Monday, July 19

The hotel desk had a converter for my converter, so I can now use all electronic devices. I plugged in the iPod to recharge and set out to explore the town. I found Lake Biel and took some shots there. Back in my room, I had to make a decision whether or not to wear a suit to the first round. I wore one in Budapest and scored well, so I decided to wear it again for good luck. It wasnít an easy decision, as the temperature was still in the mid 80ís. Of course, grandmasters donít believe in good luck, just good moves and I went down to defeat at the hands of GM Milo Cebalo. That did it for suits, as I wore normal attire from then on. I donít think I played all that badly but I missed one move while I was somewhat low on time and that was it. There are two invitational sections, one for male grandmasters and one for female grandmasters. Thereís one token Swiss player in each section. Look at the pictures and see if you can guess which section Iíll be watching more closely. Grandmaster Alexandra Kosteniuk is also here, playing in my section. Thereís also a very attractive blond girl in my section who is lower rated. The menís invitational is comprised of GMs Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR), Luke McShane (ENG), Yannick Pelletier (SUI), Etienne Bacrot (FRA), Krishnan Sasikiran (IND) and defending champion Alexander Morozevich (RUS). Never bet against a Russian. There are 112 players in my section and I am number 72 (71 players higher rated). A 50% score would be a nice result and anything higher is a bonus. Sounds like Iím talking about the Indians.

The beach at Lake Biel

Looking out onto Lake Biel

A large chess set sitting in front of a bank one block from the playing site.

Inside the Palais des CongrŤs

Projection screen which will show the moves from games in the invitational tournament.

Playing site for master section. Iím on board 16 in the first round.

Kateryna Lahno (UKR) vs. Elisabeth Pšhtz (GER)

Iweta Radziewicz (POL) vs. Monika Seps (SUI)

Eva Repkova (SVK) vs. Tatiana Kosintseva (RUS)