11th European Senior Team Championship in Velden

4/8/2009 – Hang on, doesn't that ring a bell? Yes, of course! In 1983 the candidate’s quarterfinal clash Smyslov vs Huebner was decided by the throw of a roulette ball, after a tie in the match, in Casino Velden, and almost 30 years ago Viktor Korchnoi played and won a candidate’s match here against Tigran Petrosian. After three rounds Viktor, now 78, has yet to concede a loss or draw. Report by Franz Rulitz.

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11th European Senior Team Championship, April 5-13, 2009

Report from Velden, Austria, by Franz Rulitz

"Velden am Wörthersee" is a market town in the district of Villach-Land in the Austrian state of Carinthia. Situated at the western shore of the Wörthersee Lake it is one of the most popular holiday resorts of Austria. Note that "Velden" is pronounced "Fell-den", as in Manfred fonn Richthofen or Werner fonn Braun. The picture above (by E. Peiffer for Wikipedia) shows Velden Bay, the scenic center of the community.


Schloss Velden (Castle Velden), which is today a luxury resort (take a look!)


The castle at night, with fountains lit up in different colours

Casino Velden was was the fifth Austrian casino to open, in 1950. It quickly became a tourist attraction, which made it necessary to find a new casino building, which was constructed on the banks of the Veldener Bucht (Velden Bay) and officially opened in 1989.

During the Easter week, Velden and the Casino is hosting the 11th Senior European Team Championship. But hold on: chess and the Velden Casino? Doesn’t that ring a bell? Yes, of course! In 1983 the candidate’s quarterfinal clash Smyslov vs Huebner was decided by the throw of a roulette ball, after a tie in the match. And for 78-year old Viktor Korchnoi it is “Velden revisited”. Almost 30 years ago he played and won a candidate’s match here against Tigran Petrosian.

“Velden is back in the world of chess”, announced the president of the ECU Boris Kutin (above between Hon. FIDE Vice President Prof. Kurt Jungwirth and FIDE Rating Officer Werner Stubenvoll) at the opening ceremony last Sunday. The organisers gave a hearty welcome to around 250 players from 17 countries. For family members and substitute players, the Velden tourism board and the Carinthian Chess Association – Carinthia or Kärnten is the the southernmost state in Austria – have devised an accompanying program during the day, but also a number of events after play. A cruise on Lake Woerthersee was the highlight so far. Tonight the culinary adventurous will try a local specialty, “Kasnudel”, a kind of giant tortellini filled with soft cheese. And on Easter Sunday, the traditional ham and horseradish will be served to the sound of “Oberkrainer” music. An exhibition by the Velden arts club is setting the tone in the foyer of the Casino. The theme, not surprisingly, is “The Game of Kings”.


The German team with IM Anatoly Donchenko, 2378, GM Hans-Joachim Hecht, 2390,
IM Klaus Klundt, 2347 and GM Dr Burkhard Malich


The Russian seniors, with GMs Vitaly Tseshkovsky, 2554, Evgeni Vasiukov, 2482,
Nikolai Pushkov, 2499, Oleg Chernikov, 2388 and IM Anatoly Kremenietsky, 2361

Back to chess. Naturally, surprises were rare in the first three rounds, owing to the Swiss system of pairings. With a third of the tournament played, Russia is in the lead, closely followed by Austria and Germany. Round four on Wednesday might straighten things out at the top: Austria is facing title holder Czech Republic, the Russian team, composed of four grandmasters, is facing Germany. Viktor Korchnoi’s Swiss team is paired against Finland. Six players have scored three out of three points so far, Viktor Korchnoi among them. Orestes Rodriguez Vargas (Catalonia), Vlastimil Jansa (Czech Republic), and the Russians Vitaly Tseshkovsky and Oleg Chernikov, have also won all their games. The sixth player is the only one who is not a grandmaster: IM Georg Danner of Austria.


Austrian IMs Franz Hoelzl, 2356, and Georg Danner, 2445

All games are available on www.chess-results.com, along with results and pairings. The Austrian Broadcasting Company ORF is publishing a daily “Game of the round” on their web site, complete with the commentary of young local grandmaster Markus Ragger.

Standings after three rounds

Rk. SNo Team
Gms
  + 
  = 
– 
 TB1 
 TB2   TB3 
1 1 Russland
3
3
0
0
6
1071 15,5
2 4 Österreich
3
3
0
0
6
975 17,5
3 2 Deutschland
3
3
0
0
6
877 19,0
4 5 Schweiz
3
2
1
0
5
891 19,0
5 10 Finland
3
2
1
0
5
885 18,0
6 3 Tschechien
3
2
1
0
5
847 23,5
7 7 Schachgemeinschaft Leipzig
3
2
1
0
5
832 15,0
8 9 SF Katernberg 1913 e.V.
3
2
1
0
5
830 15,5
9 12 Wien 1
3
2
1
0
5
789 21,0
10 8 Danmark 1
3
2
1
0
5
778 22,5

Full standings and individual tables available here.

Links

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