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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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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.

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We see land! Arriving in the sunny and warm 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.

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A little welcome note

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An open invitation to enjoy the sun on the beachfront sun lounger

The organizers seem to have thought about everything, as most of the rounds started at 8 o’clock… in the evening!… 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.

GM Julen Arizmendi

GM Julen Arizmendi

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.

IM Renier Castellanos

IM Renier Castellanos

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).… Read more

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Romanian Team Championship

Not long ago, Romania has crowned its team champions, both in open and women sections. The tournaments started on 3rd of October in the famous Romanian beach resort, Mamaia.

Renier enjoying the good weather before it got all dark and stormy

Renier enjoying the good weather before it got all dark and stormy

Known for its great parties and the big sandy beaches, Mamaia has turned into the most popular touristic destination and can become, at times, overcrowded. Starting from May, when the sun starts chasing the cold away, the tourists rush to the seaside to enjoy the beach, the parties, the annual carnival (inspired from the Rio one), have a ride over the city in the cable car or just spend a fun day in the Aqua Park.

However, we arrived to an almost empty (that did become completely empty until the end) and tranquil Mamaia thanks to the extra season, which created the perfect conditions for playing chess.

The perfect place, not just for chess, but also for fishing

The perfect place not just for chess, but also for fishing

A nice walk over the sea is always healthy before the game

A nice walk over the sea is always healthy before the game

In the men section, AEM Luxten Timisoara started out as favorites with an average rating of 2582, followed by Clubul de Sah al Municipiului Baia Mare (2572) and Medicina Timisoara (2562).… Read more

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