A LESS traditional chess tournament took place between October 12 and 16: the second year of the Chess Train / Šachový vlak carried competitors from Prague (Czech Republic) through Dresden (Germany), Wroclaw (Poland), Piešťany (Slovakia), and Vienna (Austria), then back to Prague.
Last year’s so-called “rapid chess” tournament, comprising 13 rounds, was so successful that its head Pavel Matocha instantly decided to repeat the event in 2012. A notable participant was Slovakia’s grand master Ján Plachetka.
“I was looking forward to the tournament,” Plachetka explained as quoted by the TASR newswire. “As two to three rounds were scheduled for each day, there was no use trying to train or prepare for rivals. I have relied on my experience, but without perceiving it as a serious, important tournament. Rather, I consider it an attraction and the effort of organisers to popularise and promote chess in all countries crossed by the train,” he concluded.
During the tournament, which was open to both amateurs and professionals, train carriages were turned into chess halls. Simultaneous chess matches were organised, the ticket sales of which went to support a young patient in the spa town of Piešťany who suffers from poliomyelitis, Matocha said.
The winner of the tournament was Czech grand master Martin Petr, who won all 13 rounds and received a prize amounting to 25,000 Czech crowns (€1,010). Second place – and CZK15,000, i.e. €605 – went to Jan-Dietrich Wendt from Germany, while Plachetka finished third, winning CZK10,000 (€404). The tournament was attended by dozens of chess players from all over the world, including the USA, China, Russia, Germany, and Finland.