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Hotel stories

Dresden, 22/11/2008

Suddenly a cold draft waved through the breakfast room of the Westin Bellevue Hotel. Carmen de Jager, fourth board of South Africa's women's team had opened the door to check the aggregate state named snow which she had never touched before.



Her team mate Monique Sischy meanwhile caressed the bald head of men's first board Watu Kobese after she had had a walk outside. "You missed something!" she told him. "What is it?" he was asking in disbelief. "Snow!". Watu replied idignantly "You know, I snow for the first tim ein 1990, I even built a snowman. The next day I was sick". Watu seems to be a cautious person, when talking to one Bermudan player he said: "Bungee jumping, skydiving and scuba diving is something for white men, a black man like me woul dnever do this, no way! I need solid ground under my feet!" Even the eight injections he had to take against tropical diseases when he played in the African championship in Nigeria were a nightmare for him. "Therefore I didn't like the tournament even before it started."

Veselin Topalov, the world's number one ranked player is an accessible character. He can speak at least Serbocroation, English and Spanish besides his native Bulgarian. The 6:2 defeat of Bulgaria by Serbia in a friendly on Wednesday didn't frustrate him. "It could have ended even 10:2. The Serbians misplayed two penalty kicks". Topalov had two nice wins with the white pieces in the two recent rounds. His opponents must have nightmares due to Topalov's manoeuvres with his knights. Yet we couldn't get his agreement to attend one of the press conferences. "I don't know anything about the conditions and negotiations of my match against Kamsky". But there are a lot of other subjects that the journalists would like to talk about with Veselin!

The wife of one player made a last minute reservation and stays in the hotel for the rest of the olympiad. She reported she even got a special rate of 30 Euros a night. For this you get a premium class hotel package!

The "Dinner for the Champions" will be held at the Westin Bellevue on Sunday night. Prime Minister of Saxony Georg Milbradt will welcome the former world champions including Anatoly Karpov and Boris Spassky.

Peter Dengler