16 May: Behind the scenes – part 1 (VIPs and Grandmasters)

The spectators who come the Tretyakov Gallery go through an X-ray, enter the playing hall, don’t have to pay an entrance fee and follow the games at their leisure. In the hall they can listen to the Russian or English commentary with an infra-red receiver and a headphone (also free). Mobile phones or any other electronic devices have to be switched off, and it is strictly forbidden to use  flash on the camera. However, some incurable mobile telephone junkies do not even manage to switch off their phone during the game. But the security guys in the hall are tough cookies and when they catch somebody who is making pictures with flash, making phone calls during the game or if somebody uses an iPad and checks some variations with a chess engine app like Stockfish, (this really happened!) they immediately spot him and kick him out of the hall. This happens with normal spectators, but also journalists, photographers and FIDE vice presidents have to stick to the rules.

It is a bit odd  that both players are off-stage at times.

Big business and networking in the VIP lounge

But there is a lot more going on in the Engineering building  of the Tretyakov Gallery. If you are watching the games at home, you can see the wonderful HD live coverage and the live commentary. In the press room, many journalist from all over the world write their stories for magazines, paper and online newspapers. Camerateams conduct their interviews after the game and in the VIP room, special guests, dignitaries, FIDE officials, grandmasters and commentators socialize and do business.

Here is a look behind the scenes, in which I will show some off-stage pictures. In the next weeks I will post some more galleries, because there are many guests and grandmasters around and there are fresh VIPs every day.  Here is a first selection.

A true legend:  Yuri Lvovich Averbakh (Ю́рий Льво́вич Аверба́х; born February 8, 1922) is a Soviet and Russian chess player and author. As of 2012, he is the oldest living chess grandmaster.

Granmasters Joel Lautier (left) and Jan Timman chatting about the 4th game. Timman (born 14 December 1951) is a Dutch chess Grandmaster who was one of the world’s leading players from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. At the peak of his career he was considered to be the best non-Soviet player and was known as “The Best of the West”. He has won the Dutch Chess Championship nine times and has been a Candidate for the World Championship several times.

Timman did the commenary for game 3 and 4 with his compatriot Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam. They are the editors-in-chief of the renowned New in Chess magazine: http://www.newinchess.com.

After game 4 Timman did an interview with another Dutchie, Peter Doggers, editor-in-chief of ChessVibes. I suggest to organize the next world championship in The Netherlands to save travel costs.

This sweet girl is Valentina Gunina (born February 4, 1989 in Murmansk, Russia). She is a Russian chess player with the titles International Master (IM) and Woman Grandmaster (WGM). In 2006 and 2008 she won Qualifying Russian Women Chess Championship and 2011 Superfinal Russian Women Chess Championship. She won the gold medal at the Women’s European Individual Chess Championship in 2012 (Gaziantep)

In the middle is the Israeli Ambassador to Russia, Dorit Golender, talking to German journalist Dagobert Kohlmeyer (right). Dorit Golender has become the fourth woman ambassador of Israel in Russia. Even in Soviet times, Israel was represented in Moscow, by the legendary Golda Meir, who later became foreign minister and later led the Israeli Cabinet. In 1990 the Israeli embassy in Moscow, was headed by Aliza Chenard.

On the left we see Yury Dokhoian (Russian: Юрий Дохоян; born 26 October 1964 in Zyryanovka, Altai Krai). He is a Russian Grandmaster of Armenian origin. For many years, Dokhoian was Garry Kasparov’s second. In 2009, he started cooperating with Sergey Karjakin, being at the same time the coach of the Russian Women’s team. He is chatting with the legendary chess coach Boris Postovsky.

Hans-Walter Schmitt and Mark Izrailovich Dvoretsky (Russian: Марк Израилевич Дворецкий, born December 9, 1947, Moscow). Dvoretsky is a world-renowned Russian chess trainer, writer and International Master.

Dvoretsky is not only a phenomenal chess trainer, he speaks several languages. Here is doing an interview with Tamil  TV. The interviewer is Venkatachalam Saravanan. Nice chap.

Aruna Anand is introduced to Andrew Paulson  by FIDE treasurer Nigel Freeman.

Viktor Viorel Bologan (born December 14, 1971) is a Moldovan chess grandmaster. He did the Russian commentary in game 3 and 4. His major accomplishment has been winning the Dortmund Sparkassen 2003, ahead of higher-rated and well-known players such as Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, and Peter Leko.

Meanwhile, in the VIP room…a top level FIDE meeting with FIDE treasurer Nigel Freeman, American entrepreneur Andrew Paulson, FIDE Chief executive officer Jeffrey Borg and FIDE Vice president Israel Gelfer.

At the press conference on game day 4, the famous Russian poet, singer and songwriter Timur Shaov explained the connection between music and chess. Check http://www.shaov.ru for more information.

Shaov designed this beautiful pen. The chess journalist who writes the best article about the connection between chess and the Tretyakov Gallery will win this valuable piece of art.

3 Responses to “16 May: Behind the scenes – part 1 (VIPs and Grandmasters)”

  1. You really didn’t like my questions yesterday? If a Tamil politician sees that the coverage was for a Hindi Channel, I would be in trouble, mate! I was doing my bit for a Tamil channel, and ofcourse I was talking to Mr.Dvoretsky in Tamil. Er… English. Hindi is our national language, but in our childhoods, they made sure that we didn’t learn it in South India by not teaching it in Schools. You can check with another guy whom we both know on this.

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