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5 Nations Share School Chess Title

April 28, 2005

ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ The first world school chess championships ended Thursday with top prizes split among five nations, while a 7-year-old Texan came in second.

Indonesia’s Aston Taminsyah won the Under-8 tournament with eight points in nine rounds, edging Fernando Spada Jr., of Brownsville, Texas, who had 7.5 points.

Fernando, who said before the tournament that he was ``coming to win,″ admitted to one regret from the weeklong chess fest _ not beating the eventual winner in the third round.

``I really enjoyed playing good, playing great chess. (I) just made one little mistake,″ the boy said.

The second-grader was taught chess by his grandfather at age 4. He is currently rated No. 3 in the United States for his age group.

The tournament, held at the northern Greek seaside resort of Halkidiki, involved 200 young players from more than 20 countries. It was organized by the Athens-based World Chess Federation, FIDE, which named 2005 the year of school chess.

Greece swept the first three places in the Under-10s _ won by Manos Kazakos _ while Zbigniew Strzemiecki from Poland triumphed in the Under-12s.

Favorites Ioan-Cristian Chirila from Romania and Russia’s Valentina Gounina won the Under-14 and Under-16 age groups.

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