Italian Open

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Italian Open

Postby john reade on Fri May 12, 2017 11:33 am

Any news from the Italian Open?
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Re: Italian Open

Postby John Acker on Fri May 12, 2017 5:19 pm

Gianfranco Borghetti sent these results:

Round 1

Michele Borghetti 4 Alona Maksymova 0
Valery Grebenkin 3 Igor Martynov 1
Matteo Bernini 4 Davide Zhou 0
Claudio Ciampi 3 Elia Cantatore 1
Donald Oliphant 3 Luigi Bruni 1
Nadiya Chyzhevska 3 Davide Tamborin 1

Round 2

Borghetti 2 Bernini 2
Martynov 4 Bruni 0
Ciampi 3 Chyzhevska 1
Oliphant 3 Grebenkin 1
Maksymova 3 Zhou 1
Cantatore 2 Tamborin 2

Round 3

Borghetti 3 Ciampi 1
Martynov 3 Chyzhevska 1
Bernini 4 Oliphant 0
Makysmova 4 Grebenkin 0
Zhou 2 Cantatore 2
Bruni 2 Tamborin 2

Standings after R3:

Bernini 10
Borghetti 9
Martynov 8
Ciampi & Maksymova 7
Oliphant 6
Chyzhevska, Cantatore, & Tamborin 5
Grebenkin 4
Zhou & Bruni 3
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Re: Italian Open

Postby john reade on Sat May 13, 2017 1:38 am

Thanks John!
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Re: Italian Open

Postby John Acker on Sat May 13, 2017 11:13 am

Round 4

Borghetti 4 Oliphant 0
Bernini 3 Martynov 1
Ciampi 4 Maksymova 0
Chyzhevska 3 Cantatore 1
Grebenkin 4 Tamburin 0
Zhou 3 Bruni 1

Round 5

Borghetti 3 Martynov 1
Bernini 2 Ciampi 2
Oliphant 2 Maksymova 2
Chyzhevska 2 Grebenkin 2
Zhou 3 Tamburin 1
Cantatore 3 Bruni 1

Round 6 Pairings

Borghetti vs. Chyzhevska
Martynov vs. Cantatore
Bernini vs. Grebenkin
Ciampi vs. Zhou
Oliphant vs. Tamburin
Maksymova vs. Bruni
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Re: Italian Open

Postby Ingo_Zachos on Sat May 13, 2017 12:08 pm

1. Borghetti 16
2. Bernini 15
3. Ciampi 13
4. -6. Martynov, Chyzevska, Gerebenkin 10
7.-9. Maksymova, Zou, Cantatore 9
10. Oliphant 8
11. Tamborin 6
12. Bruni 5
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Re: Italian Open

Postby John Acker on Sat May 13, 2017 2:12 pm

Borghetti and Bernini finished first and second, respectively. Congratulations! I hope to have the full results available soon.
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Re: Italian Open

Postby John Acker on Sat May 13, 2017 3:56 pm

Round 6

Borghetti 4 Chyzhevska 0
Martynov 3 Cantatore 1
Bernini 2 Grebenkin 2
Ciampi 3 Zhou 1
Oliphant 4 Tamburin 0
Maksymova 2 Bruni 2

Final Standings

1. Michele Borghetti 20
2. Matteo Bernini 17
3. Claudio Ciampi 16
4. Igor Martynov 13
5-6. Donald Oliphant & Valery Grebenkin 12
7. Alona Maksymova 11
8-10. Nadiya Chyzhevska, Davide Zhou, & Elia Cantatore 10
11. Luigi Bruni 7
12. Davide Tamburin 6
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Re: Italian Open

Postby Igor on Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:17 am

Checkers European Championship 2017
(my adventures on 64-board and around it)

