Mare di Fano – 3rd Summer Chess Festival

by Diana Mihajlova
8/20/2014 – While the Olympiad was unfolding in Tromso, several Opens in Europe offered an alternative to players missing the big action. Fano, on the Italian Mediterranean coast, held the third edition of its wonderful Summer Chess Festival, with the playing hall and official hotels only minutes from the beach. Diana Mihajlova sent us a big pictorial report on this delightful chess-and-holiday combination.

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Mare di Fano – 3rd Summer Chess Festival

By Diana Mihajlova

We wrote about last year’s edition in part 1 and part 2 of a previous report. This year, the indefatigable and ambitious organiser, Dario Pedini and the Fano Chess Club (est. 1988) added even more sections to the ever growing chess festival. 191 players competed in five tournaments: Major A group (> 1900), B group (<2000), C group (< 1600), U-16 and a Rapid tournament. Alongside, the Italian U-20 Championship and the Italian Women Championship also took place.

The spacious, air conditioned playing hall, the Fano Sport Park, was operating in full capacity

Ten invited GMs and IMs were at hand to make possible achievement of norms. In the middle of the summer, whether hunting for norms or simply enjoying a summer holiday and a chess tournament, the Fano Chess Festival provides an unforgettable chess adventure.

The Ukrainian grandmaster brothers Yuri and Andrey Vovk are frequent participants at European Opens

WGM Anna Iwanov from Poland

Jan Rindlisbacher comes from a family of chess players, from Bern, Switzerland. Last year, his brother Lars participated, making an IM nom, as well as his father, Ernst, who had a special incident to do with bikes. (See towards the middle of this article)

Alessia Santeramo (ITA), winner of the Italian Women Championship

Michel Bifulco, Italy

FM Grandadam Nicolas, Switzerland

Irene Caldi, Italy

Matteo Rovedi, the local boy from the nearby town of Pesaro was
accompanied by his father, who also participated playing in the Major

Riccardo Rago from Senigalia, a nearby town in the region of Marche,
is a regular participant at the Fano Chess Club’s events

Top final standings in Group A

# Sd Ti. Name Rtg Pts Buc1 BucT Perf
1 3 GM Prohaszka Peter 2585 7.5 47.0 51.5 2632
2 1 GM Vovk Andrey 2616 7.0 47.0 51.5 2596
3 5 IM Sadzikowski Daniel 2481 6.5 47.0 49.5 2544
4 4 GM Lajthajm Borko 2526 6.5 45.0 48.5 2437
5 2 GM Vovk Yuri 2591 6.0 48.5 52.5 2518
6 6 GM Drazic Sinisa 2430 6.0 42.5 45.5 2415
7 7 IM Laketic Gojko 2417 6.0 42.5 45.0 2428
8 8 FM Bonafede Alessandro 2388 6.0 42.0 46.0 2351
9 17 WIM Iwanow Anna 2210 6.0 36.0 38.5 2224
10 11 FM Grandadam Nicolas 2306 5.5 45.5 50.0 2346
11 10 FM Gaehwiler Gabriel 2338 5.5 44.5 48.5 2386
12 13 -- Klimentov Roman 2234 5.5 43.0 46.0 2299
13 9 IM Bodiroga Predrag 2368 5.0 45.0 47.0 2369
14 18 FM Brancaleoni Maurizio 2210 5.0 44.5 48.0 2275
15 21 -- Kizilkaya Mehmet 2189 5.0 44.0 47.0 2263
16 16 FM Bucher Michael 2217 5.0 43.0 46.0 2269
17 20 FM Damia Angelo 2205 5.0 39.5 42.5 2195
18 15 -- Rindlisbacher Jan 2228 5.0 37.5 40.0 2209
19 12 FM Radonjanin Vlastimir 2262 5.0 36.0 38.0 2130
20 19 FM Luciani Valerio 2206 5.0 35.5 38.0 2142
21 14 M Formento Paolo 2228 5.0 35.5 38.0 2116
22 36 -- Klimentov Evgeny 2032 5.0 35.0 38.0 2170
23 34 CM Cocconcelli Lorenzo 2043 5.0 34.5 37.0 2129
24 49 1N Minerba Paolo 1922 5.0 33.5 36.0 2161

First GM Peter Prohaska (HUN), second GM Andrey Vovk (UKR), third IM Daniel Sadzikowski (POL), who missed a GM norm by just a half a point, not managing more than a draw against IM Laketic in the last round.

