Reports | February 06, 2009 20:47

Pearl Spring joins Grand Slam, Topalov and Karjakin first qualifiers for 2nd Final

Bilbao Masters FinalThe Pearl Spring Chess Tournament of Nanjing (China) has joined the Grand Slam 2009 next to Corus (Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands), Ciudad de Linares (Spain), Mtel Masters (Sofia, Bulgaria) and the Masters Final (Bilbao, Spain). Representatives from the Grand Slam Chess Association are planning a fifth tournament from a country in South-America. Press release.

Pearl Spring Chess Tournament of Nanjing, China, will join the Grand Slam Chess Association in 2009

The victories of the winners of the Nanjing Tournament, Veselin Topalov and Sergey Karjakin, winner of Corus Tournament 2009 in Wijk aan Zee (The Netherlands) have qualified them for the Bilbao Masters Final.

Veselin Topalov, winner of the first Masters Final held in Bilbao, 2008, will also play in the 2009 Masters Final, which will take place in Bilbao during the first two weeks of September. He has already received the invitation as the winner of the Nanjing Tournament that was held in December. “We have decided by consensus Nanjing 2008 as the first tournament of the Grand Slam 2009 because this meant an additional incentive for the Chinese inclusion and because we prefer winners of tournaments to players with a special invitation in order to participate in Bilbao. Therefore, Nanjing 2009 will be the first tournament of the Grand Slam 2010,” said the representatives of the Grand Slam.

Sergey Karjakin has also received the invitation as winner of the just finished Corus Tournament 2009. Karjakin has already been in Bilbao in 2007 as player in the Blindfold World Chess Cup. He holds the record as the youngest grandmaster in history, when he was 12 years and 7 months.

Other decisions of the meeting of the representatives of the Grand Slam in Wijk ann Zee is the concern of the organisers about the unfought draws during the Corus tournament, as well as early triple-repetition of the position placed in other tournaments where the Sofia Rule has been applied. By common agreement, all the tournaments of the Grand Slam will apply the Sofia Rule from the 2010 edition onwards, and other regulations will be considered in order to fight against this practice.

Bilbao, February 4th, 2009

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.


pete's picture

should Anand miss to win any of the upcoming tournaments I guess he will get a special invitation as a reigning world champion. I assume we can count him in as well, that makes Topa, Anand and Karjakin so far. Wonder who the others will be :)

CAL|Daniel's picture

so underhanded.

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