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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 “8th International Chess Festival “Terre degli Elimi””
Already a tradition for the city of Avila, the 23rd edition of the rapid chess tournament Santa Teresa, that also pays homage to the local chess master Felix Garcia Ares, was celebrated on the 24th of September. With only two days left until the start of the Spanish Team First League, Division de Honor, the tournament represented a good reason for our team to gather a few days before and play a nicely organized competition.
Avila is a beautiful and coquettish city situated in the community of Castille and Leon, only a couple of hours away from the capital, Madrid. If you want to find out more about its history, check out our last year’s report of the rapid tournament.
Top seed and winner of the tournament, with an impressive 7,5 points our of 8 was Grandmaster Eduardo Iturrizaga (2646) from Venezuela. Four players with 6 points followed him, but better tie-breaks had Fide Master Juan Corral (2436) and Grandmaster Julen Arizmendi (winner of last year’s edition), both from Spain.… Read more “XXIII Santa Teresa Rapid Tournament (Felix Garcia Ares Memorial)”
After playing in Ortisei, we didn’t say goodbye to Italy or the Dolomites yet, but continued our trip about 130 km to the east, to Forni di Sopra. This might sound like a short distance, but crossing the Alps is anything but easy. Let me give you an idea of our three hours trip:
Located in the same Dolomites Alpes, Forni di Sopra is a town rich in history. According to Wikipedia, historical references date from 778 AD, but recent archaeological findings indicate that there was already a Carno-celtic settlement here 2500 years ago. As pretty much every town within the Alps, this one is also a popular destination during the skiing season. However, don’t expect it to turn into a ghost-town in the summer! The main attraction is the great number of species of wild flora that grow in the area. Moreover, the natural reserve Parco Naturale delle Dolomiti Friulane that begins at one end of the village is the largest European nature reserve which is neither populated, nor crossed by any roads (Wikipedia).… Read more “7th Dolomiti Open”
Chess takes us to magnificent places, and we can only be grateful for the opportunity. This time, we traveled to a place that looked like it it just came out from a book of fairy-tales. It probably suffices to say that we’re talking about Italy, already known for its rich history and beauty. However, this time we discovered an unknown side (for us) of this magnificent country – the northeast, with its imposing Alps.
We started out Italian chess tour in Ortisei, a town situated in Val Gardena, within the Dolomites. This is a mountain range that is part of the Alps and creates spectacular views. It hosts numerous natural parks and was included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2009.
As you can probably guess, the area is also a perfect destination for ski and nature lovers. The skiing season was obviously over, but the cable railways were still available for those who like to explore the nature and discover its beauty.… Read more “3rd “ad Gredine” International Chess Festival”