Tag Archives: thinkingsquares

Spanish Team Championship – Division de Honor

The highest league of the Spanish Team Championship, Division de Honor, took place from 26th of September to 2nd of October in Monzon. The event is famous for the number of strong players it reunites and this year’s edition was no exception.

The tournament venue, Monzon, is a small city in the province of Aragon, very close to the location of another famous tournament we have been writing a lot about, Benasque. An imposing fortress built on top of a hill greets the travelers from a distance, indicating the way to their destination. The Castle of Monzon was built during the tenth century, when the city was still under Muslim occupation. Later on, it was captured by Aragonese forces and in 1143 passed to the Templars, who added more walls and chambers to the castle. King James I of Aragon lived here under Templar protection during his childhood. After the dissolution of the Templars, the castle was captured by the army of James II of Aragon and it continued to maintain garrisons until the nineteenth century.… 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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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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Living Chess Festival in Javea

The 19th edition of the living chess festival took place in Javea (also known as Xabia, in valenciano), Spain, on Saturday night, 25th of July.The “Ajedrez Viviente de Javea” is a theatrical group , who has been trying to bring chess closer to people through acting. The festival has already a long tradition and, every year since 1996 (excepting 2012), the children have been playing a famous chess game. They have brought on the chessboard “Don Quijote”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Asterix and Obelix” and, in 2006, even obtained the rights to play “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” from no other than the the author herself, J.K. Rowling.

This year, it was the game between Garry Kasparov and Boris Gelfand, played in Linares, in 1991. On a huge chessboard, the actors combine chess, culture and history.

This edition showed the life and habits of the native Americans, as well as their relationship to the “White Man”, who arrived in the “Far West”.… Read more

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