Archive for moscow

27 May: Rest day – Moscow is Moscow

Posted in Chess Tigers on Tour, Moscow, Strange things with tags , , on May 27, 2012 by Chessurfer

Sunday, 27 May was another rest day (the last one?) and after staying more than three weeks in Moscow, it is about time to show you some of my impressions from the Russian capital. Initially I started the blog for my family, friends and colleagues back home: I occassionaly wanted to show a few impressions from Moscow, but after shooting so many pictures during the opening and the inspection of the playing hall, I thought it might be nice to share some of the background information of the match with more people. And I thank you for the positive feedback.

As I do with the chess related pictures, I do not want to show you the normal tourist shots, but just a few strange and beautiful things I saw.  I explored the streets of Moscow with Anand’s delegation leader Hans-Walter Schmitt, on a couple of days our wives accompanied us, on other days a few friends came along. HWS has posted many pictures on the Chess Tigers website: http://www.chesstigers.de/

Moscow is Moscow, what can I say? Enjoy!

Impressions from Moscow 

In case you missed this picture: on our first day in Moscow, we saw this car and we were wondering if this is an ambulance. We found out that it is a repair service for rims. The car certainly gets much attention in Moscow and we saw some more service cars during our stay.

This car owner should call the above mentioned number.

Talking about cars: on the first night of our stay we were wondering what the hell was going on on the Red Square that night, and it turned out that more than 14.000 servicemen were rehearsing for the Victory Parade on 9 May. It was an odd view to see tanks crossing the street, just before our windows.

Marching through the streets. There was another rehearsal two days later, that started Sundaymorning at 8 AM!

These young lads were marching with a bottle of vodka or beer in their hands on 9 May, the day of the Victory parade.

On the way from the hotel to the Tretyakov Gallery, a 10 minute walk, I saw many happy newly wed couples and I finally understand why these grooms are carrying their brides. The girls must have ankle fractures, because…

… Moscow girls stubbornly wear stiletto heels! And it is not easy walking with these shoes on the streets of Moscow. Respect to them!

 This does not look healthy. As an orthopedist, you can make a fortune in Moscow!

This is a crazy theme park near Hotel Cosmos. The last time I visited Moscow, in1993, it was a beautiful quiet park with nice buildings, a bit strange though.  Now it is a funfair, with loud music everywhere, a go-kart track and all kinds of sub-stuff. I was a bit disappointed.

Odd couple: Hans-Walter Schmitt and Peter Doggers had a good time in the park.

Also a strange sight during a boat tour on the Moskva river: a Russian Space Shuttle on a ferry boat. And no, it is not a photo composition.

This gentleman voluntarily posed for us in the beautiful Novodevichy Convent. A must-see. (I mean, the convent)

We did not see many animals in the streets. HWS is making a picture of the only cat we saw in three weeks. There are many Chinese restaurants in Moscow, though.

There are many parks in Moscow, with beautiful flowers.

Moon over Moscow – one last stroll before going to sleep.

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14 May: Music in Moscow

Posted in Moscow, music, Strange things with tags , on May 14, 2012 by Chessurfer

A few days ago, the world famous piano player Denis Matsuev played during the opening ceremony of the 2012 chess world championship in the Tretyakov Gallery. Not only classical music is popular in Moscow, but also some heavy stuff, like Guns N’ Roses. They played in the city last weekend, on 12 and 13 May. Here is the setlist: http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/guns-n-roses/2012/stadium-live-moscow-russia-33dfa4e9.html

And here are some posters I saw near the Cosmos hotel on Sunday:

Metallica!

Sting

An amazing bass player, performing with his band near the Space Museum.

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!

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.

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!

08 May: Construction site ahead!

Posted in Anand, Chess, Gelfand, Moscow, The match 2012, Tretyakov with tags , , , , , , on May 8, 2012 by Chessurfer

Essentialy you just need a board, chess pieces and a clock to play a game of chess, so Vishy Anand and Boris Gelfand could just play anywhere. But…playing a match for the world championship is a different piece of cake and since the match will be be played in the wonderful Tretyakov State Gallery (http://www.tretyakovgallery.ru/en/) in the Russian capital Moscow, lots of time and effort is needed to create the best possible environment for the players, the audience, the representatives of the press, arbiters, important guests and FIDE officials. Important questions like: “where is the VIP room?” and: “where I do find the buffet?” need to be answered.

Today, on Tuesday 08 May the first official appointment for the players and their delegations was planned at 17.00 local time: the inspection of the venue. Tomorrow I will post some pictures of the players, but today I want to show you some of the ongoing work in the Tretyakov State Gallery. Although it still looks messy, one can already see, three days before the start of the match, that the playing hall is going to look absolutely stunning!

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This was the first sight of the entrance of the Tretyakov Gallery. The worker on the right hand side is not really in a hurry to get things ready.

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The entrance for….

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…representatives of the press and guests, who will get their badges here. BTW, the entrance is free for everybody!

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We’re getting closer to the stage…

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Ah, I can already see a chess board!

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The stage, the board and a big digital board for the spectators to follow the game from the auditorium. Let’s go on stage…

Let’s hope the workers don’t forget this construction frame, although chief arbiter Ashot Vardapetyan would have a perfect view from the top.

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Now that is a fine choice of chairs for the players…

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The digital board on the stage. Look at the names of the players! The old and new president Vladimir Putin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_putin) playing against Gennady Zyuganov, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gennady_Zyuganov).

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Yours truly and Hans-Walter Schmitt took the opportunity to play a couple of moves on the world championship board! Draw agreed after 7 moves (Slav defence). I played white (Putin). We have the same haircut.

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Walking through the Gallery with the players, Makropoulos, Gelfer, Levitov and others.

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Creating space for players and spectators.

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A sneak preview of the stage on the monitors, which are placed all over the place. It’s gonna be good!

03 May- On the way to Vnukovo.

Posted in Anand, Chess, Gelfand, Moscow, The match 2012 with tags , , , on May 5, 2012 by Chessurfer

On 03May we (Hans-Walter Schmitt and your blogger) started our “Mission Moscow” and took the Lufthansa flight to Vnukovo.  (http://www.vnukovo.ru/eng). There are two flights a day from Frankfurt to Vnukovo with Lufthansa.

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Getting on the Lufthansa plane to Vnukovo. A smooth flight, arrival on time.

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Hans-Walter Schmitt getting on the plane.

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Approaching VKO.

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Sweet welcome to the hotel Baltschug Kempinksi, our five star homebase for the next four weeks.

Not a bad view from the hotel! I guess we will be comfortable here.