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Snowstorm does not bother Anand

It was snowing yesterday in Khanty-Mansiysk, but it did not affect the fighting mood of the players. The third round of the candidates tournament brought us yet more exciting duels of chess giants. It was a special day for Russian fans, who followed two principled encounters between old rivals – Vladimir Kramnik played Peter Svidler, and Dmitry Andreikin faced Sergey Karjakin. Two of them were in the lead after the second round, the other two had a slower start.

The duel between Vishy Anand and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov also looked very promising (yesterday Mamedyarov suffered a painful loss), and such chess titans as Levon Aronian and Veselin Topalov can always produce fireworks. By the way, on March 15th Veselin celebrated his 39th birthday.

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Greetings from Chess TV – the host of TV coverage of the candidates tournament.

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The Chief Arbiter Takis Nikolopoulos and FIDE Press Officer Anastasia Karlovich congratulating Veselin Topalov on his birthday. However, the Bulgarian asked them to wait until the end of the round.

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Greetings to Veselin from Levon Aronian

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Having talked with his friend and manager…

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…Shakhriyar Mamedyarov proceeded to his table, already awaited by Vishy Anand.

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Compatriots and agemates Sergey Karjakin and Dmitry Andreikin.

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Peter Svidler jokes with the press.

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His opponent Vladimir Kramnik is waiting for him at the office.

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The leaders’ battle. These outstanding players produced an outstanding game today.

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Handreading.

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The journalists are trying to catch every second.

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They have only five minutes.

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Gadgets, gadgets…

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Galia Kamalova and Eldar Mukhametov (Moscow Chess Federation)

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Khanty-Mansiysk chess.

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A 14-year-old girl’s view of a chess player.

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The paper pieces.

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Vishy Anand coughs a little, did he catch a cold? The grandmaster said he has a sore throat, so he drinks a lot of tea, but there is nothing to worry about.

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Shakhriyar Mamedyarov: “A day off should be very useful for me, I can relax and forget about my misfortunes. I still have a chance to prove myself here”.

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Sergey Karjakin: “Brilliant result of Alexander Motylev at the European championship suggests that our training sessions were fruitful. Perhaps I am yet to prove it, but Alexander clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of our work. We always keep in touch, and I am very happy about him, this victory is long overdue. When I came to the press-conference yesterday, my first question was about his last round game…”

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Dmitry Andreikin: “In the first three games we were warming up. Perhaps it will be better after the break”.

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Veselin Topalov was asked whether he is superstitious, because playing on one’s birthday usually brings extra pressure.  He said that he frequently played on his birthday at the Melody Amber and has nothing against it. “Perhaps Levon could send me a gift today, – added Veselin with a smile, – but he, apparently, had other thoughts”.

Levon Aronian: “Well, if I knew Veselin has a birthday, I would definitely present him something!”

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Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler analyzed their exciting game in detail, and the journalists decided to let them go without extra questions.

Pictures by Eteri Kublashvili, Anastasia Karlovich and Vadim Lavrenko.