Minister of State for Sport and Youth István Simicskó said during a press conference on Tuesday that chess has achieved outstanding results and develops important skills such as strategic thinking, so it fully deserves to be supported. He added: this amount comes via the broader system of sport subsidies and maybe spent until the end of the first semester of next year.
"Chess is one of the bastions of Hungarian sport and we must strengthen it further. I hope this grant will settle its situation satisfactorily and will also assure its future”, said István Simicskó.
President of the Hungarian Chess Federation Miklós Seszták said that this 300 millions forints is ten times the annual grant usually received by the Federation, and this amount will be spent mainly on better rewarding top players, promoting chess teaching in schools and on hosting a major competition. The President gave an evaluation of the year, qualifying 2013 as a wonderful in the life of chess for two reasons: because of this special government grant and because chess has been introduced into the National Curriculum. „This is an incredibly big step, few people realise this today”, he said before thanking the Hungarian Government for considering chess as worthy of receiving this one-time supplementary grant.
During the press conference, the results of the recent team European Chess Championships held in Warsaw were also mentioned: Hungarians took fifth and sixth places in the men's and women's competition, respectively.
László Hazay, technical director of the national women's chess team, said that the performance of the women’ team had been excellent, taking into account the fact that Hungary had been expected to finish in eighth place among 32 other teams from the continent. He underlined that today women chess players are not yet professional, but if this situation were to change then the Hungarian national team could be fighting for a place on the podium within just a few years.
Tamás Horváth, technical director of the men’s team, said that even though the Hungarian team came third at the previous European Championship, the fifth place they took this time can be considered as even better in view of their adversaries. He underlined that the new tactic of changing the order of tables was been successful, so Zoltán Almási played on the third table and Judit Polgár on the fourth.
It was also announced that this year’s individual national championships will take place from 2-11 December 2013 in Gyula for men and in Hévíz for women, with ten players each.
(MTI - kormany.hu)