FM Fabio Bruno wins Frascati

by ChessBase
6/2/2005 – The GM tournament in the beautiful Italian town was won by a "young talent": Italian Champion Fabio Bruno, a 44 years old who only recently returned to chess after a 15-year pause. Other real juniors also showed great promise, like 15-year-old Daniele Vocaturo, who beat GM Igor Khenkin with the black pieces. Illustrated report by Roberto Balzan.

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Chess Week in Frascati

Illustrated report by Roberto Balzan

The "Chess Week" in Frascati lasted from May 20 to 29 and featured an inauguration visit by the former world champion Boris Spassky, who held a press conference and participated in a Living Game.

The GM tournament (cat IX) started last Sunday. Participants are Igor Khenkin GER GM 2610, Igor Miladinovic GRE GM 2604, Namig Gouliev AZE IM 2526 , Carlo Garcia Palermo ARG/ITA GM 2459, GM Lexy Ortega CUB, Fabio Bruno MF 2374, Niccolò Ronchetti MF 2364, Denis Rombaldoni MF 2336, Marco Corvi MF 2325, Daniele Vocaturo MF 2304.

The City of Rome as seen from Frascati hills. Yes, that dark cloud over it is smog!

In contrast the clear skies of Frascati, with beautiful villas in the middle of green parks

One of the most beautiful ancient villas of Frascati: Villa Aldobrandini

A view through the ornate fence

The event is particularly important for the Italian chess community, because it is a "pre-olimpic" event: the Chess Week in Frascati starts exactly one year before the start of the Chess Olympiad in Turin, which begins on May 20, 2006.

The site of the GM tournament: the Museum of 'Scuderie Aldobrandini'

Inside the museum: a beautiful place to play chess

Grandmasters at work: Silence please!

It was a very interesting tournament, nearly 9th category, with some grandmasters of well-known strength and reputation (Igor Khenkin, Igor Miladinovic, Carlos Garcia Palermo, Lexy Ortega, Namig Gouliev) and with some good young Italian talents, such as Daniele Vocaturo, 15 years old, Denis Rombaldoni, 16, Niccolò Ronchetti, 16, all of them with already at least one IM norm in their curriculum. Plus the Italian Champion Fabio Bruno, a 44 years old 'young talent' who only recently returned to chess after a long stop of more than 15 years. When he was really young he was a good talent and the promise of Italian chess, but he had to stop to work. It was a real pity.

Fabio Bruno deeply concentrated

Anyway, the tournament was very interesting and full of surprises: Fabio Bruno, who was not lucky with the pairings, as he had black against all of the strongest players, started with two convincing victories against GM Lexy Ortega (who was really in bad shape in this tournament) and against Ortega's young 'pupil', Daniele Vocaturo, 15 years old.

Young Niccolò Ronchetti, 16, missed the IM norm by half a point

Bruno lost in the third round to IM from Azerbaijan, Namig Gouliev (2526), then there was a fourth round in which the results were nearly incredible and impossible to predict for everybody: it was a 5-0 for the Italian players (we consider Ortega Italian, as he has been living in Rome with his family from so many years) against the foreigners.

Denis Rombaldoni, 16, and GM Namig Gouliev (from the same land of Garry)

In this fourth round Bruno beat Miladinovic with black in a marvellous attacking game (Miladinovic, 2604, is a strong tactical player, former Junior World Champion), in which Black sacrificed a Knight to force White King in the middle of the board.

The big match of round 8: German GM Igor Khenkin could not break the defense of Fabio Bruno, and after a six hour battle he had to accept the draw.

After this win, with 3 out 4, Bruno took the lead until the end of the tournament, which he won with an incredible score of 6.5 out of nine, ahead of Miladinovic (6) and Gouliev (5.5). With this result Bruno, who performed in all the tournament between 2660 and 2700 (!), and had a final 2607 performance, also earned his first GM norm, and became an IM.

Daniele Vocaturo, 15, with two IM norms, beat GM Khenkin and Garcia Palermo

Quite difficult was the life for the other strong player, no 1 of the seed, the German GM (born Russian) Igor Khenkin (2610), who was only fourth at the end with 5 out of 9, and who lost to two Italian 'youngsters', Denis Rombaldoni and Daniele Vocaturo. The game Khenkin-Vocaturo, played at 6th round, was a spectacular fireworks show, with Khenkin fairly admitting after the game that 'he was out-calculated' by the young Italian talent.

Khenkin,Igor (2610) - Vocaturo,Daniele (2303) [E81]
Frascati FIDE Frascati (6), 26.05.2005

33...Qh6! 34.Bxd4. White is obliged to give back material at once to avoid immediate loss. 34...Qxd2 35.Rd1 Qf4 36.Rxd3 Ba6 37.Rbb3 Bxd3 38.Rxd3 As the smoke disappears, the resulting ending is very complicated, with an approximate balance of material, but also with a strong pressure of black heavy pieces on white exposed king position. All the grandmasters watching the game were of the opinion that Black had a little edge, but that it was quite difficult to convert this edge in a full point. Daniele will show an uncommon technical ability and beat his strong GM opponent. 0-1.

A few words are necessary about the incredible fighting spirit in this tournament: just 13 games out of 45 played were draws (29%), and just two of these draws were short draws. Black scored more than White (18 won games with black against 14 games won with White). This without the artificial need of forbidding draw proposals. It's true that the strength of the players was very unbalanced, but if you look at the final standings, you also see that they performed in an unusual and unexpected way. Perhaps an interesting material for Jeff Sonas' statistics!

Coming soon: part two with a photo report on Alexandra Kosteniuk

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


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