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On Saturday, 27th of August a nice chess event was held in Kórnik, Poland. Our member Tomasz Lissowski has provided some information on the "Jan Kochanowski festive day" as well as a lot of photos. 

(Updated 11-09-2016: 3 photos added)



Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa

 

The event came up with three chief attractions:

1) An exhibition of rare chess books / bibliophilic items
2) Performance of the chess drama "Szachy" by Jan Kochanowski
3) A blitz tournament

 

 



The exhibition

The two ladies from the Kórnik library, Mrs. Małgorzata Potocka (the new curator of the v.d. Lasa collection) and Mrs. Katarzyna Woźniak (the vice director of the Biblioteka Kórnicka) had prepared an extremely well compiled exhibition of items from the von der Lasa collection. Tomasz mentions that both are enthusiastic about their new mission, and they also unconditionally support the idea of a chess historians’ congress in 2018.

 

Tomasz Lissowski, Małgorzata Potocka, ... Katarzyna Woźniak

 

Mrs. Potocka communicated that she still has a number of "lost" lectures (in electronic form) from the 2007 conference, so there is a good chance to get hold of them. But that would require a further visit to Kórnik.

The gem of the exhibition was the first copy of Jan Kochanowski’s poem "Szachy" - for true lovers of old chess literature a great moment, even if the book cover was added in the 19th century.
Moreover there was a fantastic honorary diploma dedicated to von der Lasa, prepared by the Berliner Schachgesellschaft in 1898, with many autographs of the club members.

We give a selection of photos:

 

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 Larger version of the diploma by the Berliner Schachgesellschaft

 

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The drama "Szachy"

This drama by Kochanowski has been written in old Polish language, and the text is very difficult. It was staged in the garden of Kórnik Castle by a very young ensemble, the amateur group from Kórnik. They showed the position of the game Fiedor − Borzuj and its final combination, which btw has been skillfully analyzed by Egbert Meissenburg in his booklets and lectures.

In the critical moment of the game (see the last photo below - Black to move) Ra8-a1 will be played and the white king is mated in 3 moves, a slightly modified Dilaram mate with reversed colors.

Some snapshots of this picturesque performance:

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The blitz tournament

The tournament started after 7 pm with 23 competitors. The 4 top players after 7 preliminary rounds should play the semifinals and the final. 

The tournament was played in a large building, which contains a swimming pool, a great conference hall as well as other small rooms and halls − a true cultural centre for the city of Kórnik. In the initial phase even the mayor of Kórnik was present. 

Tomasz Lissowski, with an obsolete category I (years ago it was about Elo 2000), was a little afraid of his disposition, and playing "live" OTB is quite different from playing a game on the net. So he also considered to play under a pseudonym, just like S. Winawer wished to do in Hastings 1895 (which was refused at that time) ...
Tomasz lost his first game against a young opponent, and also a game in round 4 against Janusz Woda, the ex-president of the Polish Chess Federation. But he scored in the other five games. Finally he achieved 5 points out of 7 and shared a 4-5 place, which allowed him to leave Kórnik at 9 o’clock in the evening without playing any final. Anyway, he had saved his bacon, and no one of the lower ranked players ended up ahead of him. And the honour of the chess historians has not been damaged.

A few final photographs:



Tomasz Lissowski against Janusz Woda

 

 

Mr. Bartkowiak, "since ever" the president of the small chess club in Kórnik

 

 

 

 

The blitz final was played with larger pieces (or giant chess sets), the 3 photos below will give you an impression.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photographs of the exhibition were taken by Krzysztof Kłopocki,
of the blitz tournament by Robert Buda.