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V LLucmajor International Open

Summer is approaching (although it seems to be taking smaller steps this year) and, for most of the chess players, this translates to the start of the tournament season. Ours began in the same place where it ended, Mallorca.

The venue was the resort of Arenal, an old fishermen village that is now one of the most famous party destinations on the island. Mallorca tends to be “separated” in areas by the nationality of its tourists, and this one is no exception. It has a very strong German influence that can also be guessed from the great number of restaurants with traditional German food or the German-style nightclubs. Situated only 15 km away from Palma, the resort has a wide white-sand beach and a long pedestrian promenade (6km, to be more precise), perfect for a long, relaxing walk after an eventful game.

The tournament was hosted by Club Nautic El Arenal, situated at the end of the 6 km pedestrian walk.… Read more

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Remembering a genius.

Vugar Gashimov was one of the greatest talents that chess has seen in the last 20 years. A player with an unique vision of chess who made every game entertaining in his own way. Gashimov often chose sharp openings, full of play, no matter what the theoretical reputation of that line was. He was never afraid to take risks and he became the secret idol of many chess fans who enjoyed following his games all the time (The writer of these lines is one of them).

More than once Gashimov was compared to Mihail Tal – the Tal of our times, they used to say. Not only their playing style was similar, but also their opening choices, with the Benoni and 6.Bg5 against the Najdorf as main points of comparison.

I met Gashimov in 2004, over the board. It was the Calvia Olympiad and I was representing Chile at that time.… Read more

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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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