Amber Bids Farewell

  • SonofPearl
  • on 04-01-11 11:52.

They say all good things must come to an end, but it's still a shock when it happens.

The 20th Amber Tournament will take place from 11-25 March 2011, but it will also be the last.

This year the venue reverts to Monaco, but the combined rapid/blindfold double round robin format that has made the tournament so distinctive remains unchanged.

The line-up for the final Amber competition has been confirmed, and fittingly it is excellent, with all the current top 10 playing (January rating list) except Mamedyarov.

 Magnus Carlsen   2814 
 Viswanathan Anand  2810
 Levon Aronian  2805
 Vladimir Kramnik  2784
 Sergey Karjakin  2776
 Veselin Topalov  2775
 Alexander Grischuk   2773
 Vassily Ivanchuk  2764
 Hikaru Nakamura  2751
 Vugar Gashimov  2736
 Boris Gelfand  2733
 Anish Giri  2686

The official press release:


   Amber Returns to Monaco for Farewell Jubilee Edition

The 20th Amber Blindfold and Rapid Tournament will take place at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort in Monaco, from March 11 to 25, 2011.

The tournament is organized by the Association Max Euwe of chess maecenas Joop van Oosterom, which is based in Monaco.

This 20th Amber tournament will be the final edition of an event unparalleled in the history of chess.

In this final jubilee edition the following grandmasters will take part: World Champion Viswanathan Anand (India), Magnus Carlsen (Norway), Levon Aronian (Armenia), Vladimir Kramnik (Russia), Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria), Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Vasily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Sergey Karjakin (Russia), Boris Gelfand (Israel), Hikaru Nakamura (United States), Vugar Gashimov (Azerbaijan) and Anish Giri (The Netherlands).

The total prize-fund is € 227,000.


The first Amber tournament was held in Roquebrune, France, in 1992 to celebrate the birth of Mr and Mrs Van Oosterom's daughter Melody Amber. That first tournament was a rapid event won by Vasily Ivanchuk, the only player to have taken part in all Amber tournaments (and the shared winner, together with Magnus Carlsen, of last year's edition!).

In the tournament of 1993 the formula was introduced that made 'Amber' unique in the chess world: a double round-robin in which the grandmasters play both a rapid and a blindfold game against each other. The 1993 tournament took place in Monaco, which would become the home of 'Amber' till it moved to Nice in 2008.

For historical reasons Mr and Mrs Van Oosterom and the Association Max Euwe have chosen to return to Monaco for the farewell edition of this unique chess spectacle. The Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort will be an appropriate venue for a tournament that has been the favourite meeting place for the chess elite over the past two decades.

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  • 6 jaar geleden


    why is it ending?

  • 6 jaar geleden


    My bet is Aronian winning the Amber this year. 2010 was a bang for GM Aronian, hitting his best 280x rating ever and winning some prestige events. I believe 2011 is a year for Aronian. GO LEV!

  • 6 jaar geleden


    It would be nice to see Anish Giri winning this tournament with Magnus on the second place...

  • 6 jaar geleden


    I pick IVANCHUK!!

  • 6 jaar geleden


  • 6 jaar geleden


    Go Anish ! U can do it ! :D

  • 6 jaar geleden


    I salute Giri, a 16 year old Dutch-Russian kid who is about to face the top 10 of the world..

  • 6 jaar geleden


    I am definately going to follow the tournament closely. I am very interested in Magnus Carlsens performance in this tournament especially.

    Very sad, though, that this is the last tournament. Hopefully there will come new replacements.

  • 6 jaar geleden


    It looks so exiting..! 'The pack of wolf ' fighting it out for the top honour at The Last Amber... We will miss the unique tournament.
  • 6 jaar geleden



  • 6 jaar geleden


    We shall savor this ultimate Amber tournament. Luxurious venue, challenging format, and what's got to be the strongest field in the history of strong fields.

    Thanks to Joop van Oosterom for the marvelous twenty-year run! Bravo!

  • 6 jaar geleden


    While I personally value the classical chess events over these unique ones, over the years I have come to enjoy this format and look forward to this event. Pity Morozevich isn't involved, but he's been relatively inactive until recently. He was always "one to watch" at this tournament.

  • 6 jaar geleden


    After a long time we see Topalov & Kramnik play'n in da same event. I thnk Melody Amber hates chess, tht's why they're ending it. 

  • 6 jaar geleden


    That place is beautiful.



  • 6 jaar geleden


    So besides Van Oosterom, who are the big chess patrons of the world?  From where is FIDE raising the money for their candidates tournaments?

  • 6 jaar geleden

    NM Petrosianic

    I've read that Mr. Van Oosterom is a billionaire.  I recall reading that in his chessgames biography, if not elsewhere.  So perhaps the event is discontinued not so much because of money issues?  Very unfortunate that so much money is dependent on so few patrons!  Probably not just the money - the effort to organize such a tournament! In any case, it's a fantastic lineup this year - hopefully events like this continue to exist in future.  And an unusual format - - blindfold and rapid chess, lots of games, unrated also, hopefully this will all contribute to interesting chess.

  • 6 jaar geleden



  • 6 jaar geleden


    227000 euros (around 300000 U.S. dollars) is a big prize fund to stake, on top of the cost for the venue, running the event, perks for players, etc.  Batgirl has some interesting material about the Oosterom's preserved here: 

  • 6 jaar geleden


    I can say only 2 things:

    1. I can't wait to watch this!

    2. I hope TV covers this!

  • 6 jaar geleden

    WGM Natalia_Pogonina

    Sad. First the Young Stars vs Experience event, now Amber...

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