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Before the Beginning
IMG_0764As best players from all over the world are getting ready to compete in the 40th Chess Olympiad today, the stage is also set for young talents under-16.  The number of teams might be less than those participating in the main olympiad, however taking the energy and competitiveness of the young players into account it is absolutely granted that the tournament will be scene to many fierce and hard-fought battles.  So it is strongly advised to have a look at this olympiad of young and rising stars too!

Taking a look at the team compositions before the start, perhaps not so unexpectedly, Russia seems to be the clear favourite by rating this year, followed by Iran, India, Armenia,Serbia and other teams who are also ready to compete for the top spot.  The hosts are participating with five different teams –among them two teams consisting of girls- which once again show the importance put in the development of young players in Turkey. Other countries with more than one teams are Australia (3), Slovakia(2) and South Africa(2).  
Before the start of the olympiad with tomorrow’s round at 16.30 we wish success, lots of fun and unforgettable memories in Istanbul to all young players and a big and warm welcome to Istanbul, Turkey!
Dear Players and Guests
yazicDear Players and Guests,

Turkish Chess Federation has been playing an important role in world chess for 12 years. Starting with the 34th Chess Olympiad held in Istanbul, we organized World and European Championships at different levels. We succeeded in training new titled players and strong International Masters and Grand Masters at the last.

Under 16 Chess Olympiad is one of the most important events in our schedule this year. We already hosted this event before in Denizli, Agri- Dogubeyazit, Mersin, Manisa-Akhisar, Burdur and Kocaeli. This year we will organize World Chess Olympiad in İstanbul at the same time with Under 16 Chess Olympiad. By this way you can see this great chess olympiad when playing or observing many other events.

I am sure you will experience one of your most memorable organizations and maybe future world champions are amongst us already, who knows?! I am grateful to Governor of Istanbul Mr. Huseyin Avni Mutlu, Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Mr. Kadir Topbas, General Director of Sports Mr. Mehmet Baykan in the name of the world and Turkish chess family.

Dear chess players, parents and trainers,

I hope you will experience the Turkish hospitality during your visit to Istanbul and will return home back with the warmest feelings. I wish you success and hope you have a good time here.

Best Regards,

Ali Nihat YAZICI
The President of Turkish Chess Federation

Become a Super GM before 16
Dear Players,
My name is Cemil Can Ali Marandi. The chess society simply call me "CC" (pronounced as "JayJay"). I started chess when I was seven. Even from early days, I took chess seriously and aimed for the highest. Beside personal hard work and daily effort, my family and TCF's continuous support, brought me some continental achievements at youth level, thus inner peace and happiness in my life. Nowadays, I'm grateful to be able to represent my country at 40th Chess Olympiad- Istanbul 2012. I'm a great fan of and love to play Cricket & Basketball. Under 16 Chess Olympiad gathers chess players from six continents together. Beside the competition aspect, I believe, deep friendship binds begins here.
I sincerely welcome all participants who come to Turkey and to Istanbul, wishing you all the best and successful results in this Olympiad and leave Istanbul with memories and pleasant feelings.
FM Cemil Can Ali Marandi
European Youth Champion 2008, 2010, 2011

About Istanbul
Istanbul is truly a world city, a city which everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. It is an enchanting blend of Eastern and Western culture, a vibrant, modern city, with a unique identity. Its rich past coexists alongside its youthful exuberance. Although no longer the capital of Turkey, Istanbul still remains the country's cultural and business centre.
It is a city of contrasts, bustling with the cacophony of 21st century life, and is yet achingly beautiful. It is set in a stunning location, surrounded by water, which is the narrow strait of the Bosphorus and the serene sea of Marmara separating Europe from Asia. Istanbul has a foot in each, celebrating the best of both heritages. As Byzantium, Constantinople and finally, Istanbul, it has been the capital of three Empires, each leaving their mark in the form of stunning palaces, castles, mosques, churches and monuments. The legacy of its chequered past can be seen on every turn of the modern city.
The layout of Istanbul can seem confusing at first. The Bosphorus divides the city into the European and Asian sides, linked by two magnificient bridges, spanning the continents, the first of which was opened in 1973 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Republic. Most visitors to the city, staying for a few days, will have little reason to visit the Asian side, except for as part of a Bosphorus tour, on a boat which zigzags from side to side, to take in the best of each.
The European side, however, is also divided in two by the Golden Horn or Haliç, which roughly divides the historic part of old Istanbul, encompassing the areas of, Sultanahmet and Laleli, from the modern city. It is crossed by a number of bridges, the most famous of which is the pontoon, the Galata Bridge. Most visitors on short city breaks stay in the old town as the vast majority of the sites which they will be visiting are in this area. Istanbul's most famous sites - The Blue Mosque, Aya Sofya (Hagia Sophia), Topkapı Sarayı (Palace) and the Grand Bazaar (Kapalı Çarşı) - are all within a 30 minute walk of each other. It is easy to get around on foot or by making use of the tram, which provides a regular service on the pedestrianised main street. In terms of accommodation, there are now a number of characterful boutique hotels in the area of Sultanahmet, many of which are restored Ottoman wooden mansions. These are ideal for those who really want to savour the authentic atmosphere of the Old Town. Those on a budget, may want to consider the more modern, and competitively priced hotels of the Laleli district, although this area is much busier.
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