Gold for Wesley So at Universiade, the Olympic Games for Students

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  • on 17.07.13, 10:36.

Wesley So clinched the gold medal at the 27th Universiade, also known as the World University Games or Olympics for students. The 19-year-old grandmaster from the Philippines, who studies at Webster University as part of Susan Polgar's Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE), beat GM Zaven Andriasian of Armenia in a playoff. The event is still under way in Kazan, Russia but the chess part is over.

You might have never heard of it, but it's quite a big and prestigious event held every two years: the Universiade. It is, according to Wikipedia,

an international multi-sport event, organized for university athletes by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The name is a combination of the words "University" and "Olympiad". The Universiade is often referred to in English as the World University Games or World Student Games; however, this latter term can also refer to competitions for sub-University grades students, as well.

Universiades have been organized since 1923 and like the Olympic Games, there is both a Summer Universiade and a Winter Universiade.

The 27th edition of the Summer Universiade is taking place July 6th-17th in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan. (In the same city the Candidates Matches were held in 2011, won by Boris Gelfand.) There are 27 disciplines: athletics, basketball, fencing, football, artistic gymnastics, judo, swimming, diving, water polo, table tennis, tennis volleyball, boxing, shooting, synchronous swimming, rowing, canoe sprint, sambo, wrestling, belt wrestling, weightlifting, rugby 7, field hockey, badminton, beach volleyball and... chess! The royal game debuted at the previous Summer Universiade, in 2011 in Shenzhen, China.

The chess was played at the Kazan Equestrian Complex, one of the largest equestrian complexes in Europe

At the time of writing the event is coming to its end, and the athletes have finished their competitions for most of the sports, including chess. It was a 9-round Swiss tournament for both men and women, who played in separate groups, from July 9th-15th. Each country could send a maximum of eight competitors to Kazan, and all of them had to be studying at a university, of course. There was also an age limit: the athletes needed to be between 17 and 28 years old.

The men's group ended in a nine-way tie for first place between Wesley So (Philippines), Zaven Andriasian (Armenia), Li Chao (China), Ma Qun (China), Maxim Matlakov (Russia), Zhou Jiangchao (China), Evgeny Alekseev (Russia), Jacek Tomczak (Poland) and Sanan Sjugirov (Russia). The tiebreaks (Buchholz and Sonneborn-Berger) put So, Andriasian and Li Chao on top.

Universiade 2013 | Final standings (top 30)

Rk. Title Name Fed Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 Rp
1-2 GM So Wesley PHI 2708 6,5 0 47,5 43 2714
1-2 GM Andriasian Zaven ARM 2620 6,5 0 47,5 43 2704
3 GM Li Chao B CHN 2686 6,5 0 47,5 42,5 2739
4 GM Ma Qun CHN 2584 6,5 0 47 42 2719
5 GM Matlakov Maxim RUS 2665 6,5 0 46 41 2697
6 GM Zhou Jianchao CHN 2572 6,5 0 45 41,5 2699
7 GM Alekseev Evgeny RUS 2714 6,5 0 44 39,5 2688
8 GM Tomczak Jacek POL 2564 6,5 0 41,5 38 2646
9 GM Sjugirov Sanan RUS 2647 6,5 0 39,5 35 2595
10 GM Hovhannisyan Robert ARM 2620 6 0 45,5 40,5 2640
11 GM Amin Bassem EGY 2650 6 0 43,5 39 2632
12 IM Georgescu Tiberiu-Marian ROU 2396 6 0 43 39 2597
13 GM Durarbayli Vasif AZE 2549 6 0 42,5 38 2589
14 GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS 2727 6 0 40,5 36,5 2608
15 GM Yu Yangyi CHN 2657 6 0 40 35,5 2583
16 GM Onischuk Vladimir UKR 2576 5,5 0 47 42,5 2604
17 GM Perez Ponsa Federico ARG 2488 5,5 0 46,5 42 2414
18 GM Moranda Wojciech POL 2570 5,5 0 44,5 40,5 2581
19 GM Margvelashvili Giorgi GEO 2548 5,5 0 44,5 40 2565
20 IM Nigalidze Gaioz GEO 2497 5,5 0 43,5 40 2577
21 GM Bulski Krzysztof POL 2534 5,5 0 42 38,5 2486
22 GM Baryshpolets Andrey UKR 2544 5,5 0 41,5 38 2396
23 IM Ibarra Chami Luis Fernando MEX 2482 5,5 0 41 37 2349
24 GM Kravtsiv Martyn UKR 2620 5,5 0 40,5 36 2456
25 IM Mammadov Zaur AZE 2437 5,5 0 40 36,5 2505
26 GM Abasov Nijat AZE 2498 5,5 0 37,5 33,5 2424
27 IM Atabayev Maksat TKM 2460 5 0 47 42,5 2547
28 IM Rzayev Bahruz AZE 2429 5 0 42,5 38,5 2460
29 IM Petenyi Tamas SVK 2480 5 0 42 38 2458
30 IM Tazbir Marcin POL 2561 5 0 42 37,5 2344

