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International Chess Festival brings 120 players to Portimão

Chess players from all around the world expected in Portimão

Over 120 chess players from 29 countries are taking part in the Portimão International Chess Festival, which will take place between February 11 and 18 at the Portimão Arena.

Organised by the Portugal Chess Academy, the festival will feature two open tournaments, one for standard chess (4-5 hours per game, with each player taking part in nine games) and another for fast chess (nine rounds of games lasting around 30 minutes each).

“Each category counts for the international ranking, allowing Portuguese players, particularly those in the Algarve, to meet players of both sexes and of technical levels that are seldom seen in national events,” the organiser says.

Some top-100 players will be taking part in the event, namely from Armenia and Spain, as well as one of the best Portuguese chess players and the reigning national champion, José Guilherme Santos.

The tournament is also attracting players from all corners of the world, from Cuba, Brazil and Canada all the way to India, China and Australia, as well as other European countries including Bulgaria, Norway, Greece, Germany, Netherlands, Ukraine and Poland.

The Portugal Chess Academy also stresses that half of the players signed up are aged under eight and 20.

Admission is free, meaning anyone will be able to watch the games or play at the chessboards which will be set up outside the venue, which will include a “giant” chessboard.

Events to promote chess among the local population will also be held at Praça Manuel Teixeira Gomes between 10am and 6pm on February 15 and 17 and at Praça da República on February 14 and 16 between 3pm and 6pm and on February 18 from 10am to 12.30pm.

The Portimão Chess Club, which is supporting the event, is also available to help anyone who would like to begin playing chess ([email protected]).

Here’s the full schedule of chess games:

February 11: 4pm to 8pm (round 1)

February 12: 9.30am to 1pm and 4pm to 8pm (rounds 2 and 3)

February 13: 11am to 7pm (Rapid Open)

February 14: 4pm to 8pm (round 4)

February 15: 9.30am to 1p.30pm and 4pm to 8pm (rounds 5 and 6)

February 16: 4pm to 8pm (round 7)

February 17: 4pm to 8pm (round 8)

February 18: 9.30am to 1.30pm (round 9 and main tournament); 2pm/2.30pm (prize-giving ceremony)