Reports | August 25, 2009 4:57

Kramnik wins Zurich Jubilee rapid

Kramnik wins Zurich rapidVladimir 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.

Zurich Jubillee 2009 | Champions Rapid | Final Standings

Zurich Jubilee Champions Rapid 2009

Game viewer

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Zurich Jubilee 2009

Reigning World Champion Vishy Anand...

Zurich Jubilee 2009

...playing while keeping his drink with him

Zurich Jubilee 2009

The previous World Champ: Vladimir Kramnik

Zurich Jubilee 2009

Almost World Champ in '78, and still playing at 78: Viktor Kortchnoi

Zurich Jubilee 2009

Boris Spassky, World Champion from 1969 till 1972


Ruslan Ponomariov, FIDE World Champion in 2002 but unfortunately a match with Kasparov never came about

Zurich Jubilee 2009

Anatoly Karpov, World Champion between 1975 and 1985

Zurich Jubilee 2009

Veselin Topalov, FIDE World Champion 2005-2006

Zurich Jubilee 2009

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

Zurich Jubilee 2009

Karpov and Ponomariov at the rapid tournament

Zurich Jubilee 2009

Hug vs Khalifman

Zurich Jubilee 2009

Judit Polgar (undisputedly the best chess playing woman ever)

Zurich Jubilee 2009

Polgar vs Kramnik

Zurich Jubilee 2009

Ponomariov at the rapid event

Zurich Jubilee 2009

Alexander Khalifman, FIDE World Champion 1999-2000

Zurich Jubilee 2009

Anatoly Karpov

Zurich Jubilee 2009

Veselin Topalov

Zurich Jubilee 2009

And the winner on Sunday: Vladimir Kramnik

Photos simuls by Amit Bhave, rapid by Christian Rohrer

Videos by Europe-Echecs:


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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.


ceann's picture

What were the scores in the simuls DOGGERS. Half reporting as usual.

CAL|Daniel's picture

nice photos!

CAL|Daniel's picture

I see the overall results for all the simuls but can any give a breakdown by specific players?

T. Goto's picture

Right, really great photos! It was too bad that Kasparov didn't take place in rapid games. I know he is retired, but... maybe I shouldn't be so greedy. It was really an impressive line-up they presented. I am particularly happy to see Judit Playing again.

forest's picture

Kramnik beating Topalov with black!

Arne Moll's picture

Anyone knows if Kramnik and Topalov shook hands?

Thomas's picture

@Arne Moll: see the first-hand report by "tankmaster7" at Dailydirt:
"I was there, Topalov and Kramnik did not shake hands. When Topalov resigned he looked up, nodded, said a brief word (maybe "ok") and then they both walked away. "
No surprises here ... .

@CAL Daniel: Have a look at the tournament site:
Ponomariov was the only one with a 25-0 result. They also have two games for each of the players.

Arne Moll's picture

Thanks for that, Thomas. How nice, refusing to shake hands at a Jubilee event ;-)

CAL|Daniel's picture

thanks thomas.

Earl Racho's picture

why kasparov didn't play in that event? i think it will be a tough tournament if he is there.. ^_^

Castro's picture


Your comment loose any reason because
1. The sentence is about a "best player ever";
2. It refers about the judgement of "almost anybody" (Glad I'm not an almost anybody!);
3. It's true I "don't like" that sentence, but it is not the point. The point is people have opinions, but covering it's opinative nature with presumptions of (almost!) universality it's a most different thing. But yes, it's a somewhat useless game...
4. As much as I tend to agree with you in that Kasparov must be in most people's top 3 list today, it is only a guess. Personaly I consider that putting, say, Morphy, De Labourdonais, Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine, Botvinik, Tahl and others above him is very plausible. (It doesn't mean I' would or I wouldn't do it). Let alone Fischer! (I'm sorry, the old discusion again, but it's true I think so);
5. It's not who-won-against-whom, otherwise (as you rightly pointed) we should praise Kramnik more (which some people plausibly do)! Simple as that.

me's picture

Only those people who can't count put someone ahead of Kasparov. One only needs to count the victories.

