Piorun in Polish-Hungarian friendship

by Keti Tsatsalashvili
5/16/2018 – Before the Polish Championship, there was the Polish-Hungarian friendship championship. This nine-round rapid tournament has been held since 2013, and attracts hundreds of players young and old to Katowice, Poland for a fun-filled weekend. WGM KETI TSATSALASHVILI was there and sends this photo report. | Photo: Walusza photography

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Piorun's Warsaw warm-up

The Polish-Hungarian friendship chess championship was held on the weekend of May 5th-6th, 2018. For the sixth edition, 600 players from ten countries participated in this 9-round rapid Swiss open took place at the International Congress Center in Katowice, Poland.

The time control was 15 minutes per player, with a 10-second increment for each move. The prize fund amounted to 40,000 PLN (approximately 10,000 euros). The aim of the tournament is to make Polish-Hungarian relations stronger, and the event was co-organized by the cities of Katowice, Miskolc (in Hungary) and the Silesian Chess Federation [Silesia is the region along the Oder river connecting Poland and the Czech Republic —Ed.].


(L to R) Andrzej Matusiak (President of Silesian Chess Association) Adam Dzwonkowski (President of Polish Chess Federation), Lukasz Turlej (Chief Organizer and Vice-president of Polish Chess Federation), Grzegorz Matusiak (Member of Parliament), Mariusz Skiba (Vice Mayor of the Katowice), prof. Adrienne Kormendy (Consul General of Hungary), Jan Chrzaszcz (regional governor), Adam Leski and Michal Luty (event initiators), Bartosz Sulkowski (organizer) | Photo: Karol Bartnik

Promotional video

Katowice — City of Chess 

Katowice hosts biggest Polish and International Chess Festivals every year. The most well-known event is the European Rapid and Blitz Championship with more than 1400 registered players held last year in December. In an interview, the Vice-President of Katowice, Mariusz Skiba, said proudly, "After big international chess events many people know about our city".

The most memorable friendship tournament was held back in 2015. The President of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski, and the President of Hungary, Janos Ader, attended opening ceremony together with the best female player of all time GM Judit Polgar.

2015 event with Judit Polgar

 Milosz Martyniak (in green shirt) was the lucky kid to have the “first move” made by the President | Photo: Karol Bartnik

Kacper Piorun

The 2018 event attracted strong grandmasters including the well-known chess family of Bartosz and Monika Socko (currently rated 2630 and 2360 respectively!), Robert Kempinski (2583), Pakleza Zbigniew (2549), the legendary Michal Krasenkow (2546) and two-time World Solving Champion Kacper Piorun (2639) who managed to win the tournament with amazing score of 8/9.

Kacper was happy to add one more title to his achievements, in the run-up to the Polish Championship where he endeavours to defend his 2017 title. 

GM Bartosz Socko was leading with a perfect score after five rounds. In the critical seventh round, he lost winning position against IM Aleksander Hnydiuk, and shared 2nd — 4th places with 7½ / 9 together with Hnydiuk IM Maciej Klekowski, and Ukrainian GM Mikhail Kazakov.


White can force a repetition after 60.Rf7 Bh6, when 61.g7? loses to Ra8 and the g-pawn will be rounded up. But Socko was still playing for a win. 60.Kf3? Bd4! and suddenly the f-pawn is falling and White's pawns are going nowhere. Still, Socko battled on and got another chance to stay in the game:


White is nearly back to equal, but here he went wrong with 67.h7? Rxg7! when h8(Q) would be met by Rf7+. Instead there followed 68.Re8+ Kd7! 69.Rd8+ Kc6 70.h8(N) underpromoting to guard the f7 square, but with little effect.

Socko, Hnydiuk and Klekowski

GM Socko, IM Hnydiuk and IM Klekowski | Photo: Karol Bartnik​ / Walusza photography

GM Monika Socko took home the first female prize with a score of 6½ points. Participation of chess legends creates great spirit. Michal Krasenkow, grandmaster, trainer, writer and the winner of many "best game" awards scored 7/9.
Young Polish CM Pawel Teclaf, was among the leaders for many rounds. He showed very impressive result of 7/9, and in the last round was fighting with Piorun for the first place! Here was the key moment of his seventh round win over Miroslaw Lewicki:


Pawel Teclaf

Pawel Teclaf | Photo: Walusza photography

Michal Bartel and Michal Orzechowski

FM Michal Bartel (left) is the brother of top Polish GM Mateusz Bartel. 19-year-old Michal Orzechowski (right) participated despite impending national exams | Photo: Karol Bartnik​

Jakub Seemann and Karina Szczepkowska

10-year-old Jakub Seemann is young talented Polish chess player, who won the national championship for boys under-10 and is a student of IM Karina Szczepkowska (right, photo: Szczepkowska's Facebook page)

Nguyen and Tsatsalashvili

IM Piotr Nguyen (half-Polish half-Vietnamese) and I hosted the live commentary of the games from the lovely studio in an open area | Photo: Walusza photography

happy children

The happy faces of hundreds of kids created a very special atmosphere in the playing venue | Photo: Karol Bartnik​ / Walusza photography


This precious young man has "mate in one" on the board, and is patiently awaiting his opponent's resignation | Photo: Karol Bartnik​

boy blocks

Until next year in Katowice! | Photo: Karol Bartnik​

Many more photos are available in the gallery at the top of the page!

Replay commentary webcast

All available games


Final standings (top 10)

final standings

Keti is a Georgian Woman Grandmaster and chess commentator. She is also a six-time medal winner at the European and World Youth Championships.


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