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Checkmate at the University of Bologna: The First Inter-University Chess Tournament

In the Aula Magna of the University Library of Bologna, students from sixteen of the world's most prestigious universities will compete move by move. An exceptional event for meeting, sharing experiences, and cultural exchange.

The two teams from the University of Bologna that will participate in the tournament, with Rector Giovanni Molari

Strategy, intuition, intelligence, creativity. Sixteen of the world's most prestigious universities will face off in Bologna. Over a chessboard.

From 14 to 16 June, the historic and spectacular Aula Magna of the University Library of Bologna (BUB) will be the setting for the first inter-university chess tournament of the University of Bologna. This unique event – made possible by the contribution of the Banca di Bologna – will feature approximately 80 students from all over Europe and beyond, competing move by move.

There will be the historic rivals from Yale and Cambridge, who have been clashing with Harvard and Oxford for 150 years in a quest for checkmate, often ending in a draw. But there will also be the French from the Pantheon-Sorbonne, the Poles from the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, the Dutch from Maastricht University and Eindhoven University of Technology, the Irish from University College Dublin, the Swedes from Lund University, the Norwegians from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, and the Turks from Boğaziçi University.

Among the Italians, besides the representation from the University of Bologna (with students selected based on their results in official tournaments of the Italian Chess Federation), there will be teams from the University of Padua, the University of Naples Federico II, Sapienza University of Rome, the Polytechnic University of Milan, and the University of Turin.

Aula Magna della Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna

The event will consist of three days of competition over five game sessions using the Swiss system, which matches opponents with similar scores. Each team is composed of four players, who can either all be students or three students and one professor. All matches will be streamed live online, thanks to a real-time updated electronic chessboard system.

The Rector of the University of Bologna, Giovanni Molari, will welcome the participants on Friday 14 June, at 12 PM with an opening address. The first matches will begin at 2 PM and will continue Saturday and Sunday morning. The event will conclude at 12 PM on Sunday 16 June, with the awards ceremony, where director and screenwriter Giovanni Morricone is expected to attend. He will recall the chess activities of his father, Ennio Morricone, and present one of the special prizes.

To celebrate this major international event, the exhibition "Paper Castles: The Game of Chess in the Collections of the University Library of Bologna" will be open in the Atrium of the Aula Magna of the BUB until 16 June. Through the exploration of the library's ancient, printed, and manuscript collections, visitors can discover the various facets of the fascination this game has inspired over the centuries.

Access to the exhibition is free, with online reservation, on the open days of the BUB, except during the tournament days (14-16 June), when access will be reserved for players.