The Strange Case Of The Tournament That Didn't Happen

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Ivan SokolovSurprisingly, this has nothing to do with FIDE, for once.
The 2nd Barcza Memorial Tournament in Budapest was scheduled to run from 6-17 April and had a pretty decent line-up of strong players, including Zoltan Almasi (Elo 2685) and Ivan Sokolov (pictured, Elo 2669).

However, after just one round was completed the tournament ended prematurely, when it became apparent that the organiser, Mr Gabor Pali, was unable to pay for either the Ramada Hotel venue, or the appearance fees of the players.

The 12 players were therefore left seriously out of pocket, having incurred significant travel and accomodation expenses for nothing.

It appears that the event was not backed by the Hungarian Chess Federation, who issued the folowing statement:

The Hungarian Chess Federation announces that it has never approved, supported, or promoted any so-called Barcza Memorial tournament or provided any financial support for such a tournament to its organizer Gabor Pali. The event which was announced and handled under suspicious circumstances is entirely the private effort of Gabor Pali. The Hungarian Chess Federation does not take any responsibility for the event and the actions of the organizer. The official tournament calendar of the HCF does not contain any Barcza memorial event. The Barcza Gedeon chess club denounces Pali's action and declares it as a private effort of a cheater.

Understanding from different sources that Pali deceived all the players registered for the event and the management of the venue, the Presidential Board of the Hungarian Chess Federation ordered yesterday a full-scale investigation of the situation and decided to take all the appropriate measurements against Gabor Pali, possibly including a police information action.

The Hungarian Chess Federation regrets that such a fraud could happen and already extended its help to any player who turned to the Federation. At the same time, the HCF announces the forbidding of Gabor Pali from organizing any chess event until the investigation is finished. The investigation may lead to further actions from the HCF, including a complete prohibition of Gabor Pali from any chess activity in Hungary.

Truly a shameful occurence, and a slur on the memory of Hungarian Grandmaster Gedeon Barcza.  More details here.

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