Cevdet Kizil ranks 3rd in CevdetChess 10 Minute Blitz International Chess Tournament '2003

The calendars were showing December 2003. Turkey's one of the most prestigious chess sites, CevdetChess was organizing an international tournament which was open to all chess lovers worldwide.

The name of the tournament was announced as CevdetChess 10 Minute International Tournament. Many strong chess players joined this tournament including Bora Altinordu (1700+ UKD, 1900+ HSKD, professional chess player & HGM who had won a lot of tournaments before), Gurkan Ekin (1900+ HSKD, former Istek Vakfi Mustafa Kemal Ataturk High School Champion & HGM with many chess trophies in his career), Mickey Mccoy (an American chess player from Texas - Dublin with 2300+ rating who had experienced  several chess championships in his life), Rajkamal Singh Sandhu (2100+ ELO rated Indian chess player from Ludhiana City) and me. Besides these high rated players, there were other participants from various countries like Canada, England, France, Russia, Germany, Sweden and Yugoslavia.

On the other hand, they were not on the list of favorite players considering their moderate ratings. At least, that was the evaluation of chess authorities following the tournament. Of course, it was known before the tournament that Russian and Yugoslavian players were good. But as mentioned before, the tournament had very strong players rated 2300+, 2100+, 1900+...etc. The favorite player of the tournament was Mickey Mccoy from the U.S. and that was not something unusual considering his 2300+ rating. Following him, Rajkamal Singh Sandhu was thought to be the strongest candidate for the 2nd place considering his 2100+ ELO rating. But, nobody was able to give a brief and clear answer for the player who could earn the 3rd place. There were a lot of comments and predictions on this issue. Could it be Bora Altinordu with his great successes and eye-catching results in the last months? Or could it be Gurkan Ekin who had won against his Russian chess coach in his high school, had completed a lot of tournaments with victories and had his portrait put on the school walls? Or could I achieve any success in this tournament even though I was unlucky in the last months?

The accuracy of these evaluations and comments were starting to be proved as the tournament was progressing. When the tournament was over, Mickey Mccoy was celebrating his championship as predicted. Rajkamal Singh Sandhu had ranked 2nd. However, this player was a much more difficult opponent for Mickey Mccoy than estimated. Indeed, these two players were no superior against each other considering their games in between (Mccoy 1:1 Sandhu - games against each other). However, Sandhu had ranked 2nd because he had a draw against me while I had lost against Mccoy. To make a long story short, Mccoy had earned his champion title by experiencing a lot of difficulties. Then, the last player to win a victory and an award in the tournament was me with my 3rd place degree. On the other hand, Bora Altinordu and Gurkan Ekin had failed to get a place in the top three. Because the tournament was full of tough players and playing a lot of games was a core requirement to complete in this long marathon. Moreover, both of these players were not used to play chess in the midnight, meaning that their energy did not last until the end of the competition. These were the main reasons why Bora Altinordu and Gurkan Ekin were ranking at the bottom section of the standings list when the tournament was over. Of course, this result had created a shock effect for some of the chess authorities who were following the tournament. Because Gurkan Ekin and Bora Altinordu were in form and at the top of their chess careers before this tournament. Interestingly, I was unable to have any free time to prepare for the tournament and I was lacking serious chess match practice before the games. Despite all of these disadvantages, I did succeed to rank in the first three by the help of my experience, durability for long competitions and the habit of playing chess in midnights.

As a result, we as the first three ranking players had deserved to celebrate our success since the level of the tournament, considering the players involved, was really high. Of course, where there was happiness, also had to exist sadness. Disappointment was observed among others like Bora Altinordu, Gurkan Ekin and the rest who were left far behind in the marathon. Unfortunately, this was the rule of the game, some had to return home with nothing...