The Tenth Festival of Chess in Banyoles, which finished at the end of August, consisted of two tournaments. First there was a Rapid Chess (15'+5") tournament in memory Lluís Muratet, the founder of the International Tournament. The second was the International Tournament, with a number of grandmasters and, as a special celebrity, Nigel Short, easily the highest ranked participant.
Banyoles is a beautiful city in the North of Catalonia, between Barcelona (100 kms) and France (40 kms), and to some 50 kms to the Costa Brava. The venue was the four-star Hotel Mirallac, near the Lake of Banyoles. This is the largest lake in Catalonia and one of the largest on the Iberian Peninsula. The city of Banyoles was an Olympic centre for rowing during the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, and hosted the World Rowing Championships in 2004.
The venue, Hotel Mirallac, right next to the lake
The famous Lake of Banyoles, venue for Olympic and World contests
|Gender (Groups A and B)|
|Playing strength (both groups)|
Unfortunatel the star of the tournament, Nigel Short, had to leave after five rounds (from which he had scored 4.5 points), due to a severe back problem.
Suffering: Nigel Short in his game against FM Wojciech Przybylski of Poland
The five-way tie for first was resolved by a tie-break system using the Bucholz Medium, which counts the points of the opponents, excluding the worst and the best opponents. This gave the overall victory to GM Levan Aroshidze of Georgia, who scored 7.0/9 points. The same score produced the final GM norm for IM Gonzalez Renier.
The three winners: Viktor Moskalenko, Levan Aroshidze and Renier Gonzalez
Co-winner of the event, with 7.0/9: GM Mihail Marin, who will be commentating the World Championship in Mexico on our news pages
|5||GM||Gonzalez Garcia Jose||MEX||2540||7.0||37.0|
|9||GM||Campos Moreno Javier B||CHI||2482||6.5||37.5|
|10||FM||Aloma Vidal Robert||ESP||2341||6.5||37.0|
|12||Gavilan Diaz Mario||ESP||2269||6.5||32.5|
|15||IM||Fluvia Poyatos Joan||ESP||2480||6.0||35.5|
|16||Lillo Ferrer J M||ESP||2191||6.0||31.0|
The best woman player was Ana Matnadze, who received a 300 Euro prize. The B Group was won by the Italian player Andrea Dini, who led the field from start to finish. The Lluís Muratet Rapid Chess tournament was won by Viktor Moskalenko Viktor and Nigel Short, both of whom scored 8.0/9 points.
Before the start of the event there were speeches by GMs Short, Moskalenko, Marin and Gonzalez Garcia. Nigel Short's lecture, which went to almost two hours and ended shortly before midnight, was the clearly the most entertaining. He spoke about his experiences in chess, from his early childhood day to his world championship match against Garry Kasparov. Fabrice Wantiez, a participant in the A group of the event, took some video footage of the talk. We present it to you in three section. Note that Nigel does not lisp – the audio bandwidth set for the video compression tends to cut off the certain "s" sounds.
"The chess world has changed a great deal over the years, and this has been mainly due to computers. Nowadays everybody has a laptop with Fritz or Rybka, and this is like having a very strong analyst at his disposal." Nigel also talks about his very earliest experiences with chess. [5 min 18 sec]
Nigel talks about following the Fischer-Spassky match at the age of seven, and how the first attempts of his family to get him in the local chess club failed because the secretary though he should be in bed when the club members convened. "Attitudes have changed," says Nigel. "Nowadays it is common to see very young players. You have these championships – world under ten, world under four, they'll be in the womb next. But at the time it was a game that was not very friendly towards younger players." [3 min 4 sec]
Nigel shows a game he played against Garry Kasparov in Brussels, achieving "for one brief moment in my career, a moment that did not last, a plus score against Kasparov." Nigel relates that he first met Garry Kasparov in 1977, "which gives you an idea that I am extremely old." [4 min 05 sec]