Where the grandmasters are born

Do you know what the young Magnus Carlsen, Hou Yifan, Fabio Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura had in common? All of these chess prodigies fought for the GM norms in the famous ‘First Saturday’ chess tournaments. Let’s see some unique photos and results from the First Saturday tournament archive.

Hou Yifan - First Saturday - LearningChessMagnus Carlsen - First Saturday - LearningChessHikaru Nakamura - First Saturday - LearningChess

First Saturday Logo - LearningChessThe First Saturday chess tournaments run by Laszlo Nagy in Budapest, Hungary are now internationally recognized. Top 10 players like Magnus Carlsen, Hou Yifan, Fabio Caruana, Koneru Humpy and Hikaru Nakamura are just a few who fought for the GM norms, and gained plenty of experience during the 24 year long history of the tournament.

Fabiano Caruana - GM norm - First Saturday - LearningChessFabiano Caruana was 11 years old when he participated in his first ‘First Saturday’ tournament in June 2004. His coach GM Alex Chernin lived in Budapest, so the young chess prodigy and his family moved to Budapest for a number of years. Fabiano combined his training sessions with playing almost every month at the First Saturday, where, by the following year, in May 2005, he achieved his first IM norm. After three years he got his third GM norm, and has broken Hikaru Nakamura´s record as the youngest American ever to become grandmaster.

Peter Leko - GM norm - First Saturday - LearningChess

Peter Leko got his second GM norm in the First Saturday tournament as well, in April 1993, when he was just 14 years old. In 1994, Peter Leko became the youngest Grandmaster in the world at the age of 14 years and 4 months. He came close to winning the World Championship Title from Kramnik in 2004.

Teimur Radjabov - GM norm - First Saturday - LearningChess

Scoring 9 points out of the possible 11, Teimur Radjabov has gained his first Grandmaster norm in the First Saturday tournament, in December 2000. Few years later, he was confirmed as the youngest chess Grandmaster in history.

Richard Rapport - GM norm - First Saturday - LearningChessThe 13 year old Richard Rapport reached his first GM norm in the First Saturday tournament too, in 2009, by performing 2644 with 7 points of 9 games. In March 2010, he became the fifth youngest chess Grandmaster in history.

Ferenc Berkes, Peter Prohaszka and many others made their grandmaster norm here, but it would be amusing to know that Hikaru Nakamura and soon to be world champions Magnus Carlsen and Hou Yifan both made unsuccessful attempts.

Let’s take a look at a game from the young Magnus Carlsen from the First Saturday tournament, in 2003:Magnus Carlsen - First Saturday - LearningChess


Grandmaster Lesson 36 - LearningChess.net

So, if you would like to meet and play with young talents who one day might be top grandmasters or even world champions, just visit the First Saturday tournament! You can start as an unrated player in the lower FM section, but if you are a strong player already, the GM group awaits you – as the name suggests – on the first Saturday of each month.

Laszlo Nagy will welcomes you in the wonderful city of Budapest.

Laszlo Nagy  International Chess Organizer - First Saturday - LearningChess


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