71-st Saint-Petersburg Championship
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
and creative achievements of Saint-Petersburg's players draw
attention all over the world.
Mark Taimanov, 5 time City Champion