26 May: Behind the scenes – part 2 (VIPs and Grandmasters)

After the chess and football and chess and art articles it is about time to take a look in the VIP and pressroom again. When the most important event on the chess calender 2012 takes place in the center of the chess world, it is no surpise that many VIPS and grandmasters step by the Tretyakov gallery to take a look, socialize,shake hands, meet old friends, comment to the game and to have a drink or two.

At most days, the playing hall is overcrowded, but there are some neat “public viewing” areas in the Tretyakov, where people can watch the games, listen to the commentary and talk about the games. As you can see, these areas are very popular.

Meanwhile, in the VIP room, you can follow the games, get a drink and a snack or take  a nap. Following the games is exhausting for some  guests…

…whereas the journalists and photographers in the press room perform a “journo shuffle” to get the best spot. You can see Cathy Rogers (Australia) elegantly performing the shuffle before the eyes of  official match photographer Anastasiya Karlovich. The Dutch jury gives 12 points.

A VIP giving a press conference on “Chess and Terror”Edvard Stanislavovich Radzinsky (Russian: Э́двард Станисла́вович Радзи́нский). He is a Russian playwright, writer, TV personality, and film screenwriter. He is also known as an author of more than forty popular history books.

Another guest at the press conference last week: Anatoly Karpov, who celebrated his 61st birthday on 23 May.

After the press conference, Karpov was invited in the studio to chat about the game and his career with host Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam and Hungarian Super Grandmaster Peter Leko. According to the expression on Karpov’s face, this was one of the most exciting games of the match!

One for the girls: Ian Aleksandrovich Nepomniachtchi (Russian: Ян Непо́мнящий; born July 14, 1990), current ELO 2716. Ian has a very difficult last name and I will never get used to it, although I met Ian at various Chess Classic tournaments in Mainz and had to write down his name very often, since he won the Ordix Open in Mainz 2008.

Here is an old “Nepo” picture I shot in Mainz during the Chess Classic 2008. Nepo is much easier to write, pronounce and to remember… He was wearing his lucky sweatshirt during the event.

After the press conference Ian played several blitz games with Maria Fominykh, under the critical eye of a 7- year old kibitzer.

Maria’s boyfriend, GM Alexander Morozevich doing an interview for ChessVibes with Peter Doggers.

Enter Garry Kimovich Kasparov for the press conference, having a quick chat with the legendary Russian coach Boris Postovsky. What is the security gorilla in the back looking at?

FIDE president Kirsan Nikolayevich Ilyumzhinov sharing the latest news of the Alien Conference 2012 in Moscow with Russian chess journalist Yuri Vassiliev, Sport Express.

All smiles: FIDE Vice President Boris Kutin (Slovenia) and Anna Sharevich (Belarus). Kutin is member of the Appeals Committee.

Peter & Peter discussing the games. Peter Svidler took his sons to the Tretyakov on two match days.

The Svidler twins Nikita and Daniel met Aruna and Vishy Anand after one of the games.

One of the strongest chess couples in the world: Robert Fontaine and Ekaterina Lagno.

And one of the strongest players in the world dropped by for a quick stop on Saturday: Levon Aronian. Levon will play the Tal Memorial in Moscow, which will be played almost immediately after the world championship match from 7-19 June.

I’ll leave you today with the “Moon over Moscow”: a quiet Saturday night in the streets and on the Moskva River.  The Russians are all watching the babushki at the European Song Contest in Baku.

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