Friday, April 3

Hello from Nashville!

(This photo shows the atrium of the Cascades section of the hotel, where we are staying.)

Everyone seems to have arrived at the Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville, the site of SuperNationals IV. Unfortunately, we had some unexpected adventures en route; the weather was terrible. In fact, a tornado touched down within five miles from the playing site, causing a major evacuation before we arrived. Our flights came down just minutes after the severe thunderstorm passed through, but we still saw multiple lightning strikes nearby. I wonder how come they even let us land in this storm; actually Jeff and his father were diverted to Louisville due to the bad weather and arrived two hours late.

To make a long story short, the Saratoga High School chess team players were in our hotel rooms by 8pm Central time last night. We had dinner in the hotel, although the service was quite slow. Our three rooms are nice, maybe 30% larger than the room we crammed into four years ago, and are all close to each other. Unfortunately, we are located in the Cascades area of the hotel, near the lobby yet far away from the playing site. With everything under one roof, I guess it isn't too big of a problem.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle that we encountered so far was the parking gate to the self-parking lot. Unfortunately, Charles Sun's father had to waste several hours trying many different keys just to get the gate to open up. This was a big inconvenience. :-(

The main tournament begins today with the opening ceremony at 11am. The keynote speaker will be none other than Garry Kasparov. However, I doubt that I will attend because it will extremely crowded; less than half of the attendees can fit into the theater. Kasparov also will play the ceremonial first move on board 1 of the High School section this afternoon, which should allow our team a chance to see him up close.

The first round is at 1pm Central time and the second is at 7pm tonight. There are 5277 entries as of Friday morning, including 46 from Northern California! I do not yet see a link to the online pairings and results, but that information should be posted later today at the official website. In the meantime, check out this article on Chess Life Online for a parent's perspective on this big tournament.

Good luck to all of the CalChess kids playing in Nashville!

Update: Results and pairings will be posted here.

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