young chess tallents in Mainz
By Harry Schaack (Translation by Johannes Fischer)
On Wednesday the juniors and kids again had a chance to show their skills. In the 2. Mini-FiNet Chess960 Open U-14 they fought for rating places and trophies.
The idea of Chess960 goes back to the late American champion Bobby Fischer. Presumably, his rematch against Spassky in 1992 provoked him to advocate this new form of chess, which gets rid of the burden of the ever growing oppressive chess theory. In Chess960 there are 960 different possible ways to set up the pieces on the first rank and the game in fact “starts” with the first move – in contrast to classical chess the players cannot rely on known positions and 20 moves deep theoretical lines.
However, it took a couple of years until Fischer’s proposal reached a larger public. It was the Chess Classic that made Chess960 popular. In Mainz the first 960 World Championship was played and in the FiNet Open 2007 the World’s best players took part in an Open which could boast of almost 300 participants. Moreover, in 2007 the current World Champion Vishy Anand also gave this chess variant a try. His games against Levon Aronian in the final of the FiNet Chess960 World Championship were spectacular and helped Chess960 to gain world wide attention.
To honor and to remember the 11. World Champion in the history of chess, organizer Hans-Walter Schmitt asked players and public to keep a minute of silence before the start of the 2. Mini-FiNet Open. However, the young talents had no trouble to focus again and they had no problems to cope with the minor change in the starting position. The clear favorite, Sebastian Kaphle from Post SV Uelze, who with 13 years of age already has an Elo-rating of 2122 lived up to the expectations and won with 6/7, winning five, losing none and conceding only two draws. Five points each had Carlo Pauli and the brothers Frederik und Julian Eigenmann who shared second to fourth place behind Kaphle.
However, no one went home empty-handed and every participant received a certificate. Not the only reason why all participants will remember the tournament fondly.
Mini Ordix open
104 young players took part in the Rapid Chess Open in the Rheingoldhalle in Mainz. In a way this tournament is a rehearsal for the Ordix Open, which will start on Saturday and in which more than 700 players will play. However, on Tuesday the kids fought under the same conditions as the top players. The tournament leaders played on stage and in the limelight – at the very same place where Vishy Anand, the World’s best player will move his pieces later in the week. The top games of the Mini-Open were transmitted to the big screens and the various monitors in the foyer of the Rheingoldhalle. But not only that: parents, who did not come to Mainz, could follow the deeds by their offspring live on the internet.
Grandmaster Klaus Bischoff offered something special: He used his vast knowledge and expertise to answer all questions the parents had. How to train, which chess literature to buy, how much chess is good for my child – the grandmaster always had an answer.
But before the tournament began the young players queued at the table where World Champion Viswanathan Anand, Alexandra Kosteniuk, and the three other participants of the 2. FiNet Chess960 Female World Championship, Kateryna Lahno, Natalia Zhukova and Victorija Cmilyte signed posters, t-shirts and baseball caps.
Finally, after seven hard fought rounds the tournament was won by Dennis Wagner, 2007 German champion U-10.
Incidentally, last year Anna Endress was one of the top finishers – now she is on the Olympic squad and will be part of the girls’ team in Dresden. Obviously playing in Mainz pays off.
At the winner’s ceremony every participant received a certificate and the best players received a cup. Moreover, everybody was happy to get a glimpse of the special atmosphere of the Chess Classic. And most important: In Mainz there were only winners.
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