ChessBase Expedition to the Bismarck Springs

by ChessBase
5/30/2005 – Once a year our company stages an outing for all its employees. Somehow we are able to make these trips exciting and adventurous, even if we restrict ourselves to northern Germany. This year we went on a search for the legendary Bismarck Springs, the source of the nation's favourite bottled water. Illustrated report.

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ChessBase Expedition to the Bismarck Springs

Everyone in great spirits at the start of the trip: Yvonne Gerstorff, Gisela Jäger, Mira Kowalski and Helga Wellerhaus

Hamburg is sometimes called the Venice of the North. Public transportation includes barges.

You can get to many places in the barges, which have to fit under low bridges

The ship has to go through a number of locks to descend to the level of the Elbe River

A silhouette of Hamburg Harbour – yes, you actually get to the forest by ship

On the ship with Stefan Meyer-Kahlen (the Shredder guy), Steffen Giehring (Support), Thomas Stark (Support), Oliver Reeh (IM, multimedia), Nadja Woisin (Spanish page), Martin Fischer (Playchess Tournament Director), Jeroen van den Belt (Programmer) and Gisela Jäger (Shipping).

Company founder and CEO Matthias Wüllenweber

Co-founder and editor Frederic Friedel, regarding the motion of the ship with suspicion.

André Schulz of and GM Rainer Knaak of ChessBase Magazine

Stanislav Tsukrov, who will soon provide us with Playchess access on mobile phones (how cool is that!)

Ben Bartels who looks after the ChessBase servers

"Arnold" van den Belt, ChessBase programmer

Gisela Jäger (Shipping and Cheerful Spirits)

Nadja Woisin, who hablas Espanol like a native

The mother of all Playchess SysOps: Gaby Assmann

Holger Lieske (Playchess SysOp) and Hans Frenay (Dutch support). In the background Frederic Friedel badgers Fritz engine programmer Frans Morsch

Martin Fischer (Playchess TD) and Lutz Nebe (ChessBase Programmer)

Peter Schreiner (Support, Documentation) with Matthias Wüllenweber

Before we embark on the dangerous journey to the source of German bottled water a hearty lunch in the Forsthaus Friedrichsruh Restaurant in the famous Sachsenwald

Forsthaus Friedrichsruh was the training camp of German boxing legend Max Schmeling, who won the heavyweight title of the world in 1930 and knocked out Joe Lewis in 1936. Schmeling died earlier this year at the age of 99.

Into the dark forest we go, armed with deadly GPS systems

Where are those damned satellites? Stefan Meyer-Kahlen and Jeroen van den Belt search, while ChessBase's commercial CEO Rainer Woisin has a baad feeling about this GPS thing.

Jeroen has the ultimate geek toy: a GPS watch

What dangers lurk for us in these meticulously kept German forests?

The perilous crossing of a forest brook

At times we encountered rugged, almost impassable terrain

At last, in the remote depths of the dark forest, we reach the Bismarck Springs

...and pause to refresh ourselves in the Bismarck Springs restaurant

At the end of this great adventure the trip home on a commuter train.

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