Grand Prix Naples Introduction

Posted in Event Coverage on April 6, 2002

By Craig Jones

The Grand Prix moves onto Naples, Italy and this is the last European stop for the Odyssey-Torment Limited season before the Pro Tour in Nice. For many players this is the last chance to qualify.

The tournament is being held in the Città della Scienza, a science museum located in a former industrial estate just outside of Naples itself. The venue gives an excellent view of the sea while curious visitors to the museum itself get a new attraction to puzzle over.

A total of 296 players braved the eccentric Naples taxi pricing system to turn up on a bright April morning. 218 are from Italy itself but a further 16 countries are represented ranging from the usual pond-hopping Americans to a rare showing from Greece. After skipping Barcelona Kai Budde is back to menace the field along with Christoph Lippert and Patrick Mello – two Germans currently in form. The ever-present Alex Shvartsman is here along with fellow Americans Mike Pustilnik and Ed Fear. Fresh from his success in Barcelona, Noah Boeken is present along with a strong Dutch contingent. And of course no European Grand Prix would be complete without the Ruel brothers.

The host nation also has its own stars as players like World's 1999 semi-finalist Raffaele Lo Moro and Pro Tour-Rome 1999 top 8'er Frederico Dato will strive to ensure a home win. Other names that might be worth watching are Stefano Fiore, Luca Chiera and 11th place finisher from Pro Tour San Diego, Giulio Barra. Unfortunately current Italian champion Matteo di Tomasi and top 8 competitor from last year's World Championship Andrea Santin couldn't make it.

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