71-st Saint-Petersburg Championship

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Mark Taimanov In spite of  exceptional intense of  today's world chess life and enormous number of  important international events, local tournaments as a rule are not attractive for Grandmasters elite. Even national championships usually does not have the strongest staff, so much the more cities championships. Only in Saint-Petersburg the tournaments have lucky fortune. Chess association of Saint-Petersburg and its energetic president B.M.Hropov succeeded in creation necessary prerequisites - and financial and prestige - in order to championships will be more attractive for Grandmasters.  So present 71-st championship has a very strong staff.  Suffice to say that 9 of 14 participants has the highest rank and 2 are the international masters, average coefficient is equal 2500 ELO!  No wonder that the competition of such powerful rivals had tense struggle from the beginning. After 5 rounds more than half of participants have been defeated. Among them indisputable favourite Alexander Khalifman, which was lost to young FIDE master E.Shaposhnikov. Sport forecast would be early, but one conclusion is evident - 71-st championship will be deserve in chess chronicle of our city, which has rich history and creative achievements of Saint-Petersburg's players draw attention all over the world.

Mark Taimanov, 5 time  City Champion