Magistral Casino de Barcelona 2009

10-players round robin on 2-10th November

Magistral Casino de Barcelona logo

On Monday, November 2nd at 15.45 the Chess Tournament Magistral Casino de Barcelona 2009 will take start. This year the Tournament is organised by the Catalonia Chess Federation and sponsored by the Casino of Barcelona (Group Peralada), Barcelona City Hall, Catalonia Sports Council and Hotel Icaria of Barcelona.The Venue of the Tournament is the Casino of Barcelona (Marina Avenue, 19-21), the dates are from November 2nd to 10th, 2009, and the games will start at 16:00 CET.

The following ten internationally recognized Grandmasters will participate in this Round Robin Tournament:

1 GM Omar Almeida (CUB) 2513

2 GM Alexandr Fier (BRA) 2644

3 IM Daniel Alsina (ESP) 2544

4 GM Alexey Dreev (RUS) 2659

5 GM Jordi Magem (ESP) 2553

6 GM Pavel Tregubov (RUS) 2649

7 GM José Manuel López (ESP) 2570

8 GM Marc Narciso (ESP) 2533

9 GM Gadir Guseinov (AZE) 2667

10 GM Ulf Andersson (SWE) 2582

Omar Almeida was born in La Habana, Cuba, in 1981 and was introduced into chess at the age of 6 by his grandfather who was a big amateur. When little Omar won his first Cuban Championship U12 in 1992, he realised that chess was going to be his main interest in life. So far he has achieved many great results, of which most remarkable are: Winner of International Tournaments: Andres Clemente Vazquez (Guines) (2000), Tomas Jimenez (Ciego de Avila 2001), Capablanca in Memoriam (Mixed Group) (1999), Guillermo Garcia in memoriam (2001) Group 1, Open Málaga (2008), Canovelles Closed (2008), Open Badalona (2009), Catalonia Rapid Chess Champion 2009, and finally, Winner of the Catalan Circuit 2009.

Alexandr Hilário Takeda Sakai dos Santos Fier, mostly known to the chess world as Alexandr Fier, is a young strong GM from Brasil, born in Joinville, in 1988. He is the youngest ever Brazilian player in achieving the GM title. In the strong tournament of “Parque de Aguas Claras”, he got one of the best performances in the history of chess, 3120, only comparable to the performance of Bobby Fischer at US Championships.

Alexandr’s best results so far count: World’s U10 Vice-Champion; Several times Pamanerican Champion; Several times Brazilian Champion; Several times Champion of South America U20; XI Open Sants 2009 Champion.

Magistral Casino Fier

Alexandr Fier

Daniel Alsina is a young Catalan chessplayer, with 2 GM norms. He is studying Physics at the University of Barcelona, still having the time to do well in chess. Was Catalonia Champion U12, U14 and U16 and Spanish Champion U18. Juniors Vice – Champion of Catalonia in 2005. Champion of Spain with his Club UGA in 2003, 2004 and 2005; Open International Vila de Sant Boi 2005 Winner. He was 3rd in the Open International de París-Ile de France 2009.

Alexey Dreev of Russia is the Winner of the 2008 Casino Magistral edition, which makes him one of the top favorites. The great Russian earned his well – deserved place among the Super-GMs by breaking the 2700 ELO barrier back in 2003. In 2004 he was the 3rd at the Russian Championships which was won by Kasparov. Dreev has been representing Russia at Chess Olympiads regularly. However, his best International Tournament achievement was in 1995, at Biel, where he obtained +5=8-0.

Among his best results in 2009 there are: 1st place at Paul Keres Memorial (rapid) in Tallinn; 3rd place at Jubilee-Open in Zurich and another 3rd place (with the URAL Club) at 25th European Club Cup held in Ohrid.

Jordi Magem is a strong Catalan GM. In 1981 he won the Catalan Youth Championship. Did very well in 1993 and won both Catalan and Spanish Junior titles. In 2008 he again won the Catalonia Individual Championships. He was also the Winner of Spanish Championship 1990 and Co – Winner in 1986, 1993 and 1997. He also won the Catalan Cup in 2008 with his Club and they managed to enter both Catalan and Spanish highest Leagues.

Pavel Tregubov was born in 1971 in Russia and it was his father who taught him chess when he was 5. Two years later he took him for the first time to a chess club in their home city Krasnodar. During his school years he played mostly for pleasure. Did not really think to become a professional that time. It came later… when he was 20.

Pavel is a GM since 1994 and among his best results there are: European Champion 2000, Russian team Championship winner with “University” Maikop 1999, three times French team Championship winner with “Clichy 92”, Pivdenny Cup winner 2008. He has plenty of memorable games on different stages of his carrier. From his recent games he mentions especially one – against Ponomariov from Odessa Rapid 2008 where he was white. Pavel manages to divide his time between ACP activities and chess. Since 1.01.04 he is an ACP Board Member, was ACP President from 1.01.06 to 31.12.07 and now he is the ACP Board Director since 1.01.08.

Grandmasters José Manuel López and Marc Narciso – two times winner of the Catalan Circuit, are the two strongest professional chessplayers of Catalonia, with great perspectives in the future.

José Manuel studied Statistics at the University, but he is better known to the Catalan Society as the “Super López of Chess”, a nickname which he earned back in 1997 at Spanish Junior Championships, where he came 3rd beating the top Spanish born GM Paco Vallejo in the final round. He is the reigning Catalonia Champion and Vice – Champion of Spain.

Marc Narciso became GM in 2003. In 2006 he represented Spain at Torino Olympiads. The same year he managed to win Open Barberà and Open de Sants. He was also the Winner of the Catalan Circuit in 2006 and 2007. He is the Catalonia Clubs Champion with his Club “Montcada”.

Gadir Guseinov is the highest ranked player of the Tournament which makes him also one of the top favorites. He started playing at 6 and Won his first European Championship U10 in 1994, earning his FM title at the age 8 years + 1 month, being by that time the youngest FM ever. At 13 he was already an IM, at 15 GM. Participated in all European Team Championships and Olympiads since 2002. Won 4 medals in World and Europe Youth Championships. Gadir has won medals on his board at Olympiads, and plenty of number of strong Open Tournaments. Played in World Championship 2004 Tripoli, Libya. Qualified to the World Cup 2009, by sharing 1-12 places in the European Individual Championships in Budva.

Sweden’s Ulf Andersson is well known to the chess world as “The Endgame King”. He has won plenty of games in rook endgames, these normally are extremely long games. He is known as one of the toughest players in the world to defeat, but ironically his best-known game is a loss: a crushing defeat in 30 moves to 18-year-old Garry Kasparov at Tilburg, 1981. After the game he reportedly said, “I will not play against Kasparov any more!” However, in reality they have met in about 20 subsequent chess tournaments, and close to 75% of their games ended in a draw.

Magistral Casino Ulf

Ulf Andersson

At his peak, Andersson reached number four on the FIDE Elo rating list. In recent years, he has begun playing Correspondence chess, quickly becoming a grandmaster in that form of chess as well. In 2002, he reached the top of the correspondence chess rating list. His correspondence games tend to be very tactical, which contrasts sharply with his style of play over the board. Very few players in history have been as successful as Andersson at both forms of chess.

The Tournament reaches category 14 which makes it the strongest tournament in Catalonia, and one of the strongest in Spain. Also it is included in the ACP Tour, as one of the most important events in the Chess World.

There will be live broadcasting of the tournament offered by the Catalonia Chess Federation website and by the Internet Chess Club (ICC).

For more information please visit the FCE website

There will be more activities besides the Tournament, on the 7th and on the 8th of November. Grandmaster Jordi Magem will give a lecture “How To Prepare Your Opening Repertoire”, and Brazil’s Grandmaster Alexandr Fier will offer a Simultaneous Exhibition. Free entry for everyone.

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