Linares starts in three days

PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
Linares 2009After only two weeks of relative silence since Wijk aan Zee, the chess fans will be treated with lots of new excitement in February. Besides the Kamsky-Topalov match there is, of course, also Linares - that grand old tournament holding the title "Wimbledon of chess". The first round of this year's second Grand Slam tournament is next Thursday.

The first edition of the tournament was in 1978. It was held since then without interruption in the odd-numbered years until 1987, the year that Linares hosted the Candidates Final match between Anatoly Karpov and Andrei Sokolov. Since 1988, the tournament was held every year (except 1996, when the city hosted the Women World Championship).

Starting in 2006, the tournament was played in two locations: the first seven rounds were held in Morelia (Mexico) and then the final rounds in Linares (Spain). From that moment the tournament changed its name to Intercontinental Chess Tournament Linares - Morelia.

However, this year the full tournament takes place in the Spanish town of Linares again: from February 18 till March 8 it's the 26th Torneo Internacional de Ajedrez Ciudad de Linares. It's the first tournament of Viswanathan Anand after he retained his world title in October last year, when he beat Vladimir Kramnik in a match for the world title. Carlsen, Radjabov, Aronian and Ivanchuk, but also Wang Yue and Dominguez, are part of the current "world elite" - they all played in Wijk aan Zee last month too. The most surprising name in the field is Alexander Grischuk. We haven't seen him in super tournaments for a while, but he did play in all three Grand Prix tournaments last year (4-5th place in Baku, 10th in Sochi and shared 1st in Elista).

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