M-Tel Masters starts today

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
The glass cube already watched by Bulgarian pedestriansThe third Grand Slam tournament of 2009 is about to start. The first round in Sofia will take off in exactly one hour from now, at 15:00 CET, with Carlsen-Topalov (!), Ivanchuk-Shirov and Wang Yue-Dominguez as its first-round pairings.

Update 17:14: the official website has the highly disappointing note "Due to technical issues the games of the 1st round will not be broadcasted." After the poor online coverage of the President's Cup in Azerbaijan, this seems to be becoming a trend. :-(

For the fifth time Sofia is hosting the international super chess tournament M-Tel Masters, from May 12th to May 23rd. As alway, it’s a six-player double round-robin with this year Carlsen, Dominguez, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Topalov and Wang Yue playing. M-Tel Masters is part of the international chain of chess tournaments Grand Slam that also includes Corus in Wijk an Zee, Linares and Nanjing. The winner in Sofia wins the right to take part in the Final Masters Grand Slam tournament that will take place in Bilbao, Spain later this year.

The time control is 90 minutes for 40 moves per player and 60 minutes per player till the end of the game. "Sofia rules" will again be used, so opponents cannot communicate during the games and cannot offer a draw. Proposals for a draw can be made only through the Chief Arbiter in three cases: threefold repetition, perpetual check and a theoretically draw position. When making the decisions the Chief Arbiter will be consulted by Zurab Azmaiparashvili, Vice President of FIDE.

Last year, when Vassily Ivanchuk went away with a devastating victory, M-Tel was the first tournament to introduce the glass cube as a playing location, set up inside of the Central Military Club in Sofia. A few months later the Grand Slam Masters Final in Bilbao did the same, but put the glass cube in the middle of the Plaza Nueva in the old city center. This year at M-Tel, the glass pavilion has been put on the square in front of the National Theatre Ivan Vazov.

Last night the pavilion was already in use as Veselin Topalov played his traditional blindfold game against the winner of last year's edition of the game Play like Topalov, the Greek chess fan Vassilis Kontos, who guessed 168 moves of the 10 games of the Bulgarian at the 2008 M-Tel Masters.

Kontos-Topalov

Kontos and Topalov shake hands in the glass cube...



Kontos-Topalov

...and as the first spectators gather...



Kontos-Topalov

...Topalov wins in nice, positional style



Game viewer

Click on the pairings at the top of the board to reveal a drop down list of all the games. Click on the arrow under the board just once, then the arrow keys of your keyboard also work.





Yesterday super model Carmen Kass performed the drawing of lots at the opening ceremony. Kass, world famous for her appearance in advertisements for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Gucci, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, Tommy Hilfiger, Chlo?©, Christian Dior, to name a few, is also a chess enthusiast. In fact the Tallinn-born is the current president of the Estonian Chess Federation and therefore it's actually strange that she hasn't done such a ceremony before!

Kontos-Topalov

Carmen Kass revealing Topalov's name at the drawing of lots



Kass with Danailov and Topalov

Kass chatting with Silvio Danailov and Veselin Topalov



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Links



Update 17:14: the official website has the highly disappointing note "Due to technical issues the games of the 1st round will not be broadcasted." After the poor online coverage of the President's Cup in Azerbaijan, this seems to be becoming a trend. :-(
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