Kramnik wins Zurich Jubilee rapid
Vladimir Kramnik won the Zurich Jubilee Rapid Tournament on Sunday, finishing on an undefeated 5/7, half a point ahead of Viswanathan Anand. Local hero Werner Hug managed to draw with Khalifman, Topalov, Kramnik, Karpov and Polgar. Pictorial report on the Saturday simuls and the Sunday rapid.
By Christian Rohrer
Thousands of curious spectators in Zurich Main Station and countless Internet users around the world were riveted to jubilee events that marked the 200-year anniversary of the Schachgesellschaft Zürich. No fewer than eleven chess champions participated in the events on 22 and 23 August 2009. Vladimir Kramnik won the champions' rapid tournament ahead of the reigning World Champion Anand. The world's oldest chess club takes great satisfaction in having staged a first-class event, whose principal sponsor was Credit Suisse.
In the champions' simultaneous exhibition on Saturday, 22 August, 2009, 200 amateur chess players battled against eight chess grandmasters: Viswanathan Anand, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Viktor Kortchnoi, Vladimir Kramnik, Boris Spassky, Ruslan Ponomariov and Veselin Topalov showed brilliant skill in their games.
Of the 200 games played, the champions conceded only four wins to their tough challengers; 35 other games ended in a draw. The simultaneous event was expected to run through around 6 pm, but Kasparov und Karpov and their opponents duelled through 9 pm. Even that late -- seven hours after the start -- both champions were still surrounded by many chess enthusiasts. At the beginning of the event thousands of curious onlookers were watching the champions' moves.
At the Champions Rapid on Sunday, 23 August, 2009, Viswanathan Anand, Werner Hug, Anatoly Karpov, Alexander Khalifman, Vladimir Kramnik, Judit Polgar, Ruslan Ponomariov und Veselin Topalov took on one another. After seven rounds and some seven hours, the former World Champion Kramnik pulled ahead of Anand. Topalov and Ponomariov shared the third place.
Local hero Werner Hug of the Schachgesellschaft Zürich (World Junior Chess Champion in 1971 and Switzerland's leading player in the 1970s) showed his skills and tied Karpov and Polgar as seventh. Countless chess enthusiasts followed the games' transmission and live stream pictures on the Internet, while in the packed event venue, the upbeat mood culminated in the final prize ceremony, where the public roared with applause for the champions.
On the heels of the Jubilee-Open 9-15 August, 2009, the festivities this weekend brought the 200-year anniversary of the Schachgesellschaft Zürich to an impressive and first-class finish. According to many spectators and to the champions themselves, the events staged in Zurich Main Station will go down in the annals of chess history.
Game viewer by ChessTempo
Reigning World Champion Vishy Anand...
...playing while keeping his drink with him
The previous World Champ: Vladimir Kramnik
Almost World Champ in '78, and still playing at 78: Viktor Kortchnoi
Boris Spassky, World Champion from 1969 till 1972
Ruslan Ponomariov, FIDE World Champion in 2002 but unfortunately a match with Kasparov never came about
Anatoly Karpov, World Champion between 1975 and 1985
Veselin Topalov, FIDE World Champion 2005-2006
Garry Kasparov, undisputed World Champion 1985-1993, but for many until 2000, when he was defeated by Vladimir Kramnik...
...but for almost anybody: the best player ever
Karpov and Ponomariov at the rapid tournament
Hug vs Khalifman
Judit Polgar (undisputedly the best chess playing woman ever)
Polgar vs Kramnik
Ponomariov at the rapid event
Alexander Khalifman, FIDE World Champion 1999-2000
And the winner on Sunday: Vladimir Kramnik
Photos simuls by Amit Bhave, rapid by Christian Rohrer
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