International Chess Day gives amateur chess players a chance to beat grand masters

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Non-professional chess players came up against Grand Masters Yulia Osmak and Volodymyr Sergeev in Kyiv's Taras Shevchenko Park on International Chess Day on July 20. But even though twenty boards were in play simultaneously, the chess champions remained unbeaten.

The event site was divided into two parts. The first playing area was used for games between the two professionals and twelve laymen, while the second one was for quick games between non-professionals only.

Osmak, the winner of the World Youth Chess Championship Under-12 Girls section in 2012, and Sergeev, a Master of Sports and grand master since 2007, showed the players their class and then gave their autographs to fans.

“There were a couple of riddles in the openings today, but the endgames were quite predictable,” Osmak said. But she added that it was always interesting to play with talented players.

The venue for the event, Shevchenko Park, has for many years been the place to go for Kyiv citizens looking for a chess opponent. “People (mostly elderly ones) have been playing here many years. That’s why we even did not consider any other places,” said the president of Ukrainian Sports Committee Ilya Shevlyak, one of the event’s organizers.

This was the fourth annual contest for chess lovers since 2011 organized by the Ukrainian Chess Federation in cooperation with the Ukrainian Sports Committee.

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