Nice weather, a quiet beach and exciting chess battles in Brazil

by Renato Quintiliano
7/14/2023 – Caiobá is a beach near the city of Matinhos, in the state of Paraná, in the south of Brazil. Matinhos has been the site of many important tournaments, most notably the 1994 U20 World Championship. In recent years, however, Caiobá has become better known among chess players due to the SESC Caiobá Chess Open, an important tournament in the Brazilian chess calendar since 2015, only missing in 2020/21 due to the covid pandemic. This year's edition was a great chess party, and the organisers promise that 2024 will be even better.

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Playing in Caiobá is always special for me. When the tournament was launched in 2015, I was the champion of the first edition and it was the first time I had won a major open tournament in Brazil. I also realised that the organisers had worked hard to create a great event with the best possible conditions for the players. The biggest proof of their commitment is that the tournament has improved with each edition and I've always returned to play there, except for last year.

This year the SESC Caiobá Chess Open took place from the 17th to the 25th of June and consisted of three tournaments. Although the classical event is always the most important goal, we started with a blitz tournament of 13 rounds, followed by a rapid of 11 rounds. This may seem like too many games before a long classical tournament, but the fact that the hall was full in both tournaments makes me think that chess players always want more. The Blitz tournament was won by GM Neuris Delgado Ramirez from Paraguay, while the Brazilian GM Alexandr Fier was the winner of the Rapid tournament.

GM Alexandr Fier won the Rapid and was in the lead for most of the Classic tournament. | Photo: Pryscilla Polansky

GM Neuris Delgado Ramirez is a regular at Brazilian tournaments. In Caiobá he won the Blitz. | Photo: Elana de Souza

As already mentioned, the organisers of the SESC Caiobá Chess Open have been trying to improve the tournament since its first edition and are always coming up with new ideas. In addition to the large playing hall - a large and comfortable room provided by SESC Caiobá - this year's tournament had only one day of double rounds. This means that the players have enough time to rest after each game and prepare for the next round, resulting in a high technical level of the tournament. Another nice thing is that the SESC Caiobá hotel offers a lot of alternative activities, so that the players can relax a bit and enjoy the time away from the tournament. One day we even organised a "Youth x Experience" football match after the round.

A photo taken at the end of the "Experience x Youth" match. Unfortunately, the youth won 9-7.

The classical tournament counted more than 150 players from 9 countries and all parts of Brazil. GM Jaime Sunye Neto, a legend of Brazilian chess, also took part. Sunye Neto was the second Brazilian player to achieve the title of Grandmaster (after Mecking) and is one of the organisers and creators of the SESC Caiobá Chess Open.

Playing hall of the SESC Caiobá Chess Open

Chess is a sport where the past and the future can meet: the young National Master Kim Paul Mariani (9 years old) faces Grandmaster Jaime Sunye Neto (66 years old). | Photo: Elana de Souza

After a week of hard-fought games and emotions, the tournament came to its final day with 5 players in the lead, all with 6.5 points: the GMs Fier, Delgado, Mekhitarian, Bachmann and myself. The leading group was also followed by 8 players half a point behind, so we were in for an exciting final round. After draws on boards 2 and 3 (me against Delgado and Fier against El Debs), it was all about Mekhitarian vs Bachmann on board 1. It was a tense middlegame, followed by a heavy piece battle and finally a tricky Queen's ending. At the end of this tough battle, Bachmann emerged victorious and was the only player to score 7.5/9 to take home the title. I offer the decisive final game with some comments.

Paraguayan GM Axel Bachmann showed ambitious play and strong nevers to win the SESC Caiobá Chess Open. | Photo: Elana de Souza

At the end of the tournament I finished in 5th place, a result that I consider satisfactory, but it was another prize that made me really happy. During the tournament, the organisers announced that they would give a special prize for the best game of the tournament (or the "brilliance prize", a lost tradition from the old days), so that players could submit their games for analysis. They ended up giving two prizes, one by popular vote and another chosen by a technical jury. The second prize was awarded for my victory in the 7th round, a game of which I'm very proud, as I played creative and dynamic chess, something not so characteristic of my style. I also offer this game with some analysis and my thoughts during the game below.

Renato Quintiliano | Photo: Elana de Souza

I finished in a solid 5th place, but to win a prize for the best game in such a difficult tournament was certainly something special.

As you can see, the SESC Caiobá Chess Open was a great event and the next edition is already scheduled for 22-30 June next year. The next goal of the organisers is to have more foreign masters playing, in order to improve the chances of the standard, since we lack good open tournaments for standard players in Brazil and in South America in general. For my part, I'm sure I'll be there again, and I expect this great tournament to grow from year to year.

Final standings

1 2
GM Bachmann, Axel PAR 2604 7,5
2 1
GM Fier, Alexandr BRA 2604 7
3 3
GM Delgado Ramirez, Neuris PAR 2553 7
4 19
IM Ticona Rocabado, Licael Roderick U16 BOL 2285 7
5 6
GM Quintiliano Pinto, Renato R. BRA 2509 7
6 15
IM Umetsubo, Cesar Hidemitsu BRA 2345 7
7 4
GM Mekhitarian, Krikor Sevag BRA 2537 6,5
8 7
IM Di Berardino, Diego Rafael BRA 2484 6,5
9 5
GM El Debs, Felipe De Cresce BRA 2531 6,5
10 14
GM Hoffman, Alejandro S50 URU 2350 6,5
11 13
IM Perdomo, Leandro ARG 2389 6,5
12 16
FM Rodrigues, Edgar BRA 2329 6,5
13 42
FM Aranha Filho, Alvaro Z. BRA 2137 6,5
14 20
IM Van Riemsdijk, Herman C. S65 BRA 2260 6,5
15 28
FM Silva, Kaua Marques U18 BRA 2215 6,5
16 9
GM Cubas, Jose Fernando PAR 2457 6
17 8
GM Santiago, Yago De Moura BRA 2481 6
18 22
FM Do Valle Cardoso, Lucas BRA 2247 6
19 23
FM Caetano, Ryan Wesley Da Costa BRA 2247 6
20 26
NM Piccoli, Lucas Fonseca U20 BRA 2221 6
21 12
GM Matsuura, Everaldo S50 BRA 2396 6
22 31
FM Terao, Juliana Sayumi BRA 2211 6
23 25
NM Labussiere, Yago U20 BRA 2224 6
24 32
FM Duarte Napoles, Fanny CUB 2191 6
25 10
GM Sunye Neto, Jaime S65 * BRA 2420 6
26 53
NM Ermel, Francisco Roberto S50 BRA 2060 6
27 38
NM Nemeth Junior, Henrique BRA 2159 6
28 43
NM Uczai, Joao Pedro Filimberti BRA 2136 6
29 56
Araujo, Renan Aparecido BRA 2042 6
30 82
NM Jenidarchiche, Douglas Rodrigo BRA 1801 6
31 17
IM Filgueiras, Nathan Felipe U20 BRA 2323 5,5

... Source: chess-results


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Renato Quintiliano is a Brazilian Grandmaster. Besides playing professionaly, Renato works as a writer for Chessbase Magazine, Modern-Chess and as a trainer at the Brazilian platform Academia Rafael Leitão.