Friday, 16 May 2014

When a Plate of Fried Rice Globetrotting 4 Countries in One Hour

Oh wow, my last post was in August 2013 *faints*... *gets up* I think if there was an award of who's the worst blogger in the world, yours truly would be the one. I don't know why but I found it's hard to get my feeling into blogging consistently despite all good times, great tournaments, exciting new countries and people, bad games, tiring trips, sleepless nights as an insomniac chess player, etc etc that are basically interesting to share with. Well well well, I'll try to keep you guys updated more regularly. And by regularly it doesn't mean once a year like what I've been apparently doing here *blushes*

To make stories short, if somehow you were wondering how this passion is back, maybe I should thank my super spicy homemade fried rice that I'm eating now while writing this post and doing some emails about my coming trips to Bulgaria for somehow giving me some inspirations. Oh right, I'd miss Indonesian cuisine again for I wouldn't be able to find the right spiciness in my food in Europe...not cool :/ Before we go through my upcoming chess trips plans, let's take a moment flashing back my past trips from last year....

For my love of traveling, I've been going overseas every month especially in year 2013 - don't be jealous, but it's right when people say traveling is addictive! Oh you... drugs in my blood.... :S

My super loyal pair of converse. They've been my best pal for almost 6 years and counting!

Let's start from... uhm... May 2013! OMG, it's exactly a year already. In the second week of the mentioned month, I won the 5th Alexander Great Open that held in Porto Carras, Greece. It was one of my most relaxing tournaments and I even surprised myself for being the clear first winner in the tournament. Why did I say so? Well, I didn't do any serious preparation because I was taking care my sister, Diajeng, who was playing the World Schools at Girls Under 10 group (and she got the 2nd placed with 8 points out of 9 rounds!). All I did daily during the tournament days were looking after her sleep, fixing her food,  and becoming her human alarm (as I always slept much later and woke up earlier than her to prepare everything she needed for the day). And I just did very little to myself included preparation before the game. But the positive side of lacking time and effort of preparation was it made me more focus on every move in my game. After the tournament, my friend Goran Urosevic interviewed me in behalf of Chessdom.Open this link to read it.

Posing with a trophy and medal on a beautiful sunny day in Greece makes me feel like a goddess! :P

My sister and I at the marina in front of the playing venue

After this tournament, as a part of my Europe tour, I went to Hungary to play in the Caissa GM tournament in a city called Kecskemet. By scoring only 2,5 out of 9 games, I lost all the elo points I earned in Greece when playing here. But it was a great experience to have some legends playing in the same groups as mine, eg Sax Gyula (deceased in January 2014, may he rest in peace), Groszpeter Attila, and Ilincic Zlatko. Despite all the bad stereotypes about those monthly tournaments in Hungary, I want to assure you I had a good time playing in this country. Those GMs that I mentioned above were really great players and what amazed me more was that they were no longer young. In our postmortem analysis after each game, they showed a very structural explanation towards each move in an...what should I say... ancient way perhaps? And yet, really constructive! It was unlike the modern era like now which principles are easily refuted by the computers. Salute!

I took a car trip from Kecskemet to Vienna, Austria. Time to share you all how I spent my off days before playing my 3rd and 4th tournaments in Bulgaria. Oh btw, all of this was a solo trip. Because in order to be a brave young lady, one must conquer the world alone (?) haha it's just because I found it very challenging to do everything alone in foreign countries, being an independent young woman is nothing bad at all :)


I got to taste the famous Wiener schnitzel and sachertorte. I did a sightseeing to their castles, palaces, and churches. I went to their classical music concert at Beethoven House. Oh Vienna.... I'm in love :*

Schonnbrunn Palace
At St. Stephan Cathedral
At Saint Peter's Church
Performances at the Beethoven's House

It was a rainy and cold day but I had to drag my 25 kg luggage down to a few blocks from my hotel in Vienna to the nearest subway station to take a train to Vienna airport to catch my flight to the capital city of Bulgaria, Sofia then to Varna where the Grand Europe Open was held. It wasn't an easy task for a girl at all....

See how Sofia greeted and welcomed me to the city.

Grand Europe Open 2013 was a series of 2 tournaments in Varna city on June 1st till 18th 2013. Two beautiful resorts were chosen to be the venue of each event: Albena and Golden Sands. I have 2 simple impressions for each of them: Albena was so quiet while Golden Sands was so lively. Can I request something in between please?

an IM norm was awarded in Albena for my solid performance

Ahh.... Golden Sands was perhaps too lively that affected my results badly. And as I'm going there again next month, I have to make sure that I won't repeat the same mistake. I mean, come on... there are lots of new mistakes that yet to be done *winks* Nevertheless, I had a good time with friends that minimize my sadness of my bad play. Those time which usually occur at night after the game.

With Zurab and Diana

And peeps, I did some photo shoots at a local studio wearing some classical costumes just for fun. So, which one do you like best? 

I almost always laughed when seeing those pictures. But don't let them bluff you for my feminine looking, coz it was only for this photo shoot session :) Anyhow, it was a good memory after all...

Sveta Sofia or Saint Sophia statue in the heart of the city

End of the tournament I had another day off in Sofia. The embassy of Indonesia in Sofia was so nice to me that they provided me a car with its driver to take me around the city. And by end of this month I'll fly again to the country to play in those tournaments again, but now I won't be alone as Indonesian Olympic team will take a part in them too.

Now I finished my fried rice, let me call it a night too... I'll be back to do my July reports and onwards as soon as possible. Hope you enjoy it so far. Cheers! :)