The next Fide Grand Prix, to be held in 2008 and 2009, promises to be a serious affair. First of all because “players won’t be allowed to offer draws directly to their opponents” (Sofia rule will be applied), and, second, since time control won’t be Fide’s “beloved” 90 minutes etc., but “120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then each player will be allotted 15 minutes after the second time control and an increment of 30 seconds per move will be allowed from move 61 onwards”.
The GP will consist of six tourneys, to be played in April, August and December: “These months have been selected to ensure there is no conflict with any other major event”. Twenty-one top world players “will be selected to compete in these tournaments”: each of them “will have 14 players playing over a schedule of 17 days”.
“The bidding process for the final selection of cities will commence in the second part of November 2007 and be finalized by January 2008”. “One players may be nominated by each host city and must be rated not less than 2550 in the last rating list prior to the final nomination or selection of players. If the host city does not have a player rated at least 2550 then the highest rated player from the Federation of the host city will be invited to play, subject to his rating not being lower than 2500”.
I hope an Italian city will host a tourney in future editions, but I know that 212,000 euros for a chess event (the “recommended” prize money) are not easy to be found in our country... You can read full details and regulations of the Fide GP at http://fide.com/official/handbook/pdf/dd10.pdf.
A couple of interesting competitions are going to start in Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia) and Martina Franca (Italy). The first of them is the 2007 World Chess Cup: round 1 will be played on November 24, Ivanchuk, Mamedyarov, Radjabov and Aronian are the leading players (official site: http://www.ugra-chess.ru/eng/main.html). The latter is the 2007 Italian championship, the strongest ever, with three GMs playing: Fabiano Caruana, Michele Godena and Carlos Garcia Palermo. Caruana is the Elo favorite, but defending champion Godena is a tough opponent for anyone. Round 1 on November 23 (official site: http://www.federscacchi.it/cia2007).
And now here are some interesting positions and games from the World blitz championship: the final stage of the event is a double round tourney with 20 players, which ends tomorrow in Moscow (Anand, Kramnik, Ivanchuk, Leko, Morozevich, Mamedyarov and many other superGMs are among the participants).
Korotylev,A (2600) - Mamedyarov,S (2752), Moscow (r. 8) 21.11.2007
White had a promising position one move earlier, but he made a big mistake and now he is lost. Mamedyarov wins by playing a brilliant combination.
27... Ng4!! 28.d8Q
Obviously not 28.Qxg4 exf2+ 29.Rxf2 Re1+ and mate on next move.
28... exf2+ 29.Rxf2 Rh1+! 30.Kxh1 Rxe2 0–1
White resigned in view of 31.Rxf4 (31.Rxe2 Qf1#) 31... Re1+ 32.Rf1 Rxf1#
Kramnik,V (2785) - Anand,V (2801) [D13], Moscow (r. 11) 21.11.2007
1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.d4 Nc6 6.Bf4 a6 7.Rc1 Bf5 8.e3 Rc8 9.Be2 e6 10.0–0 Be7 11.Qb3 Na5? (11... Qd7) 12.Qa4+ Nc6 13.Bxa6! Ra8
If 13... bxa6 then 14.Ne5 Qb6 15.Ne2 and White is clearly better.
14.Bxb7 Rxa4 15.Bxc6+ Kf8 16.Nxa4 Ne4? (16... Qa5) 17.Bb7 Nd6??
After 17... g5 Black can fight some more moves.
18.Bxd6 Qxd6 19.Rc6 Qd7 20.Rc8+ Bd8 21.Ne5 1–0
Black is defenceless, so Vishy resigned.
Ivanchuk,V (2787) - Carlsen,M (2714), Moscow (r. 13) 21.11.2007
A nice and decisive blow.
37... Kxe8 38.cxb6 f4 39.b7 fxg3+ 40.Kg2 1–0
Black can't prevent White from promoting his "b" pawn. Note that Chuky leads at the half way stage with 13.5/19, half a point clear of the defending champion Alexander Grischuk.