Chess Week in Frascati – with Alexandra Kosteniuk

by ChessBase
4/27/2006 – The Italian town of Frascati, just south of Rome, is known for its historical buildings, its wines – and its annual chess week, where the members of the Olympic squads are selected. It is also remembered for the special guests, this year Anatoly Karpov and Alexandra Kosteniuk. We bring you games, results and a very special pictorial report.

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Chess Week in Frascati

By Adolivio Capece

The second edition of the International Chess Week in Frascati, the nice town near Rome, Italy. Frascati is very well known all over the world: it was founded by Romans as Castrum Frascati. There are many important historical buildings, such as the Villa Aldobrandini, Villa Piccolomini and Villa Torlonia.

Frascati is known also for its wines, especially one called "Est est est". The history: in the Rinascimento there was a rich man who loved wine; when traveling, his servant usually went ahead to find the inn along the road with good wine, and if he found one he put outside a blackboard on which he wrote "est" (Latin word to say "here there is"). Once in Frascati the servant found a wine so good that he wrote "est est est" and this originated the name of the wine.

The tournaments was played in the Scuderie (=Stable) of Villa Aldobrandini, a building that some years ago was restored by the famous architect Massimiliano Fuksas (who also restored the ancient Port in Nagasaki, the Place des Nations in Geneve, the Peace Centre in Jaffa, Israel, and some time ago the Fair of Milano). In this building there is a permanent show of archeological finds and cyclic interesting modern art exhibitions.

Scuderie Aldobrandini

The event was a Fide tournament, round robin with ten players. The main sponsor was Pirelli-Re Franchising. The main organizators were Mr Giancarlo Marcotulli, deputy mayor of the town, and Mr Claudio Tosti.

In the final standing we find GM Branko Damljanovic and GM Ferenc Berkes both undefeated. Damljanovic won his last three games in the tournament to take first place, thanks to the final game draw between Berkes and last year's Italian Champion Fabio Bruno. Godena lost only against Dervishi; Romanishin lost only against Berkes, but he won only two games (against Mogranzini and Sergey Kasparov).

There were also two tournaments to define two players for the Italian Men's National B team and four players for the Italian Female National B team at the Chess Olympiads in Torino 2006 (May 20 – June 4). The players were selected by the Technical Director of Italian Chess Federation GM Sergio Mariotti. They were FMs Christian Cacco and Daniele Genocchio, both born in September 1981. They will play in Torino, together with IM Daniele Vocaturo, FM Sabino Brunello, FM Niccolò Ronchetti and FM Denis Rombaldoni (all born in 1989).

The four female qualifiers were M. Teresa Arnetta (26 years old, mother of a 3-year-old baby girl) from Palermo, Veronika Goi (25 years old) from Venice, Marianna Chierici (15 years old) from Reggio Emilia, and sensationally the 11-year-old Marina Brunello (sister of Sabino playing in B team of men) from Bergamo. The highest rated player, Maria De Rosa from Napoli (17), former Italian Champion (2003) lost the final decisive game against Veronika Goi (Italian champion in 1997) and so will not play in Torino.

Italian junior star Marina Brunello, 11

The news of the selection for the national team of the young Marina Brunello spread immediately all over Italy and thanks to her chess got a great number of articles on many newspaper, weekly magazine and also television! Marina was born in Lovere (near Bergamo) on 10.06.1994; she is Italian Champion Under 12 (her brother Sabino is qualified for the Italian Team B).

Marina Brunello at the age of eight (in January 2003)

Receiving her prize in the event that year

Another very young player who qualifed in Frascati for the Italian Women's national team B in Torino is Marianna Chierici, born in Reggio Emilia on 24.04.1990. She she was a pupil of the great Enrico Paoli and is currently the Italian Female Champion Under 18.

15-year-old Marianna Chierici, who will play in the Women's team at the Turin Olympiad

The Italian national A team will include GMs Godena, Garcia-Palermo, Arlandi, IMs Bellini, D'Amore and D. Contin. The Italian national Female A team will include WGMs E. Sedina and O. Zimina, WFM E. Ambrosi (current Italian champion), and M. Santurbano (Italian champion 2004).

During the event in Frascati there were some special guests – world champion Anatolj Karpov and Alexandra Kosteniuk. Both took part in a press conference, and Alexandra gave a simultaneous exhibition against 20 opponents (but she played 21 games, because one of the opponents lost in a few moves and played again). It was held on a very beautiful sunny day in the main square of Frascati, the Piazza San Pietro, which has the same name of the most important one in Rome. Alexandra was also the special guest during a tournament for boys and girls of elementary school, where she had to sign lots of autograph. She seemed to be very happy in Frascati and she promised to come again in 2007.

In the same place and in the same time also WGM Martha Fierro (Ecuador) gave a simul against boys and girls of local schools.


Alexandra Kosteniuk in Frascati

A pictorial report by Pufichek

Guests of honour Alexandra Kosteniuk and Anatoly Karpov at the Frascati Chess Festival

The Press conference in a beautiful room of the City Hall

The press conference with (from left to right) Alexandra Kosteniuk, Anatoly Karpov, Sergio Mariotti (Italy's legendary GM), Giancarlo Marcotulli (vice-Mayor of Frascati), Gianpietro Pagnoncelli (President Italian Chess Federation), and Claudio Tosti (organizer of the Frascati Festival).

The Deputy Mayor of Frascati, Giancarlo Marcotulli, gives Alexandra the Prize "Frascati Scacchi", in recognition of what she does to promote chess in the world

Alexandra giving a talk to the excited children before the start of the round

TV reports filming Alexandra for an upcoming pre-Olympic documentary on chess

Adolivio Capece, the publisher of Italia Schacchistica
has probably done more for chess in Italy than anybody else

A view of the simultaneous exhibition from the Cathedral San Pietro.

Alexandra in shades taking on the Italian opposition

What a beautiful location to play chess!

The chess grandmaster in full action

Alexandra won all 21 games in the simul

Well, that was most enjoyable – Italy is cool

Giving away autographed postcards to the children, and almost causing a stampede!

Alexandra Kosteniuk with members of the Frascati Chess Club

Alexandra at the Frascati city fountain, enjoying the beautiful Spring day

Pictures produced and processed by Pufichek of

Grandmaster Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2540

On the April 1, 2006, FIDE listed Russian Grandmaster Alexandra Kosteniuk at her personal rating best of 2540, putting her on the #3 spot in the women chess world hierarchy. Alexandra has shown great progress the last six years, from not being in the top 50 in the year 2000, to today's ranking. Alexandra is still the #1 rated woman chess player in Russia and she is also #1 in the USA. She is the only Russian woman to have the International Grandmaster Title (GM, a men’s title). Here is her rating and ranking progress:

Click to enlarge


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