Despite the beautiful weather in Mainz on Saturday, more than 600 chessplayers came to the Rheingoldhalle to play the world-famous Ordix Open. In his opening words, Hans-Walter Schmitt said he agreed with the sponsor Ordix that sponsorship would continue, when the number of participants would increase every year. Look at these figures: In the first Ordix Open in Mainz 2001, 484 chess players came, one year later 496, in 2003 the magic 500 barrier was broken, in 2004 we had 542 players, last year that record was broken again of course, although it was tight: 546. It is a surprising for everybody that this year the magic 600 barrier was broken with ease: 632! Among them 58 GM´s, and 10 WGM, total 177 title holders.
Hunting GM autographs and scalps
For the pros, the 40.000 Euro price fund (together with Chess960 FiNet Open) and the possibility of playing a match next year is attractive, for the many amateurs there is a fair chance that they suddenly meet an ELO-giant on the other side of the board. And if not, for chesslovers, hunting for autographs of the stars, Mainz is paradise.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov gegen Marie Rachel Sebag
It is not at all easy for the favorites to survive the first day, with so many strong players in the field, hunting grandmaster scalps. Evgeny Bareev already lost in the second round, against FM Christoph Pfrommer (ELO 2262) from Karlsruher SF 1853. Occasionaly a top GM drops half a point here and there, but most of the top seeds are very concentrated and therefore it is not surprising to see the ”usual suspects” on the top of the list with a 100% score after the first day: Mamedyarov, Morozevich-who won a mindboggling game in the fifth round against Agrest-Harikrishna-who shows excellent games in Mainz- and Kasimdzhanov, but also lesser known fine grandmasters like Aleksandrov, Dizdar, Sargissian, Gyimesi and Fridman scored 5 points on Saturday. Can they keep the pace? Or will an other player, who lost a point today, like Bacrot, Naiditsch or Bareev be the winner in the end? You will find out on the second day of the Ordix Open. The top games can be followed live on this site.
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