Δευτέρα, 2 Μαρτίου 2015

Vardaris is blowing, a small travelogue...

Vardaris is blowing, a small travelogue...
The 1st International “Vardaris” Chess Tournament started on Friday, 22nd of February, with the usual delay (less than half an hour) that unfortunately occurs always to the first round.
This tournament was dedicated to "Politika", a chess club of Belgrade. Before the beginning of the games, Chess Clubs “Sach Thessaloniki” and “Politika Belgrade” exchanged banners and fraternized the two teams.

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From left to right: Dusan Krunic, George Vlassis, Djordje Sakotic, Goran Arsovic and Svicevic Rastko

Also, special honor was paid to Chess Club Piraikos of Piraeus Chess, in which George Vlassis was a member since 1986 and keeps strong friendship relations ever since.
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The games were held in three groups according to the players’ level and competence. At the first group (A), 44 chess players, with ELO higher than 1800, participated, at  the second (B) 54 and the third group (C) was attended by 20 children. So in total, 118 chess players met in Thessaloniki during these days.
The second day began on Saturday morning with a parallel event. The psychologist, Katerina Olka, discussed with parents on the management of winning and losing at chess. The discussion took place in the hotel lounge that was also the waitng room of spectators and attendants.


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Meanwhile, shortly after the end of the C group’s games, the painter, Christos Alaveras, painted together with the kids, one chess story...

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The battles, in all three groups, were great. The playing venue was excellent and promoted high quality chess playing.

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A small chess books exhibition operated at the same floor, where books were presented by the most historical chess publisher, Chess Informant but also, the Step by Step method.

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On Sunday morning, the Shadow Theater - Group of performative and fine arts creativity "Skias Onar" with Dimitris Karoglou, presented the show "Karagiozis as chess grandmaster".


GM Morfonios, who was wearing a mask due to last Carnival Sunday, was forced to offer a draw to Karagiozis, as he didn’t want to tell everything to Morfonios’ mother so that she wouldn’t let him play chess again, while all these took place, under the eye of Pasha who was about to reveal their fraud…


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On Sunday night, we spent a lovely time with nice greek food and traditional “Rebetiko” music with our Serbians chess guests, the organizing committee but also some good friends. We talked, got to know each other better and exchanged views. We’ve learned many things about chess in Belgrade and laughed a lot.

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Back to the tournament, that was completed by Monday night, stood the great battle between Christos Alexiadis and FYROM GM Stanojoski Zvonko, that draw the attention of the whole playing venue, but also the battle between Dimitris Alexakis and the Serbian Svicevic

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Αll participants of the C group were awarded, as well as the first 3 winners, the first woman and the first veteran of groups A and B.

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The winners of group A, from left, Dimitrios Alexakis (1st veteran), Stanojoski Zvonko (2nd place), Danov Radi (winner of 1st Vardaris), Georgia Grapsa (1st woman) and Zoe Anagnostou (arbiter of group A, member of Chess Club Sach Thessaloniki) while behind distinguished, Christos Bousios and George Vlassis

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The winners awards were painted by the painter, Christos Alaveras and were portraits of the athletes.

The winners of group B, Ioannis Gioras (1st winner), Evagelia Mastrakouli (2nd winner) and Panagiotis Tsolakos (3rd winner)

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The 1st woman of group B, Magdalini Mihailidou and the 1st veteran Dimitrios Mastrakoulis.

So, the farewell time had come... except the Serbian “Politika” also distinguished Nikolaos Fregidis (arbiter of group B) and Elizabeth Aligiorga (arbiter of group C, member of Chess Club Sach).  After a four superb days, we renewed our appointment in Belgrade for a game between the two teams.
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In order to conclude this short travelogue of the 1st "Vardaris", we will have to thank the Holiday Inn Hotel and personally the Director, Athanasios Dadoudis for all the facilities, the top quality accommodation and their exquisite hospitality.


Special thanks also to, Christos Alaveras, our painter, for the countless hours of great work,
Christos Bousios for “messing up” with all electronic means, so as to have a full electronic coverage of the tournament, our friend and psychologist Katerina Olka, the great shadow theater performer and friend Dimitris Karoglou, Nikolaos Fregidis for his arbitration and help, Maria who kept the books’ exhibition, Zoe and Elizabeth who spent lots of time for this tournament in order to come true and at the end
we want to thank all the chess players and their attendants who came to Thessaloniki, these four days, from all over Greece, from Athens, Evia, Volos, Katerini, Ioannina, Kavala, Veria, Alexandroupoli, Drama, and even from Bulgaria too.


Chess is not about championship.
It is a social event and so we have to face it. As a celebration.


We hope to see you all again next year, from 11 to 14 of March 2016, at 2nd Vardaris.
Until then, take care !!!

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