Max Warmerdam wins Vergani Cup

by André Schulz
1/8/2021 – At the beginning of the year the Vergani Cup was played in the picturesque town of Bassano del Grappa, close to the Italian Alps. Max Warmerdam from the Netherlands won the over-the-board tournament and secured his third grandmaster norm and the title! | Photo: Google

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Vergani Cup

The chess festival in Vergani took place from January 3 to January 7 and was played over-the-board. Before entering the tournament, all participants had to present a PCR test, which could be no more than three days old. The festival offered three open tournaments for players of various strengths. The A-Open attracted 50 participants, including several grandmasters and a number of ambitious young players such as the US American Hans Moke Niemann (17), the Dane Jonas Buhl Bjerre (16), and Daniel Dardha (15) from Belgium.

The tournament was hosted by the local Hotel Palladium. The prize fund was not too impressive, but the picturesque surroundings and the picturesque town surely motivated some players to participate. And maybe they just felt like playing chess over-the-board again.

After five rounds, the Algerian Bilel Bellahcene led with four wins and a draw, followed by Hans Moke Niemann, Jonas Buhl Bjerre, Luca Moroni and Max Warmerdam. In round 6 Bjerre won against Bellahcene while Warmerdam defeated Eduardo die Benedetto, and with 5.0/6 Bjerre and Warmerdam were the new leaders. The duel between these two was an exciting game, which Max Warmerdam won in the end.


Warmerdam defended his lead in round eight with a draw against Czech Grandmaster Thai Dai Van Nguyen and was half a point ahead of his rivals before the ninth and last round, in which he had to play against Hans Moke Niemann. Bilel Bellahcene had also chances to win the tournament – if he defeated Checa Nikolas (USA) and Max Warmerdam lost.

But both games on the top boards ended in a draw, which was probably Warmerdam wanted – he won the tournament and scored his third and final grandmaster norm.

Max Warmerdam | Photo: Alina l'Ami (Archive)

Final standings

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Warmerdam Max 7,0 49,0
2 Bellahcene Bilel 6,5 52,0
3 Niemann Hans Moke 6,5 49,0
4 Moroni Luca Jr 6,5 49,0
5 Nguyen Thai Dai Van 6,5 48,0
6 Checa Nicolas 6,0 49,5
7 Di Benedetto Edoardo 6,0 47,0
8 Sebenik Matej 6,0 42,0
9 Dardha Daniel 5,5 51,0
10 Bjerre Jonas Buhl 5,5 48,0
11 Mendonca Leon Luke 5,5 46,5
12 Krasteva Beloslava 5,5 37,0
13 Horvath Dominik 5,0 47,0
14 Sonis Francesco 5,0 45,0
15 Beerdsen Thomas 5,0 45,0
16 Lumachi Gabriele 5,0 44,0
17 Muetsch Annmarie 5,0 44,0
18 Dobrikov Marco 5,0 43,0
19 Bettalli Francesco 5,0 41,0
20 Mitran Anthony Cristian 5,0 40,0
21 Song Julien 5,0 39,5
22 Yu Jennifer 5,0 38,0
23 Rindone Andrea 5,0 35,5
24 Solomon Kenny 4,5 44,0

51 players




Translation from German: Johannes Fischer

André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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