Third Mediterranean Championship in Antalya

2/12/2006 – A 5-star hotel in Kemer, a designer holiday resort on the "Turkish Riviera". Full gratuitious hospitality and transfers for all the participants. Such conditions are a great rarity in international tournaments nowadays. But that is exactly what the players of this year's Mediterranean Men's and Women's Championship got. Geoffrey Borg reports.

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3rd Mediterranean
Men & Women Championship

Kemer-Antalya, Turkey

Report by Geoffrey D Borg

The third edition of the Mediterranean Men & Women Championships got underway on the 1st of February in the fabulous surroundings that only the seaside resort of Kemer in Antalya, Turkey could provide. Coupled with the lavish conditions in the Turkiz Hotel the participants invited by the Mediterranean Chess Association were in for an excellent tournament. The enterprising Turkish Chess Federation, under the Presidency of the dynamic Ali Nihat Yazici, as usual, stopped at nothing in providing the participants with whatever was needed to make the stay memorable.

The hotel where the players stayed is the Turkiz Hotel bang on the beach and within a couple of minutes walking distance of shops and restaurants. This hotel is being used for ECU Club Cup in Autmun 2007 and I found the staff and management extremely helpful and the service throughout our stay was excellent, so along with the great location I recommend it for anyone interested in playing here. Some hotel shots:

Full gratuitious hospitality and transfers to Kemer were provided to all the participants. These type of conditions have become something of a rarity as most tournaments nowadays require payment for hotel accommodation irrespective of the stature of the players. Moreso when the hotel selected for the players a five start hotel.

Additionally, the MCA also ensured that for the first time in the Championships, three grandmasters would be present so that players would have a chance of making GM norms. This objective was nearly jeopardised at the last moment as a number of players, including two of the GMs backed out for personal reasons. We must thank GM Adrian Mihalcisin who arranged for an alternative GM to replace him. This was Ukrainiain GM Alexandre Sulypa who was invited as a guest player hors concours.


The playing hall

In total 22 players left the starting blocks with a total of three GMs, two WGMs, two IMs and a number of WIMs and FMs. The average rating of all participants was 2222 with the highest rated player being Turkish GM Suat Atalik at 2618. Highest rated woman player was his new spouse WGM Ekaterina Atalik nee Polovnikova with a rating of 2399. The other GM challenging was Stefan Djuric from Serbia & Montenegro. Greece also sent a WGM Marina Makropoulou so some interesting battles are expected. The youngest player in the tournament was 12 year old Seray Tulay who ended the tournament with a great performance of 1943.

In total nine countries were represented in the tournament which was quite good and one augurs that in the 4th edition of the championships we will have more countries participating in this tournament of friendship!

Final standings

1 GM Atalik Suat 2618 TUR
2 WGM Atalik Ekaterina 2399 TUR
3 GM Sulypa Alexandre 2479 UKR 6
4 IM Lamoureux Charles 2379 FRA
5   Yagiz Yasin Emrah 2209 TUR
6   Simeonidis Ioannis 2261 GRE 5
7 GM Djuric Stefan 2460 SCG 5
8 IM Atakisi Umut 2441 TUR 5
9 WFM Topel Zehra 2103 TUR 5
10 FM Bosiocic Marin 2371 CRO 5
11 WGM Makropoulou Marina 2284 GRE 5
12 FM Citak Selim 2221 TUR
13 FM Erturan Yakup 2365 TUR
14 FM Mohammad Samir 2320 SYR
15   Sorensen Torben 2368 MLT 4
16 WIM Sargac Rajna 2233 CRO 4
17   Lamoureux Izabelle 2033 FRA
18   Borg Andrew 2151 MLT
19   Mir Mahmoud Afamia 2024 SYR
20   Tulay Seray 1540 TUR
21   Yilmaz Gizem 1599 TUR 2
22   Al Jaabari Omar Oussama  2030 PLE

In principle, GM Suat Atalik continued with his great form shown just a few days prior to this tournament in Wijk aan Zee. He reeled off win after win once again whilst his nearest opponents suffered losses against much lower rated opponents. Here's an example

