GMs longing for the Hilton in Mainz

PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
The first Chess960 online qualifiers, organized by the Internet Chess Club in conjunction with Chess Tigers (organizers of the popular annual Mainz Chess Classic in Germany), has been a stunning success. All of last week, qualifiers were held on the ICC (and on their new service of World Chess Live), where 959 unique players (1546 in total over 10 events) battled it out for the coveted spots in the 32-player KO final, to be staged 14-15 July on the ICC. Players such as Gata Kamsky, Krishnan Sasikiran, Ivan Sokolov, Kiril Georgiev and Mikheil Mchedlishvili are still in the race for that one round trip ticket to Mainz, including hotel room and breakfast at the Hilton Mainz.

Five players qualified from each of the 6 larger ICC events, 1 from the best cumulative score from all ICC events, and 1 from the 4 smaller WCL events. Of the 32 contesting the finals, 15 are GMs - five being FIDE top 100 players: Gata Kamsky (USA), Krishnan Sasikiran (India), Ivan Sokolov (Netherlands), Kiril Georgiev (Bulgaria) and Mikheil Mchedlishvili (Georgia) - and 11 IMs. The full list:

[TABLE=9]

Here's a game between Irina Sudakova (FIDE rated 2358) with White against Gata Kamsky with Black:



Yes, it's Chess960, also the qualifiers of course! One of the side-effects is that chess programs and game viewers might have problems with games in which people castle. That's why the next game, between IM Gawain Jones and GM Kirshnan Sasikiran, had to be given with two different boards. In between, both players castled.

(How did they do this, you might ask. Well, the basic rule in Chess960 is that the king is always positioned between the rooks, but for the rest both rooks and king can be anywhere. Castling always results in the same castling position as in regular chess. So with a rook on b1 and a king on c1, after 'castling' White's king is still on c1 and the rook went from b1 to d1.)



The final of the last 32 players on the ICC will take place on Saturday, July 14th, 14:00 EST, and the final of the last 8 players will take place on Sunday, July 15th, 14:00 EST. The overall winner will receive a round trip ticket, 600 Euro ($811) cash, hotel room and breakfast at the Hilton Mainz Hotel. More info here.
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