Final Chess Masters 2010

Shanghai qualification stage starting on 3rd September

Final masters

The Final Chess Masters 2010 schedule and format has been announced by Iñaki Azkuna, mayor of Bilbao. The competition will consist of two parts. The first one will be a qualification tournament in Shanghai with the participation of Hao Wang, Alexey Shirov, Levon Aronian, and Vladimir Kramnik.

Two players from Shanghai will qualify for the final in Bilbao, where they will meet world’s top rated player Magnus Carlsen and the World Champion Vishy Anand.

Andoni Madariaga explained in a press conference, “This tournament can turn out to be the strongest in history, as there is the possibility to have 4 out of the top 5 players at the final.” Veselin Topalov is the missing player and has declined participation due to personal reasons.

The 2010 Final Masters will be played according to the Sofia rules (draws can be offered only through arbiters) and the Bilbao system (3 points for a win, 1 for draw, and 0 for loss).

Schedule of the event

Shanghai 03-08 September, 2010

Bilbao 09-15 October, 2010

Rounds 1 to 3 of the qualifying tournament will be played in the Shanghai International Expo, Spanish Pavilion. Rounds 4 to 6 will be played at Hotel Peninsula, Shanghai.


Spanish Pavilion at the Shanghai International Expo

The Spanish pavilion was designed by Barcelona studio Miralles Tagliabue (EMBT) and is one of the biggest pavilions at this year’s World EXPO. The space spanning 7,000 square meters is categorized under the theme called “Habitable Constructions.”

The Spanish cities Madrid, Bilbao, Santiago de Compostela, Zaragoza and Barcelona are featured in the pavilion.

Presentation and Anand’s simul

The presentation of the Final Masters was attended by the World Champion Viswanathan Anand. He played a simul against famous people from the region, such as the President of the Bizkaia Basketball Federation Jon X. Davalillo, the Euskatel team member Koldo Fernández de Larrea, the TV presenter Adela González, and the Euskadi chess champions Alejandro Franco and Isabel Menoyo.

A total of 24 boards were put for the simul and the record of Anand was 23,5/24. The only draw was against José Ramón Arrupe – a 80 years old chess player, who in the 1950s was 4 times champion of Spain. This is not the first time Arrupe draws against World Champions, he has done it twice against Anatoly Karpov and once against Ponomariov.

Bilbao playing venue

The venue of the second stage will be Alhóndiga Municipal de Bilbao. It is constructed in 1909 according to the project of Ricardo Bastida and is one of the emblematic buildings of the city. After passing through several stages the building was finally transformed into polivalent multicultural center which opened doors 18th of May, 2010.

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