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The Year 2005 in Review

The 13-round World Junior Championships were held the month of November in Istanbul. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) won the gold medal with 10.5 points, a full point ahead of runner-up Ferenc Berkes (Hungary). Evgeny Alekseev (Russia) and Vugar Gashimov (Azerbaijan) finished 3rd/4th with 9.0 points. Elisabeth Paehtz (Germany) won the girls event with 10.0 points, a half point ahead of Gu Xiaobing (China). Three players finished with 9.0 points; Beata Kadziolka (Poland) won the bronze medal on tiebreak.

The 11-round World Youth Championships, with boys and girls events for age categories Under-18, U-16, U-14, U-12, & U-10, took place in July in Belfort, France. Ildar Khairullin (Russia) won the boys under-18 event, on tiebreak over Radoslaw Wojtaskzek (Poland). The girls under-18 event saw three players tie for first. Maka Purtseladze (Georgia) won the gold medal over Bathuyag Mongontuul (Mongolia) and Joanna Majdan of Poland. The event was marred by organizational problems and FIDE sanctioned the Chief Organizer later.

The 15th World Senior Championships took place September/October in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy. Liuben Spassov (Bulgaria) won the title on tiebreak over Vlastimil Jansa (Czech Republic). Both players scored 8.5 points in the 11 round event. Ludmila Saunina (Russia) won the women's title with 7.5 points.

The month of March saw major transitions in the lives of the two greatest players of all time. Two weeks after Garry Kasparov announced his retirement from professional chess (which we report elsewhere in this review), Bobby Fischer was released from Japan to a new home in Iceland, where he was granted citizenship. Fischer had been in detention since the previous July. The major press services covered both the Kasparov and the Fischer stories with far more interest they normally accord to chess news.

At the beginning of August, the news services reported that Susan Polgar 'is believed to have broken four international chess records this week after playing more than 1,100 games over 17 hours.' The record that is certain to go into the books was her feat of 326 simultaneous games, which broke the previous record of 321 games set in 2004.


The year 2005 witnessed the passing of many well known chess players.

Arnold Denker (1914-2005)
Victor Frias (1956-2005)

Simon Webb (1949-2005)

Dragoljub Minic (1936-2005)
Leonid Shamkovich (1923-2005)

Vladimir Savon (1940-2005)

Egon Ditt (1931-2005)

Dragutin Sahovic (1940-2005)
Igor Ivanov (1947-2005)

Enrico Paoli (1908-2005)

Back to beginning : The Best Players 2005

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• World Championship
• International Events
• National Championships
• Opens
• Computers
• Passages
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• Passages 2004