Next Grand Prix in Nalchik

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Nalchik GP 2009The 4th FIDE Grand Prix will take place April 14th to 30th in Nalchik, Russia - the same location where the 2008 Women World Championship was held. This was announced earlier this week in Sofia by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov.

After Baku, Sochi and Elista, where the first three Grand Prix tournaments were held, the participants still won't be leaving the Caucasus region. The fourth edition will be held in Nalchik, Russia as was announced by Ilyumzhinov at the opening press conference of the Kamsky-Topalov match in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Nalchik was a controversial location back in August 2008, when all Georgian participants withdrew from the Women World Championship because of the Georgian-Russian conflict. After a succesful World Championship, the organizers stated that they were planning to do more chess events.

To our knowledge, Svidler, Mamedyarov, Leko, Ivanchuk, Aronian, Gelfand, Radjabov, Karjakin, Kamsky, Grischuk and Bacrot are scheduled to play the 4th Grand Prix. Carlsen, Pelletier and Al-Modiahki are out, so presumably three of the four substitute players (Akopian, Alekseev, Eljanov and Kasimdzhanov) will be there as well.

In Sofia FIDE President Ilyumzhinov also made clear that "no changes will be made in the current World Championship cycle", but it's not exactly clear what that means. It's highly unlikely that FIDE will go back to the original agreement that says that the winner of the 2008-2009 Grand Prix will play the winner of the 2010 World Cup for a match against the World Champion in 2011, since the UEP bid to organize the proposed Candidates Tournament seems pretty serious. In a reaction, a FIDE representative could not provide more details. "Regarding new changes I can tell you that March 5-8, there will be a Presidential Board meeting where all this questions are included in the agenda."
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