M-Tel Masters starts today

5/11/2006 – Topalov, Anand, Svidler, Ponomariov, Bacrot and Kamsky, with an average Elo of is 2747, are taking part in this category 20 double round robin tournament from May 11–21 in Sofia, Bulgaria. As in last year's M-Tel they are not allowed to offer draws. Players and schedule.

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Press release

“M-Tel Masters” 2006 gathers the world chess elite in Sofia

For a second consecutive year the tournament will be the strongest on the planet

Sofia, May 10th, 2006 – M-Tel Masters 2006 gathers in Sofia the chess elite for a second consecutive year. The competition will be entered by three world champions. The Bulgarian fans of the ancient game will be able to watch live the current world champion Veselin Topalov and the former aces of the planet Viswanathan Anand from India and Ruslan Ponomariov from Ukraine. The other three participants are Gata Kamsky from the USA, Etienne Bacrot from France and Peter Svidler from Russia.

Player Nationality Rating

Veselin Topalov

Bulgaria 2804
Viswanathan Anand India 2803
Peter Svidler Russia 2743
Ruslan Ponomariov Ukraine 2738
Etienne Bacrot France 2708
Gata Kamsky USA 2671


Players and officials at the openings press conference of M-Tel 2006

Again M-Tel Masters is the strongest competition on the planet, says the director of the tournament Silvio Danailov. The average Elo coefficient of the competitors is 2747, and the tournament is ranked category 20 according to FIDE.

The event will take place from May 10th to May 21st, 2006 – see schedule below. Its patron is the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr. Georgi Parvanov. The six players will play against each other at Sofia Hall of Grand Hotel Sofia.


Venue: the Grand Hotel Sofia


A panorama view from the hotel

Sponsors

  • General sponsor of the competition is Mobiltel, the biggest Bulgarian mobile operator.

  • Supporting the chess competition is also mineral water “Hissar” from source Nr. 7.

  • Bulstrad Life JSC insured the six top chess players. The company, which is the official insurer of M-Tel Masters, is among the first five insurance companies on the Bulgarian market.

  • Scandinavia Motors, importer of automobiles SAAB for Bulgaria, is the official carter of the chess stars.


Participants Ruslan Ponomariov, Veselin Topalov and Vishy Anand with the CEO of Mobiltel Josef Vinatzer (second from left) looking at a unique chess set made by Simeon Shopov.

“I do not doubt the great success of the M-Tel Masters 2006! I believe in Vesko’s words that this year’s tournament will even surpass in interest M-Tel Masters 2005," said Josef Vinatzer, CEO of Mobiltel. “For the new tournament we developed a special JAVA game, which allows chess fans to play against each other using their mobile phones”, he added.

The regulations of the tournament foresee two rounds with a 7-hour time control. This way each player will play two games against the other participant with exchanged colors. In case of a draw at the finals, a tie-break will be played in order to determine the winner. As in the previous year,the new rule established during the previous competition in Sofia is in force. It states that the participants cannot agree to a draw, which can be decided only by the head judge of the tournament.

Russian and Indian TV channels will cover the tournament. NTV+ Sport, which has 1.2 million viewers, will broadcast each night 30-minute reports on the competition, while the Indian Doordashan (with 233 million viewers in Asia and Europe) will send a special correspondent.

The rights for Bulgaria are owned by the BNT. Channel 1 will broadcast diaries, whereas the satellite channel TV Bulgaria intends to transmit directly from the playing hall three times a day.

During the tournament world champion Veselin Topalov will be awarded the Chess Oscar for 2005. On May 16th, during the day off from the tournament, the king of chess will play against Bulgarian journalists on the chess tables in the garden in front of the National Theater. The most relentless media representative will receive a special prize from Mobiltel.


Sofia by night

More about the tournament

The first edition of “M-Tel Masters” was held from May 11th to May 22nd 2005 in Sofia. The tournament was won by the Bulgarian grand master Veselin Topalov. The winner came first by a point, ahead of Viswanathan Anand, followed by Judit Polgar, Ruslan Ponomariov, Vladimir Kramnik and Michael Adams. Only five months later Topalov won the world title at the competition in Saint Luis, Argentina and headed the FIDE ranking.

For more information
Press center of the international chess tournament M-Tel Masters 2006
Jivko Ginchev: 0889-303-903
Dimitar Naydenov: 0887-462-873
Email: press@mtelmasters06.com

Schedule and results

Round 1: Thursday, May 11, 2006

Peter Svidler 
   Veselin Topalov
Ruslan Ponomariov 
   Gata Kamsky
Etienne Bacrot 
   Vishy Anand
GamesReport

Round 2: Friday, May 12, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
 
 Vishy Anand
Gata Kamsky 
   Etienne Bacrot
Peter Svidler 
   Ruslan Ponomariov
GamesReport

Round 3: Saturday, May 13, 2006

Ruslan Ponomariov 
 
 Veselin Topalov
Etienne Bacrot 
   Peter Svidler
Vishy Anand 
   Gata Kamsky
GamesReport

Round 4: Sunday, May 14, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
 
 Gata Kamsky
Peter Svidler 
   Vishy Anand
Ruslan Ponomariov 
   Etienne Bacrot
GamesReport

Round 5: Monday, May 15, 2006

Etienne Bacrot 
 
 Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand  
   Ruslan Ponomariov
Gata Kamsky 
   Peter Svidler
GamesReport

Round 6: Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
 
 Peter Svidler
Gata Kamsky  
   Ruslan Ponomariov
Vishy Anand 
   Etienne Bacrot
GamesReport

Round 7: Thursday, May 18, 2006

Vishy Anand 
 
 Veselin Topalov
Etienne Bacrot 
   Gata Kamsky
Ruslan Ponomariov 
   Peter Svidler
GamesReport

Round 8: Friday, May 19, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
 
 Ruslan Ponomariov
Peter Svidler 
   Etienne Bacrot
Gata Kamsky 
   Vishy Anand
GamesReport

Round 9: Saturday, May 20, 2006

Gata Kamsky 
 
 Veselin Topalov
Vishy Anand 
   Peter Svidler
Etienne Bacrot 
   Ruslan Ponomariov
GamesReport

Round 10: Sunday, May 21, 2006

Veselin Topalov 
 
 Etienne Bacrot
Ruslan Ponomariov 
   Vishy Anand
Peter Svidler 
   Gata Kamsky
GamesReport


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