Along with the Frankfurt Chess Tigers, the City of Mainz is pleased that the Chess Classic Mainz (CCM) 2001, the world's most famous rapid chess tournament, will take place in this, the state capital of Rhineland-Palatinate.
From 23 June to 1 July 2001, every day will be full of spectacular matches and tournaments held in the city's Rheingoldhalle. Without any doubt the battle between the two world champions Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik will be the highlight which naturally I have every intention of watching. In particular I'm also looking forward to crossing swords with one of these two stars of the 64 squares. The simuls by both champions will provide for 40 chess enthusiasts on each occasion a unique opportunity to compete with grandmasters in the superlative class.
I congratulate the president of the Chess Classic Mainz 2001, Hans-Walter Schmitt, for having succeeded in putting together such a fantastic and very high-quality tournament programme within a very short space of time. The multitude of events makes a professional's as well as an amateur's heart beat faster. I'm extremely pleased that the event has also paved the way for numerous business sponsors from the city of Mainz to play a part. They have been prepared to contribute substantial amounts of money in order to promote this royal game in our city centre. My special thanks go to the Landesbank Rheinland-Pfalz which was acquired as main sponsor of this attractive event.
I wish all participants of the Chess Classic Mainz 2001 - and all the empathising spectators - a good time in Mainz, crowned by good fortune and thrilling games.
Finally, I have a tip for all chess fans: after a long day of contests, the gastronomic experts in the Hilton Hotel or Mainz Old Town, just outside the Rheingoldhalle, provide an ideal setting where you can review the impressions of each day with the help of a refreshing glass of wine. Let yourself be inspired by Mainz's special kind of 'savoir-vivre' and the typical way of life in our city.