In Sochi!

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Tonight, in about one hour to be exact, the opening ceremony of the 2nd Grand Prix tournament in Sochi, Russia will take place. Get ready for thirteen rounds of top level chess, with Ivanchuk, Radjabov, Svidler, Aronian, Grischuk, Karjakin, Kamsky, Gelfand, Gashimov, Jakovenko, Wang Yue, Cheparinov, Navara and Al Modiahki playing.

I have arrived in Sochi a few hours ago, and I'm writing this from the Radisson SAS Lazurnay Hotel, where the event is held. This is because I will be in charge of the official tournament website again, just like I was during the first Grand Prix Tournament, which was held in Baku April 20 - May 6, and won by Gashimov, Wang Yue and Carlsen.

This is also the reason why there is a slight delay in the coverage of all those great events that are taking place, like Biel and Mainz, because today I travelled from Amsterdam to Sochi. That was quite an experience actually, with that stupid ancle of mine!

But everything went fine, with a stop at Vienna where the friendly chaps Aronian and Cheparinov joined the gentlemen Geurt Gijssen and Genna Sosonko, and cripled yours truly.

So here I am in Sochi, where both the weather and the view of the Black Sea are beautiful. From here I'll cover the event for the official website, but also for ChessVibes of course, and soon more reports on the other events will follow as well. (What to think of the important game Dominguez-Carlsen, a sharp Dragon that's being played at this very moment in Biel? More about that later of course.)

So before we know it, the time has come for already the second tournament in the FIDE Grand Prix Series. The tournament will run July 30 - August 15, with thirteen rounds and two rest days - the standard schedule for all six tournaments. First round tomorrow.

Of the three previous winners Gashimov, Wang Yue and Carlsen, only the Norwegian doesn't compete in Sochi. The big favourite here is Ivanchuk, whose new rating is no less than 37 points higher than second seeded Radjabov, who also played in Baku.

The other players who already participated in the first GP, are Svidler, Grischuk, Karjakin, Kamsky, Cheparinov and Navara. For Aronian, Gelfand, Jakovenko and Al Modiahki, Sochi 2008 will be their first Grand Prix tournament. The Russian resort city Sochi (population 400,000) is situated in Krasnodar Krai, just north of the southern Russian border. It sprawls along the shores of the Black Sea against the background of the snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus Mountains. The city has been selected to host the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014.

Expect lots of good stuff, including videos by the Europe-Echecs crew.
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