FIDE Grand Prix to be held in Paris church

8/29/2013 – It is the sixth and final Grand Prix of the current cycle, and a decider for tow participants in the next Candidates Tournament for the World Championship. Twelve player take part in a round robin tournament that goes from the 21st of September until the 5th of October 2013. Press Officer Alina l'Ami provides us with full details on the event and information on the Grand Prix structure.

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

While all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists

By WGM Alina l'Ami

Is there anything left untold, unheard, unrequited or unseen amidst the far-famed facts, the re-re-retold pages of history or the omnipresent clichés about the most known city on earth?! Until I find a clear answer to that: welcome to the city with an overwhelming personality, a city that you cannot replace with any other, a giant you cannot avoid nor ignore, the epicenter of fantasies and dreams, a place that exudes a perpetual seduction, always the same and always different – welcome to Paris!

In its two syllables, the French metropolis enclosed titles that any corner of the planet would be jealous for: an absolute cultural landmark, an inexhaustible source of inspiration, the quintessence of elegance and refinement, the capital of glorious food and stylish shopping, the place where you helplessly fall in love... Paris is always a good idea.

With its charming character, with that unique je ne sais quoi, Paris has enticed for centuries many of the world’s most influential artists, writers, thinkers and architects to call it home and become... 'Parisophiles'. Can we still then act surprised that one of the most important pages in our chess history has been written here, in Paris?!

Just a few iconic symbols of Paris

Back in 1924, on 20th July to be precise, the city was the silent witness to the birth of what has grown to be a very special part in all of us: FIDE. Interesting to note is the French term which hasn’t been changed in almost a century: Fédération Internationale des Échecs, the world chess federation for the English speakers. Its roots date back to the 18th and 19th century, most probably in Café de la Régence, the chess heart which at the time couldn’t beat elsewhere than in the French capital. After all, if artists have no other home in Europe, except Paris, I would take the liberty to speculate even further: the chess seeds couldn’t have found a more fertile ground than in the city on the Seine.

But the "FIDE" acronym is not the only preserved French expression. Another commonly used term amongst chess players originates in the very same grand city: Grand Prix! Although these words are mostly associated with Formula One racing or combat sports like K-1, chess is no less than a highly competitive activity; after all, chess players are out there to 'kill', right?

The fortunate "Grand Prix" title stands at the present day for some of the most important events a chess player can find: the world championship cycle! Just for the profane in us, I will make a small detour to explain what it is all about. The most followed and acclaimed competition is obviously the match for the supreme title:

World Championship. We all know this year the battle will take place in India, between Carlsen and Anand. But how did they get there? To cut a long story short, FIDE came up with an ingenious and viable plan, to give the strongest chess players a fair chance. So, to challenge the world champion, one has to make his way to the:

Candidates tournament, a double round robin event with eight players, whose winner will play either Carlsen or Anand for the world title. Who is then eligible to participate in this high class event? There are five ways to qualify:

  1. A spot is already taken by the victim of the match from Chennai;
  2. Another one is granted to a player from the hosting country of the Candidates event;
  3. Two players will qualify on rating: Aronian and Kramnik;
  4. Two players will be taken from the World Cup, thus first and second place from Tromsø;
  5. Two seats will be given to the best performances from the aforementioned Grand Prix competitions.

Now we’re getting somewhere. There are six GP tournaments, spread over 2012 and 2013, and the strongest chess players are given the chance to play in four of them. That’s why you have seen the grandmasters shuffling around London, Tashkent, Zug, Thessaloniki and Beijing, the cities, where the first five GP have been organized. In the end, two players will be considered the overall winners, qualifying for the Candidates tournament according to a clever system, of which you are probably aware of:

  • From these four events, the worst result of each player will be cut off, to minimize damages of an eventual accident.
  • For each place in the final standings, the player gets a certain number of points: 170 for being unshared first; 140 for finishing on the first spot but shared with someone else and so on.

