First FIDE Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan

4/19/2008 – The first of a series of FIDE Grand Prix tournaments begins on Sunday, with 14 players, including Magnus Carlsen, Shak Mamedyarov, Teimour Radjabov, Peter Svidler, Sergey Karjakin, Michael Adams, Gata Kamsky and Alexander Grischuk. The winner of the series at the end of 2009 will play the winner of the World Cup for the right to challenge the world champion. Full details.

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First FIDE Grand Prix in Baku

The first FIDE Grand Prix tournament will take place in Baku, Azerbaijan and is dedicated to the 85th birthday of former Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev, the father of the current President, Ilham Aliyev. The tournament will be held from April 20th to May 6th, 2008. There are thirteen rounds and two rest days.

The Grand Prix is a series of six tournaments to be held over two years (2008-2009) in leading world cities. 21 top world players are selected to compete in these tournaments. Each player agrees and will contract to participate in exactly four of these tournaments. Each tournament has 14 players playing over a schedule of seventeen days. The months allocated for the organisation of the Grand Prix tournaments are April, August and December of each respective year. These months have been selected to ensure there is no conflict with any other major event.

The winner of the Grand Prix series at the end of 2009 will play the winner of the World Cup held in 2009 in an eight game match to become the challenger to the World Champion in a match to be held in the third quarter of 2010.

Participants of the first FIDE Grand Prix in Baku 2008

 # Player Nat. Rating
 1 Magnus Carlsen NOR 2765
 2 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov AZE 2752
 3 Teimour Radjabov AZE 2751
 4 Peter Svidler RUS 2746
 5 Sergey Karjakin UKR 2732
 6 Michael Adams ENG 2729
 7 Gata Kamsky USA 2726
 8 Alexander Grischuk RUS 2716
 9 Etienne Bacrot FRA 2705
10 Ivan Cheparinov BUL 2696
11 Wang Yue CHN 2689
12 Ernesto Inarkiev RUS 2684
13 Vugar Gashimov AZE 2679
14 David Navara CZE 2672

Schedule

Sun 20 April Arrivals + Opening ceremony
Mon 21 April Round 1
Tues 22 April Round 2
Wed 23 April Round 3
Thurs 24 April Round 4
Fri 25 April Round 5
Sat 26 April Free day
Sun 27 April Round 6
Mon 28 April Round 7
Tues 29 April Round 8
Wed 30 April Round 9
Thurs 01 May Free day
Fri 02 May Round 10
Sat 03 May Round 11
Sun 04 May Round 12
Mon 05 May Round 13 + Closing ceremony
Tues 06 May Departure

Prizes and Grand Prix points

 1st € 30,000 140 points + 40 bonus
 2nd € 22,500 130 points + 20
 3rd € 20,000 120 points + 10
 4th € 15,000 110 points
 5th € 12,500 100 points
 6th € 11,000 90 points
 7th € 10,000 80 points
 8th € 8,500 70 points
 9th € 7,500 60 points
10th € 6,000 50 points
11th € 5,500 40 points
12th € 5,000 30 points
13th € 4,500 20 points
14th € 4,000 10 points

Special Rules

Time control: 120 minutes for the first forty moves, 60 minutes for the next twenty 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.

Draws: Players will not be allowed to offer draws directly to their opponents. Any draw claim will be permitted only through the Chief Arbiter in the following cases:

  • a triple-repetition of the position,
  • a perpetual check,
  • in theoretically drawn position and
  • Applying the 50 move rule

The Chief Arbiter may consult with the Technical Adviser before accepting any claim by players for a draw. The Technical Adviser must be a Grandmaster, rated at least 2500, who has held the title of Grandmaster for at least ten years and is an active player as defined by the rating system. The Chief Arbiter is the only authority who can acknowledge the final result of the game in these cases.

Media: The players are expected to cooperate reasonably with the media. They are required to make themselves available for short interviews immediately after each game. In general, both players shall be available for the daily press conference.

Appearance: Players are required to be present at all official functions approved by FIDE President or his representative during the Tournament including official receptions and the opening and closing ceremonies. Players are specifically requested to note the requirements of FIDE Regulations C.01 (Article 8.1) in respect of their dignified appearance at all times during the event.

Baku, Azerbaijan

Baku, also known as Baki in Azerbaijani, derives its name from the old Persian Bād-kube "باد کوبہ", meaning "Wind-pounded city". It has a population of two million and is the capital, the largest city, and the largest port of Azerbaijan. Baku is bidding for the 2016 Summer Olympic games.


Dusk view of the city of Baku and the Caspian Sea

Baku, we remind you, is the birthplace of one Garry Kasparov (born April 13, 1963). Two other world class grandmasters hail from Baku or Azerbaijan: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, who was born April 12, 1985 in Sumgayit; and Teimour Radjabov, born March 12, 1987 in Baku.

Addendum: our colleague GM Mikhail Golubev drew attention to the fact that the Armenian GM and 1999 FIDE World Championship finalist Vladimir Akopian was also born in Baku, on December 7, 1971.

Oh dear: we now learn, from Grant Akopian from Buenos Aires, Argentina, that Israeli GM Emil Sutovsky was also born in Baku (on September 19, 1977). Perhaps we should keep track of all top players who were not born in Baku?!

Next FIDE Grand Prix Tournaments

30th July – 15th August 2008 Soci Russia
13th – 29th December 2008 Doha Qatar
14th – 30th April 2009 Montreux Switzerland
8th – 24th Aug 2009 Elista Russia
7th – 23rd December 2009 Karlovy Vary Czech Republic

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