Tag Archives: castellanos

Chess life in Puerto Rico

                                                                                                  Written by (WIM) Raluca Sgircea

Chess is slowly gaining popularity in the small island of Puerto Rico. More and more kids are attracted by the game and start taking it seriously. The growing interest and competitiveness is probably the reason why Puerto Rico has so many young talented chess players. For almost two months, we have been lucky enough to be part of the chess community here and we can say that there is always some chess event going on!

The reigning national champion (in every possible category – women, open and juniors), (WIM) Danitza Vazquez, aged 15, is doing a great job promoting chess in Puerto Rico. For the holidays, she held a simultaneous exhibition where players of all ages tried to make a good result against the talented youngster.

In January, all chess enthusiasts were invited by Renier to a two-hour training session followed by a simultaneous in a very popular place: Le Petit Bistro, located in the mall Plaza Las Americas of San Juan.… Read more

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Winter in Puerto Rico


Written by (WIM) Raluca Sgircea and (IM) Renier Castellanos 

It’s been two weeks since we ditched the European cold for the warm Caribbean winter and we’re most definitely loving our time spent here! The beauty of the island, the always smiling people, the amount of “fiestas”, the tropical fruits, the local cuisine and the popularity of chess here make this a great way to spend what’s left of this year.

For those of you not familiar with this place, Puerto Rico is an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of other small islands. Although it currently has the status of an unincorporated territory of the US, it used to belong to Spain thanks to the man who discovered it, Cristopher Columbus. On August 3 1492, three ships – the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa María – were leaving Spain to discover new land in the Indies.… Read more

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Open Can Picafort

As the year is almost coming to an end, so is our competition season. And what better place to play the last tournament of the year than a warm island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea? That being said, we packed our bags once again and headed for Mallorca.

The tournament took place in the tourist resort of Can Picafort, from 15th to 22nd of November. The venue was the 3 star hotel Ferrer Concord, the “oldest” of the Ferrer Hotels group. Situated right across the beach, with pool, jacuzzi and sauna inside the hotel and access to the group’s gym and spa in the Janeiro Ferrer Hotel, we can say that our hosts did everything they could to make our stay as pleasant as possible.

The organizers seem to have thought about everything, as most of the rounds started at 8 o’clock… in the evening! This gave us plenty of time to visit, take some sun and, of course, enjoy the gym and relaxing spa.… Read more

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Rapid chess tournament in Ávila

The 22nd Santa Teresa rapid tournament (Memorial Felix Garcia Ares) was held on the 24th of October in Ávila, Spain. It gathered at start 37 players who fought for the prizes over 8 rounds of 15 mins + 5 seconds/move time control. With 16 titled players and 10 rated over 2300, the tournament was far from easy.

Top seed was GM Julen Arizmendi (rated 2578) who finished the tournament undefeated, which brought him the champion crown.

Second place, with the same number of points (6 out of 8), but slightly worse tie-break was IM Renier Castellanos (rated 2470), who started as 5th seed.

The podium was completed by FM Cristian Aranda (rated 2382), who finished with the same number of points, and had a great tournament. His rating performance was 2543 and added an impressive 40 points to his ELO (which is not easy with such strong opponents).

Fun fact: in the end, the podium order was decided by only 0,5 points difference in the Bucholtz (the first tie-break) between the players.… Read more

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