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First Grand Prix tournament: Baku 2008
Thursday, 17 April 2008
On Sunday, April 20, 2008 the first Grand Prix tournament, Baku 2008, will be officially opened. Fourteen of the strongest chess grandmaster will compete in the capital of Azerbaijan.

The tournament is dedicated to the 85th birthday of former Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev, and will be held April 20 - May 6, with thirteen rounds and two rest days.

Participants for this first Grand Prix tournament are Magnus Carlsen (2765), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (2752), Teimour Radjabov (2751), Peter Svidler (2746), Sergey Karjakin (2732), Michael Adams (2729), Gata Kamsky (2726), Alexander Grischuk (2716), Etienne Bacrot (2705), Ivan Cheparinov (2695), Wang Yue (2689), Ernesto Inarkiev (2684), Vugar Gashimov (2679) and David Navara (2672).

The location for this first Grand Prix event is the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku, a city with a population of 2 million people.

Baku is the largest city and the largest port of Azerbaijan. Located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, the city consists of two principal parts: the downtown and the old Inner City.

More than two million people live in Baku, a member of Organization of World Heritage Cities and Sister Cities International. Baku is currently bidding for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Baku is divided into eleven administrative districts and 48 townships. Among these are the townships on islands in the Baku Bay and the town of Oil Rocks built on stilts in the Caspian Sea, 60 km away from Baku.

Bay in Baku

The centre of Baku is the old town, which is also a fortress. In December 2000, the Inner City of Baku with the Palace of the Shirvanshahs and Maiden Tower became the first location in Azerbaijan classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Icheri Sheher - an old inner city of Baku

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