Chess Classic

Levon Aronian GRENKELEASING Rapid World Championship
GM Levon Aronian – Nr. 6 der Weltrangliste
31.7.-2. August 2009, 18:30 Uhr, Rheingoldhalle Mainz

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July 27- Aug 2nd, 2009 Rheingoldhalle, Mainz
Chess Classic Mainz 2009 (CCM9)
40 board simul against chess960 world champion GM Levon Aronian



  U29 OSG Baden-Baden
  U29 SC Vaterstetten
  U29 SC 1979 Hattersheim
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  U2 Post-SV Memmingen
  U2 Üwh s.b.M. Braunschweig
  U1 Berthold-Martin-Haus
  U1 SKH GSS1 Schwalbach

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  FiNet AG

Chess Classic

Focus on the family
Opening press conference and drawing of lots

29.07.2008 - The expert round at the press conference table on Monday were convinced that Vishy Anand will win another Chess Classic title this year, but it will be a hard battle according to Anand: “Magnus Carlsen has a winning streak this year winning big tournaments like Wijk aan Zee and Baku, and he is leading the tournament in Biel currently. That is very impressive. All players in the Grenke Leasing Rapid World Championship have an attractive style. Alexander Morozevich and Magnus seem to be in great form, and my games with Judit Polgar are always hard-fought. I even had a 14-game sequence with Polgar without a single draw.” Since the Grenke Rapid World Championship will be played at the end of the week, the women were in the focus of attention during the opening press conference, because they will start off with the FiNet Chess960 Women´s rapid world championship today. Alexandra Kosteniuk, Natalia Zhukova, Victorija Cmilyte and Katherina Lahno will play a round robin with a 4-game final on Thursday. Also starting on Tuesday : the Mini Ordix Open for players under 14.

One of the questions during the press conference was if the women had a good relation among themselves. “Oh yes”, Zhukova smiled, “Alexandra and I have children of the same age and there is always a lot to talk about. With Victorija I play in the same team in the Russian League. We know other and we like each other, but at the board the friendship is over”. Kosteniuk added. “We always play to win”. All three women present at the press conference (Lahno arrived a liitle later on Monday, but was on time for the traditional Dinner of Champions) love Chess960 and are looking forward to play the FiNet World Championship. “It is nice to show up without the need to prepare for the game”, Zhukova said. Kosteniuk agreed: “You just sit down, concentrate and play chess. And you avoid short draws by playing Chess960.” Cmilyte, who played the FiNet Chess960 Open 4 times in a row also likes the chess variant, invented by Bobby Fischer:” You have to be creative in your games and I like that”.

The experts at the table also had to answer the difficult question, who would win the Grenke Leasing Rapid World Championship this week: Anand, Polgar, Morozevich or Carlsen? Most of the persons present thought that Anand still has the best changes to win the event again. Wolfgang Grenke, CEO of Grenke Leasing, one of the main sponsors said that it would be a great challenge for his friend Vishy. And Anand himself agreed: “It will be a tough tournament, but I feel at home here in Mainz and I always play very good chess here.”

Wolfgang Grenke and his friend Vishy Anand

With the Olympics in Beijing coming up, the question (from GM Vlastimil Hort) was asked if chess should be integrated in Olympic family. Anand was quite positive about the idea, “our advantage is that we can either play the Summer or Winter Olympics”, but Lord Mayor of Mainz Jens Beutel thought that chess would be “lost” between all those other sports that would get far more attention from the media. “I prefer a separate Chess Olympiad, like the way it will be played in Dresden this year”. Alexandra Kosteniuk told that she will play an event, the “World Mind Games” in Beijing in October. “In that event, chess, bridge, go and draughts will be played and some other demonstration sports like Chinese Chess in different tournaments. That is very exciting and these intellectual games may build a bridge to the physical sports of the Olympiad”.

Three beautiful ladies & three lovely tigers

After the drawing of lots and a short game on a “Rizzi-chessboard” against Kosteniuk, Anand started his 40-board simul, (check the article by Johannes Fischer for details). There is a nice James Rizzi exhibition in the adjacent hall this week, interesting nor only for chess lovers. This was the first event of a week in which lots of chess games will be played in a family-friendly atmosphere. Hans-Walter Schmitt emphasized this aspect of the Chess Classic during his speech at the Dinner of Champions: We offer the Children´s Club for the youngest kids, the Gourmet Club for the sponsors where they can meet the players, we have “silent and public viewing” for the chess fans, we have tournaments for children, women and adults: it is a great concept for the whole family. For the people who accompany the players we offer the service of the computer evaluation, unique in the world. You can immediately see what is happening on the boards, and you do not need much chess knowledge to understand +4 or -4, Schmitt said. The whole family should enjoy the Chess Classic”. And Alexandra Kosteniuk showed that it is possible to bring your family to a chess tournament. Not only her husband, but also their little daughter and her mother are present in Mainz to play and to enjoy the atmosphere.

The Rizzi exhibition in the Rheingoldhalle

And there is some more good news for all chess lovers: The Lord Mayor said that new contracts with the Hilton have been signed and that the other local sponsors in Mainz are willing to support the Chess Classic until at least 2013!

Lord Mayor Jens Beutel

Eric van Reem

Published by Mike Rosa

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