Tuesday, March 07, 2006

(7) Anna of Moscow

In October 1984 I flew to Moscow and was met at the airport by Anna Olevskaya, my appointed translator during my four week stay in Russia. In order to identify me she had not held up a card with my name on it, but had resorted to questioning many of the young men getting off the plane.

One replied that, no, he was not Mr Plaskett... but wished that he were.

We drove from the airport into Moscow and, after I had checked into my hotel and had something to eat, Anna and I went for a walk down to nearby Red Square.
Whilst crossing the street via way of a subway she was recognized by the very man who had joked with her at the airport.

"You found him then!", he quipped.

The Soviet Central Sports Committee had hundreds of young ladies who served as guides/translators to visiting sportsmen.

Of all the occasions in which British chessplayers competed in the U.S.S.R. the only time that I heard of two being allocated the same translator was this, for Anthony Miles
had played in a tournament in Dubna in 1976 and Anna Olevskaya had escorted him.

Don´t know what happened to her after the dissolution of the USSR.

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