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From the students: Chess during the holidays 2 – European Championship

30. August 2012 I got back from the EU Youth Chess Championships (“EUYCC”) on Thursday August 9, took a week off, and then on August 16 I set out for European Youth Chess Championships in Prague. There were about 1,600 players from 46 European countries at the championship.

I knew that this would be even harder than the EUYCC. We stayed at the Top Hotel Praha, where the event was being held. The whole hotel was assiduously guarded by the police and private security guards. The only way to get to the gaming halls was with a valid accreditation card, issued in your name. Players’ cards were marked in red, parents’ and coaches’ in white, and journalists’ in blue.

My coach also acted as an international adjudicator. The head adjudicator always opened a game at 3 pm sharp, and in several languages. Again, the games took three to four hours. Children aged 6 to 18 competed in 12 categories, girls and boys separately. I had very tough opponents in the first three rounds (from Serbia, Azerbaijan and Romania) and I lost those games. Both my coach and I were unhappy at my losses. On day four, I beat a Moldavian player, and I was really happy. I beat a Russian and a Portuguese player in the 7th and 8th rounds, respectively. When I beat a Russian representative, my coach gave me some serious kudos, as Russians are some of the world’s best chess players. I lost my last round with a Scottish opponent after four hours.

I got back home after ten days, and I had just a few days left before the start of school. Even though I didn’t win a medal, I am really happy to have had the opportunity to test my mettle with top players from all over Europe. I would like to use this opportunity to thank The Kellner Family Foundation for its contribution towards my participation in both international competitions. Next year, the EU Championships will be held in the Beskydy Mountains in the Czech Republic. I will have to practice very hard to get nominated for the EUYCC. You have to come first, second, or third at the Czech Republic Championships for the nomination.

Eliška Kalinová, Open Gate student, 2nd year

Eliška Kalinová - šachy
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