the USCF took an active interest in the proceedings. Diana Masker and Randy Hough worked hard at New Windsor to communicate with all the parties involved and provided fantastic assistance. Tim Redman provided advice and Helen Warren put the ICA machinery into motion, helping to raise a significant amount of funds. Dick Verber sent out a mailing and Kevin Bachler otok care of publicity.

Although the iirst round did not take place until August 22, the event really began on the 19th, when the Soviet, Swiss, and Finnish delegations arrived at the airport, met by Jim and Helen Warren, Mr. & Mrs. Marvin Rogan, Eric Schiller, and Phil Cotton, whose photos grace the pages of this issue. Tom McCormack was soon added to the driving team, and Tom Fineberg helped out too. A the receiving end Donald Vance, Carolyn Jenkins, John Tomas and the author of these lines (a TD must be able to be in two places at one, after all!) were waiting ready to usher the players to their rooms and provide a taste of Hyde Park's best pizza and beer. Joyce Penner of International House had everything prepared and there were no major problems, as our KAYPRO computers were hard at work...

Saturday saw the arrival of still more teams and a lot of setting up. It was late in the evening beiore any of the staff could mosey on over to Jimmy‘s Woodlawn lap, home of Jimmy's chess club and the only bar (to my knowledge) tended by a USCF Master! The players spent a lot of time there (not surprisingly!) drinking beers from the US and their home countries, while enjoying the famous pub grub. Not everyone strayed from I-House (as International House is known), as we were providing at least 4 movies every night free of charge! (Oh, what you missed if you didn't visit at least once!). Lee Cornelius, Don Vance, and Assistant Arbiter L. Thad Rogers provided the projection and occasional commentary. Hyde Park Video provided the movies, of course.

Sunday was much the same, but there was some change in routine when the team from Honduras arrived unannounced and we had to scramble for rooms, but somehow l-House got everyone in. Chief Arbiter Carlos Encinas Ferrer arrived at 2:30 in the morning, just after Don Richardson, whose Kaisha Electronics provided digital clocks and sets for the tournament, and who ran the bookstall. The Kaisha proved quite popular, with over half the participants willing to employ it in their games. At the blitz tournament (won by Jan Ehlvest of the Soviet Union) the excitement was greatly enhanced by the digital display, and the arbiters were greatly aided in the time scramble by the exact timekeeping.

By Monday morning almost all of the teams had arrived, save Botswana and Libya. Botswana had just obtained last minute funding and were leaving Gaborone Airport while the Libyans could not arrange a flight that arrived early enough. They were paired together to avoid problems. It is interesting that these two teams, who faced such struggles to arrive (our thanks to Mr. Bannerman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and everyone at the Lybian desk of the State Department) should meet so soon.

The reader can follow the progress of the teams by examinig the crosstable in this issue, so I won't bother with a round by round summary. Instead, I'll just highlight the results:

The team from the USSR was so strong that no one really expected a serious challenge. They just plain ran away with the tournament, winning board prizes on boards 2-5 (more next issue about that!). Germany started slowly but picked up steam when Eric Lobron finally arrived and plowed his way to the first board prize. The players from Iceland were hungry, since they missed out lat time through a slip up: they never knew about the invitation! They were the only team to hold the Soviets to a draw - not losing a single game! Perhaps the fact that they did not drink until after the final round (but boy did they party then!) had something to do with their fine result. The USA seems to be in a rut. Three out of four times they have finished just out of the medal positions. Despite the help of two Leonids (Captain Bass and analyst Shamkovich), they just didn't win the key games. John Fedorowicz was the standout performer. Despite strained relations the Peoples Republic of China sent a team to participate here in the U.S. The team consisted of three seasoned pros and three newcomers, but most opposing teams knew that the young team would be dangerous. China is finally becoming a major power in world chess. The home country fielded a second side, and the USA B team finished just behind the first team! A most creditable result for Vince McCambridge and his colleagues. Argentina had the benefit of a fairly easy schedult and scored heavily against the weaker teams to earn 7th place. They were followed by Finland, who were ranked 18th but showed tremendous fighting spirit and demonstrated that they are indeed a force to be reckoned with. Fourth-ranked England turned in its worst performance ever. The 24-hour Monopoly games did not inspire their play. France scored the same number of points, but could feel a bit better since they were recovering from a dreadful start. Scotland and Canada managed to have a good time while scoring respectably - a great combination!

Of the other teams, let it be said that entertainment and improvement were the basic goals, and even those teams that finished down at the bottom had a good time and learned a lot. It should be noted that the pleasure of the tournament was gratly enhanced by the quality of the food, prepared by Jamaican Chef Chester Marcus and his I-House staff. This is the first team tournament in history, perhaps, to go without any complaints about the meals. As a matter of fact, Chester got the biggest applause at the closing ceremony!

Believe it or not, we are out of space, so more next issue! If there is anything you want to know about the event, let me know and I'll try to fit it in.

Best board results

bd name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Lobron, Eric GER 7 78.6
2. GM Psakhis, Lev URS 6 7 85.7
=3. IM Fedorowicz, John USA 10 75.0
=3. GM Dolmatov, Sergei URS 6 8 75.0
4. Azmaiparashvili, Zurab URS 8 81.3
1 res. IM Lputian, Smbat URS 7 92.9
=2 res. Youngworth, Perry USA2 6 75.0
=2 res. Panzeri, Claudio ARG 6 75.0

Interesting games

White King went wild!
Psakhis, Lev (URS) - Hebden, Mark (ENG) 1 - 0

Johny Emms called White's novelty 10.e5! one of 200 most amazing moves ever.
Motwani, Paul (SCO) - Liang Jinrong (CHN) 0 - 1