A Pure Pleasure

Время публикации: 01.08.2013 12:02 | Последнее обновление: 01.08.2013 16:11

If you are still waiting an answer for your question whether the organization of the European Individual Women's Championship is as good as it's painted I should confirm: yes, it is good. It's quite hard to doubt it. In any case I still haven't met any chess player here in the Hotel Metropol eager to doubt it. 

Let me remind you that the organizers have presented all the important and useful information the very first day. Since then everything goes quite smoothly which can't make me very happy as the reporter.

Some small trifles can't really be taken seriously. For instance, once they turned off water in the hotel for two hours: "Can you really surprise us with that?", the Georgian players joked and forgot about it. The meals are not the best or the lights on the Board 3 are different from the ones on the 4th board? Well, it's not really a topic for a serious conversation.

This is really a nice tournament in a nice place and in good season.

The view from the restaurant of the hotel. A nice park is by side.

The place specially organized for playing chess is close to two monuments. One of them is the 3rd Azerbaijani president Heydar Aliyev; Milorad Pavic's monument is standing right next to him. Don't ask me what is the connection between them as I really don't know such, but what I know is that Azerbaijani government has financed the reconstruction of the park and this is definitely not the only place which has been reconstructed by the support of the Azerbaijani state.

Serbia is historically one of the most chess loving countries.

The performance of the magician opened the EIWCC.

Alisa Maric and Silvio Danailov made the very first moves in the competition. They look quite happy,.don't they?

The famous Serbian chess player, who is now the Minister of Sports, walked through the playing hall maybe for a photo shoot (the newspapers certainly published some of those photos the next day) or maybe she just missed chess.

Alisa admitted she has no time for following neither women's nor men's chess events as she is too busy with the tasks of national importance.

On the right - Mirjana Maric, Alisa's twin sister, also a GM (the only case in chess history).
More photos of Maric sisters were published on Chess-News some two years ago. Try to recognize them here.    

Adrian Mikhalchishin is reading a new issue of Chess Informant. The editor-in-chief of the magazine Josip Asik presented the issue to the author of this report too, so I thank him.

Let's get back to the playing hall. 

Viktorija Cmilyte one of the favourites talking to the Vice-President of the St. Petersburg Chess Federation Vladimir Bykov.

Anastasia Bodnaruk is another favourite. 

One of the authors of our website who usually informs us about the news in Georgia - Sopiko Nikoladze. Bulgarian Iva Videnova is with a red flower in her hair. Neither she nor her famous compatriot Antoaneta Stefanova are successful in this tournament.  

Natalia Pogonina

Olga Dolzhikova who plays for Norway

Alexandra Kosteniuk

The main success of Anastasia Ziazulkina up to today is a win over Tatiana Kosintseva. Belarusian player as usually arrived with her father-coach. She is quite successful and has all chances to qualify for the World Championship. The first European Champion Natalia Zhukova is in the shadow having 4 points out of 7. If I was a coach I would definitely give her a point for the knowledge of Serbian.

One of the most attentive spectators - Sergey Movsesian who knows eight languages (or should I update my information?).  He watches his wife Yulia Kochetkova playing.

Sopiko Guramishvili who is easy to recognize - best actress among chess players and the best chess player among actresses.

Salome Melia who is pregnant is showing a decent result and is among the leaders.

Alina Kashliskaya

Kateryna Lagno

Nino Batsiashvili

Marina Romanko

Lela Javakhishvili

Jovana Vojinovic

Anna Muzychuk's gaze at her opponent's Sabrina Vega Gutierrez tells it all: soon after the game begun computer evaluated the position as hopeless for White.

There are a lot of participants, the leaders are changing every day but the fans ask for the autographs Alexandra Kosteniuk.

Valentina Gunina managed to recover after her Round 2 loss.

Here she is already playing on the 1st board.

Serbia is a second home for Maria Manakova, the chess tournament is traditionally a holiday. She as usually radiates happiness. Is it possible that I made a mistake while defining the best actress among chess players? Oh well...

Once she went to the room for analysis and left it only after two hours. What was she doing? She was analysing the game!

Two GM-commentators: Suat atalik and Ljubomir Ljubojevic.

I would like to give a special mention to Suat. He analyses two games from the previous round daily and does it, without any exaggeration, brilliantly. Listening him is a pure pleasure. He is not just a commentator who will show you what one had to play or what mistakes were made, he is a real chess erudite, intellectual. He finds the parallels with every game, he tells stories and sometimes even tales... He won't just express his opinion about the position but he will also clearly justify it.  

The only disadvantage his commentary may have is that he might be overestimating the participants' knowledge. He can be honestly surprised: if Taimanov/Spassky/Fischer/Nikolic/... played like this in this posititon why is the N player doing the opposite? He won't consider the fact that the player's preparation is limited to the recommendations given by her coach and Houdini, so she has no idea of Taimanov's plan. 

Another important thing I noted the very first day is that Atalik always comes prepared: with the papers all ready and a clear understanding of what he is going to talk about. This, however, doesn't mean there is no place for improvisation, quite on the contrary, as a big fan of jazz I can add that the prepared improvisations are always working the best.  

So, I can really recommend listening to his commentary which is available on the official website of the tournament and starts an hour after the games begin.


* * *

The excursion in Belgrade was organised on a free day. The unforgettable impressions we gained will be presented by me in the next report soon.


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