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Alexandra Botez dominates Sardinia World Chess Festival 2024 Open B

by Shahid Ahmed - 09/05/2024

WFM Alexandra Botez (CAN) defeated the top seed, Dejan Dimitrov (BUL) to win Sardinia World Chess Festival 2024 Open B (<2000) convincingly. She completely decimated the competition and finished a whopping 1.5 points ahead of the rest. Alessia Natoli (ITA) and Federico Maida (ITA) scored 7/9 each. They secured second and third place respectively according to tie-breaks. Alexandra did not face either of them. However, she battled her sister for the first time in a rated event in the third round. The elder sister and eventual champion prevailed in it. The total prize fund of the entire festival was €50000. The top three prizes in Open B were €1500, €1000 and €700 along with a trophy each. Photos: Shahid Ahmed

Women claim top two in a rare feat

It is not every day we get to see a woman winning an open or a rating restricted open tournaments, let alone top two claimed by women. The festival was successful not only because of six norms including the formation of a new Grandmaster, but also the marvelous finish of two women at the top, one of them delivering a career best performance. Open C results will be published in a separate report

Champion - WFM Alexandra Botez (CAN) 8.5/9
Interview with WFM Alexandra Botez (CAN) after her career best triumph | Video: ChessBase India

Runner-up - Alessia Natoli (POL) 7/9
14-year-old Alessia Natoli (POL) scored 7/9 to finish second | Video: ChessBase India

Second Runner-up - Federico Maida (ITA) 7/9

The top three (L to R): 2nd Alessia Natoli (POL) 7/9, 1st WFM Alexandra Botez (CAN) 8.5/9 and 3rd Federico Maida (ITA) 7/9

L to R: Luigi Maggi, President of Federazione Scacchistica Italiana (FSI), GM Daniel Dardha, GM Kirill Shevchenko, Elisa Farris, Mayor of Sardinia, Danilo Mallò, President of the regional section of FSI, and GM FST IO Roberto Mogranzini, Tournament Director. They all distributed the prizes.


WFM Alexandra Botez (CAN, 1970) had a full point lead going into the final round. She just needed a draw against the top seed - Dejan Dimitrov (BUL, 1998). However, when the opportunity arose, she went for a full point and finished 1.5 point ahead of the field.

Dejan - Alexandra

Position after 25...c4

Alexandra made a nice practical decision to play 25...c4 26.dxc4 Qxe4 27.Bc2 Qc6 Black gained the c4-pawn in another six moves.

Position after 45...Nxc3+

Where should White move his king? 46.Kf1 is the best and 46.Ke3?? led to a loss. 46...Bc5+ 47.Kf4 Kf6 48.g4 g5+ 49.Kg3 h4+ 50.Kg2 Nxa4 and Black went on to convert her advantage into a win.

WFM Alexandra Botez (CAN) en route her final round win and the first place finish
97-year-old Giovanni Diena, the first person in Italy to develop a chess pairing program | Video: ChessBase India

A special prize for the 97-year-old player who inspired everyone - Giovanni Diena (ITA) | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Photo Gallery

Trophies for various winners | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Players, parents and accompanying persons at the closing ceremony | Photo: Shahid Ahmed and Niklesh Jain

For more Round 9 and Prize distribution ceremony photos, please click at the respective links. Lots of exciting, interesting game videos and interviews will be published soon, stay tuned!


Photos by Niklesh Jain: Round 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, 6, 7, Black and White dinner, and FIDE 100, 8, 9 and Prize distribution ceremony.


In case you missed taking part in the inaugural edition, don't fret, the second edition was announced to be held from 26th April to 3rd May 2025 at the same place Club Hotel Marina Beach in Orosei, Sardinia, Italy.

"In the Future, We Will Host the Chess Olympiad" - GM Roberto Mogranzini | Video: ChessBase India
The Stock Market trader who met and interviewed Vishy Anand back in the 90s - Luca Barillaro | Video: ChessBase India
The Bolivian WCM Alexandra Prado who has 250K+ following on Instagram and Youtube | Video: ChessBase India

Replay live stream

Replay Round 9 live commentary by GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko (UKR) and WCM Alexandra Prado (BOL)  | Video: UniChess

A total of 99 players took part from 19 countries across the world in this eight-day nine-round Swiss league Below 2000 Rating tournament which was organized by Emmedi Sport ASD at Club Hotel Marina Beach 4* at Orosei in Sardinia, Italy from 27th April to 4th May 2024. The time control for the tournament was 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment.

Replay Round 9 games

Round 9 Open B results

Bo.No. NameRtgPts.ResultPts.NameRtg No.PGN
Benoit Hugues19356½ - ½Natoli Alessia1917
Maida Federico196161 - 06Carfagna Alex1939
Knors Rudi1992½ - ½Simonelli Mattia1886
Dimitrov Dejan19980 - 1WFMBotez Alexandra *)1970
Wang Shanshan1966½ - ½Botez Andrea *)1879
Molinari Carlo18671 - 0Neri Enzo1978
CMJoel Paul Ganta19690 - 1Mascia Germano1884
Becker Alexander19500 - 1Orman Attila1728
Costabile Vincenzo195550 - 15Petrosino Germano1824
Fonda Marco182550 - 15Porcu Riccardo1877


Final standings

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
WFMBotez AlexandrawCAN19708,5504647,251908
Natoli AlessiawPOL191775247,539,501857
Maida FedericoITA19617474533,501839
Molinari CarloITA18676,551,54834,501877
Benoit HuguesFRA19356,549,547,533,001842
Dimitrov DejanBUL19986,549,54534,251841
Orman AttilaAZE17286,54843,534,001914
Mascia GermanoITA18846,5464331,501846
Naimanov RinatKAZ1671650,54632,501883
Wang ShanshanwCHN1966648,544,530,751885



Sardinia Chess Festival: Official site, fb page and instagram

Tournament details

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