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  • www.hotelsalobrena.es

    Hotel Salobreña Suites

Welcome to the

World youth rapid and blitz
chess championships

official website, which will provide you updated information about this event.


Conversation with Lucas Van Foreest from Groningen (Netherlands) after winning two World champion titles in Salobrena.


Lucas, the only GM at the championship, is my former pupil with whom I had started to work when he was young (1900 rating) and brought him to a GM level. Now Lucas works and grows by himself.

  • Welcome, Lucas, to the studio of the press-center. Once more congratulations on winning two titles at the World championships in Salobrena. You were the only GM here and I didn’t expect anything else from you. How do you feel now?
  • I feel quite relieved, happy. I played such tournaments for the 1st time in my life. I came here to win. I am happy that it has happened. I worked hard for this!
  • I can tell that this year already so far is a very successful year for you. You also became the Dutch champion in July ahead of your brother Jorden. What is coming next? 
  • It was a great championship, win there opened some doors for me. Since I became a Dutch champion, I have got a right to play for the Dutch team at the European team championship in Batumi this October. I will be in the team with Anish Giri, Erwin L’Ami, Jorden van Foreest, Erik van Doel (the author of this interview gave up his place in the Dutch team that Lucas gets his place in the team). It will be a great opportunity for me to be among such great players.
  • Which other tournaments are you planning for this year?
  • May be, only the Groningen open in December because I am very busy with the school.
  • Tell me something more about your studies.
  • I study in Groningen where we both live. I have one more year of school. I am going to a special school run by NOC*NSF (Dutch Olympic Committee), that’s why I can combine sports with the studies in the school.
  • Also your brother, Jorden, has finished the same school. How do you look at your future? Are you planning to become a chess professional or to study in the university? Or follow example of your friend Benjamin Bok who moved to the US to study in the university there?
  • I am not so sure what to do right now. From the financial aspect of life it is better to move to the US. But from the study perspective I should study in the Netherlands. There are different options…
  • Still you have some time to take a decision. Let’s see how it goes…
  • I will see how my rating goes up etc…
  • What are your hobbies in life besides chess?
  • Working out! That’s it!
  • Physical exercises are very important. Lot of chess players underestimate it. Because when you play such tough tournaments, you need lot of energy. And you have to be in a good physical form. Before I was always advising to you and Jorden to pay special attention to the physical form, do exercises on a regular basis.
  • Yes. And I really enjoy it since it helps me to feel better and helps in chess because it gives more energy.
  • Who is your favorite chess player?
  • I have to choose Bobby Fischer. Although the greatest player of all times is Magnus Carlsen.
  • How would you describe your chess style?
  • It depends… When playing rapid and blitz I try to play as solid as I can. And I try to squeeze my opponents.
  • Exactly my style!
  • Yes. I really enjoy positions with minimal advantage. But because long games are so long and boring for me, I tend to choose more aggressive style. With aggressive play in the openings.
  • Thank you very much for the interview. And I hope that the wins here are not the last ones in the series of your successes. I believe that you have even more potential than your brother Jorden. Although he is 2 years older, you have good chances to overcome him in chess.
  • Yes. I have some time to continue improving…

Sergey Tiviakov. Salobrena, for FEDA (Spanish Chess Federation). 13 September 2019. 

Final results of the World Junior rapid and blitz championships in Salobrena


Final results of the World Junior rapid championships in Salobrena. 11 – 12 September 2019.

Winner U-14 Girls: Nguyen, Thien Ngan (Vietnam)

Winner U-14 Open: Tadevosyan, Aspet (Spain)

Winner U-16 Open: Gines Esteo, Pedro Antonio (Spain)

Winner U-16 Girls: Guillo Longares, Cecilia (Spain)

Winner U-18 Open: Van Foreest, Lucas (Netherlands)

Winner U-18 Girls: Kucharska, Honorata (Poland)

Final results of the World Junior blitz championships in Salobrena. 13 September 2019.

Winner U-14 Open: Vo, Pham Thien Phuc (Vietnam)

Winner U-14 Girls: Nguyen, Thien Ngan (Vietnam)

Winner U-16 Open: Horvath, Dominik (Austria)

Winner U-16 Girls: Bach, Ngoc Thuy Duong (Vietnam)

Winner U-18 Open: Van Foreest, Lucas (Netherlands)

Winner U-18 Girls: Hryshchenko, Kamila (Ukraine)

Double success for Lucas Van Foreest and Nguyen Thien Ngan.

