Duchamp in Rio finishes in style

by Albert Silver
11/28/2017 – The Duchamp Festival in Rio de Janeiro was not only a welcome change in the chess landscape in the city, but lived up to its promise of a true international event with a multitude of competitions, activities, and more. The main competition, the Master, was won by GM Neuris Delgado a full round in advance. Here is the final report. | Photo: Albert Silver

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GMs Neuris and Mecking top two 

The festival was quite protracted and packed with activities as suited it. On the ‘rest day’ the Brazilian Rapid Championship was held. It was open to all, with the title going to the highest ranking Brazilian. This event was won by top-rated GM Neuris Delgado, whose success at the Duchamp Festival was absolute. He took it with a 5½ / 6 score, though the top two Brazilians, sharing 3rd-4th with 5.0/6 were local players Arthur Santa Cruz and FM Ricardo Teixeira.

Ricardo Teixeira, who will be celebrating his 60th birthday this year also had an exceptional campaign throughout, and came very close to an IM norm in the main Open. It was still a close affair though he needed two consecutive wins in the final two rounds. But for a whisker, and a bit more time in a nerve-wracking race at the end with the clocks showing seconds and not minutes, he might have.

FM Ricardo Teixeira needed a win against FM Dirceu Viana Jr. to keep his IM norm chances alive | Photo: Albert Silver


This rook endgame was the culmination of nearly five hours of play, and both players were among the very last still locked in battle. Black is dead won. How should he continue here?

There is more than one road to Rome here to be fair. One elegant solution is 49…Re8! 50. Rg4 Rh8 51. Rg2 h3 52. Rh2 Kf6 53. Ke4 Rh4+ 54. Kf3 Kxf5 Unfortunately, Black hallucinated here and gave up the h-pawn for the f-pawn thinking he would win thanks to the cut off king. However, the king is not cut off far enough, and is in prime position to defend, thus they drew 15 moves later.

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GM Luis Galego from Portugal came in 4th in the overall standings, with a solid campaign. He also took 1st in the Brazilian blitz championship, though the title went to FM Varela Bueno, and won the closed IM norm tournament held right after the Master.

GM Luis Galego from Portugal (right), playing FM Felipe Barreto | Photo: Albert Silver


It was a pleasure seeing Peter Toth back in action. Peter was Rio de Janeiro champion in 1969, 1977 and 1986, spanning nearly 20 years, and has always been a fixture of chess here.

Peter Toth a fixture of Rio chess | Photo: Albert Silver

The overall winner of the Master was GM Neuris Delgado, who took clear first a full round in advance. Whatever hope there might be that GM Mecking, who met him in round eight, would try to pull off an upset was quashed very quickly after they shook hands early on. Less a clash and more a pat on the back among friends.

 The game between the two top seeds, Neuris Delgado (right) and Henrique Mecking, was a non-starter | Photo: Albert Silver

GM Neuris Delgado from Paraguay stormed the event with a perfect 7.0/7 start, winning the tournament a round in advance | Photo: Albert Silver

GM Mecking was not unhappy with his result, and was the top Brazilian and clear second place with 7.0/9.

GM Mecking receiving his second place trophy from sponsor Eduardo Moccero | Photo: Albert Silver

Henrique Mecking (right) with his brother (left), who lives in Rio, and his wife | Photo: Albert Silver

In third place was Uruguayan IM Bernardo Roselli, who is also president of the Uruguay Chess Federation.

IM Bernardo Roselli receiving his award from organizer Darcy Lima | Photo: Albert Silver

IM Roselli took the opportunity to also announce that the next American Continental, which serves as a qualifier for the World Cup, will once more be held in Montevideo in 2018, from June 1-10. For those unfamiliar with the city, I was there in 2015 in the previous edition and found it a real pleasure to be in. It is very European in impression and appearance, with Old World architecture and a very active cultural scene.

Eduardo Moccero, chairman of the Marcel Duchamp Foundation, sponsor of the Duchamp in Rio Festival, and GM Darcy Lima, organizer | Photo: Albert Silver

This was not the only announcement as the organizer, GM Darcy Lima, and the main sponsor, Eduardo Moccero, chairman of the Marcel Duchamp Foundation, confirmed that there would be a second edition of the Duchamp in Rio Festival in 2018 in November. I look forward to it!

Final standings (top 25)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Delgado Ramirez Neuris 7,5 0,0
2 Mecking Henrique 7,0 0,0
3 Roselli Mailhe Bernardo 6,5 0,0
4 Galego Luis 6,5 0,0
5 Muniz Rafael 6,5 0,0
6 Lima Darcy 6,5 0,0
7 Zuriel Marisa 6,5 0,0
8 Bueno Alfeu Junior Varela 6,0 0,0
9 Rodi Luis Ernesto 6,0 0,0
10 Viana Dirceu 6,0 0,0
11 Carraro Denise 6,0 0,0
12 Teixeira Ricardo Da Silva 5,5 0,0
13 Larrea Manuel 5,5 0,0
14 Menna Barreto Felipe Kubiaki 5,5 0,0
15 Meza Anahi 5,5 0,0
16 Lebredo Zaragoitia Gerardo 5,5 0,0
17 Ribeiro Jose Joselito 5,5 0,0
18 Campos Alexandre Ferreira 5,5 0,0
19 Okamura Milton Kasuo 5,0 0,0
20 Dos Santos Vitor Eduardo Mell 5,0 0,0
21 Moccero Eduardo 5,0 0,0
22 Peixoto Rudson Marinho 5,0 0,0
23 Souza Neves Andrey M. 5,0 0,0
24 Chaves Jorge Antonio Torres 5,0 0,0
25 Felizes Paulo 4,5 0,0



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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