Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Olympiad - Last Words

Our man in Turin, Larry Ermacora, was going to send some closing remarks but returned late from dinner last night. Having a taste for the good things in life, Mr Ermacora, an Italian by the way, prefers to take his time and enjoy. Yesterday, his annoyance at the Armenia - Hungary match was salved only by, what else[?], food.

I've just come back from a picnic lunch on my own on the grass under a grove of young trees here in the Olympic park. I had tramezzini (Italian sandwiches), focaccia, kebab and some fruit and tap water. It's a gloriously sunny day and the mountains, still snow-capped, ring the whole horizon. Why, one might ask, stay inside playing chess without even a bite to eat?

With such a thought, I feel a little more sympathetic towards the Armenians and Hungarians, happy with their draws, now enjoying their lunch, the sunshine and a good drink.

By the time he returned from dinner, the press room was already closed, way ahead of time apparently. So it is left up to me to end our Olympiad coverage.

All in all, blogging the Olympiad has been a lot of fun. We enjoyed it and we hope that you enjoyed reading. In the eleven months that this blog has been live on the blogosphere, we've never received so much traffic than over the last two weeks. Readers came from around the world. I was even surprised to see incoming links from an Armenian chess forum!

But one story really did it - THAT punching incident and it all began with the Australian team email.

In breaking news about the Bermuda party last night, Armenia's gold medal chances have taken a dive after their top board was hit in the face by England's Danny Gormally. Apparently they were fighting over one of the Australian players...

Wait - there might be more. The Australian women's captain, IM Leonid Sandler, has promised: "[W]hen I will return I promise to tell all". We can't wait.

That's it then. For the next one we hope to be there on site in Dresden. It should be fun.

You'd think that with the Olympiad over, it's back to normal sleep patterns. Not quite! In just a few days, the football World Cup kicks off in Germany. Australia is in it for the first time since 1974. I'm tipping our boys to at least survive Group F - a real tough one. Go Aussies!

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