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Linares y Mariachi

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Ah Morelia. The beautiful capital of the Mexican state of Michoacan was one of the first places I visited in Mexico before spending a few years in Guadalajara. The twin spires of the cathedral are hard to forget. I was en camino to the smaller Uruapan and then the tiny town of San Juan Nuevo to visit a friend. (And to climb the famous Paracutin volcano.) Chess wasn't much to be found, although I later became the two-time blitz champion of the Tlaquepaque Chess Club, membership 13. (Yes, that's me on the right with long hair and unfortunate-if-wispy moustache. Blame the tequila.)

Morelia is soon to be put on the chess map in a big way, as San Luis, Argentina was last month. As rumored for months, the 2006 Linares supertournament is going to be divided between Linares and the Mexican city. I first heard that perhaps the Morelia phase was going to serve as a qualifier, but that is not the case. Leontxo Garcia, muy macho Spanish chess journalist for El Pais, recently reported the details. The first half of the eight-player double round robin will take place in Mexico Feb. 17-26, the second at its traditional home in Linares, Spain Mar. 3-12, no doubt at the trusty Hotel Anibal.

Mexican contacts tell me there will be two other tournaments running alongside the elite show. One is a GM open, which I've heard has been recruiting American Grandmasters, which may complicate things for the US Championship because of the dates. (Run by Jose Cuchi of New York Open fame?) They say they expect over 100 GMs and a prize fund of 165,000 euros with a 50,000 first prize. Yow. We've been scoping out plane routes and there are flights to LA and Houston, but not direct to San Diego. (As far as I have found online, but a travel agent is a good idea.) There will also be a Mexican Open for players rated over 2300.

One Mexican report even gives a potential field for the main event, not confirmed. They list Topalov, Leko, Svidler, Ivanchuk, Bacrot, Akopian, Kamsky, Vallejo Pons. [Gata posts below that this is the first he's heard of it so this is a very tentative list indeed. And why no Anand, as several ask?] It's weird to see even a hypothetical Linares field without Kasparov's name in it. I'm loving the LatAm surge going on these days and I hope even more strong young players result. I'll definitely be headed to Morelia if I can figure out the flights to the US Championship. It killed me not to be able to go to San Luis in my old home of Argentina, but this time I shouldn't have any books to finish writing. Viva Mexico!


great picture of mig!!

yay no kramnik!!!!!!!!

In four events since Kamsky's return he has averaged 2500 opposition (scoring just under 70%). Interesting to see how he handles Wijk and Linares.

Are you sure that is you in the picture? Where did you get all the hair? You won a blitz tournament? You!? You look young, healthy and virile in the photo, assuming it really is you as you don't look anything like that today.

Sorry, couldn't resisit...:)

Kamsky's going to have a very tough time playing against Super GMs.

Just to flesh that out a bit... I seriously doubt he'll defeat any Super GM.

He did it in the past - and he will do it again!

Yes, but not yet. I don't expect more than some draws with White against the 2700'ers this time, he'll probably need more time to really be able to compete with them again.

Yeah! I am from mexico city. Morelia is about 5 hours driving from here. I think I can get a few days of work ;) uahooo

Yeah! I am from mexico city. Morelia is about 5 hours driving from here. I think I can get a few days of work ;) uahooo

What, no Anand? did he decline or they didnt invite him?
Kamsky should do well. I think he is the kind of player who will automatically raise his game when faced with quality opposition.

If the hypothetical lineup is to be trusted, it's going to be one sorry Linares lineup without Kasparov, Anand and Kramnik.

We're not sure if Kamsky is playing or not. He'll probably post here to let us know, but Linares has always confirmed late. Note that Gata will have quite enough experience against super-GMs before Linares. He's playing at Corus Wijk aan Zee in January! That field is even stronger, with Topalov, Anand, Leko, just about the entire top ten.

Hi guys,

Mig is right, this is first time i heard about my participation in Linares. I haven't even heard a word, not to mention invitation from the organizers. Frankly, I'm not sure if I'll play even if I get invited, because of the US Chess Championship, but who knows :)
Anyway, right now, this is all speculation.

I remember an interview in which Kramnik said he will play in Linares. Strange lineup anyway.

Do they have a website with specific information on the open tournament (dates, prizes, etc)?

Do they have a website with specific information on the open tournament (dates, prizes, etc)?

Please excuse my ignorance, but I am curious why Kamsky would choose the US Championship over Linares? Is there more money in the US Championship? I personally rate the US Championship far below Linares as far as prestige, and certainly the experience would be better in Linares. I know you are a busy man Mr. Kamsky, but if you get a chance could you please tell us why the US Championship would be better for you than Linares?

PS. I remember seeing you several times at the National Open in perhaps the late 80s or early 90s. I am rooting for you to return to your previous fantastic level. I hope you break out again at the World Cup!

No, just a few new reports with preliminary and unconfirmed announcements. Of course it would make sense to have an official site up before going to the media, but if there is one I don't know about it.

I agree knight_tour, choosing US champ over linares is madness. But this is all speculation and hypothetical so lets not get carried away.


Excuse me for going slightly off-topic, but what book was it that you finished writing during the WC? Was it the book you're helping Kasparov with (ATTACKER'S ADVANTAGE), or is this your own creation?

Howard Goldowsky

The reason for choosing one tournament over another could be the simple and straightforward one: that a player has already agreed to attend a particular tournament. It's called "professionalism".

Even if the tournaments don't overlap, one can easily lose one's edge. Because invitations and appearance fees can be based upon FIDE rating, there is, in the long run, no incentive to play when one is not at one's best.

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    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on November 19, 2005 2:32 AM.

    State of US Champs was the previous entry in this blog.

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