Friday, August 31, 2007

World Championship 2007 and Cebu Asian GM

By Frank “Boy” Pestaña

READY for the two biggest events of the year? The World Championship will take place on Sept. 12 to 30 or 12 days from now in Mexico City and will feature eight of the top players in a double round robin format. Prize fund is US $1.3 million.

Here is a brief background of the participants and their latest tournament results. By the way this is a category 21
tournament, a rarity.

Viswanathan Anand is 38 years old from India and is presently rated numero uno with Elo 2792. He became World Junior champion in 1987 and was Fide 2000 champion in Tehran. He has dominated Wijk Aan Zee 5 times. This year, he captured Morelia-Linares and placed second in Melody Amber.

Vladimir Kramnik was born in Tuapse, Russia 32 years ago, and is the second highest rated player today with Elo 2769. In 2000, he overcame Garry Kasparov to become Classical World champion. He has collected Linares 3 times and this year garnered Melody Amber and Dortmund.

Alexander Morozevich, 30, was born in Moscow, Russia and is the 4th highest rated with Elo 2762. He has won both Biel and Melody Amber 3 times and was Russia champion in 2003. This year, he was 2nd in Morelia-Linares.

Peter Leko is from Hungary and will be 30 next week. His current rating is 2751. He tied with Kramnik for first in 2003 Linares and snared Wijk Aan Zee 2005. This year, he was world rapid champion at Odessa.

Levon Aronian is from Armenia and only 25. He is the envy among chess loverboys as the alleged boyfriend of Arianne Caoili, 20, a stunning Filipino-Australia-Dutch extraction, dubbed the Anna Kournikova of the chess world.

According to close observers “she is worth fighting for” referring to the scuffle between Aronian and GM Daniel Gomally over her at the Turin Olympiad in 2006! Levon`s Elo is 2750 and his credentials are impressive at his age. He was 2002 World Junior victor, 2005 Word Cup winner and first at 2006 Linares. He was supreme at Wijk Aan Zee this year.

Peter Svidler is the 3rd Russian finalist, 31 years old, and rated 2736. He is a four-time Russia champion. He collected Dortmund twice and tied for second at the 2005 World Championship in San Luis, Argentina with Anand. This year, he placed 4th in Melody Amber.

Boris Gelfand is, at 39, the oldest of the group and was originally from Belarus but transferred to Israel. His Elo stands at 2733. He was second at Linares in 1990 and won the Biel Interzonals in 1993. This year, he was second to Leko at the Odessa Rapid and 6th in Melody Amber.

Alexander Grischuk is the 4th Russian finalist and the youngest of the group at 23. He was a semi-finalist in the World Chess Championship at New Delhi 2000 and was second to Kasparov in the 2004 Russian Championship. This year, he placed 6th at the Tal Memorial. His Elo is 2726.

Anand, Morozevich and Svidler qualified due to their performance in the Fide World Championship 2005 in San Luis, Argentina and Kramnik by defeating Topalov in their Unification Match in Elista 2006. The other four players qualified in the Elista 2007Candidates Matches.

BIGGEST IN CEBU. 6th Asian Individual Chess Championship (Invitational) Cebu will host this city`s biggest tournament ever at the spanking Cebu International Convention Center from Sept. 18-30. This contest is a sparkling diamond that all Cebuano chess players should celebrate and patronize.

The competition is open to all Asian federations and the top 10 will qualify to the 2007 Fide World Cup. At stake is $40,000 in cash prizes.

More than 150 top players are expected although participation is limited to those with Elo 2300 and above.

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