Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Cappelle la Grande 2012

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Cappelle la Grande International Chess Open is probably one of the biggest open tournaments in the World in terms of number of participants. Cappelle la Grande is a small town in the north-west France very near to Dunkirk (Dunkerque on French) . Dunkirk in famous for a battle from World War Two and there is a very nice monument for those who died there. It is already third time that I played there, but this time was my best time there. About 500 players played in 2012 and about 100 of them are invited by organisers. Basically, everything is organised very good, from free shuttle service from Brussels or Paris, to free accommodation in Dunkirk and a meals before and after the game. Even free shuttle service between Dunkirk and Cappelle la Grande is included and if you don´t want to use it, organisers provide free tickets for  bus lines.
This year I took flight from Copenhagen to Paris, because I never been in Paris and I wanted to visit it, but last year and year before that I took flights to Brussels. My recommendation is to take flight to Brussels on a way to the tournament and separate flight from Paris on a way back. It is slightly more expensive but you can visit two nice cities.

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Our delegation was small, with four people. My team-mates Michael de Verdier and Christopher Krantz and a good friend from Malta, Colin Pace. We spent free time in Dunkirk by visiting a mouseum and of course monument from WW2. Every time in that part of year (springer) there is a festivale in the Dunkirk and you can find many people on the streets. 
Only drawback in this tournament is that there is not much free time because it can take a long time to wait for a food in Cappelle la Grande and than you have to wait for a shuttle service to drive you back to the hotel.
 I started very good but than I had not enough energy to win my games against lower rated opponents and my tournament was a bit moderate.
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 It was because I got a Cold (not only me but a many players) but as Tartakower said once in his time "I never defeated a healthy opponent"  and he was right. It is only my responsibility for I gave a draw in the very last game in completely winning position.

There were a curiosity in the tournament with C. Krantz, because one of his games was adjured (which is almost impossible in today's chess). 
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He played against some German IM (sorry if you ever read this, I just forgot a name), and in a queen endgame he has a free g-pawn (only pawn on the board). It took so much time and that day was double round so arbiters decided that game will be played next day and they paired them like they played a draw. When analysing position in the room Christopher found that position is dead draw if opponent sealed a right move but if opponent sealed wrong move that he can win (according to tablebase). 
Opponent really sealed a wrong move, but Christopher failed to win a game. After the closing ceremony there is a blanket for all players in the tournament and something like VIP blanket for invited players.
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 There is a very nice designed chess cake but unfortunately I could not stay that long this year (because of a cold) , but I will share some photos of a cake from previous years. 
On the way back to the Dunkirk , Michael de Verdier and Alex Petersson (player from Sweden who almost always plays in Cappelle la Grande and this year he really played a good tournament) took decision to walk, and it was quite funny because some of us tried to guess when will they arrive.
I don´t remember who had right, but it did not took as much time as I expected (well done guys).

It is important to say that pairing system used in the tournament is so called accelerated Swiss and that means that players are divided in the groups according to rating and than every group is given some amount of points for a pairing purpose. 
The point of this is that strong players can´t play against really low rated players (because that can ruin their chance for norms). After six rounds "fake" points is taken from players and then a pairing is common Swiss.
After the tournament, Michael, Christopher and I stayed in Paris for two days and it was very interesting experience. 
It was said by some wise individual that picture is worth more than thousand words and it will be my pleasure to show some pictures from the tournament and Paris. A little more about chess in some of my next posts. 
Museum in Dunkirk
On the closing ceremony

While disscousing...

Notre Dame...

View from Louvre
Mona Lisa

Port in Dunkirk

Interesting perspective
In Paris

1 comment:

  1. Alexander Pettersson25 April 2012 at 11:07

    Funny indeed! Why would one want to have an hour of walking after sitting on a chair for nine days??! Keep up the nice blog!