Archive for botvinnik

Blondes vs. Brunettes vs. Art

Posted in Chess Tigers on Tour, Gunina, Moscow with tags , , , , on May 22, 2012 by Chessurfer

Yes, this is the match we all have been waiting for! On Saturday, 19 May a blitz match (Scheveningen System) between a team of blonde players and a team of brunette players was organized in the famous Botvinnik Central Chess Club in Moscow. The regulations were actually quite simple: a 2100 ELO+ was required, but the hair colour was the main entry ticket and there was also a dress code: the blondes had to wear light clothing, dark clothing was requested for the dark-haired players. So the players should dress like this:

The dress code, but who said something about wearing hats and high heels?

In this respect it might be interesting to quote a few regulations of the heavily discussed ECU (European Chess Union) dress code for chess players:

13.2 Dress rules for the players during the games
In general, players are required to follow the code of casual dressing which means:

-For women blouses, turtleneck, T-shirts or polo’s, trousers, jeans or slacks, skirts, dresses, and appropriate footwear (boots, flats, mid-heel or high-heel shoes, sneakers with sock) or any other appropriate clothing modification.

-A jacket, vest or sweater, a scarf, as well as jewelry (earrings, necklace, etc.) coordinated to the outfit may be worn.

-In respect to shirts, the second from the top button may also be opened in addition to the very top button.

More information about the dress code here: http://eiwcc2012.tsf.org.tr/images/stories/files/Appendix%201.pdf

Multimedia Museum

However, before I went to the Central Chess Club at Gogolevkiy Blvd. 14 for the match, I made a stop at the Multimedia Art Museum, in Ostozhenka Street 16, which is actually close to the chess club. During the world championship match a multimedia exhibition “Chess figures of the20th Century wil be shown and will run from 17 May through 24 June. The exhibition presents over 100 photographs, made by such prominent artists as Boris Ignatovich and Boris Dolmatovsky, as well as posters  from important tournaments.

Tournament posters

A part of the photo exhibition in the big lobby of the museum.

A photo of a young challenger.

Karpov vs. Kasparov in one of their endless matches. Hard to imagine a 24-game match nowadays.

In addition to the photos, the exhibition feautures a number of unique chess sets, including rare instances of the XIX century, the original Soviet sets “Town and Country” and others.

Beautiful chess sets. If you get a chance to visit the exhibition, go! If not, visit the web site of the museum: http://www.mamm-mdf.ru/exhibitions/shahmatnyie-figuryi-vek-20-y/, with pictures of the opening of the exhibition.

The match

It is just 10 minute walk from the museum to the Botvinnik Central Chess Club, and it is easy to see that you arrived at the right place when you get there:

This memorial plaque, dedicated to Mikhail Botvinnik was inaugurated on the last day of the Botvinnik Memorial in September 2011. The plaque was revealed by Vladimir Kramnik and Vishy Anand, and reads: “5 times world champion, the founder of the national chess school, Mikhail Moiseevich Botvinnik, worked in this building from 1988 to 1995”.

A beautiful building, in which you can breath the rich history of the game and the spirit of Botvinnik. There are loads of never-seen-before- pictures on the wall.

Now it is time to see some pictures of the girls match.

What does the ECU say in their dress code regulations about these 20 cm stiletto heels?

Anna Burtasova, chess journalist and photographer, pondering a move in her game against Valentina Gunina.

This 16-year old talent is Maria Severina (ELO 2247) European Champion under 16. She played against Kasparov in the simul one day earlier and almost managed to score a draw.

Russian Super GM Ian Nepomniachtchi (ELO 2717) with dark hair, playing a fun game against two (!) blondes.

The blondes: Maria Fominykh, Chess Pro reporter, photographer and Morozevich’ girlfriend (left) playing together with European champion Valentina Gunina.

White roses for team blonde: 39,5 points. The blonde team in random order: Valentina Gunina, Olga Girja, Irina Vasilevich, Maria Fominykh, Irina Zakurdjaeva, Marija Severina, Irina Bivol and Julia Dogodkina. Correct me if I am wrong!

Red roses for team brunette: 24,5 points. The players in random order: Varvara Saulina, Anna Burtasova, Elvira Mirzoeva, Yana Melnikova, Olga Grigorjeva, Maja Gvivala, Darja Charochkina and Anna Vasenina.

All together now! The group photo of both teams with their roses.

The original hand-written final table.

And the final version! Another fun day in Moscow. It became even better, since  Bayern lost to Chelsea later that day!

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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!