May 30, 2013 9:19

Aronian clock simul to open Mitropa Cup in Meissen

The Porcelain Factory in Meissen

Tomorrow Levon Aronian will give a clock simul against six "princes", the biggest talents of Germany between 15 and 18 years old, in the Meissen Porcelain Factory. The event will be held the day before the start of the Mitropa Cup.

The Porcelain Factory in Meissen

Unlike normal simultaneous exhibitions, in which a player usually faces 20 to 30 opponents simultaneously, a clock simul (or "handicap simul") is played against less opponents but with normal chess clocks. The opponents make their moves without waiting for the grandmaster, and set the clock in motion. The time pressure is an additional burden for the grandmaster.

The time control in Meissen will be 2 hours for 40 moves plus 30 minutes and 30 seconds per move. During this time, Aronian has to cope with six games; his opponents only one.

This "mismatch" is compensated by the different skill level. Levon Aronian is the current number 2 in the world rankings of the best chess players on the planet. He meets the six most promising young German forces between 15 and 18 years of age, the "princes". Against the two girls Aronian plays with the black pieces, against the four boys he's white. The team:

  • Filiz Osmanodja 17 years, Elo 2255
  • Dennis Wagner 15 years, Elo 2487
  • Matthias Blübaum 16 years, Elo 2511
  • Hanna Marie Klek 18 years, Elo 2267
  • Rasmus Svane 16 years, Elo 2440
  • Alexander Donchenko 15 years, Elo 2452

Grandmasters Jan Gustafsson and Raj Tischbierek will be providing commentary.

Clock simuls have a tradition of strong German teams. The best-known precursor was held in 1992 in Baden-Baden: the then reigning world champion Garry Kasparov beat the German national team which consisted of Vlastimil Hort, Eric Lobron, Gerald Hertneck and Matthias Wahls with 3-1. His reward was a BMW 730i. In 2003 a German national team with Robert Hübner lost to Vladimir Kramnik.

Although the spectators tend to underestimate the chances of the simultaneous player, mainly due to the short time available to him, the grandmaster usually prevailed in the past. For Aronian it will be especially tought when his six opponents can deliver good team work: each of them has to try to deal with the Armenian as intensively as possible. An early draw on one or more boards would easen Aronian's task on the other board(s) considerably.

The event is sponsored by Dentsply Implants. Its Sales Director Germany, Karsten Wagner, will make the first moves. The name – Show of the Spirits II – is based on the blindfold simul by Vlastimil Hort, Marc Lang and Rasmus Svane last year at the Potsdam Kaiserbahnhof.

A day after Aronian's clock simul the Mitropa Cup, the traditional European tournament dedicated to talented young chess players, will start at the same location. This year, from June 1st - 9th, teams from Germany, France, Italy, Croatia, Austria, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Hungary will fight each other.

Editors's picture
Author: Editors
Chess.com

Comments

Anonymous's picture

That's sounds realllll tasty !!!

Anonymous's picture

Participants: Poland, not France

Anonymous's picture

Participants: Poland, not France IN WOMEN SECTION

NN's picture

Wow, this is going to be a difficult task for Aronian.

Anonymous's picture

I think only Kasparov and Kramnik have done clock simuls. It'll be interesting to see how Aronian will do here.

Anonymous's picture

Correction: against strong opponents.

Dirk's picture

I can't understand how this works. Are there 6 clocks and Aronian's times are somehow added up or what? Even Google doesn't know...

Frits Fritschy's picture

To my surprise you are right: nothing on wikipedia. Anyone willing to write an article there?
Aronian simply has to play 6 normal games at the same time. Unlike in normal simuls, the other players don't have to wait until you get to the board; they can just play their moves and press the clock.

I once played a clock simul against a bunch of children from my club: quite an experience. The rascals didn't resign lost positions, but silently moved when I had just left their board, to help their buddies. I barely had a positive result, losing several games on time...

Anonymous's picture

Each board has a clock. The simul giver has more time on each board, but is handicapped by the fact that all of his clocks may be running at once.

Thomas Oliver's picture

On one hand, Aronian's task is (forgetting/neglecting the level of opposition) tougher than a normal simul because his clock can/will be ticking on several boards in parallel. On the other hand, with an average of 30 seconds per move he can still pause/think a little bit every now and then, while usually a simul player is expected to move a tempo on every single move.

What "Google" does know: Topalov also played clock simuls, against juniors from Austria and neighboring countries and against the Irish national team. So did Korchnoi - against somewhat weaker (mostly 1900ish) Swiss juniors, but this was part of celebrations for his 80th birthday.
Aronian's opposition seems stronger than Korchnoi's, broadly similar to Topalov's and weaker than Kasparov's and Kramnik's: strong national teams from Germany, Israel and the Czech Republic.

NN's picture

National teams have 4 players, while Aronian has 6 opponents tomorrow. This is a minor detail you forgot to mention when comparing Kasparov's and Kramnik's simuls with this one.

Frits Fritschy's picture

"usually a simul player is expected to move a tempo on every single move": that's new to me. As far as I know in a normal simul the simul player can think as long as he wants (he just is expected to finish before the owner of the establishment turns off the lights). It are the other players that have to move when the simul player arrives at the board.

Thomas Oliver's picture

"Is expected to move a tempo" meant to imply that there are no strict (written) rules. But a simul against 50 or 100 players can easily take 'forever' if the GM spends just 10 seconds on average per move.

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