24 May 2017

Celebrating with Exquisite Speeches and Chess Pieces' Clatter

The Nesis Blitz Cup in Kirishi in the review of Dmitry Kryakvin

Gennady Efimovich Nesis, a coach of the FIDE World Champion Alexander Khalifman, an ICCF grandmaster, a mastermind and chief organizer of the children's super tournament "World's Youth Stars," celebrated his 70th birthday anniversary in Kirishi! Gennady Efimovich’s friends and colleagues, as well as many chess players of the Neva river city, members of the Kinef refinery administration, natives of Kirishi and a host of other people being serious about chess, flowed in to congratulate him.  FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, RCF President and FIDE Vice-President Andrey Filatov, President of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov, and ECU President Zurab Azmaiparashvili sent their messages of congratulation. 

Warm speeches to the anniversary man were followed by players sitting down to chess tables to take part in a traditional Nesis Blitz Cup that listed about a dozen grandmasters and young talents for whom gaining their title norms seems only a question of time. Evgeny Alekseev, Maxim Matlakov, Daniil Lintchevski, Maxim Chigaev, Kirill Alekseenko, Maxim Turov, Anastasia Bodnaruk and other heavyweights were contesting the prizes of this short-lived but otherwise exciting competition. In the final run, Evgeny Levin emerged as a winner. Evgeny shined in an important competition on a popular website chess.com by knocking out no less a person than Magnus Carlsen. Should Levin likewise start demonstrating this stable and powerful performance outside the world wide web, it will be simply impossible to confront him. This is something real, unlike a soap bubble inflated by Iuri Shkuro!

Alekseenko and Matlakov made it into the top three, while Anna Styazhkina and Kirill Shubin were triumphant among women and juniors respectively. While Kirill’s competitors in the nomination ended up clinching into main prizes, Gennady Nesis and his colleagues are known for their principle of rewarding as many prize-winners as possible. This is fair, no argument about that. On the contrary, there are not a few such organizers who would rather burden same hands with as many prizes as it takes. What is the underlying reason here?  Less taxes, less papers... This said, they would care not at all about a child or a woman being deprived of some token prize.

When the tournament was over, the participants received invitations to a banquet, which took place in the main hall of the "Kinef" Palace of Culture. A gorgeous building, which used to accommodate such events of importance as State Council meetings in times gone by, welcomed chess players, who were then entertained by a bard and chansonnier, Nesis's friend from college times. It should be added, however, that the musician had arrived for this mission straight from Boston! A celebration time of May 22 flew by in no time only to leave us with an envy towards the "Youth Stars" participants who keep staying in Kirishi to continue their tournament.

As for us, we say Vanya Somov's hometown goodbye until a year later. I hope the tradition keeps up next year and that it gathers new and strong representatives of the Russian youth generation. Let us be looking forward to the next edition of the "Youth Stars"!