Friday, 11 December 2015

Warm Bundes Evenings

     Here I am, back to Romania, after yet another very nice days spent in Germany, at Bundesliga.
     I have already played for 5 years in the German Club Championship and somehow I associate the cold part of the year with warm evenings spent with my team.

From right to left: Ekaterina Atalik, Karina Ambartsumova, Deimante Daulyte, Nino Batsiashvili, Alina Kashlinskaya and me
     I have always dreamed to be a part of a team where everyone's friends and no one puts a smile on her face secretly hoping you'd lose. Yes, that's the sad thing about many women (can't say about men) teams. I don't know about others, but I am quite emotional during tournaments, during most of the tournaments, Bundesliga is an exception. I am so calm and just happy to be there that I never ever get adrenaline rushes :)) I just enjoy my chess and get pleasure from simply playing my games.
     I know that no matter of the result, a very nice evening will follow with  the super optimistic Karina always making jokes, with Deimante laughing so enchanting that you can't help laughing yourself as well, with Alina's existential questions which eventually end up with another hard laughing, with "the machine's"- Nino's tired faces which usually provoke another joke from Karina and the evening wouldn't be complete without the very elegant Katya whose outfits are a pleasure for any eyes.
     Our team has of course many more strong and beautiful players, though this is the formula of the matches I usually get to play.
     Jokes, laughing, tasty dinners and wine- perfect team spirit and the formula of our good results!
     Enjoy some photos from this weekend made by Thomas Marschner:

A proper motivational talk, from left to right: Alina Kashlinskaya, Ekaterina Atalik, me and Nino Batsiashvili

The first match won by us, with me drawing vs Zoya Schleining


A totally wild game where I sacrificed 4 pawns vs Ketino Kachiani-Gersinska (Baden Baden team) and somehow managed to win. The match ended in our favour!

The last game which I won vs Manuela Mader with our team winning as well!

If you thought we're all watching some chess, you're wrong- it's Alina's wedding photos!


     I am very happy to be a part of the "Schw√§bisch Hall" team and I'm looking forward for more warm evenings like the ones I always have at Bundesliga!



xoxo from Romania ;)

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Reykjavik Lights

From left to right: Mihaela Sandu,Victor Bologan, me and Luminita Cosma
     A bit more than a week has passed since I came back from the European Team Chess Championship in Reykjavik, Iceland. I have to confess that it felt more like a month :))) I will tell you why a bit later. Let's get back to the Europeans first.
     Our result as a team was not so bad- 10th place, we've completed our minimal goal, though after the first half of the tournament our hopes aimed much higher... I started with 3/4 and it should have been even 4/4 if to look at the positions I got, the team was also doing very well sharing the 3rd place. The problems started after we lost the match to Ukraine in the 5th round. Somehow none of us could pull herself together to play the chess we played at the beginning of the tournament...

     All in all, it was an interesting experience- visiting Iceland, though- frankly speaking, I didn't have much time to enjoy its sites. It was too cold for long walks and too expensive for cabs :)) The thing I liked the most was the fantastic quality of still water and the closing ceremony, which was fun and very well organized. Hm... Yes, besides that- Iceland has left me with a somewhat bitter taste.


     The Romanian Rapid and Blitz Championships followed shortly after our return from Reykjavik. The host was the beautiful city I've never been to before- Cluj. I really enjoyed taking walks through the old center, admiring its beauty and lively people. The tournaments were neither bad nor good for me, a silver medal at rapid and a bronze one at blitz. Both of them were really close to being gold, but an a bit odd coefficient wasn't on my side at rapid and a lost game in the 8th round took the 1st place away from me at blitz.
     That's the way November came and passed for me and I can hardly believe that it's already December and Christmas is just around the corner... One more tournament awaits for me this year- an open in Austria and then... God knows :)))
     Here are some photos from the Rapid & Blitz in Cluj (courtesy to https://www.facebook.com/young.chess.7?fref=ts) :
Playing vs WGM Irina Ionescu

Always tough games vs IM Corina Peptan


From left to right- IM Corina Peptan, me and WGM Irina Ionescu


   
      Two more medals were added to my collection and a busy December has started!



