Faces To Names

Oh, what a feeling putting faces to names! This past October, one of our founders, Alessandro Migliuolo, traveled to Buenos Aires to do just that with ChessGuides’ Argentinian contingent. Why Argentina and Buenos Aires? The story starts with ChessGuides in total infancy, building the team that will ultimately bring chess to more children worldwide.

Flashback to January 2021:

Conducting Guide recruitment, ChessGuides stumbles upon a series of youtube chess lessons by Argentinian FIDE Master Alessandro Manzone. Manzone’s skill & talent were immediately self-evident. The lessons not only showed the thoroughness & in-depth ability of a master, but they also showcased the patience chess masters must have to be effective instructors. Considering Manzone’s shared passion with ChessGuides for growing chess, recruitment was a mere formality.

With Manzone on the team, ChessGuides began planning Latam Expansion, and was soon offering complimentary introductory chess lessons in Spanish! This expansion drew the attention of young Argentinian FIDE Master, Tomas Kapitanchuk. And in March of 2022, another partnership was formed!

Flashforward to October 2022:

As the world opened up again after lockdowns, Kapitanchuk invited Migliuolo to Buenos Aires for the 100th Anniversary Celebration of Argentina’s national chess federation. An event so major, boasting international tournament competition…. was more than reason enough for Manzone to make the trip to Buenos Aires himself – all the way from his hometown of Chaco in the north of Argentina. The stars were aligning – and flights were booked! All three ChessGuides would meet in person for the first time.

When asked about the journey, Migliuolo commented, “Argentina is rich in history, not only chess. It is mesmerizing to walk the streets, to feel the culture.” That energy might just have been highest during the visit to Club Argentino De Ajedrez, founded April 17th, 1905, which has hosted the likes of even Capablanca! Located in the heart of Buenos Aires, the club is an ancient building nestled alongside modern skyscrapers. As a counterpart to the steel and glass skyscrapers surrounding it, the club’s interior is made of all hand-carved wood… inanimate objects singing stories.

Walk outside and those stories come to life through the people. Migliuolo was lucky to experience the festival “Corazon de America” (Heart of America), which offers an energetic glimpse into these stores. The authentic outfits and dance is surely a spectacle to witness.

After, catch your breath at one of the many parks and water features all across the city!

With possibly the most beautiful being the Rosedal de Palermo – which feels like a hidden gem, and yet is open to the public:

With these surroundings, it’s tough to imagine sitting inside for chess! Enter Chess24 and their sponsorship of the 1st International Chess Tournament at Boca Juniors’ famous soccer stadium: la Bombonera.

An absolutely beautiful day, it was a lot of fun in the sun for our ChessGuides! – Alessandro Manzone & Tomas Kapitanchuk scored well, both with winning records. Alessandro Migliuolo scored too – even playing the dubious 1. B4!?!? (Oh Alessandro… we love you).

Boca Juniors served as a warm-up blitz tournament for Kapitanchuk and Migliuolo, ahead of the 100th anniversary Pro-Am Blitz tournament. Manzone also competed in the blitz event, however, his focus is classical chess.  

And focus he has, as  Manzone finished the main tournament 20th place, 3 higher than his starting rank of 23rd!! 

Overall, it was a fantastic trip full of fun, cultural exploration, and of course, chess! Here’s to more such journeys in the future! Gracias a todos. Thank you all. Until the next chapter – Suerte Amigos!!!

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