Double Draughts success in Vilnius

press release

The European Youth Championship Draughts were successful in several ways. Ten days of hosting 400 people, both players and coaches and organizing a numerous tournaments is a huge task, but the Lithuanian Draughts Federation made it happen. Gaining eight medals, including one gold, is another big success for the Lithuanian federation.

With competitors coming from 16 countries, the Lithuanian federation kept an close eye on their own talents. Most of them are being trained by International Grandmaster Edvard Buzinskij and it paid off! Lithuania never before won such an amount of medals at an international draughts championship.

Regular competition: 1 silver, 2 bronze
It all started with the silver for young Aiste Pukstaite in the youngest group (girls under 10 years). Both Leonardas Gudynas (boys under 10 years) and Rita Packauskaite (girls 13-16 years) won a bronze medal.

Rapid competition: 1 gold, 2 bronze
The game with a higher play rate was even more successful with Valentin Golubaev, trained by Grigorij Leibovitch, winning the gold in the cadets category (boys 13-16 years). Zanas Ernestas Aleksandravicius won the bronze in the same category! A unique achievement of these Vilnius based draughts players. 
And it did not stop at this. Young Matas Stankevicius won a bronze medal at the youngest group (boys under 10 years).

Blitz competition: 1 silver, 1 bronze
More medales were won on the last day’s blitz competition. These ultra quick games resulted in two medals of different colors. Valentin Golubaev (boys 13-16 years) won a silver one and Leonardas Gudynas got his second bronze medal.

The organizers were proud to welcome Dutch ambassador, Bert van der Lingen, as a guest at the closing ceremony of the regular competition. He was adjoined by Tadas Jansonas, Vilnius Municipality Sports Division specialist, and Sport Schools director’s deputy Valdemaras Liachovicius. The medal ceremony of both the Rapid and Blitz competition was graced by the presence of mister Grzegorz M. Poznański, Minister-Counsellor of the Polish Embassy in Vilnius.

While the draughts competition was active all ten days, the organizing committee had some unexpected tasks to take care off. The unusual hot weather asked for last minutes actions, like getting ventilators and water, a lot of water! Over 400 guests, mostly foreign, were provided with accommodation and three meals a day. Never before had the Lithuanian draughts community to deal with such a high responsibility. After 10 intensive days the committee can look back on a successful event, both on an organizing and sporty basis.

  • Draughts is a sport many enjoy, both adults and children. There are mainly two varieties being played in Lithuania. One variety is played on a 64 checkered board where each player has 12 pieces to move. The international game is being played on a bigger board, 100 squares, with 20 pieces for each player. It was this last game that had all attention on August 1-9 at the Vilnius University.

  • Many thanks goes to Vilnius University for having their faculties open for hundreds of draughts players. The Municipality of Vilnius, Lithuanian Olympic Committee and the National Sports Department were also among the sponsors helping with their support.

  • The heart of the organizing committee was Romualda Sidlauskiene, also vice-president of the Lithuanian Draughts Federation. She got assisted by Ingrida Drukteinyte and Ruta Gudyniene. The championship website,, voluntarily designed and maintained by a Dutch communication specialist, attracted around 1200 visitors on a daily basis. It provided many joy to the ones who were not able to visit the venue in person.

    Many young volunteers helped the organizing committee with translating end transfers to and from airport and train station. Transforming the faculties to a real draughts playing venue could also not been done without their indispensable help.