International invitation top tournament series in Italy

Comprehensive reviews

Reggio Emilia

Rome (Banco di Roma)

Venice

world-class singulars

REGGIO EMILIA (Torneo di Capodanno) Prequel 1947 and 1951, annually played from 1958/59 to 2011/12

City in northern Italy, which hosted 54 annual international invitation tournaments on initiative of Enrico Paoli.

Five World Champions played: Kasparov, Spassky and Smyslov did not win.

ROME (Banco di Roma) 1976 – 1988, without 1978 and 1987

International invitational tournaments on initiative of Alvise Zichichi, IM, arbiter and organizer, he worked for the Banco di Roma.

Prequel 1964. Two strong Open Festivals followed 1989 & 1990.

VENICE-VENEZIA 1947 – 1974 unregular (eleven major editions)

Famous series of international invitation tournaments.

Three World Champions, Euwe, Smyslov (twice), and Petrosian (as reigning WCC) competed at Venice – but all were not winning!

San Remo 1911 & 1930

San Remo or Sanremo, (Italian pronunciation: [sanˈrɛːmo]; Ligurian: Sanrému, locally Sanrœmu) is a city and commune on the Mediterranean coast of Liguria, in north-western Italy. Founded in Roman times, it has a population of approx. 55,000, and is known as a tourist destination on the Italian Riviera.

It hosts numerous cultural events, such as the famous Sanremo Music Festival and the Milan–San Remo cycling classic.

San Remo also hosted the first international chess tournament, in Italy in the year 1911, organized by Theodor von Scheve.

There was a men and a women tournament:

Hans Fahrni, Switzerland, won unbeaten in a strong field, Miss Kate Belinda Finn won the San Remo Ladies' Tournament 1911. She became the first British Women's Chess Champion in 1904 (and defended her title in 1905).

The first prize was 2.500 francs for Fahrni, and 1.000 francs for Finn respectively. 

San Remo 1911       

Final standings with prize money (in Francs) in brackets:

1. Fahrni 7.5 points (2500)
2. Lowtzky 7.0 points (1500)
3. Forgacs 6.5 points (1000)
4.-5. Kostic (shared 800+600)
4.-5. Przepiorka (shared 800+600)
6.-9. Gunsberg (shared 500+450+400)
6.-9. Reti (shared 500+450+400)
6.-9. Rosselli (shared 500+450+400)
6.-9. von Scheve (shared 500+450+400)
10.-11. de Biase of Fiume and Pinkerton of Bristol

(Other sources have 6.-7. Gunsberg, Reti; 8.-9. Rosselli, von Scheve)

Brilliancy prizes (Francs): Fahrni 100 for his game against von Scheve, Reti 50 for Gunsberg vs Reti, 1911 and Przepiorka and Gunsberg 50 each for their draw Gunsberg vs Przepiorka, 1911

Sources: http://storiascacchi.altervista.org/storiascacchi/tornei/1900-49/1911sanremo.htm, Chessgames, Wikipedia

 

In 1930, from January 16 to February 4, the World Tournament Chess Championship was held in San Remo, that aroused great interest and it still remains after 90 years the biggest chess competition ever organized in Italy! Alekhine won in superlative style.

San Remo 1930

                                     1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6

 1 Alekhine               * 1 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1   14.0

 2 Nimzowitsch         0 * 0 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 1 1   10.5

 3 Rubinstein             0 1 * 0 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 1 0 1 1 1 1   10.0

 4 Bogoljubow           ½ 0 1 * ½ 0 1 ½ 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 1    9.5

 5 Yates                     0 ½ 0 ½ * ½ 1 1 ½ 0 0 1 1 1 1 1    9.0

 6 Ahues                    0 0 ½ 1 ½ * 1 ½ 1 0 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1    8.5

 7 Spielmann             ½ ½ 1 0 0 0 * ½ ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 0    8.0

 8 Vidmar                  0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1    8.0

 9 Maroczy                0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1    7.5

10 Tartakower          0 ½ 0 0 1 1 ½ ½ ½ * 0 0 1 ½ 1 1    7.5

11 Colle                     0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 ½ 1 * 0 ½ 1 0 ½    6.5

12 Kmoch                  0 0 1 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 1 1 * ½ 0 1 1    6.5

13 Araiza                   0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ * ½ ½ 1    4.5

14 Monticelli             0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 ½ * ½ ½    4.0

15 Grau                      0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 0 1 0 ½ ½ * ½    3.5

16 Romi                     0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ *    2.5

Alexansder Alekhine, with an unbelievable score of 14/15 (!), registered one of his greatest triumphs,  out-distancing the rest of the field by a whopping 3½ points (!), unbeaten above 2. Nimzowitsch, 3. Rubinstein, 4. Bogoljubow, etc. Four of the Top Five ranked players (according to chessmetrics) were particpating, but remember, Capablanca was missing, Lasker was inactive then.

