North Urals: An active day off for active players

by ChessBase
7/31/2008 – Three arduous rounds of chess, one nice day of rest, but not by any means of inactivity. The eight participants of the strongest women's chess tournament of all time made a trip to the river, where you throw in coins to ensure your return. Then a festive dinner. Speeches. Then Karaoke. Then some dance moves. Free day report, richly illustrated with pictures by Vadim Smalkov.

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An active day off for active players

By Anna Burtasova – translation by Olesya Aleynikova

After the third playing day the organizers of the super tournament decided to give the participants some rest to gain strength for the remaining four rounds. But the day off in the “North Urals Cup” means active leisure.

On their way to the river-side ceremony: Natalija Pogonina, Anna Muzychuk, Marie Sebag, Antoaneta Stefanova, Anna Ushenina (covered), Koneru Humpy, Xu Yuhua and Pia Cramling.

During the day all participants joined the Russian tradition to throw coins into the water for the possibility to come back to the place they like. Now coins from eight different countries were added to the river Turya. And the girls were glad that it will let them come to the hospitable Ural land again.

At the river Anna Ushenina throws in her coin (with Natalija, Anna Muzychuk, Marie and Pia watching)

Anna Muzychuk and Natalija express their desire to return

A bit later all participants and guests were invited to the banquet to the restaurant “Yasa” where real fun began.

First a beautiful group photo. In case you still don't know them: Xu, Sebag, Cramling, Humpy (first row); Pogonina, Stefanova, Muzychuk, Ushenina (behind)

Once more, waving and with first names: Yuhua, Marie, Pia, Humpy; Natalija, Antoaneta, Anna, Anna.

And on to the festive dinner in the Yasa restaurant

The table full of food, karaoke, and disco were prepared. Even guests from far India and China did not sit aside and actively participated in the friendly festival. Xu Yuhua even had to taste Russian vodka.

First a few speeches, then the meal, and then...

... Natalija Pogonina tries her hand at Karaoke

The ladies are invited to try out some dance steps

Anna Muzychuk Natalija Pogonina get lessons in from our author Burtasova ..

... and with Anna's help become really good at it

Antoaneta takes on the locals

Antoaneta Stefanova said the last toast, “All participants thank the organizers for this wonderful tournament”.

Once again all pictures are by our star photographer Vadim Smalkov


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