Short interview with Nagy Laszlo, organiser of First Saturday in Hungary; video from Divesh Sookdeo

In our last article, we had a short piece on First Saturday in Hungary. Nagy Laszlo, the chief organiser of the event, was kind enough to grand Africa Chess Net an impromptu interview around the event and the South African delegation as well as to give his thoughts on African chess in general.  Below is the transcript of the online chat (done via the messaging system on the First Saturday website )

Nagy Laci - Mr First Saturday
Nagy Laci – Mr First Saturday

Africa Chess Net: Hi Nagy, hope you are well.

FS Nagy Laszlo: Hi

Africa Chess Net : My name is Bruce Mubayiwa from AfricaChessNet and Playcom Chess, we once chatted a long time ago. Some of our players are in Hungary,  South African delegation.

FS Nagy Laszlo:  Yes RSA players are here. (RSA – Republic of South
Every day we publish their games. I pay to a chessplayer to put the games into the CHESSBASE

Africa Chess Net: Wow (I didn’t know that chess players were paid for this).  Thank you for your commitment and dedidation to chess.  Would you have time for an interview?

FS Nagy Laszlo : If you like we can make it  now. 


Picture from 2012 Credit – First Saturday website

Africa Chess Net:  I have standard questions that I normally ask Chess Players and administrators.  How many players can you cater for at First Saturday

FS Nagy Laszlo: It’s a Maximum of 60 players in the tournament hall. Now we have 47 – out of 17 countries

Africa Chess Net:  That is a good number of countries.  Besides South Africa, do you have any other African countries.

FS Nagy Laszlo: Yes, this month we have many people out of many countries. There are no other African players

Africa Chess Net: I wonder how many other African countries know about your First Saturday

FS Nagy Laszlo: I think many. I remember players’ from Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Nigeria, Mar. We had them since 1992, from the start of the First Saturday. 

Africa Chess Net:  That is great news. Hopefully we can have countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia in future.

FS Nagy Laszlo: I see

Africa Chess Net: In your opinion, do you see more Grandmasters (GMs) coming from Africa?

FS Nagy Laszlo: GM-s playing in the FS from Africa? We had Kenny Solomon also. (Kenny Solomon is South Africa’s very first Grandmaster) 

Africa Chess Net: No just GMs in general

FS Nagy Laszlo: We have in Hungary around 50 GM-s

Africa Chess Net: What can Africa do to improve its chess?

FS Nagy Laszlo: The chess leaders have to organize more money for the chess. They have to convince their political leaders to give more money for the chess culture. Here in Hungary the HUN CHESS FED has 1 million € per year for the chess. The First Saturday does not get anything from this, but the HUN chess children because of this can afford to play FS.

Africa Chess Net: That is quite an investment in Chess. Do you have chess in schools with Chess as a subject?

FS Nagy Laszlo: Yes, we have in many schools chess as a subject. The main leader of the chess culture distribution in GM Judy POLGAR (Judit Polgar is the strongest female grandmaster in the history of chess.)

Africa Chess Net: Would you have the actual syllabus and content used? We now have have Mini Chess for the Primary or Junior Schools.

FS Nagy Laszlo: I do now know exactly. Maybe speak about it with the gen.sec of the HUN chess fed, fotitkar at Mr Meszaros

Africa Chess Net: Thank you. Chess is becoming more popular in South Africa and we are always looking to learn.

FS Nagy Laszlo: Yes, chess is very useful tool for the young generation to do something useful. Chess players are more educated

Africa Chess Net: I know that Hungary is quite strong in Mathematics and Physics. In your opinion, does this have anything to do with Chess?

FS Nagy Laszlo: Yes, I am sure

Africa Chess Net: Hopefully more children will continue to take up chess here and who knows what will happen from there

FS Nagy Laszlo: Yes, your rule is great and a media for the chess. Your websites (Playcom Chess, Africa Chess Net) More publicity about chess – more possibilities to catch sponsors

Africa Chess Net: Is there any advice you have for chess players coming to Hungary for the very first time?

FS Nagy Laszlo: Here they can enjoy our First Saturday chess and enjoy the free Europe, having not so much crime, they do not have to be afraid in the streets.  Now the RSA girls here are very relaxed, they told me they are not afraid in the streets to walk.

Africa Chess Net: That is wonderful to here. It’s always great if you can be free anywhere you go.  Among the current players from South African has anyone impressed you and how or why?

FS Nagy Laszlo: I like very much Lilian Chen. Do you know her?  She is a great language talent. I told her the Hungarian word THANK YOU – Köszönöm and she repeated it without accent. She told me she is a musician as well, good ears

Africa Chess Net. No I don’t know her Sorry.

FS Nagy Laszlo: No problem.  I can send you here her photo

Africa Chess Net: But I have just looked her up.

Lillian Chen

Africa Chess Net: Thank you very much for your time Nagy. With your permission I would like to publish this interview.

FS Nagy Laszlo: Yes, publish if you like, I would be happy

Here is a video interview of Divesh Sookdeo, team manager of the delegation

Here are more pictures of the South Africa delegation in Hungary.

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