Ivanchuk slept here

by Nadja Wittmann
3/10/2003 – No, not in the house on the right – that's where the dogs fall off the cliffs! In her closing report from Linares Nadja Wittmann finds proof that her room in the Anibal hotel was previously occupied by Vassily Ivanchuk, describes the unforgettable taste of fresh olives and shows you the banners Spanish mayors are putting up on their town halls. Curious? See it all in this remarkable picture gallery from Linares.

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Linares picture gallery

XX International Chess Tournament
Cuidad de Linares 2003 (Cat. XX)

A week in Linares, for the strongest classical chess tournament of the year. We have brought you fourteen reports, one on each round, and a number of picture galleries.

This year our Spanish speaking reporter Nadja Woisin was in charge of providing the pictures from Linares. Working out of the Hotel Anibal, where all the players were staying, Nadja undertook trips to the surrounding towns of Ubeda and Bailén. There and on the trip back to Madrid she took many pictures of the beautiful southern Spanish countryside.


Ivanchuk slept here

On the door of my room in the Anibal hotel I found a name scratched below the room number: IVANCHUK. We must assume that Vassily Ivanchuk had this room in one of the previous tournaments and marked it so he could find it again.

This is the inside of the room with the bed in which Vassily slept

The desk and window, all clean and elegant

And the bathroom, beautifully modernised

Linares, Ubeda and Bailén

The mining tower, symbol of Linares

Frederic Friedel, risking his life for a handfull of pictures

The landscape outside Ubeda, consisting mainly of olive groves to the horizon

Wandering through olive groves

Nadja Wittmann picking an olive from the tree (urged by Frederic)

In one of his reports on Linares my colleague Frederic Friedel wrote: "Southern Spain is the land of olives. When driving to Ubeda or Cazorla you will occasionally see olive groves all the way to the horizon, in every direction. Stop at one of the fields, pluck an olive and bite into the fresh dark fruit. It is an experience you will never forget!"

Okay, so I followed his advice and tried it. (Nowing what would happen, but...)

It is all a cruel trick. Fresh olives off the tree are incredibly, unbelievably bitter. Apparently they have to be treated in brine, before they are suitable for human consumption. Fresh olives also colour your teeth purple. After ten minutes of spitting the taste slowly leaves your mouth. Thanks a lot, Frederic!

Wouldn't you like to live here? A residential part of old Úbeda

A fountain with the ubiquitous orange trees

Frederic Friedel with the editor of the Russian chess magazine "64" Alexander Roshal, one of the most knowledgeable insiders in chess

The historical center of Úbeda

One possible mode of transport in Úbeda: the good old horse carriage

The Town Hall in Bailén. In every Spanish city we visited the town halls had the same banner rejecting a war in Iraq. Apparently the mayors do not share the political views of the Spanish government.

Same thing outside the mayor's office in the Linares Town Hall

Leaving Linares

On the trip back to Madrid, just before leaving Andalusia, we are treated to some spectacular scenery.

Despeñaperros Restaurant

In this lovely little restaurant tucked on the mountainside you can get delicious "bocadillos", large, submarine-style bread filled with "jamón serrano" (Spanish ham) or "queso manchego" (Sheep milk cheese from Mancha), Anchovies – or all of them together.

The name of the area is Despenaperros, which translates approximately to "where the dogs fall off".

That's where they fall, hundreds of meters down the side of the mountain

Who says only dogs can fall down those cliffs?

Back into our trusty compact and on to Madrid

Olive groves near Puerto Lápice

And some final scenes, approaching the spanish capital

Hills between Ocaña and Arranjuez

See you in Linares next year? You should come along, not just for the chess.

Photos by Nadja Wittmann and Frederic Friedel

Chief editor Spanish ChessBase website es.chessbase.com, tutorials, marketing.


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