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Chess Classic Mainz 2009 (CCM9) 2009-07-27 - 2009-08-02

Chess Classic

Hans-Walter Schmitt 3. Mini-FiNet Open
3 Pokale, Sachpreise U16, U14, U12, U10, U8 & Urkunden für Alle
Spielen wie die Weltmeister / Analyse & Tipps GM Jussupow
29. Juli 2009 / 11:00 Uhr / 7 Runden

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July 27- Aug 2nd, 2009 Rheingoldhalle, Mainz
Chess Classic Mainz 2009 (CCM9)
6. Chess960 Rapid World Championship
GM L. Aronian, GM V. Bologan, GM H. Nakamura, GM S. Movsesian



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Chess Classic

Not perfect, but entertaining
2. FiNet Chess960 Women's Rapid World Championship - 1st preliminary round

30.07.2008 - The first half of the 2. FiNet Chess960 Rapid World Championship produced entertaining though not perfect chess. It also showed that Alexandra Kosteniuk was able to handle the challenge of the limited time and the uncommon opening position best. After three rounds she leads with 2.5 points, followed by Kateryna Lahno with 2 points. Victorija Cmilyte scored 1.5 points while Natalia Zhukova had three promising positions and spoiled them all in time trouble to still remain on zero. Playing with a time limit of 20 minutes plus 5 seconds increment per move time proved to a crucial factor in all games. Having no theory to rely on, the players had to think right from the start and very often had only minutes left to realize possible advantages gained before. But judging from their relaxed and animated chat after the games, they all seemed to have a good time in Mainz.

Chief spokesman Harry Schaack in an enviable position
at the press conference after the 1st preliminary round

Indeed, the press conference seemed more like a meeting of friends talking about their day in the office than the follow-up of three fierce battles on the chess board. Even before the official start of the press conference the four rivals for the 2. FiNet Chess960 Rapid World Championship chatted amicably and lightheartedly with each other – though it has to be said that Natalia Zhukova seemed to be a little less cheerful than the others. Cmilyte herself said about Chess960: “I always got good positions after the opening. So, if I lost, this does not seem to be due to the unusual placement of the pieces.” They all agreed that in Chess960 White is more likely to get an advantage in the opening but as Alexandra Kosteniuk said, “as there is no theory, White has to work to be precise. Which costs time.”

Natalia Zhukova

However, the Russian solved this task very well. She started with a draw against Victorija Cmilyte but then went on to win against Natalia Zhukova and Kateryna Lahno. Her win against Kateryna Lahno was particularly impressive. In a queenless middlegame with opposite colored bishops both sides preferred dynamic play to material considerations, which led to a tense struggle.

Alexandra Kosteniuk

With 2.5 points Kosteniuk has very good chances to finish first or second, gaining the right to play for the title against the other top finisher. But rounds 4 to 6 will be everything but a walkover for Kosteniuk. Cmilyte and Lahno will give their best to finish on top and Zhukova will definitely want to take revenge for her misfortune in the first half.”

Victorija Cmilyte

All friendliness will be forgotten. The atmosphere in the press conference was relaxed, but the fights on the chess board were intense.

Kateryna Lahno

Yes, Cmilyte, Kosteniuk and Zhukova are friends: after the press conference they sat together to have dinner, all three have children, Kosteniuk and Cmilyte played on the same team, Zhukova and Kosteniuk visit each other privately – but when playing against each other all friendship seems to be suspended. Which promises entertaining, though not always perfect chess for today and tomorrow – crowned by a friendly, amicably and intelligent chat after the game.

Preliminary result of the 2. FiNet Chess960 Women's Rapid World Championship

Alle games (PGN)

All games (CBV)

Johannes Fischer

Published by Mike Rosa

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