Collectors' Meeting in Weimar

This years’ collectors’ meeting of the German CCI section, where also the members of the Ken Whyld Foundation & Association had been invited to, had been painstakingly planned and prepared by Dr. Thomas Thomsen and Prof. Wolfgang Angerstein.

Venue was the noted Hotel ELEPHANT in Weimar – the top hotel of the town where most of the attendees had also found their accommodation. Indeed the hotel was fully booked, as a stately number of about 75 participants had registered for this meeting!

The HOTEL ELEPHANT on the market place.
The HOTEL ELEPHANT on the market place

- some more photos of the ELEPHANT and the market place in this gallery.

Prof. Angerstein arrived together with me already on Thursday evening (06/11/2014) in Weimar (he was again so kind to give me a ride from Erkrath). It was essential to make some important technical provisions before the official start on Friday evening, such as the installation of Mr. Mükke’s glass cabinets and the test of the projector.

The following Friday evening the attendees initially met in the foyer of the ELEPHANT for a welcome drink (see photos above) before all went to the nearby restaurant "Zum weißen Schwan" to enjoy a joint evening meal. After the soup a first highlight of our meeting was already due, namely the official award of the "Deutsche Schachpreis 2014" to the cultural chess magazine KARL (see also KARL 2/2014). Sports director GM Uwe Bönsch had come as the representative of the German Chess Federation, he gave a speech in honor of Harry Schaack – editor and publisher of KARL – and presented him with the prize and the document, naturally with great éclat of the audience. Harry Schaack replied to the laudation with an acceptance speech in German and English.

Harry Schaack and Uwe Bönsch
Harry Schaack and Uwe Bönsch

Totally surprising for all and not least for the honored himself was the subsequent appearance of Paul Werner Wagner, chairman of the "ELG", who welcomed Dr. Thomas Thomsen as a new honorary member of the Emanuel Lasker Society:

The chess friends sitting next to me this evening were ...

Here is a first leaflet on his "Caissa".

You will find a selection of more photos from this evening in this gallery.

<p">On Saturday the morning was reserved for a series of lectures to be held in the Richard Wagner Hall of the ELEPHANT:

After a short delay (due to a despite all preparations intractable projector) Wolfgang Angerstein and Thomas Thomsen welcomed the audience, Dr. Thomsen also delivered a short report on the international CCI meeting in New York. Below we give photographs and short notes on the talks, two of the speakers (Prof. Wolfgang Angerstein and Dr. Michael Negele) have kindly provided their presentation slides.

Wolfgang Angerstein started the course of lectures with a contribution on "Chessmen for Wargaming (in books of the 17th - 20th century)" – his Powerpoint presentation is linked in our member section (as PDF). The rare work "Das preußische National-Schach" by Freiherr v. Hoverbeck (Breslau 1806) was not to get from the Anna Amalia Library in Weimar (which refused to lend its copy), but Prof. Angerstein succeeded in borrowing a copy from the University Library of Jena.

Michael Negele reported on the fascinating topic "Chess of the Blind vs Blindfold Chess – A Historical Approach". We link his ppt slides (>> member section) as well as a short video sequence showing how a blind player is "feeling" the position (enabled by heightened white squares).
The video (mp4 format) shows Peter Ellinger (Hannover) at the 5th BSBCC in Timmendorfer Strand:

You may also download the video as MTS file (about 20 MB).

Roger Klittich informed the audience about the auction of the chess set collection of Mathieu and Ine Kloprogge. Upon request of customers, particular items of the collection could be viewed in the afternoon, understandably a public presentation was limited here due to insurance issues.

Rudolf Kaiser talked about the composition, manufacture and care of ties – his nicely arranged and varied choice of chess ties was a real eye-catcher. On the occasion of our meeting Mr. Kaiser also offered a limited edition of only 10 chess pocket squares (for 29 € each), I guess all have been sold.

Ralf Niederhäuser, president of the Chess Federation North Rhine-Westphalia, showed entertainer qualities in his lecture "Chess – Sports, Culture or Entertainment?". During his talk Michael Negele could – to the amusement of the audience – still place an original "add-on": While Ralf Niederhäuser held forth about the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and the anthropological find "Lucy" (in Ethiopia 1974), Michael quickly projected a photo of his "Lucy" onto the screen! (see photo below)

After the coffee break it was again Thomas Thomsen’s turn, he talked about the development and versions of Bauhaus chessmen – fitting to the visit of the Bauhaus museum the next day:

Prof. Hans Holländer convinced the audience with a lucid lecture on chess elephants (which, as is well-known, are frequently associated by artists and designers with rooks). Certainly the subject was a little bit vague and a kind of tribute to the hotel, but the speaker coped with it expertly.

Katja Gattung was the young lady who had delighted us with her self-made origami elephants. She was acknowledged with a rapturous applause, and Wolfgang Angerstein handed her a present.

Jens-Frieder Mükke marked the end of the lectures by his talk "Emotions – was the carver a psychologist?". The starting point of his considerations was the fairy chess set depicted below where particularly the pawns reflect a whole variety of emotions by their facial expressions.

After the joint lunch in the Cafe-Restaurant Frauentor (Schillerstraße), which by the way has an excellent choice of superb cakes, a visit to the Duchess Anna Amalia Library was on the agenda, followed by some sightseeing.

The following gallery provides further photos of the subsequent market/barter in the library of the ELEPHANT (photo above; apart from books also chess sets and other chess articles & memorabilia were offered), as well as photos of the different stopovers of this afternoon.

The eventful day closed with a joint dinner in the restaurant "Zum Zwiebel" (on the Teichgasse).

On Sunday morning we visited first Goethe’s home and the Goethe National Museum – both are located in the same building "am Frauenplan".

At the entrance to Goethe's home
At the entrance to Goethe's home

All visitors could use an audio guide which was quite helpful; less pleasing were quite a lot of omnipresent and unkind "watchdogs" who observed the visitors and intervened immediately in case they violated any regulations, such as taking flashlight photos.

For lack of further photos we give some links to informative pages:

From Goethe’s home we went to the Bauhaus Museum

Our sight-seeing tour ended with a visit to the "Castle Museum", we only mention the Cranach gallery as well as the magnificent and imposing halls on the second floor. Two links:

Many of us stayed to take a meal in the "Elephantenkeller", where already the place of the next CCI meeting was proposed: Trier 2015 (with the option of an "invasion" of Luxembourg) was obviously favored by the board!

Ralf Binnewirtz

Photographs: Ralf Binnewirtz, Michael Negele and Andreas Saremba.

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