History of the club
The Chess Club Pula was founded on November 20, 1949 by a group of chess enthusiasts and lovers.
The beginning of the club
The first board of directors of the club consisted of: Šime Finderle (president), Luka Ivković (vice president), Prof. Dr. Eng. Vlaho Đaja, Juraj Franković (secretary) and Dragutin Turina. The representative of the Croatian Chess Federation, Dr. Zvonko Cebalo, also attended the founding assembly.
The club immediately began active work, and in the first five years of operation, it managed to organize 93 individual tournaments, both categorical, mixed, rapid, blitz and club tournaments. In addition to all that, the masters Rabar, Nikolac and Bertok played 21 simultaneous productions, either with the players of ŠK Pula or the citizens, some of which aroused high interest of the public of our city and our region.
Through the persistent work of the members of ŠK Pula, it grew into the strongest chess club in Istria over a number of decades. We are especially proud of working with the youngest, which has always been a priority of our activities. Good pedagogical work and the efforts of the elders contributed to the fact that almost every generation of chess players produced prominent individuals.
In the last fifteen years, the Pula chess club has experienced a real renaissance, namely from the third division to the first division in just two years and achieves great results in all competitions. Our seniors participated in the first league and cup competitions where they achieved the following placements: 1st Chess League 3rd place 1998, 2nd Chess League 1st place 2011 (second team), 2nd place 1996, Team Rapid Move Championship of the Republic of Croatia 2nd place 2001, Croatian Cup 2nd place in 2002 and 3rd place in 2003.
Nenad Ferčec won second place in the individual competition at the 2003 and 2004 Croatian Championships. Seniors perform at all rapid tournaments in Istria and regularly win 1st place. The above-mentioned results did not remain without echo in our community, so the seniors were declared the best men’s team of the county in 1998 and the best men’s team of the city of Pula in the same year.
Work with young people resulted in extraordinary results in the cadet and junior categories, so our young chess players achieved the following placements: 1st chess league juniors 3. place 1999, 1st chess league juniors 2nd place 2000, Cup of the Republic of Croatia juniors 1st place 2000, 3rd place 2004, team championship of the Republic of Croatia cadets 2nd place 2001, team championship of the Republic of Croatia female cadets 1st place in the years 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Nenad Ferčec became the first Istrian Grandmaster in 2007.
In individual competitions, we achieved excellent results, of which the following players should be highlighted:
At county competitions, we regularly win the most individual medals (for illustration, in 2003 and 2004, we won nine first places out of eleven). Constant work in schools gives us an inexhaustible source of young chess players and allows us to constantly get new members eager for chess knowledge. On this occasion, we should especially praise the coaches of our hopes, who achieve valuable results through persistent work with young people.
The Pula Chess Club organizes a series of domestic chess tournaments
The Pula Chess Club organizes a series of domestic chess tournaments: the Milan Kuzmanović Memorial, the Christmas and New Year’s Rapid tournaments, and we especially highlight the international chess tournament Pula Open, which is the strongest and most massive open in Croatia, where between 200 and 360 players from all over the world have gathered for years.
Valuable members of our club have been providing technical support to HŠS for twenty years during the first and second Croatian league competitions and the finals of the Croatian Cup, where Nereo Butković, Denis Vretenar and Valter Valković stand out. It should be noted here that our member Mladen Radošević was the assistant director of the European Team Championship in 1997, which was held in Pula. GM Nenad Ferčec played last year for the Croatian National Team at the European Veteran Championship and won a silver medal.
At the same competition, Valter Valković was the tournament director, and international judges from our club IA Sulejman Islamović and IA Kristian Valković were the chief and deputy chief judges.
In 2018, the cadets of our club became Team Cadet Champions of the Republic of Croatia
In 2018, the cadets of our club became the Team Cadet Champions of the Republic of Croatia, and in 2019, the team of the Pula Chess Club won 2nd place at the Rapid Championship of the Republic of Croatia, and 2nd place in the 1B league, and directly won the next year’s appearance in the 1A league, which consists of 10 best clubs in the Republic of Croatia.
Today, the Pula Chess Club with its members competes in the 1A league, 3 West leagues, 1 junior league and 1 cadet league.
Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, almost all competitions have been canceled in 2020 and the first half of 2021.