Malta Chess Federation

David Cilia Vincenti is the new Malta Champion for 2022

23rd April 2023 updated with game analysis by David

45-year old David Cilia Vincenti who is living in New Zeland since 2013 is Malta’s 87th Chess Champion. David has won the title for the second time in his career after winning 22 years ago in 2000.

This year’s Finals was held among 6 players – 2021 Champion Robert Zerafa, 2020 Champion Jake Darmanin, 2015 Champion Colin Pace, 2002 Champion Peter Sammut Briffa and 2000 Champion David Cilia Vincenti and newcomer Alberto Farah. Held as a round robin, each player played each other twice – once with white, and once with black pieces.

Taking his debut in this Championship was Alberto Farah. As newcomer and lowest rated player as expected he had a very tough tournament collecting 1.5 points and managing one win against Jake and a draw against Robert.

Outgoing champion Robert Zerafa had a very bad first half securing only half point against Alberto. However he managed to come back in the second half and collect another 3 points out of 5 rounds. Veteran player Peter Sammut Briffa had a good start with 2.5 points and in the end he obtained 4½ points and his last critical win against Jake decided for David’s favour.

8-times Champion Colin Pace had a really good start in the beginning which was unexpected because he previously would start slow and recover in excellent fashion by the end of the match whereas with this tournament he was going strong throughout. He managed to get 4 points out of 5 rounds in the first half and sharing the 1-2 places with David. In the end he had the same amount of points as in Jake but direct encounter was Jake’s favour.

Jake Darmanin had an acceptable start with 2.5 point but he won his next 4 games to leave the final decision for the last round and tie with David 6.5-6.5 in the 9th round.

David Cilia Vincenti had the same fantastic start as Colin, collecting 4 points and having a draw with Jake and Colin only. He was leading in a tie for first place throughout the whole tournament.

In the last round Jake faced Peter with black and David played against Robert with white. David finished first and won his game in 33 moves where opposite color bishops were with 1-1 rook but David had two pawns up.
Jake was better and winning in many positions during the game and he missed a -8.4 winning move in 35..f3 and blundered in 40th move Qe8?? After that Peter started to control the game and won in the 47th move with almost a rook advantage.

David won his previous Champion Title 22 years ago so he was delighted with this win. He is living in New Zealand more than 10 years so he sacraficed a lot for this tournament: Time, Money and Energy. He had to travel almost 1 day to come for this contest but in the end it’s absolutely worth it.

Final Ranking after 10 Rounds

Rk. SNo NameFEDRtgIPts.            
1 2CM Cilia Vincenti David MLT 1909 7,5            
2 5CMDarmanin Jake MLT 2096 6,5            
3 3CMPace Colin MLT 2132 6,5           
4 1CMSammut Briffa Peter MLT 1966 4,5            
5 4CMZerafa Robert MLT 2178 3,5            
6 6 Farah Alberto MLT 1896 1,5            

Past champions of the Malta championship can be found here.

Follow the tournament pairings and results at chess-results.

Article will be updated with game analysis.

Round 4 CM Robert, Zerafa (2178) – CM David, Cilia Vincenti (1909) 0-1
Round 6 CM Jake, Darmanin (2096) – CM David, Cilia Vincenti (1909) 1-0