Kramnik-Aronian match announced, to be held in Zurich

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The friendly match between Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian will be held from 21 to 28 April in Zurich, Switzerland and will consist of six games played at classical time control. A first press release was distributed today by the Zurich Chess Club, which organizes the event.

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During the 11th round of the Tata Steel tournament, on January 27th in Wijk aan Zee, Vladimir Kramnik suddenly entered the press room. As it turned out, the ex-World Champion was to sign a contract later that evening together with Levon Aronian and a sponsor, for a 6-game match (classical games!) in the last week of April. More details would be announced soon, and today we received a first press release.

PRESS RELEASE

Zurich Chess Challenge: Kramnik vs. Aronian

The Zurich Chess Club announces a six-game chess match between Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) and Levon Aronian (Armenia) from 21 to 28 April 2012. The numbers 2 and 3 of the World ranking will meet in the time-honored Hotel Savoy Baur en Ville at Paradeplatz, the venue of many a famous chess event in the past. Kramnik and Aronian are the winners of the two most prestigious tournaments of the last months. While the 36-year-old Kramnik has gained a convincing victory at the London Chess Classic in December, the 29-year-old Aronian has just won the famous tournament in Wijk aan Zee with an outstanding score.

Both players belong to the hottest candidates in the World championship qualifier later this year. The Zurich Chess Challenge will be the first encounter in the history of chess between two players with a rating above the magical 2800 limit and it is the first ever friendly match at the top level. It is sponsored by Oleg Skvortsov, IGC International Gemological Laboratories and Aspeco N.V., Antwerp.

About IGC International Gemological Laboratories
IGC International Gemological Laboratories is a Russian institute providing gemological services, such as diamond grading reports, enhanced diamonds identification, man-made/synthetic diamonds and imitation detection as well as certification of diamonds, gemstones and jewelry in the Russian Federation. IGC is the Russian branch of GCI - a group of gemological laboratories located wordwide.

About Aspeco N.V.
Aspeco N.V. is a part of the K. Girdharlal Group of companies who are one of the world's leading diamantaires with sales offices around the globe. In Antwerp, Aspeco N.V. is active in selling a large assortment of polished diamonds originating from the group manufacturing. Aspeco N.V. is also procuring rough diamonds from various renowned sources both for trading and for manufacturing purposes.

About the Zurich Chess Club
The Zurich Chess Club is the oldest chess society in the World. In its long history it has staged numerous world class events, regularly attracting the elite of the day. Two years ago it celebrated its 200-year jubilee with a spectacular chess show involving all living World champions. It has not been idle since then as witnessed by the recent simultaneous displays by Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen.

We can add the following details about the match, which were kindly provided by Vladimir Kramnik to us:

  • The time control of the six classical games will be 2 hours for 40 moves, then 1 hour for 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game, with an increment of 30 seconds from move 61.
  • If a game lasts less than three hours, the players will play a rapid game with reversed colours (with 25 minutes plus 10 seconds increment on the clock).

This last feature was in fact a suggestion by Kramnik himself. It will be nice for the spectators, but also for the players because the whole idea of the match is that Aronian and Kramnik will get some more practice in a period when there are few tournaments.

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