Introducing the Amber Chess Tournament... this prestigeous competition, known officially as the Amber Rapid and Blindfold Chess Tournament, is, as the full title suggests, a contest involving two innovations of the game: Rapid Chess and Blindfold Chess.
The Amber Tournment started back in 1992 in the Commune of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin - a city with a history dating back to pre-Roman times, within the region of south-east France, between Monaco and Menton.
And, if the photo [left] of Roquebrune Street is anything to go by, it looks quite a charming place to visit ... Nice.
The first Amber Tournament began without the Blindfold element, focussing solely on the Rapid Chess game, in the form of a double 'round robin' competition - that is, a type of tournament in which all players must face and compete with everbody in the competition in turn...
If it were a single round robin contest, everyone would play each other once ... The double round robin made sure the first game wasn't purely a one-off and so every contestant meets every other contestant in turn.
Amber Blindingly Evolves
In the second year of the competition, in 1993, the Tournament saw the introduction of Blindfold Chess ...
This innovation sees the game of chess played without being able to see where the pieces are positioned on the board.
Each player must rely on their own power of memory and use the annotated chess system to voice their intended moves.
Interestingly, Blindfold Chess evolved in order to handicap a chess master when playing against a weaker student ... though it also served to show off the master's superior chess intelect.
Played over 11 Rounds, scoring at the Amber Chess Tournament is based on 1 point for a win, ½ a point for a draw; 0 for losing.
The tournament, organized by the Association Max Euwe in Monaco, attracts the best players in the world and 2009 saw Levon Aronian (Armenia) crowned the 18th Overall Winner for the second year running.
Previous Overall Winners have included Viswanathan Anand (India); Anatoly Karpov (Russia) and Vladimir Kramnik (Russia).
Video: Amber Chess Tournament (2009), Round 9
|Visit the official Amber Chess Tournament Website|