Reports | September 05, 2009 18:33

Bilbao Grand Slam Final Masters starts tomorrow

Bilbao 2009In the second edition of the Grand Slam Final Masters, which starts tomorrow in Bilbao, Spain Levon Aronian, Alexander Grischuk Sergei Karjakin and Alexei Shirov will compete for a € 110,000 prize fund. The 4-player, double round-robin runs September 6-12.

The 2nd Grand Slam Final Chess Masters 2009 will be held in Bilbao from September 6th to September 12th on the same stage that hosted the 2008 Bilbao Masters Final: a glass cube on the Bilbao Plaza Nueva (central square), in the heart of the city. The winner receives € 35,000, the runner-up € 30,000, the number three € 25,000 and the number four € 20,000.

The Masters Final 2009 is played exclusively by the four winning players of the tournaments that, along with Bilbao, make up the Grand Slam Chess Association and are among the best tournaments in the world: Corus (Wijk aan Zee), Linares, Mtel Masters (Sofia) and the Pearl Spring Tournament (Nanjing).

The four chess players who will compete in the Bilbao Final are Sergei Karjakin (2717, winner in Wijk aan Zee), Alexander Grischuk (2733, winner in Linares), Alexei Shirov (2732, winner in Sofia) and Levon Aronian (2768, runner-up in Nanjing, replacing the winner Veselin Topalov who declined the invitation to play the Final).

Bilbao Grand Slam Final Masters 2009 | Schedule

Bilbao 2009

The rate of play will be 90 minutes for the first 40 moves and then 60 minutes to finish the game, with 10 extra seconds per move from move number 41. Like last year, the Masters Final will use both the “Sofia Rule” and the "football" scoring system: players will get 3 points for winning a game, 1 point for drawing and 0 points for losing.

If two players tie for first, they'll play a 2-game blitz match (4 minutes plus 3 seconds increment) immediately after the last round finishes. If this match is tied, they shall play an Armageddon game in which White will have 5 minutes and Black 4; in the case of a draw Black wins first place.

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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, 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.


Zenman's picture

Who will win the Grand Slam Final in Bilbao?
Vote on my blog in French (Belgium).

nick burrows's picture

1. Aronian
3. Karjakin

Peter Doggers's picture

See our previous report on BIlbao for that.

eduardo's picture

why topalov declined the invitation ??

newage's picture

I've seen the event on the spanish news, thanks some players from the Bilbao's Athletic Club showed up over there, nice.

unknown's picture

Go Levon!

BTW. 60 minutes to finish the game not "moves".

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