Monday, February 21, 2005


Linares Tournament 2005

The Linares tournament starts tomorrow. It will feature (1) Gary Kasparov- 2804, (2) Vishy Anand- (2786), (3) Vesselin Topalov- 2757, (5) Peter Leko- 2749, (6=) Michael Adams- 2741, (18) Francisco Vallejo Pons- 2686 and (25) Rustam Kasimdzhanov- 2678.

This is a double round robin tournament where everyone will play everyone else once as white and once as black. This will be the closest thing to a World Championship the world has seen in a while. The only high rated person missing is Vladimar Kramnik, who holds the "classical world championship."

Vallejo Pons is Spain's #1 native player. Usually a local will get invited to these "super-GM" tournaments. Rustam won the 2004 FIDE "World" Championship in which he beat Michael Adams in the tiebreak blitz games in the final rounds. I don't see either of them beating any of the other 5. At Wijk ann Zee, neither Adams, Topalov, Anand, or Leko lost to anyone under 2740.

I think Kasparov, whom some pundits claim is "dead," will surprise many and take this tournament. I think his major wins will be against Topalov and Adams. Anand will have revenge on Leko from Wijk ann Zee.

My official predicted results:

Kasparov - 8/12
Anand - 7.5
Leko - 7
Topalov - 6.5
Adams - 6
Kasimdzhanov - 4
Vallejo Pons - 3

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