All info on Morelia/Linares 2008

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All results:






How can you follow the tournament?
  • ChessVibes will provide daily coverage on Morelia and video coverage during the (complete!) Linares part of the tournament.
  • Videos by Macauley.
  • Live commentary via Playchess, ICC, Chessdom and ChessPro.
  • The best analysis can be found at Crestbook (GM Sergei Shipov).
  • Very quick service is always provided by TWIC.
  • (Photo) reports and analysis by GM Dorian Rogozenko at Chessbase.


Morelia/Linares is an eight-player, double round-robin and is held from February 14 till March 8. Participants are Anand, Aronian, Carlsen, Ivanchuk, Leko, Radjabov, Shirov and Topalov.

The first part takes place 14-23 February in the Mexican city of Morelia, after which the players fly to Spain for the second part of the tournament: February 28 - March 8 in Linares.
[TABLE=148] The rounds will be played at 15:30 hrs local time. In Morelia, this means 16:30 EST | 21:30 GMT | 22:30 CET. In Linares, this means 08:30 EST | 14:30 GTM | 15:30 CET.






PLAYER PROFILES

Name: Viswanathan Anand

Country: India Born: 11 December 1969 FIDE-rating: 2799 Ranking: shared 1st Strong point: Status as world champion. Double winner (1998 and 2007). He's the best. Weak point: Being the best, he'll either win or disappoint. Forgot for a while that he was the world champ, after Mexico, until halfway Corus. Has to remove the match against Kramnik from his thoughts for a few more weeks.
Name: Veselin Topalov Country: Bulgaria Born: 15 March 1975 FIDE-rating: 2780 Ranking: 3rd Strong point: Fighter. Will to win. Doesn't fear hard core theory. Personally responsible for the end of Kasparov's career, three years ago. (Won, together with The Boss, in 2005). Weak point: Aftermath-gate (perhaps not a weak point anymore). And: slow-starter; it always takes some time before he realizes he's a terribly strong tournament player.
Name: Alexei Shirov Country: Spain Born: 4 July 1972 FIDE-rating: 2755 Ranking: 7th Strong point: Incredible talent for the adventurous. According to the experts, he played the prettiest move ever. Might have started a second youth, if we take Khanty-Mansyisk into account. Weak point: Finished (shared) last no less than four times in Linares. Has a tendency for pyromania every now and then.
Name: Peter Leko Country: Hungary Born: 8 September 1979 FIDE-rating: 2753 Ranking: 8th Strong point: Solid fellow. Loses very rarely. Nice bloke. Weak point: Too much of a nice bloke. Likes to win, prefers not to lose. Has his own father-in-law as a second, isn't that asking for trouble?
Name: Vassily Ivanchuk Country: Ukraine Born: 18 March 1969 FIDE-rating: 2751 Ranking: 9th Strong point: Experienced and unpredictable. Had won this tournament already before one of the participants was born. (Three times actually: 1989, 1991 and 1995). Weak point: Oldest participant. Hasn't won a super tournament for a while. Said to have difficulties with pressure, despite torso.
Name: Levon Aronian Country: Armenia Born: 6 October 1982 FIDE-rating: 2739 Ranking: 10th Strong point: Huge talent. Coming up with the toughest moves is like brushing his teeth. Won Corus. Weak point: Tends to forget to think at critical moments. Loves bughouse, which might lead to reckless sacrifices.
Name: Teimour Radjabov Country: Azerbaidzhan Born: 12 March 1987 FIDE-rating: 2735 Ranking: 12th Strong point: Young, energetic, fighter, will to win. Is playing the King's Indian almost as successfully as Kasparov. Speaks (and thinks!?) quicker than his shadow. Weak point: Tends to not keep an eye on his laptop. Doesn't like the Armenian snack semushka.
Name: Magnus Carlsen Country: Norway Born: 30 November 1990 FIDE-rating: 2733 Ranking: 13th Strong point: Biggest talent in the world. Said to rarely analyse his own games, and spending more time on tennis courts, and yet wins Corus shared, at 17 years old. Will be more successful than Michael Chang. Weak point: his backhand.







MORELIA

Morelia is the capital of the Mexican state of Michoac?ɬ°n de Ocampo. The city has a population of approximately 6,00,000 600,000 inhabitants and is the seat of the municipality of Morelia.