First impressions from the blitz World Junior championships in Salobrena.


After 2 busy days when boys and girls were playing rapid chess only in the afternoon, extremely busy last day came when you have to play from early morning until late in the evening. Non-stop play! And it is not only about chess, but also how do you manage the energy during the whole day, how physically fit you are, how can you can keep your concentration, playing without the blunders. Who makes no or less blunders usually wins. 

Today we have seen a new face at the championships. The first move was made by the FIDE Deputy President GM Bachar Kouatly. Before an active player, now he is concentrated only around-chess activities, also being the President of the French Chess Federation.

Moving around the playing hall, he spend lot of time watching how Machteld Van Foreest played on the 1st board in the Girls U-14 section. Unfortunately, Machteld played bad and lost. Probably, the biggest surprise of the 1st round. But definitely, not the last one. Blitz tournaments are always full of surprises.

No surprises in the open U-18 section. Lucas Van Foreest (only GM at the championships) leads with 3,5 out 4 together with FM Galiana Fernandez from Spain. He is hoping to increase his success in Salobrena. Yesterday he became the World Junior rapid champion U-18.

Since both Lucas and Machteld are my former pupils, I am rooting for them and wish them lot of success!

In the Girls U-18 section Kamila Hryshchenko from Ukraine leads with 4 out 4.

1 round to play in the morning, then we have a break for a lunch… The play will continue in the afternoon from 15:30. 

Sergey Tiviakov. 13 September 2019.

Impressions from the 1st day of the World Junior Rapid & Blitz championships in Salobrena (Spain).


Red and yellow – these are the colors that you see when you enter the playing hall. Red and yellow are the national colors of Spain and Vietnam, 2 countries that have the most representatives in Salobrena. 118 players come from Spain, 14 – from Vietnam.

The number of the participants of the host country doesn’t surprise, of course. But the fact that so many players came to Salobrena from a far away country as Vietnam can only cause admiration! Also necessary to mention that at the World Cadets Rapid & Blitz championships in Minsk (Belarus) last August, Vietnam also had a huge delegation. Clearly, chess has a bright future in that country.

In total there are 178 players from 22 countries, among them 1 GM, 5 IMs, 12 FMs, 1 WIM, 12 WFMs.

The strongest player is Lucas Van Foreest from the Netherlands, whose classical rating is 2531. But ratings tell nothing about the real strength of the players, since all the players are young and there are not enough rapid and blitz tournaments rated.

 And we can expect lot of surprises in all rounds of the tournament. Already in the 1st round of the rapid Lucas (U-18 Open) had to conceive half a point against Spanish FM Roldan Marques. In the U-18 Girls section the top seed Anna Afonasieva lost to WFM Wiktoria Sowa from Poland.

Interview with an arbiter Marco Biagioli from Venice (Italy).


There are lot of arbiters at the World Championships since rapid and blitz chess can create lot of conflict situations. But when we have such good arbiters as Marco, all problems can always be solved peacefully. 

