Anand, Topalov, Arjun and Santos to face off in León

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
6/26/2024 – The 37th edition of the “Magistral Ciudad de León” will take place on June 28-30 at the city’s Auditorium. Jaime Satnos will attempt to defend his title against two living legends and a rising star: Vishy Anand, Veselin Topalov and Arjun Erigaisi. In 2023, Santos became the second Spaniard to win the event after beating Boris Gelfand in the final.

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Three past champions and an in-form Arjun

The Ciudad de León Masters tournament, a traditional event in the yearly international circuit, celebrates its thirty-seventh edition in 2024. A 4-player knockout with a rapid time control will once again be the event’s format.

Four strong grandmasters will participate in the knockout. Fan favourite Vishy Anand will attempt to win the tournament for a tenth time — the Indian legend won the event for the first time in 1997 and grabbed the title for the last time in 2016. His long-time colleague Veselin Topalov will also make it to León, where he won the event back in 1996. Joining the veterans will be Jaime Santos, who last year became the second Spaniard to win the tournament, and Arjun Erigaisi, currently ranked 4th in the live ratings list.

Three matches will take place, one per day, from Friday to Sunday. The semifinals will be played on Friday and Saturday, and the two winners will face each other on Sunday.

Each match will consist of four rapid games (20 minutes for the game plus 10-second increments from move one). In case of a draw, two blitz games will follow (5 minutes + 3-second increments); if the tie remains, the match winner will be decided in Armageddon (White gets 6 minutes, Black gets 5 minutes and draw odds).

Jaime Santos, Boris Gelfand

Jaime Santos beat three-time champion Boris Gelfand in last year’s final

A number of parallel activities will take place in the picturesque city situated in the autonomous community of Castile and León.

  • XI Chess and Finance Competition sponsored by El inversor inquieto
  • Conference on Chess, Artificial Intelligence and Cibersecurity
  • Simultaneous exhibition by former world champion Veselin Topalov
  • Conference by famed chess journalist Leontxo García: “Living history of the Magistral Ciudad de León”
  • Open chess tournament - 8 rounds with a rapid time control (see participants)
  • Blitz tournament

Find more information on the official website...

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Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.
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