The Kings’ Tournament in Romania will no longer take place from the 23rd June to the 4th July, meaning Magnus Carlsen and Teimour Radjabov won’t be rushing there after the Tal Memorial, and we won’t get to see a quick return to tournament chess for World Champion Viswanathan Anand. The reason appears to be a change in management for the sponsor, the largely state-owned natural gas producer Romgaz.
Problems with the tournament were first publicly hinted at yesterday by GM Ian Rogers during his live video commentary on the Tal Memorial. Confirmation has now been provided by the tournament’s press officer, GM Dorian Rogozenco, who told ChessVibes:
If the event isn’t run at a later date it will be a great loss to the chess world. The tournament had been held for five years in a row, and the last three events, won by Vassily Ivanchuk (2009), Magnus Carlsen (2010) and Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin (2011) had been major supertournaments. The tournament homepage made it clear that 2012 was, if anything, set to surpass them:
The (temporary?) collapse of the event sees the “Grand Slam Chess Association” reduced to ruins. The Pearl Spring tournament in Nanjing, Linares and the M-Tel Masters in Sofia had already disappeared, leaving only the Tata Steel Tournament in Wijk aan Zee as a potential member of the once proud organisation. The problems in Romania in fact seem to directly mirror the situation in Sofia, where new management at the M-Tel communications company simply decided to cease sponsoring chess.
Without the Kings’ Tournament the next supertournament is now set to be the Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund from the 13th to the 22nd July, featuring Vladimir Kramnik, Fabiano Caruana, Sergey Karjakin, Ruslan Ponomariov, Peter Leko, Mateusz Bartel (the Aeroflot 2012 winner) and the German team: Arkadij Naiditsch, Daniel Fridman, Georg Meier and Jan Gustafsson.
Another supertournament bites the dust?