Chess Train Tournament a great success

by ChessBase
10/21/2012 – From October 12-16 a special train transported 46 chess players from ten different countries across the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Austria. On board they played a 13-round rapid chess tournament. The oldest participant was 77, the youngest a seven-year-old prodigy from China. There was also time for a charity simul. Don't miss this big pictorial report.

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Chess Train: October 2012
Prague – Dresden – Wroclaw – Piestany – Vienna – Prague

Ninety participants of the Chess Train 2012 met at the morning of Friday, the 12th October, at the opening ceremony and common breakfast in the Government lounge at the Central station in Prague.

There were 46 chess players from ten different countries in the 13-round tournament. Most were from the Czech Republic and Germany, but there are also players from USA, China, England and Scandinavia.

Embarking on the Chess Train ...

... and it's off to Prague – Dresden – Wroclaw – Piestany – Vienna – Prague

Deputy CEO Antonín Blažek and Director of commerce and marketing of Ceské Dráhy Jirí Ješeta
with the chairman of Prague Chess Society Pavel Matocha (standing left) watch the first round.

Legendary Slovak GM Ján Plachetka playing in the Chess Train tournament

Best woman chess player on the train and in the tournament: WGM Kristýna Havlíková

After four rounds, played on two days, the only participant on 100% was GM Martin Petr (above left, playing Sven Roemling of Germany). He was followed by GM Ján Plachetka, FM Jan-Dietrich Wendt and Dr. Matias Jolowicz, who had each lost half a point. During the nice sunny Saturday the Chess train proceeded from the German city of Dresden to the Polish town of Wroclaw, famous for its romantic player Adolf Anderssen.

The youngest participant: Jijan Jang

Yijan and Liqun Yang came from China to Czech Republic only for the Chess Train. Seven-year-old Yijan from the city of Shenzen was the youngest participant in the tournament.

Yijan started to play chess when he was just four years old. He comes from a chess family, but his parents are not worthy adversaries any more. "He has his own coach," said his father Liqun Yang, vice president of the society Antian Acoustics Technology. "At the beginning, when he started to play chess, he used to come home with some tasks that we couldn´t solve. Several times we helped him, but in few months we realized that he became better than us"

Seven-year-old Jijan Jang from China playing Michal Srnec

Yijan Yang is in the second class of a primary school, but he reached already a rating of 1720. He trains 4½ hours per week and his biggest success is the first place in a tournament in Hong Kong. Who is his chess idol? This question was answered quickly without hesitation: "IM Zhang Ziyang and GM Wang Zili, my coaches, of course." However, chess is not the only thing that interests this promising young man: he also practices fencing after school and chess lessons.

After nine rounds top seed GM Martin Petr was still on 100% with nine points. FM Jan Dietrich Wendt was second with two points less, and third was Jirí Groh, representing Ceské Dráhy.

Charity clock simul in Pieštany

In this small spa town in Slovakia GM Ján Plachetka gave a charity simul to help three-year-old Lea Jesenská who is suffering from cerebral palsy.

It was not just the players of the simul, but also other participants of the Chess Train and the Medical Centre Adeli who collected 565 Euros. This was delivered to the parents of this small girl. GM Plachetka played without a fee.

The time controls for the simul were 60 minutes for the GM and 30 minutes for his opponents. Four players from the chess club ŠK Porg, Václav Klaus, Pavel Matocha, Jirí Krátký and Josef Bára, were among the eleven adversaries.

GM Plachetka won convincingly with a 10:1 score: only lawyer Jirí Navrátil obtained a worthy victory over him. A reminder: Akiba Rubinstein won the chess tournament in Pieštany in 1912. "Chess Pieštany in 2012 was won by fair people who wanted to help Lea and her parents," writes the official web site.

A Chess Train picture that really requires no caption!

After the longest tournament day of five rounds came the shortest: a single round on the trip from Pieštany to Vienna. Grandmaster Martin Petr won the tenth round and before the final day he has the comfortable two-point lead. FM Jan Dietrich Wendt kept second rank with eight points, and third was Sven Roemling with seven. Behind them was a group of five players, including GM Ján Plachetka and WGM Kristýna Havlíková, with 6.5 points each. The youngest participant, Yijan Yang, managed to win four games and was rising on the ranking table.

The oldest participant on the Chess Train was Christoph Kohlschmidt, above playing against the youngest participant. Christoph is known for refusing draws and finally scored five points. "I enjoyed every single game, and refused draw offers because the result wasn't important for me – only the beauty of the game," he said.

Christoph Kohlschmidt was born in 1935 in Dresden and had to spend the majority of his childhood in the hospital. In the first school year, he was present only for eleven weeks, the rest he was in a hospital, where he encountered the royal game for the first time. "I lay in the hospital, and some boy came to our room and he taught me to play the chess. I was able to have fun for the rest of my hospital time," says the 77-year-old. Christoph studied linguistics and became a teacher of English and Latin. He received the Chess Train trip as a birthday present from his son.

Martin Petr receiving the prize from Jirí Ješeta (left) and organiser Pavel Matocha

In the end Martin Petr won the rapid tournament with 100% result: 13 points from 13 games. FM Jan Dietrich Wendt won Silver with 10.5 points and GM Ján Plachetka finished third with 9.5 points. The next three players had 8.5 points each.

A special gift for the youngest participant

Just as in the first year of the Chess Train, the second year was a big success. It brouht to the chess game a lot of publicity in non the chess medias, including the reportages in the Evening News on Ceská Televize, an article on and a big report by AP, the biggest news service on the world.

TV news reporter on the Chess Train

The route of the Chess Train 2012

Schedule of the Chess Train 2012

October 12th – 10 am - departure from Prague to Dresden (1st – 2nd rounds)
October 13th – 10 am - departure from Dresden to Wroclaw (3rd – 4th rounds)
October 14th – 10 am - departure from Wroclaw to Piestany (5th – 8th rounds)
October 15th – 10 am - departure from Piestany to Vienna (9th – 10th rounds)
October 16th – 10 am - departure from Vienna to Prague (11th – 13th rounds)

Reports on the Chess Train web site

Previous ChessBase report

Chess Train Tournament starts in Prague
01.10.2012 – On Friday October 12th the "Chess Train 2012" rapid chess tournament is due to start – at 10 a.m. in Prague. Two rounds are played on each leg of the journey, which will take you from Prague to Dresden, Wroclaw, Piestany, Vienna and Prague. The starting fee is 60 € and the train fare 120 €. The prize fund is 4,000 Euros. Hurry, book now, there are still some places free.

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