"My opponent left a glass of whisky 'en prise' and I took it 'en passant". - Henry Blackburne | SINCE 2007

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Airport Olympiad?

The chessdrum website (www.thechessdrum.net) is currently providing some of the best information regarding the situation at the Dubai Airport where a number of African teams are holed up. Chessdrum has been in communication with a number of local chess officials accompanying the team and the reports indicate that sections of the airport are swarming with chess battles.

Here is an excerpt from the chessdrum blog detailing an interesting exchange between a Botswana official and Chessdrum webmaster Dr. Daaim Shabaaz:

Just heard from Kenneth Boikhutswane of Botswana who is stranded in the Dubai Airport now…

10:45am Kenny
Hello Daaim! hope you well. You coming to the olympiad?

10:45am Daaim
No. I will not be there. Are you traveling today?

10:48am Kenny
Yeah. Stranded in Dubai airport. Our charter moved to tomorrow and we never received correspondence despite my follwoing up and them confirming that we on the Sunday charter. Got here 5am and we board tomorrow at 0930 for Khanty. Its s big inconvenience, not even sure that we on the 0930 charter despite them confirming again today by email that we on it. you can imagine what it does to the players, 28 hours in the airport!

10:49am Daaim
Yes… there were several changes.

So you cannot disembark? Too expensive?

10:52am Kenny
tried that roiute but way too expensive. would have had to pay visa each at U$157 dollars for 13 people. Hotel here at airport going at U$ 286 for two. There is no guarantee that if we paid we would get refunded despite claims to that, so we decided to play it safe

10:53am Daaim

I’m posting this on the blog.

10:54am Daaim
What other federations are there? I hear that the Kenyans are there.

10:56am Kenny
We have Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Burundi, Malawi, and two teams from Asia I have seen. There could be others around the airport i havent seen.

10:59am Kenny
Zambia had their letter infoeming them of the changes dated 16th Sept! I am concerned about whether we will have accomodation as per our payments, especially for the single rooms.

11:00am Daaim
It appears to be very disorganized. Keep me informed. Will you be sending stories to the news?

11:03am Kenny
I will sending out reports to bots on progress of Bots team, as I try to come out of ‘retirement’. I will send you reports as well

11:07am Daaim
I’m sorry to hear about the problems. I have been covering them on The Drum. I penned an essay about the potential problems.

11:10am Kenny
how on earth does someone change flight details 2 days prior to departure as if we are using a bus?its a shame really, coz changing tickets means more costs for federations. and with such a short timeframe, there isnt much one can do

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