Mexico countdown: preparations and technical meeting

9/12/2007 – With just two days left to the first round of the World Championship tournament in Mexico City, preparations are in full swing, with the stage being built and decorated, and the players briefed on the technical aspects of the match. Watching it all unfold is our friend Ali Nihat Yazici, President of the Turkish Chess Federation, who has sent us a big pictorial report.

World Championship 2007 Mexico

The World Championship 2007 will take place from September 12 to 30 in the Sheraton Centro Histórico Hotel in Mexico City. Eight players are qualified – the tournament will be a double round robin. The prize fund is US $1.3 million. Here are the players taking part in the press conference and in the world championship:

Player Nat. Rtn Birth
Vishwanathan Anand IND 2792 1969
Vladimir Kramnik RUS 2769 1975
Alexander Morozevich RUS 2758 1977
Peter Leko HUN 2751 1979
Levon Aronian ARM 2750 1982
Peter Svidler RUS 2735 1976
Boris Gelfand ISR 2733 1968
Alexander Grischuk RUS 2726 1983

Before the world championship

By Ali Nihat Yazici

The technical meeting was attended by all players or their seconds. The chief arbiter started by discussing the rules and explaining the time controls. He reminded the players that all kinds of electronic devices are strictly forbidden in the playing hall. There will be metal detectors at the doors to screen the players and the audience. The meeting was very short and all points agreed upon without any objections.


Top FIDE dignitary in Mexico: Deputy President Georgios ("Makro") Makropoulos


FIDE Hon. Vice President Israel Gelfer is responsible for the playing venue


Read my lips – no cellphone calls during the game! Makropoulos and Gelfer


Why can't we get a few plates of ceviche during the games? Anand at the technical
meeting* (with Paul German, one of the main organisers, looking into the camera)


I cannot believe you asked that. Aruna Anand, in Mexico supporting her husband*


The organising committe considering the players' requests


Gelfer confers with Chief Arbiter Antonio Bento, Vice President of the Brazilian Chess Federation


Polina Tsedenova from the FIDE Office is in charge of accreditation and accommodation


FIDE official Panagiotis Nikolopoulos (who, incidentally, is married to Polina)


Kramnik's second Loek van Wely, Peter Leko's manager Carsten Hensel and Peter


Peter Leko with his second (and father-in-law) GM Arshak Petrosian


Happy occasion: Peter turned 28 last Saturday in Mexico City


The other Peter: St Petersburg GM Pyotr Svidler is now 31 (would you believe it?)


The veteran (at 39 over a year older than Anand!): Boris Gelfand, cool GM from Israel


FIDE Vice President Geoffrey Borg, who is unenviably responsible for the Internet and servers, here with Deputy FIDE President Georgios Makropoulos, who is responsible for everything.


Geoffrey, Makro, Israel and Polina in a board room discussion


The main organiser of the world championship: Jorge Saggiante


Israel Gelfer and Panagiotis Nikolopoulos discuss the construction of the stage


Wait, aren't we going to need a table and chessboard somewhere here?*


Nikolopoulos and Gelfer explain to Jorge Saggiante (middle) what is required


Come on, Jorge, there must be a table somewhere in Mexico...*


A view of the world championship hall under construction (Tuesday afternoon)


A giant backdrop for the stage


The computer control center of the world championship is being set up

All pictures by Ali Nihat Yazici, President of the Turkish Chess Federation

* For new readers and visitors: some of the above captions may not accurately reflect the situations in the pictures. Some members of the ChessBase news team have a vivid imagination and are prone to flippant comments that are used purely to entertain. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause our readers.


Live coverage by Yasser Seirawan on Playchess


Playchess commentator GM Yasser Seirawan

The games of the World Championship 2007, which start at 14:00h local time (check the time in your location here), will be broadcast live on the official site and on Playchess.com server, where there will be daily live audio commentary by GM Yasser Seirawan, with a minimum of three one hour lectures per round, beginning approximately thirty minutes after play has started. For a charge of ten Ducats (about one Euro) a visitor gets a twelve hour pass to listen to the live lectures.

Ducats are the currency used on Playchess.com. You can purchase Ducats here. The amount will be credited to your playchess.com account. You need to allow one working day for processing. If you want your Ducats immediately you can order them using our Click&Buy service. Ducats can also be used to buy ChessBase products. Note that you can also purchase Ducats directly from Fritz or the Playchess client using the menu "Edit – Payments – Fill up account". This takes you to a special purchase page with your account name automatically passed on, to simplify the process.

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