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Jens Beutel prepares his opponents for the number two spot

The mayor of Mainz supports Chess Classic with heart and soul

text and photos by FM Hartmut Metz, (translation by Mark Vogelgesang), July 2006

more English chess texts by Hartmut Metz


   For chess players, Jens Beutel is not first and foremost the mayor of the city Mainz. For them, he is the person who secures the Chess Classic Mainz. Since leaving Frankfurt, this world-renowned tournament has now been guest at the capital of Rhineland-Palatine a total of five times. And each time, the social democrat Beutel, who turns 60 on July 12, has been part of the event with heart and soul. To be able to play himself from August 15 to 20, he will take a vacation. As a seasoned chess player with many years of experience in one of the higher German chess leagues, Mr. Beutel has in the past made life in the Ordix Open quite difficult for more than one professional chess players. Hartmut Metz spoke with Mr. Beutel.


Jens Beutel

Jens Beutel


Q: From August 15 to 20, it will be Chess Classic Mainz Number 6. What are your comments after five events?

Beutel: They were phantastic! Those five event gave the city of Mainz a positive image all over the world. As a chess-enthusiast and as mayor, I am especially happy to welcome, year after year, the world’s best players to Mainz.


Q.: What was your first thought when you had the opportunity in 2001 to steer the famous tournament from Frankfurt to Mainz?

Beutel: I knew the organizer Hans-Walter Schmitt already from the Frankfurt days. Of course, I was very happy that so much confidence was invested in the city of Mainz and me. And of course, it was not an easy task for me, since without any financial support, things would not work out. But we were able to fulfil expectations. I am especially glad that it was possible to link the tournament to Mainz for the long run and to secure the long-term support of sponsors. This kind of reliability is important for organizers and for players, who can look forward to next year’s event in Mainz after they have made their last move.


Q.: How do you see this renowned tournament develop in the future. It is after all the city’s main attraction in sports, next to the soccer team from Mainz, which plays in the Bundesliga.

Beutel: The Chess Classic gets noted not only by people who are themselves chess players. Many people come by to enjoy and be captivated by the atmosphere of the event. Therefore, I believe that this event is able to bring people to the game of chess that would not be reached otherwise.


Q.: Out of the comprehensive program for 2006, what is your personal highlight?

Beutel: I always treat myself to a vacation during the Chess Classic, so that I have a few free days - well, they are never completely free. In addition to the World Championship in Rapid Chess between Anand and Radjabov and the Chess960 World Championship between Svidler and Aronian, I am also impressed by the Ordix Open. There is no other place in the world where you can find over 500 players of that calibre competing in an open tournament.


Q.: I assume you will also be playing yourself?

Beutel: Yes, of course. Apart from the Chess Classic, I just don’t have much time for chess. Once in a while, I play a game of chess in the morning, using the internet. I am therefore very happy to devote myself entirely to chess for a few days. I will participate in the Ordix Open and in the FiNet Chess960 Open. Let’s see how I will do in Chess960. I also want to see how strong the world’s number three player, Levon Aronian really is - I will face him in his simultaneous exhibition.


Q.: How did your interest in chess get started?

Beutel: I got started on my own, at the age of 13. By today’s standards, that is quite old. Nowadays, at that age some have already reached Grandmaster level. I taught myself chess from a book. Soon after that, a few classmates got also interested, and this lead to a championship competition in my class. I joined a chess club only when I was 19.


Q.: Considering this, you managed to become a surprisingly strong player.

Beutel: Between the ages 13 and 20, I did train a lot. I joined a chess club so late because in my hometown, Fritzlar, there was no chess club. When I moved to Mainz at the age of 19, I joined a club right away.


Q.: And how did you progress from there?

Beutel: Well, I was not exactly driven to succeed, though I was still able to reach one of the higher leagues, the “Oberliga”. I was Champion of Rhine-Hessia twice and won the city championship of Mainz a few times, at a time when these championships were fairly competitive. But I did not play outside my region, except in two championships for Rhineland-Palatine, where I did not achieve anything special.


Q.: Do you still train?

Beutel: No, I don’t, only once in a while I play - as I mentioned - in the internet in the morning. In addition, I keep up to date by reading “Rochade Europa” and “Schach-Magazin 64” and “New In Chess”. Those three publications I do study fairly thoroughly and discover in some games interesting aspects, even though I don’t replay the games using a chess board.


Q.: You play blitz games in the morning?

Beutel: Around 5 o’clock in the morning, when I am not entirely awake, which is why I play 5-minute games with an increment of 5 seconds per move. After all, I will turn 60 fairly soon, and at that age, you are not that fast anymore. I need to see that I can still keep up (laughs).


Q.: Do you have any other hobbies?

Beutel: I was a decent handball player and played in the regional league. I also play soccer - I guess I like all ball games, with the exception of Volleyball. And now, my knees have problems, which is why I play mayor ...


Q.: Please give us your predictions for the results of the matches: in the GrenkeLeasing Rapid Chess World Championship, young Teimour Radjabov from Azerbaijan is trying to succeed serial winner Vishwanatan Anand.

Beutel: Radjabov is 19 years old and continues to get stronger, but he cannot keep up with Anand. Considering the huge experience Anand has, I predict a convincing victory for the number two player in the world, let’s say 5:3.


Q.: In Chess960, where the starting position is determined by chance before the game starts, world number three Levon Aronian challenges number four in the world, Chess960 World Champion Peter Svidler.

