2015

Blitz Fever in Karsiyaka

In this day and age, playing in long lasting tournaments is quite hard for chess enthusiasts. Routine working obligations rarely give them permission to take part in tournaments, even if they really look forward to participating. Even chess trainers or instructors usually cannot play, because of their training duties. Therefore, most of them play online, and follow their favorite players’ performances at the top tournaments to fulfill their enjoyment.

Although internet is a precious gift for chess lovers, it certainly would not compensate the good old atmosphere of chess clubs. The joy of meeting long-time friends and rivals, chatting (sometimes even making fun of) with each other is certainly incomparable. But what if the chess clubs in your city only act like chess training places for the youngsters?

It won’t be wrong to say that, this is the current situation of chess in most of Turkey. With the emergence of new grandmasters, the national teams’ performances is getting higher and higher everyday. Also many juniors win medals in age-categorized international tournaments. That’s of course the bright side; but the ‘amateurs’ still miss the chess clubs!

Several chess friends in Karsiyaka decided to give it a try to change this going. But before the story, let me introduce our beloved Karsiyaka. Karsiyaka is a district in Izmir province of Turkey. With more than 315.000 inhabitants, the district looks like European cities.

A view of Karsiyaka

A view of Karsiyaka

Karsiyaka Blitz Chess Tournaments Begin!

Some months ago, Turkish Chess Federation’s current agent in Karsiyaka, Ilgaz Gumustas started to organize local blitz tournaments for this ‘nostalgic’ matter. Ilgaz is a regular chess columnist in one of the widely-known newspapers. Also, he is the author of several chess books, dealing with solving exercises. But where could be the venue for these events? Evvel Zaman Icinde Cafe (=Cafe Once Upon a Time) generously decided to host the tournaments without demanding any rent or something. Initially these tourneys were played just for fun by 15-16 local players, without even giving prizes to winners. Gathering with friends was the main motivation in playing these events.

Slowly but surely, the interest towards this 3-hours-long activity got higher and higher, mostly thanks to the-ever-active Facebook page. A week before the start of the tournament, an initial list of players are posted. Whoever wants to play tells ‘I’m in!’ and each morning the list is updated.

On the left is the inial list, and the final list (with reserves!) is on the right. As the last tournament was perhaps the strongest one, it was presented with a Champions League ® picture!

On the left is the inial list, and the final list (with reserves!) is on the right. As the last tournament was perhaps the strongest one, it was presented with a Champions League ® picture!

After seeing the increase of interest towards this tournament, it was decided to make these tournaments official with Blitz Elo registration. The tournaments shall be held twice a month. There should also be a limit for the number of the participants, so 9 rounds/32 players formula is decided. From then on, players would pay small entry fees, but all of the money gathered should be distributed to the winners. No profit for the organizers was the main principal. If an additional contributor, or a sponsor would be found, then the prizes or the quality level would be increased. Quality level? Who would not want to play with high-quality wooden Staunton chess sets, even if it’s only a blitz game? The organization has already started to buy wooden chess sets for this event.

 

IM Yilmazyerli – FM Soysal. This photo from a previous event really shows the magic attraction of chess.

IM Yilmazyerli – FM Soysal. This photo from a previous event really shows the magic attraction of chess.

Last Tournament in 2014: What a Wonderful Event It Was!

 Chess enthusiasts, not only in Karsiyaka, but in whole Izmir, decided to make this last event of 2014 something memorable. In addition to the money prizes, some new year presents were to be distributed to all participants. A theater ticket was one gift from Sarven Cakmak, a chess friend living in Istanbul. Chess publishing house Analiz Yayincilik’s gift was Aronian’s favorite chess book (Attack with Mikhail Tal) to the best performer according to his/her rating. ISEM Chess Center gave 2015 calendars & keychains to all the participants. Mind games to all the participants and a digital chess clock was recently founded Guzelyali Chess Club’s gift of new year’s bingo.

Seeing this solidarity among chess friends, some of country’s strongest players living in Izmir wanted to join the event voluntarily. To name a few, IM Burak Firat (2486), IM Mert Yilmazyerli (2465), 16-year-old IM Vahap Sanal (2460), 10-times Turkish Women’s Champion WGM Betul Cemre Yildiz (2308), FM Melih Yurtseven (2386) were present. In total: 1 WGM, 3 IMs, 3 FMs total 7 titled players for 32. Not bad for a local blitz tournament, isn’t it?

Just before the start of the tournament, chess players wanted celebrate two recent great news: IM Ogulcan Kanmazalp scored his 3rd GM norm in Zadar Chess Tournament! IM Vahap Sanal was the star of Turkish national team in U-16 Chess Olympiad in Hungary, 1st place for board 1! 2 separate cakes were cut to symbolise the celebration!

One cake for Ogulcan, the other for Vahap...

One cake for Ogulcan, the other for Vahap…

Ilgaz congratulating IM Vahap Sanal, for his great performance at the U-16 Olympiad.

Ilgaz congratulating IM Vahap Sanal, for his great performance at the U-16 Olympiad

GM-elect Ogulcan was in Istanbul, but his mother was in the Cafe

GM-elect Ogulcan was in Istanbul, but his mother was in the Cafe

After all the celebrations and stuff, the real fun began. It was a really hard-fought tournament. The cameras recorded all the action at the top board. Here is two samples for your enjoyment. You can find the rest of them in the YouTube page.

Although Vahap won this game, the 1st place was for Mert after tie-breaks.

A double-edged battle between two highest-rated players. In the end, Mert’s queenside attacked proved to be much stronger.

After 9 rounds, Mert and Vahap clearly separated themselves from the rest of the field. Below was the final standings.

7

And now, some photos from the memorable tournament.

The first board privilege: a quality chess set and camera shooting!

The first board privilege: a quality chess set and camera shooting!

Camera man, also a real chess enthusiast Mr. Evrensay tries to understand the intricacies of the position.

Camera man, also a real chess enthusiast Mr. Evrensay tries to understand the intricacies of the position.

Chess players in action!

Chess players in action!

No gender barriers for chess!

No gender barriers for chess!

Chess teaches us to look the matters from a different angle!

Chess teaches us to look the matters from a different angle!

After a disastrous start, Alp Bugra managed to win the best performance prize proudly.

After a disastrous start, Alp Bugra managed to win the best performance prize proudly

No surprises here: WGM Betul Cemre Yildiz won the best women prize.

No surprises here: WGM Betul Cemre Yildiz won the best women prize

Third place went to FM Alper Efe Ataman, founder of a chess publishing house, Analiz Yayincilik

Third place went to FM Alper Efe Ataman, founder of a chess publishing house, Analiz Yayincilik

Vahap won gold medal in Gyor, but only managed to be second in the cafe (!)

Vahap won gold medal in Gyor, but only managed to be second in the cafe (!)

Karsiyaka’s strongest player Mert won this memorable event!

Karsiyaka’s strongest player Mert won this memorable event!

After the tournament ended, all the players and contributors gathered to give a new year’s photo for the followers!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

The next tournament will be held this Sunday, on 11th of January. Who will be there, and who will be the winner, we do not know. But the good-old atmosphere of chess clubs will certainly be there…

Greetings from Karsiyaka, Izmir / Turkey!

Greetings from Karsiyaka, Izmir / Turkey!

Chessdom is dedicated to professional and independent coverage of chess news and events from all over the globe! Join us for live chess games, interviews, video and photo reports, and social media reactions. Follow the development of the strongest chess software, which affects all chess today, via the Top Chess Engine Championship with its 24/7 live broadcast with chat.

Copyright © 2007-2021 Chessdom.com

To Top