From Moscow with love

9/11/2002 – The Russians are playing against the Rest of the World – and although they fielded a "dream team" they are not doing well at all. Elsewhere we have reported on the abysmal performance, after eight rounds, of the four Ks. Now our very special correspondent Anna Dergatscheva, who is in Moscow, has sent us a special illustrated report with her impressions of the tournament. Find out why Peter Svidler was hobbling around on crutches or what exactly Judit Polgar is preparing for (psst – motherhood?). You will find Anna's personal report here.

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Russia vs the Rest of the World

Report from Moscow

By Anna Dergatscheva

Our correspondent Anna Dergatscheva was born on 26.02.1969 in Moscow. She studied Russian language and literature.

As the daughter of grandmaster Abram Khasin she was a keen chess player, going to the same chess school as Jussupow, Krasenkov, Tschutchelov and Zvaginsev ("but they pulled ahead of me in chess"). Her father was the trainer of Bareev and Gulko.

In 1992 Anna came to Germany as an au-pair girl and married Peter Daus in Essen a year later. She plays in Germany's top women's division and in the men's regional league for the chess club SK Holsterhausen.

All pictures in this article were sent to us directly from Moscow by Anna Dergatscheva

The first round in Moscow was full of surprises. After the openings speeches (by Vladimir Zirinovski and hockey star Slava Fetisov), in which there was some lamentation at the absence of top GMs Adams and Topalov in the World team, Russia went through the first round with a resounding defeat.


The World team

Maybe we were too confident (I still say "we", although I have lived in the West for a long time now), relying on our "dream team" with the three great Ks being completely unassailable. But two of the Ks, the 12th and 13th world champions, both lost their games, Kasparov to Vassily Ivanchuk, who really appears to be Garry's prime nemesis.


The start of Ivanchuk vs Kasparov. In the background ex world champion Vassily Smyslov, FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, ex world champion Boris Spassky, and ex FIDE president Florencio Campomanes (right).


Smirin vs Karpov about to start

Anatoly Karpov was not not at all in form. He played much too slowly, and against Ilya Smirin he almost appeared to fall asleep, After 20 moves he had just seconds left on his clock. The loss was what could have been expected in these circumstances.


Peter Svidler coping with his soccer injury

A preparation camp in Zvenigorod was supposed to strengthen the team. Apart from chess there was a fair amount of physical training. Unfortunately Peter Svidler tore a tendon while playing football on a very uneven field. He has to use crutches during this tournament. Fortunately this does not seem to affect his chess abilities and he is playing with good success in Moscow.


Alexei Shirov and wife Viktoria Cmylite

The World team was greatly relieved after the first day, with Shirov and Ivanchuk laughing and joking during the press conference. Only the reigning FIDE world champion Ponomariov was not so relaxed. He claimed that the direction this tournament was going, after two rounds, was not encouraging: +2, +1 – we know where this is leading. Maybe he was just being a bit flippant.


Anand, Svidler (on crutches) and Judit Polgar

GM Anand won both his game quite effortlessly. First he defeated the young Russian champion Alexander Motylev, who played a somewhat strange game. Vishy's second game was nominated the best of round two. It was a brilliant win against Vadim Zvjaginzev. Naturally Aruna Anand is at the side of the Indian Super-GM.


Preparing for motherhood? Judit Polgar

A weak link in the World team would appear to be Judit Polgar. I personally believe that the strongest female player of all times is preparing for motherhood. Perhaps that is her highest priority at the moment.

It is a fantastic chess festival, with many very illustrious visitors. I can only name a few: Vassily Smyslov, Boris Spassky, David Bronstein, Nana Ioseliani, Andre Liliental and many younger players. Alexandra Kosteniuk and her whole family is there as well.

This is going to be an exciting event, and I will try to keep you informed with pictures from Moscow. There are 300 journalists here and 2500 spectators following the games. I will stay here right to the end.

Picture Gallery


Smog over Moscow – and the crowds flocked to the Kremlin to watch chess


The audience in the Kremlin hall


The games on giant screens


A dance pagent to open the event


Rising Russian star Alexander Grischuk


Alexandra Kosteniuk (right)

Mrs Bareev with daughter Anja

 


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