A delegation of the Club Béisbol Viladecans has visited today El Llobregat Open Chess to be interested in the evolution of a competition that has faced today its fourth day. It was formed by the president of the club, Joan Rodríguez; the technical director and historic former player of the Cuban baseball team, Edgar Hernández; Carlos Moya, coach of the softball team of the entity and the players Omar and Frank Hernández, sons of Edgar Hernández who were formed in Viladecans and are beginning to make a career in the United States.
To be specific, Omar joined the Kansas City Royals last year, while Frank has just been signed by the Chicago Cups. The players have posed with the tournament director, Javier Pérez Llorca, to whom they have made a gift of a Viladecans t-shirt and a cap.
For his part, the president of the club, Joan Rodriguez, has valued the organization of the event, which has highlighted the participants and their varied backgrounds and the silence that prevails in the game room. In this sense, Rodriguez has made a similarity between baseball and chess, two sports that “have strategy as their essence”. “Baseball is not just pitching or hitting, there is a lot of strategy behind each play, with different possibilities depending on the pitching or hitting,” he specified. “You set up your players, your pieces, depending on how your opponent places them,” he added, in a clear reference to a chessboard.
Rodriguez has also called attention to the scarce presence of chess in the media, something that also afflicts baseball. “In Spain, chess is something that is usually taught more by the family than by the schools”, said the president of the Viladecanense club. Something he considers “a pity”, since the strategy, he said, “opens up many points of view”.
For all these reasons, Rodriguez raises the possibility of carrying out some activity that links chess and baseball. “We have to generate synergies between the two sports,” he said.
The competition kicked off today with a thank you note from Tomás Sosa, one of the championship players whose first day’s opponent was a no-show. The organization, to avoid headaches, made it easier for him to play with another rival, Marc Carbonell, a gesture that Sosa thanked in a letter.
The Llobregat Open Chess is characterized by the hardness of the games. The big players are suffering and some, like Naranayan -ELO 2,626- have opted to make a draw today with Arjun Erigaisi -ELO 2,544- to dose themselves for the next few days. The halfway point of the competition has been reached and the contenders for the victory are already emerging. One of them is the French champion Maxime Lagarde, who has defeated Nikoloci Kacharava -ELO 2,416-, while the Spanish Àlvar Alonso -ELO 2,548- also presents his candidacy for the first place with a very technical game, despite having drawn today with Gudmundur Kjartansson -ELO 2,448-, who just yesterday defeated the young Grandmaster D. Gukesh. Alonso, who won last year’s Sunway de Sitges, is one of the favorites to win the first El Llobregat Open Chess. On the other hand, Poland’s Mateusz Bartel -ELO 2,634- drew with Ariel Erenberg -ELO 2,479-.
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About Llobregat Open Chess
The Llobregat Open Chess is an international chess tournament held from December 3 to 11 at the CEM Estruch in El Prat de Llobregat. It has more than 200 registered participants from some forty countries around the world. Among the best players in the tournament, the presence of international and Spanish champions stands out, such as Karen Movsziszian, Armenian and World Veteran Champion with an ELO of 2,491 points; D. Gukesh, from India, U12 World Champion and second youngest Grandmaster in history with a FIDE average of 2,520 points; or Gabriel del Río, absolute champion of Spain and with an ELO of 2,478.520 points; or Gabriel del Rio, absolute champion of Spain and with an ELO of 2,478, in addition to the French Maxime Lagarde, champion of France, and Edouard Romain, with titles of European and French champion to his credit and an ELO of 2,651. Among the Spanish participants is the very young Diego Vergara, U12 state champion with an ELO of 2,138.