Sochi, Pre-Match Press Conference: "Most of the entrance tickets are free. The high price was a myth"

Время публикации: 08.11.2014 03:27 | Последнее обновление: 08.11.2014 14:14

The pre-match press conference has been held in Sochi on November 7th prior to the opening ceremony. The players and the organizers were speaking about the event and answering the journalists' questions.

The speakers were: the World Champion Magnus Carlsen, former World Champion and the current challenger Viswanathan Anand, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, President of the Russian Chess Federation Andrey Filatov, formerly repeated World Champion Anatoly Karpov, and the representative of the organizers Ilya Merenzon.

Among other people, the audience included the specially invited champions: the glorious Boris Spassky (regrettably, he isn't looking fine - CN) and former women's World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk.

Carlsen said that his assistants in Sochi are "the Dane and the Hammer" (Peter-Heine Nielsen and Jon Ludvig Hammer - CN), while Anand mentioned GMs Krishnan Sasikiran, Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Grzegorz Gajewski.

While asked about his impressions about the venue, Carlsen said, after a little pause, 'Frankly, everything wasn't quite ready today, but what I did see was satisfactory.' As for Anand (who had come with his wife Aruna and has been staying in Sochi already for a week), he said that the stay in Sochi has been real pleasure for him so far. Both players have thanked the organizers and said they are looking forward to start the match.

Anand had also mentioned that he has been playing in Russia (with pleasure) for already 18 years, but it was always in Moscow; in fact, he is for the first time in the city of Sochi which he enjoys, especially given the absence of traffic jams. In turn, Carlsen confirmed that he had already visited Sochi during the Winter Olympics 2014 as a fan of the Norwegian Olympic team.

A few other excerpts by Magnus Carlsen:

(how to make chess more popular) 'First of all, I think it's about how you present everything, about the production. I think there's still a long way to go, but some steps are already being taken in the right direction. I'm very happy to see that in Norway there's a great interest not only in me, but also in chess';

(what's the reason behind his passion to football and whether he finds in footballsomething useful for his chess) 'At heart, I'm still a kid, so I play just because I like to play - football, basketball, other kind of sports games';

(when asked about whether he has any talisman or a source of inspiration in Sochi) 'I'm not such a spiritual person'.

Anatoly Karpov said that the match reminds his a return match, to some extent:

'In the past, we used to have this tradition. It has been cancelled some 30 years ago. M.Botvinnik was especially successful in the return matches'. 'Vishy's victory is the Candidates was already a heroic sports deed, though', Karpov added.

President of the Russian Chess Federation Andrey Filatov was asked what is his opinion about the 'museum tradition' in chess (given that the Anand vs Gelfand match had successfully taken place in the Moscow Tretyakov Gallery museum):

'Chess is the unique tool of propaganda, I always like to demonstrate that. Back then, we were promoting the Russian art (and the Tretyakov gallery itself) by the means of the World Championship match. Now, when we're having this match in Sochi, we want to demonstrate that Sochi is not only an excellent winter resort, it's also an excellent city and a summer resort. As for the 'museum tradition', on the 27th of November we are organizing the Russian chess championship superfunals in Kazan, in its Kremlin museum, and it will take place together with the exhibition of paintings by the great Russian/American painter Nikolay Feshin. I think that in future many world championships will be probably held in museums'.

Filatov also mentioned that the Sochi match will be accompanied by some cultural program a part of which is 'mystery' not to be revealed yet.

Ilya Merenzon, who was speaking on behalf of the organizers, told the audience that the expensive tickets for the match was actually a kind of myth:

"Only around 15% of the tickets will be really expensive, the others are free. Those expensive tickets are for the people who would like to participate in charity, because all the money collected will go to the Russian Chess-in-Schools program. For example, they are for those who came from abroad and want to donate to the program, and/or reserve the seats for some specific games. All the other entrance tickets are free, the spectators (children, their parents etc.) can get them right in the venue. So far, the enthusiasm of both groups of the spectators is high enough, and the number of seats is limited, it's about 140. We are expecting the auditorium to be full'.

Carlsen - Anand: everything about the match


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