The Italian women championship winners: Laura Gueci from Palermo, woman champion U-20, Alessia Santeramo from Barletta, the absolute woman champion and Virginia Colantuono from Rome, a woman champion U-18. Laura Gueci’s sister, Tea, the reigning woman champion, was playing at Tromso with the Italian women team.

The U-16 participants with various prizes including tennis rackets, box games, chess books and magazines as well as cups for the winners: from left, Jacopo Serafini from Fano (4th); his cousin Diego Serafini (3rd); Elia Ferretti from Pesaro (2nd) and the winner, Jacopo Smerzini from Senigallia next to Anna Klimentova.

Winners of the Group B: CM Luigi Forlano (8.0/9) and
16-year-old Cristian Machidon (7.5/9) from Moldova

Winners in the Group C: Enrico Fragni, winner; second place:
Francesco Pazzaglia; third place: Giovanni Squadrani

Winners in the Championship U-20: Altini Nicola, Champion U-20, FM Boscolo Federico,
champion U-18, and the third placed CM Santeramo Domenico

Here are two interesting games, annotated by the players themselves:

[Event "3 Mare di Fano"] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.07.29"] [Round "2.2"] [White "Vovk, Yuri"] [Black "Rindlisbacher, Jan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E11"] [WhiteElo "2591"] [BlackElo "2228"] [Annotator "Vovk,Yuri"] [PlyCount "55"] [EventDate "2014.08.06"] [SourceDate "2014.08.06"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. d4 Bb4+ 4. Nbd2 O-O {This move usually means Black's choice for a more complicated struggle.} (4... b6 5. a3 Bxd2+ {is an older and more solid option.}) 5. a3 Be7 6. e4 d5 (6... d6 {leads to a bit passive, but quite a solid position. 6... d5 is a sharp line instead.}) 7. e5 Nfd7 8. b4 { It's a move I have played already that leads to a very interesting strategical position.} ({Nowadays White tries to treat this position in a more agressive mood:} 8. Bd3 c5 9. h4 $5 {with immediate 10.Bxh7+ threat.}) 8... a5 9. b5 c5 10. cxd5 exd5 11. Bd3 cxd4 12. Nb3 Re8 $6 {Probably a wrong move that gives some extra possibilities to White.} ({The usual} 12... a4 13. Nbxd4 Nc5 {leads to a game where the strong knight position on d4 is compensated by Black's control over the c5 and c4 squares, and the potential weakness of the a3 pawn.} ) 13. O-O a4 14. Nbxd4 Nc5 {Transposing to abovementioned plan with the inclusion of the Re8 move, which is not clear to be good.} 15. h3 {That's one of the extra possibilities. I give up my light squared bishop but restrict Black's bishop's access to the g4 square. The bishop on c8 can become a great problem for Black.} Be6 {Not sure about this.} ({Maybe Black could opt for} 15... Nxd3 16. Qxd3 Nd7 $5 17. e6 fxe6 18. Nxe6 Ne5 $1 19. Nxe5 Bxe6 {and Black has sufficient counterplay based on potential power of the pair of bishops.}) 16. Bc2 {After restricting access to g4 there's no sense in giving up the light squared bishop voluntary.} Nbd7 17. Be3 $5 {Directed against 17... Nb6.} ({Also interesting is} 17. Nxe6 fxe6 18. Be3 {with a light squared pressure strategy}) 17... Nf8 {Covers h7 and allows to take on e6 with the knight, but diverts from the traditional b6-c4 maneuver.} ({But maybe anyway} 17... Nb6 $5 18. Nxe6 fxe6 $2 (18... Nxe6 19. Bxb6 Qxb6 20. Qxd5 Red8 $44) 19. Bxc5 Bxc5 20. Bxh7+ Kxh7 21. Qc2+ {with an extra pawn}) 18. Nh2 {Using the fact that the e5 pawn is under attack, no more and preparing the f4-f5 advance. On the other hand the knight leaves its central position.} ({Maybe} 18. Qb1 { with idea of Qb2 and putting rooks to the center was stronger.}) 18... Ne4 { Not a bad move. But also a risky alternative was possible:} (18... Qc7 $5 19. f4 Ne4 20. f5 Bd7 {and despite White's strong center Black seems to have a sufficient counterplay based on opponent's weak e5 pawn and his own stronghold on c5.}) 19. Qb1 $5 {The point! White can do this without pushing f4 at moment. Nevertheless it's not terrible for Black here} Bc5 $1 {a good move that gives black roughly equal position} 20. Bxe4 {Of course it's possible not to win that pawn, but to do that is the most logical consequence of Qb1 move. On the other hand 20.Nhf3 could have prepared this capture in a more precise way.} dxe4 21. Nxe6 Nxe6 22. Qxe4 Qb6 ({More precise was} 22... Qe7 $1 23. Ra2 (23. Bxc5 Nxc5 $11) 23... Bxa3 24. Rfa1 Bc5 25. Rxa4 Rxa4 26. Rxa4 Qd7 {with a drawish position}) 23. Rab1 Ra5 $6 {A senseless move: a4 is also hanging!} ( 23... Bxe3 $1 24. fxe3 (24. Qxe3 Qxe3 25. fxe3 Ng5 26. h4 Ne4 27. Nf3 Nc3 28. Rb4 Ra5 $11) 24... Rac8 $1 $44) 24. Nf3 $1 {Now White's knight is back in play and the potential pawn weaknesses can be defended. Together with the poor position of the rook on a5 it's enough for a good winning chances.} h6 $2 {A very bad move that makes Black's position really hard.} 25. Nd2 $1 Rxb5 $4 { The final mistake!} ({But also after} 25... Raa8 26. Nc4 {it's no good for Black.}) 26. Qxa4 Nc7 27. Bxc5 Qxc5 28. Rbc1 $1 1-0


