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1,773 players from 121 countries competed at the World Youth Chess Championships in the United Arab Emirates. The medal tally was led by India with 8 gold, 6 silver, and 7 bronze. China took home 4 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze. One standout player was Ramesh Babu Praggnanandhaa of India, who not only won both the under-8 standard and under-8 blitz categories, he also won all 18 of his games, finishing the tournament with the only 100 percent record!

At the Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship in Lubbock, Texas, teams from Webster University claimed 1st, 4th, and 6th place. Second place went to the University of Maryland at Baltimore County. The University of Illinois team came in 3rd, despite being seeded 13th and having no organized Chess program, no scholarships, and no coach. In 5th place but still qualifying for the upcoming President’s Cup (because Webster may only send one team) was Texas Tech.

Breaking ahead of a three-way tie, Ronald Dableo won the open division of the Philippine National Blitz Chess Championship. Cherry Ann Mejia won the women’s division and Darry Bernardo the under-14.

In the open division of the All India Open Dr Mohan Mawalge Memorial Blitz FIDE Rating Chess Championship the trophy went to Rakesh Kulkarni. But while 230 rated players participated, the winner of the under-12 division, Anand Nadar, also came in 5th in the open.

Magic: The Gathering

Ryo Nakada triumphed at Grand Prix Shizuoka with a White Weenie deck.

Rubik’s Cube

At the Warsaw Open, European records were set at an average 36.21 seconds for 3×3 with feet by Jakub Kiba and at an average 8.68 seconds for Skewb by Patryk Szewczyk. Tomasz Zolnowski was the winner in the standard 3×3 category with an average of 9.76 seconds.

The Korean Winter event saw victory by SeungWook Eun in the standard 3×3 category with an average of 9.87 seconds. A national record average of 34.06 seconds was achieved by Jong-Ho Jeong in the 4×4 cube. Another national record of 1 minute 17.46 seconds was set by Lee Jin-Hyung in 3×3 blindfolded.

No offense intended to the Korean record holder but Adrian Lehmann’s performance at Berlin Cube Day was even more impressive. There he set a national record of 34.11 seconds for 3×3 blindfolded.

By the way, the world record for 3×3 blindfolded Rubik’s Cube was set by Marcin Zalewski, who did it in 23.80 seconds at the Polish Nationals last June.