21st-29th August 2007: XIX Festival Internazionale di Scacchi, Porto San Giorgio, Italy

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The Marche is one of the 20 regions of Italy and is divided into 5 provinces: Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Macerata and Pesaro e Urbino. And Porto San Giorgio is a town and commune in the province of Fermo.

Le Marche, the name derived from "Marca di Ancona" o "Marca Anconitana" and from "Marca di Fermo" o "Marca Fermana" (The march of Ancona and The march of Fermo), is distinguished not only for its river valleys, hills, shoe and bread making but also for its ‘sagra delle cozze’ (mussels feast), wine testing and eminent Rossini opera festival, and undoubtedly its colourful ‘living chess’ festival is known to every child in the region!

Le Marche: a view from Ripatransone

Picturesque park in front of Porto San Girogio railaway station

This year the playing venue Palazzetto dello Sport accommodated 317 players instead of 297 in the previous year. The first prize of €2000 attracted 16 GMs and 16 IMs. IM Lawrence Trent of England won this tidy sum for the last two years and this year it was the turn of another young talent GM Gawain Jones of England. To secure the win by half a point, he had to squeeze his last round opponent GM Miezis Normunds of Latvia, who played almost till checkmate in K+R+N+p vs K+R endgame.

Final standings:

1.9Jones Gawain C BENG7.525262682+1.76
2.31Estremera Panos SergioSPA7.023752651+3.26
4Korneev OlegRUS7.025652616+0.59
12Rotstein ArkadijGER7.025152554+0.52
1Fedorchuk Sergey A.UKR7.026182601-0.02
6.2Hamdouchi HichemMAR6.525762492-0.66
13Farago IvanHUN6.525012564+0.96
7Sulava NenadCRO6.525442504-0.29
11RAUSIS IgorCZE6.525242479-0.31
19Trent LawrenceENG6.524582503+0.76

Palazzetto dello Sport di Porto San Giorgio, the playing hall

Signing authographs for his fans: the winner 20 year-old GM Gawain Jones of England

2nd place: GM Estremera Panos Sergio of Spain

Fermo on the hill: a view from Hotel Riviera, Porto San Giorgio

Chess Festival: spectacular traditional flag-juggling performance by the young ones in a beautiful town of Fermo

After the colourful performance follows live chess! Video-clip:

Apparently, White King and Queen are married and 6 out of 8 pawns are their children!

My favorite photos of Le Marche

6:03AM Porto San Giorgio

6:53AM Porto San Girogio

Within Sunrise

Magic round about: a view from a town of Moregnano

Castle in the Heaven: spotted while approaching Ancona

Fascinating sunset over Le Marche

Moon Caravan

Moon Transformer: playing with my camera while shaping up the full moon into a cacti

“A nun will always find her cross!”: My mobile phone is in action

And last but not least: ‘Va bene!’ watercolour by Meri