ал в зазерк

Black on white

A game of chess creates as much emotions, contradictions and admiration for its author as an intriguing writing.  If you take a closer look, the course of the game reminds of any story’s plot. The build-up in front of players is always the same: same board, same pieces, but once you make a first move, millions of variations pop up in a player’s mind. Opening can be compared to the starting points of the book. Detecting inconsistency of styles and a conflict of various planes, a spectator is ready for the main plot of the game – the middlegame. Finally the endgame dots the i, deciding the outcome of the battle. In chess there is even an epilogue in a form of a post-match press-conference.

Inextricable link of chess and literature is also proved by the life stories of our heroes from the book named Women Grand Prix in Khanty-Mansiysk. Creating miracles on the chess board it is hard not to believe in miracles yourself. Obviously, chess players’ childhood went not only with “chess alphabet” in hand.

пшGoddess Caissa of course grabbed girls’ minds in the early age, but beloved characters from folk fairytales were also their idols of beauty and wisdom. For Nafisa Muminova such an ideal was Queen Tomyris from the ancient Uzbek legend. Perfect rider, the queen became the symbol of power and will for Nafisa, moving her to master a chess knight and aim for new victories.

Having had spent not just one hour exploring a new opening, small Anna Ushenina slept to the fairytales told by her mum. With her eyes closed, like Alice in Wonderland she made her first step to the miraculous world of kings and queens. But unlike Alice, Anna had to make a much longer way from the pawn to the real chess Queen. She started to play at 7 and needed 20 years to ‘undress’ the king of Antoaneta Stefanova as it was made by the robbers from the story of her favorite author H. C. Andersen.


“Books are very important”, – notes Zhao Xue, – “Books are not only a great fellow in the travels, but a storehouse of information and knowledge. A wise book of a known American specialist in the field of human relations Dale Carnegie which I read now answers many most important questions of life”.

A special interest is raised by the books where one can’t predict the end. The same happens in the game of chess where the power and strength of White’s attack meet the Black’s defensive wall. You never tire of replaying some of the games again and again. And even knowing who’s the winner, you live the moves of the chess classics once again. Classical literature is not inferior in this, and Ukrainian grandmaster Kateryna Lagno loves to read and re-read the classics. “Recently I took up Anna Karenina, but did not read it till the end – the final of the story, unfortunately, does not change”, – regretted Katya. Olga Girya confessed that her favorite authors are Victor Hugo and Erich Remarque, and Nana Dzagnidze is more fond of Georgian poetry.


Chess changed quite a lot since their invention, but books also change all the time. And now, when for most of the people the top priority is given to numerous newspapers and magazines, our players keep up with fashion. Our participants were present in the known women magazines, for instance Hou Yifan’s interview was published in Chinese “Cosmopolitan”, and Alexandra Kosteniuk decorated the cover of the Russian issue. Kateryna Lagno shined in “Esquire”, and Tatiana Kosintseva also took part in several professional photo sessions.

Getting the ideas for their image and style from the “gloss”, our participants shine over the board not only with their genius but also with their beauty.

by Piter Ermakov

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