Armenians repeat their success
Little Knight meets big rook
The technical Olympiad spirit


Press conference day four

Dresden, 17/11/2008

Husband-Wife Duos Abound at Olympiad. As marriages meld in Dresden, players have two games to worry about.


GM Daniel Fridman plays fourth board for the host country's top open team. But in a way, he is also tied down to the U.S. Women's Team's second board. It is there that wife WGM Anna Zatonskih competes, and Fridman does not relish the unique combination.

"I get quite nervous when my wife has problems," he explained. Fridman said it is worse when one of them have the round off – then they do not even have their own game as a distraction.

Zatonskih is not the only American woman with her other half playing. Board-one teammate IM Irina Krush is joined by husband and Canada number two GM Pascal Charbonneau, who took time during a non-playing round to observe his wife's game. Krush said earlier that both are committed to team unity and are staying with their respective squads, despite their hotels being divided by the river.

Other marriages exist here too and GM Lars Bo Hansen is more romantic about the notion. He holds down top board for Denmark while wife WIM Evgenia Hansen has the same spot for the country's women's team. The Danish duo met at a chess tournament (the 1988 World Junior Championships in Adelaide, Australia), so they have grown comfortable playing simultaneously.  "It's nice we can combine family matters with playing as well," Lars Bo Hansen said.

He animatedly talked about life after professional chess but his expression lit up at the telling of that fateful meeting in Adelaide. With more than 1000 men and women currently dining, playing and socializing in Dresden, we may hear of similar unions being made here in the years to come.

Text: Mike Klein
Photos: Georgios Souleidis