27 March 2010

(Almost) No Chess960 @ CCM10

A year ago, in Chess960 @ CCM9, I was relieved to learn that Chess Classic Mainz (CCM) had survived the worst financial crisis in modern times and that the full gamut of CCM events was assured for 2009. In fact the downturn took longer to bite than it did to bark and CCM did not survive unscathed for its 2010 edition. From Chess Classic Mainz 2010 -- "Back to the roots" (Chesstigers.de):
The Chess Tigers would have loved to present a whole week of top level chess in all its beauty and diversity, as we did in previous editions, but in this difficult economic times many companies do not have the financial resources anymore to support sport events.

The CCM Rapid World Championship, featuring traditional chess, and a couple of simuls are the only events to be held this year.

Chess960, the exciting chess variant that has been pushed in Mainz and even made it in the offical FIDE rules, has to take a break for a year. However, we are confident that we will be able to carry on with Chess960 next year.

Chess960 does get a consolation prize.

On the first day of the event, 6 August, 15th World Champion Viswanathan Anand will play a standard simul on 40 boards. On the same day, [Women's World Champion] Alexandra Kosteniuk will play a 20-board Chess960 simul. As you can see, Chess960 still has a place in Mainz!

I'm not sure how chess960 simuls work, but I imagine all boards start with a different position, which must be really tough on the simul giver. In January I watched Kosteniuk play a tandem simul with Almira Skripchenko in Brussels, and I can confirm that she is a tough person to beat.

Since the CCM chess960 events are the only source of GM-level chess960 games, I'll have to take another look at previous years to find games worth highlighting on this blog. Here's hoping that the Chess Tigers and their sponsors are back in force for 2011.

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