Chess and the Beach

  • GM dbojkov
  • | Jul 23, 2011

What can possibly be better than a chess tournament in a nice place with excellent beaches and beautiful sun? With easy access, excellent prize fund, and cheap accommodation?

This is precisely what the Black-sea resort Albena offered to the 274 players from fourty countries who took part in the event. Albena lies in the North-East part of Bulgaria, near Romania and is some fourty kilometers away from the airport of Varna.

At the Olympiad in Khanty Mansiysk, Albena bid to host the Olympiad in 2014. The bid came late, and they lost but Tromsoe (which won) have started their a organization long time ago, and had at least three years of preparation in advance.

Luckily, Albena stayed in the game, and keeps on organizing chess events. For the last two years both the Bulgarian team championships took place here, as well as two opens. The European Youth Championships are also scheduled to be played here, in the middle of September.

I would like to show you some of the most interesting moments in the Open that was played from 25 June to 3 July.

The following combination took place in round seven:

The Moldavian GM escaped with a slight scare; however, a strong colleague of his was not that happy: 
The seventy-two years old Radulov scored a convenient 7/9, by taking one more GM scalp, that of Momchil Nikolov. As a whole the seniors played quite well, and this is something that makes chess such a nice game. Can you for a minute imagine that a man of this age can compete on equal terms say in athletics with his younger opponents?! 
Round eight proved that Grandmasters are also human with this short game:
That same Bulgarian GM Atanas Kolev played a decisive role in the distribution of the prize money:
Had White won, or even drawn this game, he would have claimed the title thanks to his better tie-break criteria (in Bulgaria prizes are usually given in accordance with the placement, and are not shared). Kolev secured a tie for the first place, but was edged out on tie-break by Ivan Cheparinov. Topalov's second took home a juicy part of the prize fund (approximately 6000 euro). 
Here is one of his best efforts:


  • 5 years ago


  • 5 years ago


    Thanks, the games shown were interesting from the openings thru till the endings.

  • 5 years ago


    I am really upset about the new live chess format, it is very shoddy coding/programming. When you try to enlarge the board in your browser it goes all over the place, non of the functions work well. They really should go back to the old format until they can solve these programming problems. And dock the developers wages

  • 5 years ago


    Hope you like Australia as much as you like BulgariaWink

  • 5 years ago


    Hello congratulations to neighboorland Bulgaria for the great  loooking resort!

    I think Albena together  with the  greek Porto  Carras and more  places like that will give a boost to chess  and  touristic competition.

    Not much away there is the resort  Porto Carras in Greece. Annualy it takes place there, at the olympic center, the World Youth Chess Championships. At the same time the parents and adults can play in Porto Carras Chess Open.

    I dont think  the one event is economic against eachother. The more opportunities in the area the better for both!

  • 5 years ago


    Excellent article and great game selections!  Thank you!

    Beautiful place, too, I hope they continue holding tournaments there.

  • 5 years ago

    GM dbojkov

    I like Canada Wink

  • 5 years ago

    NM profofchess

    Hope you liked Canada as much as Bulgaria!

  • 5 years ago


    Cool games.

  • 5 years ago

    GM dbojkov

    @ PUMAPRIDE- It is really good in Bulgaria. There are problems from time to time, like everywhere though. However, if you watch TV the most likely things you will see are negative. Do better ask someone who has been at the tournament.

  • 5 years ago


    The first game is breathtaking, even ending in a draw I've enjoyed it for its hard fight combinations for white.

    Very nice posting, GM dbojkov, I really appreciated it very much.

  • 5 years ago


    Great article. Perhaps I can still play good chess at 68?

  • 5 years ago



    but seriously is in bulgaria the food really ok, on a german tv channel they said the food was pretty bad in restaurants, but maybe it was just show to get viewers.

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