Bandar Anzali, Iran

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Nigel Short
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Bandar Anzali, Iran

Post by Nigel Short » Sat Jul 09, 2016 1:59 pm

I am about to begin a Scheveningen Tournament in this God-forsaken place on the Caspian Sea (getting in some practice for Baku). I have no idea who the players are, what the website is, or why I am here - other than to give my liver a rest. Apparently Karpov and the beleaguered FIDE President will attend the Opening Ceremony.

The English Chess Forum is one of the few websites which I frequent that isn't blocked. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, the BBC etc. etc. are all no-go areas.

NickFaulks
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Re: Bandar Anzali, Iran

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:36 pm

The World team in which you are playing doesn't strike me as obviously teetotal.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Bandar Anzali, Iran

Post by Roger Lancaster » Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:39 pm

Following reproduced from http://www.chessdom.com/1st-chess-stars-cup-live/

"The 1st Chess Stars Cup takes place in Anzali Free Zone, Iran from 9th to 21st of July. The event is a 10-round match (in Scheveningen system) between 2 teams consisting of 10 players each.

"There are 13 Grandmasters participating that represent World team (Sargissian Gabriel, Dreev Aleksey, Short Nigel D, Sokolov Ivan, Edouard Romain, Miroshnichenko Evgenij, Lu Shanglei, Mchedlishvili Mikheil, Vakhidov, Jahongir, Ehlvest Jaan) and Iran team (Ghaem Maghami Ehsan, Idani Pouya, Darini Pouria, Pourramezanali Amirreza, Mafgsoodloo Parham, Firouzja Alireza, Lorparizangeneh Shahin, Gholami Aryan, Khademalsharieh Sarasadat, Mousavi Seyed Khalil).

"Live games will be daily on Chessdom.com and ChessArena.com with computer analysis by the TCEC participants Komodo, Stockfish, and Houdini."

David Sedgwick
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Re: Bandar Anzali, Iran

Post by David Sedgwick » Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:44 pm

I have found the Chess-Results link: http://www.chess-results.com/tnr228953. ... =30&wi=984.

I would have pasted in the names of the players, but Roger has beaten me to it.

There don't appear to be any pairings as yet.

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JustinHorton
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Re: Bandar Anzali, Iran

Post by JustinHorton » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:40 pm

the most humid climate of any city in Iran
Wikipedia
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

NickFaulks
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Re: Bandar Anzali, Iran

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:31 pm

JustinHorton wrote:
the most humid climate of any city in Iran
Wikipedia
The humidity has nothing on Bermuda, and we always found that players were very happy to be invited, and invited back, there.

Nigel Short
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Re: Bandar Anzali, Iran

Post by Nigel Short » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:32 am

Funny. I spoke to one GM recently who quite independently brought up the subject of Bermuda and told me, in no uncertain terms, he was extremely unhappy about playing there. But never mind - Nick is always right...

Back to Iran: on Friday, when I woke up, I had neither visa nor ticket. I can't say this was ideal, but then again it was not my fault that I didn't receive my official invitation until Monday. My visit to the embassy on Tuesday proved abortive because I didn't have the requisite travel insurance and without it there was no way they were going to let me into the country. The three insurance companies that I had spoken to said they didn't cover travel to Iran and, furthermore, didn't know any company that did. However, the consul informed me that InterAmerican provided cover. His information was accurate and so that was quickly arranged. Unfortunately, the embassy was closed on Wednesday, and so I had to wait until Thursday before submitting all the documents. I collected my my passport, purchased my ticket and travelled all on the next day.

The flight arrived in Tehran just before 2am. I assumed I would be collected and driven straight to a hotel whence, after sleeping late, we would be driven to Bandar Anzali. Unfortunately the guy who met me was also collecting two other passengers from the Moscow flight which got in earlier at 01.20. The young Uzbek GM Vakhidov was already there, but there was absolutely no sign of Ehlvest. The baggage collection area is clearly visible from the arrivals area and no passengers from that flight remained at the carousel. Knowing Ehlvest well, I told the Iranian guy that he was probably completely pissed and that we should just proceed without him as God only knew if, or when, he would get through passport control. Unfortunately, this plea fell of deaf ears. After listening to the tedious refrain "Just wait 5 more minutes please" for a further hour and a half, I finally threw a fit. This brought results.

