Sunday, July 9

Sunday was the day for outdoors Bughouse in the Parc des Bastions, a place famous to every chessplayer in Geneva. Although the weather was not very good (about 15 Celsius isn't exactly what you would expect of a summer day in Switzerland), players were able to play there all day along, from midday to midnight as it was announced in the ambitious program. Probably few players would dispute the fact that it was the most enjoyable day of the gathering. Among many advantages, playing outside in the Parc des Bastions attract a lot of people, chessplayers or not, buggers or not, who do not come for the gathering but are only passing by.
The day started with bughouse on giant boards, between the three FICS teams Kratochvila - Müller (krat-marcusm), Liardet - von Zimmermann (nabla-Tecumseh) and Francey - Huber (Tjeulesbetes-MiRU). The latter team proved to be the far most successful one, losing only one game to each of the two other teams. They combined good physical condition, excellent skills for blind play (bughouse on giant boards is really a semi-blind game, as the pace of the games rarely allow the players to examine the whole position) as well as juggling skills (try this game and you will understand why this helps!).
One of those games has been especially absorbing for the players; after Rodolphe Francey set a mate in two against Fabrice Liardet, forcing him to sit, all players went to concentrate on the game between Robert Huber and Georg von Zimmermann, where the latter was still up on time and seemed to have some mating chances. This allowed a joking passer-by to temporarily steal the clock of the other game, without getting noticed at all!

The following event was the scheduled multi-bughouse, having a "Geneva" team playing against a "foreigners" team first on 7 boards, then on 8 boards. The rules of the game were that pieces could circulate freely inside a team, and that the first team to score 4 wins clinched the match. This is a very wild game, with almost all players playing a very aggressive sac and sit strategy. If you wonder why, try to imagine yourself being Black and asking all 4 white players in your team to sit, in order that your opponent doesn't get the stuff he is sitting for to mate you... Still, Robert Huber (MiRU) proved very polite when asking his neighbour (Marcus Müller / marcusm) whether he could sac a queen; this raised a big laugh in the whole team.
The funniest game was probably one between Tjeulesbetes and marv, where the latter got the queen he needed to set direct mate against Tjeulesbetes; thinking that the threat was stronger than its execution and seeing that a rook seemed enough to mate, he nevertheless sat then for two minutes, waiting to see whether one of his partners would need a queen more badly than him. So far so good, but after that time still no rook had come and a greedy partner stole that queen from him. When he was forced to play his position collapsed quickly and Tjeulesbetes could force mate only 5 moves later!
The event was dominated by "Geneva"; what must be said is that the "foreigners" had to accept a bughouse beginner in their team, while the Geneva team was quite compact:

Geneva: Vincent Berger, Pascal Horn, Laurent Bartholdi (lbartho), Richard Gerber, Stéphane Coletta, Rodolphe Francey (Tjeulesbetes), Fabrice Liardet (nabla), Frédéric Walther.

Foreigners: Robert Huber (MiRU), Marcus Müller (marcusm), Marat Gataoulline (Marat), Georg von Zimmermann (Tecumseh), Mirko Kratochvila (krat), Daniel Denes (marv), François Deluermoz, unknown player.

The rest of the day was made of some ping-pong, some informal bughouse, even some 0 1 lightning, and ended with a challenge match opposing Switzerland (krat and nabla) to Germany (marcusm and Tecumseh). Again it was the Swiss' day, and they won by a close 12-10, playing until past midnight under the lights of the Parc.