Super-GM tournament in Sofia starts

by ChessBase
5/12/2005 – On Thursday, May 12th the strongest tournament of the year, the M-Tel Masters in Sofia, begins. It is a category 20 with an Elo average of 2744, brought to the Bulgarian capital by the likes of Anand, Topalov, Kramnik, Adams, Judit Polgar, Ponomariov. A special rule is in place: no draw offers! Info and links.

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Super GM Tournament
in Sofia

World's top six players
clash in the M-Tel Masters

May 11 to 22, 2005
in the Grand Hotel Sofia, Bulgaria

The M-Tel Masters Super Tournament will be the strongest tournament of the year, with a category of 20 with an Elo average of 2744. It is part of the ten-year anniversary of the Bulgarian mobile phone company Mobiltel, and is set to take place every year. The time controls are classic (up to seven hours per game) and the tournament is a double round robin (every player plays every other player twice).

There is a special rule in place at this Super Tournament: draw offers are not allowed, i.e. draws by mutual agreement between the players are forbidden, only technical draws may be given by the arbiter.


Viswanathan Anand, India, born 11.12.1969, Elo 2786. After Kasparov's retirement Anand is now the world's number one. He was a world championship challenger in 1995, and won the FIDE world championship in 2000. Four times Chess Oscar winner, four times winner of the Monaco Amber tournament, four times Wijk aan Zee, plus countless other international successes. Has one billion fans in his home country of India.

Veselin Topalov, Bulgaria, born 15.3.1975, Elo 2757 (1.1.2005, now unofficially 2780). Number two in the world ranking list; best Bulgarian chess player of all times. Bronze medalist at the last FIDE world championship in Tripoli; winner of many international tournaments, e.g. Madrid 1994, 1996, 1997, Dos Hermanos 1996, Amsterdam 1996, Vienna 1996, Novgorod 1996, Antwerp 1997, Monaco 2001, Dortmund 2001, Linares 2005 (together with Kasparov).
Vladimir Kramnik, Russia, born 25.06.1975, Elo 2754, number four in the world. Won the world championship in classical chess in 2000 by defeating Garry Kasparov in London, defended his title against Leko in 2004. Winner of many international tournaments, e.g. Halkidiki 1992, Madrid 1993, Horgen 1995, Dortmund 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, Dos Hermanos 1996, Wijk aan zee 1998, Linares 2000, Monaco (four times).

Michael Adams, England, born 17.11.1971, Elo 2741, currently number six in the world, best English chess player in history. FIDE world champion runner-up in Tripoli 2004, three times semi-finalist at the FIDE world championships (1997, 1999 and 2000). Winner of the Dos Hermanos 1999 and Tilburg 1994.

Judit Polgar, Hungary, born 23.07.1976, Elo 2728, number eight in the world chess rankings. Judit is the youngest of the phenomenal Polgar sisters and by far the best female chess player of all times. She became a grandmaster at 15 years and five months, breaking the previous record held by Bobby Fischer (15 years six months). Won the Hungarian male championship in 1991 and many international tournaments, e.g. Hastings 1992, Madrid 1994, Hoogoven 1998, 2001, 2003, New York 1999.

Ruslan Ponomariov, Ukraine, born 11.10.1983, Elo 2700. FIDE world champion 2002, the youngest world champion in history (at 18). Olympic Champion with the Ukrainian team in the Olympiad in Palma de Mallorca in 2004. Several times junior European and world champion in the different age groups. Received high decorations for services and special merits rendered to his home country, presented personally by Ukraine President Leonid Kutchma.


10 May 2005 Arrival and accommodation of the participants
11 May 2005 11:00 press conference, 18:00 official opening, 19:00 cocktail party
12 May 2005 14:30 Start of the first round
13 May 2005 14:30 Start of the second round
14 May 2005 14:30 Start of the third round
15 May 2005 14:30 Start of the fourth round
16 May 2005 14:30 Start of the fifth round
17 May 2005 Rest day
18 May 2005 14:30 Start of the sixth round
19 May 2005 14:30 Start of the seventh round
20 May 2005 14:30 Start of the eighth round
21 May 2005 14:30 Start of the ninth round
22 May 2005 13:30 Start of the tenth round, 18:00 Tie-break, 20:00 Official closing and awarding the prizes to participants, 21:00 Official cocktail party
23 May 2005 Departure

On the rest day Veselin Topalov will give a simultaneous exhibition for chess fans at the garden in front of the National Theater, on ten marble chess tables set up by Mobiltel for the garden. This is the second big chess event sponsored by Mobiltel. In February last year the mobile operator organized a TV exhibition match between the rapid chess World Champion Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov.

The event is being staged by “Mobiltel” and “Kaissa Chess Management”, an agency run by GM Silvio Danailov, manager of Bulgaria's top GM Veselin Topalov. It will be held in the five-star Grand Hotel, located in the middle of Sofia, in walking distance of the National Theatre, Art Gallery, Concert Hall, Opera House and all the famous landmarks of the capital of Bulgaria.

The Grand Hotel in Sofia

Inside the hotel (the lobby)

The park next to the hotel...

...which contains the National Theater

People love to play chess on the benches of the park

Former Vice-Prime Minister Zhotev (with cap) is also to be found here

Photos provided by Radislav Atanassov, Ass. prof. at the
Chess Sector of the National Sports Academy, Sofia


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