Archive for the Tretyakov Category

01 June: The final act

Posted in Anand, Chess Tigers on Tour, Gelfand, Tretyakov with tags , , , on June 1, 2012 by Chessurfer

As promised in an earlier post, I will give you an pictorial overview of a very busy last working day in Moscow for Anand and his team.

But first: breakfast in our separate room, that we reserved for four weeks in the Baltschug Kempinski hotel. Sometimes we had to kick out some German tourists, though.

Tea with Putin

After breakfast, Vishy and Boris were invited for a cup of tea with the President of Russia, Vladmir Vladimirovich Putin in Novo-Ogaryovo, which is an estate in the Odintsovo District of Moscow Oblast to the west of the city and a suburban official residence of the President.  You can see pictures of the meeting here: http://visualrian.ru/en/site/feature/158465/ and also on the official website of the Kremlin with a short transcript of the meeting: http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/3938. If you would like to see a short video of the tea party (in Russian), go here: http://www.1tv.ru/news/sport/208542.

While Vishy enjoyed having tea with Putin, his seconds had to clean up the mess in the workroom.

Clean your table after meal…and work.

The work is done! The Anand seconds Peter Heine Nielsen, Rustam Kasimdhzanov, Radek Wojtaszek and Surya Sekhar Ganguly went to the closing ceremony after cleaning the room, waiting for Anand, who got stuck in Moscow traffic on his way to the Tretyakov Gallery.

The photographers were also waiting for the players to come. You might recognize Anastasia Karlovic (left) and next to her we spot  Dirk “Poldi” Poldauf, editor of the German Chess magazine “Schach“.

I had a seat behind Maya and Boris Gelfand in the second row. “How was the tea and the traffic, Boris?”

You can watch all the action of the closing ceremony on the official website of the match, which also provides an excellent video. You can also see an photo report on the site. http://moscow2012.fide.com/

Vishy had to weather some critical moments during the closing ceremony. He has been to the gym in the hotel quite often, but can he stem this 8 kg trophy alone? Irina Lebedeva, director-general of the Tretyakov Gallery, wants to help the world champion. Come on, Vishy!

Yes, he can! Kirsan is relieved.

Vishy and Boris also had to stamp and sign first-day envelopes issued by the Ministry of Communications in honour of the match. 500.000 copies will be sold in Russia and will be available soon.

And they look like this.

Only an handful of  envelopes were framed, for the players and special guests. A collectors item!

After the final press conference, “Team Anand”,speeded back to the hotel, dropped the trophies and flowers in the room and off we went to the next item on the agenda:

One day earlier, the Ambassador of India for Russia, Ajai Malhotra, invited the Anand team for dinner in the Embassy of India. But did he mention a felicitation as well?

More than 250 enthusiastic Indians came to the felicitation of the world champion and Vishy was really touched by the support of his fellow countrymen, who all wanted to have an autograph.

This picture is courtesy of the Indian Embassy in Russia, http://www.indianembassy.ru/.

Vishy, Aruna, Surya, Hans-Walter and yours truly with the Ambassador and his wife Ira and Nina Khrushcheva, the great-granddaughter of former Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev. What a wonderful evening, what a wonderful meal we had, what a wonderful way to end our stay in Moscow!

After a final glance at the Red Square from the hotel room at 06:00 AM…

…it was about time to go home. Bye bye Moscow!

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28 May: Tiebreak for the crown

Posted in art, Filatov, Moscow, Tretyakov with tags , , , on May 28, 2012 by Chessurfer

On the first day of the match, the trophy for the winner of the match was shown in the VIP lounge for a few minutes, and I managed to take a few pictures. Well, nobody asked me NOT to take pictures, to be precize! However, I decided not to publish them, because I thought that it would be annoying for the organizers if a picture of the trophy would be published at the start of the match on a blog and not on the official website. Therefore I decided to wait a bit, but after the 12th game today, the trophy was officially presented in the VIP room by the artist, Andrey Molchanovsky. So finally, I can open my vault and share the pictures with you.

