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External media: FCSP amateur departments - Chess

Scum FCSP amateur department tour is back with a vengeance! This time strength, speed and stamina make space for other virtues like analytical thinking and the ability to play mind games while the usually noisy atmosphere of the pitch surroundings give its place to the (deadly sometimes ^^) silence of the Clubheim. However, in case any of you thinks that excitement and passion don’t live here, you should better think again and think about it good. Ladies and gentlemen, your warmest applause please for the boys and girls of FCSP Chess 😉

Credit: This article first appeared on the website of FCSP Athens South End Scum

OK, chess (or at least the basics of it) are known to the most. In case you don’t know shit about it you should probably try at least to get to know what this is about and there’s a big possibility finding out along the process that this is not an exercise for geeks – it can rather be a source of good fun while its beneficial to the brain properties effects can balance at a satisfactory level the brain decaying effects of other hobbies 😀 In this direction (especially the first leg) you will probably find really interesting what Jörn has to say, who kindly offered himself to answer not only to questions about the game itself but to enlighten us regarding a lot of things about the department 🙂

OK, would you like to tell us a few things about the history of the department? How old are you ( 🙂 ), how many people were initially involved, was it from day 1 an FCSP department or “recognition” came at a later stage?

It all started 1929. Some of the St. Pauli members met at the Clubhaus every now and then to play some chess. Among those guys was also Amandus Vierth who, by the way, “invented” the FCSP colors: brown and white. According to our sources Amandus was a passionate chess player. At this time it was “only” meeting, drinking, talking and playing chess of course – but there was no official department at all. After World War II some members started to play chess again. They decided to start the department in the winter of 1947/1948. So, 1948 was the first season we took part in competitions. Nowadays we are the second largest chess club in Hamburg with more than 150 members.

Live video training therapy at Domschänke, watching Chess WM ;-)

Live video training therapy at Domschänke, watching Chess WM 😉

How exactly the department is organized?

It is organized like every amateur department at FCSP. Once a year we have our member assembly where we talk about all important things and elect our chairman, who performs official duties for our department.

According to the website, department has ten active squads. Although FIDE and German Federationhave separate championships for men and women, FCSP squads seem to be mixed. Can you enlighten us a little on how this works?

There are so many possibilities to play and to compete. This is indeed one of the most exciting things, if you are playing chess. You can take part at tournaments as a single player. In this case you are fighting for your own glory. And there are many variations of tournaments: Normal chess, fast chess, opens etc. Some of our members also play international tournaments in Cuba, Greece or elsewhere. At the department there is also an internal tournament to determine the club champion. Our members compete in several groups against each other. The person who wins Group A – the best one – is champion of FCSP. If you are at the bottom of the group, you will be relegated to Group B. The winner of Group B on the other hand is promoted and so on. So it’s kind of a league system. But there are also different team competitions. The most important one is the “Hamburger Team Championship”. An eight-member team playing at eight single boards against an opposing team. A win at one of the boards means one point – a draw a half point. Several overall results are possible like 8:0, 5:3 or even 4,5:3,5. The winning team earns 2 points. A 4:4 draw means one point for each team. These teams are mixed. Women and men. Children and old people. We also have two blind players. This so inspiring!

Is it only about chess or there is also an active social side of the department?

No, not only chess. It is really important for us to play, live and act according to the values of FC St. Pauli. And in our opinion chess is the perfect sport for this. Chess has no borders. Everyone is able to play chess everywhere. We absolutely don’t care about gender, (dis)abilities or all this other dividing shit. We invited refugees to the Clubheim to play chess. We also came to them to play chess and donated some boards and figure sets. Together with other amateur departments we organized a St. Pauli sportsday. Everybody was welcome. It was a nice day.

Sportsday :-)

Sportsday 🙂

What about the department expenses? Are the member subscriptions enough to go by or you have extra sources of income like sponsors or other activities?

Normally the subscriptions are enough to have a nice Christmas Party….But to be serious: There are some activities which we need some extra sources for – our St. Pauli Open for example. This is a huge international tournament we try to organize every summer at the Millerntor stadium. Round about 250 chess players from all over Europe take part. There are a lot of things you have to keep in mind: prize money, catering, a tournament newspaper and referees…every support helps, as you can imagine.

Our 1st squad (currently Oberliga Nord Nord) is very close to promotion to Bundesliga 2. Have we been to the high leagues before? At which point end the athletic ambitions of St. Pauli Schach?

