Archive for the football Category

25 May: Searching for the original

Posted in art, Chess Tigers on Tour, football, Strange things, Tretyakov with tags , , , , , , on May 25, 2012 by Chessurfer

In an earlier post I wrote about Viktor Popkov’s painting “The team is resting” , the art symbol of the 2012 match. Today, on the restday Hans Walter Schmitt and I decided that we wanted to see the original painting and we were told that should go to the Gallery at 10, Krymsky Val for the real thing.

But first we had to do some shopping…

…and since we needed a lot of mineral water for “our boys” as we fondly call Vishy and his seconds, we decided to take the red car today.

We just had difficulties to park the car.

Since we are regular customers of “Atak” supermarket, HWS is allowed to use the ladder.

After our shopping spree and another hazardous drive through Moscow traffic, we walked from the hotel to the Gallery at Krymsky Val, a 30 minute stroll. Since the weather was fine, sunny and not too hot, we made several photo stops, so it took us about an hour to get there.

The Peter the Great Statue was designed by the Georgian designer Zurab Tsereteli to commemorate 300 years of the Russian Navy, which was started by Peter I of Russia. At 94 metres, it is the eighth tallest statue in the world. In November 2008, it was voted the tenth ugliest building in the world by Virtual Tourist. In 2010, it was included in a list of the world’s ugliest statues by Foreign Policy magazine.

And we also spotted some flying umbrellas. Moscow is a strange city sometimes.

Triumph of Caïssa

Despite the fine weather, we entered the museum, certainly one of the ugliest buildings in Moscow, but on the inside it is a different story. We bought a photo permission (entry was free with the world championship badge) and started searching for the original Popkov painting. There was an extra interesting exhibition for chess lovers in the museum, that runs through 3 June:  Triumph of Caïssa, dedication to Marcel Duchamp.

From the Tretyakov website: “The State Tretyakov Gallery’s section of contemporary art presents special exhibition project in scope of the “Museum night 2012” and the World Chess Championship. This project is is timed to the World Chess Championship Match and dedicated to Marcel Duchamp. One of the most influential artists of the XXth century, Duchamp was an able chess player.  He claimed that his ardour for chess should be taken as a part of his creative work: “While not all artists are chess players, all chess players are artists”.

So we started the tour with a 3D chess animation in a TV set…

…and a big chess board painting in the lobby.

Then we noticed this row of chairs, with chess pieces on them, and when you look carefully…

…you can see that the chairs are resting on tennis balls! It is soooooo tempting to take a ball….

The white and black king at the end of the row of chairs, on the highest pile of tennis balls.

But we had not found our painting yet, although we saw some famous pieces of chess art in the collection, when strolling through the art gallery. This is the table of constructivist Alexander Rodchenko.

And we actually did not find it. The museum staff shrugged their shoulders, when we asked where the painting was. They suggested us to go to the main building where the chess match takes place and ask there.

And HWS really got angry, after searching for hours without seeing the painting. Thank god he found a punching bag.

I did not get mad, but decided to” improve” this piece of art. What is wrong in this picture? Please comment!

After a final stroll through the museum, it was even too late to visit the friendly football match Russia-Uruguay, to see how our new friends Dick Advocaat and Bert van Lingen would do.

Ha, there he is, doing a TV interview before the game. The game ended 1-1.

And we will continue our search for the original…


24 May: Chess and football in the Kempinksi

Posted in Chess Tigers on Tour, football with tags , , on May 24, 2012 by Chessurfer

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 (

“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 “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:

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

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.