By Lakhdar Mazouz
After some unexpected downs during the first 2 rounds, the Olympiads have entered their normal routine: routine in the sense that players are getting used to the new regulations adopted by Fide and have been accustomed to transport from and to the playing scene.
The interest of the media and the public is huge. On Saturday, the Congress hall where Chess is being played was totally crowded. People of all ages were moving around like ants, never tired to watch the games on the screens, to throw a glimpse on the playing ground, to watch eagerly on a big board live comments and analysis made with great command by GM S. Polgar or GM K. Bischof. Moreover, numerous fans invaded shops selling chess material, books and souvenirs.
All eyes were focused on the super stars like Kramnik, Topalov, Carlsen, Aronian, Leko, Kamsky Polgar. But there was also a big interest on the diversity of chess players coming from all Continents. It is always a special happening during the Olympiads when so many nations meet and commune together. Chess is indeed one of the few sport activities that makes this possible.
With each round, the playing ground, although very vast, gives the impression of being overfilled with such gathering of players, arbiters, officials and spectators. This is not surprising when a record number of teams compete for the privilege of getting the much revered medals. One can sense the excitement and fiber that radiate in the playing hall. The whole atmosphere is unique. There is nothing so nice and attractive in Chess to compare with the Olympiads.
Furthermore, this exceptional gathering is taking place in Dresden, a city with a long and rich history, known to host many monuments such as the “ Frauenkirche” Church, a city that encourages culture and arts and that is proud of its impressive achievements through the years.
Olympiad participants must certainly be happy to belong to the very few selected people who will say later: I was in Dresden!