05 June: Leftovers

Posted in Chess Tigers on Tour, The match 2012 with tags , , , , on June 5, 2012 by Chessurfer

In this 50th and final post in this blog, I want to share a few pictures I have not published yet. Some, because they simply did not fit into the story, some I just forgot. But why should I keep the pictures for myself, since I have noticed that so many people have visited this site and according to the feedback, have enjoyed the “behind the screens” pictures of the 2012 world championship match! As always: enjoy!

Leftovers

Let’s go back to 4 May, when Peter Heine Nielsen arrived. The door to his room was obviously closed and there was no way to open the door with his key card. A technician from the hotel came, and it took him about 30 minutes before he could open the door. Not a good start.

At  the opening press conference the journalist Igor Nekhames handed out this “lucky tie” to challenger Boris Gelfand. As far as I remember Nekhames said that it is a tradition in Russia that the challenger receives a tie for good luck before the match. Who can confirm this?

On match days, half an hour before the game started, Vishy and Aruna were picked up from the hotel  by a black Mercedes, who took them to the Tretyakov Gallery. You can get a glimpse of the crazy Moscow traffic. I preferred to walk from the hotel…

…mainly because of the odd things and cars you see in the streets of Moscow!

Nice story: Jan Werndl, a 9-year old young Chess Tiger and pupil of Hans-Walter Schmitt, had just one big wish to celebrate his Holy Communion: to come to Moscow to see a world championship game of his idol Vishy Anand.  Ulrich Stock, who wrote really great game reports and background stories in the German quality paper “Die Zeit”  interviewed Jan about his passion for chess and his unusual wish.  You can read the interview here: http://www.zeit.de/sport/2012-05/anand-schach-wm-werndl. (German)

 An unforgettable experience for any 9-year old: Jan met Vishy after a world championship game!

On “Super Saturday” I spotted this wonderful picture in the Multimedia Art Museum: Vishy Anand (24 at the time) and Vladimir Kramnik (18) played the final in the PCA rapid tournament Kremlin Stars 1994. Anand won. Russian TV carried it live from the Palace of Congress with a spectacular stage setting designed by the Bolshoi Ballet.

Kramnik 2012, with shorter hair doing the commentary for game 12 with Dirk-Jan ten Geuzendam. Dirk-Jan told me that he received a lot of emails about the teapot. 

Another one taken on a busy chess Saturday: watching the Kuka vs Grishuk match together with reigning European champion in classical chess and blitz, Valentina Gunina. On the right: Oxana Kosteniuk.

“This is my first exhibition”. GM Maxim Dlugy smiled. He showed some of his drawings in the pressroom and in the VIP room.   Always a superb speed chess player, Dlugy was formerly ranked number one in the world by the World Blitz Chess Association. More about Dlugy on http://www.dlugy.com/

Another fine piece of Dlugy-style art, called “X Marks the Spot.”

Remember that the Russian national football team (Sbornaya) stayed in “our” hotel for a week? We thought it would be a nice idea to have a chessboard signed by the players of the team.

It took me quite some googling time to find out who this friendly chap is: Aleksandr Anatolyevich Kerzhakov (29). He is  currently playing for Russian Premier League club Zenit St. Petersburg. Aleksandr is married and has a young daughter. His current market value is €13.000.000. His website: http://www.kerzhakov.net

And this is the result: “C8” is signed by coach Dick Advocaat. “D5” was reserved for superstar Andrei Arshavin, but we simply did not see him in the hotel. Sbornaya, good luck in the Euro 2012!

 You can see that the lower part of the board is reserved for the “A-Team”, but this is a different board signed by the team:  F1-Hans-Walter, G2-Aruna, H3-Eric, D1-Surya, E2-PH, F3-Vishy, G4-Rustam, H5-Radek.

Thank you!

The original idea behind this blog was to post a few pictures about Moscow  for family and friends at home.  After I shot so many pictures during the inspection of the playing hall, I thought it would be nice to share my impressions and to show some off-stage pictures to other chess fans.Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, many friends spread the link to this blog. Some of the biggest chess websites like Chessbase, ChessVibes, ChessTigers and The Week in Chess put a link to this blog on their websites and I have to say a big thank you to Frederic Friedel, Peter Doggers, Mark Crowther and Mike Rosa for their support. I also like to thank Jennifer Shahade, Robert Fontaine,Diego Garces, Alexandra Kosteniuk and many others, who retweeted my Twitter messages to their followers. Special thanks go out to Dirk-Jan ten Geuzendam and to Michael Wiemer, who wrote about the blog in his “Sportinsider” blog. Very special thanks go out to Frank Stiefel for the wonderful cartoons!

