Armenians repeat their success
Little Knight meets big rook
The technical Olympiad spirit


The Chess Olympiad visits the capital

Dresden, 11/09/2008

Saxony welcomes the Chess Olympiad
Nation partner VNG jumps on board

Felix Magath and Artur "Atze" Brauner campaign for the Chess Olympiad

With a festive act the Saxon State Representation in the center of Berlin received two of the most prominent ambassadors of the Chess Olympiad 2008. Artur “Atze” Brauner, who has produced a three-figure number of films as producer and regisseur and who has ever been a passionate chess player and music lover, was elated: „Chess, besides music, is my favourite hobby. It would have been foolish to reject the role as ambassador of the event.”

Without any reservation Felix Magath also agreed with him. The soccer league trainer and former world class player is also known as excellent chess player. He once again drew spot on comparisons between the board and field games: „The theorie of chess can easily be transferred to soccer. It’s all about complex moves and tactics. A good combination on the field does not just come up, it has to be well prepared. In the end, in both games you will have winners and losers, or even draws.”

Magath enjoyed playing against German national coach Uwe Bönsch. Together with Brauner he competet against Bönsch, while the latter had to play blindfold against both at the same time. Felix Magath played out a quite good position before he got carried away with a risky sacrifice which the experienced head coach, who is in charge of the four German Olympiad teams, could turn into his advantage. Equally, Atze Brauner also played an interesting game. He captured a pawn of the grandmaster but failed to free his clamped bishop and lost eventually, due to this loss of material.

Helma Orosz, new official mayor of the Saxon capital, was strongly impressed by the chess-abilities of her guests. She even contemplated a victory of the German team against Russia and the possibility of a medal rank in the end.

Among the more than one hundred guests were prominent personalities of economy, sports and culture, royal ambassadors, members of parliament and ministers like Dr Thomas de Maizière.

For the Chess Olympiad, besides the present sponsors especially the new nation partner Verbundnetz Gas AG was of importance that evening. On site, VNG signed the contract with the „Schacholympiade - Chess Foundation GmbH“. The gas supplier, what else could it be, chose to sponsor the Russian team for the Chess Olympiad at the International Congress Center from 12 to 25 November 2008. Russia plans on participating with the strongest team they ever sent to an Olympiad.

To keep the news running the organisation has announced new facts and figures of the Chess Olympiad. Four days prior to the official registration deadline the number of currently registered participants (including arbiters and officials) ranges at 1672. The number of teams, according to registrations, is very respectable as well. With 137 federations there are only a few less than in the former Olympiad in Torino 2006. The total number of teams (Women and Open) did now hit 245.

All top ranging nations in chess will be present. The everlasting favorite Russia, missing out on two gold medals in the past two Olympiads after being 12-times champion, the Ukraine, China, Azerbaijan, the USA, Isreal, France and India are aspirants of the overall victory. However, Germany does this year compete with a team that is equally as strong as the former champion Azerbaijan, letting them legitimate hopes for an underdog chance of a medal. Their hope was supported by the Chief of the Federal Chancellery, De Maizière, in his welcome speech Monday.