15 junior chess players no match for master

Students happy for chance to learn from teen prodigy

By Andrea Sands, Edmonton Journal
July 13, 2009 6:43 AM

Taking on 15 adversaries at once might seem a daunting task, but a young chess grandmaster needed just seconds at each board Sunday to pick off his opponents’ pieces.

In truth, Anton Kovalyov’s challengers had little chance of beating the internationally recognized chess champion, but they were eager to try.

“I’m nervous, because all the people are higher rated than me,” said nine-year-old Allan Stanislus before the demonstration event Sunday at West Edmonton Mall.

Kovalyov, 17, conducted 15 games simultaneously against mainly elementary-school opponents, providing the same thrill a novice hockey star might experience facing off with Sidney Crosby.

It’s not often junior players get to meet a grandmaster, let alone play one, said Bruce Thomas, junior chess co-ordinator for the Alberta Chess Association.

“For the average chess player and even for a young competitive chess player, it’s a pretty big privilege.”

Here is the full story.

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