Jermuk Grand Prix: a rest from the chessboard battles

8/16/2009 – After five rounds of fairly tumultuous play – very few unfought draws – the players in the Fifth FIDE Grand Prix in Jermuk, Armenia had earned a well-deserved rest day and outing. This took them to a famous monastery which documents the origins of Christianity in Europe, and a wildlife sanctuary, where the more intrepid of them risked life and limb in a rock climbing adventure. Well, sort of...

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Fifth FIDE Grand Prix in Jermuk, Armenia

This event is taking place from August 8th-24th 2009. It is a Category 19 tournament, with eleven of the 14 players rated over 2700. The event is a memorial to former world champion Tigran Petrosian, who held the title from 1963–1969 and would have turned 80 on June 17th this year.

Rest day activities in Jermuk

Friday was a rest day, and a well deserved one at that, considering that the games have generally been quite well fought in Jermuk, with the players trying to grab a full point wherever possible. The reward: a trip up into the mountains to visit Noravank, a 13th century Armenian monastery.


The famous Noravank Monastery, located 122 km from Yerevan in a narrow gorge made by the Darichay river. Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as the state religion, in 301 AD.


The signature stone crosses adorn the foreground of many churches in Armenia


Inside the church GM Tigran Petrosian consults with his creator – hopefully not about openings variations


Organiser GM Smbat Lputian acts tour guide for GMs Alexander Motylev, Dmitri
Jakovenko (right) and his second Dennis Khismatullin


Rock climbing Armenian style: Sergey Karjakin, Dmitry Jakovenko and Evgeny
Alekseev risk life and limb on the banks of the Darichay River


The exhaustion and exhilaration of a rock climber who has at last made it to the summit


Lunch in the unique atmosphere and ambient of the monastery restaurant


Eagle eyes will spot Ivanchuk, Alekseev, Khismatullin, Motylev, Karjakin and wife Kateryna Dolzhikova


Eagle eyes will spot four deer on the rocks of the surrounding nature reserve


Dmitry Jakovenko uses high-powered binoculars to follow the wildlife


Othere use a spotting scopes and an astronomical refractor to catch a view of the animals

All pictures by Arman Karakhanyan, courtesy of FIDE

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!



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