Reflections 2 from Georgia with love by Dr Lyndon Bouah of South Africa

Many people thought we were travelling to the United States because we were travelling to Georgia. In the USA there is a state called Georgia whereas in Europe there is a country called
Georgia. From the booklets they provided at the opening ceremony they report that Georgia is an old country, so old that getting to know its history would take too long. In short, its past comprises thirty centuries- it being among the first Christians. The 1500 year old alphabet is
different from others and Georgian is only spoken in Georgia. Georgia has its own writing system- the Georgian script, which was used to write in three different Georgian languages, Nuskhuri, Asomtavvruli and Mkhedruli.

The script originally had 38 letters in its alphabet but today has 33. One of the traits is the Georgian trait, which was influenced by the Greek and Iranian scripts but shaped into
something uniquely Georgian. The language displays Greek influence in its letter ordering, while Iranian influences are also visible in the cursive shapes of the letters. There are also fading images of the fight for freedom, the ancient art, the immortal poetry and thousands of other things, starting from the expression “the guest is of God” and ending with the wine kept in the ground in big earthenware vessels called ” churis“.

Georgia is a mysterious land of ancient temples and castles, of rock carved cities, of the drowsy lakes and noisy feasts. Many places from the past are on the Unesco World Heritage Lists. It includes the ancient capital city of Mtskheta, a huge cathedral complex of Gelati and the mountainous region of Svaneti. Ushguli has a wide collection of ancient villages
situated in the mountainous region of Svaneti.

 

Ushguli, Svaneti

It is recognised as the highest settlement in Europe, at about 2100 metres above sea level. Mtskheta and Kutaisi are both former capitals of Georgia are among Europe’s 16 oldest
cities. Kutaisi, located in the Western Georgia, was the ancient capital of the
Kingdom of Colchis- the ancient region of Southern Caucasus where people lived
as early as the second millennium BC.

 The name of the capital city Tbilisi is derived from the Georgian word for warm. It is said that the city also has one of the steepest and longest funiculars in the world to enjoy the
views if the city.

Georgians call their country Sakartvelo. The name consists of two parts: Kartveli, which
refers to an inhabitant of the Central Georgian region of KaniIneria and the circumfix sa-o, is a usual geographic for indicating land where the Kartveli lives. There are different theories about the name Georgia. Saint George is believed to the patron saint of Georgia, and thus the name may have been coined by Christian reformers in the middle Ages.

Georgia takes great pride in the fact that an archeological expedition in Dmanisi found the oldest human skulls in the Caucasus, suggesting that a man from Africa travelled to Europe through Georgia. The 1.8 million year old skulls are the remains of a human
couple of Georgians called Zezva and Mzia.

 Even though Georgia is small in size, before reaching from its one end to the other
end you can come across the glacier peaks, deserts, subtropics, diverse
ethnography, and lots of regions full of mystery, where times dates back to the
Sumerian Age. And while the traditions are different, one thing is easily
recognisable – hospitality. Krubera Cave in Georgia is an extremely vertical cave.

Hidden among the extremely mountainous region, the Krubera Cave is the deepest
cave on the planet and is 7200 feet deep. It takes about 27 days to reach the
bottom of the cave!

The Georgians are said to be a singing nation. Georgians are a polyphonically singing nation. It is due to the uniqueness of the Georgian folk songs that along with “the sounds of the
earth “- I.e the sounds of crying, of laughing, of welcoming , of running water- the Georgian folk
song Chakrulo was included in the Voyager Records to be sent into space for alien civilisations on Voyager 2 in 1977.

And those voices are said by the booklet to be invigorated by the oldest and unique Georgian tradition of making and keeping wine, and the Georgians attitude to wine. Georgia claims to be the birthplace of wine. It was according to some reports accidentally produced between eight and ten thousand years ago in the Caucasian region. The wine was created by the incidental fermentation on grapes that was later forgotten in a container. Unesco has listed the traditional Georgia winemaking method- in a clay jar called a Qvevrk– on its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. In the interests of science and comparative analysis with South African wines I will be embarking on experiments in this regard so watch this space!

