Andrea Amato, King of Erice

8/5/2013 – He is a lowly FM, rated 2291 – not a professional player but a pure amateur who restared his chess career just last year. But in the beautiful town Erice on Sicily, where 82 players from 14 countries were gathered, Andrea Amato was in top form. To everybody's delight he scored a stunning 6.0/7 and finished alone at the top of the final table. Alessandro Monaco sent us this big pictorial report..

4th International Chess Festival "Terre degli Elimi" in Erice

Report by Alessandro Monaco

The third edition of last year ended with the victory of the Russian grandmaster Vladimir Epishin, Georgian IM Sopiko Guramishvili placing second and IM Tapani Sammalvuo from Finland third. This year the participation of foreign players has been remarkable: 35 players from 14 countries! At the start 82 players in the Open A and 18 in the Open B! For the Sicily an absolute record! 100 players in total.


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Again the wonderful city of Erice hosted our Festival! Erice which is situated in western Sicily (Italy) is only 15 km away from 'airport "Vincenzo Florio" in Trapani (Ryanair Hub) and is a true and proper tourist pearl of Sicily.

Panorama of Erice – scroll to the right [picture from Wikipedia]

Trapani and Egadi island sunset

Located about 700 meters above sea level it is overlooking the Mediterranean sea and from almost every corner you can enjoy breathtaking views and even see Mount Etna in the distance.

The Egadi islands and Trapani from Erice cableway

San Vito Lo Capo beach

Van Assendelft and Duijkers at Trapani Airport with me

The list of invited foreign chessmasters includes the Macedonian GM Vladimir Georgiev, trainer of the woman chess world champion Antoaneta Stefanova; the Bulgarian IM Petar Arnaudov; the Polish WGM Katarzyna Toma and Marta Przezdziecka; the Dutch WIM Anne Haast and Arlette Van Weersel; the Argentine U20 Champion WIM Ayelen Martinez; the three times Hungarian champion Anna Rudolf all for the first time in Sicily; the Slovenian WFM Ksenija Novak and the IM Zivojin Z Ljubisavljevic from Serbia and finally two smart Italian young players: CM Daniela Movileanu and FM Miragha Aghayev.

The festival started at 4 pm on July 24, 2013 after a short and dynamic open ceremony with a multimedia presentation of the masters and the greetings of our President Salvatore Oddo. The competition itself was held at Palazzo Sales in Erice and was attended by some of the best players of Sicily, such as Andrea Amato, Fabrizio Ganci and Girolamo Valguarnera, as well as many young chess players like Morello, Bifulco, Corsino, Marzaduri, Savalla, Piazza and the Iannello brothers. Moreover, our chess masters have also had time though to visit the beautiful places near Erice as Trapani, San Vito lo Capo, Segesta, Scopello and Favignana.

Arlette Van Weersel (left) and friends at Segesta Greek Temple

Arlette eating delicious "pasta col pesto alla trapanese" at Salvo house

Katarzyna Toma on Mount Cofano, overlooking the sea

Ksenija Novak, Marta Przedziecka and Katarzyna Toma, in front of the "Castle of Venus"

Ksenija and Katarzyna in Corso Vittorio Emanuele, in the center of Trapani

Katarzyna bathing in the sea at Cala Rossa on the wonderful island of Favignana

At the end of the seven rounds, FIDE master Andrea Amato of the "Circolo Palermitano Scacchi" won deservedly but also unexpectedly with 6.0/7, not losing a single games. GM Vladimir Georgiev took the second place with 5.5/7, and third, with the same score, was the talented Polish WGM Marta Przezdziecka. Four other players: the Bulgarian IM Petar Arnaudov, the strong Dutch players Cor van Dongen and Floris Van Assendelft and Anna Rudolf also scored 5.5/7.

The joy over the victory of Andrea Amato was very great! Everyone in the room applauded for a long time winner of the "Terre degli Elimi", and the present writer carried him in triumph as long as he could. Andrea is not a professional player but a pure amateur! He started to play chess again last year, just at "Terre degli Elimi", and after a few tournaments played in 2013 very successfully (Gibraltar and Lucca), got here in Erice his consecration as FIDE master and great player.

The Italian FM Andrea Amato (middle), winner of the Open A

I (Alessandro Monaco) lift him up in triumph

The French IM Claude Adrian has played a great tournament finishing seventh overall and first in the range elo 2000/2299. Hungarian WGM Anna Rudolf got first prize among the women, and Polish WGM Katarzyna Toma was second.

Final standing (top 10)

# Title Player Rating Pts Perf.
1   Amato Andrea 2291 6.0 2511
2 GM Georgiev Vladimir 2544 5.5 2444
3 WGM Przezdziecka Marta 2297 5.5 2443
4 IM Arnaudov G. Petar 2487 5.5 2456
5 -- Van Dongen Cor 2357 5.5 2336
6 IM Van Assendelft Floris 2381 5.5 2411
7 IM Adrian Claude 2221 5.5 2332
8 WGM Rudolf Anna 2301 5.5 2429
9 FM Lammens Tim 2316 4.5 2299
10 IM Masternak Grzegorz 2339 4.5 2271

The participation of the Dutch players was very good, and the large contingent of twelve strong players almost all concluded the even in high positions: Van Dongen fifth, Van Assendelft sixth, Lammens ninth, Bart Konijn eleventh (and second in the 2000/2299 group) Arlette Van Weersel 13th (and third amongst the women players); Jan Joris Groenewold 14th and Rick Duijker 15th.

Very good performances were produced by the young Sicilians player: Gianluca Corsino got the prizefor the first of the Italians players, before Tiziano Ravagnani and Miragha Aghayev; Riccardo Marzaduri was the first of the Sicilian players, before Andrea Spinella and Guido Morello.

The B Open was won by the Louise Adrian of France, with 6.5/7 points. Second was the German Hanne Schneider and third the Sicilian player Michele Colicchia of Marsala.

The prizes in books (more than 400€) were provided by Yuri Garrett of “Caissa Italia”.

The decisive match between GM Georgiev and FM Amato ended in victory of italian player

Andrea Amato drew Anna Rudolf in the last round to win the event

Polish WGM Marta Przedziecka finished third

At the end the organization provided an official lunch at the restaurant "La Pineta" in Erice

An opportunity to greet each other in joy! See you next year in Erice!

Official web site


Topics Sicily , Italy
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