Mizzou's Antipov, Badelka earn hardware in first FIDE World University Online Blitz Championships

The International Chess Federation, FIDE, held the first-ever World University Online Blitz Championship on March 14, the first of four World University championship events scheduled through March organized by the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and played on FIDE’s Tornelo platform.   

Given its digital access, the Blitz Championship was the biggest university chess event ever, producing nearly 1,000 participating students from 84 countries -- the large player pool arriving as a shock to Tornelo’s Swiss tournament system, which encountered several reports of disconnections and other result-impacting difficulties. As such, all games played on the event’s first scheduled day Saturday were annulled, and the tournament was restarted Sunday as a one-day 10-round Swiss event, amended from the originally scheduled two-day, 20-round Swiss. The time control was 3+2.  

The player pool was divided into four groups, and the top-two players from each group qualified for a seven-round robin final tournament, with the top-two women from each group qualifying for a final women’s tournament. Both championship finals were held on Thursday, March 18. 

GM Mikhail Antipov from the University of Missouri finished with bronze in third place by scoring 4.5/7 in the Open Championship. Also appearing in the Championship Final was GM Grigoriy Oparin from Mizzou, and GM Hovhannes Gabuzyan and IM Irakli Beradze from the UT-RGV.   


World University Online Blitz Championship Open Final Standings
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The final standings of the World University Online Blitz Championship Open. // chess-results.com

Mizzou scored more hardware in the Women’s Championship with IM Olga Badelka earning silver with 5/7. Claiming the women’s bronze was WIM Alicja Sliwicka from UT-RGV, who took third on tiebreaks with 4/7. Also appearing in the Women’s Championship Final was IM Iulija Osmak and WIM Julia Antolak, both from UT-RGV. 


World University Online Blitz Women's Championship Final Standings
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World University Online Blitz Women's Championship Final Standings // chess-results.com

Up next for FIDE’s World University series is the Individual Rapid Championship, a two-day 12-round Swiss with a time control of 10+5 set for this weekend March 20-21. The player pool has been sorted by rating and split into six groups of similar strength, and the top player from each group will qualify for the final round robin to be played next Thursday, March 25 at 5:00 p.m eastern.  


World University Online Rapid Championship Schedule
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World University Online Rapid Championship Schedule

Later this month, FIDE will host World University Team Cup events for both Blitz and Rapid on March 27 and March 28, played on Chess24.com. The four best teams according to the Individual Blitz and Rapid Championships will qualify for the Team Cups, with the competitions planned as knockout duels of two matches each, with each match played on four boards. The playing schedule for each duel is pending and will be based on the time zones of the qualifying teams. 

Click here for results and more information on FIDE’s World University Online Championships. This weekend's Rapid Championship games may be viewed on Tornelo.

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