Dortmund 2004: A pictorial farewell

by ChessBase
8/6/2004 – The Dortmund Super-GM is over, most of the players have migrated to Mainz to play in the Chess Classic., and there still remains a lot to show and tell. Like many unpublished pictures, or the press conference held by ACP president Joel Lautier, outlining the plan of the professional chess organisation. Here's our final Dortmund report.

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22 July to 1 August 2004

If you've not been living in a cave you will know that India's Vishy Anand won the event, beating Vladimir Kramnik in the tiebreak of the final. Peter Svidler did the same to Peter Leko in their match for third place. You will find a complete list of all reports carried by the ChessBase news page to cover the tournament below.

On the penultimate day in Dortmund the first game of the final between Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik was ceremoniously started, as is often done in such cases, by a well-known public personality. Except here it was a colleague and sometimes Kramnik second, Joel Lautier. As president of the Association of Chess Professionals Joel has achieved celebrity status. Well, at least there was no problem on his moving the wrong pawn or making an illegal move. And also we love the look on Vlady's face in the picture above.

After the ceremonious pushing of the e-pawn for Anand Joel Lautier held a press conference on the plans of the professional chess organisation to stage an ACP Tour, similar to the system that exists in all major individual sports. The ACP Tour will be a tournament circuit which regroups strong international individual events during a one-year chess season. Only tournaments with an average rating of 2575 or higher will be counted.

Chess journalists and players listen attentively

Players taking part in events of the Tour gain points according to a ranking system devised by the ACP. The first ACP Tour takes place from the 1st of July 2004 until the 30th of June 2005. Once the season is over, a given number of best players are qualified for a final event, called the ACP Masters. The winner of the ACP Masters shall be declared the best chess player of the season according to the ACP. Only ACP members are eligible to play in the ACP Masters.

  • The full text of Joel Lautier's statement is given below.

Farewell pictorial report

Dortmund was hot, and many locals had better things to do than play or watch chess

Outdoor blitz on the free day (Svidler, Bologan and Naiditsch)

Visitors get a chance to take a thorough thrashing from world-class players

The organisers (left Carsten Hensel, 2nd from right Gerd Kolbe) in great spirits

Bee without a sting: actually a bee mimic fly that joins in your coffee break

Peter Leko arrives for the penultimate round in a chauffeured limousine

The youngest participant Sergey Karjakin gets the same treatment

Watch it, Vladimir! You can break a leg getting to your game in time

Peter Svidler (left) on foot, carrying photographic equipment for journalists Frederic Friedel and Olena Boytsun

Chess art on display in Dortmund

Pictures showing male and female human chess sets

Spectators in the State Theatre waiting for the action to start

Vladimir Kramnik preparing to do battle with Vishy Anand in the final regular game in this tournament (it ended in a draw)

Anand ponders the black side of his Sicilian Taimanov

Bologan and the Boy: GM Viorel Bologan vs 14-year-old Sergey Karjakin

The Ukraines: journalist Olena Boytsun and chess mom Tatiana Karjakina

On the wrong side of the camera: Olena caught by rookie photographer Sergey Karjakin

Everybody's favourite: chess wife Aruna Anand in the press centre

The prize giving ceremony with Spiderman topicality? The town hall in Dortmund

Wives and in-laws (right: the Leko clan) wait for the ceremony to begin

Old friends: Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler in serious discourse

Sergey Karjakin and Arkadij Naiditsch (right: arbiter Dr. Andrzej Filipowicz)

Vishy Anand takes first, Vladimir Kramnik must for once be satisfied with a Dortmund second

All together now: the full Super-GM group pose for a final farewell picture (click to enlarge)

Pictures by Jeroen van den Belt, Frederic Friedel and Olena Boytsun

ChessBase reports

Dortmund Sparkassen Chess-Meeting 2004
21.04.2004 The strongest tournament in Germany is the Chess-Meeting in Dortmund. This year it will be held from July 22 to August 1 and features Anand, Kramnik, Leko, Svidler, Rublevsky, Bologan, Karjakin and Naiditsch. Here's the information you need to prepare for Dortmund 2004

Dortmund R2: Anand wins heavyweight bout
24.07.2004 The gloves came off today in Dortmund, but the only fighter to land a knock-out blow was Vishy Anand. He beat Peter Svidler in a fantastic display of tightrope calculation to take the lead in Group 1. Kramnik-Leko was an interesting draw, as were the other two games. 14-year-old Karjakin again showed his toughness. Full report with games, results and pictures.

