Adventures in Portugal

by Timur Gareyev
12/8/2015 – Grandmaster Timur Gareyev loves challenges. He once played against 33 players blindfold simultaneously and he likes to travel the world for adventure. At the 9. Figueira da Foz Open in Portugal that took place from 21. to 28. November he enjoyed the surroundings and won with 8.5/9. But his most dangerous adventure came after the tournament.

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By Timur Gareyev

Figueira da Foz is a welcoming place with an incredible beach and wonderful food. I enjoyed the warm weather and used the chance to do lots of walking and even soccer on the field adjacent to the playing venue.

Timur Gareyev enjoys the Portuguese food and the relaxed atmosphere

After winning three games in a row, I was paired against second seed Krzysztof Jakubowski. I managed to outplay Krzysztof in the opening and later had an extra pawn in the endgame.


As the tournament progressed I increased my lead over the rest of the field but until the last round Krzysztof managed to stay only half a point behind.

It is not easy to achieve a big victory without some luck. In my game against GM Dragan Paunovic I had this luck: the game was over before he even had a chance to complete his development.


In round eight I played and won against GM Kevin Spraggett from Canada, a former World Championship Candidate.


After the game, Spraggett congratulated me and apologized for what had happened between us earlier. I did not take the incident personally and took the opportunity to get to know Kevin after the tourney concluded.

But wait… This was an important victory but I still had to win my game against Sousa in the last round because Krzysztof was only half a point behind.


The closing ceremony

However, my luck ended when I enjoyed the festive atmosphere downtown where I wanted to celebrate my tournament victory. Somehow and for whatever reason a group of gypsies decided they did not like me. Suddenly, and with people all around me, I had to defend against a gang of people attacking me. I managed to escape the first attack in a reasonable good condition but later, when I left downtown, the gang caught up with me again and this time things became much worse…

The following day I woke up in the local hospital. I was able to function just fine but all of a sudden looked unusually “pretty”.

The media heard about the incident and Portuguese news asked for an interview which made me surprisingly “famous”. When I travelled to Porto and Lisbon in the next couple of days, cab drivers, hotel managers, and random people in the street would go: “Oh, wow, you are that chess champion, I am sorry about what happened.”

At the airport a tourist group I met was travelling to Brazil. A couple of guys came up and said they liked chess and saw me on TV. Which led to another memorable picture.

Figueira do Foz, Final Standings

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 GAREYEV Timur 8,5 50,0
2 JAKUBOWSKI Krzysztof 7,0 49,5
3 PETKOV Vladimir 6,5 51,0
4 DÂMASO Rui 6,0 46,5
5 PAUNOVIĆ Dragan 5,5 49,0
6 DIAS Paulo 5,5 48,0
7 STOPA Jacek 5,5 47,5
8 KUKOV Velislav 5,5 43,5
9 PIASETSKI Leon 5,5 42,5
10 GUERREIRO Nuno 5,5 41,5
11 SPRAGGETT Kevin 5,0 54,0
12 VASSALLO BARROCHE Mauricio 5,0 49,5
13 SOUSA Andre Ventura 5,0 47,0
14 ROMANISHIN Oleg 5,0 46,0
15 PINHO Paulo 5,0 41,0
16 PAIVA Henrique 5,0 40,0
17 MIGALA Andrzej 5,0 38,5
18 ADAMS Philip 5,0 38,0
19 SANTOS Antonio P 4,5 46,5
20 OLEA Liliana 4,5 38,0

... 33 participants (Source: chess-results)

Tournament page...

Timur Gareyev is a chess grandmaster originally from Uzbekistan. He has held the rank of 3rd highest rated chess player in the US and top 100 players in the world with a peak USCF rating of 2780. He is best known for his exceptional Blindfold Chess playing ability.


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