Amber chess tournament
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).
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 |
|3||1994||Viswanathan Anand||Viswanathan Anand
|4||1995||Anatoly Karpov||Anatoly Karpov||Vladimir Kramnik|
|5||1996||Vladimir Kramnik||Viswanathan Anand
|6||1997||Viswanathan Anand||Viswanathan Anand||Viswanathan Anand |
|8||1999||Vladimir Kramnik||Viswanathan Anand||Vladimir Kramnik |
|9||2000||Alexei Shirov||Alexei Shirov||Vladimir Kramnik |
|Veselin Topalov |
|11||2002||Alexander Morozevich||Boris Gelfand||Alexander Morozevich |
|12||2003||Viswanathan Anand||Evgeny Bareev||Vladimir Kramnik|
|Viswanathan Anand||Alexander Morozevich |
|14||2005||Viswanathan Anand||Viswanathan Anand||Viswanathan Anand|
|Viswanathan Anand||Alexander Morozevich|
|16||2007||Vladimir Kramnik||Viswanathan Anand||Vladimir Kramnik|
|17||2008||Levon Aronian||Levon Aronian||Levon Aronian|
Veselin Topalov [permanent dead link]
|18||2009||Levon Aronian||Viswanathan Anand
|Levon Aronian |
|20||2011||Levon Aronian||Magnus Carlsen||Levon Aronian |
Melody Amber 1992
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.
Melody Amber 2006
The competitors in 2006 were the following players (world ranking at the time in brackets).
- Veselin Topalov (2)
- Viswanathan Anand (3) Speed chess winner, and joint overall winner.
- Peter Svidler (4)
- Levon Aronian (5)
- Peter Leko (7)
- Vassily Ivanchuk (8)
- Boris Gelfand (9)
- Alexander Morozevich (11) Blindfold chess winner, and joint overall winner.
- Alexander Grischuk (12)
- Francisco Vallejo Pons (54)
- Loek van Wely (59)
- Peter Heine Nielsen (66)
Melody Amber 2007
The competitors in 2007 were the following players (world ranking at the time in brackets).
- Viswanathan Anand (2) Speed chess winner and second
- Vladimir Kramnik (3) Blindfold chess winner and overall winner
- Vassily Ivanchuk (5)
- Peter Leko (6)
- Levon Aronian (7)
- Alexander Morozevich (8)
- Boris Gelfand (10)
- Teimour Radjabov (11)
- Peter Svidler (12)
- Magnus Carlsen (24)
- Loek van Wely (26)
- Francisco Vallejo Pons (29)
Melody Amber 2008
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).
- Vladimir Kramnik (1)
- Viswanathan Anand (2)
- Veselin Topalov (3)
- Alexander Morozevich (4)
- Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (6)
- Peter Leko (8)
- Vassily Ivanchuk (9)
- Levon Aronian (10)
- Boris Gelfand (11)
- Magnus Carlsen (13)
- Sergey Karjakin (14)
- Loek van Wely (35)
A book on the first tournament was published in 1992:
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.
- Crowther, Mark (29 March 1999), THE WEEK IN CHESS 229: The Eighth Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess Tournament, London Chess Center