Couple of follow up notes. The fight for the champion title continued to the very last round with a lot of dramatic turns. At the end, Tamara Tansykkuzhina from Ufa, Russia was able, with a little bit of luck and experience to hold on to the champion’s title. Myself - I was pretty far from it, just being happy with occasional draw and enjoying playing in general and company of my friends. Want to comment one more time on the great organization by Ukrainian Draught Federation led by Anatoly Yatsenko, local sport committee of town Rivne – wonderful Vladimir who fulfil every girl wish – be it mini-golf, bowling or table tennis. During the rounds – the team of the arbiters: Rima Danileviciene, Olga Belyaeva and Andriy Shcherbatyuk worked together to provide great playing environment. Technical expert from the Netherlands Roel Langendam made sure that the electronic boards work and that website was constantly updated with new results and pictures. I personally was assigned with the task of dragging Roel from the tournament room from time to time or he would miss the lunch and dinner times :). I am sure there were other people behind the scene who worked equally hard, and whose names I unfortunately either forgot or did not know to mention. All in all, I can only sigh and dream of the moment when we here in USA will be able to find and support such a big group of personnel to assist in the games. The closing ceremony was no less grand than the opening was with the pedestal for leaders being brought in the room, hymn of the winning country played, gifts for players, flowers for arbiters (my personal envy :)), more official speeches and a farewell banquet in the hotel’s restaurant with a saxophone player – really classy! I also made a short speech at the end. By suggestion of Anatoly Yatsenko which I supported with much enthusiasm, we made a gift of my father’s book to all participants and arbiters. Anatoly said few very warm words about my dad, and I was happy to invite everyone to come to our next year tournament and sign the book for those who desired. I received a lot of requests from the girls and their coaches to get invited to Open USA 2012 – hopefully some of them will come.
One of the highlights of last few days in Rivne, was meeting with FMJD tournament director Jacek Pawlicki. We established a good contact momentarily and had several discussions with Jacek about the situation with checker movement in the USA. He seemed to agree with me on many points including our critique of World Cup calculation system, and also offered few interesting ideas for our future growth. Jacek also explained to me how the rating system works so I can follow up on his reports now about the growth of our member players. All-in-all, he made a very positive impression to me, with perhaps one small exception – quite annoying agenda of FMJD, more openly, of course, stated by its president Otten (I shared my short conversation with him in the previous report) to show FMJD’s preference from young (more perspective?) players. Perhaps, they do not have the laws in Europe similar to our Equal Opportunity law that prevent discrimination of people by age, race, etc. – or we can sue them for big money otherwise J. And while we all want more people to start playing, it is necessary to remember that the titles and the opportunity to fight for them shall be given to the best, most talented players – any other criteria irrelevant. Well, enough politics – I am attaching couple of pictures made by Jacek, who is also a great photographer.
And the last note – the preparations for next year tournament has started! It is going to be a very special one, and for the good cause! The tentative dates are March 15-25, 2011. It is likely that we will leave our previous location in Miami and try something new this year. Few places are being discussed so far: Daytona beach, Las Vegas, Fort Myers. Anyone would like to vote or comment? Please feel free to express your opinion in either comments or by emailing to our secretary, Yevgeniy Sklyarov or myself.