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Interview with an arbiter Marco Biagioli from Venice (Italy).

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There are lot of arbiters at the World Championships since rapid and blitz chess can create lot of conflict situations. But when we have such good arbiters as Marco, all problems can always be solved peacefully. 

  • Marco, I am glad to see you here in the press office of the World Championships in Salobrena. But recently I met you at many other different events as well. You are a very popular arbiter! Please, tell me more about yourself and how you did become a chess arbiter!
  • Well, I became a chess arbiter 15 years ago in Italy as a national arbiter and since 2018 started going abroad. For the 1st time I have been invited to Albania, then Romania, Greece, Macedonia and Russia last year. And this year I have been to Rhodes, then we met in Bratislava, Minsk, in Trieste I was organizing the seminars (not for the tournament) and now we met here again.
(on photo with L. Bibilashvili)
  • Yes, many – many tournaments! Still it is unusual since I am an active chess player and you are an arbiter… How old are you?
  • Now I am 33.
  • The best age for a man, the age of Christus.
  • The best but also the last (laughing).
  • Where in Italy do you live?
  • I live in Venice.
  • Very beautiful city. Do you play chess by yourself?
  • No. I was taught to play chess by our father when I was 5. But since I was a weak player, I decided to become an arbiter.
  • So, you don’t play chess at all…
  • I can play several games in the league and/or rapid and blitz tournaments, but mostly I am an arbiter.
  • What is your strength?
  • About 1700. Very weak.
  • But you understand everything to be an arbiter.
  • Not absolutely everything, but at least something regarding the psychology. Even being a weak player, I can understand the psychology of the player.
  • Have you studied something on psychology?
  • No, I am a lawyer. I haven’t studied a psychology.
  • A lawyer? (with huge surprise) Strange for a lawyer to be busy with chess activities. It is unusual, since you are lawyer and you should earn good money!
  • I am lucky since I have my own office, I can decide when I want to go to the office and when to be an arbiter. I have a partner, so we can cover ourselves. And when I am at the tournament, I have my partner at the office. Sometimes I can also work on distance with my computer.
  • Thank you for the explanations! Now we know enough about your work as an arbiter. Now, please, tell us about the last chess seminars organized by ECU in Trieste (Italy).
  • It was a great idea and for the 1st time we could realize something like that. We have got a special fund to develop activities for women. Together with the ECU Arbiter’s Council we have decided to conduct special seminars for women – one for FIDE arbiters, another – for FIDE organizers. And it was a great success. There were 15 – 20 female players at the seminar. 
  • Were you the organizer of the seminar?
  • The organizer was the Arbiter’s Council. I was the “man on the spot” for all technical arrangements.
  • When I came to play in the Trieste tournament I had been hugely surprised by lot of women players, attending the seminars. I had no idea that such an event would take place in Trieste. Later I read that there were place for about 40 participants of the seminars, but only half came since lot of women had no idea that such seminar would take place! Bad advertisement by the ECU.  I have a couple of friends who would love to join the seminars but had no any information about it.
  • Information was published on the ECU site and the FIDE Arbiter’s commission website. But the last one was not updated!
  • That’s why I haven’t heard anything about this seminar the same with many of my friends. My advice for the future – to make better advertisement for such events.
  • Yes, we’ll make better advertisements and the communications about such events in the future.
  • What are your next plans? Where next will you be an arbiter?
  • I think, I will go to Tallinn for the European blitz and rapid championships. After Tallinn I have no plans.
  • So, you can return to your work as a lawyer.
  • Yes, I will be back in my office next Monday. Back to the work very soon! But in the weekend from 19 to 22 September I will run a seminar in Thessaloniki (Greece), I will make a lecture how to deal with disabled and blind players.
  • Very good! And the last question – are you a relative to an Italian actor Marco Biagioli?
  • Yes, I am Marco Biagioli, but the actor is not my relative. And there is also one Italian lawyer Marco Biagioli. But we are 3 different persons, not relatives. (laughing)
  • Thank you very much for your time! See you soon again at another chess tournament!
  • Grazie!

Sergey Tiviakov. 11 September 2019.