Duel of the World Champions: Viswanathan Anand - Ruslan Ponomariov 4,5-3,5, Anand wins.
Duel of the Graces: Elisabeth Paehtz - Alexandra Kosteniuk 4-4, Tiebreak 1-2, Kosteniuk wins.
Games for download (pgn)
News from Sunday
News from Saturday
On Saturday 13.15, the Ordix Open tournament started with 498 players. Despite the beautiful sunny weather many chess addicts found their way to the Rheingoldhalle in Mainz. No less than 119 players hold an international title: 47 GM, 31 IM, 36 FM, 3 WGM and 2 WIM. After the first day in which 5 rounds have been played, 6 Grandmasters are in the lead with a 100% score: Bologan, Chuchelov, Dautov, Glek, Miezis and Agrest. 10 players have 4,5 points.
In an Open tournament like this, there are always some unexpected results
in the first few rounds when amateurs meet professionals. In the first
round GM Georgiev (Elo 2660) blundered a rook in his game against Marc
Klügner (Elo 2124). After this shock Georgiev won all his other games
on Saturday. In round 2 Alexander Graf managed to lose his game against
Jorn Bade. In a simple pawn ending the German member of the Olympiad
squad wanted too much and lost. After six wins on Friday in the Chess960
Open and four victories in the Ordix Open, Peter Svidler lost in the
last round of the day in just 23 moves against Igor Glek.
In a packed Rheingoldhalle, more than 1000 chess lovers wanted to witness the second day of the Duels: In "The Duel of the World Champions" Vishy Anand won his first game of the match and equalized the score. It was a very sharp and tense game and the other two games of the day were close battles as well. With the black pieces, Anand sacrificed the exchange and easily scored a draw. However, in the third game Ponomariov had good winning chances with black according to his seconds Bologan and Komarov, but the game ended in a draw. An ideal score for the organizers and the audience: 3-3 with two more games to go on Sunday. Ponomariov will try to win at least one more game, because he will hardly have any chance in a blitz tie-break against the fast Indian.
"The duel of the graces": Elisabeth Pähtz surprisingly won the 4th
game and managed to equalize the match after four games: 2-2. A great
comeback for the young German, after losing the first two games of the
match. In the 5th game, Elisabeth played a very good game and she won
two pawns. Everybody waited for the handshake, but Kosteniuk played
on and that proved to be a good decision. Pähtz got very nervous and
somehow managed to lose her passed pawn on b7. "Unbelievable", was the
comment of endgame expert Artur Yusupov. After the game, Pähtz left
the stage crying and could not regenerate on time: she had no chance
in the 6th game against the 18-year old Russian. Kosteniuk leads 3,5-2,5
with two more games on Sunday
Chessbase has remarkable links: An Interview with Ruslan Ponomariov and reports about the Chess Classics.
News from Saturday
Peter Svidler from St. Petersburg is the first winner of the Chess960 Open in Mainz! He won his last game of the day against Bologan. He won all his games on Friday, even with the black pieces and with 9 points out of 11 games he scored a fine result. "It is nice to win a tournament again, and this 960 Chess is a good warm-up for the Ordix open", Svidler told us afterwards. Vadim Milov lost again in the last round against Daniel Fridman. Motylev won against Lobron and shared the second place with Fridman. They have scored 8,5 points.
Big points for Ponomariov and Kosteniuk
After 11 exhausting rounds in the Chess960 Open, the players took the opportunity to watch the first three rounds in "The Duel of the World Champions" and "The Duel of the Graces". The 18-year old Russian world champion from Kramatorsk had a very good start. He could easily have won the first game. He should have played 34. Ra8+ Bb8 35. Rb1 Kc7 36. Kf1 but Ponomariov played 34. Rb1? After that move Anand somehow managed to escape with a draw. In the second game the talented player from the Ukraine made an easy draw with black. Anand went for a short walk after the second game to think about a strategy for the last game of the day. He decided to play the sharp Sveshnikov, but Ponomariov seems to be very well prepared. His knight on c6 dominated the position. Anand lost two important pawns and lost the third game.
Duel of the crazies
In the Duel of the Graces, Alexandra Kosteniuk had a dream start. She
won the first two games of the match. The nervous young German Pähtz
blundered a piece in the first game and she had to resign after 25 moves.
