17 April 2018

A Long-awaited Encounter with the Sea

Dmitry Kryakvin reports from the Russian Children’s Championship in AquaLoo

We have definitely had enough of winter this year! Really warm days take over at last, and we welcome the arrival of spring in the battlefields of the Russian Children’s Championship in AquaLoo. Knocking on wood, I say the weather is fine and I do want to believe that nothing akin to the previous year’s disasters are going to befall us. 

The health center is again ready to embrace everyone with a welcome hug. There are virtually no queues at the reception desks - the check-in is quick and well-organized. Having walked around the territory, I have noted renovations all-around, even the concrete steps leading to the sea have been given a complete overhaul. There is a brand-new Grand-Hall towering in the center of the health complex, which is known to admit 3000 people. We have witnessed the construction progress of this structure through the recent years, and here it is, ready for us.   

The competitive program kicks off with solution of chess compositions. No grandmaster has been invited this time to Loo to host the event, which places the burden onto the shoulders of the chief arbiter Stanislav Yanusheuski. It seems to have been a smooth event, with the composition solvers’ lineup being decent and many: the main hall of "Looshka had no empty seats, while a number of chairs were occupied by girls and boys with very impressive ratings. This is Russia’s composition contest No.6, which has been gaining popularity ever since its very first edition. This said, the first place in each group brings its winner 9000 rubles. Not bad for 4 hours without having to tap chess clocks and find your way out of time troubles. 

I will try to lay my hands on some composition examples, but it is known to be habitual checkmates in two, three or more moves, while older boys and girls also had to solve problems involving help- and selfmates. 

The contest takes two days, and the results will be announced later. The composition is followed by a rapid tournament. It is only step one in a chain of exciting events! 

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