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Cultural day in Paris during the first free day!
By WGM Alina l'Ami

Yesterday afternoon, the participants had discovered that another hidden virtue of playing in the outskirts of Paris was the possibility to visit the Versailles Palace, placed literally around the corner!

While writing these lines, I am still overwhelmed with the feelings left by the visit to the famous palace... And I believe that all the players were deeply impressed, too. We actually got a private tour, with the possibility of asking questions to the guide. And we all took full advantage of it, possibly exasperating him with our never ceasing questions.


Yes! We don't have to wait for these gigantic queues!


It is naive to believe that two hours are enough to see all the beauties and treasures from Versailles... I could not visit the gardens properly, but got my share of ecstasy in the Hall of Mirrors! The only way the guardians found to officially inform me that the closing hour had arrived was... throwing me out (well…almostJ)!

The famous Hall of Mirrors

As for visiting the time!

During the long dark Middle Ages, churches and monasteries used to host huge libraries, containing countless books and codices which remained unavailable to the wide masses. This converted the religious institutions into latent sources of culture, saving the inheritage from the previous generations for the new ones.

At the height of the third Millennium, culture develops freely, without a direct interference with the worship places. By hosting a chess competition of the caliber of the final Grand Prix tournament, Chapelle de la Villedieu  clearly stands out. According to some piece of information received through Twitter, Chapelle de la Villedieu had hosted a chess open back in 2001. As a curiosity, it seems that the Shogi (or Japanese chess) champion Yoshiharu Habu was among the participants...

Chapelle de la Villedieu

But the Chapelle is actively involved in several other forms of cultural events. During the free day's evening it hosted the vernissage of a collection of 12 paintings, the exact number for the twelve chess players.


The FFE President, Diego Salazar, with the Director of Communication of St.Quentin, Serge Hegly-Delfour

The artist, a lady wearing the pseudonym Zigou, chose chess as the main theme, using vivid and beautiful colours and including a woman in each painting! Apart from indirectly sustaining the idea of women's intelligence, this may be a warning that ladies can be dangerous over the board, too! For obvious reasons, I am enthusiastic about the latter idea...


The artist: Zigou

Zigou is never signing her paintings; nevertheless, you may wish to discover the hidden "Z", which became her creative signature.


Words are poor to describe yesterday’s feelings...

Very very very beautiful!

For more photos, kindly visit the Photo gallery.

© FIDE Grand Prix 2013    |    |