No Expulsion From Paradise

Время публикации: 19.10.2012 05:48 | Последнее обновление: 15.02.2013 19:28

CN translation

I knew that whenever I would publish my reportage from Eilat, it would start with this picture. The problem was that I just didn't have the photo. The way plains fly here is incredible - they fly directly over the downtown, over the shopping center, sidewalk, palms, over your head after all... But that happens rarely. Your correspondent was trying to capture this moment every day, but in vain: the pilots refused to fly over the places where the photographer was standing ready to shoot.  

Eventually, I met Czech colleagues boasting that they have just taken a picture of the plane. "We're not dummies, we just looked up in the Internet when exactly it would fly over this place," - this was their answer on my surprise...

The photo is taken by Vladimir Yagr. It was copied from here by his kind permission. 

I definitely have never seen anything like this anywhere else: you can get to the nearest hotel from your plane in only 3 minutes. You need more time to get to the shop from your house in Moscow. Well, the players needed 15 minutes to get to the venue from their hotels. This was their way:

This was the hotel that hosted the event. It's also the most expensive one. I can't remember how many players lived in there, but fortunately, all other places were located in 2-5 minutes walk. 

The hotel Sport hosted not only your correspondent, but the future champions - SOCAR. Back then the Azerbaijani team was only the rating favourite. 

The most popular joke among those I met for the first time after the Olympiad was "Really? Did you get the accreditation?" I guess 50% of people I met asked me that, although in different variations. 

Vladimir Yagr, whom I've already mentioned, decided to document this and took a picture of me with the badge:

Timur Shaov has visited the tournament several times.

He didn't sing or read poetry. In general he stayed unnoticed. 

One of the arbiters Boris Postovsky told how he has visited the Polgar family 28 years ago in Budapest. He observed the following situation: little Judit was playing against Sofia. The younger sister was sitting at the board, making the move and then announcing it to the elder one. Sofia was lying on the sofa with her back to the board and announced her move. This is how Sofia, you see on the picture, practiced playing blindfold. She has left professional chess as well as Susan long ago. Now she lives in Israel. She gave a simul in Eilat.  

Maria Manakova continues playing, moreover, she came to Eilat with the team. Two rounds in a day - in the morning and in the evening. "When do you find time for swimming?" -  have asked her immediately after taking this photo. "Between the rounds!" I'm sure Maria managed to do that. 

I took the pictures of smiling Nakamura and Hou Yifan (see above) several minutes before the 1st round has started. their face expressions changed dramatically after the round was over: Chinese lost against Alexandra Kosteniuk, while American, representing Italian club 
Obiettive Risarcimento was defeated by Dmitry Andreikin. The competition went differently for them: Hou Yifan took gold confidently with her team, while Nakamura stayed unnoticed. 

Vassily Ivanchuk at the board...

...and between the boards. 

Let me introduce you Armenian team Mika. You just can't see Lilit Mkrtchyan and the reserve player Anna Hairapetian. The team turned out to be international: Indian Harika, Georgian Lela Javakhishvili... But this wasn't the main advantage of the club, what helped it to show the successful performance was the approximately same level of the players. Mika needed some time for catching the moment and by the time the team bestirred, Monte-Carlo was already unattainable. 

The President of Monte-Carlo also found what to do. 

You probably read the story of the clock that happened on the starting day of the competition. Now, looking at this photo one can sadly assume that the participants of AVS didn't get any other reasons for fun later during the competition.   

It wasn't a successful tournament for Valentina Gunina and her team ShSM Moscow as well. 

I don't know how has finished this encounter of Maria Grischuk and Valya Gunina, but I've been watching the opening stage of the game and I can admit that the 5-year-old daughter of Natalia Zhukova and Alexander Grischuk stood great for her age. As you see even her mother is surprised. 

Valentina had time for everything: as for sharing her expreience, so for gaining others'. 

"First of all we saw the team," - Mahir Mammadov, the President of the SOCAR team has said after the competition was over. I don't know if his words can be confirmed with only this photo. It's a pity that due to a weird draw system, after losing in the first round, the rating favourite hasn't played against any real challenger in the next four rounds. It has played the decisive matches only in the 6th and 7th rounds: personally I thought that the team could just "burn out", it has waited too long until it faced real challengers, however, Radjabov and Co. used their chance to the maximum. 

"Tomsk-400" fought till the end, but it failed in the last round when facing SOCAR.

An absolutely unique situation took place after the Round 7 has finished: no one, including the arbiters, could answer a simple question: Who is the winner? The closing ceremony has already started when the audience didn't have an idea of who won the men's competition. "It's most likely St. Petersburg is the winner," - majority thought so because of the tie-break difference St. Petersburg and SOCAR had before the last round.

So, Sava Stoisavljevic, whose name turned out a real challenge for the Israeli organizers to pronounce, came up to the stage. This looked as a harmless mistake at the opening ceremony, but when the situation has repeated in a week, it wasn't funny at all: it's not that hard to remember one last name, Sava noted fairly.  

Finally, the General Secretary of ECU congratulated SOCAR unofficially. It was clear: the dream of the Azerbaijani oil company that created a starry club came true: the Cup will go to Baku. 

Moshe Slav, the chief organizer of the competition and the President of the Israeli Chess Federation. I should note that Moshe was trying to help and fix all the problems that occurred (and some actually took place) personally. Personally with everyone. "Is it better here than it was in Turkey?" - he asked me one day. I can't even remember what was my answer. 

As you already know, Vassily Ivanchuk thanked the organizers by giving a speech at the closing ceremony. He called Eilat a paradise; honeslty, it's hard to disagree with him. 

Moshe Slav started to make dancing movements on a request of the photographers to move away from the players. 

Two World Champions and Elina Danielian had the best individual performances. Russian player took Gold.

Mamedyarov saw Nepomniachtchi approaching the stage...

I was actually casting a glance at the General Secretary of the ECU - the organization that created the dress code for the players. I should admit Sava Stoisavljevic wasn't delighted with what she has seen...

"Bronze" - not a bad result for Pavel Lobach's team.

Mika hasn't won the silver in the european Club Cup yet. Now it has.

And here's ShSM-64. It chased the leaders almost the whole competition, but the distance was too long in order this "almost" to help them catch to catch the winners. 

Not that St. Petersburg was extremely happy with the final results, however, the guys tried not to show their disappointment. 

By the way, the players had to put on the medals by themselves. I don't know how, I don't know why, but this is how it happened. 

Mahir Mamedov, the President of the club, also got the award.

Then SOCAR went to celebrate, while your correspondent enjoyed the last calm evening in paradise. 


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