COVID-19 At Spanish Championships
Andres Merario Alarcon vs. Alexei Shirov at the Spanish Championship. Photo: Patricia Claros/FEDA.

COVID-19 At Spanish Championships

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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37 | Chess Event Coverage

Two players who intended to participate in the Spanish championships have tested positive for the coronavirus. They are part of a group of seven who have been quarantined. Thus far, the Spanish Chess Federation has not canceled the championships.

According to a communique from the Spanish Chess Federation published on Wednesday, it all started with the Spanish Team Championship that was held August 24-28 in Linares, Spain. Two participants of that event tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Contact research showed that for the individual championships (general and for women), which started right after on August 31 and in the same playing hall in Linares, seven players who intended to play had been in close contact with the two patients.

Those seven participants were immediately put into quarantine in their hotel rooms, were tested for the virus, were not paired for the first round, and "never entered the playing hall," as the Spanish Chess Federation emphasized.

Two of the seven have tested positive as well. For these two, contact research was immediately initiated, and 12 people were determined to have been in close contact with them and have also been confined to their hotel rooms. Although none of them currently have symptoms, they will continue to be tested and must remain in quarantine.

Spanish Championship coronavirus COVID-19 David Anton
GM David Anton starting his game in the first round. Measures against the coronavirus include social distancing, regular hand washing, regular sanitation of board and pieces, and mandatory face masks. Photo: Patricia Claros/FEDA.

Saying it is in permanent contact with health authorities, the Spanish Chess Federation decided to go on with the championships, claiming the risks are still limited: "In short, the current situation is two positive cases, who at no time have been in the playing hall. The total of close contacts has been 19, out of 146 participants."

Meanwhile, participants describe the situation as "awkward," and several have decided to leave the tournament. One player stated on Facebook that it was a "hard decision" that he had to make, even though he "trusted the federation's protocol and the organization of the tournament."

According to FM Mario Gavilan Diaz, a translator for Chess.com and a participant in the tournament, rumors of new cases led more people to withdraw from the tournament which resulted in several forfeits. The round-three results show eight games ending in a forfeit and 13 players not being paired.

Standings after round 3

# Seed Fed Title Name Pts BucT BucM Mwns FIDE
1 5 GM Santos Latasa, Jaime 3.0 6.0 2.0 3 2575
2 13 GM Alsina Leal, Daniel 3.0 4.5 1.5 3 2484
3 4 GM Salgado Lopez, Ivan 3.0 5.5 2.0 3 2584
4 9 IM Espinosa Aranda, Angel 3.0 5.0 1.5 3 2506
5 33 FM Remolar Gallen, Jose 3.0 4.0 1.0 3 2346
6 19 IM Moreno Ruiz, Javier 3.0 4.5 1.5 3 2437
7 29 IM Ayats Llobera, Gerard 3.0 4.5 1.5 3 2376
8 35 FM Martinez Fernandez, Adrian 3.0 2.5 0.5 3 2332
9 3 GM Perez Candelario, Manuel 2.5 4.5 1.5 2 2612
10 10 GM Del Rio De Angelis, Salvador G. 2.5 5.5 1.5 2 2503
11 1 GM Anton Guijarro, David 2.5 5.0 1.5 2 2688
12 77 Aguado Doncel, Pablo Luis 2.5 5.0 1.5 2 2105
13 15 IM Gines Esteo, Pedro Antonio 2.5 4.5 1.5 2 2454
14 2 GM Shirov, Alexei 2.5 4.0 1.0 2 2647
15 21 IM Argandona Riveiro, Inigo 2.5 5.0 1.5 2 2424
16 25 IM Merario Alarcon, Andres 2.5 5.5 1.5 2 2395
17 17 IM Plazuelo Pascual, Juan 2.5 5.5 2.0 2 2448
18 44 FM Ortin Blanco, Inigo 2.5 3.5 1.5 2 2252
19 34 FM Garrido Outon, Alex 2.5 4.5 1.5 2 2339
20 31 FM Domingo Nunez, Ruben 2.5 4.5 1.5 2 2367

(Full standings here.)

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