Our man in Jinan

by ChessBase
4/17/2005 – The World Ladies Tournament is under way, with our intrepid reporter Ali Nihat Yazici on the scene to give us his pictorial impressions of the Chinese metropolis of Jinan. Ali tells us about the chess, the sponsors, the people, a simultaneous exhibition, lunches, dinners and a memorable foot massage. Don't you wish you were there with him?

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World Ladies Tournament in Jinan

Report by Ali Nihat Yazici

First the chess. We are able to bring you some of the games from the first six rounds. They were collected from the Chinese web sites by Mark Crowther of TWIC in a heroic effort. Many of the gamescores are not available, and Mark has inserted empty games with the correct results, so we are able to generate a proper cross table.

Rounds 3rd and 4th round were organised in San Jian Group Building. It is a fantastic, modern, 19 storey structure. The San Jian Group is also main sponsor of the tournament. The CEO of the San Jian Group is Mr. Wang Zhensheng. This gentleman was born a nice person. He loves chess and likes to sponsor it.

Chess sponsor Wang Zhensheng starts the game Zhu Chen vs Almira Skripchenko

... after which the battle begins in earnest

Wang Zhensheng is the head of Shandong Sanjian Group, is an extremely warm and pleasant person. In spite of his importance he remains very accessible, looks after his guests in the kindest possible way, making everyone feel very much at home. His generosity, and the generosity of all the people involved in the stageing of this chess event, is striking.

With a history of over fifty years and total assets exceeding RMB (Chinese Yuan) 1.4 billion, the Shandong Sanjian Group is a state-owned enterprise with comprehensive functions such as domestic and overseas overall contracts, construction design and research, construction of public and high-rise buildings, equipment installation, real estate supply and sale of goods and materials, domestic and international trade, mineral resource development, pharmacy, film and TV making, advertisement, education and investment. In 2002, it realized RMB 5.01 billion in total output value and RMB 420 million in profit and tax. 1 USD is equal to 8.25 Chinese Yuan approximately.

Ali Nihat Yazici with Wang Zhensheng and top Chinese GM Ye Jiangchuan
in the San Jian Headquarter Office

Wang Zhensheng loves to study the world globe in his study. Pointing to the Chinese territories he says: "Among all the cities here, Jinan City in Shandong Province is my favorite; and in Jinan, it is the SanJian Group that strikes me most. In 1978 when I was 29, I retired from military service in the PLA to work in this group, and now I am already 54 years old. That means I have been working in this enterprise for 25 years. This learning carrier has benefited me a lot. During this period, my colleagues and I have experienced many hardships, difficulties, anxieties, uncertainties and problems. However, I never forget choosing this enterprise and contributing the best of my life to it.’

Thanks to Mr. Zhensheng, who has promised to sponsor next year event, on an even bigger scale.

Simultaneous exhibition

On Friday the twelve beautiful ladies playing in this tournament gave a simultaneous exhibition for Jinan to children. The event was sponsored by Mazda Plaza of Jinan. The ladies played and played and played, the children were so hungry for chess. Some of the games were really tough.

The Mazda Plaza car dealership in Jinan where the simultaneous exhibition was held

Chess hungry kids waiting for the simultaneous players to appear

At last the ladies have arrived and the games can begin

Western chess queens against Chinese children

Veronika Machalova of Slovakia hard at work

The head of the Mazda Plaza is fascinated by the performance

Iranian beauty Shirin Navabi in the simul

A young player who gave Iriana Krush a really tough time

A five-year-old opponent, a mean Dragon player, is interviewed by the media

Vera Nebolsina with the chief organiser Liu Wei after the simul

The players and the Mazda team at the end of the simultaneous exhibition


Now for some impressions from Jinan, where we are overcome by the friendliness and hospitality of the people – not just the organisers and dignitaries, but the population we encounter on our trips around the city.

The streets of Jinan, with cars, busses and of course the bicycle rider

Lunch in a beautiful Chinese barbecue restaurant, with the usual delicious food

One of our hosts teaches us how to eat crab!

And dinner, with Irina Krush, Zhu Chen, the owner of Mazda Plaza (who invited us to a traditional Chinese restaurant), Almira Skripchenko and Xie Jun

Irina and Almira try to decipher a Chinese newspaper

Everyone in great spirits after the delicious dinner

At the end of the day half of the group went to bed, the remainder went for a foot massage as guests of the organiser. Your intrepid reporter was part of the second group, wanting to describe first-hand this great experience for ChessBase readers.

Ali Nihat preparing for a foot massage

When I went in I was exhausted from the long day, but after one hour of massage I was born again. They take off your shoes and socks and then put your feet into scented hot water.

Vera Nebolsina's father, Vera and others taking the Chinese massage

Then after five minutes they start to massage your shoulders. Then your backbone. Then they massage your feet with special oils. All of your muscles becomes alive again.

More to follow soon. That's me, filing my report from Jinan for ChessBase.com


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