By Anna Dergatscheva
Our correspondent Anna Dergatscheva was born on 26.02.1969 in Moscow. She studied Russian language and literature. She lives in Germany and plays in Germany's top women's division as well as the men's regional league.
All pictures in this article were sent to us directly from Bled by Anna Dergatscheva
Normally Chess Olympiads are held in cities like Moscow and Istanbul, sometimes in far-away places like Elista, the capital of Kalmykia. Now for the first time FIDE has staged it in a town that is not even marked on the national map of Slovenia that all participants received. But they were sill very happy to be in Bled. It is a very small town in a spectacularly beautiful region, with a lake surrounded by mountains and palaces.
Fresh air and sunny weather make the event a delight for the participants and visitors.
We hear that the idea of staging the Olympiad in Bled came from GM Evgeni Sveschnikov (right), who is here as the trainer of the Tunesian team. He has been playing here in the yearly open for twelve years, and has founded the "Sveschnikov Club". In order to become a member you must walk around the entire lake once. Evgeni did it 150 times – not bad when you consider that the walk takes 7800 steps (yep, he counted!) and is 5.7 km long.
Inventor Evgeni Sveshnikov – and Peter Svidler taking the walk
Another group of intrepids: Psakhis, Sutovski, Gulko, Huzman
In Bled you keep hearing Russian from people playing under completely different flags. Boris Gulko, Emil Sutovski, Lev Psachis and Alexander Huzman love to discuss the long-gone times when they played together somewhere in the Soviet Union.
Loek van Wely, Peng Zhaoquin
Alexander Morozevich, Anna Sharevich (17, Bulgaria)
The other two Alexanders: Grischuk and Khalifman
Viktor and Petra Kortschnoj
Ilya Smirin, Andrei Kovalev
The star of the Olympiad is definitely Garry Kasparov. There are always crowds around his board, photographers jostle to get a picture of the strongest player in the world.
Playing at a 3000+ level for Russia: Garry Kasparov
No problems getting a picture of world champion Ruslan Ponomariov
After Russia lost to Hungary in round nine the race has become very close. Everyone believes that the two countries will decide the outcome amongst themselves.
Russia vs Hungary, Alexander Grischuk vs Judit Polgar
Peter Leko of Hungary holding Kasparov to a draw
Lutz vs Hracek
The English team: Luke McShane, Nigel Short, Michael Adams
Ukrainian perennial Vassily Ivanchuk
The women's Olympiad
I devoted quite a bit of attention to the women's section for the Olympiad. This is hardly surprising since I know many personally and have played against a number of them. But I also assume that many of the male visitors to this site will be interested to see some of the players of the opposite sex. So I wandered around with my camera, not always making a note of the players I photographed.
Almira Skripchenko-Lautier (Fra), Ketino Kachiani-Gersinska (Ger)
The German team: Ketino Kachiani, Elisabeth Pähtz, Ekatrina Borulya
The ever popular Natalia Zhukova
The Slovak team: Mrova, Hagarova, Pokorna
Maria Kouvatsou (Greece)
Vice champion of the world Alexandra Kosteniuk
The women's team from Iran