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The Year 2002 in Review

Chess is much more than a game. It is the sum total of the many individual personalities who are attracted to it and play it seriously. Yesterday's junior champion is today's senior champion, while today's junior champion is tomorrow's senior champion.

In October, the 12th World Open Senior Championship, took place in Naumburg, Germany. Jusefs Petkevich won the title on tiebreak ahead of Stanko Kosanski, Janis Klovans, and Boris Katalymov; all scored 8.5/11.

In November, 802 young players from 71 countries competed in the World Youth Championships at Heraklio, Greece. The events often provide the first recognition of emerging talent. Tournaments are organized by age -- Under-18, U-16, U-14, U-12, & U-10 -- with separate events for boys and girls in each age group. The Boys U-18 event was won by Ferenc Berkes (HUN) and Shahriyar Mammadyarov (AZE) with 9/11. The Girls U-18 event was won by Elisabeth Paehtz (GER) with 8.5/11.

December saw the 41st World Junior (U-20) & 19th Girls Championships played at Panaji, Goa, India. Levon Aronian (ARM) won the gold medal, Luke McShane (ENG) the silver, and Surya Sekhar Ganguly (IND) the bronze. Zhao Xue (IND) took the women's title on tiebreak ahead of Humpy Koneru (IND).


The year also saw the disappearance of some well known international figures. American GM Edmar Mednis (1937-2002) died in New York in February. Born in Latvia, he was one of the few players who could claim to have beaten Bobby Fischer in tournament play. He was also the author of several books and a regular endgame columnist for chess periodicals.

Ukranian GM Eduard Gufeld (1936-2002) died in Los Angeles in September. He played in the Soviet Championships many times, where his best finish was 7th in 1963.

Spanish IM Ricardo Calvo (1943-2002) died in Madrid, also in September. In addition to being an accomplished player, he was a noted chess historian. He was declared persona non grata by FIDE in 1987, after publishing a New in Chess article describing FIDE election irregularities.

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• The Best Players
• World Championship
• International Events
• National Championships
• Opens
• Computers
• Passages