This is not supposed to be an Oscar-like “thank you” session, but I need to say thank you to Vishy and Aruna and the rest of the team: PH, Surya, Rustam and Radek. And I should not forget my friend Hans-Walter Schmitt for four wonderful weeks in Moscow: Danke HW!

I have to say thank you to my wife and kids, who did not object when I told them that I would be away from home for 4 weeks. Love you!

Finally, I have to thank you, dear readers of this blog for your visits and feedback. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and the not-so-serious captions. I certainly had a lot of fun working on the blog! I hope I will get the opportunity to do something like this blog again in the future. Leave a comment if you have an idea!

I will go through this blog thoroughly and will do some repair work, add links, add or remove a picture here and there. I will also try to turn the blog around, so newbies to this blog can start reading at the first entry.

Game over. End of blog.

01 June: The final act

Posted in Anand, Chess Tigers on Tour, Gelfand, Tretyakov with tags , , , on June 1, 2012 by Chessurfer

As promised in an earlier post, I will give you an pictorial overview of a very busy last working day in Moscow for Anand and his team.

But first: breakfast in our separate room, that we reserved for four weeks in the Baltschug Kempinski hotel. Sometimes we had to kick out some German tourists, though.

Tea with Putin

After breakfast, Vishy and Boris were invited for a cup of tea with the President of Russia, Vladmir Vladimirovich Putin in Novo-Ogaryovo, which is an estate in the Odintsovo District of Moscow Oblast to the west of the city and a suburban official residence of the President.  You can see pictures of the meeting here: http://visualrian.ru/en/site/feature/158465/ and also on the official website of the Kremlin with a short transcript of the meeting: http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/3938. If you would like to see a short video of the tea party (in Russian), go here: http://www.1tv.ru/news/sport/208542.

While Vishy enjoyed having tea with Putin, his seconds had to clean up the mess in the workroom.

Clean your table after meal…and work.

The work is done! The Anand seconds Peter Heine Nielsen, Rustam Kasimdhzanov, Radek Wojtaszek and Surya Sekhar Ganguly went to the closing ceremony after cleaning the room, waiting for Anand, who got stuck in Moscow traffic on his way to the Tretyakov Gallery.

The photographers were also waiting for the players to come. You might recognize Anastasia Karlovic (left) and next to her we spot  Dirk “Poldi” Poldauf, editor of the German Chess magazine “Schach“.

I had a seat behind Maya and Boris Gelfand in the second row. “How was the tea and the traffic, Boris?”

You can watch all the action of the closing ceremony on the official website of the match, which also provides an excellent video. You can also see an photo report on the site. http://moscow2012.fide.com/

Vishy had to weather some critical moments during the closing ceremony. He has been to the gym in the hotel quite often, but can he stem this 8 kg trophy alone? Irina Lebedeva, director-general of the Tretyakov Gallery, wants to help the world champion. Come on, Vishy!

Yes, he can! Kirsan is relieved.

Vishy and Boris also had to stamp and sign first-day envelopes issued by the Ministry of Communications in honour of the match. 500.000 copies will be sold in Russia and will be available soon.

And they look like this.

Only an handful of  envelopes were framed, for the players and special guests. A collectors item!

After the final press conference, “Team Anand”,speeded back to the hotel, dropped the trophies and flowers in the room and off we went to the next item on the agenda:

One day earlier, the Ambassador of India for Russia, Ajai Malhotra, invited the Anand team for dinner in the Embassy of India. But did he mention a felicitation as well?

More than 250 enthusiastic Indians came to the felicitation of the world champion and Vishy was really touched by the support of his fellow countrymen, who all wanted to have an autograph.

This picture is courtesy of the Indian Embassy in Russia, http://www.indianembassy.ru/.

Vishy, Aruna, Surya, Hans-Walter and yours truly with the Ambassador and his wife Ira and Nina Khrushcheva, the great-granddaughter of former Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev. What a wonderful evening, what a wonderful meal we had, what a wonderful way to end our stay in Moscow!

After a final glance at the Red Square from the hotel room at 06:00 AM…

…it was about time to go home. Bye bye Moscow!

