The coffee machine

0 | Chess Event Coverage
A lot is happening in the chess world, like Aronian beating Kramnik 4-2 in a rapid match and the Mtel Masters starting today in Sofia. On Sunday I will arrive in Sofia and most probably I will have a better internet connection than here (in whole Salou there's no wifi). In the Hotel Negresco Princess here in Salou everybody is enjoying the weather (that's really great now) during the day and playing chess in the afternoon. Not much has happened here in the last few days that's worthy of mentioning. Or it must be the coffee machine and especially the way it's being interpreted by the tourists.

The coffee machine, a big Zanussi in the center of the big hall where breakfast, lunch and diner are served, has to be something trivial of course, but isn't. It is the cause of many irritations, misconceptions and smiles.

Firstly, the different choices you have (regular coffee, coffee with milk, cappuccino, espresso, regular decafe, decafe espresso, decafe cappuccino, hot water, hot milk and a few more) and especially their buttons, seem to be in three categories. In three rows that is. This makes many people think that you have to put your cup either on the left, in the center or on the right of the machine before pressing the button above the location of the cup. But in reality there's only one tap in the middle that produces all the choices so every day we see people putting their cup, pressing a button and then quickly moving the cup to the middle after the machine has already started, getting both their cup and hand dirty with coffee.

This fault can be forgiven in my opinion. (Perhaps because I made the mistake too on the first day.) And you have to admit that in the morning they can't expect you to be fully awake before you had the coffee.

One day I was waiting for a British man to make his choice. He had hair as white as snow and intellingence comes with the years, they say. He nodded his head a few times while his finger floated over all the different buttons, and then it kept still above the option of 'hot water'. (Next to the machine there's a basket with tea bags.) Then he turned around and said to me: "I'd like to have tea but I can't find it!"

On another day, the Zanussi was in really good shape. He decided to imitate the chocolate waterfall from Dahl's classic Charly and the Chocolate Factory and didn't stop producing coffee. At least a liter of coffee must have flown away inside the machine's reservoir. Three waitresses looked at it and didn't know what to do. Panic started to grow and it was decided to get the restaurant manager. This man, who's normally very talkative and a bit nervous, approached the machine silently and very calmly. And as an old and experienced knight who knew that intelligence kills the dragon, not strength, he pulled the plug out of the wall. This way all life was sucked out of the Zanussi and the beast stopped moving. The manager walked away as calmly as before, leaving the waitresses in admiration.

After the 6th round it's GM Ibragim Khamrakulov from Spain who's leading the field, with 5,5 points, followed by GM Kevin Spraggett and IM Ana Madnadze with 5. Ana, who left a comment under one of the articles on ChessVibes the other day, has a tough one today, playing Khamrakulov with the black pieces.

Spraggett had to say goodbye to board one after his second draw of yesterday, with White against Fedorchuk. He had a small plus out of the opening but Fedorchuk was tough till the end (an perhaps a tiny bit better in the queen ending).

Current standings:

   1. Khamrakulov           5,5
 2-3. Spraggett, Madnadze    5
 4-5. Fedorchuk, Cuartas    4,5
6-19. Hernandez, Kalinichev,
      Pogorelov, Levin,
      Doggers...             4

Today my game can be followed live again. I'm playing my second GM of the tournament, Felix Levin from Germany. I'm White and it's board 6.

Julian Preda took some very nice pictures of the sixth round.

GM Ibragim Khamrakulov (Spain)

GM Kevin Spraggett (Canada)

GM Sergey Fedorchuk (Ukraine)

GM Azer Mirzoev (Azerbeidzhan)

GM Carmenate Holden Hernandez (Cuba)

GM Ruslan Pogorelov (Ukraine)

GM Sergey Kalinichev (Russia)

IM Ana Matnadze (Georgia)

IM Dominguez Renier Castellanos (Chile)

IM Ole Jakobsen (Denmark)

GM Felix Levin (Germany) ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú IM Victor Vehi Bach (Spain), a very nice game worth replaying

Tournament director Franscesc Li?ɬ±?ɬ°n Serra, playing as well

Living legend NM Tatche Jose Ridameya. Look him up in the database and you'll find games from the Varna Olympiad in 1962!
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