Archive for the Chess Tigers on Tour Category

Blondes vs. Brunettes vs. Art

Posted in Chess Tigers on Tour, Gunina, Moscow with tags , , , , on May 22, 2012 by Chessurfer

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!

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21 May: Robots in the streets of Moscow

Posted in Chess Tigers on Tour, grishuk, Gunina, Moscow, robots, rogers with tags , , , , , on May 21, 2012 by Chessurfer

As I wrote in an earlier post, “Super Saturday” was a very busy day for chess loving visitors and despite the free day in the match, it was a day full of chess in Moscow. The day kicked off with a very amusing event in a park on Strastnoy Boulevard. A match was organized for the title of Absolute World Robot Chess Champion. That is quite a mouthful. The contestants were Kuka Monstr from Germany and Chesska from Russia.

Here is some information about the robots from the official press release.

CHESSka

The Russian robot CHESSka, the first chess robot to beat grandmasters in blitz chess, was created by Konstantin Kosteniuk, Honored Coach of Russian Chess and an inventor with tens of registered patents. CHESSka is already well-known among Russian chess fans. This “chess terminator” has played against former world champions Vladimir Kramnik and Alexandra Kosteniuk, as well as Sergei Karyakin, one ofRussia’s leading players, and has beaten a number of well-known grandmasters.

 KUKA Monstr

Challenging our hardware heavyweight for the title will be KUKA Monstr, created by the German company KUKA Robotics, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial robots. Though it is younger than its Russian opponent, its creators favor it to win the match. They say that blitz chess is precisely where KUKA can fully manifest its intelligence, accuracy and speed. Other world-class robot makers showing interest in developing chess-playing robots include FANUC Corporation of Japan and ABB of Sweden.

Say hello to KUKA Monstr. Or “Guten Tag, since she/he is German.

If you want to see videos of the robot vs. robot match, you can go here: http://chess-king.com/konstantin-kosteniuks-chesska-is-2012-world-robot-champion.html. Absolutely fascinating. CHESSka won the match and is now the best chess robot in the world! After the machine had a quick rest and a snack (chips), it was time for the next event:

Match KUKA Monstr- Alexander Grishuk

Top Grandmaster Alexander Grishuk (ELO 2761) played six blitz games, time control 5+3 against the guest from Germany, playing with the latest Rybka version. Grishuk easily drew the games in which he played white, but he had no chance against the monster with the black pieces. The match ended in a 4,5-1,5 victory for KUKA Monstr. Here are some impressions from the match.

The stage is set for an unusual man vs.machine match, in the middle of the park. In the front you can spot Evgeny Sveshnikov.

Grishuk: “Hmm, how do I shake hands with a robot before the game?”

Actually the hands look pretty similar…the human hand and….

…the KUKA Monstr Arm!

A short flying lesson for the bishop.

Every time the robot had to make a move close to Grishuk, the grandmaster moved back. The sudden movements of the machine might have been a bit scary, when you sit opposite the robot. During the games there was commentary and loud music, which did not make things easier for Grishuk.

Spectators and side events

The show attracted many spectators, you can spot Australian GM Ian Rogers and GM Evgeny Sveshnikov in the audience.

Moscow is beautiful: Galiya Kamalova (left) and Valentina Gunina, who played in the “blondes against brunettes match” later that day.

Oxana Kosteniuk (the younger sister) and Mama Kosteniuk.

Lost of things to do for the spectators: this is an indefinable game on a chess board, possibly a variation of “musical chairs”. Very funny.

The game was hosted by Anna Sharevich (Belarus).

A simul with a  strong GM, Farrukh Amonatov from Tajikistan, ELO 2607.

“Mommy, can I take this robot home?

Chess all over the place. A very enjoyable event!

20 May: Super Saturday

Posted in Chess Tigers on Tour, grishuk, Gunina, Moscow with tags , , on May 20, 2012 by Chessurfer

Saturday was a rest day for the players in Moscow, but there were many other events going on in the city and some of them had to do with chess, so your @Chessurfer actually had a very busy day. This is a short teaser with few pictures, later this week I will present full picture galleries of: the Kasparov simul on Friday; the Grishuk-Kuka Robot match; the exhibition of chess photos and chess pieces in the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow and the fascinating Blondes vs. Brunettes match in the legendary Central Chess Club.

So, I went off with Hans-Walter Schmitt and the girls and we decided not to walk but to take the car today.

First stop of the day was Strastnoy Boulevard to see the Chesska vs. Kuka Monstr robot chess match. The winner of that match, played six blitz games against top GM Alexander Grishuk.

..and the winner was KUKA Monstr…no not cookie monster. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cookie_Monster.

Next stop was the Multimedia Art Museum (http://www.mamm-mdf.ru/en/) on Ozthozenko Street, to see beautiful chess sets and great photos.

And the last stop of the day was Gogolevskiy Bld. where I attended the match “Blondes vs. Brunettes”, a blitz match with very good female players like European Champion Valentina Gunina. The “Blondes” won 39,5-24,5.

And then there was the Champions League final, the Museum Night in Moscow and the Dutch festival. Super Saturday, indeed!

10 May: Chess Tigers on Tour – new pictures

Posted in Chess Tigers on Tour, Moscow on May 10, 2012 by Chessurfer

Am WM Schachbrett herrscht noch Ruhe vor dem Sturm

An new collection of pictures by Hans-Walter Schmitt about the Victory Day celebrations and about the riots on the 06 May near the hotel. Text in German.

Later today: pictures of the press conference and the official opening in the State Tretyakov Gallery.

On the official match website we read: “During the opening ceremony, which will be held in the Mikhail Vrubel Hall of the State Tretyakov Gallery, it will be determined which of the match participants will play white during the first game. The drawing procedure will be conducted by the event’s Chief Arbiter, Ashot Vardapetyan. The ceremony will conclude with a concert by pianist Denis Matsuev and other young Russian musicians.”

Arbiter Ashot Vardapetyan will conduct the drawing procedure.


09 May: Chess Tigers on Tour

Posted in Anand, Chess Tigers on Tour, Moscow, The match 2012 with tags , , on May 9, 2012 by Chessurfer

In this blog, I keep you informed about my adventures in Moscow. Most of the time, Hans-Walter Schmitt is with me when we explore the city. Many chessplayers who have played in the wonderful Chess Classic tournaments in Frankfurt (1994-2000) and later in Mainz (2001-2010) know that Hans-Walter is a walking powerhouse and an exceptional organizer. Last month he turned 60 and you can see loads of pictures of his four (!) day celebration extravaganza on the website of the Chess Tigers.

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The HWS cake: höher , weiter,  schneller.

Chess960 is one of his hobbies and on his birthday he played a Chess960 simul against Vishy Anand, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Artur Yussupov and Klaus Bischoff and celebrated with friends. Check the pictures here: http://www.chesstigers.de/index_news.php?id=2617&rubrik=5

“HW”, as he is called by his friends, writes about the world championship in German and he also takes a lot of interesting pictures. Sometimes he is a little careless though, as HW was almost arrested when he suddenly got into a student demonstration on Monday.

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Chess Tiger on Tour.

Take a look at his reports and pictures on the Chess Tigers website: http://www.chesstigers.de/index_news.php?id=2638&rubrik=3. Enjoy!