Istanbul Chess Olympiad – Turkish teams youngest ever

6/20/2012 – At a Chess Olympiad the host nation has the right to field three teams. Typically the third team will have 2500+ GMs. Not so in Istanbul, where the Turkish Chess Federation is giving youngsters a chance. The average age in the third Open Category team is – 8.2 years! They may get clobbered by the likes of Morozevich and Grischuk in the first round, but watch them playing lesser countries.

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The 40th Chess Olympiad is scheduled to take place in the Turkish metropole of Istanbul, from August 27 to September 10th, 2012. The Olympiad is a biennial chess tournament in which teams from all over the world compete against each other. The event is organised by FIDE, which selects the host nation. The previous Olympiad was held in 2010 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, the next will be in Tromsø, Norway. The first was held in Paris, France, in 1924, with 16 nations participating. The last Olympiad had 143 nations, 1294 competitors, and included no fewer than 254 grandmasters, 65 WGMs, 159 IMs, and 90 WIMs. This time the organisers are expecting even more.

Statement of the Turkish Chess Federation by IM Elisabeth Pähtz

On behalf of the Turkish Chess Federation I am honoured to announce that this year's Chess Olympiad will be held in Istanbul, Turkey, from 27th August until 9th of September. As is well known, the host nation reserves the right to send three teams to represent their country in what we hope will be the greatest and biggest chess event of all time.

In the past ten years, under the wings of its enthausiastic, chess loving president Ali Nihat Yazici, Turkey has invested a lot of money and energy in support of the development of children's chess. Frankly speaking, I have yet to see any other chess federation come anywhere near to matching this. Thus I would like to introduce to you our strategy both for this year's Chess Olympiad, and for the coming decade.

As already mentioned, Turkey will be represented in this competition by three Open and three Women's teams. Those teams were selected by the Turkish Chess Federation and their executive board members after carefully considering the suggestions of well-known chess experts and trainers, such as GM Efstratios Grivas, GM Mikhail Gurevich and GM Adrian Mihalcisin.

Priority, when selecting their nominations, was to see all three teams as a unity. After that, the Turkish Chess Federation considered the following:

  1. To have one strongest team possible
  2. To look ahead and choose young teams, for the future of Turkish chess.

For these reasons the names of the second and third teams are "Turkey 2016" and "Turkey 2023" – along the lines of Colossal Youth!

Let me finally introduce the teams:

Open Category: Team Turkey ‘Men’, coached by GM Estrafatos Grivas, consists of five young and experienced GMs with the goal to take a place among the Top 15.

Bo.
Name
Rating
Age
Remarks
1
GM Dragan Solak
2586
32
Turkish Champion 2012
2
GM Alexander Ipatov
2561
19
Newcomer!
3
GM Baris Esen
2568
26
World Cup 2011 participant
4
GM Mustafa Yilmaz
2536
20
Just received his GM title
5
GM Emre Can
2461
19
One of Turkey’s biggest hopes
Age average: 23.8 – Rating average: 2543


GM Dragan Solak, 32, rated 2586, Turkish Champion 2012


GM Alexander Ipatov, 19, rated 2561 – a newcomer!


GM Baris Esen, 26, rated 2568, World Cup 2011 participant


GM Mustafa Yilmaz, 20, 2536, has just received his GM title


GM Emre Can, 19, rated 2461 – one of Turkey’s biggest hopes

Women's Category: Team Turkey ‘Women’, coached by GM Adrian Mihalcisin consists of two young experienced WGMs and three promissing talents with the goal to take a place among the Top 20.

Bo.
Name
Rating
Age
Remarks
1
WGM Kubra Ozturk
2296
20
Turkish Woman Champion 2012
2
WGM Betül Cemre Yildiz
2336
23
3rd Place at World Junior Ch 2010 (girls)
3
WCM Emel Kaya
1992
19
3rd place at World School 2010 (girls U17)
4
WCM Kardelen Cemhan
1941
16
3rd place at Balkaniad Junior Teams 2010 (U14)
5
Ezgi Menzi
1916
14
2nd place at European School 2011 (girls U13)
Age average: 18.4 – Rating average: 2096


WGM Kubra Ozturk, 20, 2296, Turkish Woman Champion 2012


WGM Betül Cemre Yildiz, 23, 2336 3rd Place at World Junior Ch 2010 (girls)


