The Cu Chi tunnels of South Vietnam on the outskirts of Saigon remains firmly etched in my memory. It was one of the highlights of my visit to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in 2003 when I went there as a member of the Malaysian contingent to the SEA Games. The other highlight was the visit to the War Museum in downtown Ho Chi Minh City itself.
It's estimated that the tunnels at Cu Chi is some 75 miles long. These tunnels are themselves part of a much larger and complex network throughout Vietnam. During the American/Vietnam War from 1955 to 1975 (the Vietnamese call it the American War while the Americans call it the Vietnam War) the tunnels were used by the Viet Cong guerillas for hiding during combat with the American army, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters.
Today, the Cu Chi tunnels is a war memorial park and a popular tourist attraction. It is possible for tourists to crawl around in the safer stretches of the tunnel system but of course, with an experienced guide tagging along. The original tunnels were very narrow - but big enough for the small-sized Viet Cong guerillas to crawl through - but the tourist part has now been enlarged to accommodate the larger size of western tourists. The tunnels are still mostly in pitch darkness but there are now a few low-wattage light bulbs installed at regular intervals in the tunnel.
I'm relating this story because on Friday, the world chess championship match between defending champion Viswanathan Anand and challenger Veselin Topalov was plunged into momentary darkness. It wasn't the venue of the match itself but much of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. So for about 15 minutes or so, the fifth game of the match was played in semi-total darkness until a power generator was wheeled into the hall.
here, so you can go and have a look at it later.