The trophy

Carefully packed in a wooden box…

And here it is…unboxed!

On the first match day, only a few people were allowed in the VIP lounge to take a look at the trophy: you may recognize Ilya Levitov, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Andrey Filatov. Next to Filatov is the creator of the sculpture, Andrey Molchanovsky.

Irina Lebedeva, the director-general of the State Tretyakov Gallery, is carefully studying the trophy.

A proud artist showing his work. More information about Andrey Molchanovsky can be found on his website  http://www.molchanovsky.com/.

You can recognize the crown in the chessboard. The trophy is made of gold and bronze, the chessboard is made of optical glass. The trophy weighs about 8 kg.

A closer look at the crown…

The inscription on the socket reads: World Chess Championship 2012.

HWS is excited and has a chat with Molchanovsky: “Can I have one, pleeeeeaaaaaase?”

There is additional prize for the winner, sponsored by the Tretyakov Gallery.

I don’t know if these are the championship games that are inscripted, but it looks nice. You can also see the chess pieces on the trophy.

“No Sir, you cannot take this as handluggage, please leave it here.”

Your Chessurfer with the trophy. Picture taken by Dirk-Jan ten Geuzendam.

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…

23 May: Viktor Popkov and the Championship design

Posted in art, popkov, Tretyakov with tags , , on May 23, 2012 by Chessurfer

Viktor Popkov’s painting “The Team is Resting” was chosen as the art symbol of the World Chess Title Match 2012. A press conference timed for the 80th birthday of this brilliant representative of the Soviet Art School was held today, on Wednesday 23 May. Pyotr Kozorezenko, Doctor of Art Studies was the honourary guest of today’s match. Since the match is staged in one of the most prestigious art galleries in Russia, the Tretyakov Gallery (http://www.tretyakovgallery.ru/),  it is a good idea to invite art experts to the daily press conferences, rather than chess grandmasters, although we have seen great press conferences with living legends like Yuri Averbakh, Anatoli Karpov and Garry Kasparov.

Pyotr Kozorezenko, Doctor of Art Studies is really looking forward to tell something about art to ignorant chess journalists.

This is not supposed to be an art blog, and I do not pretend to have any knowledge about Russian art, therefore I would suggest that your read more about the artist here: http://www.tretyakovgallery.ru/en/collection/_show/author/_id/338

Watch carefully

You might have noticed when you have carefully checked pictures on various chess websites, that one of his works, “The Team is Resting” was chosen as the art symbol of the world championship match and the organizers and the Tretyakov Gallery staff brilliantly integrated this fine painting in the building, on posters, paper bags, in the VIP and press room, in the playing hall and the public viewing area as you can see in the pictures below.

Here are some pictures I took during the inspection of the playing hall, in which one could see the first impressions. This is a direction sign in the main lobby of the Engineering Building of the Tretyakov, in which the match is staged.

The pressroom, on the left you can see an excerpt of the painting.

The playing hall also has some excerpts of the painting on both sides of the stage. This picture was taken during the inspection, a few days before the opening.

In the public viewing area the design is also drawn through.

This is the fill painting and as I showed you, excerpts of the painting are all over the place. The painting is exhibited in the Tretyakov Gallery and this picture is taken from the book “Viktor Popkov“, written by the above mentioned author Pyotr Kozorezenko. 

This is a very heavy book, I can tell you! Everyone present at the press conference was offered a free copy!

The author was kind enough to personalize my copy. It was a very interesting lecture by Kozorezenko, even for philistines.

18 May: Opening ceremony – part 3/3

Posted in Gelfand, Gorbachev, Karpov, Moscow, Tretyakov with tags , , , , , on May 18, 2012 by Chessurfer

This is the last picture gallery of the opening ceremony, that took place on 11 May in the Tretyakov Gallery. Chicks and chessplayers, oil traders, FIDE officials and a former Soviet President attended the ceremony and the cocktail party. An enjoyable evening, with the best drinks and fingerfood, talking business and chess.

Pictures: piano concert and cocktail party

After the speeches, Denis Matsuev entered the stage.

