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Michele Godena (born 30 June 1967) is an Italian chess grandmaster, a former European Union champion and five-time national champion.

Michele Godena
Godena 2006.JPG
GM Godena in 2006
Born (1967-06-30) 30 June 1967 (age 51)
Valdobbiadene, Italy
TitleGrandmaster (1996)
FIDE rating2468 (May 2019)
Peak rating2561 (March 2010)

A resident of Finale Ligure, he achieved the titles of International Master (IM) in 1988 and International Grandmaster (GM) in 1996, following a plus score on board one for Italy at the Chess Olympiad in Yerevan. He has played many times for his country's Olympiad team and at Elista in 1998 posted a score of 66.7% playing board 2.

Godena has won five times the Italian Chess Championship, in 1992, 1993, 1995, 2005 and 2006. He was runner-up in 1990 and 1998. His 2006 victory was closely contested with the then 14-year-old Italian-American prodigy, IM Fabiano Caruana. Both players finished the contest on 8 points from 11 rounds and Godena triumphed narrowly in the rapid and blitz play-off.

He tied for 1st–4th with Andrei Sokolov, Dražen Sermek and Xie Jun at Cannes 1997.[1] At the Aeroflot Open 2006 in Moscow, Godena tied for 1st–12th in the A2 group, finishing 12th on tiebreak with a rating performance of 2628.[2]

For many years Italy's strongest player, he recorded his highest ever Elo rating of 2561 in March 2010.

While Godena was once nicknamed "The Italian Machine" by GM Sergei Shipov, other commentators believe that his disproportionate time management might be holding back his further progress. He frequently uses all of his time in the opening and early middle game, relying on positional knowledge, quickfire technique and instinctive reactions to make the remaining moves in incrementally added time.

In June 2007, in Arvier, Godena became the champion of the European Union having tied for 1st–2nd with Serbian GM Nikola Sedlak, who won the tournament on tie-break, but as a non-European Union citizen, could not be awarded the title. In 2016, Godena won the 4th Francophonie Championship in Menton, France edging out Bassem Amin, Pablo Almagro Llamas and Yannick Gozzoli on tiebreak score.[3]

As white, he opens with 1.e4 and as black, prefers the Ruy Lopez and Slav/Semi-Slav variations of the Queen's Gambit Declined.


  1. ^ "Cannes op 18th 1997". Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  2. ^ "Aeroflot Open 2006 Tournament A2 - Final Ranking". Archived from the original on 19 February 2006. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  3. ^ "The Week in Chess 1147". Retrieved 25 September 2017.

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