The elite circus moves at an almost breathless speed these days, going from Bilbao to Nanjing in China for the Pearl Spring Masters running 20th-30th October, featuring a stellar field that includes Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand, Veselin Topalov, Vugar Gashimov, Wang Yue and Etienne Bacrot.
It was in Nanjing last year that Carlsen made his running for the #1 spot with a phenomenal winning streak, and now, after his recent slump, he has the chance to salvage his top spot after his recent rating drop with another repeat performance from last year - but I dare say Anand and Topalov will have something to say about it!
The pairings of the first round has already been announced on Monday's opening ceremony: Anand-Wang Yue, Carlsen-Bacrot and Topalov-Gashimov. Rounds 1-9 start at 2:30 PM local time (2:30 AM ICC / 11:30 PM Pacific daylight / 8:30 AM CET), and round 10 at 10 AM local time (10 PM ICC / 7 PM Pacific daylight / 4 AM CET)
Rest day: October 25th (after round 5).
Official site: http://www.chess-pearlspring.com/www/chess_pk/2009/en/
And despite it being played during the wee small hours here on ICC (2:30AM start!), for the first time ever, our dedicated site pros at Chess.FM have volunteered to be on the air and working the graveyard shift to bring you all the best in the live action (and GOTD highlights) from Nanjing! Mig and GM Ronen Har-Zvi will be sharing the hosting seat throughout, and they will be joined by GMs Joel Benjamin, Larry Christiansen, Alex Yermolinsky, Varuzhan Akobian, Jon Speelman and Aussie newbie David Smerdon!
Come join ICC now and catch all the live Chess.FM action by clicking here!