Archive for July, 2011
There are many good things about chess organisation in France, where the federation is much more dynamic than in England but this year the French league, played in one block of 11 games, was held in truly dismal playing conditions. The venue which housed the games was a car museum which was not all bad as you could inspect Formula 1 cars when they more accurately resembled cigarette packs on wheels and other older automobiles, but the playing hall did not cut the mustard. The lack of windows and randomly pointing spotlighting are not so unusual and the leaking roof and horrendous noise when it rained could be considered a bit unlucky; however the looped music which repeated several times throughout the games as well as the hubbub from the tours which was just as frequent were excessive. I have never seen so many players using earplugs.
The only really comparable experience I can remember was the first game of my match versus Tiviakov which was held in the Trump towers shopping centre in new York. Somewhat bizarrely the games had been situated in the middle of the mall just alongside an escalator which enabled shoppers to peer down on the games as they ascended which was suboptimal (and I write as someone who won with black that day). However at least the problem was resolved before the next game, in France nothing changed.