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Bundesliga 07 r8-9

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The top chess leagues don't receive much attention outside of the nations where they take place. The games often aren't released until the season is over and of course you don't know the winners for a long time. Plus, the official websites often aren't available in English. But many of the world's top players participate in them, especially the mighty German Bundesliga. The French league is also quite strong. Quite a few players participate in three or four leagues simultaneously, which can make for a hectic life but a steady income. Some players who don't have the time or energy for the regular tournament grind still pop up for weekend league matches that are just a train ride away.

I've often said that club and league play is the heart of European chess and that the USA won't have a solid professional class of GMs until a real league exists here. The online handicap US Chess League is still going, by the way. My SF homeboys won the 2006 title and two new teams will join this year. In a country as large as the US perhaps online play is the only way to make it work. Perhaps league founder Greg Shahade can let us know how team sponsorship is going.

Getting back to the Bundesliga, David Navara seems to have suffered a Corus hangover and lost three games in a row to lower-rated players in last weekend's action. I've noticed over the years that some players do particularly well in team play and others tend to underperform their ratings. Svidler notched two more wins on top board for the leading team in the championship, Baden Baden. With Shirov on board two and Bacrot on board three it's no wonder they are the favorite. Aronian beat McShane with a fabulous, if slightly erroneous (Aroneous?) breakthrough cascade. The correct order was 66..c4! first because in the game White had 68.Qxc4+ Kh7 69.Rc1! with strong counterplay after 69..Rc7 70.Qxc7. The vanilla 69.Qd5 should also be okay. All games from this season here.

[Event "BL 0607 SC Kreuzberg - Werder Bremen"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2007.02.03"]
[Round "8.1"]
[White "McShane, Luke James"]
[Black "Aronian, Levon"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C88"]
[WhiteElo "2614"]
[BlackElo "2741"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "5rk1/r5p1/3bp2p/p1p5/RpQ1PPqP/1P1P1NP1/4K3/6R1 w - - 0 66"]
[PlyCount "10"]
[EventDate "2007.??.??"]

66. Qc1 $2 e5 $2 (66... c4 $1 67. Qxc4 (67. bxc4 Bc5 68. Rg2 e5 69. f5 Rxf5 70.
exf5 e4 71. dxe4 Qxe4+) 67... Rc7) 67. f5 c4 68. bxc4 $2 (68. Qxc4+ Kh7 69. Rc1
(69. Qd5) 69... Rc7 (69... Qxg3) 70. Qxc7 Bxc7 71. Rxc7) 68... Bc5 69. Rg2 Rxf5
70. exf5 e4 0-1


I think online is probably the only way a national chess league is feasible at this point in the US. I am glad the USCL is hanging in there, and would love to see it expand more. For online play though I imagine you need arbiters at both ends to ensure fair play.

Does the Bundesliga follow a format similar to football where there are different tiers with promotion and relegation?

I think some face to face city leagues would be nice.

Yeah I agree it could be something of a mix. A New York-Philadelphia(Boston), etc live matchup doesn't seem unfeasible and might be fun.

Three questions about the German Bundesliga:

1) How much money does a top player like Svidler earn for playing in the Bundesliga?

2) What is the source of this money? That is, how do the teams earn money to pay for the players?

3) What are the chessmen (chess pieces) used in the First League of the Bundesliga? I saw a picture of them in the German language "French Winawer" book by Kindermann and Dirr and they looked magnificent.

Just for the record, the chess board that is used in the First League of the Bundesliga is available http://uscfsales.com/item.asp?cID=91&PID=1163.

Well, 10 teams could gather for round robin tourney somewhere... if there is money.

gmnoyet, I remember GM Bojan Vuckovic was paid 500 euros (or was it DM then) to play 2 games during the weekend. His team also paid airplane tickets Belgrade-Berlin. The source are probably sponsors/corporations

Is Anand not playing ?

Anyone have an email address for the German Bundesliga? I'd really like to ask them which chess men (chess pieces) they use for their first league games.


Here is the contact page for the Bundesliga (in German):


Here is the contact page for the Bundesliga (in German):


Gmnotyet asked a couple of questions I can answer.

4 years ago in Turkey, I overheard Ivan Sokolov say that he got paid about $400 per game in the Bundesliga. Of course, his team would also pay his travelling expenses. At the time Sokolov was rated 2690. I guess players like Svidler would get paid more. So, a 2690 player can earn about $1000 for a weekend's work, but the bundesliga is only 13 rounds, so that's why they need to play in 3 or 4 leagues. Not an easy life!

Second question: where does the money come from? I played for Sindelfingen in 1991, the last year they had a team in the bundesliga. Their budget then was over $70000 just for the team. This money came from the many rich local companies, like HP, IBM and Mercedes Benz. Some teams are associated with football clubs, where $70000 wouldn't pay laundry bills of the football team. Others have rich benefactors. Of course, when the patron dies, the team gets disbanded.

The chess pieces vary as far as I know. They have of course to fulfill the FIDE norms. While we have (had?) the Bundesform in Germany where for example the pieces are looking rather strange (http://www.schachhaus-maedler.de/shopsystem/product_info.php?products_id=950&XTCsid=4e4a076b6499c0838decf1e034004e6f) although they were good for blitz games), now boards and pieces (Staunton) are used that you can find in other tournaments.

As far as I know they don't use special Bundesliga boards and pieces. Often the expression Bundesliga board/pieces just stands for the fact that the requirements for usage in Bundesliga games are met.

Many times the games are broadcasted live and I guess this is often done with DGT boards. (Of course I have also followed games on the playchess.com server where someone was regulary looking at the boards in order to enter them manually.)

"3) What are the chessmen (chess pieces) used in the First League of the Bundesliga? I saw a picture of them in the German language "French Winawer" book by Kindermann and Dirr and they looked magnificent"

You can find them eg. here:


Choose "Materialer" and then "Brikker".

Btw, this shop is run by the Danish chess federation with which I am not affiliated :o)

Wow! Thanks to everyone here for the time they took to answer my questions about the German Bundesliga.

I really appreciate it.

Gee, I wonder how much money Navara is going to have to -pay- for losing three straight Bundesliga games to much lower-rated opponents? :-)

Does anyone know if the Bundesliga games are in This Week in Chess? If they are not I would like to download them from the link Mig generously provided, otherwise I don't want duplicates in my database. Thanks.

Yes, it appears that they are in TWIC. TWIC 639 has the German Bundesliga, the Dutch League, and the Belgian League.

Thanks Snits!

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on February 7, 2007 12:12 PM.

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