A presentation ceremony for the 5th Grand Slam final has taken place in the famous chess room of the Sociedad Bilbaina in Bilbao. The two main sponsors were present, while at almost the same time on the other side of the globe in Brazil’s Sao Paulo the public got to see the six players of the strongest tournament this year…
The Azerbaijan grandmaster Mamedyarov crushed Giri in 20 moves with the white pieces – and after the 3rd round he’s joined the group of leaders of the first stage of the FIDE Men’s Grand Prix. He’s on 2/3, as are Gelfand and Leko. The other five games ended in draws.
The race between Humpy Koneru and Anna Muzychuk for victory in the final stage of the Women’s Grand Prix in Ankara continues. In the 7th round the Indian player won her fifth game in the tournament – against Ju Wenjun – and moved half a point clear. Muzychuk was unable to keep pace as she drew with the black pieces against Zhao Xue.
The second round in London was pleasing, but more in comparison to the first. The Grand Prix is still falling shorts of the “best models”: the players are also falling short, lacking vitality and a burning desire. Why was the second day better than the first? It’s simply that someone got the right colour and someone displayed greater persistence than was expected of him…
Who would have thought that after two rounds of the London stage of the Grand Prix first place would be shared between two World Championship runners-up – Boris Gelfand and Peter Leko? They beat Nakamura and Ivanchuk respectively. The ratings favourites are yet to declare their intent to compete for victory in London, with the “old guard” in the lead.
Andrew Paulson, the head of “Agon” and the holder of the commercial rights to the World Championship cycle, thinks that the Russian Chess Federation cost his company $600,000 by putting obstacles in the way of holding the 1st stage of the Grand Prix in Chelyabinsk.
All six games of the 6th round of the final Women’s Grand Prix stage in Ankara were decisive. The triumvirate of leaders turned into a duo after Anna Muzychuk beat Yildiz Betul and Humpy Koneru overcame Ruan Lufei with Black – they now have a full point lead over the chasing pack.
The new Grand Prix series was lauded as a tournament with a new status, one that was going to do no less than transform the chess world. Of course it’s still too early to draw any conclusions, but the first round in London was a disappointment… In chess terms nothing extraordinary happened, the players didn’t play out of their skin and for now this Grand Prix looks like being no better or worse than the other less hyped events.