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Alekhine Memorial Covered by Channel One

User Rating: / 1
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 24 April 2013

One of those rare cases when the most popular Russian channel dedicates a few minutes of a news program to chess. Great footage from Alekhine Memorial, including short interviews with Viswanathan Anand, Vladimir Kramnik and Anatoly Karpov.

Translation by

Louvre is hosting an international tournament dedicated to the memory of the great chess player Alexander Alekhine, who was the first Russian World Chess Champion. The next stage of the event will take place in Saint Petersburg, where in 1914 his splendid, unmatched career started. No one was able to take the title from Alekhine - he died undefeated. Today the modern chess kings are playing in his honor.

The Chess King is in a hurry. Ancient statues are an uncommon environment for him. The reigning World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has played a few thousand games, but none of them in Louvre.

"I have always admired the artisitic value of chess combinations. Of course, when you are playing, you are focusing on the result, but, at the same time, if you succeed in playing brilliantly, you become very proud of it" - says the 15th World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand.

Alexander Alekhine, the 4th World Chess Champion and first Russian chess king, used to claim that chess is an art. That's why the tournament is staged at a museum. Here the best 10 modern chess players from 7 countries are thinking at the board and worrying about the outcome. Among the participants are the 14th and 15th World Chess Champions Kramnik and Anand. A strategic duel between them is the most expected confrontation.

"When I was a child, my coaches Kasparov and Botvinnik took a look at my games and, for some reason, told me to study Alekhine's games particularly carefully. I have spent the whole year analyzing his legacy thoroughly, so now I almost know all his games by heart" -  confesses the 14th World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik.

Alekhine is the only World Chess Champion who passed away undefeated. Frankly speaking, the fate was often against him. He was born in a noble family, worked as a criminal investigator, fled from Saint Petersburg to Paris during the Revolution. Even after emigration he kept winning and defeated the renown Cuban player Capablanca.

"Among my greatest victories are two Alekhine Memorials: in 1971 (which opened the all-stars series of tournaments held in Moscow until the 90s) and the 100-year anniversary event in 1992" - recalls the 12th World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov.

After Perestroika the Alekhine Memorial has not been staged at all until now. In France an event of such scale happened as far back in history as 1994. The inquisitive minds are anxious to watch the games: for 4 hours the spectators are uninterruptedly following the chess players' every move. There are no unoccuppied seats. In fact, there is a long line at the entrance: what if someone leaves? The next person is patiently waiting to enter.

"These tournaments are attracting attention to chess. We are also planning to organize a few tournaments in the provinces, also at museums. Not necessarily international competitions, the all-Russian tournaments are fine as well" - explains the co-organizer of the tournament, Chairman of the Economic Council of French and Russian Businesses of the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFR) Gennady Timchenko.

According to the organizers, kids who play chess have no interest for drugs. Chess is said to help cure the Alzgheimer's, while constantly playing chess is an efficient prophylactic measure against brain diseases.

Like a chess board, the tournament has two halves: Paris and Saint Petersburg - two very special cities for Alekhine. After Louvre the event will move to the Russian Museum. There the Memorial will come to its logical conclusion, and we will find out who the winner is.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 April 2013 )
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