7 August 2016

No Summit is Unconquerable

The chess tourism festival "Kuznetsky Alatau" in the review of Vladimir Germansky.

This is already third summer that the Novokuznetsk players get together to ascend the Podnebesnye Zubja (Subcelestial Teeth) mountain. Third chess and tourist festival "Kuznetsky Alatau" lasted only five days - four and a half days, to be more precise. Even though it might seem as if less than no time, the volume of positive emotions that the participants ended up with defies any description! This is not to mention the reminiscences of lived experience that boys and girls will be keeping in their minds. 

As many as about sixty people set about conquering the mountain, parents accompanying their very young players. The day of arrival saw the sun welcoming guests with happy smiles. But then the celestial authorities decided to turn the tables so that it started raining cats and dogs for almost three days in a row. Sun rays were barely visible through the clouds during rare stretches of tranquil weather. However, even such weather proved powerless when it came to breaking the spirits of young people. 

Multiple ascents were made under the guidance of an experienced tourist Andrey Vashchenko. In particular, the players’ achievements included making it to one of the "Military Glory" summits of the Kuznetsky Alatau named after Athanasius Shilin, the only native of Kuzbass who was honored with a Hero of the Soviet Union award on two occasions. Take my word for it, making it to the top was anything but an easy task to achieve. Each ascent participant received a memorable gift. 

Besides, townsfolks enjoyed a pleasurable bath in the Tom River. Well, the water was extremely cold (good grief!), but will kids ever back down to a challenge like this? Alas, unfavorable weather did get in the way of true sunbathing, 

But it never stopped boys from enjoying football anyway. They played both against themselves by splitting into teams and against the Orthodox expedition team. The opponents matched each other, but eventually the chess players prevailed with a 2:0 score. On the offensive side the solo performance was delivered by Daniil Oborkin, while the midfield was reliably covered by Timur Mkoyan, who, by the way, went on to become prize winner of the chess tournament, this being his second award already. 

Can you really do without chess, even if in the mountains? This time it was decided against playing at the Peak of Fools, but rather in a quiet and tranquil environment. Best result was demonstrated by Dmitrij Gladkikh. Main prize was awarded to him by Maxim Ivakhin, Executive Director of the Novokuznetsk Chess Federation. A six game-match was contested between the international master Albert Sergeev and the Novokuznetsk journalist Victor Malyshev, who went down in the final run despite having put up a fierce resistance. 

"Our festival went off wonderfully," summed up Maxim Ivakhin. "Big thanks for its organization go to the children's tourism enthusiast Michael Shevalje and to Alexander Volobuev, member of the Kuzbass Chamber of Commerce. The main thing is that the kids liked it. They approached me to say that they were already looking forward to next summer's ascent of the Subcelestial Teeth."

Pictures by Andrey Chernikov