Final FIDE Grand Prix in Astrakhan

Final FIDE Grand Prix in Astrakhan

| 14 | Chess Event Coverage

fide_logo_big.gifAgainst the odds, FIDE's Grand Prix series has survived and reaches it's final tournament starting tomorrow in Astrakhan, Russia.

The series had a troubled existence almost from the start, with the global credit crunch causing venue changes as sponsors dropped out.  However, FIDE's decision to change the rules for the current World Championship qualifying cycle while it was still on-going was an avoidable debacle.

The final event runs from 9-25 May, with Lev Aronian opting out since he has already sealed his place as the overall winner of the series.  The official website is here.

The current rules state are that the top two finishers in the Grand Prix go forward to the next stage of the qualifying cycle, so that leaves one more qualifying place up for grabs.

The entrants for the Astrakhan Grand Prix are:

Vladimir Akopian Armenia
Evgeny Alekseev Russia
Pavel Eljanov Ukraine
Vugar Gashimov Azerbaijan
Boris Gelfand Israel
Ernesto Inarkiev Russia
Vassily Ivanchuk Ukraine
Dmitry Jakovenko Russia
Peter Leko Hungary
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Azerbaijan
Ruslan Ponomariov Ukraine
Teimour Radjabov Azerbaijan
Peter Svidler Russia
Wang Yue China


The current standings are:

Player Baku  Sochi Elista Nalchik Jermuk Best 3
 Levon Aronian (ARM)  180 180 140 500
 Teimour Radjabov (AZE)  60 150 153

 Alexander Grischuk (RUS)  105 45 153 105
 Wang Yue (CHN)  153 120 80

 Vugar Gashimov (AZE)  153 65 110

 Peter Leko (HUN) 

80 140 100 320
 Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS) 
90 153
35 278
 Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR) 
20 180 265
 Boris Gelfand (ISR) 
85 140 255
 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE)  105
80 55
 Etienne Bacrot (FRA)  15
80 105 55 240
 Gata Kamsky (USA)  60 120
55 55 235
 Peter Svidler (RUS)  85 90
 Sergey Karjakin (UKR)  60 90
55 80 230
 Evgeny Alekseev (RUS) 
35 85 100
 Rustam Kasimdjanov (UZB) 
80 20 100
 Vladimir Akopian (ARM) 
15 140 35
 Ivan Cheparinov (BUL)  35 45 50
10 130
 Pavel Eljanov (UKR) 
35 20 70
 Ernesto Inarkiev (RUS)  15
20 50


With the best three results counting towards the final score, it looks like the second qualifier will be either Radjabov, Grischuk, Yue, Gashimov, Leko, Javovenko or Ivanchuk.  If scores are tied, then the tie-break is each player's fourth best tournament score. So there's still plenty to play for!

Gelfand has already qualified for the next qualifying stage by winning the World Cup last year, and Kamsky is automatically through as the runner-up in the last candidates series (losing to Topalov).  Magnus Carlsen withdrew from the Grand Prix but has managed to qualify anyway along with Vladimir Kramnik by having the highest ratings (and not being otherwise qualified).

So, just to make it crystal clear Wink the candidates for the next World Championship cycle will be:

  • The loser of the Anand v Topalov match (we'll find out soon!)
  • The runner up in the 2009 qualifiers (Gata Kamsky)
  • The winner of the 2009 World Cup (Boris Gelfand)
  • The winner (Lev Aronian) and runner-up (tbd) of the Grand Prix Series
  • The two other highest rated players (Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik)
  • A wildcard chosen by the organisers (tbd, must be above 2700 Elo)
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