However, because So and Andriasian had exactly the same values for all tiebreaks that were applied, the question was: who would get gold and who silver? The arbiters decided on a playoff consisting of just one Armageddon game. Andriasian won the toss and chose the white pieces, and So got Black with less time on the clock and draw odds. This very tense game ended in favour of the Webster freshman:

In the women's section all three medals went to China. The only grandmaster in the field, Zhao Xue, clinched the gold medal after finishing clear first with 7.5/9. Ju Wenjun won silver and Tan Zhongyi bronze; these two players finished on 7/9.

Universiade 2013 Women | Final standings (top 30)

Rk. Title Name Fed Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 Rp
1 GM Zhao Xue CHN 2553 7,5 0 48 43,5 2647
2 WGM Ju Wenjun CHN 2531 7 0 47 42,5 2579
3 WGM Tan Zhongyi CHN 2478 7 0 46,5 41,5 2534
4 IM Savina Anastasia RUS 2368 6,5 0 50 44,5 2477
5 IM Bodnaruk Anastasia RUS 2440 6,5 0 49,5 44,5 2523
6 WGM Batchimeg Tuvshintugs MGL 2351 6,5 0 48 43,5 2482
7 WGM Kashlinskaya Alina RUS 2334 6,5 0 45,5 40,5 2464
8 IM Shen Yang CHN 2405 6 0 47 42 2409
9 IM Guramishvili Sopiko GEO 2421 6 0 45 40,5 2436
10 WGM Arabidze Meri GEO 2320 6 0 44 39,5 2377
11 WIM Kulon Klaudia POL 2258 6 0 42,5 38 2309
12 WIM Umudova Nargiz AZE 2253 6 0 39,5 35,5 2141
13 WGM Rogule Laura LAT 2329 5,5 0 48 43 2360
14 WGM Bulmaga Irina ROU 2403 5,5 0 47 42,5 2414
15 WGM Stojanovic Andjelija SRB 2302 5,5 0 44 40 2291
16 WGM Mammadyarova Turkan AZE 2267 5,5 0 42,5 38,5 2314
17 WIM Davletbayeva Madina KAZ 2260 5,5 0 42 37,5 2245
18 WIM Kazimova Narmin AZE 2208 5,5 0 41 38 2198
19 WIM Vo Thi Kim Phung VIE 2199 5,5 0 41 36,5 2213
20 WIM Chirivi C Jenny Astrid COL 2205 5,5 0 39,5 36 2108
21 WIM Mader Manuela GER 2212 5,5 0 39,5 35,5 2130
22 WIM Garcia Morales Ivette Ale MEX 2072 5,5 0 38,5 35,5 2167
23 WGM Soloviova Lisa UKR 2296 5,5 0 38 34,5 2178
24 WGM Girya Olga RUS 2437 5 0 47 42,5 2351
25 IM Munguntuul Batkhuyag MGL 2452 5 0 46 41 2320
26 WGM Kalinina Olga UKR 2292 5 0 41,5 37 2273
27 WGM Kulovana Eva CZE 2272 5 0 41 37 2173
28 WFM Hallaeva Bahar TKM 2150 5 0 40,5 36,5 2135
29 WGM Przezdziecka Marta POL 2297 5 0 38 34,5 2166
30 WIM Dudas Eszter HUN 2266 5 0 37 33,5 1988

The medal winners in the men's section: Zaven Andriasian, Wesley So and Li Chao
The medal winners in the women's section: Ju Wenjun, Zhao Xue and Tan Zhongyi

All photos courtesy of the Universiade

14369 Aufrufe 71 Kommentare
2 Stimmen


  • vor 3 Jahre


    Put this issue to rest, buddies. You won't agree with each other anyway. Useless discussion.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    @marcokim: thanks for being open minded to exploring the problem. The philipino's people cannot even understand the tragedy that is going to kill chess as sport.

