The opening ceremony of the 2012 Final Masters took place in Parque Ibirapuera, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Authorities and organizers have declared the start of the first Grand Slam final, in the presence of the six participants – the World Champion Viswanathan Anand, the number one in the world rankings Magnus Carlsen, the Olympic champion Levon Aronian, the World Rapid Champion Sergey Karjakin, and the US-born Italian prodigy Fabiano Caruana, and the top player of Spain Paco Vallejo.
The chief arbiter IM and IA Herman Claudius van Riemsdijk, Brazilian Champion in 1970, 1973, and 1988, and Pan American Champion in 1977, conducted the draw of colors at the opening ceremony. The players draw was 1. Anand 2. Aronian 3. Caruana 4. Carlsen 5. Karjakin and 6. Vallejo
Round 1 pairings (live here)
Anand – Vallejo
Aronian – Karjakin
Caruana – Carlsen
The first round begins today, Monday 24th at 15:00 local time (19:00 CET). Live games will be daily on Chessdom with computer analysis. Time control is 90 minutes for 40 moves, and 60 minutes for the rest of the game with increment of 10 sec starting on move 41. Sofia rules are in effect, and scoring system is the Bilbao score (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss).
Highest city authorities were present at the opening ceremony, including the mayor of the city of Sao Paulo Gilberto Kassab. The Municipal Secretary of Education Regina Celia, stressed the importance of teaching chess in public schools and the program that now reaches 53,000 students. Mayor Kassab stressed the importance of holding the Final Masters for the second consecutive year, and expressed the desire this tradition to continue.
All photos by the official website