Chess Grand Slam Final Line-up

Chess Grand Slam Final Line-up

| 19 | Chess Event Coverage

The venue, dates and line-up for this year's Grand Slam Final have been announced.

For the first time, the venue for the tournament will be split, with an initial stage in Shanghai from 3-8 September serving as a qualifier for the main event in Bilbao as usual, from 9-15 October.

The qualifying events for this final were Corus, Linares, Nanjing and Bazna (in place of the cancelled Mtel).  Veselin Topalov won in Linares, but declined his place in the final for "unavoidable personal reasons", and the other three events were all won by Magnus Carlsen!

All of which makes the final more of an invitation event...

There will be four players in the Shanghai event, Vladimir Kramnik, Alexei Shirov, Lev Aronian and Wang Hao.  Why those four? Why not? Cool The logic, such as it exists at all, seems to be that Wang Hao is the top Chinese player, Shirov is the top Spanish player, Aronian won last year's final, and Kramnik is...err...a really good player.

The top two finishers in Shanghai will go forward to Bilbao about a month later to take on world champion Vishy Anand and the current world #1 Magnus Carlsen.

The tournament will use the anti-draw "Sofia Rules", and the experimental "Bilbao" scoring system (3 points for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss).

Regardless of the idiosyncrasies of selecting the participants, both Shanghai and Bilbao should be great events to follow!

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