St.Charlie Chess Open ready to start

Codenotti: “Chess is a way to know myself better”

imcfToday marks the start of the St.Charlie Chess Open, a tournament of the Inter-Micronational Chess Federation that will see numerous micronationalists play against each other. The event was organised by Rigas Papadopoulos, President, Tournament Organizer and manager of the IMCF, already active in the national field of sports and culture, who specified that “participation is open and free for everyone”. The game will be held using a “swiss system” of 6 rounds, where every game will be played online and will last for about a week.

The event began on February 10 with an exhibition match and will end on March 23. “This tournament is recognized and sanctioned by the Inter-Micronational Chess Federation. Therefore, games of this tournament will be rated for I.M.C.F. elo rating. -added Rigas- There are currently no prizes, but that may change soon!”

The exhibition match was played days ago between professional chess players Marco Codenotti and Mateus  Kolosowski. They were both interviewed by the Observer days ago while preparing for the exhibition match, where they gave their own personal vision of chess. Let’s see what they came up with.

Chess helps me understand my problems and limits, also from a psychological point of view, and it pushes me to try improving them. Other than a game it’s a challenge and a way to get to know myself better”, says Codenotti, currently the Italian U20 chess champion, who started playing at a very young age: “I played my first official tournament just before becoming 9 years old. From then on I’ve had periods in which I was “serious” about chess in which I would work on chess every day and periods in which I wouldn’t play. […] At the very beginning I wasn’t particularly good at chess, but I was very fascinated by the game though and in about one year and a half I managed to improve a lot.

“In order to become a good chess player you need to have the passion for it. Otherwise, it will only remain a game for you. – says Mateusz, Polish, who started playing chess in school when he was 7 and is currently the 49th best chess player in his country- Chess is a fantastic mixture of sport, science and art: the one who’s more creative wins the game. […] Moreover, you can play chess no matter if you’re 9 or 99 years old. That’s really cool! […] Thanks to my teacher who became my first coach I was a really hardworking kid and soon found myself winning local competitions and qualifing for Polish championships”.

When asked about the hardest game he played, Marco tells us about the match that made him the Italian U20 Champion: “It was a very long game, both of us refused repetition in different moments. Finally I managed to get an advantage with a “gamble” in the crucial moment when we were both low on time and then to convert it in the ending. A very long game, very close in certain moments and it took away a lot of mental and nervous energies“. Mateusz on the other hand is less direct: “I’m pretty sure I had many hard games but it’s rather difficult to recall a particular one. I had quite a few games lasting more than 6 hours. It’s very hard to keep your concentration in such a long game, especially when it’s a team competition. Recently I had a pretty difficult game against GM A. Mastrovasilis in Krakow. I had a winning position but unfortunately I had to escape with a perpetual.”

But although chess can be a strong and tense game, Marco’s advice to young chess players is simple: “Enjoy the game, having as much fun as possible, but avoid using computer engines: focus more on understanding the game and developing a good feeling\instinct for positions. […] Spending time over the board with a book is definitely better than staying in front of the computer screen“.

“I appreciate what the Inter-Micronational Chess Federation and the St.Charlian officials are trying to do and I’m glad for being able support them”, added Marco.

Mateusz is also pretty straightforward: “It’s really worth at least trying to learn to play chess. Even if you don’t become a strong player, it gives lots of satisfaction, helps in great many aspects of life and it’s probably one of those few things in the world which is both healthy and fun at the same time. Just find someone who knows how to play chess, a chess club in your neighbourhood and start. Just try, you’ll love it“.

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