4th Grand Slam Final back to 6 players

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

The fourth Grand Slam Masters Final will be held from September 25th till October 11th, 2011 and like its first edition, there will be six participants. The tournament, a double round-robin, will again be held in both Bilbao, Spain and a partner city, to be announced. Vishy Anand, Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura have already qualified for the Grand Slam Final.The dates of the 4th Grand Slam Masters Final were announced today in a press release from the organizers: September 25th-October 11th, 2011. Again, the second half of the tournament will take place in Bilbao, Spain and the first half in a partner city that will be announced soon. Although we don't want to steal a scoop from the organizers, we can reveal that, like last year (when the first part took place in Shanghai, China), there have been serious negotiations with a city outside Europe. After two years with only four participants, the fourth edition will return to the most popular of top tournament formats: a double round robin with six players.

Bilbao 2010

Bilbao 2010, with Kramnik (who won the tournament), Shirov, Carlsen and Anand

So far only two tournaments have been played in this fourth 'Grand Slam season': the Pearl Spring tournament in Nanjing, China and the Tata Steel tournament in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. Only one more will be played before this year's Grand Slam Final, which is the Kings Tournament in Bazna, Romania (June 10-22, 2011). This means there will be three qualified participants in Bilbao, and three wild-cards. Those players already qualified are Magnus Carlsen (Norway, world’s number two, winner in Nanjing) and Hikaru Nakamura (USA, world's number eight, winner in Wijk aan Zee). In today's press release the organizers also revealed the name of Viswanathan Anand (India, world's number one), who is said to have 'qualified' as the world champion. The winner in Bazna and the two wild cards will be announced later.

Cruise ship

The opening ceremony will take place on the deck of the MSC Opera cruise ship on September 20th at the Bilbao harbour. The ship will weigh anchor immediately for a Chess Theme Cruise. MSC Opera Cruise MSC Cruises and the Bilbao Port Authority are two official partners of this fourth edition of the Grand Slam Masters Final. Together they will offer, through Basque travel agency Romotur, special conditions to those who wish to take part in the Chess Theme Cruise, which will follow the route Bilbao-Gibraltar-Tunisia-Dubrovnik-Venice from September 20th to September 28th.

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