Archive for the Strange things Category

31 May: Stripping for Anand

Posted in Anand, Strange things, The match 2012 with tags , on May 31, 2012 by Chessurfer

It has been an eventful day for word champion Vishy Anand and his team. Anand and Gelfand had a meeting with Russia’s president Vladmir Vladimirovich Putin at 11:00 AM in a suburban official residence of the president and due to the usual chaos in the streets of Moscow, they barely made it to the closing ceremony, that started at 16:00. After the closing and the press conference, Anand and his team were invited for dinner by the Ambassador of India for Russia, Ajai Malhotra. In the meantime we had to say goodbye to Peter Heine Nielsen, sign posters, chessboards and what have you. On Friday, the Anand team will leave Moscow, and I will compose a nice picture gallery of the last hectic day in Moscow, as soon as I get home.

During our short lunch break Aruna Anand told me a story today about Poonam Panday. This strip queen became a hot topic on Twitter today, because after she stripped for the Kolkata Knight Riders’ fans, twitterani want her to strip for Anand, since he retained his world title.

Anand gets an update of the Twittermania around Poonam Pandey from one of his team members during the closing ceremony. But who told him the news?

Your guess!

More about this story on India Today: http://indiatoday.intoday.in.

“As Poonam promised her fans  to treat them with much hotter acts, now let’s see what ‘Bikini Pandey’ can do more to raise the temperature”. More in the Jagran Post: http://post.jagran.com.

I am convinced that you will find pictures of the lady yourself. Hey, this is (still) a chess blog!

27 May: Rest day – Moscow is Moscow

Posted in Chess Tigers on Tour, Moscow, Strange things with tags , , on May 27, 2012 by Chessurfer

Sunday, 27 May was another rest day (the last one?) and after staying more than three weeks in Moscow, it is about time to show you some of my impressions from the Russian capital. Initially I started the blog for my family, friends and colleagues back home: I occassionaly wanted to show a few impressions from Moscow, but after shooting so many pictures during the opening and the inspection of the playing hall, I thought it might be nice to share some of the background information of the match with more people. And I thank you for the positive feedback.

As I do with the chess related pictures, I do not want to show you the normal tourist shots, but just a few strange and beautiful things I saw.  I explored the streets of Moscow with Anand’s delegation leader Hans-Walter Schmitt, on a couple of days our wives accompanied us, on other days a few friends came along. HWS has posted many pictures on the Chess Tigers website: http://www.chesstigers.de/

Moscow is Moscow, what can I say? Enjoy!

Impressions from Moscow 

In case you missed this picture: on our first day in Moscow, we saw this car and we were wondering if this is an ambulance. We found out that it is a repair service for rims. The car certainly gets much attention in Moscow and we saw some more service cars during our stay.

This car owner should call the above mentioned number.

Talking about cars: on the first night of our stay we were wondering what the hell was going on on the Red Square that night, and it turned out that more than 14.000 servicemen were rehearsing for the Victory Parade on 9 May. It was an odd view to see tanks crossing the street, just before our windows.

Marching through the streets. There was another rehearsal two days later, that started Sundaymorning at 8 AM!

These young lads were marching with a bottle of vodka or beer in their hands on 9 May, the day of the Victory parade.

On the way from the hotel to the Tretyakov Gallery, a 10 minute walk, I saw many happy newly wed couples and I finally understand why these grooms are carrying their brides. The girls must have ankle fractures, because…

… Moscow girls stubbornly wear stiletto heels! And it is not easy walking with these shoes on the streets of Moscow. Respect to them!

 This does not look healthy. As an orthopedist, you can make a fortune in Moscow!

This is a crazy theme park near Hotel Cosmos. The last time I visited Moscow, in1993, it was a beautiful quiet park with nice buildings, a bit strange though.  Now it is a funfair, with loud music everywhere, a go-kart track and all kinds of sub-stuff. I was a bit disappointed.

Odd couple: Hans-Walter Schmitt and Peter Doggers had a good time in the park.

Also a strange sight during a boat tour on the Moskva river: a Russian Space Shuttle on a ferry boat. And no, it is not a photo composition.

This gentleman voluntarily posed for us in the beautiful Novodevichy Convent. A must-see. (I mean, the convent)

We did not see many animals in the streets. HWS is making a picture of the only cat we saw in three weeks. There are many Chinese restaurants in Moscow, though.

There are many parks in Moscow, with beautiful flowers.

Moon over Moscow – one last stroll before going to sleep.

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…

15 May: Chess960

Posted in chess960, Strange things on May 15, 2012 by Chessurfer

Discovered in a toy shop in Moscow. A Chess960 board! But I guess you can also play 518.

More about Chess960 here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess960

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.

06 May- Moscow ambulance?

Posted in Moscow, Strange things with tags on May 6, 2012 by Chessurfer

The Russian obviously don’t care where they park their car, and a crosswalk seems to an excellent parking place.  On Friday we spotted this car on a crosswalk. Haven’t seen such an ambulance anywhere else. Maybe it is not an ambulance at all, haven’t found out yet…

And the other side…

It has something to do with “reanimation”. Have no idea how they want to do that. If you want to find out, call the number on the car.

Update 07 May: I have just found out that it is a repair service for rims. Well, they have nice service staff.