DECEMBER 25 — Today there are many types of tournaments with different systems and formats that have been accepted by FIDE (World Chess Federation) and the chess community to be legitimate.
So the many organisers of international competitions all over the world are able to constantly try and innovate their events to meet the demands of their stakeholders, be they sponsors or players.
Even at World Championship level, chess has long moved away from a qualifying cycle of zonal and interzonal play with all events with representation based on country strength quotas followed by a quarter final, semi-final and final matches to determine the challenger.
There are now numerous ways to qualify and currently there is just one grand final to decide a challenger who then plays a relatively short championship title match of some 12 games followed by tiebreaks in other formats of the game.
On occasion, the highest title has even been decided by knock-out competition; in fact that is still the case for the Woman’s World Championship on alternate years!
Looking back, what a contrast this has been from the usual 24 games World Championship matches and even the first Karpov-Kasparov match that was called off with the score at 5-3 (after Karpov had gone into a 4-0 lead) when it was played with unlimited games and the winner the first to score six wins!
Where chess is a part of multi-sports events, such as in the Asian Games, there are both individual and team events which are sometimes only played using the rapid and blitz formats while in others like the World Mind Sports Games, there is even a new system called basque where two games, one white and one black each are simultaneously played against the same opponent!
And if we look to the SEA Games, there were even variants introduced, not only Fischer or 960 chess but also Myanmar, Thai, and ASEAN chess as well as Transfer chess!
The curse and blessing of today’s game is the opening up of youth events to ever young age group categories — where in the past there was just one representative per country in the World Junior U-20 Championships, now there are World Youth Championships with categories for U-8, U-10, U-12, U-14, U-16 and U-18, and there are no restrictions as to the number of representatives per country.
By curse, I mean that organisers no longer need to get sponsorship for such events, the young age of participants all, but, ensuring parents and/or various accompanying persons (which often include siblings) come along and so the additional fees collected from these together with compulsory stay at “official hotels” essentially ensuring a healthy profit!
On the flip side, chess has been enjoying an explosion of participation given the ease with which players now become “national players” and FIDE has been busy ensuring winners are given titles such as FIDE Master as incentives (Candidate Master is given even more freely but it is strictly speaking not a title but a form of encouragement to young players.).
The Super GM Tournament is very popular in Europe, the recent London Classic being a case in point where a small group of players are brought together to guarantee exciting games and commentary and there are usually a number of supporting events with a focus on creating greater awareness and participation amongst school children.
Needless to say, these events generate significant media buzz and enjoy marketing and promotion on a global scale with significant participation by both the government and the corporate sector.
In Asia it has reached the stage where we have a surfeit of open tournaments where competition for rating, let alone titles, is very competitive yet many Federations are reluctant to organise round robin events where arguably it is easier for players to know who they play in advance and even the colours and so can be more prepared.
For many years now, the First Saturday Budapest tournaments have played an important part in helping young talents get opportunities for ratings and titles.
This is a series of round robin events, usually a GM title, an IM title, a FM and a rating event run side by side monthly throughout the year (except January when even the indefatigable organiser Lazlo Nagy who with his wife and son have been doing this since 1987 needs to take some time off!).
Even some of today’s very best players have at some point gone to play in First Saturday and not all had success!
The World No. 2 Fabiano Caruana who is expected to be the next challenger to World Champion Magnus Carlsen, USA No. 1 and World No. 9 Hikaru Nakamura, former World Championship finalist Peter Leko, current Woman World Champion Hou Yifan and Woman World No. 3 and Indian Superstar Koneru Humpy are just a few.
First Saturday has become a favourite of our neighbours Indonesia and Vietnam; they often send some of their best talents to play.
Malaysians have participated too and very successfully! Our long-time former No. 1 Mas Hafizulhelmi when just 16 in 1997 absolutely crushed the opposition when he played in the IM tournament with a 9/9 perfect score ahead of the joint second and third place finishers with just 6.5/9.
Unfortunately we probably do not have today such talent of the magnitude of Mas but Elgin Lee in August 2012 won the FM group with 9.5/11 and less than two weeks ago Dilwen Ding did the same with 6.5/8.
Of course I mean no disrespect and congratulate both young players on their success but Mas, Elgin and Dilwen were all at the same age when they played and it is clear which result was the more significant achievement.
By 1995, I was finished with chess so I cannot be sure what type of support Mas enjoyed but I had introduced Elgin’s father (Penang Chess Association President Lee Ewe Ghee) to a top Hungarian trainer in IM Tibor Karolyi and Dilwen’s mother brought along KL Russia embassy based GM Alexander Fominyh.
