And then there was Mtel already

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Baku 2008 isn't over yet and the third Grand Slam tournament of 2008 already starts: the Mtel Masters. Cheparinov and Radjabov fly from Baku to Sofia and face Aronian, Topalov, Ivanchuk, and Bu Xiangzhi. First round tomorrow.

The Mtel Masters 2008, a six-player double round-robin, takes place May 7 till May 18, 2008 in the Central Military Club in the Bulgarian capital Sofia. Players are Veselin Topalov, Ivan Cheparinov, Teimour Radjabov, Levon Aronian, Vassily Ivanchuk and Bu Xiangzhi. ChessVibes will bring daily coverage of the tournament, and during the second half from Sofia!

Round 1: May 08, 15.00 EEST (13.00 CET) Round 2: May 09, 15.00 EEST (13.00 CET) Round 3: May 10, 15.00 EEST (13.00 CET) Round 4: May 11, 15.00 EEST (13.00 CET) Round 5: May 12, 15.00 EEST (13.00 CET)

Rest Day: May 13

Round 6: May 14, 15.00 EEST (13.00 CET) Round 7: May 15, 15.00 EEST (13.00 CET) Round 8: May 16, 15.00 EEST (13.00 CET) Round 9: May 17, 15.00 EEST (13.00 CET) Round 10: May 18, 15.00 EEST (13.00 CET)

Tie breaks: May 18, 19.00 EEST (17.00 CET)

The M-Tel Masters is part of the Grand Slam circuit that started on with the Corus Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee. The other competitions included are in Morelia-Linares and in Mexico City. The four winners will determine the winner of the Grand Slam at a final tournament in Bilbao in September.

Like in the previous three editions of M-Tel Masters, the rule for the draws introduced in Sofia will be valid. According to it the players do not have the right to agree a draw. This can be decided only by the chief arbiter of the tournament. In case of a draw at the top there will be a tie-break for determining the winner.

Special guest of the tournament is the legendary Boris Spassky. He will arrive on May 13th and will give commentary to the games of the last five rounds. On May 16 he will give a simultaneous exhibition against 16 Bulgarian journalists. Yesterday three-times winner of the M-Tel Masters Veselin Topalov played a blindfold game with Jason Juett from the USA. The 23-year-old mathematician had won that prize by winning the game Play like Topalov, organized on the website of the tournament in 2007.

The players had 30 minutes each and unlike his opponent, the Bulgarian GM couldn't see the board. The game ended in a draw and here's footage by Europe-Echecs:

According to the ChessVibes poll that's been running for a while, Aronian is the favorite for tournament victory:


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