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Get the Party Started!

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Veselin Topalov was first to arrive in San Luis, Argentina for the 2005 FIDE world championship tournament, two days ago. (The first round is Wed., Sep. 28.) Yesterday Peter Leko and Rustam Kasimdzhanov showed up at the airport, met by governor Saa and some of his cabinet members. Adams, Polgar, and Svidler are scheduled to arrive today. There is a major airline strike in Argentina right now so they will have to take a charter to San Luis. There was an inauguration concert at the playing site starring one of the last great tango artists, Mariano Mores. I think Topalov was the only player there.

Comments were minimal, typified by Kasimdzhanov's, "the winner will be the one who deals best with the pressure." My favorite comment so far from El Diario de la Republica, the local paper providing by far the best coverage, is "[Leko] is known for his aggressive play..." They have some grainy photos, including this one of Leko learning the Uzbek soul handshake from Kasimdzhanov.

As for the predictions about pressure, the last-place finisher will be the one who deals worst with it. But the winner is going to have to play some kick-ass chess. At least I hope so. I would hate to see an epidemic of short draws and a +2 winner. In Linares and Sofia this year we saw that doesn't have to be the case with this format. Topalov is playing the best chess these days, but his habitual loss or two could doom him here. I'm sticking with Leko as my prediction for first place. Then I want to see him ask for draw odds in a rematch with Kramnik!


But of course not GET those draw odds.

Here is the most interesting event I have heard of in the last years (except for some Kasparov matches).

Almost all of the strongest players are playing and they are going to meet each other with both colours a good deal of times.

Any forecasts ?

Since Kasparov has stopped playing, I just vote for Anand and Topalov.. who knows however ...

Hmmm...is Kasim going to wear that loud blue suit in an attempt to distract his opponents??

I thought he was just trying to outdo Leko, who used to take more sartorial risks than chess risks.


"If Kramnik`s sponsors propose something interesting, we do not eliminate the possibility of such a match of the only legal World Champion who is defined in San Luis against the so called Classical World Champion. If of course the only legal World Champion accepts it." -- Kirsan Ilyumzhinov


Yah, was just posting that in a new item.

Is there some unofficial rule or secret code that all great chess players must own at least one (usually more) seat cover sports coat or suit jacket?

It's a shame that neither Ivanchuk or Shirov are competing in San Luis. Ivanchuk has been playing great chess for the last couple of years.

Shirov? What has HE done lately to deserve it?

Mig, planning to do a pre-event feature on this by any chance? Would be good to read one of your trademark prequels..

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on September 23, 2005 7:02 PM.

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