After a while I managed to get the TV in the apartment working (it had been unplugged, both at the power point & the antenna), but there was nothing on TV of interest that I could get (it seems as though one channel screened Masterchef Australia, but it was not available on the TV in the apartment unfortunately). A little later, I made a trip back to the reception area for lunch (provided at the Malangen Brygger today, rather than the usual Clarion Edge hotel in Tromso), followed by more relaxation before the bus finally arrived mid-afternoon to take the arbiters to Tromso. Also note that when I say mid-afternoon, this is simply an indication of the time rather than anything else - as you may be aware, in this part of the world, there is no sunset (or sunrise) in summer, although the sunlight is brighter during the middle of the day, meaning you can happily go for a stroll at 2am (or any time) & not need a torch to see where you are going!
A view across to a rather unique looking church - fascinating for the hidden architect within!
Anyway, we eventually arrived at Tromso & headed to the Edge for an early dinner (scheduled early because of the opening ceremony later that night). Of course I had not taken notice of the time of the ceremony, only that buses would start leaving at 5:15pm. After meeting a few more familiar faces at dinner, I quickly headed to the bus stop & was soon whisked away to another part of Tromso, the Skarphallen, for the Opening Ceremony. Given that it was not due to start until 7:30pm, I found myself one one of the first there, so found a seat, took a few photos & returned to the book that I had been reading earlier in the day. As the crowd filled, I spotted fellow Aussies Manuel Weeks (Open team captain) & Giang Nguyen (Womens board 2) looking for a seat & got their attention (I had a few spare seats near me), so we had a quick catch-up on recent events in out lives before the ceremony began. Below are a few photos that I took:
Usain Bolt 'Lightning Bolt' pose
The band members appeared in set cutouts
This interesting video was also shown early in the ceremony, featuring some of the world's top players alongside chess players & fans from around the world
This is the video of the song played by Violet Road at the opening ceremony - a reasonably catchy tune!
After the ceremony, the arbiters headed to the playing arena for the Arbiter's meeting, chaired by Chief Arbiter Takis Nikolopoulos. Although it was to some degree informative, it dragged on for far too long (longer than the entire opening ceremony, which was finished within an hour!), meaning that by the time the buses arrived to take us back to our accommodation it was after 1am!
Visiting the playing hall allowed me to take a few photos (which may not be so easy to get in coming rounds with the ban on phones & electronic devices in the playing hall), as well as finding out that I will be arbiting in section 5 of the playing hall. I'll find out exactly which match (or matches) I am looking after in the morning.
I'll finish with some photos of the playing hall & arbiter's meeting:
A typical setup for each match, with four tables for the games & a board at the end of the row, which will display details of teams & results, updated during the round.
In terms of the chess, Australia finds itself in the top half of the pairings, so in theory has an easy game tomorrow (although arguably no games are easy at an event like this). The Open team are playing the US Virgin Isles on table 59, while the Womens team face Kenya of table 51. All the best to both teams!