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Games Commentary

Chess and tourism
Friday, 21 May 2010
During daily press conferences FIDE Grand Prix participants have told about the favourite places in the world.

190510_rajabov-art-wb.jpgTeimour Radjabov: We travel a lot and everyone has their favorite places. As for me, I remember visiting Argentina and Mexico very well. When you go to these countries, there is at least one thing that you notice for sure – a 13-hour flight! I also enjoy coming toMonaco – it’s a quiet place with nice atmosphere and excellent climate. I like the French Riviera in general. Actually, I like many places, but I won’t name them all because I don’t want to offend anyone – what if I become a candidate at the FIDE elections someday?

Peter Leko:
I visited Australia, Argentina, and Puerto Rico at a very tender age. Being a chess professional, I keep traveling around the globe, but rarely have a chance to see much! At the tournament you must spend all your time analyzing and playing. If you want to see a city or a country, you have to come when you don’t have to play. Tourism is not compatible with chess.
190510_gelfand-art-web.jpgOnce I played in a Croatian league. Most of my colleagues made 10-move draws and rushed to the beach. I was the only player in my team who really fought for a win, while my teammates entered the hall in swimming trunks to take a look at my struggles. I lost two games and decided to separate chess from tourism for ever.

Pavel Eljanov: There are many interesting places that I’d like to see – Japan, USA, some historical places, however, I cannot call it a dream – it is only a wish.

Boris Gelfand:
I was very impressed by exotic counties such as Brazil and Mexico – those trips are unforgettable! I have a dream to visit South Africa, but not during the World Cup, of course! Imagine millions of tourists coming to the country – the level of service will decrease dramatically! In addition, I will be playing at the tournament in Romania at the same time.

190510_pono-art-web.jpgVugar Gashimov: Chess players usually recall those cities where they were successful. However, if you forget chess memories, my favorite place in Barcelona. I dream to come to Australia – this country is unique in many aspects. For example, there are so many rare species of animals that I’d like to see... Hope to fulfill this dream in the near future.

Wang Yue: I prefer to stay in China with my family.

Ruslan Ponomariov: Frankly speaking I didn’t expect to play here. I was invited because Levon Aronian declined to participated, which kind of ruined my plans – I was going to hike in Crimea and Caucasus with my friends. Perhaps I’ll go somewhere by the end of the year. Particular places don’t mean much to me; the most important thing is a good company.

190510_ivanchuk-art-web.jpgPeter Svidler: My old friend Nigel Short proclaimed himself a chess tourist, and his choice of tournaments exclusively depends on whether he wants to go to a certain country. I did not shift to that category yet. Actually I am interested in places that have no link to chess – Australia and South-East Asia. I always wanted to know them better.

Vassily Ivanchuk: There are many places I enjoy, particularly Linares, Odessa, Moscow. I also like Astrakhan very much, and hope the city organizes more tournaments, so I could come here more often.
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