Aeroflot tournament – pictures from Russia

3/1/2004 – We did not get the games, which are still being kept in a safe in Moscow. But we can bring you exclusive pictures from the 2004 Aeroflot Open. Jean-Michel Péchiné of the French chess magazine Europe Echecs met a number of reigning and ex world champions, as well as new talents. Here are his pictorial impressions...

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Back to Russia

By Jean-Michel Péchiné

Each year in February, you just have to pay a "modest fee" of around 600 dollars (flight with Aeroflot Airways + ten nights in a hotel) to gain access to the main non-official chess market place. This year in the huge Moscow Rossija Hotel in front of Kremlin you could meet 163 grandmasters, and some of the most active personalities involved in chess world.


Alexander Bakh (on the left), creator of Open Aeroflot, and Alexander Roshal, chief editor of famous magazine 64 (on the right), with Vassily Smyslov. The legendary seventh world champion will celebrate his 83rd birthday on March 24! After singing a few opera arias for pleasure in the Aeroflot Open press room, Vasya declared: "I have been in search of harmony all my life, as well in music as in chess or composition."


Alexander Bakh with former State Duma Budget and Taxation Committee Chairman Alexander Zhukov, President of Russian Chess Federation, and Russian State Sports Committee Vyacheslav Fetisov, former Russia's Olympic Ice Hockey coach and one of the country's most titled players. After being elected to the Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001 Fetisov said: "I have achieved everything I dreamed of in my childhood."


The winner of the 2004 Aeroflot Open, Sergei Rublevsky (2655), is congratulated for his great performance by two distinguished French players: tenth World Champion Boris Spassky and Joël Lautier, recently elected President of Association of Chess Professionals ACP.


12th World Champion Anatoly Karpov receives a present from chess artist Veronika Kasatkina.


Former FIDE World Champion Alexander Khalifman, from Saint Petersburg, who is officially representing ACP in Russia and Soviet ex-Republics, analysing his game against young Ukrainian star Sergey Karjakin.


Israeli IM and study composer Yochanan Afek (on right) with distinguished Isaac Linder, reputed to be the best Russian chess scholar.


Antonio Rami Alos, General Manager for development of "Ajuntament de Calvia Mallorca", who presented the organisation of Olympiads 2004, in October in Baleares.


The delegation of "Calvia Olympiads 2004", assisted by its mascot, visited the UEFA Cup soccer match Spartak against Mallorca, played in the same time in Moscow.


Once upon a time a fantastic chess land named USSR lost lot of its champions because of the dramatic failure of its utopian political system. As a consequence, some of secrets of former Soviet school were dispersed world wide! Here, from west to east: IGM Tukmakov, trainer of best Swiss hopeful Severin Papa; GM Juri Razuvaev, is one of the best Russian trainers and a very talented writer; Genna Sosonko, New in Chess author in the Netherlands; Boris Gulko, top USA grandmaster; and the great master Anatoly Bykhovsky, curator of a large part of Russian chess history, trainer of Russia's top talent Alexander Grischuk.


Joël Lautier of the ACP, talking with Boris Kutin, President of European Chess Union, during closing ceremony.


Everybody wants to know what is happening in chess world, even the Russian media, who are seen here interviewing GM Igor Glek, board member of the ACP.


Jordi Lopez, coach of current European champion team Nao Chess Club, reading fantastic comments of Wijk aan Zee’s game Anand-Bareev, written by the Indian champion for the latest issue of Europe Echecs


In the Aeroflot Airbus on his way back to Paris, former individual Russian (and French!) champion Anatoly Vaïsser, reading news about his friend Kramnik in the last issue of the magazine 64.


In front of Rossija Hotel, facing the Kremlin, legendary Evgeny Sveshnikov (left) with your reporter Jean-Michel Péchiné, representing the well-known French magazine Europe Echecs.


Two of 64 magazine’s team: Marina Bossonova, young and talented photographer, and Oleg Pervakov, reputed to be one of the world's best chess composers and editor’s of Smyslov’s studies.


In such a complicated men’s world we find the pretty Oxana Kosteniuk (16 years old, Elo 2113), who impressed everyone by her accuracy, calm, gentleness in press room. Oxana, who is the sister of Alexandra Kosteniuk. is already writing regularly for 64!

Young talents

Three young hopefuls: Youth World Champion from Azerbadjian Mamedyarov (on left, 2646), 18, with Ukrainian GM Sergey Karjakin (2566), 14, and Russian Evgeny Alekseev (2606), 18.


Former French women champion Marie Sebag, 17


Sanan Sjugirov (2260), 11, youth World Champion, with his assistant Sanal Shavapov. The famous GM Yuri Yakovich is actually the coach of this young Russian future star!


The latest star of Central America, Alejandro Ramirez (2499) from Costa-Rica, who won the GM title at the age of 15, with Ukrainian star Kateryna Lahno (2493), 14.


The "Mozart of chess" Magnus Carlsen (2484), 13, who obtained his second GM norm during the Aeroflot 2004!


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