Linares picture gallery with – The Handshake!

by ChessBase
2/20/2004 – You were asking for them, now you get your fill: first pictures from round one of the Super-Tournament in Linares. They were sent to us by Jesús J. Boyero Gabarre and include a close-up action replay of the first handshake between Garry Kasparov and Alexei Shirov in years. Here are the historic pictures.

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21st International Chess Tournament
Linares Feb. 19 – March 5, 2004

Round 1 Picture Gallery

Round 1 (Thursday, February 19, 2004)
Francisco Vallejo 
Kramnik, Vladimir
Alexei Shirov 
Garry Kasparov
Teimour Radjabov 
Peter Leko

The opening ceremony. You will recognise Leko, Kasparov, Radjabov and Topalov holding on to their porcelain chess bishops. Kramnik is the sky-scraper behind the lady, Paco Vallejo the blond third from right. Alexei is hiding between Radjabov and Topalov.

That's better, just the players, all lined up for the photographers. That's local boy Paco Vallejo, Hungary's top GM Peter Leko, eight-time Linares winner Garry Kasparov, classical chess world champion Vladimir Kramnik, the boy-from-Baku part 2 Teimour Radjabov, fire-on-the-board Alexei Shirov and the Bulgarian rocket Veselin Topalov.

Kasparov and Kramnik, not the greatest of friends these days.

Or are they? Peter, Garry and big Vlad seem to be having a great time here.

Young Teimour seem to have a premonition of what is in store for him

You have to know that for a few years now Kasparov and Shirov have not been on speaking terms, and have not been shaking hands at the start of a game. As Mig Greengard tells it: "There had already been bad blood after their aborted 1998 world championship match. Then Shirov intimated in an open letter that the close relationship between Kasparov and Kramnik made any result in their 2000 match suspect. Kasparov accused him of accusing him of cheating (umm, potentially cheating) and the handshake boycott had begun." Or as the Spanish web site describes it: "Shirov y Kasparov llevaban cuatro años sin estrecharse la mano y hoy han decido que ya era hora de restablecer relaciones protocolarias."

Here is clear photographic evidence that the boycott is over. Kasparov has offered the shake, Alexei is going for it.

Let normal relations begin, let us battle it out on the chessboard.

Kasparov has a pathologically good score against Shirov, something that cannot be explained in chess terms alone. The two fought a pitched battle, the analysis of which will go on for some time yet.

Chess, as these guys know better than anyone else, is hard work.

How cool and relaxed can you look when you are facing the world's number two player?

Okay, now Paco is taking his daunting task more seriously

Pictures by Jesús J. Boyero Gabarre

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