This is a special report of a former tourist-chessplayer, now a
spectator-journalist from the venue.
The city on Neva is famous by its beauty. Tourists (men, women and
kids) all the year round watch numerous sights and ... sometimes play
And here it is an unprecedented event - during a week (historical
dates!) - in Saint-Petersburg there are two "touristic-chess" events.
First Gary Kasparov as a tourist has visited our city and slightly
renewed the history in the Trade Union University (the History will
not forget this!).
The second event included much more chess but also more "tourists"
(thanks to G.Kasparov for this historical term) - the 9th Chigorin
Memorial has started. The "Open International Chess GMs and IMs
Tournament" collected a very representative composition - 24 GM, 6 WGM,
32 IM ... etc.
And this in despite of a bad weather - October and November in
Saint-Petersburg usually are very rainy. Also the prize fund ($5000
minus tax) should be better... In despite of all 174 participants have
started out - the hospitable City Chess Club named after M.Chigorin
hardly held this chess troops.
Now more concrete about the composition of participants. The most
representative GMs troop have come from the Russian capital -
M.Kobalija, E.Najer, A.Korotylev, V.Kosyrev, Y.Balashov, E.Vorobiov.
I think the future winner should be sought among the top-10
chessplayers (the average rating top-10 more than 2570). In this list
there are 5 Moscowers! Saint-Petersburg is represented by only 3 GMs:
S.Ionov, V.Loginov and A.Kochyev.
Strikes the number of women participated in the competition - 22
representatives of the beauty sex have settled themselves at the chess
tables. An unofficial Russian Cahmpionship between women!
The rest participants are mostly offsprings :) - a good school in a
I wish to participants good games and with pleasure first time will watch this
competition from distance! :)
All the best. Take care.
P.S. As usually there was a surprise. 2 games of the 1st round were
adjourned because of a long absence of electricity (about 1 hour!) and
will be played next day. First (and still only) GM's defeat -
V.Loginov lost to a young Belarusian representative A.Lukashok.