The players and their teams have arrived at the Hyatt Regeny in Chennai and we are getting closer to the first game of the match! On the days before the match, a number of official and necessary duties need to be fulfilled, though. Not only the players have a busy day, your writer had a busy day as well and I will recap this pictorial recap of a busy Thursday in Chennai in two parts.
The day started off with the inspection of the playing hall and the essential and difficult task of picking the right chair for the match. Fans of this blog know that I wrote an article called “Playing hall inspection” in the “Mate in Moscow” blog last year.
So off we went to the playing hall with Vishy, Aruna and Hans-Walter Schmitt. Lots of photographers were interested which chair Vishy would choose!
Vishy checking the seat, watched by his wife Aruna (left) and officials.
“Ok, the colour of the chair fits pretty nicely to my shirt, but can I try another one?”
As a Dutchman, I would have taken this orange chair!
And what about the challenger? Magnus Carlsen had obviously picked his chair the night before.
Henrik Carlsen reveals the secret we all have been waiting for: “Magnus will pick the black chair”
Ah, well you can guess what “M.C” means! Or is this chair reserved for Herman Miller?
The traditional “Chess Tigers playing a game on the world championship board” photo. Your blogger playing white vs. Hans-Walter Schmitt, who plays an inferior opening. Thanks to the photographer Geoffrey Borg! You can see him in the mirror. You may notice that the players can not really see that much, when they look into the auditorium. The glass is reflecting everything.
This poor guy was slightly confused: “Uhm, are these the correct name plates?”
The players get to the playing hall, 10 minutes before the start of the game with their own designated elevator, accompanied only by a security officer.
The elevator on the left is for Magnus…
And the one on the right for Vishy! A world championship is all about details. Try to explain it to an outsider!
Next point on the agenda: the players meeting, with FIDE officials, the players, their managers and the arbiters. Of course I cannot reveal that much about the meeting, but I was a bit surprised to see that the players received a short version of “The rules of Chess” from the experienced arbiter Ashot Vardapetyan. Read an interview with the Armenian about the match here.
Espen Agdestein, Magnus and Henrik Carlsen going through some details.
Lets move on to the press conference.
You may recognize GM Ian Rogers in the front row and behind him is Ulrich Stock, who writes for the German newspaper “Die Zeit”. You can read his latest article here. And they were waiting for some big news!
The moment of truth: Vishy revealing the names of his lieutenants: Peter Leko, Krishnan Sasikiran, Radek Wojtaszek and Sandipan Chanda.
In part 2 I will post pictures of the opening ceremony and the traffic in Chennai! And I will answer the question : who is “Amma”?