Gerard Figueras, Secretary of Sports of the Generalitat: “The first edition of El Llobregat Open Chess is setting the bar very high”.

The high-ranking official of the Catalan government visits the tournament organized by El Llobregat at the CEM Estruch in El Prat and values both the "dimension" of the event and the "quality" of the organization.

The Secretary of Sports of the Generalitat has positively assessed the first edition of the Llobregat Open Chess after the visit he made this afternoon to the facilities where it takes place, in the CEM Estruch. Figueras said he was “impressed” to see the scale of the event and the “quality” of both the participants and the organizers.

He was accompanied on his visit by the Deputy Mayor for Welfare and Health and Councillor for Sports of the City Council of El Prat, Juan Carlos Moreno, and the tournament director, Javier Pérez Llorca, who explained the details of the competition while they walked around the parquet. Figueras, in line with what has been expressed during the last days, has highlighted the value of chess as a beneficial sport for the mind and to improve school results. “One of our objectives is to incorporate chess to the schools, because besides being a sport activity it is also an intellectual activity and it is scientifically proven that it has a benefit at mental and school level”, said Figueras, who took the opportunity to remind the muscle that this sport has in Catalonia. “Despite not being mediatic, the Catalan chess world is a reference at state level”, he added.

Prato living chess

The third day of competition, however, began with a long-awaited game of human or living chess, as those who practice it prefer to call it, between students from the Baldiri Guilera secondary school and the Jaume Balmes school, both from El Prat, who faced each other in a couple of games that ended with a victory for each school.

That was in the morning. In the afternoon the pure and simple competition has returned to the scene in a third day in which the players start to play. The young D. Gukesh, after two consecutive victories in the previous rounds, today lost to Gudmundur Kjartasson -ELO 2,448-, in a close game that went the way of the Icelandic player. On the other hand Gukesh, the second youngest chess player to win the Grandmaster title, confessed that he was delighted with this tournament and wants to return next year. Julen Luis Arizmendi -ELO 2,511- made a draw with Rithvik Raja -ELO 2,381-, while Mateusz Bartel, who punctured on the first day, won against Eric Domínguez -ELO2,390-. On his side, Salvador del Río -ELO 2,507- got rid of Alexandre Pigeat -ELO 2,357-.

The surprise came with Murali Karthikeyan -ELO 2,611-, who drew with Evgeny Zanan -ELO 2,493-, while Maxime Lagarde, who seems to have subscribed to long and long-suffering games, ended in a draw with Fabian Baenzinger, with an ELO almost 300 points lower – 2,398-.

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