Mtel Masters 2008 field announced

The tournament will take place 7-18 May, 2008

Mtel Masters 2008: General page / Day 1 live / Day 2 live / Day 3 live

Report: Round 1

Photos: Juett – Topalov / Opening ceremony / Round 1

Official press release

(Sofia, January 9, 2008) Two Bulgarians will fight for the title in the international super chess tournament M-Tel Masters 2008, that starts on May 7 in Sofia. The fans of the ancient game will be able to watch live the 19th World Champion Veselin Topalov (ELO 2780), Ivan Cheparinov (ELO 2713), quarter-finalist at the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk 2007, Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan, ELO 2735), winner of the World Rapid Cup in Odessa 2008, Levon Aronian (Armenia, ELO 2739), winner of the World Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk 2005 and Olympic Champion from Turin 2006, Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine, ELO 2751), World Champion in blitz chess from Moscow 2007 and Olympic Champion from Calvia 2004, and Xiangzhi Bu (China, ELO 2691), winner of the World Cup in blind chess from Bilbao 2007.

M-Tel Masters is part of the Grand Slam circuit that starts on January 11 in Holland with the Corus tournament in Wijk aan Zee. The other competitions included are in Linares-Morelia and in Mexico City. The four winners will determine the winner of the Grand Slam at a final tournament in Bilbao in the end of the year.

„For the first time two Bulgarians will play in a tournament of a high category, each of the six participants has a chance of winning the competition, shared the director of M-Tel Masters Silvio Danailov – I hope chess fans will see attractive games. The average ELO of the participants is 2734, the competition is FIDE XX category”.

The tournament will be held from May 7 till May 18, 2008 and his patron for the fourth year in a row will be the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Georgi Parvanov. The six players will play their games in the Central Military Club in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.

The regulation of the tournament includes 2 rounds with a 5-hour time control. This way each of the participants will play two games against each of the rest with exchanged colors. In case of a draw at the top there will be a tie break for determining the winner. Like in the previous three editions of M-Tel Masters the rule for the draws introduced in Sofia will be valid. According to it the players do not have the right to agree a draw. This can be decided only by the chef arbiter of the tournament.

On May 6, a day before the official opening of the tournament the three times winner of M-Tel Masters Veselin Topalov will play a blindfold game with Jason Juett from USA. The 23-year-old mathematician won that prize by winning the game Play like Topalov, organized on the web site of the tournament in 2007.

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Venue changed

The games from the Mtel Masters have always been played at the Grand Hotel Sofia, a nice hotel right against the National Art Gallery. The 4th editon of the Mtel Masters changes the venue and the event will be in the Central Military Club. If you have been to the previous edition of Mtel Masters you surely will not get lost. The two buildings are about 300 meters aways from each other, both in the heart of Sofia and easily accessible from the Airport.

New model for Mtel Masters

Mtel Masters 2008 seems to be following a new model. The initial idea of the organizers has obviously been to collect all the winners of the Chess World Cup, something similar to the Chess Champions league. However, since Kamsky and Topalov are scheduled to play a match later this year, an urgent substitute for Kamsky was needed. So there comes Ivan Cheparinov, a recent entrant in top 20.

Following the logic of the Chess Champions League model, one may find a reason for changing the venue. Danailov expressed his desire to apply the “aquarium” soundproof case from Vitoria in Sofia this year. The “Sofia Hall” of Grand Hotel Sofia is not very suitable for such a change. The stage is deep, the ceiling is not high, and the visibility is good only from the central places. On the other hand the Military Club has halls tall up to 10 meters which will allow the installation of the aquarium.

Boris Spasski in Sofia

Among the invited players is Boris Spasski. He will be at the opening on May 7 and later will participate in a simul.

Stay tuned for more information!

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