Amber Rapid & Blindfold 2010

Amber Rapid & Blindfold 2010

| 30 | Chess Event Coverage

When the world's top grandmasters get an invite to the annual Amber tournament in Nice, hardly anyone turns it down.

It's not hard to see why.  The participants get to spend nearly 2 weeks in the beautiful south of France, playing a combination of rapid and blindfold games (so no precious rating points are at stake) and the prize fund is a generous €216,000 (nearly 300,000 USD).

Despite this, there has been a last minute withdrawal this year by Alexander Morozevich for unspecified personal reasons.  He is replaced by his fellow countryman, and another Alexander - Grischuk.

The tournament runs from 13-25 March, with rest days on the 17th and 22nd.  There are four rounds each day, two blindfold and two rapid, starting at 14:30 local time (13:30 GMT, 8:30 EST), apart from the final round which starts at 12:30. 

[UPDATE - The draw has now taken place, and the full schedule is available here]

The rapid games are 25 minutes per game, plus a 10 second increment.  The blindfold games are also 25 minutes per game, but with a 20 second increment.

The line-up is truly impressive, with most of the top ten playing apart from Vishy Anand (#4) and Veselin Topalov (#2), who are understandably busy preparing for their match in April.

The full line-up is:

Rank Name Nat Elo
1 Carlsen, Magnus  NOR  2813
3 Kramnik, Vladimir  RUS  2790
5 Aronian, Levon  ARM  2782
7 Grischuk, Alexander  RUS  2756
8 Svidler, Peter  RUS  2750
9 Gelfand, Boris  ISR  2750
11 Ivanchuk, Vassily  UKR  2748
12 Gashimov, Vugar  AZE  2740
15 Ponomariov, Ruslan  UKR  2737
21 Karjakin, Sergey  RUS  2725
27 Dominguez Perez, Leinier  CUB  2713
87 Smeets, Jan  NED  2651


The rapid and blindfold events are separate competitions, but the scores from each event are also combined to crown an overall winner.

Lev Aronian will be going for a hat-trick after topping the combined standing for the last two years.  However, world #1 Magnus Carlsen and six-time winner Vladimir Kramnik start as favourites.

The official website, with more details and live coverage is here.

More from SonofPearl News Is Changing... News Is Changing...

Beijing To Host 5th 2012/13 Grand Prix

Beijing To Host 5th 2012/13 Grand Prix