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The Year 2007 in Review

The 13-round World Junior Championships were held during October in Yerevan, Armenia. GM Ahmed Adly of Egypt won the gold medal in the 80 player open section, a half-point ahead of GM Ivan Popov (Russia, silver) and a full point ahead of GM Wang Hao (China, bronze). The girls section, with 58 players, was won by WIM Vera Nebolsina (gold, Russia), a half-point ahead of WGM Jolanta Zawadzka (silver, Poland) and WGM Salome Melia (bronze, 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, & U-8, took place in November at Antalya, Turkey. GM Ivan Popov and WFM Valentina Gunina won the gold medals in the boys and girls U-18 sections. The event was marred by 'a story of monumental misjudgement by the appeals committee of [top FIDE officials] Zurab Azmaiparashvili, Florencio Campomanes and Georgios Makropoulos from the World Youth Championships getting a 14 year old boy out of bed at 23:00 to continue a game' (TWIC).

IM Algimantas Butnorius won the World Senior Championship with a score of 9.0/11, a half-point ahead of three GMs. The event, held in Gmunden, Austria, in September 2007, had 233 participants.

Former World Champion Garry Kasparov received considerable attention in the mainstream press, at least outside Russia, as opposition leader to President Vladimir Putin. Kasparov made several high-profile appearances on popular U.S. television programs, all of which eventually appeared in YouTube.

In a story that had nothing to do with the bumbling at the World Youth Championships, the FIDE Ethics Commission gave GM Nigel Short a rap on the knuckles for calling FIDE officials Azmaiparashvili and Makropoulos 'dunderheads'. The Commission also sanctioned Topalov and his manager for unsportsmanlike conduct during the 2006 match against Kramnik. Earlier in the year, the Ethics Commission was reconstituted after being rebuked on another case involving French organizer Jean-Paul Touzé that was successfully appealed before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Lausanne.

Another young star emerged to challenge a crowded field headed by GMs Magnus Carlsen (Norway, January 2008 rating 2733) and Sergey Karjakin (Ukraine, 2732), both 17 years old at year end. Fabiano Caruana (Italy, 2598) earned his GM title in July at the age of 14.


The year 2007 saw the passing of several well known chess players.

Alexander Roshal (1936-2007)

Maxim Sorokin (1968-2007)

Ivan Nemet (1943-2007)

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• Passages 2006