Second International Alpine Tournament – Livigno Open 2011

10/16/2011 – This tournament is staged at an altitude of 1,816 meters, making it the highest chess tournament in Europe. The little pretty Alpine town of Livigno was swarming with 22 GMs and 14 IMs, in all 90 players who competed in two Opens. 24 nations were represented from all over the world: Europe, Asia (India), Northern and Southern America. Big pictorial report by Diana Mihajlova.

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Second International Tournament on the Alps

Report by Diana Mihajlova

Last year we reported on the first tournament mounted on the highest spot of the Italian Alps. It started modestly, but the organizers - the members of the local chess club 'Amos Cusini' pledged to do their best to make the tournament grow. By the second edition their efforts more than paid off. From 12–18 September this year, when the Second International Livigno Open took place, the little pretty Alpine town was swarming with 22 Grandmasters, 14 International Masters, in all 90 players that competed in two Opens. 24 nations were represented from all over the world: Europe, Asia (India), Northern and Southern America.

Livigno, a small town of 6000 inhabitants, was founded by settlers during the Middle Ages. It is located in the province of Sondrio, in the region of Lombardy. Administratively it belongs to Valtellina, a picturesque region in the most northern part of the Italian Alps.

Nestled in a beautiful green valley, encircled with mountains its economy is based on tourism, both in winter and summer. It enjoys a tax exemption status, which makes it particularly attractive for shoppers of high quality duty-free goods. Until the 1970s it was a farming village, but nowadays Livigno enjoys a better economic situation and a higher number of inhabitants. It has recently recorded one of Italy's highest birth rates (19.4 per 1000 inhabitants). Building companies, craft industry and agriculture are somewhat developed, but all these sectors are in various ways linked to the main source of income.

Livigno is nestled in hills that in winter time become skiing slopes, attracting many visitors. During the chess tournament a very mild September added to the pleasure of savoring the beauties and freshness of Valtellina, the most northern Italian region, where Livigno belongs. For those inclined for shopping, the 250 duty-free outlets are an additional bonus.


The main street in Livigno is lined up with picturesque, fairy-tale buildings like this
one, a typical Alpine architecture with mural and natural decorations

Perhaps the best part about the Livigno Chess Open is that it is a collective effort of the whole Livignasque community. A number of hotels are supporting the initiative by 'adopting' one or two invited participants on a free accommodation and board. Thus, the players were scattered throughout the whole town, which for about ten days became truly a place where chess is welcome and celebrated. Among the players:


Llappa Narayanan and his son IM Narayanan Srinath, IM Saptarshi Roy, IM Palit
Somak and IM Suvrajit Saha came all the way from India


Ylon Schwartz from USA who is also an accomplished poker player


The veterans: 2009 Senior World Champion Miso Cebalo (CRO, 2478)...


... GM Evgeny Sveshnikov, the well-known chess trainer and writer


The youngsters: Fulvio Zamengo (ITA, 2002), at 13 years the youngest
participant in the A group, who is ambitiously reaching beyond 2000 Elo


WIM Marina Brunello (ITA, 2215), the youngest of the Italian
chess family Brunello, is a rapidly emerging talent


For 18-year-old English player Callum Killpatrick (2256) climbing
the Alps proved worthwhile – he clinched a third GM norm with 6.0/9


GM Michal Olszewski, (POL, 2534) bronze medalist at the 2009 World Junior Championships


The Italian squad: IM Andrea Stella, GM Michele Godena, IM Denis Rombaldoni, GM Sabino Brunello


GM Fabio Bruno, Italian Champion 2004 and currently a technical manager at the Italian Chess Federation


Pretty Sicilian FM Maria Teresa Arnetta (2289) won the best women's prize and her first WIM norm

One of the sponsors, Distillatti Mazzeti, again organised and provided the first prize Grappa Mazzetti d'Altavilla for the blitz tournament – the above chess set with hand-made cristal bottles/chess pieces filled with dark and light grappa.


