Official Report before round 1 of Novgorod tournament

Lunch for reporters

Lunch for reporters, the first one within the history of the
super tournament, took place at Beresta Palace Hotel on July 19. The
reporters were greeted by Michail Skibar, the first vice-chairman of
the administartion of the city of Novgorod, Nikolai Semyonov, the
vice-chairman of the administration of Novgorod region, and Irina
Kibina, the director of the super tournament.

The guests exchanged opinions about traditional competitions with the
participation of the best grandmasters of the world. For example,
Viktor Troyanovsky, the authorized reporter for ITAR TASS, proposed
to establish some special prizes, such as to the youngest
participant, for the most attractive victory, for the wish to win.

Some words of Michail Skibar became "the chief news of the day". He
said that the city officials do not object against the organization
of a possible game between two great "K"s - Garry Kasparov and
Anatoly Karpov - on the banks of the Volkhov river.

Organizing the super tournament for the third time in a raw, Novgorod
has confirmed its ability to make the stay of the world best grandmasters in the city of a high level.

V.Ivanchuk appeared at the end of the lunch. An unscheduled
press conference took place. The grandmaster was in his best moods.

Press conference and drawing of lots

The first press conference and drawing of lots of the participants took
place at Beresta Palace Hotel in the evening of July 19.

The following officials were present in the conference-hall: Michail
Skibar, the first vice-chairman of the city administration, Nikolai
Semyonov, the vice-chairman of the regional administration, Karsten
Bennika, the director of the joint-stock Company "Stimorol-Novgorod",
Irina Kibina, the director of the tournament.

The press conference lasted for 35 minutes. 14 questions were asked.
Last year only 7 questions were asked. The reporters working for the
first supertournament two years ago asked 16 questions - most of all.
A year ago only 4 grand masters out of 10 were interviewed. This time
all six grandmasters had to answer the questions. The charming Judit
Polgar had to answer 4 questions. Her mother, K.Polgar, and she got
luxurious flowers. This pleasant mission was done by Michael Skibar
and Nikolai Semyonov.

V.Ivanchuk was asked to evaluate in a nutshell the match between Anatoly Karpov
and Gata Kamsky for the title of the world champion according the FIDE versions.
The match has just been finished. The Ukranian grandmaster gave the
shortest answer in the a sense of humour: "The victory of boredom".

N.Short got the same 2nd order number at the sortition as last year.
Though his favorite figure is 7.

V.Ivanchuk got the same 5th number as last year. In 1994 he had the
first number.

Another participant of the tournament, Vladimir Kramnik, drew number
3. Last year he had 9 and the year before - 6.

V.Topalov got number 4. Last year he had the last 10th number.

Two participants of the super tournament who came here for the first
time got "edge" numbers: B.Gelfand got the 1st, J.Polgar - the 6th.

Last year all the lots were put just into souvenir birch-bark shoes
("lapti"). This time they were placed into... the dolls, made by a
professional craftswoman Irina Orlyankina. All the dolls were
beatiful and each of them had a unique dress made according to the
Russian tradition. It was a perfect gift for the grandmasters
reminding them about the ancient city of Novgorod.

Sortition was an unusual one. Its leader Irina Kibina told a
well-known tale about Vasilisa the Beauty. Five grandmasters were
titled "brave fellows" for the first time in their lives. J.Polgar
was called "the beauty".

Ceremony of opening

The ceremony of the super tournament opening took place at 2:00
p.m. on July 20 at the Drama Theater. The grandmasters and the judges appeared
on a stage decreated with the adds of the point-stock company "Stimorol-Novgorod".
They were accompanied by elegant girls - photomodels from the
photoagency "Image"

Copyright © 1996 Novgorod State University