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Friday, July 26, 2013

First Saturday Non-Norm RR Tournaments and Two-Tier Pricing

Coming to Budapest for Chess?
I responded to another Facebook inquiry about First Saturday recently from a French player so I think it is easier to make a general summary for all players thinking of travelling to Hungary.

Two-Tier Pricing
I'll be blunt. First Saturday events are for tourists and are priced for tourists. Foreign players are charged much more than the local players even though they are playing in the same events. 

I was quite shocked when I found this out and more so when I realized how much the difference was. I can play the whole year with the entry fee for one FMA RR.

Local players get a hidden discount that is unadvertised. Foreigners(assume 2000) get the pleasure of playing around QUADRUPLE.

There are NO PRIZES. You get a printout of the results and that's it. All Budapest tournaments have prizes. This is the norm, just not at First Saturday.

The Fee Sting
Your choice is haggle like you are buying a used car or find somewhere else to play. I choose the latter and have been doing so for almost four years now. 

I just played a 9-round FIDE rated RR in June for under 20CAN. The FS entry fee for the identical event is 180CAN.

I saved a small fortune by avoiding First Saturday. I advise everyone to do the same.

First Saturday Prices / FS Contact 
These are the most expensive tournaments in the city by far and offer no prizes. The target market is foreign tourists. Local players get an unadvertised discount fee which is a well guarded little secret. Also not generally known is that all the fees are negotiable.

The standard Hungarian player fee for FM groups is 12,000 HUF(40EUR/ 54USD; 54CAN). Foreigners see the website entry fee listing. 

This is the price range for FS-FMA RRs.


Foreign players(for example FIDE 2000) are charged approximately QUADRUPLE the local player rates. 

Other Tournaments
Hidden from tourists are some real bargains. Budapest is the home of affordable tournaments. Many cheap tournaments are available, all with prizes and modest entry fees. 

Some diligent digging is required to find these events. Check the Hungarian Federation event listing for events.

For more information:
Hungarian Chess Federation Tournament Listing(Hungarian Language)
Budapest Entry Fees 2012(Scroll down to bottom of blog too)

Other RRs
I usually play 4-5 RRs per year for very modest entry fees. These events are harder to find and advertised only in Hungarian. Here is a nice example of an alternative Budapest RR event.

Frech Karolyi Final Standings-Group A
This tournament is one example of the hidden little gems Budapest has to offer. I played this event in June for the bargain price of 3,900HUF (14EUR/ 18USD/18CAN). This was net of the Budapest Tournament Card holder 10% discount.

Frech Karolyi RR
The Open is on the right in the same playing room

1Koczo, Kristof7.522692355
2Nagy, Aron5.521402176
3FM Juhasz, Bela5.522222167
4Kormos, Adam522112131
5Bodrogi, Mihaly521092143
6Stern, Tibor4.520252109
7Varga, Attila420122067
8Yip, Michael3.520072031
9Bodrogi, Laszlo2.520361942
10Zoldy, Robert219751895

Entry Fee Range for 1 Game/Day RRs
Here is the entry fee range in Budapest for a FIDE 2000 player(as an example). This summary shows how far out of line with the overall market First Saturday is(approx 8X the average).

Round RobinRdsPrizesHUFEURUSDCAN2013
Amator Cup9Yes5,00017.82323November
Torokves A RR9Yes5,50019.42525April
Frech Karolyi9Yes4,000141818June
Torokves A RR9Yes5,50019.42525Sept
First Saturday(FS-FMA)9-11No40,800140180181Monthly
FS Price for HungariansNo12,000415353Monthly

Good luck!

Michael Yip
Budapest(my fifth year now)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for being blunt. FS makes sense ony if you need an IM or GM norm. As an Open event it's a rip-off.