Visiting an Old Chess Metropolis

Regional Meeting of the Ken Whyld Asociation
at Vienna, 1 - 3 October, 2010

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Nearly 20 participants gathered for this year's regional KWA meeting in the Austrian capital which naturally seemed to be predestined for a meeting of chess historians, as this metropolis was for more than half a century (about 1880 to 1938) a European chess centre of outstanding importance. Not by chance the magazine KARL had taken account of the brilliant chess past of the Danube metropolis with a focal topic (in issue 2/2009).

Our multinational group which was still completed by Viennese guests, spouses and companions (see group photos) initially met in the Haus des Schachsports, the club seat of the Viennese Chess Association which was intended for the venue of the meeting. Organizational care was provided by the two vice presidents of the association, René Schwab and Johann Pöcksteiner (Vorstand [Board]), at first the former guided us through the rooms.


The Court Library with the equestrian statue of Joseph II.

In the afternoon the visit of the imperial palace was on the programme, starting with the Collection of Manuscripts and Old Printings (HAD) of the Austrian National Library (Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, ÖNB). We got competent guidance from the Messrs. Ernst Gamillscheg (expert of the HAD) and Hans Petschar (director of the ÖNB picture library and the graphic collection) who presented us a number of medieval manuscripts and tracts.


Chairman (Guy Van Habberney) and host (Karl Kadletz)

Prof. Darko Plećaš had arrived from Belgrade.

A book in Middle High German on chess and other board games.

Alessandro Sanvito obviously in his element ...

The pictures below give an impression of the "Prunksaal" - Ceremonial Room of the ÖNB which just hosted the exhibition "Jews, Christians and Muslims. Intercultural Dialogue in Old Scripts".
You will find further details on this wonderful baroque styled library at the corresponding web site (including a virtual tour).

Competent explanation of the ceiling frescos by Karl Kadletz.

Dome fresco of the Ceremonial Room

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