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The León Roars

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The semifinals of this year's 22nd Leon Magistral rapid tournament in Spain are set. It's Morozevich-Ivanchuk (Friday) and Carlsen-Wang Yue (Saturday) with the final match on Sunday. The format is a KO of four rapid games (20'+10") with blitz tiebreaks (5') if necessary. Last year (when it was an all-play-all group phase before a final match) Ivanchuk beat Anand in the final.

Games begin at 16:30 local, 10:30am EDT. Official site has an optimist "partidas directo" link for live games. Usually the moves have trouble getting out from under the nine tons of Flash and Java crap on the site, but we can dream. From the press release by my main man Leontxo Garcia (the usual León press pro, another old comrade, GM Zenón Franco, was apparently busy with other projects this year):

The four players attended a press conference after the drawing of lots. Some excerpts:

-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 studied their games carefully. But, as I was new on the top, they knew much less about me".

-Ivanchuk: "I think it will be an interesting four-game match between two very creative players. 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 programs, my second and Mexican friend Manuel Leon Hoyos and, of course, the Mexican girls, who helped me a lot".

See? All Ivanchuk needed to recuperate from his exhaustion was to, um, play more chess. Or maybe he had some Mexican girls with him in Prague? His match with Moro should be a good one between two consummate chess artists. Wang Yue beat Carlsen twice this year, at Corus and Linares, but the Norwegian has had the Chinese player's number since then, including two wins at the Amber tournament and a crushing win at MTel a few weeks ago. Ivanchuk has been stomping Morozevich like a Burgundy grape over the past year in speed play despite losing a classical encounter to the Russian at Corus. That, by the way, was the last time Moro played a classical tournament and has only played Amber since then. Sad. But he will be back in Biel in a few weeks. With Ivanchuk, of course!


Mig,some info for you:
WangYue is not good at rapid at all,It's a joke he appear in the Leon.
Let's looking back tha rapid events of China in the recent years,he evan cannot go into the top three,Bu Xiangzhi,WangHao,NiHua,HouYifan and ZhouJianchaoand evan YuYangyi will be better than him.

What is it that sponsors of these elite events like Leon get in return for their investment? The budget of a tournament like Leon must be north of Euros $100,000. As a chess fan I am glad I can follow the tournament on the net but fail to understand what the business model of such tournaments is. Comments anyone?

No thread on Poikovsky? Poor Shirov, three drops in a row, and it looked like he was coming back...

Yup, a mystery. It's not like he was extremely lucky or something to win Sofia - on the contrary. Very convincing, very solid. Hard to understand how come everything suddenly starts going completely wrong.

Maybe, after winning the so-called elite tournamnent at Sofia he started underestimating his not-so elite opponents at Poikovsky and paid the price for it.

I don't think it's about underestimating the others, nor about overestimating himself... anyway, ANOTHER loss today (against the Petroff, yay!) -- he's on 0/4, just incredible.

Carlsen vs Wang Yue game4 drawn. Its now into tiebreakers!

Live video streaming of Leon chess is here

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I am really enjoying this years edition of Leon , the format is very interesting to see .
I suggested that Bilbao could be something similar this year , i remember someone saying that it wouldnt make much sense ..
For me , mini matchs are always fun .

'chessupdates', useful information is fine, but don't link whore here please, especially not repeatedly. It clogs up the place.

"link whore" -- deserves to be in next year's Webster's Dictionary.

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on June 4, 2009 11:12 PM.

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