European Youth Chess Championship 2018 which takes place from 19th-30th August is officially declared opened yesterday evening, during an impressive Opening Ceremony.


The Opening Ceremony was attended by many distinguished people: Minister of Finance of Latvia, Mrs. Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Deputy Mayor of the Riga City Council, Mr. Andris Ameriks, Minister of Education and Science, Mr. Kārlis Šadurskis, while the European Chess Union was represented by GM Adrian Mikhalchishin.


The Deputy Mayor of the Riga Council, Mr. Andris Ameriks greeted the participants and took the opening speech: “Glad to speak on behalf of the Riga City Council. We are proud of the city, which is currently celebrating its 817th birthday and the events that take place in Riga. This chess championship is one of the biggest and most important events in the framework of the Riga City Festival, with more and more wise people going to this city, moreover, the chess is one of the games that require high-mindedness. I wish all participants luck and success in the future”.


After him, the ECU representative, Mr. Adrian Mikhalchishin said:  “This is one of the biggest chess competitions in Europe. The playing conditions in Riga are great and the organizers have done a good job so that the participants feel at home. There have been a number of excellent players in Latvia and everyone has the opportunity to reach a high level. Latvia is unique in that the Minister of Finance Dana Reizniece-Ozola is chess mastermaker We have also produced special awards in which the best of these tournament players will be able to go free to camps where the best chess coaches from around the world are trained. “


“In the world of sports in the classical sense, we see the physical characteristics of people,” said Minister of Education and Science Kārlis Šadurskis, “People are trying to be stronger and faster, but sport also means harmony and balance. Chess is a sport requiring mental capabilities, and it is based on Strategic thinking In other countries, the chess is one of the subjects and the results show that the quality of education improves. The development of chess in Latvia allows us to be a wiser country and this tournament will allow young students to prove that they are smart people. I wish the Chess players not only their brains, but also physical perseverance, as well as enjoying Latvia. “


“During the tournament, players must understand that this is the place to get real emotions – pleasure for victories and sorrow for losses,” said Reizniece-Ozola. “Enjoy nice memories during the tournament, as well as Riga, because not only the chess, but also the surrounding events will work on your mind here. There have been various chess tournaments in Riga, but this is my favorite, because here I see the future of chess and the new stars. I wish the players play honestly, but at the same time do not forget the jigsaw puzzles to defeat opponents. “


The organizer of the event, Egons Lavendelis, expressed his satisfaction that the tournament will be held in Riga. “The organizers will do everything to keep the tournament up to the best. I would like to thank all those who are involved in organizing this event.” Lavendelis gave a thanks giving prize to WGM and Minister of Finance of Latvia, Mrs. Dana Rizniece-Ozola.


Also on Sunday, during the promotion and introduction of the European Youth Chess Championship, Dana Reizniece-Ozola played a simultaneous session in the Vērmanes Garden.


The Championship gathered almost 1100 players coming from 46 European federations, and will be played in 6 age categories  (12 open and girls groups): U8, U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18. Among 1100 young and talented players who will fight for the title of European Champion, there are 1 Grandmaster, 10 International masters, 79 FIDE masters, 6 Women International masters, 42 Women FIDE masters and in total 198 titled players!

The first round of the event starts today, and the organizers have provided the live transmission of top boards of each category. Live broadcast can be followed through the official website of the Championship.

Official Website of Championship