The Curaçao Chess Festival was initiated in 2001 by the Curaçao Chess Players’ Foundation in a new set up for the international chess tournaments that the CCPF had organized since 1993. International grandmasters and masters were invited to come to Curaçao to participate. The first Curaçao Chess Festival was held in the Van der Valk Plaza hotel, in the same hotel where the 1962 candidate tournament was held, which was then part of the Intercontinental hotel chain. Famous grandmasters, such as Bobby Fischer*, Tigran Petrosjan, Michael Tal, Paul Keres and Viktor Kortsnoj played in that memorable tournament for the right to play the world champ (at that time Michael Botvinnik).

Invitations were sent to a number of grandmasters to relive this experience in the same hotel and Caribbean environment. Sponsors were successfully approached to help finance this ambitious endeavor and the result was a splendid tournament with delighted players, sponsors and organizers. The next year, however, differences of view caused a rift in the organizational committee and another chess organization was founded with the same objectives for international chess tournaments. As a result Curaçao counted with two international chess tournaments in 2003 and 2004.

Chess grandmaster Alex Shabalov, who is now a fan of the tournament, observed that usually, conflicts lead to no tournaments at all being realized, but here, to the delight of the chess players, they get two tournaments. Fortunately for all, in 2006 the conflict had ebbed away and harmony was restored. As a result the full organizational resources of Curaçao again work together in sustaining the Curaçao Chess Festival.

The tournaments have attracted an appreciable number of international grandmasters, international masters and national chess champions from the region and internationally to Curaçao. The combination of high quality chess in a tourist resort, together with the Curaçao hospitality has appealed to all the players from within and outside the region. The players bring a world of experience of all nature with them that gives an extra dimension to the tournament.

Round 7 pairings:

1 BERNAL MORO, Luis Javier [5.5] : SWINKELS, Robin [4.5]
2 BENJAMIN, Joel [4.5] : WERLE, Jan [5]
3 CARLSSON, Pontus [4.5] : CHRISTIANSEN, Larry [4.5]
4 FRIDMAN, Daniel [4.5] : ROOSE, Alex [4]
5 ZATONSKIH, Anna [4] : BOHM, Hans [4]

Official website: http://curacaochess.net

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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