31 May: Stripping for Anand

Posted in Anand, Strange things, The match 2012 with tags , on May 31, 2012 by Chessurfer

It has been an eventful day for word champion Vishy Anand and his team. Anand and Gelfand had a meeting with Russia’s president Vladmir Vladimirovich Putin at 11:00 AM in a suburban official residence of the president and due to the usual chaos in the streets of Moscow, they barely made it to the closing ceremony, that started at 16:00. After the closing and the press conference, Anand and his team were invited for dinner by the Ambassador of India for Russia, Ajai Malhotra. In the meantime we had to say goodbye to Peter Heine Nielsen, sign posters, chessboards and what have you. On Friday, the Anand team will leave Moscow, and I will compose a nice picture gallery of the last hectic day in Moscow, as soon as I get home.

During our short lunch break Aruna Anand told me a story today about Poonam Panday. This strip queen became a hot topic on Twitter today, because after she stripped for the Kolkata Knight Riders’ fans, twitterani want her to strip for Anand, since he retained his world title.

Anand gets an update of the Twittermania around Poonam Pandey from one of his team members during the closing ceremony. But who told him the news?

Your guess!

More about this story on India Today: http://indiatoday.intoday.in.

“As Poonam promised her fans  to treat them with much hotter acts, now let’s see what ‘Bikini Pandey’ can do more to raise the temperature”. More in the Jagran Post: http://post.jagran.com.

I am convinced that you will find pictures of the lady yourself. Hey, this is (still) a chess blog!

30 May: That was close!

Posted in Anand, Gelfand with tags , , , on May 30, 2012 by Chessurfer

The old and new world champion had a really hard day at the office today, but he managed to win the tiebreak and retained his world title! Congratulations to Vishy Anand! Our cartoonist Frank Stiefel was so excited, that he immediately send me two cartoons after the last tiebreak game!

Vishy had some problems to solve in the tiebreak!

After winning the world championship tournament in Mexico 2007, Vishy won matches against Vladimir Kramnik, Veselin Topalov and now Boris Gelfand. Who is next?

The team just came back to the hotel after the press conference and will have dinner (Indian!) tonight, but I want to show you some quick pictures of today before we leave. (Updated: added new pictures after dinner!)

Gelfand reaches out his hand and offers a draw in the final game of the World Chess Championship Match 2012.

During the press conference, I went back into the empty playing hall and took this picture of the final position of the match on stage.

I was lucky to get the shot, because just a few minutes later, the workers came to remove everything from the stage. On the right you can see the chessboard, without pieces! I did not take them, I swear!

The fine HD cameras, that provided great pictures to the internet audience, all packed and ready for the Tal Memorial, that starts next week in Moscow!

First there is some more work to do: Vishy is doing an interview with Ulrich Stock, of the quality weekly newspaper “Die Zeit“. Yes, Stock is tall!

Aruna Anand also had to talk to several TV Stations from India. Here she is talking to the legendary Vijay Kumar.

“Yes Akhil, Daddy won today, I’ll bring you a nice trophy”.

Hmmm, headcount, who is missing?

Team Anand, Moscow 2012: Peter Heine Nielsen, Aruna Anand, Viswanathan Anand, Rustam Kasimdzahnov, Radek Wojtaszek, Surya Ganguly, Eric van Reem and Hans-Walter Schmitt.

Before we could go to dinner, Vishy had some more interviews to complete. This one just in front of the hotel, after a heavy cloudburst over Moscow.

The Ambassador of India, Ajai Malhotra came to the hotel to congratulate Anand and he brought us a bottle of champagne. HWS is wearing his new Vishy-world champion: Simply the Best T-shirt.

Cheers!

29 May: High noon in Moscow

Posted in Anand, cartoon, Gelfand with tags , , on May 29, 2012 by Chessurfer


It’s almost high noon in Moscow: shake hands before the tiebreak, but what’s really in their mind? A new cartoon by Frank Stiefel.

