Archive for the Moscow Category

14 May: Music in Moscow

Posted in Moscow, music, Strange things with tags , on May 14, 2012 by Chessurfer

A few days ago, the world famous piano player Denis Matsuev played during the opening ceremony of the 2012 chess world championship in the Tretyakov Gallery. Not only classical music is popular in Moscow, but also some heavy stuff, like Guns N’ Roses. They played in the city last weekend, on 12 and 13 May. Here is the setlist: http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/guns-n-roses/2012/stadium-live-moscow-russia-33dfa4e9.html

And here are some posters I saw near the Cosmos hotel on Sunday:

Metallica!

Sting

An amazing bass player, performing with his band near the Space Museum.

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14 May: Opening ceremony- part 2/3

Posted in Anand, Dvorkovich, Gelfand, Gorbachev, Karpov, Moscow, Tretyakov with tags , , , , , on May 14, 2012 by Chessurfer

As promised in an earlier post, I will show you some more pictures of the opening ceremony in the Tretyakov Gallery on Friday, 11 May. Legendary chess players, billionaire oil traders, Kremlin insiders, a world famous piano player, celeb chicks and many other VIP guests attended the ceremony. It provided a “glimpse of the weird and politically connected Russian chess scene”, as the Moscow Times stated in Monday 14 May issue. Read the report in the newspaper about the opening press conference and the ceremony here: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/arts_n_ideas/article/world-chess-championship-starts-in-moscow/458432.html.

Opening ceremony

After the opening press conference, only accredited  photographers and cameramen were allowed to come to the official opening and they ran into the hall to get the best position for some nice shots of the players and the VIPs.

I still wonder how this unaccredited photographer made it into the official ceremony? She must have had some good arguments. 

Most interviewed VIP this evening was former President Mikhail Gorbachev. I managed to shake his hand and say hello.

After having a short chat with Gorbi, the interviewers moved on to match sponsor Andrei Filatov, who brought his sweet little daughter to the opening.

Gelfand: “Hey Vishy, why do these photographers only have eyes for Gorbi. We are supposed to be the main actors.”

Anand:” I have done this before. Let’s shake hands and you will see how these guys will run in our direction”.

Gelfand: “Haha, good idea. Look, they are coming.”

“Yeah, we did it!”

Back to business: Aruna and Vishy Anand with the Ambassador of India, Ajai Malhotra.

In the front: Arkady Dvorkovich, chairman of the Russian chess federation and presidential economic aide, chatting with former President Mikhail Gorbachev and FIDE President/alien abductee Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

Drawing of colours- exclusive pictures! 

After a few speeches by dignitaries like Dvorkovich,  Ilyumzhinov and the players, it was time for the drawing of colours. The official site http://moscow2012.fide.com/en/ describes the draing as follows:  “Ashot Vardapetyan, the Chief Arbiter of the competition, held the draw in an original style which emphasised the unbreakable connection between chess and world culture. “Paintings” were displayed on easels on the stage, depicting diagrams of two games that Anand and Gelfand had played previously (back in the 1990s). One of these contests had been won beautifully by the current world champion, while the other ended in a striking victory for the challenger.

Two small wooden boxes had been prepared for the grandmasters, containing pots of paint and brushes. Anand was given first choice, as world champion. The players approached their “paintings” – each one, of course, going to the game which he had succeeded in winning – dipped their brushes in the paint and signed the “canvas”. At that moment, the spectators saw that Anand had signed his picture with white paint, and Gelfand had signed his with black. Thus in the first round the world champion would play with White.

Puh, quite an effort to arrange something simple like the drawing of colours. “Normal” chessplayers usually take a white and a black pawn, hide them behind the back and the opponent says “right hand or left hand”. But ok, “normal” chess players do not play chess in one of the most prominent galleries in the world

In this blog I promised to show you some off-stage pictures. Ok, ok, here a a few truly “exclusive pictures”. During the inspection of the playing hall, Anand and Gelfand rehearsed the painting procedure in the basement and here are some of the pictures I made. I promised to wait a few days before publishing the pictures here.