[Event "Fano 2014"] [Site "Fano"] [Date "2014.07.30"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Vovk, Yuri"] [Black "Sadzikowski, Daniel"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A35"] [WhiteElo "2591"] [BlackElo "2481"] [Annotator "Sadzikowski,Daniel"] [PlyCount "155"] [EventDate "2014.07.28"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "ITA"] [SourceDate "2009.07.07"] 1. Nf3 c5 2. c4 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bg7 6. Nc2 d6 7. Nc3 $2 {In my opinion, this move is inaccurate. I got the possibility to play an interesting idea.} ({More popular is} 7. Bg2) 7... Bxc3+ $1 8. bxc3 Qa5 {I just wanted to destroy his pawn structure, but I had to lose my bishop pair. My decision is not clear, but I knew, that Yuri would have to solve his problems very precisely, which is not easy.} 9. Ne3 Be6 {I did not want take the pawn, because White would get some initiative and advantage in development.} 10. Bg2 Rc8 {Why not to play 10...Nc6 and castle? I was worried about Sd5!?, and I would be forced to improve the white pawn structure. Also, after Rb1 I can easily play b6, because my rook protects the knight on c6.} 11. O-O b6 12. Nd5 {We may see why keeping the knight on g8 was actually a good idea} Ne5 13. a4 Nxc4 14. Qd4 Ne5 15. Ba3 ({After} 15. f4 {I can play} Rc4 {and I keep a material advantage}) 15... Bxd5 16. Bb4 Qa6 17. Qxd5 Qc4 $1 $15 {Very important move.} ({After} 17... Nf6 $2 18. Qb5+ Qxb5 19. axb5 {White keepshis bishop pair and my position is getting unpleasant.}) 18. Qb5+ Kf8 19. Bd5 Qc7 20. a5 Nf6 21. Bg2 Kg7 22. axb6 Qxb6 $6 ({Probably better was} 22... axb6 23. Ra6 Ned7 24. Rfa1 Qc4 25. Qxc4 Rxc4 26. Ra7 Rhc8 27. Rb7 R8c7 28. Raa7 Rxb7 29. Rxb7 Kf8 {with good chances for a win}) 23. Qa4 Nc6 24. Ba3 (24. Bxc6 {leads to a drawish endgame} Rxc6 25. Qxa7 Qxa7 26. Rxa7 Re8 $11) 24... Nd7 (24... a5 {was better}) 25. Rfb1 Qc7 26. Qa6 ({Correct was} 26. Bxc6 Qxc6 27. Qxc6 Rxc6 28. Rb7 {and position is equal}) 26... Nb6 27. Bb2 Rhe8 28. h4 {White cannot improve his attack on the queenside, so he is trying to make some weaknesses on the kingside.