The German Bundesliga – preparing to rumble

4/6/2005 – It is the strongest team championships in the world. Stars like Anand, Adams, Svidler and Shirov participate. Currently three teams are tied for first, with the big showdown coming up this weekend. You can watch the critical games live, on Playchess.com and other transmission sites. Full information...

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

Three teams set out to win Bundesliga

Most exciting final in the 25 years of Germany's top chess league live

"I am the kind of person who always wants to win", says Wilfried Hilgert, wealthy businessman and sponsor of ten-times German team champion SG Porz. Chess professionals from all over the world are happy about this ambition. For more than forty years Hilgert has been supporting his chess team with money, turning it into Germany's most successful club. The 71-year old even put a clause into his will that guarantees Porz' ongoing financial support after his death.


The Porz Bundesliga team in 1967, with Robert Hübner, Paul Ellrich, Johannes Eising, Dr. Paul Tröger, Volkmar Hilgert, Wilfried Hilgert (an active member of the team), Wolfgang Hübner, Hans-Jürgen Frenzel, Klaus Kuntze and Edmund Budrich. Photo: Vereinschronik der SG Porz

Current standings
01 OSC Baden-Baden 72.5 24:02
02 SG Porz 70.5 24:02
03 SV Werder Bremen 65.5 24:02
04 TV Tegernsee 64.5 21:05
05 Mülheim Nord 55.0 15:11
06 SF Katernberg 54.5 15:11
07 Hamburger SK 55.5 14:12
08 SC Kreuzberg 59.0 13:13
09 SC Eppingen 47.5 12:14
10 SV Wattenscheid 50.0 11:15
11 SF Neukölln 46.0 10:16
12 SG Solingen 48.5 09:17
13 SV Hofheim 41.5 08:18
14 Erfurter SK 43.5 06:20
15 Preetzer TSV 29.5 01:25
16 Stuttgarter SF 28.5 01:25

SG Porz, situated in a suburb of Cologne, is just one of three contenders in the most exciting title race in the 25 year-history of the German top chess league, commonly known as the Bundesliga. The season is drawing to a close this weekend, 9th and 10th April, with Porz, Baden-Baden and Werder Bremen leading head-to-head at 24:2 team points. In contrast to the Olympiad, in which board points count, team points decide in the Bundesliga where teams are composed of eight players according to a fixed order. If at the end of the season two or more teams still share the lead, a tie-break match or tie-break tournament for the title of German team champion will be played.

As Baden-Baden and Porz face each other in the very last round on Sunday there is a fair chance that the winner of this match will not yet be champion but gain the right to play a tie-break against Werder Bremen – provided they manage to beat their last two opponents Wattenscheid and Solingen.

Only a year ago the Bundesliga was in turmoil when four teams voluntarily withdrew after the season, mainly for lack of financial resources. As a consequence Stuttgarter SF, who came last without scoring a single team-point, was allowed to remain in the league, though according to the rules the four teams which finish last should be relegated.

Currently the world's strongest chess league looks as financially healthy as ever. But its history has been overshadowed by several scandals: When Heinrich Jellissen, sponsor of Bayern München, the team dominating the league in the eighties, died in 1994, he owed his players huge sums of money. In 2003, two weeks before the first round of the season, defending champion Luebecker SV withdrew their team. The team's sponsor, Wilfried Klimek, was recently jailed by the public prosecutor for failing to file bankruptcy in proper time.


A typical Bundesliga contest

Luebeck had been notorious for winning the German team championship (three times in all) without a single German player on their team. The rules of the league encourage teams to invite foreigners: even though each club can only nominate three non-European players, there is no limit on the number of European players. Clubs which are either not willing or unable to spend a lot of money on foreign professionals have no chance to compete for the title. They either have to fight for a place somewhere in the middle or try to avoid being one of the four teams relegated every year.


Peter Svidler (standing, right) analyses with teammates (Fabian Döttling, standing left, GM Baadur Jobava seated right) and opponents (IM Erwin L'Ami, seated left)

At the outset of the season 2004/2005 things did not seem to be much different. Only two teams appeared to have a chance for the title: Porz and the OSC Baden-Baden, sponsored by the company Grenkeleasing AG. Porz with Michael Adams on board one can boast of no less than fourteen grandmasters, eight of them with a rating of 2600+. Baden-Baden nominated "only" thirteen grandmasters, but with Viswanathan Anand, Peter Svidler, Alexei Shirov and Francisco Vallejo-Pons at boards one to four, followed by five grandmasters with a rating of 2600+, they are everything but a pushover. In their top lineup both Baden-Baden and Porz can sport an average of more than 2650.


Chess Bundesliga poster of Werder Bremen, with Almira Skripchenko

But on 12th March the SV Werder Bremen (yes, the chess section of the current German football champion), a team which had lost all of its ten previous Bundesliga-matches against Porz, surprised chess fans. Even though they had on average 100 rating points less on every board they beat their rivals 6:2, turning the fight for the title into an exciting three-team race the final of which is starting this Sunday at 9 o'clock.


The Chess Bundesliga advertised in the giant screen of a soccer stadium

The early beginning of Sunday rounds has often been called Bundesliga's black spot by professional players. It is more likely to be of advantage for Porz, speculates Christopher Lutz, who has been playing board one for Hilgert's team for more than ten years, as he and his teammates have become more used to the early morning hour than Baden-Baden's top shots Anand, Svidler and Vallejo.

The Bundesliga website will transmit the games of Baden-Baden, Porz and Bremen live (look for live coverage here). On Saturday the matches (classical seven hour-games) and the transmission will begin at 14:00 o'clock German time (GMT+1), while on Sunday they will begin at 9:00 o'clock.

Johannes Fischer

All German Bundesliga teams

OSC Baden-Baden (ø of first eight boards: 2684)
1 GM Anand, Viswanathan IND 2781
2 GM Svidler, Peter RUS 2735
3 GM Shirov, Alexei ESP 2726
4 GM Vallejo Pons, Francisco ESP 2678
5 GM Movsesian, Sergei SVK 2629
6 GM Krasenkow, Michal POL 2676
7 GM Dautov, Rustem GER 2623
8 GM Huebner, Robert Dr. GER 2624
9 GM Jobava, Baadur GEO 2614
10 GM Schlosser, Philipp GER 2570
11 Buhmann, Rainer GER 2521
12 GM Schmaltz, Roland GER 2528
13 GM Doettling, Fabian GER 2526
14 GM Keitlinghaus, Ludger GER 2493
15 Beck, Frederik GER 2140
16 Schaaf, Robert GER 2112
SV Werder Bremen (ø of first eight boards: 2571)
1 GM McShane, Luke James ENG 2629
2 GM Hracek, Zbynek CZE 2595
3 GM Pelletier, Yannick SUI 2589
4 GM Efimenko, Zahar UKR 2594
5 GM Babula, Vlastimil CZE 2571
6 GM Nyback, Tomi FIN 2554
7 IM Fish, Gennadij GER 2523
8 GM Schandorff, Lars DEN 2510
9 GM Knaak, Rainer GER 2486
10 IM Skripchenko, Almira FRA 2474
11 IM Meins, Gerlef GER 2440
12 Joachim, Sven GER 2448
13 IM Steingrimsson, Hedinn ISL 2397
14 Heissler, Jacob GER 2446
SC Eppingen (ø of first eight boards: 2453)
1 GM Gyimesi, Zoltan HUN 2613
2 GM Acs, Peter HUN 2521
3 GM Medvegy, Zoltan HUN 2467
4 IM Braun, Arik GER 2480
5 IM Mann, Christian GER 2455
6 IM Schulze, Ulrich GER 2333
7 FM Miltner, Arndt GER 2402
8 FM Balzar, Andreas Dr. GER 2352
9 FM Koch, Wolfgang Max Dr. GER 2330
10 Reinhardt, Berndt GER 2332
11 FM Schneider, Bernd GER 2293
12 Eisenbeiser, Amadeus GER 2323
13 Gruber, Thomas GER 2307
14 Dekan, Hans GER 2159
15 Rau, Hannes GER 2384
Erfurter SK (ø of first eight boards: 2432)
1 GM Haba, Petr CZE 2520
2 GM Votava, Jan CZE 2505
3 GM Kuczynski, Robert POL 2475
4 IM Machelett, Heiko GER 2401
5 IM Casper, Thomas GER 2412
6 FM Brueggemann, Joachim GER 2404
7 IM Mueller, Matthias GER 2362
8 FM Voekler, Bernd GER 2376
9 GM Enders, Peter GER 2456
10 IM Troyke, Christian GER 2334
11 FM Fiedler, Torsten GER 2328
12 Fuhrmann, Daniel GER 2286
13 Krueger, Rainer Dr. GER 2243
14 Umpfenbach, Caroline GER 2137
15 Siebarth, Raiko GER 2168
Hamburger SK (ø of first eight boards: 2543)
1 GM Gustafsson, Jan GER 2603
2 GM Kempinski, Robert POL 2608
3 GM Ftacnik, Lubomir SVK 2533
4 GM Hansen, Sune Berg DEN 2551
5 GM Wahls, Matthias GER 2551
6 GM Mueller, Karsten Dr. GER 2501
7 GM Bezold, Michael GER 2532
8 IM Reeh, Oliver GER 2464
9 IM Heinemann, Thies GER 2453
10 IM Michaelsen, Nils GER 2426
11 FM Van Delft, Merijn NED 2385
12 FM Langrock, Hannes GER 2407
13 Sebastian, Dirk GER 2371
14 FM Sievers, Stefan GER 2368
15 Stellwagen, Robin GER 2108
16 Moeller, Hendrik GER 2106
SV Hofheim (ø of first eight boards: 2439)
1 GM Savchenko, Stanislav UKR 2497
2 GM Hickl, Joerg GER 2530
3 IM Ginsburg, Gennadi GER 2481
4 IM Krivoshey, Sergei UKR 2499
5 IM Zude, Arno GER 2398
6 IM Rechel, Bernd GER 2408
7 WGM Houska, Jovanka ENG 2298
8 IM Pirrot, Dieter GER 2398
9 FM Zude, Erik Dr. GER 2385
10 FM Buchal, Stephan GER 2365
11 IM Brendel, Oliver GER 2340
12 FM Burkart, Patrick GER 2338
13 FM Haubt, Georg GER 2267
14 FM Zunker, Reinhard Dr. GER 2252
SF Katernberg (ø of first eight boards: 2569)
1 GM Volokitin, Andrei UKR 2652
2 GM Naiditsch, Arkadij GER 2611
3 GM Glek, Igor V GER 2580
4 GM Chuchelov, Vladimir BEL 2571
5 GM Smagin, Sergey RUS 2565
6 GM Kritz, Leonid GER 2543
7 GM Moreno Carnero, Javier ESP 2512
8 IM L'Ami, Erwin NED 2516
9 IM Senff, Martin GER 2430
10 IM Thesing, Matthias GER 2420
11 Scholz, Christian GER 2396
12 IM Souleidis, Georgios GRE 2401
13 IM Siebrecht, Sebastian GER 2366
14 FM Rosen, Bernd GER 2301
SC Kreuzberg (ø of first eight boards: 2574)
1 GM Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter ROM 2687
2 GM Almasi, Zoltan HUN 2650
3 GM Aronian, Levon ARM 2675
4 GM Socko, Bartosz POL 2570
5 GM Maiwald, Jens-Uwe GER 2514
6 GM Kalinitschew, Sergey GER 2533
7 IM Volke, Karsten GER 2483
8 GM Tischbierek, Raj GER 2477
9 GM Lau, Ralf GER 2481
10 IM Loeffler, Stefan GER 2432
11 IM Muse, Drazen GER 2415
12 IM Lagunow, Alexander GER 2437
13 IM Glienke, Manfred Dr. GER 2294
14 Sprotte, Norbert GER 2244
15 Figura, Atila Gajo GER 2193
Mülheim Nord (ø of first eight boards: 2504)
1 GM Landa, Konstantin RUS 2571
2 GM Fridman, Daniel LAT 2578
3 GM Levin, Felix GER 2498
4 IM Schebler, Gerhard GER 2496
5 GM Saltaev, Mihail UZB 2485
6 IM Zagorskis, Darius LTU 2486
7 Lytchak, Alexander Dr. GER 2436
8 IM Hausrath, Daniel GER 2478
9 FM Wegener, Olaf GER 2417
10 IM Kern, Guido GER 2355
11 FM Sielecki, Christof GER 2375
12 Kaid, Almar GER 2275
13 Friedrichs, Klaus GER 2319
14 FM Becker, Marcel GER 2298
15 Tereick, Benjamin GER 2155
16 Kuipers, Dustin 1909
SF Neukölln (ø of first eight boards: 2509)
1 GM Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2581
2 GM Nataf, Igor-Alexandre FRA 2565
3 GM Miroshnichenko, Evgenij UKR 2617
4 GM Brynell, Stellan SWE 2473
5 IM Polzin, Rainer GER 2517
6 IM Borriss, Martin Dr. GER 2439
7 IM Berndt, Stephan GER 2438
8 IM Thiede, Lars GER 2442
9 IM Poldauf, Dirk GER 2418
10 IM Schwarz, Michael AUT 2408
