My plane from London was delayed so it meant I got to Budapest about 1am. Gawain caught an earlier flight in and I caught a shuttle bus to our hotel which is about a 10 minute walk from the bus station.
Trying to prounounce Zalakaros isn’t as easy as it seems and at our hotel our receptionist seemed very confused when I tried to say it but I showed him the text on my phone and he then said it very differently! We managed to make our bus from Budapest to Zalakaros and spotted GM Richard Rapport with his girlfriend WGM Jovana Radjonovic and GM Axel Bachmann so we thought we made the right bus.
So far weather wise, it has been gorgeous – slightly too hot (would be nice if the air conditoning worked). We’ve been catching up on sleep the last few days, but today I decided I wanted to lounge around the pool. I could only manage about an hour and a half before the heat got too much and I had to head back to the room.
This town, is definately a holiday spa place for families/elderly people. They have pool exercises that maybe I should try out at some point. Language wise, obviously speaking Hungarian is the most helpful then German and Russian/English is probably the 3rd language on the list.
You can watch the live games here. http://www.chess.hu/hu/esemeny_lap.php?id=33 Round 4, starts later today 3pm local time. I know there has been some issues with the live boards but I hope they are working. You can also try out the games on Chessdom.
Chess wise, Gawain is on 2.5/3. He somehow won R+B+P vs R+N in Round 2 but couldn’t manage to navigate through the complications yesterday.
I on the otherhand struggled and started with 0/2. I feared that this might be like Iceland where I scored 0/5 (!) but I managed to draw yesterday. It’s a very tough tournament and no “bunnies” to beat. I guess most people would think that I’m the bunny being 3rd to last seed. I haven’t done the running that I would’ve liked to (way too hot) but will see how it fits into the schedule. At some point, we will go to the thermal pools and maybe do some cycling. Not sure what else you can do here! For lunch, we normally head into the town center where we can also top up our water supply. I’ve never drunk so much (water) in my life! My poor Lindt bar melted twice (first on the bus ride, then when I took it into the playing hall).
Some things I’ve noted
#1 Every day before the round (for about an hour) there’s cakes/biscuits and drinks just by the playing room. I’m not sure exactly what it’s for but I’ll eat it!
#2 Ice-cream here is very good. I eat way too much at dinner time which is all you can eat!
#3 People here seem in general either very friendly or quite abrubt
#4 Queing is non existent (as noted from the bus station) noone queued and when a window open, someone would rush there.
We would like to also wish our friends Good Luck in the Icelandic Championship. Go Einar, Hjobii & Gummi and Magnus in the Challenger section. Here’s the website . You can also watch the games for the Masters and Challengers just tweak the round number and Robert is your mother’s brother.