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Saturday, August 6, 2011

Participants confirmed for Grand Slam Masters Chess Final 2011

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Here is the latest chess news update about the Grand Slam Masters Chess.

According to, all participants of the 2011 Grand Slam Masters Final were confirmed today by the organisers: Vishy Anand, Levon Aronian, Magnus Carlsen, Vassily Ivanchuk, Hikaru Nakamura and Francisco Vallejo Pons. Both Sergey Karjakin, who had qualified for the tournament, and Vladimir Kramnik, the winner last year, declined invitations. There are some interesting details you can read at the link about why Karjakin and Kramnik have to step out.

Again, the second half of the tournament will take place in Bilbao, Spain. Following the success of the 2010 edition, when the first phase was played in Shanghai, the public sponsors (the Municipality of Bilbao, the Basque Provincial Council and the Basque Government) and private sponsors (BBK, Euskaltel and Meliá Hotels) decided to go for Sao Paulo this year, due to the economic power of Brazil these days.

Tournament format
And so after two years with only four participants, the fourth edition will return to the most popular of top tournament formats: a double round robin with six players. As always, the Sofia rule and the “football score” will be applied.

The tournament will be decided in Bilbao, where, like the first two editions, the players will play their games in a glass cube. The cube will this time be placed in the Alhóndiga de Bilbao, which was the venue last year as well.
Cruise ship

The opening ceremony will take place on the deck of the MSC Opera cruise ship on September 20 at the Bilbao harbour. The ship will weigh anchor immediately for a Chess Theme Cruise.

MSC Cruises and the Bilbao Port Authority are two official partners of this fourth edition of the Grand Slam Masters Final. Together they will offer, through Basque travel agency Romotur, special conditions to those who wish to take part in the Chess Theme Cruise, which will follow the route Bilbao-Gibraltar-Tunisia-Dubrovnik-Venice from September 20-28.
From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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