Participants and regulations
Croatian junior chess league 2018 took place between 2nd and 8th of April 2018.
The Tournament was held in tourist settlement "Margarita Maris” in the small city of Sv. Filip and Jakov which has 4606 inhabitants (according to the last population census from 2011).
The tournament was a single round-robin, with the tempo of play being 90 minutes + 30 seconds per move. It has to be mentioned that 11 rounds were played across only 6 days. 2 rounds per day negatively affect level of play.
12 teams got right to participate in this event.
- ŠK „Sloboda“, Mihovljan
- ŠK „Liburnija“, Rijeka
- ŠK „Junior“, Rijeka
- HAŠK „Mladost“, Zagreb
- ŠK „Mornar“, Split
- ŠK „Zagreb“, Zagreb
- ŠK „Vladimir Gortan“, Poreč
- ŠK „Zaprešić“, Zaprešić
- ŠK „Đuro Đaković“, Slavonski Brod
- ŠK „Stridon“, Štrigova
- ŠK „Kastav“, Kastav
- ŠK „Casper“, Zadar
This was one of the most intense junior chess leagues I can remember. All strong juniors from Croatia (except Leon Livaic) participated in this event.
After 11 rounds of furious battle ŠK „Liburnija“, Rijeka is the new champion.
It’s import to set aside that both “Liburnija” and “Sloboda” on their first boards have Strong IM’s- Jadranko Plenca (2497) and Sven Tica (2442).
Let's go through best and most important games of the tournament.
1st round shocker
Croatian Junior League is a tricky competition, where relative strengths of the players are lower than in regular tournaments.
Every year, there are surprising results, but this year, the biggest upset in the history of this competition happened in round one.
After the game, everyone in playing hall was stunned, 1700 player beat 2500 player. Underestimation was a big factor here, also Jurakic's strength is closer to 2000. He has shown his talent in this tournament (+111) and we hope he'll continue his chess progress.
As it turned out, the two pre-tournament favorites clashed in round three in what proved to be the decisive encounter of the tournament.
A quick draw between 2 strongest players in the tournament.
In the end, everything was decided by the fourth board encounter.
My personal favorite
Some results have to be mentioned:
Sven Tica 10,5/11
Duda Daniel 10/11
Muha Miljenko 9/11
Šafar Sandro 9/11
Dabić Stjepan 8/11 (without a single game lost)
Croatian chess already has young players who are likely to become GM's in next few years (Plenca, Livaic, Tica). The problem is that Croatian chess is not structured, it's all on individuals and there is no system that develops young talented players into GM's. This is starting to show more and more. After generation oo' ( Livaic ) there is a huge gap to Stjepan Dabic 04' and after him, there is no one. Cadet league today, honestly looks like a joke compared to a few years ago. I hope that in years to come this will change.