Summer on Chess.FM
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, as Nat King Cole would say. But there's not much chance to sit back and relax with July set to be a mega month for coverage here on ICC, with so many elite events coming our way soon.
First up there's the World Team Chess Championship, running 17th-27th July in Nigbo, China. The ten-team lineup includes: China (host country), Russia (winner 2009), Ukraine, Israel, and Hungary (medalists from Olympiad), Azerbaijan (Europe qualifier), India (Asia qualifier), USA (America's qualifier), Egypt (African qualifier), and Armenia (nomination by the FIDE President).
Then we head to Switzerland for the44th Biel Chess Festival, 18th-29th July, where the main event is the Accentus Grandmaster Tournament with the star-studded six-player lineup being: Magnus Carlsen, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Alexei Shirov, Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Morozevich and Yannick Pelletier. And if those two didn't whet your appetite, then there's always the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Germany, running 21st-31st July, with the lineup for the double round robin being: Vladimir Kramnik, Hikaru Nakamura, Anish Giri, Ruslan Ponomariov, Le Quang Liem, and Georg Meier.
So, as you can see the summer is going to be a very busy one indeed for the Chess.FM team - but exactly what events to cover? Well, how about all of them! Our live coverage will start from Dortmund, co-hosted by GMs Joel Benjamin & Ronen Har-Zvi (Yasser Seirawan is out of retirement and once again playing for the US team in China!). GM Alex Yermolinsky will have a daily Game of the Day (and each day the New in Chess trivia) starting with the World Team Championship and, when Biel starts, he will have alternating days covering both events while we continue our live coverage of Dortmund.
During our Dortmund live coverage, we will also be occasionally following the progress at Biel - so ICC members will have all the bases covered from these three top elite events from our dedicated Chess.FM team. Now is the best time to join ICC by clicking here to catch all of the summer Chess.FM action!
Despite the initial fears after the Candidates' matches, it seems there are no shortage of those coming forward now to host the 2012 Vishy Anand vs. Boris Gelfand world title match, with two bidders already entering the fray this past week.
A Russian billionaire, Andrei Filatov, who made his fortune from transport infrastructure, has - with the backing of the Russian chess federation - reportedly made a $2m bid to hold the 12-game match in Moscow. Apparently he is a chess fan and in his youth studied at the Belarus Sports Academy, where he befriended challenger Gelfand, now an Israeli.
And FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov made a surprise visit to India on Wednesday, where he oversaw an official bid there coming from the Indian chess federation that would allow Anand to defend his crown in his hometown of Chennai, with sponsorship and bank guarantees coming from the Tamil Nadu government.
The bidding process for the World Championship is open up till 31st July, and the indication is that India - who are believed to have bid slightly more than the Russians - is the favored venue for the match, scheduled to be held April-May 2012.
It seems with every publication of the FIDE rating list there are numerous errors that sees players omitted and even their ratable games not being accurate. For the most part, these errors are normally so way off the radar that it is not noticeable when the list is published and then subsequently amended.
But spare a thought for Hikaru Nakamura who, on seeing the publication of the July list we published in the last newsletter, noticing he was below Ruslan Ponomariov in the top ten standings, and had to have been thinking to himself: "Didn't I just beat Pono in a ratable match in St. Louis...shouldn't I be above him?" Yes, the US #1 did indeed beat Ponomariov in St. Louis, as we all remembered watching the match live on ICC - but alas, FIDE "forgot" to add this match from two top ten players to all those others that had been rated!
FIDE have since corrected their mistake and have now revised the top ten - and a very noticeable revision it was too, as it now sees Nakamura moving from world #9 to #6, and Ponomariov slipping down from where he was at #7 to #10.
The (corrected) FIDE Top 10: 1. Magnus Carlsen, 2821 (+6); 2. Vishy Anand, 2817 (=); 3. Levon Aronian, 2805 (-3); 4. Sergey Karjakin, 2788 (+12); 5. Vladimir Kramnik, 2781 (-4); 6. Hikaru Nakamura, 2770 (-4); 7. Vassily Ivanchuk, 2768 (-8); 8. Veselin Topalov, 2768 (-8); 9. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, 2765 (-7); 10. Ruslan Ponomariov, 2764 (+10)
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