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At this year’s World Youth Chess Championships, which are being held in Durban from 18-30 September, the Welsh delegation consists of just one player, Anna Boyle. Making her international debut, Boyle is based in Chepstow, and is playing in the under 8 girls section.
In round one, played on Saturday 20 September, she had a tough draw against a strong Romanian, Popa Roxana-Maria. Playing with the white pieces, Boyle played an Evans Gambit that worked well, giving her the opportunity for a dangerous attack on move 9. However, she faltered at that point, with her opponent going on to consolidate the extra material and then steadily increase the advantage.
The next two rounds were played on the following day, Sunday 21 September. First up, Boyle had the black pieces against Rashed Al Kharoo Alyazya from the UEA. Possibly through nerves, she made a reckless start, soon finding herself in big trouble. However, according to her coach Tim Kett, who is supporting her via e-mail and Skype, she hung in. Soon her fortunes turned with the lost material being returned with interest, and once ahead she made no mistake.
Following this win, Boyle played a very impressive game that gave her second point. ”This was the round when she really came of age at this level,” remarked Kett. “Against a very decent opponent from Algeria she got no particular opening advantage, but settled down for a long steady fight.” The battle lasted over two hours, with Boyle winning a close endgame that showcased her fighting spirit give, and equipped her with tremendous confidence that she can compete at this level.
Boyle’s winning streak continued on Monday, with a win over Naude Nia from South Africa.
Thanks to these three wins on the trot, Boyle climbed to board 5 on Tuesday for round 5. Unfortunately, she lost this game against Ezizova Bagul from Turkmenistan, and also the next game against Rodha Al Serkal from the United Arab Emirates.
A rest day followed, and then in round 7 Boyle lost to Zabrzanska Weronkia from Poland.
On Friday Boyle picked up her fourth point with a win against Sane Schoeman from South Africa. This was followed by losses against Mihelic Vesna from Slovenia on Saturday, Van Huyssteen Thaliya from South Africa on Sunday, and and Ismail Imaan from South Africa on Monday.
Results for the under 8 girls can be found at here.