Archive for football

05 June: Leftovers

Posted in Chess Tigers on Tour, The match 2012 with tags , , , , on June 5, 2012 by Chessurfer

In this 50th and final post in this blog, I want to share a few pictures I have not published yet. Some, because they simply did not fit into the story, some I just forgot. But why should I keep the pictures for myself, since I have noticed that so many people have visited this site and according to the feedback, have enjoyed the “behind the screens” pictures of the 2012 world championship match! As always: enjoy!

Leftovers

Let’s go back to 4 May, when Peter Heine Nielsen arrived. The door to his room was obviously closed and there was no way to open the door with his key card. A technician from the hotel came, and it took him about 30 minutes before he could open the door. Not a good start.

At  the opening press conference the journalist Igor Nekhames handed out this “lucky tie” to challenger Boris Gelfand. As far as I remember Nekhames said that it is a tradition in Russia that the challenger receives a tie for good luck before the match. Who can confirm this?

On match days, half an hour before the game started, Vishy and Aruna were picked up from the hotel  by a black Mercedes, who took them to the Tretyakov Gallery. You can get a glimpse of the crazy Moscow traffic. I preferred to walk from the hotel…

…mainly because of the odd things and cars you see in the streets of Moscow!

Nice story: Jan Werndl, a 9-year old young Chess Tiger and pupil of Hans-Walter Schmitt, had just one big wish to celebrate his Holy Communion: to come to Moscow to see a world championship game of his idol Vishy Anand.  Ulrich Stock, who wrote really great game reports and background stories in the German quality paper “Die Zeit”  interviewed Jan about his passion for chess and his unusual wish.  You can read the interview here: http://www.zeit.de/sport/2012-05/anand-schach-wm-werndl. (German)

 An unforgettable experience for any 9-year old: Jan met Vishy after a world championship game!

On “Super Saturday” I spotted this wonderful picture in the Multimedia Art Museum: Vishy Anand (24 at the time) and Vladimir Kramnik (18) played the final in the PCA rapid tournament Kremlin Stars 1994. Anand won. Russian TV carried it live from the Palace of Congress with a spectacular stage setting designed by the Bolshoi Ballet.

Kramnik 2012, with shorter hair doing the commentary for game 12 with Dirk-Jan ten Geuzendam. Dirk-Jan told me that he received a lot of emails about the teapot. 

Another one taken on a busy chess Saturday: watching the Kuka vs Grishuk match together with reigning European champion in classical chess and blitz, Valentina Gunina. On the right: Oxana Kosteniuk.

“This is my first exhibition”. GM Maxim Dlugy smiled. He showed some of his drawings in the pressroom and in the VIP room.   Always a superb speed chess player, Dlugy was formerly ranked number one in the world by the World Blitz Chess Association. More about Dlugy on http://www.dlugy.com/

Another fine piece of Dlugy-style art, called “X Marks the Spot.”

Remember that the Russian national football team (Sbornaya) stayed in “our” hotel for a week? We thought it would be a nice idea to have a chessboard signed by the players of the team.

It took me quite some googling time to find out who this friendly chap is: Aleksandr Anatolyevich Kerzhakov (29). He is  currently playing for Russian Premier League club Zenit St. Petersburg. Aleksandr is married and has a young daughter. His current market value is €13.000.000. His website: http://www.kerzhakov.net

And this is the result: “C8” is signed by coach Dick Advocaat. “D5” was reserved for superstar Andrei Arshavin, but we simply did not see him in the hotel. Sbornaya, good luck in the Euro 2012!

 You can see that the lower part of the board is reserved for the “A-Team”, but this is a different board signed by the team:  F1-Hans-Walter, G2-Aruna, H3-Eric, D1-Surya, E2-PH, F3-Vishy, G4-Rustam, H5-Radek.

Thank you!

The original idea behind this blog was to post a few pictures about Moscow  for family and friends at home.  After I shot so many pictures during the inspection of the playing hall, I thought it would be nice to share my impressions and to show some off-stage pictures to other chess fans.Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, many friends spread the link to this blog. Some of the biggest chess websites like Chessbase, ChessVibes, ChessTigers and The Week in Chess put a link to this blog on their websites and I have to say a big thank you to Frederic Friedel, Peter Doggers, Mark Crowther and Mike Rosa for their support. I also like to thank Jennifer Shahade, Robert Fontaine,Diego Garces, Alexandra Kosteniuk and many others, who retweeted my Twitter messages to their followers. Special thanks go out to Dirk-Jan ten Geuzendam and to Michael Wiemer, who wrote about the blog in his “Sportinsider” blog. Very special thanks go out to Frank Stiefel for the wonderful cartoons!

