Remembering September 12th 2001

by ChessBase
9/12/2009 – Once a year, when the anniversary of the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center comes around, when the media channels are full of memorials and vivid reruns of the events on that horrific day, we remember what we were doing at the time (doesn't everybody?). We were setting up our new ChessBase news page, which was due for launch on September 12th 2001. Here's the first report.

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Remembering September 12th 2001

You probably know that at the bottom of our main news page there are buttons that take you one page forward or back, or to the newest or oldest pages.

If you click on the "Last Page" button you will be taken to the very first report filed on our new database driven news service. We had been providing World Wide Web news coverage since 1996, but with statically uploaded HTML files (you can see a lot of the reports in the Wayback Machine archives). But after months of development we were, in September 2001, ready to switch to the new system – initially parallel to the old one. The launch was scheduled for September 12, 2001. Below is the first report, front page blurb and all. Note that the pictures we had included from the 1995 World Championship were scanned from prints – photos we had taken before the advent of digial cameras.

World Trade Center destroyed
12.09.2001 – Yesterday, in one of the most horrifying terrorist atrocities in history, the World Trade Center in New York was destroyed. We extend our deepest sympathies to the people of America. Our thoughts and feelings are with the victims and their families. The World Trade Center had a special meaning for chess. In 1995 the World Championship was staged on the Observation Deck on the 107th floor. We look back at in a commemorative picture gallery.

The World Trade Center

World Chess Championship Site 1995

In 1995 the PCA world championship, sponsored by Intel, was held between Garry Kasparov and Vishy Anand, ranked first and second in the world. The prize fund was 1.500.000 US$, with 2/3 for the winner. Here are some pictures I took of the event, which was staged on the Observation Deck at the 107th floor of the World Trade Center, 400 meters above New York City's financial center Wall Street.

Crossing from New Jersey to New York on the Staten Island Ferry

Kasparov pondering a move on the 107th story of the World Trade Center

Audience watching the moves of game 16

GM Yasser Seirawan explaining the position in the VIP room

Following chess moves on the observation deck

Garry Kasparov ponders a move in the glass cabin built for the players.

Thomas Friedel feeling a bit queasy while looking down on Manhattan...

...from the very top of the World Trade Center

Looking back from the ferry to New Jersey after the games.

The destruction of the World Trade Center (September 11, 2001)

Here's a moving tribute...
(The video has unfortunately been removed)

Frederic Friedel

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