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.

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11 May: Rowing through Grünfeld waters

Posted in Anand, cartoon, stiefel with tags , , , on May 12, 2012 by Chessurfer

Here is a cartoon by German artist Frank Stiefel, who draws many cartoons for the Chess Tigers. He also did some great work during the Chess Classic Mainz events. He will draw a cartoon after every game for the Chess Tigers website and this blog.

 

 

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.

11 May: Opening ceremony part 1/3

Posted in Anand, Chess, Filatov, Gelfand, The match 2012, Tretyakov with tags , , , , , on May 11, 2012 by Chessurfer

The World Chess Championship was opened in the Tretyakov Gallery on Thursday. The opening press conference started at around 18:30 and at 20:15 the official opening finally started, in an absolutely beautiful setting in the Tretyakov Gallery. I have made tons of pictures and it is just too much to post everything in only one go. But…I don’t want to show you the usual pictures, which you can find on the main chess websites. Here is a first selection of the press conference and the opening. I will post some more shots of the opening and after party later.

The livestream of the opening is available on the official website. http://moscow2012.fide.com/en/ in excellent quality. Highly recommended!

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The entrance of the Tretyakov Gallery. It is the first indication that there is a chess match going on in Moscow. I did not see any signs or posters announcing the match in the city.

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Accreditation for journalists and VIPs. The tall guy on the right is Ulrich Stock, who writes excellent articles for the German quality paper “Die Zeit“. Here is a link to an interview with Boris Gelfand. http://www.zeit.de/2012/18/WOS-Interview-Gelfand

Update: Stock wrote an article (in German) about the match and the opening ceremony. “Was zählt, ist auf dem Brett”.

http://www.zeit.de/sport/2012-05/schach-wm-anand-gelfand

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Talking about tall guys. This is Peter Doggers, editor in chief of ChessVibes, getting ready for the press conference. Check his reports on  http://chessvibes.com/.

Man, he is tall. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tallest_people.

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Doggers: “Haha, I was standing on a table”.

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VIP guest GM Evgeny Bareev with Etery Kublashvili, who takes pictures for the official match website. A couple of years ago during a match in Maastricht, where Evgeny was playing against the computer engine Hiarcs, we went to the movies. It was a James Bond movie in which the North Koreans were the “bad guys”. Evgeny was disappointed after the movie: “The Russians are not the bad guys anymore, not even in a Bond movie”.

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Dozens of journalists and photographers….

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….left their laptops alone in the adjacent room.

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After the press conference, Vishy and Aruna Anand met match sponsor Andrey Filatov in the VIP room.

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Filatov donated this chess set made of mammoth bones to the Tretyakov Gallery.

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Lots of chairs for the FIDE guys….but where are they?

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…not at the buffet? Remarkable.

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A nice film about the world championships was shown before the speeches started. This is José Raúl Capablanca, world chess champion from 1921-1927. You can read an excellent article in the latest New in  Chess Magazine about this real Mozart of Chess, or get some information here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Ra%C3%BAl_Capablanca

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The legendary Robert James Fischer, the 11th world champion and inventor of Chess960. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess960

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And of course Gelfand and Anand were introduced to the audience in the film. Time to play some chess now!

In part 2: Michail Gorbachov, Anatoli Karpov, Nigel Short, Sergey Karjakin and a hot photographer.

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.


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.

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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 (http://www.themoscowtimes.com/) 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).

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Literally thousands of soldiers marching on! Very impressive.

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Live on all Russian channels. “Ура Победе”

Inspection

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.

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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/”>http://moscow2012.fide.com/en/fotos/196-playing-hall-inspection-eng#!prettyPhoto

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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!

09 May: Chess Tigers on Tour

Posted in Anand, Chess Tigers on Tour, Moscow, The match 2012 with tags , , on May 9, 2012 by Chessurfer

In this blog, I keep you informed about my adventures in Moscow. Most of the time, Hans-Walter Schmitt is with me when we explore the city. Many chessplayers who have played in the wonderful Chess Classic tournaments in Frankfurt (1994-2000) and later in Mainz (2001-2010) know that Hans-Walter is a walking powerhouse and an exceptional organizer. Last month he turned 60 and you can see loads of pictures of his four (!) day celebration extravaganza on the website of the Chess Tigers.

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The HWS cake: höher , weiter,  schneller.

Chess960 is one of his hobbies and on his birthday he played a Chess960 simul against Vishy Anand, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Artur Yussupov and Klaus Bischoff and celebrated with friends. Check the pictures here: http://www.chesstigers.de/index_news.php?id=2617&rubrik=5

“HW”, as he is called by his friends, writes about the world championship in German and he also takes a lot of interesting pictures. Sometimes he is a little careless though, as HW was almost arrested when he suddenly got into a student demonstration on Monday.

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Chess Tiger on Tour.

Take a look at his reports and pictures on the Chess Tigers website: http://www.chesstigers.de/index_news.php?id=2638&rubrik=3. Enjoy!