Vakhidov and I got in the car whereupon we were driven straight to the hotel - in Bandar Anzali, five hours away!! I didn't get to sleep until after 9am and suffice it to say I was completely wrecked. I feel a bit better today, but it is as if I have massive jet-lag - which is ridiculous considering that Greece and Iran only have a one and a half hour time difference. Let's hope I am fully recovered by tomorrow...

LawrenceCooper
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Re: Bandar Anzali, Iran

Post by LawrenceCooper » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:47 am

Romain Edouard (via Facebook)

Yay! On my way to Tehran through Istanbul airport. Tomorrow (in fact, later today) will start the biggest event ever organized in Iran: 10 foreigners versus the top10 host players.
Everything went so smoothly! Tired due to a night transfer I decided to have a drink and relax on my computer before catching my second flight, carefully following the clock.
One hour before the flight I calmly went to the Gate, which I have to say was not full of people. Indeed, my clock was still set on GMT+1... As a conclusion I get a night to enjoy Istanbul and will miss the opening ceremony and blitz Scheveningen match.
That's official, I am a true chess player.
Bravo!

Nigel Short
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Re: Bandar Anzali, Iran

Post by Nigel Short » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:57 am

I wish I could miss the opening ceremony and blitz tournament.

Kevin Thurlow
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Re: Bandar Anzali, Iran

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:53 pm

"The English Chess Forum is one of the few websites which I frequent that isn't blocked."

Wow!

Andrew Bak
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Re: Bandar Anzali, Iran

Post by Andrew Bak » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:04 pm

Kevin Thurlow wrote:"The English Chess Forum is one of the few websites which I frequent that isn't blocked."

Wow!
Maybe Soheil asked the government for special dispensation so he could ask endless questions about English vocabulary.

Nigel Short
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Re: Bandar Anzali, Iran

Post by Nigel Short » Mon Jul 11, 2016 7:34 am

Discovered yesterday that our hotel is about one hour's drive from the playing hall. To say that this came as an unpleasant surprise to the players would be something of an understatement. We will now move, this morning, to what is considered to be the best hotel in the area. Unfortunately it is still very far from the venue but it should (allegedly) slice off maybe 15 minutes travel time each way. It is worth having.

The opening ceremony was massively delayed because we were supposed to wait for the dignitaries i.e. Kirsan and Karpov. After the inevitable lengthy speeches, a video , presentations etc. we were supposed to start a Scheveningen Team Blitz tournament at 21.00. I abandoned it in protest after one symbolic game and arrived back in time for dinner. The others returned at midnight when, of course, the restaurant was closed. They got kebabs from a fast food joint.

Roger Lancaster
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Re: Bandar Anzali, Iran

Post by Roger Lancaster » Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:37 am

LOL, life in the fast lane!

Nigel Short
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Re: Bandar Anzali, Iran

Post by Nigel Short » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:47 am

It took what seemed like an eternity getting to the new hotel, in Rasht - at least an hour and a half by my reckoning. They claim that from here the journey to the venue is a mere 30 minutes, and that it is "only" 35 km away. A quick google search shows the distance to be 41 km and that it takes 54 minutes. I am getting quite used to be being told outrageous porkies by now. Anyway, they are providing plenty of material for my next New in Chess article...

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JustinHorton
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Re: Bandar Anzali, Iran

Post by JustinHorton » Mon Jul 11, 2016 10:29 am

Kevin Thurlow wrote:"The English Chess Forum is one of the few websites which I frequent that isn't blocked."

Wow!
Just as well the old ECF board never possessed the powers of the government of Iran
"Do you play chess?"
"Yes, but I prefer a game with a better chance of cheating."

lostontime.blogspot.com

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