16.08.2006 - The Chess Classic Mainz 2006 has started. For the sixth time, the city of Mainz, lying on the banks of the river Rhine, acts as host city for this year´s tournament. In 2001, the first Chess Classic Mainz was played, but from 1994 to 2000 the tournament took place in Frankfurt. “I was asked to explain the difference between Frankfurt and Mainz in several interviews”, Hans-Walter Schmitt said during the opening press conference on Tuesday. ”The difference is that the towers in Frankfurt are higher, but the performance and love for chess in Mainz is higher than in Frankfurt. After we had a top tournament with the top 10 players of the world in 2000, we decided to move to Mainz one year later, because the city and the mayor Jens Beutel were eager to promote a new kind of chess: Chess960.” And this exciting kind of chess seems to attract more and more players...and sponsors. Schmitt: “This year we are happy that we have found a new sponsor, Clerical Medical, for the Chess960 World Championship matches. During the press conference, the company was represented and introduced by Falko König, (an appropiate name: König meaning King!).
On Tuesday, the three Clerical
Medical Chess960 matches started: the ladies-match Alexandra Kosteniuk-Elisabeth
Pähtz, the seniors Vlastimil Hort and Lajos Portisch and finally the
juniors Pentala Harikrishna and Arkadi Naiditsch play eight games to
determine the world champions in their categories. Format: eight rounds,
rate of play 20 min/game + 10 sec/move increment. They play on Tuesday and
Wednesday, the games can be followed live on the Internet. Just click on
Hort and Portisch both played
against the inventor of Chess960, Bobby Fischer, when he was living in
Budapest. Portisch even won a game against the ex-world champion: “ I
could never beat him in normal chess, but I could beat him in Chess960.
“Bobby was not amused”, Portisch smiled.
But Mainz is not only known as the
heart of the Chess960 community, Mainz is also the place where the best
rapid chess tournaments and matches are played. This year we can expect a
nice battle between Teimour Radjabov and Vishy Anand in the main match and
more than 600 players are expected to play the Ordix Open on Saturday and
Sunday. “A chess game should not last longer than 45 minutes”, Schmitt
said. And this year we will take a technical risk by broadcasting 339
games live on the Internet, from various events, like the Livingston
Computer Chess960 world championship. For the players who are not that
strong, but still want to know what is going on on the boards of the top
GM´s we will provide an extra and never seen before service in the hall
by showing the evaluation of the strong computer chess program “Spike” on
monitors.” Off course, the players can not see the evaluation...
HIM and Vaile
Anand and Migé and Burton from HIM
Ah, and we should not forget that
we had some prominent guests during the press conference. Not only a lot
of familiar faces from India and Scotland could be spotted in the
audience, two rock stars from the finnish love metal band HIM, keyboard
player Burton and bass player Mige came to Mainz to play in a simul
against Anand today and the want to try Chess960 in the simul against
Levon Aronian tomorrow. They will be joined by German singer Vaile, a
26-year old singer and actress who plays in the populair German daily soap
“Marienhof”. She will also perform two songs during the Champions Dinner
on Wednesday. Maybe the rockers from Finland will play a song with her?
Take a look at
www.vaile.de for more information and nice pix from Vaile and
www.heartagram.com to get more information about HIM.
Chess960 Medical Clerical World
Championship for women, seniors and juniors-day 1
It was a nasty first day at the
Chess Classic for Pentala “Hari” Harikrishna in his match against German
number one Arkadi Naiditsch. Last year, in the FiNet Open, the young hope
from India lost two games because he had trouble with the castling rules.
This year he was outplayed in the first two games and even lost the last
game of the day, although he had a better position, according to his
The chess legends Vlastimil Hort
and Lajos Portisch also played some nice games. Hort won the first and
fourth game, Portisch won the third game. One game ended in a draw.
Anything is possible on the second day!
Pähtz vs Kosteniuk in a Chess960 WM match
In the battle of the graces,
Alexandra Kosteniuk – Elisabeth Pähtz, the Russian superstar had an
excellent start by winning her first official Chess960 game. After an draw
in the second game, the German number one fought back in game number three
and equalised the score. In the last game of the day, the players
peacefully shared the point.
Simul Vishy Anand: 35-5
Rounding off the day, Indian
superstar Vishy Anand played a simul on 40 boards against a wild mix of
strong amateurs, young children, the mayor of Mainz and two finnish rock
stars. Rocker Burton managed to score a draw. “I never thought that I
would play more than 20 moves against Anand, but I did not make a
mistake. I really enjoyed the game and Vishy is a real gentleman. We will
certainly come back next year, maybe the rest of the band will joinus”,
Burton said. Bass player Mige lost after 29 moves. Gentleman Anand offered
a draw to an eight-year old after 13 moves, and lost one game: Peter
Backhaus (DWZ 1890) from TSV Osnabrück was the lucky guy to score a full
point. Mayor Jens Beutel had no chance against Anand. The final result:
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