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Grischuk wins Ordix Open once more

Schmitt and Beutel enthusiastic about Chess Classic

By Hartmut Metz (Translation by Mark Vogelgesang)


From Pakistan to Uruguay: for five days, chess players from around the globe where staring at their national chess websites to follow the live transmissions of the games played at the Chess Classic Mainz (CCM) or to download and replay these games. The 2 500 people who came to watch the event on site are therefore less important. “This tournament is like a world wide advertising campaign for our city, especially through the internet” said Jens Beutel, the happy mayor of Mainz. Hans-Walter Schmitt gets almost ecstatic. “Incredible! All records were broken!” says the chief organizer of the CCM.

During the weekend, the Rheingoldhalle was almost too small. 542 players participated in the Ordix Open, including 156 players holding the title Master of the World Chess Organisation FIDE. Out of the top 100 players of the world 31 played in Mainz. “The fact that the Rheingoldhalle will be enlarged also reflects the needs of this chess tournament” explains mayor Beutel in light of the extension and refurbishment that is currently under way. The mayor can also be quite satisfied with his performance in both open tournaments. In the Chess960 tournament, where the starting position of the pieces is determined by chance, he managed to reach the middle of the final standings with a score of 5.5:5.5, similar to his result of 5:6 in the Ordix Open. Winner of the tournament was once more Alexander Grischuk. The current number 16 in the world was overjoyed: “It is very rare that one is able to win such a strong tournament – and one with over 500 participants - twice in a row.” The thought that it will only be possible to stop him from winning the event once more in 2005 by having him play the match against Viswanathan Anand was very much to his liking: “That would be a very special challenge, one I would enjoy!”. In both years, Grischuk did not lose a single game and allowed only six draws. Nine grandmasters followed half a point behind him, separated only by the evaluation according to the Buchholz formula: Rafael Vaganian, Sergei Rublevsky, Rustem Dautov, Vadim Zvaginsev, Yasser Seirawan, Alexander Morosevich and Alon Greenfeld. The combination price went to the winner of the Chess960 Open, Zoltan Almasi (18 points) ahead of Grischuk, Rublevsky and Morosevich (all 17,5 points). Winner of the section for players above 60 in both opens was Vlastimil Hort (7.5 in both opens). Among the women, Alexei Shirov’s wife, Victorija Cmilyte won (8,5 points in the Ordix Open and 15 points in total) ahead of World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova (7.5/14.5) and Inna Gaponenko (7.5/14). Among the young players, Sergei Karjakin (8.5/15.5) won ahead of David Baramidze (7/13.5) from Germany.

As Hans-Walter Schmitt puts it, the “media coverage was gigantic”, even including a TV team from India reporting on the deeds of the world’s best chess player Viswanathan Anand. Responsible for the coverage was a queen. Not one on the chess board, but one in blood and flesh: Carmen Kass, president of the Estonian Chess Federation. With stoic calmness, the super model went through PR event after PR event for the royal game. The 25 year old woman enjoyed the city of Mainz and her boat trip on the Rhine so much that she wants to be back next year from August 10 to 14.

With a “100 000 Dollar move”, chief organizer Schmitt was able to secure advertising by Carmen Kass for the next year. In a friendly game of Chess960, the man from Bad Soden was already one piece ahead. When the super model discovered that a blunder would expose Schmitt to a mate in one, she teased him: “I will only be back for next year’s event if you play your knight to g5!”. Schmitt did not hesitate for a second and slammed the “100 000 Dollar move” on the board. To the cheers of all observers, the beauty from Los Angeles used the opportunity to deliver mate with the move Queen to g2. “That was the strongest move of the Chess Classic” said a happy Schmitt in light of this repeated coup.


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