Who? Master’s student Victoria Naipal from Suriname
What? Is taking part in the Chess Olympiad as a country team member
Where? In Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia)
Why? ‘It is too much fun to miss’
'Suriname won't win the tournament but that doesn't matter. Our aim is to play some good matches and get lots of experience. The tournament will have been a success for us if we do better than our ranking.'
What is the chess community like?
'Very relaxed. It is easy to get to know other chess players. You just bump into the top players as well. They are very friendly. For example, I met Anish Giri, the 16-year-old chess prodigy who was the Dutch champion last year. I have a nice photo of the two of us. And I got the signature of the former World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov.'
Siberia, that's a bit different to Suriname.
'That's right. But Khanty-Mansiysk is a surprisingly attractive and rich city with lots of fir trees. We are staying in an excellent hotel that has just been completed. The food is tasty. So I really don't have any complaints.'/Kees Stap