1. Playing venue : The event is always played in the theater. In the recent years chess is on the stage of Orchesrterzentrum.
2. Public : Every round you can see about 200 spectators, who attend the games, rarely leaving before the time control. They enjoy not only a high-quality chess, but also a special on-site commentary by Grandmasters Bischoff and Siebrecht. Today I spent about half an hour joining them in a commentary booth – once again, sorry for my extremely rusty Deutsch : the last tournament I played in Germany was Dortmund 2005…
3. The organizers make a very nice presentation before each and every round. Telling the audience about each and every player before calling them on stage, explaining tournament situation, etc. It really feels like the famous actors assembled to play some piece for the audience…As a result we can see a lot of people (by chess standards!) And that’s in spite of the amusing fact: the entrance is not for free – regular price for one day is 7 Euro, but of course there are different discounts. Still, the hall is filled with the spectators.
4. Organizers try to deliver this special atmosphere to the players as well. For example, the luxury Mercedes cars are attached (which is normal practice for the top events), but it is more than that : I was utterly surprised to be driven by the 2065-rated player, who said, it is a great pleasure for him to work for such an event, and he follows the tournament closely, trying to adjust depending on the result (and the mood) of his passengers 🙂
All in all, very special event, and not only because one can see such an incredible games like today’s Kramnik-Buhmann. Kudos to the organizers, and hopefully we will start the cooperation between Dortmund Sparkassen Chess-Meeting and ACP, thus we could contribute our bit to this exciting event.