Chess spectacle in Cannes

by ChessBase
2/14/2004 – You don't see very much of this anymore: a chess master giving a blindfold simultaneous exhibition. It's supposed to be bad for your (mental) health. This week a young grandmaster played blindfold chess against twelve opponents, in the festival city of Cannes (France). The spectators and media loved it.

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Vlad’s twelve

Since a certain time Association Cannes Echecs (Chess Club of Cannes) – the most popular chess club in France – is tirelessly trying to promote chess at a form of show. This year we have offered to the spectators an exceptional spectacle: a blind simultaneous exhibition on twelve boards, performed by GM Vladislav Tkachiev.

Massive publicity: Vlad on a billboard on the famous Croisette

The event took place in the world famous Palace of Festival of Cannes and had an incredible media impact in France and on the French Riviera. 40 giant billboards (4 by 3 meters) were set up in Cannes and its surroundings. The event was covered by several TV channels (notably by France 3) and regional press.

La régie: the event was filmed through out by the young cinema makers from BTS Cannes Audiovisuel school.

The spectators could attentively follow the games on the giants wall screens accompanied by lively comments by IM Damir Levacic

Preparing the Blind Simul Master for the match

What's it going to be like, Vlad Tkachiev wonders

The opponents of Vlad were well-known French personalities from politics, economics and artistic domains like Yves Marek – the adviser of the President of Senate of France, Misha Katz a world’s famous orchestra conductor and the sculptor Sasha Sosno among others.

Yves Marek, Elo 2190

Let the games begin...

The breathtaking show took two and half hours in all

The audience in the gigantic theatre – captivated and enthralled

The final score was the impressive 11.5 – 0.5 (draw against IM Stephen Boyd). After the games Vlad full heartedly thanked “le couturier Bonucci” for providing him a luxury clothes for this event.

A glamour shoot with Vlad for the simultaneous match

During a friendly dinner “à la française” the happy chess lovers came to a conclusion that very soon another splendid chess show should take place in the country which is occupying more and more important place in the chess world.

Move over, Ben Affleck and other Hollywood hunks – here comes Vlad Tkachiev!

Olivier Marino in Cannes

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