Tennis and soccer

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Especially today I feel pain in muscles I didn't know I had, but hey, I did score a number of decent goals. Last Wednesday we played soccer with (amongst others) Aronian, Carlsen and Sargissian, which was good for some nice photos again. For example on the front page of Chessbase.

Tennis But first we return to last Sunday, the first rest day. I had joined (video) journalist Macauley Peterson, Magnus and his father Henrik Carlsen, Levon Aronian and Gabriel Sargissian for some tennis. The weather was beautiful, with a nice sun and some 21 degrees Celcius.

But after about ten minutes, dark clouds seemed to take over. The janitor of the tennis complex had come to our tennis courts and started to speak Spanish quite fast, and with a typical Andalusian accent. Still, one could follow him well enough to understand that we were not allowed to play tennis: "This is a private club, you have to leave immediately."

Since I was the only one who speaks a bit of Spanish, I was given the unthankful task of convincing the guy that it was all right. I tried every weapon in the arsenal: that we were brought there by a tournament official, that the tournament is closely related to the municipality of Linares, that he was dealing with world famous players. But he insisted, replying something like "I don't care about your tournament, I don't care about the city of Linares, this is a private club!"

Unfortunately none of us had the phone number of the tournament organizers. I went to the bar of the complex, to try to reach them by calling the hotel Anibal, but there was no phone book.

Meanwhile, the janitor had threatened to call the police. This was answered with great joy by Magnus, who said: "Yes, let's get arrested! You should experience that at least once in your life!"

Right at the moment when we journalists started to realize that we could be in the middle of a great story, unfortunately some of us had managed to contact the tournament director through his mobile, and he drove to the tennis complex and sorted things out. Therefore this story will remain a nice anecdote for birthday parties and... well, chess websites.

Soccer On the second rest day in Linares, last Wednesday, the same group decided to go to the sports complex again, and also take a football with us. Magnus' three sisters, who had come to join Henrik and their star brother in Linares earlier this week, also joined us, but decided to play tennis.

No janitor came to bother us, but we had fun anyway. I scored the first goal (and more followed!) and then made sure that the Russian cameraman who was filming, got it. Currently the Russian national soccer team has a Dutch trainer, so who knows!

Some soccer pictures, taken by Nadja Woisin, can be seen here. I can testify that a duel for the ball with Aronian is a funny experience!
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