How are new ideas born? In many cases, new ideas need a reason. The 12 year old Cologne Chess Club ‚ Satranç Club 2000‘ has been founded from turkish originated players and is now containing players from several countries. In 2008, the club organized a tournament, reffering to the Dresden Chess Olympiad. This time, the 2012 Istanbul Olympiad is a new, excellent reason for a new event.
Additionally to this: Cologne and Istanbul are twinned cities since 15 years. In 1997, the cologne mayor Norbert Burger and the Istanbul mayor Recep Tayyip Erdogan (now primeminister of the Turkish republic) signed the cooperation document. Since that year, the Cologne Istanbul Urban Partnership Association has been founded in order to look after good relationships between the two cities.
When Güven Manay from the Satranç Club 2000 contacted his friends from the board of the Cologne Istanbul Partnership Club, Walter Kluth (Cologne Muncipal Council from 1989-2009) and Monika Bongartz, it has been decided to plan an online chess tournament between two selected teams from Cologne and Istanbul).
But what makes the difference between this Online tournament and others? Both are sitting in one Room and not, like normally in online tournaments, anonymously at home.
Because Walter Kluth is also the board of a educational institution, he found immediately a training classroom, containing several computers. I.e. the Cologne team found a tournament location within a very short time.
Güven Manay informed now both the Turkish Chess Federation and the German one. Both were excited about this initiative. Now, the President of the Istanbul Chess Federation, Fuat Ergür, has been contacted. He arranged the contact to the 1943 founded Chess Club ‘Istanbul Satranc Dernegi’ in Istanbul – Sisli.
The 12th of August has been chosen for this event. Because of summer holidays in North Rhine-Westphalia, it turned out difficult to find appropriate players. Many very strong players, even grandmasters, were out of town. Hence, the Istanbul Chess Federation offered to adapt the strength level of their team to the Cologne one.
The tournament online arbiter from Chessbase was fit and proper regarding this event: It is Women Fide Master Emine Yanik Süral. She grew up in Germany and is living in Turkey currently. Interestingly, the Cologne team contained a former trainer of her from the nineties. It’s a small world!
The cologne team members Eneida Peres (Member of the Dominican Republic Olympic Team in Istanbul) and International Master Norbert Lücke also attracted interest on themselves.
The tournament day:
After a short opening ceremony, led by Walter Kluth, Güven Manay and the recently elected president of the Cologne Chess Federation, Andreas Gerdau, the tournament started.
Always expect the unexpected: Both teams needed to change their members slightly on very short notice. A thunderstorm in Istanbul caused a traffic jam and difficulties with the Internet access. Depite all adversities, the start button has been pressed for a nice and exciting competition.
Cologne gained the lead very quickly on board 7. Board 9 of Istanbul won also after half an hour then. Board 2 drew and then the state of game was: Cologne-Istanbul: 1,5:1,5. After a while, Cologne lost three games in a row and it stood 1,5:4,5 against them! Now a high defeat of the Cologne Team was likely. But the Cologne reared up now: Three of their members won their endgames in a row against Istanbul. But Cologne lost the last game on board 6 and Istanbul won the match. A good practice for both team players before the new season / Olympiad and a good season prep for everyone.
The audience (which has been a mixture of physically present audience and virtual visitor in Playchess) was pleased. Thanks to everyone who supported! And why not a friendly rematch one day?
With the best wishes from Cologne to Istanbul for the organization of the chess Olympiad from 27 August to 10 September!