Seniors triumph in a natural paradise

by Mihail Marin
7/12/2018 – Grandmaster MIHAIL MARIN reflects on the attractive environs, inside and outside the playing hall, at the 10th Capo d'Orso International ACP Open. GM Karen Movsziszian took top honours with 7½ / 9. | Pictured: From left to right: International arbiter Laurent Freyd, Mihail Marin (2nd), Karen Movsziszian (1st), Vladislav Nevednichy (3rd) and organizer/the tournament's factotum Yuri Garrett | Photo: Caissa Italia

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Porto Mannu 2018

There are different possible approaches when organizing one's chess agenda. Some players wish to extend their chess map with each new tournament, while others prefer returning again and again to the places they like most. Even though not completely indifferent to the former issue, there are tournaments where I return with never diminished delight even after 10, 20 or more years. The Capo d'Orso international open, hosted by the Porto Mannu Residence Resort, is one of my absolute favourites.

The excellent playing conditions, idyllic environment and organizer's kindness are a few elements allowing one to combine serious chess with a dream vacation.

Mare nostrum

Our day-by-day preparation mainly consisted of Italian coffee, Mare Nostrum and, of course, Bronstein's games
(Click or tap to enlarge all images)

The popular touristic area Capo d'Orso (the Bear's Cape in Sardinian) owes its name to a massive rock in the shape of a bear. No matter how many pictures you take, they are mere appetizers for the true feeling you get in Porto Mannu.

Bear rock

The bear from far | Photo: Laura Santini

Inside bear rock and local flowers

The bear up close and local foliage in Mariya Yugina's artistic and pictorial vision

bay scene

The beach and the bay on a summer's day | Photo: Mariya Yugina

Painting a landscape

Spying on my wife Mariya Yugina while she made a few sketches

playing hall

In the playing hall, conducting a true chess symphony  | Photo: Yuri Garrett

Despite the participation of a big bunch of young talented players, the 10th edition ended in a success for the more experienced grandmasters. Both the winner Karen Movsziszian and the runner-up, myself, are well passed of the Senior age limit, while the bronze medalist Vladislav Nevednichy is quite close to it, too.

Two crucial games for the top classification were Movsziszian-Sonis and Marin-Ivanisevic.

Movsiszian 1-0 Sonis (annotated by GM Mihail Marin)


Taking the success naturally: Veni, Vidi, Vici | Photo: Laura Santini

Marin 1-0 Ivanisevic (annotated by GM Mihail Marin)

Marin Ivanisevic

Marin vs Ivanisevic | Photo: Yuri Garrett

Mariagrazia de Rosa and Mariya Yugina, first and second in the woman classification, respectively.

Mariagrazia de Rosa and Mariya Yugina prize

Men may play better chess, but ladies are the true champions when displaying happiness for the conquered medals | Photo: by Laura Santini

Mihail Marin gets prize

"What is so funny, Yuri? I really played well!" | Photo: Laura Santini

Mihail Marin

"If I start attacking him now would I be in time to go to the beach?" | Photo: Yuri Garrett

Final standings (top 20)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Movsziszian Karen 7,5 51,0
2 Marin Mihail 7,0 55,0
3 Nevednichy Vladislav 6,5 52,0
4 Colovic Aleksandar 6,5 51,5
5 Bulmaga Irina 6,5 51,0
6 Christiansen Johan-Sebastian 6,5 50,5
7 Risting Eivind Olav 6,5 46,5
8 Sonis Francesco 6,0 55,5
9 Rambaldi Francesco 6,0 53,5
10 Ivanisevic Ivan 6,0 52,0
11 Haug Johannes 6,0 51,0
12 Lehner Oliver 6,0 50,0
13 Zgadzaj Rafal 6,0 48,5
14 Dvirnyy Danyyil 5,5 54,0
15 de Francesco Klaus 5,5 50,5
16 Visser Henk-Jan 5,5 49,0
17 Viviani Alessio 5,5 47,5
18 Esposito Luca 5,5 47,5
19 Ranaldi Lucas 5,5 47,0
20 Bentivegna Francesco 5,5 46,5

Looking at the games and classification it is easy to overlook a true hero of this tournament and Italian chess in general. Despite his ALS [a neurodegenerative disease], Alessio Viviani, who a few years ago won the Porto San Giorgio tournament, obtaining a Grandmaster norm, gave a hard time to a few Porto Mannu favourites.


Allessio Viviani playing with a custom chess board setup | Photo: Yuri Garrett


GM Mihail Marin, born in 1965, has several times been Romanian champion, played in 12 Olympiads (earning an individual bronze medal in 1988) and first made the leap over the Elo barrier of 2600 in 2001. Marin possesses a rare gift for a grandmaster — he is able to explain in readily comprehensible terms the ideas behind moves, variations and positions. This ability is there for all to admire in his contributions to ChessBase Magazine.


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