Enjoy Your Cigarette, Have a Dance

Время публикации: 13.06.2015 14:58 | Последнее обновление: 17.06.2015 04:29

Every time I walk around Prague in spring, I wonder why the song "The best city in the world" was not written about it. And why do people recommend one to see the city best by walking along its broad avenues, rather than its green spaces, with their unique aura, the smiles of passers-by and the stunning views. 

In the very centre of the city, not far from Karlovy Bridge, is this park, where the ČEZ Chess Trophy takes place every June.

Enjoy your cigarette, madam!

Walkers will see some unusual sights, and end at the scene of the chess action.

It is not free, but it is not expensive, either.

Wesley So awaits the start of the simul, with chief arbiter Pavel Votruba.

A simul against one of the best players in the world is the first item on the programme. 

Tireless organiser Pavel Matocha greets the guest and introduces him to the public.

The grandmaster did not waste his time varying his openings. On all 22 boards, he did the same thing, advancing his pawn from e2 to e4, His opponents pulled their hair out and plunged into feverish thought about how to reply. Everyone who chose 1...e5 immediately was hit with the reply 2.f4 and one could hear the tables vibrating with the players' terror. 

"With unusual relaxation and an ease befitting the spirit of the city, the GM sacrificed pawns, minor pieces and even heavy pieces, left and right."

The whole display lasted just an hour and 40 minutes. Three games ended in draws, and there was only one case of lightning from a clear sky, but that was enough. 

Russian tourists pose...  

While play was in progress, Matocha gave an interview to local TV.

The most popular tourist sites were packed with people. But it is always like that in Prague at this time of year.

Wesley on the balcony of the hotel Julis, on Wenceslas Square. One of the tables has the player who beat him a few hours earlier. In other words, the winner and the loser. With friends.

Nearby was Mark Dvoretsky and his wife. On one of the playing days, Mark will give a lecture on heavy-piece endings. 

David Navara shows readers of Chess-News his new book. A very nicely-produced volume, which is a pleasure to leaf through. The contents? I have not read it, but am looking forward to doing so! 


Today the main event starts, thanks to which all Prague is shining - a match of four games between So and Navara.


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