Kazakh chess players take fourth place at World Youth Olympiad 

NUR-SULTAN – The Kazakh national chess team took fourth place at the 2019 FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs or International Chess Federation) World Youth Under 16 Chess Olympiad, its best result to date, according to a Kazakh Chess Federation press release. Çorum (Turkey) hosted the games Oct. 28-Nov. 5.

Photo credit: Kazakhstan Chess Federation.

Forty-eight teams from 38 nations participated in the Olympiad. The gold went to Azerbaijan (16 points), silver to Uzbekistan (15 points) and bronze to Belarus (14 points). Kazakhstan finished with 13 points (five wins, three draws and one loss).

“This is the best result of our youth team in the history of chess matches in Kazakhstan, but we could do better. A little bit more luck would help. Nevertheless, I am sure that this is good groundwork and now we have to keep it up,” said Youth Team Coach Anuar Ismagambetov.

The national team consisted of girls Bibisara Assaubayeva and Nazerke Nurgali and boys Arystan Isanzhulov and Kazybek Nogerbek. Assaubayeva, who played on a male board, is ranked first in Kazakhstan and Asia and third in the world in her age category. All team members are among the best players in the nation and qualified as FIDE masters.

“It is nice that our team, playing in such a non-traditional composition of two girls and two boys, got to such a high level! Congratulations to all of us! Next time, it will be only first place!” said Assaubayeva on her Instagram account.

The Kazakh team played a Russian team in the final round. All four matches ended in draws and a score of 2-2. Each Russian player had a higher initial ranking than their Kazakh counterparts. In the final protocol, the Kazakh team ended higher in the rating, which allowed it to take fourth place, with the Russians taking 10th.

“Over many years of the existence of this Olympiad, this is the highest result for our team; in 2018, we took the ninth place. Our team was able to beat the silver and bronze medallists of this Olympiad – the Uzbek national team (last year’s champions) and Belarussian national team. We were able to beat such titans as China and India. Out of nine matches, we lost only one, and even that was to the gold medallists, the Azerbaijan national team,” said Mangistau Chess Federation Executive Director Anvar Shaikhymov.

In the Olympiad, each team has four players – three boys and a girl. The game is played simultaneously on four boards and both individual and collective scores receive prizes. All four Kazakh players also won in individual categories.

Arystan Isanzhulov on the first place pedestal. Photo credit: prosports.kz.

“This Olympiad was significant. Individually, Kazakh players took four medals. Nazerke Nurgali and Bibisara Assaubayeva took second and third place among girls. Arystan Isanzhulov was the best on the third board and Nazerke Nurgali won the bronze on the fourth,” said Kazakh Chess Federation Executive Director Irina Grishchenko.

First place among girls went to Judit Juhas of Hungary. On the fourth board, Nurgali gave way to Kirill Shubin (Russia) and Lior Musyuk (Israel), who captured the first and the second place, respectively.

The Karaganda Region team also participated in the Olympiad. In nine rounds, the team scored nine points (four wins, one draw and four losses) and took 26th place among 48 teams.

The Kazakh Chess Federation was established in 1992, the year after the country gained its independence. In 2015, the Federation Congress elected Galimzhan Yessenov as president and Asset Issekeshev as chair of its board of trustees. The public association operates under the auspices of FIDE, whose president is Arkadiy Dvorkovich.

The Shakhmardan Yessenov Scientific and Educational Foundation is the federation’s general partner. The Ministry of Culture and Sports accredited the federation in 2015.