December 6, 2010

Benidorm Chess Festival

Benidorm, Hotel Bali:

Sitting on the pool, with a coffee next to me, enjoying the sun and the beautiful weather. It's December and once again, I tricked winter for a while:)
I am here thanks to the organizers of the IX International Chess Festival, who invited me for a closed women tournament. We were supposed to start today, but some problems occured: strikes in the spanish airports and not all the players managed to arrive, which means we have a free day, but more days with double rounds afterwards.
The size of the Festival is absolutely incredible: 845 players spread in different tournaments! Hotel Bali is the great host of these events, which started on 3rd December and will end on 12. Chess players everywhere, different languages, kids, veterans, parents, coaches, sun, sea and a lot of chess - for 10 days, this is the atmosphere in Benidorm:) If only the chess scene will experience more festivals like this one...with such enthusiastic people, working 24 hours a day to keep everything under control!
For more information, you can check the official website. And, if you were thinking about a holiday, coming here is not such a bad idea:)

Photo report:

The view from my room:)

Behind the pool you can see one of the playing halls,
where children are playing.

Usually I am always unlucky with the view...not this time:)

Only the Gran Hotel Bali could offer accommodation for so many people!

At the reception: chess is the official language for 10 days:)

In between the games, the reception is always crowded, noisy,
but so much alive! Even if you are not a chess fan, it's impossible

not to be attracted by this intriguing world.
The tournament hall for children

The tournament hall for the Open Groups:
under 2300 and under 2000 elo rating.

Popular walking route in Benidorm, along the sea:)

City center

It is clear to me that the hotel has adapted to fit everyone's taste:)
There is no 13th floor nor a room to contain the dangerous number 13:)

There are many different stories that have evolved to give this date its notoriety, among them:
* The biblical reference to the Last Supper, with Judas betraying Jesus. He was the 13th guest at the table. Jesus was reportedly crucified on Friday.
* In ancient Rome a witch's coven comprised 12, with the 13th member being the devil.
* A Norse myth tells of 12 gods dining at Valhallah, their heaven. A 13th uninvited guest, Loki, arrived, persuading the god of darkness to slay the god of happiness.
Numerologists consider the number 12 a complete number for several reasons: the number of apostles, the total number of tribes in Israel, the number of months in a year, the number of Olympian gods, the zodiac signs and Hercules' labours. 13's association with bad luck is the simple, unavoidable fact that it exceeds a complete number by just one.
In any case, let's hope that we have more luck than badluck:)


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