xoxo from Romania ;)
     

Sunday, 8 November 2015

November Thoughts

     A lot of  time has passed with me not writing...
     The truth is that there have been some interesting weeks since the Romanian League ended. With the European Team Championship in Iceland coming up, it was time to prepare a bit for it. Said- done!
     I tried myself in a new posture after that. I joined GM Dorian Rogozenco in commenting the games from the Kings' Tournament, Romania-Germany match. It was a really nice experience which I really enjoyed.
     It looked for me that it's an easy job- to do some live commenting, write a round report, interview the players... Well, it turned out that it's not as easy as it seemed. Of course, it is a pleasant job- observing others' mistakes instead of making them in your own game :))), but it's a very thorough work, finding and pointing out the critical moments in each game, trying to understand what was in each player's mind in those moments. It is also needed to show some tact in the commentaries, putting aside your own emotions. I cheered for the Romanian team and I was sad of course when they were losing a match, but I had to keep by objectivity, or at least try to, in each round's report which, by the way, had some serious work behind it... All the players were professional GMs and there were many theoretical lines they played I had not much knowledge about and in order not to look 'stupid' in the commentaries I had to do some research about them.
    What can I say? Being a commentator was very good for me, I learned a lot of new ideas and lines, I enjoyed finding out the way GMs think during the game and I concluded that even though there's still a lot for me to learn in chess, each GM is human and they are quite beatable!
     I've also started to miss a bit playing chess myself and I am very eager to be back to the game at the ETCC in Reykjavik!


Wish you all a nice and peaceful Sunday!

Friday, 9 October 2015

Tricky Sun Rays


     The cold autumn days have come and there's of course no "better" place to be now than at seaside :))

While the sun was still here...
     Mamaia is the host of the Romanian League and it decided to be not so friendly this time, though it welcomed us with some tricky sun rays. The weather reminds me now of some terrible nightmares where I try to walk but no matter how hard I try, I remain in the same place. It is very, very windy and cloudy and frankly speaking, my mood is somewhere at the "stay all day in the bed" mode.
     Still, the tournament is as usually  very interesting with lots of tension and many great fights. I guess there's not much left to be done in Mamaia but preparing for the games and trying to show your best.
     I enjoy going from one tournament to another. Poland was a great experience and I am pretty satisfied with the 4th place I got there. Mamaia has been good for me as well so far... Between coughing and drinking one tea after another I've managed to score 4,5p/5.
     Our team is going well so far, there are two more matches left for us and  we are leading. The hope is that we can keep it this way until the end.
     You can follow some live games here: http://sahlive.ro/ , while the results are on: http://chess-results.com/tnr189236.aspx?lan=1
     As for me, there are no more tournaments left until the European Team Chess Championship, which will take place in Iceland, in November, though I might have some ideas on what I could spend my time on until then... Maybe you will find out more about it soon on my blog! ;)
     
    

I wish you all a great weekend and a few sun rays!


xoxo from Mamaia :)

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Masters in Poland

     After a more or less agitated summer, with many tournaments played in a raw, the time has come for a "serious" chess exam.
     I am heading to a strong ladies tournament in Wroclaw, Poland. It will be very interesting for me to play against some of the strongest WGMs in Europe. As I missed the EIWCC this year, it will be refreshing to compete in a women's event. They all say women's chess is different from men's chess and it is a viable point of view, though I don't necessarily agree with it. Maybe we are somewhat more competitive and maybe short draws don't occur that often in our games, maybe we play a more romantic chess, but I believe that the strongest women players can compete on a very high level with men as well.
     All in all, I hope to have a good tournament and to play some quality chess! You can follow the results and the news of the event on its official webpage: http://wgmradzikowska.pl/?page_id=1242#
     I hope to be in good spirits for sharing impressions from there as well :)
  


P.S.  Hou Yifan's play from the World Cup in Baku can only inspire women to work more on chess and to have more confidence that everything is possible!



xoxo with high hopes :)

