Martinique c'est magnifique (2/2)

by Alina l'Ami
4/29/2017 – A chess paradise must be something like this idyllic setting with gorgeous sunsets and sunrises, clement weather and beautiful beaches, with chess to boot. Concluding her account of the event, people, food, and games, here is the large illustrated report with plenty of high-resolution photos by Alina L'Ami.

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Martinique c'est magnifique (2/2)

Text and photos by Alina L'Ami (click on images for high-res)

Although the co-winners wiped the field, the rest of us mere mortals did enjoy the atmosphere too. I can't forget the game I had against a 12-year-old boy who opposed fierce opposition, and the talk with his mom afterwards. He was unable to sleep the night before the game due to the thrill he felt facing a titled player.

Being passionate...

...pays off.

Similar excitement could be seen all around the venue, embodied particularly in the shape of the tournament organizer – Gilles Suez-Panama. How did he manage to juggle all the exigencies a successful tournament requires and play decent chess as well?!

“I am married to chess” Gilles (3rd from the right) explained, tongue in cheek. Quite a demanding and capricious wife...

Seems like nearly everyone loves chess on the island

In sync – the French GMs had their share of tough moments

In addition to the obvious sponsors, inspired by the whole Martinique atmosphere and after facing a top GM like Romain Edouard, the director of Chess Club Live suddenly decided to pump up the general prizes.

New youth prize categories had appeared, motivating the local talents further

Impulsive? Yes. Appreciated? Definitely. This is what Martinique does to people, it brings out the best in us. And Michael Mkpadi was unable to resist.

I am not quite sure what this island does to your brain but it is definitely good

If you would like playing in Martinique next year but don't quite fancy the multiple-rounds-a-day-scheme, the organizers have good news for you: one day – one round, so your spouse and family will have the pleasure of seeing you now and then. Because I assume nobody in their right state of mind will not join you to Eden.

And if you believe in magic, after a seven-and-a-half hour flight from Paris you'll walk around... Paris?! Although the region doesn't necessarily evoke thoughts of Louvre and Chanel No. 5, Martinique does a marvelous job in combining the elegance of France with everything you may love about the Caribbean. Just think about rewarding yourself after a rough game with confit de canard (wait, what?!) while a giant volcano is towering above...

Martinique has it all with its rich yet tumultuous cultural heritage

Diverse landscape

Top-notch culinary options. Michelin street food – arguably the best I ever had.

Sublime scenery

And absolutely lovely people

Martinique has become known as the island of revenants, those who always return

Et pourquoi pas?

Alina is an International Master and a very enthusiastic person in everything she does. She loves travelling to the world's most remote places in order to play chess tournaments and report about them here on ChessBase! As chance would have it Alina is also an excellent photographer.


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