The city we are playing in is called Batumi. It is said to be an old maritime city. It has known humiliation and revival, the evil and the good. It has been an area of conflicts as well as
of peace. At the expense of wars and peace it has housed and converted its soul
into plenty of cultures since the Roman times.

The history of the city comprises its shifts from one rule to another, the invasions and settling down of different conquerors, liberation as well as dramatic collapses of Georgia. The edge of the Ancient Georgian principalities and kingdoms, now the Sanjak of the Ottoman Empire and then the developing city of the Russian Empire, the former Porto Franco and Mötley port represents a cluster of religious assemblages, crammed with tourists and is a very cozy
city.

 In ancient times, Georgian merchants sailed as far as the Indian Ocean to trade their merchandise in exchange for spices which they would bring back and well at a higher price. The Silk Route, the ancient trade route that linked Europe and China ran through Phazizi. So a quick rounds up of facts are the following:

The capital is Tbilisi while the religion is Georgian Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Islam and Armenian Apostolic. Christianity was accepted as the official religion of Georgia in 337
AD. Georgia is a unitary semi presidential Republic. It achieved independence from the Soviet Union on 25 December 1991. It is located in an area of 67,900 Sq. Km. it has a population of 4.5 million people. The currency is the lari.

Georgia is partly situated in Eastern Europe and partly in South West Asia. It is a member of the European Union and NATO. The most widely spoken languages are Georgian and Russian.

Joseph Vissarionivich Dzhugashvili or Joseph Stalin, the dictator of the Soviet Union who was the second leader of the country after Lenin was from Georgia. Josef Stalin ruled the USSR with an iron fist until his death in 1953. I am currently reading a book about him written by a famous historian. Hopefully I shall finish the book here at the Olympiad as captains are allowed to take reading books in with them to the hall. When IM Mabusela played for five hours yesterday he told me afterwards that he wanted to ensure that I read a good few chapters because he saw on the plane that the book I brought with for light reading was 600 pages! Thanks Johannes for your kind consideration.

This morning my day started fairly early. I woke up at 6 am which is 4am South African
time. I registered for the international Organisers course so I was committed. Gunther and Ben Winnaar from Free State are attending the IO course. FIDE is planning to introduce regulations that will compel federations to give international organisers accredited by FIDE to be organisers of FIDE events. So tomorrow and Thursday the course with an exam on
Thursday as well. Wish us luck!

The Open team played Slovenia. We were seated in the main hall. There are two halls. The main hall and hall two. The top team in the Open and women’s section are playing alongside
each other.

Today I didn’t take my book with me as I wanted to soak up the atmosphere. In the match
next to us was Tunisia who was playing Sweden. Tunisia and South Africa was the first two African countries to make their Olympic debut in 1958. I was watching the world junior champion GM Parkham against the Luxembourg board one. Parkham was against the ropes.

 

 

 

I was watching the Egypt versus Paraguay. Both GM Adly and GM Abdel Rahman lost with the black pieces. GM Abdelrahman looked very unhappy with his play.

The open team lost four nil against Slovenia. Our opponents fielded three grandmasters and an IM. Calvin had the best position but the other games were just bad. IM Kobese our centurion pointed out that he cannot remember the last time we lost four nil! It was a disappointing day in the field. The players will come out fighting tomorrow. We will put the match
behind us very quickly.

The ladies played Hong Kong. They won the game against their opponents although the Hong Kong had low ratings at The Olympiad no one can be underestimated. Well done Sa
Ladies team!

Regards

Dr Lyndon Bouah

Captain of the Open Team
Reporting live from Batumi, Georgia

And now for the games.