Saturday, 29 August 2015

From Dracula to Emirates Palaces

     It's been a very interesting month, with lots of new impressions.
     It is a well known fact that the country where you live is actually the one you've visited the least. That's why I decided to visit the Romanian site which attracts the most foreign tourists- "Dracula's (Bran) Castle". When I got there, I had the feeling that I'm somewhere abroad, all the people around were speaking all kind of languages but Romanian. It was very funny- feeling a stranger in my own country :))
     The thing I liked the most about the castle was its location, which granted lots of fantastic views. The so called "Torture Room" was also interesting, though it left me with a strange feeling of insecurity...
Bran Castle
 



     A "little" change of scenery followed. I have arrived to Abu Dhabi a few days later, checked in at a luxury hotel and tried to adapt to the 30 degrees temperature difference. The adaptation process is still on go, while 6 rounds of the tournament have already passed. The last game I played was a marathon one, with 150 moves- it finished at about 11.45 pm and frankly, I was so exhausted and disappointed that the fact that I missed dinner did not matter at all (though, poor arbiters...).

6th round marathon game vs GM Aleksandr Rakhmanov
     It is my first time in UAE and I am overwhelmed by such a different culture. I have met very friendly people, I have met some who wouldn't shake hands with a woman, I have seen strict dress codes and emancipated women as well...  The buildings here are from the "hallucination" category, I've never seen such luxury in my life... Fantastic Malls rising from the middle of the desert is just a usual thing here... Anyhow, it seems to be a very different and a not so easy to fit in culture, especially for Europeans, even though  there's a fantastic mix of nations here.



    All in all, I am grateful for this new experience and I hope for some good chess for the last 3 rounds!
    


    xoxo from Abu Dhabi ;)

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Lazy Reflections

     Back to posting!
     I am back to modern life after about one and a half month without a computer. Yeah... that's another side of a chess players' life- changing computers more often than haircuts :)))
     Many, many things have happened since my last post. I can definitely say that the month I stayed in France was not bad at all, what can be bad in France? Wines? No way! Evenings, Alps, La Manche? Naaay! My chess? Well, more or less... One bad tournament, another- not so good and a fabulous one (maybe the best in my life). It's difficult to judge if there was a balance or not.
     Coming back to Romania and adjusting to the super hot August days was the most difficult part. The Open I played in Arad has simply drained my body and brain. (Note for the next summer: check if the playing halls have air conditioning before deciding to play anywhere).
     I am on my last days of vacation before my next tournament, the Abu Dhabi Open. I've never been to Emirates before and I am curious about what it's gonna' be like. I don't have so many expectations from myself from the "chess" point of view. I've learned that it's better to be calm and just play your chess, expectations are not good, you can never know what plans does Fortuna have for you.
     While taking a deep breath of salty, "freshly-after rain" air I admire the predictable (?!) sea and I try not to think about tomorrow. There's the rhythmical sound of waves, the staggering height of the terrace I'm housing my thoughts on, there's nothing to remind me that there might be a tomorrow...


xoxo from a lazy evening ;)

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Call of the Alpes

     My chess summer has begun and what better place for it to begin than in France!
     It is really nice here, in Vaujany, surrounded by mounatains and waterfalls. One can wish for nothing else, it is the perfect spot for a chess tournament!
     Many Romanians have come here, I don't know if it's about some "Call of the Alpes", or maybe it's just us trying to escape from the super hot Romanian summer, anyways it feels just fantastic to be here!
    

The playing hall

      Moreover, I have rediscovered an old passion of mine- ping-pong. That's the best preparation for the games and the best way to relax after them ;)

Tough match vs IM Lucian Filip


     Here you can find the link for the tournament: http://www.echecs.asso.fr/FicheTournoi.aspx?Ref=33004


    Wish you all a fantastic summer, and stay tuned for more news from France!


     xoxo from Vaujany ;)


Thursday, 25 June 2015

Summer Breeze

     These long summer days with their lazy breeze... With the eyes barely opened and the hot sun fondling my skin I dream about, hm, about- well, I actually live my dream!
     The days of me being a professional chess player have finally come, no more University concerns, no more chains holding me back, I live the life I've always dreamed of. What a fantastic feeling, waking up and not being sure if I still dream or this really is my life :D
     Ah, I've remembered, our team- "Politehnica Iasi" has become the new Romanian Rapid Club Cup winner as well! Not a bad start of the summer season, right? ;)

