Riga to host prestigious Grand Prix and Mikhail Tal chess memorial in mid-July
July 11 to 25, the Latvian National Library (LNB) will host the FIDE Grand Prix Series tournament named after Mikhail Tal, which will bring together the best chess players from all over the world in Riga. Along with the world-class competition, the LNB will also host international children’s tournament Riga Holidays, while Mikhail Tal rapid and blitz memorial will take place at Radisson Blu Latvia Hotel.
The top-level Grand Prix Series chess tournament in Riga will commence on July 11. Media representatives are invited to attend a press conference at the LNB at 1 p.m., while a grand opening of the event will take place on the evening of the same day at the House of the Blackheads, with the participation of the Latvian Chess Federation and many of the world’s leading grandmasters. The first round of the Grand Prix will begin at the LNB on the next day, where 16 grandmasters will compete in a knockout tournament. Those who do not pass the first round will have a chance to compete in the Mikhail Tal rapid chess tournament, and players who are eliminated in the second round will be able to compete in Mikhail Tal blitz chess memorial.
A press conference and opening ceremony for the tournament in memory of Mikhail Tal will take place at Radison Blu Latvija hotel at 12 noon on July 16. The rapid chess tournament will take place on July 16 and 17 and the blitz tournament on July 18 in the hotel’s Omega Hall. These tournaments will have the largest number of participants: around 250 players, including more than 50 grandmasters, will participate in both tournaments.
In the meantime, best chess players among children will be determined at the Riga Holidays international tournament, which will take place at the LNB on July 20-24.
Each of the Grand Prix stages is a single-elimination tournament for 16 chess players. In each round of the tournament, the players will have to play two matches – in the event of a tie, a tie-break will follow (rapid and blitz chess). At the end of the Grand Prix Series, the two best-ranked chess players will qualify for the Candidates Tournament for the next World Chess Championship. The total prize fund for all four stages is EUR 800,000. According to the president of the Latvian Chess Federation, Rietumu Bank and Coca-Cola HBC Latvija are the supporters of the competition from Latvia this year.
The following players will participate in the Grand Prix stage in Latvia: Anish Giri (Netherlands, 2779), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan, 2765), Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France, 2775), Wesley So (United States, 2763), Alexander Grischuk (Russia, 2766), Levon Aronian (Armenia, 2756), Hikaru Nakamura (United States, 2754), Sergey Karjakin (Russia, 2748), Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria, 2740), Yu Yangyi (China, 2736), Peter Svidler (Russia, 2737), Nikita Vitiugov (Krievija, 2727), Pentala Harikrishna (India, 2734), David Navara (Czech Republic, 2734), Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland, 2729) and Daniil Dubov (Russia, 2700).
Information prepared by Āris Ozoliņš, President of the Latvian Chess Federation
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