FIDE Grand Prix in Thessaloniki will start in a few days
FIDE is pleased to announce the fourth stage of the FIDE Grand Prix Series will be held in Thessaloniki (Greece) between the 21st of May and 4th of June 2013. The 5-star Makedonia Palace Hotel and its owner, international business investor and philanthropist Ivan Savvidis, are FIDE's sponsors for the 12-player Grand Prix Chess Tournament.
“This event could happen thanks to the active support of the well known philanthropist Ivan Savvidi. According to the wish of Mr Savvidi, an elite chess event is coming to Greece.
As FIDE has its principal secretariat in Athens, we are quite happy to have such an elite event in Greece. Additionally, the Greek Chess Federation is one of the most experienced and organized chess Federations in the world and their involvement in the organization of the event will be critical to its success,” said FIDE President Kirsan Iljumzhinov.
The opening ceremony will take place at the Makedonia Palace Hotel at Thessaloniki at 6.30 p.m. on 21st of May. The games start at 14:00h local time except the last round. The prize fund to be shared by the players in Thessaloniki is 170,000 EUR, while the organizer provides further 70,000 EUR to the accumulated prize fund for the overal Grand Prix series standings.
Participants include three former World Champions Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine), Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria), Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan). GM Teimur Radjabov has withdrawn from the Thessaloniki Grand Prix for personal reasons and has been replaced by GM Etienne Bacrot from France.
There will be a systematic renewal of images, reports, as well as live commenting (English, Greek) and press-conferences with the players. Official commentators are GM Ioannis Papaioannou and GM Stelios Halkias.
Time control: 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then each player will be allotted 15 minutes after the second time control and an increment of 30 seconds per move will be allowed from move 61 onwards.
The Grand Prix Series consists of six tournaments to be held over two years (2012-2013). 18 top players participate in 4 of these 6 tournaments. The winner and second placed player overall of the Grand Prix Series will qualify for the Candidates Tournament to be held in March 2014.