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26 October 2020 | in FISU World University Championships

Ready for the 2020 FISU WUC Mind Sports?

The 2020 FISU World University Championship Mind Sports (online) starts today! The time has finally come and participants from the world over will start competing in just a few hours from now. The Championship, originally scheduled to be held onsite in Bydgoszcz, Poland, was switched to an online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With exactly 551 registered chess and bridge players from 40 countries it is evident that interest in the online event was high. The Championship concludes on 30 October 2020. 

 

151 contestants representing 26 teams and 13 countries will participate in bridge, while in chess there are 400 registered players divided into 78 teams from 32 nations. Five countries - Argentina, China, France, Poland and Serbia decided to participate in both disciplines. The Chinese players in the fray - a sizeable 57 of them - are raring to go!

 

YuangBridgeThe Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC) held the 2020 Chinese University Championship Chess and Bridge recently. The aim of the event was to select the student-athletes who would represent China in the WUC Mind Sports, and it was held as part of the celebrations of the International Day of University Sports.

 

200 athletes had participated in the 2020 Chinese University Championship Chess and Bridge, of which finally, 57 got the ticket to the world stage, as the best university-level chess and bridge players from around the world come together through this entire week.

 

Yuyang Wang was part of the team that won the 2020 Chinese University Championship Bridge. Ahead of the World University Championship, she said “Bridge has played a positive role in my studies too.” Wang was initially majoring in Applied Physics in her freshman year, but then she switched to Physical Education because of her love for bridge. Wang said her university gave her a lot of chances to explore and practice bridge, and fine tune something she really liked to do.

 

In order to prepare for the FISU WUC, Wang and her teammates spent almost all their spare time doing live training, two to three times a week. “I hope me and my teammates can get a great result in the FISU Championship, and we would like to try our best for Team China."

 

DongkeChessDongke Fang, another bridge player, who will be playing in Team China 5, is excited about his first time in such a great international event. Fang said, “To be honest, I prefer face-to-face communication with my opponents, but I can also adapt to the rhythm of the online format.”

 

Meanwhile, chess player Manli Liu also agreed that the online format can be a challenge to the participants. Liu said: “It is difficult to find a quiet place in the school (university). And the internet is also a problem because I don’t know if the internet will work well when I am in the competition.”

 

But Liu also thinks the online format is much more convenient than the live format for other reasons. “Online competition saves us a lot of the expenses," Liu said.

 

TingJieChessAnother chess player, Tingjie Lei, agreed with Liu. Lei also said the online format can protect the health of competitors. Lei won the 2020 Chinese University Championship Chess, and she also got fifth place in the 2017 Asian Continental Chess Championships. She also is a Chinese Female Grandmaster.

 

Tingjie Lei said her university - the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics - helped her a lot in chess training and competition. “I don’t have too much pressure in my studies, because of the school’s support and the help from my classmates. I always feel good when training at school. And I also think that studying is a great way to relax when I need to release the pressure from chess competition and training.”

 

This will be Lei’s first time at a FISU event. “I will try my best in every game at the 2020 FISU WUC Mind Sports. And to be conservative, my goal is to get my team into the top three," Lei said.

 

Lei’s teammate Shanglei Lu, thinks their team is really strong. Lu has a lot of experience in competition, as he won second place in the 2018 Asian Chess Team Championship Rapid and Blitz. Lu is a Chinese Master Sportsman. “This Championship is a team competition. And this is our first time to join an online international event, I hope my team can get accustomed to this event and get the best result possible.”

 

During last Thursday’s General Technical Meeting, which was held online, the team captains had a chance to ask questions and become acquainted with the technical details of the event. The chess and bridge matches will be played on two platforms: Tornelo and Bridge Base Online respectively.

 

At 10AM CET today, the bridge players begin their first round while the chess tournament starts at 3 PM CET. To ensure fans of both sports can follow the action, everyday from 2:30 PM CET matches will be livestreamed and commented by experts, coaches, and players from both disciplines. All further details can be found on the official website here.

 

The links to watch the event live are the following:

 

 

 

With inputs from Xiaohan Huo in China