1.1 million Euro Chess Center in Turkey

by ChessBase
7/20/2006 – Which is the fastest growing chess federation in the world? FIDE officers debated this for years, but now all discussion has ended. It is the Turkish Chess Federation, which increased its membership from 3000 to 150,000 in six years, and installed 12,000 chess teachers in schools. Now the TCF has moved into spanking new quarters in downtown Ankara.

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New Chess Federation Centre launched

Just two years ago, the Turkish Chess Federation did not have any movable or immovable goods. During the autonomy period Turkish chess has made important investments and developments. The latest example is the biggest and the most modern federation centre among all amateur sports federations in Turkey and the biggest chess library.

The Ataturk Chess Centre – a dream come true!

The Turkish Chess Federation was established in 1991. It organized lots of national and international tournaments successfully, and became autonomous in May, 2004. The TCF has achieved great developments in chess during the last years with the support of the sponsors.

The new Federation Centre has a 1,000 m² area, on the 6th floor of a business centre, renewed and decorated by TCF, and is called the Atatürk Chess Centre. The total cost for the establishment of the Center is €1.1 million.

Entrance to the Federation Offices

The Federation area

The Federation offices

The office of the President, Ali Nihat Yazici

Room for board meetings

The teaching and lecture area

For chess tournaments and events

Area for refreshments

The Nevzat Süer Saloon consists of a competition hall and a cafeteria, and takes up 400 m². The Turkish Chess Federation plans to organize tournaments and courses for all ages during the year. Also there is wireless internet in the entire area, and all guests can use the Internet free of charge.

The Kahraman Olgac Library occupies 40 m². There will be more than 1,500 different book titles: chess history, current novels, chess magazines, magazines both in Turkish and English, some Russian books and some in Arabic language, left over from the Ottoman period. Anybody may use the library to learn everything about chess, read various books and do research. There will be a librarian responsible for helping readers. In addition the library will have all ChessBase software installed on the latest computers.

The new centre was purchased on November 2005, at a cost of € 850,000. An additional € 200,000 was spent for renovating the inside. This was sponsored by Spor-Toto, National Betting Company of Turkey.

The new Federation Centre is located in the middle of the Turkish capital of Ankara. Transportation is easy by car, bus, shared taxi and subway from anywhere in Ankara. The Centre is just 50 meters from a Metro Station and ten meters from a bus station. It is 200 meters to the Central Train Station, and 50 meters to an Airport shuttle service.

The address of the new centre is Fevzi Pasa Mah. Sehit Yasar Akansel Sok. Özgürler Is Merkezi No: 3 Kat: 6 Ulus-ANKARA. Phone: +90 312 309 75 94, +90 533 478 93 57; Fax: +90 312 310 96 20.

Why don`t you visit Atatürk Chess Centre if you are in Ankara.

The opening ceremony

The Deputy Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic Mehmet Ali Sahin, the Minister of Industry and Trade Ali Coskun, the Deputy President of FIDE and the President of the Greek Chess Federation Georgios Makropoulos, the President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation Stefan Sergiev, the President of the Syrian Chess Federation Dr. Hani Al Bitar, the Public Relations Director Bulent Inan as a representative of our sponsor Turkiye Is Bankasi, the Spor Toto Director Bekir Yunus Ucar, the Deputy Director Generals of Youth and Sports; Mehmet Ali Babacan, Sezai Bagbasi, the Director of Corporate Affairs of Arcelik A.S Melis Sahinler and Serkan Kocyigit as a representative of Milangaz A.S attended the opening ceremony.

Turkish folk musicians Davul and Zurna

The Minister of Industry and Trade Ali Coskun, who supported 400 Regional Primary Schools with chess classes sponsored by Milangaz A.S, was one of the first guests. TCF President Yazici and Ali Coskun’s ten-year-old son Ali Murat played chess, and they drew. Minister Coskun enjoyed this match.

TCF President Ali Nihat Yazici made a speech at the opening ceremony and stressed the importance of autonomy in Turkish Sports. “In 2000 the number of the players was 3000," he said. "It has increased to 150,000 in this year, and 12,000 teachers have been trained and joined us as coaches just since last summer. Chess is now available as an optional course in primary schools, and we have reached the point where chess has become a rising star of Turkish Sports."

Deputy Prime Minister of Turkish Republic Mehmet Ali Sahin started his speech by saying that after the Turkish Football Federation this was the first time that a federation had purchased its own estate.

The Minister of Industry and Trade, Ali Coskun, said that chess is a sport which is good for educating, teaching and relaxing human beings. It is a sphere of interest for engineers and matematicians and helps them during the planning, practising and checking processes. He also thanked everbody who had made contributions to this new centre and it is really important that chess became a subject at schools. 

The TCF won high praises from the Deputy President of FIDE and the President of the Greek Federation Georgios Makropoulos. “FIDE has 155 active federations," Makropoulos said. "We were arguing about the fastest developing federation untill 2000. However, in the last six years we have stopped debating this, because it is clearly the Turkish Chess Federation.” Makropoulos gave two reasons for this development: first of all Ali Nihat Yazici and his management, and secondly the politicians who support him.

The Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin said that he was impressed to see Mr. Makropoulos in Ankara, considering that Makropoulos and Yazici had been bitter rivals in the last FIDE elections. He said that this should be considered a universal example of fair play and peace for all sports.

After the speeches the Ataturk Chess Centre was formally opened. The Deputy President of FIDE Georgios Makropoulos and the President of the Turkish Chess Federation Ali Nihat Yazici, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic Mehmet Ali Sahin, and the Minister of Industry and Trade Ali Coskun (from left to right), all cut the red tape all together.

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