Anish and Sopiko tie the knot

by Alina l'Ami
7/23/2015 – For the last few years they have been one of the darling couples in chess, combining charm, charisma, and composure. At last, Anish Giri and Sopiko Guramishvili tied the knot in a wedding that took place in her home nation Georgia. It was a beautiful ceremony, bringing many friends from all over to see the two united. Alina L'Ami brings her account and many photos.

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The wedding invitation - written in two languages: English and Georgian; I appreciated the
details, like our names written with Georgian scripts!

An old piece of wisdom goes on saying that opposed poles attract each other, that people with diametrically different personalities, characters and interests are magnets to one another, that married couples as different as night and day may have a very rich and vivid life together, despite the inherent clashes.  That might be generally true, but I would rather prefer someone to understand what I like and what I am doing, instead of explaining and justifying myself. So I married Erwin, a chess player, even though some may argue that my unceasing enthusiasm and impatience frequently contrasts his proverbial Dutch calm. Had I been married to a boxer, how on earth would I understand why he was torturing himself like that in the ring?! Had I not been a chess player, how on earth would I accept and support my husband's passion for chess, that glues him to the monitor and chess board ad infinitum?

This is where it happened - the religious marriage

The Dutch guests playing the waiting game

I don't know if this philosophy was the lever that triggered their choice, if it was destiny, chess or bold luck, but what I know for sure is that two brilliant minds, Sopiko and Anish, came up with the best move in their life: to marry each other!

Such a lovely pair!

Last minute preparations

Here they come!

So a wild guess would be that yes, chess is to be blamed - the king has found his queen! And no, our lovely game doesn't say everything about husband and wife, where the King has to take things one step at a time, while the Queen can do whatever she wants. But it does say a lot about the love story that brought the Georgian and Dutch together, defying distance or any obstacles they had along the way; because just like in chess, Sopiko protects her King while Anish goes the extra mile to keep his queen happy. I can vouch for that, since I was present in one of the most beautiful day of their lives, where I witnessed Anish... rapping?! But about that later, although you do have a spoiler alert already.

Rituals that transfigured Sopiko and Anish into Queen and King...

...literally!

The opening phase of their chronicle started in Italy, continued all over the globe in a complicated yet smooth middle game, gradually but surely evolved into a...stalemate (or was it zugzwang?!) in Georgia through an absolutely gorgeous wedding that took place on 18th July 2015 – marked on the calendar – and will eventually be crowned in the Netherlands, where the new chess family decided to settle down.  All of this wouldn't have happened if not for true love... I wish I would describe it in the most romantic terms, making all the single ladies (and perhaps gentlemen?!) sigh and crave for such scenarios, but I just cannot become another Sandra Brown, portraying these two wonderful people who “surprisingly” become even better when together. I am enthusiastic and, most probably, exaggerated at times, so thank God chess has been invented to balance me out! But if all of the adjectives, metaphors, allegories, epithets, comparisons and so forth were be erased from the dictionary, one thing would yet hold: Anish and Sopiko are made for each other. I feel that if I try to explain, depict, relate or paint the moments of the wonderful Saturday we had, it would just make the moments smaller than they were.

Hooray!

It was a long day for Sopiko but despite the temperature and the various
guests she had to take care of, the bride kept on smiling all the time! It was
the happiness speaking. This is probably the only image I have when she
took a moment of respite.

Where to?!

Quite a high rating at this wedding

Anish just found a new job

How else could it be when Sopiko just keeps refusing to get out of the bed on the wrong side?! How else could it be when one cannot take one's eyes off these two loving young people, since so many positive vibes are bursting from their looks? We have a saying in Romanian: you can look at the sun but you will be blinded if you try to get a glimpse of such a beautiful bride. Oh, shall I still mention this guy, Anish, who keeps on writing his witty tweets as if it were a piece of cake? Some spend a horrendous amount of time deciding what should go into 140 characters on Twitter... Not to mention his chess, but that's a different chapter.

The civil marriage

It goes without saying that we, the foreign guests from the chess world (Erwin l'Ami and yours truly, Loek van Wely with his lovely wife Lorena Zepeda, Jan Smeets with my dearest Romanian friend Smaranda Padurariu, Benjamin Bok, Twan Burg and Robin van Kampen, Rene Olthof from New in Chess, David Martinez, Anish's trainer Vladimir Tukmakov with his wife), we all felt the surrounding happiness that made our day too. It was a great occasion to be together, so “Didi madloba” (thank you very much) for offering us a moment to remember!

Time to party

A toast!

Therefore, I will limit myself to some of the most useful Georgian words I had learned in my short trip, one of them being: “Gaumarjos” - wine culture is going strong in Georgia, so without going into details, it is never a bad moment to toast and share a glass of wine with your friends and relatives, especially in such a special event. Georgian food is out of this world as well, with all their khachapuri (or simply described by my Dutch friends as a doubled-dough-pizza with cheese in between), khinkali, mtsvadi, chakhokhbili, ajapsandali and many other dishes impossible to pronounce or even less to ignore. Needless to say that everything was arranged flawlessly (for sure behind the scenes there were tough moments but we never noticed them) and for me, a Romanian, all the similarities in culture, whether food, wine or religious marriage made me simply happy for their happiness.

On the day they should only be thinking of themselves...

...the bride and groom entertained us with various traditional and unexpected moments!

To tell the truth, I was kind of expecting a spectacular wedding, which is quite dangerous, since sometimes one could be disappointed when facing reality. I wasn't. I actually received more than I had planned for the trip, including watching and smiling at Anish's attempts to imitate one of my mother's favourite singers – Eminem! I just love when people care more about the others than about themselves, which is not always easy to apply in practice. As for Sopiko...she is a born...everything! I believe she could be a GM, a singer, an actress, a model or whatever she sets her mind to.