In the second game a classical sacrifice on h7 was decisive for Kosteniuk
to win that game but in the last game Elisabeth won. Her comment after
the first three games: "Alexandra has better nerves and believe it or
not, that is a decisive factor in women´s chess nowadays. I don´t think
that Alexandra is the better player, strategically I think that I am
even better, but she is a good tactician, though. By the way, that pink
shirt she wore was terrible!"I have some spectacular sexy T-Shirts in
my hotel room, so you guys can expect something!" Oh oh, that sounds
like a "Duel of the Crazies"! We are looking forward to the fashion
show on Saturday !
Chessbase takes you on a trip to the home of Elisabeth Paehtz "Driving Miss Elli".
Some more news from Thursday
ChessBase Handicap Matches
After playing 5 rounds in the Chess960 Open, Grandmaster Peter Svidler from St. Petersburg (ELO 2690) and Professor Eckhard Freise (ELO 2018) played an exciting Advanced Chess Handicap match. Freise, who came to fame in Germany after winning one million German marks last year in the TV-show "Who wants to be a millionaire", was allowed to use the chess program Junior 7, the world computer chess champion, on a Pentium 3 with 256 MB RAM. He used the Fritz Powerbook 2002 to guide him through the opening. Svidler only used his own brainpower. Despite the advantage of the computer, Freise made a clear mistake in the first game and ended up in an hopeless endgame. In the second game, Freise played his favourite opening, the Jänisch Gambit. Svidler was able to avoid all the opening pittfalls and offered a draw in an equal position.
Vishy Anand is not only regarded the best rapid chess player in the world, he is also a very experienced Advanced Chess player. He won several matches in Leon (Karpov, Shirov and others) , but lost in June against Vladimir Kramnik. In a dull match, Anand scored 5 draws and lost one game (2,5-3,5). In Mainz he had to play against the mayor of the city, Jens Beutel. Anand, using a relatively slow notebook (Pentium 3 600, 128 MB RAM) had no problem at all to beat the mayor, who was equipped with a really fast machine: Pentium 4, 2,4 Gh, 512 MB RAM. Both players used the Fritz 7 engine. In the first game, the Tiger from Madras quietly outplayed his opponent, and in the second game he chose a typical anti-computer strategy and won again. Beutel, who played some training games in the afternoon with your reporter, was not disappointed about the result. "It was a wonderful experience to play against the one of the best players of the world, and I had a lot of fun in these games". The hardware was provided by Elphotec, a local IT company.
Some reactions from the players after playing five rounds of exciting Chess960:
Krishnan Sasikiran (Elo 2651), one of the leaders after 5 rounds:"First of all, I have to think of a strategy, and after that I play moves, I would normally never play in classical chess. His advice to the players: "Do not take everything too seriously, just have fun!"
Peter Svidler had fun: "Well, Chess960 is a good way to keep us busy. I think that white has a huge advantage in the opening and the only way to reach an equal position with black is to play symmetrical. I won all my games with white, but lost every game with black. I want to have fun, and therefore I play a lot of experimental moves".
Kiril Georgiev sees a bright future for Chess960: "I think that white has a big advantage in the opening in some positions, black should try to reach a symmetrical position". Georgiev lost his first two games.
The only tricky thing in Chess 960 is castling. In Chess960 the castling rule is somewhat modified and broadened to allow for the possibility of each player castling either on or into his left side or on or into his right side of the board from all 960 starting positions. Referee Sven Noppes: "Only in the first few rounds people were a bit insecure, 2 or 3 problems per round had to be solved.
August 15 th
Follow the Chess960 Open and the Duells LIVE on Chessgate. The first five boards are shown during the open. Both duels games will be transmitted tonight.
News from Thursday
Today the "other" Open Tournament started. 136 players wanted to test the exciting new chess variant Chess960. In the 20th century, professional chess made a development, in which knowledge of opening theory beame more and more important. This development has not come to an end yet. A lot of players spend, maybe it is better to say waste their time, by analysing opening theory and trying to find new moves.
