Chess Classic

Hikaru Nakamura Chess960 Rapid World Championship
GM Hikaru Nakamura – FiNet Open Sieger 2008
28.-30. Juli 2009, 18:30 Uhr, Rheingoldhalle Mainz

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July 27- Aug 2nd, 2009 Rheingoldhalle, Mainz
Chess Classic Mainz 2009 (CCM9)
8. FiNet Open
World's biggest Chess960 Rapid Chess Tournament







     











  






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  FiNet AG
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Chess Classic

We want to support the idea Chess960
Interview with the CEO from FiNet Peter Kunath

03.08.2007 - FiNet, located in the German city Marburg, is the holding company for a nationwide network of independent insurance and financial brokers. Within the framework of the Chess Classic Mainz the company supports Chess960 and their sponsoring has considerably added to the popularization of this chess variant. In Mainz, the best players in the world meet every year to play this exciting chess variant and this year even the worlds number 1 Vishy Anand plays Chess960, a premiere for him. Press officer Harry Schaack spoke to Peter Kunath, one of the managing directors of FiNet about the reasons for sponsoring the event in Mainz, his fondness for Chess960 and how sees the Chess Classic.

The Logo of the FiNet AG

Harry Schaack / English version: Eric van Reem

HARRY SCHAACK: Mr. Kunath, what is your personal relationship to chess? Do you play the game yourself?
PETER KUNATH: Mr. Kunath, what is your personal relationship to chess? Do you play the game yourself? I am a hobby chess player. For about four or five years a good friend of mine and I meet to play chess. We have a good meal, drink a fine glass of red wine and play chess. For us the relaxing atmosphere is top priority, the sport is not that important. However, we have noticed that our regular meetings over the board have a positive effect on our playing strength, which without a doubt is very satisfying for both of us.

Question: Since when do you know the Chess Classic?
KUNATH: We do support the event now for the fourth consecutive year and just before the first time we supported the event in 2004, we came into contact with the organizers.

Question: How did the cooperation with the Chess Classic start?
KUNATH: We particularly like the idea of Chess960. I had no idea that this chess variant even existed, until Hans-Walter Schmitt, the main organizer of the event told us about it and he managed to fill us with enthusiasm for Chess960. We liked the idea of playing chess in a different way and thought that supporting this new kind of chess would be worthy.

Question: What is the main reason for a company that is located in Marburg to support an event taking place in Mainz?
KUNATH: When we started back in 2004, our company was considerably smaller than we are now. At that time we did not sponsor anything. However, we thought that we had a certain social responsibility and decided to spend a certain amount of our earnings to a cause which has nothing to do with our main commercial goals. We thought the innovative idea of Chess960 is fantastic. Therefore we are pleased, that we are able to help spreading Chess960 and that we can help making the Chess Classic a success.

Question: When we surf to your FiNet website, the first thing we see is a chess piece…
KUNATH: We decided to put of chess piece on the site about two years after we started sponsoring the Chess Classic, to make our own presentation a bit smoother. While we support a chess event, we thought that it is important to show it as a part of our identity.

Speach before the pricegivinning of the FiNet Open f.l.to.r.: Tournament director Markus Busche, Treasurer Chess Tigers Jürgen Wienecke, CEO FiNet AG: Peter Kunath and President Chess Tigers: Hans-Walter Schmitt

Question: Which values does chess represent, seen from FiNets perspective?
KUNATH: Chess is an intelligent sport, which has a lot to do with strategy. You often have to make a quick decision, in particular in rapid chess, that is played in Mainz. Because of the different starting positions in Chess960 you have to be flexible.

Question: Which effects do you hope to achieve for FiNet by sponsoring the Chess Classic?
KUNATH: To be honest: none! We want to support the idea. We do not expect that it will have any entrepreneurial advantage. However, we carry the innovative idea of this chess variant into our company and in the circle of connected financial brokers, who we will invite to the tournament in Mainz.

Question: You do not expect that sponsoring will boost the image of your company or that a certain profile will be created for FiNet?
KUNATH: No, seen from that point of view, we are very modest. It is certainly not bad when somebody discovers that we do not support football, but a more intelligent kind of sport like chess. But apart from that, boosting our image is not on our focus. We enjoy sponsoring an idea, which does not have a particular benefit. .