Bundesliga 2 would be a milestone for our department. It is a level we have never played before. It would be wonderful! But it also has a financial aspect that you have to keep in mind. Bundesliga 2 would be some kind of professional chess. For us it is really crucial to keep the balance between “high performance” chess and the “normal” guys, who are just “playing”.

Chess is a very special sport to practice. Other athletes use to exercise their physical skills in training (except the darts department probably – tough to get physical in Domschänke 🙂 ). What’s an FC St. Pauli Schach training like?

There are many ways to practice. Knowledge is one of the important things you need. A very experienced player for example shows some openings, which have names like Grünfeldt-Indian, Sicilian, Italian, French and so on. If your opponent plays one of these, you will be prepared. Or you take a closer look on a later phase of the game, where you have to develop a sense for the current strategic situation. Is it good to occupy the open line with one of your rooks? Or is it better to attack one of the wings with your bishop? It is all about experience! In the old days there were so many books written about specific chess strategies or openings. 500 pages dealing with the Sicilian opening? No problem. Let there be 1000! Nowadays there are a lot of good computer programs you can practice with. But the best thing is to sit around a board with some other guys and to analyze one of your own games. You have to notice the moves in a competitive game. So you are sitting there, drinking some beers and discuss about the moves you made. Very often there would have been better ones…

"So you are sitting there, drinking some beers and discuss about the moves you made"... :-)

“So you are sitting there, drinking some beers and discuss about the moves you made”… 🙂

Usual question but with special interest when interviewing a chess department. Matchday!!! Noise, flags, banners and confetti not allowed, which are the rules of engagement  for fans?

Silence and no smartphones! The common chess fan plays chess by him- or herself. He tiptoes around in the room, looks over the shoulders of the players and thinks: “What move would I do?” But to make one thing clear: If the 1st squad promotes to Bundesliga 2, we expect a pyroshow by Ultra Sankt Pauli…after the game.

Is the department currently open for new players to join? If yes, are there any prerequisites for anybody interested? (except the full acceptance of the Club values, of course)

Yes, it is open for everyone. Beginners are as fine as Grandmasters. We usually play at Tuesday nights, 7 p.m., at the Clubheim. Loving beer could also be an advantage.

Could you describe us in brief the virtues that a good Chess player should possess?

It is all about passion.

Any future plans or expectations for FCSP Schach?

Keep growing, keep loving, keep playing chess. Unfortunately we had to cancel the St. Pauli Open two years in a row due to logistic problems. But we want to keep it alive. Every year there is an internal football tournament among the amateur departments. Once we finished at the third place. But the day will come that we ‘ll take the cup to our department. Promise!


OK, we would like to thank Jörn here not only for being kind enough to finally (be patient dear reader 🙂 ) answer our questions and offering us a set of answers much more exciting than expected (when you ask a chess player about the biggest game virtue and get the response “passion”, you’re in for something 😉 ) but for actually exhuming the whole thing (it was initially scheduled for some 2 years ago but “got lost” along the way 😀 ) and adjusting it to today (good thing that we’re going again for Bundesliga 2 😉 ) in order to be timely.  There’s lot of additional information within their simple looking but quite rich at content web site and you can follow all the latest updates regarding department activity both on Facebook (we don’t like it but you already know that 😀 ) and on Twitter 😉

Talking department activity, FCSP Chess established just recently a brotherhood with the Thessaloniki Sach Chess Club and they’re actually coming to Thessaloniki for a tournament between 23 and 27 of February. Details regarding schedule and similar stuff can be found in the 3rd Vardaris tournament website. Local brown white residents who are either interested in the sport or believe that FCSP doesn’t end outside Millerntor, should grab the oportunity, go there and  support the squad (always in a civilized manner 😀 ) or just say “hello” to our Boys & Girls in Brown. Shit, is just like FCSP Blind Football (visiting the place for tournaments since 1996), all good things happen in Salonica… 🙂

BEST WISHES to the department for all their targets in the future, starting with the St. Pauli Open that we hope that we will have news of this year. Every luck to their promotion in the Bundesliga 2 and we wish them to be able to get in there and survive while keeping the balance they were discussing above and, most of all, preserve what makes this one a “not quite ordinary” chess club: PASSION 🙂

You will never play chess alone – Scream and shout (outside Clubheim!) for FCSP Chess – FORZA SANKT PAULI!!!


Web page: http://fcstpauli-schach.de/

Facebook: https://de-de.facebook.com/FcStPauliSchachabteilung/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FCStPauliSchach

e-mail: Thomas.Schuettler@fcstpauli-schach.de

Credit: This article first appeared on the website of FCSP Athens South End Scum