Saturday, November 8, 2014

Magical Opening Ceremony and Press Conference of Carlsen-Anand 2014

The match between Carlsen and Anand begins today at 15.00 hours. And Anand will have the White pieces.

This is what Magnus Carlsen had to say about it.

As you all would remember, in the 2013 match it was Carlsen who had the White pieces in the first game and began with 1.Nf3. What will be Vishy’s first move today is the question on everyone’s mind but before that let’s transport ourselves to Radisson Blu Resort and Spa where the press conference and the Opening Ceremony of the match were held.

As always the charismatic World Champion drew towards him loads of reporters

On the other hand Anand was seen quite relaxed talking to his wife Aruna

In the press conference, Anand was asked an interesting question by a journalist:  Your charming wife accompanies you to every tournament. Is she a talisman or your inspiration?
Anand in excellent spirits replied with a smile, " Well, she is kind of wife! Obviosuly we are close. She has been accompanying me to tournaments ever since we got married. Recently our son was born and she doesn't come more often now!"
And when Magnus was asked about his Talisman or inspiration, he simply shrugged off the question saying that he was not such a spiritual person!
The million dollar question asked at the Press Conference was who were the ‘seconds’ of both the players. There was a silence for a few seconds as both players waited for the other one to speak. But finally Anand revealed his. And apart from the old ones, there was a new addition.

On the right we have the usual suspects: Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Krishnan Sasikiran. But the big surprise was the man on left: Grzegorz Gajewski. He is a country mate of Wojtaszek (Poland) and he has an Elo of 2643.

As for Magnus he revealed his seconds in the following manner: “There is the Dane and there is the Hammer.” The Russian translator was so confused that she refrained from translating this sentence. But of course what Magnus meant were these two guys.

The Dane is Peter Heine Nielsen and the Hammer is Jon Ludvig Hammer!

The Stylish G-star Raw model

Carlsen was asked at the Press Conference whether he thought himself as the favourite for the match. He put a question back to the reporter in typical Carlsen fashion asking, “What do you think?!”

FIDE President Kirsan Illyumzhinov was the one who began with a welcome speech at the press conference. He also welcomed the guests at the Opening ceremony.

Also present on the dais for the press conference were former world champion Anatoly Karpov and Ilya Merenzon organizer from Agon

The Opening Ceremony followed the Press Conference. It was so less elaborate than the opening ceremony held at Chennai in 2013.

The Masters of Ceremony were former World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk and People’s Artist of Russia S.Makovetsky

 The Masters of Ceremony spoke in Russian but their words were translated on the live stream into English. That was a very thoughtful gesture on the part of the organizers.
As they rightly said, for the next three weeks the experts and amateurs of the world will be mesmerized by the duel of the two best grandmasters of today! They are not just very different players but very also different personalities which makes their battle really intriguing.

Igor Levitin who is the assistant to the President of Russian Federation read out the words sent by Vladimir Putin

Deputy Minister for the sport of Russian Federation Pavel Kolobkov

President of Russian Chess Federation Andrey Filatov with Pavel Kolobkov

The great Boris Spassky was there

Antoaneta Stefanova also graced the occasion

The Russian women’s team that had won the gold medal at Tromso 2014 was honoured by the Russian government. From upper left in clockwise: Kosteniuk, Pogonina, Olga Girya and Rublevsky who was the coach of the team

Some spectacular dances were on show…

Performed by elegant and beautiful dancers

The two players with chief arbiter Andrzej Fillipowicz for the drawing of colours

Magnus drew the black colour and hence the black pieces in game one

 For lovers of the game, chess seems like magic and hence they were joined by a professional magician. The magician has the white balloon of Vishy Anand in his hand.

And from the balloon erupts out of nowhere a white pigeon! Vishy Anand looks extremely impressed

From Magnus’s balloon out comes a grey bird

Tina Kuznetsova who was the finalist of the TV show Golos mesmerized the audience with her singing

The opening ceremony ended with the performance of famous Russian Jazz artist Igor Burtman with his quartet
The first game begins tomorrow at 15.00 hrs local time in Sochi and Anand will have the White pieces. What will be his first move? Your guess is as good as mine!



Pictures from the official website.
This article has been originally published on ChessBase website.

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