Amber chess tournament

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The Amber chess tournament (officially the Amber Rapid and Blindfold Chess Tournament, previously Melody Amber) was an annual invitation-only event for some of the world's best players, from 1992 to 2011. Since the second edition, the event uniquely combined blindfold chess and speed chess, and has been held in Monte Carlo. The tournament was sponsored by the Dutch businessman and world champion of correspondence chess, Joop van Oosterom. Named after his daughter, the tournament was usually held in March. Her sister was the eponym to the Crystal Kelly Cup.

Vladimir Kramnik won the most overall titles with six. Viswanathan Anand is the only player to have won both the rapid and blindfold events in the same year (he did it twice, in 1997 and 2005). The most rapid events have been won by Anand (nine times), and the most blindfold events have been won by Kramnik (nine times).

Nearly every world class player has played in the tournament but Garry Kasparov.[1] Vassily Ivanchuk is the only player to have played in all 20 editions.

The 20th Amber Tournament was held in 2011 in Monaco, as was the first Amber Tournament.


# Year Overall Winner Rapidplay Winner Blindfold Winner
1 1992 Vassily Ivanchuk (no blindfold)
2 1993 Ljubomir Ljubojević Ljubomir Ljubojević Viswanathan Anand
Anatoly Karpov
3 1994 Viswanathan Anand Viswanathan Anand
Vladimir Kramnik
Viswanathan Anand
4 1995 Anatoly Karpov Anatoly Karpov Vladimir Kramnik
5 1996 Vladimir Kramnik Viswanathan Anand
Vassily Ivanchuk
Vladimir Kramnik
6 1997 Viswanathan Anand Viswanathan Anand Viswanathan Anand [1]
7 1998 Alexei Shirov
Vladimir Kramnik
Vassily Ivanchuk
Alexei Shirov
Vladimir Kramnik
8 1999 Vladimir Kramnik Viswanathan Anand Vladimir Kramnik
Alexei Shirov
Veselin Topalov
9 2000 Alexei Shirov Alexei Shirov Vladimir Kramnik [2]
10 2001 Vladimir Kramnik
Veselin Topalov
Boris Gelfand
Vladimir Kramnik
Veselin Topalov [3]
11 2002 Alexander Morozevich Boris Gelfand Alexander Morozevich [4]
12 2003 Viswanathan Anand Evgeny Bareev Vladimir Kramnik
13 2004 Alexander Morozevich
Vladimir Kramnik
Viswanathan Anand Alexander Morozevich [5]
14 2005 Viswanathan Anand Viswanathan Anand Viswanathan Anand
15 2006 Viswanathan Anand
Alexander Morozevich
Viswanathan Anand Alexander Morozevich
16 2007 Vladimir Kramnik Viswanathan Anand Vladimir Kramnik
17 2008 Levon Aronian Levon Aronian Levon Aronian
Vladimir Kramnik
Alexander Morozevich
Veselin Topalov [6][permanent dead link]
18 2009 Levon Aronian Viswanathan Anand
Levon Aronian
Gata Kamsky
Levon Aronian
Magnus Carlsen
Vladimir Kramnik
19 2010 Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk
Magnus Carlsen
Vassily Ivanchuk
Alexander Grischuk
20 2011 Levon Aronian Magnus Carlsen Levon Aronian [7]

Melody Amber 1992[edit]

The first tournament was played 3–13 February in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin as a double round robin competition of rapid chess. The first round-robin was won undefeatedly by Viswanathan Anand with a score of 8/11, closely followed by Vassily Ivanchuk with 7.5 points. In the second half of the tournament, Victor Korchnoi appeared the strongest with 7/11. Anand lost three games (including his final round game with white against Larsen), which allowed Ivanchuk to take over the lead in the very last round. Ivanchuk scored a total of 14/22. Anand finished second with 13.5 points, while Anatoly Karpov, Victor Korchnoi and Ljubomir Ljubojević shared third place with 12.5/22. Remarkable was the participation of 15-year-old Judit Polgár, who finished 10th. Oldest player in the field was Korchnoi at age of 61. Prize money was US$100,000 with US$20,000 for the winner.

Final result: 1 Ivanchuk 14, 2 Anand 13.5, 3/5 Karpov, Korchnoi, Ljubojević 12.5, 6/7 Adams, Seirawan 11, 8/9 Piket, Polugaevsky 10, 10/11 Polgár, Speelman 8.5, 12. Larsen 8.

A separate Blitz tournament was played on 7 February, Ljubojević won as clear first at impressive 10/13 (same participants plus Larry Christiansen and Susan Polgar).

Melody Amber 2006[edit]

The competitors in 2006 were the following players (world ranking at the time in brackets).

Melody Amber 2007[edit]

The competitors in 2007 were the following players (world ranking at the time in brackets).

Melody Amber 2008[edit]

The 17th Amber Rapid and Blindfold Chess Tournament took place March 14–28, 2008 in Nice. The competitors were the following (world ranking at the time in brackets).

Tournament books[edit]

A book on the first tournament was published in 1992:

  • Erik Bouwmans; et al.,Melody Amber Rapid Chess Tournament, Schaaknieuws, 1992, ISBN 90-73216-08-7

In the following six years (1993–1998), tournament books were published on each tournament for that year. The first four were produced by Guido den Broeder, in association with chess grandmasters such as John van der Wiel and John Nunn. The last two were produced by Dagobert Kohlmeyer, in association with John Nunn.


External links[edit]