Dortmund R3: Svidler strikes back
24.07.2004 If there's anything scarier than a super-GM it's a motivated super-GM wanting to come back after a loss. That's what Germany's Arkady Naiditsch had to face today when he sat down across from Peter Svidler. The four-time Russian champ would not be denied. Group 2 kept its 100% draw quotient. Report, analysis, and photos.

Dortmund R4: Kramnik almost Karjaked
25.07.2004 Today the tournament's young guns took their turn with white against legends Vishy Anand and Vlady Kramnik. Arkady Naiditsch played to win versus Anand, while 14-year-old Sergey Karjakin came oh-so-close to beating the world champion in a wild game that lasted 86 moves. We bring you some remarkable annotations of this remarkable game.

Dortmund R5: Anand and Svidler make their moves
26.07.2004 Would somebody in Group 1 go wake up the guys in Group 2? Anand and Svidler beat Rublevsky and Naiditsch while Group 2 was again all draws. Where do you go for analysis when the #2 and #3 players in the world are in action? To #1, of course! We also bring you a behind-the-scenes pictorial report by Olena Boytsun

Dortmund Semis 1: Semifinals begin with draws
30.07.2004 The preliminaries are over and the mini-match phase has begun. Anand played a short draw against Leko. Svidler drew against Kramnik after suffering for a long time in the Grunfeld. In the consolation tourney for 5th-8th Naiditsch won his second straight game by doing what Kramnik and Leko could not. He beat Karjakin. Games and report.

Dortmund Semis 2: Anand and Kramnik reach final
30.07.2004 It hasn't exactly followed an exciting script, but in true Hollywood fashion we get a happy ending anyway. Both semifinal games were drawn. Anand-Leko and Kramnik-Svidler both drew the rapid games and went to blitz tiebreaks. The world's #2 and #3 will face off in the final starting Saturday. Report and photos.

Dortmund Final 1: Battle Royal!
01.08.2004 Vishy Anand was closing in for the kill but Vlady Kramnik had been saving his best for last. The first game of the final was drawn after a sensational defense by Kramnik. The only win of the day was scored by Naiditsch, his fourth in a row. The event concludes Sunday. Report, photos, and analysis

Dortmund concludes: Vishy Anand Victorious
01.08.2004 Anand picked up his first Dortmund trophy by crushing Vladimir Kramnik's Sicilian in their second rapid tiebreak game. It was a draw-filled tournament but in the end it found a deserving winner and the four top seeds on top. Svidler downed Leko in rapids to take third place. Naiditsch and Bologan won their consolation matches. Games and report.

Joel Lautier's Press Statement in Dortmund, 31st JULY 2004

Dear Chess Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The aim of today's press conference is to announce and present before you a new concept for tournament chess - the ACP Tour. If successfully implemented, the ACP is convinced this new enterprise will change the face of professional chess for years to come.

Until now, a major defect in the organization of today's top-level chess has been the lack of an integrated system of tournaments, as it exists in all major individual sports. Whether it be tennis, golf or Formula 1 racing, a clear set of rules, uniting all important competitions in the course of a year, forms the backbone of the sporting season. This has made these sports more interesting to follow for a larger audience, and ultimately, commercially successful. In order to promote chess on a greater scale, the creation of an ACP Tour has therefore become a top priority for us.

I will expose a summary of the rules and mention only the most significant parts. The full text of the rules will be distributed to all journalists present and put up on the ACP website.

The ACP Tour is a tournament circuit which regroups strong international individual events during a one-year chess season. This means that tournaments held according to different formats, either round-robins, swiss systems or knock-out events, will all be included, as long as their average strength is higher than an elo rating of 2575. Determining an average rating for round-robins is easy enough, but how precisely this is done for larger events such as swiss systems or knock-out tournaments is described in the regulations.

Events played at both classical and rapid time-controls are counted, albeit with an inferior coefficient for rapid events compared to classical ones. All the above implies that blitz tournaments, team competitions, national championships and insufficiently strong individual tournaments will not be part of the ACP Tour.

Players taking part in events of the Tour gain points according to a ranking system devised by the ACP. The first ACP Tour takes place from the 1st of July 2004 until the 30th of June 2005. Once the season is over, a given number of best players are qualified for a final event, called the ACP Masters. The winner of the ACP Masters shall be declared the best chess player of the season according to the ACP.

