Mexico City open letter

Cancelation of the Chess Grand Slam in Mexico

As we have informed you several days ago, there will be no Chess Grand Slam competition in Mexico. Today we received the official cancellation letter from the Grand Slam Chess Association. Here is the full unedited text of the letter.

Distinguished Members of
Chess Grand Slam International

Tournament Representatives

CORUS of Wijk aan Zee, Holland.

City of Linares, Linares, Spain.

M-Tel Masters of Sofía, Bulgaria.

Final Chess Master of Bilbao, Spain.

Mexico City, May 16 2008

Dear Sirs,

I regret having to write the following, since I had hoped this letter would describe the contents and progress of the Mexico City tournament, but unfortunately, this is not the case.

I have done everything in my power to arrange for the Grand Slam Tournament in Mexico, which is why I have taken so long to cancel it, but I cannot wait any longer and I would like to take advantage of the fact that the main organizers of the Grand Slam are in Sophia in order to inform you of my decision.

I have organized several major chess events, in addition to many other cultural, artistic and musical events for many years, with professionalism and success, including the three major Chess Festivals in the Mexico City Zocalo, in which over two million people participated.

However, despite my reputation and prestige as an organizer, I have been unable to persuade government to participate in our project again. As a result of the disastrous handling of the World Chess Tournament in Mexico City, in which, as you know, I did not participate, the chess world in Mexico was severely damaged. I did everything in my power to reverse this situation, but despite all my efforts, failed to do so. That is why I have made this decision which is not good for Mexican chess or myself yet which was the only possible one, particularly after a series of chess events that have tarnished Mexico’s reputation.

After the unpleasant experience of Morelia, in which they took two years to pay me, and ended up excluding me from my own project, I am not prepared to pay for things with my own money without knowing when I will be able to recoup it. I am an entrepreneur and can invest money, as I have done several times in the past but I am not a magnate or irresponsible. Given the lack of decision on the part of the authorities, I cannot afford to run risks.

On the other hand, I would particularly like to thank the friends who had faith in me and accompanied me in this endeavor as far as possible. I am particularly sorry to have disappointed them and words do not suffice to thank them for their loyalty or to pay them back for having jeopardized their prestige and defended this cause which, despite their efforts, has entailed an enormous setback for chess in Mexico.

Lastly, I would have preferred to be there with you and discuss all this personally, but this situation was only decided a few hours ago at the highest level.

I am grateful for your trust in Mexico and I deeply regret any damage this decision may have caused.

Warmest regards,

Hiquíngari Carranza

Grand Master International

Mexico City

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Radjabov to be the sixth player at the Grand Slam final

After a short discussion among the GS members, it has been decided that Radjabov will be the sixth candidate for the Grand Slam final. It is based on the fact that he has participated in the GS tournaments until now and that he has had good performance in them. Other names that have surfaced in the discussion have been Gata Kamsky and Alexei Shirov, but all factors have indicated that Radjabov is the right person for the sixth spot.

Chess Grand Slam Final in Bilbao

exclusive information update

Since the Mtel Masters in May, there have been many rumors around the Chess Grand Slam. In the last several days information flow has intensified, confirming very interesting facts about the newborn chain. Here is the latest information, exclusive for the readers of

Chess Grand Slam, Mexico

There will not be a Chess Grand Slam tournament in Mexico City. The agreement reached last year in Sofia has not been finalized due to financial obstacles. This leaves the sixth spot for the Bilbao tournament unoccupied.

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Chess Grand Slam, Bilbao

The Chess Grand Slam in Bilbao will take place 1-13 September 2008. It will feature six players. The first three will be the winners of Corus 2008, Morelia – Linares 2008, and Mtel Masters 2008 – GM Levon Aronian, GM Viswanathan Anand, and GM Vassily Ivanchuk. Invitations have received and the second place holders – GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Veselin Topalov. The sixth player will be known after the next meeting of the board of the Chess Grand Slam.

Speculations are already flying around who this third player will be. It is known that organizers will stick to players who have participated in most of the events. However, there is a good chance the tournament to be category XXI, so the sixth player invited will be a top 30 one. The rating list that will be published in July has an average of 2773 ELO for the confirmed players. However, if we take a look at the live rating of Hans Arild Runde, we can see that the five invited players have average rating of 2776, and maybe even more depending on the Aerosvit tournament and other events that will take place until the start of the Bilbao Grand Slam.

The total prize fund will be 400 000 eur, as more than 100 000 will go for the winner.

Bilbao Preview

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Chess Grand Slam, Seattle

Seattle will join the Grand Slam Chess tournaments in 2009. The event will have a prize fund of USD 750 000. No more details are known about the tournament, but rumors about it have reached the Chessdom editors as far back as the WCC in Mexico. Information that came out during the Mtel Masters suggested that the Seattle tournament is part of a plan to expand the Chess Grand Slam on more continents. As confirmed by Danailov, China is one of the candidates to join in 2010.

Live from Bilbao: Aronian – Carlsen / Ivanchuk – Carlsen