European School Championship 2011 in Antalya

10/25/2011 – Turkey has has adopted FIDE's Chess in Schools program and has been successfully running championships for the past few years. The European School Championship 2011 was staged in Kemer, Antalya, last week and saw 204 players from five countries participating in twelve different categories. Anastasiya Karlovich and Fatma Ozturk have sent us a thoroughly charming photo report.

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Report from Antalya by Anastasiya Karlovich and Fatma Ozturk

The European School Championship 2011, organised by the Turkish Chess Federation, was held in Kemer (Antalya), Turkey from 12 to 18 of October. Turkey has adopted the Chess in Schools program and has been successfully running this event for the past few years. In 2010 Turkey hosted Sixth World School Championship in Kayseri and continues the tradition of organising international events for pupils. The President of Turkish Chess Federation, FIDE Vice-President Ali Nihat Yazici, is also a Chairman of the FIDE Chess in Schools (CIS) Commission. After the start of the program thousands of new young chess players appeared in the country.

This year 204 players from five countries (Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Hungary, Russia and Turkey) convened in Antalya to participate in that event. There were twelve different age categories: U7, U7 girls, U9, U9 girls, U11, U11 girls, U13, U13 girls, U15, U15 girls, U17, U17 girls. Tournaments in different age groups were played according to different systems, but most of the events were nine round Swiss. Games of the top players in each category were broadcasting on the Internet.

Turkey came first among all countries which took part in the event – the Turkish players won the largest number of medals. Azerbaijan placed second, while Russia was on the third place. You can see the names of the players and their pictures here.

Pictorial impressions by Anastasiya Karlovich


Clock tower in the center of Kemer


Kemer is a good place for holidays, with mountains and a Mediterranean beach


The water gardens of the Limra Hotel, where the participants stayed and played


The playing hall of European Chess School Championship


I did a check! Arbiters try to work out what happened in U7 game

Anton Sidorov from Russia (above left), one of the leaders in U9 category, playing on the first board against another leader Azerbaijani Ravan Aliyev. Anton won Silver in this event. He managed to become second in World School Championship 2011 in Krakov (Poland) as well.


Russian player Zulfiiya Fairuzova (right) playing Gunez Yildiz of Turkey. Zulfiiya gave
her a little present before the game…


…a magnet picture from her native city Naberezhnye Chelny (Tatarstan)


What do the FIDE rules say? Opponents share sweets during the game

The twins Irina and Marina Baraeva played in the same category U17, and both were leading during most of the event. Irina had half a point more before the last round, in which the sisters has to play the decisive game against each other. It ended in a draw and the standings remained the same – Irina on the first place, Marina second.


The youngest participant of the girls' championships: Victoria Gnilorybova from Russia


The youngest participant among boys: Hungarian Oliver Lendvai played in U7 category. All participants likeed to play against him because he brought nice pennants every day for his opponents.

Oliver's score sheet from the game Soydan Yucel-Oliver Lendvai. He knows how to write a zero very well, as we can see on move six, where both players castle. His signature also looks like a zero. I feel it is time for him to learn to write the number “1”, since our little player managed to win the game!


The youngest participants receive gifts from the Chief Arbiter


Alikhan Yaganov has some notes on his hands. They say “think” and “don’t play fast”
in Russian. Alikhan followed the instruction and finished his game as one of the last.


Melek Ismayil of Azerbaijan won eight games and won the U7 group among girls

Ezgi Menzi placed second in U13 age group among girls. She became famous as a Turkish chess talent and successful student at Mersin TED High School. This year she got the highest score in Turkish National Scolastic Test (called as SBS). It is an obligatory test which needs to be passed by students after finishing the seventh grade. Ezgi was among the best students who scored the absolute result (500 out of 500). This year over a million students participated in this exam, and 503 of them succeeded in scoring 100%. Ezgi finished first due to the new rule that awards the medallists of European or World events ten extra points. Many doors of different colleges have now opened to this bright young girl, and she will be able to combine her studies with favourite hobby. Incidentally Ezgi was born in Chicago (USA), on 18.06.1998 and started playing chess at the aged of seven. Her best results:

  • In 2006 at eight she won fourth place in the Turkish Youth Chess Finals among girls under ten, and then joined the national chess team.
  • In September 2006, in Florida, USA, Ezgi won the Florida State Championship in the U1200 category.
  • In April 2007, at the Third World School Chess Championship in Greece, she won the Bronze medal in the U9 Girls Category.
  • In August 2009, at the European Youth Chess Championship in Italy, she shared fourth place in the U12 Girls Category.
  • In November 2009, at the World Youth Chess Championships in Turkey, Ezgi shared fourth place in the U12 Girls Category.
  • In September 2010, at the European Youth Chess Championships in Georgia, she shared third place in the U12 Girls Category.
  • In May 2011, at the Seventh World School Chess Championship in Poland , she finished third in the U13 Girls Category.
  • In July 2011 Ezgi won the U14 championship in the Girls Category Turkey Youth Chess finals.


Well-known trainer GM Mikhail Gurevich analyses games with his pupils


  • Russian participant Egor Danilov was always accompanied by…


    …his mother and his little brother

One of the most talented Turkish players, Cemil Can Ali Marandi (middle), dominated in the U13 age group. Turkish player Vahap Sanal (left) came second and Russian Kirill Kozionov (right) came third. Kirill, who, you should note, is standing on the lowest rung of the winners' rostrum, won Golden at the World School Championship 2011 in Krakov.


The director of the event Melih Sagit and the winners of the U7 category among girls. The first six places received presents from the organizers: 1st a netbook, 2nd an MP3 player, 3rd a chess set, etc.


Face painting – many players appeared with them at the closing ceremony


All players received special certificates from the European School Chess Championship 2011

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