David Smerdon | August 28, 2012 13:19

Olympiad Day 1

Istanbul: Hot, raining.  Olympiad hotel: Crowded, buzzing, excited.

It’s day one of the World Chess Olympiad, and the Aussie team is just about to head to the playing hall for round one.  I’m being rested today against Namibia, so hopefully I’ll have time to write something a little more substantial as I watch the opening exchanges from the safety of the spectator stands.

So far, everything’s been pretty smooth. Australia got placed in the best hotel complex, which is quite fortunate given some of the horror stories from the most remote accommodations.  The team’s in good shape, despite a few minor medical scares: Moulthun has a bit of insomnia, Max drank/ate something a bit funny, and Sherab’s spider bite has swelled his leg to hideously abnormal shapes. On the other hand, Manuel found a Starbucks.  So, by Olympiad standards, we’re doing splendidly.

The hotel’s pretty good and the food more than acceptable, though the queues at meal times have become a little ridiculous.  The opening ceremony was less than exceptional, but more on that later.  Our women are also in good spiritis and face Malta today in what should be a pretty comfortable encounter – Arianne’s resting.  I’ve strung up a huge Australia flag outside my door, so now anyone popping by the second floor can be in no doubt what team resides there.  The Kiwis are also scattered on our level, and I’ve agreed to let them chuck a Kiwi sticker on the seven pointed flag in a show of antipodean solidarity.
Time to go.  Hopefully I can report back two Aussie team victories to start us off.  Onya Straya!

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David Smerdon's picture
Author: David Smerdon

David Smerdon is a chess grandmaster from Brisbane, Australia. David attended Anglican Church Grammar School and Melbourne University. To qualify for the title of Grandmaster, a player must achieve three Grandmaster norm performances, and a FIDE Elo rating over 2500. Late in 2007, Smerdon achieved his third and final Grandmaster norm. In the July 2009 FIDE rating list his rating passed 2500, so he qualified for the title of Grandmaster. He is the fourth Australian to become a Grandmaster, after Ian Rogers, Darryl Johansen and Zhao Zong-Yuan. In 2009, Smerdon won the Queenstown Chess Classic tournament.

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Comments

Bert de Bruut's picture

Stay clear of the Starbucks yuck and go for Turkish coffee instead!

Jonathan O'Connor's picture

I played in the European Club Cup in 2004 when it was held in Izmir. I was completely disgusted to find the only coffee available in the airport was Maxwell House instant coffee. Yeuchh. It cost an arm and a leg, but that's airports for you.

Anonymous's picture

thanks for blog one of the few that i have seen from the olympiad

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