Even the menu has been overhauled. Pasta, salads, fresh fish and lots of party food are now keeping the Australian juniors happy.
When I headed to the organizers’ office today to sort out the Georgian passport problem, I was advised by the organizer, Akaki Iashvili that Denis had complained to Ignatius Leong (FIDE secretary) about the treatment for Australian delegation. It became a major issue such that we started to lose some of our team members to the 5-star hotel Intourist. But fortunately for the team, it is getting better. We asked for light lunch meals and a more substantial breakfast. Today for lunch, we had pasta, a variety of salads, much better as the days go by, the hotel is improving on a daily basis. Dinner was excellent, there was pizza, fresh fish (with bones), soups, lots of salads, biscuits – party food! We also had a surprise visit from the Georgian chess royalty – Akaki Iashvili did mention he was coming to visit to view the conditions but he brought along the VP of FIDE, Azmaipashvili Zurab & his spouse Marina, Makropolou Fide CP, Nana Aleksandria, Gaprindashvili Nona - 5 time world champion, Michael Khodarkovsky.
They checked out the place and I got all the parents to give feedback with the exception of those parents who left to go to Intourist Hotel. Anyway, Akaki promised us that the standard of food will be the same as what we now have. He also wanted us to write back to you folks in Australia to try & spread the word that things are improving and not as bad as what we initially reported.
After 5 rounds, Raymond Song (who moved to Shanghai, China last June) is the highest scorer among the Australians. He is on 4 points. And James Obst thankfully appears to have bounced back well from that illness which forced a visit to the hospital. The South Australian is on 3/5, the same score as compatriot Andrew Brown.
The rest of the Australian info are available here.