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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Quotes, anecdotes from World Senior Chess Championship 2011 in Opatija, Croatia

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

We have a nice haul of snippets, quotes and anecdotes plus photographs from the ongoing World Senior Chess Championship 2011 in Opatija, Croatia sent to us by Adolivio Capece. You can access the official website at this link. Enjoy.

  • Christian Mantero Martinez from Santiago – Chile: It took me more than 20 hours to arrive in Opatija. When I started in my country it was almost summer (23-24 degrees). Here it is almost winter! Moreover I like astronomy (I am only an amateur though) and I noted that the stars in the sky of Opatija and in the sky of Santiago are quite different !
  • Mira and Mathias Kierzek: Mira is playing the World Senior Women's Chess Championship and Mathias is in the open section. They have been married 34 years. Mira was born in Macedonia (her family name is Velevska) and it happened that she went to visit her sister in Fulda (Germany). Mira was a good chess player and decided to visit a local chess club where she met Mathias… and love happened. Now they both live in Fulda (a very important town where they host an annual meet of Bishops - the church kind not the chess ones!). Both agree that Mathias is the stronger chess player among the two. One of his best results was a first place in Dortmund that got him a qualification spot for a round robin GM tournament. Mira has won the women's chess championships in Macedonia - both when it was part of the former Yugoslavia and later when it was a Republic. This is the third senior chess championship they are playing together.
  • Shirchin Battsengel has come all the way from Ulan Bator - the capital of Mongolia - only for the love of chess. That took her just about eight hours but all for chess and she is taking part in the senior women's section. 
And music at the tournament hall.

  • All the way from Australia: (left to right) Slobodan Krstic, Mirko Rujevic, Lachlan Benson. Their trip from Australia to Zagreb last 23 hours! Then the transfer to Opatija (more or less 2 hours). Lachlan Benson lives in Brisbane. He was a junior champion as a 17-year-old. He has visited Europe to play chess before but this is the first time for him in Croatia. Krstic went to school in Rijeka and now lives in Melbourne. Rujevic, born in Serbia, played in Opatija in 1951 and then in 1963 he played the junior championship of Yugoslavia alongside GM Cebalo). He lives in Melbourne and this year he won the Oceania championship.

The Christmas table is already laid at the World Senior Chess Championship, 2011

  • The Brazil connection: There are six players coming from Brazil, of which, two are in the photo. It took them 17 hours to get to Croatia. In the photo you see David Borenzstain and IM Herman van Riemsdijk (who has four points in five rounds). Let's not forget a mention of the arbiters: Chief Vladimir Sakotic, Deputy Eduard Piacun, Marijan Mazuran, Ratko Pitzurika, Bojan Birk and Vinko Franciscovic.

  • Mark Choong – Singapore: is playing in his first senior world chess championship and this is also his first time in Croatia. He travelled 17 hours to get here - 13 by plane and four by train! "But worthwhile truly," he says and he likes the event. 

Emili Simon Padros – Spain (right against Italian G Valenti): Played the world Junior championship in 1965 and has won both the Spanish Junior championship and the Spanish Senior Championship. This is his fourth world senior chess championship. He said he liked the organisation in Opatija. He had also loved it when he ad played in Italy, at Arco di Trento. He says his only regret this time around is that his wife could not accompany him and he had to come alone! 

  • Antonio Rosino – Italy: happens to be the Italian Senior Chess Champion. He has won the title 5 times and has also won the Italian Junior (Under 20) chess championship three times! He says, "This is my sixth Senior World Chess Championship. I have played both the European Senior Chess Championship and the European Team Senior Chess Championship. I am very happy to play in Opatija also because the town reminds me of my family. In fact my grandmother, who was born in Parenzo, came in Opatija for her wedding. Moreover my grandfather was the director of the elementary schools in Istria in 1936 and I remember that he was also a teacher in Albona."
From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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  • At November 23, 2011 at 1:49 PM , Anonymous Volkswagon said...

    my grandad's also playing thanks for the report chess queen alexanra kosteniuk

  • At November 24, 2011 at 4:14 AM , Anonymous Jiu Lin, Beijing said...

    I wish all seniors the best

  • At November 24, 2011 at 8:46 AM , Anonymous Alexis Cochran, New Zealand said...

    nice read

  • At June 1, 2012 at 2:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I am in one of the pictures!! Could not believe it...
    But one correction about the text: there were only 5 players from Brazil, the other brazilian on board was my wife, (LOL), who cannot distinguish a rook from a pawn, but enjoys
    the tournaments (and the trips, of course).
    Borensztajn, from Brazil.


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