Founded in 1900, FC Bayern Munich now has over 200,000 members and doesn’t just focus on football. Other departments include basketball, handball, chess, ten-pin bowling, table tennis and football referees. Last Saturday, different FC Bayern teams organised various events to focus on stamping out racism in sport. The chess department ran its second “Rot gegen Rassismus” (reds against racism) online chess international, involving teams from all around the world, including South Africa, Argentina, Sweden, Singapore, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany and England. Around 300 players took part!
A full report in English (or German) can be found on the FC Bayern Munich website:
To kick things off, each team shared some inspiring videos about how chess has the ability to unite people from all different walks of life. East Anglian Junior Chess’s video focused on a “Chess Stronger Together” theme, showing chess being played all around the globe and bringing people together: chess families and friends, chess prodigies, female and male players, chess players of all ages, chess teams, chess super stars, chess for the blind, and chess exhibitions. Many thanks go to ChessPlayer24_7, HarryOscar and ADannatt26, for helping to create the video!
For the main team event, Suffolk joined forces with Essex Juniors and Cambridgeshire Knights so they could field a stronger ‘East Anglian Chess’ team. Despite the glorious sunny weather outside, 27 players, including 12 SJC members, stayed indoors for a couple of hours to participate and help East Anglian Junior Chess finish second in the overall team standings. Suffolk’s AbleLopsidedGiraffe, Rafandros and LuckyStar were the top three scoring Suffolk players for East Anglian Junior Chess. Well done to EdenHazard8 from Essex Juniors as well for their unbeaten performance and accumulating 28 points for East Anglian Junior Chess. Also, Cambridgeshire Knights’ InkyMessyBath performed very well with an Elo performance over 2000. A nice checkmate was executed by HarryOscar in their first round against a strong junior from Singapore, just in time, because Black was also threatening mate on h1 with their rook.
Once the team event was over, an individual event took place involving three Grandmasters from Bayern Munich and two FIDE Masters from Werder Bremen. Many of the children who took part got the rare opportunity to play against the German chess masters, who were also commentating on their games over a Zoom call. Suffolk’s RowanKent and Rafandros were paired against Arik Braun GM. Also, another highlight was ADannatt26 holding a draw in a knight endgame against a very strong junior representing Argentina, rated over 2300 on lichess.
Overall, the event was a huge success and both Suffolk Junior Chess and East Anglian Junior Chess are very grateful for the opportunity to play in such a special tournament.