European Champs, Santa Lucia on Playchess

4/18/2006 – Easter weekend was very special for our chess server. The European individual champioships ended, and apart from being able to follow all important games live on Playchess, visitors were treated to special indepth interviews by both the winners. On Sunday the closing ceremony was broadcast live, with a baritone aria sung by chess legend Lajos Portisch.

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European Championship on Playchess

Multimedia reports by Ali Nihat Yazici

During the Seventh European Individual Championships, which were held from April 4th to 17th in Kuşadası, Turkey, we had uninterrupted live coverage of all the important games on the Playchess server. This included interviews with the winners of both the Men's and the Women's sections at the end of the tournament.

The interviews and video reports were conducted using the Chess Media System developed by ChessBase. They were transmitted live in the "Broadcast" room of the Playchess server. After the closing ceremony some of the files were put on the ChessBase media server, which can handle streaming video. You can watch these videos offline.

Ekaterina Atalik, who won the European Women's Championship title, reveals in the Playchess interview that she is three months pregnant. Ali Nihat speculates that this may lead to a trend: the world championship title was won in Ekaterinburg by the three-month pregnant Chinese WGM Xu Yuhua. Maybe other girls will now try this recipe, speculates Ali. But you need to be careful about this, Ekaterina explains. During the Turkish Championship she was one month pregnant and not eating, due to nausea. That led to a disastrous result. "When you do not eat you have no energy," she explains. "I played normal chess there, but after about two hours I started to blunder. For example in the game against my husband [GM Suat Atalik] I was a pawn up but started to tire." Atalik, who is present at the interview, confirms that he noticed this and went on to win. No family considerations there. "It is a pleasure for him to kill me in the game," Ekaterina says.

The European Men's Individual Championship was won by GM Zdenko Kozul of Croatia. When he arrived in Kusadasi he was very tired from the trip and did not expect to win a medal, but then, especially after his victory over Naiditsch he started to believe he had chances for Gold. He also felt that at 40 he could still hold his own against the young "computer generation".

At the closing ceremony there was a lot of traditional dancing by a Turkish folklore group. Watch out for some extremely vigorous steps on the part of the Turkish men.

The high point of the evening was doubtlessly the impromptu performance by chess legend Lajos Portisch, who is an accomplished baritone. Lajos sang Santa Lucia for the closing ceremony audience and to the utter delight of the Playchess.com visitors. A premiere on the chess server!


Santa Lucia

"Santa Lucia", one of the most famous Neapolitan songs, is an ode dedicated to the city of Naples and to the Santa Lucia area which faces the Gulf of Naples.

The lyrics are the words of a boatman describing the view from Santa Lucia: It is night and the moon is reflected in the sea. He tells us of the indescribable magic that one can feel while watching the boats in the sea; how they sail softly, driven by gentle breezes. The boatsman invites people to board his boat saying how you will admire the sea and the city of Naples.

Naples is described beautifully in this song as, "suolo beato, ove sorridere volle il Creato" (holy soil, smiled upon by the Creator). The Santa Lucia quarter is called "impero dell'armonia" (the empire of harmony).

SANTA LUCIA

Sul mare luccica
L'astro d'argento
Placida è l'onda
Prospero il vento;
Venite all'agile
Barchetta mia;
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

Con questo zeffiro
Così soave,
Oh, come è bello
Star sulla nave.
Su passeggeri,
Venite via;
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

In' fra le tende
Bandir la cena,
In una sera
Così serena.

Chi non dimanda,
Chi non desia;
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

Mare sì placido,
vento sì caro,
Scordar fa i triboli
Al marinaio.
E va gridando
Con allegria:
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

O dolce Napoli,
O suol beato,
Ove sorridere
Volle il creato,
Tu sei l'impero
Dell'armonia,
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

Or che tardate?
Bella è la sera;
Spira un'auretta
Fresca e leggiera;
Venite all'agile
Barchetta mia;
Santa Lucia! Santa Lucia!

(T. Cottrau - Longo 1835)

European Championship 2006 links


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