Earlier in the year a number of children applied to represent Australia at international events. As usual quite a few Victorians were part of the team to the World Under-Age  Championships in Spain.

Australia did particularly well. Final results after 11 rounds were as follows:

Boys
U/l8 Max Leskiewicz (Qld) 5.5 =43rd
U/16 Geoff Saw (Vic) 4.5 =61 sf
U/14 Michael Chow (Vic) 6.0 =28th
U/12 David Smerdon (Qld) 7.0 =lOth
U/10 Denis Bourmistrov(Vic) 7.0 =10th
Girls
U/18 Narelle Szuveges (Vic) 4.5 =22nd
U/l6 Laura Moylan (ACT) 5.5 =33rd
U/14 Kylie Coventry (SA) 6.0 =21st
U/12 Sylvia Shields (NSW) 6.0 =16th
UIlO Catherine Lip (NSW) 4.5 =38th

Geoff Saw has kindly given us a few of the lighter moments of the tournament.

Menorca 1996 – by Geoff Saw

  • Michael should be nice and not mock the Russians. They’re people too.
  • Michael should not be sarcastic when a member of the Spanish team offers a book. Even if it is called “Winning with the Philidor”.
  • In the last round, Michael smashed the Latvian representative. Clearly they have “no chess culture” in Latvia. The Latvian offered a number of insulting draws on the verge of defeat, causing Michael to question the level of sportsmanship in Latvian chess.
  • David should not get into time-trouble and when he does, he shouldn’t faint at the board (his clock keeps running).
  • A Greek boy had a crush on Sylvia.
  • Narelle took KFC onto the plane, and had to put it through the X-ray machine at the airport.
  • Max improved Australian relations with France, Venezuela and Slovenia.
  • Geoff and Max should watch out for angry-looking bartenders. They don’t like it when people steal their umbrellas (The official excuse was that the umbrella had “Pepsi Max” written on it,so Max had a legal right to it).
  • An alarming amount of Spanish men (particularly waiters) were looking at, touching and even hugging Max.
  • Max had a name for almost everyone

Max = Mighty Max
Narelle = censored for legal reasons
Geoff = Glorious Geoff
Laura = Luscious Laura
Michael = Anti-Soviet
David = Hypo man
Manuel (coach) = Manly Manuel

Denis Bourmistrov was the Australian representative in the Under 10 event for boys. It was Denis’ first International tournament and he did particularly well, finishing as top performer of the Australian Team scoring 7 points out of 11 (6 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses). Here is an extract from the report that he wrote.

XII World Junior Championships

By Denis Bourmistrov

My family and I are thankful to everyone who helped me to take part in the World Junior in Spain this year. Special thanks to my Sponsors: Box Hill Chess Club, Chess World, Royal
Melbourne Institute of Technology, St John’s School in Mitcham and Forest Hill Chase Shopping Center. My coaches in Melbourne, Michael Gluzman and Chris Depasquale, as well
as all members of the Box Hill Chess Club, are responsible for the best part of what I have done in this tournament.

In my tournament there were 72 players representing 62 countries. Two of them were FIDE masters. The top seed in my tournament had a FIDE rating of 2280 (he finished eighth). I had a slow start, then I played a few good games andmanaged to reach the top boards.In round nine I beat Dong Viet Thang (Vietnam), who in the previous round had defeated last
year’s World Champion and drawn his game with the top seed.

Before the last round I still had a chance for a medal, although it was a very small chance, because my last opponent was too good. My last game was not the best in this tournament and I finished 13th (equal 10th).

Konovsky-Bourmistrov

Black to play and win. Can you see it??
18 ..• Rxe3!! 19.9xhS Ne4! 20.Qe1 Rxa3
21.Rd3 Bxb4 and Denis won soon after.

From round 8-….

Bourmistrov-Pulito

White to play and win. Can you see it??
30.Rxd5!! and Black resigned. He has
lost a pawn for nothing.

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