10/12/2019 – Fabiano Caruana, Wang Hao, Bu Xiangzhi, Alexei Shirov and Adhiban Baskaran are the only five players left with a perfect score after two rounds at the FIDE chess.com Grand Swiss. World champion Magnus Carlsen was held to a draw by Alexey Sarana and is now one of forty-five players on 1½ out of 2. Upsets kept turning up on Friday, as the plot begins to unfold in the Isle of Man. | Photo: John Saunders
The FIDE chess.com Grand Swiss is arguably the highlight of 2019. The Isle of Man Open has blossomed within a few years into one of the top tournaments in the world and now has been elevated by FIDE to a qualifying even for the 2020 Candidates. The prize money is also first-class with over USD $430,000 ($70,000 for 1st prize) on the line.
The classical time control gives players 100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes to the end of the game, plus 30 seconds bonus per move starting from move one.
Round 2 report: Five-player leading pack
Live games and commentary
Commentary by GM Daniel King and IM Anna Rudolf
Pairings for Round 3 (top 20 boards)
Yesterday evening, the world’s elite met on the small island in the Irish Sea for a reception and drawing of pairing number. World Champion Magnus Carlsen stood (or sometimes sat) as “first among equals” among his peers.
Seated: Magnus Carlsen, Eric Hansen, Aryan Tari | Photo: John Saunders/Official site
The World Champion is pleased to play here, and he obviously has no Candidates pressure. The presence of the World Champion benefits the prestige of the tournament. The same applies to his previous challenger, Fabiano Caruana, who will play in the 2020 Candidates regardless of his result in the next two weeks.
It is unlikely that one of the participating youngsters will win the tournament (or come third behind Carlsen and Caruana). But who knows? At least they have the chance. Young players like Nihal Sarin, Parham Maghsoodloo, Gukesh, Vincent Keymer and many others are sure to attract many viewers.
There are also some veterans in the field who would like to have a shot once again, like Alexey Shirov or Peter Leko.
Last, but not least, some strong female chess players take part, among them, Harika Dronavalli, Antoaneta Stefanova, Lei Tinje, Elisabeth Paehtz and others.
So the mix is good and an exciting 12 days lie ahead.
Nihal Sarin, Parham Maghsoodloo | Photo: John Saunders/Official site
FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com/Official site
Leko, Bluebaum, Keymer | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com/Official site
Officially, the tournament starts today, October 9th with an opening ceremony. On Thursday (October 10th) the first round will be played.
Wednesday, the 16th is the single rest day, and the last round takes place on Monday, the 21st.
All rounds start at 14:00 UTC (16:00 CEST), except the last round which starts at 12:30 UTC (14:30 CEST).