Sasson: In 1991, our office manager Alexander (Sasha) Vainstein informed us that Prime Minister Silaev would be going to the USA on a certain date with an entourage of VIPs. We had already collaborated with Silaev on the Kremlin Cup, but the relationship was strictly professional. Sasha suggested that he and I also travel to the US at the same time as Silaev’s trip, maybe we could ﬁnd a way to be of service.
During this trip, a Russian lady who was with Silaev’s party, was in frequent contact with Mr. Vainstein, and kept him informed of the prime minister’s plans. We knew when Silaev was due to arrive in New York, and on that day Gene Scott managed to bring Jonathan Bush, brother of the elder President George Bush, to New York, and have Mr. Bush invite Mr. Silaev to a tennis match. Where we were present too, of course.
Through this socialization with Mr. Silaev, our professional collaboration on the Kremlin Cup received the added value of a personal friendship. Later, when he was not in office anymore, he came to visit us at our house in Zürich, and even stayed with us as our guest.
Another good thing that came out of this trip to the US with Sasha Vainstein, was cosmetic: Sasha Vainstein was a very handsome man, but every time he smiled or laughed, he covered his mouth with his hand. We ﬁnally realized that he was ashamed of his ugly gold teeth. After the meeting with Silaev in New York, I took Sasha to Los Angeles, to Fred Nayssan, our cousin’s husband who is an excellent dentist. His clinic is always fully booked a few months in advance with his own patients, but thanks to our family relationship he put everything aside and in 48 hours they managed to replace all of Sasha’s gold teeth with beautiful shiny white teeth. After that Sasha couldn’t stop looking in the mirror! He hugged and kissed me, and said “I will never forget your grace and what you did for me. I am now eternally grateful and obliged to you. I will forever be your ears and eyes in Moscow.” And he was indeed very loyal, a good friend and partner (except for a short period of time when he met and married his second wife, but that’s a separate story).