Zurich: A chance to meet the World Champions

by ChessBase
4/2/2009 – They will all be there, for the 200th jubilee of the oldest chess club in the world: the Schachgesellschaft Zürich. The festivities, which include a Jubilee Open, will see Anand, Karpov, Korchnoi, Kramnik, Spassky, Ponomariov and Topalov playing a Champions Rapid. They are joined by Garry Kasparov for a Champions Simul against 200 opponents. One could be you, if you solve a Jubilee Quiz.

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Press Release / Zurich, 2 April 2009

Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity to Play Against a World Champion
– at the Schachgesellschaft Zürich's Jubilee!

The celebrations in August 2009 to mark the 200th anniversary of the Schachgesellschaft Zürich will be a dream come true for quite a few chess players. The world's oldest chess club is offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at the simultaneous exhibition at Zurich Main Station on the 22nd of August: On hundred chess enthusiasts will get the chance to cross swords with champions such as Kasparov or Anand in simultaneous games. Taking place alongside this event are an open tournament featuring a world-class line-up, which is being held from 9 to 15 August, and the Champions Rapid, the rapid chess tournament on 23 August.

The hundred chess enthusiasts will be picked from those who answer the ten competition questions correctly and will be given the chance to fulfill their dreams. On 22 August 2009, they will play at Zurich Main Station in the Champions Simultan against a World Chess Champion: Viswanathan Anand, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Viktor Korchnoi, Vladimir Kramnik, Boris Spassky, Ruslan Ponomariov, Veselin Topalov – each of these players will take on 25 amateurs. 200 matches to represent each year of the Schachgesellschaft Zürich, which was founded in 1809. 16 simultaneous matches – each champion's first two games – will be broadcast live on the Internet.

All information regarding the competition can be found in the recently published official jubilee programme, which is available for download at www.sgzurich2009.ch. The programme also contains information on the Champions Rapid – the rapid chess tournament for the champions – starting on 23 August, the Jubilee-Open from 9 to 15 August as well as the history of the world's oldest chess club. Richard Forster's book entitled "Die Schachgesellschaft Zürich. 1809 bis 2009", which outlines the club's history, will be appearing from the end of May to commemorate the jubilee.

The Jubilee-Open at the Kongresshaus Zurich is set to welcome an extraordinarily high-class line-up. In the Alois Nagler Memorial (master tournament) and in the Accentus (Swiss Chess) Open – the general tournament – players ranging from beginners to world-class players will fight it out for a total of 100,000 Swiss Francs in prize money. 16 grandmasters have already registered, including the opening specialist and former World Championship Candidate Alexey Dreev. Many grandmasters have already expressed interest in taking part in the competition, including super-grandmasters who have an Elo rating of over 2700. Entrants have until August 4th to register for the Jubilee-Open; the easiest way to do this is to fill in the online form. Please visit Jubilee website for further information about the Schachgesellschaft Zürich's jubilee.

Dr. Christian Rohrer
Schachgesellschaft Zürich
Jubilee 2009

Invitation to the Jubelee Open

The Alois Nagler Memorial is referred to as "Master", the Accentus (Swiss Chess) Open as "General".

Date 9th August - 15th August 2009
Mode Nine round Swiss
Place Kongresshaus Zürich
Categories Master: Starting from Elo 2000 (Organizer may allow exceptions)
General: Up to CH-Elo 2050
Entry fee Master: CHF 160, Under 20: CHF 80, GM / IM / WGM / WIM: free
General: CHF 140, Under 20: CHF 70
Prize money Total guaranteed: CHF 100,000
Rate of play 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move one
Registration With registration form or via Internet. There you will find regularly updated starting lists. If registrated by the 15th July 2009, you will get a confirmation of registration and a pay-in slip after sending the entry fee to PC-Konto 85-326047-6 (Schachgesellschaft Zürich, Jubiläum 2009, 8008 Zürich), IBAN: CH31 0900 0000 8532 6047 6. You also can pay the entry fee at the attendance check on 9th August 2009
Return entry form to: Georg Kradolfer, Postfach 1015, CH-8038 Zürich
Deadline 5th August 2009
Accomodation Zürich Tourism. Please make your reservations as soon as possible, since the Street Parade takes place in Zurich at 08. 08. 09!
Blitz Tournament Thursday, 13th August 2009; starts 8 pm, 11 rounds. Entry fee: CHF 20, Under 20: CHF 10. 1st prize: CHF 300, many prizes more. Registration until 30 minutes before start.


