Sunday, September 19, 2010

2010 Chess Olympiad

The same old crap from FIDE - total incompetence.

Not the least of which - at the FIDE website which I visited about 10 seconds ago, this is the official website given for the Olympiad:  I cannot find a team list on this website or anywhere where games will be reported.

Fortunately, The Week in Chess provides a correct link,, to a website that says it contains a list of teams and will, one hopes, eventually present game results and standings. Let's just say I'm skeptical :) -- right now the "Teams" link does not work!

More serious incompetence that seriously impacts players and federations -- I've been reading also about the incredible mess the continually changing flight schedules have created for teams who have scheduled flights to arrive from all around the world.  Since there is no airport in Mansky Kamsky, which appears to be known only as the home of frozen mammoth remains if one understands the official logo correctly, one has to take certain provided charter flights - and those are the exact flights that have changed several times, resulting in well, as I said, chaos!  Not to mention extreme frustration on the part of federations who are trying to get their players to Siberia that have incurred financial penalties because other flight plans that were initially made weeks (if not months) ago must now be changed once again.  We all know that most if not all airlines now impose a change fee of $150 to $200 per ticket for every single change made.  Let's see, how many times have the charter flight schedules changed?  Three times? Four times?  Six times?  The last change was on September 16 - FOUR DAYS before players are supposed to be present for the muckety muck opening ceremonies, which I'm sure will feature some kind of battle dance between people costumed as mammoths.  Gee thanks, FIDE.

DISGUSTING.  FIDE at its absolute best.  The attitude of its entrenched incompetent bureaucrats is F - U to the players and the national federations.  This is from an email, parts of which were published at The Week in Chess:

Team Participation Threatened by Travel Arrangements for Olympaid
September 17, 2010
By Mark Crowther

I [Nick Faulks] don't think they can do much about the departure time, because it has been clear for some time that the charter organiser made a mistake with the time zone. I drew this to the attention of Ugra weeks ago, but was evidently ignored.

I have been fighting on this issue for months, and have received absolutely no support from other federations ( nor, I should say, from the Karpov camp ). It is well known that the FIDE Board member charged with overseeing the event has suggested that, rather than complaining, our team should simply not go. He may now get his wish.

Lovely attitude toward the players who are your life's blood, FIDE.

Instead of FIDE's coverage, I will rely on proven English language sites like Susan Polgar, Chessdom, The Week in Chess, Chess Vibes, Chessbase, Chess Drum, etc. to provide my reports on the Olympiad.

I have great hopes for the American Women's Team, but I am worried about Irina Krush being in form.  She (along with many other Olympiad bound women) just finished the Blitz Championship and that must have been exhausting.  It would be exhausting just getting from Moscow to Manski Kampsky.  This is information provided from the ex-official website that wasn't really the official website at all.  For clarity's sake I omitted the undecipherable schedule of the charter flights - yes, the one that changed six times (seven times?) in six weeks, the last change on September 16:

Regular flights to Khanty-Mansiysk
People planning to get to Khanty-Mansiysk by regular domestic flights from Moscow should book and buy tickets by themselves. All the necessary information and schedule of the flights is available on the home page of Air Company “UTair”: . On this web-site you can also book tickets to the convenient flight.

The nearest airports to Khanty-Mansiysk are Tyumen, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Surgut, Nizhnevartovsk, Kogalym.

Transfer between airports in Moscow
To book transfer from one airport in Moscow to another you can contact Moscow Transfer Service .On this web-site you can fill out an application, make payment, and specialists of this company will meet you in any airport in Moscow and transfer you to another airport in a convenient way.

Attention! There will be information desks of the Organizing Committee in Moscow airports at the arrival lounge of international flights, where you can get all the necessary information.

Besides, you can reach airports of Moscow area from the Sheremetyevo in the following way:

By car: 29 kilometers from Moscow center on the highway (M 10).

By bus: Airport Sheremetyevo is connected with the capital by highway (M 10), where nonstop buses, minibuses, scheduled buses ( № 851 from metro station “Rechnoy Voksal”, № 817 from metro station “Planernaya”) are going as well as taxi. You can get tickets in the taken transport. Work time of city transport from 5.25 am to 00.30 am.

You can get to the airport Domodedovo that is located 85 kilometers from the airport Sheremetyevo:

By taxi: 1 hour 30 minutes* [Oh yeah, real economical]

By bus: from the town airport station non-stop buses go every 30 minutes, duration of the way 1 hour 10 minutes.

By metro: Metro station “Belorusskaya” – “Paveletskaya” (16 minutes), then by aero-express (40-45 minutes).

You can get to the airport Vnukovo that is located 70 kilometers from the Sheremetyevo airport:

By taxi: 1 hour*

By bus: from the town airport station non-stop buses run every 30 minutes, duration of the way 1 hour 20 minutes.

By metro: Metro station “Belorusskaya” – “Kievskij Vokzal” (17 minutes), then by aero-express (35 minutes).

Transport connections between “Sheremetyevo – 2” and “Sheremetyevo – 1”
The bus “Sheremetyevo” goes between the Terminal 2 and the terminal 1/C. The bus station that is in the area of the railway station of the Terminal 2 is situated near the side of the road from the sideways of the hotel “Novotel”. The bus station in the area of terminal 1/C is situated near the railway station between the pavilion “Arrival” of Terminal 1 and terminal C.

Public Transport: From the terminal 1/C to the terminal 2: Bus №851, travel time 10-15 minutes.

From the Terminal-2 to the Terminal-1/C: Bus №817, travel time 10-15 minutes.

Time table: 06:00 a.m. – 23.00 p.m.

* Attention! Traveling time by car is approximate, without considering traffic jams. [Are they anything like the traffic jams around Bejing? If so, please add three weeks to your travel itinerary.]


In order to avoid possible critical situations you need to have at least 3-4 hours (without considering possible traffic jams) between arrival and departure from different airports.

Each passenger may have 20 kilos of his luggage free. The extra luggage is paid 1% of the cost of the ticket.

Got all that? 

By the way, the airport tax is $60 USD.  I don't know if that is per airport or a group airport fee. 

Will all of the teams make it on time?  Stay tuned...

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