Greetings from Germany where I’ve just finished playing in the Boblinger Open in Stuttgart http://www.boeblinger-open.de/einzelseiten/ergebnisse/2011/ergebnisse_2011_eng.htm . It is my first visit to a German tournament but hopefully not my last. The organization was excellent with very good playing conditions, a strong field with a liberal sprinkling of titled players and no weak players at all. In fact there was only one competitor without a FIDE rating and he was rated 1949, just my luck that I beat him and don’t get any FIDE pts for doing so but I did gain 19 overall and also a very welcome 62 ICU rating points to give back some respectability to my falling rating.The tournament was packed with 2200+ players which I much prefer to having a load of GMs like in Gibraltar when you never get to play any of them and even if you did you’d just get mashed more often than not.
Everything possible was done to make the tournament enjoyable. We got ferried to and from our hotel to the venue. Food at the venue was very reasonably priced, I paid an average of 4 euro for a nice two course lunch , decent coffee cost a euro and two for a beer! All the tables had players name tags and also little result cards which I’d never come across before but is avery good idea. Immediately after each rd the next rd draw was up and on the internet as was rating performances and any other details you could possibly wish for. There were three different sections to the Open so players below 1900 could play against their peers as could the below 1600s. I found everybody very welcoming and friendly and I will certainly make every effort to come back again next year. In fact there is another Open starting nearby on Monday 2nd Jan so next year I will try to play both!