July 19, 2012 10:49

Prohaszka wins Ikaria 2012

The Aghios Giorgis beach

We remember vividly (especially with such heavy rain in Central Europe!) how much we enjoyed the Greek summer of 2011 at the Ikaria island. We reported twice about this friendly little open tournament (see links below this article). That's why we're happy to give organizer Dimitris Skyrianoglou the opportunity to advertise his tournament a little bit more, by reporting on the 2012 edition, which we did not attend ourselves. But we might come back one day!

The participants of the Ikaros tournament, apart from playing chess in a friendly and relaxing atmosphere, have also the chance to enjoy the beautiful beaches of Ikaria like this one at Aghios Giorgis (close to the tower of Drakano, the beach can be reached only on foot but fully compensates its visitors for this effort). | Photo © Giorgos Depollas/Fotorama Publications

The “Ikaros” International Chess Tournament is an annual chess event that takes place every summer in July at the picturesque island of Ikaria at the Aegean Sea in Greece. The “Ikaros” chess tournaments commenced in 1978 and are held since then every summer at Ikaria. The first events were mainly local tournament but from 1983 “Ikaros” went nationalwide and since 1991 it became an international event. During these 35 years thousands of chess players from four continents have taken part in this long chain of “Ikaros” tournaments!

Aghios Kirykos, the capital of the island of Ikaria where the Ikaros International Chess Tournament 2012 took place

Probably the most famous participant of Ikaros is the Russian female ex-world champion Alexandra Kosteniuk who visited Ikaria as an upcoming young player and impressed everybody with her sparkling play and results against many strong opponents. Of course all prominent Greek chess players of the last decades have also paid at least one visit to Ikaria: Vassilis Kotronias, Giannis Papaioannou, Hristos Banikas, Stelios Halkias, Giannis Nikolaidis, Efstratios Grivas, Nikos Skalkotas, Spiros Kapnisis, Aggelos Vouldis, Nikos Kalesis and Thanasis and Dimitris Mastrovassilis, to name a few.

This year 137 chess players from 6 countries took part in the Aegean Open Championship “Ikaros” 2012 that took place from 7th till 15th of July at Aghios Kirykos, the town capital of Ikaria. Among them 10 were holders of international titles while 80 of them had a FIDE rating.

The presence of many young players is particularly obvious in this photo from the Aghios Kirykos Sports Center where Ikaros 2012 was held

However, the most striking statistic is that the majority of the participants (above 50%!) were below 20 years of age. Characteristically, in most games of the first round one or even both opponents were below 20 years and in some cases even below 10 years of age. Although the statistical comparison with the previous years is not done yet, it’s almost certain that this is a new record of participation of young players in the tournament.

9 year old Klaara Maki-Uuro from Finland was one of the many young participants that played in “Ikaros” 2012 setting a new record for the tournament

Eventually, the quantitative superiority of the young players at Ikaria this year transformed to a qualitative one with 20 year old Hungarian GM Peter Prohaszka finishing clear first and undefeated with 7.5/9 (6 wins, 3 draws). Second place was shared among the Ukrainian IM I. Nester, the Greek WGM and champion A.-M. Botsari, G. Goumas, P. Christodoulou, E. Kourousis and K. Vafiadis all with 7/9 but with Nester and Botsari having the better tie-break (A.-M. Botsari won also the first prize in the ladies category). In the following places we find S. Malikentzos, N. Galopoulos, M. Maki-Uuro and A. Papargyriou all with 6.5/9 and a very low age average. In the special categories the prizes went to S. Georgitsis (<8 years of age), G. Papadoulis (<10 years of age), N. Georgiadis (<14 years of age), Ch. Karzias (<16 years of age), D. Papaikonomou (<18 years of age) and H. Pountzas (veterans). Final results and detailed statistics of all players can be found at Chess Results.

The three winners in Ikaria (R-L): P. Prohaszka, I. Nester and A.-M. Botsari, with the mayor of Ikaria H. Stavrinadis and the tournament director M. Venios (left)

Apart from the main tournament, “Ikaros”, as every year, included a number of side events: a problem solving competition (won by N. Kampanis), a blitz tournament (won by N. Galopoulos, S. Malikentzos and G. Goumas with 6.5/7, all below 20 years old!), the 3rd Mediterranean Team Rapid tournament (won by the team of “Grand 1-2” (N. Galopoulos, S. Malikentzos, Th. Hrysomallis and, A. Kapetanos, all below 20 years of age!), a blind simultaneous exhibition by P. Prohaszka (the hungarian GM won all his games despite the awkward conditions with the Ikarian municipality band performing not far away, and a “laterna” (a barrel organ, quite widespread and popular in Greece several decades ago) passing by, bearing a nostalgic feeling but also hindering the announcement of the moves) and a visit to the Folklore Museum of Ikaria.

 A view of the village of Therma with the famous spas and a small but cosy sandy beach | Photo © Giorgos Depollas/Fotorama Publications

The chess events and activities of “Ikaros” 2012 do not end here since, during the summer, more chess events will take place as part of the centennial celebrations for the Revolution and Liberation of Ikaria in 1912. Details about the International Chess Tournament “Ikaros” 2012 can be found at www.ikaroschess.gr. ChessVibes wrote about this tournament last year in these two articles and you might want to read even more here.

Sunset view from the beach of Gialiskari | Photo © Giorgos Depollas/Fotorama Publications

This article was written by Dimitris Skyrianoglou, a member of the organisation committee of International Chess Tournament "Ikaros" 2012

Editors's picture
Author: Editors


Someitsi's picture

As always relaxed, cosy and hospitable, one of the few tournaments that easily qualify as "vacations"!

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