A complete list of tournaments included in the ACP Tour will be published on our website and updated as the season unfolds. Likewise, updated players' standings will be published on the 15th of every month during the whole season.

It should be noted that only ACP members are eligible for qualification in the ACP Masters event. A player has to be an ACP member for both 2004 and 2005, in order to have his results taken into account.

For those players who are not yet ACP members in 2004, they may apply for membership before the 15th of November 2004. Past this date, the results of players who are not members will not be counted for the 1st ACP Tour.

At the end of the season, the sum of the best five performances in ACP tournaments will be calculated for each ACP member. The eight players who have scored the highest number of ACP points are qualified for the Masters.

The ACP Masters will be held over approximately two weeks, between September and December 2005. The ACP Board will consider adding a very limited number of players to the eight qualifiers from the Tour, by granting them wild-cards. This will only be done if such a measure conditions the sponsorship of the event. However, whenever possible, the ACP Board will give preference to a tournament format comprising only the eight qualifiers from the ACP Tour.

The exact format and prize-fund are currently being discussed with interested sponsors. All relevant information will be published on our website in due time.

In a nutshell, this is the general description of how the ACP Tour will function.

As you can see, there are several advantages to having such a system uniting major chess competitions. To start with, you create a sense of unity by establishing a clear calendar of events. The impact of each local event is enhanced by the fact that it belongs to a worldwide circuit and results achieved in one tournament has an effect on the whole chess season. The stronger the tournament, the bigger the effect, hence organizers are naturally stimulated to improve their tournaments from one year to the other. More importantly, open and rapid tournaments will, for the first time, be counted alongside classical round-robins. For numerous players, the benefits of this improvement are obvious, since invitations to closed events are by nature exclusive and only a limited number of players have access to these events. Swiss systems, on the other hand, are open to all, therefore the number of candidates for qualification to the Masters increases significantly.

Another positive effect is that good results are emphasized and poor ones ignored. Contrary to the current elo rating system, where a participant is sanctioned when playing below expectations and must, as a result, be careful in his choice of tournaments, the ACP points system rewards players for their activity and ambitious play. Since one excellent result and two bad ones will still earn you more points than three average results, taking risks becomes the recommended approach. This should bring more excitement to our sport where until now, elite tournaments have sometimes produced disappointing results for the fans as the players were being too cautious.

So far, organizers around the world have responded very positively to the ACP Tour. For the single month of July, seven tournaments have already been registered and more are signing up. At the moment, the complete list of ACP events for July includes three round-robin GM tournaments - Biel (Switzerland), Taiyuan (China) and Dortmund (Germany), and four open tournaments - Paris (France), Amsterdam (Holland), Biel (Switzerland) and Pardubice (Czech Republic).

Organizers of all major events are invited to contact ACP Board Member Pavel Tregubov (, who is in charge of the ACP Tour, if they wish to join. We are informed of most events in the calendar but it makes our task easier if organizers contact us, in order to include their tournaments in advance.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have helped with the project. Besides Pavel Tregubov, who has been the chief designer of the complete rules, mention must be made of Grandmasters Miguel Illescas and Sergey Shipov, as well as International Arbiter Eduard Dubov, who have suggested valuable ideas that were used in our system. The ACP Board would also like to thank Dr Valery Golubenko and Vladimir Bazhenov and his hard-working team for helping out with the administrative work.

In closing, I would like to give you a foretaste of how the ACP Tour results will look like at the end of the season. Using our freshly crafted ACP Points System, we have computed the results of the top 12 international events for the first half of the year 2004. Based on these calculations, eight players would have qualified for the Masters, in the following order: Vishy Anand, Sergey Rublevsky, Vladimir Kramnik, Peter Leko, Shakhryar Mamedyarov, Gary Kasparov, Alexander Grischuk and Nigel Short. The sample of tournaments used here is not large enough, nonetheless, one can see some interesting trends: the top four rated players during this period (Kasparov, Anand, Kramnik and Leko) made it to the final, together with three players who mainly obtained their qualification through strong performances in open tournaments (Rublevsky, Mamedyarov and Short). This is precisely what the ACP Tour aims to achieve: to give a fair chance to players who perform well, regardless of their invitations to elite tournaments.

Thank you for your attention.

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