Valerij Popov Valerij Popov,
Chigorin memorial,
October, 27 2001.

Review 2 (October 29)
Review 3 (November 2)

Review 1 (October 27)

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 chess.

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 cruel felling!

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.