Archive for June, 2012

05 June: Leftovers

Posted in Chess Tigers on Tour, The match 2012 with tags , , , , on June 5, 2012 by Chessurfer

In this 50th and final post in this blog, I want to share a few pictures I have not published yet. Some, because they simply did not fit into the story, some I just forgot. But why should I keep the pictures for myself, since I have noticed that so many people have visited this site and according to the feedback, have enjoyed the “behind the screens” pictures of the 2012 world championship match! As always: enjoy!

Leftovers

Let’s go back to 4 May, when Peter Heine Nielsen arrived. The door to his room was obviously closed and there was no way to open the door with his key card. A technician from the hotel came, and it took him about 30 minutes before he could open the door. Not a good start.

At  the opening press conference the journalist Igor Nekhames handed out this “lucky tie” to challenger Boris Gelfand. As far as I remember Nekhames said that it is a tradition in Russia that the challenger receives a tie for good luck before the match. Who can confirm this?

On match days, half an hour before the game started, Vishy and Aruna were picked up from the hotel  by a black Mercedes, who took them to the Tretyakov Gallery. You can get a glimpse of the crazy Moscow traffic. I preferred to walk from the hotel…

…mainly because of the odd things and cars you see in the streets of Moscow!

Nice story: Jan Werndl, a 9-year old young Chess Tiger and pupil of Hans-Walter Schmitt, had just one big wish to celebrate his Holy Communion: to come to Moscow to see a world championship game of his idol Vishy Anand.  Ulrich Stock, who wrote really great game reports and background stories in the German quality paper “Die Zeit”  interviewed Jan about his passion for chess and his unusual wish.  You can read the interview here: http://www.zeit.de/sport/2012-05/anand-schach-wm-werndl. (German)

 An unforgettable experience for any 9-year old: Jan met Vishy after a world championship game!

On “Super Saturday” I spotted this wonderful picture in the Multimedia Art Museum: Vishy Anand (24 at the time) and Vladimir Kramnik (18) played the final in the PCA rapid tournament Kremlin Stars 1994. Anand won. Russian TV carried it live from the Palace of Congress with a spectacular stage setting designed by the Bolshoi Ballet.

Kramnik 2012, with shorter hair doing the commentary for game 12 with Dirk-Jan ten Geuzendam. Dirk-Jan told me that he received a lot of emails about the teapot. 

Another one taken on a busy chess Saturday: watching the Kuka vs Grishuk match together with reigning European champion in classical chess and blitz, Valentina Gunina. On the right: Oxana Kosteniuk.

“This is my first exhibition”. GM Maxim Dlugy smiled. He showed some of his drawings in the pressroom and in the VIP room.   Always a superb speed chess player, Dlugy was formerly ranked number one in the world by the World Blitz Chess Association. More about Dlugy on http://www.dlugy.com/

Another fine piece of Dlugy-style art, called “X Marks the Spot.”

Remember that the Russian national football team (Sbornaya) stayed in “our” hotel for a week? We thought it would be a nice idea to have a chessboard signed by the players of the team.

It took me quite some googling time to find out who this friendly chap is: Aleksandr Anatolyevich Kerzhakov (29). He is  currently playing for Russian Premier League club Zenit St. Petersburg. Aleksandr is married and has a young daughter. His current market value is €13.000.000. His website: http://www.kerzhakov.net

And this is the result: “C8” is signed by coach Dick Advocaat. “D5” was reserved for superstar Andrei Arshavin, but we simply did not see him in the hotel. Sbornaya, good luck in the Euro 2012!

 You can see that the lower part of the board is reserved for the “A-Team”, but this is a different board signed by the team:  F1-Hans-Walter, G2-Aruna, H3-Eric, D1-Surya, E2-PH, F3-Vishy, G4-Rustam, H5-Radek.

Thank you!

The original idea behind this blog was to post a few pictures about Moscow  for family and friends at home.  After I shot so many pictures during the inspection of the playing hall, I thought it would be nice to share my impressions and to show some off-stage pictures to other chess fans.Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, many friends spread the link to this blog. Some of the biggest chess websites like Chessbase, ChessVibes, ChessTigers and The Week in Chess put a link to this blog on their websites and I have to say a big thank you to Frederic Friedel, Peter Doggers, Mark Crowther and Mike Rosa for their support. I also like to thank Jennifer Shahade, Robert Fontaine,Diego Garces, Alexandra Kosteniuk and many others, who retweeted my Twitter messages to their followers. Special thanks go out to Dirk-Jan ten Geuzendam and to Michael Wiemer, who wrote about the blog in his “Sportinsider” blog. Very special thanks go out to Frank Stiefel for the wonderful cartoons!

