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Table Tennis and joy on the rest day of the WR Chess Masters 2023

by Sagar Shah - 21/02/2023

Different tournaments have different kinds of rest days! At the WR Chess Masters 2023, the players and organizers had a great time with a well organized mini-table tennis event. 7 out of the 10 participants of the main tournament took part in this round robin tournament with Gelfand, Dana Reizneice and Wadim Rosenstein joining them. It was a keenly contested event with Andrey Esipenko edging everyone out and taking the top spot. Sagar Shah who travelled to Dusseldorf brings you a fun report.

Andrey Esipenko wins the first ever WR Chess Table Tennis tournament

The mood of the players at a tournament is a reflection of the atmosphere that the organizers want to create. Have a look at these pictures:

The joy... | Photo: Lennart Ootes

...letting your guard down | Photo: Lennart Ootes

The ever so colourful Levon! | Photo: Lennart Ootes
When have you last seen chess players like this?

The WR Chess Masters 2023 is a super tournament and this is the first edition of it. As an organizer you have to think seriously as to what sort of a vibe you would like to create when you are putting in your resources and bringing all the top players under one roof. For Wadim Rosenstein, the main organizer of the WR Chess Masters 2023, the aim seems quite clear. He wants to create an atmosphere where the chess players can have a good time with each other and where he can have a good time with the players!


On the 20th of February 2023 - the rest day at the WR Chess Masters 2023, the organizers decided to hold the mini Table Tennis tournament. 7 of the 10 players took part (Aronian, Nepo and So were missing) and joining them were Dana Reizniece-Ozola (managing director of FIDE), Boris Gelfand and Wadim Rosenstein.

The tables were half the size of the normal TT tables but the players were completely engrossed. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Joining in was the current manager of the famous table tennis club Borussia Dusseldorf Andreas Preuß. He is also multiple times former national champion of Germany. He taught the players some of the basic rules and strategies of the game. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Andreas Preuß made it amply clear to everyone as to which sport he loves the most | Photo: Sagar Shah

The two Indians at the tournament were having a good time! | Photo: Sagar Shah

The most amazing thing about Dana Reizniece-Ozola is that she is completely involved and engrossed in everything that she does! | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Always super focused - D.Gukesh | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Anish Giri always plays to win! | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Guess Nodirbek's playing style in Table Tennis? Of course, Attacking! | Photo: Lennart Ootes

The brain behind the entire WR Chess Masters - Wadim Rosenstein | Photo: Lennart Ootes

The man who won all the 9 matches that he played - Andrey Esipenko | Photo: Lennart Ootes

The final crosstable

The winners of the tournament - 1st Esipenko, 2nd Gelfand, 3rd Duda | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Andrey Esipenko took home this beautiful trophy! | Photo: Lennart Ootes

When Chess and Table Tennis combine! | Photo: Lennart Ootes

A great final picture! | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Some videos from the table tennis tournament

Anish Giri vs D. Gukesh - a nail biting finish
Pragg vs Gukesh, who is stronger?
This is what you call a simultaneous exhibition in table tennis!
Anish Giri's hilarious commentary against Praggnanandhaa
The battle of absolute patience between Esipenko and Anish Giri
Gukesh vs Abdusattorov, the rivalry continues!
Andrey Esipenko's interview on winning the WR Chess 2023\
Table Tennis with 4 future Candidates! Even after the tournament was over - Pragg, Gukesh, Abdusattorov and Keymer played on for almost an hour!

The standings of WR Chess Masters 2023 after 4 rounds and before the rest day. With 5 more games to go, there is everything to play for!

The master photographer in action - Lennart Ootes editing his pictures!

Gukesh's father Rajinikanth and Vincent Keymer's mother Heike along with co-founder of ChessBase Frederic Friedel

Look at Pragg!

Clash of generations!

I had my stopover at the Istanbul airport when travelling from Mumbai to Dusseldorf

Istanbul is very famous for its different varieties of food on offer!

Absolutely stunning is the 0’ Zero Point art gallery at the Istanbul airport by the artist Deniz Sağdıç

All the artworks are made of recycled material!

As I reached the hotel, Natalia Popova and Anastasia Sorokina were present for a warm welcome
I reached Dusseldorf on the rest day. This video gives you a small venue + room tour!

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