Reports | August 23, 2009 22:36

Ten Champions in Zurich this weekend

10 champsThis weekend ten world famous chess champions are playing at the jubilee festivities of the Schachgesellschaft Zürich. Legends of the past 50 years are joining in simultaneous exhibitions and a rapid tournament at Zurich Main Station. Videos by Europe-Echecs (including an interview with Kasparov).

Today, 200 amateurs are playing against eight champions who have left indelible marks on chess in the past 50 years: Viswanathan Anand, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Viktor Kortchnoi, Vladimir Kramnik, Boris Spassky, Ruslan Ponomariov and Veselin Topalov. Each of them are playing against 25 amateurs, 200 games altogether, one for every year of the club's history. The event began at 2 p.m. and are expected to finish around 6.30 p.m.

Tomorrow another group of eight champions -- Viswanathan Anand, Werner Hug, Anatoly Karpov, Alexander Khalifman, Vladimir Kramnik, Judit Polgar, Ruslan Ponomariov and Veselin Topalov -- will play against one another in an attractive rapid chess format. Judit Polgar is the strongest female chess player ever. The event begins at 11.00 am, each of the seven rounds begins on the hour. Ranking announcements and prize awards are expected to take place around 6 p.m.

Matthias Deutschmann, the renowned German cabaret artist and the voice of the "Fritz" chess software, will guide through the events on site. Both the simultaneous exhibition and the rapid tournament are open to visitors without charge. Enthusiasts can also watch all the excitement of both tournaments live on the Internet at

Grandmasters Klaus Bischoff, Vlastimil Hort, Lothar Vogt and for some hours also World Champion Boris Spassky will be commenting online on the games. Credit Suisse has organized autograph sessions on both days of the event. At around 4 p.m. some of the chess legends will be available for about an hour to sign autographs.

The Europe-Echecs team is in Zurich to make videos, which, as always, are share with other media. Below is the playlist with the first two videos (more will be added):

Two interesting quotes from the interviews: Viswanathan Anand confirmed his participation in not only the Tal Memorial this year (this we already knew) but also the 2010 Corus Chess Tournament, and Anatoly Karpov revealed that his upcoming match against Kasparov in Valencia will be part of a series of probably four matches (all rapid & blitz) remembering all matches they played in the 80s and 90s, and they will probably be held in the same cities: Moscow, Paris and New York.

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.


Kai's picture

Oh, and Pono is before Polgar....
Yeah, the Alphabet is more complicated than i expected!

Vosuram's picture

Dear Peter, should we expect an article about Champions' rapid chess tournament?

John's picture

Does anyone have the pgn from this simul matches? Or it doesn't exist?


ChessGirl's picture

@frustrated patzers making stupid comments: please realize once and for all that it is not up to you to decide who is a world champion and who isn't. Just stop whining and try to obtain some titles for yourselves (but make sure it's some real ones, not those stupid fake achievements of Topalov & co.)

CAL|Daniel's picture

ummm only 5 world champions (Karpov, Kasparov, Kramnik, Anand and Spassky) but still an amazing guest list!! I'm so Jealous!

Peter Doggers's picture

Even carefully avoiding the "world champion" title in the whole article couldn't prevent your comment...? ;-)

Amit's picture

Well, I was there !!! Amazing !!
Check this out as well>

Thomas's picture

@CAL Daniel: It's a matter of taste if you consider Ponomariov, Khalifman and Topalov world champions or not. And even Werner Hug was World (Junior) Champion in 1971 :)

Kai's picture

Well, it is obvious that the players photographs are nicely ordered alphabetically. With one exception, the portrait of the great champion El Khalif, and I am just wondering why?

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