 
Team "Politehnica Iasi": Vlad and Andrei Ungureanu, Alina l'Ami, Vasile Manole, myself, Vladimir Danilov, Ioana Gelip (photo credits: https://thinkingsquares.wordpress.com/)
     A short trip to the UK has opened my unchained phase of life! It was so nice to see my sister and to spend quality time together! The chess part of the trip was not the best one, but it was not the main goal, so there's not much to complain about :)
     Many tournaments and many dreams coming true are ahead and I can finally say that I am happy! You can envy me for having a job which is actually the thing I love the most- playing chess while traveling around the World! Right now I envy a bit myself so I'll try to make this feeling last as much as possible ;)
     While closing my eyes and letting the sun invade my thoughts, here are some pictures that bring the smile on my face every time I see them:








     Peace and a fantastic summer to all of you!


xoxo from my dreams! ;)

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Cool Grandmother

     While living at its fullest my last days as a student- with exams day by day and trying to finish my thesis in the unbearably hot Romanian summer, I catch myself imagining my life after all of these will end...
     I want to believe that many years of playing chess are ahead of me, many tournaments, lots of training, many wins... I wonder for how long I am going to enjoy this stuff, 5 years, 10 years, 2 decades, all my life? I really hope for it to be so. I hope to live long enough in order to be the cool grandmother who participates at Veteran Championships and tells her grandchildren about the adventures of a lifetime of being a chess player!
     I remember once laughing with my friends about us being 65, gathering all our "gang of WGM" at a Veteran World  Championship and having the time of our lives while coming all so pretty to the games, eying the U55 guys :))) Well, joke apart, I want to be that kind of  grandmother, the one with whom kids want to go out to listen to her stories... Maybe I could even teach them how to play chess, if it will survive 40 more years...
     Forgive me for this strange post, the source of this thoughts was the recently watched trailer of a chess movie, with a chess player starring. You can watch it here:


Bondoc Trailer from deFilm on Vimeo.

     Wish you all a nice end of week!


xoxo from Iasi ;)

Friday, 29 May 2015

Cheating and Ego Matters

     While studying hard for my final exams and having no time to throw away at all, I simply couldn't help myself expressing my deepest disgust about the situation where a few WGM's, ex World and European Champions and strong GMs amongst them, accused my colleague from the National Team- WGM Mihaela Sandu for cheating.
WGM Mihaela Sandu
     We have been colleagues and also opponents for quite a few years so far and I find this accusations very disturbing, not only for Mihaela herself, but for the chess community as well. She is a very dedicated player who loves playing and teaching chess. All the games we played against each other were very combative and fought until the last drop of blood. I have a high respect and consideration for Mihaela's chess.
     I understand that losing to a lower rated opponent can be quite frustrating, but I don't understand the need of being so paranoid and unprofessional. I find this whole situation simply outrageous and I want to point out that chess is not war and not all the means that can be used to win are ok. I used to think that professional chess players are very intelligent and highly sensible persons and as sportsmen they all demonstrate a high level of fair play. Well, I guess I couldn't be more wrong.
     I understand that we all want our rights to be respected, then why not respect the rights of others? I can understand the accusations made though I could never agree with them. I understand that with so many cheating cases around, one might get paranoid. What I don't understand is:

1. On what grounds could someone who didn't even get the chance to play against Mihaela accuse her?

2. Why the arbiter to whom the accusations were presented after the game finished didn't check Mihaela immediately in order to clarify the situation and avoid all this fuzz?

3. Why the organizers, after thoroughly having analyzed the situation and having come to the conclusion that there were no proof of any kind and the player was wrongly accused didn't take out those shameful signed letters from the walls of the playing hall? Why didn't they publicly apologize to Mihaela?

4. Why the organizers didn't give a warning to the player who clearly took advantage of this situation in order to put pressure on Mihaela before their game?


     Maybe some of you would think of this words to be somewhat harsh, but how do you think Mihaela felt with all this false accusations? How should I feel now as a professional chess player? Should I be afraid to play good chess and to win against stronger opponents? Does it mean that in 10 years I will be cataloged as an expired chess player who doesn't have the right to play strong? What is with all this nonsense?
     I am very disappointed that such kind of situations can happen nowadays and I hope that conclusions will be drawn and measures will be taken so that such unfair and abusing behavior would never happen again!