  • Marco, I am glad to see you here in the press office of the World Championships in Salobrena. But recently I met you at many other different events as well. You are a very popular arbiter! Please, tell me more about yourself and how you did become a chess arbiter!
  • Well, I became a chess arbiter 15 years ago in Italy as a national arbiter and since 2018 started going abroad. For the 1st time I have been invited to Albania, then Romania, Greece, Macedonia and Russia last year. And this year I have been to Rhodes, then we met in Bratislava, Minsk, in Trieste I was organizing the seminars (not for the tournament) and now we met here again.
(on photo with L. Bibilashvili)
  • Yes, many – many tournaments! Still it is unusual since I am an active chess player and you are an arbiter… How old are you?
  • Now I am 33.
  • The best age for a man, the age of Christus.
  • The best but also the last (laughing).
  • Where in Italy do you live?
  • I live in Venice.
  • Very beautiful city. Do you play chess by yourself?
  • No. I was taught to play chess by our father when I was 5. But since I was a weak player, I decided to become an arbiter.
  • So, you don’t play chess at all…
  • I can play several games in the league and/or rapid and blitz tournaments, but mostly I am an arbiter.
  • What is your strength?
  • About 1700. Very weak.
  • But you understand everything to be an arbiter.
  • Not absolutely everything, but at least something regarding the psychology. Even being a weak player, I can understand the psychology of the player.
  • Have you studied something on psychology?
  • No, I am a lawyer. I haven’t studied a psychology.
  • A lawyer? (with huge surprise) Strange for a lawyer to be busy with chess activities. It is unusual, since you are lawyer and you should earn good money!
  • I am lucky since I have my own office, I can decide when I want to go to the office and when to be an arbiter. I have a partner, so we can cover ourselves. And when I am at the tournament, I have my partner at the office. Sometimes I can also work on distance with my computer.
  • Thank you for the explanations! Now we know enough about your work as an arbiter. Now, please, tell us about the last chess seminars organized by ECU in Trieste (Italy).
  • It was a great idea and for the 1st time we could realize something like that. We have got a special fund to develop activities for women. Together with the ECU Arbiter’s Council we have decided to conduct special seminars for women – one for FIDE arbiters, another – for FIDE organizers. And it was a great success. There were 15 – 20 female players at the seminar. 
  • Were you the organizer of the seminar?
  • The organizer was the Arbiter’s Council. I was the “man on the spot” for all technical arrangements.
  • When I came to play in the Trieste tournament I had been hugely surprised by lot of women players, attending the seminars. I had no idea that such an event would take place in Trieste. Later I read that there were place for about 40 participants of the seminars, but only half came since lot of women had no idea that such seminar would take place! Bad advertisement by the ECU.  I have a couple of friends who would love to join the seminars but had no any information about it.
  • Information was published on the ECU site and the FIDE Arbiter’s commission website. But the last one was not updated!
  • That’s why I haven’t heard anything about this seminar the same with many of my friends. My advice for the future – to make better advertisement for such events.
  • Yes, we’ll make better advertisements and the communications about such events in the future.
  • What are your next plans? Where next will you be an arbiter?
  • I think, I will go to Tallinn for the European blitz and rapid championships. After Tallinn I have no plans.
  • So, you can return to your work as a lawyer.
  • Yes, I will be back in my office next Monday. Back to the work very soon! But in the weekend from 19 to 22 September I will run a seminar in Thessaloniki (Greece), I will make a lecture how to deal with disabled and blind players.
  • Very good! And the last question – are you a relative to an Italian actor Marco Biagioli?
  • Yes, I am Marco Biagioli, but the actor is not my relative. And there is also one Italian lawyer Marco Biagioli. But we are 3 different persons, not relatives. (laughing)
  • Thank you very much for your time! See you soon again at another chess tournament!
  • Grazie!

Sergey Tiviakov. 11 September 2019.

Interview with Fernando G. Gomez H., Executive Director of the “Con Liderazgo” fund from Bogota (Colombia).


Here in the press-center we have a new guest… Good afternoon, Mr. Gomez! Welcome to Salobrena! My first question: What are you doing here in Salobrena?

– We came to participate in the world event, blitz and rapid championships (category U-18).

Are you an accompanying person or a coach?

– Yes, I am a coach and I have a chess academy.

– Here on my table I have your business card telling that you are an executive director of the fund “Con Liderazgo”. Please, explain what is your fund and what it is doing with chess in Colombia.

– With this fund www.ConLiderazgo.com we are doing the program of chess development, which is part of the educational and personal development. The chess academy which is the part of our fund is called “Copa Real”. www.coachess.co

– I played in Colombia many times, but I here about your fund and chess academy for the 1st time. Could you, please, give more details.

– The “Copa Real” is active already for 10 years. This year we have started to develop a much bigger project. And although we are not well-know, we have developing the chess in the community for some years.

– In which areas of Colombia does it active?

– We are now in Bogota in the “Ciudad Verde” (or Green City).

– Do you have strong coaches teaching in your academy?

– We are not very strong regarding the number of elo points, but we have own methods. Also, we are concentrated in educational chess which is very important for us.

– “Chess in schools” project indeed has a priority in many countries. What are you planning in the coming months to organize something important in Colombia?

First of all, I would like to organize a strong international chess open. And this is one of reasons why we came here to Spain. We are hoping to establish a contact with the Spanish Chess federation. Also we would like to create a mutual project.

– I wish you lot of success in all your projects. I hope this trip will help you to achieve all your goals, establishing very important contacts.

– Thank you very much.

Sergey Tiviakov. 12 September 2019.