Saturday, 21 May 2011

Adios Havana Bienvenidos Santa Clara

Well folks, the tournament is over and I had a hair-raising encounter with a Spanish GM. Whereas quick draws were being agreed all around , neither my opponent or I felt like a quiet day. No draws were offered although a repetition claim by me was being discussed for so long that I just offered to keep playing as the position was totally drawn and after a few more moves my opponent also called it a day. My scoresheet was confiscated again but anyway there is no point in boring you with the last 30 or 40 moves. There were many repetitions so impossible to remember. Here tis.

Our game was one of the last to finish at 8pm. Then it was time for Dinner and then I got interviewed by Cuban TV! They have a four hour chess program once a week. Then came the prize-giving ceremony where to my surprise Ivanchuk was pronounced the winner! This miracle man was struggling on 50%  last time I checked and Le Quang Liem was on +4. Vassily turned on a spurt in the second phase and beat Le in the last round today while I was busy trying to keep my disastrous position together. Congrats to both.

After the prize-giving I asked about a rumoured  tournament in Santa Clara and was told that yes there is one but they can not offer any conditions so they assumed I didn't want to play. I informed them that naturally I would love to play and the next hour a few more players were approached and now it seems that an extremely strong round robin will start on Monday! Yippee :-)

I love Santa Clara having visited Che's city in 2001 but I doubt very much that there will be wi-fi there so this is probably my last entry for a few weeks but Cuba has surprised me before. If it is the case I wish you all a good time and hope you don't miss me too much :-)      

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had a blast mate. Good luck, if you somehow manage to get WiFi do keep us updated! :)