First Grand Chess Festival by UNAM in Mexico

by ChessBase
11/21/2010 – The event is just huge and is a chess lover's dream come true. It is hosting the Ibero-American Championship, then there is a high-profile bonanza with 10-minute games with stars such as Topalov, Polgar, and Ivanchuk, plus simuls by Karpov and Kasparov, a huge outdoor chess art exhibition, lectures, a recreation of "The Turk", and a giant open. Plentiful pictorial by Nadja Wittmann.

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The First Festival of Chess UNAM

By Nadja Wittmann

It was a long and exciting day, full of chess activities. After the first games of the semifinals of the Ibero-American championship, there was a number of fantastic chess-related attractions, including lectures, the opening of a replica of the Kempelen's famous chess machine "The Turk", an "Art and Chess" exhibition, and finally at 5 PM there was the official inauguration of the First Grand Chess Festival of UNAM.

The opening ceremony dignitaries

The opening was started by Sealtiel Alatriste, the Cultural Coordinator of UNAM, followed by some choice words by Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov, and then a speech by Valery Ivanovich Morozov, Russia's ambassador to Mexico, and finally a statement by Dr. Jose Narro Robles, the rector of UNAM. After Kasparov and Karpov played a simultaneous exhibition against selected dignitaries of UNAM.

Kasparov gave his speech directly in Russian with the aid of an interpreter

The auditorium was packed with some 2500 people

After the speeches there was an interpretation of the chorus "Pyatnitsky" from Russia,
composed of 25 voices and 5 musicians.

After breakfast, so to speak, at 10:30 hours in Mexico, began the first round of the semifinals, with Dublan Marc Narciso (Spain) vs. Rubén Felger (Argentina) and Eduardo Iturrizaga (Venezuela) vs. Gilberto Milos (Brazil). Both games were drawn, as advised in a separate report.

Besides this, there were many activities such as lectures, symposia and exhibitions was finishing a replica of the Turkish Chess. We take a first look at this curious, but were not yet placed the pieces and the opponent of Turkish-era costume Kempelen was still rehearsing the text.

The reconstruction of "The Turk" by Kempelen

The revised 2010 version of "The Turk"

If he looks a bit tense it is because his operator had not arrived yet to whisper the moves.

He also had a slightly more modern twin brother

This one did not depend on magnets to move the pieces

Chess and Alzheimer

Famous chess journalist, Leontxo García, gave a presentation on the merits of using chess to fight Alzheimer's.

Leontxo presents his case

An interested audience followed it carefully

Art and Chess

There was an exhibition of art based on chess with many eye-catching, spectacular pieces.

It is unlikely it will replace the classic Staunton set

A new perspective

A set of guardians for the murals


Escher meets chess

A literal take on the head and feet of a chair

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but you will never mate me

These players are but shadows of their selves (don't wince)

Life is a game of chess

Please don't tell me these are the next candidates for
the FIDE presidency!

The simuls by Karpov and Kasparov

First Karpov and Kasparov played a four person team of player from UNAM

Each played their own team of four

It was done in the auditorium with the games projected on giant displays

Later they played a larger group composed of modern-day Mexican celebrities

Do you need to guess the result?

The First Grand Chess Festival of UNAM

Parallel to the official Ibero-American championship, there was the Grand Festival Open, which attracted over 1100 players.

There was chess all around at the festival

Young fans enjoying a good game

Hiquíngari Carranza, the organizer of the International Gran Fiesta of UNAM, with
Javier Ochoa, president of the FEDA and FIBDA.

Raul Hernandez, president of the Mexican chess federation

Astrid Martin del Campo, president of the UNAM Chess Association

The tent housed no less than 1100 players

GM Granda Zuniga entered the event after an early elimination in the Ibero-American
and was the top-seed.


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!

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