The Swiss are in the lead

by ChessBase
9/9/2002 – If Viktor Kortschnoj had had his stubborn way it would in fact have been 2-0. The maximalist dominated in his game against Lutz, had a tremendous passed pawn on e6, but had to conceed a draw because of opposite coloured bishops. On the other board Yannick Pelletier of Switzerland defeated Germany's Arkadi Naiditsch in a very exciting encounter. More

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Switzerland vs Germany

The first round of the Match between the two top players of Switzerland and Germany and the two most talented young stars ended today with a win for the Swiss. Viktor Kortschnoj had German world championship candidate Christopher Lutz on the ropes, with an awesome-looking extra passed pawn on d6. But Lutz was able to hold because of the opposite coloured bishops, leaving Kortschnoj making a number of somewhat frustrated moves in the end.

In the other game 26-year-old Yannick Pelletier, Elo 2571, displayed an incisive tactical style against Germany's Arkadi Naiditsch, ten years his junior but ten points higher on the Elo scale. It was dramatic game which had the audience on the edge of their seats. In fact GM Lucas Brunner, analysing the game in the commentary room (and for the live broadcast on the Playchess server), spent more time laying out the different lines of play in this game than in the "big one" on the first board. In the end Pelletier was victorious and give Switzerland a 1.5:0.5 lead after day one.

You can replay the games with Lucas Brunner's live analysis here.

Picture gallery

A concert in the famous Bahnhofstrasse just outside the Savoy hotel

The four players before the start of the first round: Christopher Lutz, Yannick
Pelletier, Arkadi Naiditsch and Viktor Kortschnoj

Arkadi with his father (left) just before the game.

Yannik chatting with colleague Florian Jenni, another great young talent in Switzerland.

German chess editor Raj Tischbierek asks Christopher to show him how to use his (Raj's) camera just before the game

Dr Christian Issler and Dr William Wirth, who are responsible for organising this beautiful event

Lutz vs Kortschnoi in the opulent playing hall

Christopher Lutz and Viktor Kortschnoi analyse after the draw is agreed.

Viktor Kortschnoi, not at all happy with the draw after dominating Lutz throughout most of the game.
  • Venue: Zürich, Hotel Savoy (Paradeplatz)
  • Time: Saturday Sept. 7th 2002, 14.00 MET (12:00 GMT, 8 a.m. NY) and Sunday Sept. 8th 2002, 13.00 MET.
  • Commentary: GM Lucas Brunner.
  • Audience: Entry free.

All games will be transmitted live on the Fritz7 Playchess server. The second round will be played in Berlin on the next weekend. Venue: Casino Berlin, Alexanderplatz, 37th storey. Times: Saturday Sept 14th 2002, 14.00 MET, Sunday Sept. 15th 2002, 13.00 MET.

There will also be a national tournament Switzerland vs Germany for all players from these two countries. This will be held on the Playchess server from September 9 to 13. Great prizes! Registry by email at

Additional matches
Saturday Sept 7th, 14.00 MET: SMM Wollishofen – SG Zürich (NLA)
Sunday Sept. 8th 2002, 13.00 MET: SMM SG Zürich – Bern (NLA) and SG Zürich II – Riehen (NLB).

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