ATALIK,Suat(GM) (2618) - ERTURAN,Yakup(FM) (2365) [E17]
3rd Mediterrenaen Men and Women Ch (2.1), 2006
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.Nc3 d5 7.cxd5 exd5 8.Qa4+ c6 9.Ne5 0-0 10.0-0 Nfd7 [10...Qc8 11.Bf4 Rd8 12.Rac1 Qe6 13.Rfe1 c5 14.e4 Nxe4 15.Nxe4 dxe4 16.dxc5 Bxc5 17.Bxe4 Bxe4 18.Rxe4 Qd5 19.Ree1 Qb7 20.b4 b5 21.Qb3 Bf8 22.Bg5 Rd4 23.Be7 Qxe7 24.Qf3 1-0 Movsziszian,K-Guerra,V/Mondariz Balneario 2002] 11.Nd3 Na6 12.Bf4 Bf6?! [12...Nc7+/=] 13.e3 [13.e4!?] 13...Qe7 14.e4 more or less forced now due to g5 coming 14...b5 15.Qb3 Bxd4 16.exd5 Ndc5 17.Nxc5 Nxc5 18.Qb4 white has now got a big advantage 18...Bxc3 19.bxc3 a5 20.d6 Qe5 21.Bxe5 [21.Qxa5! Qh5 (21...Qxf4 22.Qxa8 Qxd6 23.Rad1 Qe7 24.Qa7+-) 22.Qb6+-] 21...axb4 22.cxb4 Nd3 23.Bc3! eyeing the knight on d3 23...Rfd8?! a bit too ambitious but Yakup told me he felt the position was completely lost anyway [23...Ra3 24.Bd4+/-] 24.Rfd1 Rxd6 25.Rd2 Rad8 26.Rad1 R6d7 27.f4! 1-0. [Click to replay]

A crushing win by young Turkish hopeful Selim Citak got him his first ever GM scalp.

CITAK,Selim(FM) (2221) - DJURIC,Stefan(GM) (2460) [D75]
3rd Mediterrenaen Men and Women Ch (1.3), 01.02.2006
1.d4 g6 2.Nf3 Bg7 3.c4 Nf6 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.0-0 c5 8.dxc5 Na6 9.Ng5 e6 10.Ne4 Bd7 11.Bg5 f6 [11...Qc7 12.Nbc3 Nxc3 13.Nxc3 Bc6 14.Bf4 Qc8 15.Ne4 Nxc5 16.Nxc5 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 Qxc5 18.Qb3 1/2-1/2 Skomorokhin,R-Ivanov,M Schwabisch Gmun 1995] 12.Bd2 Bc6 13.Nbc3 Qe7?! this is new but weaker than [13...f5 14.Nxd5 Bxd5 15.Nc3 Bxg2 16.Kxg2 Nxc5 the game was agreed drawn here in Speelman,J-Howell,D London 2005 17.Be3 Qe7 18.Rc1 Rfd8 19.Qc2 Rac8 20.Na4 Nxa4 21.Qxa4 a6 22.Bb6 Rf8 23.Qb3 Be5 24.Rfd1= 1-0 Joeferov-Arbakov, Moskou 1990 (46)] 14.Rc1 Rad8 [14...f5!=] 15.Qb3 Kh8 [15...Nxc5 16.Nxc5 Qxc5 17.Nxd5 Bxd5 18.Bb4+/-] 16.Rfd1 [16.Nb5!+/-] 16...Rd7 17.Nb5 f5 18.Bg5 Qe8 19.Ned6 Qa8 this position has become really bad for black 20.e4 fxe4 21.Bh3?! a bit too ambitious [21.Nxe4+/-] 21...Rf3?! [21...Ndc7] 22.Qc4 e3 23.fxe3 [23.Bxe6 exf2+ 24.Kf1+-] 23...Nxe3 24.Bxe3 Rxe3 25.Bxe6 Bxb5 26.Qxb5 Re7 white now finishes the game off nicely 27.Nc8 R3xe6 28.Rd8+ Bf8 29.Rxf8+ Kg7 30.Rcf1 Re1 31.Nxe7 1-0. [Click to replay]

Another tournament favourite got unsaddled by a young Turkish hopeful. This time WIM-to be Zehra Topel unseated Ukrainian guest GM Alexandre Sulypa with a very enterprising game. Zehra has four WIM norms so far and compiled a fifth one in this tournament but is still waiting to reach the target rating of 2200 before getting the title officially.

