Third International Chess Festival 'Terre degli Elimi'

by ChessBase
8/23/2012 – The playing venue of this festival is Erice, a beautiful medieval town in Sicily, located about 700 meters above sea level overlooking the Strait of Sicily, with a view of Mount Etna in the distance. Apart from Russian GM Vladimir Epishin, who won the A Group with 6.5/7 points, there were a host of female players who finished in the top ten. Organiser Alessandro Monaco sent us this big illustrated report.

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Third International Chess Festival “Terre degli Elimi”

By Alessandro Monaco

After the successful second edition of last year ended with the victory of the Russian International Master Oleg Spirin and with the participation of many of the best young chess players in Sicily, we start with the usual great desire and passion that makes us overcome every difficulty.

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The playing venue is still Erice, near Trapani, a beautiful medieval town on the Strait of Sicily (Canale di Sicilia). It 'a really wonderful, perfectly suited to host a chess tournament with a climate that, even in midsummer, is temperate and can play without having to suffer the hot or air conditioning annoying.

Erice in western Sicily (Italy) is 15 km away from 'airport "Vincenzo Florio" in Trapani (Ryanair Hub), is a true and proper tourist pearl of Sicily, located about 700 meters above sea level overlooking the sea. From almost every corner you can enjoy breathtaking views and even see Mount Etna in the distance.

To arrive in Erice, can reach Trapani by plane (airport Vincenzo Florio) with daily flights to Fly Meridiana and Ryanair offering connections on offer from leading Italian and European airports at very cheap prices as it can easily be seen on the Ryanair website.

The Festival includes a main tournament Open A, in which all ranked players are eligible, and a Secondary Open Tournament B for players who are unranked. Both were held in the halls of the palace Sales at Erice. The Open A was a seven-round Swiss with time control of 90 '+ 30' to finish the game, while the Open B will consisted of six rounds and two hours per player for the whole game.

The novelty this year were women, all young people, beautifully represented by the youngest ever Italian champion WIM Marina Brunello, the fascinating and very strong Georgian WGM Sopiko Guramishvili (above) and third-ranked at the recent Women Georgian Championships, the WGM Nino Batsiashvili.

The WIM and Italian champion Marina Brunello presented by the organizers
Alessandro Monaco and Salvatore Oddo

The competition, held at Palazzo Sales in Erice, also attended some of the best players of Sicily as Andrea Amato, Alessandro Santagati, Giuseppe Fabiano, Fabrizio Ganci and Girolamo Valguarnera, as well as many young chess players.

The strong Dutch player Elmer Van Veenendaal (Guramishvili vs. Ferrante in the background)

FM Giuseppe Fabiano

One of the revelations of the tournament: Elena D' Eredità

Santagati vs. Grasso and, the background, Ljuba vs. Messina

Players like Sopiko and Nino had time though to visit beautiful places near Erice

Sopiko goes shopping in Corso Vittorio Emanuele, in the center of Trapani

The beautiful gardens of Villa Regina Margherita in Trapani

At the end Vladimir Epishin (above middle) won, as was largely predictable, the third edition of the Festival "Land of the Elimi". The Russian GM lost only half a point in seven rounds.

Excellent female participation: Georgian Sopiko Guramishvili was placed second...

... and IM Tapani Sammalvuo third.

The other foreign player, Batsiashvili Nino, who will play for the Georgian Women's
team in August at the Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, finished fourth.

Surprisingly, Gaetano Grasso, fifth overall, was the first Italian with 5.0 on tiebreaks over Alessandro Santagati

Final Results of the Open A (top ten)

1 GM Epishin Vladimir 2567 6.5 2644
2 IM Guramishvili Sopiko 2400 5.5 2440
3 IM Sammalvuo Tapani 2472 5.5 2374
4 WGM Batsiashvili Nino 2434 5.5 2345
5 CM Grasso Gaetano 2032 5 2174
6 -M Santagati Alessandro 2230 5 2081
7 WF Brunello Marina 2240 4.5 2287
8 -M Amato Andrea 2263 4.5 2192
9 IM Ljubisavljevic Zivojin Z 2246 4.5 2103
10 CM Ferrante Marco 2190 4.5 2125

Very good performance of young Sicilians: Ruggero Milletarì was placed first in the under 2000 and Pietro Savalla second; Elena D'Eredità won the under 1800 with Simon Pietro Spina second; Gianluca Savalla was first in under 1600 and Adriano Todaro second. The award "Enza and Nino", offered by the family Bertino, the best combination chess was won by Master Andrea Amato Palermo. The prizes in books (more than 400 €) were offered by Yuri Garrett Caissa Italy.

Here are the complete the group of winners. The Italian young player Marina Brunello
(squatting left) showed a good performance to rank seventh with 4.5 points.

See you in Erice, on the beautiful island of Sicily (Italy) in 2013!


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