Friday, January 06, 2006

Pairings Are Up....

...No, not for the 2006 Kenilworth Chess Club Championship, which does not start until January 12, 2006 (at 8:30 p.m., with registrations through 8:15 p.m. that night). But FIDE has posted pairings for the first cycle of Candidates Matches leading up to the next World Championship:

Levon Aronian (2752)-Magnus Carlsen (2625)
Peter Leko(2740)-Mikhail Gurevich (2633)
Ruslan Ponomariov (2723)-Sergei Rublevsky(2665)
Boris Gelfand(2723)-Rustam Kasimjanov(2670)
Etienne Bacrot(2717)-Gata Kamsky(2686)
Alexander Grischuk(2717)-Vladimir Malakhov(2694)
Judit Polgar(2711)-Evgeny Bareev(2698)
Alexei Shirov(2709)-Michael Adams(2707)

"Sixteen players will participate in the Candidates Matches and four of them will qualify for the final tournament of the World Chess Championship 2007," according to FIDE. The other participants in the final Championship tournament will include the top four finishers from San Luis: Morozevich, Anand, Svidler, and-of course-current World Champion Topalov.

Kramnik and Kasparov were invited to play in the Candidates matches but declined. More details about the whole complicated process can be found at ChessBase -- which also has posted a detailed article by Jeff Sonas titled "Making Sense of the FIDE World Championship Cycle."

Meanwhile, in the much simpler world of the 2006 Kenilworth Chess Club Championship: 5 players have registered for the Open section (including NM Scott Massey, NM Mark Kernighan, expert Mike Goeller, and correspondence expert John Moldovan) and 8 for the Under-1800 section. With at least two other masters likely to play in the Championship, that should make for a very interesting event. Remember to register early next week if you plan to play.


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