Featured Game

Memorable games from Mark’s chess career…

Each game includes an introduction with brief notes in which Mark outlines his chess philosophy, strategic choices or psychological approach. To play through the games, click on the chess notation and a playable board will pop up. View more games

Game 4: D. Vocaturo – M.Quinn, Italy 2015

In the run-up to the Italian Team Championships at Civitanova Marche in 2015, rumours began circulating that Fabiano Caruana, the world’s number 2 ranked player, was about to abandon Italy and declare for America. Caruana was scheduled to play for Padua who had assembled a tremendous line-up including GMs Bacrot, Nakamura, Vocaturo, Dvirny and Godena. The situation regarding Caruana remained unclear as my team, Marostica, was drawn against Padua in the opening round. Ironically, Padua’s two strongest players IM Federico Manca and IM Carlo Rossi were on the Marostica team, adding a peculiar intensity to the encounter. In spite of being massively outrated, our team gave Padua and their sponsor quite a scare. Bacrot had to put up an incredible defence to prevail against Federico Manca on board 1. Carlo Rossi had a typically chaotic game against IM Mogranzini on board 4 playing a highly provocative opening that led to huge complications. Gerd Schacher, a very strong player who spent a year in Ireland on Erasmus never quite got out of the opening against GM Dvirny. Many Irish players will remember Gerd who scored 11/11 in the Armstrong Cup for UCD back in 1999/2000. Caruana never materialised at Civitanova and did indeed declare for America a few days later. That meant my opponent on board 2 on the day, Daniele Vocaturo, was in effect the Italian No.1 as he pushed his King’s pawn two squares forward to commence proceedings. In the end, Marostica went down to Padua’s star-studded team 3-1 but needless to say I was delighted with the following game.