Marinha Grande – Chess and fun in Portugal

2/1/2008 – The country has 1700 organised chess players, of whom only 250 regularly take part in tournaments. Which makes for a family atmosphere in the chess scene. Everybody knows everybody else. The country has two GMs, nine IMs and a bunch of FMs (and a WIM). And FM Ruben Pereira, rated 2423, came second in the world U-16 championship. Impressions by Nicholas Lanier.

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Marinha Grande – start of the Portugese chess year

Report by Nicholas Lanier

The chess season in Portugal begins with a rapid chess team championship in the "glass city" of Marinha Granda, a third up the west coast of the country. The event was held for the 19th time and organised by the club Sport Operario Marinhense. It is well attended, even though the winner is clear before the tournament begins.

The industrial town of Marinha Grande located in the middle of a national pine forest, planted in medieval times by Portuguese monarchs, and near exquisite beaches such as Praia da Vieira, Nazaré, and São Pedro de Moel. For many centuries it has been known for its glass products, and even today you can see glass artisans everywhere in the town center. Marinha Grande is also the European capital for the moulding industry, with 250 companies in operation. The population is 30,000.

For the chess community Marinha Grande means big team tournaments, which everyone attends as a warm-up for the coming chess season. It is also a social gathering where you meet old friends and opponents, where chess players dine together and enjoy evening entertainment.


The very active president of the Lisbon Chess Federation is Armanda Placido, here with her US-born husband Rex Blalock


Three generations of Portuguese chess players: GM Luis Galego, IMs Joaquim Durao, Diogo Fernando


The President of the Portuguese Chess Federation Antonio Bravo


Zé Nogueira, the manager of the dominating Vale de Cambra team


FM Ruben Pereira came second in the Youth World Championship
last November in Turkey in the U-16 group


Bianca Albano Jeremias, 18, German-Portuguese chess talent


A young chess enthusiast Portuguese style


The team championship 2008 is under way


A tactical endgame attracts attention


Vitor Cordeiro, the initiator of the tournament, and local player Jose Bray


Taking a breather in the courtyard


The winning team from Vale de Cambra

A total of 43 teams, each consisting of four players, took part in the competition. The winner was the same as in previous years: the ACR Vale de Cambra, led by GM Luis Galego. The team won all their matches and scored 30½ of 36 possible points. Second was Barreirense A (with IM Sergio Rocha and IM Rui Damaso) and AAC Amadora (with Youth World Champion runner up FM Ruben Pereira).

Top Portugese players

No. Name Title Fed Rating G B-Year
 1  Galego, Luis  GM  POR  2529  22  1966
 2  Damaso, Rui  IM  POR  2449  9  1968
 3  Fernando, Diogo  IM  POR  2448  9  1980
 4  Dias, Paulo  FM  POR  2446  19  1979
 5  Pereira, Ruben  FM  POR  2423  20  1991
 6  Santos, Carlos Pereira dos  IM  POR  2418  0  1972
 7  Rocha, Sergio  IM  POR  2412  0  1972
 8  Fernandes, Antonio  GM  POR  2408  9  1962
 9  Santos, Luis  IM  POR  2393  0  1955
 10  Vitor, Antonio  FM  POR  2376  30  1975
 11  Frois, Antonio  IM  POR  2368  25  1962
 12  Silva, Fernando  IM  POR  2353  1  1950
 13  Nogueira, Nelson  IM  POR  2321  0  1969
 14  Pinheiro, Jose  FM  POR  2318  18  1964
 15  Santos, Antonio P    POR  2294  9  1956
 16  Andrade, Jose M Vieira  FM  POR  2290  9  1978

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