Saturday, 13 February 2010 18:01
The 2010 Linares chess tournament, part of the Grand Slam circuit and one of the top chess events in the world, is starting today with the games of the first round. The field is reduced to six players, which will compete in a double round robin event.
Tournament director Juan Fernandez underlined at the opening ceremony that he is happy the tournament has a category XXI despite the economic crisis and expressed the desire the competition to share venue with Morelia, UAE, or another city in 2011.
Last year champion Alexander Grischuk and FIDE Grand Prix winner Levon Aronian are making another consecutive appearance. Former World Champion Veselin Topalov, who skipped the last year event because of the FIDE Challengers match against Gata Kamsky, is back to play in one of his favourite tournaments. He noted, "It will be very important to enter the World Chess Championship match against Anand with a victory in Linares. However, it will not be easy, as the competition is very strong."
Boris Gelfand was invited after his win at the prestigious FIDE World Cup, while Vugar Gashimov of Azerbaijan is making a debut at the super-tournaments.
Francisco Vallejo Pons was happy returning to Linares five years after his last participation and shared, "It is an honor for a Spanish player to participate in the most prestigious tournament in the world."
Pairings of the first round are:
Francisco Vallejo Pons - Veselin Topalov (draw signed)
Levon Aronian - Alexander Grischuk (draw)
Boris Gelfand - Vugar Gashimov, still in progress
The presentation video
Francisco Vallejo Pons