Article provided by: Aydin Satici, updated by Ali Dikmen
Correspondence Chess in Turkey
The interest of correspondence chess in Turkey is started with the efforts of Jirayr Çakir (president of Turkish Chess Federation at that time) in 1965. The most active period in Turkish Correspondence Chess was between the years 1969-1978. Turkish CC started to be active again as from 1993 onwards, when Aydin Satici became ICCF delegate in 1990. During the 1970s, strong Turkish OTB players joined international events and obtained fairly good results. In the 1960s and 1970s, mainly with Vili Kornfilt’s encouragement (who was a believer of CC by heart) and the first Turkish OTB-IM Nevzat Suer and his Chess Magazine, Turkish National CC tournaments started and continued until 1980 in five different levels. The Istanbul Chess Association was the meeting point for the strongest OTB chess players, where teams for CC Olympiads and friendly matches between Turkey and other countries were established.
Fazil Atabek gained the 1st CC-IM title for Turkey and he was also the ICCF delegate for Turkey. Here is a game from Atabek in the 8th Olympiad.
Following successful results in the 7th and 8th CC Olympiads, Orhan Gunsav gained a 2nd IM title for Turkey, in 1975.
Jirayr Cakir, who was the president of the Turkish OTB Chess Federation in 1970s, was one of the biggest supporters of CC in Turkey. Turkish CC Teams have been established in 1975 for the 2nd Ladies Olympiads, and for the Turkey-Belgium friendly match on 22 boards. Among the 22 players, Hayri Ozbilen, Tunc Hamarat, Bulent Pekand and Fatih Atakisi still play CC. Tunc Hamarat started his CC achievements as one of the strongest Turkish CC players in the 1970s and now lives in Austria. He is on the way to becoming a future CC World Champion!
In the National tournaments held in the 1970s, Fatih Atakisi, Halil Ozmen, Aydin Umur were playing and they are still active as today’s CC players except Suat Soylu who became OTB Turkish Champion afterwards.
In the 8th Olympiads Turkey won 6-0 against Brazil, 5½-½ against Chile and drew 3-3 against Denmark.
Another encounter has been between Turkey and Finland in a friendly match from 1978 to 1981. The Turkish CC Team lost 16-34 due to many withdrawals. One of the successes of the Turkish CC players is Turkey’s win against a Belgian team 25-21 in a friendly match finished in 1976.
During the years 1995-1997 a friendly team match was organised with England. The result was even: 5-5.
After OTB Turkish Champion Nevzat Suer’s untimely death in 1980, Turkish National CC activities almost stopped. A few CC players, though, continued their achievements in the international arena individually. Among them, Fatih Atakisi won his IM title (Turkey’s 3rd) in 1997 and SIM title (Turkey’s 1st) in 2001. He became 53rd European CC Champion with 11/14. Fatih Atakisi also obtained the FIDE Master title in 2001. He has won 1st CC-GM norm in the 1st Asia-Europe Team Interzonal with 6/8 on board 4.
Aydin Satici became the 4th Turkish CC-IM after his 3rd place in the 60th European CC Championship.
Osman Kosebay became the 5th Turkish CC-IM after his remarkable achievement in the 1st ICCF Email Championship with 9½ out of 10.
Both Aydin Satici and Osman Kosebay gained their SIM titles in 2002. They’ll be awarded in the ICCF Congress in Portugal. There are some other potential players as Halil Ozmen, Arif Kucukali and Turgut Tansel, who will soon bring more titles to Turkey. With the help of E-mail tournaments, the number of CC players in Turkey seem to be increasing very quickly.
Since 1993, Turkey joins all international events and Turkish teams are now sharpened and organised with its three SIMs and the coming IM forces.
In 1999, Ali Dikmen took over ICCF delegate responsibilities from Aydin Satici.
Turkey participates regularly in Olympiads starting from 1998 (from 13th edition, except of 16th & 19th) and European Team Championships from 2005 (from 7th edition).
Results of the 1st School Correspondence Chess Championship in Turkey, organized in 2003 on www.satrancokulu.com with the efforts of Ali Dikmen and Selim Gurcan, are presented below.
2005 School Correspondence Chess Championship Final:
•1- Cihan Gurbuz Karaca 11,5; 2- Tolga Goze 11; 3- Atilla Gurmen 10,5 & Zafer Ilken 10,5; 5- Cahit Sadi Kayis 9 & Mehmet Zirek 9; 7- Nejdet Esen 8,5 & Vedat Ali Aksu 8,5; 9- Coskun Duman 6,5; 10- Ismail Caliskan 6
After that the second Chess School Championship Finals started on ICCF webserver in 2007 (see results below).
2007 School Correspondence Chess Championship Final:
•1- Coskun Duman 7,5 & Cahit Sadi Kayis; 3- Tuncay Sen 6,5 & Enver Tatlicioglu
Unfortunately this was the last school chess championships final. It was time to organize Turkish Championship with the efficient number of players in this new period. School chess was also going to support the championship.
Many strong players played in the 1st Turkish Championship started in 2007. It was sad for me not to play there but we needed an arbiter in this tournament.
You can find the final standing of this championship below:
•2007 Turkish Championships Final
In 2009, correspondence chess became a constitution of Turkish Chess Federation. This made us to improve ourselves. For the first time, 2009 and 2010 Turkish Championships were awarded with good prizes. The number of players seriously increased in a short time. We hosted 2010 ICCF Congress in Kemer. Turkish Chess Federation will also organize Mare Nostrum -4 (Mediterranean Games) in Turkey. The prize fund of this tournament will be 1500 USD. Turkish Chess Federation supports Turkish Correspondence Chess Championships with promotions and prizes.
2009 and 2010 championships are still being played . You can see details at the ICCF webserver among national events.
•2009 Turkish Correspondence Chess Championship;
•2010 Turkish Correspondence Chess Championship
When we think about our international achievements, the first success came in 2006. Arif Küçükalioglu became the first Turkish player who gaine qualification for the world championship final, but unfortunately he stopped playing.
Tansel Turgut got GM title in 2008 and took part in World Championship 24 final. He is still playing in this tournament fighting for the second place (silver medal). A draw will bring him “only” bronze medal.
In 2010, Fatih Atakisi became the second Grandmaster of Turkey. He still represents his country with successful results. I’m sure that we are going to see him in the world championship final soon. SIM Murat Akdag is looking forward to get his GM norm. We hope he will get the title soon.
Turkish players are also playing in the Asia-Africa Zonal Championships with good results. You can see list of our players who won these championships till today:
•3.AA Championship Arif Kucukali
•4.AA Championship Ali Dikmen
•8.AA Championship Nejdet Esen
•10.AA Championship Atilla Gurmen
We have played friendship matches with Argentina, Germany, Hong Kong, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Australia. We will continue to play more friendship matches in the future.