Olympiad First Impressions

by Alejandro Ramirez
8/2/2014 – Despite some minor hiccups with security and punctuality the Chess Olympiad is now under way. Many of the games finished very early as the difference in strength between the teams can be quite excessive. With the first round underway we bring you the first impressions of the playing venue, the ambiance and overall first impressions from chess in Tromso.

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First Impressions

Round One of the World Chess Olympiad is currently under way! The tournament started only about 15 minutes late, and so far there are no surprises. Grischuk was actually able to win his game in less than half an hour.

Long security lines were the reason for the delay on round one

 

Kateryna Lagno heads the Russian team in today's round

Everyone gets checked thoroughly, and with the new rule in effect no cell phones are allowed in the playing hall at all

IM Puchen Wang from New Zealand arriving to the scene

The playing hall is very spatious, even though the lightning is not absolutely the best. There are different "sections" that seem to be rather arbitrarily defined. The Women and the Men are playing next to each other so there is no problem visiting the games of either. The playing hall over all cannot really be described as being pretty, but it is functional.

The coffee area is rather small and there's usually a little struggle to get some kind of refreshments

Every match has three spectators chairs: one for the arbiter and two for the team captains.
Here is John Donaldson, captain of America's open team.

Some matches paired countries that are relatively close together: here is Cuba vs. Costa Rica in the Women's section

Others couldn't be farther away: Jamaica vs. Iran!

Ana Daniela Madrigal (right) and Kathy Mendieta are Nicaragua's one and two

The strong team of Cuba is always fighting in the top boards

Most top countries rested their first board. In the case of Russia it is Kramnik that is on first, so he rested, while Grischuk took over the first board while Karjakin (above) is playing on second. Carlsen for example went hiking:

Carlsen hikig in Tromso with his family. Photo taken from his official Facebook page.

Ian Nepomniachtchi is Russia's fifth board. Notice that unlike most team matches, the top boards have individual tables. This is because they also have individual cameras that are relaying the action live.

Sam Shankland is reinforcing the American team. USA's number one, Hikaru Nakamura, had problems with his flights and will not arrive until tomorrow.

If there was a best dressed prize, the Palestinian team would certainly be in contention

Toilets are the player's biggest complaint right now. They are outside the hall and are these portable potties that don't really live to the standard of an Olympiad.

The ChessBase studio is up and running with many live interviews. We will be posting the highlights and the full round report later today.

Round One Pairings

Open:

No. Team Pts. MP Res. : Res. MP Pts. Team
1 Jordan 0 0   :   0 0 Russia
2 Ukraine 0 0   :   0 0 Tunisia
3 Norway 0 0   :   0 0 Yemen
4 Zambia 0 0   :   0 0 France
5 Armenia 0 0   :   0 0 Japan
6 Algeria 0 0   :   0 0 Hungary
7 United States of America 0 0   :   0 0 Uganda
8 Guatemala 0 0   :   0 0 China
9 Kyrgyzstan 0 0   :   0 0 Israel
10 England 0 0   :   0 0 Wales
11 Andorra 0 0   :   0 0 Netherlands
12 Germany 0 0   :   0 0 Iraq
13 Puerto Rico 0 0   :   0 0 Cuba
14 Angola 0 0   :   0 0 Poland
15 Czech Republic 0 0   :   0 0 Libya
16 Malaysia 0 0   :   0 0 Spain
17 Bulgaria 0 0   :   0 0 El Salvador
18 Syria 0 0   :   0 0 India
19 Italy 0 0   :   0 0 Barbados
20 Nigeria 0 0   :   0 0 Georgia

Women:

No. Team Pts. MP Res. : Res. MP Pts. Team
1 Russia 0 0   :   0 0 Jordan
2 Norway 0 0   :   0 0 South Korea
3 Luxembourg 0 0   :   0 0 Ukraine
4 Georgia 0 0   :   0 0 Kyrgyzstan
5 New Zealand 0 0   :   0 0 India
6 Romania 0 0   :   0 0 Paraguay
7 Finland 0 0   :   0 0 United States of America
8 Poland 0 0   :   0 0 Algeria
9 Malaysia 0 0   :   0 0 France
10 Armenia 0 0   :   0 0 Guatemala
11 Nicaragua 0 0   :   0 0 Spain
12 Germany 0 0   :   0 0 Albania
13 Bolivia 0 0   :   0 0 Hungary
14 Monaco 0 0   :   0 0 Serbia
15 Netherlands 0 0   :   0 0 Tajikistan
16 Portugal 0 0   :   0 0 Kazakhstan
17 Slovakia 0 0   :   0 0 Syria
18 Costa Rica 0 0   :   0 0 Cuba
19 Vietnam 0 0   :   0 0 Uruguay
20 Jamaica 0 0   :   0 0 Iran

Photos by Alejandro Ramirez

All you need to know about the Olympiad

  • Full information on the games, the venue, the atmosphere and what's happening on and off the chessboard – 68 pages in PDF, 45 MB in size.
  • All practical details you need to know before and after your arrival, including information about money, the climate, arriving at Oslo and Tromsø Airports, lost or delayed luggage, check-in at the hotels, the accreditation desk, information offices and the opening ceremony.

All ChessBase reports on the 2014 Olympiad in Tromsø




Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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Cyric Renner Cyric Renner 8/2/2014 08:03
Porto Potties ? For Real ? Where is the tournament taking place, somewhere in the woods ?
dr.genial@yahoo.com.br dr.genial@yahoo.com.br 8/2/2014 06:49
toiletgate
1