This year is special for me, I have reached the pure Draughts ages – 64, therefore I wanted to spend it also somehow on something special. I don‘t play Draughts-100 as I am not sure of living up to 100. However, this year the challenge of a World crown was out for me for financial reasons since it had been decided to hold the main competition of the year - the World Qualifier - in America. I would have to go there at my own expense. Unfortunately, there is no support for Checkers players in Germany at all, and to count on winning the prize money so as to cover all costs I really could not. So the new idea came to my mind – why not to try to play Turkish Draughts as well?! There are 3 main versions of Draughts on the 64-square-board which most Draughts fans are playing: 1. Russian-Brazilian, 2. English-American (Checkers) and 3. Turkish Draughts. They are played according to the name in 1. Russian-speaking countries and Brazil, 2. English-speaking, as well as in 3. Turkey and the countries of the Middle East. I´ve played Russian Draughts and Checkers already. I did not catch any special stars from the sky, nevertheless I was very close to getting the GM title in both those kinds of Draughts. I have a tourist approach to Draughts and most of all I was intrigued by the idea of discovering another new region. I studied the rules of theTurkish Draughts. They appeared to be quite different from „normal Draughts“, since they play on all squares: both black and white and move not diagonally but horizontally and vertically. It is very unusual but I liked this game and decided to learn it in more detail. Why not? I don't feel old myself, I am still competent (especially if I lean against a wall in a warm place), there is still powder in the flasks! I made contact with the Turkish Draughts Federation. They showed an interest in a German representative and after a while I got an extremely tempting offer – a tournament in Kuwait, and the organizers would take over all the expenses for the trip – flight, accomodation and food! Of course, I did not want to miss such a chance, I agreed at once and started to engage in this game more seriously.

However, a little later new information came which gave me a tough choice. In the small town of Grosseto in Toscana the Italian Open in Checkers was to be held, the tournament had also the status of the European Championship. From the results of the last year competitions I received a personal invitation as the best non-Italian European with free accomodation at the Wellness Park Hotel[i] „Fattoria la Principina“. But by Sod‘s Law, the beginning of the tournament coincided exactly with the competition in Kuwait. Paris was worth a mass to the Huguenot leader Henry of Navarre in the 16th century and 5 centuries later I decided to sacrifice Checkers for Kuwait, especially since I had already given my consent to participate in their tournament and it was untenable to change my mind. With regret I informed the Italian Draughts Federation that I declined the invitation to their tournament. Kuwait is an exotic country and I couldn’t get there except of by means of Turkish Draughts. I abandoned my Checkers and concentrated only with Turkish Draughts.

Time passed, but the promised flight tickets did not come. I sent a request and got an answer: „Don't worry, everything is OK, wait!“ I waited, continued to train, played easy games on the Internet, solved the problems and began gradually to get a taste for and to understand something of their game.

However, only one (!!!) week prior to the tournament a new message broke out like a bolt from the blue that in connection with the upcoming month of Ramadan the competition in Kuwait was postponed from May to September, because this is a very important holiday for Muslims. I knew about Ramadan that it is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar in which Muslims fast during the daytime from dawn to dusk and that it moves every year 10-11 day forward. But did the organizers know about it in advance?! The East is a delicate matter, nethertheless there was nothing to be done, he who pays the piper calls the tune! I had urgently to backpedal. I did not want to miss the Italian trip as well and sent there a joyful message that I would come to the European Championship. My destiny was to remain in Checkers!

"In vain you changed a pricker for a soap!" (Russian expression) - my friend Mike Shabshai wrote to me jokingly. But I didn't change, I wanted to have both! However, I was completely knocked out of my rut, it is incredibly difficult to rebuild in just a week. These are quite different games with various principles and strategy. Turkish Draughts are tactics and break-through to kingsrow. The shots in Turkish Draughts are more frequent and complicated even than in Draughts-100 because they have more playing squares – 64, but they have almost no positional methods. It is impossible either to surround, or to crush with center, because either side can always just wait and go back and forth horizontally. Strangely, but it is enough for high effectiveness – over 90%. Draw-death doesn't threaten them. Therefore Turkish Draughts are more spectacular for observers: shots always look more spectacular and understandable than positional techniques.