Leonardo d’ Anand in action.

“I hope that my son Akhil does not start painting on my chessboards”

Boris Dali tries three different squares.

The final result of the rehearsal. Wonder what they do with this board.

Anand: “Hmm, I like the one from the rehearsal better. You can hardly see the white paint on the board. Hey wait, they changed the position!”

“Yes Vishy, this is the game I won”.

By popular demand: Yes, there will be a part 3!

Because several people in the press room asked when I will publish more pictures of the opening ceremony and afterparty, I will do  one more  picture gallery of the opening. So there is even more to come! Candid, exclusive, original, sexy!

13 May: Russia’s great red hope.

Posted in Kasparov, Moscow, putin with tags , , , on May 13, 2012 by Chessurfer

An interesting read in Newsweek , or online in “The Daily Beast” about former world champion Gary Kasparov. By Masha Ghessen.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/05/06/chess-champion-garry-kasparov-is-russia-s-great-red-hope.html

13 May: Shadowboxing

Posted in boxing, cartoon, Gelfand, Moscow, stiefel, The match 2012 with tags , , , on May 13, 2012 by Chessurfer

A new cartoon by Frank Stiefel.

Anand and Gelfand are still in the shadowboxing phase of the early rounds. No early knock out in Moscow.

Boxing phrases

You might be surprised to learn how many boxing phrases have entered into our everyday lexicon, and to a certain extent, some of them are applicabe in chess, too. Here a a few examples:

Good Chin – A boxer with a good chin is somebody who can take a hard punch without being hurt or knocked down.

Glass Jaw – A boxer with a glass jaw is the opposite of a one with a good chin. They are easily hurt and knocked down or out. Since glass shatters with hard impact having a glass jaw means that you can’t stand up to a hard punch. Using this outside of boxing, a person or thing with a glass jaw would not be able to stand up to intense pressure or difficult challenges.

Puncher’s Chance – If you have the ability to really hit hard, you always have a chance at winning a fight. Even if the other boxer is technically superior or has been beating you decisively for 11 rounds and 2:30 into the 12th, you always have that punch that can save the day. Therefore, somebody with a big punch that is otherwise outmatched or losing has a puncher’s chance to win a fight. Out of the boxing realm, the phrase generally means having a small chance at success; it’s not impossible, but it’s not likely.

I think everybody chessplayer has had the unpleasant experience that he or she got mated or blundered  in a completely winning position. It also happens in world championship matches. 61 years ago, on 26 March 1951 David Bronstein produced a fatal blunder in his 6th game in the world championship match against Mikhail Botvinnik.

Bronstein-Botvinnik, Moscow 1951, game 6.

In this position, after 45 minutes of deep thinking, Bronstein made the famous blunder-move 57.Kc2?? Botvinnik replied 57… Kg3! (not Kf3?) and his e-pawn could reach e1. What was Bronstein thinking about, and what happened?

Years later, in 1976, he told that he was very aware of the right move 57. Ne6+ and the draw is no problem. But he started thinking about the opening of the game, his mind went astray, and suddenly he had touched his King by accident…. so he had to move it somewhere! There goes the game, the match and the title….knock out.
Fist fighting
The evening service in our hotel is very attentive and every day the maid puts a small card with some historical facts about Moscow in the room. One of the cards provides information about “fist fighting” on “Wild Thursday”in the Butter Week. I like the last sentence. Imagine, Vishy, Boris, the arbiters and the audience in a big free-for-all!

11 May: Chair testing for dummies

Posted in Karpov, Kasparov, Moscow, The match 2012 on May 12, 2012 by Chessurfer

In a previous post about the inspection of the playing hall in the Tretyakov Gallery, I mentioned that the players had the possibility to choose between three different chairs. They looked comfortable, but the players eventually chose the most stable and conventional chair. No massage functions or any bells and whistles needed, obviously.

