Junioren-WM in Mexiko mit 4 Deutschen Teilnehmern

Junior World Championship in Mexico with 4 German participants

National coaches nominate national team – hardly any surprises Reading Junior World Championship in Mexico with 4 German participants 5 minutes Next German national players in Polish Ekstra Liga

If you look at the youth world championships internationally, they are divided into three categories: Cadet World Championship (U8 to U12), Youth World Championship (U14 to U18) and the supreme discipline, the Junior World Championship (U20). The latter started on September 21st in Mexico City. All world championships are divided into girls' and boys' tournaments. The tournaments for young men are officially called "Open" because female players are theoretically allowed to take part.

At the Junior World Championships, no player has declared themselves willing to represent Germany in the women's team. The chances of winning a medal are too slim. The trip, which is only partially funded, is very expensive, including flights and hotels.
The German Chess Federation is sending 4 players into the race for the boys. First and foremost, the number 2 seed, GM Frederik Svane, who had to digest the news shortly before the tournament that he had not been nominated for the upcoming European Team Championship. The only seed ahead of him is a certain Hans Niemann. Niemann had just settled his long dispute with Magnus Carlsen and chess.com when Vladimir Kramnik made it his mission to put the issue of possible cheating by the American back on the agenda.

Svane will have a say in the title and will want to improve his Elo so much that national coach Jan Gustafsson will no longer be able to ignore him at the next international team competition.

Ruben Gideon Köllner is also taking part in Mexico. After a dry spell, the young international master, who plays for the Schachfreunde Deizisau, has recovered. He has recently marched from one good tournament result to the next, collecting his first GM norm along the way. His Elo rating of over 2480 is only just shy of grandmaster strength. He is not formally considered the favorite for a medal, but with a good run, a lot is certainly possible.

Not far behind Köllner is Marius Fromm, who has 2472 Elo points. Pretty much the same applies to him as to Köllner. The wider chess public became aware of Fromm when he was a strong contender in the European Individual Championship and was not too far away from qualifying for the World Cup.

The quartet is completed by Tobias Kölle. He too is in the top 30 of the rankings with an Elo of over 2450 and is always making a name for himself with strong results.

If you listen to those who are there, there are also critical voices. The transport from the airport to the hotel, after a long and tiring journey, was delayed by two hours. The hotel does not offer ideal conditions, but the prices are very high. At the start of the tournament, each participant is given a pen, which they must keep and use throughout the tournament. The catering in the tournament hall with food and drinks could be improved, especially considering that the participants are not allowed to bring their own pens or food.
Anyone who, like the author of these lines, has often been present at international championships as a player or, above all, as a trainer, will not be surprised by such an assessment. A world championship in which every young person enjoys playing, supported by Fide... everyone involved in the organization can sense the potential financial benefits. They are cutting corners on the participants' comfort. Unfortunately, this has become a tradition in the youth sector and is accepted without complaint by the vast majority of federations.

The city itself is met with great enthusiasm, as is the coach of the German players. Evgenij Romanov, formerly of Russia and now of Norway, was once an assistant to Magnus Carlsen. His ties to the national youth coach Bernd Vökler are very close, especially from his time in Erfurt, and so it is not surprising that this top coach is always a welcome trainer for young German players.

The first day was very successful for the four German players. They won all their games and all the Germans went into the second round as favorites, although the difference in Elo ratings to their opponents was much smaller. After three rounds, only Ruben Köllner is still in the tournament unscathed, thanks in part to a walkover victory in round 3. So he will certainly be able to start his 19th birthday with lots of positive emotions. Frederike Svane lost his third round, as did Tobias Kölle. Marius Fromm had already lost half a point in round 2.

We keep our fingers crossed for the German participants!

Image: German Chess Federation