Who's Who at the «Zurich Chess Challenge 2015»

by ChessBase
1/31/2015 – Together with the six players of the leading elite, there will join in a group of legendary personalities from the world of chess at the 4th edition of the «Zurich Chess Challenge 2015» (February 13th-19th 2015). Recently added to the mouthwatering activities is a Legends Match in rapid games between Viktor Korchnoi and Wolfgang Uhlmann. The event just gets better and better.

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The GM's Nigel Short, Jan Rogers, Gennadi Sosonko and Ljubomir Ljubojevic will support GM Yannick Pelletier and IM Werner Hug as guest commentators in the worldwide live broadcast.

Leonxto Garcia from Spain, Frédéric Friedel (Chessbase, Germany) and many more journalists from over the world are going to report about this tournament of superlatives.

Among the Who's Who at the Opening Ceremony (February 13th) on the stage of this great event at Zurich will be not only Arturo Pérez-Reverte, the Spanish author of the detective novel «La tabla de Flandes» («The Flanders Panel», a dialogue between literature, painting and chess) but also the world renowned Cellist Boris Andrianov, the first Russian cellist to become a laureate at the 6th International Rostropovich competition in Paris.


Though a classical musician by trade, here Boris Andrionov teams up with Dmitri Illarionov to play a special
transcription of the great Argentinian Artur Piazzola's Muerte Del Ángel. Absolutely brilliant.

They will attune the six competitors at this closed ceremony (but broadcasted live) to the Blitz Tournament which will decide over the color distribution for the classical games. Following the Rapid Tournament on the final day (February 19th), the public Closing Ceremony with a musical contribution of the «Trio Capriccio Zürich» and the Prize Giving Ceremony will end this extraordinay chess festival.

The supporting programme features Sergej Karjakin who will be playing a simultaneous exhibition against representatives of the sponsors at the «Zunfthaus zur Saffran» on February 12th.

Korchnoi - Uhlmann rapid match

Furthermore, we are particularily looking forward to a Rapid Competition between the two famous chessplayers Viktor Kortchnoi and Wolfgang Uhlmann who both made a lasting impression on the chess scene at their height. They will celebrate their 84th and 80th birthday respectively in March 2015! This event will be held on February 15th (rounds one and two) and February 16th (rounds three and four), both days at 11am at the Hotel "Savoy Baur en Ville" and preceded by a short overview about the bygone chess history by the president of the «Emanuel Lasker Gesellschaft», Paul Werner Wagner.

Viktor Korchnoi was a candidate for the World Championship on ten occasions (1962, 1968, 1971, 1974, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1988 and 1991). He was also a four-time USSR chess champion, a five-time member of Soviet teams that won the European championship, and a six-time member of Soviet teams that won the Chess Olympiad.

On the January 2007 FIDE rating list Korchnoi was ranked number 85 in the world at age 75, by far the oldest player ever to be ranked in the FIDE top 100. The second-oldest player on the January 2007 list was Alexander Beliavsky, age 53, who is 22 years younger than Korchnoi. As of 2011, Korchnoi was still active in the chess world with a notable win (in Gibraltar) with black against the 18-year-old Fabiano Caruana, who was rated above 2700 and 61 years Korchnoi's junior.

Viktor Korchnoi

Wolfgang Uhlmann was a dominant force in East German chess, winning the GDR (or East German) national championship on eleven occasions from 1954 to 1986. The number eleven repeated again, when as the GDR's most outstanding player at the Chess Olympiads of 1956–90, he made eleven appearances, mostly on top board. At the 1964 event in Tel Aviv, he scored 83.3 percent, earning him the individual board one gold medal.

It was during the 1960s and 1970s that Uhlmann made a lasting impression on the international tournament scene with wins alongside greats such as Smyslov, Spassky and Bronstein to name but a few.

Uhlmann is acknowledged as one of the world's leading experts on the French Defence, and is one of very few Grandmasters to have deployed it almost exclusively in reply to 1.e4.

Wolfgang Uhlmann

This tournament is made possible again by the generous support of Oleg Skvortsov,
owner of the «International Gemological Laboratories» in Moscow and a passionate
strong chess player with good personal relationships to the entire world elite of chess.


# Player
1 Fabiano Caruana
No. 2
2 Levon Aronian
No. 3
3 Viswanathan Anand
No. 6
4 Sergey Karjakin
No. 7
5 Hikaru Nakamura
No. 8
6 Vladimir Kramnik
No. 11

Average rating: 2786 = Category XXII

Schedule, rate of play

The event is a six player round robin, with a rate of play of 40 moves in 120 minutes, then 20 moves in 60 minutes and the rest of game in 15 minutes, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting after move 61. Special rule: in case of a draw before move 40, an additional rapid game will be played (which does not count for the overall result).

Friday February 13 19:00 Opening, Blitz
Saturday February 14 15:00 Round 1
Sunday February 15 15:00 Round 2
Monday February 16 15:00 Round 3
Tuesday February 17 15:00 Round 4
Wednesday February 18 15:00 Round 5
Thursday February 19 11:00 Rapid, Closing

All games will be commented by Yannick Pelletier and Werner Hug and broadcast live via Internet.

The venue

The tournament takes place in the time-honored Hotel «Savoy Baur en Ville» (Paradeplatz,
Zurich, Switzerland) in the «Festsaal», the venue of many a famous chess event in the past.

The main sponsor,«IGC International Gemological Laboratories», is a Russian institute providing gemological services, such as diamond grading reports, enhanced diamonds identification as well as certification of diamonds, gemstones and jewelry in the Russian Federation. IGC is the Russian branch of GCI, a group of gemological laboratories worldwide.

Co-Sponsors: Savoy Chess Corner, Zurich Chess Club (founded 1809, the oldest existing chess club in the world). Organisation: Schachgesellschaft Zürich (Zurich Chess Club). Contact: media@sgzurich.ch

The Schachgesellschaft Zürich, which was founded in 1809. Its historical development has been retraced by Richard Forster and Christian Rohrer in a series of articles for us:


The games will be 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 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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