June 13, 2012

Sun and chess on the Bulgarian coast!

The Golden Sands tournament, held between 4th - 12th of June on Bulgarian seacoast, finished yeasterday, having as a sole winner the Chinese GM: Lu Shanglei, (born in '95)! The 7.5 points which the winner squeezed out of 9 games are even more impressive if we think about the rather tough starting list of the event: I could count more than 45 GM's and plenty of IM's, all fighting for the 6000 Euro first prize! I forgot since an Open tournament was as rough as this one but I guess it's fully justified by the generous prize fund which the organizers put at stake: more than 50000 Euro! 224 players attended the tournament, trying to get a prize or/and as much sun as the Bulgarian seaside resort had to offer:)
As for our family, it could have been better, it could have been worse. But we did enjoy the whole experience! While we are now waiting for our bus to come and bring us back to Romania, I decided to  choose some pictures for you, to make a general impression on the tournament we just had.

Opening ceremony

Religion is still playing an important role, just like in most
East European countries. 

Hunting the elo points for the IM title!
Iva Videnova and Irina Bulmaga

Fresh air before the start of the game

The proud and happy young organizer: Hristo Velchev
Wish him many more tournaments to come!

Main tournament hall - the first boards are one floor higher,
you can see the stairs on the far left.

The first boards are waiting for the merciless fighters!

Erwin won a great game this round, against Mustafa Yilmaz!

Small chat before the round: Constantin Lupulescu and
Suat Atalik.

Suat's wife: Ekaterina Atalik

This was our usual route to the game

Golden Sands is a typical seaside small city where I felt like a fish in the water:)
That's because it's full with Romanians - everywhere I was going I could hear my native language. 

Even the vendors started to speak Romanian, trying to convince the customers to check out their products; usually XXL offers:)

A quiet morning, before the 'burning' process. 

...sea, sand and loads of hotels

37 degrees outside but freezing cold in the water!

A dream like holiday for those who love the sun, the sea
and chess in our case.

Recharging the batteries before another round of swimming.
But I should confess: I didn't go to the beach even once to get a tan on my skin.
So I cannot blame the sun for my chess errors...

Dozens of things to spend your money on

Never understood the attractions for Chinese or Japanese symbols
Maybe it's our wish to be different?
But if everybody has it, how is that making you stand out?!


...and the usual offers

'Fantastic' exchanging rates - always check out twice before you jump in:)

Hey! I think I saw this one before somewhere...:)

Ivan Cheparinov and Erwin l'Ami enjoying the shade under
the 'Eiffel' Tower.

This was our Golden Sands adventure.
Until next time!


  1. some very nice photos Alina...kevin winter, england

  2. Thanks Kevin! Finally back home..

  3. Vlad, linkul pentru clasament: http://golden-sands-2012.chessmix.com/standings.html
    Erwin a jucat destul de bine, ba chiar a avut cateva partide foarte frumoase. Eu insa...mai vedem tura viitoare, momentan: somn!

  4. Thank you for sharing Alina, the more I think about international chess, the more I think it can make the world a better place. This could start with the election of the next FIDE president with real democracy. What it needs is the principle of one man one vote. Having a small country like Lichtenstein, with the same voting rights as China, India and Russia, is not democracy. Furthermore the next president should be a GM.




  5. Alina, Felicitari! Oricum, cred ca a fost foarte greu. Vad ca Levente Vajda a ajuns foarte sus... Somn usor!

  6. very nice, thx for sharing. Good luck in your next event

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