Game with GM Sasikiran (photo's René Olthof)
A postcard from Capelle
I regularly mainly attend the Dutch traditional circuit however I also keep a short list of tournaments in other countries which I would like to play at least once before my retirement.
In Hastings (England), the oldest active tournament (since 1895) I have already played and right now I am competing in the French giant tournament of Cappelle La Grande.
Cappelle is a tiny town (a bit more than 8000 inhabitants) in the north of France very close to the more well-known city of Dankerque. The mayor since 1983 has been Roger Gouvart while the chief organizer of the tournament since 1985 has been his brother Michel Gouvart. Earlier I had visited Cappelle several times with my old French team of Noyon hoping to play the tournament one day.
564 players from all over the world are taking part in the 29th edition of which 73 are GMs and 11 WGMs. Among the participants 11 Israelis: GMs Maxim Rodshtein , Tamir Nabati, Gil Popilski and Tal Baron; IMs Masha Klinova, Angela Borsuk, Dany Raznikov, Mark Berkovich, Eylon Nakar and Yochanan Afek and the youngest is WFM Yulia Shweiger.
Such a huge event having been run for so many years by a wonderful team of volunteers is a unique phenomenon. The transport from the airports of Paris and Brussels as well as from and to the cosy hotels in Dunkerque daily, the crowded rounds in Palais des Arts and the mass meals before and after each round are conducted with high precision and devotion. I have already met numerous old friends from the days I used to live in France and from my many years in the local competitive scene. If I only played a bit better here things could be really perfect.
Whatever my score would be I can already be content with meeting my highest rated opponent ever! It was in the third round that when I was paired with the number one seed Indian GM Krishnan Sasikiran (2677). Prior to our game he had to settle just for a draw in his first two games. I did my best to give him another decent fight but still eventually lost following what I thought was quite an interesting battle.
Tournament details and results may be found on the official website
And even more impressions also here:
Posted: February 27 - 2013