Reports | May 06, 2009 17:40

And now for... many more top events

top eventsWith the FIDE Grand Prix in Nalchik less than a week behind us, it seems to be a pretty quiet period for top chess. However, many very strong events will be held this month: the President's Cup (Azerbaijan vs Rest of the World, with Anand and Kramnik playing!), the US Championship (with both Kamsky and Nakamura!), the 3rd ACP World Rapid Cup and, of course, the MTel Masters.

Last year the President's Cup was a strong open in Baku, held directly after the 1st FIDE Grand Prix. This year a completely different event is organized to honour national leader Heydar Aliyev. The 2009 President's Cup, from May 7th to 9th, is a rapid match (Scheveningen system) between the strongest players of Azerbaijan (Teimour Radjabov, Vugar Gashimov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Gadir Huseynov and Rauf Mamedov) against a Rest of the World team (for this event dully named "FIDE World") with World Champion Viswanathan Anand, former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, 2007 World Cup runner-up Alexei Shirov and 2009 Corus winner Sergey Karjakin. That's 5 against 4, so apparently Azerbaijan will shuffle with a few players.

May 7-17th are the dates for one of the strongest U.S. Chess Championships ever, which will be held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. The tournament will be a 9-round event with 24 participants, using the Swiss system with one round per day and a rest day between rounds 5 and 6. Kamsky, Nakamura, Onischuk, Shulman, Christiansen, Becerra, Akobian, Kaidanov, Benjamin, Ehlvest, Gulko, Ibragimov, Khachiyan, Shabalov, Friedel, Hess, Robson, Sevillano, Zatonskih, Krush, Shankland, Brooks, Lawton and Hughes play - biographies here.

For the fifth time Sofia will be 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 in a glass pavilion on the square in front of the National Theatre Ivan Vazov. 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 3rd ACP World Rapid Cup will take place in Odessa, Ukraine from May 22nd to 24th. As usual, it will be a KO tournament with 16 participants. In accordance with the ACP rules, 13 of 16 spots are given to the players who qualified from the ACP Tour 2007/08. Viktor Korchnoi has been invited as a commentator for the spectators. As of April 22nd the following 11 grandmasters had already confirmed their participation: Jakovenko, Grischuk, Movsesian, Gashimov, Bacrot, Naiditsch, Eljanov, Efimenko, Najer, Tregubov and Drozdovskij.

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.


Peter Doggers's picture

I'd say don't blame everything on their animosity. It's quite common that Topalov is involved in all kinds of promotional activities during the days before MTel starts, like simuls & stuff.

leigh's picture

breaking news:

Anand, Topalov, Carlsen, Radjabov, Jakovenko and one chinese top player(tbd) will join 2009 Pearl Spring Chess Tournament, Nanjing, China(9/27/2009).

chessfan's picture


Thomas's picture

From an interview with Danailov at Chessdom:
"Topalov was also invited for Baku, but unfortunately we had to refuse the invitation. The reason was that we have other commitments with our sponsors in Bulgaria in the same period. "
So maybe he was meant to be the 5th "World" player? It would have been interesting to have him on the same team as Kramnik ... makes me wonder if 'sponsor commitments' were the main or only reason to decline the invitation.
Yes, Azerbaijan vs, the world is just before MTel, but Shirov is able/willing to play both events ... .

sporty's picture

Are you going to make videos for Mtel?

Peter Doggers's picture

No, not this time.

leigh's picture

to chessfan:
it is chinese. you can put them into google translater

chessfan's picture

thank you, leigh :))

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