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In the land of the blind at the Amber tournament in Monaco, one man is king: Levon Aronian! His total mastery of the blindfold tournament (undefeated on 8.5/11 - the first player in the history of the tournament to be undefeated blindfold!) proved to play a major contribution in the world No.3 taking clear first place in the overall standings on 15.5/22, a full point clear of Magnus Carlsen, with World champion Vishy Anand trailing in third place.
Although Carlsen scored badly this year in the blindfold, he more than made up for it in the rapid tournament by dominating it in much the same way as his rival did in the blindfold, as the young Norwegian superstar took that title with a record winning score of 9.5/11. And with the final results being as it was with Aronian and Carlsen (and Anand third), it is perhaps no co-incidence that they are both talked up frequently now as being the best world championship challengers from a growing newer generation in the game - and possible world championship rivals themselves in the future!
And so we sadly bid a fond farewell to the Amber tournament - and not just for this year, but for all time. This was the 20th and final Amber jubilee tournament and it will now be consigned to the annals of chess history. We have to thank sponsors Joop & Muriel van Oosterom (and the Association Max Euwe) for supporting it for so long, and for having the imagination in the first place in making the event happen - and not forgetting their daughter Melody Amber, who it was named after, as she's grown up with the tournament now to be a young lady!
But before we depart from the Amber tournament, we'd like to give everyone something to remember this memorable final edition by: all the Game of the Days for free from our ace Chess.FM commentary team of host GM Yasser Seirawan and his co-host GM Ronen Har-Zvi (and WGM Jennifer Shahade), accompanied by GMs Peter Svidler, Joel Benjamin, Larry Christinasen, Gregory Kaidanov, Jan Smeets, Alex Yermolinsky and Nick De Firmian.
The Chess.FM commentary team will be back in action in April for the US Championship in St. Louis, and in May for the all-important Candidates matches in Kazan, Russia. Join ICC by clicking here to get all the best in live chess commentary from the Chess.FM team!
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Round 1 highlights
A marvelous achievement by Aronian, who must be considered the favorite to be the next challenger (Carlsen having withdrawn from the cycle) for the world title.
Also a big shout out to Ivanchuk, who overcame a disastrous start to end up equal 4th. He is the only player to have played in all 20 of these special events.
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