2nd Grand Slam Masters Final again in Bilbao, but with just four players

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Bilbao Masters FinalIn September the basque town of Bilbao will again be the location for the Grand Slam Masters Final. This was confirmed yesterday in a presentation for the media by the Spanish organizers. While most of the successful formula will be maintained, the second edition of the tournament will have just four participants. Press release.


  • The Grand Slam Chess Association (GSCA) is yet again to entrust the hosting of this event to Bilbao (Spain) due to the great success of the 2008 edition.
  • In this edition the Pearl Spring Chess Tournament of Nanjing, China, will also be incorporated into the GSCA.

The management in charge of the organisation of the GSCA Masters Final in Bilbao have given their first presentation today in Sofia of the tournament to be held in September of this year, in front of a large audience of international chess bodies as well as the specialised media.

Andoni Madariaga and Juan Carlos Fern?°ndez, Tournament Coordinator and Tournament Director respectively, have confirmed that the tournament will be held in the first fortnight of September on the same stage that hosted the 2008 Bilbao Masters Final. Therefore, the Bilbao Plaza Nueva (central square), in the heart of the city, will again host the great glass cube that made it possible last year for a tournament of such prestige to be played outdoors for the first time in the public domain.

The Masters Final 2009 will be played exclusively by the four winning players of the tournaments that, along with Bilbao, make up the Grand Slam Chess Association: Corus-Wijk aan Zee, Holland, Ciudad de Linares, Spain, Mtel Masters- Sofia, Bulgaria and the Pearl Spring Tournament of Nanjing, China- this year incorporated into the Grand Slam.

At present and in the eve of awaiting the discovery of the Sofia winner, V?©selin Top?°lov- winner in Nanjing, Sergu?©i Kariakin- winner in Holland and Alex?°nder Grischuk, for his victory in Linares, have already received their invitations to the Final in Bilbao. Top?°lov is the current world number one and was the outstanding winner of the first edition of the Grand Slam Masters Final last year, whilst Grischuk and Kariakin are two young stars that have exploded onto the scene this year; the first through winning, against all odds, in Linares, Spain and the young 19 year old Ukrainian for winning in Holland and presenting his candidacy to reach World Championships. The programme details for this Masters Final are at present being finalised and will shortly be released. The organisers have confirmed that all those aspects that contributed to the excellent results achieved in 2008 are all to be expected again this year as well as the great turn-out that was witnessed both locally and internationally. A varied programme of extra events, the ‚Äúexpert‚Äôs spot‚Äù commentary and analysis area for all audiences to follow, big screens, live internet transmission, the great glass cube and media representatives from every continent are all also to be expected at the event. And, most importantly, the hosting of an elite chess event outside, amongst the greater public. It is, therefore announced that the Grand Slam Chess Association have again placed their trust in the city of Bilbao after the great success of the 2008 edition. The highly positive feedback of the tournament showed that the event triumphed in all aspects. In a perfect chess ambience, it united six of the world‚Äôs back then top eight players, with V?©selin Top?°lov coming out on top as the glorious finals winner. Furthermore, it was the first tournament in the history of chess to reach category XXII. The great technological and organisational effort invested assured an extraordinary following of this event witnessing thousands of people live at the scene and mass audiences from all corners of the world via internet or the vast international press that was present there in Bilbao.

22nd May 2009, Sofia.

Apart from their crazy spelling of the players' names, naturally the Spanish organizers mostly surprised us with the downgrade from six to four players. The reason must be a financial one, and in times of economic malaise perhaps we should be grateful that there will be a second edition at all. Unfortunately no single detail about the format is revealed yet but a double round-robin with just six rounds seems most likely.

Update 16:52: After Veselin Topalov, Sergey Karjakin and Alexander Grischuk the fourth name became clear today: Alexei Shirov.

Below you'll find a show player with all our videos from Bilbao 2008. This is how last year's tournament looked like: [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"270","attributes":{"class":"media-image","typeof":"foaf:Image","height":"240","width":"320","style":""}}]]
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