To sum up: the first two players to have gained the highest number of points from their best three out of four events will promote to the Candidates tournament.

That having been said, we move on to the most significant detail on the list: the last but not least important in the series, the decisive sixth Grand Prix! There is no coincidence if you ask me, that this crucial event is back where everything started long time ago: Paris! I cannot imagine a more hopeful location than here, in the promised land for the artist in all of us, closing in a perfect circular shape what begins with the FIDE foundation and ends with this final GP…

As much as we would like to claim perfection (in the spheres’ footsteps), every system has its flaws, nothing is perfect. I am trying now to outrun the possible arguments some of you might come up with, against the viability and equality of chance amongst the participating players in the GP series. Until that point, let us first see what we should expect in Paris and which players might qualify for the Candidates:

Name
London
Tashkent
Zug/Swiz.
Thessaloniki
Beijing
Paris
Points
Topalov
140
170
45
100
 
410
Mamedyarov
140
80
20
170
 
390
Grischuk
90
85
140
 
230
Caruana
80
100
125
 
225
Since everything is about the two available spots and for the sake of simplicity, I wrote down only the players that actually have a chance to make it. For the full overview and current standings after 5th leg, I would kindly advise you to check the FIDE Grand Prix website.

As mentioned before, the chosen participants are allowed to play in four GP, so we can already see that Topalov and Mamedyarov have finished their series. If you check the right column, you can easily figure out that Topalov is already intangible with his 410 points (he is inevitably qualified), while Mamedyarov will surely watch the games from Paris with high interest. There is a risk that he drops from his comfortable second spot to accommodate another player, as both Grischuk and Caruana might cross his 390 points by a whisker!

There is only one condition to that: Grischuk or Caruana have to win unshared to gain the necessary 170 points. In the table I already eliminated their worst results, so if you add 170 to the numbers in red you will understand the looming danger for Mamedyarov.

The question is: will Grischuk or Caruana overtake Mamedyarov and join Topalov in the next Candidates?

So you may wonder: isn’t it better to play in the last Grand Prix, to have a clear overview, a clear target, giving everything you can to win the event or playing it safe to preserve what you already have? What about the other players, wouldn’t they lack motivation, since for them there is no more chance to qualify?

I haven’t heard yet of an one-sided coin; besides, perfection exists only on the mathematicians papers. In a real tournament like this one from Paris, the beauty lies precisely in its ‘shortcomings’. The very same 'advantage' of having a clearly marked goal can be seen as an extra weight pressuring Grischuk’s or Caruana’s shoulders. As for the so called de-motivated players, wouldn’t this be a chance to leave their inhibitions aside and play for the sake of chess and for... the prizes?!

I am afraid I don’t hold the key to these questions, only the upcoming Grand Prix from Paris will bring some light, satisfying our patience and thirst for grandeur. Consequently, any way you slice it, I would put my bet on a very interesting, exhilarating and definitely not boring event!

And to give you the last touch of color: elegant up to its bones, Paris amazes me with its enviable nonchalance while convincing you of its perfection right through its very imperfections! Why wouldn’t we then accept our weakness in the same sovereign way that Paris does?! Voltaire said it even better: “The perfect is the enemy of good”.

Tournament faith is a bit like real life; the rules are always fair, but chance and unforeseeable may cast us in different parts; it only depends on each of us to play our cards as well as we can.

Photos by Fred Lucas, Anastasiya Karlovich, Anirudh Koul, Márcio Cabral de Moura, Wikicommons

Participants and prizes

Three players of the twelve participants, Sergey Karjakin, Peter Svidler and Teimour Radjabov, stepped out of the tournament and are being replaced by Evgeny Tomashevsky, Etienne Bacrot and Laurent Fressinet. Therefore, the current and final starting list is:

  • Caruana, Fabiano: had a meteoric rise in the past year, winning several big tournaments with his versatile playing style; currently he is one of the two players from this tournament (next to Grischuk) with a chance to make it to the Candidates event if he will grab the first place unshared.

