As I expected, considering my experience from the previous edition, from 2008, the Remco Heite Tournament is a very well organized event, which you can immediately see right from the start.
What makes this tournament special, besides the people involved to make it a great event and their hard work for that, is the attention for making this event different from the others. It's unique not only for the unusual first prize in the Grandmasters group: a horse, or for the fact that it's not counted for elo: which will surely help making the games more interesting for the public. This tournament has it's special flavour because it succeeds in making you feel at home, but also it brings the chess players closer to the general public, thus transforming the game itself into an exciting competition. This is what happened yesterday evening.
After a nice dinner with the sponsors and the organizers, the drawing of lots followed. And...it was not a common one:) A band was performing live a song composed especially for this event, a big screen with movies, pictures was displayed to our delight, speeches, stories, interviews with the GM's, they all completed the picture. It was obvious they worked very hard for that, especially when I was invited as well to come next to Erwin, when he had to draw his number for the tournament. They checked my blog, they new the stories behind the scenes, pictures from our wedding were rolling on the big screen...we were suddenly actors in our own play:)
After I recovered from this surprise, I realized that for the first time the chess players were presented not only as chess players, but also as intellectuals, family persons, students and so on. For the first time an opening ceremony got my attention from the very beginning and kept it until the end.
A professional organized event and yet, a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. The games can be followed live on the official website.
Unfortunately, the internet connection is very slow and I cannot upload the pictures:( I succeeded with 3 for now!
|Right before the drawing of lots:) GM's enjoying a cup of tea.|
|The live band|
|You can see 6 bottles in the background: each player had to choose one,|
to see the tournament's number. It's a local drink, 30% alcohol...
I am curious about the taste:)
|The screen which made me blush:) But also the other players had a similar experience:)|