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Round 1 Report
Round 1 Report by GrandMaster Robert Fontaine

The first round of the World Chess Grand Prix in London started at 2pm local time with the first move played by the FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. Most of the games started smoothly and the Chinese player Wang Hao was playing very quickly the first 20 moves, with still 1h56 on his clock. His opponent, British number one Michael Adams who replaced GM Peter Svidler at the last minute. Adams took his time to fully equalize after exchanging the Queens. Adams was pushing the whole game, got a pawn up in a rook endgame but it was not enough to win. Draw.


Post-Opening ceremony
World Chess Grand Prix London launched in grand style

FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov presided at last night’s opening ceremony for the World Chess Grand Prix London at Somerset House.

The evening was hosted by Andrew Paulson of Agon, the new rights holder to the World Chess Championship Cycle, who thanked Vladimir Palikhata, the president of the Moscow Chess Federation, for supporting the reception. 


He added his appreciation to FIDE for according him the commercial rights to the World Chess Championship Cycle.

Mr Paulson, the Director and founder of Agon, said: “I am enormously grateful to FIDE for placing their confidence in me. We are at an inflection point for chess and I have every hope that we are entering a new golden era for the sport.”

Last night’s reception, which celebrated the start of today’s Grand Prix at Simpson’s-in-the-Strand, was attended by more than 300 distinguished guests including Ambassadors, stars from the stage and screen, well known models and patrons of the arts.


Invitees also enjoyed a number of performance ‘blitz’ games, where the Grandmasters competing at the Grand Prix London tournament challenged guests such as the Hollywood actress Gillian Anderson, the chess-loving supermodel Lily Cole, and the singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

The Grand Prix London is the first fixture in the new World Chess Championship Cycle.

The Grand Prix matches will be played over 11 rounds between 21 September and 3 October, with two rest days on 26 and 30 September. All games will be streamed live at

FIDE Grand Prix - London 2012
The first stage of the new FIDE Grand Prix will be held in London between the 20th September and 4th of October 2012.

Twelve top Grandmasters will launch an exciting series of six events with the first tournament being held in London. The City will be the centre of attention for the next two weeks as AGON organises a top chess event which forms part of the new World Championship cycle.

The organisers have had to effect a last minute replacement as GM Peter Svidler has had to withdraw from this leg due to family reasons. He has been replaced by UK number one player GM Michael Adams. The list of players is now as follows :

Hikaru Nakamura USA 2783
Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2769
Alexander Grischuk RUS 2754
Veselin Topalov BUL 2752
Wang Hao CHN 2742
Boris Gelfand ISR 2738
Peter Leko HUN 2737
Anish Giri NLD 2730
Shakriyar Mamedyarov AZE 2729
Leinier Dominguez Perez CUB 2725
Michael Adams ENG 2722
Rustam Kasimdzhanov UZB 2684

The remaining players who are in the cycle and will participate in latere events are :

Sergey Karjakin (RUS), Teimour Radjabov (AZE), Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR), Fabiano Caruana (ITA), Alexander Morozevich (RUS) and Vugar Gashimov (AZE).

The Chief Arbiter for the London event will be International Arbiter Ms. Carol Jarecki who will be assisted by International Arbiter Mr. Stewart Reuben. Chairman of Appeals Committee will be Mr Lakhdar Mazouz, who is also President of African Chess Union. FIDE Press officer and Representative is Mr Geoffrey Borg, FIDE Chief Executive Officer.
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