I don't have an image with Anish singing, because that one was on TV,
but you can take my word for it: his artistic piece sparked a round of applause!

Such a wonderful experience could not be marred even learning despite buying the ticket and making the check-in certain flying companies don't guarantee a place on the plane or that the airplane will take off at all!

The cake was in danger of only being photographed...

It was a sight to behold

All in all, everything got fixed but at a price: I had planned to bring you an odyssey on Tbilisi as well but I just couldn't, I was busy calling various flight services...rest assured that all the churches, monasteries, aerial hill views of the Georgian capital would be a pale competition for the wedding, as Giri/Guramishvili family would bring them to their knees!

One of the Dutch gifts: a Swarovski chess set

The most awaited moment for the unwed ladies

Congratulations and all the best wishes we could possibly think of! May you enjoy the same smiles in the years to come as on 18th July 2015. And Anish, I know you like to win but I am afraid you got checkmated this time...



Alina is an International Master and a very enthusiastic person in everything she does. She loves travelling to the world's most remote places in order to play chess tournaments and report about them here on ChessBase! As chance would have it Alina is also an excellent photographer.
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tahergha tahergha 2/1/2017 11:12
Congratulations from Iran.
hasayin5 hasayin5 7/24/2015 09:20
I wish you happiness
Emil Cabagay Emil Cabagay 7/24/2015 06:16
Long live for the wonderful couple! May your marriage be blessed & fruitful!
DBRussell DBRussell 7/24/2015 05:37
Wonderful article, gorgeous pictures, love your work Alina!

Congrats to Giri & Sopiko, lovely couple!
Checkravuh Checkravuh 7/24/2015 05:21
Congratulations to Sopiko and Anish.
Best wishes from India
royc royc 7/24/2015 04:52
Who is the boss in the new family?
Logos Logos 7/24/2015 03:27
Congratulations from Canada Anish and Sopiko!

Love your sense of humour Anish! Particularly when you make jokes about the World Champ :-). Keep them coming.

Best wishes.
oldsalt7 oldsalt7 7/23/2015 11:37
Sopiko is a lovely lady. Best wishes to both for a long and happy wedded life and many many years of outstanding chess!
raki-baki raki-baki 7/23/2015 10:15
Congratulations from Morocco
Denix Denix 7/23/2015 08:41
Congratulations from Kuwait!
Raymond Labelle Raymond Labelle 7/23/2015 08:26
Chessmates!
luishon luishon 7/23/2015 08:20
Beautiful & Handsome I wish you a Happily ever after
and thank you for sharing with us your #Love and happiness
vincero vincero 7/23/2015 07:37
lovely.
scoobeedo scoobeedo 7/23/2015 06:48
Algorithmy:

Lets wait and see that the next chessmaster collapse under the weight of marriage. Lets see how he handle it. Karjakin, Radjabov are on the victims side of a young marriage which destabilized their chess.
algorithmy algorithmy 7/23/2015 05:21
Oh boy! Carlsen is a wise man!! he didn't foolishly fall into the trap so quickly like Karjaken or Anish!
algorithmy algorithmy 7/23/2015 05:18
common! why was that removed O chessbase?!!
it's a fine comment!
I said: "Weddings!! What a hypocrisy?! It's another trial of our sick trials to make life less absurd, less cruel than what it really is!"

is there some thing wrong with this comment? does it hurt to know the truth?? is that the reason why this world is so blind?
gmwdim gmwdim 7/23/2015 04:15
"Around the world" and didn't even mention Giri's Nepalese, Russian, and Japanese background.
scoobeedo scoobeedo 7/23/2015 03:52
Hi Anish, it wont fit in 1 billion characters!

You are just a great couple! After you solved this combination (your marriage), you can go on to solve the next one ... climb up the hill on live 2700!!!

In other words: Make with your opponents HaraGiri!

Good Luck to both of you!!!
yesenadam yesenadam 7/23/2015 03:26
Wow :-) What a beautiful story, both the words and pictures. Very touching, thank you Alina. You made both Georgia and marriage seem so...essential, so unsurpassably magical and beautiful, that I suddenly somehow feel quite homesick for both. (That though I haven't experienced either, I must.) Thanks again.
Vikingmaster5000 Vikingmaster5000 7/23/2015 03:16
Anish is a great chess master of modern era and may his union with Sopiko bring him to greater heights in society as a whole. Congratulations, Sopiko & Anish !!
Kingpawnkid Kingpawnkid 7/23/2015 03:13
Arrrrghh...Checkmate!...Why you did this to me? I promised that my rating will be over 2700, I'll speak five languages or more if you want and a pro chessplayer too...
firestorm firestorm 7/23/2015 01:18
"it won't fit into 140 chracters anyway."

No, it won't- you're a wonderful couple and have a wonderful life together.
daftarche daftarche 7/23/2015 11:56
anish got married pretty soon. i wish them the best. nice work alina but i don't like it much when a reporter insists on saying nice things all over her report. you know it seems a bit exaggeration to me.
guest1227491 guest1227491 7/23/2015 11:16
Anish: Not just a prodigy in chess, but also in life. Sopiko seems to be an amazing person, from what I have seen of her in interviews and commentary. A good life partnership leads to good chess... just ask Vishy and Aruna. Wish for similar success for Anish and Sopiko!
thlai80 thlai80 7/23/2015 10:47
Around the world ... within Europe lol.
Pionki Pionki 7/23/2015 09:31
She's a Georgian beauty, he's a lucky man! All the best!
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