Entertaining programme of events will Dortmund make a Chess Festival


World Championship Candidates’ Tournament at the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting 2002


For chess aficionados 6 to 21 July 2002 is a time they have been waiting for: this period is ringed in their diaries for the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting 2002. Dortmund as one of the traditional chess strongholds in the world will have the world of the "Game of Kings" spellbound once again - after all, this 30th anniversary of the International Dortmund Chess Days deserves a celebration. The Federal Chancellor, Dr Gerhard Schroeder, will be the patron of this top-level event.


Eight Super Grand Masters will stage a contest of wits in a Candidates' Tournament for the World Championship in Classic Chess in the noble Goldsaal of Dortmund Westfalenhallen. The London Multi Media Group Einstein are promoting all the events to do with the Chess World Champion and have offered a total prize money to the sum of 250,000 Euro. The winner of Dortmund will be invited to challenge the Classical World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik in the first half of 2003. Kramnik won the Dortmund Super-Tournament six times, and during the event he will play a simultaneous match for the main sponsor Stadtsparkasse (on 17 July) as well as have a close look at his challenger.


On the stage of the Goldsaal further excitement will be provided by two high-class and fascinating matches that are to be played parallel to the semi-final and final of the Candidates' Tournament. Germany's greatest chess talent, the Dortmund Grand Master Arkadi Naiditsch (16) will play against the Dutch star Jan Timman who once played against Anatoli Karpov in the final of a Classical World Chess Championship. Timman is very careful in the evaluation of his chances against Naiditsch, "Arkadi is an enormous talent, he will go far. After what I have seen of him over recent months this will be a very difficult task for me".


The second match will be played by David Baramidze, who is only 13, against the world class player Alisa Maric (Yougoslavia). David also comes from the Dortmund Chess School, he is already an International Master and intends to have a similarly successful career as Arkadi Naiditsch.


Faced with the prospect of so much top-level chess, people might get itchy fingers themselves. They will get their chance in the grand Sparkassen Open with 300 participants in two categories. An entertaining programme of events will complete the Dortmund Chess Festival. All these activities - among them the final round of the Dortmund Elementary Schools' Championship, a "EuroChess" tournament as well as a one-day event by the Dortmund Schachgemeinschaft - are concentrated in one location: the Congress Centre of Dortmund Westfalenhallen. The name "Westfalenhallen" still sends shivers down the spines of chess fans from all over the world. In 1992 - exactly ten years ago - about 10,000 spectators witnessed the 20th International Chess Days and made the Dortmund Chess Meeting an unforgettable event.


The media interest is already outstanding: West German Television (WDR) have reserved 6 - 8 hours for reports from the Chess Days. Beginning at midnight, one-hour programmes will be broadcast on 7th, 14th, 17th and 21st July 2002 and will be repeated on the following days. Einstein TV, which can be received via Eurobird, will report comprehensively in their own programme and will offer important pictures and news to international TV stations as well. Latest news: World Champion Kramnik has been invited to the prestigious Sport Studio of the German television station ZDF. He will be the star guest in a live broadcast on 20th July.




The Super-Tournament

The decisive groundwork for Dortmund's prominent role in the competition around the Chess World Championship was laid in the summer of 2001 by an agreement with Brain Games Network (London). In the meantime all activities and rights concerning World Champion Vladimir Kramnik have been taken over by the Einstein Group (London). Einstein are a multi-media and consulting enterprise with TV priorities and their TV channel can be seen in the UK, Europe, Russia and China focussing on subjects such as "Science", "Space Research", "Technology" and "Education". Steve Timmins (CEO), who will soon also present Einstein in the U.S.A.: "In chess we have discovered a new opportunity that suits our company perfectly. We are going to report world-wide on top-level chess, including Dortmund, and market this accordingly. We are also interested in linking training, education and chess. There are more than 200 million chess players in this world. We hope to reach these as well as many children and young adults with our activities."


Stadtsparkasse Dortmund, Einstein Group, the City of Dortmund as well as the organizing chess club Dortmund-Brackel intend making the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting 2002 an outstanding sports event.


Seven of the eight grand masters are among the world-best players and are not just competing for ranking points and prize money: the winner will be offered the lucrative opportunity to become the official challenger for World Champion Vladimir Kramnik. The tournament will be played in two groups of four players each, in a double round robin. After six days the semi-finalists will have been determined: they will then play four classic games to find the finalists. The final will, again, comprise four classical games. In the event of a tie there will be rapid chess tie breaks after each stage, if the outcome is another draw the decision will be brought about by blitz matches. Kramnik: "This will be an extremely tough competition. Whoever triumphs in Dortmund over 14 classic games and possible tie breaks, will be a worthy challenger."


The organizers have been successful in signing up seven of the TOP TEN Grand Masters: Weselin Topalov (Bulgaria), Michael Adams (Great Britain), Alexander Morozevich (Russia), Boris Gelfand (Israel), Alexei Shirov (Spain), Peter Leko (Hungary) and Evgeni Barejev (Russia). After Garri Kasparov's refusal to participate - he will not face the challenge and proved unsuccessful in demanding a direct re-match versus Kramnik - Dortmund have claimed a "wild card". At last, after the unforgettable candidates' tournaments played by Dr Robert Huebner twenty years ago, a German player will be decisively involved in the competition for the Chess World Championship again: Christopher Lutz is the German Champion, number One of the National Team and of the German Ranking List. The German Chess Association is confident that Lutz can benefit from this home advantage. Many German chess enthusiasts will be looking forward to his performance and will keep their fingers crossed for the player from Cologne. Lutz: "This is the highlight of my career as a professional chess player. I will make every effort in my preparation and will try to seize this opportunity."


The Sparkassen Open

Chess players of all levels may take part in the open tournament for 300 players. The Sparkassen Open takes place at the same venue and is divided into two classes: the grand A-Open (Open Masters Tournament) for players with chess titles and a B-Open (Open Main Tournament). There will be a total prize money of about 7,000 Euro for participants from all levels. For registration an appropriate entry fee (between 60 and 100 Euro) must be paid. All participants receive a comprehensive ticket for all events of the Candidates Tournament free of charge. Further information on the Open may be obtained from Schachfreunde Brackel, tel. 0049 - 231 - 200 92 65 or under www.chessgate.de (organizer's homepage) as well as under www.schachfreunde-brackel.de




Programme of Additional Events

In the foyers of the Westfalenhallen Congress Centre an interesting programme of events will provide entertainment. Preparations are under way not only for the Sparkassen Open but also for exhibitions by renowned artists - on the subject of chess, among other things. Clinics, stalls with chess and software equipment as well as other presentations will be part of this section. On the free day (17 July) World Champion Vladimir Kramnik and Arkadi Naiditsch will each play simultaneous matches against 25 opponents, on behalf of the title sponsor, Stadtsparkasse Dortmund.


Venue and Technical Equipment

The Goldsaal of Westfalenhallen with about 800 seats offers the perfect ambience for experiencing the competition between the Super Grand Masters from close up. Each move at the tables can be seen immediately on four large projection screens. Live commentaries by the German Grand Masters Dr Helmut Pfleger, Klaus Bischoff and the Federal Coach Uwe Boensch can be heard via earclip technology and will give amateurs as well as chess experts information on the current situation on the four boards.


Funding and Sponsors

The total budget for the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting 2002 - 30th International Dortmund Chess Days - runs to about 700,000 Euro, including all financial and immaterial services. The organizers would like to express their gratitude to all sponsors without whose support this event could not take place. The traditional involvement of the title sponsor and co-organizer, Stadtsparkasse Dortmund, and of the Einstein Group London contribute decisively towards the assembly of the chess élite for this historic event in Dortmund. Further material and immaterial support is given by the following: Stadt Dortmund, Westfalenhallen, Aktionskreis Internationale Dortmunder Schachtage, dortmund-project, Hilton Dortmund, Chessbase GmbH, dosys, Mercedes Niederlassung Dortmund, Stadtwerke Dortmund, RWE Gas AG, Chessgate AG. 


Advance Bookings and Hotel

Advance ticket bookings will be accepted immediately by Chessgate AG via e-mail: info@chessgate.de. The opening of the advance booking office at Westfalenhallen Dortmund will be announced later. Day tickets will cost 6 Euro (concessions: 4 Euro). Comprehensive tickets for all 16 days will cost 55 Euro. Chess enthusiasts may book rooms at the Grand Masters' Hotel "Hilton Dortmund" at reduced rates (Single Room 55 Euro, Double Room 65 Euro). Please contact tel. +49-231-1086-0: Reference "Schachtage".


Further Information

Chessgate AG are the official suppliers for the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting. An organizer's homepage can be accessed immediately under www.chessgate.de, it will be brought up to date constantly. Live transmission of the matches on the Internet will also be managed by Chessgate.



Editorial Notes:

The invitation for the opening press conference with all contestants in the Candidates' Tournament (5 July, 15.30 hrs, Hilton Dortmund, An der Buschmühle 1) as well as information on the accreditation procedure will be issued in good time in mid-June.


The detailed tournament programme - compiled by World Championship Arbiter Dr Andrzej Filipowicz (Poland) - is attached. 



(Press Release dated 5 April 2002)


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