29 May: Simul action in the Chess Corner

Posted in Chess Tigers on Tour, Karpov, Kasparov with tags , , , , , , on May 29, 2012 by Chessurfer

Now that we are getting very close to the end of the 2012 world chess championship and to the final entries of this blog, I will show you a few pictures I made during various simultaneous displays which were organized in the Chess Corner in the courtyard of the Tretyakov Gallery. Since I had to be in the playing hall during the games, and visited the press center and the VIP lounge between the moves, I missed some of the simuls. A lot of top Russian players gave simuls during the championship: Valentina Gunina, Anatoly Karpov, Ian Neponmiachtchi, Sergey Karjakin, Vladimir Potkin and many others. Most attention was given to the simultaneous display by Garry Kasparov, who played against 14 Russian and European champions in their age categories.  It took Garry Kimovich more than three hours to finish the simul and he had to fight pretty hard for his +12=2-0 score.

Pictures of the simuls

It was quite a nail-biting simul for the old master. Kasparov  normally does not like to play simuls against 1800+ players, but here he picked up the gauntlet: some of the biggest Russian talents proved to be a tough nut to crack.

This is 16 year old Maria Severina (ELO 2247) European Champion U16, who also played in the Blondes vs. Brunettes match.

Much to the enjoyment of the audience, Kasparov took his time for his moves. Here is is thinking about a move in his game against…

Kirill Kozionov, holder of the 2011 Cup of Russia up to age 14, ELO 2279. Kirill scored a draw.

And there was another draw for this 9 (!) year old girl: Ekaterina Goltseva , U10 Champion of Russia, ELO 1628. Remember her name! You can read an interview with her (in English) on this Russian website: http://www.chess-news.ru/en/node/7526/page/to/like. You can also replay her game against Kasparov on that site.

Another ex-world champion in action: Anatoly Karpov, playing against a visually handicapped young player on a special chess board.

After the simul “Tolya” was happy to sign a few books and other stuff.

And he had to pose with your Chessurfer! Picture taken by HWS.

Vladimir Potkin, European Champion 2011, ELO 2647, playing a simul under the watchful eye of HWS.

Another strong Russian grandmaster doing a simul: Vladimir Belov (ELO 2641) playing against youngsters. In the back you can see Potkin.

And here she is again: Maria Severina, playing against Belov. She had a busy week and probably played some more simuls I do not know of.

Excitement

For many players, especially young chess players, it is a very exciting experience to play in a simul against a top player. I can remember how excited I was during my first ever simul against Dutch legend Jan Timman back in 1983 (draw!).  It is always heartwarming to see the expression on the face of the players, when the grandmaster comes closer and closer and closer…

“Hah, that was a good move, eh?”

“Please, not that move, please don’t”.

Very concentrated.

A bit cheeky, I would say.

Better look at your own position missy, you are next!

This young lad was just happy: a game against Kasparov, a nice spot in the sun and daddy wrote down the moves of the game.

Daddy! Kasparov is coming!

28 May: Tiebreak for the crown

Posted in art, Filatov, Moscow, Tretyakov with tags , , , on May 28, 2012 by Chessurfer

On the first day of the match, the trophy for the winner of the match was shown in the VIP lounge for a few minutes, and I managed to take a few pictures. Well, nobody asked me NOT to take pictures, to be precize! However, I decided not to publish them, because I thought that it would be annoying for the organizers if a picture of the trophy would be published at the start of the match on a blog and not on the official website. Therefore I decided to wait a bit, but after the 12th game today, the trophy was officially presented in the VIP room by the artist, Andrey Molchanovsky. So finally, I can open my vault and share the pictures with you.

The trophy

Carefully packed in a wooden box…

And here it is…unboxed!

On the first match day, only a few people were allowed in the VIP lounge to take a look at the trophy: you may recognize Ilya Levitov, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Andrey Filatov. Next to Filatov is the creator of the sculpture, Andrey Molchanovsky.

Irina Lebedeva, the director-general of the State Tretyakov Gallery, is carefully studying the trophy.

A proud artist showing his work. More information about Andrey Molchanovsky can be found on his website  http://www.molchanovsky.com/.

You can recognize the crown in the chessboard. The trophy is made of gold and bronze, the chessboard is made of optical glass. The trophy weighs about 8 kg.

A closer look at the crown…

The inscription on the socket reads: World Chess Championship 2012.

HWS is excited and has a chat with Molchanovsky: “Can I have one, pleeeeeaaaaaase?”

There is additional prize for the winner, sponsored by the Tretyakov Gallery.

I don’t know if these are the championship games that are inscripted, but it looks nice. You can also see the chess pieces on the trophy.

“No Sir, you cannot take this as handluggage, please leave it here.”

Your Chessurfer with the trophy. Picture taken by Dirk-Jan ten Geuzendam.

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