Chess trip to Italy

We had barely gotten back from France and only one day away a new trip was awaiting, this time to the sunny Italy. We landed in Bologna and went straight to Ravenna, where we had scheduled three days of training with the local chessplayers.

Renier giving classes in the chess club of Ravenna

Renier giving classes in the chess club of Ravenna

A few indications are always welcome

A few indications are always welcome

It might look like there were three difficult days “at the office”, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Although there was a lot of chess involved as well, we didn’t waste any of our free time and enjoyed the Italian lifestyle as much as we could.

Fun in Italy: trying the traditional Piadina and the various pasta dishes and hurrying to the classes on the bicycle

Fun in Italy: trying the traditional Piadina and the various pasta dishes and hurrying to the classes on the bicycle

After all this, we moved even further in the Emilia-Romagna region, to Cesenatico, on the shore of the Adriatic Sea, to play the 19th edition of the Cesenatico Open (which was, in fact, our main reason for traveling to Italy).

The beautiful port of Cesenatico on the canal designed by Leonardo da Vinci.

The beautiful port of Cesenatico on the canal that was designed by Leonardo da Vinci

Perfect symmetry: view of the port by night

Perfect symmetry: view of the port by night

The tournament started on the 9th of September and gathered to start 6 Grandmasters, with top seeds being GM Nikita Maiorov (2537, BLR), GM Felix Levin (2503, GER), GM Arkadij Rotstein (2499, GER), IM Renier Castellanos (2480, ESP) and GM Bogdan Lalic (2451, CRO).

Top seed of the tournament GM Nikita Maiorov, from Belarus

Top seed of the tournament GM Nikita Maiorov, from Belarus

GM Felix Levin from Germany

GM Felix Levin from Germany

IM Matthias Roeder (2395, GER)

IM Matthias Roeder (2395, GER)

After 9 disputed rounds in which the leader kept changing, GM Arkadij Rotstein clinched clear first with a last round win over the Italian FM Fabrizio Molina. Click here for full standings.

Last round encounters, with top boards featuring N. Maiorov vs B. Lalic, F. Levin vs R. Castellanos and A. Rotstein vs F. Molina

Last round encounters, with top boards featuring N. Maiorov vs B. Lalic, F. Levin vs R. Castellanos and A. Rotstein vs F. Molina

GM Arkadij Rotstein, winner of 19th Cesenatico Open

GM Arkadij Rotstein, winner of 19th Cesenatico Open

As for ourselves, we enjoyed the tournament a lot, although that might be a little subjective, as Italy is one of our favorite countries. We had sun, sea, a great hotel and even better food. On top of this, one thing that probably every chessplayer appreciates was the lack of double rounds. We played 9 games in 9 days and that’s just great! The tournament venue was the sports hall of a local school, which, although a little noisy at times because of the great number of players, was spacious and overall comfortable to play in.

The tournament hall

The tournament hall

With so much time between the rounds, we had some time to explore the area and bring you some impressions of this popular tourist resort.

Monument in memory of the famous cyclist Marco Pantani

Monument in memory of the famous cyclist Marco Pantani

The beach, only a few minutes away from our hotel

The beach, only a few minutes away from our hotel

Piazza Andrea Costa with the imposing Grand Hotel of Cesenatico and very nicely decorated benches

Piazza Andrea Costa with the imposing Grand Hotel of Cesenatico and very nicely decorated benches

Enjoying the sun in one of the beach restaurants

Enjoying the sun in one of the restaurants on the beach

 

A walk in the port

A walk in the port

The beautiful architecture of Cesenatico's Porto Canale

The beautiful architecture of Cesenatico’s Porto Canale

Parco Levante, the perfect place to relax before the game

Parco Levante, the perfect place to relax before the game

Feeding the aquatic fauna of the Levante Park

Feeding the aquatic fauna of the Levante Park

We’ll have a couple of weeks to rest and we’ll head next to Romania, where we’ll both play the National Team Championship. Make sure to follow the tournament and keep your fingers crossed for us and our teams!

 

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