2020 Expo Dubai Chess International Competition – Semi-Final Results

2020 Expo Dubai Chess International Competition – Semi-Final Results

„The slogan to start the chess international competition, to which our Foundation team was invited by the Polgár Judit Chess Foundation, was “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.” The Expo’s goal was to “improve intellect for our lives” and to affirm chess as an important educational instrument through authentic studies. During the competition, we were able to fill these broad and easy-to-understand sentences with personal experiences and observations that were meaningful to the children’s lives. We’ve come a long way since Polgár Judit gave us a lecture on November 25th about her life story, chess experiences, and motivation. “The secret of success is how much you love what you’re doing and how you approach it” is a critical line from Judit’s speech that stuck with us. After the long journey, our team maintained this approach, and we started with new momentum even after our losses. In 19 turns, our team qualified for the Dubai final in second place during the three competition stages leading up to the final. Before each round, we held online meetings and practiced in many mini-championships and pairs. We were the only team from the 20 Hungarian teams to represent Hungary through the Csányi Foundation, and we ended in the top ten out of 296 groups from 53 countries, which made us very happy. The matches took place in an incredibly thrilling environment, with certain instances where only a single step determined the outcome of the match and the fate of qualifying. We were in a worse position than our opponents on a few occasions, but with perseverance, willpower, and incredible concentration, we were able to turn the situation around and secure a team victory. The semi-final results are as follows:

We applaud every student’s perseverance and enthusiasm, as well as the late-night matches, and we appreciate the parents and developmental teachers for supporting the children. We would also want to express our gratitude to the Csányi Foundation and its employees for their cooperation and background work provided to us during the competition, which aided us greatly in our success. Finally, we’d want to express our gratitude to all of our supporters for promoting our cause and cheering us on.” Gál András, Oláh Tamás mentors


Members of our team:

Füle Viktória, Jászság Group 2

Karácsonyi Bánk, Jászság Group 2

Karácsonyi Gellért, Jászság Group 2

Karácsonyi Luca, Jászság Group 2

Karácsonyi Kata, Jászság Group 2

Kohári Bánk György, Szeged Group 3

Nagy Richárd, Pécs Group 2

Peredi Olivér, Jászság Group 2

Vincze Dániel, Kaposvár Group 4


„We never imagined we’d get here, but we did: our entire crew is flying to Dubai this autumn! The numerous online meetings, preparation for all of the games, exercise matches with each other, and competition parties were all demanding at times, but I believe the perseverance and hard work paid off. We applaud our wonderful mentors’ encouragement and support, as well as the team t-shirts, group photos, hilarious videos, delicious meals, and an overall positive attitude. And, of course, I admire my team’s hard work and unforgettable months. Even though we only saw each other as strangers through the webcams at first, the traveling together, excitement, laughing, crying, and, of course, the countless memories brought us closer together. As of right now, I can confidently and cheerfully report that we are traveling to Dubai alongside fantastic friends.” Karácsonyi Kata, Jászság Group 2

„I recall being in the school corridor, waiting for the classroom to open when Olivér approached me and asked if I wanted to participate in a chess competition. I was shocked and reluctantly accepted because I hadn’t played chess in years. Our mentor, Tamás, encouraged us and told us stories about the tournament, and I became increasingly enthusiastic and began playing chess on a daily basis to re-learn the game. We met the team and the other mentor, András, and they both immediately jumped in to help us. We didn’t expect big results when the competition began; we were solely motivated by the thrill of the game. However, things quickly changed when we qualified for the second round as a result of the first seven rounds, and then advanced to the semi-finals. Looking back, it all seems like a blurry moment, but I know that some of the games took place amid immense excitement and concern. I had the most enjoyment in the semi-finals since the squad was together and we weren’t playing online separately, which gave us a lot of strength. During the 19 rounds, I learned a lot, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this team, meet new people, gain experience, and create lasting memories.” Füle Viktória, Jászság Group 2

„We learned of a chance to compete in a chess tournament towards the end of 2020. Even though I didn’t know anything about it at the time, I was already excited. When I found out that Dubai was in the picture, I quickly increased my chess playing and practice, even though it seemed impossible that we would make it to the finals. During the competition, I got to know my teammates, who were all really nice and helpful. I was very stressed as we prepared for the first round, but I grew used to it during the turns. Everyone was incredibly determined, but few of us believed in our own ability to succeed at first. But when we began to win rounds and qualify for the next rounds, the prospect of reaching the finals became more plausible. Before each competition, we held an online meeting where we encouraged one another, which helped us advance to the semi-finals. The teams played at the same location in the final round, which I found to be much more enjoyable. Everyone had a laptop with them, and two cameras with microphones and screen sharing recorded us. Although there were some tense moments, it forced us to focus more. We finished second with a tie in the final round, qualifying us for the Dubai tournament. After that, there was a great party, and we were all happy and satisfied. During this competition, there were many lessons to be learned, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a member of this team and make many friends, but most importantly, fantastic experiences.” Karácsonyi Luca, Jászság Group 2

