Alberto David wins Italian Championship 2019

by Gerhard Bertagnolli
12/14/2019 – GM Alberto David is new Italian Champion, winning his third title after an exciting tournament. The championship was played in Padua and for the first time a woman started in the Absolute Championship: Marina Brunello. Elina Sedina became Women's Champion and Gabriele Lumache won the U20 Championship. | Photos: Romualdo Vitale for the Italian Chess Federation

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The 79th Italian Championship 2019

Host of the Italian Championships 2019 was Padua, one of the oldest Italian cities. Padua has a long and interesting history and symbolizes the rise of Venetia from the poorest region in Northern Italy to one of the wealthiest and most active areas of modern Italy.

Padua also has one of Italy's top chess teams: during the last years "Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova" has won ten National Team Championships and also played successfully in the European Club Cup. This year, Padua even won the European Club Cup in Montenegro.

Padua's Basilica di Sant’Antonio

The tournament

The venue of the tournament was the Four-Star-Hotel "Casa del Pellegrino", in the heart of town.

The time-limit was 100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves and then another 15 moves for the rest of the game. On top of that the players received an increment of 30 seconds per move from move one.

The tournament was a round-robin with 12 participants and a rest-day after round six. Italian players like to take part in the National Championship, not least because the Italian Chess Federation invites them and pays for board and lodging. The prize-fund of 18,600 Euros (of which the winner received 5,000 Euros) was also attractive and bigger than the prize-fund in other European Championships.

The playing hall was spacious (here we see GM Moroni who plays with White against IM Lodici)

The 12 players

When inviting the participants of the National Championship the Italian Chess Federation (FSI) uses an interesting system. Qualified for the Championship 2019 were:

  • the top three players of the Championship 2018
  • four players with the best average Elo-rating in the last 12 months
  • three players from a semifinal-tournament that was played in July
  • the winner of last year's U20 Championship
  • a player who got a Wild Card

The participants in 2019 were (ranked according to rating):

Name

Elo

Title

Qualified by

Italian ranking

Basso Pier Luigi

2563

GM

Elo

3

Brunello Sabino

2549

GM

Elo

4

David Alberto

2542

GM

Italian CC 2018

5

Moroni Luca

2541

GM

Italian CC 2018

6

Valsecchi Alessio

2504

GM

Elo

7

Stella Andrea

2475

GM

Elo

11

Lodici Lorenzo

2459

IM

Italian CC 2018

13

Gilevych Artem

2437

IM

Semifinal Tournament

19

Bellia Fabrizio

2433

IM

Semifinal Tournament

22

Di Benedetto Edoardo

2396

FM

Winner U20 Tournament 2018

33

Barp Alberto

2382

FM

Semifinal Tournament

39

Brunello Marina

2378

IM

Wild Card

40

Elo average

2472

 

The favourites

Though there was no clear favourite, Pier Luigi Basso, Sabino Brunello, Alberto David and Luca Moroni had the highest ratings and were given good chances to win the tournament. However, IM Lorenzo Lodici, surprise winner of last year's championship (ahead of GM Alberto David and GM Luca Moroni) was not considered as one of the favourites — after winning the title in 2018 he failed to have another big success.

However, the public and the experts were particularly keen to see how Marina Brunelli would fare. By winning the Italian's Women's Championship in 2018 she qualified for the Absolute Italian Championship 2019 and is the first woman ever who played in a final of the Absolute National Championship.

Missing from the tournament were GM Daniele Vocaturo (Italy's highest rated player), GM Francesco Rambaldi (who is currently studying in the US and plays only a few tournaments) and the "Evergreen" of the Italian Championships, GM Michele Godena.

Basso and Brunello

Left: The number one seed GM Pier Luigi Basso (2563)
Right: GM Sabino Brunello (2549), number 2 on the starting list

The fight for the title

Alberto David

The tournament was hard fought and only decided in the last round. And Marina Brunello, the sister of Sabino Brunello did well. In round 7 she even won against Lodici, Italian Champion of 2018. This might be unique — the reigning National Women's Champion beating the reigning Absolute Champion in the next National Championship.

Before the last round Alberto David (pictured) was sole leader with 7.0/10 and half a point ahead of three players with 6½/10 each:

Pos

T

NAME

Pt.

1

GM

David Alberto

7.0

2-4

GM

Moroni Luca

6.5

 

GM

Basso Pier Luigi

6.5

 

GM

Valsecchi Alessio

6.5

5-6

IM

Lodici Lorenzo

6

 

GM

Brunello Sabino

6

But in the last round David had to play with Black against GM Alessio Valsecchi, one of his three pursuers. This constellation gave Valsecchi the chance to win the tournament with a win against David.

But David had other plans: he won this crucial game to become Italian Champion 2019, the third time he became Italian Champion. Pier Luigi Basso defeated Brunello in the last round and finished sole second.

Final standings

Standings

U20 and Women's Championship

The U20 and the Women's Championship also offered attractive prizes: both were round-robin tournaments with eight players and offered a prize-fund of 6,000 Euros, of which the winner received 1,500 Euros! Although a few top players were missing the Women's Championship was still strong. The title was won by IM Elena Sedina who finished sole first with 5.0/7, half a point ahead of Alessia Santeramo and Tea Gueci.

Elena Sedina

Her first title of Women's Champion: IM Elena Sedina

Standings

Final standings after seven rounds

The U20 Championship was won by FM Gabriele Lumachi who thus qualified for next year's Absolute Championship.

The twins(!) FM Antonio and FM Leonardo Loiacono shared places two and three.

Lumachi

Gabriele Lumachi

Standings

Final standings U20

All available games

 

Links




Gerhard Bertagnolli, born in 1976, international arbiter from South Tyrol / Italy with assignments south and north of the Alps, is also available to German-speaking chess fans for questions about tournaments in Italy.
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