Thursday, September 25, 2014

Pestaño: The Mardi Gras festival of chess

Thursday, September 25, 2014

THERE are all kinds of festivals. Almost every country in the world has one. They are mostly religious, regional, historical and also includes food, wine, music and films. There is even a festival for the dead in Mexico, a major one.
However, the most unique is probably the chess festival in Marostica, Italy, also called the “city of chess.” The town is famous all over the world for the human chess game it carries out on even numbered years, with living chess pieces, in the city public square.
On odd years, the town sponsors an international tournament. Not surprisingly, every resident there plays chess.
For over fifty years, the living chess festival in Marostica, is one of the most important event, a unique opportunity to discover the customs and traditions of an era long forgotten.
It is based on folklore and tradition written by Mario Mirko Vucetich in which Renaldo D’Anganaro and Vieri da Vallanora, fell in love with the beautiful Lionora, daughter of the local lord, Taddeo Parisio. As was the custom at that time, circa 1454, they challenged each other to a duel.
The Lord forbade the encounter as he does not want her daughter to have blood in her hands. Instead he decreed that they play a chess game, as both were well known chess players. The winner would have the hand of Lionora.
The Lord also ordered that the game featured live people dressed as armed men, foot-soldiers and knights with horses, fireworks, street dancing, music and a grand parade.
There is a happy ending in this story as Lionora had a secret love on the winner of this match—Renaldo D’Anganaro.
The reenactment of the living chess match involves more than 500 people in costume for two hours of excitement and entertainment. The orders are still given to the cast today in the local Language (Venetian), not Italian.
There are four performances of the chess match throughout the weekend (one each Friday and Saturday, and two on Sunday). It’s recommended that to buy tickets in advance, as this is a very popular local and international festival and tickets can be hard to come by later on.
Given the impossibility of reproducing the original moves of the human chess game of Marostica in1454, the organizers choose from the best chess games played in the past and select then on the basis of their duration.
This year the festival was celebrated last Sept. 12,13 and 14. Watching the spectacle were more than 4,000 residents and tourists who paid a hefty Euro 30 and 50 for special seats.
World championship.The Men`s World Chess Championship 2014 will be a return match between the current world champion, Magnus Carlsen, and challenger Viswanathan Anand,.
It will be held from Nov. 5 to 25 this year in Sochi, Russia and will consist of 12 games and if necessary, tie-break games.
Prize fund is USD 3 million with 5/8 going to the winner.
The Women`s championship 2014 will be played as a 64-player knockout format originally scheduled from October 11-31 next month. However, FIDE announce today that the Championship will be postponed for a few months. Exact dates will be announced soon when FIDE finalizes all organizing details with potential sponsors interested to hold
this event.
The players were selected from continental chess championships-28 from Europe,12 from Asia,8 from the Americas and 3 from Africa plus 2 presidential nominees. The rest are seeded by rating.
Many players had to deny invitations to other tournaments in order to free time for this tournament without knowing any detail of where it will be held.

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