Sources: http://storiascacchi.altervista.org/storiascacchi/tornei/1900-49/1930sanremo.htm, Chessgames, Wikipedia

Trieste 1923

Trieste (/trˈɛst/; Italian pronunciation: [triˈɛste]; Slovene: Trst) is a city and a seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of Italian territory lying between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city. It is also located near Croatia some further 30 kilometres south.

Trieste is located at the head of the Gulf of Trieste and throughout history it has been influenced by its location at the crossroads of Latin, Slavic, and Germanic cultures. The metropolitan population of Trieste is approx. 410,000, with the city comprising about 240,000 inhabitants.

Trieste was one of the oldest parts of the Habsburg Monarchy, belonging to it from 1382 until 1918. In the 19th century the monarchy was one of the Great Powers of Europe and Trieste was its most important seaport. As a prosperous seaport in the Mediterranean region, Trieste became the fourth largest city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (after Vienna, Budapest, and Prague). Trieste underwent an economic revival during the 20th century.

Trieste internazionale 1923: 1. Paul Johner, 2. Canal, 3. Yates, 4. Tarrasch

Trieste magistrale 1923: 1. Gastone Daveglia

Trieste principale 1923: 1. Romeo Ferrari & Zdenek Formanek


The Federazione Scacchistica Italiana (FSI) decided to arrange a great International Master Tournament in Trieste, lasting from August 30 to September 11, 1923:

1. P. Johner 9.5 (+9 -1 =1)
2. Canal 8.5 (+6 -0 =5)
3. Yates 7.5 (+7 -3 =1)
4. Tarrasch 7.0 (+5 -2 =4)
5. Rosselli 6.5 (+5 -3 =3)
6.-7. Asztalos 6.0 (+4 -3 =4)
6.-7. Seitz 6.0 (+3 -2 =6)
8. Miliani 4.5 (+3 -5 =3)
9. Chancelliere 4.0 (+2 -5 =4)
10. Vecsey 3.5 (+2 -6 =3)
11. Mariotti 2.0 (+0 -7 =4)
12. Singer 1.0 (+1 -10 =0)

Paul Johner, the winner from Switzerland, lost to Canal and drew Yates, but beat all other players.

Canal was the only player to be unbeaten (+6=5).

Alekhine told Reti that he considers Canal to be the currently greatest living chess talent.

Although veteran Tarrasch's result was disappointing, in some games his play was reminiscent of his heyday.

Rosselli played very well and proved that he deserved the Italian Championship title he won against Mariotti in that year. Furthermore, he achieved winning positions against Vecsey and Miliani, but lost both games.

Asztalos hadn't played in a tournament for five years, so he was out of practice.

Vecsey was a last minute substitution for Marco, who had passed away on August 28, 1923.

Although Leone Singer is known to be a strong player, he ended up last. He organized the whole event (there was also a National Master Tournament and a Main Tournament at the same time) and he even got sick. He lost against Tarrasch, Vecsey and Yates despite reaching winning positions, and also a drawn position against Asztalos.

The Italian Chess Federation announced its intention to arrange an International Chess Master Tournament every two years.
(This did not happen, the ed.)

From pages 249-251 of the October 1923 'Neue Wiener Schachzeitung'

Merano 1924 & 1926

Merano (Italian pronunciation: [meˈraːno]) or Meran (German pronunciation: [merˈaˑn]) is a town and commune in South Tyrol, northern Italy. Generally best known for its spa resorts, it is located within a basin, surrounded by mountains standing up to 3,335 metres (10,942 feet) above sea level. Merano has a mild climate and palm trees grow there.

The town has been a popular place of residence for several scientists, literary people, and artists. It's also a nice spot to have a vacation, I visited Merano together with my father.

Merano hosted two famous international chess tournaments:

Merano 1924: 1. Grünfeld

Merano 1926: 1. Colle

Plus the Candidates Final between Korchnoi and Hübner in 1980/81,
and the World Chess Championship between Karpov and Korchnoi in 1981, the only title match to be held in Italy so far.

