The 2009 jubilee of the Schachgesellschaft Zürich is now almost history. The events that were kicked off at the 200th general assembly on 6 June 2009, will conclude with the final round of the national league A (Swiss Team Championship) on 17/18 October 2009. Falling between the two, and from 9-23 August, we had the pleasure of celebrating the venerable 200-year history of the oldest chess club in the world, with three highlights: the Jubilee-Open at the Kongresshaus Zürich and the Champions Simultan and the Champions Rapid, both held at Zurich Main Station. As we had hoped, each of the events was a success for chess enthusiasts: from the hobby player through to the current world champion, Viswanathan Anand; from the spectators enjoying the super atmosphere on site, through to the friends of chess who watched the tournaments as live coverage on the net from every part of the globe. If Garry Kasparov’s assessment is true, then the 2009 jubilee itself is but a small piece in the greater picture of chess history.
We were particularly pleased with the charged enthusiasm and atmosphere that marked all the events: seldom does the motto "gens una sumus", in fact, seem to take such real and meaningful shape. And the positive feedback has been overwhelming, whether received as personal notes, as press or as entries in our guestbook. We extend many thanks to all, for it was everyone – players, spectators and organisers alike – who together contributed measurably to making the jubilee such a success!
The organisers could count on the contributions of many volunteers – whose support was needed in everything from translations to the setting up the stage at Zurich Main Station. Again, we extend our heartfelt thanks to all of them. We are also greatly indebted to our sponsors and partners: Credit Suisse as main sponsor, with whose valuable support we have now staged a major chess event once again. We would be pleased to continue this fine cooperation in the future. Thanks go, too, to co-sponsor Swiss Re and our partners Accentus (Swiss Chess), Chessbase, The City of Zurich and the Alois Nagler Foundation. Our live transmission would not have been possible without the help of our Online Partners New Voice International AG, McKinsey, Hotel Savoy, livestream und Chess Olympiad Tromsö 2014.
Thanks to our jubilee website and the live website the jubilee 2009 should be readily accessible for future visitors. Both websites will stay online to enable the individual events to be followed again. Print documentation, including photos and games, should be available shortly.
In his jubilee book "Schachgesellschaft Zürich: 1809 bis 2009", author Richard Forster covers them all – Mr. Maurer, Escher, Spöndli, Ziegler, Carl Schulthess und Heinrich Schulthess, the men who founded the Schachgesellschaft Zürich in 1809. We expect these gentlemen would have taken great satisfaction in following the 2009 jubilee festivities. And we are sure that they would have been proud to know that from the modest beginnings of their young chess club, generation after generation of chess enthusiasts in Zurich would see it become the oldest chess club in the world. Perhaps just as we ourselves, fifty years on, would surely be pleased to see how our club members stage the festivities for 2059, the 250-year celebration of the Schachgesellschaft Zürich...
Dr. Christian Issler
Dr. William Wirth
Dr. Christian Rohrer