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Chess tournament defies the crisis

Kings, queens, bishops, rooks, knights, and pawns are ready to fight relentless battles on the checkered board in the hospitable venues of The Mall Athens, at Marousi, in the framework of Chessnale Athens 2014.

In a crisis stricken Greece flayed by the memorandums, a grand chess fest comes to offer unique moments for experts and novices alike, on the chessboard, and to prove the great chess potential within Greek youth.

The recent major success of Kavala Chess Club member Stavroula Tsolakidou who won first place at the World Individual Championships in Al-Ain,Abu Dhabi, in the category for girls under 14-years-old and was crowned world champion, was just a sample of the rapid rise of Greek chess in recent years. The thousands of young participants in school championships also show the vast inroads made by the “game of kings.” The Chessnale Athens 2014, which will feature the Attica school championship, will have at least 700 young participants.

The competition that began on Thursday will last 17 days, to 6 April when the men's and women's finals will take place gathering the Greek chess elite. The tournament willl also feature exhibition games like simultaneous matches of one against many, and blind matches where the player does not see the board.

The tournament will also feature a host of sideline events like theatrical performances, children's theater, artistic activities, art exhibits, live performances, musical nights, discussions, and seminars all having to do with chess.

The tournament will be opened by World Chess Federation president Kirsan Iliumzinov, and the president of the Hellenic Chess Federation, and deputy FIDE president Giorgos Makropoulos.

It must be noted that as chess is considered a sport, the ministry of education gives points for chess champions for entrance to universities.