Kazan is the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia.
These matches run until possibly May 27,2011. Here are the pairings for these first matches:
Topalov (BUL) - Kamsky (USA)
Kramnik (RUS) - Radjabov (AZE)
Aronian (ARM) - Grischuk (RUS)
Gelfand (ISR) - Mamedyarov (AZE)
These matches are all best of four affairs, in fact this best of four match format is going to be used until the final (which is a best of six match).
Here are my predictions for these matches: I predict Topalov will win his match with Kamsky, I believe Kramnik will defeat Radjabov in their match, I feel that Aronian will defeat Grischuk in their match and I am picking Gelfand as the winner in his match against Mamedyarov. Best wishes to all of the players in these matches!
The schedule for the championship can be viewed by clicking on the following link:
The winner of the Candidates Matches 2011 will qualify to challenge the World Champion GM Vishy Anand in a 12-game match during the first half of 2012. Who do you think will win these first Candidates matches? For more information about the first round matches please visit the Chessbase website:
http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=7195 The games will be covered live at the official tournament website: which is at: http://kazan2011.fide.com/
Update: According to the The Week in Chess website, Kamsky, Radjabov, Aronian and Mamedyarov get the advamtage of playing the White pieces in the first game of the matches: