Hungry Lions, Guileful Love

Время публикации: 20.10.2015 00:13 | Последнее обновление: 08.01.2018 11:47

If I were asked to describe Macedonia with just one photograph, I would definitely go for this one:

The post Soviet state that grew religious - this is basically all you need to know about the host country of the European Club Cup.  

You don't really need to be checking Wikipedia to guess that this is the least developed state of the former Yugoslavia. 

Now, when I've already built a negative image of Skopje (did I? I only stated some facts, else depends on their interpretations), I am going to destroy it myself. 

Apart from an incredible number of monuments to saints, it is a really interesting place to discover, feel, to talk to. I would even say - to flirt with. 

Especially when the lady asks for it. Don't you find her wonderful? Look at how playfully she takes her clothes off, how she winks with every leaf, how she embraces and warms up with those armfuls of leaves...

Аnd how she cooks and takes care of you? Cheap, beautiful and tasty. Isn't this what you are all dreaming about? Isn't that Indian summer in your dreams at those autumn nights?

I won't go into details of our acquaintance with Skopje, I will just say - yes, IT has been happening even on the post-Soviet lands.

But love can fool us, maybe already tomorrow only memories will be left - at least this is what the weather forecast for the next couple of days is saying. 

It's almost like St. Petersburg. If any director will decide to shoot a sequel to the Soviet movie Unbelievable Adventures of Italians in Russia, s/he can try Skopje as a back-up venue in case of difficulties with crossing Russian border. Or maybe the Italian club Obiettivo with Karjakin and Nakamura will thow themselves at such adventures here that those Italians could only envy.  

Local lions are larger and look more dreadful... But frankly speaking, I find those based in St. Petersburg nicer.

You don't bump into expensive cars in this city. The parking problems are also obvious. 

As a result of those inconviniences, it's not that easy to get out of a modest flat your correspondent is renting.

For sale. Reach them out if you are interested.

One of the standard public transports in Skopje is the bus like this. Usually it is fully packed. 

This is river Vardar which leads to the venue of the Club Cup. This definitely isn't the only and shortest way to the venue, but it's surely the most pleasant one. 

Zurab Azmaiparashvili and his wife Marina were the first people I met on this route. 

It takes around 25 minutes to get to the venue, but believe me it is a lovely walk.

Here I spotted two other lions: Aronian and Kramnik. Not that they are old but they aren't teenagers either. They are not hungry yet, that's why they are kind. So far. They may be let out tomorrow and then all the clubs beware...

The round starts in fifteen minutes, so theoretically some of the chess players could be doing such an exercise. According to the shorts colors that someone could be from Israel. Alas, the body shape leaves no space for further guessing. 

The hotel Aleksandar Palace is hosting the event. Most of the favourites are accomodated here. 

The playing hall doesn't look bad but it is a bit too dark - as for the photographers, so for the players. 

Vassily Ivanchuk and the chief arbiter Ashot Vardapetyan have a chat before the round starts... 

Anish Giri is SOCAR's leader for the second day in a row, but his yesterday's game was far from his best one. Anyway, this was the only point Vladimir Tukmakov's wards lost in Round 2. 

Rating favourites of the Women's Cup faced each other yesterday. The Russian-Georgian duel ended in favour of the Nona team. 

Another "Siberian" - Аnton Korobov.

The Dutch ladies aren't favourites, but...

Well, enough on women for now.


Смотрите также...

  • Our photo-correspondent paid another visit to the Russian Team Championship at the Zhemchuzhina Hotel, Sochi. On this occasion Mikhail Sholudko found not only old faces in the playing hall but also the heroine of a currently popular song in Russia by Sergey Shnurov (which can be viewed with English subtitles here - be sure to select the required subtitle language via the Settings icon on the video's screen). His hand nevertheless remained steady and his camera intact.

  • On 1st May in the Sochi hotel Zhemchuzhina [Pearl - Ed] the national club championships started, the biggest mass chess event in Russia. In the annually-changing club line-ups, this year we have not just stars, but superstars.

    Our photo correspondent Mikhail Sholudko decided to join with the proletariat of all countries and this is what happened. 

  • Our special correspondent in Stavanger Dmitry Ostanin sent us some photos from the tournament.

  • Our correspondent Marie Boyard visited Zug and concluded that the venue of third stage of the FIDE Grand Prix is almost ideal.

  • (Translated from Russian by Andrey Deviatkin)

    My impressions of the first playing day in Sochi can be summed up in one sentence: great fuss about a single game of chess. It seems to me that's not the way it should be, ideally.

  • On the rest day in Khanty-Mansiysk, the participants of the Grand Prix planted trees in front of the Ugra chess academy building, whilst Kirill Merkuriev photographed how the GMs tried to avoid getting their hands dirty.

  • More photos from our correspondent Dmitry Ostanin from Stavanger. 

  • An unusual situation: two world team championships starting on the same day in different corners of the world. The best women's teams are in China, and the best men's in Armenia. What distinguished the opening ceremonies of these two events? Which was shorter, which was prettier? Judge for yourselves, with the aid of photos we have taken from the official sites: (author - Anastasia Karlovich) and (author unknown).