Want to Lose an Opposite-Coloured Bishops Endgame? Ask Mickey How!

Время публикации: 12.09.2015 15:38 | Последнее обновление: 14.09.2015 01:47

This report was updated during the day.

The last mini-bus going from Holiday Inn to the venue is at 14.30.

But is it going? "It's close to midnight, but Hermann's still not here..." The chessplayers wander around, waiting for the driver to come.

Finally, it's time to take the seats.

It feels slightly disturbing. The way that lies ahead is a winding road, not very short and with multiple traffic lights. Driving at high speed is impossible.

We arrived 6 minites before the start, but there is also a thorough checking procedure at the entrance. It cannot be avoided.

The metal detector would peep even if you empty all your pockets, so, in addition, the guard examines everyone manually.

I cast a glance at my phone to check the time. And what would you think? It turns out the clock in the bus is 5 minites fast! It seems to be a good idea to prevent the players from being late.

All the players have come and are ready to fight.

Vladimir Fedoseev against the portrait of Heydar Aliyev.

The Father of the Azeri nation is watching the players...

That's how the Chinese GM Zhao Jun met the starting move by Ian Nepomniachtchi.

Concerning security measures (see more in the large photo report on the arrival and the opening): it's not so easy for ordinary spectators to enter the Fairmont hotel where the World Cup is being held. One has to show his ID card, at the very least.

Here you see International Master (and International Arbiter as well) Ilgar Bajarani who forgot his passport and has to stay outside, trying to solve the problem. Besides, I've heard a rumour that even an ID card isn't a guarantee of being let in

However, as soon as you are inside, you'll have no problems. The players also feel at ease: the playing hall is very comfortable if not perfect, taking into account the number of participants. The spectactors have got a zone allocated especially for them.

Australian GM and journalist Ian Rogers stands between two coaches - Alexander Khuzman and Yury Yakovich.

This room can be entered via one of the doors in the playing hall. Probably this is the analysis room. If there were no chess attributes and the logo, I'd think it's a spa salon.

In general, everything here resembles a luxurious sauna.

* * *

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was among the first players to have qualified for round 2.

This is a rare moment when one could see a smile on his face. Shakh is in a serious and fighting mood, feeling respect towards all the players and not going to underestimate anyone. When asked about who he would prefer to face in round 2 - Hou Yifan or Leko, he said that both opponents are far from easy.

Mamedyarov answers in Azeri language, but the English translation is being provided. Eteri Kublashvili (RCF website) and Shakhriyar's nephew are all ears.

Another hero who cheered up the local fans is Rauf Mamedov. He defeated Evgeny Najer - 1.5-0.5.

I have to admit that I didn't attend the press conference with Mamedov, because I was talking to Vladislav Artemiev. However, as soon as I entered the press room, I heard from Rauf: "It's time for Louis van Gaal [coach of Manchester United football club - E.S.] to calm down". Not a bad headline for non-chess world press, isn't it?

Journalist Teimour Tushiyev is happy to hear such answers.

Evgeny Najer, the reigning European champion, is leaving Baku. Faced with necessity to win as White, he played as recommended in such situations: he neither hasted nor entered forcing play, but pressed accurately, awaiting the opponent's mistake. However, it didn't do. It seems that the reason is Rauf Mamedov's excellent form - something to be considered by Caruana!

* * *

Mariya Muzychuk failed to pass an exam. But what to do if the professor knows too much about chess?

In a roughly equal endgame, Muzychuk made a fatal mistake of entering the territory particularly familiar for Adams. Meanwhile, different sources, including our website, have emphasized many times that Mickey is one of the best world experts in opposite-coloured bishops endgames. His victories in such positions, often obtained in a miraculous way, are unnumerable...

Let's imagine the same tournament played under one special condition - all the games start from randomly chosen equal positions in which the sides have only rooks, opposite-coloured bishops and pawns. Even if Carlsen and Anand were present, I'd bet on Mickey's victory!

To be honest, I had planned another ending, but it's too far from woman's affairs. As this report started with Mariya, let it end with Mariya. The rest shall remain for my later reports. Stay tuned!

(Translated from Russian by Andrey Deviatkin)



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  • This photo report will be updated up to late night.