Interview with Dimitris Skyrianoglou
players from over 15 countries join the Ikaros festival three months before the start

The first list of participants of this year’s summer chess festival in Ikaria has been made available (scroll down for the list of players). Although there are several months to the start of the event, strong GMs and IMs have already joined the list, attracted by the good conditions and the beeautiful narture of the island. The Chessdom editors had the chance to speak to the man behind the festival, Dimitris Skyrianoglou.

Official website:

Chessdom: Here we are with Dimitris Skyrianoglou, the tournament director of the 2009 Ikaros Chess Festival, one of the major open events in Europe during this summer. As we were reading through the brochure of the tournament, we were very amazed of the multiple conditions offered to players, some of which actually getting paid for their rating points. As an organizer, how do you manage to provide such fantastic conditions in the current financial crisis?

Dimitris Skyrianoglou: Before anything else I would like to stress that Ikaros Chess Festival is not a profit-making tournament for the organizers. At least this is not our main objective, that’s why we do not hesitate to offer good conditions to titled players who, in turn will attract more participants to the festival. Ikaros Chess Festival commenced 32 years ago as a friendly training tournament for the players of Ikaria Chess Club and the friendly atmosphere of the tournament remains until today.

Our main aim is to offer to all participants the chance to combine chess with relaxing and cheap vacations and on the other hand attract people to the island in a period (middle of July) that is not the tourist high-season for Ikaria. This is important for the local economy since during the tournament all hotels, pensions, restaurants and bars are full with chess players :-).

The main financial supporter of this initiative is the municipality of Aghios Kirykos, the capital of Ikaria and the site of the festival. Our budget is not very high but we are willing to provide good conditions not only to strong players (that increase the prestige of a tournament and thus attract more players) but also to lower rated players that’s why offer discount to families, junior players and club teams.

To GMs/IMs/WGMs/WIMs the organisation committee provides:

1. Free entry to the tournament (no entry fee)
2. Accommodation (in double room, the food expenses, meals, breakfast etc are NOT included) for the period 11-19 July.
3. Round Trip (Piraeus-Ikaria-Piraeus) ferry tickets (C class on commercial ferries of the line (Does NOT include the fast ferry lines)) (Piraeus is the port of Athens).

Additionally, for GMs/WGMs only, the organisation committee provides:

4. Pocket money 2 (two) euros for each rating point above 2400 based on the FIDE rating list of 1st of July 2009. Assuming that a player’s rating is 2550 he/she will get (2550 – 2400) x 2 = 300 Euros as pocket money.

This year we started the preparations quite early so we have already almost reached the maximum number of participants to whom we can offer conditions. Maybe we cold afford 4-5 more titled players, so if anyone is interested he/she should hurry up! 🙂

The reason why we preferred to offer conditions based on the title, besides the rating ones, is that we are interested in giving the opportunity to the other participants to make international norms. In the past we had several players who made their norms at Ikaria, I believe this years that the field is expected to be quite strong that it would be a good chance for those seeking to achieve a norm.

Here is the full interview.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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