SULYPA,Alexandre(GM) (2479) - TOPEL,Zehra(WFM) (2103) [A65]
3rd Mediterrenaen Men and Women Ch, 2006
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5 e6 8.Qd2 exd5 9.cxd5 Re8 10.Nge2 a6 11.a4 b6!? 12.Ng3 Qc7 13.Be2 Nbd7 14.0-0 c4?! this effectively hangs the pawn but Zehra told me she had to seek activity. Strangely enough this line has also been played before 15.Rfc1 Rb8!? black sacs a pawn [15...Qc5+ 16.Kh1 (16.Be3 Bh6?! 17.Nf1+/- (17.Bxc5 Bxd2 18.Bxd6! Bxc1 19.Rxc1 Bb7 20.Bxc4 Rac8 21.Ba2 Ne5? 22.Bxe5 Rxe5 23.Rd1 Kg7 24.f4 Ree8 25.e5 Nd7 26.Nge4 Rb8 27.Nd6 Re7 28.Nxb7 Rxb7 29.d6+/- 1-0 Karason,A-Ervin,x/corr EU/MM ,SF) (FS 1990 (41)) ) 16...Ne5 17.Be3 Qb4 18.Nb1 a5! 19.Qxb4 axb4 20.Bd2?! (20.Nd2~~; 20.Bxc4? Nxc4 21.Rxc4 Nxd5-/+) 20...Nfd7 21.Bxc4 (21.Bxb4 Nd3 22.Bxd3 Bxb2-/+) 21...Nc5|^ 22.Bb5 Bd7 23.Bxd7 Nexd7 24.Rc4[] Nd3 25.Bxb4 b5! 26.Rc7 Nxb4 27.Nc3 (27.Rxd7 Bxb2-+) 27...Nc5-+ 0-1 Toth,B-Gheorghiu,F/Biel 1983 (41)] 16.Bxc4 b5 [16...Qxc4 would be a blunder after 17.Nce2!+-] 17.Ba2 Qb7 18.axb5 axb5 19.Be3 [19.b4 eliminating black counterplay may have been better here ] 19...b4 20.Nce2 b3 21.Bb1 Qb4! more for the guts of exchanging queens a pawn down 22.Qxb4 Rxb4 23.Bd2 [23.Ra7+/-] 23...Rb8 24.Bc3 Nc5 25.Bd4 Bd7!? black continues with her enterprising play and throws caution to the wind 26.Rd1 [26.Bxc5 dxc5 27.Rxc5 Nh5 28.Nxh5 gxh5 29.Rc7 Bb5 30.Nc3 Be5 may not have appeared too palatable to white ] 26...Rec8 27.Nc3 Rb4 28.Nge2 Bb5 29.Nxb5 Rxb5 30.Bc3 Rb7 31.Nd4 Nfd7 white had been consuming a lot of time here and slowly losing the thread of the position 32.Kf2? [32.Bd3+/-] 32...Nb6!~~ 33.Bd3 Nba4 all of a sudden white is facing many threats 34.Rxa4? and panics 34...Nxa4 35.Ba6 Rxc3!-+ 36.bxc3 Nxc3 37.Bxb7? Nxd1+ 38.Ke1 b2 0-1. [Click to replay]

The tournament was controlled very well by the Ataliks, who dominated the top two tables for most of the tournament and Ekaterina also recovered from her bad performance in Wijk to clinch overall second place in the tournament and also remain undefeated.

Some information about Kemer

Kemer was Turkey’s first designer holiday resort. It is known as the Turkish Riviera. It is in a stunning location, surrounded by pine-clad hills, giving way to azure waters and shingle beaches.

The fresh scent of the pines pervades the warm summer’s air, and the mild climate lends itself to the growing of citrus fruit and vegetables, which was the main industry before the tourism potential of this stunning area was realised. Where fishermen once tied their boats, is now a modern marina, a favourite with the Turkish jet set.

The marina is at the heart of Kemer, with its excellent restaurants providing the best vantage point from which to watch the world go by. There are a number of lively music bars and a wide range of upmarket shops and boutiques.

Along the surrounding coastline, on the western side of the bay of Antalya, many hotels and holiday villages have sprung up around this idyllic spot. It is a favourite resort with Turks who are enticed, not just by the magnificent scenery, but also by the high standard of accommodation in the area.

Not far from Kemer is the ancient harbour of Phaselis, which is over 2500 years old, and was visited by Alexander the Great. For a change of pace, the city of Antalya is less than an hour’s drive away, and easily reached by the local dolmus services.

Kemer is an excellent choice for either a laid-back family holiday, as well as for those who appreciate peace and quiet rather than wild nightlife.



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