The Chess Salon

Время публикации: 06.04.2012 15:45 | Последнее обновление: 06.04.2012 15:46

On the 3rd of April there was a magnificent chess evening at the restaurant club of the Moscow’s Central House of Writers. As we reported earlier in the news, this occasion isn’t new but it has been re-invented in line with the times. The valuable idea of holding chess evenings with the participation of famous people from the arts, politics and sports got a new and attractive front.

The programme specified the arrival time as 19:30-20:00. So it was surprising to find the hall full of people when I arrived at 19:35. And they were not just any guests. A presence of even one of them would have been enough to make a name of any event.

The key moment of the evening happened at 20:50 when Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Arkady Dvorkovich and Mikhail Gorbachev (!) arrived to the main restaurant hall. To be honest, not many people believed that the President of the Soviet Union would attend when they read announcements prior to the evening. However he arrived and didn’t leave the Writers' House until the end of the chess programme.

During the opening of the Chess Salon (I hope our readers won’t judge me for using this name since the word “club” is far too narrow as description for this kind of occasion) the FIDE President announced that Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to be an honorary patron of the programme “Chess in Schools” and it’s not the first time when he’s participating in a chess event.

After the welcoming words by the representatives of "Our Heritage" fund (who were the direct organisers of the chess evening) and by the distinguished guests, and after congratulations to Dmitry Jakovenko on his win at the European Championship and his response,

it was decided to start the first event of the evening – simultaneous blindfold display by Vladislav Tkachiev. The spectators took their seats.

Vlad took his place,

and the participants took their places.

The great grandson of Genrikh Borovik and a fourth category player, young gentleman Ernest Jakushkin became the darling of the public.

The grandmaster Elmira Mirzoeva who was in charge of the activities tried to entertain the public with various commentaries, including by the participants of the simultaneous display. 

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov’s resignation of the game was a bit unexpected. His position was fairly acceptable compared to the positions on the neighbouring boards. Although he did point out that he couldn’t avoid losing a pawn at which point his position would have fallen apart. The head of FIDE said he understood very well that any grandmaster would easily realise this advantage even if blindfolded.

Soon after, all the opponents were defeated: Vlad was ruthless on the day.

Next was a musical intermission. The guests named her “Russian Vanessa May” and she performed several classical works with modern interpretation.

We have to pay a tribute to the organisers of the evening. Every detail and every minute were well thought out and stylish. Even the violin, a classical instrument presented in a modern way, reminded of the old chess evenings tradition that was given a new look reflecting the modern times.

There were chess sets everywhere on the tables of the first floor. The guests could play against each other

and against a computer.

It was announced that all this chess equipment from now on will be kept in the restaurant and provided on request.

It was time for the second part of the programme after the musical intermission had ended. Four super-blitz games were meant to find the strongest of the two grandmasters – the Blitz World Champion Alexander Grischuk and the European Champion in classical chess Dmitry Jakovenko.

I could feel the nostalgia of a chess fever when unsuccessfully trying to get closer to the board to have a look…

There were meant to be four games but even five were not enough. It wasn’t possible to find the best. The first and the third games were won by Jakovenko.

The second and fourth games were won by Grischuk.

There was a draw in the last and deciding game.

So it was the decided that both were the winners!

Although it didn’t save the grandmasters from keeping to the old tradition of the Writers’ House: the loser must drink a shot of vodka. Both had to drink since it wasn’t possible to find the winner!

During the prize giving, each participant received not just a nice prize from the sponsor but also a child’s drawing.

Victoria Korol, the President of the fund “Our Heritage”, explained that the drawings were made by the children who receive support from the fund.

Dmitry Jakovenko said it genuinely and without hiding his feelings: “This is the best certificate of achievement that I’ve ever received in my life.”

And so the official part of the evening had ended and slowly moved into the unofficial part, the culmination of which was a massive chess cake.

Nevertheless, the guests nearly managed to eat it all.

The evening was a success.


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