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Michele Godena

GM Godena in 2006
Full name Michele Godena
Country Italy
Born 30 June 1967
Valdobbiadene, Italy
Title Grandmaster
Peak rating 2561 (March 2010)

Michele Godena (born 30 June 1967 in Valdobbiadene) is an Italian chess player and 5 times the national champion.

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

Godena has so far been five times the national champion 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/blitz play-off.

He tied for 1st-4th with Andrei Sokolov, Dražen Sermek and Xie Jun at Cannes 1997. At the Moscow Aeroflot 2006 tournament he finished 12th in the A2 group, with a performance rating of 2628.

For many years Italy's strongest player, he recorded his highest ever Elo rating of 2558 in April 2007, but has since been overtaken by Caruana's rapid rise to stardom.

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, at Arvier, he became the EU Individual Open Champion (the Serbian GM Nikola Sedlak won the tournament on tie-break, but as a non-European Union citizen, could not be awarded the title).

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.