Question: In the chess world, FiNet is connected to Chess960, the chess variant, that has become popular and well-known during the Chess Classic tournaments. Is there a particular reason, that your company is getting involved in this variant?
KUNATH: Chess960 is a new idea. Our company, a holding company for a nationwide network of independent insurance and financial brokers, tries to do things differently. That is why Chess960, the chess variant in which chess is played in an original and different way, fits into our entrepeneurial identity. That is why we have a substantial propinquity to Chess960.

Pricegiving FiNet Open f.l.to.r.: President Chess Tigers Schmitt, CEO FiNet AG Kunath, Winner GM Levon Aronian (Armenia), 2. GM Ivan Sokolov (Netherlands) and 3. GM Klaus Bischoff (Germany)

Question: This year, your financial involvement in the Chess Classic has increased even further. Your company is now sponsoring the 6. FiNet Chess960 Rapid World Championship. You are now also sponsoring a top chess event with top players. Is this a new dimension of sponsoring for FiNet?
KUNATH: We are not sure yet. Sponsoring the Open tournament is still very important to us, but we like give something a trial. We just want to see which impression sponsoring a world championship makes on our financial brokers network.

Question: Do you have any contact to the top players?
KUNATH: Mr. Anand is always very friendly and I have spoken to other top players as well. Our contacts are getting better every time.

Question: Are you looking forward to Vishy Anand playing Chess960 for the first time?
KUNATH: I will jump for joy. Anands willingness to play Chess960 might have been the decisive moment for us to invest in the Rapid World Championship. The idea will be spread further.

Question: Your support makes it possibe that we will see a big Chess960 tournament for young chess players: the first FiNet Mini Open for children under-14. Is supporting the juveniles a particular concern?
KUNATH: Yes. It is very good for children to get involved with chess. I can see that with my own children, who have visited the Chess Classic several times and are fascinated. That is one of the reasons why we are willing to get involved in the Mini-Open. It is unique that young chess players get the opportunity to play under the same conditions as the adults. They can play on stage and experienced grand masters will take care of them. It is very good, that children get the feeling that they are taken seriously and that they are an integral part of the event. I am very anxious to see, how people react to that.

Question: Will your children play in the event?
KUNATH: No, but they will visit the event again. They do not play chess, but they do show more and more interest.

At the Championsdinner: the FiNet Crew arround CEO Peter Kunath with the organizers from famous Corus tournament at Wijk aan Zee, Theo Hoogland and Dolf Vos

Question: How did you percieve the Chess Classic in the past?
KUNATH: As a very well organized event. The spectators profit from the excellent technical facilities. They are very close to the top players, and therefore it is easy to get in a fever of excitement. I enjoy that very much. We have noticed that also non-chess players are fascinated by the tournament. My wife loves the atmosphere, the same goes for our business partners.

Question: Will you visit the Gourmet Club again this year?
KUNATH: Of course. The Gourmet Club offers us a very stylish opportunity to dine with our friends, partners and customers, to talk with each other in a good ambience and at the same time getting insight and competent information about the games from well-known grandmasters. The Gourmet Club is a considerable part of the fun for us, because we can meet our business partners there as well.

Question: What do you expect from this years event?
KUNATH: We want to get into contact with more business partners via this event. In the past couple of years we were a bit late informing our customers about the exact data of the event. This year more employees of our company will come to Mainz, to make them aware of the event and to see why FiNet is investing money in a chess event. Finally, I am looking forward to the Mini-Open and hope that it will become an establihed part of the Chess Classic programme in the future.

Question: Do you regard the Chess Classic as an event for the whole family?
KUNATH: Of course. The Childrens Club offers parents a good opportunity to relax during the tournament. We have tried it ourselves: our children really enjoyed being in the childrens club. My family has extensively used all the facilities the organisation offers.

Last question: Do you plan to continue to sponsor the Chess Classic?
KUNATH: There is much to be said for it.

Thank you very much for this conversation.

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