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SPICE Cup Chess Festival Starting Friday

This month Webster University and the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) bring six of the best chess players in the world – including two Webster students – to Webster’s home campus.

They’ll be competing in the category-18 SPICE Cup Invitational 2012, the highest-rated chess tournament of its kind in U.S. history.

The tourney kicks off with a free and open-to-the-public Welcome Ceremony at 1 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, in Room 102 of Webster’s East Academic Building, 545 Garden Ave. in Webster Groves, Mo.

SPICE Cup Chess Festival

All six players are multiple-time Olympians. They include:

GM Le Quang Liem (Vietnam), the defending SPICE CUP Invitational champion, Vietnamese champion and No. 1 player in Vietnam.
GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France), former World Junior champion and French champion and No. 1 player in France.
GM Ding Liren (China), three-time and reigning champion of China, and the No.3 Junior in the world.
GM Csaba Balogh (Hungary), member of the Hungarian National chess team and top-notch chess author.
GM Wesley So (Philippines), national champion, No. 1 player in the Philippines and a Webster University freshman.
GM Georg Meier (Germany), European team champion, Webster University sophomore and co-captain of the Webster University chess team.

Round 1 pairings:
Georg Meier (1) – Le Quang Liem (6)
Ding Liren (2) – Wesley So (5)
Csaba Balogh (3) – Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (4)

During tournament play, the six competitors will face one another twice, once with black chess pieces and once with white pieces.

SPICE Cup Open

Alongside the SPICE Cup Invitational, the SPICE Cup Open will take place on 16-20th October at the Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel 7730 Bonhomme Avenue St. Louis, MO 63105. The prize fund is $10,000 guaranteed and there is no entry fee.

Format: 9 round Swiss (FIDE and USCF rated), IM, GM, WIM, WGM norm opportunities
Schedule: October 16-19 @ 10 am & 4 pm, October 20 @ 10 am
Time Control: Game in 90 minutes with a 30 second increment starting at move 1.

Currently there are 45 players registered for the Open, and among them 13 Grandmasters, 14 IMs, 1 IM-elect, 23 foreigners.

Top rated are Corrales Jimenez Fidel Cuba GM 2612, Leon Hoyos Manuel Mexico GM 2605, Robson Ray USA GM 2602, Shulman Yury USA GM 2595 and Ramirez Alejandro USA GM 2570.

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