Swiss Championship celebrates 125th Anniversary

by Albert Silver
10/1/2014 – The Swiss Championships started with a special flavor in the air. The reason is that the Swiss Chess Federation is celebrating its 125th anniversary, a milestone in its seminal existence. Compare this to the US Chess Federation which is 74 years old, or the French which is just over 80. Surrounding the event is a wide range of activities, from simuls to an exhibit on Chess and Art.

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The event and activities are held at the Kultur Casino in Bern, Switzerland

Surrounding the fight for the Swiss title is a series of activities befitting the landmark birthday, such asa GM Challenge between GM Artur Yussupov, and GM Alexander Raetsky, a Youth Cup with Swiss talents, a walk-in for passersby, a booksigning by Yussupov, and even a Chess Expo, all held at the Kultur Casino Bern. On October 3, Anatoly Karpov will be there to give a simul on 20 boards.

There is a Youth Cup held simultaneously

It is designed to help promote the game and foster Swiss talents

There is also a glass window game where the two players play as if in a store's window display

Finally, there is also an Expo on Chess and Art

Here is another sample of works being prepared

Helping celebrate the event is former Candidate Artur Yussupow

The lineup of this year's championship includes the reigning champion, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, who is the absolute 2013 Swiss Champion for both men and women, as well as the Elo favorites GM Vadim Milov, and GM Yannick Pelletier.

The top seed is Vadim Milov (2622 FIDE)

The first round began with its fair share of surprises, starting first and foremost with Kosteniuk's fall to IM Roland Loetscher in 51 moves. The 32-year-old mathematician who lives and works in Bavaria, Germany, is playing in his first Swiss Championship, and has had an excellent start with 3.5/5. The former Women's World Champion bounced back with three wins and a draw and is also in the group tied 2nd-4th with 3.5/5.

Alexandra Kosteniuk had an unexpected loss in round one against IM Roland Loetscher,
but bounced right back and is a half-point behind the leader

Leading the tournament at the midway point is Yannick Pelletier with 4.0/5, who is hoping to add a fifth title to his résumé.

Standings after five rounds


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.




Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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