WCM Emel Kaya, 19, rated 1992, 3rd place at World School 2010 (girls U17)


WCM Kardelen Cemhan, 16, 1941, third place at Balkaniad Junior Teams 2010 (U14)


Ezgi Menzi, 14, rated 1916, second place at European School 2011 (girls U13)  

Open Category: Team 2016 ‘Boys’, coached by GM Mikhail Gurevich, is Turkeys ‘golden child’ and biggest hope for 2016. Consisting of five very young and spirited boys as well as medal holders of several International Youth competitions

Bo.
Name
Rating
Age
Remarks
1
IM Burak Firat
2428
19
1st place at World School 2010 (U17)
2
FM Cemil Can Ali Marandi
2351
14
European Youth Champion 2008, 2010, 2011
3
CM Vahap Sanal
2277
14
2nd place at European School 2011 (U13)
4
CM Batuhan Dastan
2272
15
1st place at World School 2011 (U15)
5
CM Cankut Emiroglu
2253
17
1st place at European School 2011 (U17)
Age Average: 15.8 – Rating Average: 2316


IM Burak Firat, 19, 2428, first place at World School 2010 (U17)


FM Cemil Can Ali Marandi, 14, 2351, European Youth Champion 2008, 2010, 2011


CM Vahap Sanal, 14, rated 2277, second place at European School 2011 (U13)


CM Batuhan Dastan, 15, rated 2272, first place at World School 2011 (U15)


CM Cankut Emiroglu, 17, 2253, first place at the European School 2011 (U17)

Women's Category: Team 2016 ‘Girls’, coached by IM Yakup Erturan, are Turkey’s ‘golden girls’ and biggest hopes for 2016. Consisting of 5 very young and spirited girls as well as several medal holders of National and International Youth competitions.

Bo.
Name
Rating
Age
Remarks
1
WCM Selen Sop
2000
18
3rd place at Balkaniad Junior Teams 2010 (U16)
2
Büsra Arig
1864
19
3rd place at Turkish Women Championship 2012
3
Yesim Patel
1857
15
3rd place at European School 2011 (U15 girls)
4
Hilal Ozturk
1830
15
Shared 2nd place at Turkish Youth 2011 (U14)
5
Ayca Aksoy
1720
12
1st place at European School 2011 (U11 girls)
Age Average: 15.8 – Rating Average: 1853


WCM Selen Sop, 18, rated 2000, third place at Balkaniad Junior Teams 2010 (U16)


Büsra Arig, 19, rated 1864, third place at Turkish Women Championship 2012


Yesim Patel, 15, rated 1857, third place at European School 2011 (U15 girls)


Hilal Ozturk, 15, 1830, Shared 2nd at Turkish Youth 2011 (U14)


Ayca Aksoy, 12, rated 1720, first place at European School 2011 (U11 girls)

Before I get to our last selected team I should not forget to mention here that the year 2023 has a very special meaning for Turkey. The country will celebrate its 100th anniversary as a Republic, and all measures have been taken to showcase Turkey as a modern western society – as the founder of the the Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk instructed.

Open Category: Team 2023 ‘Preschoolers’, coached by GM Kivanc Haznedaroglu is Turkey’s ‘rough diamond’ and biggest hope for 2023. Consisting of five very talented young preschoolers with the goal to gain as much experience as possible.

Bo.
Name
Rating
Age
Remarks
1
Emirhan Tarlabasi
1743
9
2nd place at World School 2010 (U7)
2
Kagan Aydincelebi
-
9
1st place at Turkish Youth 2012 (U9)
3
Ahmet Utku Uzumcu
-
8
1st place at Turkish Youth 2012 (U8)
4
Ekin Baris Ozenir
1548
8
2nd place at European School 2011 (U7)
5
Isik Can
-
7
1st place at World School 2012 (U7)
Age Average: 8.2


Emirhan Tarlabasi, 9, 1743, second place at World School 2010 (U7)


Kagan Aydincelebi, 9, first place at Turkish Youth 2012 (U9)


Ahmet Utku Uzumcu, 8, unrated, first place at Turkish Youth 2012 (U8)


Isik Can, 7, first place at World School 2012 (U7)

Woman Category: Team 2023 ‘Preschoolers’, coached by GM Georg Mohr is Turkey’s ‘rough diamond’ and biggest hope for 2023. Consisting of five very talented little poppets with the goal to gain as much experience as possible.

