The past few days have been prolific in sports victories for Kazakhstan’s sportsmen. The national hockey team and their junior counterparts showed strong performances against South Korea and Japan. The World Chess Championship in Astana is about to end, while Ian Nepomniachtchi and Ding Liren are having some of the most nerve-wrecking games in the match.
Read the QazMonitor’s full list of significant sports achievements and results below.
Nepomniachtchi keeps Ding in check with the Marshall Attack
Ian Nepomniachtchi remains in the lead after the eleventh game with Ding Liren for the champion title ended in a draw, maintaining the status quo established two games earlier between the world grandmasters.
On April 24 in Astana, the mind games between Nepomniachtchi and Ding entered the ‘quiet’ stage, as the grandmasters split a point following a draw after 39 moves, just after an hour and 40 minutes of play.
The Russian grandmaster employed a tested strategy against his opponent, using the Marshall Attack which proved successful against Ding at the 2020 Candidates. As the game progressed, Nepomniachtchi managed to gain a slightly more advantageous position on the board.
The score is 6:5 in favor of Ian Nepomniachtchi, with the twelfth game scheduled for April 26.
Team Kazakhstan reaches the top 3 at the FIDE World School Chess Championship
The Kazakh junior chess team participated in the FIDE 2023 World School Chess Championship held in Rhodes, Greece, from April 13-23, and entered the top three in the overall rankings.
The team earned nine medals across seven age groups – two gold, two silver, and five bronze. Overall, the following countries entered the top 3:
– Kazakhstan – 9 (2 gold, 2 silver, 5 bronze)
– Turkiye – 7 (3 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze)
– Mongolia – 6 (2 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze)
Team Kazakhstan looks strong in the exhibition matches with South Korea
As a part of their preparations for the 2023 Ice Hockey World Championship, the national hockey teams of Kazakhstan and South Korea clashed in two exhibition matches held in Astana on April 22-24. Team Kazakhstan won both games with a huge score advantage.
The first game took place on April 22. Roman Starchenko scored the opening goal in the early minutes of the game, followed by Tamirlan Gaitamirov, who doubled the lead during the second period. Three minutes later, Arkady Shestakov scored the third goal. Dmitry Grents and Kirill Polokhov ‘sealed’ the game, ending 5:0 in favor of Team Kazakhstan.
The second game on April 24 had a relatively quiet start. The Kazakh team opened the scoring in the second period when Alikhan Omirbekov scored off a pass from Batyrlan Muratov. Maxim Mukhametov soon doubled the lead. Although the opponents managed to score two goals, the match ended with a score of 8:2 in favor of Kazakhstan.
The junior team advances to the Top Division in the 2024 World U18 Championships
At the 2023 IIHF World U18 Championship Division I in Angers, France, team Kazakhstan defeated Japan with a score 3:0.
Artur Gross scored the opening goal at the end of the first period, followed by Kirill Lyapunov who doubled the lead. In the third period, Alexander Kim made it 3:0, and then Kirill Lyapunov extended the lead. Kazakhstan won 5:0 with Adil Beisembayev sealing the victory.
With two wins in Division I, the team is promoted to compete in the Top Division of the IIHF World U18 Championship next year.
Elena Rybakina rises to 6th place in the WTA rankings
In the updated Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) ranking, Elena Rybakina rose from 7th to 6th place following Tunisian tennis player Ons Jabeur’s decision to withdraw from defending her title at the WTA 1000 tournament in Madrid.
The world No. 4 Jabeur has been forced to forego defending her title at the Madrid Open due to health concerns and her ongoing recovery from last year’s surgery. The decision to withdraw comes at a significant cost to her ranking, as the Tunisian player will lose 1,000 points and see a notable drop in the world rankings.
The capital of Spain will host the upcoming Madrid Open on April 24–May 7. Elena Rybakina is one of the Kazakh tennis players who will be participating in the tournament.