Mainz Chess Classic 2004
August 4 – 8, 2004
This year's Chess Classic was opened with a press conference featuring super-model
Carmen Kass. She is not just a georgeous woman who has graced the covers of
most of the fashion magazine in the world. Carmen is also, as her official
write-ups put it, a kick-ass chess player who prefers a nice game with friends
to the finest night clubs in New York City.
Today's report concentrates on Carmen's visit to the Chess Classic in Mainz.
The chess part is somewhere near the end. To learn all about the Chess Classic
visit our intro
page. If you are looking for live coverage of
the games you can go to the official Chess
Classic home page (click "Live transmission" on the left) or
visit our chess server Playchess.com,
where the organisers have kindly arranges a live relay.
Carmen Kass, chess super-model
Kass was born in 1978 in Tallinn, Estonia. As a young girl the blue-eyed brunette
won Miss title of her home town Paide, and later the crown for Miss Jrvamma.
In 1992 the 14-year-old was discovered in a supermarket in Tallinn by an Italian
modeling scout, who flew her to Milan to start a modeling career. Her mother
disapproved, but Carmen forged her mother's signature of "approval".
being represented in her native Estonia by a small agency called "Baltic
Models", Carmen moved to Paris at the age of 18, where she received exposure
on the cover of L'Officiel, Vogue, Elle, Image, Madame Figaro, and Numero France.
By 1999 Carmen was one of the fashion runways' hottest commodities. She strutted
down the catwalks for the top designers in the world such as: Alberta Ferretti,
Anna Sui, BCBG, Bill Blass, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Christian Dior, DKNY, Dolce
& Gabbana, Gianfranco Ferré, Gianni Versace, Gucci, Jill Stuart,
MaxMara, Michael Kors, Moschino, Nicole Miller, Prada, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph
Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Gianni Versace, Louis Vuitton, and Valentino.
Carmen Kass is most recognized for the Gap denim advertising campaign, and
as the spokesperson for Sephora, one of the world's leading cosmetics retailers,
and the Christian Dior perfume, "J'adore". She lives in New York
and has become a staple for the two biggest American fashion magazines, Vogue
and Harper's Bazaar.
When she's not cuddling up to her public relations/marketing boyfriend, Richie
Akiva, Carmen keeps herself busy with sports and exercise, horseback riding,
obsessively checking her email, and kicking butt in chess. It's clear that
even off the chessboard, Carmen's making all the right moves as the 2000 VH1/Vogue's
'Model of the Year' and as the quintessential beauty of the post-waif generation.
This year Carmen Kass joined Estonia's ruling Res Publica Union for the Republic
– Res Publica, led by Juhan Parts, who is also Prime Minister. Now that
Estonia, the home of Paul
Keres, is part of the European Union she is considering running for the
Earlier this year Carmen Kass was elected President of the Estonian Chess
Federation, and is spearheading her country's bid to stage the Chess Olympiad
in 2008. This was formally announced by Kass at the press conference of the
Mainz Chess Classic 2004 – to the chagrin of the German Chess Federation,
since the city of Dresden is also bidding for the Olympiad in the same year.
"Even though Dresden was widely viewed as the hot favourite to host this
event, which will feature more than 200 national teams, the Saxons now have
to fear that the World Chess Federation FIDE will award the event to Estonia,"
write the Chess Classic Organisers. "How many delegates of FIDE will be
charmed by the 25 year old, will re-consider their vote for Dresden’s
application and join Estonia’s camp?"
Carmen in Mainz
The president of the Estonian Chess Federation takes on the world's number
two Vishy Anand with, as far as we can see, the unorthodox Sicilian with 1.e4
c5 2.Bc4 e6 3.Qe2 Nc6. This is of course all theory, and in the picture above
Carmen is about to play the common continuation 4.Nf3.
Carmen Kass in full concentration mode in her game against Anand, who, we are
told, was so confused by his spectacular opponent that he offered her a draw
instead of delivering a forced mate.
Carmen also takes on the newly crowned women's world champion Antoaneta Stefanova
The Lord Mayor of Mainz, Jens Beutel, a strong club player, tries his luck
against Eti Stefanova
Carmen, flanked by organiser Hans-Walter Schmitt, makes the first move in the
rapid chess game Shirov vs Anand
Peter Svidler gets the same celebrity exposure in his Chess960 game against
Which reminds us: there was some serious chess on the agenda in Mainz. In
the first two games of their Rapid Chess match Anand took the lead with 1.5:0.5
by winning the second game with the white pieces, a Ruy Lopez Marshall.
Click here to download and replay
Peter Svidler studying his shuffle chess position against Levon Aronian. In
the first game Peter played fast and well, leaving his opponent just seconds
to defend a difficult endgame with a pawn less. After losing this encounter
Aronian struck back in game two. "I was completely outplayed," said
Svidler, who had some residual difficulties with the castling rules in Chess960.
If you take a look at the starting position above you will understand that
castling is not immediately intuitive.
Artur Jussupow leads the FiNet Chess960 Open with a perfect 5/5 points (together
with Bacrot and Kobalija).
Top French GM Etienne Bacrot, who is also leading in the Fischer Random section.
Here's a report
on the FiNet Chess960 Open
We return to the main topic of today's story with a final picture of the super-model
Carmen Kass Links