Chess in Guatemala - and online

2/11/2021 – In September 2010, a group of businessmen and chess fans founded the Club Caissa Guatemala to promote the game through local tournaments. The founders of the club also dreamt about organizing a major international tournament. It became a reality in January 2019, when they hosted the first edition of the International Club Caissa Guatemala. This year, the third edition of the tournament took place. However, unlike its previous two editions, it was an online tournament. Polina Karelina and Winston Cu Hor report.

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Club Caissa Guatemala International Tournaments

In January 2019, Guatemala City, the capital of Guatemala, was host of the strongest tournament in the history of Guatemala and Central America. Ten grandmasters started in a field of 134 players and after nine rounds the former Continental Champion GM Sandro Mareco (2661) from Argentina shared first place with GM José Fernando (Pepe) Cuenca (2512) from Spain, and GM Ilja Zaragatski (2465) from Germany with 7.5 each. Mareco won on tiebreak.

The best Guatemalan was IM Carlos Armando Juárez Flores (2377): he finished 7th with 6.5/9.

Final standings

Rk. Snr     Name Country Elo Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 1
 
GM Mareco Sandro ARG 2661 7,5 1,5 6 57,0
2 4
 
GM Cuenca Jimenez Jose Fernando ESP 2512 7,5 1,0 7 54,5
3 8
 
GM Zaragatski Ilja GER 2465 7,5 0,5 7 56,0
4 5
 
GM Barrientos Sergio E COL 2494 7,0 0,0 6 56,0
5 2
 
GM Almeida Quintana Omar CUB 2540 7,0 0,0 5 56,0
6 6
 
GM Strikovic Aleksa SRB 2490 6,5 0,0 6 55,0
7 11
 
IM Juarez Flores Carlos A. GUA 2377 6,5 0,0 6 54,0
8 13
 
FM Cu Hor Winston Darwin GUA 2320 6,5 0,0 6 52,0
9 12
 
GM Sriram Jha IND 2373 6,5 0,0 6 50,5
10 10
 
IM Calderin Gonzalez Roberto MEX 2427 6,5 0,0 6 49,5
11 3
 
GM Gonzalez Zamora Juan Carlos MEX 2529 6,5 0,0 6 49,5
12 7
 
GM Mitkov Nikola MKD 2477 6,5 0,0 5 55,0
13 9
 
GM Gonzalez Renier USA 2451 6,0 0,0 6 54,0
14 20
 
IM Gongora Montes Benjamin MEX 2143 6,0 0,0 6 53,5
15 32
 
  Gavarrete Joel HON 2040 6,0 0,0 6 47,5
16 27
 
  Ramirez Marino Richard Daniel VEN 2080 6,0 0,0 6 45,5
17 44
 
  Pineda Wilson GUA 1919 6,0 0,0 6 44,0
18 33
 
  De La Cruz Erick GUA 2037 6,0 0,0 5 46,5
19 38
 
  Cu Hor Kelvin Emerson GUA 1988 6,0 0,0 5 45,0
20 26
 
FM Sarat Victor GUA 2089 6,0 0,0 5 41,0
21 68
 
  Palencia Julio GUA 1764 6,0 0,0 5 39,5
22 14
 
IM Lorenzana Wilson Estuardo GUA 2285 6,0 0,0 4 48,5
23 37
 
  Monzon Perez Calixto Raul GUA 1999 5,5 0,0 5 49,5

Sandro Mareco | Photo: CDAG Guatemala

After the success of the first tournament, a second edition followed in January 2020. This time 146 players from 18 countries started, including 13 Grandmasters, 1 WGM, 8 IM, 2 WIM, 6 FM, 5 CM, 2 WCM. After nine rounds four players shared first place with 7.0/9 each: GM Nikola Mitkov (2508) from Macedonia, GM Alfonso Romero Holmes (2415) from Spain, GM Sandro Mareco (2619), and GM Cristóbal Henríquez Villagra (2603) from Chile. Mitkov won on tiebreak.

The best Guatemalan was National Champion FM Winston Darwin Cu Hor (2301), who finished 11th with 6.5/9.

