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Gergely Aczel was born 27.02.1991. He learned chess at the age of 5, participated in many tournaments., then in 2013 he achieved the International Master title and then finally the Grandmaster title in 2018. He reached the highest rating in November 2017 and it was 2573 elo points. He has repeatedly participated in the international open tournament in Banska Stiavnica, always achieving excellent results. In 2017 he finished second and in 2016 and 2018 won first place in Banska Stiavnica and won the gold medal.

He won several Open tournaments, including the Iuliu Szabo Memorial (2016 and 2018), Tasnad Open (2017) in Romania and the MEMORIJAL Dr BORISE KARADZICA in Serbia (2017). In 2017, he played in his strongest event so far and got 2nd place in the category 14 tournament Dr.Hetenyi Geza Memorial in Hungary. Next year, in the Hungarian Individual KO Championship, he knocked out Oliver Mihok, top player Zoltan Almasi and Tamas Banusz to secure 2nd place after his defeat to Ferenc Berkes.

In the Hungarian league he plays for a chess club called Aquaprofit Nagykanizsa. His club won the Hungarian league for the eleventh time in a row. In the last season, Gergely has made an excellent result in winning the championship title. He earned 8 points out of 9 games.

 

Lubomir Ftacnik was born on October 30, 1957 in Bratislava. The chess has learned to play at the age of 7 years, but as a 13 year old he has gone to the chess club. His chess performance, however, rose at a very fast pace and already at the junior age he managed to achieve several fantastic achievements. In 1977 he became the European Junior Champion and was awarded a silver medal at the junior world championships. In 1980 he was awarded the title of Grandmaster, which succeeded him as the second Slovak player in history. He won a number of major international tournaments such as Dortmund 1981, Baden-Baden 1987, Sydney 1991, Hamburg 1998, Los Angeles 1999 and others. He is a five-time champion of Czechoslovakia (1981, 1982, 1983, 1985 and 1989). His top-ranked chess rating reached 2001, at 2618 elo points.
In 1982 he was a member of the Czechoslovak team, which won a historic success at the Chess Olympiad - silver medals, to which he significantly contributed with his excellent individual results. He played for Czechoslovakia seven times at the Chess Olympiads (1980-1992) and for Slovakia up to eleven times (1994-2016).
In 2015, he represented Slovakia at the Dresden Senior World Championships, where thanks to his excellent performance at the first chessboard, Slovakia won the gold medals and the historical success as the title of World Senior Team Coach.

On 7th-15th July 2018, the 14th annual Stiavnicas chess festival will take place in Banska Stiavnica. The Slovak Championships have already taken place in 2006-07, 2010-13 and 2015-17. This year's championship will be a jubilee tenth for Stiavnica, which is the most of all Slovakian places in the history of the championships. The format of the event remains. The new master of the Slovak Republic will decide in the closed Grandmasters tournament. All medalists from last year (GM Repka, IM Mazur, GM Manik), qualification winner (FM Zvarik), 5 players based on rating on 1.3.2018 and the last place will be occupied at the so-called " a wildcard issued by Slovak Chess Federation. The title will be defended by Christopher Repka, who became the youngest Slovak Grandmaster.
For other participants, the OPEN International will be available, which will also be the qualifying tournament for the Slovak Championship next year. The most successful Slovak chess player in the open tournament will therefore be able to fight in a closed Grandmasters tournament. In the framework of the open tournament, they will fight for Slovak championship also women. The fast hand will be able to test the participants in the blitz tournament and will not miss the traditional golden nail of the program - Stiavnicas live chess. Accommodation, dining and playroom will be under one roof at very favorable prices. There is also another rich accompanying program, such as a simultaneous games, a football tournament, and so on.

Milan Pacher was born on 3rd October 1990. He learned how to play chess at 5 years old. He won his first tournament at age 7. He won Bratislava championship in 2004. He has achieved International master title in 2010 and Grandmaster title in 2016. He has achieved also many medals from Slovakian championship of juniors. He represented Slovakia in World Championship (4x), European championship (3x) and Chess Olympiad (2x). Actually he is champion of Slovakia. At age 26 is the youngest grandmaster in Slovakia. His peak rating was in the March 2016 Fide rating list where he had 2508. Milan Pacher is specialist for blindfold chess games. He played simultaneous game against 10 opponents with covered eyes. This is most of all Slovak players.

During chess weekend in Banska Stiavnica (9th July 2016) you can see at town square also interesting artistic performances. Swordsmen from Zubři historical swordplay group (CZ), Bojník and Morová rana, historical music Hollóének Hungarica Music Band (HU), Miro Kasprzyk, Erik Forgáč, falconers st. Bavon, fire show Anta Agni, but also Marek Majeský, Milan Bahul, Dominika Kavaschová and Júlia Horváthová are waiting for you. Grandmasters Sergei Movsesian and Jan-Krzysztof Duda will play againt visitors simultaneous chess games.

Event is supported by International Visegrad Fund within the frame of V LIVE 4 CHESS project, town Banska Stiavnica, Slovak Chess Federation, Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region, and other partners.