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India and Russia Tackled by the Turkish Teams, Philipines and Turkey-A with Perfect Start

In the first round of the World U-16 there were no upsets on the part of the top seeds except for Switzerland-B's draw against South Africa-A. However, some of the favorites lost board points which are determining the standings. Russia won Turkey-C with 3.5-0.5  , India won against Turkey-B with 3-1, Azerbaijan also started with a 3-1 victory. Philipines, Turkey-A, Georgia, Armenia,Slovakia, England, Switzerland-A and Greece were the sides to score 4-0 wins over their opponents. Local girl Emel Kaya had some chances of draw against GM Wesley So, the highest-rated player in the event who moved on from World Junior Championship in Gaziantep to Mersin which would have been the greatest upset.

Full-report of the first round is below.
Turkish Players Causing Difficulties Against Top Seeds


Russia defeated Turkey-C with 3.5-0.5 and showed what it is like being a top seed, however they faced some resitence by the strongest players under 14 in Turkey.

IM Shimanov was the only player to win verey comfortably against Cankut Emiroğlu, U 14 Turkish champion with some other World Schools titles. Kaan Komut faced Oleg Yaksin who is among the players who  continued their Turkish summer campaign with the  World U-16 Olmypiad right after the he World Junior Championship in Gaziantep which is three hours away by driving.

Kaan Komut was winning in the postition left but he grabbed the rook on e7 since he did not notice the check given by the bishop on b6 until then. A very unfortunate moment for the player from İzmir, since after Re3 both rooks are lost and such a clear win was wasted by the Turkish player.

Ex-World U-11 Schools Champion Atilla Yüksel failed to win against WFM Anastasia Bodnaruk in the well-known branch of Richter-Rauser where black sacrifices an exchange with  good play. The endgame should be winning for the Turkish youngster but he could not display the winning technique which is always a requirement against strong players.  The top seeds won against Turkey-C with a 3.5-0.5 victory and started well.


Türkiye-B faced the second seed India, where Berkan Atman tackled IM Sethuraman and held him to  a draw. The other upset came on the fourth board by Demre Kerigan's draw after a holding a miserable position against FM Priyadharsan on the fourth board which resulted as a 3-1 victory on India's part but India will face Russia in the second round. The derby between the two highest rated teams.


Azerbaijan won 3-1 against Turkey-Mersin. The local boys fought well against their strong opponent led by GM Eltaj Safarli who is also among the players who also played in World Junior Championship and shared the third place. On the second board Ahmet Olçum, U12 Turkish Champion achieved a nice position against IM Vasif Durabeyli but started playing much weaker after that which enabled his strong opponent to win. Gani Eren Ererdem also had nice position against Ayaz Mammadov but lost in a similar fashion. However, the upset came from the fourth board by Diyap Büyükaşık the talented youngster from Hatay, very close to Mersin, won against Orkhan Talsihzada.

Emel Kaya vs. Wesley So


We were close to witness the greatest upset of the first round when Emel Kaya, the local girl from Mersin, achieved this position against the first board of Philipiness, the child prodigy of world chess and  14-year Grandmaster who fought on top boards in the recently concluded World Junior Championship Wesley So, who happens to be the top rated player in the Olympiad this year. Despite the fact that GM So is a piece up it is not that easy to win since there is a small number of pawns and if the white can liquidate the position into an endgame with h pawn plus bishop, it would be a theoretical draw. However, the local girl, bronze medalist in Turkish U16 Girls Championship erred against her super-strong opponent and lost in the end. Philippines also won comfortably against Turkey Girls-A with 4-0.


Turkey-A team, fifth seed of the Olympiad led by FM Mustafa Yılmaz who was the fourth in Turkish Championship and U16 Turkish Champion who recently played in Amsterdam Euro Master s Tournament together with the first board of Russia IM Alexander Shimanov. FM Yılmaz won against three GMs in five months, i.e. Mikhail Gurevich, Nikita Maiorov and ex-world junior champion Ahmed Adly. The team consisting of other strong players like Mert Yılmazyerli, Burak Fırat who drew against GM Suat Atalık in this Turkish Championship and two IM-norm holder Oğulcan Kanmazalp. The team also won the silver medal in European U-18 Teams Chess Championship last year in Subotica and they took the sixth place in the Olympiad. Therefore, it would not be an exaggeration that this team is the future of Turkish Chess who were trained with GM Efstratios Grivas and GM Mikhail Gurevich.

The talented boys have a lot of pressure on them because of the high expectations but they started well with a 4-0 in over Bosnia and Hercegovina.


Georgia won perfectly against Turkey Girls-B while İSEM (also having the chess club İSEK Aquamatch led by GM Suat Atalık in Turkish İş Bank Chess League) was defeated by Armenia wit the same score. Benan Kazdağlı had some good chances against Vahe Baghdasaryan but lost nevertheless.


The draw between Switzerland-B and South Africa was the only upset of the first rounds. Greece won comfortable against Australia with 4-0.

Sri Lanka won against Syria with 3-1.

Vice-President of the Turkish Chess Federation and the General Coordinator of the Olympiad Tahsin Aktar and the board member of Turkish Chess Federation and head of Tarsus Chess Club (the biggest one in Turkey in terms of the number of members and also have a club playing Turkish İş Bank Chess League) Gülkız Tulay.

 Turkish Chess Federation 2008