Chess in a wine cellar

by ChessBase
10/1/2018 – Playing a chess tournament in an almost mystical wine cellar. Impossible you say? Not quite: in the wine village of Kaltern in South Tyrol an unusual tournament will be played next month for the third time. Appealing ambience and of course wine tasting included. A brief preview.

Chess News

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


Kaltern on the sea

The 8,000-strong village of Kaltern on the South Tyrolean Wine Route (about 10 km south of Bolzano) is known to many tourists from the German-speaking countries as a destination for their annual summer or autumn holiday. The Kalterer Sea in the south of the village is considered the warmest bathing lake in the Alps, which invites you to swim early in the season. Sailors and windsurfers also feel comfortable there. Cyclists can explore both the roads around the lake and climb the nearby mountain, the Mendel. For those who want a more leisurely pace, they can also use the funicular up to the Mendel Pass built over 100 years ago to climb the Kalterer Hausberg.

gorgeous vista

Lake Kaltern and surrounding the orchards and vineyards

Sister cities of Kaltern are all located in Germany: Heppenheim (also known as Sebastian Vettel) and Tegernsee on the lake of the same name.

Around the Kalterer See and spread over the whole surrounding area there are countless vinyards and orchards, in addition to the viticulture, mainly apples are grown. The rather mild climate contributes to the fact that a part of the population earns their living by growing fruit and wine. The most famous red wine variety is the "Vernatsch", from which the wine "Kalterersee Auslese" is best known.

Kaltern or "Caldaro" in Italian, is located about 35km south of Merano

3rd Kaltern Trophy

And what is there for chess players? Well, for more than 33 years, the local chess club has been organizing a rapid chess tournament on Easter Monday and also a short weekend tournament for a few years recently.

This year, it's scheduled for November 1st to 4th, when each of three open tournaments will be run in the Swiss system over six rounds. The special thing about it is the unique atmosphere — games are played in the almost mystical "Puntay room" of the cellar Kaltern, i.e. where most of the Kalterer farmers deliver their grape harvest.

The empty Puntay cellar is waiting for the participants in the chess tournament

The wine cellar is decorated with frescoes by the painter Robert Scherer

A few details

There are 3 tournaments on offer:

  • Open A for players with Elo ratings from 1800
  • Open B for players with Elo ratings from 1400 to 1900
  • Open C for players with Elo ratings below 1500


Thursday, November 1, 2018 until 16:00 attendance check

  • 16:30 - 1st round

Friday, November 2, 2018

  • 9:30 - 2nd round
  • 15:00 - 3rd round
  • 19:00 - Start of wine tasting

Saturday, November 3, 2018

  • 9:30 - 4th round
  • 15:00 - 5th round

Sunday, November 4 2018

  • 9:30 - Round 6
  • 14:00 - Prize distribution

The games are played with one time control: 90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move.

Registration: by mail to

Information about accommodation: via the Tourist Office Caldaro at or at

Picture of the wine tasting 2017 — again sure to be a highlight for all participants


Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register