At the moment Magnus Carlsen is in Caxias do Sul, Brazil, where he will participate in the international “Festa da Uva” chess festival between March 6th and 9th. There will be different activities: a four-player knockout (rapid), simuls, a lecture and an open tournament (also rapid). All in all it's gonna be long and busy week(end) for the world champ.
The “Festa da Uva” (Grape Festival) is held every two years and each year there's a special guest; in 2010 it was Vassily Ivanchuk, in 2012 it was Judit Polgar and this year - the 8th edition - it's Magnus Carlsen. The total prize fund of the event is R $ 20000 (equivalent to US $8,200).The location is Caxias do Sul (Rio Grande do Sul State – Brazil).
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Caxias do Sul is a city in Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil, situated in the state's mountainous Serra Gaúcha region. It was established by Italian immigrants on June 20, 1890. Today it is the second largest city in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
On Thursday, March 6th in the morning Carlsen will start with a blindfold simul against visually impaired players.
Later that day he will play in a four-player round robin rapid chess tournament with Rafael Leitao (2645, reigning champion of Brazil), Gilberto Milos (2583, 6-times Brazilian Champion) and Andrés Rodríguez Vila (2437, the best player from Uruguay in history).
The semi-finals of this small tournament will be held on Thursday at 15:00 local time (19:00 CET, 13:00 EST). Right after, also on Thursday, Carlsen will give a lecture about his path towards the world title.
The next day the final of the knockout rapid event is held, starting 14:00 local time (18:00 CET, 12:00 EST). Also on Friday, Carlsen will give a simul in a shopping mall.
Then, on Saturday and Sunday, Carlsen will also participate in a 9-round Swiss rapid event where his biggest rivals will be his good friend and travel companion Peter Heine Nielsen (Denmark), Sergey Tiviakov (Netherlands), Rafael Leitao (Brazil), Sam Shankland (USA), Henrique Mecking (Brasil), Neuris Delgado Ramirez (Paraguay), Sandro Mareco (Argentina), Gilberto Milos (Brasil), Ruben Felgaer (Argentina) and Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian (full list here).
In the first round and second round the players have 16 minutes per game, in rounds 3 and 4 they get 30 minutes and in rounds 5 and 6 it's doubled to 60 minutes. Also in rounds 7-9 (played on Sunday) the time control is 60 minutes per game.
The tournament in 2010
Interestingly, no draws are allowed in the last two rounds of the tournament. The regulations state:
“If a draw occurs in the 8th or 9th round, the players shall play immediately play a new game applying the Armageddon System (6 minutes for the player with White, and 5 for the player with Black).”
Carlsen's manager Espen Agdestein wrote to us about Carlsen's trip to Brazil:
“The goal is to promote chess in South America and to have a fun week with a lot of chess. The events look great and I think Peter and Magnus will enjoy them selves and hopefully Magnus participation will be inspirational to the chess community in Brazil.”
Judit Polgar in 2012
Vassily Ivanchuk in 2010
Keep an eye on the official website, where a number of games will be broadcast live.