Playing Chess in Puerto Rico (Full report)

The ”Narciso Rabell Méndez Memorial” took place in San Sebastian del Pepino. (Puerto Rico) between 14th and 19th of January.

A very important event for the city of San Sebastián, the tournament is dedicated to the memory of Narciso Rabell Méndez (1936-2013), who was a member of honor of FIDE and a pioneer in organizing chess events in the American Continent. Narciso devoted his life to chess and for that, the chess community pays a tribute to him by organizing this tournament.

The event was held in the public library of San Sebastián and attracted several strong players from different countries. Leading the list was the GM Fidel Corrales (USA), followed by your reporter IM Renier Castellanos (ESP), the WGM Suleinis Piña (CUB) and the IM Alejandro Montalvo (PUR). Also, it is worth noticing the presence of young talents of Puerto Rico’s women olympic team, WIM Danitza Vazquez Maccarini and WIM Natasha Morales.

During the first three days of the tournament, the colombian GM Alonso Zapata held a FIDE Trainer Seminar to which 22 people attended.

The organizers and the San Sebastian Chess Club managed to make this tournament a quality event for all the participants and spectators.

The winner of the 2nd edition of the Narciso Rabell Méndez Memorial was IM Renier Castellanos Rodriguez with 8,5 points out of 9. The runner up was GM Fidel Corrales with 8 points. The third place went to FM Miguel Infante from the Dominican Republic, with 6 points.

Now some impressions from my delightful chess experince in Puerto Rico:
(click on the pics to enlarge)

2 alcalde inaguracionThe mayor of the city during the opening ceremony of the tournament.

Fidel CorralesTop seed GM Fidel Corrales

Renier CastellanosIM Renier Castellanos

Suleinis PiñaWGM from Cuba, Suleinis Piña

salon de juegoThe playing hall

Seminario 2Image of the FIDE Trainer Seminar given by GM Alonso Zapata.

Fidel Corrales - Renier CastellanosGM Fidel Corrales vs IM Renier Castellanos, the game ended in a draw.

Entrega de certificados SeminarioAll the participants in the seminar received a certificate.

Plaza San Sebastian 1The San Sebastian central square by night

Plaza San Sebastian 2Central square of San Sebastian

MuseoThe museum of history, situated in front of the central square

Torneo InfantilThere was also a chess tournament for the kids

Torneo infantil 3The future masters enjoyed their own tournament

Crashboat 1There was time to explore the wonderful beaches in the surrounding area. The one in the picture is called Crash Boat and is considered to be one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico.

Crashboat 3Swimming

Crashboat 4Another picture of the spectacular Crash Boat beach

Crashboat 2Enjoying the sunny weather

Crashboat 5Yours truly

20150115_152254Sun and Sand

20150115_152317 20150115_152514 20150115_152752 20150115_153038The water in Crash Boat beach is so crystal clear you can see the fish

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20150116_153825I also had time to visit a local market where they sell everything, meaning.. everything.

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IMG_2177161114981 IMG_2229918347648 IMG_9844674307970 IMG_13608015387947 IMG_24299463834043 IMG_55469500628095

Danitza VazquezMy student, WIM Danitza Vazquez won the best female prize

premiación Fidel CorralesGM Fidel Corrales receiving his trophy.

premiación Renier CastellanosThe winner of the tournament, IM Renier Castellanos

Renier Castellanos speechAs the tradition requires the champion must give a speech at the closing ceremony

jugadores premiadosAll the winners posing together.

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