The Sparkassen Cup 2006
The popular 12-hour blitz tournament
Tournament report by FM Hartmut Metz, May 2006
Three times winner of the Kuppenheim blitz tournament: KingLoek Loek van Wely.
No Italian could stop KingLoek! Loek van Wely won for the third time in a row the 12 hour Blitz in Kuppenheim. This time the Dutch player was very often in trouble; sometimes in the games too, but his main rivals were the Italians and the internet connection.
van Wely started online at the famous blitz tournament in the South of Germany. Just a few hours before the Olympiad in Torino started he played 489 kilometres away from Kuppenheim online at the Chessbase server www.schach.de. This meant nothing special for the Dutch champion. Last year he had won by playing in an internet café in New York. But in Italy it wasn't that easy to be online during the whole time. At midnight the organizers of the Chess Olympiad asked him to leave the WLAN zone - but tricky Loeky managed to survive. Unfortunately after ten hours there was a technical break down in the morning in Kuppenheim. That's why he lost two games before coming back on the laptop of the organizing club Rochade Kuppenheim. Two defeats didn't matter too much. van Wely was in the lead after 25 games in the first round (just loosing one game) and after 48 games in total in Group A. He scored 43 points anyway.
The French International Masters Jean-Noel Riff (41½ ), Yannick Gozzoli (39)and Maximilian Meinhardt (38½ ), a young Bundesliga player from Eppingen, were relegated to the play-offs too. In the semi-final van Wely won after a draw in the second game against Meinhardt, who had beaten him in the Group A's encounter. Gozzoli and Riff drew all three chess games. So the latter went into the final thanks to his better score before. In the decisive match for 1.000 Euro (including a Chessbase software package) Riff got into the lead but the two time winner struck back. In a drawish ending in the second game the IM from Mulhouse blundered and lost. In the last game, in which a draw would have been enough for van Wely, he beat the unlucky Riff easily with Black. Only 74 players took part in the 12 hour Blitz this year. Once there were 159 participants. Just one time in 18 editions less players travelled to Kuppenheim (72).
Because of the Olympiad a GM like Christian Bauer (France) was missing too. For the playing chess grandmasters the tournament wasn't a lot of fun: Vladimir Gurevich finished 9th (35/48), Mikhail Ivanov 12th (30,5/48).
the 12-hour blitz 2006