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27 October 2020 | in FISU World University Championships

First FISU World University Championship Mind Sports off to a flyer

WUC Mind Sports Day 1The beautiful city of Bydgoszcz in Poland was to host the biggest chess and bridge event for university students, pairing the two sports together in one event for the first time in the history of the International University Sports Federation. Although the event is now being held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Organising Committee is working out of Bydgoszcz and putting on a great show for fans of chess and bridge.

 

“After months of preparations, the day has finally come!” said Katarzyna Domańska, President of the Organising Committee at the end of Day 1 on Monday. “I am very pleased that despite the global pandemic, it was possible to organise the event in an online format.”

 

Katarzyna DomańskaKatarzyna Domańska, President of the 2020 WUC Mind Sports Organising Committee“Switching the championship to an online formula attracted great interest and has met with the approval of both chess and bridge environments,” added Domańska. “551 participants representing 40 countries have registered in the event: 151 competing in bridge and 400 in chess.”

 

“On behalf of the whole Organising Committee I would like to wish all the participants many sporting emotions and a good atmosphere. Good Luck!”

 

Chess

78 teams from 32 countries, comprising 400 players began to participate on the chess website Tornelo.com.  

 

After the first three days and nine rounds of play, the top 16 teams will be promoted to the exciting play-off stage. Many experts see Armenia and China as favorites for gold medals.

 

All games are streamed live on FISU TV, as well as the FISU YouTube and Facebook pages. World-class chess commentators, grandmasters Keti Tsatsalashvili and Marcin Tazbir are revealing all the secrets of the ‘Kings Game’ or the highlight match, daily from 2.30PM CET.

 

The first day of competition brought lots of interesting games. Some favourites lost to underdogs, which shows that the level of the competition is very good.

 

Team Poland 1 started the competition with a perfect result; three wins in three matches! Anna Kubicka, the Polish University Women's Champion plays an important role as captain of the team.

Team Poland 1

In this position (above) from the 3rd round, Nicolas Curtolo (black) played Bg7 to protect the King. Anna Kubicka (white) decided to sacrifice the rook on g7. Black captured back with the rook, but a little pawn, the weakest warrior on the chessboard, was ready for it. With a move h6 it was clear, that white will get the rook back and score the full point for the team.

 

After the first day, there are five leaders with the perfect score of 6/6: These are Poland, Malaysia, China, Serbia and Belarus! Day 2 will see some very exciting games, since leaders will face each other.

 

Bridge

26 bridge teams representing 13 countries, comprising 151 participants began the bridge competition on Bridge Base Online. The bridge teams played first 5 rounds of qualification Swiss. Currently at the top are the teams from Poland, China, and Italy:

 

1. POLAND 3 – 78.48 VP

2. ITALY 1 – 75.47 VP

3. CHINA 2 – 71.84 VP

 

However, there are still ten matches to be played before the eight best teams will start knock-out rounds for the medals. The best individual performances were shown by:

 

Imp/board

Boards

Player

Team

5.56

16

Jakub Bazyluk

POLAND 1

5.54

24

Jakub Andruszkiewicz

POLAND 3

5.54

24

Edward Sucharda

POLAND 3

 

Bridge Day 1Italy 1 versus Poland 5 was the most interesting board of Day 1. After 2♣ strong opening, Joanna Zalewska overcalled with 2♡ and EW pair reached a spade slam. Zofia Bałdysz led ♡5.

 

Italian professional player Giovanni Donati took the first trick with the king in dummy, and played jack of trumps, overtaken with the king. Then he cashed spade ace and spades split 5-1 revealed.

 

He decided to play spade for the third time. Zofia took this trick with the queen and played tricky ♣9. At that moment Giovanni knew that K of diamonds should be on right side – with diamonds spots Zofia would surely play dummy’s shorter suit – or both kings are in Zalewska’s hand.

 

He took a club trick with ace, discarded club on ♡A and played queen of clubs for ruffing finesse. At the end, he made his slam, earning 11 IMPs for his team in the very first board of the match.

 

The win, and the right guess, were based on psychological clues. “The 9 of clubs looked suspicious to me,” said Giovanni Donati after the game.  “I assumed that with 109xx Zofia (reigning European women’s champion) would try to mislead me, leading low.”

 

Well played indeed! On Day 2, Tuesday 27 October, the next five rounds of Qualification Swiss will be played. Round 6 starts with the match ITALY 1 – CHINA 2 on table 1. Draws to the next rounds will be announced before each one. Today’s action can be viewed on FISU.TV as well as FISU’s Facebook and YouTube. All information and results about the Championship are available on the official website here.