North Cyprus, where all your wishes are fulfilled

5/31/2007 – Passing through difficult periods of its history, today North Cyprus has become a cultural center, full of legends, museums, castles and churches. The 200,000 people living in the northern part are friendly and hospitable, making you feel that you are part of a big family– like the chess family in Gens Una Sumus. WGM Elena Partac tells us about the Duzkaya international chess tournament.

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North Cyprus – the beginning of a chess tradition

Report by WGM Elena Partac

The island of Cyprus is obviously a territory blessed by God – a beautiful land of dreams that become reality. Our first visiting target was Buffavento Castle, located at 950 m above sea level – or 1001 steps needed to reach it. It was built as a part of the defensive chain against Arab raids. A birds-eye view of North Cyprus will surely stay in your memory for a long long time. Take a look…


Buffavento castle, the view from above 1000 meters


Enjoying the view – our reporter WGM Elena Partac

North Cyprus covers about one-third of Cyprus island, approximetely 3400 sq km. A large part of this land is covered with citrus and olive groves, pine forests and cypresses. It is one of the few unspoiled corners of the Mediterranean world. The Flora and fauna of North Cyprus is varied and it reminded me of our school Biology book. It seems like nothing is missing on this beautiful land.


The view of Noth Cyprus seems like a picture post-card


Cactus plants doing extremely very well in North Cyprus 

The truly amazing thing is that each occupying force left a part of itself on this island, a rich and colourful diversity of cultures: Greeks, Egyptians, Assyrians, Phoenicians and Persians, Romans, Byzantines and Ottoman Turks.


The Golden Beach and Turquoise Mediterranean

We can not continue without mentioning the turquoise color of the Mediterranean Sea surounding the island. And if it’s time for the beach, you cannot miss the Golden Beach area. A place where you can see the sea floor through 50 m of crystaline water.

Chess in North Cyprus

Probably, we know only some basic and insignificant information about chess in North Cyprus, but being there and visiting several chess clubs and chess players, you can see that this magnificent island has started insistently to develop chess, and it seems that nothing could ever stop it. When chess becomes an object of study in schools and a real hobby for a lot of citizens, you understand how important it is to follow the needs and wishes of the people as well as chess players living in North Cyprus. The international tournament “Duzkaya” was obviously one of the first, but important, steps on the way toward the bright future of chess in North Cyprus. The first edition of “Duzkaya” took place in Kyrenia town, renowned for the Kyrenia Castle. The Chess Federation of North Cyprus, together with the Municipality of Kyrenia town, have been successfully included in the organization of this event. Hopefully it will become a traditional international chess tournament.

“Duzkaya” International Tournament

The first edition of the “Duzkaya” international chess tournament was held from 29 April until the 10th of May, in the “Malpas Hotel” city of Kyrenia, which was also one of the event sponsors. There were twelve players from Turkey and the Republic of Moldova who played a round roben tournament. The first three places were won by three Moldavian chess players: Iulian Baltag, WGM Elena Partac and WGM Carolina Smokina.

Rnk

Sd.

Name

Rtg

FED

Pts

SB.

1

8

Baltag Julian

2348

MOL

10

47,75

2

5

Partac Elena

2127

MOL

38,75

3

4

Smokina Karolina

2192

MOL

8

38,50

4

11

Atesin Tarik

2183

TUR

31,25

5

12

Barissever Erdogan

2162

TUR

27,25

6

10

Sertbay Huseyin

2189

TUR

6

21,50

7

7

Karakas Evrim

2122

TUR

24,75

8

2

Özon Kemal

2093

TUR

15,25

9

1

Barissever Osman

1688

TUR

4

15,25

10

9

Seker Cuneyt

1760

TUR

6,25

11

6

Özdogan Abdullah

1665

TUR

6,75

12

3

Goksin Mehmet

1501

TUR

4,75

Unfortunately the games are not easily available. They are in the possession of the organisers. If we can get hold of them we will add a link to this article.

The tournament atmosphere, sometimes covered with the sounds of classic music coming from the hall of the Malpas Hotel, truly improved the participants results.


The arbiter shares sweets with the players….anything to make people feel good!


The playing hall in Malpas Hotel


The winner of the tournament, Julian Baltag (2350) from Moldova


WGM Elena Partac, the second place in the tournament


Moldavian WGM Karolina Smokina, third place


Concentated from the first moves, with black Atasin Tarik, multiple champion of North Cyprus, 4th place in the tournament


Here we are…the participants of the event, with the Moldavian players in front

And if you really have an unfulfilled wish, you can come to the Tree of Wishes, to the branches of which you can attach a strip of clothing with your wish on it. It will surely became true…believe me.

