FC Bayern Schach Kids & Friends

Almost 300 kids from 4 continents participate in "Reds against Racism" online event

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Children from Argentina, South Africa, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden and Germany came together in an international online chess event for children organised by the FC Bayern Munich. Following the first "Reds against Racism" event one year ago, the participating schools, clubs and chess organisations once again used the opportunity to raise awareness of this important topic. The event was also a contribution to the clubs initiatives supporting the "International Weeks against Racism", which are currently under way in Munich. Over a period of two weeks the city of Munich organises a series of events dedicated to the fight against racism.

Obviously, an international event for children from various countries and with a variety of cultural backgrounds is a perfect opportunity to join this initiative. As part of a one-hour pre-tournament programme, contributions from all participating teams were shown in a video conference. Naturally, the current political situation and the hope for peace were paid attention to in some video messages and presentations.

As usual, the main sporting event was the team battle, in which almost 300 children participated this time. The race for the tournament win was close for a long time, before eventually a team from South America emerged on top! With a score of 279 points the children from the Programa Municipal de Ajedrez Rosario (Argentina) took the win, with the East Anglian Junior Chess team finishing in second place. The juniors from the United Kindom scored 227 points, just 15 points clear of the team from SV Werder Bremen, which also made it into the top 3 this time!

However, all teams did very well, and of course this event is not primarily about winning and losing a competion. Having fun and using the opportunity  for an exchange across cultural and political boarders is the main purpose. And this makes all participants winners!

Following the team battle another highlight was offered to the children who wanted to continue playing for another 60 minutes. In an individual tournament the kids had the chance to play with some top players who not only played in the tournament, but also commented live on their games while playing. Certainly an opprtunity that dos not present itself too frequently! With Hannes Ewert and Collin Colbow two FIDE Masters were invited by SV Werder Bremen. Both play in their Bundesliga team. In addition to that three Grandmasters were participaring as well. Two of them, Miguel Santos Ruiz and Michael Bezold play for the FC Bayern Munich, while Arik Braun, who is one of the most respected German Grandmasters plays for the SC Viernheim in the German Bundesliga. Last but not least, Edin Pezerovic, an Internationam Master and chess teacher at FC Bayern joined as well.

Of course, the tournament was won by one of the invited top players, but again, this was not important here. Organising a fun tournament for the 122 participating kids was the main purpose, and this objective was certainly achieved.

No question that the "Reds agains Racism" tournament will again be on the agenda next year. However, the children would not need to wait a whole year for the next event, as the "UN World Children's Day" event will be coming up in November. And who knows what else will be happening in the meantime. The contacts between the participating teams are established. And they can be used! (Wengler)

Links to the tournament pages on lichess.org:

List of participants from March 19th, 2022 including links to their websites: