The 100-board Austria-Slovenia match – a unique spectacle

6/25/2012 – On the 16th of June 2012, the city of Maribor hosted a true spectacle – a friendly match on 100 chess boards between Slovenian Styria and Austrian Styria. This singular initiative was a part of Georg Mohr's Black and White World project, and brought together politicians, artists, and players of all kinds and strengths. Read about this amazing match in the report by Miša Hrenic.

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The 100-board Austria-Slovenia match – a unique spectacle

By Miša Hrenic

On the 16th of June 2012, the city of Maribor hosted a true spectacle – a friendly match on 100 chess boards between Slovenian Styria and Austrian Styria.  Even though the final result was not a priority, both of the teams put up a good fight, and in the end the Slovenian team won by  62.5-37.5  The event on Liberty Square in the center of Maribor was visited by many chess players, tourists and curious residents.


A friendly match between Slovenian Styria and Austrian Styria


The playing venue – The Liberty Square, Maribor

The teams included jus about everyone imaginable: on the first 25 boards one found politicians, artists, sportsmen and economists and the other 75 boards were reserved for ‘real’ chess players. A sample of members of the Slovenian team included Dr. Milan Zver, Milan Mikl, the vice mayor of Maribor, Jožef Jerovšek, Anton Butolen and Mitja Čander, the program director of European Capital of Culture 2012.  

Dr. Milan Zver is a known Slovenian politician, who is at this moment a member of European parliament and also this year’s candidate for the Slovenian presidency. His life has always been linked to chess. In his youth he was a chess player and nowadays is one of its great supporters. He is also the president of the Organizing Committee of this year’s upcoming event, which will be held in Maribor – the World Youth Chess Championship 2012.


Slovenian representatives; Dr. Milan Zver, Milan Mikl, Anton Butolen, Jožef Jerovšek


Kvas Karl Christian mag. and Dr. Milan Zver


Kastner Walter and Mitja Čander


Jungwirth Kurt and Dr. Milan Zver


From the left: Mitja Čander, Georg Mohr, Dr. Milan Zver and Milan Mikl

The Austrian team was no less richly composed with the first boards played by Kvas Karl Christian mag., who is the vice mayor of Graz; Kurt Jungwirth, the first vice president of ECU, the former Austrian Chess Federation and vice president of FIDE, as well as Kastner Walter, the general secretary of the Austrian Chess Federation.

On the other 75 boards thereafter, chess players played against each other in the different categories. The event included six international masters, 15 FIDE masters and three women international masters.


Top chess players


Top female players


Seniors


The youngest representatives

Georg Mohr – the director of the project ‘Black and White World’

The friendly match on 100 chess boards was a part of the project Black and White World, which is one of the most important projects within the European Capital of Culture 2012. This year’s capital of culture is Maribor (Slovenia). Grandmaster Georg Mohr and his company Šahohlačnik are the ones organizing these spectacular chess events.

Mohr is one of the most important Slovenian chess players, and was considered to be one of the most promising chess players in former Yugoslavia. In 1997 he became a Grandmaster, and for many years was a part of the Slovenian national team until he became its coach. From there on he successfully managed the Slovenian national teams in several European Championships and Olympiads. As a trainer, he has taken care of many young Slovenian chess players and in the last year his knowledge was recognized by the Turkish chess federation. He says that he best enjoys his role as organizer, and has organized many national chess championships in Slovenia. His knowledge and efforts have also been recognized by ECU and FIDE.


Georg Mohr and Dr. Milan Zver – the main organizers of the World Youth Chess Championship 2012

ECU entrusted him the organization of the:

And in November, Maribor will host the World Youth Chess Championship 2012.

Within the project Black and White World, Maribor will be the host to many other chess events. There will be a blindfold chess exhibition in August; and there are also tournaments in different categories organized every Saturday from May to September. The highest point will be the World Youth Chess Championship in November.

Pictures by Miša Hrenic

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