    I see many tournaments in which 5-10 GMs have all the same score! And this happens because now there are more than 1400 GMs in the world, and 9 rounds are not enough to designate a winner.

    But I'd like to have a philipino telling me if they would watch a soccer championship where the winners are the first 10 teams, and in order to know who the winner is we need to use math. Then why do we need to spend 90 minutes watching tv, and seeing players running?

    Evidently we need a different way to organize tournaments if we want chess to survive and have meaning as sport.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    I'm a filipino, I'm a chess fan. I've never been to any chess tournament apart form school tournaments.  A lot of commments here are very informed. But im coming from a pure chess fan's point of view.

    I've admired the old soviet champions and the history of the game.When the best players battled the best. These systems clearly need a fine tweaking.

    All the players on the said tournament that scored 6.5 at the end of the final round end deserved to have an even chance to determine who among them will win the gold , " in a perfect world" .

    Up until rules and sysrems are changed, for the better ;we have to follow the system that is in place at that time. And that goes for other sports too.

    All the players in the tourney deserve all our admiration. These young men fought for the pride of their countries and i salute all of them. On the part of my young country man, all arguments aside, i am proud of him and will always be of our filipino athletes in all sports and endeavours.

    He too had been in other tourneys where he tied for first but lost on tie breaks. I've heard people say " it is what it is " , which isn't an excuse ; but a reality. We choose to enter and are are on the mercy of those who enforce the rules . He is a participant too, like everyone else. He did what he was told, played through the tie break and was able to win the deciding game " according to the organizers " .  He followed the rules and played fair.

    Most other sports and events have brackets and seedings . Simple enough, efficient and worked. But people and organiztions decided simplicity is not the way to go.  Hope these problems are fixed. Hope peole here in this site realize not to blame the players , not look inside the box but look from outside. 

    I am looking from the outside, looking in and this is just one chess tourney. Hope we all learn from all the comments here and realize the system has flaws, disapprove of it, not to disapprove of any player in any tourney and appreciate all these chess players instead.

    Our young country man has conducted himself admirably in all tournaments he participated in. Respectful and humble, and just sticks to playing chess and improving upon his skills yet. Keep improving some more wesley, hope you reac hall your goals, in chess and in life. 

  • vor 3 Jahre


    Maxpete..... you deserve to be an official of FIDE for all the knowledge you have.Why don't you run for FIDE President so you can change the rules.?

  • vor 3 Jahre


    Large Swiss tournaments are good for the sport at large but are poor judges of chess performance.

    Mantov makes lots of sense here. I suggest a seeded tournament: class A,B,C... with reasonable rounds to eliminate luck.

    Then to make the chess community happy a random un-rated tournament where the GMs can play sub-2000 players for some prize money or whatever. But these tie breaks are a joke, first they are too complicated second they are ineffective against luck of the draw in large swiss type tournaments. This can be demonstrated statistically there is no point of arguing about this.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    Coin toss to determine the rightfull winner? No more tiebreaks? Then let's also remove the time clocks, because I also see better players lose games due to time difficulties. Let's also get rid of number of games played, make them play 15, 16, 17, 18 games until one player goes ahead by half a point at least.  It is also ridiculous to say or even think that Wesley So won without skill but just on paper in this tournament, geez, Wesley is a member of the 2700 club, which is about 50 best players in the world, he is a Super Grandmaster for crying out loud, there are hundreds if not thousands who are busting their brains to reach even the Fide Master Level and Wesley is in the 2700 club, should I say more?

  • vor 3 Jahre


    @maxpete and gusmano2012: Chess players never become world champions by simple luck or by allowing them to win by organizers. And they never played and conquered all ches players to become champions.

    There were system of rules of the game that were created and applied. The Greatest American Chess Champion, Bobby Fischer won and lost the chess championship because of these rules!

  • vor 3 Jahre


    @maxpete: I appreciate your reply to my comments. And many thanks for your detailed explanation and depth knowledge in Chess rules of breaking ties. But I wonder and can not understand why you can not accept Wesley So"s win when in fact, the same tournament rules were applied in that tournament.

    By the way as I said before, you are an insult to the system of rules of the Universiade (and the FIDE). As a tournament player, you can always win tournaments by making your own rules, right?

  • vor 3 Jahre


    @maxpete your are as confused as a dingbat in your pretensions to an intellectual discussion and spare us from further agony going through your incoherent babbles here.Laughing

  • vor 3 Jahre


    And reviewing other people comments (not the philipinos who are evidently biased, and cannot even understand the problem) I do agree that they should begin to ask to limit the number of participants, or raise the number of rounds, because it is clear from the experiences people shared here, that 9 rounds are not enough to declare a winner when there are more than 100 players.