*** 

It appears that no contemporary tournament book ever appeared for either congress. In our time, A.J. Gillam, The Chess Player, produced a 56-page booklet Meran 1924 in 1998 and the same in 51 pages on Meran 1926 in 1996. K. Whyld produced a limited edition of Meran Dec 1926 in 1954.

But now, Luca D’Ambrosio worked eight years on producing a tournament book covering the two events. His object was to rescue the games and theory from oblivion, to recall the golden age of chess at international spas and the South Tyrol chess scene, in particular.

Die internationalen Schachturniere zu Meran 1924 und 1926: It is a big book, 500 pages and weighs 2.2 kg. Only 330 copies have been printed (written in german language). The cost is substantial – 78 euro and then there is the expense of getting it to your country by registered airmail.

It has good group photos, caricatures, line drawings, documents, larger diagrams and every game he could find, annotated. It is a gorgeous book, interesting and an investment.


Meran 1924 (February)


1. Ernst Grünfeld 10.5/13
2. Rudolf Spielmann 8.5/13
3. Akiba Rubinstein 8.0/13
4. Dawid Przepiorka 7.5/13
5. Aleksej Selesnieff 7.5/13
6. Alexander Takacs 7.0/13
7. Edgard Colle 6.5/13
8. Karel Opocensky 6.5/13
9. Lajos Steiner 6.5/13
10. Siegbert Tarrasch 6.0/13
11. George Koltanowski 5.0/13
12. Gyula Patay von Baj 4.5/13
13. Stefano Rosselli del Turco 4.5/13
14. Luigi Miliani 2.5/13


Meran 1926 (December)

1. Edgard Colle 9.0/13
2. Esteban Canal 8.5/13
3. Dawid Przepiorka 8.5/13
4. Boris Kostic 8.0/13
5. Frederick Yates 8.0/13
6. Ernst Grünfeld 7.5/13
7. Savielly Tartakower 7.5/13
8. Stefano Rosselli del Turco 5.0/13
9. Henry Grob 4.5/13
10. Gyula Patay von Baj 4.5/13
11. Antonio Sacconi 4.5/13
12. Benno Alimonda de Mannentreu 4.0/13
13. Remo Calapso 3.0/13


A glance at the names of the contestants will show how many are involved in opening theory: the Colle System, the Grunfeld Defense, Grob’s Angriff, the Tarrasch Defense, Rubinstein variations in the French and Nimzo-Indian.

Of course, there is also the Meran Variation in the Semi-Slav. Although known earlier than 1924, it has taken its name from the game Grunfeld-Rubinstein from Meran 1924. There is a whole chapter on the variant and almost seven double-column pages devoted to the game itself, played on the 6th of February 1924, in the third round.

______________
Actually, a fairly large essay could be written about Meran and chess.

You’ll recall that Korchnoi and Hübner played together in the final of the 1980 Candidates in Meran. Hübner resigned the match prematurely with games 9 and 10 adjourned.

Korchnoi, then aged of 50, still ranked as no. 2 of the world with (2695 Elo in 1981/II, half year list) once again earned the right to play Anatoly Karpov, aged 30, no. 1 of the world (2700 Elo) for the title. The match was held in Meran in autumn 1981. The format was identical to the 1978 match the first player to achieve 6 wins (draws not counting) became world champion.

Korchnoi’s wife and son were still in the Soviet Union, his son Igor sentenced to a labor camp. Korchnoi fought for their freedom and his continuing effort likely led to his dismal performance against Karpov.

The match was supposed to start on September 19th, but because of Korchnoi's insistence that he would not play unless his family was released, Fridrik Olafsson, Iceland, president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), made a unilateral decision to delay the match for a month. Perhaps in the name of human rights the Soviet Government would release the family. The Soviet officials were outraged. Early in August, at a meeting of the International Chess Federation in Atlanta, they made a great protest, after which it was decided that the "official" date would return to September 19th. But since Merano was not yet ready, actual play would start October 1st.

In spite of the protests, Korchnoi's son was arrested for evading army service, sentenced to two and half years in labor camp, and served the full sentence.

The match took place between October 1st and November 19th, 1981. The purse was 800,000 Swiss Francs. After 18 games, with 6 to 2 wins and 10 draws (11:7 points), Anatoly Karpov successfully defended his title.


Wikipedia says, “The first act of the musical CHESS also has a world chess championship match set in Meran, and features a song entitled "Merano", which includes the line, "rosy-cheeked Merano, flourishing to a fault".

