Who stole my candy, who froze my pieces?

10/9/2002 – You have read about the Man vs Machine match, in scores of reports from all over the world. But do you know what is going on in the background? Nobody has yet reported about the raids on Kramnik's food supplies, or explained how the chess pieces ended up in his refrigerator. We fill in these gaping holes in the general news coverage in our Bahrain Picture Gallery 3.

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Picture Gallery III from Bahrain


Kramnik's private rest area where he can come to eat, smoke, and unwind during games. No geisha included.


More from Kramnik's hideaway. Even if he doesn't win, at least he won't catch scurvy.


Preparations for a huge party? Nope, just Kramnik's supplies for a three-week match. There is a nasty rumor circulating that some unscrupulous commentators have been sneaking Vlady's candy bars, but there isn't a shred of proof.


Well, maybe a shred.


This is going to be our little secret, right?


Initially Vlady Kramnik had severe doubts about playing with the black pieces. No, not from a chess point of view, the contrast between black and white was not great enough. "I like my pieces darker," said the man from the Black Sea.


Consternation amongst the equipment team. What to do about the pieces?


Okay, here's the solution: we varnish the pieces and then blow-dry them. Still sticky? Then we put them into Kramnik's freezer! Surely the "Iceman" will have no objection to this procedure.


Kramnik tests the pieces. Sill a tad sticky, but better than too light.


The long walk to the tournament room, with bottle of water in hand.


Russian ambassador Valery Vlassov checks Mig's javascript for bugs.


... and gets into a debate with Frederic Friedel, who is doing the commentary.


The Russian ambassador and his daughter Elisabeth, who visit the match regularly and help with the commentary.


After game three the Russian and German ambassadors to Bahrain get together to talk about stealing this car and driving to someplace with cooler weather. Actually this is a celebration for Bahrain being awarded a place on the Grand Prix Formula One racing circuit. Camels beware.


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