Aeroflot Open in Moscow

2/8/2003 – At last it's here, the tournament we have all been waiting for. The grand Aeroflot Open took to the air with a press conference in the Chess House in Moscow. At it we got to see the main protagonists in the largest open tournament in the world. Also the main sponsors, the press chief and two world champions. Here's an illustrated pretrournament report by Eugeny Atarov.

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Aeroflot Open Moskau 2003

February 10 to 20, 2003

The tournament itself takes place in the Hotel Rossija, which has 2876 rooms and is considered the largest hotel in the world. It is only 200 meters from the Kremlin. The tournament is very strong, with the top seeds being Alexander Grischuk and Peter Svidler. Here's the full list of participants.

The tournaments will be held from February 10 to 20. The first day of play is the 11th, the last (ninth) round is on the 19th. The games begin at 15:00h local time, on the last day at 10 a.m.


Three Alexanders at the press conference: Roschal, Zurabov und Bakh.


Guest of honour ex world champion Vassily Smyslov


The cream of the Moscow journalistic community was present at the press confrerence


Vassily Smyslov held the opening speech and spoke about the relations of the generations and the fact that Moscow has always been the center of the chess world. "Just look around you," he said, "how many journalists are here, and how many pretty women!"


The conference proceeds wht the ritual severing of Pepsi


A novelty which will be tested during this tournament: instead of publishing boring machine-readable ChessBase or PGN files the organisers want to post GIFs of the original scoresheets. Hmmm...

At the end of the press conference there was a banquette in the Tschigorin hall. The tables were bursting under the weight of the food and drinks served there [the original Russian text seems to imply that a table actually collapsed]. The drinks consisted of Pepsi and a Karpov Jubilee Vodka (for Tolya's 50th).

Fotos:
Eugeny Atarov ("64")
Mail: info@joeblack.ru


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