Carlsen, Dominguez, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Topalov, Wang Yue in 5th Mtel Masters

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
View of SofiaAlexei Shirov, Veselin Topalov, Magnus Carlsen, Vassily Ivanchuk, Wang Yue and Leinier Dominguez will play the MTel Masters in Sofia this year. The 5th edition takes place May 12-23 in Sofia, Bulgaria. And yes, in a glass pavilion, on the square in front of the national theatre.


For the fifth time Sofia will be hosting the international super chess tournament M-Tel Masters. The competition will take place from May 12 till May 23. The games between the six Grandmasters will be played in a glass pavilion on the square in front of the National Theatre Ivan Vazov

General sponsor of the tournament is Bulgaria’s biggest mobile operator M-Tel.

In this year’s edition of the tournament will take part the 19th Wiorld Champion and leader in the FIDE World Ranking Veselin Topalov, the best young chess player of the last years Magnus Carlsen (? 3 in the world) from Norway, the 2007 blitz World Champion and winner in last year’s edition of M-Tel Masters Vassily Ivanchuk from Ukraine, the best chess player of Asia Yue Wang from China, Latin America’s strongest player Leinier Dominguez and ? 1 of Spain Alexey Shirov, finalist from the World Cup 2007 in Khanty-Mansiysk.

The average ELO of the six Grandmasters is 2753, which makes the Sofia tournament FIDE XXI category. Only 5 tournaments in the history of chess have been of the same category.

The draw for the competition will be made immediately after the official press conference that starts at 12.00 local time in Sofia Hall of the Grand Hotel Sofia.

The square in front of the National Theatre Ivan Vazov where the glass pavilion in which the games will be played is to be installed.

M-Tel Masters is part of the international chain of chess tournaments Grand Slam that includes three of the world’s strongest tournaments: Corus in Wijk an Zee (Holland), Linares (Spain) and Nanjing (China). The winner in Sofia wins the right to take part in the Final Masters Grand Slam tournament that will take place in Bilbao, Spain in the end of the year.

The patron of the tournament will traditionally be the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Georgi Parvanov.

The President of the Republic of Bulgaria Georgi Parvanov at the opening of M-Tel Masters 2008

The regulations

The time control of a single game is 90 minutes for 40 moves per player and 60 minutes per player till the end of the game. The maximum period for a single game is 5 hours. Each player will play two games against each of the five Grandmasters with exchanged colors. This year again the rules known in the world of chess as “the Sofia rules” will be valid. The opponents cannot communicate during the games and cannot offer a draw. Proposals for a draw can be made only through the Chief Arbiter in three cases: triple repetition, eternal chess and theoretical draw position. When making the decisions the Chief Arbiter will be consulted by Zurab Azmaiparashvili, Vice President of FIDE.

Around the glass pavilion

* On May 12 at 19.00 local time the demonstrative game between Veselin Topalov and Vasilis Kontos will be played. The Greek chess fan won the game Play like Topalov that is organized on the web site of M-Tel masters * On May 17 will take place the final tournament of the children’s chess chain M-Tel Masters Junior * On May 18, the rest day of the tournament on Georgi Asparuhov stadium will be played the traditional football game between the teams of Chess United (Topalov, Wang, Shirov, Carlsen, Ivanchuk, Dominguez) and PFC Levski.
Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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