Topalov and Ponomariov leading after round 1
The Chess Champions league (that Topalov talked about in an interview a few days ago) started today in Vitoria with the participation of six strong players. These are the ex World Champions Anatoly Karpov, Veselin Topalov, Ruslan Ponomariov, and Rustam Kasimdzhanov, the strongest ever woman Judith Polgar, and the European Champion Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu. It is an exceptional tournament, not only because of the strong field, but the ideas behind the event as well.
The tournament’s moto is “We play for a better world”. All prize fund money and the funds raised in additional activities will be donated to a hospital in Congo. That is why the Chess Champions league is more than a chess event. It opened with a gala concert from the symphonic orchestra Rostov-Na Donu and the Samaniego chorus. Then it continued with more concerts, chess and cinema events and even a golf tournament.
The central event, including the six grandmasters, is a double round robin with time control 120 mins + 30 sec. Today were the first round games GM Ponomariov and GM Topalov took the lead with victories over GM Polgar and GM Karpov. Game between GM Kasimdzhanov and GM Nisipeanu is postponed for the first rest day, as Nisipeanu is yet to arrive in Vitoria. He is a last minute replacement for GM Alexander Khalifman who was taken to the hospital on the day he was supposed to travel. We’re still waiting on the news about his condition.
1-2. Topalov and Ponomariov 1.0
3-6. Kasimdzhanov, Nisipeanu, Karpov and Polgar 0.0
A lot of pictures and additional information can be found on the official website.
More information on the participants:
Karpov game analyzed – by IM Kalin Karakehayov at Valjevo 2007
Topalov Nisipeanu – review of the Mtel Masters game by GM Dimitrov
Topalov Kasimdzhanov – Leon 2007 games commented by IM Kalin Karakehayov