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.
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.
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).
Fun fact: in the end, the podium order was decided by only 0,5 points difference in the Bucholtz (the first tie-break) between the players.
The last was round no less bloody and saw a few upsets:
Even the schedule was a bit tight with all 8 rounds being played in one day, we made great use of our free time and went for a walk around the city.
Ávila, situated in the Castille and León community was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. The city is sometimes referred to as the Town of Stones and Saints and it’s easy to guess why. It is built on a rocky hill, surrounded by an impressive wall dating from the 11th century and was the homeland of Saint Teresa.
A famous religious landmark is the Four Posts (Los Cuatro Postes) where they say that the Saint was arrested when she was still a kid and, throwing away her sandals, she exclaimed: “From Ávila, not even the dust!”
We had a great time in Ávila and we can’t wait to be back in this beautiful city. For more information about the tournament, you can check out the full results here or read this great report written by Pedro for ChessBase.