Asian Indoor Games in Ha Long – pictorial impressions

by ChessBase
1/9/2010 – In December we reported in detail on the Third Asian Indoor Games, where teams from 19 countries participated in the chess section. The story was so extensive that we were unable to include all the pictures sent in by our reporter. We bring you these impressions from a location that is a "New Seven Wonders of the World" candidate. Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh reports.

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3rd Asian Indoor Games in Ha Long, Vietnam (Part two)

The Third Asian Indoor Games took place in Vietnam at the end of last year. It saw 4500 athletes from 45 Asian countries competing in 24 sports. In the chess competition 19 countries participated. The chess tournaments were held in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, and were very well organized by the National Olympic Committee of Vietnam, with the assistant of the Vietnam Chess Federation.

Tournament Venue in Halong Bay City

We reported in detail on the tournament last December. The story was so extensive that we were unable to include all the pictures sent in by our reporter. These impressions, gathered by him with the chess participants of the Asian Indoor Games are subject of this report.

Pictorial impressions from Halong

By Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh

Ha Long means descending dragon in Vietnamese. Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site which features thousands of limestone karsts and 1,960 islets, most of which are also limestone, formed in 20 million years under the impact of the tropical climate. Historical surveys have shown the presence of prehistorical human beings in this area tens of thousands years ago. Today Halong Bay has become one of the most popular travel destinations in Vietnam. It is one of the finalists – we are told in third place – for the new Seven Wonders of the World.

The Bai Chay bridge over the Cua Luc strait links the cultural and economic centres of Hon Gai and Bay Chay in the northern province of Quang Ninh, is a single-plane cable-stayed bridge with the longest span in the world – 435 m

It is known as the “Halong String Instrument”

A double-deck wooden ship, the symbol of Halong Bay

Tour of Halong Bay, with the Jordan players seated precariously on the stern of the ship

Our reporter Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh gets to try his hand at steering the ship

The ships arrive at their destination and the passengers disembark

The path to the famous limestone cave

Hisham Al-Taher, General Secretary of Asian Chess Federation, and Bharat Singh,
Secretary of the Delhi Chess Association, climb down to the cave

The Hang Đầu Gỗ or Wooden Stakes Cave has three large chambers containing
numerous stalactites and stalagmites (as well as 19th century French graffiti)

The Thai players are deeply impressed by the cave

So are Bharat Singh and GM Parimarjan Negi from New Delhi

Some of the fantasy animals depicted in displays aroung Halong Bay – fortunately
we encountered none of these in our expedition in the in the Wooden Stakes Cave

Chinese players and delegates find all of this fascinating and amusing

Beautiful natural karsts formations in Halong Bay

The famous "Kissing rocks" – but the ships have to circle to get the right angle...

... because in reality the rocks are quite far apart

B ack on shore FIDE officials get special VIP cars, drivers and translators

The translators are all students of English at college and language school

International Arbiter Nguyen Thi Anh Thu from Vietnam

Previous report

Third Asian Indoor Games in Ha Long, Vietnam
21.12.2009 – The first were held in 2006 in Doha, Qatar; the second a year later in Macau. The third edition in Vietnam saw 4500 athletes from 45 Asian countries competing in 24 sports – including chess. There 19 countries participated. China won three Gold, two Silvers and a Bronze, India won Bronze in all four categories. Pictorial report by Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh.

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