Antalya – an Invitation to Chess

2/8/2007 – Turkey is fast becoming a hotbed of chess. From January 28 to February 3rd the Turkish Youth Championship with 1300 participants was held in Antalya, the same time and place the FIDE Presidential Board met. It all took place in a beautiful hotel resort on the Mediterranean coast. We bring you part one of our illustrated report.

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Turkish Youth Championship in Antalya – Part I

Report by Özgür Akman / Photos by Frederic Friedel

Between 28 January and 3 February the Turkish Youth Championship was held in Antalya. It was a grand festival with 1,273 children participating. There were 284 girls and 889 boys in the event, in age groups between 8-18. Included were journalists, parents, trainers and some 2,000 visitors.

The event was staged in the Limra Hotel Resort in Kemer, which has a total of 1800 beds, 37 suites (with jacuzzi), 343 aricanda rooms, 104 family suites, 3 restaurants, 6 bars, 8 meeting room, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, Turkish bath, fitness center, sports, and – a spectacular view. In the above picture the cottages belong to the hotel complex, the mountains to Antalya and Turkey.


The Limra hotel from the beach side, with an outdoor pool still too cold to use


View from the balcony of one of the rooms, late in the evening

This year the organization coincided with FIDE Presidential Board Meeting held between 26-28 January. It was very important for Turkish Chess Federation because of this and it was seen as a preparation for World Youth Championship in November 2007 and European Club Cup in October 2007. Everything seemed excellent until Honorary President Mr.Campomanes had the unfortunate accident.


The FIDE Presidential Board meetings in the Limra Hotel in Kemer, Antalya


Former FIDE President Florencio Campomanes at the board meeting

We would like to inform the chess public that the former President is recovering satisfactorily, and is out of intensive care. He thanks chess fans for all the "get well" messages he has received, coming from all parts of the world. Campomanes has five sons, all named Florencio Campomanes, with the numerals I, II, III, IV, V attached to their names (he also has two daughters called Florencia and Florence). Two of the sons have arrived in Antalya and are with their father.


TCF President Ali Nihat Yazici with Florencio Campomanes I in Antalya

Turkiye İş Bankasi, the main sponsor of Turkish Chess Federation, also organized some cultural and social activities throughout the event. They had various shows with radio programs, and also inaugurated a new project of the TCF, the Global Chess News Agency, which was tested for the first time during this championship. The staff of the TCF prepared their own film sequences and sent them to news agencies. The report was shown in two different television channels, and there is going to be another program next week on TV on one of the biggest channels in Turkey.


FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov being interviewed for a Global Chess News Agency report. The interview is being conducted by Özgür Akman, with TCF President Ali Nihat Yazici manning the camera (Ali was a TV executive and producer in his former life).


Fatma Yildiz, who works as a photographer for the
Turkish Chess Federation


The opening ceremony of the Turkish Youth Championship 2007


Standing for the Turkish National Anthem


The elegance of Turkish dance, presented to the chess fans


The exuberant Caucasian dance that is popular in the Antalya region


The Karagöz and Hacivat shadow play, performed here with live puppets


In the audience we discover a girl with a mission...


...who canvasses with her plea in front of the FIDE brass, who will have great difficulties turning down her request.


Finally a gift for the President from the Turkish Chess Federation


The venue of the youth championship is ready, TCF President Ali Nihat Yazici shows the organiser of the 2007 World Championship in Mexico, Jorge Saggiante, the facilities


Hundreds upon hundreds of chess boards, waiting for young enthusiasts to do battle on the morn


Yes, Jorge, we can help with a full school program for Mexico! In Turkey

An full illustrated report on the Turkish Youth Championship will follow soon...


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