Chess Classic

Sergei Movsesian Chess960 Rapid World Championship
GM Sergei Movsesian - FiNet Open 2.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)
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Chess Classic

Attractive and charming
Chess Classic 2008 celebrates its 15th anniversary

03.07.2008 - It is a small anniversary: during the Chess Classic Mainz, which will be played from 27 July- 3 August in the Rheingoldhalle in Mainz, the spectators will be able to experience a first-rate chess event for the 15th time in a row. The Chess Classic will have a number one crowd-puller with world chess champion Viswanathan Anand. (English version: Eric van Reem)

Because of the Olympic Games in China, which will start on 8 August, organiser Hans-Walter Schmitt decided to move the biggest rapid chess event in the world a few weeks ahead, to secure worldwide media attention. Since the four-player-events turned out to be very successful last year, the organisation decided to stick to the same format in 2008. In the main evening event world champion Vishy Anand will try to defend his rapid chess world title for the tenth time! He won the last seven Chess Classic editions in a row and showed the world time and time again, that he is the best rapid chess player worldwide. Last year he finally won the crown in classical chess, a title he will defend against Vladimir Kramnik in a match in Bonn, Germany in October. For the chess fans it will be one of the very few possibilities to see the number one of the world live on stage. After "Mainz" he will intensify his preparations for the match in Bonn.

That is why the opener of the Chess Classic Mainz 2008, a simultaneous exhibition on 28 July, in which the Indian grandmaster will play on 40 boards, will be a real treat for chess lovers. For the ones, who do not get a place in the simul, there is still the possibility to buy a seat on one of the boards via an Ebay auction. Anand has gained a lot of experience in these mass simuls: he is the Chess Classic record holder in this discipline with only four draws.

In Mainz, Anand seems to be unbeatable, but he he will not burn himself out on the first day, because in the four-player event, the 13. GrenkeLeasing Rapid World Championship, which will be played from 1-3 August, three formidable players will wait for him: Anand will meet the eccentric chessartist Alexander Morozevich, shootingstar Magnus Carlsen and the best female chessplayer, Judit Polgar. A promising line-up, representing attractive and tactical chess.

The Russian chess virtuoso Alexander Morozevich is well-known for his unconditional and creative chess style. At the moment his ELO is 2774, securing him the number three spot on the FIDE rating list. He often won tournaments with a spectacular score. Shortly, at the Russian Championship, which he dominated, "Moro" won six games in row, a record in this long traditional tournament.

17-year old Magnus Carlsen from Norway catapulted himself in no-time into the top ten of the world. Because of his outstanding results in Wijk aan Zee and Morelia/Linares,the 17-year old proved, that he is able to win top tournaments. On the FIDE rating list in April he reached the fifth place with a 2765 rating. Many people think, that this prodigy will become world champion in the foreseeable future. The rapid chess world championship in Mainz could be another step in the right direction.

Judit Polgar is the number 21 on the FIDE rating list and has been the best female player for more than 15 years. Many avid Mainz followers will certainly remember the unforgettable rapid chess battle from 2003, in which the Tiger from Madras was challenged until the very last game. The Hungarian will certainly show some attacking chess again this year to entertain the spectators.

As from this year, the Chess960 championship will be played in a alternating men/women two-year rhythm. A practical decision, which certainly has to do with the fact, that the Chess960 world champion, Levon Aronian will not be able to play in Mainz this year. Due to an unfortunate overlapping with the new FIDE Grand Prix cycle, Aronian has to skip the Chess Classic, much to his regret.

The second main event, the 2. FiNet Women Chess960 Rapid World Championship from 29-31 July will probably become the eyecatcher this year. The reigning Chess960 Queen is Alexandra Kosteniuk, who beat Elisabeth Pähtz in a match in 2006. The best Russian female chess player, who has also worked as a model, will meet strong opposition in Mainz: Ukranian Natalia Zhukova qualified for the event, because she was the best female player in the FiNet Open in 2006. She is married to Alexander Grishuk. The couple has a little daughter. Zhukova plays in the German Bundesliga for SK Holsterhausen. Charming Viktorija Cmilyte qualified for the event via the FiNet Open in 2007. The Lithuanian is a regular guest in Mainz and has played many times in various Chess Classic tournaments. Kateryna Lahno got a wild card. She was the youngest female grandmaster in 2002 and is now a respected name in the chess world. She is a good rapid chess player and the Ukranian showed her abilities last year in a match against Indian prodigy Negi which she won 11-7.

Alongside the evening events, the Chess Classic has four Open tournaments to offer. On Tuesday 29 July, the young and rising stars meet in the 2. Mini-Ordix Open and one day later the under 14-year olds meet again in the 2. Mini FiNet Chess960 Open. The children tournaments proved to be succesfull and popular last year. The amateurs will be thrilled to bits to meet world class players in the open tournaments. The 7. FiNet Chess960 Open is scheduled on 31 July and 1 August and in the weekend 2-3 August, the 15. Ordix Open will be played. The Ordix had a record-breaking number of 762 players last year, but the Rheingoldhalle is spacious and can offer excellent playing conditions for all players. The Chess Tigers organisation team has proven that they can handle even such challenges with ease.

Traditionally, the Chess Classic has a computer event to offer: the 4. Livingston Chess960 Computer World Championship will be played on three consecutive days from 30 July-1 August. World Champion Rybka will defend his title against ex-world champion Shredder and two Internet qualifiers.

Once again, the visitors can look forward to a flawless organisation and presentation of the event. The Chess Classic imposed worldwide standards in chess presentation. More than one grandmaster will explain the games to the audience, numerous screens, which are placed all over the venue will allow chess fans to follow the games, even outside the playing hall. Established amenities like the Childrens Club and the Gourmet Club, in which sponsors and special guests will find a unique ambience, in which the games can be enjoyed, do not fail. And if you really cannot make it to Mainz, there is always the alternative to visit the Chess Classic live on the Internet. Chessfriends all over the world can look forward to a remarkable chess event, together with the patron of the event, the Lord Mayor of Mainz, Jens Beutel.

Harry Schaack

Published by Thilo Gubler

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