Archive for gunina

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.

21 May: Robots in the streets of Moscow

Posted in Chess Tigers on Tour, grishuk, Gunina, Moscow, robots, rogers with tags , , , , , on May 21, 2012 by Chessurfer

As I wrote in an earlier post, “Super Saturday” was a very busy day for chess loving visitors and despite the free day in the match, it was a day full of chess in Moscow. The day kicked off with a very amusing event in a park on Strastnoy Boulevard. A match was organized for the title of Absolute World Robot Chess Champion. That is quite a mouthful. The contestants were Kuka Monstr from Germany and Chesska from Russia.

Here is some information about the robots from the official press release.

CHESSka

The Russian robot CHESSka, the first chess robot to beat grandmasters in blitz chess, was created by Konstantin Kosteniuk, Honored Coach of Russian Chess and an inventor with tens of registered patents. CHESSka is already well-known among Russian chess fans. This “chess terminator” has played against former world champions Vladimir Kramnik and Alexandra Kosteniuk, as well as Sergei Karyakin, one ofRussia’s leading players, and has beaten a number of well-known grandmasters.

 KUKA Monstr

Challenging our hardware heavyweight for the title will be KUKA Monstr, created by the German company KUKA Robotics, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of industrial robots. Though it is younger than its Russian opponent, its creators favor it to win the match. They say that blitz chess is precisely where KUKA can fully manifest its intelligence, accuracy and speed. Other world-class robot makers showing interest in developing chess-playing robots include FANUC Corporation of Japan and ABB of Sweden.

Say hello to KUKA Monstr. Or “Guten Tag, since she/he is German.

If you want to see videos of the robot vs. robot match, you can go here: http://chess-king.com/konstantin-kosteniuks-chesska-is-2012-world-robot-champion.html. Absolutely fascinating. CHESSka won the match and is now the best chess robot in the world! After the machine had a quick rest and a snack (chips), it was time for the next event:

Match KUKA Monstr- Alexander Grishuk

Top Grandmaster Alexander Grishuk (ELO 2761) played six blitz games, time control 5+3 against the guest from Germany, playing with the latest Rybka version. Grishuk easily drew the games in which he played white, but he had no chance against the monster with the black pieces. The match ended in a 4,5-1,5 victory for KUKA Monstr. Here are some impressions from the match.

The stage is set for an unusual man vs.machine match, in the middle of the park. In the front you can spot Evgeny Sveshnikov.

Grishuk: “Hmm, how do I shake hands with a robot before the game?”

Actually the hands look pretty similar…the human hand and….

…the KUKA Monstr Arm!

A short flying lesson for the bishop.

Every time the robot had to make a move close to Grishuk, the grandmaster moved back. The sudden movements of the machine might have been a bit scary, when you sit opposite the robot. During the games there was commentary and loud music, which did not make things easier for Grishuk.

Spectators and side events

The show attracted many spectators, you can spot Australian GM Ian Rogers and GM Evgeny Sveshnikov in the audience.

Moscow is beautiful: Galiya Kamalova (left) and Valentina Gunina, who played in the “blondes against brunettes match” later that day.

Oxana Kosteniuk (the younger sister) and Mama Kosteniuk.

Lost of things to do for the spectators: this is an indefinable game on a chess board, possibly a variation of “musical chairs”. Very funny.

The game was hosted by Anna Sharevich (Belarus).

A simul with a  strong GM, Farrukh Amonatov from Tajikistan, ELO 2607.

“Mommy, can I take this robot home?

Chess all over the place. A very enjoyable event!

20 May: Super Saturday

Posted in Chess Tigers on Tour, grishuk, Gunina, Moscow with tags , , on May 20, 2012 by Chessurfer

Saturday was a rest day for the players in Moscow, but there were many other events going on in the city and some of them had to do with chess, so your @Chessurfer actually had a very busy day. This is a short teaser with few pictures, later this week I will present full picture galleries of: the Kasparov simul on Friday; the Grishuk-Kuka Robot match; the exhibition of chess photos and chess pieces in the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow and the fascinating Blondes vs. Brunettes match in the legendary Central Chess Club.

So, I went off with Hans-Walter Schmitt and the girls and we decided not to walk but to take the car today.

First stop of the day was Strastnoy Boulevard to see the Chesska vs. Kuka Monstr robot chess match. The winner of that match, played six blitz games against top GM Alexander Grishuk.

..and the winner was KUKA Monstr…no not cookie monster. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cookie_Monster.

Next stop was the Multimedia Art Museum (http://www.mamm-mdf.ru/en/) on Ozthozenko Street, to see beautiful chess sets and great photos.

And the last stop of the day was Gogolevskiy Bld. where I attended the match “Blondes vs. Brunettes”, a blitz match with very good female players like European Champion Valentina Gunina. The “Blondes” won 39,5-24,5.

And then there was the Champions League final, the Museum Night in Moscow and the Dutch festival. Super Saturday, indeed!