Reports | April 02, 2012 21:21

Linares cancelled for second consecutive year

Linares cancelled for second consecutive year

For the second year in a row there will be no super tournament in the town of Linares, Spain. The reason is not a lack of financial means, but of proper dates in the chess calendar. This was confirmed to us today by the organizers.

During the final weekend of this year's Tata Steel tournament, the organizers of the Magistral de Ajedrez Torneo Ciudad de Linares visited Wijk aan Zee and had talks with the organizers of the other Grand Slam tournaments. As a result, the Grand Slam Chess Association issued a press release that included good news: after missing out in 2011, there would be a new tournament in 2012. Unfortunately today it became clear that the news was issued prematurely: there will be no "Wimbledon of Chess" in Linares, for the second consecutive year.

Last year, also early April, we had to bring similar bad news when the 2011 edition was cancelled. The organisers had difficulties in finding a venue in another country (which would cover a share of the costs) and couldn't find dates in the chess calendar. Back then, the next edition was planned for March 2012.

But this year the Spaniards didn't yet manage to revive the tournament. Again, the aim was to find a venue to share the costs of the competition, as happened from 2006 to 2008 with the Mexican city of Morelia. Francisco Albalate, technical director of the organizing committee, emphasized to Diario Jaen that the reason was not a lack of financial means, but of proper dates in the chess calendar.

We haven't yet finished our talks with Mexico, and now the lack of dates has been crucial to postpone the event for the second consecutive year.

As Prensa Latina reports, the talks with the desired co-organizer, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, were delayed too much. Now, the organizing committee has run out of time, because the chess calendar is too full for the rest of the year. Today Albalate confirmed independently to us that the tournament is off.

One detail to note is that the winner of Linares 2012 would qualify automatically for the Grand Slam Masters Final, which will be held September-October 2012 in Bilbao and another city, probably Sao Paulo again. This means that one qualification spot will have to be filled differently by the Basque organizers, either by picking the highest ranked second-place finisher or using a wild card.

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.


Zeblakob's picture
Randy Hoch's picture

Such a shame. Linares was always one of my favorite tournaments to follow. I was hoping they could resume it this year, even if the field was not quite as strong. Linares, and Melody Amber, need to come back!

Anonymous's picture

Wondering if USA can help here ... helping Linares to co-host a city with - say - St Luis, would that not help boost chess in the US? Why are there no major international chess tournaments in US anyway? And is that not a great opportunity?

rama 's picture

Contact the Marshall Chess Club with your question. They seem to have some experience with running FIDE tournaments:

AWT's picture

Probably because all the good players are from Europe and live there.

Daaim Shabazz's picture

That would not answer the question. There are strong tournaments held all over the world.

darkergreen1327's picture

I liked this idea! They spend lots of money on different sport events but not for chess. And if there is a player like Fischer become successful with individual efforts then they jump on it.

Parkov's picture

The penultimate paragraph would suggest that the reason was not a lack of dates but a lack of effort!

Thomas's picture

This means that there are just two qualifying spots left, and just one tournament (Wijk aan Zee) that formed part of the Grand Slam from the beginning. Nanjing also seems gone, MTel was replaced by Bazna. BTW, the field for Bazna (23rd of June to 4th of July) has been mentioned at Chessdom: - Carlsen, Anand, Radjabov, Karjakin, Ivanchuk and a Romanian player (maybe this year not Nisipeanu?). Anand thinks he has recovered from his WCh match by then; Carlsen and Radjabov come straight from Tal Memorial that finishes four days before.

Rick's picture

Que lastima - What a pity :(

PP (nl)'s picture

Wijk aan Zee hosts the "Wimbledon of Chess"... It always has according to my opinion!

Szoker's picture


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