Volunteers organize online chess tournament amid lockdown

Volunteers organize online chess tournament amid lockdown


Three Turkish volunteer organizers decided to organize an online chess tournament amid coronavirus lockdown.

Seçkin Serpil, a member of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), international chess player Handenur Sahin and FIDE trainer Ali Polatel organized an online chess tournament in Turkey, and they already plan another one at an international level.

“The tournament started on March 23 and ended on April 25. Players taking part in the tournament are local ones but all medal-winning Turkish chess players attended. Our goal is to make the next tournament an international one,”
Serpil said.

Serpil also said chess is the only sports in which all disabled groups can take part in the same tournament, adding that: “You only have free access to hours of educational material with your board and computer.”

Having the chance to play with an athlete from anywhere in the world, people do not need a board for this game, and they also have a chance to play blindfold, he said.

“Blindfold is a type of thinking technique, and can also be used for demonstration purpose. As an unimpeded chess team, we are trying to contribute to what chess can provide,” Serpil said.

Giving tournament Turkish legend’s name

The 31-year-old expert also informed that they named the tournament after Turkish chess legend Kemal Özceyhan, wishing to give reference to the people who had similar dreams.

“As we use Kemal Özceyhan’s name, the friends of the new generation will know him and hear about the years-long struggle. We share a world dream with Kemal Özceyhan,” he added.

The tournament was organized through a website, www.chesswob.org, aiming to provide chess trainings and seminars for all disabled groups.

“Our main aim is to provide equality in training, to include all in selecting the tournament locations, and to raise the number of potential players with disabilities.

“You do not have any obstacle- other than your prejudices- to play chess,” he stressed.

Handenur Şahin, who previously won the tournament, said the online tournament was incredibly challenging.

“It was also beneficial for me. As contesters, we found the opportunity to analyze and discuss the matches together to learn lessons from our mistakes.

“Being both involved in the organization of the tournament and playing was also a nice experience. We want to organize better face-to-face tournaments on healthy days,” she added.

Şahin also noted that all competitors were good players and the matches were both of good quality and fun.