Romanian league in Napoleon retreat (2/2)

by Alina l'Ami
12/2/2014 – In this second part of her soul-searching article on the Romanian League, Alina L'Ami shares her thoughts on Romania and its deeply rooted traditions, as well as contrasting memories as a child and today. Seeking a sense of nostalgia, she examines everything with a look to remember. As usual, this is combined with her photos and player profiles, all in her inimitable style.

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Continued from part one

I know I may well transfigure the past, catching its "lows" rather than its "highs" as most of us would be inclined to do, in order to prove how “strong” I used to be. You know, I am not searching for precise memories about Calimanesti, but rather for that raw, pure and extreme emotion rending my heart - this reminds me of where I started from, where I reached and where am I going. In short, it reminds me of being alive.

These little sisters were having a lunch break after the praying in Turnul Monastery. Seeing
what they were eating brought to life many memories I had thought long gone. The sweets
they have in their hands are called "Eugenia", the basic dessert that our 80s and 90s
generation grew up with. It is some sort of sandwich, with chocolate paste in between two
hard long biscuits. Not my favourite anymore but back then I had a different taste.

Romanians are very close to nature and its remedies: here you can see natural honey,
made from various sources

I needed to feel the nostalgia for the difficult tournaments from the past as an anchor, a context and a perspective allowing me to truly enjoy what I have now. Sadly, I didn't quite manage to get it.

The Romanian number one woman player: IM Corina Peptan

Our second board, IM Irina Bulmaga: a true chess fan, who jeopardizes her exams for the sake
of our team! She passed one of her university tests on the way back home, in ... a parking lot!

WGM Carmen Voicu-Jagodzinsky, a constant member of our Romanian Olympic team, now
also a successful chess teacher in Germany

Nevertheless, I had glimpses of joyful moments from my chess childhood spent in Calimanesti (like the crewnwurst story), interrupted by the sharp-edged knife of suffering when “seeing” myself covered in blankets and moving the pieces with frozen hands...In such moments I managed to re-connect with that Alina from the past and paint a compassionate smile on my daydreaming face as an adult. Sure enough, this longing expectation arrived like an old friend who passes by to say "Hello" without staying overnight, but opening a window towards your own self, helping to know yourselfbetter. The revelation of the introspection was not very flattering, and I realized that I had become used to a good life. Still, don't we all constantly strive for the better?

Rituals - I don't see tradition as a jailer, from who's ruthless hands
you must break out...

...tradition is a guide, is our collective memory, which makes us who we are.

And I must agree that despite my prejudices, the National Team Championship of Romania was organized better than in the previous editions, the organizers were doing their best and I succeeded to accept that when you have expectations, you might get disappointed. Since I don't really like to stare at the empty part of the glass, why wouldn't I enjoy the ride and choose to see its nicely filled side, the professional one?!

Board one of Apa Nova Bucuresti team - the Moldavian GM Viorel Iordachescu

Our first board in the men's team of Politehnica - Antibiotice Iasi: GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko

GM Constantin Lupulescu, the number one rated player of Romania

The team championship ended in full success for Medicina Timisoara who won both the woman and men competitions. For financial reasons, the women team of AEM Timisoara, which was always a redoubtable rival, didn't compete this time. In fact, this was not the only absence so the women championship aligned only eight teams instead of ten as the system allowed. But even more disappointingly for the mighty AEM club, the men’s team, which for years has been the main favorite, occupied a modest fourth place after losing three direct encounters.

Like a bow before the....deadly execution. Andrei Volokitin representing AEM Luxten Timisoara,
who had a very strong line-up but lacked the necessary luck...

Our talented and future hope, the twelve-year-old. Bogdan-Daniel Deac

There was one thing which hadn't changed with the passing of the years and change of perspective - the happiness offered by a good result! I scored 6.5/7 on the third board, but unfortunately my team Politehnica-Antibiotice Iasi stumbled on the threshold after leading throughout the tournament. We had to content ourselves with third place...

A tense match in progress - of course Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu couldn't be missing, although he
now plays in Germany. In Romania he occupies the top board of Clubul de Sah al Mun. Baia Mare.

Nevertheless, even more than the final result, I treasure the atmosphere in a team event. On this occasion it was the opposite to the communist spirit of the place - I felt it a friendly democratic ambience! Speaking of democracy, on the last round we had the second round of presidential elections, so apart from the intense on-board conflicts we also had some heated political discussions! But the event which distracted our attention to the highest extent was the Carlsen-Anand match, which we looked at quite possibly in an instinctive attempt to get some inspiration for our own games.

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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