Andrés Rodriguez double winner at Florianópolis

by Albert Silver
1/24/2015 – The Florianopolis Chess Club recently organized the 2015 Floripa Chess Open in the beautiful city of Florianópolis, in Santa Catarina, Brazil. The event had a field of 278 players, including several grandmasters, making it the largest open ever in Brazil. The very next day came the Floripa Masters, a norm laden round-robin. Both were won by GM Andrés Rodriguez, who was unstoppable.

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Floripa Open

To reach this historic mark in Brazilian chess, a few factors helped significantly. For one thing, it is summer in Brazil now and Floripa's beaches are renowned throughout the country for their beauty, making it a highly desirable vacation spot. Floripa (pronounced flo-REE-pa) is the Brazilian abbreviation of Florianópolis, and is the casual term Brazilians will use when referring to it, much as they will say Rio instead of Rio de Janeiro.


View of the beautiful Matadeiro beach in Florianópolis (by Joaquim de Deus Filho)

The prize fund of US$6000 certainly did not hurt, nor did the two qualifying spots for the Brazilian Semi-finals, but the cherry on the top for the amateur contingent that came was the presence 30 titled players of which five grandmasters and twenty masters.

The competition was held in a sports gymnasium, with ample space (photo by Claudia Aquino)

Video tour of the tournament (by Joaquim de Deus Filho)

The top of the ranking list were the two grandmasters from Paraguay, Axel Bachman (2629) and Neuris Delgado (2604), who both outranked the rest of the field by a solid 100 Elo. They both came as the obvious pre-tournament favorites, and as GM Andrés Rodriguez from Uruguay later commented, when choosing to come he had not expected quite such strong rivals.

It should be pointed out that the tournament was especially hard for the stronger players, not merely because they had ten rounds to be played in five days, at a rate of 90 minutes for the game plus 30 seconds increment, but several of them were committed to an equally frenetic round-robin right after.

On the right is IM Diego di Berardino from Rio de Janeiro (photo by Claudia Aquino)

Although IM Dragan Stemkovic (left) still plays under the Serbian flag, he has been a resident
in Brazil for many years now. This affiliation to the Serbian federation is actually a clear bonus
since it makes him an attractive option to those seeking international players for norm events.
(photo by Claudia Aquino)

GM Everaldo Matsuura (2505) was the top rated Brazilian player

Axel Bachmann from Paraguay was the highest rated player of the
tournament at 2629, but this Goliath found his David when he played...

... IM Roberto Molina in round seven, who caused an upset by beating him with black. He
fully capitalized on this by taking second on tiebreak in the Open.

Though hardly an upset, another key game took place on board two in round seven, the
hard-fought game between co-leaders GM Andrés Rodriguez and IM Diego di Berardino.
It was a vital win for the Uruguay player, and one that he viewed as the turning point.

Entering round ten, after five grueling days, four players stood at 7.5/9, GM Andrés Rodriguez, IM Roberto Molina, GM Everaldo Matsuura and GM José Fernando Cubas. Behind them were no fewer than eight other players with 7.0/9, and it was still anyone's tournament. They had just played a round in the morning, and would now decide it in the last round of the afternoon.

The top boards were obviously the focus of attention since a win by one of the four would put the top spot out of reach of the others. While IM Molina and GM Cubas drew their bout on board two, GM Rodriguez pulled off an very creative effort against GM Matsuura, taking clear first with 8.5/10.

A delighted but exhausted winner, Andrés Rodriguez spoke of the key moments and gave
a cautious prognosis of the Floripa Masters that started the very next day.

Standings of the Floripa Open

Rk SNo Ti. Name FED Rtg Pts  TB  rtg+/-
1 7 GM Rodriguez Vila Andres URU 2444 8.5 43.5 23.9
2 12 IM Molina Roberto Junio Brito BRA 2408 8.0 41.0 20.7
3 4 IM Di Berardino Diego Rafael BRA 2484 8.0 39.5 3.2
4 5 GM Cubas Jose Fernando PAR 2459 8.0 39.5 -1.2
5 26 FM Gauche Charles BRA 2229 8.0 38.0 39.0
6 1 GM Bachmann Axel PAR 2629 7.5 43.5 -6.4
7 2 GM Delgado Ramirez Neuris PAR 2604 7.5 41.0 -6.1
8 3 GM Matsuura Everaldo BRA 2505 7.5 40.5 -2.4
9 13 FM Quintiliano Pinto Renato R. BRA 2364 7.5 39.0 13.8
10 15 FM Gazel Frederico BRA 2292 7.5 38.5 -3.2
11 11 IM Stamenkovic Dragan SRB 2409 7.5 38.5 -3.2
12 10 IM Supi Luis Paulo BRA 2414 7.5 38.0 1.2
13 21 FM Menna Barreto Felipe Kubiaki BRA 2247 7.0 39.0 24.4
14 31 IM Villalba Marcelo PAR 2201 7.0 37.5 23.6
15 8 FM Paveto Kevin ARG 2437 7.0 37.5 -17.9

Click for full standings

Floripa Masters

The event ended there for the majority of the players, but the very next day, ten of them would begin the no less frenetic Floripa Masters, a round-robin event designed to offer GM and IM norm opportunities. Although GM Rodriguez was certainly the man in form, exhaustion could easily sink in with 19 rounds played in a ten day span, and he was only fourth in the starting list with 2444 FIDE, with Paraguayan GM Delgado as the top seed with 2604.

The 41-year-old Uruguayan grandmaster was not to be held back, and he made it a double as he took the Masters with 6.5/10, for back-to-back victories. For his herculean effort, he will also add 40 Elo back to his rating.

Photos from official site


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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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