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10-year-old Ukrainian defeats Russian champion at World Chess Championship

An Ukrainian chess prodigy Oleksii Nakonechnyi defeated a highly-touted young Russian champion Roman Shogdzhiev who competed under neutral flag.
Oleksii Nakonechnyi defeated a neutral Russian
A 10-year-old Oleksii Nakonechnyi defeated a neutral Russian at the World Championships (from the left) Credit: Oleksii’s father Ihor Nakonechnyi
10-year-old Ukrainian defeats Russian champion at World Chess Championship

A 10-year-old Ukrainian chess prodigy, Oleksii Nakonechnyi from Ukraine’s western city of Truskavets, delivered a victory at the World Rapid Chess Championship U10 in Albania, defeating Russian player, Lviv Chess Federation reported.

Oleksii defeated the highly-touted young Russian champion Roman Shogdzhiev from Russia’s Kalmykia, who competed under the neutral flag.

“In this tournament, we had to play against the enemy country [Russia – ed.], and there lives a boy who is predicted world championship and called the greatest talent of our time in chess among the young,” Igor Nakonechnyi said, according to Ukrainska Pravda.

Despite opposition advising against participating due to the Russian players, Nakonechnyi said: “I said that we have already given them too much, we had to go and take it back from them. If not for Oleksii, the boy from Russia would have been first, but this way he is second.”

Oleksii played 11 opponents, winning 7 games and drawing 4. His coach Andrii Zazuliak said: “Oleksii performed wonderfully at the World Rapid Championship. He was 7th in the starting rating list and took 1st place without losses. The opponents were serious, with different playing styles.”

The International Chess Federation (FIDE) prohibited the display of Russian and Belarusian flags, though it allowed players from those countries to compete under the neutral FIDE flag.

According to Ihor Nakonechnyi, the Russian grandmaster Roman Shogdzhiev, who participated under the FIDE flag, was considered the favorite to claim victory in the tournament.

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