Chess across the globe

6/24/2003 – For the third time the technology and media city of Dresden payed host to a interesting chess event. More than 350 participants turned up at the Sachsen Forum last weekend to try out the different possibilities that modern chess has to offer. One of the most spectacular was playing a blitz games over a distance of 18,000 kms. The nicest: a simul by a 13-year-old girl. More...

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One notable guest was the production director of Infineon Technologies in Dresden, Thomas Leitermann, who opened the event with an Internet game on the Playchess.com server. After logging in as "Sachsenforum" Thomas Leitermann took on the most distant opponent whom we could find in the main playing room.


This is where the two opponents were located during the blitz game. The picture is taken from the Playchess.com "globe" display which uses NASA satellite pictures to show where people are located when the play on the server.

The opponent was Christophe in New Zealand, 18,000 Km from Dresden, on the other side of the globe. In the subsequent chat we learned that Christophe was a 38-year-old German emigrant who had moved to New Zealand a year ago. He works in the insurance industry and loves chess, reading (SF and fantasy), dancing, pubs (auckland has 2000 of them), music and computers.

The ten hours time difference and the globe crossing distance was no problem for the Playchess.com server. Apparently the Internet signal was going through ocean cables, since the ping times were less than a second. The game itself was no different from one between players in two neighbouring German cities.

The game went back and forth, not just across the globe but also strategically. In the end the player from New Zealand took the point. After that the Sachsenforum took over, with many young guests trying their hand against opponents thousands of kms away. In the end they had reached an Elo level of 1800.


Sigrid Kreußel of the Sachsenforum, Thomas Leitermann of Infineon, the reigning "Miss Sachsenforum", Evgenija Shmirina, Dr Dirk Jordan, GM Wolfgang Uhlmann.

In the afternoon there were simultaneous exhibitions by legendary GM Wolfgang Uhlmann, playing ten boards, and 13-year-old European vice champion Evgenija Shmirina on eight boards. Both played for four hours, and as soon as an opponent had finished a game a new player to his or her place.

GM Wolfgang Uhlmann playing a simul against visitors. He played a total of 40 games and lost just one by blundering away a rook.

This was only the third time 13-year-old Evgenija Shmirina played a simultaneous exhibition (she has played some interesting Internet matches). The president of the Olympic Committee of Saxony, Dr. Jürgen Löffler (above), was very impressed by the girl. With two extra pawns he was forced into a repetition and had to conceed a draw. Evgenija lost just two of 30 games.

Dr. Dirk Jordan Dresden, 21.06.2003


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