Garry Kasparov Kicks Off SuperNationals
By Jennifer Shahade   
April 3, 2009
Garry is as excited as the 5000+ participants to kick off the SuperNationals

Garry Kasparov kicked off the SuperNationals with a stirring opening ceremony speech and by making the first move on the first board of the High School Championship. Kasparov was greeted at the Opening Ceremony at the Grand Ole Opry House with a standing ovation, to which he replied, "This makes the trip to Nashville worthwhile already." Kasparov started out with a joke about how when he was young, he hated opening ceremonies because he was anxious to get on with the chess. Then he talked about the 34th anniversary of Fischer forfeiting his match to Karpov. Although that was a sad day for American chess, Kasparov predicted than in the thousands deep crowd at the Opening Ceremony, there was another potential world championship contender, another Robert or according to Kasparov's assesment of crowd demographics"a Roberto", or even a "Roberta."

Executive director Bill Hall, University of Texas at Dallas VP Curt Eley, Harold Winston of the U.S. Trust Scholastic Director Jerry Nash and astronaut Greg Chamitoff of the Earth vs. Space match also spoke at the opening ceremony, while Pat Knight was recognized for her great work on organizing the SuperNationals.

The count of participants is not yet final due to weather delays, but Bill Hall predicts the tournament will go over the 5000 mark but may not beat the 5230 record of 2005.

Check out photos from the opening festivities and the simuls. Bookmark the Official Website and the standings and pairings pages for the SuperNationals.
Greg Chamitoff also gave a moving speech at the Opening Ceremony

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk in her Friday morning simul

The crowd at the Grand Ole Opry House for the Opening Ceremony was deep

Alumni High Schoolers of Chess-In-The-Schools, a New York non-profit. One has a chess inspired nail style.
Garry Kasparov speaks

GM Alexander Shabalov in his morning simul

U.S. Women's Champion Anna Zatonskih