 Denis Leonidovich Matsuev (Дени́с Леони́дович Мацу́ев; born June 11, 1975) is a Russian pianist, one of the most popular classical music performers of his generation, the winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998 in Moscow, laureate of esteemed Shostakovich Prize in Music and State Prize of Russian Federation in Literature and Arts. Today the name of Denis Matsuev is known to the whole world. The man, whose career started so dramatically and in such a young age, is now associated with one of the best world pianists, who managed to mix in his performances the grandest of Russian traditions and innovatory creative conceptions, high quality of concert programmes and moving rendering.

One more interview after the piano concert. The players did not attend the cocktail party. In the back you can see Denis Matsuev packing up his piano.

After the concert, the cocktail party took place in the most beautiful setting possible in one of the galleries of the Tretyakov. Look at those paintings.

Some nitwits just put their empy glasses next to valuable statues, much to the chagrin of the Tretyakov staff.

 “A glass of champagne, Sir?”

 The highly decorated legend Yuri Lvovich Averbakh talking to English GM Nigel David Short. “Did you try the champagne yet”?

Former world champion Anatoly Yevgenyevich Karpov (Russian: Анато́лий Евге́ньевич Ка́рпов, born May 23, 1951) attended the party.   He was the official world champion from 1975 to 1985 when he was defeated by Garry Kasparov. He played three matches against Kasparov for the title from 1986 to 1990, before becoming FIDE World Champion once again after Kasparov broke away from FIDE in 1993. He held the title until 1999, when he resigned his title in protest against FIDE’s new world championship rules.

Karpov chatting with former president Mikhail Gorbachev and FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. It’s a small world.

New in Chess editor-in-chief Dirk-Jan ten Geuzendam enjoying a glass of champagne with Ilya Levitov, Chairman of the Management Board of the Russian Chess Federation. “Tell me Dirk-Jan, how to knot a tie?”

Sergey Alexandrovich Karjakin born January 12, 1990 in Simferopol enjoying the fine fingerfood with Hans-Walter Schmitt and the beautiful young woman in the center, whose name I do not know. Shame on me! If anyone knows her name (and telephone number) let me know!

Update 18 May, 23:05: Macauley Peterson, who is following the blog in St.Louis at the US Championship, knows who the beauty in the center is: Galiya Kamalova. He even has her phone number! Thanks!

This is Mr. Vasily Zhukov, talking to HWS, who retired as president of the Moscow Chess Federation this February. He invited HWS and your @Chessurfer to visit famous chess clubs in Moscow on a free day. Zhukov is a highly decorated scientist, founder and rector of the Russian State Social University, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Honoured Scientist of the Russian federation, Laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation in the field of education.  In 2011 Mr. Zhukov was awarded the Order of Holy Prince Daniel of Moscow II degree.

After the party, everybody was sent home with this limited edition medal. Check Ebay….

 ..and the other side of the medal.

 The final shot of the opening is reserved for our favourite photographer.

16 May: Behind the scenes – part 1 (VIPs and Grandmasters)

Posted in Moscow, music, press, Tretyakov with tags , , on May 15, 2012 by Chessurfer

The spectators who come the Tretyakov Gallery go through an X-ray, enter the playing hall, don’t have to pay an entrance fee and follow the games at their leisure. In the hall they can listen to the Russian or English commentary with an infra-red receiver and a headphone (also free). Mobile phones or any other electronic devices have to be switched off, and it is strictly forbidden to use  flash on the camera. However, some incurable mobile telephone junkies do not even manage to switch off their phone during the game. But the security guys in the hall are tough cookies and when they catch somebody who is making pictures with flash, making phone calls during the game or if somebody uses an iPad and checks some variations with a chess engine app like Stockfish, (this really happened!) they immediately spot him and kick him out of the hall. This happens with normal spectators, but also journalists, photographers and FIDE vice presidents have to stick to the rules.

It is a bit odd  that both players are off-stage at times.

