Tag Archives: Italy

8th International Chess Festival “Terre degli Elimi”

Italy is one of our favourite destinations and not long ago we were (again) travelling to this beautiful country, this time to one of its famous islands, Sicily. It was my first time here and I was eager to get to know this place whose calling card is beyond inviting. I had great expectations and was afraid I might come back disappointed, as it usually happens in such situations, but nothing like that! I am only looking forward to my next trip to Sicily where the scenery, the food and people are wonderful.

Our destination was the small, but old and full of history town of Erice, located on top of Mount Erice, at around 750 meters above sea level and overlooking the city of Trapani. I could even say that it seems like a magical place, with its narrow streets, impressive historical monuments and breathtaking views of the island. Throughout the history Erice has been seen as a holy place (also thanks to its particular geographic position) and still holds the remains of numerous churches and cathedrals – no wonder it is known nowadays as “the Mountain of God”.… Read more

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7th Dolomiti Open

After playing in Ortisei, we didn’t say goodbye to Italy or the Dolomites yet, but continued our trip about 130 km to the east, to Forni di Sopra. This might sound like a short distance, but crossing the Alps is anything but easy. Let me give you an idea of our three hours trip:

No zoom needed when you're right in the middle of the Alps. Notice the narrow road at the mountain feet

No zoom needed when you’re right in the middle of the Alps. Notice the narrow road at the mountain feet

DSC_0512

Plunging into the unknown

Plunging into the unknown

Located in the same Dolomites Alpes, Forni di Sopra is a town rich in history. According to Wikipedia, historical references date from 778 AD, but recent archaeological findings indicate that there was already a Carno-celtic settlement here 2500 years ago. As pretty much every town within the Alps, this one is also a popular destination during the skiing season. However, don’t expect it to turn into a ghost-town in the summer! The main attraction is the great number of species of wild flora that grow in the area.… Read more

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3rd “ad Gredine” International Chess Festival

Chess takes us to magnificent places, and we can only be grateful for the opportunity. This time, we traveled to a place that looked like it it just came out from a book of fairy-tales. It probably suffices to say that we’re talking about Italy, already known for its rich history and beauty. However, this time we discovered an unknown side (for us) of this magnificent country – the northeast, with its imposing Alps.

We started out Italian chess tour in Ortisei, a town situated in Val Gardena, within the Dolomites. This is a mountain range that is part of the Alps and creates spectacular views. It hosts numerous natural parks and was included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2009.

Ortisei, with the Dolomites in the background

Ortisei, with the Dolomites in the background

The pedestrian zone in the center of the city

The pedestrian zone in the center of the city

The city center, with a chess themed cafe facing the square

The city center, with a chess themed cafe facing the square

Flowers, flowers everywhere

Flowers, flowers everywhere

As you can probably guess, the area is also a perfect destination for ski and nature lovers.… Read more

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Position of the day

Analyzing my own games, I found this interesting position from my game against the Grandmaster Stefan Djuric (Serbia) that we played in the second round of an Open in Nebrodi, Sicily. White has been pressing through the entire game, but I tried to make things as difficult as possible for him. My last move 33…Ra4! is threatening to trade his active rook and ease the pressure on my king. There is plenty to analyze here, if you enjoy studying puzzles or solving middlegame problems here is one for you:

TS1 (2)

White to play, find the strongest continuation:
Djuric,S – Castellanos,R
Nebrodi 2015Djuric-Castellanosr5k1/4pp2/3p1npQ/3P1P2/r1R5/6P1/q4P2/3R1BK1 w – – 0 33

Solution will be posted in a few days. Feel free to comment your thoughts.

R.C.Read more

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