Online-Chess tournament between Cologne and Istanbul
By Güven Manay
How are new ideas born? In many cases, new ideas need a reason. The 12-year-old
Cologne Chess Club‚ Satranç Club 2000, was founded by players hailing
from Turkey and now has members from several countries. In 2008, the club organized
a tournament in conjunction with the Dresden Chess Olympiad. This time the 2012
Istanbul Olympiad was an excellent reason for a new event.
The tournament poster
In addition to this: Cologne and Istanbul are twinned cities since 15 years.
In 1997, the Cologne Mayor Norbert Burger and the Istanbul mayor Recep Tayyip
Erdogan (now Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic) signed the cooperation
document. Since then the Cologne-Istanbul Urban Partnership Association has
been founded in order to look after good relationships between the two cities.
Güven Manay und Walter Kluth in Cologne
When Güven Manay from the Satranç Club 2000 contacted his friends
from the board of the Cologne Istanbul Partnership Club, Walter Kluth (Cologne
Muncipal Council from 1989-2009) and Monika Bongartz, they decided to plan an
online chess tournament between two selected teams from Cologne and Istanbul.
In the Cologne clubhouse: a poster showing the history of chess...
... tracing its roots from north-west India to Europe and China
But what makes this online tournament different from others? Both teams are
sitting in together in a room, and not like normally in online tournaments anonymously
at home. Because Walter Kluth is also head of an educational institution he
immediately found a training classroom with several computers. This meant that
the Cologne team found a tournament location within a very short time.
The team in Cologne with the organising committee
The Istanbul team with their Captain Fuat Ergür (second from left)
Güven Manay now informed both the Turkish and the German Chess Federations.
Both were excited by his initiative. The President of the Istanbul Chess Federation,
Fuat Ergür, was contacted, and he arranged the contact to the Chess Club
Istanbul Satranc Dernegi, founded in 1943 in Istanbul Sisli.
The young Istanbul player Deniz Firat...
... and the opponents in the Cologne chess club
The 12th of August was chosen for this event. Because of summer holidays in
North Rhine Westphalia, it turned out difficult to find eligible participants.
Many very strong players, even grandmasters, were out of town. Hence, the Istanbul
Chess Federation offered to adapt the strength level of their team to the Cologne
One of the arbiters from the Playchess server was ideally suited for staging
this event: WFM Emine Yanik Süral grew up in Germany and although she now
lives in Turkey she is equally fluent in both languages. Interestingly, the
Cologne team contained a former trainer who taught her in the nineties. It's
a small world!
Emine Yanik Süral was born in 1976 in Dortmund,
Germany, of Turkish parents. She started playing chess in 1988, when her
slightly older brother took up the game. Since then she has been a member
of the Huckarder Schachverein and played successfully in a number of tournaments.
That cemented her love for chess, and Emine continued playing for different
chess clubs: Brackel, Heiligenhaus, Erkrath, Turm Emsdetten.
In 2001 Emine married and moved to Turkey, and in 2008 she founded a
chess training centre in her city Salihli. Sabrina Chevannes wrote a
lovely report about that. In 2004 her first daughter, Ceren, was born,
and in a month she is expecting her second daughter. Emine is determined
to remain active in chess and play for different clubs. She is the main
Turkish sysop for Playchess.
The cologne team members Eneida Peres (who will play for the Dominican Republic
Olympic Team in Istanbul) and International Master Norbert Lücke also attracted
The tournament day
After a short opening ceremony, led by Walter Kluth, Güven Manay and the
recently elected president of the Cologne Chess Federation, Andreas Gerdau,
the tournament started. Always expect the unexpected: both teams needed to change
their members slightly at very short notice. A thunderstorm in Istanbul caused
a traffic jam and difficulties with the Internet access. Despite all adversities,
the start button was eventually pressed for a nice and exciting competition.
Cologne gained the lead very quickly on board seven. Board nine of Istanbul
won after half an hour then. Board two drew and then the standing in the tournament
was: Cologne-Istanbul: 1.5:1.5. After a while Cologne lost three games in a
row and it stood 1.5:4.5 against them! A major defeat of the Cologne team looked
likely. But then Cologne fought back and three of their members won their endgames
in a row against Istanbul. However Cologne lost the last game on board six and
Istanbul had won the match.
Istanbul won the match 5.5-4.5 – download all
games in PGN
A good practice for both the teams’ players before the new season or
in fact for the Olympiad, and a good general prep for everyone.
Congratulations and prize giving in Istanbul
Sarven Cakmak, board member of the Istanbul Chess Club of
1943, receives the trophy for his Teams Istanbul
The audience (which was a mixture of those physically present in the playing
halls and the virtual spectators on Playchess) loved the event. Thanks to everyone
who supported it! And why not a friendly rematch soon?
A report on the match appeared prominently in the mass media newspaper Hürriyet
With the best wishes from Cologne to Istanbul for the organization of the chess
Olympiad from 27 August to 10 September!
Photos: ISD, Monika Bongartz, Abuzer Akpinar