Sunday 14 September 2014

Bilbao Masters (and European Club Championship)

After the excitement of the 2014 Sinquefield Cup, attention now moves across the Atlantic, to the Bilbao Masters, which begins this evening. Nominally the final of the Grand Slam, the field consists of Ponomariov, Anand, Aronian and Vallejo Pons. Probably the major interest from this event is how Anand will perform in the lead up to his World Championship match with Carlsen, but obviously the games and the likely winner will also be important. Having nailed my prediction for the Sinquefield Cup (Caruana), my instincts see a return to form for Aronian, and a tight first place for him.
Running alongside the Masters is the European Club Championship. This event seems to be growing in popularity, with 61 teams taking part this year. The SOCAR team from Azerbaijan are the rating favourites, with an average rating of 2750., and there are 4 teams rated above 2700. While the top teams are fielding a raft of GM's, I am keeping a watch on the lower boards, where the minnows (including White Rose) will be battling it out.
Both events are under way (11pm starts Canberra time, I am guessing), and you can *some* live coverage at (NB Both events are linked to from this page)

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