Amber Rapid & Blindfold Preview

Amber Rapid & Blindfold Preview

| 47 | Chess Event Coverage


The 20th, and final, Amber tournament starts on Friday 11th March, with the first games taking place on Saturday.

The tournament is certainly going out with a huge bang, having the top EIGHT ranked players in the world in the 12-strong field.

The venue is Monaco once again, and the format is the familiar (and unique) separate rapid and blindfold round-robin events, which are combined to give an overall tournament score.

The line up for the final Amber:

Rank  Name  Nat Elo
1  Anand, Viswanathan  IND 2817
2  Carlsen, Magnus  NOR 2815
3  Aronian, Levon  ARM 2808
4  Kramnik, Vladimir  RUS 2785
5  Ivanchuk, Vassily  UKR 2779
6  Karjakin, Sergey  RUS 2776
7  Topalov, Veselin  BUL 2775
8  Nakamura, Hikaru  USA 2774
10  Grischuk, Alexander  RUS 2747
11  Gashimov, Vugar  AZE 2746
16  Gelfand, Boris  ISR 2733
43  Giri, Anish  NED 2690


With an average rating of 2770 Elo, this is truly one of the strongest events in history!  The total prize fund is €227,000 (around $315,000).

It's nice to see arch-enemies Kramnik and Topalov in the same event for the first time in far too long.  Let's hope they can put their past quarrels behind them and help give Amber a fitting farewell. Who knows, they might even shake hands at the start and end of their games! Go on, guys. Bury the hatchet.  It's what Amber would want!

It will also be very interesting to see how Hikaru Nakamura fares in the competition. His skill at rapid chess is well known, but his abilities at blindfold are untested.

The very first Amber tournament was won by Vassily Ivanchuk, and he has also taken part every year since. So it is fitting that the great Ukrainian is back yet again for the final tournament. Indeed, Ivanchuk was the joint winner of last year's event with Magnus Carlsen.

Chucky beating Magnus in their blindfold game at last year's Amber tournament




The full schedule is below.  The drawing of lots to determine the exact pairings is on Friday.

 Sat 12 March  14.30 hrs - Round 1
 Sun 13 March  14.30 hrs - Round 2
 Mon 14 March  14.30 hrs - Round 3
 Tue 15 March  14.30 hrs - Round 4
 Wed 16 March  Free Day
 Thu 17 March  14.30 hrs - Round 5
 Fri 18 March  14.30 hrs - Round 6
 Sat 19 March  14.30 hrs - Round 7
 Sun 20 March  14.30 hrs - Round 8
 Mon 21 March  Free Day
 Tue 22 March  14.30 hrs - Round 9
 Wed 23 March  14.30 hrs - Round 10
 Thu 24 March  12.30 hrs - Round 11


Each day there are four sessions of play: two blindfold sessions followed by two rapid sessions.  The rapid games are played at 25 minutes plus 10 seconds per move, while blindfold games are 25 minutes plus 20 seconds per move.

The 14:30 start time of the first session translates to 13:30 GMT (or 08:30 Eastern in the US).

The official website is here.

Who do YOU think will win the last ever Amber tournament?

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