Bobby Fischer must have been shocked to see how opening theory had developed since his last game in 1972. It is said, that friends from throughout the world sent him masses of analysis, that he ignored during the match against Spasski in 1992. The sheer volume of material probably made Fischer realize, that there was no way back. After that experience Fischer started thinking about an alternative and started promoting his variant of Shuffle Chess: Fischer Random Chess, now called Chess 960, in which having knowledge about openings is not relevant. In F.R Chess, just before the start of every game, both players pieces on their respective back rows receive an identical random shuffle, with the provisos, that one Rook has to be to the left and the other Rook to the right of the King, and one Bishop has to be on a light-colored square and the otherone on a dark-colored square. White and Black have identical positions. In F.R. Chess there are 960 starting postitions, the Classical Chess starting position and 959 other starting postitions.
Last year in Mainz, Peter Leko played an 8-game Fischer Random Match against Michael Adams. Both players were delighted about the possibilities of the exciting new chess variant. Leko won the match: the first inofficial Fischer Random Chess world champion! Hans-Walter Schmitt opened the tournament this morning and announced that the winner of the Open will play a match against the Hungarian candidate, if the tournament will be succesfull. When you look at the number of strong players in the Chess960 Open, it has to be a hit. 32 Grandmasters play in the Open, numerous International and FIDE masters. Top seed is Peter Svidler, the world class player (ELO 2690) noticed in round two that Chess960 is a different piece of cake: he lost in round two in just 15 moves against IM Sergey Galdunts. Some more strong players are Rafael Vaganjan (ELO 2667), Krishnan Sasikiran (ELO 2650) and some legends like Lajos Portisch and Vlastimil Hort. They do not play that much anymore, but Chess960 is a chess variant in which their creativity and experience is more important than a new move in the Najdorf. As all the other players in the tourney they are lookinf for adventure!
News from Wednesday
22.40 25 men and 1 girl: that doesn´t sound fair, does it? However, 18-year old Alexandra Kosteniuk won her simul on 25 boards:(+16=3-6). You can find pictures and games about the simul here. 12-year old Daniel Körnlein from SC Frankfurt-West was the hero of the day. The young prodigy has gathered some experience in simuls in the past: in 1998 he managed to score a dray against Topalov; in 1999 he played against Judit Polgar, one year later he lost to Gary Kasparov. "Well, I was a bit unlucky in that game, Kasparov set up a trap in the opening", Daniel told us. Last year Dani lost against Kramnik, but was able to win his first game in a simul against Kosteniuk. That is quite an impressive list of opponents!
16.00 Ready to go! The opening press conference in a packed "Goldsaal" in the Hilton Mainz, was attented by the world champions Anand and Ponomariov, the Graces Kosteniuk and Pähtz, the mayor of Mainz, Jens Beutel and others.
Chess Classic organiser Hans-Walter Schmitt opened the press conference in sunny Mainz: "Chess is not just sport, chess is entertainment as well!" He is especcially looking forward to the Chess960 Open, formerly known as Fischer Random Chess. Mayor Jens Beutel welcomed the players and and members of the press to his beautiful city on the banks of the River Rhine. He told us that he is looking forward to his Advanced Chess Match against Vishy Anand on Thursday.
Elisabeth Pähtz also managed to join the press conference. She had to travel 20 hours from Dresden to Mainz and her odyssee started in a flooded Dresden. She could not find a taxi to take her to the Railway Station and had to take a bus. Via Poland (!) she was able to reach Berlin and finally took a train to Mainz.
The senior player of the event Vishy Anand (he has to deal with an 18-year old talent from Russia) is looking forward to play his match. "The average age of the event has dropped drastically", said the 32-year Indian with a smile, "but I don´t feel old". He has only played 2 games against Ponomariov to date.
|August 6 th||Jens Beutel, Lord Mayor of
the City of Mainz, with his Message
Hans-Walter Schmitt, President of Chess Classic Mainz, "Play personally in the afternoons and see and learn from the world's best players in the evenings".
|August 2 nd||"Ponomariov has very strong
nerves" - The favourite Anand has great respect for the young FIDE
world champion / Hort is enthusiastic about Chess 960
Hartmut Metzsums up the latest news 12 days before the event.
Elisabeth Paethz is looking for a new hair dress. Duel of the graces' at the Chess Classic Mainz / World Champion Ponomariov challenges his predecessor Anand. Hartmut Metz provides a first overview of the event.