Announcement | March 08, 2011 20:56

Amber tournament starts Saturday (poll)

Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort in MonacoNext Saturday already is the first round of the 20th Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament. This year Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik, Veselin Topalov, Alexander Grischuk, Vasily Ivanchuk, Sergey Karjakin, Boris Gelfand, Hikaru Nakamura, Vugar Gashimov and Anish Giri play. For the very last edition of this glamorous tournament, who is your pick?

The 20th Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament will take place at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort in Monaco, from March 11 to 25, 2011. The tournament is organized by the Association Max Euwe of chess maecenas Joop van Oosterom, which is based in Monaco.

This 20th Amber tournament will be the final edition of an event unparalleled in the history of chess. The following grandmasters will take part: World Champion Viswanathan Anand (India), Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria), Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Vasily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Sergey Karjakin (Russia), Boris Gelfand (Israel), Hikaru Nakamura (United States), Vugar Gashimov (Azerbaijan) and Anish Giri (The Netherlands).

The total prize-fund is € 227,000.

The first Amber tournament was held in Roquebrune, France, in 1992 to celebrate the birth of Mr and Mrs Van Oosterom’s daughter Melody Amber. That first tournament was a rapid event won by Vasily Ivanchuk, the only player to have taken part in all Amber tournaments (and the shared winner, together with Magnus Carlsen, of last year’s edition!).

In the tournament of 1993 the formula was introduced that made ‘Amber’ unique in the chess world: a double round-robin in which the grandmasters play both a rapid and a blindfold game against each other.

The 1993 tournament took place in Monaco, which would become the home of ‘Amber’ till it moved to Nice in 2008. For historical reasons Mr and Mrs Van Oosterom and the Association Max Euwe have chosen to return to Monaco for the farewell edition.

The Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort will be an appropriate venue for a tournament that has been the favourite meeting place for the chess elite over the past two decades.

Like in 2008-2010, Macauley Peterson and Peter Doggers will be providing on-the-spot video coverage of the tournament for the official website, to make the event as enjoyable as possible for the chess fans at home. To get in the mood, below you can find material from previous editions.

2010 Preview video by Macauley Peterson



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Editors's picture
Author: Editors


Zeblakob's picture

Great kick asm is coming.

Shiva's picture

When it comes to rapid chess...Vishy is the real champ !!

casa's picture

Go Volodja go!!

Mac's picture

Packers won the superbowl.. but I dont think they stand a chance in this tournament.

CAL|Daniel's picture

a bit odd you can select more than one person as your choice for winner.... maybe separate polls for who we think will win blind vs rapid vs over all?

Al's picture

This is going to be a great tournament I'm very excited! I'm in New Zealand so I hope the time conversion works out , usually these international tournaments are on at 1-2am over here.

Everybody in this tournament is so good, it is going to be really tough as all players (except Giri of course) have a shot to win. But when you're all this good it's more about who is best on the day.

I hope Carlsen starts well in this tournament. It gets tiring watching him give away points at the start of tournaments and then having to struggle in a game of catch up. If he starts on a good note then his chances of winning will be huge.

Go Magnus Carlsen Go!

V's picture

This is going to be Levon's Third Big Amber. Though i'm not sure that he will dominate the field like he did it in 2008 (2.5 points ahead of the others) and 2009, winning both Rapid and Blindfold Sections.

RealityCheck's picture

I'm betting on the world champion-world no.1 Vishy Anand.

Prashant's picture

Hygiene Issues?

Vital_Points's picture

Very interesting field this time for the last time. Excited!!! But sad since this is the last edition. Vishy, Magnus, Chucky should be among favorites, although Hikaru is also a formidable force to reckon with..will be interesting to see how he plays in blindfold. BTW, do Topalov and Vlady still don't shake hands?

Septimus's picture

"BTW, do Topalov and Vlady still don’t shake hands?"

They do, only if there have been no visits to the toilet.

Chess Fan's picture

The winners will be between Anand, Kramnik, Aronian, or Carlsen, in that order of priority - no ties. Of course, anything can happen. If I have to select one winner objectively, it would be Anand.

Chess Fan

Gainsbourg's picture

This is Levon's tournament this year...

Mister Señor Love Daddy's picture

My guess:

Top 5: Ivanchuk, Aronian, Nakamura, Carlsen, Anand
Top 6-9: Karjakin, Topalov, Giri, Gashimov,
10-11: Grischuk, Gelfand

Mac's picture

I hope that 18 year old blond girl comes out of nowhere and wins.

Nima's picture

The vote is not just about who we think is going to win, but whom we like to see win. For me, that is Ivanchuk. If Vasily is not going to become world champion, than I wish he wins as many tournaments as possible.

Al's picture

I hope Carlsen is working hard for this tournament. Like Kasparov said if he works hard he will dominate chess and I agree. He is unstoppable once he gets momentum. Of course I am a die hard fan of Kasparov and Carlsen so what do you expect!

I believe Ivanchuk and Aronian will do very well too.

Chessbuzz's picture

Carlsen and Anand are MY favorites.

TEEHEE!'s picture


Chessbug12's picture

I think there is a good chance Elvis Costello will win this tournement!

Chessbug13's picture

Definiteley Anand! No doubt about it unless Carlsen has his chess together.

szoker's picture

most packed Tournament I have EVER seen

wow !!!

Bob's picture

I will be rooting for Chucky and Aronian, in that order :)

Raj's picture

From the last quarter of 2010 (Nanjing, London Chess Classic, Tata Corus and now Amber), spectators are enjoying these special tournaments for the elite GMs and we are excited as we go through the emotions of the matches during each tournament !

Joe Fiasco's picture

I believe this tournament may be the comback for Gelfand. We shall see!

Hediyanto's picture

Carlsen, Levon and Kramnik will show their best in this tournament.

jazzkoo's picture

i wonder if the elo is higher for this one than courus? I'm thinking this one...

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