June 26, 2017

Few know the way they look, and almost nobody knows their names, however, the effort of these people, blessed with many extraordinary abilities like staying awake and sane for 36 hours straight, was a big part of the final leg of the FIDE World Team Championships. It is time for them to step out of the shade. Here are the closing credits of the superhero blockbuster shot on the hills of Khanty-Mansiysk on June 16-26. Meet the press center team!

Eteri Kublashvili. The Press Officer of the tournament from FIDE is a never-resting woman who skillfully managed the press-center staff, channeling their journalist superpowers in the right directions. Using her lasso of Truth, she obtained all the answers as well as express analysis from the players at the post-game press-conferences.

Anna Volkova. The Press Officer from the Organizing Committee, like Storm from the Marvel universe, took care of a positive atmosphere at the press center and organized its work. Still she managed to find some time to make photos during the games and to translate texts in Russian and English back and forth.

Maxim Notkin. Analytical articles of the editor-in-chief of chess magazine “64” were interesting not just for chess professionals but for ordinary people too. Like a character of “The Shining” movie played by Jack Nicholson he came to Khanty-Mansiysk and checked in “Olympic” hotel ready to write the main reviews of the World Team Championships. But unlike Jack Torrance Maxim stayed mentally healthy as bright Siberian sun did not do him any harm.

Sasha Osipova. Like Amelie, who lives in her small fantasy world, Alexandra is very inventive and knows how to find pleasure in her everyday routines. She took several responsibilities, including transcribing press-conferences and coordinating the regional mass media. She is also the most calm and peaceful person at the press-center.

Peter Ermakov. Feels at home on the net, very familiar with various social media. All in all, he is the Russian version of Peter Parker.

Boris Kozyrev. The cynical inventor from the Iron Man series is probably the best match for Boris. The eternal webmaster of all chess tournaments in Khanty-Mansiysk never shows up without his laptop. However, if you ask Boris: “Who are you without your computer?”, he would reply: “A genius, billionaire, playboy, and philanthropist.” His sense of humor is alright as well, as you can see.

Anastasia Balakhontseva. The photographer of the World Team Championships. Like the Eye of Sauron from “The Lord of the Rings” movie she notices every hint of a thought on players’ faces. Anastasia’s camera saw everything: 50 shades of emotions of Ian Nepomniachtchi, the disappointment of team Ukraine in a match against Georgia, the joy of team Turkey and the complete concentration of team China before every round. However, those who wanted to get the originals of the photos needed to go directly to Mordor (they also call in “a press center”) to get them.

Polina Zmanovskaya. A kind and sympathetic journalist whose observation and curiosity turned into an interesting articles about the lives of chess players in the capital of Ugra. Long and curly hair make Polina look like Hermione Granger.

Sergey Shipov

Sergey Shipov. Doctor Manhattan of online commentary, capable of predicting the future and returning to the past, see through time in every direction, and hold his grip on all 40 boards of the tournament.

Evgeniy Najer. Having replaced Sergey Shipov on the last two rounds of the tournaments like a character of “The Games of Thrones” series he caught the fancy of the audience, but, as it happens in George Mаrtin’s texts, this didn’t last long.


Evgenij Miroshnichenko and Anna Rudolf. The main creative duet of our chess masterpiece, they resembled the brightest movie couple – Roger and Jessica Rabbit. Evgenij and Anna made a perfect tandem – making commentary of the chess games, demonstrating their perfect sense of humor as well as charm and charisma.


Any movie can’t be done without a production team with a producer and a film director. The official caster of the event, Chesscast company, broadcasts video on more than 90 countries.

Anna Burtasova, producer. And when she has some free time she likes to translate press-conferences.

Tatiana Pushkareva, director. She sees everybody but hides behind displays herself.

Dmitry Bukin, video engineer. Without him all the equipment is just a heap of iron.

Irina Nikonova, picture editor. She takes some odd snaps and make them look beautiful.

Victoria Karnaukhova, videographics. She can draw and animate any pawn like no one can! And a knight too!


Cameramen are catching the most spectacular moments of the tournament.

Boris Gleyzerov. Despite working from a remote location, Boris reacted to the tasks instantly. Like Flash, he can think, read, and translate everything at a superhuman speed.

Goran Urosevic. The editor of English-language chess materials, Mister Fantastic, whose long arms and chess genius reached Khanty-Mansiysk from Serbia.

Magnus Carlsen. That’s right, you are not mistaken. Waiting for the tie-breaks with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave on the Grand Chess Tour in Paris the World Champion was following the tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk and twitted about it. Of all movie stars, who can be compared to Magnus? Only Magnus himself!

The final scene of the World Team Championships will be shot on the official closing ceremony of the event. Red carpet, tuxedos and evening gowns, many melodramatic speeches – doesn’t all this remind you an Academy Awards ceremony? Chess in Ugra – to be continued…