Braunfels is the place you want to be

6/4/2002 – "Where else can you find 150 female chess players all together in a single place?" asks our correspondent Anna Dergatscheva, who led the NRW team to second place in the German Women's Team Championship in Braunfels. "But it is not just about chess, it is also an opportunity to meet friends, play countless blitz games and sit in the sun with a glas of beer." More

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German Women's Team Championship in Braunfels

By Anna Dergatscheva-Daus
Anna Dergatscheva-Daus was born on 26.02.69 in Moscow. She became a teacher for Russian language and literature, but during her studies she also attended a chess school, the same one as Jussupow, Krasenkov, Tschutchelov and Zvaginsev. Her father, Abram Khasin, was the trainer of Bareev, Gulko and others. In 1992 Anna came to Essen in Germany as an au pair girl and got married in 1993. She plays chess for the SK Holsterhausen. Anna is fluent in German.

Braunfels is a small town with a castle, and for me it looks like a place where it never rains. At least whenever the German women's championship is staged there it is always warm and sunny. Well, maybe the fact that this always happens at the end of May and not in February has something to do with it.

The yearly tournament is always well frequented and well organised. Everyone takes note, from the burghermeister to the baker. The participants are very warmly received, the hotel manager even remembered the results of the previous year and what most of the participants liked to eat and drink. Staging the championship in Braunfels has really become a very nice tradition.

This year the German Championship collided with the European Championship in Varna, so that some players, e.g. Elisabeth Pähtz and a number of foreign players, were not able to attend. So the level of chess was lower than usual. I can confirm this for the top board where my modest abilities were enough to secure four out of five points at the start.

But it is not just about chess, it is also an opportunity to meet friends, play countless blitz games and sit in the sun with a glas of beer. And where else but in Braunfels can you find 150 female chess players all together in a single place? Many of us have been doing this for a number of years, but there are always new faces, some of which will probably soon appear as new GMs. I was there for the seventh or eighth time and can remember the days when my state, NRW, used to send two teams. But after the reunification there are new states with strong players. This year there were 14 teams, the NRW squad unfortunately without their strongest players. Chess has a lot of financial problems, and that is especially the case in women's chess. Some of the participants had to pay their own expenses. This applies to Thüringen, which consists of indigenous players and builds a really closely-knit team. In the end this paid off, Thüringen won the championship!


WGMs Ildiko Madl and Anita Gera

For a while it looked as though another team, Sachsen-Anhalt, would take the title. They had two WGMs, Ildiko Madl und Anita Gara, and took the lead with 6-0 points. But Thüringen defeated the team in round four with 4.5:3.5, and went on to defeat Bayern, while Sachsen-Anhalt lost to our team. Congratulations to Thüringen, who really earned the victory. NRW ended in second place (with yours truly on board one) and Sachsen-Anhalt were third.


A new face – one of the many junior players

In the coming year the championship might be held in eastern Germany, in order to give the other teams a chance to play on home turf. The decision is for the German Chess Federation to take. We would certainly all miss Braunsfels.


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