Beutel: That will be a very tough battle. I think any result is possible. Nevertheless, I do predict a 4.5:3.5 for Aronian. During the last few months, he played very well during all his triumphs at the World Cup, in Linares, and also when he won Gold with the Armenian team at the chess olympiad.


Q.: Thanks to sponsor Clerical Medical, there will be four Chess960 World Championship fights. Will Elisabeth Pähtz from Erfurt be able to overcome Alexandra Kosteniuk from Russia?

Beutel: I consider Kosteniuk the stronger of the two after all and believe that she will overcome our front-lady with 4.5:3.5.


Q.: In the fight for the U20 title, the German number one Arkadij Naiditsch will meet Pentala Harikrishna from India.

Beutel: I cannot make up my mind on this one, everything is possible. I therefore predict a 4:4 followed by a tie-break.


Q.: In the World Championship for senior players, crowd favourite Vlastimil Hort will meet Lajos Portisch.

Beutel: I think the younger Hort is the favourite here. At 69, Portisch is 7 years older - that does make a difference.


Q.: There are few questions as far as the Ordix Open and the FiNet Open are concerned. Among 500 participants and countless Grandmasters, only the mayor Jens Beutel is able to make it to the number one spot ...

Beutel: Of course. For me, the only question is who will be number two (smiles).


Chess: Alexander Morosewitsch, Jens Beutel

Jens Beutel against Russian super grandmaster Alexander Morozevich.


Q.: And who do you reckon will make it?

Beutel: After facing me in round one in previous years, my former opponents are now ready for the big leap forward. The Russians Morozevich, Grischuk and Dreev are able to make it to the number two spot, I believe.


Jens Beutel - Bandl
[Gerd Treppner]


1.e4 a6 Inspired by Miles - With the build-up of the following moves, a6 is questionable, the fight is about the square d4. 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3 d6 4.d4 Bg4 5.Be2 Nc6 6.d5 Bxf3 7.gxf3 Nd4 8.Be3 Nxe2 9.Kxe2 Original play! The king is safe, the rooks' connection faster. White has a certain lead in developement. 9...Nf6?! Probably an inacurracy, White can quickly start queenside pressure. Better is g6 and Bg7 in order to delay b4. 10.Na3 g6 11.b4 cxb4 After 11...b6 12.bxc5 bxc5 13.Rb1 White gets the b-line. 12.Qa4+ Qd7 13.Qxb4 Rc8 It's not easy for Black to defend b7, e.g. 13...Bg7 14.Rab1 Rb8 15.Ba7 Ra8 16.Qxb7! Rxa7 17.Qb8+ . Black could try 13...e5 (the king has the e7 square), but it doesn't look too appealing. 14.Rab1 Rc7 15.Bb6 Rc8 16.Ba7 b5 Black has no other option [16...Rc7 17.Bb8] 17.cxb5! An intuitive positional sacrifice, offering White good compensation. 17...Qxa7 18.b6 Qb7 19.Rhc1 Nd7? After that Black is lost. [19...Bg7 20.Rxc8+ Qxc8 21.b7 Qb8 22.Qa4+ Nd7 (22...Kf8 23.Nc4 Bh6 24.Na5 Kg7 25.Nc6 Qc7 26.b8Q Rxb8 27.Rxb8+- ) 23.Nc4 and again Na5 and Nc6; the only salvation seems to be 19...Bh6!? 20.Rc7 (20.Rxc8+ Qxc8 21.b7 Qb8 22.Nc4 0-0 23.Na5 Nd7 24.Nc6 Qc7 25.Nxe7+ Kh8 26.Nc6 Re8 27.Qa5 Qxa5 28.Nxa5 Bf4 29.Nc6 Nb8 30.h3 could be a draw.) 20...Qb8 (20...Rxc7? 21.bxc7 Qxc7 22.Qb8+ Qd8 23.Qxd8+ Kxd8 24.Rb8+ Kc7 25.Rxh8 ) 21.Qa4+ Kf8 22.Rxc8+ Qxc8 23.b7 Qb8 24.Nc4 Kg7 25.Na5 Qc7 26.Nc6 Nd7 27.Qxa6 Bf4 28.a4! e6 29.Qa7 Nb8 30.Qb6 Qxb6 31.Rxb6 exd5 32.Nxb8 Rxb8 33.a5 dxe4 34.a6 d5 35.a7+- ] 20.Rxc8+ Qxc8 21.b7 Qc7 [ 21...Qb8? 22.Qc3 eyeing c8 snd h8.] 22.Qa4! White is not satisfied with 22.b8Q+ Qxb8 23.Qxb8+ Nxb8 24.Rxb8+ Kd7 Now he is really threatening the pawn promotion] 22...Kd8 [22...Qb8 23.Nc4 , with Na5-c6 and 23...Bg7 24.Nb6! . 24...Qxb7 25.Nxd7! Qxb1 26.Nf6+ Kf8 27.Qe8# ] 23.Nc4 e6 [23...Nb8 24.Na5 threatening Nc6+ 24...Bg7 25.Nc6+ Nxc6 26.dxc6 Qb8 27.Qa5+ Ke8 28.c7 ] 24.Na5 Qc5 Or [24...Bg7 25.Nc6+ Ke8 26.b8Q+ Nxb8 27.Rxb8+ Kd7 28.Na5+ Ke7 29.Rb7+- ] 25.Nc6+ Kc7 26.b8Q+ Nxb8 27.Nxb8 1-0

   Detailed information and up-to-date news about the Chess Classic Mainz can be found at www.chesstigers.de


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