Thousands of curious spectators in Zurich Main Station and countless Internet users around the world were riveted to jubilee events that marked the 200-year anniversary of the Schachgesellschaft Zürich. No fewer than eleven chess champions participated in the events on 22 and 23 August 2009. Vladimir Kramnik won the champions' rapid tournament ahead of the reigning World Champion Anand. The world's oldest chess club takes great satisfaction in having staged a first-class event, whose principal sponsor was Credit Suisse.
In the champions' simultaneous exhibition on Saturday, 22 August, 2009, 200 amateur chess players battled against eight chess grandmasters: Viswanathan Anand, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, Viktor Korchnoi, Vladimir Kramnik, Boris Spassky, Ruslan Ponomariov and Veselin Topalov showed brilliant skill in their games. Of the 200 games played, the champions conceded only four wins to their tough challengers; 35 other games ended in a draw. The simultaneous event was expected to run through around 6 pm, but Kasparov und Karpov and their opponents duelled through 9 pm. Even that late – seven hours after the start – both champions were still surrounded by many chess enthusiats. At the beginning of the event thousands of curious onlookers were watching the champions' moves.
At the Champions Rapid on Sunday, 23 August, 2009, Viswanathan Anand, Werner Hug, Anatoly Karpov, Alexander Khalifman, Vladimir Kramnik, Judit Polgar, Ruslan Ponomariov und Veselin Topalov took on one another. After seven rounds and some seven hours, the former World Champion Kramnik pulled ahead of Anand. Topalov and Ponomariov shared the third place. Local hero Werner Hug of the Schachgesellschaft Zürich showed his skills and tied Karpov and Polgar as seventh. Countless chess enthusiasts followed the games' transmission and live stream pictures on the Internet, while in the packed event venue, the upbeat mood culminated in the final prize ceremony, where the public roared with applause for the champions.
On the heels of the Jubilee-Open 9-15 August, 2009, the festivities this weekend brought the 200-year anniversary of the Schachgesellschaft Zürich to an impressive and first-class finish. According to many spectators and to the champions themselves, the events staged in Zurich Main Station will go down in the annals of chess history.