This is not supposed to be an Oscar-like “thank you” session, but I need to say thank you to Vishy and Aruna and the rest of the team: PH, Surya, Rustam and Radek. And I should not forget my friend Hans-Walter Schmitt for four wonderful weeks in Moscow: Danke HW!

I have to say thank you to my wife and kids, who did not object when I told them that I would be away from home for 4 weeks. Love you!

Finally, I have to thank you, dear readers of this blog for your visits and feedback. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and the not-so-serious captions. I certainly had a lot of fun working on the blog! I hope I will get the opportunity to do something like this blog again in the future. Leave a comment if you have an idea!

I will go through this blog thoroughly and will do some repair work, add links, add or remove a picture here and there. I will also try to turn the blog around, so newbies to this blog can start reading at the first entry.

Game over. End of blog.

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01 June: The final act

Posted in Anand, Chess Tigers on Tour, Gelfand, Tretyakov with tags , , , on June 1, 2012 by Chessurfer

As promised in an earlier post, I will give you an pictorial overview of a very busy last working day in Moscow for Anand and his team.

But first: breakfast in our separate room, that we reserved for four weeks in the Baltschug Kempinski hotel. Sometimes we had to kick out some German tourists, though.

Tea with Putin

After breakfast, Vishy and Boris were invited for a cup of tea with the President of Russia, Vladmir Vladimirovich Putin in Novo-Ogaryovo, which is an estate in the Odintsovo District of Moscow Oblast to the west of the city and a suburban official residence of the President.  You can see pictures of the meeting here: http://visualrian.ru/en/site/feature/158465/ and also on the official website of the Kremlin with a short transcript of the meeting: http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/3938. If you would like to see a short video of the tea party (in Russian), go here: http://www.1tv.ru/news/sport/208542.

While Vishy enjoyed having tea with Putin, his seconds had to clean up the mess in the workroom.

Clean your table after meal…and work.

The work is done! The Anand seconds Peter Heine Nielsen, Rustam Kasimdhzanov, Radek Wojtaszek and Surya Sekhar Ganguly went to the closing ceremony after cleaning the room, waiting for Anand, who got stuck in Moscow traffic on his way to the Tretyakov Gallery.

The photographers were also waiting for the players to come. You might recognize Anastasia Karlovic (left) and next to her we spot  Dirk “Poldi” Poldauf, editor of the German Chess magazine “Schach“.

I had a seat behind Maya and Boris Gelfand in the second row. “How was the tea and the traffic, Boris?”

You can watch all the action of the closing ceremony on the official website of the match, which also provides an excellent video. You can also see an photo report on the site. http://moscow2012.fide.com/

Vishy had to weather some critical moments during the closing ceremony. He has been to the gym in the hotel quite often, but can he stem this 8 kg trophy alone? Irina Lebedeva, director-general of the Tretyakov Gallery, wants to help the world champion. Come on, Vishy!

Yes, he can! Kirsan is relieved.

Vishy and Boris also had to stamp and sign first-day envelopes issued by the Ministry of Communications in honour of the match. 500.000 copies will be sold in Russia and will be available soon.

And they look like this.

Only an handful of  envelopes were framed, for the players and special guests. A collectors item!

After the final press conference, “Team Anand”,speeded back to the hotel, dropped the trophies and flowers in the room and off we went to the next item on the agenda:

One day earlier, the Ambassador of India for Russia, Ajai Malhotra, invited the Anand team for dinner in the Embassy of India. But did he mention a felicitation as well?

More than 250 enthusiastic Indians came to the felicitation of the world champion and Vishy was really touched by the support of his fellow countrymen, who all wanted to have an autograph.

This picture is courtesy of the Indian Embassy in Russia, http://www.indianembassy.ru/.

Vishy, Aruna, Surya, Hans-Walter and yours truly with the Ambassador and his wife Ira and Nina Khrushcheva, the great-granddaughter of former Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev. What a wonderful evening, what a wonderful meal we had, what a wonderful way to end our stay in Moscow!

After a final glance at the Red Square from the hotel room at 06:00 AM…

…it was about time to go home. Bye bye Moscow!