Tag Archives: Sgircea

Chess life in Puerto Rico

                                                                                                  Written by (WIM) Raluca Sgircea

Chess is slowly gaining popularity in the small island of Puerto Rico. More and more kids are attracted by the game and start taking it seriously. The growing interest and competitiveness is probably the reason why Puerto Rico has so many young talented chess players. For almost two months, we have been lucky enough to be part of the chess community here and we can say that there is always some chess event going on!

The reigning national champion (in every possible category – women, open and juniors), (WIM) Danitza Vazquez, aged 15, is doing a great job promoting chess in Puerto Rico. For the holidays, she held a simultaneous exhibition where players of all ages tried to make a good result against the talented youngster.

In January, all chess enthusiasts were invited by Renier to a two-hour training session followed by a simultaneous in a very popular place: Le Petit Bistro, located in the mall Plaza Las Americas of San Juan.… Read more

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Winter in Puerto Rico


Written by (WIM) Raluca Sgircea and (IM) Renier Castellanos 

It’s been two weeks since we ditched the European cold for the warm Caribbean winter and we’re most definitely loving our time spent here! The beauty of the island, the always smiling people, the amount of “fiestas”, the tropical fruits, the local cuisine and the popularity of chess here make this a great way to spend what’s left of this year.

For those of you not familiar with this place, Puerto Rico is an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of other small islands. Although it currently has the status of an unincorporated territory of the US, it used to belong to Spain thanks to the man who discovered it, Cristopher Columbus. On August 3 1492, three ships – the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa María – were leaving Spain to discover new land in the Indies.… 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.

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.

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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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.

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.

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 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).… Read more

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