Chess Classic

Alexandra Kosteniuk FiNet Chess960-Simultan an 20 Brettern
Alexandra Kosteniuk - Amtierende Weltmeisterin, Elo 2519
06. August 2010, 16:00 Uhr - Mainz, Goldsaal Hilton

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August 6-8, 2010 Rheingoldhalle, Mainz
Chess Classic Mainz 2010 (CCM10)
40 board simul against world champion GM Viswanathan Anand
20 board simul against Chess960 world champion GM Alexandra Kosteniuk


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Chess Classic

Kick off in Mainz: Naiditsch shows surprise lead in Chess960 Match
Day 1- Press conference-Clererical Medical Chess960 World Championship-Anand simul

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 CCM6 Live!  

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 for more information and nice pix from Vaile and to get more information about HIM.

Chess960 Medical Clerical World Championship for women, seniors and juniors-day 1

Naiditsch-Harikrishna 3,5-0,5

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 opponent.

Hort-Portisch 2,5-1,5

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-Kosteniuk 2-2

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: 35-5 (+31=8-1).

Eric van Reem

Published by Gerhard Kenk

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