Hello fellow friends, players, fans and groupies!
As many of you may now, the UT chess team has embarked on its latest adventure: representing the comets in Beijing, China against a strong contingency of the top Chinese chess players!
The team is led by coach Rade Milovanovic and program director Jim Stallings. Our roster is:
1. GM Alejandro Ramirez
2. IM Davorin Kuljasevic
3. IM Marko Zivanic
4. IM Jacek Stopa
5. FM Igor Shneider
We are still unsure who our opponents are, but rumors are that they include figure such as Wang Yue, who recently tied for first in the super GM tournament in Azerbaijan.
Yesterday we set off towards Beijing in an early 8 am flight from d-town, passing first through San Francisco.
The Beijing airport was very impressive, not only because of its sheer size but because of the amount of people in there!
Igor and Jacek being engulfed by people in the immigration line
We were greeted by old chinese friends, which had joined us in the past utd GM tournament in dallas last december.
We arrived at the hotel around 5 pm, and had little time to rest before a welcome dinner was held in our honor.
To be fair, this is simply put the most outstanding dinner I have ever expierienced in my life. Not only was the food very varied and magnificent (we had easily 7 courses, including appetizers, soup, another soup, a plethora of entrees and desserts), but the service was simply spectacular. As soon as you took a sip of your Cha (Chinese Tea) we would have a smiling waitress refilling the cup.
Jacek can't hide his amazement... and these here are only the first round of appetizers!
After dinner we had a little walk around the block, which unfortunately does not seem to be as nice as the hotel. Jacek tried, unsuccesfuly, to buy some ice cream in exchange for his us dollars.
Not too friendly...
And an unsucessful merchant named Stopa, who did get the attention of the entire market...
Please pardon your blogger for such a short update, I will be uploading more as soon a I can. The flight was, after all, 13 hours and the slow chinese internet makes it hard to upload photos. Stay tuned!