We had barely gotten back from France and only one day away a new trip was awaiting, this time to the sunny Italy. We landed in Bologna and went straight to Ravenna, where we had scheduled three days of training with the local chessplayers.
It might look like there were three difficult days “at the office”, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Although there was a lot of chess involved as well, we didn’t waste any of our free time and enjoyed the Italian lifestyle as much as we could.
After all this, we moved even further in the Emilia-Romagna region, to Cesenatico, on the shore of the Adriatic Sea, to play the 19th edition of the Cesenatico Open (which was, in fact, our main reason for traveling to Italy).
The tournament started on the 9th of September and gathered to start 6 Grandmasters, with top seeds being GM Nikita Maiorov (2537, BLR), GM Felix Levin (2503, GER), GM Arkadij Rotstein (2499, GER), IM Renier Castellanos (2480, ESP) and GM Bogdan Lalic (2451, CRO).
After 9 disputed rounds in which the leader kept changing, GM Arkadij Rotstein clinched clear first with a last round win over the Italian FM Fabrizio Molina. Click here for full standings.
As for ourselves, we enjoyed the tournament a lot, although that might be a little subjective, as Italy is one of our favorite countries. We had sun, sea, a great hotel and even better food. On top of this, one thing that probably every chessplayer appreciates was the lack of double rounds. We played 9 games in 9 days and that’s just great! The tournament venue was the sports hall of a local school, which, although a little noisy at times because of the great number of players, was spacious and overall comfortable to play in.
With so much time between the rounds, we had some time to explore the area and bring you some impressions of this popular tourist resort.
We’ll have a couple of weeks to rest and we’ll head next to Romania, where we’ll both play the National Team Championship. Make sure to follow the tournament and keep your fingers crossed for us and our teams!