The blitz prize was snatched by GM Dmitry Svetuskin from Moldova

GM Michalik Peter (SVK, 2511) and GM Dgebuadze Alexandre (BEL, 2544), having won the second and the third places respectively, received each a precious bottle of liqueur with floating gold shavings. The blitz tournament was preceded by a gala dinner at the Hotel Lac Salin Spa & Mountain Resort in honor of the grandmasters and the sponsors. Scacchi Randagi provided the chess material and live Internet broadcast of all the matches in the A group.

Another sponsor, the Swiss watchmakers Baume & Mercier, gave expensive gifts (one Rolex and two Baume & Mercier watches) to the first three winners: GM Sergey Volkov (RUS, 2614) 7.0/9, 1st place; GM Peter Michalik (SVK, 2511), 6.5/9, 2nd place and GM Georgy Timoshenko (UKR,2572) 2616, 6.5/9, 3rd place.


The winners: second, Peter Michalik, first, Sergey Volkov, third, Georgy Timoshenko

The youngsters are given a special consideration in Livigno. The festival serves to spread the game of chess by visiting schools, organizing video presentations and mini tournaments for the local children. This time WIM Marina Brunello, GM Miso Cebalo, FM Maria Teresa Arnetta and CM Michele Blonna went to the local cinema to meet hundreds of young students and gave a video lecture about chess. After a short film, in a question-answer session with an active participation of the children they were able to talk about their experiences and the reasons why they chose this fascinating sport. The most motivated children would attend a course just after the end of the tournament.

In co-operation with CM Michele Blonna, the local chess club organized "A Week of the Wooden Horse" (“La sc’temána di cavágl da légn”) as written in the local dialect, providing lessons for interested participants of all levels and ages, adults included.


After the film on chess in a packed cinema auditorium, students from local schools
rushed to get an autograph from the Italian chess hero, GM Michele Godena


At the prize giving ceremony: the organizers Adriano Pedrana, Dr Dr Gian Battista
Ceresa, Lino Castellani, sponsors and the Town Hall dignitaries

Pedrana and Castellani together with their colleagues from the chess club 'Amoss Cusini' are on their way of creating the best tournament in Italy and are already projecting the next year's third edition.

Top final standings in the Open A

# Ti Name
Rtng
Pts
Buc1
BucT
Perf
1 GM Volkov Sergey
2614
7.0
43.00
46.50
2716
2 GM Michalik Peter
2511
6.5
43.00
47.00
2595
3 GM Timoshenko Georgy
2572
6.5
43.00
46.00
2616
4 GM Svetushkin Dmitry
2594
6.5
40.50
45.00
2617
5 GM Solodovnichenko Yuri
2622
6.0
41.50
46.00
2604
6   Kilpatrick Callum
2256
6.0
41.50
45.00
2604
7 GM Olszewski Michal
2534
6.0
41.50
44.50
2548
8 IM Narayanan Srinath
2336
6.0
41.00
43.50
2555
9 GM Godena Michele
2527
6.0
38.50
42.00
2560
10 IM Rombaldoni Denis
2517
5.5
45.00
49.00
2496
11 GM Petkov Vladimir
2511
5.5
45.00
48.50
2552
12 GM Dgebuadze Alexandre
2544
5.5
43.00
47.00
2560
13 GM Fedorchuk Sergey A.
2635
5.5
40.50
44.00
2535
14 IM Bruno Fabio
2431
5.0
48.00
49.00
2484
15 IM Hunt Adam C
2437
5.0
42.50
45.00
2532
16 GM Brunello Sabino
2569
5.0
41.00
45.00
2473
17 GM Maiorov Nikita
2558
5.0
39.50
44.00
2504
18 GM Polak Tomas
2543
5.0
39.50
43.50
2475
19 GM Rotstein Arkadij
2515
5.0
39.00
42.50
2377
20 GM Mareco Sandro
2597
5.0
38.00
42.50
2466
21 FM Bove Alessandro
2368
5.0
36.50
39.00
2375

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