In the last days of December, our club and the whole Estonian chess community were presented with a wonderful New Year’s gift. Sofia Blokhin became European rapid chess champion among U-16 girls! European Youth Rapid and Blitz Championships were held in Novi Sad (Serbia) from 26 to 30 December and brought together chess players from 29 countries aged 8 to 18 years.
Sofia went through the whole tournament unbeaten, playing confidently and staying at the top board after the sixth round and until the end of the tournament. On her way to gold, Sofia has beaten two female FIDE masters, and the final result of 8 out of 9 allowed her to break away from the nearest pursuer by a whole point. Silver was won by female FIDE master Kseniya Zeliantsova (Belarus), bronze – by Katharina Katter from Austria. The tournament table can be viewed here.
The blitz tournament was not so triumphant, but the seventh place at the European level is a worthy result, again the best in the Estonian team, which was represented by eight players in Novi Sad. No one else managed to get into the top 10, but the experience of participating in such tournaments will certainly benefit everyone. Let us also mention Sophia’s brother, Georg Blokhin, who bravely fought in the category of under 12 boys and provided the most valuable moral support to his older sister.
Vector chess club congratulates Sofia with the title of European Champion! We are filled with pride and admiration and wish you new victories and achievements in the coming year!