XXXIV Barbera del Valles - Sun, fun, and a GM norm

7/16/2011 – It was a euphoric Alina L'Ami who sent in a second photographic report on the international tournament in sunny Barbera del Valles. In spite of her 2312 rating, she scored a full-fledged GM norm with a 2612 performance against no fewer than five GMs. Despite this, she found the time to also visit Barcelona and share her pictures and impressions with Chessbase readers. A pictorial by Alina L'Ami.

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The XXXIV International Open Barbera del Valles is currently underway in Barbera del Valles, Spain. The event runs three opens for different rating groups.


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Sun, fun, and a GM norm

Report and photos by Alina L'Ami


The tournament poster

It is very late so I will briefly share my thoughts on the final last day: I am happy! Very very tired but happy. I am enjoying this moment, of having a great performance: 2612, my first GM norm and a plus of 48 elo points! Usually, I was a "specialist" in losing them, but it seems that sun is shining on my street as well.

What a tough tournament...playing GM after GM, all hungry for points. I still can't believe how well everything went, simply wonderful! And when I had my chances against Kiril Georgiev but sent them away...it was not easy either.


A key game against Kiril Georgiev that went sour


Kiril Georgiev and his charming wife Emilia Georgieva

Calculated the draw and finally playing something else...Although, I had no other choice but to forget and focus on the last round. A draw was enough to get the GM norm (I already had the IM norm - my second, even if I were to lose both games in the last two rounds) and despite the fatigue, pressure and so on, I somehow managed. The organizers were extremely nice with me and set my board, number nine, on the stage!


Lights! Stage! Action!


Getting ready for a crucial last round

Normally only six boards are broadcast live. This time though, an exception was made, most probably to protect me from the noise, public, and to help me focus and make the most of my chance.


The trophy table for the fortunate ones


The spectators kibitz the live games, and Emilia Georgieva follows avidly in the rear

All is well when it ends well, and I surely take back home a lot of nice memories. But the most important thing, which makes me very happy: I re-discovered the joy of playing chess. It is such a wonderful feeling when you realize that you just enjoy the game. Of course...the fact that I took some points helped this process too. Not to mention that I didn't have the pressure of being a favourite. And still...I was going to my games to have a decent fight, not to make a draw. I also got a lot of support from the locals, from the organizers, from the other players, it's quite nice when someone is cheering for you. All in all, I am still swimming in euphoria, but on 19th of July I'll have the first round in Dieren, Holland, so time to calm down.


Brazilian IM Herman Riemsdijk presents and signs his book on pawn endgames,
"Peões Magicos" (Magic Pawns)


The three top prize winners with their trophies


There I am in the middle with my first GM norm certificate after a 2612 performance!


A visit to Barcelona


Barcelona is home to many beautiful places such as this open café on the square


There is no lack of originality in the designs


The Sagrada Familia, or Holy Family cathedral, has been in construction for over 100 years!


The famous La Rambla during the day


La Rambla is a street in the center of town, famed for the many merchants of all kinds


Even in the evening, it will thrive on


One can buy art, clothing and even produce


Naturally the beach is another attraction of the city


Slightly overdressed for the sun and sand


Spain is no less famous for some of its wonderful food, and a visit would not be
complete without the timeless Paella.


Part of what makes it so special is the warmth of small business owners, treating all
guests as if they were close friends or family.


Another specialty is the ice cold drink 'Horchata', which has specialized
Horchatarias spread all over, and resembles a milkshake slightly.


This drink is common throughout Latin America and Spain, though varies slightly from
place to place. In Spain it is commonly made from tigernuts, sugar and water, and is
delicious!


In the evening of course, a nice jar of sangria is full appreciated


The Spanish believe in generous servings of sangria


Another local specialty is the Jamón Ibérico, a special cured ham, which whilst delicious
is also one of the most expensive hams in the world. Yes, those signs say 89 Euros.


A serving of Jamón Ibérico with peppers and bread to accompany

Final standings of Group A

Rk
Tit
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
 TB1 
1
GM
AROSHIDZE Levan
GEO
2539
7.5
43.0
2
GM
GEORGIEV Kiril
BUL
2654
7.0
41.0
3
GM
PERALTA Fernando
ARG
2601
6.5
42.5
4
GM
LEON HOYOS Manuel
MEX
2548
6.5
40.5
5
GM
ARIZMENDI MARTINEZ Julen Luis
ESP
2555
6.5
38.5
6
FM
DELGADO RAMOS Hector
CUB
2488
6.5
38.0
7
GM
GONZALEZ GARCIA Jose
MEX
2522
6.5
38.0
8
GM
CUARTAS Jaime Alexander
COL
2542
6.5
36.5
9
GM
CARLSSON Pontus
SWE
2496
6.5
36.0
10
WGM
L'AMI Alina
ROU
2312
6.0
42.5
11
GM
ITURRIZAGA Eduardo
VEN
2603
6.0
40.5
12
FM
GONZALEZ PEREZ Arian
CUB
2490
6.0
39.5
13
GM
BRYNELL Stellan
SWE
2495
6.0
35.0
14
GM
HERNANDEZ CARMENATES Holden
CUB
2570
5.5
42.5
15
GM
NARCISO DUBLAN Marc
ESP
2544
5.5
42.5
16
IM
MATNADZE Ana
GEO
2428
5.5
42.0
17
IM
VAN RIEMSDIJK Herman C
BRA
2403
5.5
41.0

Complete standings


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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