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The second finalist of the World Cup was defined in the fantastically hot battle. An absolutely equal and strong competition of the two absolutely different, but unique chess players was on the way till the «last breath».

Alexander Grischuk and Vassily Ivanchuk were sitting at the chess board as usual but the colossal tension could be felt in the Hall. It seemed that soon it will be lightning on the chess board. The fact that there will be the rest day was to the point.


«An air is fresh after the storm
Everything revives and breathes as in the paradise"

Boris Pasternak


According to Grischuk’s words, he was coming to the tie break games as to a holiday: he is more interested to play rapid and blitz than classical games. He is not concealing this fact from anyone for a long time already.

Peter Svidler prepared to watch the games of his friend very thoroughly: he did not forget to take his book and comfortably sat in the tribune.

Ruslan Ponomariov decided to spend his rest day in the Chess Academy as well. The English commentators Konstantin Landa and Anna Sharevich used the opportunity and invited him to their commentary room. Usually Ruslan is not talkative at the press conferences, but this time he started to comment the tie breaks games with excitement. Ponomariov was dynamically narrating on the course of the match, he makes a lot of jokes, so, he turned out to be the professional in commenting.

After «the work» Ruslan Ponomariov went to the Playing Hall. An interesting fact: Svidler has already changed his seat and occupied the last row. While Grischuk and Ivanchuk were exchanging blows, the photographers were running between the Playing hall and press centre for the time for photo shooting is short.

If there is no need to make photos, there is no need to hurry. A journalist Tamila Musaeva is walking with a light step.

Grischuk gained a victory in the «10 minutes» games: he won with White and made a draw with Black.

The first autograph after the triumph — on a 1000 bill

Vassily Ivanchuk has only one day to recover. The match with Ruslan Ponomariov is very important in many ways for him — it is the fight for the qualification to the Candidates Matches and also a match-revenge for 2002.

When the games were over, the arbiter has conducted the drawing of colors. Vassily drew a white pawn and thus he will play the first game with White.

In the pair of the two finalists Peter Svidler was the first to draw the color. He will play Black.

This is the way Svidler would have looked if he worked in the office. However, it seems to me that it is still hard to imagine Peter Veniaminovich as some kind of a manager.

The press conference of the 2nd finalist.


The organizers have arranged a mini-cruise to the junction point of the two great Siberian rivers Ob and Irtysh on the only rest day during the World Cup.

The cruiser with tourists is pushing off from the embankment of the river station. We were lucky with the weather that is already half of success in such an affair as excursion.

On the background of the blue sky one can distinctly see how dark is the water in Irtysh. Almost black. Irtysh heads in the mountains of Mongolian Altay, flows through China, Kazakhstan, Western Siberia where it joins with Ob. As for Ob, it falls into the Kara Sea of the Arctic Ocean. Altogether both rivers are 5410 kilometers long taking the 5th place in the world.

The report for the local TV in the travelling conditions. Anna Sharevich is sharing her impressions on the Ugorian land while the journalist Vladimir Barsky, who was the next one to be filmed, is thinking over his speech.

It has become a tradition to throw coins on the point of rivers junction. Sergey Shipov supposed that the larger the coin is the more possibilities you have to come back to this saint place.

The interpreter Kema Goryaeva and press-officer of the World Cup Nikita Kim know each other since a dozen of years.

The Chairman of the Appeals Committee of the World Cup Boris Kutin is not loaded with job thanks to the participants of the tournament.

Three hours of the river journey passed imperceptibly. When we saw the beautiful White Church it became clear that our steamboat will moor soon. Assol was waiting for us in the port. Looking at the statue of this romantic hero of «Scarlet Sail» I recalled on the joke which our Press Officer told us recently:

A pilot is happy: he comes to the airport, a girl meets him.
A captain is happy: he comes to the port, a girl meets him.
A locomotive driver is happy: he comes to the railway station, a girl meets him.
Only a girl is not happy: she has to run either to the airport or to the railway station or to the port!

After the journey a part of our company decided to climb one of the highest hills of Khanty-Mansiysk to enjoy the beauty of the city and to breathe the fresh air. The best sightseeing place is located next to the Stella pyramid which was constructed in the memory of Ugra founder.

The view was beautiful, the nature around was more beautiful. Of course it is a pity that photos cannot express aromas. The needles in the forest smell nice!

In plain-air near the fire any simple snack has a chance to be considered as a chef d’oeuvre of culinary art.

They say one can stare at three things: fire, water and … when other people work. It is time for the decisive fight of the World Cup, I’d rather go and watch …


Maria Fominykh

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