Linares Set to Return in 2012!

Linares Set to Return in 2012!

   One of the most prestigious chess tournaments in history looks set to reopen its doors in 2012. The Linares Chess Tournament, which wasn't held last year for the first time since 1987 due to finances and economic issues, will return next year.

   This information came from a tweet by tournament organizer and Spanish chess journalist Leonxto Garcia and was given to WhyChess the other day. Below is the tweet:

"Good news from the Mayor of Linares: there'll be a tournament in March 2012, at the highest level, probably shared with another country. More information in September."

Here is a list of the past winners of this tournament (thanks to Wikipedia):

  • 1978: Jaan Eslon
  • 1979: Larry Christiansen
  • 1981: Anatoly Karpov and Larry Christiansen
  • 1983: Boris Spassky
  • 1985: Ljubomir Ljubojević and Robert Hübner
  • 1988: Jan Timman
  • 1989: Vassily Ivanchuk
  • 1990: Garry Kasparov
  • 1991: Vassily Ivanchuk
  • 1992: Garry Kasparov
  • 1993: Garry Kasparov
  • 1994: Anatoly Karpov (Category XVIII tournament)
  • 1995: Vassily Ivanchuk
  • 1997: Garry Kasparov
  • 1998: Viswanathan Anand
  • 1999: Garry Kasparov
  • 2000: Vladimir Kramnik and Garry Kasparov
  • 2001: Garry Kasparov
  • 2002: Garry Kasparov
  • 2003: Péter Lékó (Joint winner with Vladimir Kramnik; but had a better tiebreak score)
  • 2004: Vladimir Kramnik
  • 2005: Garry Kasparov (with the same score as Veselin Topalov; won on tiebreak because of more wins with black)
  • 2006: Levon Aronian
  • 2007: Viswanathan Anand
  • 2008: Viswanathan Anand
  • 2009: Alexander Grischuk (with the same score as Vassily Ivanchuk; won on tiebreak because of more wins)
  • 2010: Veselin Topalov
  • 2011: Not scheduled

   It's been called one of the strongest tournaments next to Wijk aan Zee/TATA Steel (Corus Chess) and the Dortmund tournament. An interesting fact is that the legendary Garry Kasparov retired in Linares after winning the tournament in 2005.

   Back in 1998, the format switched from a single round-robin tournament to a double round-robin.

   We shall see what the future holds for Linares and who next year's participants will be. This is a very good sign for the chess world that one of the best tournaments in history is coming back. Hopefully it will be as strong as it has been in the past.

   Stay tuned to Chess.com for more info about the re-emergence of this great tournament. The official website (in Spanish) can be found here.

   For a video about the Kasparov 2005 retirement, go here.

   Enjoy your day everyone!  Cool

   -Mark

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