Not so many players came to the European Championship in Grosseto – only 12 people from 4 countries – Italy, Ukraine, Scotland and Germany. All participants: men, women and juniors played in the same tournament but with the separate offset 6 rounds on Swiss system. As expected, the traditionally strong Italian team even in the absence of its second World ranked Sergio Scarpetta won all prize medals among the men. The current World Champion in all versions Michele Borghetti did not leave his rivals any chances and confidently with a large margin became the Champion of Europe. Only young star Matteo Bernini, who won a silver medal managed to draw his match with him as well as not to lose any game. The bronze medal and the place on the pedestal went to Claudio Ciampi, also a very strong player. In my first game with Ukrainian player Valery Grebenkin I dropped a flag in an easily winning technical end-game 4 Kings against 2 Kings and 2 pieces. For each move 10 additional seconds were given but at the same time the players had to write them down and I got so confused with notation (Russian and Turkish Draughts differ in notation) that I lost track of the time. After such an early failure I could not participate in a fight for the prize places any longer, further I did not do anything outstanding, I also lost to the two first Italians and the 4th place was already the limit of my dreams and quite a good result in this situation. After all I achieved the main goal – I became the best non-Italian player. Who knows, maybe it will be useful for me next year. The following places were taken: 5. Donald Oliphant (Scotland) and 6. Valery Grebenkin from Ukraine – wellknown Grandmaster in Russian Draughts.

A persistent struggle for the European title among women was fought up to the last game between two Ukrainian players Nadiya Chyzhevska and Alona Maksimova. Their personal meeting finished in favor of Nadiya 3 – 1. However, in this confrontation a double victory of Alona over her husband Valery was decisive and she became the Champion. Nadiya got the silver. It is interesting that if my wife had came with me and participated in the tournament, she would have shown a better result among women than I did among the men and she would have got the prize-winning third place. It is funny and sad that in the European Championship only two women took part …

All three participating juniors received medals. No one was left out! Places were distributed as follows: 1. Elia Cantatore, 2. Davide Zhou, 3. Davide Tamborin.

In front Chyzhevska - Tamborin

Ciampi - Cantatore

Martynov - Grebenkin

A curious judicial incident occurred in my play with Nadiya Chyzhevska. After the first game which I won and before the second one we found out that we had incorrectly played the 3-move opening and instead of 1.9-13 23-19 2.6-9 we played: 1.9-14 23-19 2.6-9. The matter is that in English „thirteen“ and „fourteen“ sound very similar and I heard wrongly but Nadiya and the judge did not check the opening. Nadiya protested. At first the referee said that the game was over and its result was counted. Then he changed his mind to the exact opposite – to cancel the result and to replay the game on the ground that there was no such opening in the list. But now I protested since our opening appears in another edition, namely: 1.10-14 23-19 2.6-10. So it was necessary to call a judicial council which decided to count the result of the first game and in the second one to play the correct opening which we had chosen.

The European Checkers Championship in Grosseto was not the most important event of the year in the Draughts life of Italy. A much more significant event was the final of the School games which took place at the same time at the same place. That was a really Great and Grandiose event that attracted the interest of the press and television of Italy. Previously the competitions were held throughout the country in Italian and Draughts-100 in various age groups. They were attended by 50 thousand children and only in the final there participated 300 school students! The Mayor of Grosseto Anton Franc Vivarelli Colona festively opened the competitions. The struggle between children from different regions of the country was conducted very hard and hazardously. In breaks between rounds the leading Italian players Daniele Bertè, Claudio Ciampi, Daniele Macali, Roberto Tovagliaro and Marco Capaccioli gave sessions of simultaneous games and practical lessons. Children also actively played football, volleyball, table tennis and swam in a pool. The competitions turned into a real youth sports festival!

First move

National anthem is playing

Before fight


Session of the simultaneous game by Claudio Ciampi

Daniele Berte

Practical lesson by Roberto Tovagliaro

The closing ceremony of all tournaments passed very nicely and emocionally. At the beginning the priest read a solemn prayer, then the representatives of the city authorities and sport committee made their speeches, after that the orchestra under the leadership of professor Gloria Mazzi played the national anthem of Italy and all participants with hand on their heart, sang quietly along. To conclude, the winners were rewarded of the. First, the winner of the photo contest „Between Kings and pieces“ Cinzia Minerdo was awarded for the work „Dreams of Glory“. Then the participants of the European Checkers Championat got their awards, I was also handed a „wooden“ commemotive medal. In our honor the orchestra played "Habanera" from Bizet's opera "Carmen". Afterwards the school students were awarded as well. After the prize-giving I witnessed the game "in blind" between the master Daniele Macali and the main sponsor of the competitions, the general director of the bank "Theme" Fabio Becherini.

