International Chess Federation
Thursday, 07 Oct 2021 21:42
Riga to host Lindores Abbey Blitz in honour of Mikhail Tal's 85th birthday

In honour of the 85th anniversary of the birth of the 8th World Chess Champion Mikhail Tal, FIDE is delighted to endorse The Lindores Abbey Blitz, which will take place on 8th November in the historical Hanzas Perons venue in Riga, Latvia

A number of leading world Grandmasters – many of whom will previously be taking part in the FIDE Grand Swiss and Women's Grand Swiss - have confirmed they will be playing at the Blitz. The line-up so far is headed by leading world players such as Levon Aronian, Alexander Grischuk, Richard Rapport, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, as well as the two-time winner of the Tal Memorial Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, the former contender for the title of World Champion Boris Gelfand, former world youth champions Jeffery Xiong and Parham Maghsoodloo, and others. Among female players, the three-times Women's World Blitz Champion Kateryna Lagno leads the field, joined by former Women's World Champion and this year's winner of the Women's Chess World Cup, Alexandra Kosteniuk, as well as top women GMs Nana Dzagnidze, Harika Dronavali, Polina Shuvalova, and others. More players are expected to confirm their participation, including wildcards invited by the Organiser, with a maximum of 164 players taking part.

The FIDE endorsed event is a part of a series of Lindores Abbey chess tournaments involving top-world Grandmasters, following Lindores Abbey Chess Stars (2019) and Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge (2020).

Georgiy Tal, the son of Mikhail Tal, will be the guest of honour at the Blitz event. In 2019 he visited Lindores Abbey and, together with the company's General Manager Andrew McKenzie Smith, presented the World Champion Magnus Carlsen with a chess set made of amber. This amber chess set was presented by the Latvian Government to Mikhail Tal in 1960, following him becoming World Champion.

Photo: Ron Kroon / Anefo

FIDE Managing Director and Latvian WGM Dana Reizniece-Ozola welcomed the event in memory of the great chess champion: "Mikhail Tal, the famous Magician from Riga, is a legend that has influenced generations of chess players not only in Latvia but in the whole world. He has been a timeless trendsetter."

'With each game that will be played in this Blitz tournament, we will commemorate and celebrate Tal's sharp, creative, and adventurous personality,' Reizniece-Ozola added.

Tournament rules and details:

The tournament is organised by "RTU Sports" with the support of the Latvian Chess Federation and FIDE.

The Swiss System tournament will have nine rounds. Each round will consist of two games played against the same opponent, one game with each colour. Players will be seeded based on their FIDE Blitz rating. In the absence of such a rating, the player's FIDE Standard rating will be used.

The time control will be 3 minutes plus 2 seconds per move, from move one.

If the two or more players score the same points, the tie is decided by the following criteria, in order of priority: a) Buchholz; b) Most games won; c) Direct encounter between the players in the tie.

The total prize fund is 60,000 USD. This includes a 10,000 USD fund provided by FIDE for prizes intended for female players only.

Regulations for the FIDE Endorsed Tournament Lindores Abbey Blitz (pdf)

The list of players who confirmed participation (as of 8th October) can be found here.

Discover the Lindores Abbey chess initiative.