Archive for the Sofia 2010 Category

09 May: Playing hall inspection

Posted in Anand, Chess, Gelfand, Moscow, Sofia 2010, The match 2012 with tags , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2012 by Chessurfer

As promised, I will show you some of the pictures of the inspection of the playing hall on 08 May. In a previous blog entry, you could see that the work in the State Tretyakov Gallery is in progress and I am not sure if the workers had a day off, because of Victory Day and the Moscow Victory Day Parade on 9 May.


The weather was not very nice today, so I chose to take a picture of the final rehearsal of last Sunday. It looks a bit as if WW3 is about to start. Weird. The hotel informed us that the windows had to be closed and I had two scary looking security officers in my room who checked that. I actually heard that it was supposed to rain today, but somehow the Kreml managed to keep the rain away with chemicals. No idea how that works.

Update 10 May: In The Moscow Times ( I read the following: “To ensure an fine day, military aircraft traditionally seed the clouds in advance of the event with silver and liquid nitrogen, but they apparantly failed in their task despite early morning promises to clear the leaden skies above Moscow”.

The Moscow Victory Day Parade in Moscow’s Red Square was held today to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the capitulation of Nazi Germany in 1945. The parade marked the Soviet Union’s victory in the Great Patriotic War on the day on the signing of the German act of capitulation, on the very midnight of May 9, 1945 (Russian time).


Literally thousands of soldiers marching on! Very impressive.


Live on all Russian channels. “Ура Победе”


Let’s get back to the inspection. Two years ago, in Sofia, the final inspection of the playing hall did not really run smoothly. About 30 photographers were waiting for the players to check the hall and they were blocking the way for Anand and Topalov in their hunt for the best picture. Anand and Topalov did not check the venue together: Anand checked the hall, the board and the light first and only when he was finished, Topalov came in.


Vishy did not get a chance to check the board and the chair properly. He was hunted all over over the place by photographers. Hans-Walter Schmitt (grey jacket) tried to act as a bodyguard.

Here in Moscow, the inspection was well organized in a very relaxed atmosphere. Only Eteri Kublashvili, the photographer for the official website took pictures which you can see here: /14/”>!prettyPhoto


Hans-Walter is looking at a picture Eteri made. Notice the nice carpet.

And here are some more pictures:

Knock knock, who is there? FIDE Vice president Israel Gelfer wants to join the inspection.

Chairman of the management board of the Russian Chess Federation Ilya Levitov talking to HWS. Must have been interesting, according to the expression on HW’s face.

“I am telling you, Aruna, I am not going to stand here all the time during the games”.

Ah, they have chairs. Ilya Levitov is happy, but Vishy decided not to take this high-tech chair.

“Ok, this one is fine.”

The challenger: Boris Gelfand testing his chairs. Seems to be ok.

Two chairs, a board, pieces, a clock, what else do you need for a world championship match?

Boris and Vishy chatting about the kids.

I hope they check the batteries.

The scoresheets for the world championship games.

Talking over some final details with FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos, Hon. Vice President Prof. Kurt Jungwirth and referee Ashot Vardapetyan.

Vishy Anand getting wired for an interview for Russian television.

Hope you got some good questions for me?!

Now it is Boris’ turn to answer the same questions.

Boris Gelfand brought a very nice information booklet to the Tretyakov, and he gladly signed and personalized my copy. Thanks Boris!


05 May- Sofia 2010 – looking back

Posted in Sofia 2010 with tags , , on May 5, 2012 by Chessurfer

Two years ago Vishy Anand won the chess world championship in Sofia, Bulgaria. Maybe you do remember, that Vishy and his team had to take a car from Frankfurt to Sofia (2000 kilometers) due to the outburst of the Icelandic volcanoe Eyjafjallajökull. More information about the volcanoe can be found here:

If you want to read how Vishy and his team survived the Rumanian roads, crossed the borders with eight passports from five different countries and even had to go on a ferry to reach Sofia after 40 hours, go here: (German version, Endy einer Odyssee) ) or read the English version here on ChessBase: A volcanic trip – with the Lord of the rings,

Here are a few pictures of the trip, some of them have never been published. Pictures by Christian Bossert and Eric van Reem. All rights reserved.

The Mercedes Sprinter, that took us to Sofia. Thanks to our Dutch drivers!

Rain, potholes, sometimes even dead animals had to be avoided! Horrible!

Welcome to Timisoara!

But… after 42 hours, we arrived at 03.15 AM at the Sofia Hilton!

The match poster.

The Military Club in Sofia, where the match was played.


Game 12 and final!

Vishy is happy…

And the “A-Team” is happy! From left to right: Christian Bossert, Peter Heine Nielsen, Mark Lefler, Eric van Reem, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Hans-Walter Schmitt, Vishy Anand, Aruna Anand, Surya Shekhar Ganguly  and Radek Wojtaszek.