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London Grand Prix Opening Ceremony

  • SonofPearl
  • on 21/09/12 01:10.

London 2012 FIDE Grand Prix banner.jpg

Andrew Paulson, the Chief Executive and Founder of Agon, the company that has been awarded the commercial rights to the World Chess Championships, created a very different opening ceremony for the FIDE London Grand Prix, held last night.

The occasion took place in the beautiful neo-classical building Somerset House which is an arts and cultural centre, and home to London Fashion Week.

Instead of a longwinded ceremony, official protocol was kept to a minimum at what was described as an "opening party".

Andrew Paulsen welcomes FIDE President Kirsan Illyumzhinov

Kirsan Illyumzhinov and Andrew Paulsen by Ray Morris Hill.jpg

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The players joined Andrew Paulsen, waiting for the drawing of lots

London 2012 FIDE Grand Prix Players at Opening Party.jpg

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The players each chose a London Monopoly card to decide their place in the draw

London 2012 FIDE Grand Prix Monopoly Card lots.jpg

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Top seed Hikaru Nakamura of the USA makes his choice

London 2012 FIDE Grand Prix Hikaru Nakamura.jpg

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The opening party in full swing with many special guests

London 2012 FIDE Grand Prix Opening Party.jpg

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Andrew Paulsen with actress Gillian Anderson and English Junior Joshua Altman

London 2012 FIDE Grand Prix Joshua Altman Andrew Paulsen GIllian Anderson.jpg

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The players gave blitz demonstrations for the party guests (Michael Adams v Anish Giri)

London 2012 FIDE Grand Prix Opening Party Michael Adams Anish Giri.jpg

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Boris Gelfand (left) and Hikaru Nakamura

London 2012 FIDE Grand Prix Opening Party Boris Gelfand Hikaru Nakamura.jpg

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Leinier Dominguez Perez (left) versus Veselin Topalov

London 2012 FIDE Grand Prix Opening Party Leinier Dominguez Veselin Topalov.jpg

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Wang Hao (left) and Rustam Kasimdzhanov

London 2012 FIDE Grand Prix Opening Party Wang Hao Rustam Kasimdzhanov.jpg

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Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (right) faced Alexander Grischuk

London 2012 FIDE Grand Prix Opening Party Shakhriyar Mamedyarov Alexander Grischuk.jpg

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Model and actress Lily Cole challenged Veselin Topalov!

London 2012 FIDE Grand Prix Opening Party Lily Cole Veselin Toplaov.jpg

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The official poster for the London Grand Prix

London 2012 FIDE Grand Prix Official Poster.jpg

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The full line-up for the first Grand Prix in London is:

Name Fed Elo
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
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov  AZE 2729
Leinier Dominguez Perez  CUB 2725
Michael Adams  ENG 2722
Rustam Kasimdzhanov  UZB 2684

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The tournament starts today. See our preview here.  Who is your pick to win?

All photos by Ray Morris-Hill.

Letto 4652 volte 29 commenti
2 voti

Commenti


  • 22 mesi fa

    Tyeee

    There are lots of things to say here but....in interest of time and space let me just say this about your shaky start based on your own response:

    1) It is great that you preceive your mission to be ...

    "My job is to make the pinnacle of chess a sustainable business so that there will be good prize money, regular and predictable events, interesting venues, and great audience (and player) experience."

    Those things must be underpinned by upholding the "Fairness and Integrity of the sport"...It is very interesting that you do not mention that in your mission statement above. Because without that you have entertainment but not a sport.

    2) You claim that your choices were based on geographical diversty and future potential(what ever that means).

    I would just like to point out that there are 4 RUS players participating, one of which you gave entry to. Two of the RUS players are currently falling in the FIDE rankings and Gata Kamsky is going up in the FIDE ranking and is higher ranking than both of those RUS players. So, as it relates to the RUS players, your claim of diversty and future potential seems SHAKY !

    There are 3 AZE players participating.  Two our rated below Gata Kamsky and one is currently going down in the rankings. In fact, Gashimov is the one the suddenly replaced Gata Kamsky as a participant.. !

    Mr. Paulsen, do you know how many Americans are participating in the Grand Prix??

    Let me tell you just in case....ONE !

    Which means you and FIDE have declined to invite the 11th best player in the world, Gata Kamsky ! Based on what?...it doesn't seem likely that it's diversity or future potential...based on some easily seen examples above.

    That, Mr. Paulsen is about as shaky as you could have taken a first step....as it relates to "Integrity and Fairness"...

     

    My final thoughts, While I applaud you for bringing chess more out front on the world stage, I would be very careful when working with FIDE and stay very very very Independent !

    Cheers,

    Tye

  • 22 mesi fa

    _valentin_

    Thank you to apaulsen (assuming this is Andrew Paulsen himself) for the prompt response and, above all, for caring to make something bigger from the game of chess!

