Chessplayers Stranded By Volcanic Ash?

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John Saunders
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Chessplayers Stranded By Volcanic Ash?

Post by John Saunders » Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:23 am

Out of interest, are there any other members of the forum currently stranded sur le continent by 'Bobby Fischer's Revenge' (that's my slightly bad taste nickname for the geological malfunction in the land of his last resting place)?

There is at least one - me. I flew out to Gibraltar on Monday to help plan the 2011 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival (as the event will be known from next year) and had booked a return flight for Thursday. Just my luck...

Actually, there are four chess people here - Peter Purland, David Welch and Ian Campbell are also in Gib. They have been giving me pitying looks for the last day or two but they could be in the same boat (literally) if their Monday flight home gets cancelled (as it could well do, the way things are going).

Perhaps the ECF should consider chartering a boat to get its valuable personnel back to Blighty?!

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Re: Chessplayers Stranded By Volcanic Ash?

Post by Mike Truran » Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:29 am

I'm stranded in New Zealand - beat that!

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Re: Chessplayers Stranded By Volcanic Ash?

Post by John Upham » Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:16 am

Mike Truran wrote:I'm stranded in New Zealand - beat that!
I'm stranded in Farnborough.
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Re: Chessplayers Stranded By Volcanic Ash?

Post by Mike Truran » Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:55 am

An existentialist statement if ever I read one......

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Re: Chessplayers Stranded By Volcanic Ash?

Post by Brendan O'Gorman » Sat Apr 17, 2010 9:23 am

I'm stranded in London. I would have been playing in Dublin in the Leinster Championships but my flight was cancelled.

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Re: Chessplayers Stranded By Volcanic Ash?

Post by Peter Turner » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:30 am

Mike Truran wrote:I'm stranded in New Zealand - beat that!
Hi Mike

I have an 'escape' plan for you - I think you can still fly into Paris, take a local train to Calais, obtain a bicycle and cycle to ferry port (ferries fully booked for foot pasengers but places ok for anyone with a bike - from Dover cycle to Farnborough, sell bike to John Upham to solve his transport problem and get a bus home!!

Easy

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Re: Chessplayers Stranded By Volcanic Ash?

Post by Mike Truran » Sat Apr 17, 2010 10:45 am

Peter

Sounds like a win win all round!

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Re: Chessplayers Stranded By Volcanic Ash?

Post by John Saunders » Sat Apr 17, 2010 11:30 am

One stray thought - I suppose we can't blame the Icelanders for their dodgy geology, but couldn't they have named their volcano something which trips off the tongue slightly more easily than Eyjafjallajoekull?
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Re: Chessplayers Stranded By Volcanic Ash?

Post by Ben Purton » Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:00 pm

How long do these delays expect to be in place, 4ncl is soon and its final weekend. The big 2 will no doubt import.
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Re: Chessplayers Stranded By Volcanic Ash?

Post by John Saunders » Sat Apr 17, 2010 1:49 pm

Ben Purton wrote:How long do these delays expect to be in place, 4ncl is soon and its final weekend. The big 2 will no doubt import.
Nobody knows how long planes will be grounded but I would guess a week or so more is quite possible. Even when flights resume, there will be initial chaos and I imagine a lot of people will be more reluctant to travel by air.
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Re: Chessplayers Stranded By Volcanic Ash?

Post by Phil Makepeace » Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:59 am

John Saunders wrote:I would guess a week or so more is quite possible.
Sigh. I'm supposed to go to Valencia (non-chess-related) on Thursday. I really don't fancy taking the train or, worse, catching the ferry to Bilbao and then training. Another scenario: should I manage to reach Spain and then have the ash problem flare up again when I attempt to leave on the 29th, I might well struggle to make NCL.

The latter situation is potentially even more ruinous as I'm visiting my friend for her last week in Spain and she's coming back with me on the plane. She won't have her house past this date should we be significantly delayed. Ugh.

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Re: Chessplayers Stranded By Volcanic Ash?

Post by John Saunders » Sun Apr 18, 2010 6:56 am

Phil, I would strongly advise you to forget your Valencia trip. Flying is a complete no-no for the foreseeable future and it is also very difficult (and expensive) travelling around on terra firma. Also I think you will find that Spanish ferries are booked solid. You have no chance. Stay at home! (that goes for anybody else contemplating travel on the continent right now)

It now looks almost certain that there will be the four of us (Purland, Welch, Campbell and I) making the long train trek across Spain and France tomorrow (followed, hopefully, by a cross-channel ferry - there is no way of booking in advance). Though I'm sorry for the other three that their flight probably won't be going, I am actually quite relieved that I'll have some company on the way home.
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Re: Chessplayers Stranded By Volcanic Ash?

