In Sofia!

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
ChessVibes is in Sofia! Yesterday I arrived at the Bulgarian capital to cover the last five rounds of the M-Tel Masters. Will Ivanchuk consolidate, or is he still hungry? Will Topalov catch him? We'll wait and see!

While the sixth round has started about 1,5 hours ago, here's a photo report on Sofia and the venue to start with.

Later more, including videos of course!

cathedral The gold-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral was built in the early 20th century in memory of the 200,000 Russian soldiers, who died in the Russo-Turkish War, 1877?¢‚Ǩ‚Äú1878. It is the largest church in the Balkans and the second largest Orthodox cathedral in the world. The cathedral's gold-plated dome is 45 m high, with the bell tower reaching 50.52 m. Here is a bigger version of the cathedral but I liked this different viewpoint, a bit more from a distance.

russianchurch The Russian Church or the Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Maker, built in 1914 is dedicated to the patron-saint of the Russian Tsar at the time Nicholas II. The construction was supervised by the architect A. Smirnov, who was building the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral nearby.

street A typical Sofia street with an advertisement of a typical mobile phone company

venue The venue: The Central Military Club, a multi-purpose monument of culture building in the city centre that serves the Bulgarian Army and is administered by the Executive Agency of Military Clubs and Information.

The Military Club was designed by Czech architect Anton?ɬ?n Kol?ɬ°?Ö‚Ñ¢ in the Neo-Renaissance style and finished by Bulgarian architect Nikola Lazarov in 1907. The building has three storeys and features a coffeehouse, an art gallery, a number of refined halls varying in size, as well as an imposing concert hall with 450 seats.

metro And this is the sight from the Military Club, as they're constructing a metro station across the street!

affiche The playing hall is on the first floor and the press room on the second.

pressroom The press room.

paintings With the cartoon portraits hanging on the wall, to be received by the players after the tournament.

aquarium The "aquarium" two hours before the round.

dikte This one shows how thick the glass actually is.

cameraman This cameraman, who works for Bulgarian television and is reading a newspaper awaiting the start of the round, will constantly circle around the aquarium during the round, as I was told.

europe-echecs Europe-echecs at work: GM Robert Fontaine (l.) and G?ɬ©rard Demuydt (r.)

ivanchuk_radjabov The round has started! Now it's Radjabov turn to fight the Ukrainian beast!

spassky Today, 10th world champion Boris Spassky has arrived. As a specialy guest he will give commentary to the games of rounds 6-10 (in the playing hall and no headsets needed, as the players won't hear it anyway!) and a simul on Friday.

spassky3 The great Boris at work
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