     Mihaela, all your friends and colleagues are with you, cheering for you and my admiration for your fighting spirit has only grown! Keep up the good work and I cross my fingers for you to keep offending those high egos!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Soul Food

     We all have good days and bad days but if you're having the latter- I highly recommend you to spend a day in a Botanical Garden!
     My day turned to be very nice despite the shady start. I had a very lovely afternoon walking down the beautiful alleys and admiring the inspiring nature. I don't know a better way of clearing my head then just walking, discovering beautiful gardens and thinking about anything but daily problems :)
     Here are some photos from my yesterday's walk, one which has reminded me that we are happy as long as we choose to be!








     Nature is beautiful! I hope you can try to remind yourself of this from time to time!


xoxo from Iasi

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Faulty Note

     Each of us has his qualities, the sides of him he wants the World to see and to approve. Well, this post isn't about them, it's about our negative sides, the ones we try to hide from others and which we're very well aware- will make others judgmental.
     Though one knows his bad sides and he may work on making them disappear, I think it's not possible to achieve it without accepting and embracing them. I can't change all the things I don't like about myself, but I've learned not to be embarrassed of them.
      I show the side of me I like the least to the person I like the most because I want him to learn that I'm not ideal, nor I want to look like one. The best feeling I get  is when someone loves me for my defects, not for my qualities. I believe my bad sides are very much a part of me and it's a serious mistake to hide them from the ones I hold dear to.
     They may say "I've never expected THIS from YOU!". Well, I'm not ideal and it's my worst nightmare becoming so. I've embraced the things I dislike about myself and while I try to change some of them, the others I just love and I want them to stay this way, because they make others give me the higher quoted sentence and when I hear it, I just know that he is just too shallow or messed up in order to admit that neither people nor life is ideal.
     I don't want to have in my life people who think I'm faultless, I want the ones who love the things I like the least about myself!


     Now tell me, do you hide your defects from the ones you care the most?



xoxo from Iasi :)

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Adrenaline Addict

     You make the 1st move, write it down with a trembling hand,waiting for your opponent's answer...

      I don't know for how many of you this feeling is familiar. I hope that it's not just me who has a fantastic adrenaline rush each time I play a game which I really want to win. Though I'm a quite calm person, the adrenaline pumping in my blood and making me shiver during a game isn't a thing I can control.
      This led me to the thought that I might be addicted to adrenaline. One might ask me if only playing chess gives me this rushes. Actually-no. I like driving on highways with 180 km/h with rock beats vibrating in the car. That's the main reason I don't want to get a driving license, don't want to call my friends and family asking them to stay home when I'm on the road :P
     So far, chess is the least dangerous way of getting adrenaline... Does it mean that I'm addicted? Might be true, though if it means playing chess all my life, doing the thing I love the most, it shouldn't be that bad, right?



xoxo from Iasi ;)

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

myself.MD

Orheiul Vechi
     There's a small country called Moldova which happens to be my homeland.
     Being a chess player, I've traveled a lot, have seen many interesting places all around the World. It's not only about discovering new cultures, it's also about finding new "my selves ".
     It's not a thing to brag with, but I've never visited the cultural sites of the country I come from. That's why I decided, having a few free days, to fill this gap.
     The famous natural, archeological and turistic complex "Orheiul Vechi" was the first one on my list. The place has a very interesting history which dates from as early as the 10th century BC. You can find out more about this here: http://orheiulvechi.com/ Another interesting thing about this place are the cave monasteries- places of cult from the early stages of Christianity. You can spot them in the next photo:
Cave Monasteries

     Here are a few more photos with views from a traditional Moldavian village.







Martins nests



Traditional Moldavian house

     Next to follow was the beautiful "Curchi Monastery". This place induced me into such a peaceful state that I thought that it would be great to retreat there for a week or two with a suitcase full of books!
    


     Though living in Romania, it is a great pleasure for me to return from time to time to Moldova and to remember where my roots come from!


xoxo from Chisinau ;)