Chess Classic Mainz – End of an Era

Cost-benefit analysis requires clear statement for Mainz

A decade full of dedication and passion for international rapid chess has come to an end in Mainz. A splendid decade from 2001 to 2010 with ground-breaking innovations in tournament organization for world class players and amateurs alike and the “Mainz System” Chess960, based on the ideas of the American World Champion Robert James “Bobby” Fischer, made the distinction between the Chess Classic and other classical tournaments. Speed and entertainment, service and amenities for the spectators and participants were the ingredients of a unique merger that took place once a year between the 2000-year old royal game and the ancient city of Mainz. The main goal of the organizers back in 1994 was to connect the small world of chess with everyday society. Explaining the complex game of chess to a bigger audience, for chess amateurs and laymen with the use of modern technology was the next step, which was thoroughly and systematically implemented in the event. This yearly meeting place for chess players was highly appreciated by professionals and amateurs and the Chess Classic became a nationally and internationally renowned event, without a doubt one of the highlights on the international chess calendar. The clarity and reliability of the annual world championships in rapid chess and Chess960 and the clear qualification rules in the open tournaments was appreciated by everyone – over the years the organizers had created their own brand. The Chess Classic atmosphere with the spacious Rheingoldhalle, Congress Centre and Hilton Mainz, on the banks of the river Rhine, but still in the centre of the city Mainz was perfect and unparalleled for a top-class and mass sports event.

If all the conditions in Mainz are perfect: why on earth will there be no next tournament, numerous friends of the Chess Classic are bound to ask? And it is a justified question. Maybe the answer of Vladimir Kramnik back in 2001, who was chess world champion at that time after his heroic win over Gary Kasparov, comes closest to the truth. During the Champions Dinner, one of the main sponsors of the event asked him: “How important is this first and unique match with the Fide world champion Viswanathan Anand from India, here in Mainz?” The answer was: “Not so important, this is just a rapid chess match”.

The city of Mainz, its Lord Mayor Jens Beutel and the Chess Tigers e.V. with its chairman Hans-Walter Schmitt would like to thank the long-time sponsors, players and spectators, the international journalists and many volunteers in this seventeen breathtakingly years that rushed past. We have shaped and organized the event seven years in Frankfurt, followed up by ten years in Mainz with inspiration and expertise. We have put our heart and passion into the Chess Classic. There is a quote by the Austrian dramatist and novelist Arthur Schnitzler, which says it all: “Am Ende gilt doch nur, was wir getan und gelebt – und nicht, was wir ersehnt haben.“ (“In the End, all that matters is what we have done and lived – not what we have longed for”)

We would like to apologize to our champions because there will be no title matches in 2011. However, should a “white knight” show up, who wants to grant the Chess Classic a secure financial future, the Chess Tigers are ready to go!

Chess Tigers e.V
Chairman Hans-Walter Schmitt

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Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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