Kids and Kramnik at Brains in Bahrain

10/14/2002 – Monday is children's day in Bahrain. At least this Monday was. They descended in droves on the Muharraq Mind Sports Centre, noisy and smart, speaking flawless English, mostly with a British accent, but with American-style jokes and goofing off. The girls in hijabs and more subdued, but enjoying chess as much as the boys. Actually quite delightful, as you will see in our Bahrain Picture Gallery V.

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Bahrain Picture Gallery V

The children, most between eleven and twelve, had been brought around by the General Organisation for Youth and Sport (GOYS). They were from St. Christopher's Chess Club and the Bahrain Chess Committee.


One of the first items on the agenda: a simul with GM Julian Hodgson

After being demolised to zero by the heartless grandmaster (and premier youth trainer in Britain) the kids marched through the venue of the Man vs Machine event, to see at close quarters how things were run.


Bahrain FIDE Master Zeyad Janahi shows the chess kids Kramnik's rest room


Then a visit in the commentary room, where Mig Greengard showed them how to take...


...and fool around with digital pictures.

If you look carefully in the top left-hand corner of the last picture you will see a mysterious figure, a chess programmer up to no good.

This is Alex Kure of the Fritz team, preparing a choice of openings for tomorrow's game. It takes Alex about half an hour to get into the correct posture for a programmer preparing for tomorrow's game, but then he can stay that way for many, many hours.

This is Frederic Friedel, head of the Fritz delegation, showing the kids how he broadcasts and annotates the games for web sites all over the world, using the Playchess server and a special Flash client developed by ChessBase just before the start of this match.

The kids cannot resist trying their hand at playing on the Fritz7 server, challenging a young lady named April Goh, who was in Singapore. April is a good bullet player and, like Hodgson, showed no mercy. But the kids loved it.

In the early afternoon Vladimir Kramnik made his appearance and was swamped by Bahraini kids after his autograph.

Then a press conference with the chess masters of tomorrow. It was the most entertaining press confrerence so far here in Bahrain. Sample question: "Who is stronger, Garry Kasparov or Deep Fritz?" Answer: "Well, hard to say. Can I come back to you after the match is over?" Or "What will you do with the one million dollars if you win?" Answer: "You know, I haven't really though about it. No specific plans."


Bahraini champion Zeyad Janahi, world champion Vlady Kramnik, Fritz programmer Mathias Feist and Shaikh Mohammed bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa of GOYS (standing in the background).

And finally a full chess tournament at the site where Kramnik is playing Deep Fritz


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