TCN's Michel Percan meets childhood hero Garry Kasparov
Around 19 hours with the applause that lasted longer than it would probably lasted in some another country, Kasparov arrived.
The relationship between Croatia and Kasparov is reaching far back into the sad history of the siege of Vukovar, in an era in which a well-known chess player with his influence lobbied and helped this young European country in the making. Croatia repaid him last year, by giving him citizenship, an act for which he is now known as the most famous bearer of Croatian passport. This was also pointed out from the Minister of Defenders Predrag Fred Matic who sincerely thanked him for all that he has done for Croatia, including a large tourist promotion over the last few years in Europe and the world.
As for the simultaneous game, it of course ended with 18:0 in favor of the Russian champion. Mayor of Pula Boris Miletic was the one who stayed longest of all the celebrities and politicians who played, making it a bit difficult for Kasparov to make an easy win with his occasional tactical moves that he learned in his student days. As for the last stage, it was surprisingly the female who remained. 13-year-old Anamarija Radiković from the chess club “Rijeka” has managed to stop most of the Kasparovs skilled moves even with noise and the full attention of the camera and lights around her. She even showed no sign of pressure with the live broadcast that for the first time in this format was delivered over the Internet. This will certainly be a boost of confidence to both her and the other young players. And there lies the very essence of such an event.
It should also be noted that the goal of this simultaneous chess event was primarily to promote the project “Chess with the school” funded by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, which is currently being carried out as part of extra-curricular activities in a dozen schools in Zagreb, and plans to expand it soon in the other Croatian schools.