Turkish League starts with stars

by Albert Silver
8/8/2015 – The Turkish league is currently underway in Kocaeli, Turkey, and will run from August 4-15 with thirteen rounds of action in the eclectic team event. Though the ratings and players range from Top Ten to weak amateur, there are a good number of elite players such as Wesley So, Harikrishna, Mamedyarov, and Moiseenko to cite a few. There has been plenty of action so far.

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Calling the lineups eclectic is not an exaggeration, and adds to the unusual character of this competition. Seeing national leagues with top players is hardly unique of course, and citing the numerous competitions for local fans and players such as Budesliga, the French League, Russian League and many more is not really necessary. What stands out here is that amidst the teams with grandmaster lineups, are teams with barely a single player over 2100.

Launching the tournament with the symbolic first move

The opening ceremony

WFM Nezihe Ezgi Menzi playing board eight of her team Deniz Su Aquamatch

And who is board one? Wesley So no less!

Obviously for teams such as these, it is the sheer pleasure of facing and watching top players one-on-one. That said, don't think for an instant the top guns are playing it safe against each other. Here is a spectacular demolition by Wesley So against Sergey Volkov in round two.

[Event "TCh-TUR Super League 2015"] [Site "Kigali"] [Date "2015.08.05"] [Round "2.1"] [White "So, Wesley"] [Black "Volkov, Sergey"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C11"] [WhiteElo "2779"] [BlackElo "2589"] [PlyCount "45"] [EventDate "2015.08.04"] [EventType "team-schev"] [EventRounds "13"] [EventCountry "TUR"] [WhiteTeam "Deniz Su Aquamatch Satranc Genclik Ve Sports "] [BlackTeam "Kocaeli Buyuksehir Belediyesi Kagit Sports Cl"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 a6 8. Qd2 b5 9. dxc5 Bxc5 10. Bd3 Qb6 11. Bf2 Bb7 12. O-O Rc8 13. Rae1 g6 {[#]} ({Needless to say, with 20/20 hindsight,} 13... Ne7 {was necessary to prevent f5. Black thought g6 succeeded in this but missed the battering ram So employed. Ne7 not only covers f5 but opens the lines for the Bb7 and the Qb6.}) 14. f5 $3 gxf5 15. Bxf5 Bxf2+ ({What happens if Black takes?} 15... exf5 16. e6 $1 fxe6 (16... Ne7 17. exd7+ Kxd7 18. Ne5+ Ke8 19. Nd3 Bxf2+ 20. Rxf2 Rc7 21. b4 $1 {followed by Nc5.}) 17. Rxe6+ Kd8 18. Nxd5 Bxf2+ 19. Rxf2 Qc5 20. Qg5+) 16. Rxf2 Na5 17. Qh6 d4 $2 {The final mistake after which there is no recovery.} (17... exf5 $2 18. e6 $1) ({The engines explain that the cold-blooded} 17... Kd8 $1 {is necessary here to try to have the king make a run for it via c7.}) 18. Ne4 exf5 19. Nd6+ Kd8 20. Nxf7+ Kc7 21. e6 Bxf3 22. Qf4+ $1 {Precise to the end.} Kb7 23. exd7 1-0

It's great to see the teams managed to get backing from significant sponsors

Being a team event, it is often necessary to strategize according to the results of other boards

Fifteen-year-old Sinem Gundogan (is this the secret twin sister of my colleague?)

Pentala Harikrishna is the second seed and top gun of his team, followed by the talented Turkish
player, Alexander Ipatov, also a frequent contributor to our new page

The lush playing hall: spacious and elegant

Standings after four rounds


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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