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Banícky kahanec

The history of the closed chess tournament Banicky kahanec started in 1965. The founder of the tournament Stefan Sóska organised the first Banicky kahanec in Prievidza under the auspices of Upper Nitra Coal Mining Company. The name of the tournament which means “Miner’s lantern” comes from the coal mining tradition in the Prievidza region. Initial Banicky kahanec tournaments in 1965, 1966 and 1967 were played only by chess players from Czechoslovakia. Since 1968 players from other countries also participate in the tournament.

Since the “birth” of Banicky kahanec there have been organised 30 tournaments during the past 44 years. From 1965 to 1982 have been the tournaments organised each year. In 1980’s and 1990’s was the regularity interrupted several times. Nevertheless, the 30th Banicky kahanec that took place in 2008 was the first GM tournament in the history of Prievidza and at the same time the strongest Banicky kahanec ever.

The total number of players who participated in Banicky kahanec tournaments is 187. They come from 13 countries (74 players from Slovakia, 43 from the Czech Republic, 18 from Germany, 14 from Hungary, 14 from Poland, 7 from Bulgaria, 5 from Austria, 5 from Yugoslavia, 2 from Russia, 2 from Ukraine, 1 from Sweden, 1 from UK and 1 from Romania).

Following players participated in the highest number of Banicky kahanec tournaments: Pavol Hanko (21), Martin Huba Sen. (13), Ivan Jankovec a Štefan Sóska (12), Jozef Franzen and Igor Gažík (10), Martin Dobrotka (9).

The most successful player in the history is Jozef Franzen who won the tournament three times. Two times enjoyed the victory Ivan Jankovec, Richard Biolek, Yuri Boidman and Tomáš Polák.

Organisation of further closed chess tournaments Banicky kahanec is one of the highest priorities of Chess Club Prievidza.

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