The shadow and the light or Yours truly as a deputy arbiter

The shadow and the light or Yours truly as a deputy arbiter

May 16, 2015, 12:38 PM |

1. The idea or Our chess dreams

Together with my friend Krzysztof, we have thought for a long time about organizing a classic chess tournament in Toruń, a place which, surprisingly, lacks such events, although the town has rapid and blitz tournaments aplenty. The idea started to materialize when I became an arbiter and the preliminary talks with sponsors and organizations who could support us proved promising. We knew from the very beginning that there would be lots of things to do, since we wanted our first tournament to be one of the kind: not too small (initially we thought about hosing 40 participants), distinguishable by its visual side, offering original prizes, and, above all, promising continuation on a twice-a-year basis. The future had to prove whether this was achievable.

2. Thank you, thank you, thank you or Our sponsors and supporters

As soon as we started preparing for the event, we met many friendly people who directly or indirectly, by their money, effort or time, helped us to realize our plans. The Dean of NCU’s Faculty of Humanities, professor Andrzej Szahaj, funded us generously. Krzysztof Leporowski, my boss and head of the Studio Gambit translation company, did the same, empowering me also with lots of positive energy. Ms. Kinga Nemere-Czachowska of the NCU alumni program supported us from the very beginning, helping with things big and small and funding non-cash prizes. Our old friend Tomasz Wodzyński lent us some clocks and other equipment. My club mates were most valuable source of advice; Janusz Augustowski agreed to act as a chief arbiter when it became evident that I would not be able to perform such duties. Zuzanna Kopidurska designed the whole visual side of the tournament, including the wonderful horse, which, forged by a blacksmith, was the main trophy. My daughter Agnieszka supervised the smallest yet most important things in the course of two days. Last but not least, the event would never take place without the effort of my friend Krzysztof, whose role simply cannot be overestimated.

Many other people helped us; there is simply not enough place here to name them all. Instead, let me express my warmest thanks to all of them.

Studio Gambit, of which I am proud employee, once again proved its positive attitude towards chess

3. The tournament


The tournament logo designed by Zuzanna Kopidurska

In the sunny morning of May 9 32 players from five towns appeared in the NCU’s Collegium Minus building to take part in the first “Szachy w Harmonijce” tournament. Top seed was Mirosław Jabłoński (FIDE 2009). Over two days seven rounds of chess was played. The rate of play was 60 minutes per game with an increment of five seconds starting from move one. It was possible to earn norms of the Polish Chess Association up to the II category.


The modernist building of NCU’s Collegium Minus, called “Harmonijka” (concertina) due to distinctive vertical elements of its façade

Contrary to my first refereed tournament in Golub-Dobrzyń, this time I had practically no complaints to investigate. One issue that arose has been swiftly and expertly resolved by chief arbiter Janusz Augustowski, who by the way yet again convinced me that there is nothing better for an aspiring arbiter like myself than to observe the experienced colleague in action. I am most grateful for this lesson.

Players showed fighting spirit (one of the tie breakers was number of wins); only 12 games ended by splitting the point. The tournament was won by Konrad Drozdowski, who earned 6 points, remaining undefeated. Waldemar Starzyński, also with 6 points, finished second. Third place went to Przemysław Wiśniewski (5.5 points). Three players earned norms for categories. The full results can be found here. Here you can find another tournament pictorial report.

Apart form his arbiter’s duties, yours truly found time to take some pictures, which can give you better impression of our tournament than mere words:

There are several chess families in our region. Two of them played in our tournament: the oldest participant, former multiple Toruń champion Jerzy Jabłoński...


...along with his son Mirosław, the top seed of the tournament,...


...and grandson Bogdan, the youngest player of the event,... well as Paweł Łosiński,...


...who came with his daughter Aleksandra (and son Piotr, whom I unfortunately had no opportunity to portrait)


The winner, Konrad Drozdowski


Waldemar Starzyński finished second


Third place: Przemysław Wiśniewski


Sylwester Grabarczyk, playing for the Czech federation, finished fourth

My friend Krzysztof, the tournament director, in action


Daniel Ludwiński, owner of the “Szachy w Toruniu” (Chess in Toruń) Facebook page


Radosław Sojak, Deputy Dean of the Humanities, also played


My friends from Włocławek: Maciej Kaczyński...


...and Robert Miłecki


Krzysztof Hartowicz...

...and Andrzej Kita were among those who earned norms. The third person to earn one was Milan Charytoniuk


Jerzy Jabłoński still plays wonderful chess | Credit: Zuzanna Kopidurska


Maksymilian Siekierzycki: veeery intense concentration


The chief arbiter


My daughter Agnieszka at the arbiter’s desk


The trophy with its designer | Credit: Krzysztof Olechnicki


Pairings, pairings! | Credit: Zuzanna Kopidurska


Janusz Augustowski giving my daughter some advice


This time his lucky charm was very busy

4. The shadow or All’s well that ends well

Initially, I wanted to referee our first tournament alone. In order to do this, I had to ask the local arbiters’ body for necessary consent, which I duly did. Although some of its members supported me right from the start in my efforts, its head once again chose to ignore me and did not issue any decision till the very end, which at first lowered my spirits considerably (not to mention the fact that it forced us to appoint another chief arbiter at the last moment). Happily though, seeing players having a good time and listening to advices given by Janusz, I suddenly realized that the most important thing is not whether I shall pursue my arbiter’s career further or even continue to referee at all, but the chess itself and the joy it can bring to those who come to the tournaments. Let me invite you then to the second edition of our tournament in November.