Awarding of the participants of the European Checkers Championship 2017

The Winners

The youngest Winners

Blind game: Fabio Becherini - Daniele Macali

Really a lot is done for the Draughts in Italy. The president of FID – Italian Draughts Federation Carlo Bordini has close contacts and support from the National Olympic Committee of Italy – CONI. For the popularization and promoting of Draughts they started to release the sportwear with symbolics of FID and launched a wide campaign against a so called game-mania. In Italy it has long been understood what a hidden danger lurks in it. Tablets, smart- and i-phones have firmly entered into our life and have gradually become a natural part of it. It is already impossible to imagine our life without these modern means of communication now. However, the excessive infatuation with them leads to the opposite effect – it develops agression, zombies, disturbs a sleep and people, especially children, lose touch with a real life and become literally slaves of their own toys. Life and a dynamic game of Draughts with not a virtual but with a rival, sitting directly opposite is very suitable for a fight against this negative phenomenon. The World Champion Michele Borghetti told me that he works on a project now whose main goal is radically to change the attitude to Draughts, to force people to respect them just like any other sport, that Draughts are not some simple child's game but Draughts are difficult and if somebody wants to play well, one must train a lot and seriously. He considers that trainings should be paid for – though not too expensively - that parents should send their children to Draughts sections consciously but not in order to occupy the child with something and then go to shopping themselves. Michele still has the support of many famous and popular people in Italy from the field of Sport, Art and from the government.

On the way to Grosseto and back I spent a few days In Rome. I always plan my routes so as to see as much as possible of interest on the way. If you refuse excess comfort, then you can travel at low cost. It was not my first time in Rome and observed it with my mouth closed (more calmly). For one day I hired a bicycle and rode around the Capital. The eternal city is infinitely diverse and beautiful. This time I did not photographed much, I just wanted to wander the streets and to observe other people, how they take pictures of themselves against the background of sights. I really liked how one guide said at the end of his excursion: “And now, dear tourists, just walk and enjoy the atmosphere of the city and if you get lost, then don’t worry, these will be the most interesting moments of your life.”


Only a couple of days passed after I returned from Italy but the next tournament waited for me already – the Checkers German Open in Korbach, a small pretty town of the state Hesse, located in the middle of Germany. Again I had luck defending my title and became a Champion, I can’t even remember how many times so far – eight or nine; this time with difficulty, losing one game and only thanks to a victory in the last round I managed to win the tournament. The second and third places were taken by Thomas Jürgens and Jan Zioltkowski - both from Korbach, Ingo Zachos from Dortmund won the fourth place, and Yuri Geisenblas from Hannover - the fifth.

The participants of the German Open 2017

Two tournaments in a row completely exhausted me so that I couldn’t watch either English or Turkish Draughts any more. Therefore, for a ventilation of the brain, I went with the German cycling club ADFC to Holland by bicycle with a tent. Holland is the country where bikes and Draughts are very popular. Here I could also get accustomed to living but in this case I should play Draughts-100 and to live up to hundred. 300 kilometers in 4 days on picturesque roads of Germany and Holland - the fascinating journey full of amusing road adventures, and also romantically spending nights in a tent under the moon restored me and removed all Draughts from my head. However, that's another story!


Our camp

Breakfast on the grass


Fine drink - jouce and mineral water

On the way

I am glad that in my 64 years of Draughts I can set myself new interesting goals and directly participate in sports events, and not only to look at others, lying on a couch near the TV…

In conclusion I’d like to present you one small fragment from my game which allowed me to win the German Open 2017:

Martynov - Crucius

It seems that White easily wins at once: 1. … 31-26, however, it misses a win due to an unexpected sacrifice: 2. 21-25 30x21 3.10-14 23-19 4.15x24 26-23 5.24-27 22-18 6.27-31 22x9 7.11-15 - taking a piece 23, black will get a draw. Fortunately, I saw it already in advance and have chosen the correct plan.

1. … 23-18 (A) 2.13-17 2.22x13 3.15x22 13-9 (B)

A) Now it is impossible. 2.15-19 because of a simple: 2. … 18-14 – x.
B) White has an easy win, since they either take one of the 10 and 11 pieces or they lock the King on 29.
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