Monday, April 21, 2008

First Grand Prix Tournament: Baku 2008

First Grand Prix tournament: Baku 2008

On Sunday, April 20, the first Grand Prix tournament, will be officially opened. Fourteen of the strongest chess grandmaster will compete in the capital of Azerbaijan. Baku is an amazing place on the Caspian sea with wonderful architecture, old city markets and brilliant subways (not a sandwich) Baku has many great chess players coming from this small corner of the world, I wonder why this is?

The tournament is dedicated to the 85th birthday of former Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev, and will be held April 20 - May 6, with thirteen rounds and two rest days.

Participants for this first Grand Prix tournament are Magnus Carlsen (2765), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2752), Teimour Radjabov (2751), Peter Svidler (2746), Sergey Karjakin (2732), Michael Adams (2729), Gata Kamsky (2726), Alexander Grischuk (2716), Etienne Bacrot (2705), Ivan Cheparinov (2695), Wang Yue (2689), Ernesto Inarkiev (2684), Vugar Gashimov (2679) and David Navara (2672).

I was wondering why several top chess players were not participating in this very long journey to the top and then I did some research! what do you think about this boycott? Does it make sense to you as a chess enthusiast/observer? Here is what Alexander Morozevich had to say!

1st Round Pairings:

Inarkiev Ernesto Vs Kamsky Gata
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar Vs Svidler Peter
Carlsen Magnus Vs Wang Yue
Gashimov Vugar Vs Bacrot Etienne
Radjabov Teimur Vs Adams Michael
Cheparinov Ivan Vs Grischuk Alexander
Karjakin Sergey Vs Navara David

Live Games

Download PGN Games

Well into the tournament there have only been a handful of winning games, in the third round that has just finished Shakhriyar Mamedyarov from Azerbaijan was playing Peter Svidler from Russia in a most exciting match that was reminiscent of a game played long ago. Here it is an 1872 match between Carl Hamppe and Phillip Meitner, your feedback is worth its weight in gold!
View games

Commentary/Analysis's by GM Larry Christiansen

Game of the Day Ruy Lopez/Breyer variation
GM Ernesto Inarkiev Russia Vs GM Gata Kamsky USA
Game of the Day Sicilian: Rossolimo
Michael Adams UK Vs Ivan Cheparinov Bulgaria
Game of the Day Sicilian
GM Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan Vs Peter Svidler Russia

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