Vladimir Kramnik and the Spirit of the Régence

by ChessBase
5/23/2006 – The «Café de la Régence» is a legend for any French chess player. This lieu de rendez-vous saw personalities like Philidor, Napoleon and Musset playing games of chess in a leisurely, intellectual atmosphere. Sadly this famous Café has now disappeared, but there are ambitions to make it live again.

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The Spirit of “Le Café de la Régence” is back

Founded by a small group of passionate politicians, journalists and business men led by Olivier Dassault, who is also Deputy at the French Assemblée Nationale, “La Régence” , an association devoted to promoting chess among VIPs, last week organized its first meeting in the premises of L’Espace Paul Ricard, a contemporary Art Gallery in the heart of Paris.

Chess activities in the Café de la Régence in the 19th Century

The main guest of the evening was Vladimir Kramnik, the Classical Chess World Champion, who answered the questions of the members of “La Régence”. Kramnik’s speech covered many topics, from his views on the future of chess in the world to his training program for his match against Topalov. After the cocktail, chess clocks were started and games were played until well into the night…

“La Régence” aims at gathering its members two or three times a year. Rendez vous was taken next autumn for the next meeting of the new association.

The “La Régence” foundfounding with Kramik (left to right: Yves Marek, Cultural counsel to the President of French Senate and General Secretary of La Régence, Olivier Macard, Ernst & Young partner and Treasurer of La Régence, Olivier Dassaul, President of the Association,Vladimir Kramnik, Marie-Laure Germont, Journalist for Le Figaro. In the background, Patricia Empain)

Philippe Savinel, CEO of Ricard SA, with Olivier Dassault and Vladimir Kramnik

At “La Régence”, chess is not only for men…

Patricia Empain and Philippe Nicolas in a friendly game

Fréderic and Pascale Maire, Philippe Nicolas, Françoise and Gilbert Akoka

French chess prodigy
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (right) playing blitz with guests.

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