Bilbao Grand Slam 2012 Announced

  • SonofPearl
  • on 12/29/11, 6:12 AM.

Bilbao Grand Slam Masters 2012 logo.jpgPress Release

Bilbao will once again be the world chess capital in September and October 2012

 The dates for the 5th edition of the Chess Grand Slam Masters Final have already been decided. The tournament, considered one of the world's most prestigious, will take place from September 24 to October 13, 2012 and, as in previous editions, the world's top-ranked players will participate, according to an announcement from the Bilbao e4 Chess Club, organizers of this renowned sporting event.

Just as in previous years, Bilbao will once again host the 5th edition of the Chess Masters Final, and simultaneous negotiations are being held with five of the world's main capitals to share the hosting of the 2012 tournament. This is what happened in the last two editions. In 2010 Bilbao was joint host along with Shanghai and in the last edition which took place this year, it was the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo that hosted the event along with the Biscayan capital.

Regardless of the outcome, the tournament will continue to be played by the double round-robin league system among six of the most prominent world chess masters chosen from among the winners of the world's foremost chess tournaments.

Magnus Carlsen accepting the Bilbao Chess Masters Trophy in 2011



Two persons have already qualified - Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russian Vladimir Kramnik (the former being number 1 in the world ranking and winner of the last edition of the Grand Slam Final and the latter, former world champion and winner of the 2010 Final). Both have received direct invitations to Bilbao, the Norwegian for his victory in the Tal tournament in Moscow and the Russian for his win at the London Classic this very December.

Vladimir Kramnik won the 2011 London Chess Classic



The rest of the participants of this great chess event in the Biscayan capital, also receiving direct invitations, will come out of the winners of the 2012 Tata tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Holland, the 2012 Kings tournament in Bazna, Romania and the City of Linares in Spain (once it is concluded before August 24).

If the same player wins more than one tournament, the highest-ranked second place finisher from one of these tournaments according to the July 2012 list will be awarded a spot. If all the second-place finishers have already earned spots in the 2012 Masters Final by other means, the Organizing Committee will decide who gets the spot by direct invitation.

                            Magnus Carlsen's tie-break win against Vassily Ivanchuk in 2011


The winner of the World Championship duel, which will be played between Anand and Gelfand next may in Moscow, will also receive a direct invitation for the 2012 Masters Final.

From this most rigorous qualifying and selection system will therefore emerge the six contenders for the 5th edition of the Chess Grand Slam masters Final, whose goal, according to its Organizing Committee, is to continue to maintain excellence in terms of the quality of organization as well as the high level of sporting competitiveness of previous editions.

Bilbao, December 26, 2011

Source: Chess Today

7774 reads 20 comments
3 votes


  • 5 years ago


    There's always lots of complaints about Elo and how little it's supposed to say, but few would disagree that #1-#4 Carlsen, Aronian, Anand and Kramnik are four of the strongest players in the world and have been for quite a while, and just below there are players like Topalov, Ivanchuk, Grischuk, Radjabov, Karjakin etc. To me Elo rating is a rather reliable measure, and I think some of the conclusions of "Demythologizing the chess player's Elo rating" go too far:

    "When all the participants in a tournament have ratings that fall within a rating interval of 200 Elo points, the players are said to belong to one playing class and good all-around competition results.  No one is badly outclassed and no one badly outclasses the field.  The weakest player on his good day will play about as well as the strongest player on the latter’s off day.

    If players within 200 points "belong to one playing class and good all-around competition results" (and if I understand that sentence correctly) Gelfand and Koneru are in the same class with some margin since it's only 150 points between them. To me that is a huge margin. Of course Carlsen on a bad day can lose to McShane or Sjugirov, but that doesn't mean that he just as well could be replaced with them in Linares.

  • 5 years ago


    Took a while to find. This chessbase article gives some insight into why the same players appear in every big tournament. 

    Demythologizing the chess player's Elo rating

    "Organizers and sponsors of competitions will be misguidedly confining their choice of participants to a narrow field of high-rated players to the discrimination of the greater majority of their equally qualified associates."

  • 5 years ago


    "no one remembers or will admit the thrill of the old zonals and interzonals----when the top players would play in a group of strong g.m."

    Were they always so strong compared to today's events?  Tal Memorial 2011 had Carlsen, Anand, Kramnik, Aronian, Ivanchuk, Nakamura, Svidler, Gelfand, Nepomniachtchi and Karjakin. Avoiding the much weaker zonals and picking an Interzonal like Zagreb 1987 one gets this field of 17 players: Baragar, Hickl, Barlov, Miles, Inkiov, Hulak, Pinter, Gruenfeld, Eingorn, Polugaevsky (52 years old), Torre, Granda, Nikolic, Nogueiras, Seirawan, Ehlvest and winner Korchnoi (56 years old).

