Cappelle. (Photo Chessbase.com)

Back from Cappelle

Back from Cappelle La Grande I am very pleased I could fulfill an old wish and must compliment Monsieur Michel Gouvart, his son Stephan Gouvart, the chief arbiter Mannuel Veriniac and their enthusiastic teams of volunteers, for the superb organization smoothly run of one of the worlds biggest and colourful chess events. I believe that a decisive majority of the 564 participants were happy with their participation in Cappelle even if naturally not always with their own results. This tournament and many other French opens may provide the main explanation to the amazing number of local talents in the last 3 decades compared to the older times when the only French GM was…Boris Spassky!

I also enjoyed spending a lovely time with the best younger Israeli players, especially impressed by the achievement of GM Maxim Rodshtein who eventually shared the top honours unbeaten with 7/9. In the last 3 rounds I personally managed to diminish to the minimum the damage of my three earlier losses to the stronger opponents (one after a shameful blunder in a winning position). Resuming various old ties has evoked the appetite for more of the same and I hope to come back to the French scene anytime soon.

Full results, statistics and photos may be found on the official website:
http://www.cappelle-chess.fr/en2/default.php
More impressions and games:
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=8891
and here:
http://www.chessvibes.com/reports/sjugirov-first-on-tie-break-in-cappelle-la-grande

Leaving the Central station in Amsterdam, following a seven hours trip, heading to my home seemed the most natural thing to do, however my chess player's legs carried me and my large suitcase across the street to Café Batavia where the fourth round of the fifth edition of the house grandmaster tournament was just starting. My old friend Israeli GM Alon Greenfeld is playing there (and even was leading the field until I showed up there…), alongside with young Dutch talents and several European guests. Playing a serious tournament in a busy Café is special and I had really enjoyed taking part in the first 3 editions of this event when it was still a master tournament. Peter Tames, the owner of the café, you have guessed correctly, is a true chess enthusiast and the popular café also regularly hosts the home games of two Amsterdam teams in the Dutch competition. You may watch the games of the tournament live and enjoy
http://batavia1920.nl/chess/photos the fascinating photos of Bas Beekhuizen.

My upcoming weekend: training sessions in Utrecht and team matches with my Dutch team of Wageningen (Saturday) and my German team of Castrop-Rauxel (Sunday) before leaving next week to my native country in the Middle East for a couple of weeks. I often miss my native city of Tel-Aviv. After all I had spent there most of my first 48 years. Good friends take care of keeping me informed. Look here for a new reminder I have just received (no chess involved for a change):
www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=QNppCfa_oRs&vq=large#t=http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=QNppCfa_oRs&vq=large%23t=1111

Meanwhile I was pleased to see two of my favorite miniatures offered for solving on the popular website of the leading Czech organizer Pavel Matocha.
www.praguechess.cz/index.php?modul=&akce=&orderby=1917&strankovani=0&zobrazeni=ano&langue=cs  
You are invited to give it a try too. Solutions- next week.

Posted: March 4 -2013.

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