Chess players mourn IM Dr. Tamás Erdélyi

Tamás Erdélyi
Tamás Erdélyi

On 16 June 2017 the Hungarian grand seigneur of European chess,

IM Dr. Tamás Erdélyi,

passed away after a short, severe illness at the age of 64.

In the 80s and 90s after the fall of the Iron Curtain, he was a feared opponent at the more and more popular Central European Chess-Open. His calling, however, - for which he got a legendary reputation among chess clubs – were two other areas: On the one hand his own chess publishing house “Caissa” - for many decades there have been almost ten releases by famous authors per year – and on the other hand the chess shop linked to the publishing house which was part of almost all big European tournaments, especially in the youth sector. Despite the growing computerization of the chess sector, it was of utmost importance to him to present chess books in printed form which got more and more difficult in the last few years due to economic reasons.

Over the years, however, he has managed to primarily cooperate with chess dealers from the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, England and Sweden whereas the antique chess literature was always the most important to him. He had a fine sense for its intensity even though there was a small number of readers. The third mainstay was the organization of tournaments in the beautiful and historic city of Kecskemet with its 120,000 inhabitants – ca. 100 km south of Budapest.

Here, numerous title-norm tournaments took place in a tournament room which was surrounded by book piles and which was decorated with historic chess pictures on the wall emitting an irreplaceable aura. In 2000, I, myself, was there for the first time as supervisor of the junior selection of the chess club in Baden. I was so impressed by the city – where a world class tournament was held in the community hall in 1927 – that now I have to go there at least once a year.

For over 10 years, IM Dr. Tamas Erdelyi has been a member of the German chess club BG 1980 Buchen and on 20 November 2016 he won his last game for the club in a complicated and exhausting match – at the same time this was also his last tournament match. Due to health reasons he had to cancel his trip to the team game on 12 February 2017 – an insidious illness made him stay in bed until his death.

I will never forget the inspiring conversations with Tamas about chess history and politics – even though we were of different opinions on things many times… also, I will never forget the red and white plastic bags from the chess shop which were his unmistakable feature.

Karlheinz Eisenbeiser
Chairman Schachclub BG Buchen

Here the text in German:

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