Anand has a date with Judit

by ChessBase
4/17/2003 – No, not that kind of date. They are scheduled to face each other in this year's Mainz Chess Classic. This very successful rapid chess event will be held from August 14 to 17, 2003. We will also be treated to a shuffle chess match between Peter Svidler and Peter Leko, and the giant Open in which anyone can play. Details.

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Judit Polgar challenges Vishy Anand

The Chess Classic in Mainz, Germany, offers us a special treat in the 2003 edition. From August 14 to 17 last year's winner Vishy Anand will be challenged by Judit Polgar, one of the hottest players in the current world top ten slot. Judit is number ten in the world on the current rating list, by far the greatest achievement by a woman in the history of the game. She is greatly feared by her colleagues as a dangerous attacking player who tends to go for mate right out of the opening.

Anand on the other hand is an experienced grandmaster who has been one of the top three players in the world for many years now. He is easy-going in the style of José Raúl Capablanca – and equally talented. In the last two Chess Classics he beat world champions Vladimir Kramnik and Ruslan Ponomariov, the latter in a beautiful game that won the admiration of the public.

The organiser of the event, Hans-Walter Schmitt, is very satisfied with this year's matching. "There can hardly be anything more exciting for the media. Judit Polgar is only woman who can keep up with the world's top players, and her chess style is very attractive. She faces Anand, who is one of the quickest thinkers in the world."

Die Chess Classic will be opened on August 13 by the Lord Mayor of Mainz, Jens Beutel. He is not just a political dignitary but a strong chess player who participtated in the open section of last year's Chess Classic – and in fact played against Anand in an Advanced Chess match. After the opening ceremony there will be simultaneous exhibitions in which the "Oberbürgermiester" is sure to participate.

On August 14 the Chess960 shuffle chess section of the Chess Classic begins. It is called "Chess960" because before each game one of the 960 possible starting positions is drawn by lots. Last year saw 131 participants, with Peter Svidler scoring 9:2 points to take first place. This year he will play a shuffle chess match against Peter Leko, who is also very experienced in this form of chess. In 2001 he defeated Michael Adams 4.5:2.5 in a Chess960 match in Mainz. Hans-Walter Schmitt will use the occasion to found a World Chess960 Federation in Mainz.

Shuffle chess, aka random or Fischerandom, shuffles all the pieces randomly before each game with the pawns in their usual places. In 1996 Bobby Fischer revitalized interest in this old variant when he appeared in Buenos Aires to promote his version of it, and to say it should replace normal chess.

If you are interested in coming to Mainz to watch and to play you should register for the Ordix Open, which will be held on the weekend of August 16-17. This is the 10th edition and the organisers once again expect around 500 participants. As usual there will be many dozens of grandmasters, this year probably including the world's youngest, Sergej Karjakin, who is a strapping 13 years old.

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