World Cadets Chess Championships 2018: Santiago

Luke Scott, Venkatesan Kandasamy

The FIDE World Cadets Chess Championships takes place this year in the lovely city of Santiago in Spain, from the 3rd to the 16th of November 2018. Ireland has four players representing us. Players arrived on the Saturday the 3rd with the first round taking place on Sunday the 4th. Full standings can be found here.


03/11/18 Arrival
04/11/18 Round 1
05/11/18 Round 2
06/11/18 Round 3
07/11/18 Round 4
08/11/18 Round 5
09/11/18 Round 6
10/11/18 Free Day
11/11/18 Round 7
12/11/18 Round 8
13/11/18 Round 9
14/11/18 Round 10
15/11/18 Round 11
16/11/18 Departure

Day 1

This was a nice start to the tournament. The whole team (uhm... four players: Susan, Andrew, Kavin and Patryk) was on the same Aer Lingus flight. We were expecting some RTE crews with cameras waiting for us... But, nope, seemingly they did not find us... a bit disappointed there... Anyway, we all went prepared: football in the bag, t-shirts and shorts packed, sun creams at hand, winter jackets left behind in chilly Ireland. Oh boy, how wrong were we... We arrived at Spain to rain, darkness and cold. Only a warm welcome by the tournament organisers saved the day - gift bags were ready for us at the airport as well as luxury coaches (with blue LED interior lighting - the highlight of the whole trip according to the boys (eyes rolling) to take us to our hotels. Our hotel proved to be nicely situated: near both the city centre and the playing venue. All kinds of shops were at hand, which proved very useful considering our needs: hats, scarves, jackets and umbrellas. The hotel was surrounded by parks, football pitches and playgrounds which we pledged to explore weather permitting. The three boys were particularly excited when they found out that we were all placed on the same floor next to each other (hide-and-seek games commenced soon after). Only Susan remained composed and mature.

Day 2

The pairings for round 1 were announced at midday. We all started to get our chess-minds ready as we were to face tough opponents (Patryk - seed no 8, 2022 FIDE; Kavin - seed no 9, 1985 FIDE; Andrew - seed no 96, 1734 FIDE; Susan - seed 51, 1555 FIDE). A coach picked us up from the hotel and took us to the venue amid rain and wind. The playing hall was bright and warm and the kids felt quite comfortable (as opposed to the parents who faced an only option - a tent!). Fortunately, we soon discovered a nice, little cafe with an excellent coffee for €1.20), where we were to wait for our kids . Team's delegate, had the right to stay in the playing venue and he was able to intercept the players who have finished their games. It was not the best day for our young players as they all learnt a lesson and hoped the next day would bring some victories.

Day 3

It stopped raining! and we could see the Sun with our own eyes! We swiftly used this opportunity to visit the nearby parks and football pitches. Our moods changed and everything seemed more positive. We even started to enjoy the food on offer - big portions of local delicacies served with desserts! This time we were able to appreciate the playing venue - big complex of cultural buildings of peculiar architecture that looks like rolling hills. Anyway, we carefully explored these by running up and down the roofs (!) together with children and parents from all over the world alike (we have photos to prove that). Round 2 brought some smiles and disappointments and new hopes for a better tomorrow.

Day 4

Can you people in Ireland, please, stop singing "Rain, rain go to Spain..." We can assure you - it's already here and bound to stay for a while... What are we supposed to do now?! Practice openings? Learn tactics?? Study chess puzzles??? Ah well, we might as well do least we get to use the chessboard we brought with us. Not only is the weather tough, but our young players are facing yet another set of strong opponents today (from Monaco, USA, Spain, Philippines). Even the food got weirder - what's the story with rice and ketchup sauce, runny fried eggs and banana fritters (!) served on one plate??! Oh dear! - the round got suspended due to a storm! (I said it was raining...)... Off we go, to a play centre...

Created 2018-11-06 ◦ Last updated 2018-11-08 ◦ Editor LS

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