According to the program of the FIDE Grand Prix Tournament the participants had a day off after the 5th rounds of the competition. They tool the excursion to Chereksky region of Kabardino-Balkaria. At midday the bus reached the administrative border of the region. The representatives of the local administration were already waiting for chess players.
First the guests were shown a national dance. After that a famous Balkarian singer, an honored artist of KBR Aznor Ulbashev, following the tradition, presented a national drink airan in a big wooden bowl to the most respectable guest- the 10th World Champion, the commentator of the competition Boris Spassky. Boris Vasiljevich tasted the drink and thanked for the hospitability. Then he passed the bowl to the chief arbiter of the competition Vyacheslav Namruev. Then, practically, all the excursionists tasted the drink.
Then the guests, the accompanying persons and journalists went up to the gorge of the Chereksky ravine. After the bus had passed through the tunnel, which is one of the unique engineering construction in the republic, the guides advised to leave the bus and cars and to watch the nature. The local administration representative briefly told about the region, it's inhabitants, their kinds of activities, and it's interesting places. At the Blue Lakes the participants got acquainted with the handmade goods of the local craftsmen, took photos in front of the unique Diving center. They told the guests about the history of exploring the caste lake, which is the world's second deepest lake. They also told about the work of the Diving centre. We asked the participants of the tournament to tell us words about their impressions of the day.
Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan). I am for the first time in KBR and I do not regret that I am taking part in the tournament. Today we are lucky to leave the hotel and to watch the places where the native people of the republic live. I was amazed by the Mountain scenery and the Blue Lakes. It's wonderful! I can hardly find the words to express my feelings. If you hold such kinds of tournaments, I will always come to Nalchik.
Alexander Grishuk (Russia). It's cool here. As a matter of fact I seldom travel to the mountains and I am greatly impressed by everything I have seen. Today I have got a lot of positive emotions; it is nice to have such a rest especially after the tense working days, when every minute after the midnight is planned.
Boris Gelfand (Israel). Frankly speaking it is my first time here and I liked it very much. Last year when the Championship was held here I was watching it very carefully, and I was reading a lot about the most beautiful places of KBR in Internet. But seeing is believing. There are wonderful places, beautiful lakes, unique mountainous relief. I was impressed by the location of the gorge and the narrow road to it. I wish we had more time. However, the tournament is very difficult, the players are rather strong. If we had a couple of days off we would have been able to see more. Probably, beside the things we have seen today there are a lot of places which are worth seeing in KBR.
Peter Svidler (Russia). I expected to see a fantastic nature in KBR and I have seen it. Thank you for the real Caucasian hospitability.
Levon Aronyan (Armenia). I liked it greatly. I feel like I am at home, in Armenia. Certainly, your mountains are higher, and it is difficult to describe in words the beauty surrounding us. I often live in megalopolis, and that's why I feel myself free when I breathe the freshest air of your place. I have never been to KBR before but I will let out one secret; my parents got acquainted here in Nalchik and they celebrated their wedding in KBR.
After the traditional dinner taken in honour of the guests, the administration of the region presented the guests with the souvenirs. And the honoured guest - a legendary chess player Nona Gaprindashvily was given a big woolen shawl.
On their way back the guests visited the village Babugent. The pupils of the bordering school were waiting for the famous grandmasters of our time. They were standing eighth their chess boards at the monument to the farther of the Balkarian literature Kyzim Mechiev. The children were very glad to see Nona Gaprindashvily. Levon Aronyan played the game of chess with one child. In the end the hosts and the guests took photos together. See big pictorial report in our Photo gallery.