Reports | May 13, 2009 21:00

M-Tel Masters starts today

The glass cube already watched by Bulgarian pedestriansThe third Grand Slam tournament of 2009 is about to start. The first round in Sofia will take off in exactly one hour from now, at 15:00 CET, with Carlsen-Topalov (!), Ivanchuk-Shirov and Wang Yue-Dominguez as its first-round pairings.

Update 17:14: the official website has the highly disappointing note "Due to technical issues the games of the 1st round will not be broadcasted." After the poor online coverage of the President's Cup in Azerbaijan, this seems to be becoming a trend. :-(

For the fifth time Sofia is hosting the international super chess tournament M-Tel Masters, from May 12th to May 23rd. As alway, it’s a six-player double round-robin with this year Carlsen, Dominguez, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Topalov and Wang Yue playing. M-Tel Masters is part of the international chain of chess tournaments Grand Slam that also includes Corus in Wijk an Zee, Linares and Nanjing. The winner in Sofia wins the right to take part in the Final Masters Grand Slam tournament that will take place in Bilbao, Spain later this year.

The time control is 90 minutes for 40 moves per player and 60 minutes per player till the end of the game. "Sofia rules" will again be used, so opponents cannot communicate during the games and cannot offer a draw. Proposals for a draw can be made only through the Chief Arbiter in three cases: threefold repetition, perpetual check and a theoretically draw position. When making the decisions the Chief Arbiter will be consulted by Zurab Azmaiparashvili, Vice President of FIDE.

Last year, when Vassily Ivanchuk went away with a devastating victory, M-Tel was the first tournament to introduce the glass cube as a playing location, set up inside of the Central Military Club in Sofia. A few months later the Grand Slam Masters Final in Bilbao did the same, but put the glass cube in the middle of the Plaza Nueva in the old city center. This year at M-Tel, the glass pavilion has been put on the square in front of the National Theatre Ivan Vazov.

Last night the pavilion was already in use as Veselin Topalov played his traditional blindfold game against the winner of last year's edition of the game Play like Topalov, the Greek chess fan Vassilis Kontos, who guessed 168 moves of the 10 games of the Bulgarian at the 2008 M-Tel Masters.

Kontos-Topalov

Kontos and Topalov shake hands in the glass cube...

Kontos-Topalov

...and as the first spectators gather...

Kontos-Topalov

...Topalov wins in nice, positional style

Game viewer

Click on the pairings at the top of the board to reveal a drop down list of all the games. Click on the arrow under the board just once, then the arrow keys of your keyboard also work.


Yesterday super model Carmen Kass performed the drawing of lots at the opening ceremony. Kass, world famous for her appearance in advertisements for Calvin Klein, Chanel, Gucci, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, Tommy Hilfiger, Chlo?©, Christian Dior, to name a few, is also a chess enthusiast. In fact the Tallinn-born is the current president of the Estonian Chess Federation and therefore it's actually strange that she hasn't done such a ceremony before!

Kontos-Topalov

Carmen Kass revealing Topalov's name at the drawing of lots

Kass with Danailov and Topalov

Kass chatting with Silvio Danailov and Veselin Topalov

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Links

Update 17:14: the official website has the highly disappointing note "Due to technical issues the games of the 1st round will not be broadcasted." After the poor online coverage of the President's Cup in Azerbaijan, this seems to be becoming a trend. :-(

Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

Chess.com

Comments

Hortensius's picture

I guess we can forget to follow the games live...

Hortensius's picture

Violation of the broadcast rights again???

Pogos's picture

Apparently "technical difficulties", at least that's what they say at Chesspro.

freeindeed's picture

It's so unproffessional not to fully test the system to prevent 'technical' problems - especially for the most interesting game of the tournament;- Topalov v Carlsen.

If it is a tantrum about the violation of broadcast rights they need to grow up. It's a game of chess for pete's sake.

Pedro's picture

Increible que no puedan retransmitir las partidas en directo.
Que empe?±o en prohibir otras retransmisiones para esto :-O
Adem?°s es imposible esa prohibici??n porque no puedes registrar los movimientos de ajedrez y adem?°s ser??a absurdo.

Peter Doggers's picture

The official website has the highly disappointing note “Due to technical issues the games of the 1st round will not be broadcasted.” After the poor online coverage of the President’s Cup in Azerbaijan, this seems to be becoming a trend. :-(

Michael Schwerteck's picture

Is ChessBase completely ignoring Sofia? It's not even listed in their calendar of important events...

Btw, first results announced: Ivanchuk-Shirov 0:1 and Carlsen-Topalov 1:0 (!).

Peter Doggers's picture

I'm working on Mac OSX myself, with Firefox. No problems here.

Felix Kling's picture

Game viewer
...

*Get Microsoft Silverlight*

-> Your platform is not supported

Very nice. A silverlight game viewer. :( :( :(

marpada's picture

Could you please use a viewer plugin that can be accessed from all browsers and operating systems? Silverlight support in MacOX and Linux sucks!

Felix Kling's picture

Peter,

I'm using Ubuntu 9.04 and didn't manage to run it. The firefox plugin I was able to install after some google search supports Silverlight 1.0 only. Silverlight 2.0 support is not done yet apparently (the project is called Moonlight).

It's ok if you want to use a new game viewer, but please remember that you want everyone to be able to use it. Using programs that are not available for one of the big operating systems is not right.

Galler's picture

Seems that Wang missed the win : 63.Kd3 instead of 63.b5 or am I missing something ? 63.Kd3 e1Q 64.Re1 Ke1 65.Ke3 stops the g-pawn and the b-pawn queens.

Pogos's picture

Go Carlsen!

4i4mitko's picture

there is an article in one bulgarian newspaper that says chassbase has lost in the
german court:))) yes
http://www.dnevnik.bg/sport/2009/05/15/719926_shtabut_na_topalov_spechel...

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