Blondes vs. Brunettes vs. Art

Yes, this is the match we all have been waiting for! On Saturday, 19 May a blitz match (Scheveningen System) between a team of blonde players and a team of brunette players was organized in the famous Botvinnik Central Chess Club in Moscow. The regulations were actually quite simple: a 2100 ELO+ was required, but the hair colour was the main entry ticket and there was also a dress code: the blondes had to wear light clothing, dark clothing was requested for the dark-haired players. So the players should dress like this:

The dress code, but who said something about wearing hats and high heels?

In this respect it might be interesting to quote a few regulations of the heavily discussed ECU (European Chess Union) dress code for chess players:

13.2 Dress rules for the players during the games
In general, players are required to follow the code of casual dressing which means:

-For women blouses, turtleneck, T-shirts or polo’s, trousers, jeans or slacks, skirts, dresses, and appropriate footwear (boots, flats, mid-heel or high-heel shoes, sneakers with sock) or any other appropriate clothing modification.

-A jacket, vest or sweater, a scarf, as well as jewelry (earrings, necklace, etc.) coordinated to the outfit may be worn.

-In respect to shirts, the second from the top button may also be opened in addition to the very top button.

More information about the dress code here: http://eiwcc2012.tsf.org.tr/images/stories/files/Appendix%201.pdf

Multimedia Museum

However, before I went to the Central Chess Club at Gogolevkiy Blvd. 14 for the match, I made a stop at the Multimedia Art Museum, in Ostozhenka Street 16, which is actually close to the chess club. During the world championship match a multimedia exhibition “Chess figures of the20th Century wil be shown and will run from 17 May through 24 June. The exhibition presents over 100 photographs, made by such prominent artists as Boris Ignatovich and Boris Dolmatovsky, as well as posters  from important tournaments.

Tournament posters

A part of the photo exhibition in the big lobby of the museum.

A photo of a young challenger.

Karpov vs. Kasparov in one of their endless matches. Hard to imagine a 24-game match nowadays.

In addition to the photos, the exhibition feautures a number of unique chess sets, including rare instances of the XIX century, the original Soviet sets “Town and Country” and others.

Beautiful chess sets. If you get a chance to visit the exhibition, go! If not, visit the web site of the museum: http://www.mamm-mdf.ru/exhibitions/shahmatnyie-figuryi-vek-20-y/, with pictures of the opening of the exhibition.

The match

It is just 10 minute walk from the museum to the Botvinnik Central Chess Club, and it is easy to see that you arrived at the right place when you get there:

This memorial plaque, dedicated to Mikhail Botvinnik was inaugurated on the last day of the Botvinnik Memorial in September 2011. The plaque was revealed by Vladimir Kramnik and Vishy Anand, and reads: “5 times world champion, the founder of the national chess school, Mikhail Moiseevich Botvinnik, worked in this building from 1988 to 1995”.

A beautiful building, in which you can breath the rich history of the game and the spirit of Botvinnik. There are loads of never-seen-before- pictures on the wall.

Now it is time to see some pictures of the girls match.

What does the ECU say in their dress code regulations about these 20 cm stiletto heels?

Anna Burtasova, chess journalist and photographer, pondering a move in her game against Valentina Gunina.

This 16-year old talent is Maria Severina (ELO 2247) European Champion under 16. She played against Kasparov in the simul one day earlier and almost managed to score a draw.

Russian Super GM Ian Nepomniachtchi (ELO 2717) with dark hair, playing a fun game against two (!) blondes.

The blondes: Maria Fominykh, Chess Pro reporter, photographer and Morozevich’ girlfriend (left) playing together with European champion Valentina Gunina.

White roses for team blonde: 39,5 points. The blonde team in random order: Valentina Gunina, Olga Girja, Irina Vasilevich, Maria Fominykh, Irina Zakurdjaeva, Marija Severina, Irina Bivol and Julia Dogodkina. Correct me if I am wrong!

Red roses for team brunette: 24,5 points. The players in random order: Varvara Saulina, Anna Burtasova, Elvira Mirzoeva, Yana Melnikova, Olga Grigorjeva, Maja Gvivala, Darja Charochkina and Anna Vasenina.

All together now! The group photo of both teams with their roses.

The original hand-written final table.

And the final version! Another fun day in Moscow. It became even better, since  Bayern lost to Chelsea later that day!

2 Responses to “Blondes vs. Brunettes vs. Art”

  1. Great article, but I’m sure you mean plaque – plague is something very different!

  2. Thanks, corrected!

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