A chess and wine holiday weekend

by Gerhard Bertagnolli
9/10/2019 – The region of South Tyrol beckons European tourists in the autumn with beautiful hiking and other outdoor adventures. For chess fans who prefer to stay indoors, (in this case even subterranean) there is also the small and unique weekend tournament held in the wine cellar of Kaltern am See from October 18-20. | Photos: Gerhard Betrtagnolli

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Caldaro by the lake

The 8,000-strong village of Caldaro (or Kaltern) on the South Tyrolean wine route (about 10 km south of Bolzano) is popular among many tourists of German-speaking countries for an annual summer or autumn holiday. The lake to the south of the village is considered the warmest bathing lake in the Alps, which invites you early for the swimming season. But 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.

There are countless vineyards and orchards around Lake Caldaro and all over the surrounding area. In addition to viticulture, apples abound. The rather mild climate contributes to the fact that a part of the population earns their living with the fruit and viticulture. The best known red wine variety is the "Vernatsch", from which the wine "Kalterersee Auslese" is best known.

Lake Kaltern and surrounding the orchards and vineyards

The 4th Kaltern Trophy

From October 18th to 20th, three Swiss system tournaments for various rating categories are available over five rounds. This is a special event: rather than playing in an ordinary clubhouse, hotel or gymnasium, players compete in a special atmosphere — the almost mystical "Puntay cellar", where most of the Kalterer farmers deliver their grape harvest.

The tournaments are on offer for a range of rating classes:

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

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

Frescoes by the South Tyrolean painter Robert Scherer adorn the walls


Local times in CEST.

Day Date Time Event
Friday October 18, 2019 Until 16:00 Attendance check
    16:30 Round 1
Saturday October 19, 2019 9:00 Round 2
    14:30 Round 3
    19:00 Wine tasting
Sunday October 20, 2019 9:00 Round 4
    14:30 Round 5
    19:00 Prize giving

The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus 30 seconds per move starting from move one.

As part of the prize distribution, there is also a raffle for a number of bonus prizes among the players present.

Registration: By e-mail to chess@bertagnolli.com

Accommodation information: via the Tourist Office Caldaro at info@kaltern.com or at www.kaltern.com

A scene from the 2018 wine tasting — a highlight for all


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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