Chess ShopChess AuctionGM MorozevichGM BaburinGM Psakhis
Book Reviews
GM Buzz
Site Search
Polls Results
Chess Links
Privacy Policy
Designed by Kirovograd Web studio
Istanbul Diary

Daily report by GM Alexander Baburin from Turkey

Day 1  Day 2 & 3  Day 4 Day 5
Day 6 & 7 Day 8 & 9 Day 10 Day 11 
Day 12 Day 13 & 14 Day 15

Day Thirteen, 9th November 2000. Today Russia strengthened its leading position greatly, as they crashed Armenia 3-. Its curious that in women's event these two countries met as well (Russia won 3-0). Germany beat USA 3-1 and so it can still overtake Russia. With two rounds to go the standing is:

1 Russia - 34 points
2 Germany - 32 points
3-4 Ukraine and Hungary - 301/2 points
5-8 Bosnia, Israel, Bulgaria and England- 291/2 points

In women's tournament China looks sure to take the gold, while Georgia is almost certain of getting the silver. The standing is:
1 China - 28 points
2 Georgia - 251/2 points
3 Russia - 24 points

Today I did not play and our men's team won 4-0 against Albania! Maybe I should be rested more often?! I would not mind that actually, as I went to a Turkish bath ('hamam' in Turkish) today. I felt that it would be a shame to visit Istanbul and not to find out what those baths are. It was a great experience and I can only recommend it. Here is some info for you in case you'd like to know.

When you enter the bath, you are given a key to small room, where you can undress and leave your clothes. You also get a towel to put around your waist. Then you go to a hall with a roundly flat marble platform in the centre. There you can lie down. The platform is heated from the underneath, so it is pretty hot, particularly towards the centre. Otherwise the room is not hot, which is a sharp contrast with sauna or Russian bath. The platform is rather large and in the bath where I went, about 20 people could be accommodated on it. After 10-15 minutes I felt very relaxed. Later I got a massage. It started with being washed and scrapped. I was not too enthusiastic about being washed by somebody, but it was OK. By the way, the massage is done by a person of the same sex, so do not hold your breath here! :-) After that the masseur started a real work - at times I thought that he really wanted me to scream! He even found some ribs in my body - something, which I saw last time many years ago, before I sat down in front of my computer screen! :-) Anyway, I survived the massage and felt great afterwards - like I was born again (not that I remember the first time, though!). The whole thing took about 1 hour and cost $15 plus tips. That was in a fancy touristy place; local bath cost about $5 for the same service.

Now I feel that I saw something in Istanbul apart from chess - the trip down the Bosphorus, the Sophia and the baths. I'd like to see the Blue Masque and the bazaars, but this may requite a separate trip to Turkey. Well, maybe one day it will happen. By the way, there are quite players who came here to see the city and watch the Olympiad - I really envy those guys, as they get the best of the both worlds! This January I suddenly realised that I had never went to a tournament not to play. So, I decided to go to Wjik aan Zee and it was terrific!

Our ladies had another bad day, losing 1-2 to Mexico.

Day Fourteen, 10th November 2000. I wish I were rested again! After our great victory in the previous round we were paired against Estonia. I played horribly against Ehlvest and was never in the game really... We lost 1-3, but on board 2 mark Quinn won a nice game against GM Rychagov. Our ladies beat a team from Yemen.

On top tables Russia and England made 4 quick draws. England remains the only team, which has not lost a single match yet. Germany beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 21/2-11/2. Yet, with 11/2 gap between Russia and Germany, it looks unlikely that Russians will have troubles winning the event. Hungary has chances to succeed Germany in the second position, as they beat Netherlands 3-1.

Today's round saw one unexpected result as Georgia crashed Bulgaria 31/2-1/2, which put the Georgian team the 5th place, while their opponents went to the 18th position. Today USA lost 11/2-21/2 to Cuba. It is hard to tell what is missing, but the American team is not playing well here.

Before the last round the standing is:
1 Russia - 36 points
2 Germany - 341/2 points
3 Hungary - 331/2 points
4 Ukraine - 321/2 points
5 Georgia - 32 points

In women's event Russia narrowed the gap between itself and Georgia by beating Poland 3-0, while the Georgians won 21/2-1/2 against Kazakhstan. Before the last round the standing is as follows:
1 China - 301/2 points
2 Georgia - 28 points
3 Russia - 27 points
4-5 Ukraine, Netherlands and Yugoslavia - 24 points

Tonight is the night of a Bermuda Party at the Hilton Hotel. This traditional party, sponsored by the Bermuda team is a highlight of the social life at the Olympiads. I attended them in Moscow in 1994 and in Yerevan 1996. I heard that there was none in Elista in 1998, mainly because the Bermudan team was missing there too! Soon we'll see how it is in Istanbul. More to follow - stay tuned!

All text Copyright Alexander Baburin unless otherwise noted