Press release

16 October 2017


Alexander Shvartsman from Russia and Zoja Golubeva from Latvia become World Champions in draughts

The World Championship of International Draughts ended today in Tallinn with Alexander Shvartsman of Russia crowned the World Champion among men and Zoja Golubeva of Latvia among women. Three Russian, two Latvian and one Belorussian player made it to the top three.

Photo: Tiit Mõtus

Top three men:

  1. Alexander Shvartsman (Russia), gold, World Champion 2017
  2. Alexey Chizhov (Russia), silver
  3. Guntis Valneris (Latvia), bronze

Top three women:

  1. Zoja Golubeva (Latvia), gold, World Champion 2017
  2. Olga Fedorovich (Belarus)
  3. Aygul Idrisova (Russia)

“The most exciting draughts battle of all times was held in Tallinn,” said President of World Draughts Federation Janek Mäggi. “The tournament was exceptionally strong and the winner was decided in the last round. The former World Champion, Guntis Valneris of Latvia, who was the leader yesterday drew his last round match and therefore finished in third place. However, the women’s gold medal did go to Latvia – former World Champion Zoja Golubeva became the World Champion again. People all over the world followed the competition online, which was made possible by the electronic game boards. The games were viewed 3 million times in total.”

“The World Championship is certainly a massive success for Estonia,” said President of the Estonian Draughts Association Tarmo Tulva. “We are extremely thankful to everyone who supported us, to the volunteers and sponsors. The head office of the World Draughts Federation (FMJD), which we share we Amsterdam, is also in Tallinn since 7 October, after Janek was elected the president of the World Draughts Federation. Another important change is that the head office of the European Draughts Confederation, which was based in Tallinn from 2007-2017, moved to Vilnius on 8 October. Estonia is now at the head of world draughts.”

World Draughts Federation (FMJD, was founded in 1947 by four federations, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. Its main purpose was to regulate the competition on the world championship. From 1897 onwards, world champions had been proclaimed only by France and the Netherlands, which gave rise to the desire by a number of countries to have more accurate competition and tournaments, and led to the establishment of an international organization. By today, the FMJD has grown to an organization with 84 participating national federations.  The FMJD has become a member of Sportaccord, which unites all internationally renowned sports federations. As such, the FMJD membership (and that of FIDE and WBF) is part of a more general movement towards integration of mind sports in the regular sports arenas.  Since October 2017, Janek Mäggi is President of FMJD.

European Draughts Confederation ( was founded in 1998 in Tallinn by the federations of 12 European countries. Today, the confederation has 26 member countries. The first president of EDC was Jacek Pawlicki from Poland and until the end of 2007 the head office of EDC was located in Poland. From 2007 to 2017 the President of EDC was Janek Mäggi and the headquarters was located in Tallinn. Since October 2017, the President of EDC is Lithuanian Ingrida Drukteinyte and the headquarters is located in Vilnius. European Draughts Confederation organizes European championships in draughts and its task is to promote draughts as sports in Europe as well as attract new member countries. 

Estonian Draughts Association ( is an umbrella organization of Estonian draughts clubs and is also member of the Estonian Olympic Committee. The association is also member of The World Draughts Federation and the founding member of the European Draughts Confederation (EDC, 


Additional information:

Janek Mäggi, President of World Draughts Federation
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., tel +372 507 29 89

Tarmo Tulva, President of Estonian Draughts Association

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., tel +372 504 20 24