Erdogmus, Radzimski, Tudor, Mendes Advance To ChessKid Youth Championship Knockout


GM-elect Yagiz Erdogmus, Antoni Radzimski, FM Henry Tudor, and CM Aaron Mendes all move on to the four-player Knockout of the ChessKid Youth Championship 2024 for players under 13. The four players finished in the top two of their respective groups to advance.

The Knockout begins on June 30 at 11 a.m. ET / 17:00 CEST / 8:30 p.m. IST

Knockout Bracket


The ChessKid Youth Championships will crown two young champions, one under the age of 13 and another under 16. This first weekend, we saw the under-13 tournament, and the under-16 tournament takes place next weekend.

The tournament will take two days. On the first, 12 players were divided into two groups. In each group, the players participated in a double round-robin, and the top two finishers move on to the single-elimination Knockout on Sunday. 

Group A: Erdogmus Wins By Great Margin, Radzimski Takes 2nd Spot

Yagiz has met all the requirements to become a grandmaster and simply awaits FIDE’s approval to receive the title, so it’s no surprise that the highest seed continues to day two. Third-seed Radzimski, a point and a half behind, moves through as well even after losing two of his first three games.

Erdogmus didn’t make a single draw in his 10 games, dropping two losses but scoring eight wins. While he won his first game against Radzimski without much of a hitch, Erdogmus was losing the second against the same opponent. It was the tricky 26…Nd3! “Hail Mary” that turned the game around.

Erdogmus’ third game, against Ethan Pang (who is just nine years old), was his most dominant. By the time 33…g5 appeared on the board, White could barely move—and ultimately had to cough up his queen for nothing.

Runner-up Radzimksi’s flashiest win was against Megan Paragua in round six, which he capped off with a brilliant finish. Can you find it?

Although Paragua finished in last place, her one victory was against top-seed Erdogmus, which will surely be a positive memory.

Group B: Tudor Wins With Round To Spare, Mendes Wins Armageddon Tiebreak

In this group, the fight for second place was much more interesting than the relative lack of fight for first. Tudor coasted to first place, essentially from start to finish, but Mendes secured second only in rollercoaster tiebreaks after the 10 regular rounds.

Tudor started with six wins and two draws, but the rails nearly came off in game nine when he blundered a full piece in one move.

He went on to hold a miraculous endgame, however, and didn’t hide his emotions when the game finally ended (see clip below). With this draw, he finished in first with a round to spare.

 

Mendes and Banerjee both finished with seven points and graced the audience with a blockbuster tiebreaker. Banerjee was essentially one move from winning the match, but Mendes prevailed after an unfortunate blunder by his opponent.

After winning game one, Banerjee was down a rook in the next game but suddenly had a miraculous save. Using the renegade rook, he had a draw—and match victory—in the bag, when one erroneous check threw it all away.

When it rained, it poured for Banerjee, as he went on to lose the armageddon with the white pieces, actually getting checkmated on the final move.

Mendes won’t have long to celebrate, as he plays Erdogmus the very next day. Tudor will hope to bring the same level of chess that he brought on Saturday against Radzimski as well.

The ChessKid Youth Championships are Chess.com’s top events for the next generation of the chess elite. The two sections, for players under 13 and under 16, take place from June 29-July 7. All games are played with the 3+1 time control and the prize fund is $15,000.


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