The city's historic downtown area which houses more than 1000 colonial buildings and churches became a World Heritage Site in 1991. Famous buildings in the centre are the cathedral, the Casa del Arte, the colonial aquaduct and the birth place of fighter for independence Jos?ɬ© Mar?ɬ?a Morelos, to whom the town was named in 1828. (Wikipedia)


The baroque Cathedral of MoreliaAquaduct in the middle of the street
Street in the historical centrePalacio Clavijero



Somewhere between February 23 and 28, the players will fly to Spanje. In Linares, where this top event has been organised for many years, the second half of the tournament will be played.

LINARES

Linares is a city located in the Andalusian province of Ja?ɬ©n, Spain. With its approximately 60,000 inhabitants, it's about ten times as small as Morelia. It's famous for being the birthplace of both Andr?ɬ©s Segovia and the singer Raphael.

The hotel Anibal, where the tournament is always taking place, has the same name as the model as the terrain-vehicle produced by car company Santana Motor, which makes vehicles for the Spanish army and is located in Linares (Wikipedia).


The town hall of LinaresChurch of San Agust?ɬ?n
Plaza de TorosSuzuki-Santana-fabrics
"^Reports^^^1203013188^1314785601^"Peter Doggers" Favorite?^"Tomorrow is the first round of Morelia/Linares. According to our poll, Magnus Carlsen is the one you'd like to see winning the most, but who has the biggest chance to become the tournament winner?

Morelia/Linares is an eight-player, double round-robin and is held from February 14 till March 8. Participants are Anand, Aronian, Carlsen, Ivanchuk, Leko, Radjabov, Shirov and Topalov.

The first part takes place 14-23 February in the Mexican city of Morelia, after which the players fly to Spain for the second part of the tournament: February 28 - March 8 in Linares. We have good news: ChessVibes will be providing video coverage during the (complete!) Linares part of the tournament.

[TABLE=148] The rounds will be played at 15:30 hrs local time. In Morelia, this means 16:30 EST | 11:30 GMT | 22:30 CET. In Linares, this means 08:30 EST | 14:30 GTM | 15:30 CET.

[Poll=23]
Perhaps our popularity poll on the far right was a bit unnecessary. We could have guessed ourselves that Magnus Carlsen is highly popular these days, and after his shared victory at Corus, the ChessVibes audience clearly likes to see him win Morelia/Linares as well. But how big are his chances?

Down-to-earth Magnus will probably be satisfied with a modest plus score again. His father Henrik has started blogging from Mexico already and he doesn't talk about Magnus's chances either; instead you can read who is actually training and sponsoring his son.

And if we try to be objective, should we call Anand the favorite to win this tournament, just like he did last year? Or will Aronian repeat his Corus success once and again in the two Spanish speaking countries? It's up to you to decide who's ChessVibes's favorite for Morelia/Linares, since the players themselves don't seem to be sure. Or they act like they're not.

In an interview for Radio Programas del Per?ɬ?, Anand refused to call himself the favorite, just like he did before the World Championship in Mexico. Then he said Kramnik was the favorite, and this time he picked another guy: "If I have to pick someone I'd say Levon Aronian, who just won in Wijk aan Zee." But there's actually no reason Vishy wouldn't be doing very well again, especially since he really feels at home at the tournament: "I've won all three tournaments I've played in this country and I feel very comfortable here. I like everything: the people, the climate, the food, and, above all, the chess fans, who treat me very well." (quoted from Mig's translation).

In an interview with Dagobert Kohlmeyer, for some reason only published at the Spanish Chessbase, Aronian didn't speak about Morelia/Linares, but he did answer Dago's question if he has a favorite piece. Levon said: "I love Tigran Petrosian's response to that question. He answered that the pieces that he liked most, were the ones that could eat the opponent."

And finishing on the theme of favorites, one thing is clear. Mexicans are not our favorite webmasters. The website of the WCC 2007 was a disaster, and the website of the Mexican part of Morelia/Linares is already down before the tournament has started, due to too many visitors. But we shouldn't complain too loudly, because we experienced the same during Corus.

In any case, don't click on that last link for now, give them a break. Instead, you could go to our ChessVibes Morelia/Linares Information Centre.
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