Reflections of Turin

The Turin Olympiad was an interesting adventure that one has to experience to totally appreciate. Approximately 140 teams from diverse nations and territories assembled to take part in the biennial festival. One of the things thatwill stand out in Turin was the "long march" from the Olympic Village to the Oval Lingotto. While the distance was a bit much, it is interesting to note the daily pilgrimage of players in their various jackets and uniforms. It was easy to strike up a conversation. On the way over, I met several players and enjoyed a pleasant chat with
Arianne Caoili, a Filipina playing for Australia.

After many years I met several of the players featured at this website including
Pontus Carlsson. We had exchanged e-mail for years and finally we met. I enjoyed an hour-long chat with him and we talked about many things including players in the African Diaspora. I also met top Drum supporter Bunmi Olape of Nigeria and players from several African federations.

Daaim Shabazz with Nigeria's Bunmi Olape. Photos by Daaim Shabazz.

Daaim Shabazz with
Nigeria's Bunmi Olape

I met the adorable schoolgirl players from Sri Lanka, interviewed several Grandmasters and spoke with a variety of chess officials and dignitaries. The press room was filled with dedicated journalists from whom I learned so much. Of course, I spent quality time with my brethren from Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and greeted Netherlands Antilles captain Louis Smith with "Que Nobo?"  While I had to leave Turin early I certainly felt the cameraderie and spirit of those I interacted with. In coming weeks, I hope to capture the essence of my short trip and describe the Olympiad experience!

Dr. Daaim Shabazz, The Chess Drum

Posted by The Chess Drum: 8 June 2006