But the crazy world of Italian politics has now spilled into the normally sedate chess scene following the nefarious actions of the mayor of an Italian city.
Loris Cereda, 40, has had an international chess rating for a decade, while he served the good people of the Mob-infiltrated town of Busccinasco near Milan. But the reputation of the mayor, of Silvio Berlusconi’s People of Freedom Party, took a hit in 2011 when he was filmed allegedly taking a E10,000 (£8,500) bung from a construction firm.
Now currently on trial for the 2011 incident, Cereda also this month became the first person ever to be kicked out of the Italian Chess Federation, following the uncovering of a scheme that profited him not with money but rating points. Three teammates said he ran one of the most sophisticated chess cheating schemes ever: Cereda allegedly wore Roy Orbison-like dark glasses containing a tiny camera, that transmitted images of his board back to an accomplice with a computer, who would then send the best move back through the mayor’s secret earpiece.
Shocking! If you can’t believe in a politician, who can you trust? One Italian chess star that we can believe and trust is Fabiano Caruana, who currently leads the 1st GRENKE Chess Classic in Baden-Baden. At the halfway mark, he’s on 3.5/5 with a half point lead over World Champion Viswanathan Anand.
F Caruana - A Naiditsch
1st GRENKE Chess Classic, (3)
1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be3 e5 7 Nb3 Be7 8 Qd2 Ng4 9 g3 0–0 10 0–0–0 a5 11 Kb1 a4 12 Nc1 a3 13 b3 Nxe3 14 Qxe3 Bg5 15 f4 Bh6 16 Nd3 Nc6 17 h4 Nd4 18 Nb4 Bg4 19 Rd2 Rc8 20 Nbd5 f5 21 Bc4 Kh8 22 Rxd4! exd4 23 Qxd4 Bf3 24 Re1 fxe4 25 Nb5 Rc6 26 c3 Qd7 27 Nxa3 Qh3 28 Rg1 Qh2 29 Nb5 Ra8 30 a3 e3 31 Re1 e2 32 Qe3 Qg2 33 Nd4 Rxc4 34 bxc4 Bh5 35 Nxe2 Re8 36 Ne7 g5 37 fxg5 Bf8 38 Nf4 1–0