Notes from underground

ArnieChipmunk
CM ArnieChipmunk
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
Pressroom

Reports of chess tournaments are usually about what's going on in the playing hall. At least as interesting is what's going on in the press room, where this year at Corus the ediorial team of Chessvibes has access for the first time. The press room of a large chess tournament is considered by many to be the santum sanctorum, the Holy of the Holies, when grandmasters and players give their divine opinions and where you can learn more in one hour than from a?Ǭ†year?Ǭ†of studying.

The excitement you experience as an ordinary chess player when you're suddenly admitted to the Greats of the earth, is indeed noticeable - not only with us, but also with the other 'ordinary people' in the press room. There's an almost sacred respect for the Players. People walk carefully past them, listen attentively to what they have to say, sometimes even ask even a question related to chess strategy - realizing the prize they will have to pay when it turns out to be nonsense again. The sacrosanct status is enhanced by security guards closely watching the entrance - no access for unauthorized people, anyone who does have?Ǭ†access needs to be naturally?Ǭ†respectful and servile.?Ǭ†?Ǭ†

As soon as the grandmasters are not in to confirm the pecking order, there's a strange, sometimes even chaotic atmosphere in the press room. Suddenly you notice that the 'press room' consists of a sort of 70's dressing rooms of the sports hall where the tournament is held. Chess-wise, the level suddenly drops to ordinary club level. Emotions run freely. Personal preferences and partiality flourish. In the land of the blind, one-eyed man is suddenly king again. Someone has drank too much even before the first time control, another has a groaning stomach, a third is?Ǭ†browsing for dubious websites on the internet. An important-looking business man in a suit is playing a blitz game against a friend or a colleague. Peacefully their clocks are ticking away. When two grandmasters?Ǭ†take a seat?Ǭ†next to them to analyse their game, the business men don't seem to notice this. In a loud voice they continue their chess-talking-at-1300-level, until a press officer subtly draws their attention to this embarassing situation.

Sporthal "A sort of 70's dressing rooms..."

Now there is someone shouting Anand has blundered a piece; after some checking, it turns out to be a theoretical sacrifice. Glamour pictures are being made of the small?Ǭ†Negi and the cute Kosintseva, the lens so close to their face that you can almost feel the burning heat on your own?Ǭ†nose.?Ǭ†They don't seem to find it too comfortable. The heater is turned?Ǭ†up too much -?Ǭ†who's gonna open a window?

The press room, that's the underground of a chess tournament. From a distance?Ǭ†the?Ǭ†room?Ǭ†seems to be the realm of the Gods. But when you pass behind the?Ǭ†closed doors, you discover an underground world that's not much different from an ordinary pub.
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