Ex-pats on the back for Peter and Zebedee
Peter Burgoyne reports on an entertaining chess week in Gijon, northern Spain.
Last week myself and Zebedee Jones joined our fellow Hackney players and Asturian residents,FM Ruben Cenal Gutierrez and IM Carlos Suarez Garcia in the 3rd Open International RGCC. The format was 9 rounds spread over seven days, all moves in 90 minutes +30 secs. The venue just outside Gijon was superb, stunning scenery and every day a stunning lunch, three courses, plus either beer or wine, for €9.50.
At 65 I was the oldest competitor and had thoughts of the veterans’ prize until I spotted Bogdan Lalic. In fact in contrast to UK tournaments there were very few veterans among the 120 competitors. The average age was about 30 and I played against five teenagers.
Nearly all the competitors were Spanish, quite a few sporting T-shirts with English writing. I enjoyed spotting ‘Friday’s are Awesome’, ‘I Hate Mondays’ and ‘Mondays are for Fresh Starts’. Next year I want to wear one with ‘ Thursdays are Underestimated’.
I played a charming eleven-year-old who wore a pink T-shirt with ‘Mermaids have more Fun’ notated with a pink pen and was weighed down with twenty bangles. She let me off with a draw after 40 moves. I managed 4/9. Zeb did brilliantly to score 3.5 as he was the lowest rated player. Ruben scored 5 including a draw with a GM and Carlos finished on
6.5. Some GM share the prize money and draws in the last round saw six players finish on seven points. I would have awarded first place to the Russian GM Igor Naumkin as he was the only player to wear a tie.
Many many thanks to Ruben and Ana for their outstanding and indefatigable hospitality.
Also thanks to Francis Chin for coming out for three days to support us with our pre-game preparation.