Chess Olympiad in the paradise of Calvià

by ChessBase
9/3/2004 – The first was in held in Paris, 80 years ago. The 36th edition of the Chess Olympiad will take place from October 14th to 31st on the beautiful Mediterranean island of Mallorca. There are events is for professionals and for amateurs. Who knows, you may even decide to move there after you have seen our spectacular pictorial report.

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The Chess Olympiad has in the past been held in cities like Paris (1924), London (the first Olympiad under FIDE regulations in 1927), Moscow or La Havana. 80 years later the city of Calvià on the Spanish Mediterranean island of Mallorca will host the 36th Olympiad, which is taking place from October 14 to 31, 2004.

Early Chess Olympiads

With the exception of the Olympic Games, the Chess Olympiad is the only sporting competition in the whole world where all the national federations of every country have the opportunity to participate without any need of overcoming previous qualification phase. Calvià is expecting to receive between 130 and 150 countries to this biannual event.

The task of the Organization Committee, which works closely with FIDE, is daunting. Registration of the teams, arbiters, organization of the opening and closing ceremonies, preparation of the venues (the Casino and the Magaluf Sports Centre), coordination of the cultural activities, preparation of the hotels and transportation facilities, commercialization of the stands in the International Chess Fair, installation of the hardware and software, organization of the Arts contest on chess, coordination of the website and information bulletins to be published during the Olympiad and the Festival, etc. etc.

Olympiad for professionals and amateurs

The Calvià Olympiad is of course for professional, representing their countries, but you don't have to be a grandmaster to participate. Parallel to the 36th Olympiad there is the 1st Chess Festival Calvià 2004. Here amateurs and enthusiasts can demonstrate their abilities, while strolling across to meet great players like Anand and Shirov. There will also be the 1st Open Masters International Calvià 2004, the 4th Spanish Veteran Championship, the 1st International Blitz Calvià, the 1st Scholl Festival International under-16 Blitz, the 1st International Amateur Tournament and the 1st Open International Calvià.

The Festival, open to children and adults, has a total prize fund of €64.300, with €3.000 reserved for the children's sections. Registration is at the official site given below ( There you will find all information regarding the Olympiad, the Festival, hotels, flights and transport prices.

The "Chess for all" city

Calvià’s commitment to chess will not finish with the 36th Chess Olympiad. The city council has launched the “Chess for all” project to try to promote chess among its population and visitors.

  • In the “Chess for all” program the Calvià Blitz Tournaments will take place every Saturday morning in different commercial centers of the municipality of Calvià. IM Fernando Braga and the FIDE arbiter Enrique Asensio are in charge of directing and umpiring the tournaments.

  • Another initiative is the introduction of chess classes in Calvià’s primary and secondary education schools, as well as in cultural centers and elderly centers. The objective is to bring chess to as many people possible.

  • Every summer, Calvià’s weekend nights are brightened up with movie projections on the beaches. This year for obvious reasons a number of chess films are on the programme.


Calvià, the European tourist destination

Calvià is located in the western part of the island of Majorca, just 20 minutes from the island's airport. The town is shielded from the Tramuntana northern wind by mountains and green, forested hills. On scaling the highest mountain, the Galatzó, the whole town of Calvià stretches out before you.

The Galatzó peak, the highest mountain in Calvià

The view from the Galatzó extends out over the Mediterranean, passing over a vast plain and small valleys forming gullies and hollows, until it finally reaches the coast.

Cas Català-Illetes, situated on the mountainside, descending towards the sea. Illetes takes its name from the group of three small islands ("Illetes" in Catalan) hidden deep in an area renowned as being a true haven of peace.

Twenty-six beaches, three golf courses, two water attraction parks, a casino, a marine zoo and one of the European biggest discos are some of the most interesting leisure alternatives. But if you want to enjoy with the local landscape, you can also find many sports facilities and great natural routes for walking or bicycle sightseeing.

A city view of Calvià

Bendinat-Portals Nous can be described in three words: peace, quiet and luxury. It combines both a tourist and residential ambience. Adjacent to Portals Nous is Puerto Portals, an internationally renowned luxury marina. Its restaurants, cocktail bars, ice cream parlors and boutiques have converted this area into one of the most cosmopolitan and glamorous places in Calvià.

