Topalov and Ponomariov leading in Basque country

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
As mentioned before, Topalov had to leave the European Team Ch already after round four, because he had other obligations. Pretty good obligations, by the way. He headed off to play a new, and in several ways special tournament in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Basque Country, Spain) where he meets Anatoly Karpov, Judit Polgar, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu and Ruslan Ponomariov. A nice little group of players that make a logical name for this tournament "Champions League".

Yes, it's a special tournament. To start with, the original setup was to have six players who, at some point in their career, were holding the world champion's title. (Instead of Nisipeanu, originally Alexander Khalifman was on the list, but shortly before the tournament started he was hospitalized. Let's hope for the best for El Khalif.) Secondly, besides its sport side, this tournament has the special humanitarian objective of collecting funds for the hospital of Mbuyi-Mayi (Democratic Republic of Congo). And thirdly, the players play in a huge, sound-proof cage of glass, giving the audience the opportunity to come closeby to watch, to have a drink and a chat without disturbing the grandmasters. Not to mention the fact that the tournament is part of a big festival with concerts, films, fashion shows, exhibitions and auctions in which some of the best Spanish sportsmen (such as Nadal and Indurain) will donate some items to be sold. All funds are used for the hospital in Congo.

It's all being held in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Basque Country, Spain).

The time control is 120 minutes for all the moves, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from the first move. If two players tie for first, they'll play a blitz match (4 minutes plus 3 seconds increment) immediately after the last round finishes.

After three rounds, Topalov and Ponomariov are leading the tournament with 2,5 out of 3. Standings:

The games so far:

(* Because of Khalifman's last-minute cancellartion, Kasimdzhanov-Nisipeanu couldn't be played on the first day and was delayed until the first rest day, which was today. At the moment of writing the games was not available yet.)
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