The 33rd Memorial Edoardo Crespi is taking place from 1st to 8th December in the large tournament hall of Chess Club in Milan, via Sant’Uguzzone 8.
The Master Group boasts 60 participants from 11 countries: Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Bulgaria, FYR Macedonia, Serbia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Philippines and Italy. This event will be played over nine rounds of Swiss system.
On 5th December two minor Groups, Open A (elo 1750-2050) and Open B (U1800) will start. Both events will be played over 7 rounds Swiss.
On 7h December two more events will start – Open C for Beginners and Open Under 16.
The Master Group has six Grandmasters in the field: Sabino Brunello (ITA 2583), Yuri Solodovnichenko (UKR 2557), Azer Mirzoev (AZE 2553), Nikita Maiorov (BLR 2541), Joseph Sanchez (PHI 2533) and Vadim Shishkin (UKR 2501).
About Società Scacchistica Milanese:
Wide tournament hall, playing and analysis rooms, reading room and library, snack bar, gardens, open till late seven days a week
Via Sant’Uguzzone, 8 – 20126 Milano Tel: 02.2573478 – Fax: 0240044486
e-mail: email@example.com www.scacchisticamilanese.it
Last year winner was GM Baadur Jobava
Crespi Memorial History
Edoardo Crespi died in March 1910 and in his will he did not forget about chess: he bequeathed 45.000 lire to the Braidense library to create a small chess section, 300 lire per year to the SSM to organize a club tournament and 3.000 lire every 4 years for a national tournament.
The club tournament was held in 1914 when the funds were finally released, whereas the national tournament was postponed because of the war. It took place in 1916 and was won by Arturo Reggio.
The 2nd Crespi tournament, which was held in 1919 instead of 1918, was named the “Victory Tournament”.
The 3rd Crespi tournament, held in 1922, was memorable for two reasons: it was hosted by the “Società del Giardino” (the following editions were hosted by the “Società Patriottica”) and it witnessed the rise of Mario Monticelli who was to win the 6th and 7th editions in 1934 and 1938.
The 4th Crespi tournament was played in 1926 whereas the 5th edition – which was also the national championship – was postponed to 1931 to make it coincide with the Fiera Campionaria exhibition.
The SSM thrived in the 30s thanks to the patronage of its President Dal Verme and to the assiduous work of Ferrantes. The Crespi tournament became more and more prestigious: the 6th edition was held in 1934 and was won by Mario Monticelli, who also became Italian champion.
The 7th edition took place in 1938 and was again won by Mario Monticelli ex-aequo with Eliskases. It was the first International tournament, as conceived by Edoardo Crespi in his will. But it was also to be the last. Ferrantes had the idea to turn the Crespi tournament into a new event – “Aprile Scacchistico Milanese” – with an international tournament, two national tournaments and even the fist women national championship, not to mention a simultaneous display by M° Grob and a lesson held by M° Esteban Canal.
Today the Crespi tournament, besides being one of the most important Italian chess events, has also became a major event on the international calendar thanks to the participation of many strong players from all over the world. In the last edition there were about 300 players divided in five different tournaments.
International web sites (FIDE website, Twic, Chessdom, ChessToday, Susan Polgar’s blog, etc.) and magazines (Europe Echecs, Rochade) and the Italian media (Gazzetta dello Sport) and televisions have paid considerable attention to our tournament giving an important contribution to the development of the Italian chess movement as a whole.
News and photos by Adolivio Capece