Botvinnik Memorial Rapid: the big, fast faceoff

by ChessBase
9/1/2011 – In another event dedicated to the memory of the Russian legend, Messrs Anand, Kramnik, Carlsen and Aronian will lock horns in rapid and blitz formats. Also featured is a formidable female section with Humpy, Kosintseva, Cmilyte and Danielian. And the rules have changed. Don’t be surprised if one of them suddenly deserts a heated tactical battle to plug into an iPod. Don't miss the fun!

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The year 2011 marks the 100th birth anniversary of former world champion Mikhail Botvinnik (17 August 1911 - 5 May 1995), which is being commemorated through several chess events in Russia. The recently concluded International Chess Festival in St. Petersburg will be followed by the Botvinnik Memorial rapid in Moscow on September 2-3.

The event will be staged at the Centre for Digital Technologies in the Russian capital and features extremely strong open and women’s sections. The participants are Anand, Kramnik, Carlsen and Aronian in the open, and Koneru Humpy, Tatiana Kosintseva, Elina Danielian and Viktorija Cmilyte in the women’s section.

 Men      Women  
 Carlsen, Magnus (NOR) (2823)
 Humpy, Koneru (IND) (2600)
 Anand, Viswanathan (IND) (2817)
 Kosintseva, Tatiana (RUS) (2536)
 Aronian, Levon (ARM) (2807)
 Cmilyte, Viktorija (LTU) (2528)
 Kramnik, Vladimir (RUS) (2791)
 Danielian, Elina (ARM) (2521)

Players will address a press conference before the opening ceremony on Friday, September 2 and world number one Magnus Carlsen will be awarded the Chess Oscar 2010 by the Russian Chess Federation.

The tournament format is a six-round double round robin with 25 minutes + 10 seconds per move for each player from the start of the game. The first three rounds will be played on September 2 and the remaining three on the next day.

But there is a curious twist: the clock will be paused in the middle and each player will offer his or her thoughts on the position while the other listens to music to tune out the commentary. This is the first time such an experiment is being conducted at this level. Quite a bold proposition from the organisers, and one that will certainly make the event more entertaining for spectators and challenging for the players!

Promotional video of the Russian Chess Federation for the Botvinnik Memorial (Russian, but great to watch)

Soon after this intriguing contest the players will join forces across sexes to test their wits in mixed blitz doubles. The pairing has been decided on a quasi-regional basis – Anand/Humpy (India), Kramnik/Kosintseva (Russia), Aronian/Danielian (Armenia) and Carlsen/Cmilyte (Norway and Lithuania) Doubles are a form of blitz where a pair of players faces another pair, and partners have to make alternate moves without consulting each other. The usual result is a great deal of telepathic effort, confusion and fun.

A grand conclusion in the form of an 80-board simultaneous display has been planned, where the eight star participants will take on ten talented youngsters each. Rapid games start at 15:00 hours by Moscow time on both days and will be broadcast live on the website of the Russian Chess Federation.

General sponsor – The Summa Group is involved in port logistics, engineering, construction, telecommunications and oil and gas sectors.

Event schedule

September 2
13.00-13.40 Press conference. Magnus Carlsen is awarded the Chess Oscar for 2010
13.40-14.10 Lunch for the participants and journalists
14.15-15.00 Opening ceremony
15.00-16.15 1st round
16.30-17.45 2nd round
18.00-19.15 3rd round
19.25-20.25 Analysis of the most interesting games
September 3
15.00-16.15 4th round
16.30-17.45 5th round
18.00-19.15 6th round
19.25-20.25 Analysis of the most interesting games
20.30-21.00 Blitz doubles tournament
September 4
13.00-13.30 Opening of a memorial plaque in TSDSH Botvinnik (Gogol Boulevard, 14)
15.00-17.00 simul for Gifted Children
18.30 Evening in memory of Mikhail Botvinnik in TSDSH (Gogol Boulevard, 14)


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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