Let the games begin in Calvià

10/16/2004 – Actually they have already begun. Round one brought with no big surprises, as the top seeded teams rampaged through the bottom ranks. But before that the 36th Chess Olympiad was opened with an evening ceremony and a giant marionette on the beachside of Santa Ponça. David Llada sent us some photographic impressions.

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In the men's group there were a number of 4-0 or 3½-½ scores, as the top seeded teams rampaged through the bottom ranks (as is normal in Swiss tournaments). The surprises were Alexander Khalifman drawing to an FM from Andorra, and England getting a meager 2½-1½ against Turkey (with players like Kivanc Haznedaroglu, 2394, Mert Erdogdu, 2393, Turhan Yilmaz, 2361, Umut Atakisi, 2304). The same score was all India could offer against Uruguay. They are going to have to roll out their Big Anand soon.

In the women's section top seed China defeated Norway by 2½-½. Russia beat Iceland and the US team defeated Venezuela by the same score (Polgar and Zatonskih won, Shahade drew). Dark horse India did the same against Mexico, as did Georgia against Finland. Only the Ukraine team with Natalia Zhukova, Inna Gaponenko and Olga Alexandrova managed a 3-0 whitewash over Finland.

The Openings Ceremony

Pictorial by David Llada


Evening breaks on the beach of Santa Ponça, venue of the openings ceremony


Action on the streets: músicos, malabaristas...


Men on stilts – the "Zancudo giants"


Joined by a malabarista or juggler


Female "giants" fascinate the kids


The Olympic torch?


"Il capo di tutti capi" – FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov


The Mayor of Calviá, Carlos Delgado, greets the Spanish squad, with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Santi Andreu, the president of the Balearic Chess Federation.


"La Fura del Baus" with a giant marionette in form of a "chess lady"

Photos by David Llada

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