About the author

Elena Partac, born on 25th March 1984, is a Woman Grandmaster and member of the Moldova Olympic Chess, for which she has played in three Olympiads. Elena won the Woman Chess Champion of Moldova three times.

Elena will be graduating at the University, Faculty of Journalism and Public Relations, in two weeks! She is also the director of the Moldavian Chess Federation web site. Elena tells us that she fell in love with chess when she was five years old.

[Photo: Pufichek]




Addendum

Dimitris Skyrianoglou, chief editor of the Greek chess magazine "Skaki gia olous" (Chess for All), sent us the following message:

I am writing to express my great surprise (to say the least) regarding the article titled "North Cyprus, where all your wishes are fulfilled" that appeared on ChessBase website. In this article WGM Elena Partac refers to a tournament that took place in "North Cyprus". The article was also accompanied by a map showing the "borders" and main cities of this "country". The problem with all this is that there is no country or state named "North Cyprus". The only state existing on the island of Cyprus is the Republic of Cyprus. It is a member of EU and recognized by UN. The northern part of the island was occupied after the Turkish invasion in 1974 and remains under occupation since then. The same applies for the so called Chess Federation of North Cyprus. Officially it is not recognized by FIDE!

In order not to get a wrong impression about my motives and intensions, I would like to inform you that I have visited Cyprus (including the northern occupied part) several times. I have played chess there, I have met several players from the northern part of Cyprus, I have some good friends among them and I have also host some of them in Greece (it was last summer at the tournament of Ikaria). However, whenever I faced all these players on the board they all stated that they are Cypriots (with a Turkish origin – Turk Cypriots). Most, if not all of them, hold Cypriot passports and they travel to Greece and elsewhere as Cypriots. This is because most of them feel Cypriots and because there is not any other recognized state on the island.

On the other hand I acknowledge that at the north part of Cyprus, chess activity is quite intense and people seem to really love and enjoy the game. This is beyond doubt. However all this activity takes place in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus at the northern part of the island and not in "North Cyprus", which is a non-existent entity...

A few other voices:

Enver Tatlicioglu of Clemson, SC, USA wrote:
I was reading the article by WGM Elena Partac. It is nicely written with wonderful pictures. I just have a correction: the players that are said to be Turkish are actually citizens of a country named North Cyprus Turkish Republic (yes, in fact they are Turkish origin). Since this country – I call it a country because they have their own government and they have their own elections to choose their president – is not recognized by the rest of the world. Since this is a highly political issue I will understand if you do not mention this fact.

Loukas, Zahilas, Athens, Greece
I am really surprised with the article on chess in 'Northern Cyprus'. I will try to comment it the easy way. You have a young, promising and attractive Moldavian grandmaster who parallel to her chess career wants to become a Journalist and Public Relations professional. Please inform this lady that Northern Cyprus is not only a dream place for chess players but also the settlement of 40.000 Turkish soldiers who divide an island that used to be a 'paradise' before 1974. I don't know if Elena has her own view of the world, but according to the United Nations understanding, in Cyprus you can only find one recognised nation, the Democracy of Cyprus.

Wikipedia tells us the following:

Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is a Eurasian island country in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey (Anatolia). It is the third-largest island in the Mediterranean and one of the most popular tourist destinations there, attracting over 2.4 million tourists per year. A former British colony, it gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960 and became a Commonwealth republic in 1961. The Republic of Cyprus is a developed country and has been a member of the European Union since 1 May 2004.

In 1974, following a period of violence between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and an attempted Greek Cypriot coup sponsored by the Greek military junta of that period, Turkey invaded and occupied one-third of the island. This led to the displacement of thousands of Cypriots and the establishment of a separate Turkish Cypriot political entity in the north. This event and its resulting political situation is a matter of ongoing dispute.

The Republic of Cyprus, the internationally recognized state, has de jure sovereignty over the island of Cyprus and surrounding waters. However, the island is de facto partitioned into four main parts:

  • the area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus in the south of the island;
  • the area in the north, styling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus;
  • the United Nations-controlled Green Line, separating the two; and
  • two Sovereign Base Areas (Akrotiri and Dhekelia), over which the United Kingdom retained jurisdiction after Cypriot independence.

Read more about Cyprus here. And about Northern Cyprus here.


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