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Great battle The WebChess Gambit Match
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Press Release: The WebChess Gambit Match


From 10 until 13 May 2005 the Chess Events Maastricht Foundation organizes a match Van Wely – Stellwagen in the Centre Céramique in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The first two games are Random Chess games, the last two games are Advanced Chess games (normal games but with the eventual help of a computer).

One of the driving forces behind the Chess Events Maastricht Foundation is Jan van Reek. He was born on 10 July 1945 in Oostvoorne, studied Chemistry in Leiden, was a medical researcher in Maastricht, and nowadays lives in Margraten as a chess author and especially as an endgame specialist.

On 10 July 2005 he will celebrate his 60th anniversary with the start of The WebChess Gambit Match. Jan has therefore sponsored the prize fund. The match will be played on the ICCF Webserver by two (former) Correspondence Chess World Champions: Mikhail Umansky and Gert Timmerman. ICCF is the International Correspondence Chess Federation, the world-wide body of correspondence chess recognized by FIDE. In the past ICCF games were played by post, later by fax and email, and nowadays a switch to webserver play is made. The essence of correspondence chess has always been that reflection time is measured in days, not in hours or minutes.

Mikhail Umansky (Russia) is living in Germany. He was the 13th World Champion (1998 – 2000). Gert Timmerman (the Netherlands) was the 15th World Champion (2001 – 2003). Both players participated in the ICCF 50 Years Jubilee World Champions Tournament (2001 – 2004) together with all other seven still living World Champions. This tournament was won by Umansky with the marvellous score of 7 out 8 (TPR 2974). Timmerman shared the second place with 5 out of 8, together with Fritz Baumbach (Germany) and Vytas Palciauskas (USA).

Jan van Reek invited both Umansky and Timmerman to play a Gambit Match of six different games. The games are played on the ICCF Webserver and will be recorded live. The Dutch International Arbiter Nol van ‘t Riet will be the Tournament Director. The six gambits have been carefully selected by Jan van Reek in such a way that both players will have about the same chances, based on historical performances in these openings.

The gambits as they have been chosen by Jan van Reek are:

1. King’s Gambit:
A. 1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4
B. 1. e4 e5 2. f4 else

2. Two Knights Defence
A. 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5
B. 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d4

3. Evans Gambit and Scotch
A. 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4
B. 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4

On 13 May 2005 Umansky and Timmerman will be present in the Centre Céramique in Maastricht when the lots are drawn for those six gambit games at the closing banquet of the match Van Wely – Stellwagen. That is to say that three times the lots will decide which player will play the A-games with White. The other player then will automatically play with the White pieces in the B-game.

The games will be recorded under "Tables and Results" on the ICCF webserver: www.iccf-webchess.com. Read more here: -> www.iccf.com

Best wishes
Cairo