    To elaborate on the question about fairness, which many people have raised on these forums in the past:  It has seemed to a number of us (perhaps incorrectly, but it wasn't communicated clearly) that Gata Kamsky had a higher eligibility criteria (average ratings at the times measured) than other participants who got chosen, yet he didn't make the cut but people lower on those criteria made it.  It could be that those chosen instead were chosen based on additional criteria which elevated their candidacy...  We didn't know, which created the perception of unfairness.  That can certainly be easily clarified, I trust.

    Generally though, deciding which among a large set of constraints to satisfy and how to do so is inherently a task that will leave some people satisfied and others less so.  There is never an optimal solution or making everyone happy with a given solution.  Recognizing this (by everyone involved) and communicating it honestly (by people like Mr. Paulsen, whose efforts I personally applaud) is a key to understanding and moving on.

    Thanks again!

  • 22 mesi fa

    londonkid

    this was the best nite of my young life - and i got to play chess! a BIG thank you Mr. Paulson! @kid_chess

  • 22 mesi fa

    apaulson

    Not only do I busy myself with considering who the actual players are in any given event, I also read comments on chess.com!  No rubber stamping.

    There are 6 'wild cards' for AGON (one for each leg of the series) and one for the FIDE President.  We chose all 7 with an eye to geograpical diversity and future potential.

    Why do you think my first step is 'shaky'?

    And, what do you mean about 'fairness'?  On what point (in the current Grand Prix Series) are you unconvinced about fairness?

    My job is to make the pinnacle of chess a sustainable business so that there will be good prize money, regular and predictable events, interesting venues, and great audience (and player) experience.

  • 22 mesi fa

    Tyeee

    Hi Valentin...

    Of course, I basically agree with you as it relates to FIDE Wink

    But if you look at FIDE'S Grand Prix participants chart it shows several different ways the participants were allowed entry i.e. ratings, FIDE President, World Cup and Agon(Paulsen).

    You may very well be correct about thinking that Paulsen might have rubber stamped these 5 additional participants for FIDE....but just the same ... he (Paulsen) has to take personel responsibilty for those selections as head of Agon and as the new 'Commercial Face' of World Chess and of course ...for 'The Integrity of the Sport' etc. ....wouldn't you think?

    So, as far as I can see....His first step...is a VERY shaky one....as it relates to trust issues ! 

    Cheers...

  • 22 mesi fa

    _valentin_

    Tyeee:  I strongly suspect that Andrew Paulsen doesn't busy himself with considering who the actual players are in any given event.  His job is to promote chess as an enterprise, not decide who plays and who doesn't (these are details to him).  This decision is FIDE's job, based on their admittedly imprecise and usually fleeting rules.  So ask your question of the FIDE board instead.

    Still, Andrew Paulsen or someone assisting him can have a say about the strong support of fairness and abiding by established rules in the process -- since a perceived lack of fairness can make a ding (as is apparent from your comments) into his otherwise good efforts so far.

  • 22 mesi fa

    Tyeee

    I don't trust Paulsen ! His company gave entry into the grand prix series to 5 player's lower rated than Gata Kamsky...and Paulsen is from the USA...!

    Mr. Paulsen, why didn't you give entry to Gata who was higher rated than the 5 you did give entry to ???

  • 22 mesi fa

    StakeOut

    distractingly engaging women at the opening ...  clever paulsen 

  • 22 mesi fa

    procyk

    All 2700 club except Rustam. Time for Ivanchuk to shine...

  • 22 mesi fa

    Gaffneychess

    Holy Smokes!   When was the last time an American was top seed at a major chess event??

  • 22 mesi fa

    sclukey

    Thanks!

  • 22 mesi fa

    SuperCourgette

    sclukey: There is a hyperlink in the article.

    http://london2012.fide.com/en/main-page

  • 22 mesi fa

    sclukey

    No official website? Where can I watch the games?

  • 22 mesi fa

    maturner

    I don't see anyone dominating this tournament This is an extremely strong field of participants.

  • 22 mesi fa

    mobidi

    Good company of "bad boys",but without MEUndecided-of course -I'm-"simple the worst"Cool

  • 22 mesi fa

    SuperCourgette

    @ _valentin_ : Ivanchuk wasn't on the pictures because he was the last player to arrive. Flying in only on the morning of the first round (today).

  • 22 mesi fa

    nyLsel

    Good luck here. :D

  • 22 mesi fa

    chrisarchitect

    I'm going for Nakamura.

  • 22 mesi fa

    jovalac

    Go Leinier!!!

  • 22 mesi fa

    _valentin_

    Only Ivanchuk wasn't anywhere to be seen on the pictures... Was he there?

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