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:20 am

John Saunders wrote:Phil, I would strongly advise you to forget your Valencia trip. Flying is a complete no-no for the foreseeable future and it is also very difficult (and expensive) travelling around on terra firma. Also I think you will find that Spanish ferries are booked solid. You have no chance. Stay at home! (that goes for anybody else contemplating travel on the continent right now)

It now looks almost certain that there will be the four of us (Purland, Welch, Campbell and I) making the long train trek across Spain and France tomorrow (followed, hopefully, by a cross-channel ferry - there is no way of booking in advance). Though I'm sorry for the other three that their flight probably won't be going, I am actually quite relieved that I'll have some company on the way home.
Good luck! Is Eurostar another possibility.

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Re: Chessplayers Stranded By Volcanic Ash?

Post by Ian Kingston » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:46 am

This may not be directly relevant to anyone in particular (and it doesn't involve any chessplayers), but my ex has been stranded near Barcelona since Friday. She has finally found a way home involving trains and buses via Barcelona, Girona, Perpignan, Toulouse, Paris and Eurostar. She set out early this morning and should get back to England on Tuesday.

In other words, travel is extremely difficult and you shouldn't attempt it if you can avoid it.

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Re: Chessplayers Stranded By Volcanic Ash?

Post by Leonard Barden » Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:51 am

It seems the start of the Anand v Topalov world championship match scheduled for Wednesday opening ceremony, Friday game one, is in danger. Earlier reports had claimed that the Anands had reached Sofia before air travel stopped, but this proves not to be so.

From Chessbase:

Will the Icelandic volcano affect the World Championship?
17.04.2010 – Just after landing on a stopover in Frankfurt, World Champion Vishy Anand was informed that all further flights were cancelled, owing to volcanic ash from Iceland. With 25,000 flights cancelled per day, hundreds of thousands of travellers, including Anand, are stranded, with alternative routes (rental cars, trains) almost impossible to arrange. The AICF is seeking a three-day postponement.

In the meantime the Indian Chess Federation has issued the following statement:
AICF Seeks Postponement Of Anand-Topalov Match
By Arvind Aaron

The All India Chess Federation has sent an urgent message to FIDE seeking postponement of the Anand versus Topalov World Chess Championship match, which is scheduled to start from April 23, 2010 in Sofia.

The AICF Honorary Secretary D.V. Sundar has sent an urgent message requesting the FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to intervene and postpone the World Title match to allow time for the defending champion Viswanathan Anand to reach the venue. Anand is unable to fly to Sofia as flights in Europe are cancelled. The ash from the volcanic activity in Iceland has stranded passengers all across Europe and Anand is stranded in Frankfurt.

The AICF letter requests the intervention of FIDE President and requests the match be put off by at least three days. The match is a best of 12 and in case of a tie it will be decided in a rapid playoff by May 12, 2010.

Anand was scheduled to reach on April 16 but has not been able to fly due to closure of the airport in Germany. He needs time to make alternate booking and the AICF has officially asked for a postponement of the match.

Below are the Anand statement, Legal Notice and AICF Letter to FIDE:

"In view of the extreme force majeure situation we are facing, it has become difficult and near impossible to travel in Europe. We are working with the FIDE supervisor to see how we can travel at the earliest. Given these circumstances it has been agreed, keeping in mind Vishy's arrival in Sofia the schedule could be moved accordingly. We wouldn't want to speculate on rumours at this point and will try and arrive at the earliest." – Aruna Anand, wife and manager of World Champion Viswanathan Anand.

AIFC letter to FIDE
His Highness Kirsan ILYUMZHINOV
FIDE President:

Sub : - Request for postponement of the first round World Championship match between Grandmaster Vishy Anand and Grandmaster Topalov of Bulgaria

Greetings from the All India Chess Federation. We write to seek your kind intervention in postponing the Match between Grandmaster Vishy Anand and Grandmaster Topalov by at least three days. As you are aware, the Volcanic Ashes across Europe has rendered many passengers sulking in various Airports across the Globe, more particularly in and around Europe. Anand and his team could not reach Sofia on 16th as planned and are in transit & held up at Frankfurt. I understand that they are frantically trying to reach Sofia as early as possible so that the schedule is not disturbed. However, this being an important match it will only be fair to Anand that he is not made to play the first round amidst such tension. He needs at least three to four days of acclimatization before he starts his defence of his title. I understand that Anand has already appealed to the authorities as per the Rules Governing this historic Match.

I am sure you will see reason and take a proper and just decision in the matter and help to bring in equal playing conditions to the player. We await your immediate action and response in the issue.

With kind regards

D.V.Sundar
Hon.Secretary
All India Chess Federation

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