} Kg8 {Useful move.} 29. h5 Qd7 30. hxg6 hxg6 31. Qb5 Rc7 32. c4 Nb8 33. Bh3 Qc6 34. Bd4 Rf8 ({After} 34... Nxc4 {White could play} 35. Qxb8 $1 e5 (35... Nb6 36. Rxb6 axb6 37. Qxb6 Qxb6 38. Bxb6 $14) 36. Bg2 Qd7 37. Qxc7 Qxc7 38. Rxa7 Qc8 (38... Qd8 39. Rbb7 exd4 40. Rxf7 $11) 39. Bd5 exd4 40. Bxf7+ Kh8 41. Bxe8 Qxe8 42. Rbb7 Qg8 {and White has good chances for a draw.}) 35. Qg5 ({I think the best was} 35. c5 Qxb5 36. Rxb5 Nc4 37. cxd6 Nxd6 38. Rc5 Rb7 39. Be5 $44 {with huge compesation for a pawn.}) 35... e5 36. c5 exd4 37. cxb6 axb6 38. Bg2 d5 $2 ({I should play} 38... Qe8 39. Rxb6 Qe5 $11 {and I have no problems with my position}) 39. Bxd5 Qd6 40. Rc1 $2 ({I missed} 40. Ra4 $1 Rc5 41. Rxd4 Kg7 42. Rbd1 {and now White is clearly better}) 40... Rc3 41. Rd1 Nc6 42. Bxc6 Rxc6 43. Ra4 Qe6 44. Raxd4 Qxe2 $15 {I was a pawn up, but it was very hard to win this game, because White has active pieces and my pawn on b6 is very weak, but let's play.} 45. Rd6 Rxd6 ({Probably} 45... Re8 {could be more precise}) 46. Rxd6 Qe1+ 47. Kg2 Qe4+ 48. Kh2 Qc2 49. Qf6 (49. Kg2 $11) 49... b5 50. Rb6 Qc5 51. Rb7 Qd5 {Now I am very close to saving my pawn.} 52. Qa6 Kg7 53. Qa1+ Kh7 54. Qh1 {[%cal Ga1h1] Amazing move} Qc5 55. Qf3 ({After} 55. Qf1 b4 56. Kg1 {the pawn on b4 is lost.}) 55... Kg7 56. Kg2 Qc4 57. Qf4 Qd5+ 58. Qf3 Rd8 $1 59. Qxd5 Rxd5 $15 {I analyzed this position and I think it should be a draw.} 60. g4 g5 (60... Kf6 61. f4) 61. Kf3 Kg6 (61... Re5 62. Kg3 {with f4 next}) 62. Rb6+ f6 63. Rb7 $11 Rc5 64. Kg2 f5 65. Rb6+ Kf7 66. gxf5 Rxf5 67. Kg3 Ke7 68. Kg4 Rc5 ({From the practical point of view I should play} 68... Rd5 69. f4 gxf4 70. Kxf4 Kd7 71. Ke4 Kc7 {and now} 72. Rh6 $1 (72. Rb8 $2 Rc5 $1 73. Rh8 Kb6 74. Kd3 b4 75. Kd2 Kb5 76. Rh1 b3 77. Rc1 Rc4 $1 $19) 72... Rd1 73. Ke3 {and I cannot progress with endgame.}) 69. f4 gxf4 70. Kxf4 Kd7 71. Ke4 Kc7 72. Rh6 Rc3 73. Kd4 b4 74. Rg6 Rc1 75. Kd3 b3 76. Rg2 Rc2 77. Rxc2+ bxc2 78. Kxc2 {Interesting play from both sides showed a nice game, which went to a drawish endgame, but not easy to play. I think it was my the most interesting game on this tournament.} 1/2-1/2