Castro's picture


First, the "2 points margin". I wouldn't agree with Fischer on that, but just because there would be no sustainable reason for it to be implemented exactely with him as World Champion. NOT because I think such rule would be "nonsense". It isn't.
Agreeing or not, it makes some sense: The most important title shouldn't change hands by the narrowest margin, among two players who, until then, were showing aproximate chess strengh, and just because the match sudenly becomes over because of one win (of many).
Now, even agreeing, why begining it with Fischer? Not right, indeed. It could be something to implement, but only some years from then. It's a moral demand.
Anyway, Fischer wouldn't allow the match to become not even tied! ;-)

As for KGB's thing, first, I don't believe Fischer couln't be persuated to pospone that "2 points margin" issue, if the rest --- and if the whole negociating process --- was in good faith, which it wasn't.
It is false Karpov (or, at least, it's team and the KGB) were "barely waiting for the World Championship". They realy were eager that it would not take place and get the title anyway, when they discovered it would be a child's game, given Fischer's excentricity AND their FIDE control.
In fact they sabotaged completely every Fischer idea, from the begining, and the KGB files show that it was done precisely BECAUSE it was THE way to the title. With that aim. It's somewhat different, wouldn't you agree?
Who runs? That one who cannot escape the aparences, or those who fabricate those aparences in order to cover they're running? It's a game much older than chess!


I also didn't mean Fischer would beat anyone if he was alive. I meant he could do it IF he continued playing (had the health --- fisical, mental, social --- to do it) after 72. And maybe, had he that health, until today, who knows.
It doesn't have to have "reality" for me to say that, in the sense of "it in fact happened". That's ridiculous, in trying to ridicularize.
Lack of sense of reality was what you showed, when claiming the briliant
"Only those people who can’t count put someone ahead of Kasparov"
THAT is the reality I love! The one that makes me LOL.

Castro's picture


I'm sure "me" said that as praising Kasparov's chess. It must be an abreviation for "Kasparov is an assasin of chess kings" ;-)

ron's picture

Kramnik is back!

LajosArpad's picture

@Castro: Thank You for Your answer, You are probably right that the KGB was making unfair acts to help Karpov to become the World Champ in any means and the KGB was a very powerful ally for Karpov. These games off the board were always present at world championships, we shouldn't forget that. Spassky is a true gentleman, Fischer was ready to "run away" even at their match, he even forfeited a game. A World Champion must have true inner strenth, not only chess powers. Fischer didn't have that, he was lucky in his match with Spassky, when his opponent refused to claim a win and have chosen to fight. Karpov is not Spassky.

me's picture

"And indeed these two kinds of “reasons” are false, at least in what Fischer’s chess is concerned, and I insist: He would improve yet a lot. (What for me means no doubt in winning against everyone, even until today, had his health allowed…)"

Typical Fischer worshiping that has nothing to do with reality.

Castro's picture

I'm happy having you and your reality sense (you already show in that and in the previous posts) on the oposite side. It's reasuring!

Jarvis's picture

@ceann: Jesus died for your sins. You are forgiven. God loves you.

Castro's picture


(sorry for numbering)

1. One thing is certain "games off the board" that --- more or less --- every WC match certainly had, I'm sure. Other is the exact nature of that one in particular. As I told before, the whole process of "negotiations" was disigned to be false, and to fail (at Fischer's expenses, of course). That is documented and was both childishly simple and original in the whole history of chess WC.

2. Fischer was not "ready to run away" against Spasky (nor anyone), at least in the sense you (and lots of others before) imply. He wasn't "afraid" of playing anyone, and he should be champion long before (and I say long after) that.
He simply has indeed some other "inner weaknesses", as you put it, like childishness, paranoia and stuborness (though he could also be a nice person and even able to be talked into some things and do some sacrifices, as he did some times). If he didn't feel some things were "his way", he'd directely consider himself a victim and would get extremely insecure (aka without chess conditions, for instance).

