Interesting team set-up Turkish League

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0 | Chess Event Coverage
This month the Turkish League is underway, and the obligatory team set-up is quite original. Teams must have at least one lady, a junior player and four youth players.

The Turkish Chess League, sponsored by ?Ѭ??Ö?? Bank, is being held in Kartepe, ?Ѭ?zmit, from June 23 till July 3 at the top of a mountain with amazing views of ?Ѭ?zmit Bay and Sapanca Lake. Venue is the Greentepe Park Resort Hotel, famous as a pre-season preparation venue for sports teams.

At the moment, the chess players are there but also the players of football club Sivasspor, the team which struggled for the Turkish First Division title against Galatasaray and Fenerbah?ɬße until the final weeks of the season.

The chess league is a single round-robin with 16 teams. The final four teams relegate to the Turkish Clubs Championship; the second division.

The team set-up in Turkey is quite original: teams consist of 10 boards, in which the first four boards can be filled freely but on the fifth board, a female player is obligatory. The sixth board is for a junior player (under 20), the seventh and eighth are for boys and girls under 16 and the ninth and tenth board for boys and girls under 14.

GM Suat Atal?Ѭ±k of ?Ѭ?SEK Aquamatch executing his move against GM Dragan Solak.



Seeing the pack of grandmasters could be misleading because of this board system. A team with two super-strong grandmasters may prove useless if the opposing team has a stronger group of youth players. The winning team over 10 gains 2 match points while a tie means both sides get 1 point.

The league has 72 titled players: 22 GMs, 18 IMs (five of them also have WGM titles), 15 FMs, 1 CM, 10 WGMs, 3 WIMs and 3 WFMs.

Before the season, Adana Truva, ?Ѭ?sek Aquamatch, THY (Turkish Airlines) and Doruk Koleji were the major contenders for the title. Adana Truva is a very strong and balanced team with GMs Gashimov (though he has not showed up yet) , Guseinov, Safarli and the Turkish stars IM Haznedaro?Ñ??lu, Y?Ѭ±lmaz (16-year-old youngster who grounded down GM Gurevich in the first round), IM Dzagnidze, WIM Yildiz and a relatively strong group of youth boards.

?Ѭ?sek Aquamatch has the grandmaster trio Atalik, Papaiannou, Banikas and FM Demirel plus the strongest Turkish female player Ekaterina Atal?Ѭ±k. THY has Gagunashvili, the Muzychuk sisters, the strong Turkish IMs Can (who already has a GM-norm) and Erdo?Ñ??du, K?Ѭ±l?Ѭ±?ɬßaslan and the Georgian youngster Salome.

?Ѭ?SEK Aquamatch's GM Troika: Suat Atal?Ѭ±k, Ioannis Papaiannou, Hristos Banikas



After five rounds, two teams have won all their matches so far: Doruk Koleji (with GM Mamedov, GMSavchenko, FM Erturan Secer and WGM Stepovaia) and Truva Satran?É¬ß Spor Kul?ɬºb?ɬº (with GM Huseynov, GM Safarli, IM Haznedaroglu, IM Esen and IM Dzagnidze). The ?Ѭ?stanbul team with GMs Atal?Ѭ±k, Papaiannou, Banikas and IM Atal?Ѭ±k lost three games but all of their opponents were major contenders for the league title. Be?Ö??ikta?Ö??, despite not having any foreign player, only lost one match thanks too the strongest pack of youth boards in the league.

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Thanks to ?É‚Äìzg?ɬºr Akman. Here's his big report on the first four rounds.

A selection of games:



FM Selim ?ɂİ?Ѭ±tak held GM Efstratios Grivas, who is also the trainer of the Turkish National team, to a draw.

Adana Truva's first three boards (from right to left): GM Gadir Guseinov, GM Eltaj Safarli, IM K?Ѭ±van?É¬ß Haznedaro?Ñ??lu

GMs Dragan Solak and Ioannnis Papaiannou are analyzing Papaiannou's first round win against GM Abbasov


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