Arrived in Moscow yesterday for the Tal Memorial 2013, starting with a blitz tournament on the 12th. Moscow is a magnificent city but with a heavy atmosphere. For me June is preferable to November so I like the new timing of Tal Memorial introduced last year. And it is of course always good to be back when you have won the previous two editions.
Despite Aronian missing from the field, the organizers have managed to put together a category 22 event. There have been a few of those over the last few years but it is still a very rare occasion especially for a 10-player event. Category 22 reflects an average rating between 2776 and 2800, and with just 8 players ranked above 2776 in the world (5 in .22. plus Aronian and Kramnik in .23. and me in .25.), you have to gather most of them to achieve a category-22 event.
The cooperation with my coach Peter H. Nielsen worked well at the Candidates in London and I.m happy to have him with me here in Moscow. My father is here as well, while my manager Espen Agdestein is staying at home this time as his girlfriend gave birth to their first-born, a son, last week. Congratulations to both!
Espen, with help from my main sponsor Simonsen Vogt Wiig, is also busy finalizing the agreement with FIDE and V.Anand for the World Championship match in November.
The pairing for the Blitz event tomorrow is based on the May 2013 Fide rating (for classical chess). I.ll start with white against Dmitry Andreikin at approximately 18:10 local time.
Magnus Carlsen, Moscow, June 11th, 2013