Doha Grand Prix Cancelled

Doha Grand Prix Cancelled

SonofPearl
SonofPearl
Nov 28, 2008, 12:32 PM |
6 | Chess Event Coverage

The current Grand Prix series of chess tournaments has been thrown into confusion by the last minute cancellation by FIDE of the next event which was due to be held in Doha, Qatar from 13-29th December.

Instead of Qatar, the event has now been switched to Elista - the regular backup venue favoured by Kirsan Illyumzhinov (pictured).  For the uninitiated, Elista is the capital of Kalmykia - the federal Russian state of which the billionaire Kirsan is the president.

The reasons behind the abrupt change are not yet clear, but it throws the whole series of Grand Prix events into some doubt.  The players that were due to fly to Doha will have to change their travel plans at short notice, and it seems likely that the nominated player from Qatar, Mohamad Al Modiakhi, will now have to drop out.

This development, combined with the new WCC cycle proposals, which effectively dilute the importance of the current Grand Prix series, could potentially lead to more players questioning their continued participation.

Hopefully the rest of the Grand Prix events will go ahead as planned, and the series will continue to provide top quality chess.

The first Grand Prix in Baku was jointly won by Magnus Carlsen, Vugar Gashimov and Wang Yue.  The second, in Sochi, was won by Lev Aronian.

The current standings among players who have competed in both of the two tournaments already held are:

Wang Yue 15.5
Vugar Gashimov 14.5
Teimour Radjabov 14.0
Alexander Grischuk 13.5
Peter Svidler 13.5
Gata Kamsky 13.5
Ivan Cheparinov 11.5
David Navara  9.5
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