Mammoth chess event won by 680½ to 671½

4/7/2009 – The city of Hamburg is divided in two parts by a river and lake. Every year for the last 51 years there has been a traditional chess tournament between schools located to the left and to the right of the Alster. This year the students from the left bank won the match by just nine points. At the same time one school was playing matches against teams in Madrid and Durban. Pictorial report.

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Mammoth School Tournament in Hamburg

The city of Hamburg is famous for the Alster, a tributary of the river Elbe, which flows directly through the city. The stream was dammed in 1190, originally to power a watermill. In 1235 a further dam was built for a second mill, which changed the form of the river to be like a lake. Today the Alster forms two artificial lakes which, together with the surrounding parks, serve as an important recreational area in the heart of the city.


The Hamburg Congress Center just before the start of the chess match

Every year for the last 51 years there has been a traditional chess tournament between schools located to the left and to the right of the Alster. It has now become the biggest tournament of its kind in the world. This year the match between the two sides was played on 1352 boards, with the students from the left of the river and lake winning by 680½ to 671½, a difference of just nine points! Here are some impressions from this mammoth event.


The biggest team championship in the world


Children of all ages take part in this incredible event


Triumph: the left side of the Alster beat the right by a score of 680.5 to 671.5

During the giant chess event there were a number of subsidiary activities, most notably Internet matches, carried out on the Playchess server, between schools in Hamburg and schools in other parts of the world.


TV watching: students of the Hamburg Genslerstrasse Elementary played against...


...students of the I. E. S. Duque de Rivas school in Madrid, Spain, who won the match


While 2700 students played in the hall, this group played across continents


Hamburg vs Durban

Photo report by Desmond Rooplal

The students of the Hamburg Genslerstrasse Elementary also played against the students of the same age in Durban, South Africa. From there we have received the following charming photos and a short report by the initiator.


The Sharks: Nonjabulo Ndaba, Thube Cele, Sanele Hlongwane (pointing out a tactical subtlety), Muqobi Sabelo (disagreeing with Sanele). Durban Eagles in the back.


Work in progress: grandmasters under construction


The Eagles: Cebo Mkhize operating the mouse, wonders if material deficit is overrated?
He recalls Andersson once sac'd two rooks, a bishop, and a queen and still won.


Prof Peter Dankelmann watching the Sharks

Peter Dankelmann, got his doctorate in mathematics (1993) from the Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH Aachen University). His thesis was on "Mittlere Entfernung in Graphen" or "Average distance in graphs". Peter is an expert at chess, and President of the Durban Chess Club, former club champion and former provincial champion. He currently lectures mathematics at the University of Kwazulu-Natal. While Peter hails from Germany, he was supporting both the Eagles and the Sharks all the way!


Desmond Rooplal, team manager and match coordinator watches the Sharks


Luyanda Ntusi points out a novelty he's been working on, Nolene Govender operates the mouse, Mncedisi Ngcobo not convinced of Luyanda's TN, and Cebo Mkhize watches on


Durban Metro Chess Academy Vice Chairman Roopal speaks to reporter Sinegugu Ndlovu about the advantages of chess in schools, also showing her ChessBase articles on Will Smith and GM Maurice Ashley


Rooplal vs Dankelmann – Desmond was lucky Peter had to rush off to lecture


The 2010 World Cup stadium under construction – cars on the road give a perspective of its size


Stadium at the beginning of construction


Durban's new stadium three days ago


A helicopter view of Durban


University of Kwazulu-Natal, Westville campus, School of Information Systems and Technology hosted the Durban teams, Eagles and Sharks, in their computer labs with Apple iMacs



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