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Central finals receive great response

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The central rounds, where all the teams in the German Chess League meet in one place, have always been a great success. The stars showed up, the fans were there. The only problem with such an event is the financial challenges that such an event brings with it.
For the Schachfreunde Berlin, who often organized the central final round in Berlin, the financial aspect was always a challenge. It was often overcome with sponsors, but it always came up again.

If Viernheim hosts the central finals, as it did this year, then money is not a big issue. The Viernheim squad with Hikaru Nakamura on board 1 is enough of an indication that there is currently no lack of a solid budget near Mannheim.

In addition to hosting the final round, this was also used to get Hikaru Nakamura, the biggest star in the chess scene after Magnus Carlsen, to the board. Hikaru Nakamura, YouTube and Twitch star, celebrated his debut in the Viernheim jersey and was supposed to help win the championship.

It is by no means a coincidence that rounds 9 to 11 were the central final round. In round 10, the Viernheim team faced serial champions Baden-Baden, who competed with Vishy Anand.

All eyes were on this encounter when the announcement was made on February 24th at 2 p.m. "The round is open." Of course, our hearts beat a little more for Baden-Baden. Chess Tiger Sven Noppes is the driving force behind the team's years of success. Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged without envy that Viernheim was the better team, as the hosts' convincing 5-3 victory is proof of.

Even if not officially, Viernheim is very likely to be German champions. If Düsseldorfer SK is promoted from the 2. Bundesliga West next season, things will get even more exciting in the 2024/25 season. A three-way battle for the title is looming. This also means that traditional clubs like Hamburger SK will be increasingly involved in the relegation battle, as the promoted teams are getting stronger and stronger.

But it is not that far yet. There are still 4 rounds to play and while the battle for the championship seems to have been decided, the battle in the relegation zone is only just beginning.

Central finals are great advertising for the sport of chess, and with the league gaining more and more financial power, it will hopefully not be a problem to organize such an event every year.