  • 5 years ago


    chess is a preperation game at this high level------no one remembers or will admit the thrill of the old zonals and interzonals----when the top players would play in a group of strong g.m.----if they went by todays standards we would never see a larsen--portish---christiansen---korchnoi---speelman---reti----short---------those who are not in the top 6 club have little chance of being in a 6 person compitition--even petrosian would never have made it with his drawing abilities--------chess ratings today are inflated--way high---todays 2500's would be fodder for the I.M.'s of the 70's

  • 5 years ago


    @ indigo_child

    McShane is now the world's strongest amateur. He makes his living elsewhere.

    The London Chess Classic may be the only tournament in which he participates.

    He declined his 2012 invitation to Wijk aan Zee group A after winning the B group tied with David Navara last time. Speaking of Tata Steel, this tournament continues to have 14-player fields.

  • 5 years ago


    if its boring to watch the same faces play against each other, the best solution is not to watch. they were not born super GMs, they earned that. which other discipline would one get bored watching the same 'boring' top teams!? the men's 100 m sprint? seriously people, its not a democracy its merit that counts!

  • 5 years ago


    I think we will see some new faces in the top 8 list soon, Luke McShane has been doing surprisingly well recently, I think we will see more of him soon.

  • 5 years ago


    @dabearz1985: sure, why not, and you'd be financing this chess galore...

  • 5 years ago


    ...and here's a bit of reading on the city's name-

    The official name of the city is Bilbao, as known in most languages of the world. Euskaltzaindia, the official regulatory institution of the Basque language, agreed that between the two possible names existing in Basque, Bilbao and Bilbo, that the historical name in Basque is Bilbo, while keeping the officialty of the first one.[11] Although the term Bilbo does not appear on old documents, in the play The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare, there is a reference of swords presumably made of Biscayan iron to which he calls "bilboes", which might suggest that it is a word used since at least the sixteenth century.[12][13][14][15]

    There is no consensus among historians about the origin of the name. The engineer Evaristo de Churruca said that is a Basque custom to name a place after its location, for Bilbao would be the result of the union of the Basque words for river and cove: Bil-Ibaia-Bao.[16] Also, historian José Tussel Gómez argues that it is just a natural evolution of the Spanish words bello vado, beautiful river crossing.[17] On the other hand, writer Esteban Calle Iturrino said that the name derives from the two previous settlement that existed on both banks of the estuary, more than the estuary itself. The first one, where the current Casco Viejo stands, would be called billa that in Basque means stacking, after the configuration of the buildings. The second one, located on the left bank, where now stands Bilbao La Vieja, would be called vaho, Spanish for mist or steam. From the union of this two, the name Bilbao would come out,[16] that previously was also written as Bilvao and Biluao, as documented in its municipal charter and its following transcriptions.[18]

  • 5 years ago


    I too am fed-up with seeing the same "super GMs" battle amongst themselves...all seven or eight of them. It's like each tourny we see the same faces...need of a change I say.

    The problem is that there are only so few players at that level...and too much of a mix with lesser players, will only make it easier for the stronger players to win all the time...a catch 22 really.

  • 5 years ago


    the footnote for the picture of Carlsen should be "Magnus Carlsen accepting the Bilbao Chess Masters Trophy and wearing the txapela in 2011". By the way, it seems that the txapela is big enough for keeping 100,000 eur in.

    "Txapeldun" means "winner" in basque (or "the person wearing/owning the beret")

    More chess txapelduns:

  • 5 years ago


    blah blah blah---the same 6 or 8 in every one of these super tourney;s----let the next 8 highest ranked or and 2 top juniors and 3-4 top women--play double round robin and see if the 6 chosen chess gods finish 1-6

  • 5 years ago


    I think the same like joemelpasco. It´s bored see the same players playing vs the same players!

  • 5 years ago


    "Just as in previous years, Bilbao will once again host the 5th edition of the Chess Masters Final."


    Surely not! Wink

  • 5 years ago


    Ivanchuk looking really nervous.

  • 5 years ago

    NM flashboy2222

    because ray robson is gonna die against them

  • 5 years ago


    boring.!!! why they dont give the young player to participate like anish giri, caruana, wesley so, ray robson, ding liren, against kramnik, carlsen, ivanchuk, nakamura, morozevich, and karjakin. i hate to see  anand against carlsen,ivanchuk, and traditional player,

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