Before the super grandmasters take to the boards at the Hyatt Regency on Thursday, Düsseldorf's first citizen will try his hand at chess. Dr. Stephan Keller, Lord Mayor of the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia and patron of the tournament, will play the opening game at the official opening of the WR Chess Masters on Wednesday evening.
The game will be "Hand and Brain", a chess variant for four players, who will play against each other in teams of two. Each team consists of a "brain" that announces what kind of piece to move and a "hand" that has to execute a matching move. Keller will play with host Wadim Rosenstein, Fortuna Düsseldorf executive Klaus Allofs and model and influencer Julia Römmelt.
"I am very pleased to welcome the WR Chess Masters to Düsseldorf," says Keller. "I was happy to take on the patronage of this gathering of grandmasters and world-class players. I think it's great that they will visit the sports city of Düsseldorf and bring us the fascination of this extraordinary sport, which uniquely combines strategic, forward thinking, logic and concentration."
Keller welcomes the fact "that children and young people will also have the opportunity to experience chess at the highest level as part of the WR Chess Masters." In the wide range of sports represented in Düsseldorf, the mental sport of chess plays a unique role also from an educational point of view, he said.
In addition to the Lord Mayor, a number of well-known Düsseldorf personalities from the worlds of politics, sport and business have agreed to attend the opening ceremony and the course of the competition. Among others, Dr. Marcus Optendrenk (NRW Minister of Finance), Andreas Preuss (Manager Borussia Düsseldorf) or Britta Zur (Head of the Sports Department) are expected on the sidelines.