  • Grischuk, Alexander: in a shoulder to shoulder combat, Grischuk is the second contender for the final spot in the Candidates event, under the same clause as Caruana: to win unshared in Paris; as a versed player in the Candidates: Mexico (2007) and Kazan (2011) – the Russian time-trouble lover will be an interesting player to be watched.

  • Nakamura Hikaru: the American proves that he can (!), with his very ambitious and aggressive style.

  • Gelfand, Boris: has been around on top level chess for more than 25 years – a classical player with a phenomenal weaponry; he recently had a peak in his career when he qualified for the World Championship match against Anand, who only managed to defeat him by winning the tiebreak; the 8th Tal Memorial of this year was also won by Boris, so we shall see if experience will again prevail over the youth impetus.

  • Dominguez, Perez Leinier: coming from a country where chess is enormously popular, the country of Capablanca, the Cuban player proved his class by winning one of the previous GP editions, the strong Thessaloniki event; he has now the highest rating of his career, 2757.

  • Ponomariov Ruslan: former world champion and one of the youngest GM in the history, the Ukrainian amazes with his branded skills of getting water out of stone, in some of what other people would regard as the most deserted positions.

  • Wang Hao: the strongest Chinese player at the moment, Wang Hao has the fame of being able to upset the top class elite, as he showed to all of us this year in his beautiful wins against Carlsen in Norway and twice Anand (Norway + Wijk Aan Zee).

  • Giri, Anish: for the Dutch prodigy, the GP series is a wonderful launching platform on his way to the very top, because Anish aims for nothing less than his abilities.

  • Ivanchuk Vassily: alias “Chucky” is a rather unpredictable and very original player, who, if in his best shape, can literally beat anyone in the world!; needles to mention his provocative but multilateral playing style, with a proverbial memory and always in search of the truth.

  • Bacrot, Etienne: the former child prodigy remains one of the strongest French players and promises to satisfy the locals demands with an honorable spot in the final standings.

  • Fressinet, Laurent: in the past few years he established himself as a 2700+ player and recently won the Men's Rapid at SportAccord World Mind Games form Beijing;

  • Tomashevsky Evgeny: is in great shape, as we could see from his amazing fighting skills in the World Cup, where he eliminated Aronian, Morozevich and Kamsky! He only lost against Dmitry Andreikin; had he won, he would have been qualified for the Candidates already!

Overview

No.
Player
Nat.
Rating
w-rnk
1
Caruana, Fabiano
ITA
2796
3
2
Grischuk, Alexander
RUS
2785
4
3
Nakamura, Hikaru
USA
2772
9
4
Gelfand, Boris
ISR
2764
11
5
Dominguez, Leinier
CUB
2757
12
6
Ponomariov, Ruslan
UKR
2756
13
7
Wang, Hao
CHN
2747
14
8
Giri, Anish
NED
2737
20
9
Ivanchuk, Vassily
UKR
2731
22
10
Bacrot, Etienne
FRA
2714
31
11
Fressinet, Laurent
FRA
2708
37
12
Tomashevsky, Evgeny
RUS
2706
40
 
No.
Prize
GP Pts
1
25,000
120+50
2
22,500
110+30
3
20,000
100+10
4
17,500
90
5
15,000
80
6
13,000
70
7
12,000
60
8
11,000
50
9
10,000
40
10
9,000
30
11
8,000
20
12
7,000
10

The venue

The Paris Grand Prix will be held in a church, the Chapelle de la Villedieu, which is very close to the offices of the French Chess Federation.


View Larger Map

The Chapelle de la Villedieu (image above from Wiki) was founded in 1180 by soldier-monks of the Order of the Temple. It is the first milestone from Paris to Chartres on the pilgrimage route to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, northwestern Spain (where according to tradition the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried).

Believe us: this is the playing hall of the sixth FIDE Grand Prix in Paris

Links

The games will be broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.


Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register