The First Global Chess Festival was organized by the Judit Polgar Chess Foundation, under the Patronage of Dr. Tibor Navracsics member of the European Commission, responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. Thousands of people of all ages gathered together to enjoy the perspective of, culture, education, science and games at the festival. From four continents, on nine locations worldwide chess was celebrated along with Budapest in: Boca Raton, Christchurch, Győr, Melbourne, Miami, Santiago de Chile, St. Louis, Subotica and Satu Mare.
The highlight of the event was the Highlander Cup rapid tournament, in which former World Champion Anatoly Karpov and former FIDE-World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov played against two local players: Olympic silver medalist Csaba Balogh and Benjamin Gledura, Hungary’s most promising junior player. The four super grandmasters competed in the winner takes it all KO event, supported by the Hungarian Chess Federation. Hungary's young talent, 16 years old Benjamin Gledura knocked out World Champion Anatoly Karpov in the semi-final and the 6 million Hungarian Forint (roughly 20,000 Euros) check was won by World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov by winning the play off against Gledura in the final.
In Budapest, visitors could meet Judit and Sophia Polgar in simultaneous chess games, make marzipan chess pieces, play on the interactive Samsung boards, follow the champions' chess games and get acquainted with the Chess Palace educational program. Contests, colorful presentations, arts & crafts and many more interesting activities were part of the all-day family programs. On stage, our special guest: Andras Hajos, singer, songwriter, comedian, entertained children with the help of his guitar.
A unique joint simultaneous exhibition by 8 year-old Kata Karacsonyi and 87 year-old Guinness recorder Brigitta Sinka, to prove that chess is really ageless.Through the years there is growing success of the chess related arts and crafts activities, where you can paint, draw, color, cut and paste. The skill building activities were supported by Poli-Farbe, Szamos Marcipán and Happy Kids International Kindergarten and Nursery. At the Generations Clash tournament where families played together. Child-parent-grandparent in joint efforts, one chess board and a lot of fun! A real family chess battle.
Four Hungarian young talents; Zsóka Gaál, Kata and Gellért Karácsonyi, Alex Krstulovic competed online with four youth talents from the USA: Raphael Manaham, Robert Shlyakhtenko, Gabriel Eidelmen, Anthony Ge. This traditional HUN-USA Chess Match was transmitted online by Chess.com bringing the games to thousands of spectators live.
At the International Chess Palace Educational Chess Conference educators discussed the effects of Educational Chess, especially in writing and calculation. Conference presentations emphasized the specific needs of the digital age, underlining the fact that chess with its universal nature contributes to the tolerance and respect for cultural diversity, promoting peace between people.
On the Chess Palace Promenade, King Crucifer, Queen Quenessa, Sturdy Rook, Speedy Bishop, Jumpy Knight and Tiny Pawn were waiting for children at six posts. By completing the playful tasks kids earned chess money and traded it for valuable gifts.