The 48th final tournament of the traditional all-Russian scholastic chess team event Belaya Ladya (also known as White Rook) finished in Dagomys, Sochi.
Since 2015, Belaya Ladya welcomes teams from foreign countries. This year, almost 100 teams from 80 regions of Russia and 17 countries of the world took part in the final event. Apart from schoolchildren from Armenia, Belarus, China, Estonia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Moldavia, and Mongolia, there were also players from Bulgaria, England, Greece, India, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.
The organizers of Belaya Ladya are the Russian Chess Federation and Ministry of Sport of the Russian Federation. The competition is also supported by Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation, Renault Russia Company, Federal Grid Company of Unified Energy System (FGC UES), and PhosAgro.
The tournament was won by its debutants – the Indian schoolchildren (School Velammal Vidyalaya of Chennai). The pupils of Yerevan school № 55 named after A. Chekhov came second, while the schoolchildren of Lyceum № 180 «Polyforum» from Ekaterinburg became bronze medalists.
Final standings: 1. India – 31.5 points out of 36 (17 match points out of 18; they won eight matches and drew one match), 2. Armenia – 25, 3. Sverdlovsk Oblast – 24 (15), 4. Novosibirsk Oblast – 24 (14), 5. Tatarstan – 23.5, 6-7. Saint Petersburg, Moscow – 22.5, 8-11. Tyumen Oblast, Belarus, Latvia, Astrakhan Oblast – 21.5.
The best Russian team – Lyceum № 180 «Polyforum» from Ekaterinburg (Roman Kuzmin, Aivaz Yadigarov, Artem Pingin, Leya Garifullina) – will be rewarded with a trip to France, thanks to the support of Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation and Renault Russia Company. The team will play a match against the French schoolchildren of the same age. The Indian team will get an invitation to take part in one of big international tournaments in Russia.
Traditionally, a broad cultural and entertaining programme accompanied the event. Master classes, lectures, games analysis, mind games were organized for participants. Coaches and pedagogues took part in a roundtable discussion of teaching chess at schools.