2nd ESNA Individual Chess Championship – Luxembourg 2016, Press Release

Luxembourg Chess Federation (FLDE) is proud to announce that Luxembourg organizes the 2nd European Small Nations Individual Chess Championship (FIDE Zone 1.10) with participants from Andorra, Cyprus, Guernsey, Faroe Islands, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco and San Marino. The winner of the Championship qualifies for the FIDE World Chess Cup.

The competition is organised with the support of the European Chess Union (ECU) and will take place in Luxembourg City from 1-11 April 2016 in the Centre sociétaire et sportif Gare at 29 rue de Strasbourg. Members of the public are very welcome to visit the tournament, watch the games and play themselves a game of chess in the bar area.

The exact schedule and more details about the Championship can be found on the Official website.

The top seed is International Master Ziska Helgi Dam from Faroe Islands (ELO 2539). The participants are as follows:

GM De La Riva Aguado Oscar (Andorra, 2494)
CM Michaelides Konstantinos (Cyprus 2023)
IM Ziska Helgi Dam (Faroe Islands 2539)
CM Kirby Peter J. (Guernsey 2003)
Mooney Graham (Jersey 1867)
Frick Renato (Liechtenstein 2049)
IM Wiedenkeller Michael (Luxembourg 2445)
IM Berend Fred (Luxembourg 2340)
Sammut Briffa Peter (Malta 2000)
FM Villegas Pierre (Monaco 2373)
CM Volpinari Danilo (San Marino 2003)
IM Kelires Andreas (2466) Wild Card

The opening ceremony will be held at 7.30 on April 1st (no April fool’s joke!) at the tournament hall, hosted by Mr. Francois Biltgen, former Justice Minister of Luxembourg. It is a little known fact that Mr. Biltgen is adept not just at political moves but also chess moves! As a keen chess player since his university days, he agreed to become the president of the Organizing Committee and help to organize this big event for the Luxembourg chess world and promote chess in general.

Along with Mr. Biltgen, Mrs. Lydie Polfer, Mayor of Luxembourg City, and Mr. Pierre Fattebene FLDE President will address the audience. The players from 10 nations will be present at the opening ceremony, as well as many other guests and representatives of the media.

A simultaneous display will precede the opening ceremony, starting at 6.oo pm. Woman Grandmaster Elvira Berend, who represented Luxembourg in many international chess events will play against the best youngsters in Luxembourg, people from public life and members of the public. People from public life include RTL radio presenter Dan Nepgen who won the U16 championship in 1995, and François Biltgen. In the week leading up to the event, we will also invite members of the public to attend through various media channels.

During the Championship the European Chess Union will be represented by the ECU Vice President Mr. Finnbjorn Vang from Faroe Islands.

The Luxembourg Chess Federation is currently running a media campaign to promote chess in general, especially chess in schools. We will be present in the media to talk about Small Nations but also to promote chess in general and chess in school in particular. Fiona Steil-Antoni, winner of a Gold medal at the Chess Olympics in Turin in 2006 and a chess journalist, is invited to RTL’s Planet People on April 6th and the lunch RTL radio show with Dan Nepgen on April 8th.

Chess is a sport for anyone. It is not unusual to see men against women, an 8 year old compete against an 80 year old, the homeless against the wealthy, and the couch potato against the body builder.  Chess is a sport for anywhere. You can play in the plane, on the beach, in the pub, on the Internet, at a mountain refuge, at home, and blindfolded!

May the best player win!

FLDE is grateful to our main sponsor the European Chess Union and our local sponsors, namely BGL BNP Paribas, Casino2000, Lexus, Ville de Luxembourg and Vinsmoselle. We also acknowledge private donations which are listed in the tournament booklet.

In the beginning of 2016, European Chess Union and the Luxembourg Chess Federation signed a contract for the organization of the 2nd European Small Nations Individual Chess Championship.  The contract was signed between the ECU Secretary General, Mr. Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou and the President of the Luxembourg Chess Federation, Mr. Pierre Fattebene.

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