Following are the games played by Dilwen for the reader to judge “the talent felt when playing him” as Lazlo put it when I called him up to confirm the result.
(1) Oberfrank,Istvan (1785) - Ding,Tze How Dilwen (1813) [B33]
FIRST SATURDAY FM-A Dec 2014 Budapest (1.2), 06.12.2014
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nb5 d6 6.Bf4 e5 7.Be3 Nf6 8.N1c3 a6 9.Na3 Be6 10.Bd3 d5 11.exd5 Nxd5 12.Nxd5 Bxd5 13.0–0 Be6 14.Qf3 Be7 15.Rfd1 Qc8 16.h3 0–0 17.g4 f5 18.gxf5 Bxf5 19.Bxf5 Rxf5 20.Qd5+ Kh8 21.Qd7 Bxa3 22.Qxc8+ Rxc8 23.bxa3 h6 24.Rd5 Rf7 25.Rad1 Nd4 26.Bxd4 exd4 27.R5xd4 Rxc2 28.R1d2 Rxd2 29.Rxd2 Rf3 30.Kg2 Rxa3 31.f3 b5 32.Kg3 Kh7 33.h4 Kg6 34.Kg4 Ra4+ 35.f4 h5+ 36.Kf3 Kf5 37.Rd5+ Ke6 38.Rxh5 Rxa2 39.Rg5 Kf6 40.h5 b4 41.Rg6+ Kf7 42.f5 b3 43.Rb6 b2 44.Kf4 a5 45.Kg5 a4 46.Rb7+ Ke8 47.f6 gxf6+ 48.Kxf6 a3 49.h6 Ra1 50.h7 Rh1 51.Kg7 a2 52.h8Q+ Rxh8
(7) Ding,Tze How Dilwen (1813) - Schenkerik,Csaba (2058) [E06]
FIRST SATURDAY FM-A Dec 2014 Budapest (2.4), 07.12.2014
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 e6 4.Qc2 Nf6 5.g3 Be7 6.Bg2 0–0 7.0–0 b6 8.Nbd2 Bb7 9.b3 Na6 10.Bb2 Rc8 11.Rac1 Rc7 12.Rfd1 Qa8 13.Qb1 Rfc8 14.cxd5 cxd5 15.Ne5 Bd6
(10) Juracsik,Jozsef (2126) - Ding,Tze How Dilwen (1813) [B49]
FIRST SATURDAY FM-A Dec 2014 Budapest (3.3), 08.12.2014
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 Qc7 7.Be2 Nf6 8.0–0 Bb4 9.Na4 0–0 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Nb6 Rb8 12.Nxc8 Rfxc8 13.Bxa6 Rf8 14.Bd3 Bd6 15.f4 e5 16.f5 Rxb2 17.g4 Qa5 18.Kh1 Bc5 19.Bd2 Bb4 20.Bc1 Rxa2 21.Rxa2 Qxa2 22.g5 Ne8 23.Qe2 Nc7 24.Bc4 Qa8 25.Bb3 Kh8 26.Rd1 d6 27.Be3 Nb5 28.Qh5 Qe8 29.Rg1 g6 30.Qh6 Rg8 31.f6 Qf8 32.Qxf8 Rxf8 33.Ra1 Kg8 34.Ra6 Rc8 35.Rb6 Ba5 36.Rb7 Bc7 37.Kg2 Rb8 38.Rxb8+ Bxb8 39.Ba4 Ba7 40.Bd2 Bd4 41.Bb4
(14) Ding,Tze How Dilwen (1813) - Marjanovics,Gyorgy (2021) [A52]
FIRST SATURDAY FM-A Dec 2014 Budapest (4.3), 09.12.2014
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.e6 fxe6 6.Nc3 Bc5 7.e3 0–0 8.Be2 b6 9.0–0 Bb7 10.h3 Nge5 11.b3 Qe7 12.a3 a5 13.Bb2 Bd6 14.Nb5 Nf7 15.Qd2 Nce5 16.Nxe5 Nxe5 17.Nxd6 cxd6 18.f4 Ng6 19.Bf3 Bxf3 20.Rxf3 e5 21.Rd1 Nh4 22.Rf2 Nf5 23.g4 Ng3 24.f5 Kh8 25.Qd3 h5 26.Rg2 h4 27.Qxd6 Qg5 28.Re1
(19) Lukacs,Albert (1883) - Ding,Tze How Dilwen (1813) [B44]
FIRST SATURDAY FM-A Dec 2014 Budapest (5.4), 10.12.2014
