Now there is no point going to the official site as it's pretty much next to useless. I'm hoping that they can have some games available for download soon.
However, thanks very much to Canberra chess organiser Jenni Oliver (and, of course, her extensive network of contacts), we can at least give you some first-hand reports from Georgia. We understand that the conditions are worse than that near total disaster in Belfort, France.
The following are excerpts from an email all the way from Batumi.
Everyone was expecting a three hours bus trip so we didn’t have dinner. Who could imagine that we got stopped at Turkey/Georgia border? We were always told that there would be no need to apply for visa to Georgia and all we had to do is to give Georgian border our passport and a photo of each person. The border control officer told us that she could not process the visa as a group and it will take 10mins to process each person and there were about 100 of us. We also got told that they could only take Lari for visa application fee and there was no bank open for us to get money exchanged at 12am. My husband called the tournament organizer’s mobile and he talked to the border control officer and he said that he will talk to someone high up and get back to us. Another two hours of waiting….During this time, James got so sick and his face was so paled and he had stomach pain and was throwing up. An ambulance was called. In the mean time, all of us got asked to stay in the bus and the bus door has to be closed. The bus’s engine was shut down so the air inside the bus was really bad. I was yelling at the bus driver and the border control officer and asking them to keep the door open. Eventually we were asked to leave our passports with the border officer so we could keep going our way to Batumi. When we finally arrived in the Hotel Victoria, it was almost 5am.
The dinner was a small dish of cold rice with some threaded carrots on top of it. We also got some cold bread with feta chess. That’s our dinner. No meat, no salad, no fruits. They give us some hot tea so we can swallow the cold food!
Well, that's just awful! But let's not start with the bad vibes. We hope that our band of chess warriors can hold their stomachs together and fight hard in that far away place. Our prayers are with them.
Thanks again to Jenni for this scoop.