3. Because of those (and maybe other) "inner flaws", you seem not to consider him a worthy World Champion. But I do, and the greatest ever. I mean *chess* (and I mean *my opinion*).

4. In what chess is concerned, of course Fischer was not "lucky" at all. You're right, maybe if Spasky wasn't a decent man, that match could also have failed. But everybody --- including Spasky --- knew Fischer was the best. Also, Spasky indeed refused a win in the overall match by forfeit, sure. But although thinking that FIDE and the russians were not being fair towards him, Fischer returned to play and the point of the second game was to Spassky, because of Fischer's forfeit, of course. There were no "favours" on that. He won the title coming from 0-2 disadvantage (in one game played).

5. You're right in that Karpov is not Spassky. And Kasparov neither. But at his best Spassky was not only a gentleman, but could play at their level. (For me, a step below Fischer, that's where I'm going, of course ;-) )

Michael X Tractor's picture

Korchnoi is 78, not 76. He was born in 1931.

Peter Doggers's picture

Thanks, corrected. Gotta double check everything in busy times, but luckily the readers volunteer sometimes.

Remco Gerlich's picture

Now even Kramnik is playing that Qd6 Scandinavian thing...

paulo eduardo's picture

how rapid were these games?

25m ko?

nick burrows's picture

lol@Kasparov playing for 6 hours!

"....must get the best result!"

Castro's picture

Combining criteria?
Well, if I disagree one should see something decisive in criteria like (say) percent of won games, combining criteria has to have a lot of that "subjectivity", depending on how do you do it, pondering each criterium.
I think most sensible combinations would bring on top the (somewhat unexpected, for history ignorants): Emmanuel Lasker.
Others would yield Morphy, Capablanca, Karpov, Botvinik, Kasparov... It realy depends on how you weight them.
My choice for best ever is (obviously ;-) ) Fischer, but I know he doesn't stand a chance in most of that criteria (or combinations), mainly because of short career and retiring when he was not only the very undisputed best by miles but also I think (contrary to most people) he would easyly crush Karpov (and Kasparov after, of course). Because --- don't be fooled! --- Fischer would even improve a lot his "unimprovable" chess.
And of course, even in ratings, his Elo record means much more for his time than that of Kasparov's today.
But I repeat, I know that this criteria and best-ever thing has also something of taste and subjectivity, and we have a few plausible candidates. In my opinion, Kasparov is not one of the best placed (and he is not in my 3 favorites), but many people think he is, which is ok for me.

jussu's picture


If most people do not think Fischer would have crushed Karpov easily, then the idea of Fischer being "best my miles" is disputed (i.e. not "undisputed"), isn't it? :)

Couldn't resist. I agree about the best-ever issue depending on taste, and naturally, Fischer is one of the sensible candidates (not in my top 3, though).

Castro's picture

You have a point in that it means something many people thinking Karpov would "stand a chance", or even that he would win. That is matter of guess, yes, and for me it would be Fischer no doubt. Karpov was also a very strong player, that's for sure but... no Fischer.
Also, in that sense it was a "disputed" issue, another point for you. I should be careful not to fall in that kind of judgments I myself criticize.
Points for me are, for instance, I think that for greater (but same kind of) reasons one should never put Kasparov above him. His dominance was simply greater, in a shorter career though.
Most opinions against Fischer are (understandably) based in a) Things other than chess; b) The wrong idea that he sort of "run away" from playing Karpov.
In fact it was Karpov's team and country that ran, in a subtle manner, as we now have confirmed since the KGB files were disclosed. They studied the issues but deliberatly went to the negotiations choosing Fischer's most sensitive questions for not moving an inch, in order to asure that that negociations would fail.
And indeed these two kinds of "reasons" are false, at least in what Fischer's chess is concerned, and I insist: He would improve yet a lot. (What for me means no doubt in winning against everyone, even until today, had his health allowed...)

me's picture

I worship noone. In fact, I think Kasparov is an ass and definatelly not my favourite player. But he has the best stats thats why noone can deny that he is the greatest.

me's picture

P.S.: And I'm not talking how Kasparov would crush anybody if he came back, do I? Because this is just not real. He most likely couldn't do it anymore. Now please read my and your commentaries again and maybe you'll find out who is losing touch with reality.