 

[Event “World Chess Olympiad 2018”]
[Site “Batumi”]
[Date “2018.09.25”]
[Round “2.1”]
[White “Borisek Jure”]
[Black “Cawdery Daniel”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “B31”]
[WhiteElo “2578”]
[BlackElo “2422”]
[PlyCount “53”]
[EventDate “2018.??.??”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. Bxc6 bxc6 5. O-O Bg7 6. Re1 Nh6 7. c3 O-O 8.
d4 cxd4 9. cxd4 d5 10. e5 Nf5 11. Nc3 f6 12. Na4 fxe5 13. Nxe5 e6 14. Nc5 Bxe5
15. Rxe5 Qh4 16. f4 Rb8 17. a3 Nd6 18. b3 Nf7 19. Re1 Nh6 20. Ra2 Ng4 21. h3
Nf6 22. Rf2 Nh5 23. Re5 Nxf4 24. Qf1 g5 25. Rxg5+ Qxg5 26. Bxf4 Qg7 27. Be5 1-0

 

 

[Event “World Chess Olympiad 2018”]
[Site “Batumi”]
[Date “2018.09.25”]
[Round “2.2”]
[White “Kobese Watu”]
[Black “Sebenik Matej”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “C00”]
[WhiteElo “2344”]
[BlackElo “2570”]
[PlyCount “38”]
[EventDate “2018.??.??”]

1. e4 e6 2. Nf3 d5 3. e5 c5 4. b4 d4 5. b5 Ne7 6. Na3 Nd5 7. Nc4 a6 8. bxa6 b6
9. h4 h6 10. Qe2 Bxa6 11. Qe4 Nc6 12. c3 b5 13. Na3 b4 14. Nc4 bxc3 15. Be2 Na5
16. d3 Bb7 17. Nxa5 Rxa5 18. O-O Qa8 19. Qg4 Rxa2 0-1

 

 

[Event “World Chess Olympiad 2018”]
[Site “Batumi”]
[Date “2018.09.25”]
[Round “2.3”]
[White “Skoberne Jure”]
[Black “Klaasen Calvin John”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “A48”]
[WhiteElo “2565”]
[BlackElo “2262”]
[PlyCount “49”]
[EventDate “2018.??.??”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 c6 6. O-O d5 7. Qb3 dxc4 8. Qxc4
Be6 9. Qc2 Bf5 10. Qb3 Qb6 11. Nbd2 Nbd7 12. Re1 Ne4 13. e3 Nxd2 14. Nxd2 e5
15. e4 Be6 16. d5 cxd5 17. exd5 Bf5 18. Nc4 Qxb3 19. axb3 Nc5 20. Be3 Nd3 21.
Re2 Rfd8 22. Bxa7 e4 23. Bxe4 Bd4 24. Bxf5 Nxf2 25. Bxd4 1-0

 

[Event “World Chess Olympiad 2018”]
[Site “Batumi”]
[Date “2018.09.25”]
[Round “2.4”]
[White “Mabusela Johannes Manyedi”]
[Black “Markoja Boris”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “D31”]
[WhiteElo “2245”]
[BlackElo “2456”]
[PlyCount “54”]
[EventDate “2018.??.??”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 Nf6 5. Nge2 dxc4 6. a3 Ba5 7. Qa4+ Nc6 8.
Qxc4 e5 9. dxe5 Nxe5 10. Qb5+ Nfd7 11. Nd4 c6 12. Qa4 O-O 13. Be2 c5 14. Nf3
Nxf3+ 15. gxf3 Bxc3+ 16. bxc3 Ne5 17. Qe4 Qf6 18. Bb2 Bf5 19. Qf4 Ng6 20. Qa4
Rfd8 21. Qb3 Nh4 22. Rg1 Qd6 23. Rg3 Qd2+ 24. Kf1 Bd3 25. Bxd3 Qxd3+ 26. Kg1 c4
27. Qb5 Qd1+ 0-1

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