2015

Armenian team leads White Rook School Chess Tournament

On 5 June, the city of Dagomys played host to the fifth round of the 46th final of the White Rook All-Russian Chess Tournament for School Teams.

The city of Dagomys near Sochi was the venue for the latest round of the international White Rook tournament, which started on 1 June. More than 320 children from 76 regions in Russia, Armenia, Moldova, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Israel are competing for the title of the strongest school chess team.

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Leading the pack after five rounds are the young chess players from Armenia (School No. 55 named in honour of Anton Chekhov), who in the round’s key matchup beat last year’s White Rook champions from the Samara Lyceum of Information Technologies. The team from Armenia sits atop the leader board with 15.5 points.

In second place, on 15 points, is the team from the Second St. Petersburg High School, followed by the Samara Lyceum of Information Technologies team on 14.5 points.

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The sixth round will see the team from Armenia square off against the Second St. Petersburg High School team, while the young chess players from Samara will take on a team from Belarus.

The participants in the finals do not only play tournament rounds and simultaneous displays with leading Russian grandmasters, but also enjoy a comprehensive cultural programme. Brain Ring world champion Andrey Shumakov will be hosting intellectual games, including What? Where? When?, Assorti, and Brain Ring. As tradition demands, the young chess players also play active sports: Dagomys plays host to optional table tennis, volleyball and football tournaments.

Photos by Vladimir Barsky

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Founded in 1969, the All-Russian Chess Tournament for Teams of Educational Institutions White Rook is attracting growing numbers of participants. In 2015, more than 5,500 pupils younger than 14 were involved in the qualifying rounds in all Russian regions. The strongest teams of the participating regions will play in the finals for the title of the best school chess team. The winning team will go to China in the autumn of 2015 to play against the best Chinese school team, owing to support from the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation.

For the first time since its inception, the finals have acquired international status. Aside from 76 chess teams from Russian regions, foreign teams representing Israel, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia and Armenia are taking part in White Rook 2015. An exhibition “Chess during the War” has been organised by the RCF Chess Museum as part of the tournament.

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For the first time in the history of the tournament, pupils from orphanages have been involved in White Rook this year, including the Atazhukino cadet boarding school (Kabardino-Balkarian Republic) and the team of the Nekrasovskaya boarding school (Oryol Region), who won the tournament Northern Crown 2015. The involvement of these two teams became possible owing to the new programme by the Russian Chess Federation, which aims to promote chess for children left without parental support. During the 2014–2015 school year, more than 200 boarding schools in 20 Russian constituent entities became participants in the programme and chess groups led by experienced teachers and coaches already operate in 50 boarding schools. The Federation plans to continue supplying chess equipment and hold municipal, regional and All-Russia competitions for children from orphanages as part of the chess-promotion programme.

The organisers of the tournament are the Russian Chess Federation and the Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation. The event is held under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation.

For additional information and accreditation, please contact Kirill Zangalis +7 (968) 732 0080; e-mail: zangalis@mail.ru

Official site of the tournament: http://ruchess.ru/

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