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Tournament Review: Budapest Spring Festival 2024

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Chess Tourist Blog #2

The Budapest Spring Festival is a historic chess tournament that I had the pleasure of participating in this year, marking its return after a global pandemic. The "Master's Event" attracted players rated above 2200 FIDE, with some exceptions made for those between 2000-2200. While it seems they included everyone in the lower bracket this year, the competition was very intense, boasting 4 Grandmasters rated over 2600 and a total of 150+ titled players!
Initially, I wasn't planning to play, but a friend convinced me to join at the last minute. Thanks to the organizers who accepted my entry on the last day.

Tournament Organization

The organization is not very well compared to the European standard of organization

  • Entry Fees: While I was used to paying online fees in advance, the organizers here preferred cash payments. Additionally, some players felt the €70 entry fee was a bit high. However, considering the Indian tournaments I participate in typically cost $100-150.
  • Playing Hall: This was a major letdown. The venue lacked proper ventilation on the first day, making it quite stuffy for players. Though they managed to get the AC working by day two, it still wasn't ideal.

Overall, the organization was decent, but not even close to the Budapest Spring 2019 edition.

By any chance, if organizers are reading this blog, I would like to see the following changes

  • Proper Ventilation and/or AC hall
  • Drinking Water for players
  • Some fair play measures

Accommodation

Thankfully, my friend found a fantastic Airbnb - a cozy studio apartment in a beautiful old building. The host was incredibly helpful, and the overall stay was a 10/10! The cost for this comfortable accommodation was ₹37,000 for 10 nights (roughly $225 per person)
It was in front of the tram station and the metro station was a 5 min walk. The playing venue was located 20-25 min away from our apartment.

Tournament Schedule

The event consisted of 9 rounds played from May 23rd to 31st. Rounds 1-8 started at 3 PM, with the final round kicking off at 10 AM.

Ratings

Here's my personal rating (out of 10) for different aspects of the tournament:

  • Organization: 7/10 (mostly due to the playing hall issues)
  • Coffee: 10/10
  • Accommodation: 10/10
  • Food: 9.5/10 (delicious and affordable!)
  • Public Transport: 10/10

About Budapest City

Budapest is easily one of my favorite European cities. Eastern Europe, in general, seems much safer than its Western counterparts, and Budapest offers friendly people and delicious food at budget-friendly prices. To get around the city efficiently, I purchased a 15-day public transport pass for around $17.

Tournament Expenses Breakdown

Here's a breakdown of my expenses to give you an idea of the overall cost: USD Figures are approximate

  • Flight Ticket: ₹71,000 ($850)
  • Airport Taxi: ₹5,000 ($60)
  • Entry Fee: ₹6,300 ($75)
  • Accommodation: ₹18,500 ($225)
  • Food, Transport & Groceries: ₹10,000 ($120)
  • Insurance: ₹1,200 ($15)
  • Other Expenses: ₹3,000 ($35)

Total: ₹1,15,000 ($1400) (USD conversion rate based on June 2024)

My Performance

I scored and gained some points. However, in this type of article, I am not going to include anything about my performance. This article is purely about information purpose about the event and I would not like to include chess things.

Photos

All images are taken by FM Nikhil Dixit









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