Istanbul Olympiad

August 27 to September 10, 2012
by Alex McFarlane and Lara Barnes


Play over Scot games - Play over Scot games (women)

Round by Round match scores Round by Round match scores (women)

Olympiad Diary Sep 2 The ladies are all fine and rotating the rest rounds between themselves (thank goodness I did not have to make a decision yet).  Alice has a fantastic 2/3 without loss and is leading the highest percentage prize (All the bound daily bulletins!).

I have not seen anyone since the 'Bermuda' party last night - Ali had very high heels on when she went out!  The Mexican girls, who had beaten us earlier in the day, did not leave the hotel for the party until 11.30pm! 

Alex and I did not go to the party and went to bed early - I had a headache from too much sun and he... is a miserable git.

We looked at the outside of the blue mosque and the Hagia Sofia today - Sir Tightness again.  and of course we had to return to the hotel for lunch and dinner as it is free - I wanted to sample the kebaps :-( and see the Bosphorus by moonlight...etc.

We attended the rules and arbiters' commission meetings today - I argued for the rule that says you have to write the move down before claiming a draw to be scrapped but it stays.  About 3:1 in favour of keeping it. LB

Olympiad Diary Day 1 A mixed bag of arrival times for the teams and officials from Scotland. Heather was the first to arrive (a week early) to do some sight-seeing beforehand. Alex and Lara arrived at 00.45 on the 27 th which is not as bad as it sounds because Turkey is two hours ahead of Britain. It was the hour and a quarter to get through passport control which was the killer. Alan, Ali and Alison also arrived a day early travelling from another tournament in Prague. The others all arrived in dribs and drabs thereafter.

The Prague contingent's first priority was to get their clothes cleaned, the girls doing it themselves and Alan opting for a local laundry. Ali's brother is playing in the under 16 Olympiad and she seemed uncharacteristically keen to see him until it was disclosed that he was bringing her fresh supplies from home.

Alex and Lara conducted an early tour of the playing hall for the main event (the U-16 Olympiad is in an adjacent hall). Every game will be broadcast live. All are hardwired – none use the Wi-Fi system of the Scottish sensory boards. It will be one arbiter per game so the hall is laid out accordingly with columns of 4 boards with a small arbiter's table attached to the end. The team captains will be given a chair on either side of the match arbiter.

Entry to the playing area is very limited only players, arbiters and team captains. Once a player has finished their game they are expected to leave the playing area. Spectators have tiered seats at one end of the arena only. Only the top games will therefore be visible without the use of binoculars! There is an area outside the main arena where spectators can go to see the ‘demo boards'.

Leaving the Scotland hotel other than by car can be quite an experience. If you turn left you quickly meet the main road which doesn't have a footpath just at the point where two lanes narrow to one and a half. The small hotel wall at this point seems to have been recently rebuilt. Very reassuring regarding your safety.

Now that the teams have arrived the quality of the catering has deteriorated dramatically. The freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juice of the previous day has been replaced by diluted orange and apple squash. None of the team captains were able to have a proper evening meal last night if they attended both the Captains Meeting and the Opening Ceremony. Instead, on their return to the hotel at just after 11 they were met with a closed dining area. A packed lunch of a sandwich, an apple and a can of tea was all that was available. Some unhappy managers was the end result.

Prior to the Manager's Meeting there was a Press Conference in which all the Turkish Teams were introduced. One of the local teams in the main event consists of players who are so young the Conference had to be suspended to allow nappies to be changed! A genuine interview with one of the players was quoted along the lines of … “Now that you are European Champion do you want to become World Champion?” “No, I will be World Champion. My ambition is to have the name of Garry Kasparov wiped from the record books.” You can see this on the Olympiad website.

The Opening Ceremony was a celebration of traditional Turkish Dancing, a parade of the flags of all the competing nations (158, 161 or 162 depending on where you look or who you listen to) and some speeches. The Minister for Sport and Youth gave one which can best be described as unusual. His repeated mention of the curse and sin of terrorism was perhaps not the most reassuring message to convey to the assembled hoards.

photos by LB


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