Topalov and Kramnik Have Arrived in Elista
Saturday, 16 September 2006 00:00
Today, on 16th September 2006, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia arrived in Elista by charter together with their delegations for the forthcoming World Championship Match. They were met at the airport by the leadership of the Republic of Kalmykia, journalists and chess fans. Read more and see photos.. Official website of the event: www.worldchess2006.com
Today, on 16th September 2006 Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia arrived in Elista by charter together with their delegations for the forthcoming World Championship Match. They were met at the airport by the leadership of the Republic of Kalmykia, journalists and chess fans.
By Kalmyk tradition the top Gransmasters were welcomed by snow-white scarves, known as khadaki, and Kalmyk milk tea or dzhomba.
In his first interview Vladimir Kramnik said that he was looking forward to come to Kalmykia and now it has finally happenned. Answering the question about the prediction for the Match, Vladimir tactfully avoided the direct reply. He just commented that it is a lot for journalists and fans to guess who will become the Champion and his task as well as that of Veselin is to show beautiful and fought-out games and to strive for victory in each game.
Having arrived in the city, Vesselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik posed for photos with the Head of the Republic, FIDE President K. Ilyumzhinov, against a background of the deeply respected in the Republic monument of the Buddha Shakmyamuni. After that Kirsan Ilyumzhinov suggested the chess players pass through the so-called Golden Gates that lead straight to the centre of Elista where a celebration on the occasion of the Kalmyk capital birthday was being held and where chess takes honored place. At one of the tables Vesselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik played blitz. It resembled the style of their confrontation in 1989. The Dutch game was played as at that time and the Russian player proposed a draw.
With true interest Vesselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik got acquainted with the unique shows on the main square that narrate the rich history of the Kalmyk people and about the life and activities of many diasporas in the multinational Republic. Elista citizens sincerely welcomed the visiting celebrities and whole heartedly wished them sport progress, and treated the chess players with the most delicious dishes.
The Match participants and their accompanying persons visited the Central Buddhist temple, khurul, where they got to know the religious shows, including the first and the only buddhist library in Russia. In appreciation of the beloved guests, the chess players were presented with the books of his Holiness Dalai Lama XIV.
After that Vesselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik visited City Chess where they would reside. They visited the Chess Museum exhibition. Then Kirsan Ilyumzhinov met them in his City Chess office.