Although the 2012/13 FIDE Grand Slam series is underway in London, a few of the world's top players have absented themselves from the competition, in the expectation that their place in the 2014 Candidates is already assured.
Most of those missing elite players are about to face-off against one another in the Chess Masters Final, a 6-player double round-robin event which is being held half in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and half in Bilbao, Spain.
The Sao Paulo leg takes place from 23-29 September and the Bilbao leg is from 7-13 October.
||Francisco Vallejo Pons
The tournament will use the so-called "Sofia" anti-draw rules, meaning that players can only draw by mutual agreement with the permission of the arbiter. The "Bilbao" scoring system (3-1-0) is also in operation, and the now-familiar glass cube will be utilised.
Games start at 15:00 (18:00 UTC) in Sao Paulo, with times in Bilbao to be confirmed.
The official website is still disappointingly sparse and lacking any further information about this very strong tournament (especially in the English version). We can only hope that coverage will improve significantly once the tournament starts!
[UPDATE: There is a new website at http://grandslamdexadrez.com.br/]
The full schedule at both venues:
Official tournament website here.