24 May: Chess and football in the Kempinksi
“Football is like chess,only without the dice“. This ultimate piece of football logic, the profoundest of the profound, even made it to one of Germany’s biggest news portals, Spiegel Online (http://www.spiegel.de/).
“As any devotee of the game will tell you,” the Spiegel writes, “footballers do not always make complete sense in their utterances. Perhaps it is the endorphins rattling around their system, or the sheer exhaustion of running around for 90 minutes. In any case, one can only regard such nonsensical statements with awe and wonder if they, like Zen Buddhism’s paradoxical koans, work on an intuitive level that transcends rational thought. This piece of Dadaist genius is attributed to Lukas Podolski, who will play on the German side in Euro 2012. He appeared to be channeling Yogi Berra when he came up with this instant classic from the ‘like a fish needs a bicycle’ school.”
German striker and dadaist genius Lukas Podolski. Picture taken from his official website http://www.lukas-podolski.com/. “Poldi” will play for Arsenal London next season and we cannot wait for more linguistic gems.
Press conference with team manager Dick Advocaat
Quite a fuss in our hotel today! As I reported earlier, the Russian football team stays in the Baltschug Kempinksi this week, preparing for the EURO 2012, which will be hosted by Poland and Ukraine between 8 June and 1 July. The team is in the final stages of their preparation in Russia and after their friendly game against Uruguay on Friday in Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, they will travel to Switzerland and later to Poland. The Russian squad will face Greece, Poland and the Czech Republic in the group stage.
The home jersey of the Russian team.
At 11.00 an open press conference took place in the Kempinksi, so Hans-Walter Schmitt, Dirk-Jan ten Geuzendam (New in Chess) and your @Chessurfer went there to take a look. We have met the team manager Dick Advocaat and his Dutch assistants in the hotel on a few occasions (elevator, bar) and chatted a bit about chess and football. Advocaat knows that the chess world championship is going on in Moscow, and even knows who are playing!
I guess we should follow this sign to get to the press conference?!
And here we are, in an overcrowded room, with TV teams, reporters and photographers. It was a press conference with team manager Dick Advocaat, the press officer and an interpreter. Loads of close-up pictures can be found here: http://www.rfs.ru/main/media/photo/vc36022/2557.html
Look who is sitting in the second row, pointing the camera in my direction: Hans-Walter Schmitt. Nobody can stop the Chess Tigers!
After the 30 minute press conference, in which Advocaat managed to reveal absolutely nothing, HWS asked him to sign a chessboard for our team. That caused some commotion, because several photographers wanted to take a picture. Advocaat: “You want me to sign..what?”
“Yes, Dick (no pun intended) , just sign a chessboard”. Picture courtesy of http://www.rfs.ru.
And we managed: Advocaat and his assistant Bert van Lingen signed the board.
HWS and Bert van Lingen are happy! Bert, you can leave the tickets for the game tomorrow at the reception desk of the hotel. Thanks. Bedankt.
Best friends: your Chessurfer and Dick Advocaat. Picture taken by Dirk-Jan ten Geuzendam.