Figueira da Foz International Festival
Already into the 13th Edition!
No doubt Portugal’s longest running FIDE rated chess tournament, the prestigious Figueira da Foz International Chess Festival is taking place between the 26th of October and the 3rd of November at the Sweet Atlantic Hotel.
My good friend Miguel Babo, an icon in the cultural life of Figueira da Foz, is the principal motor behind these tournaments since its inception years ago. To this effect he is assisted with the faithful collaboration of Antonio Cardoso.
Tribute to a Great Poet
A long standing tradition at this festival is to honor and pay tribute to an outstanding cultural figure the day before the tournament begins. This year this individual was the much respected Figueirense poet Carlos Carranca (1957 to 2019) who just recently (August 29) passed away.
The tribute included readings of Carranca’s poetry as well as music and singing. The remarkable soprano Carla Bernardino and pianist Pedro Abreu (above) enchanted everyone, and were joined by other local artists and poets. Very touching memorial to a great Portuguese poet.
As well, the theme of discrimination against women in the chess world was explored, and included an intervention by Dr.Rita Sousa, (above) a public prosecutor here in Portugal, author of “Introdução às Teorias Feministas do Direito” and a long time activist for feminist causes.
In keeping with tradition, this year’s tournament is small but quite strong. A total of 8 GMs and 5 IMs are amongst the 45 participants from 14 countries. Many of this year’s participants are ‘veterans’ of previous editions of this tournament.
The Tournament Team
This year’s tournament has a stellar cast of arbiters and assistants. Chief Arbiter is my good friend Carlos Dias – one of the best known IA’s in the world.
Carlos and I before the tournament begins