The Kiev Open Championship takes place in the middle of a park, in the "AKKO International Exhibition Centre". Here are some impressions from our first competition in the Ukraine.
We arrive with a taxi - according to Google Maps we would need about an hour if we decided for the public transport. The taxi ride is a real test of your nerves but it's short and cheap.
You can only pay the starting fee in UAH (Hrywnja/Grywnja). The WDSF International Open costs 800 UAH - about 28 EUR. After we leave our last remaining cash supplies at the cash desk, we enter the vast hall which is partitioned into three smaller halls using curtains. One third serves as a changing room, another third as a lounge area (exhibitors and buffet) and the third one as the comp hall itself. When we arrive, the quite large changing room is very full already. We manage to find a small spot for ourselves anyway. There are clothes racks and a real lot of chairs in there, all of them occupied by bags and clothes - good for them!
Warming up is not so easy - the warm up floor in the lounge area is made of stone and every movement feels like trying to ice skate for the first time in your life. However, after this experience, the real dance floor appears to be very comfortable - a great side effect. You should get used to being spoken to in Ukrainian. If you speak back in English and reveal yourselves as foreigners, you might have to get involved in an involuntary conversation and tell your life story to a complete stranger. In the buffet in the lounge area you will be able to buy approximately half of the products that are actually offered in the menu. Everything else is sold out, especially drinks: water, juice, soft drinks... quite a spoof in a land where you cannot drink tap water. We are asked to come back later. As soon as new water supplies appear, a bunch of people swamp the buffet and voila - everything is gone again.
You should make sure your name is on the starting list before the comp begins - some get lost during the hand written check-in. The competition begins with about an hour long delay but all the lost names were found again and everything seems to be alright. The music is nice, the floor size is sufficient (a little wider would not hurt though), the comp is commented in English. Generally, the most important things work as they should. The results and heats are displayed partly on a screen and partly on sheets of paper. It's not the fastest system but it's quite clear. The competition even offers a live stream which is actually very professional.
Link to the competition webpage