    I also believe that in the past, in USSR championships, or other famous tournaments, the number of rounds was higher, and that showed the real winner, instead than one made up on paper by math.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    So let's clear up the system of the tie-breaks for those who don't know it, and think is based on the skill of the winner, when clearly it is not, since it is based on "rating" of the opponents.


    Explanations of Tie-Break Systems


    Average Rating of Opponents


    The Average Rating of Opponents (ARO) is the sum of the ratings of the opponents of a player, divided by the number of games played.


    The Average Rating of Opponents Cut (AROC) is the Average Rating of Opponents, excluding one or more of the ratings of the opponents, starting from the lowest-rated opponent.


    Buchholz System


    The Buchholz System is the sum of the scores of each of the opponents of a player.


    The Median Buchholz is the Buchholz reduced by the highest and the lowest scores of the opponents.


    The Median Buchholz 2 is the Buchholz score reduced by the two highest and the two lowest scores of the opponents.


    The Buchholz Cut 1 is the Buchholz score reduced by the lowest score of the opponents.


    The Buchholz Cut 2 is the Buchholz score reduced by the two lowest scores of the opponents.




    Direct Encounter


    If all the tied players have met each other, the sum of points from these encounters is used. The player with the highest score is ranked number 1 and so on. If some but not all have played each other, the player with a score that could not be equalled by any other player (if all such games had been played) is ranked number 1 and so on.




    Koya System for Round-Robin Tournaments


    This is the number of points achieved against all opponents who have achieved 50 % or more.


    The Koya System Extended


    The Koya system may be extended, step by step, to include score groups with less than 50 %, or reduced, step by step, to exclude players who scored 50 % and then higher scores.

    And here we can go on and on, but Wesley So didn't win the tournament based on his skills, but based on ridicolous averages and math. So what is the difference with throwing a coin??? Because clearly he wasn't better than the other 8 GMs who made the same 6.5 out of 9.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    This is a nice comeback for GM So. He and Eljanov disgraced competitive chess with their final round game, a 3-move draw in Iceland. From shame to fame...

  • vor 3 Jahre


    Tournaments sanctioned by Fide (Fide rules apply), in Vegas International, several players tied for first, Wesley declared champion after tiebreaks. A couple of months ago in Iceland, several players also tied for first, Pavel Eljanov declared champion after tiebreaks, Wesley runner-up.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    I play chess a little bit but certainly not an expert but I read Susan Polgar's post on Chessdom of the Rules and Regulations of the Universiade, it said, the tournament will be played under Fide rules, meaning in case of ties, tiebreaks will be applied, Susan Polgar was surprised that the Comittee even asked Wesley to play the Armagedon, he is already the clear winner after the 3rd tiebreak, Wesley did play the Armagedon and won convincingly, Wesley So won the tournament fair and square, remember Fide Rules applied.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    After the first tiebreak GM So, Zaven and Li Chao have identical points, the second tiebreak, GM Li Chao was out, the third tiebreak GM So and Zaven were still tied thus the Armageddon match and GM So won with the black pieces as shown in the game above. Notice that the game was in Round 9-b.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    tarantado ka ferdinandplebie????? kabaro mo pinagkalolo mo wala kang pinagiba ki judas??????

  • vor 3 Jahre


    After TB3 (TieBreak # 3) GM So and GM Zaven have an identical 43 pts against 7 others including GM Evgeny w/ 39.5 and GM Sanan w/ 35 the lowest among them. Hence, organizers declared to have a playoff between GM So and GM Zaven ( but who is going to play white ?). It was resolved by means of toss coin where GM Zaven won and select to play white. But GM So won the game brilliantly sac by 29...Bh2. After 51 GM Zaven resigned (mate in 2). Hope this will end the issue.

  • vor 3 Jahre


    @gusmano. yeah you are right if the organizers of this huge biennial world event is a simpleton like you.Laughing

  • vor 3 Jahre


    Good job Wesley !

  • vor 3 Jahre


    They let Wesley So win, because it is a consolation for the philipine's people. The other 8 GMs who scored 6.5 like So, have the right to be the winner too, but often these kind of events go more into geo-politics than chess skills.

    It would have been more fair to let the 9 GMs who scored 6.5, play 2 blitz games each, and then see who would be the real winner. But nobody wants to find out, they are scared of playing chess, and instead prefer to make up a winner.

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