WCC R01: Golden Book, drawing of colours

by ChessBase
10/14/2008 – Before the start of a World Championship there are certain social and technical matters to attend to. Like the entry in the Golden Book of the host city, a reception with the Lady Mayor, welcome speeches and the drawing of colours. And violin recitals. All this took place on Monday, twenty hours before the start of the first game. Photo report and video.

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Golden Book, drawing of colours

The famous Town Hall in Bonn, where hundreds of foreign dignatories have been received. It is called the "Rathaus", with the first vowel as in "father" – "Rat" (long a) in German means council and has no rodent connotations.

FIDE honorary president Florencio Campomanes, Challenger Vladimir Kramnik, World Champion Vishwanathan Anand, Wife Aruna and German Chess Federation President Prof. Dr. Robert K. Freiherr von Weizsäcker are greeted by...

... the Lady Mayor of Bonn, Bärbel Dieckmann, a truly impressive political personality...

... and warm and charming, as Anand and Aruna find out.

Anand signs the Golden Book of the City of Bonn

Then it is Vladimir Kramnik's turn

... and the three pose for photographers

The signatures of the two players in the Golden Book

Anand and wife Aruna at the dinner reception in the Town Hall

The Honorary President of FIDE, Florencio Campomanes, speaks in the name of FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who was attending emergency meetings on the world economic crisis and could not be in Bonn

Match director Josef Resch speaks to the guests

The President of the German Chess Federation Robert von Weizsäcker

Robert Klaus Freiherr von Weizsäcker is a professor for Economics at the Technical University in Munich. He is the son of the former President of Germany, Richard von Weizsäcker, and the nephew of the famous physicist and philosopher Carl Friedrich Freiherr von Weizsäcker. Robert von Weizsäcker is an IM-strength chess player. There is an interview with him at the bottom of this page.

Finally the drawing of colours: under the cones are two busts of Beethoven

Anand gets a black Beethoven, Kramnik a white one and has white in the first game

Ludwig van Beethoven was born (on December 16 1770 in Bonn. He was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music, and remains one of the most respected and influential composers of all time. If you are at the World Championship in Bonn you should definitely visit the Beethoven House, which is a place of pilgrimage for the friends of music from all over the world.

A special treat was violin recitals by Prof Eduard Wulfsen of the Stradivari Society, and Joseph Lendvay of Hungarian, who played virtuose violin in the gypsy tradition, of which you can watch a bit in the following video:

All photos and video by Frederic Friedel in Bonn

Interview with Robert von Weizsäcker

What do you personally find fascinating about chess?

For me the fascination lies in the contest as such, in the strategic element and the aesthetic appeal of the game. Right from the start I was captivated by positional chess, less by the possibly more spectacular combination chess – although you eventually always end up in the world of tactics, even as a positionally orientated player.

I have often been asked why I spent such an inordinate amount of time on chess. To this day I am convinced that taking into consideration the world outside chess and beyond the sheer joy of the game, not a single day was wasted. Because the abilities and character features one acquires or strengthens through chess are also extremely useful beyond the game. This applies especially for the profession of a scientist that I chose later. For example: analytical thinking, abstract imagination and reliance on the personal discipline of decision-making. One quality that was especially bought out by chess is closely linked to the latter: this is a quasi-rational power for taking decisions in the light of uncertainty.

What do you regard as your greatest achievement in chess?

Shared first place in the Christoffel Memorial (2002) as well as winning with the German team in the Correspondence Chess Olympics (2008).

Why do you think chess is so popular and is experiencing a boom world-wide?

This boom is probably especially apparent in countries such as India or China just now. I have already described the fascination of chess. In addition, the now possible dissemination via the internet certainly plays a part. There is also an increased focus on the understanding that chess may play a positive role in stimulating the development of children and young people, in the widest sense.

What, in your opinion, was the most interesting match in the history of chess?

Capablanca-Aljechin 1927; Botwinnik-Bronstein 1951; Fischer-Spasski 1972; Karpov-Kasparov (several).

The match between Kramnik and Anand is not only one of the most important matches in the history of chess, it is also a battle between the two current best players. Who do you think will win and why?

No prediction – for reasons of neutrality!

What effects may this match have on the future of world chess?

I wish that – in future historical retrospect – this World Championship will deservedly be referred to as the Unification World Championship.

In your opinion, for which of the players – Anand or Kramnik – is this match more important in chess history?

Maybe for Anand.

Source: UEP World Chess Championship home page

2008 World Chess Championship Anand vs Kramnik in Bonn

When: From October 14 – November 02, 2008
Where: Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn
Prize fund: 1.5 million Euro (= US $2.35 million)
Patron: German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrück
Main sponsor:   Evonik Industries AG

The match consists of twelve games, played under classical time controls: 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an additional 30 seconds per move starting from move 61. The prize fund is 1.5 million Euro (approximately 2.35 million US Dollars) including taxes and FIDE license fees, and is split equally between the players.


    Tuesday October 14   Game 1
    Wednesday   October 15 Game 2
    Thursday October 16 Free day
    Friday October 17 Game 3
    Saturday October 18 Game 4
    Sunday October 19 Free day
    Monday October 20 Game 5
    Tuesday October 21 Game 6
    Wednesday   October 22 Free day
    Thursday October 23 Game 7
    Friday October 24 Game 8
    Saturday October 25 Free day
    Sunday October 26 Game 9
    Monday October 27 Game 10
    Tuesday October 30 Free day
    Wednesday   October 29 Game 11
    Thursday October 30 Free day
    Friday October 31 Game 12
    Saturday November 1 Free day
    Sunday November 2   Tiebreak

Tickets cost 35 Euro (= US $54.80) per round. They include entry to the playing hall and to the commentary room, where there is analysis and discussions with prominent grandmasters. The tickets are available at all ticket agencies in Germany. You can also buy tickets for the match in advance via BONNTICKET, by email (tickets@bonnticket.de) or telephone (+49-180-5001812).

Live broadcast

The games are being broadcast live by FoidosChess, which provides five parallel video streams to present the players and commentary by grandmasters in German, English, Spanish and Russian. The cost is €10 per game. The games are also being broadcast live on Playchess.com (without videos and commentary, but also without time delay).

If you are not a member you can download ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. Owners of Fritz 11 or Rybka 3 automatically get a full year's subscription to Playchess.

You can also use all these programs to read, replay and analyse the PGN games.


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