One giant leap for mankind

by ChessBase
5/9/2002 – Why is a great chess player, vice champion of the world at that, dangling at the end of a 150-foot rope? Well, just taking a break from chess and going for adventure in the south-sea island of Bali. Alexandra Kosteniuk, who stopped over in Hamburg for a few days, brought along an electronic picture album. You will find a small selection (plus a nice video clip)here.

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Guess who came visiting in Hamburg

ChessBase in Hamburg is quite used to receiving visitors from the higher regions of the chess world. This week the women's vice-champion of the world, Alexandra Kosteniuk dropped in, to learn how to use our software, discuss projects, pick up some goodies and generally to get to know the team.

Alexandra is a charming, intelligent young lady. Her chess skills are undisputed. In her first games on the Fritz server she took on a friendly grandmaster and soundly beat him in one of their games. She is an eloquent speaker, as we discovered in an hour-long video interview we recorded for one of the next issues of ChessBase Magazine.

Sasha Kosteniuk with the ChessBase team: Rainer Woisin, Frederic Friedel and Matthias Wüllenweber

Trying out her hand on the Fritz server (where she whopped a GM)

Friend and manager Diego Garcés watches the action

So what should I teach her? Discussing the finer points with Fritz programmer Mathias Feist. Turns out Sasha Kosteniuk is a real power user, more virtuose than any top player we have met – with the possible exception of a certain Indian GM.

Stocking up on ChessBase goodies, and signing a few give-aways

With mama Natalie, who plays the piano but speaks no English

From the Kosteniuk album

During her visit in Hamburg Alexandra and Diego Garcés showed us pictures of her recent visit to Singapore and Indonesia, where she gave simuls and played against junior chess talents. But it was not all chess in Southeast Asia. The adventurous young lady took the opportunity to meet some of the inhabitants of the tropical islands and to try some physically less sedate pastime than chess.

With a young monkey

a sea turtle

and a flying fox (fruit bat)

One giant leap for mankind

Alexandra prepares for the biggest leap of her life, an adrenalin-
rushing 150-foot bungee jump in Kuta, Bali.

Sasha described the jump as very scary ("especially when you stand at the top of the tower"), but also exciting and exhilarating. It is something you have to do at least once in your lifetime. Or better twice. It turns out she went back up the tower for a second jump. In the end she received a certificate for exceptional bravery for her undaunted deeds.

Visit the Alexandra Kosteniuk web site (video)


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