- CHESS, TODAY IN ACQUI TERME
THE SENIOR EUROPEANS START:
ALSO AMONG THE 180 PARTICIPANTS
THE “QUEEN OF CHESS”
Nona Gaprindashvili, who inspired the fiction
with Beth Harmon, is among the protagonists of the tournament that
brings together the best European players over 50 in Piedmont
Nine days of competitions, 180 chess players from all over Europe including the true “queen of chess”, and a great desire to have fun and be together. This is the menu of the senior European Championship which opens today in Acqui Terme, in the Palazzetto dello sport, and concludes on 3 June.
In chess, the senior competitions are those reserved for those over 50 years old, and are divided into two categories: Over 50, for those under 65, and Over 65, for those who have exceeded even that threshold. As in all other sports, chess tends to be stronger when young, but unlike in other disciplines, one can remain at the top until old age. As demonstrated, for example, by Viktor Korchnoi, who participated in the Olympics representing Switzerland up to the age of 80, and as will be demonstrated here in Acqui Terme by the former world champion Nona Gaprindashivili, a Georgian who, at the age of 82, will attempt to to be the strongest in its age group.
Gaprindashvili, we recall, is the true “queen of chess”, so much so that she had sued Netflix, producer of the famous show, because her brilliant career, which took place in the same years as the non-existent Beth Harmon, had been completely ignored by producers of the show. The Georgian champion has been in Italy for a week: last Sunday she attended the Napoli-Inter match, invited to the stands by the Napoli forward, her compatriot and great admirer of hers, Kvicha Kvaratskhelia, who then greeted her in a hotel in Naples. Two days later in Bacoli, just above Naples, you took part in a simultaneous.
As we said, this Senior European Championship will have almost 180 competitors: an absolute record for an event of this type, which confirms the great popularity that chess is experiencing in this period not only among young people but in all age groups. Among the over 50 competitors, the most prestigious name is that of another Georgian, Zurab Sturua, world champion in the category. Among the over 65s, the Englishman John Nunn stands out, popular author of several theoretical books, and also both individual and team world champion.
Among the Italians, the Roman, but Milanese by adoption, dreams of success, Fabrizio Bellia, fourth theorist in the ranking, who won the title two years ago, and won last year, together with Michele Godena, Alberto David, Carlos Garcia Palermo and Giulio Borgo, the bronze medal for Italy in the World Team Championships. The strongest Italian among the over 65s is Carlo Luciani from Monfalco. Among the women we also point out Bellia’s wife, Sonia Sirletti, Bloomberg journalist and Italian Champion in 1999.
– a photograph of Nona Gaprindashvili
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