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The Year 2006 in Review

The 13-round World Junior Championships were held the month of October in Yerevan, Armenia. The gold medal in the open section, with 83 participants, was won by IM Zaven Andriasian of Armenia, followed by IM Nikita Vitiugov of Russia (silver), and GM Yuriy Kryvoruchko of the Ukraine (bronze). The girls section, with 57 participants, was won by WGM Shen Yang of China, followed by WFM Hou Yifan, also of China and 12 years old, and WGM Salome Melia of Georgia.

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 October at Batumi, Georgia. The U-18 open event was won by IM Arik Braun of Germany, while the girl's U-18 gold medal was awarded to WGM Harika Dronavalli of India. India's results were astounding. Indian youth took home 10 medals: five gold, two silver, and three bronze. Georgian youth won six medals, Azerbaijani youth five, and representatives of nine other countries at least one.

GM Viktor Korchnoi is perhaps the strongest player never to have won the title of World Chess Champion. He played title matches in 1978 and 1981, losing to arch rival Anatoly Karpov in both attempts. The 75 year old Korchnoi finally earned the title by winning the World Senior Championship. He finished ahead of 123 other competitors in the 11-round event held in September at Arvier, Valle d'Aosta, Italy. WGM Ludmila Saunina of Russia won the corresponding women's event.

Often ignored by the mainstream press, chess received more attention than usual in 2006. Some stories showed its bright side: the Kramnik - Topalov unification match; some stories its dark side: the cheating scandals; and some stories its human side. The human interest stories ranged from the curious: the Aronian - Gormally brawl over 'chess starlet' Arianne Caoili; to the downright ugly: the fall of Jessie Gilbert (1987-2006) from her hotel room in the Czech Republic and the subsequent trial of her father.


The year 2006 also witnessed the passing of several well known chess players.

Gary Abram (1930-2006)
Ratmir Kholmov (1925-2006)

Wolfgang Unzicker (1925-2006)

Burt Hochberg (1933-2006)

Aleksander Wojtkiewicz (1963-2006)
Rudolf Teschner (1922-2006)

David Bronstein (1924-2006)

Back to beginning : The Best Players 2006

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• The Best Players
• World Championship
• International Events
• National Championships
• Opens
• Computers
• Passages
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• Passages 2005