Amber tournament starts Saturday (poll)

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Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort in MonacoNext Saturday already is the first round of the 20th Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament. This year Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik, Veselin Topalov, Alexander Grischuk, Vasily Ivanchuk, Sergey Karjakin, Boris Gelfand, Hikaru Nakamura, Vugar Gashimov and Anish Giri play. For the very last edition of this glamorous tournament, who is your pick?

The 20th Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament will take place at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort in Monaco, from March 11 to 25, 2011. The tournament is organized by the Association Max Euwe of chess maecenas Joop van Oosterom, which is based in Monaco.

This 20th Amber tournament will be the final edition of an event unparalleled in the history of chess. The following grandmasters will take part: World Champion Viswanathan Anand (India), Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria), Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Vasily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Sergey Karjakin (Russia), Boris Gelfand (Israel), Hikaru Nakamura (United States), Vugar Gashimov (Azerbaijan) and Anish Giri (The Netherlands).

The total prize-fund is € 227,000.



The first Amber tournament was held in Roquebrune, France, in 1992 to celebrate the birth of Mr and Mrs Van Oosterom’s daughter Melody Amber. That first tournament was a rapid event won by Vasily Ivanchuk, the only player to have taken part in all Amber tournaments (and the shared winner, together with Magnus Carlsen, of last year’s edition!).

In the tournament of 1993 the formula was introduced that made ‘Amber’ unique in the chess world: a double round-robin in which the grandmasters play both a rapid and a blindfold game against each other.

The 1993 tournament took place in Monaco, which would become the home of ‘Amber’ till it moved to Nice in 2008. For historical reasons Mr and Mrs Van Oosterom and the Association Max Euwe have chosen to return to Monaco for the farewell edition.

The Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort will be an appropriate venue for a tournament that has been the favourite meeting place for the chess elite over the past two decades.




Like in 2008-2010, Macauley Peterson and Peter Doggers will be providing on-the-spot video coverage of the tournament for the official website, to make the event as enjoyable as possible for the chess fans at home. To get in the mood, below you can find material from previous editions.

2010 Preview video by Macauley Peterson

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