„I had the opportunity to compete in the Dubai Chess Expo on behalf of the Csányi Foundation, which was a fantastic honor for me. Three rounds of the chess competition were held online, and I found it enjoyable to compete against people of different nations. During the rounds, we practiced with each other to improve for future turns. Ultimately, it was and will continue to be a fantastic competition.” Nagy Richárd, Pécs Group 2

“At the end of September 2020, I learned about the competition through my mentor, Oláh Tamás. Reading the description, I understood what a fantastic opportunity this is, as well as the opportunity to play against great opponents, regardless of how far our team advances. As time passed, it became increasingly clear to me that we must advance to the finals, not others. When we made it to the semi-finals, we felt quite blessed. My goal was to get there without a doubt. We were ecstatic when the last round finished in a draw. We were only a short flight away from Dubai… It’s a voyage that not many people get to take. Participating in this makes me feel as if I’m in a dream. I’m hoping for many more wonderful opportunities!” Peredi Olivér, Jászság Group 2

“We competed in an online chess tournament with the Csányi Foundation team, with a reward of a trip to Dubai for the top 10 teams. In total, 296 teams competed. The competition was divided into three phases. Unfortunately, because no camera or screen sharing was required in the first two rounds, there was a high risk of cheating. We breezed through the first round because our opponents were weaker than us. We were worried that we would lose in the second round because we had lost in the first game to a weaker team.  But, thanks to a solid and well-planned game, we were able to rally and finish in a tie for first and second place in the best 30 teams. We had to share the camera, microphone, and screen in the last round because we were all in the same place. It was also beneficial because I was able to meet my teammates, eat pizza, converse, and prepare. We were up against some extremely talented opponents. We lost 1.5-5.5 in the second game to a superior Israeli team. This had a significant negative impact on me. If we lost any of our remaining games, we’d be on the verge of falling out, which pushed us to work even harder to stay focused. In the following round, we faced a powerful Turkish team. Our team had lost three matches, and the end appeared to be approaching. But in a very large fight, I beat my opponent, and in big battles, the last three tables also won, giving us against the shoo-in Turkish team a 4-3 victory. We only had to win against weaker opponents after that. Our job became a little easier, but we were still ecstatic. We only needed 3.5 points to get to Dubai in the last round, and we made it. I’m extremely thrilled to visit Dubai!” Karácsonyi Bánk, Jászság Group 2

“Even if we haven’t reached the pinnacle yet, the Dubai Chess Tournament was a fantastic experience for me! We achieved tremendous things as part of a fantastic team with fantastic teammates. At first, making the top 10 out of 296 teams seemed like an impossible dream, but it gradually became a reality. We had to get into the first three of eight groupings in the first phase. With confident matches, we qualified first. We only lost one game, but we won the tournament against an Ecuadorean team, so qualification was not an issue. We were divided into 8 member groupings for the second turn, however, only the first two teams qualified, making our job much more difficult. We had two losses in this stage, but we won the game against the Polish team to ensure qualifying, putting us in the top 30 teams. We’ll meet up with the Polish team in Dubai, as they’ve also qualified for the top ten. There were only six member groupings in the semi-final, which we lived through as if it were the final because Dubai is more of a “benefit match,” and we had to get into the first two. The Israeli squad dominated the entire field, winning it all without losing a single game. We could see from the start that the fight would be for second place between the teams. A Turkish squad, who appeared to be stronger than us, appeared to be the most likely contenders for this spot. Against all other teams, they scored more points than we did. Even though it was all chance, we were able to win this tremendously entertaining game. The game was transformed from a 3-0 to a 4-3 loss for the Turkish because the team win was more important than the point differential. Their table point advantage didn’t matter because we were able to defeat them, earning us the second place and the opportunity to fly to Dubai. Great battles, high-octane excitement, and unbelievable twists characterized these three stages, and we made it to the final as the only Hungarian team with a little luck and great performance. The competition was also beneficial professionally; I received 19/16 points and had the opportunity to test myself against qualified, powerful, and even unbeaten opponents. The Spanish organizers increased the sanctions for cheating in the final round. The players had to be in the same room, turn on the webcams and screen sharing, and have the entire class filmed by a camera with a microphone turned on. We were able to get the entire team to play in Budapest’s Lóránt Street center building after a long battle. During game days, I had the opportunity to meet my teammates in person, and the atmosphere was fantastic. I am hoping that we will be able to represent Hungary in Dubai with a strong and motivated squad!” Karácsonyi Gellért, Jászság Group 2