Saturday, May 7, 2011

Candidates matches

THE Fide candidates matches started yesterday, May 5, in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan. Eight players will fight for the chance to be the next challenger for Vishy Anand’s world title. We will know the challenger on May 25, when the candidates matches finish.

Rustam Minnikhanov, president of the Republic of Tatarstan, assured that the Matches will be organized on the highest level and thanked the Fide leadership for their choice of Kazan as the venue.

The competition consists of a series of short knockout matches, with the quarterfinals and semifinals played over four games, and the final over six games.

The time control will be 40 moves in two hours, followed by 20 moves in an hour, and then 15 minutes plus a 30-second increment for the remainder of the game.

If matches finish all-square, there will be tie-breaks of four games at a rate of 25 minutes plus 10-second increment. If scores are still level, there will be pairs of blitz games at a rate of 5 minutes plus three-second increment. If the scores are still level after 5 pairs of blitz games, then there will be a sudden-death game (5 minutes vs. 4 minutes, with a three-second increment after move 60).

The pairings are: Veselin Topalov (2775) vs. Gata Kamsky (2732); Vladimir Kramnik (2785) vs. Teimour Radjabov (2744); Levon Aronian (2808) vs. Alexander Grischuk (2747) and Boris Gelfand (2733) vs. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2772).

The players were chosen based on the following criteria: Topalov (lost to Anand in the last World Championship match); Kamsky (runner up to Topalov in the last qualifying cycle); Gelfand (winner of the 2009 World Cup); Aronian (winner of the Grand Prix Series); Radjabov (runner-up of the Grand Prix Series); Grischuk (third in the Grand Prix Series); Kramnik (next highest rated not otherwise qualified); Mamedyarov (wildcard)

Magnus Carlsen had qualified by virtue of his high rating, but sensationally declined to take part and was replaced by Grischuk. Mamedyarov was the wildcard choice of the original hosts Azerbaijan, and he still keeps his place despite the controversial change in venue.

Quarterfinal losers get €30,000, semifinal losers get €60,000 and finalists get €90,000 each.

A poll on currently puts Aronian as favourite (38 percent), followed by Kramnik (25) and Topalov (20). Will there be a shock winner?

DAVAO AGE GROUP. Here is the report of our Kiddie journalist KC Morala who was one of the participants: After mind-boggling yet exhausting battle among their respective categories, young Cebuano chess enthusiasts Vladimir Robillos and Jeremy Pepito finished as second placers in the Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-2011 National Age-Group Chess Championships held in Gaisano Mall from April 25 to 28.

Robillos bagged the second place in the Boys 8-under Category after four victories and a loss, while Pepito seized second place in the Boys 10-under Category with four wins and one setback. Both boys will be sent to Tarakan, Indonesia to represent the Philippines in the ASean Age-Group Chess Championship.

Six other players also finished in the top 10: Chris Aldritz Pondoyo (fourth, Boys 10-under), Vic Glysen Derotas (fourth, Girls 10-under), Laila Camel Nadera (third, Girls 12-under), USJ-R’s Felix Shaun Balbona (sixth, Boys 14-under), KeithClaire Calisle Morala (fifth, Girls 14-under) and Jessa Balbona (third, girls 20-under).


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 06, 2011.

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