Final standings

Rk. Snr   Name Country Elo Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 9 GM Mitkov Nikola MKD 2508 7,0 0,0 7 53,5
2 14 GM Romero Holmes Alfonso ESP 2415 7,0 0,0 7 52,0
3 1 GM Mareco Sandro ARG 2619 7,0 0,0 5 55,5
4 3 GM Henriquez Villagra Cristobal CHI 2603 7,0 0,0 5 50,0
5 10 GM Zaragatski Ilja GER 2507 6,5 0,0 6 55,5
6 12 GM Barrientos Sergio E COL 2458 6,5 0,0 6 51,0
7 2 GM Huschenbeth Niclas GER 2616 6,5 0,0 6 49,5
8 29 WIM Fuentes Godoy Lilia Ivonne MEX 2131 6,5 0,0 6 46,5
9 11 GM Rodriguez Vila Andres URU 2469 6,5 0,0 5 55,5
10 4 GM Cruz Cristhian PER 2567 6,5 0,0 5 51,5
11 21 FM Cu Hor Winston Darwin GUA 2301 6,5 0,0 5 50,5
12 8 GM Gonzalez Zamora Juan Carlos MEX 2537 6,5 0,0 5 48,5
13 22   Araujo Sanchez Josue DOM 2301 6,0 0,0 6 51,5
14 25 IM Burgos Figueroa Carlos E. ESA 2192 6,0 0,0 6 50,5
15 20 IM Leyva Hector ESA 2319 6,0 0,0 6 48,5
16 39 CM Lievano Luis ESA 2014 6,0 0,0 6 46,5
17 48   Mesa Cruz Juan Carlos DOM 1903 6,0 0,0 6 43,5
18 6 GM Almeida Quintana Omar CUB 2548 6,0 0,0 5 55,0
19 7 GM Cuenca Jimenez Jose Fernando ESP 2538 6,0 0,0 5 53,0
20 15 IM Camacho Collados Marcos ESP 2408 6,0 0,0 5 53,0
21 19 FM Rafiee Makan GER 2322 6,0 0,0 5 49,0
22 24 WGM Hernandez Moya Yuleisy CUB 2208 6,0 0,0 5 45,5
23 27   Guevara Castillo Francisco J. GUA 2162 6,0 0,0 5 43,5
24 81   Perez Salazar Armando ESA 1710 6,0 0,0 5 43,0
25 18 FM Aizpurua Patrick PAN 2348 5,5 0,0 5 52,5

Nikola Mitkov | Photo: Club Caissa Guatemala

Winston Darwin Cu Hor | Photo: Club Caissa Guatemala

Unfortunately, the Corona pandemic put a stop to almost all live tournaments, and in 2021 the third edition of the International Open of the Club Caissa Guatemala went online as a 7 round Swiss tournament with a time control of 15 + 10, played on chess.com.

But the tournament was just as strong as the previous editions. 96 players from 19 countries took part. Among them were 13 grandmasters, including stars such as Lázaro Bruzon, Eduardo Iturrizaga, Cuban champion Carlos Albornoz, and many more.

Dutch GM Roeland Pruijssers (2561) won the event with 6.5/7. Second place went to the German GM Ilja Zaragatski (2522) with 6.0/7, while GM Sandro Mareco (2629) came in third with 5.5/7 and the best tie-break.

The best Guatemalan was FM Eduardo Gálvez (2209), who beat Peruvian GM José Martínez Alcántara (2620) in the last round. The best female was WCM Polina Karelina (1767) from the Bahamas with 5 points in ninth place.

Most sports have suffered during the pandemic but chess has continued to do well. And while online chess might never evoke the of over-the-board play, it has been a great alternative during these challenging times, and it helped to bring chess into the limelight.

Pruijssers won the tournament thanks to a close and somewhat lucky last round win against Mareco.

 

Pruijssers had to win this game to win the tournament, and with only seconds left on his clock and a difficult position on the board he now played 1.Re2?, which gave Mareco the chance to play 1...Qd6+, winning White's pawn on f6. The position is still complex but the worst for Black should be over. However, Mareco, who had even less time left than Prujssers, returned the compliment and played 1...Qc1? and lost after 2.Re1 Qc7+ 3.Kh1 Qc5 4.Qf4 a4 5.h4 Rg6 6.Bxg6 Nxg6 7.Qh6 1–0

ChessBase author Roland Pruijssers

How to slay the Sicilian Vol.1 - 2...d6

Dutch Grandmaster Roeland Pruijssers and International Master Nico Zwirs created a complete repertoire against the Sicilian that is based on the Open Sicilian and that is easy to learn.

 

What should Black play?

Answer: 1...Bg3+ 2.Kxg3 Rg1 3.Qxg1 Qxg1+ 4.Kh4 Qf2+ 5.Kh5 Qf3 0–1

Links

Club Caissa Guatemala on Facebook


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