Reports | April 03, 2009 16:02

Win a simul seat against a World Champion

200th anniversary of the Schachgesellschaft Z?ºrichEver wanted to know which is the oldest chess club in the world? Well, the answer is the Schachgesellschaft Z?ºrich, founded in 1809. In August the club commemorates its 200th anniversary and it gives everyone the opportunity to take part of the jubilee. You can win a seat in a simul against either Anand, Karpov, Kasparov, Korchnoi, Kramnik, Spassky, Ponomariov or Topalov.

PRESS RELEASE / Zurich, 2 April 2009

Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity to Play Against a World Champion at the Schachgesellschaft Z?ºrich‚Äôs Jubilee!

The celebrations in August 2009 to mark the 200th anniversary of the Schachgesellschaft Z?ºrich will be a dream come true for a few chess players. The world's oldest chess club is offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at the simultaneous exhibition at Zurich Main Station on 22 August: 100 chess enthusiasts will get the chance to cross swords with champions such as Kasparov or Anand in simultaneous games. Taking place alongside this event are an open tournament featuring a world-class line-up, which is being held from 9 to 15 August, and the Champions Rapid, the rapid chess tournament on 23 August.

100 chess enthusiasts will be picked from those who answer the 10 competition questions correctly and will be given the chance to fulfill their dreams. On 22 August 2009, they will play at Zurich Main Station in the Champions Simultan against a World Chess Champion: Viswanathan Anand, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Viktor Korchnoi, Vladimir Kramnik, Boris Spassky, Ruslan Ponomariov, Veselin Topalov ‚Äì each of these players will take on 25 amateurs. 200 matches to represent each year of the Schachgesellschaft Z?ºrich, which was founded in 1809. 16 simultaneous matches ‚Äì each champion's first two games ‚Äì will be broadcast live on the Internet.

All information regarding the competition can be found in the recently published official jubilee programme, which is available for download at The programme also contains information on the Champions Rapid ‚Äì the rapid chess tournament for the champions ‚Äì starting on 23 August, the Jubilee-Open from 9 to 15 August as well as the history of the world's oldest chess club. Richard Forster's book entitled ‚ÄúDie Schachgesellschaft Z?ºrich. 1809 bis 2009", which outlines the club's history, will be appearing from the end of May to commemorate the jubilee.

The Jubilee-Open at the Kongresshaus Zurich is set to welcome an extraordinarily high-class line-up. In the Alois Nagler Memorial (master tournament) and in the Accentus (Swiss Chess) Open – the general tournament – players ranging from beginners to world-class players will fight it out for a total of 100,000 Swiss Francs in prize money. 16 grandmasters have already registered, including the opening specialist and former World Championship Candidate Alexey Dreev. Many grandmasters have already expressed interest in taking part in the competition, including super-grandmasters who have an Elo rating of over 2700. Entrants have until 4 August to register for the Jubilee-Open; the easiest way to do this is to fill in the online form on the jubilee website at

Please visit for further information about the Schachgesellschaft Z?ºrich's jubilee.

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.


fnarrfnarr's picture

I imagine most people would want to play Kasparov wouldn't they?

gogomil's picture

It would be amazing to play any of them:], dont think it would matter for the result ( if one is not profesional player)'s picture

Schachgesellschaft Z?ºrich‚Äôs Jubilee!...

From: Chessvibes
PRESS RELEASE / Zurich, 2 April 2009
Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity to Play Against a World Champion at the Schachgesellschaft Z?ºrich‚Äôs Jubilee!
The celebrations in August 2009 to mark the 200th anniversary of the Schachgesells...

Dirk Willem's picture

Korchnoi chess world champion?
Not at the regular FIDE world cycle I think.
Maybe as a veteran world champion?

jussu's picture


I don't think anyone rated below about 2200 would notice any difference :)

fnarrfnarr's picture

The prestige of playing Kasparov is far greater than the rest.

CAL|Daniel's picture

oh man i'd love to play! what an opportunity indeed!

jussu's picture

That I agree with. Almost - the presence of Karpov questions "far" in your statement, and Anand is the reigning champion, and others are not exactly some obscure coffeehouse champions, either.

fnarrfnarr's picture

The prestige of playing Kasparov is greater than the rest.

rdecredico's picture

"The fact is" that using maybe in the same sentence is bad syntax very high is.

CAL|Daniel's picture

no, it is not. However, bad syntax is "is bad syntax very high is." Therefore, I know now none of you speak English fluently.

Thomas's picture

fnarrfnarr, you may be right ... but that is everyone's own choice of course. Some may consider Topalov the strongest opponent _at present_. And stronger amateurs with the ambition to win (or at least draw) their simul game might prefer to play against Ponomariov or Spassky - no offense to them, but they may well be the 'easiest' opponents !?
BTW, of course it makes sense to include 'local hero' Korchnoi in the field - it is an understandable editorial mistake in the press release to suggest that he was also a world champion at a certain stage, when in fact he "merely" came close to the title.

fnarrfnarr's picture

The prestige of playing Kaparov is greater than the rest.

CAL|Daniel's picture

obviously anyone with a brain would want to play Kasparov most but the fact is since there is such a high demand for Kasparov maybe simply asking to play such a low demand person like Topalov might increase your chances of getting to play.

gogomil's picture

To Tomas:
I strongly disagree that Ponomariov may well be the ‘easiest’ opponent . If it would be possible for a not profesional player to judge - the slightly preferable players would be Korchnoi and Spaski only becouse they are the oldest, but still- as jussu said- a player below 2200 (i would say 2300) wouldnt notice any difference :)

CAL|Daniel's picture

where to find information on SMM?

Thomas's picture

Gogomil, you may be right - what I was (implicitly) referring to is that Ponomariov, and I would also say Spassky, are the 'least known' in the field.
On the other hand, I am not that sure if 'weak amateurs' won't notice _any_ difference between the players. Yep, most don't have a chance against any of them (even in a simul), but there are still differences in style ... .

Harish Srinivasan's picture

I was able to answer all the questions. You just need to read the brief history given in the same page in different links to look for the answers and may be a couple by google search. I guess the simul is only for players who live there, I presume it is like this because of the way the address field in the submission forum dint have like state, country etc. I am not sure of this though. Anyway, I just submitted it, I live in the US. If you are not able to find the answers for any, just contact me. I dont want to post it here as it may be a a violation.

CAL|Daniel's picture

if its for locals only they shouldn't do a contest as there certainly isn't more than 200 locals they should just pick every local. It is clearly for everyone or they wouldn't have sent it to chessvibes and chessbase. A guaranteed spot in a simul with Kasparov is worth scheduling your vacation and vacation time half way around the world IMO if you can afford it.

fnarrfnarr's picture

I love it when someone says "the fact is" followed immediately by "maybe". Brilliant. fnarr fnarr

CAL|Daniel's picture

??? are you familiar with the English language? This construction is not awkward or wrong in the slightest.

Jagdish Dube.'s picture

For Mr Arild Hans Runde,
Please update your liverating columns Fide has already published the April list.

Buri's picture

@CAL|Daniel: I know how to speak English fluently. Sorry, I just had to add that random/pointless comment lol

I don't know about everyone else, but I'd definitely would love to play Kasparov, just because its Kasparov, but I'd be more than happy to play anyone else. And besides, I'm sure I'll down in flames regardless of who my opponent is lol :)

Castro's picture

I'd prefer to play Korchnoi because of his age. The others have theoretical more chances to "have another oportunity" to play me.

As for Ponomariov being "easier" than Kasparov: Why??? I Think the oposite!

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