This is not supposed to be an Oscar-like “thank you” session, but I need to say thank you to Vishy and Aruna and the rest of the team: PH, Surya, Rustam and Radek. And I should not forget my friend Hans-Walter Schmitt for four wonderful weeks in Moscow: Danke HW!

I have to say thank you to my wife and kids, who did not object when I told them that I would be away from home for 4 weeks. Love you!

Finally, I have to thank you, dear readers of this blog for your visits and feedback. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and the not-so-serious captions. I certainly had a lot of fun working on the blog! I hope I will get the opportunity to do something like this blog again in the future. Leave a comment if you have an idea!

I will go through this blog thoroughly and will do some repair work, add links, add or remove a picture here and there. I will also try to turn the blog around, so newbies to this blog can start reading at the first entry.

Game over. End of blog.

Advertisements

24 May: Chess and football in the Kempinksi

Posted in Chess Tigers on Tour, football with tags , , on May 24, 2012 by Chessurfer

Football is like chess,only without the dice“. This ultimate piece of football logic, the profoundest of the profound, even made it to one of Germany’s biggest news portals, Spiegel Online (http://www.spiegel.de/).

“As any devotee of the game will tell you,” the Spiegel writes, “footballers do not always make complete sense in their utterances. Perhaps it is the endorphins rattling around their system, or the sheer exhaustion of running around for 90 minutes. In any case, one can only regard such nonsensical statements with awe and wonder if they, like Zen Buddhism’s paradoxical koans, work on an intuitive level that transcends rational thought. This piece of Dadaist genius is attributed to Lukas Podolski, who will play on the German side in Euro 2012. He appeared to be channeling Yogi Berra when he came up with this instant classic from the ‘like a fish needs a bicycle’ school.”

German striker and dadaist genius Lukas Podolski.  Picture taken from his official website http://www.lukas-podolski.com/. “Poldi” will play for Arsenal London next season and we cannot wait for more linguistic gems.

Press conference with team manager Dick Advocaat

Quite a fuss in our hotel today! As I reported earlier, the Russian football team stays in the Baltschug Kempinksi this week, preparing for the EURO 2012, which will be hosted by Poland and Ukraine between 8 June and 1 July. The team is in the final stages of their preparation in Russia and after their friendly game against Uruguay on Friday in Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, they will travel to Switzerland and later to Poland. The Russian squad will face Greece, Poland and the Czech Republic in the group stage.

The home jersey of the Russian team.

At 11.00 an open press conference took place in the Kempinksi, so Hans-Walter Schmitt, Dirk-Jan ten Geuzendam (New in Chess) and your @Chessurfer went there to take a look. We have met the team manager Dick Advocaat and his Dutch assistants in the hotel on a few occasions (elevator, bar) and chatted a bit about chess and football. Advocaat  knows that the chess world championship is going on in Moscow, and even knows who are playing!

I guess we should follow this sign to get to the press conference?!

And here we are, in an overcrowded room, with TV teams, reporters and photographers. It was a press conference with team manager Dick Advocaat, the press officer and an interpreter. Loads of close-up pictures can be found here: http://www.rfs.ru/main/media/photo/vc36022/2557.html

Look who is sitting in the second row, pointing the camera in my direction: Hans-Walter Schmitt. Nobody can stop the Chess Tigers!

After the 30 minute press conference, in which Advocaat managed to reveal absolutely nothing, HWS asked him to sign a chessboard for our team. That caused some commotion, because several photographers wanted to take a picture. Advocaat: “You want me to sign..what?”

“Yes, Dick (no pun intended) , just sign a chessboard”. Picture courtesy of http://www.rfs.ru.

And we managed: Advocaat and his assistant Bert van Lingen signed the board.

HWS and Bert van Lingen are happy! Bert, you can leave the tickets for the game tomorrow at the reception desk of the hotel. Thanks. Bedankt.

Best friends: your Chessurfer and Dick Advocaat. Picture taken by Dirk-Jan ten Geuzendam.