Sochi DeFence

Время публикации: 07.11.2014 14:01 | Последнее обновление: 07.04.2015 17:28

The Russian Fence. It's hard to imagine anything more perfect in this imperfect world.

In our country, everything is surrounded by a fence: apartment blocks, private houses, playgrounds, yards, lawns... let alone any 'more serious' objects. 'I love this view, it's strict and slim', as the great Russian poet had put it (speaking about something else though).

The Sochi Media Center, which is the venue for the World Championship match, occupies an area of 158000 square metres. You have already guessed that the whole gigantic Media Center is surrounded by the fence, haven't you? Yesterday, no one was able to slip inside. Not even a mouse.

This architectural solution adds particular charm to the significant event, doesn't it?

The Sochi Media Center

'How were you able to get in?', one might ask. The answer is that I wasn't: after I had arrived, the only thing I could do for a long time was just to wander around and to take pictures.

'Checkpoint No. 1; for the players only', the inscription says

'The resort area of Imereti', the banner says. A bit confusing for those supposing Imereti to be part of Georgia.

The organizers were waiting for me inside. But how to reach them? The only solution was to head towards the other checkpoint.

Near the second checkpoint, I see well-known Spanish chess journalist Leontxo Garcia.

'Hello!', I say cheerfully to my colleague, 'Any problems?' (trying to mix up my smile with the puzzled look as possible).

Leontxo explains to me that the security guards won't let him in, even though he has been invited inside by the higher FIDE officials.

Meanwhile, one of the organizers came to meet me. Leontxo tries talking to him, he makes a phone call to someone inside the Media Center... Pointless. The security guards can't be convinced.

'I've been covering World Championship matches for 30 years', Garcia is clearly nervous. 'But I've never seen anything like this'.

There is probably nothing vicious, it's just that somebody has misunderstood something, or messed something up, or forgot something. In our country, it happens...

'I’m very sorry', I can only say. I'm being invited inside and have to leave my unlucky Spanish colleague outdoors, even though it comes to my mind that maybe I should stay outdoors too, in solidarity.

So, I'm inside the Media Center at last.


This photo has been taken already today. The hall in which Carlsen and Anand will fight for the title is named after Alexander Pushkin (the poet whom we have quoted at the beginning of this report).

The preparation is going at full speed. Every single minute matters.

The hall named after Tolstoy, another great Russian writer

The conference hall.

Many accompanying events will take place in Sochi during the World Championship match. This poster (which was about to be mounted) informs us about one of them, namely the tournament for the Russian children who became champions or won awards in World and European youth championships.

The children's tournament will take place nearby, in the Dvorkovich Drawing Room which is the cosiest place of the whole Media Center for the moment.

Galina Dvorkovich (the widow of the famous Russian arbiter Vladimir Dvorkovich; on the right) and Ekaterina Sivokonenko

Sergey Nesterov, the tournament director of the children's event

Everything has been already prepared for chess battles
(in the Dvorkovich Drawing Room)...

(Translated from Russian by Andrey Deviatkin)


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