Lasker Schachstiftung Weltmeister der Senioren

Lasker Chess Foundation Senior World Champion

From September 19th to September 28th, 2023, the Senior World Team Championship took place in North Macedonia, divided into 2 age groups, Seniors 50+ and 65+.
A number of German teams were present, most notably the Lasker Chess Foundation led by Gerhard Köhler in the 65+ category. The team was led by grandmasters Rainer Knaak, Jakob Meister and Sergey Kalinitschew. But with this line-up they were by no means the sole favorites to win the tournament. England entered the legendary John Nunn, followed by grandmaster Anthony Kosten. Slovakia also had two grandmasters, Lubomir Ftacnik and Jan Plachetka.
But the Lasker Chess Foundation was the dominant team and was able to prevail after 9 rounds with a strong 17 team points. England came second with 16 team points. In the direct duel between the two teams, with three draws, it was Sergey Kalinitschew who got the decisive point against Chris Baker to secure the win. Slovakia came in third place.

Anyone who thought that the S65 was already full of stars will almost faint when they see the 50+ lineups. The US team that won in the end included legends Alexander Shabalov, Gregory Kaidanov, Alex Yermolinsky, Igor Novikov and Jaan Ehlvest. Players who are of course past their prime, but are still fantastic chess players.
The English team came in second place, led by world-class player Michael Adams. His participation shows the importance that senior chess has gained, certainly also due to the aging population in the western world. Following Michael Adams were the equally well-known grandmasters John Emms, Glenn Flear, Keith Arkell and Nigel Davies.
Third place went to Iceland, the country with the most grandmasters in relation to the number of inhabitants. Iceland was led by Helgi Olafsson. Behind him were grandmasters Johann Hjartarson, Margeir Petursson, Jon Arnason and Throstur Thorhallsson. Germany had no team competing in the 50+ category.

While youth championships are often played in poor conditions, the seniors cannot complain. The hotel and playing conditions are good, a round every day and all the legends taking part make it a great event!