Nunn, Sturua Grab Gold Medals At World Senior Chess Championships

Nunn, Sturua Grab Gold Medals At World Senior Chess Championships

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GM John Nunn won the gold medal in the 65+ section of the World Senior Chess Championships held in Assisi, Italy. Playing in the same group, GM Nona Gaprindashvili won the women’s senior title for the eighth time. GM Zurab Sturua won the 50+ section, where WGM Elvira Berend was the best female player.

The World Senior Chess Championships took place November 15-26, 2022, in Assisi, famous for being the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in the town in 1208.

Both the 50+ and the 65+ tournaments were 11-round Swiss events. In each group, all participants played together and medals were awarded to the highest-ranked players as well as to the best female players.

In the 65+ tournament, the gold medals went to famous names in the chess world: Nunn and Gaprindashvili.

 For 67-year-old Nunn, a three-time world problem-solving champion, it was the first world title in over-the-board chess after a bronze medal in the 50+ section in 2014, the year when FIDE introduced the 50+ category for the open section. Apart from being an excellent chess author and publisher, Nunn is also a former top-10 player and two-time winner of the prestigious Wijk aan Zee tournament.

In Assisi, Nunn showed flashes of his best chess from the eighties and nineties as he mixed tactical slugfests with positional dominance. His third-round win was in the style of the old masters:

John Nunn World Seniors 65
John Nunn, gold at the world seniors 65+. Photo: FIDE.

Nunn had one off-day, when he lost quickly to Danish GM Jens Kristiansen in round eight, but the English GM then finished with 2.5/3 and became the only player to reach nine points. Kristiansen himself lost an instructive endgame in the final round:

Georgia’s Gaprindashvili, who recently settled her lawsuit with Netflix,  who was the women’s world champion between 1962 and 1978. As the strongest and also one of the most active players of her generation, she had already won the world seniors women’s title seven times, and in Italy she added another, scoring 7/11. Not bad for an 81-year-old!

Here’s her win from round seven:

Nona Gaprindashvili
An eighth(!) world seniors title for Nona Gaprindashvili. Photo: David Llada/FIDE.

2022 World Seniors 65+ | Final Standings (Top 20)
























Rk. SNo Fed Title Name RtgI Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 1 GM Nunn, John D M 2580 9 0 79 85
2 7 GM Fernandez Garcia, Jose Luis 2358 8,5 0 73 78,5
3 9 GM Legky, Nikolay A 2350 8,5 0 72,5 77,5
4 8 GM Kristiansen, Jens 2353 8,5 0 72 77,5
5 12 IM Renman, Nils-Gustaf 2320 8,5 0 72 76,5
6 10 IM Hebert, Jean 2333 8 0 73 77,5
7 3 GM Knaak, Rainer 2457 8 0 72 77,5
8 5 GM Jansa, Vlastimil 2390 8 0 72 77
9 31 IM Pomes Marcet, Joan 2197 8 0 71,5 76
10 19 IM Maryasin, Boris 2258 7,5 0 73 78
11 6 IM Birnboim, Nathan 2361 7,5 0 73 77,5
12 11 IM Bogdanov, Valentin 2323 7,5 0 70,5 74,5
13 2 GM Vaisser, Anatoly 2463 7,5 0 70 75,5
14 28 IM Jurek, Josef 2211 7,5 0 70 75
15 4 IM Sideifzade, Fikret 2391 7,5 0 69 74
16 14 IM Roos, Louis 2293 7,5 0 67 71,5
17 23

Shnaider, David 2225 7,5 0 64,5 69,5
18 17 IM Lanc, Alois 2268 7,5 0 64 69,5
19 20 FM Buchal, Stephan 2247 7,5 0 60,5 65
20 16 GM Gaprindashvili, Nona 2268 7 0 71 75,5

63-year-old Sturua, also from Georgia, will be a force to reckon with two years from now, when he’s eligible for the 65+ section. He won the 50+ group as he edged out GM Maxim Novik from Bulgaria on tiebreaks; both had finished on 8.5/11. It was Sturua’s second title after his triumph in Katerini, Greece, back in 2014.

Here’s a win from the ninth round, where GM Ivan Morovic missed a tactic that would have held his position together:

Zurab Sturua
Zurab Sturua. Photo: Gerhard Bertagnolli/FIDE.

In this group, 57-year-old Berend (née Sakhatova), a Kazakhstan-born Luxembourg player, won the 50+ section among women for the fourth time in a row. She scored 7.5/11 and had a better tiebreak than WIM Sopio Tereladze from Georgia.

Here’s Berend’s win in the fifth round:

Elvira Berend chess
Elvira Berend. Photo: FIDE.

2022 World Seniors 50+ | Final Standings (Top 20)
























Rk. SNo Fed Title Name RtgI Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 1 GM Sturua, Zurab 2522 8,5 0 73 79,5
2 10 GM Novik, Maxim 2412 8,5 0 70,5 75,5
3 4 GM Morovic Fernandez, Ivan 2480 8 0 74,5 78,5
4 3 GM Nevednichy, Vladislav 2499 8 0 73 79
5 5 GM Bischoff, Klaus 2479 8 0 72 77
6 12 IM Bellia, Fabrizio 2398 8 0 69,5 74,5
7 7 GM Pavlovic, Milos 2447 7,5 0 74,5 80
8 6 GM Holzke, Frank 2476 7,5 0 72,5 78
9 13 GM Antonio, Rogelio Jr 2397 7,5 0 70 75,5
10 14 IM Vinter-Schou, Uffe 2375 7,5 0 68,5 73,5
11 17 GM Prie, Eric 2356 7,5 0 68,5 73,5
12 9 GM Antic, Dejan 2412 7,5 0 67 72,5
13 18 IM Paschall, William 2343 7,5 0 67 72,5
14 27 WGM Berend, Elvira 2280 7,5 0 67 71,5
15 34 IM Mantovani, Renzo 2246 7,5 0 66,5 72
16 2 GM Danielsen, Henrik 2514 7,5 0 66 71
17 52 WIM Tereladze, Sopio 2154 7,5 0 65,5 70
18 11 GM Arkell, Keith C 2408 7,5 0 64,5 69,5
19 31 IM Welling, Gerard 2255 7,5 0 62 66
20 8 GM Lima, Darcy 2415 7 0 75,5 81,5

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