No Castling Chess: An interview with Vladimir Kramnik

by André Schulz
5/3/2021 – From 10 to 18 July, Dortmund will once again be Germany's chess capital. Chess fans in Dortmund organise the "Sparkassen Chess Trophy", a grandmaster tournament, and Vladimir Kramnik and Vishy Anand will play a match in No Castling Chess. In an interview Kramnik reveals more.

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From 10 to 18 July, chess fans all over the world can again look to Dortmund. The "Dortmunder Schachtage" have been taking place there since 1973 and for decades the international chess elite has been coming to the German city.

Last year, in 2020, a new organisational team wanted to restart the traditional tournament. With the Westfalenhalle as a prominent venue, a large international open was planned. The meeting of German and international Grandmasters with many amateurs was to make Dortmund more of a chess festival again, after the Grandmaster tournament and the Open had become more and more distant from each other in the years before. However, because of the Corona pandemic, these ideas had to be postponed.

But the organisers did not want to let the summer of 2021 in Dortmund pass by without any chess at all. Instead of an Open, there will be a GM tournament with many strong players and, as the icing on the cake, the two former World Champions Vladimir Kramnik (14th World Chess Champion from 2000-2007) and Viswanathan Anand (15th World Chess Champion from 2007 to 2013) will play a match.

My Path to the Top

On this DVD Vladimir Kramnik retraces his career from talented schoolboy to World Champion in 2006. With humour and charm he describes his first successes, what it meant to be part of the Russian Gold Medal team at the Olympiad, and how he undertook the Herculean task of beating his former mentor and teacher Garry Kasparov.

My Career Vol. 1

The first DVD with videos from Anand's chess career reflects the very beginning of that career and goes as far as 1999. It starts with his memories of how he first learned chess and shows his first great games (including those from the 1984 WCh for juniors). The high point of his early developmental phase was the winning of the 1987 WCh for juniors. After that, things continue in quick succession: the first victories over Kasparov, WCh candidate in both the FIDE and PCA cycles and the high point of the WCh match against Kasparov in 1995.
Running time: 3:48 hours

My Career Vol. 2

Vishy Anand is one of the greatest chess talents of all times. On this DVD he speaks about his career, his views on chess, and presents the most beautiful and interesting games of his career.

Vladimir Kramnik has actually retired from tournament chess, but for the rematch of the 2008 World Championship match against Anand in Bonn he is competing again – under slightly different rules. Kramnik is currently campaigning for a modification of chess, for the so-called "No Castling" chess.

How does chess change when you are no longer allowed to castle? The idea is that there are fewer draws and the games become more lively without the usual established opening patterns.

In an interview with Patrick Zelbel, the press spokesman for the Sparkassen Chess Trophy, the 14th World Champion explains the idea himself.

Interview with Vladimir Kramnik

Vladimir Kramnik shares his view of the chess world in 2021. He talks about his current projects, explains "No Castling Chess" and talks about his match against Viswanathan Anand at the Sparkassen Chess Trophy. The first NC World Masters will be held in Dortmund in July 2021.

0:00​ Kramnik on current projects
6:12​ Relationship with Dortmund
9:49​ Kramnik on No Castling Chess
32:30​ NC World Masters vs Anand 


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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