14 May: Opening ceremony- part 2/3

As promised in an earlier post, I will show you some more pictures of the opening ceremony in the Tretyakov Gallery on Friday, 11 May. Legendary chess players, billionaire oil traders, Kremlin insiders, a world famous piano player, celeb chicks and many other VIP guests attended the ceremony. It provided a “glimpse of the weird and politically connected Russian chess scene”, as the Moscow Times stated in Monday 14 May issue. Read the report in the newspaper about the opening press conference and the ceremony here: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/arts_n_ideas/article/world-chess-championship-starts-in-moscow/458432.html.

Opening ceremony

After the opening press conference, only accredited  photographers and cameramen were allowed to come to the official opening and they ran into the hall to get the best position for some nice shots of the players and the VIPs.

I still wonder how this unaccredited photographer made it into the official ceremony? She must have had some good arguments. 

Most interviewed VIP this evening was former President Mikhail Gorbachev. I managed to shake his hand and say hello.

After having a short chat with Gorbi, the interviewers moved on to match sponsor Andrei Filatov, who brought his sweet little daughter to the opening.

Gelfand: “Hey Vishy, why do these photographers only have eyes for Gorbi. We are supposed to be the main actors.”

Anand:” I have done this before. Let’s shake hands and you will see how these guys will run in our direction”.

Gelfand: “Haha, good idea. Look, they are coming.”

“Yeah, we did it!”

Back to business: Aruna and Vishy Anand with the Ambassador of India, Ajai Malhotra.

In the front: Arkady Dvorkovich, chairman of the Russian chess federation and presidential economic aide, chatting with former President Mikhail Gorbachev and FIDE President/alien abductee Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

Drawing of colours- exclusive pictures! 

After a few speeches by dignitaries like Dvorkovich,  Ilyumzhinov and the players, it was time for the drawing of colours. The official site http://moscow2012.fide.com/en/ describes the draing as follows:  “Ashot Vardapetyan, the Chief Arbiter of the competition, held the draw in an original style which emphasised the unbreakable connection between chess and world culture. “Paintings” were displayed on easels on the stage, depicting diagrams of two games that Anand and Gelfand had played previously (back in the 1990s). One of these contests had been won beautifully by the current world champion, while the other ended in a striking victory for the challenger.

Two small wooden boxes had been prepared for the grandmasters, containing pots of paint and brushes. Anand was given first choice, as world champion. The players approached their “paintings” – each one, of course, going to the game which he had succeeded in winning – dipped their brushes in the paint and signed the “canvas”. At that moment, the spectators saw that Anand had signed his picture with white paint, and Gelfand had signed his with black. Thus in the first round the world champion would play with White.

Puh, quite an effort to arrange something simple like the drawing of colours. “Normal” chessplayers usually take a white and a black pawn, hide them behind the back and the opponent says “right hand or left hand”. But ok, “normal” chess players do not play chess in one of the most prominent galleries in the world

In this blog I promised to show you some off-stage pictures. Ok, ok, here a a few truly “exclusive pictures”. During the inspection of the playing hall, Anand and Gelfand rehearsed the painting procedure in the basement and here are some of the pictures I made. I promised to wait a few days before publishing the pictures here.

Leonardo d’ Anand in action.

“I hope that my son Akhil does not start painting on my chessboards”

Boris Dali tries three different squares.

The final result of the rehearsal. Wonder what they do with this board.

Anand: “Hmm, I like the one from the rehearsal better. You can hardly see the white paint on the board. Hey wait, they changed the position!”

“Yes Vishy, this is the game I won”.

By popular demand: Yes, there will be a part 3!

Because several people in the press room asked when I will publish more pictures of the opening ceremony and afterparty, I will do  one more  picture gallery of the opening. So there is even more to come! Candid, exclusive, original, sexy!

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One Response to “14 May: Opening ceremony- part 2/3”

  1. Who is the Writer of this Blog? Why is he clocked in secrecy?! 🙂

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