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.Be2 d5 7.exd5 cxd5 8.Qd4 Nf6 9.0–0 Be7 10.Bf4 0–0 11.Nc3 Bb7 12.Bg5 h6 13.Bh4 Nd7 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.f4 Qc5 16.Rad1 Rac8 17.Qxc5 Nxc5 18.Rd4 Ne4 19.Nxe4 dxe4 20.c4 Rfd8 21.Rfd1 Rxd4 22.Rxd4 Rc7 23.Rd8+ Kh7 24.b4 Kg6 25.g3 Kf5 26.Kf2 e5 27.Ke3 exf4+ 28.gxf4 g5 29.fxg5 hxg5 30.c5 Kg6 31.Rg8+ Kh6 32.Bg4 Bd5 33.Bf5
(21) Ding,Tze How Dilwen (1813) - Czibulka,Zoltan Dr (2007) [D30]
FIRST SATURDAY FM-A Dec 2014 Budapest (6.2), 11.12.2014
1.d4 e6 2.c4 d5 3.Nf3 c6 4.Qc2 h6 5.g3 Nd7 6.Bg2 Ngf6 7.0–0 Be7 8.Nbd2 0–0 9.e4 dxe4 10.Nxe4 Nxe4 11.Qxe4 Bf6 12.Rd1 a5 13.Bf4 Be7 14.Qc2 Nf6 15.Ne5 Qb6 16.Rac1 Rd8 17.c5 Qa6 18.Nc4 Nd5 19.Bxd5 exd5 20.Nb6 Bg4 21.Re1 Bf6 22.Nxa8 Qxa8 23.Be5 Re8 24.Bxf6 gxf6 25.Qd2 Kg7 26.Rxe8 Qxe8 27.Re1 Qd7 28.Qf4 h5 29.f3 Be6 30.Kf2 Qc8 31.Re3 Qa8 32.Rb3 Qa6 33.Qe3 Qc4 34.Rxb7 Bh3 35.Ke1 Qf1+ 36.Kd2 Bf5 37.Qe2 Qb1 38.Ke3 Qg1+ 39.Kf4 Bg6 40.Qd2 Qb1 41.Rb3 Qxa2 42.Ra3 Qb1 43.Rxa5 Bd3 44.h4 Bc4 45.Qc3 Qg6 46.g4 hxg4 47.Ra1 f5 48.Qe1 Qh6+ 49.Kg3 f4+ 50.Kxg4 Bd3 51.Qe5+ Kh7 52.Qxf4 Qe6+ 53.Kg3 Bg6 54.Qe5 Qc8 55.Rg1
(28) Vereb,Gabor (2145) - Ding,Tze How Dilwen (1813) [B44]
FIRST SATURDAY FM-A Dec 2014 Budapest (7.5), 12.12.2014
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nb5 d6 6.c4 Nf6 7.N1c3 a6 8.Na3 Be7 9.Be2 0–0 10.0–0 b6 11.Be3 Ne5 12.f4 Ned7 13.g4 Bb7 14.Bf3 h6 15.h4 Nh7 16.g5 hxg5 17.fxg5 Rc8 18.Qd2 Ne5 19.Qf2 Nxf3+ 20.Qxf3 d5 21.Qh5 g6 22.Qh6 d4 23.Rad1 e5 24.Bc1 Bxa3 25.bxa3 Qd7 26.Rf2 Rxc4 27.Nd5 Bxd5
(36) Ding,Tze How Dilwen (1813) - Nagy,Laszlo (1912) [A70]
FIRST SATURDAY FM-A Dec 2014 Budapest (9.5), 15.12.2014
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 g6 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.Bd3 0–0 9.0–0 Na6 10.Re1 Nc7 11.Rb1 a6 12.b4 b5 13.bxc5 dxc5 14.Bg5 h6 15.Bh4 g5 16.Bg3 Bb7 17.Bc2 c4 18.a4 Nxe4 19.Nxe4 Nxd5 20.axb5 axb5 21.Rxb5 Bc6 22.Rc5 Ra6 23.Be5 f5 24.Bxg7 fxe4 25.Bxf8 exf3 26.Qd4 Qf6 27.Qxf6 Nxf6 28.Bxh6 Ng4 29.Rxg5+
I would strongly recommend our young talents to seriously consider the right moment in their development to play in First Saturday Budapest and for those interested, the organiser can be contacted at www.firstsaturday.hu.
* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.