Miskolc 2009 opens with a Hungarian-Indian spectacular

by ChessBase
6/3/2009 – On the day before the start of the rapid chess match between Peter Leko and Vishy Anand there was a press meeting and then a very special treat in the playing venue: one of the most colorful and beautifully choreographed openings ceremony we have seen. The themes were Hungarian and Indian chess, and were vigorously illustrated by supple young dancers. The result? India won – easily!

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Peter Leko vs Anand
in Miskolc, Hungary

This Rapid Chess event is taking place in Miskolc from June 2-7, 2009. The year’s most prestigious clash in Hungary is being organized at the National Theater, 1 Déryné str, Miskolc.

The number one Hungarian grandmaster, Peter Leko takes up a duel of eight games against the Indian World Champion Viswanathan Anand. The games will be played at a rate of 25 minutes for all moves with a bonus of ten seconds per moves. Colours change at half-time. In case of a 4-4 draw blitz games will decide the winner. The arbiter of the Match is WGM Zsuzsa Veroci, Head of Communication of the Hungarian Chess Federation.

At the end of each day of play there will be a press conference of 10-15 minutes with both players. On the final day the press conference will last 30 minutes.

Miskolc 2009 – Opening Ceremony

Photo report by Frederic Friedel and Gabor Veroci

Arrival in Miskolc is always on a Monday. On Tuesday evening is the opening ceremony – and before it the Before a press conference with both players.

Sofi and Peter Leko, Aruna and Vishy Anand waiting for the press conference to begin

The Anands while away the time mirthfully trying to guess what the statue may represent

The formal handshake in front of the posters (which you see all over Miskolc)

The Lord Mayor of Miskolc, Sandor Kali, is clearly delighted to have the World Champion in his town

Szilvia Barva, wife of the chief organiser, records everything digitally

Outside husband Attila Barva is still trying to locate Anand's missing bag

Anand being interviewed by Vijay Kumar for Indian TV...

... and for the video reports Vijay compiles for Europe Echecs

After the press conference everyone proceeded to the theatre, where a very special treat was in store: one of the most colorful and beautifully choreographed openings ceremony we have seen. Some of the following pictures are by Gabor Veroci, brother of Event Arbiter Zsuzsa (who calls him "the best Veroci in the family"). Gabor wields a mean Nikon D700, with all the right lenses and a great flash.

The Hungarian part: traditional costumes, snow – very pretty

The male dancer did a kind of schuhplattler, which is normally at home the alpine
region of Europe in Bavaria (Germany) and Austria. Very nice indeed.

The Leko figure – mind you we did not understand any of the plot – concentrates on a chess game

The Indian theme, which introduced drama and skin into the evening's performance

Some kind of an Indian chess god hovers over the actors, and is challenged by them

This has to be Caissa, the goddess of chess (but as mentioned, we did not catch everything)

The Anand figure (?!) is enticed by a group of lightly-clad dancers...

...and seems somewhat mortified by their actions

A typical Indian multi-limbed depiction

They even had a realistic elephant (a man on stilts) on the stage

The grand finale of the dancers finishes the evening's vigorous performance

All the actors take a bow to enthusiastic applause by the audience. Bravo!

A surprise visitor: the Prime Minister of Hungary Bajnai György Gordon. This disconcertingly young politician (initially we though it must be an aide) became prime minister when the Hungarian parliament passed a constructive motion of no-confidence against Ferenc Gyurcsány on 14 April 2009.

The Miskolc Lord Mayor Sándor Káli with the Prime Minister of his country

The Prime Minister spoke and then started the drawing of colours

The MC explains how this will be performed: on the table are two bottles of wine: one white and one dark. The exquisite wines were donated by Countess Maria Terezia Degenfeld-Schonburg, who has a vineyard near Miskolc (more about that next week). A visit to their web site is well worth a click.

Anand chooses a box and gets a dark Degenfeld bottle, i.e. he has black in the first game

The players also get very beautiful crystal glasses (more about that later this week)

After the ceremony a sumptuous buffet and shmoozing with the press

Among the photographers we spotted this young lady – and actually recognised her! It is
eleven-year-old chess player and enthusiast Timea Hercsik, who featured in a Miskolc report three years ago.

Timea chats in excellent English with the World Champion, who like us is enchanted with the kid

Schedule of the Rapid Chess event

Monday 01 June   Arrival (transfer from Budapest to Miskolc)
Tuesday 02 June 18.00h Opening ceremony and drawing of colours in the National Theater of Miskolc
Wednesday 03 June 16.30h First game of the match
    18.00h Second game of the match
Thursday 04 June 16.30h Third game of the match
    18.00h Fourth game of the match
Friday 05 June 16.00h Public event, ITC International Trade Center, 1. Mindszent Square, Miskolc
Saturday 06 June 16.30h Fifth game of the match
    18.00h Sixth game of the match
Sunday 07 June 16.30h Seventh game of the match
    18.00h Eighth game of the match
    19.30h Closing ceremony



The games will be 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 the PGN games.

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