Pop's picture

to me,

I am not an english native person.
But what does mean the expression: "Kasparov is an ass"


LajosArpad's picture

The KGB was sabotaging Fischer's requirements, they were making steps to make as much chances for Karpov to win, as they could. But, when a player barely wait for the World Championship and the other widthraws, the witdhrawing player is the one, who runs away.

The World Champion can't dictate the rules of the World Championship, since Alekhine. And You should consider, that Steinitz, Lasker, Capablanca, Alekhine and Euwe were reasonable in choosing the rules for the World Championship. There was never a World Championship match in history when the Challenger needed a lead of 2 points to become the world champ, not even in the 1886 - 1937 period. Fischer wanted to change the match regulations to the following:
10 wins finishes the match and 9-9 means a draw. If the score is 9-9, Fischer retains the title. What an unreasonable thing. If Karpov has to win at least at a 10-8 rate, and if Fischer has 9-8 score, the maximum what Karpov can achieve is a draw. This is just nonsense in my book. I accept that the challenger has to beat the World Champ, but not with a 2 points margin.

me's picture

And when you combine all those criteria you mentioned, who's name comes on top???

Castro's picture

@(other than) "me"

Of course not :-) But even if it were the number of victories (in games, in matches, in tournaments, in percentage of won games, in spanning years of wins, in difference upon closest rivals, in percentage of won tournaments, in series of games without losing... and much MUCH more criteria) it would never be Garry's name you'd found!
So much for people who can't count. THOSE use to be Garry's fans.
Sure, in some criteria he has records (like absolute Elo, I think), but that's why it's understandable you and other mistaken people stick with him ;-)

Mauricio Valdes's picture

Wonderful event!!!
Kramnik is showing a great performance again!
I guess some of the players involved don´t get along very well:
-Kramnik and Topalov won´t even shake hands.
-Korchnoi and Karpov are old rivals (or even enemies)
-Kramnik and Kasparov don´t seem to get along.

Castro's picture

"but for almost anybody: the best player ever"

I wonder why some people just can't say something like "for me..." or "for many...", instead of producing the most subjective and error-inducing kind of sentence! ;-)

Thomas's picture

@Ceann: CAL Daniel had asked the same question, the link I gave at 9:28am provides the answer. And if you complain, do so in a more polite way!?

@Mauricio Valdes: There is nothing wrong with being rivals, but it seems that Korchnoi and Karpov are no longer enemies. Two things have changed over the last decades;
1) Both of them are no longer part of the world top.
2) As the global cold war is over, so is their private cold war.
They even play on the same team in the Russian team championship these days ... .

ceann's picture

@Thomas: you are nothing to do with this site, even though by the nonsense you regularly post you might think (fantasize) that you somehow are. ......Basically button it little boy.

CAL|Daniel's picture

@ceann learn some fing manners. You asked where the results were and he provided you an answer. The correct response is "thanks thomas"

@Castro well the only player that ever defeated Kasparov was Kramnik so outside of Kramnik yes Kasparov is the best player in the world. Now if you don't like that statement... consider if people made a top3 best players list... I doubt there would ever be a list that didn't contain Kasparov.

Thomas's picture

@Ceann: Indeed I have nothing to do with this site, other than contributing in the comments section. But I can still be offended or annoyed by some of your comments - the last two ones as well as several (actually most) earlier ones.

masoud's picture

Hi for every body!!!! I dont want to exagerate but the words cant define people like my master vladimir kramnik.I dont know why he took the world championship to Anand but I know that he did something like Kasparov in 2000!I hope warm wishes for vladimir kramnik and I am sure I will see him one day.any one who see him send my special regards to him and his lovely family.hope for a day to laern chess from him !!!!!!!!!

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