Grand Slam Tournament announced

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
In a press release the Grand Slam Tournament has been announced. From 15 till 27 September 2008 in the Spanish town of Bilbao the first Grand Slam Tournament will be played, with a big prize fund of 400,000 euros. Participants will be the winners of Corus (Wijk aan Zee), Linares, Mtel (Sofia) and the new tournament Ciudad de Mexico, plus two wildcards.


The Grand Slam Chess Festival ?¢‚Ǩ?ìBilbao Final Masters Tournament 2008?¢‚Ǩ? will be held in Bilbao, capital city of Vizcaya. The dates and prizes of the tournament have already been confirmed, it will take place from the 15th of September to 27th of September 2008 and it will probably be among the world best tournaments in chess history. The total prize fund for the tournament is 400,000 euros, ?¢‚Äö¬¨ 150,000 for the first prize, being the highest prize in world chess tournaments, excluding the one from the Fide world chess championship.

The players who will take part in the Masters Final will be the winners of the following tournaments: Corus (Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands, January 11-27), Linares (Spain, February 15 - March 9), MTEL (Sofia, Bulgaria, May 6-18) and Ciudad de M?ɬ©xico (Mexico, June 21 - July 6). To these four winners will join two more players, who will earn a place by winning a world top tournament or by special invitation made by the organization.

The primary objective of the Grand Slam Tournaments is to dignify and modernize chess, all of this together with the task of turning elite chess into a magnificent sport spectacle. We are working with this aim in taking special care of the good image of chess and players (establishing rules to cut down or eliminate short draws); developing a strong collaboration with FIDE; improving relationships with the media; incorporating Information Society tools in terms of implement new ways to allow fans to follow and participate in the tournaments, whether it be by attending them or through internet portals, and finally, promoting initiatives that enhance the social and educational role of chess.

Bilbao, 9th August, 2007

At first I want to make it clear that I'm not against the Grand Slam idea. To professionalize chess even more is very important and of course we should encourage anything that looks only a bit like what is happening with a big sport like tennis. However, the news makes the situation in the chess world even more complicated. I've heard several, quite intelligent people mix up notions like Global Chess, Grand Slam, Grand Prix, World Cup and Wch. They just can't see the wood for all those new trees anymore. And it's a very ambitious last paragraph by those guys in Bilbao; hopefully it will all add to a healthier chess climate with normal sponsoring and media attention. And by the way: why those wildcards? Does this really fit into the Grand Slam principal?

For clarity, our earlier reports on the Grand Slam:

>> "Press conference Grand Slam Chess Association" (March 10, 2007 - with videos!) >> "Grand Slam Chess Association established" (January 24, 2007)
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