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 ;)