By Hughston Parle
I applied for the World Youth Under 16 Olympiad within 15 minutes of receiving a phone call from a friend about the event. I had missed the application cut-offs for many international events, such as the past 2 World Youth Championship events and the 2016 Olympiad. I was very excited about actually applying for such an event, as unfortunately, in Australia, international representative tournaments are not publicised to the extent that many players would like.
A few months later I saw on a Chesschat thread that I would be playing first board. I was extremely surprised by the fact that I was board 1, as according to the fide-rating list at the time, I was 4th for Under 16s in Australia. I soon moved on to my bewilderment to a state of worrying. I would be versing the best players of many other countries. Admittedly, I still have ridiculously high expectations for myself as I endeavour to improve on Australia’s past results in the Olympiad.
India will be a thought-provoking experience. There will be various cultural divides and a completely different procedure of political and social reform. However, I believe the greatest disparity between India and Australia will be the culture and appreciation given to chess. I look forward to discovering more differences in my travels.
I am very much ambitious for this tournament in hoping to bring back the best results I possibly can and hopefully some amusing games home too.
Editor: The World Youth Under 16 Olympiad team has a very Queensland feel to it this year, with not only Hughston taking part, but also Sophie and Bridgette Watkins playing in the team. Another Queenslander, IM Aleksander Wohl. The tournament results can be followed at http://chess-results.com/tnr319528.aspx?lan=1.