Schachweltmeisterschaft 1981, Wikipedia (german edition)

Cold War in the World of Chess, Harold Schonberg, New York Times Sept. 27, 1981

http://www.arciscacchi.it/Sito01/Feedback.pdf, About the book by Lucca d'Ambrosio

https://forum.chesstalk.com/forum/chesstalk-canada-s-chess-discussion-board-go-to-www-strategygames-ca-for-your-chess-needs/11884-the-1924-and-1926-meran-tournaments, Blog by Wayne Komer, Toronto, Canada

Milano 1933, 1938, 1953; 1975

Milano 1933: 1. Lilienthal, 2. Ored Karlin

Milano 1938: 1.-2. Eliskases & Monticelli

Milano 1953: 1.-2. Primavera & Santasiere

Milano 1975: 1. Karpov, 2. Portisch (who won the round robin, but lost the final)

Twelve players were invited, Karpov, Petrosian, and Tal from the USSR, including Sergio Mariotti, the first Italian Grandmaster, from the hosting nation.

In addition to a round robin all-play-all format, a series of semi-final and final matches among the top four finishers were devised to follow the tournament. This would turn out to be a blessing for the Soviet grandmasters as the final of the tournament proper saw Portisch finish clear first.

While Portisch dispatched Ljubojevic in their semi-final match with 2.5-1.5, Karpov and Petrosian drew their semi-final 2-2 (four draws), allowing the higher rated world champion a shot at the tournament leader in the finals match for first place. Karpov only managed to win one game, but it was enough to put him over the edge and win the entire event as clear first ahead of Portisch. (Quotation from Chessgames)

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1016990, compiled by Peter Alfred Fontaine.

Torino 1982 & 1983

Torino 1982: 1.-2. Andersson & Karpov, 3.-4. Portisch, Ljubojevic, 5. Spassky, 6. Kavalek

The so-called World Master Tournament was held in Torino (Turin), Italy in 1982. Korchnoi still boycotted. Seven, an odd-number, of the world's top players, including the reigning World Champion, competed in the double round robin event.

The participants were Anatoli Karpov, Ulf Andersson, Boris Spassky, Robert Hübner, Ljubomir Ljubojevic, Lajos Portisch, and Lubomir Kavalek. Prominently missing was Viktor Korchnoi who had still been boycotted. Unfortunately, due to illness, Hübner was forced to withdraw after the seventh round, and his schedule was expunged from the second cycle of games. Andersson shared first place with Karpov at 6/11 each, with Andersson having gone undefeated.

Torino 1983, minor: 1. Ivkov (ten players)

Montecatini Terme 2000

Montecatini 2000: 1. Ivanchuk

The international chess festival held at Montecatini Terme, Italy from July 28th to August 6th, 2000 was divided among several events, including a main GM tournament and an open tournament.

Eight grandmasters participated in a single round robin, including (in order of Elo): Alexey Shirov (2746), Vassily Ivanchuk (2719), Evgeny Bareev (2702), Zurab Azmaiparashvili (2673), Sergei Rublevsky (2670), Jeroen Piket (2649), Smbat Lputian (2598), and Artashes Minasian (2595). 

Another impressive performance by Ivanchuk, he finished with +3 at the final and was the only player to go undefeated. Bareev finished sole second.

Other international invitation tournaments in Italy of minor strength

Bari 1970 (1. Janosevic)

Bari 1972 (1. Lengyel)

 

Madonna di Campiglio 1972, national (1. Tatai)

Madonna die Campiglio 1973 (1. Jansa)

Madonna di Campiglio 1974 (1. Sax)


Cirella di Diamante 1976/77 (1. Jansa)


Nuoro 1984 (1.-2. Rogers, Arlandi)

Plus some Zonal tournaments (eg. Caorle)

Compare as well for the mentioned series!

San Benedetto del Tronto (minor series)

Among the winners were Robatsch (on tie-break) & Kottnauer (1953), Barcza (1957), Karaklajic (1958),  Portisch (1960), Stanimir Nikolic (1961), Damjanovic (1966), Cebalo (1969, swiss system), Mariotti (1970, swiss system), Van Wely (on tie-break) & Kosten (1991, swiss system).

The series started as a closed contest, later switching to an open tournament:

http://www.torneionline.com/loto_albi.php?path=albi/06_Grandi_Tornei_e_Festival/&link=90_San_Benedetto_del_Tronto.htm

Note

If a pdf will be updated, then it changes its URL, that's why these tournament series above should be better linked under the general address (Reggio, Rome, Venice) or directly downloaded as pdf.

Free to copy. Please cite the source © Chessdiagonals, Switzerland

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