Board Name Rating Age Others
1 Cagil Irmak Arda 1584 11 3rd place at World Youth 2011 (U10 girls)
2 Cigdem Onur 1614 11 2nd place at European 2009 (U8)
3 Sude Hereklioglu 1602 10 1st place at European School 2011 (U9 girls)
4 Duru Okuyaz 1453 10 3rd place at European School 2011 (U9 girls)
5 Defne Sade   9 1st place at Turkish Youth 2012 (U9 girls)
Age Average: 10.2


Cagil Irmak Arda, 11, rated 1584, third place at World Youth 2011 (U10 girls)


Cigdem Onur, 11, rated 1614, second place at European 2009 (U8)


Sude Hereklioglu, 10, rated 1602, first place at European School 2011 (U9 girls)


Duru Okuyaz, 10, 1453 third place at European School 2011 (U9 girls)


Defne Sade, 9, first place at Turkish Youth 2012 (U9 girls)

Some of you may be shocked by these selections, especially because of the very young average age of team 2023. Some others may be angry or upset that they are not a Turkish national team member this year, even though they have the right for participation according to their national ranking. Personally speaking I think it is a big and brave step by the Turkish Federation. I fully support the idea and even feel a bit of jealousy that those young kids get such a great and unique opportunity! I remember that I played my first National Team event as a 12-year-old in the Elista Olympiad of 1998. At that time our national trainer was attacked terribly for taking such a decision, especially after I scored just one out of seven! 

Nowdays I regret that my Federation is not so adventurous anymore, maybe out of fear of public reaction, or maybe because we simply cannot compare ourselves with Turkey, regarding chess development and support.  But for me there is only one conclusion: Thats the way to go!

WGM and IM Elisabeth Pähtz
For the Turkish Chess Federation

Elisabeth Pähtz, 27, is a German WGM and IM, who was trained from early childhood by her father Thomas Pähtz, himself a chess grandmaster. In 2002 she became the youth world champion of the Under-18 age group, in 2004 vice champion in the 20-and-below group, and in 2004 world junior champion. Elli likes to work with talented children. As the TCF has invested huge sources on women chess – especially in those of the younger generation from 7 to 9 years – there was a need for women trainers to work on this basic level and to establish an infrastructure for youth training. GMs Adrian Michailisin and George Mohr are the main trainers, but Elli was put in charge of the super talented girls. "With her help," TCF Press Coordinator Fatma Koc Ozturk tells us, "very soon everybody will know and appreciate the following names: Nezihe Ezgi Menzi, Defne Sade, Sude Hereklioglu, Duru Okuyaz, Çigdem Onur, Çagil Irmak Arda, Sinem Çagla Gündogan, and many more than we can count names here…" Elisabeth is also assisting the TCF President Ali Nihat Yazici, when she has time, in international chess business.

Photos provided by Fatma Koc Ozturk, Press Coordinator of the TCF


Schedule

27 August 2012 Arrival, Captains' meeting (20.00), Opening (21.30)
28 August 2012 15.00 1st Round
29 August 2012 15.00 2nd Round
30 August 2012 15.00 3rd Round
31 August 2012 15.00 4th Round
1 September 2012 15.00 5th Round
2 September 2012   Free Day
3 September 2012 15.00 6th Round
4 September 2012 15.00 7th Round
5 September 2012 15.00 8th Round
6 September 2012 15.00 9th Round
7 September 2012 15.00 10th Round
8 September 2012   Free Day
9 September 2011 11.00 11th Round, Closing (20.00)
10 September 2011 Departure

Links

Previous reports

Chess Olympiad in Istanbul – official web site up
06.04.2012 – The 40th Chess Olympiad is scheduled to take place in the Turkish metropole of Istanbul, from August 27 to September 10th, 2012. With just over four months to go the national federations will have to make haste with the arrangements. The official web site, launched this week, provides information on rules, travel and accommodation. Details, contacts, videos.
Chess Olympiad in Istanbul – officials from seven countries banned
09.06.2012 – At a recent FIDE meeting the Turkish Chess Federation, which is host to the 40th Chess Olympiad, was given a list of arbiters for the event. TCF President Ali Nihat Yazici rejected any officials from seven countries – England, France, Georgia, Germany, Switzerland, Ukraine and the USA – for supporting court cases against FIDE and causing financial damage. The affected federations have protested.

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