Wednesday, 9 September 2009


I've been neglecting big overseas news recently,but the Bilbao tournament is certainly worth highlighting. Although it is being contested between 4 of the worlds top players (Aronian, Shirov, Karjakin and Grischuk), it has a couple of unusual tournament conditions.
The Sofia Rules for draw offers is once again in operation. The scores follow the 'football' system, with 3 points for a win and 1 for a draw. And the time control is slightly unusual, with 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, with an additional 60 minutes plus a 10 second increment for the rest of the moves. Australian players would probably do well under this time control as 60m+10s per move has been the staple of weekend chess here for years.
At the end of the third round Grischuk and Aronian share the lead with 6, Karjakin on 4 and Shirov on 1. Comprehensive coverage can be found at the official website.

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