Countdown to the Isle of Man Masters

John Saunders reports: We're now just ten days away from the first round of the 2017 Isle of Man Masters and the top end of the starting field is beginning to firm up.

As readers might already be aware, there is a slight overlap with the FIDE World Cup currently in progress in Tbilisi, Georgia, with many of the leading contenders in the FIDE world championship qualifying event also scheduled to be playing here in Douglas, Isle of Man. However, given that the FIDE competition is a knock-out, it should only affect those players who make it through to the final match in Tbilisi. So, if you look at the Masters line-up as listed on the website, you will see the words "subject to progress in World Cup" to the right of the relevant competitors' details. We're updating these details on a daily basis and you will note that it now only applies to four competitors, namely Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Wesley So, Maxim Rodshtein and Richard Rapport. Good luck to all four of those gentlemen in what has been an uncommonly bloodthirsty, though at the same time I hope they won't take it the wrong way if I express the hope to see them in ten days' time in Douglas.

This effectively confirms the participation in the Isle of Man Masters of the following big names: former world champions Vladimir Kramnik and Vishy Anand, plus Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Mickey Adams, Boris Gelfand... and I've not even exhausted the names of players who have played matches for the world title or have ratings currently in excess of 2700. 

Now that we're into the final countdown to the tournament start, please check on this blog regularly for further updates. As a little taster, I've been having a look-back to Isle of Man chess events of yesteryear. In the process I've set up an Isle of Man chess page at my BritBase website, with all the games recorded from the old and much-loved Monarch Assurance tournament which ran from 1992 to 2007 in Port Erin, plus some of my own contemporary reports on the last seven of those tournaments. Enjoy.

"I play and prepare on"
GM Hikaru Nakamura
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Latest News

2017 Prizegiving
Published: 03 Oct 2017

John Saunders reports: The prizegiving for the 2017 Isle of Man tournament was held in the Villa Marina on Sunday 1 October at 9pm. Guest of honour was the tournament sponsor Isai Scheinberg who made the presentation of the Masters trophy and cheque for £50,000 to the winner of the open section, Magnus Carlsen.

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Round 9 Report
Published: 02 Oct 2017

John Saunders reports: world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway won the 2017 Isle of Man Masters tournament after holding Hikaru Nakamura of the USA in the ninth and last round at the Villa Marina, Douglas, on 1 October 2017. Magnus Carlsen scored 7½ out of 9 to take the £50,000 first prize, ahead of Hikaru Nakamura and former world champion Viswanathan Anand (India) on 7 points. Tied in fourth place on 6½ were nine players: Pavel Eljanov (Ukraine), Dhopade Swapnil (India), Richard Rapport (Hungary), Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (India), Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), Fabiano Caruana (USA), Mickey Adams (England), Alexei Shirov (Latvia), Emil Sutovsky (Israel).

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Masters - Final Ranking List
Published: 01 Oct 2017

The final ranking list of the Masters was as follows:

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Sponsored By The Scheinberg Family
With assistance from
Department of Economic Development Manx Technology Group
Organised by the Isle of Man International Chess Committee