Linares: The Anibal Hall of Fame

3/5/2009 – For many years the Linares Super-GM was played in the ballroom of the Anibal Hotel (the tournament was created by the owner). Now it is in a theater, but the players still stay in the Anibal. The lobby and restaurant of the hotel are adorned with portraits from previous events, starting from 1991 – a moving experience to see the great players fifteen and more years ago. Let's talk a walk in time.

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XXVI Linares 2009

This year the Linares 2009 tournament is being staged only in Spain – in the previous three years the first half was in Morelia, Mexico, and next year the first half will probably be in the Arab Emirates. The 2009 event goes from February 19th to March 7th, with three rest days. The prize fund is 314,000 Euros, with the winner getting 100,000 Euros, followed by 75,000 and 50,000 Euros for second and third place. There are no appearance fees for the players, so the motivation to fight for points may be unusually high. The venue is el Teatro Cervantes de Linares, the starting time of the games is 16:00h (4 p.m.) Spanish/European time.

Pictorial impressions from Linares

By Frederic Friedel


The Hotel Anibal, where it all started and where, until today, the players traditionally stay. For some unknown reason we are always reminded of liver with fava beans and Chianti when we arrive at this hotel.


The lobby of the hotel – with the owner and originator of the event Luis Rentero in the picture


All over the hotel lobby you have pictures of previous Linares tournaments

It is not easy to photograph these portraits, some of which have faded with age. Most are hung fairly high up, some in dark areas, and all of behind glazed frames, which reflect the hotel lights. But we found a method and bring you a small selection of interesting historical pictures.


Garry Kasparov at Linares 1991


Guess who won the event in 1991: this young man, Vassily Ivanchuk


Vishy Anand in 1991, eighteen years ago, had just turned 21


Anatoly Karpov, who finished eighth in 1991


Ljubomir Ljubojevic, who still visits the tournament today


Boris Gelfand, 22 years old, rated 2650


In 1991 Gata Kamsky was sixteen and rated 2640


In 1992 Garry Kasparov won the tournament with a plus seven score


Jan Timman, who won seven games and lost four to finish third


The long-haired Vladimir Kramnik, aged 18, came fifth


Gata Kamsky in 1993, finished in tenth place


Ljubomir Ljubojevic fifteen years ago


Karpov with his record performance in Linares in 1994

In that year Anatoly Karpov scored an incredible plus nine – he won nine games and lost none – to finish two and a half points ahead of the next players on the final table, Garry Kasparov and Alexei Shirov.


Garry Kasparov, who scored plus four and finished equal second


Our friend Vishy in 1994 at the age of 24


Still sporting the hair: Vladimir Kramnik in 1994, aged 19


Still the glasses: Gata Kamsky in 1994


Her first appearance in Linares in 1994: Judit Polgar


In 1995 Vassily Ivanchuk won the tournament, a full point ahead of...


Anatoly Karpov, who was second (Kasparov did not play)


Alexei Shirov, aged 22, finished equal third


Nigel Short in 1995, veteran and former WCh challenger at 29


Our favourite picture: IM (!) Peter Svidler, who won the Open in 1994 (aged 17)


And this is Peter in 1998, when he played in the main tournament

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Topics: Linares 2009
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