The quite bay of Cala Fornells, less than a mile from the bustling sea resort of Peguera

An aerial view of Cala Fornells with the main hotels

Marineland, also located in Portals Nous, is a marine zoo with dolphinarium, reptilatium, aviarium and animal acts. In Bendinat you can also visit two of the local architectonic jewels: the “Mare de Déu” sanctuary and the Bendinat castle, dating from XIX century and neoclassical stile.

Aerial view of Cala Falcó

Magaluf is the all time fun classic for the youngsters. Here one of the biggest discos in whole Europe, BCM, is situated but the other discos, pubs and bars are a great international decoy. In “Aventura Pirata” you can have fun with its dinner-spectacle. Its endless beach is fabulous to practice any water sport and to go on maritime excursions on the Nemo submarine, but in the two attraction water parks, Aqualand and Western Water Park, you can also have water fun.

The Maricel waterfront hotel in Calvià

Palmanova is one of the best tourist destinations that Calvià offers for a quiet family holiday. Its three beaches are located among a variety of offerings for night and day leisure. In “Fantasia” you can play minigolf, adjacent, is one of the main golf courses of Calvià, Golf Poniente.

The Cruz del Desembarco in Santa Ponça

Santa Ponça is marked with Calvià’s and Majorca’s history and tradition. Precisely, it was here where the Christian troops led by King Jaume I disembarked in 1229. To commemorate this historical event, there is the “Cruz del Desembarco”, where you can enjoy a beautiful sunset. The “Capilla de la Piedra Sagrada” is another of the attractive architectonic in Santa Ponça. There, the Christian conquerors celebrated the first Christian mass after King’s Jaume I arrival. The area of Santa Ponsa has beaches too, a sporting port and Santa Ponsa Golf I, all over-looked by its lush mountains.

The tourist center of Santa Ponça

Santa Ponça with its extensive yachting facilities

The Santa Ponça windmill

Peguera is known by its dense pine groves and beaches. This area also offers a wide range of shops, most of them situated along the promenade that covers its entire length, known as “El Bulevar”. Peguera is one of the Calvià areas most visited during winter time.

The beach of Peguera

Calvià Vila and Es Capdellà are the oldest villages of Calvià. Both of them emerged from farmhouses built in the XIII century in Calvià Vila area and in the XVII century in Es Capdellà. Its architectonic structure transport us to the traditional Majorcan architecture, as you can check visiting different “possessions” situated in both towns.

The municipality of Calvià boasts 300 days of sunshine a year. The mild, stable climate offers an average temperature of 27ºC in summer and 14ºC in winter. That is why the sun and beach activities are one of the incentives for all its visitors.

The Calvià Church

But if you prefer to enjoy a bit of culture in your time off, Calvià can also help you with its more attractive cultural alternatives: cinema, theatre, concerts, gastronomic samples, weekly celebrations or its International Saloon Dancing Festival, among others. We cannot forget its extensive cultural heritage that can bring you into a municipality history journey from the prehistoric to nowadays, passing through the “talayotic” , Arabian or conquest eras.

The Pedra Sagrada Church in Calvià

Calvià shows one of the most important tourist infrastructures in Europe. Its constant urban development and extensive hotel and apartment offer makes the tourism sector request grow day after day. Tourism means, with no doubt, the biggest economic injection for the municipality, a fact that obliges an on-going improvement of its responce to the needs of the tourists that every year decide to have their vacations in Calvià.

A paella is normally eaten directly out of the pan – but not this one here

Paella ("pah-eh-lyah") is a Spanish rice dish that is eaten on festive occasions. The name comes from the Catalan word for "frying pan" (from Latin patella). There are many variations, but the main ingredients are rice, saffron, and olive oil. The garnish, which is cooked with the rice in stock, was originally made from chicken, pork, French beans (green beans), tomato, and other vegetables. Today one can find paellas with chorizo, duck, langoustines, lobster, mussels, shrimp or squid, chorizo, mussels, and a variety of different vegetables.

A market place in Calvià

The sheep market

Many visitors see Calvià as a great place to establish a second or even a first residency. Since the beginning of tourist boom in the sixties, Calvià’s population has increased by more than 40,000 citizens, making it the second largest city on Mallorca.

A country house in the Calvià municipality

Nowadays 24.67% of Calvià’s population are foreigners: British, Germans, French and Italians, in this order, are the Europeans most in love with Calvià.

Here is one of the reasons: the Playa del Mago, another idyllic bathing cove

Information and pictures supplied by the Olympiad Organising Committee

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