Esperantist Olympiads ("Verda Olimpiko")

Esperanto flagThe history of movement of Esperanto chess society is almost as long as the language itself. Probably the first chess problem published in Esperanto was the "Problemo de sxako" by Aurelio Abela, published in the third volume of "La Esperantisto", January 1892 (sic!), p. 16. A brand new chess problem was published there every month until February 1893. It was Ludwik Zamenhof himself who decided to insert the chess column into the Esperanto newspaper "Gazeton de la lingvo internacia Esperanto".
Esperanta Sxak-Ligo Internacia
Established in 1958, the worldwide organisation looks after development of chess in Esperanto world. Its past presidents were as follows:
1. Torsten Lindberg (SWE) 1958-1971
2. Jerzy Jabłonski (POL) 1972-1974
3. Václav Faigl (CSR) 1975-1978
4. André Skovrind (DEN) 1978-1979
5. József Németh (HUN) 1980-1984
6. Jaromír Canibal (CSR) 1985-1991
7. Dan Maxewll (USA) 1991-?
The chess rubrics appeared occasionally in Esperanto press, e.g. in "German-Austria Esperantisto" in 1910, written by S. Steiner; "Heroldo de Esperanto" and "Sennaciulo" in 1920s and even in "Esperanto", the official bulletin of UEA (1921-1927, edited by Fr. Hajek from Prague). The column not only reproduced some classical materials, but also published many valuable, original problems of high value, authored by ca. 170 composers of 35 countries.

The chess columns appeared regularly in Esperanto newspapers after World War II. We could cite for example the chess column in "Hungara Vivo" (ceased in 1976) directed by J.Nemeth, columns in "Esperanto", "Nuntempa Bulgario" and "El Popola Cxinio".

The deep interest in chess among Esperantists from all over the World reflected in development of chess-related institutions. "Societo de Esperantistaj Sxakistoj" was raised already in 1907. The currently existing "Esperanto-Sxak-Ligo Internacia" (ESLI) was founded in 1958. It aims at integrating all chessplayers who speak Esperanto and popularising the language among World's chess society. Its first chairman was elected Torsten Lindberg of Sweden, and the first general secretary was Václav Faigl of Czechoslovakia. ESLI's peak size was about 700 members from 42 lands attained in 1970s.

ESLI organises all types of chess tournaments for Esperanto speaking players. The major one is "Monda Pokalo" with the winner earning the title of Champion of ESLI. Well renowned Keres memorial is organised by Estonian Esperantists. There is also annual Esperanto Chess Festival which with its social offer is much beyond usual chess event. As far as team tournaments are concerned, the biggest event are the "Green Olympiads" held every four years starting from 1983. There used to be non-cyclical team tournament for four player teams in the past too.

/ Based on text by Jaromir Canibal and Bernhard Fabet, "El Esperanta Sxako", vol.3, 1993 /

Esperantists Olympiads - men
no. host city year 1st 2nd 3rd system boards teams players games PGN
1. Kalocsa Hungary 1983 CSR HUN POL RR 4 12 48 264 PGN
2. Siedlce Poland 1987 HUN CSR POL
3. Podebrady Czechoslovakia 1991 LTU CSR URS
4. Kalocsa Hungary 1995 HUN MDA MLT

Esperantists Olympiads - women
no. host city year 1st 2nd 3rd system boards teams players games PGN
1. Kalocsa Hungary 1983 HUN CSR POL RR 2 8 16 56
2. Siedlce Poland 1987
3. Podebrady Czechoslovakia 1991
4. Kalocsa Hungary 1995

Esperantists team tournament
no. host city year winners members of winning team
1. ? Czechoslovakia Blazek, Jablencnik, Fiala
2. ? Estonia Rei, Tomson, Lillepuu, Leis
3. ? Hungary Barczay, Bernei, Hajtun, Karakas
4. 1987 Lithuania Ragelis, Makaveckas, Kudzma, Ivanoviene
5. 1989 Estonia Post, Sopp, Kalep, Jarve
6. 1992 Lithuania Ragelis, Budraitis, Jauninkis, Ivanoviene