Portugal Chess Summer - good beach and nice chess!
If you want something different for your vacation, try Portugal Chess Festival this summer! A number of consecutive tournaments around the country with the emphasis on both chess and familly holidays - heartily recommended!
Portugal Chess Festival (Facebook link here) was recently opened in Caparica, where I was ranked as no 17 out of around 40 participants, including a host of talented youngsters using this 7 round tournament as a warm-up ahead of the national championships.
I am a pretty ordinary 1600+ player, but this was my fourth international tournament. Over the last years my wife (who does not play chess, but enjoys travelling to new places) and I have spent some of our vacation days (we do get a lot of them in Norway, probably why it is one of the happiest countries in the world, despite up to six months of freezing every year) visiting new places where I play chess for some hours a day, and we spend the rest of the day exploring.
I did well in Caparica, making it funnier to write about! My 5th place (5/7) was mainly in jeopardy thanks to our exploring; in round 6 I beat the deadline for showing up by a mere 90 seconds...
The tournament is well organised by Carlos Carneiro (POR 2209), who also speaks good English if your Portugese is like mine - way below passable.
I will not tire the reader with loads of games, but some interesting positions. None more so than this one, where I overlooked a great opportunity and most likely missed my best chance so far in my chess carreer to actually be paired with a GM in the next round:
So, I had to settle for playing on the lower boards until a good finish saw me end 5th, top of the U2000 section with 5/7.
I did get to play NM Victor Morais (POR 1903), who in his prime was close to 2200, and scoffed a good chance of seizing the initative: