Swiss chess celebrates 100 years of FIDE and 50 years of the Swiss Youth Chess Foundation

by clement

April 07, 2024: Grand chess event on the Bundesplatz and at Berne’s Bellevue Palace

ESF Central President André Vögtlin looks forward to the event on the Bundesplatz:

I’m very proud to take part in this jubilee and to revive memories of chess history while raising awareness of our game in our country. I hope many young ESF members will come to Berne.”

The 50th anniversary of the Swiss Youth Chess Foundation (SYCF) will also be celebrated at the event on the Bundesplatz.

The festivities will conclude at 6:30 p.m. with an aperitif and meal for guests at the Bellevue Palace. André Vögtlin hopes it will be for the ESF.

a good opportunity to deepen our relations with FIDE, the European Chess Union ECU and the chess federations of our neighboring countries.

Olympic flame reception

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovitch will launch the event on the Place Fédérale, accompanied by FIDE Director Dana Reizeniece-Ozola, who will head the procession accompanying the arrival of the Olympic flame, which left New Dehli (India – Chennai hosted the last Chess Olympiad), passed through the African continent, arriving now in Switzerland, before continuing on to Paris (where FIDE was founded in 1924), to reach Budapest, capital of Hungary, where the next Olympiad will be held in September this year.

Inauguration of a stamp honouring chess

The second event will be the official inauguration of the chess postage stamp, available since March 07. This is the second chess stamp in the history of Swiss philately, following the 1968 Olympics in Lugano.

Christian Levrat (pictured at the top of this article), Chairman of the Board of Directors of La Poste SA and an active chess player, will personally send the first letter of this special edition.

In addition to Arkady Dworkowitsch, Dana Reizeniece-Ozola and Christian Levrat, many other personalities will be present at the festivities on the Bundesplatz: Mayor of Berne Alec von Graffenried, former world champion Vladimir Kramnik (who lives in Geneva), Swiss Olympic President Jürg Stahl and Markus Krieger, President of the Liechtenstein Chess Federation, co-organizer of the event.

Bern’s Bundesplatz had already hosted a chess event 13 years ago. In September 2011, in the run-up to the federal elections, German-language Swiss Television devoted a program to the game of chess, including a simultaneous appearance by Nico Georgiadis, now GM and member of the national team.

Simultaneous interviews with GM Alexandra Kosteniuk and IM Werner Hug

On April 07 in Berne, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk and IM Werner Hug will each play a simultaneous match against 16 opponents.

The second phase of the event takes place at 2pm at the Hotel Bellevue Palace. After a video message from the President of the Swiss Confederation and Minister of Sport, Viola Amherd, there will be speeches by, among others, former Federal Councillor Ruth Metzler, candidate to succeed Jürg Stahl. The President of the ESFJ, Michael Hochstrasser, will also give a short speech.

Two simultaneous speeches will follow at around 3pm. They will be given by two eminent representatives of Swiss chess, each of whom has won a FIDE world title: GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2008 World Champion, and IM Werner Hug, 1971 Junior World Champion, will each play simultaneously against 16 boards, at the rate of 90′ for all participants, who will be mostly up-and-coming Swiss players.

Two other attractions on the Bundesplatz

This Sunday, the Place Fédérale will host two other events as part of the festivities. From 1.30pm to 6pm, a U16 tournament will be played by canton on a giant chessboard.

At the same time, Nicola Ramseyer from Bern will take on 15 players from the region simultaneously from 2:30 to 5:30 pm.

World record online on July 20

Three months after the festivities in Berne, ESF Central President André Vögtlin will also be the initiator and project manager of a second FIDE jubilee event. He has devised an online world record to be entered in the “Guinness Book of Records”, to be achieved on Saturday July 20, International Chess Day.

For 24 hours, chess players from all over the world will compete on different platforms. Details of this project will be presented later on the ESF website and in the “Swiss Chess Review”.


You may also like

Leave a Comment