Big business and networking in the VIP lounge

But there is a lot more going on in the Engineering building  of the Tretyakov Gallery. If you are watching the games at home, you can see the wonderful HD live coverage and the live commentary. In the press room, many journalist from all over the world write their stories for magazines, paper and online newspapers. Camerateams conduct their interviews after the game and in the VIP room, special guests, dignitaries, FIDE officials, grandmasters and commentators socialize and do business.

Here is a look behind the scenes, in which I will show some off-stage pictures. In the next weeks I will post some more galleries, because there are many guests and grandmasters around and there are fresh VIPs every day.  Here is a first selection.

A true legend:  Yuri Lvovich Averbakh (Ю́рий Льво́вич Аверба́х; born February 8, 1922) is a Soviet and Russian chess player and author. As of 2012, he is the oldest living chess grandmaster.

Granmasters Joel Lautier (left) and Jan Timman chatting about the 4th game. Timman (born 14 December 1951) is a Dutch chess Grandmaster who was one of the world’s leading players from the late 1970s to the early 1990s. At the peak of his career he was considered to be the best non-Soviet player and was known as “The Best of the West”. He has won the Dutch Chess Championship nine times and has been a Candidate for the World Championship several times.

Timman did the commenary for game 3 and 4 with his compatriot Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam. They are the editors-in-chief of the renowned New in Chess magazine: http://www.newinchess.com.

After game 4 Timman did an interview with another Dutchie, Peter Doggers, editor-in-chief of ChessVibes. I suggest to organize the next world championship in The Netherlands to save travel costs.

This sweet girl is Valentina Gunina (born February 4, 1989 in Murmansk, Russia). She is a Russian chess player with the titles International Master (IM) and Woman Grandmaster (WGM). In 2006 and 2008 she won Qualifying Russian Women Chess Championship and 2011 Superfinal Russian Women Chess Championship. She won the gold medal at the Women’s European Individual Chess Championship in 2012 (Gaziantep)

In the middle is the Israeli Ambassador to Russia, Dorit Golender, talking to German journalist Dagobert Kohlmeyer (right). Dorit Golender has become the fourth woman ambassador of Israel in Russia. Even in Soviet times, Israel was represented in Moscow, by the legendary Golda Meir, who later became foreign minister and later led the Israeli Cabinet. In 1990 the Israeli embassy in Moscow, was headed by Aliza Chenard.

On the left we see Yury Dokhoian (Russian: Юрий Дохоян; born 26 October 1964 in Zyryanovka, Altai Krai). He is a Russian Grandmaster of Armenian origin. For many years, Dokhoian was Garry Kasparov’s second. In 2009, he started cooperating with Sergey Karjakin, being at the same time the coach of the Russian Women’s team. He is chatting with the legendary chess coach Boris Postovsky.

Hans-Walter Schmitt and Mark Izrailovich Dvoretsky (Russian: Марк Израилевич Дворецкий, born December 9, 1947, Moscow). Dvoretsky is a world-renowned Russian chess trainer, writer and International Master.

Dvoretsky is not only a phenomenal chess trainer, he speaks several languages. Here is doing an interview with Tamil  TV. The interviewer is Venkatachalam Saravanan. Nice chap.

Aruna Anand is introduced to Andrew Paulson  by FIDE treasurer Nigel Freeman.

Viktor Viorel Bologan (born December 14, 1971) is a Moldovan chess grandmaster. He did the Russian commentary in game 3 and 4. His major accomplishment has been winning the Dortmund Sparkassen 2003, ahead of higher-rated and well-known players such as Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, and Peter Leko.

Meanwhile, in the VIP room…a top level FIDE meeting with FIDE treasurer Nigel Freeman, American entrepreneur Andrew Paulson, FIDE Chief executive officer Jeffrey Borg and FIDE Vice president Israel Gelfer.

At the press conference on game day 4, the famous Russian poet, singer and songwriter Timur Shaov explained the connection between music and chess. Check http://www.shaov.ru for more information.

Shaov designed this beautiful pen. The chess journalist who writes the best article about the connection between chess and the Tretyakov Gallery will win this valuable piece of art.

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!