The next edition of the Corus Chess Tournament will be held from 11-27 January 2008 in Wijk aan Zee. You should say it is too early to speak about that: you're probably right, but there are really good news for Italy, so I can't refrain from sharing them with my two or three readers :-). Italian GM Fabiano Caruana, who will turn 15 years old in six days (on July 30), will probably play in the C (or even the B?) group of the event. I don't know if an Italian player has ever taken part in this prestigious tournament... Good luck, Fabiano! Caruana will play his next tournament in Trieste (Italy) in September 1 to 8; he will also give a simul on Saturday 8. Official site of the Corus event: http://www.coruschess.com/.
Some other news from Italy. Many more tourneys ended last Sunday in our country besides Bergamo chess open. In Falconara, near Ancona, 18 y.o. IM Daniele Vocaturo from Rome and IM Pierluigi Piscopo from Lecce shared first place with 7 points out of 9 (both remained unbeaten). Eugenio Capuano from Campobasso and Norwegian FM Krystian Trygstad took third-fourth place on 6.5: thanks to this result, Capuano should obtain the Fide master title. Serbian IM Nenad Aleksic, candidate master Matteo Rotoni from Macerata, Norwegian master Thomas Robertsen and IM Fabio Bruno, former Italian chess champion, were placed fifth on 6, while French IM and Elo-favourite Vladimir Okhotnik couldn't get more than 5.5 points. 111 players competed in the event. Official site: http://digilander.libero.it/dragonscacchicv/festival07.html.
FM Michelangelo Scalcione from Bologna won the 14th Campobasso chess festival. He scored 16/18 (3 points for a win, 1 for a draw) and edged out by two points Russian GM and Elo-favourite Vladimir Lazarev and Croatian IM Milan Mrdja; Filipino FM Virgilio Vuelban, Italian wGM Olga Zimina and candidate master Saverio Gerardi from Frosinone shared fourth place on 13. 97 players competed in the event. Official site: http://xoomer.alice.it/djhdam/tornei.htm.
The U20 and Female Italian championships are going on in Fiuggi, not far from Rome. FM Denis Rombaldoni (2383) from Pesaro leads the U20 group with 5 points out of 6; FM Niccolò Ronchetti (2410) from Ravenna, IM and Elo-favourite Sabino Brunello (2475) from Bergamo and FM Danyyl Dvirnyy (2365) from Treviso follow on 4.5. Round 7 top boards: D. Rombaldoni-Dvirnyy, Brunello-Navarro and Frilli-Ronchetti. Fiammetta Panella from Rome leads the Female event on 5/6, followed by wFMs Marianna Chierici from Reggio Emilia (4.5 points) and wFM Maria De Rosa from Napoli (4). Official site for both competitions: http://www.fiuggiscacchi.eu/.
And now here is another nice win by Alessio Valsecchi from Bergamo in the U20 Italian championship. Well, his opponent resigned a bit prematurely, but Alessio's position was better, anyway.
Sellitti,Fed. (2171) - Valsecchi,Al. (2175) [B21], Fiuggi 22.7.2007
1.e4 c5 2.f4 d5
The most common reply. 2...Nc6 is the main alternative.
The best continuation. Black sacrifices a pawn and gets a good counterplay in return.
4.Bb5+ Bd7 5.Bxd7+ Qxd7 6.c4 e6 7.Qe2 Bd6 8.f5
8.d3 and 8.dxe6 are more common.
8...0–0 9.fxe6 fxe6 10.dxe6 Qe7
10...Qe8 is the main alternative, but the text move looks more accurate.
11.Nf3 Nc6 12.Nc3
This is probably a new move. 12.0–0 is the main line, but after 12...Ng4 followed by ...Nge5 Black is slightly better, so the text move is not worst, at least.
12...Rae8 13.0–0 Ng4 14.Nd5 Qxe6 15.Qxe6+ Rxe6 is fine for Black as well.
13.Nxd4 cxd4 14.Nb5
After 14.Nd5? Nxd5 15.cxd5 Qg5 Black is much better; 14.Nd1 Rae8 15.0–0 Qxe6 16.Qxe6+ Rxe6 followed by ...Ng4 is also good for Black.
14...Bc5 15.d3 a6 16.Na3 Bb4+ 17.Bd2?
17.Kd1 looks the only way to survive: after 17...b5!? 18.cxb5 Bxa3 19.bxa3 Nd5 20.Bd2 axb5 White's position looks really ugly, but your silicon friends can show you he can survive, e.g.: 21.Rc1 Qxa3 (21...Rxa3 22.Qe5 Nc3+ 23.Bxc3 dxc3 24.Rxc3 Rxc3 25.Qxc3 Qxe6 26.Qb3 Qxb3+ 27.axb3 Rf2 28.g4 Rb2 29.Re1=) 22.Rf1 Rfe8 23.Rf7 Qa4+ 24.Ke1 Ra6 25.Rxg7+ Kxg7 26.Qe5+ Kg8 27.Qg5+ Kh8 28.Qe5+ with a perpetual check.
17...Bxd2+ 18.Kxd2 Ng4!!
A nice blow!
19.Raf1 Qg5+ 20.Kc2 Ne3+ is not much better for White, e.g.: 21.Kb3 Rxf1 22.Rxf1 Nxf1 23.Qxf1 Rf8 24.Qe2 Qe3 25.Qxe3 dxe3 26.Nc2 e2 27.Kc3 Re8 28.Kd2 Rxe6 and Black must win.
20.Ke1 loses even faster: 20...Raf8 21.c5 R8f4–+
20...Qb4 21.Qxd4 Qd2+ 22.Kb1 Raf8 0–1
And White (surprisingly) resigns: his position is all but good, but after 22...Raf8 he can prolong the resistance by playing 23.Rc1 , e.g.: 23...Rf1 (23...Qxc1+!? 24.Kxc1 Rxg2 25.Qg4 Rxg4 26.Kd2 Rg2+ 27.Kc3 Re2 is good for Black as well) 24.Qc3 Rxc1+ 25.Qxc1 Qxd3+ 26.Nc2 Rf1 27.b3 Rxc1+ 28.Kxc1 Qf1+ 29.Kb2 Qf6+ 30.Ka3 Qxe6 31.Rd1 Qe2 32.Rd8+ Kf7 33.Nb4 Qxg2 and Black must win, but the battle is not over yet.