11 IM Ahlander, Bjoern Mikael SWE 2411
12 FM Rudolf, Henrik GER 2322
13 Wendt, Jan-Dietrich GER 2296
14 FM Kurz, Alexander GER 2333
SG Porz (ø of first eight boards: 2659)
1 GM Adams, Michael ENG 2740
2 GM Lutz, Christopher GER 2596
3 GM Van Wely, Loek NED 2681
4 GM Sokolov, Ivan NED 2663
5 GM Vaganian, Rafael A ARM 2640
6 GM Beliavsky, Alexander G SLO 2660
7 GM Graf, Alexander GER 2646
8 GM Gurevich, Mikhail BEL 2644
9 GM Hansen, Curt DEN 2633
10 GM Van den Doel, Erik NED 2560
11 GM Andersson, Ulf SWE 2580
12 GM Kengis, Edwin LAT 2543
13 GM Nijboer, Friso NED 2567
14 GM Van der Wiel, John T.H NED 2493
15 Balcerak, Philipp GER 2224
16 Pilgram, Alexander 1814
Preetzer TSV (ø of first eight boards: 2435)
1 GM Berkes, Ferenc HUN 2630
2 Rasmussen, Karsten DEN 2462
3 IM Pedersen, Steffen DEN 2441
4 IM Fries Nielsen, Jens Ove DEN 2379
5 IM Sorensen, Jan DEN 2407
6 IM Skytte, Rasmus DEN 2392
7 FM Wisnewski, Christoph GER 2392
8 IM Borbjergaard, Lars DEN 2374
9 Junge, Kai GER 2259
10 Willsch, Matthias GER 2250
11 Marxen, Peter Dr. GER 2212
12 Reinecker, Kai GER 2220
13 Richert, Thomas GER 2206
14 Kornrumpf, Joachim GER 2251
SG Solingen (ø of first eight boards: 2533)
1 GM Nikolic, Predrag BIH 2676
2 GM Sandipan, Chanda IND 2543
3 IM Stellwagen, Daniel NED 2512
4 GM Gabriel, Christian GER 2556
5 GM Naumann, Alexander GER 2538
6 IM Smeets, Jan NED 2515
7 IM Hoffmann, Michael GER 2468
8 IM Werle, Jan NED 2457
9 IM Ernst, Sipke NED 2521
10 IM Drabke, Lorenz GER 2433
11 IM Zysk, Robert GER 2462
12 GM Emms, John M. ENG 2504
13 IM Schneider, Bernd GER 2441
14 IM Schaefer, Markus GER 2369
15 FM Wegerle, Joerg GER 2343
Stuttgarter SF (ø of first eight boards: 2428)
1 GM Oral, Tomas CZE 2565
2 GM Sedlak, Nikola SCG 2521
3 GM Schmittdiel, Eckhard GER 2454
4 IM Berezovsky, Igor GER 2434
5 FM Papa, Severin SUI 2411
6 FM Reuss, Andreas GER 2356
7 Vujic, Branimir BIH 2360
8 FM Vuckovic, Aleksandar GER 2325
9 FM Lorscheid, Gerhard GER 2274
10 FM Heinatz, Thomas GER 2281
11 Fritsch, Rolf GER 2234
12 Haas, Wilhelm GER 2181
13 FM Schmid, Wolfgang GER 2236
14 Migl, Dieter GER 2198
TV Tegernsee (ø of first eight boards: 2563)
1 GM Khenkin, Igor GER 2587
2 GM Sokolov, Andrei FRA 2591
3 GM Ribli, Zoltan HUN 2603
4 GM Bischoff, Klaus GER 2559
5 GM Boensch, Uwe GER 2540
6 GM Kindermann, Stefan AUT 2536
7 GM Hertneck, Gerald GER 2552
8 GM Teske, Henrik GER 2538
9 GM Beim, Valery AUT 2512
10 GM Stangl, Markus GER 2478
11 IM Bromberger, Stefan GER 2440
12 IM Gross, David GER 2465
13 IM Pezerovic, Edin GER 2428
14 Nitsche, Dirk GER 2265
SV Wattenscheid (ø of first eight boards: 2559)
1 GM Nielsen, Peter-Heine DEN 2663
2 GM Macieja, Bartlomiej POL 2613
3 GM Sargissian, Gabriel ARM 2611
4 GM Rustemov, Alexander RUS 2602
5 GM Johannessen, Leif NOR 2519
6 GM Handke, Florian GER 2467
7 IM Appel, Ralf GER 2507
8 IM Holzke, Frank Dr. GER 2492
9 IM Hall, Jesper SWE 2487
10 IM Dinstuhl, Volkmar Dr. GER 2420
11 IM Ellers, Holger GER 2407
12 IM Lemmers, Oscar NED 2401
13 FM Straeter, Timo GER 2348
14 FM Thiel, Thomas GER 2316
15 Lang, Daniel 1859

Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register