Sunday 09. 08. 2009 10am - 1pm, 2pm Attendance check, round 1
Monday  10. 08. 2009  9.30am, 4pm round 2, round 3
Tuesday 11. 08. 2009 2pm round 4
Wednesday  12. 08. 2009  9.30am, 4pm round 5, round 6
Thursday  13. 08. 2009  2pm, 8pm round 7, blitz tournament
Friday 14. 08. 2009 2pm round 8
Saturday  15. 08. 2009  9.30am, 4pm round 9, distribution of prizes
Saturday 22. 08. 2009 Champions Simultan (Zürich HB) – 2pm to 6.30pm
Sunday 23. 08. 2009 Champions Rapid (Zürich HB) – 11am to 6pm

A Brief History of the Schachgesellschaft Zürich

The “Schachgesellschaft Zürich” (Zurich Chess Club) is by far the oldest chess club in the World. Founded in 1809, the club has been in continuous existence ever since and will shortly be celebrating its 200th anniversary. This brief history looks back at some of the milestones in the eventful existence of the venerable society.

The first hundred years of the club's existence have already been documented in the form of a centennial publication written by longstanding club secretary Chief Justice Eugen Meyer in 1909 (Festschrift zum 100-jährigen Jubiläum der Schachgesellschaft Zürich, enthaltend die Geschichte des Vereins von 1809 bis 1909, Zurich: Lohbauer, 1909, 55 pages). A second publication by Richard Forster, to mark the 200th anniversary of the club, will be released later this year.

The Old Club (1809–1842)

1809 The Chess Club is founded by Johann Escher (a grocer at St. Peter's Hofstatt), Sigmund Spöndli (State Treasurer and later State Councilor), Heinrich Maurer (painter and first club president), Leonhard Ziegler (paper manufacturer and cultural promoter), Carl Schulthess (painter and art teacher), and Heinrich Schulthess (painter).
1814 The "Schwarzengarten", the shearers' and barbers' house at the Stüssihofstatt, is named as the first club house.
1821 A chess board is broken in two on an outing to Wädenswil
1822 The Club competes against the old Winterthur Chess Club at Baltenswil, marking the first ever Swiss club match. Zurich emerges victorious with a score of 41:35 and five draws. Several such competitions follow in the years up to 1826.
1825 At the suggestion of Heinrich Meister, a language teacher at the Lindenhof, the Schachgesellschaft organizes the first ever "Swiss Federal Chess Tournament" in Baden. Plans to use the tournament as a springboard to founding a chess federation fail to materialize.
1828 A correspondence chess game against Winterthur players headed up by landscape painter Emanuel Steiner ends in defeat.
1830 Two young men from Berlin make an appearance at the Chess Club during the traditional “Knabenschiessen” event (boys' shooting competition) and wreak the most dreadful havoc among the Zurich chess players. They turn out to be the soon-to-be-famous players Wilhelm Hanstein and Carl Mayet. "Papa Escher" was urgently drafted in to provide support, but even he and Heinrich Meister were no match for the young visitors. The Saffran Guild House is voted the club house for the first time and – with the exception of a few interruptions – remains as such for almost a hundred years.
1836 Heinrich Meister, the faithful club president of many years, dies and the presidency passes to founding member Johann Escher
1840 Professor Conrad von Orelli, a club member since 1835 and later president, publishes his "Schachbüchlein", a beginners' guide to the rules of chess and useful moves made by famous players.


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