A paradise for children
By Elisabeth Pähtz
For the first time in my life I had the chance to be part of one of the biggest preschooler tournaments of all times. It was so much more than just a chess tournament. About 800 kids took part in the 7th "Türkiye Is Bankasi" chess tournament, which was held from 13-17 June in Istanbul. This event was anything but an ordinary tournament with exceptional ideas to make it unforgettable for all involved.
Between the rounds the kids were offered a great choice of entertaining facilities and games such as dancing, painting, block buildings, sponge runnings and many more. For me personally it was a unique experience to watch these small children playing. One could recognize the joy they felt playing chess, their fighting spirit, their motivation and their concentration, and share in their despair when one lost just by watching them play.
To get an impression how perfect this event was organized by the sponsor – the "Turkish Is Bankasi" - let the following pictures tell the story.
"Ah! The perfect move"
The flags that made this tournament possible (from left to right) Turkey as the host,
IS Bankasi, the sponsor, Atatürk the founder of the Turkish Republic, and last but not
least: the Turkish Chess federation!
"What do you think about my position?"
"How did this happen?"
"Hey! What are you doing? That move is illegal!"
"Maybe it is a good time to resign?"
"Ohhhh I am winning...."
"Hand me the queen!"
"How many pawns can I promote into queens?"
"What do you think?"
"Darn, no more pieces to capture. I guess I must checkmate him now."
"Chess is the best!"
The organizers made sure there was never a dull moment for the children
They appealed to the builders
"Shall I make a house, or build a train?"
For the more artistically inclined
"When can we start the game?"
Some children may have to wait a bit to participate
Best friends forever
Has there ever been a kid who did not love cotton candy?
It was more tiresome for the adults than the children
As to them, they could have gone on all day.... and did
On a summer day, what could be better than chasing each other with wet sponges?
"I'll catch you!" - "No, you won't!"
The cheerleading squad
Sharing a moment to rest
The event is a children's tournament in Istanbul, which is organized for the 7th time in succession by the Turkish sponsor "Is Bankasi", one of the biggest banks in Turkey. Due to the large number of participants it is divided into 4 groups. Each group consisting of roughly 200 children under eight years old. They compete with each other in a five-round rapid tournament (30 min per player) and the first 20 boys and 10 girls of each group qualify for the final group, which will eventually decide the winners.
The special thing about the tournament is that the "Is Bankasi" does not only offer their own facilities to stage the competition, but also provided the children with free meals, t-shirts and medals, as well as entertainment and animation shows, thus making this event quite unique among chess tournaments across the world.
Pictures by Elisabeth Pähtz