Reports | October 15, 2008 19:16

In the meantime, Kasparov gives another simul

Kasparov simulLast night, Garry Kasparov gave a simul in the Alfacom studios in Lint (close to Antwerp), Belgium. His opponents: 19 Belgian CEO's and 7 primary school kids. His score: 26-0. The overall result: arguably the best broadcast of a chess event ever. Large pictorial report.

Like last year, both Garry Kasparov and his 1993 PCA World Championship opponent Nigel Short were in Belgium last night. Three Belgian entrepreneurs, Inge Geerdens (CVWarehouse), Gabriël Fehervari (Alfacam) and Jan Callewaert (Option) had invited them in order to promote the game of chess in general and with young children (aged 6 to 12 years) and their parents in particular. "We'd like to see chess to become a part of the education material of primary schools," said Geerdens. The seven lucky children who were playing against the former World Champion, had earned themselves their seats in previous events. On Sunday, October 5th, a youth tournament was held for 6 to 12-year-olds and the 60 best players qualified for a simul against Nigel Short, that was held last Saturday.

Short simul

Nigel Short: a busy weekend playing chess

Together with a few winners from another simul by Short, held last Sunday against club players only, a total of seven kids could enter the Kasparov simul. They were joined by 19 CEO's from Belgium in an event that had a superb media coverage. The event, which took place in the Eurocam Media Center in Lint, Belgium, was fully broadcast live. It was shown on television screens everywhere in Belgium through TV Channels EXQI via Belgacom TV, Coditel, INDI and Telenet Digital TV and elsewhere in Europe you could watch it via HD1 SPORT. A difference with last year was that the whole simul was played on 26 DGT boards with new, Belgian software. This way the spectators could watch the games, and close-ups of The Boss, on big screens, with live commentary by Nigel Short. "He is not a happy bunny", Short said about Kasparov when he was in serious trouble against Ronny Baekelant. But the former world champion still doesn't like to lose. He started playing faster on the other boards, to put Baekelant under pressure, and in the end Kasparov won the game anyway, like all other games, like last year.

The simul soon starts, and the first participants arrive

Lisa Lagaert, one of the lucky youngsters

Ben Tuerlinckx, also quite happy to be there!

Ronny Baekelant, CEO of Thyssen Krupp Materials, and a tough opponent for Garry Kasparov last night

Kasparov himself has arrived and receives what's probably a wired microphone

An introduction of... two players who don't need an introduction

But a Short interview with Kasparov is always nice

Well, time to start, right?

A special cameraman is chasing Kasparov...

...and keeps as close as a bodyguard

It's part of the fantastic coverage - here's the producer's control room

Overview cameras showing the boards from different angles...

Doesn't this look familiar? It starts with an "F" and sounds like "oidos"...

And while Anand and Kramnik were having dinner with their teams, contemplating the first draw, former world champion Garry Kasparov won his own little match 26-0 last night

Afterwards it was time to party, and Nigel Short also repeated his guitar gig from last year, this time performing Wild Thing

Photos thanks to De Schaakfabriek, an excellent blog in Dutch language.

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.


noyb's picture

Wow! The coverage of this was better than most World Championships! Obviously an extraordinarily well organized event. Hope FIDE is paying attention...

andre gan's picture

I just can't believe that somebody up to this time who doesn't even know what CEO means!

Lajos Arpad's picture

It's very nice to see a Short interview, and a GM playing the guitar. Kasparov's performance was great.

Ger's picture

excuse my bad english, but what does CEO stand for?

Claudio Reggiani's picture

CEO = chief executive officer

Vincent Hoogland's picture

Very long time ago I gave a simul to 30 schoolkids and I won 30-0, which was not at all difficult. I was reproached for not having had any clemency and thus not stimulating the game among the youth! So, Gary, why not some draws? These CEO's will never pull their wallets to pay out for chess!

Arthur's picture

Very nice coverage. Being able to see Short and Kasparov in action, after all these years, is quite nostalgic. It's almost wonderful.

Castro's picture

"ANY dead man that would show up for a simul would top that "

Of course "would" (and not "will") was for "not being a dead man AND showing up...", not merely for "showing up...".
But you made me laugh, and that is a good thing. But beware of that terror movies ;-)

ChessGirl's picture

Very very nice post, it?Ǭ¥s good that Kasparov still plays some chess from time to time, even if it?Ǭ¥s only simuls...

me's picture

"Yes, but Bobby would top that ;) "

ANY dead man that would show up for a simul would top that :)

Theo's picture

I wish Kasparov came back to chess...

Theo's picture

...and Nigel Short played more guitar! ;-)

Al's picture

Oh come on, the super-GMs today are simply amazing. Just because they're games aren't always so flashy doesn't mean that it's easy and takes little skill. They play for performance, not for entertainment. Going into unclear and incalculable lines is not always wise. Sometimes even quiet positions have incredible complexity that is just not evident to us. Even a little move in a simple position may have rather deep reasoning.

Einar B. Gilberg's picture

Eric... Your comment was very funny :) I'm at work and a little bit tired now, but your comment made me laugh :) It would be great to have Magnus inbetween the kids, hehe. However I think such a prank would have made Kasparov very angry :)

Eric's picture

They should have snuck Magnus in with the other kids, maybe wearing sunglasses ;-)

Ben's picture

nice coverage of the coverage

Horst's picture

Geweldig simultaan

ceann's picture

It's only when events like this appear and Kasparov 'comes out to play' does the chessworld realise how much Kasparov is missed.
He is a superstar still in a world of VERY average so called super GM's.

Castro's picture

Yes, but Bobby would top that ;-)

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