In his book “It’s only me“, the late  GM Tony Miles  tells his  personal and fascinating article about “Tilburg 1985”, a tournament that Miles played most of while lying on a stretcher! This was due to a back condition, and such a mode of play led to considerable controversy. Miles tied for first in the tournament.

Tony Miles, Tilburg 1985.

Chair testing in Moscow

“My son Akhil would love this chair, great chair to see-saw”.

Boris is checking the seat for bugs… or are they just checking how to adjust the seat? Anna Zakharova and Gelfands mental coach Armen Aguzumstyan, who is checking another chair are watching.

Bobby’s chair paranoia

Chessplayers are certainly familiar with this story about the 1972 world chess championship match in Iceland: This is a story told by Nikolai Krogius. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikolai_Krogius)

“We received a lot of letters about the underhand ways in which Fischer was trying to influence Spassky’s mind… Starting with some sort of power source allegedly installed in a submarine somewhere or in the Keflavik and finishing with the idea that a generator has been installed in Fischer’s chair…and every time he got up he shifted the chair…and the generator would come on and this would direct rays at Spassky…Then Fischer would return to his chair, sit down again…and the device would be switched off.”

Now we come to the reason why I write about a usually boring subject. In the hotel I skimmed some Russian newspapers, looking for news and pictures about the 2012 match. In “Vedomosti” (Russian: Ведомости, literally “The Record”, http://www.vedomosti.ru/eng) I found this picture  in the Sports section last Friday. I had never seen this lovely picture of the 1985-1986 match between Gary Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov.

If anybody knows the story behind this picture, please let me know, so I will be able to update the story. Спасиьа.

10 May: Press review- new links

Posted in Anand, Chess, Gelfand, Moscow, press, The match 2012, Tretyakov on May 11, 2012 by Chessurfer

In the international press, the world championship match in Moscow is getting more and more attention. At the opening press conference, a vast number of  journalists and photographers were taking pictures and making notes, and they have to publish their stuff somewhere, right? If you have any links for me, in particular in the Russian media, please put the link in the comments. спасибо!

Here are a few links I would like to share:

GM Ian Rogers wrote an article for The Hindu with the spectacular headline: “Anand to play white in the first game”. The article is as always very good. Ian will be in Moscow during the match and he will probably write some more good articles. His wife Cathy is taking pictures.

http://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/article3404606.ece

“Anand and Gelfand kick off Moscow chess crown battle” can be found on “RT Com”, with an embedded video of the first moves.

http://www.rt.com/sport/chess-anand-gelfand-tretyakov-moscow-world-champion-986/

“The Moscow Times” focussus on FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov : “Ilyumzhinov discusses unrest and chess in Syria”. The article, written by Howard Amos, starts:  “Embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad will be hoping that third time’s the charm after a visit from the head of the International Chess Federation and alien-spotter Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.” A good read.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/ilyumzhinov-discusses-unrest-and-chess-in-syria/458365.html

Viswanathan Krishnasway writes in “India Today” an article titled: “Viswanathan Anand is favourite in battle against Boris Gelfand.”

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/world-chess-championships-viswanathan-anand-vs-boris-gelfand/1/188325.html

In USA, we can read an article about chess in “The Atlantic”: “How America forgot about chess”. Santiago Wills writes: “The once-popular game is suffering from boring grandmasters and controversial leadership.” A story in which Magnus Carlsen is compared to Justin Bieber! OMG! And of course the author looks back at the Fischer-Spassky match.

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/05/how-america-forgot-about-chess/257049/

And, last but not least, our Chess Tiger on Tour, Hans-Walter Schmitt  has composed a new set of pictures on the Chess Tigers website:

http://www.chesstigers.de/index_news.php?id=2644&rubrik=3

As always, enjoy reading! And don’t  forget to send me some links about the match.

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.