Who Said "Kramnik"?

Время публикации: 15.06.2015 20:18 | Последнее обновление: 17.06.2015 04:27

More than once I have pointed out in reports from Prague that the main hero of the ČEZ Chess Trophy is the spectator. The one who comes to the playing room, and pays a nominal fee for entrance. But it is, perhaps, not the amount, but the mentality: it is just so nice, that those who come along should be paid attention to, and this is understood not only by the organizers, but also the players, as you will see later. The action begins an hour before the game, when events are organized for the spectators alongside the main event. On the first day it was a presentation of the book of David Navara "My chess world", yesterday an exhibition of chess pieces, and today a lecture read by Mark Dvoretsky. At 16.00 local time, the grandmasters sit down for their game.

Before starting the clocks, Pavel Matocha makes all the necessary announcements to the spectators. 

Both Navara and So played in the French club championship shortly before this match, but this is unlikely to have tired them out. But forecasts that the games would be boring have so far not proved true.  

During the game, most spectators sit in the commentary room.

Grandmaster Robert Cvek at work. The computer's assessments are on screen, and he shares with the public the variations which do not occur in the game.

This is another room nearby, for relaxation. Here there is also something to read.

Michna Palace is an old building, and here everything is old. It is no wonder that after centuries, something can start malfunctioning. For example, the door handle. In truth, every time I have entered that door (and I'm not here for the first time), so every time the handle has come off. Obviously, the Czechs revere the historical value of every part of the palace and do not want to change it by repairing it. But someone finally got sick of the handle coming off, and that someone turned out to be the father of David Navara, Mirko. You can see in the photo, that he is trying to fix it. The result? Mirko, alone among all of us, can now say with a clear conscience, "but at least I tried!"

The players remove their jackets during the first few moves. It is certainly quite close in the hall.

The main advantage the spectators have over the players is that, at any moment, they can pop outside and enjoy the view.

Is this better than sitting in the hall, watching players moving pieces around?

On Sundays, one can see special retro-style trams, which were used before the war.

They still run. You pay separately per journey. In the cars, you are met by polite conductors in white shirts with ties on.

As you see, the trams are packed.
This year, Prague celebrates 140 years of its trams! There will soon be a parade in the city with other models, taken from the transport museum.

Out of twelve similar previous matches, Navara has only won two. This time, Wesley So is trying to deprive the Czech player of the cup.

Yes, you're right there at the match is Lotis Key herself, who never strays even a single step from her protege. From the beginning to the end of the game, she sits in the front row of the auditorium. After So defeated the home player, this woman came to David, took his hand and said some words, kissed him and straightened the collar of his jacket. But if David had not lost, none of this would have happened. Similar stories have been used as the basis for serial stories - for example, "My second mother."

The players come to the commentary room and go through the game in a format convenient for the spectators. And believe me, nobody misses a person who would announce: "Ladies and gentlemen, our press conference is about to start"!  

David Navara is a brilliant storyteller, even in moments when it is obvious that his mood is not the best. Although I personally am opposed to the participants analyzing a game in front of the audience or the media a game they have just finished (in my opinion, the post-mortem should take place before the press conference and at the conference itself is would be more interesting to listen not to the analysis, but to human thoughts, based on the analysis - do you see the difference?), I do enjoy it when listening to something interesting. With David, one doesn't feel any lack of such human thoughts.

"If you had played that, - he replied to one of the options proposed by So - it would have led to a rook ending, like the one that we saw in the game Kramnik - Pogonina".

Wesley could not remain as silent as usual after that, and asked "And when was that game played?"

"Oh, sorry, did I say "Kramnik? "- responded Navara, who gave the impression he had prepared a joke in advance. - No, of course I meant the game Cramling - Pogonina played on March 29, this year!"

In the hall there was laughter; Wesley tried a few seconds to understand what was happening, and then gave his colleague a look that clearly read, "Well, well..."

No, of course, to win victories in modern chess, and go into the world top ten, it is not necessary to know what happened in the game Cramling - Pogonina, on March 29. But hell, what you want to do with me - of the two interlocutors, the sweeter is the one who knows the game!

And then, when it was all over, David said to you correspondent: "Don't be so surprised that I remembered this date. Two days earlier, I turned 30"!   


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