Fano is a small town and a beach resort on the Adriatic coast between Rimini and Ancona. It is found in the Province of Pesaro and Urbino in the Marche region. Antique and medieval towns (Urbino, the Raphael's birthplace) are within less than an hour drive. The Republic of San Marino is at one and a half hour drive.

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Known as Fanum Fortunae, Fano dates since Roman times, 49 BC, during the Julius Caesar reign. Later on, Augustus established it as his colony.

The residential area of Fano – a railway splits the Old Town with its rich history from the
modern resort on the seaside – a long strand of pebbly beach with a wide promenade.

The Roman gate (Augustus' arch) opens to the cobbled streets of the old town

Fano abounds with well preserved treasures of art and architecture from the Renaissance period. The famous Renaissance master Pietro Perugino (c. 1446 – 1523) was operating in Fano. Among his pupils was Raphael from the nearby town of Urbino.

The ‘Fano Alterpiece’ depicting the Virgin by Perugino in the Church Santa Maria Nuova (1521)

The ‘Predella’ is the small panel, usually horizontal, made of miniature images that goes
underneath, as a ‘decoration’ of the base of a larger work, that can be an altar.

Perugino decorated many churches and palaces, like the Santa Maria Nuova.
The predella (below the main painting) attributed to the young Rafael.

‘Annunciation’ by Perugino, a painting in the church Santa Maria Nuova

An artisanal statue, a replica of the fountain dedicated to the Goddess of Fortune, which stands at the central square. This statue was presented as a trophy to the Italian U-20 Champion.

The town’s marina incorporates a luxurious Yacht Club ‘Marina dei Cesari’

Players Alessia Santeramo, Paolo Formento, Samuele Bisi, Boscolo and
Virginia Colantuono chilling on the Fano’s beach Sassonia

‘Moretta’, the famous coffee and liquor drink, hails from Fano

A cocktail of hot espresso coffee, rum, anise and brandy makes an energising drink invented by Fano’s fishermen in order to keep alert and warm during their fishing expeditions. Today it is drunk after meals as a digestive or as a hot drink on cold afternoons. ‘Moretta’ is usually served in small transparent glasses with clearly visible layers of froth, coffee and liquor.

The ever important sponsors: Trofeo Pedini Cucine, Banca Marche and Artigiana Marmi who provided the trophy for the 3rd Internationa Festival Msare di Fano, the 22nd Italian Championship U-20 and the 41st Italian Women Championship respectively.

The tournament falls during a festive summer season with a rich cultural program including exhibitions, the Fano Jazz by the Sea Festival and the Fanno Summer Carnival. The Carnival has the political satire as its theme. Among the many giant papier-mâché floats, some as high as 18 meters, there was Pinocchio riding on his tricycle, alluding to the ills of society, taxes, lies and politicians’ false promises.


You can use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs to replay the games in PGN. You can also download our free Playchess client, which will in addition give you immediate access to the chess server

A former university lecturer in Romance philology, she is currently a painter as well as a chess journalist, and reports regularly from the international tournament scene.


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