Reports | June 06, 2009 1:10

Leon takes off, Ivanchuk-Morozevich today (VIDEO)

Leon rapidChessVibes is in Leon and we'll be providing on-the-spot coverage of the 22nd edition of the Ciudad de Leon rapid tournament, which took off just one and a half hours ago with the first semi-final between Ivanchuk and Morozevich. In this post we have yesterday's opening press conference on video.

The XXII Magistral de Ajedrez Ciudad de Leon takes place from June 4th to 7th. Over the years the Spanish city of Leon has seen the world’s best players and this year it welcomes Magnus Carlsen, Alexander Morozevich, Vassily Ivanchuk and Wang Yue. Following the traditional format, one semi-final is played on Friday (Ivanchuk-Morozevich), one on Saturday (Carlsen-Wang Yue) and the final on Sunday. Each match contains four rapid games with twenty minutes on the clock, plus ten seconds increment each move.

Leon rapid

Today is the first semi between Morozevich and Ivanchuk...

Leon rapid

...and tomorrow the next one, between Carlsen and Wang Yue

Besides the games there will be some parallel activities as well: a lecture by Ivanchuk on Saturday at noon, a Young Talents tournament on Sunday morning and a simul by Morozevich on Monday afternoon. Earlier this week there was a lecture class by Illescas and throughout the week chess movies were shown in cinemas in Leon!

Yesterday I arrived in what can be called the chess capital of Spain during this long weekend, exactly one hour before the opening press conference & drawing of lots. Just in time to setup and switch on the cameras to make the video below, which is followed by a few quotes collected by press officer Leontxo Garcia.


-Morozevich: “Rapid chess should have a separate ranking, and the same applies to blitz and blindfold. I also think team championships games should not count for the Elo rating”. The other three participants agreed with him on that.

-Carlsen: “I don’t have a clear opinion on chess and doping. But I do think something must be urgently done to avoid the help of computers during the games”.

-Wang Yue on his good results: “I knew all my opponents well because I had study their games carefully. But, as I was new on the top, they knew much less about me”.

-Ivanchuk: “My crisis is now gone, after my good play last week against Navara”. On how he learned Spanish: “A bit of everything. Books, tapes, TV programmes, my second and Mexican friend Manuel Leon Hoyos and, of course, the Mexican girls, who helped me a lot”.

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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.

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