Monday, 27 September 2010

2010 Olympiad - Rest Day 1

Yesterday was the first rest day of the Olympiad, although resting was probably what I did least. The "rest day" actually kicks off the day before, with the Bermuda Party starting around 10pm. This years party was held in the biggest night club in Khanty-Mansiysk, although it even struggled with the crowd.
The venue was quite fascinating as it had a dance floor/bar on the 1st floor, a restaurant on the 2nd floor and a bowling alley/bar(!) on the third floor. When I arrived there was a long queue waiting to get in, and due to the security arrangements in place (metal detector and hand scanning), it didn't move very fast. However I was spotted by event organiser Nigel Freeman, and rushed to the front of the queue. He explained to the club that I was one of the organising team and that I could come straight in. What I didn't realise is that I walked into a trap!
After checking out the dance floor (which was already heaving) and the bowling alley (where people were bowling), I wandered down to the entrance, where I was immediately put to work by Nigel as 'door bitch'. As the security staff spoke little English, and I no Russian at all, I was tasked with explaining the process to the impatient crowds trying to get in.
For those unfamiliar with the Bermuda Party, ladies get in for free, but men have to by a ticket (in this case 400 roubles). But with the ticket you can purchase 2 free drinks, which in theory should be one for you, and one for a ticketless lady. This year you also needed the tickets to get into the dance area of the club (I assumed all ladies could just waltz in), which when you entered you got a little uv stamp on your hand.
However the club had underestimated the crowd who turned up and after about an hour they had shut the front door (with 200 people shivering in the cold). After some frantic negotiation, the club began to allow people in, but stopped selling tickets as the dance floor was full. This meant that latecomers had to drink in the bowling alley! A number of people were caught out by this including Lev Aronian and Magnus Carlsen (who btw did not get rushed to the front of the queue). Fortunately people were beginning to leave (it was 1 am by now) and so the club sold tickets in small blocks.
Eventually everyone made it in (including both Karpov and Ilyumzhinov), and around 2 am my work was winding down. As Bermuda Party's go I thought this one was quite good. The DJ's put on a great show (both music and lighting) and the venue allowed people to escape the frenetic dancing for quieter areas. No bad incidents to report, although 1 poor girl had to be carried out of the venue, as while she had the strength to wrestle with security, she didn't have the motor skills to actually stand up.
After have a look at the dance floor one final time, I wandered off around 2:30am. I think the party ran for another 3 hours after that, with the stragglers making it home around 6am.

The next day (the actual rest day) found me tied up in meetings from 9 am to 8 pm. Morning was Rules and Tournament Regulations, and after a lunch break, Swiss Pairings met from 3pm. After that finished there was a break before RTRC recommenced as we hadn't covered everything in the morning. Nothing earth shattering came out of any of the meetings, but you can read a summary of the Swiss Pairing changes over at the Chess Rules blog.

1 comment:

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