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Work of the Press Center
September 17, 2008

Beyond the players who are the key to any tournament, the success of a World Chess Championship depends on good organization and on the excellent work of the media people.

The Organizing Committee practically headed by Aslan Afaunov, Minister of Sport, has done everything to ensure the appropriate conditions for the participants. The efforts have been appraised by all the players and delegations who expressed their satisfaction during the Championship. The beautiful places like the Blue Lake, the Waterfalls in Kabardino- Balkaria which were visited by participants filled the players with fresh energy. Some of them did not leave or regretted to leave even after they finished participation in the Championship and have been looking to get a chance for comeback next year.

The representation of the media developed the usual manner: more journalists at the opening and at the final, less professionals during the mid-rounds. All of them were relying on the facilities of the Press Center and on support of its staff which also provided news for the official Internet site of the World Championship. The top number of visitors a day reached 70 000 persons. Many other chess sites, e.g. Chessbase, Chessvibes, Susan Polgar Blog followed the event in co-operation with the official site and Chessdom gave on-line reports of the event. From among the journals, with high probability, the Russian Chess Federation official daily dealt most with the Championship by Ilja Odessky`s articles and photos. The official bulletin composed by E. Atarov followed the event and provided analysis of several games in every round. Local papers and TV stations reported of the Championship, the games, excursions etc. on a daily basis. The national magazine, Top Territory, under the guidance (and participation) of managing editor E. Petchonova organized a blitz tournament for journalists and local chess fans.

The Press Center staff has been basically composed of three groups of people: government employees delegated to the Center, FIDE people and volunteers working for the Center as hostesses, interpreters, organizers. Accordingly, division of labor had to be established there. As this Championship has been the first event of that type held in Nalchik, FIDE people like myself as Press Director or Georgios Makropoulos, Deputy President had to explain and introduce techniques, formulas, etc. that are usually used by Press Centers in FIDE events. Then, those were efficiently applied by the Press Center staff and served well during the Championship. After eliminating the early difficulties, the work turned to be almost automatic: under the administrative and technical guidance of Askhat Mechiev, other members of the staff (Rashad Kimov, Elena Akhokhova) translated texts and Maryana Berova put all the pictures, texts and videos (videos were mainly done by E. Surov) onto the site. If the journalists had any requests, our volunteer students (Amina, Elena, Diana, Asya, Fatimat and Bella) from the university provided them guidance, translations etc. They also accompanied officials to the official places on a more permanent basis as L. Mazouz and L. Ncube were supported mainly by Zalina Blieva and Zarina Kushkova, while the others got help from Madina, Karina and Juliette. The overall organization (transportation, airflights, etc.) for the media people was co-ordinated by Dzhamilla Teberdieva. For the local papers, the basic news were provided by Ekaterina Tolasova who also wrote several articles in the dailies of the republic. In the evening press conference, mainly Rashad and Elena served as interpreters and tried to cope with the special chess words in Russian and English.

From time to time when her other duties around Mr. Kanokov, the President of the republic, allowed Dzhamilya Hagarova, the Press Chief of the President fell into the Center, supported our work and chatted about the latest news with the others. On many occasions, she stayed in the Center until its work was finished at about midnight or just a little bit before that time.

The best moments for the Press Center people were those when we have seen the players in the daily, evening press conferences expressing their views of the game, answering questions under pleasant circumstances and in happy mood - many times even after a loss. All in all, we were able to provide timely information of the Women`s World Chess Championship to the chess world and had fun here in Nalchik. A good team emerged and on behalf of FIDE and the chess lovers I just want to express my thanks to each member of team.

Peter Rajcsanyi
Press Director

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Press Center of Championship
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