März 2, 2024

Italian Championship 2023: Moroni and Zimina defend titles

Luka Moroni and Olga Zimina won the open and women’s events; in the Under 20, Simone Pozzari and Elisa Cassi took the titles. The FSI celebrates its all-time membership record in 2023.

Lombardy dominated the Italian Chess Championship, which took place in Brescia from November 28 to December 10, 2023. The Absolute (open) and the Women’s champions, Luca Moroni and Olga Zimina, successfully defended their titles.

The 2023 edition of the Italian Championship will be remembered for its excellent location, the Paul VI Center in Brescia, in a historic sixteenth-century building, and Moroni’s clearing the 2,600 rating bar for the first time in his career. Given that Moroni is only 23 years old, there is a lot of hope that he will continue to move up in the ranks. The Italian Chess Federation (FSI) celebrates a historical membership record, which has surpassed the 21,000 mark (in the past, this number has never exceeded 16,000).

In the open event, the defending champion Luca Moroni (pictured above), a native of Desio and resident of Bovisio Masciago, got a slow start but stepped up a gear to finish on 8.5/11, 1.5 points ahead of Lorenzo Lodici Sabino Brunello from Bergamo who tied for second place. Lorenzo became the only participant to beat the champion.

Alessandro Santagati receives an honourable mention. Despite suffering a severe bereavement in the middle of the tournament, the player for Catania honoured his sporting commitment, which proved decisive for the final outcome. Alessandro defeated Lodici (who was in the lead for most of the tournament) in one of the last rounds, paving Moroni’s way to the title.

In the Women’s category, Olga Zimina (pictured above), from Modena, claimed her third national title (to which the unofficial one of 2020 played online can be added). Zimina won all the games except the one with Marina Brunello (Sabino’s sister), which ended in a draw. Brunello’s draw in the last round was decisive, handing the title to Zimina. Elena Sedina from Como took bronze, and Elisa Cassi from Bergamo came fourth, thus winning the Italian Under 20 Women’s title.

The Under 20 tournament was very hard-fought and came down to the wire. The Italian Under 18 Champion Simone Pozzari, from Legnano, beat Joshuaede Cappelletto from Treviso, who was ahead of him by half a point in the final round game to wrest the title. Third was Francesco Bettalli from Siena, who started with four straight victories but then slowed down. A good performance by Leonardo Vincenti is also worth mentioning. Facing tough opponents, the 11-year-old  from Bergamo scored 2.5 points.

Simorne Pozzari awarded by Italian Chess Federation President Luigi Maggi and enterpreneur Giovanni Longo

Official website: federscacchi.it/

Photos: Chesstrainer photography and Federazione Scacchistica Italiana Facebook