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USA's Top Daily Chess News Blog, Informative, Fun, and Positive

hosted by Chess Queen™ & 12th Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk

 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Khetho Phemelo, Francis Onkemetse Win Botswana Open, Women's Chess Championships 2014

Hello everyone,



Some more latest chess tournament news via FIDE:

The 2014 Metropolitan National Chess Championships (Open & Women) were held on 18-21st April at the News Cafe, Mondioor, Gaborone.

The Championships were organized by the Botswana Chess Federation. Both sections were 10-player round robins.

Final standings (Women):

1 WCM Francis Onkemetse BOT 1701 Black Bishops - 7
2 WIM Modongo Boikhutso BOT 1839 Bonyonyo - 7
3 WIM Lopang Tshepiso BOT 1756 Mobile Chess Club - 6.5
4 WFM Botlhole Kgalalelo BOT 1780 En Passent - 5.5
5 WFM Francis Thapelo BOT 1761 BCA - 5
6 Leso Gorata BOT 1680 Poisonous Snakes - 5
7 Sokisi Malebogo BOT 0 Mater Spei - 3
8 Kiritjua Kandu BOT 0 - 2
9 Mbo Mabedi BOT 1553 - 2
10 Rebatenne Boitshepo BOT 1533 BDF SSKB - 2

Final standings (Open):

1 FM Khetho Phemelo BOT 2139 Poisonous Snakes - 8
2 CM Gaelafshwe Barileng BOT 2187 Mobile Chess Club - 7.5
3 CM Olebile Thato BOT 2150 En Passent - 7
4 FM Ndjovu Ignatius BOT 2212 Mobile Chess Club - 5
5 CM Notha Moakofi BOT 2096 Bonyonyo Chess Club - 4.5
6 Seane Tumelo BOT 1952 BIUST - 3.5
7 Boikanyo Cinky BOT 1999 Mobile Chess Club - 3
8 Dziilani Abel BOT 2092 Mobile Chess Club - 3
9 Kamara Abdul BOT 1891 Poisonous Snakes - 2.5
10 Mosenya Ndawana BOT 2020 Poisonous Snakes - 1


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Allan Stig Rasmussen is Denmark National Chess Champion 2014

Hello everyone,


Allan Stig Rasmussen (Photo: Sigfred Haubro)

The latest chess news via FIDE:


The Danish Chess Championship was held on 12-21st April in Skorping. Ten players competed in the round robin tournament.

GM Allan Stig Rasmussen of Jetsmark Skakklub emerged national champion after concluding the event with 7/9 points, a full point ahead of the second placed GM Sune Berg Hansen.

Final standings:
1. GM Allan Stig Rasmussen, Jetsmark Skakklub - 7
2. GM Sune Berg Hansen, Helsingør - 6
3-4. GM Jacob Aagaard, Philidor and IM Jakob Vang Glud, Philidor - 5½
5-6. GM Lars Schandorff, Hillerød Skakklub and IM Rasmus Skytte, Århus/Skolerne - 4½
7-8. IM Mikkel Djernæs Antonsen, Næstved Skakklub and IM Mads Andersen, Skanderborg Skakklub - 3½
9. IM Simon Bekker-Jensen, Philidor - 3
10. FM Jakob Aabling-Thomsen, Brønshøj Skakforening - 2

Official website


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FIDE Women's World Rapid, Blitz Chess Championships 2014 begin in Khanty Mansiysk

Hello everyone,


The FIDE Women World Rapid and Blitz Championships 2014 will be held from 23rd to 28th April at the Ugra Chess Academy in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

The events will be both Swiss pairings tournaments and will be held over three days for Rapid (23-25th April) and three days for Blitz (26-28th April).

The Blitz will have fifteen rounds with each player playing with white and black against his paired opponent, Swiss event. The Rapid will be fifteen (15) rounds, with a single game for each round, Swiss event.

In the Blitz Championship, each player will have 3 minutes + 2 seconds additional time per move, starting from move 1.

In the Rapid Championship, each player will have 15 minutes + 10 seconds additional time per move, starting from move 1.

All players rated at least 2200 in any of the three FIDE rating lists (Standard, Blitz or Rapid) as at the 1st of January 2014 are eligible to participate in the Women World Blitz & Rapid Championships.

The Blitz & Rapid Championships are open to all the National Champions representing their National Chess Federation regardless of their title or rating.

Preliminary list of participants

The prize fund for each event (Rapid and Blitz) is $50,000. Top three finishers in each event will earn $12,000-9,000-6,000, respectively.

Georgian city Batumi organized the World Rapid and Blitz Championships in 2012. Antoaneta Stefanova (Rapid) and Valentina Gunina (Blitz) were the champions.

The 2014 FIDE Women World Rapid and Blitz Championships is concluding the chess spring in Khanty-Mansiysk, following the FIDE World Candidates Tournament and FIDE Women Grand Prix.

Tournament website


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Monday, April 21, 2014

Khanty Mansiysk Women's Chess GP Top Three Winners - Hou, Girya, Kosteniuk!

Hello Chess Blog friends,

12th Women's World Chess Champion and her successor meet once again for an exciting draw and the third and first place at the Khanty Mansiysk FIDE Grand Prix...

... and, Olga Girya in the background earning the second place with a very strong performance! Photos: Nikolay Bochkarev


Here's some exciting chess news from Khanty Mansiysk where the FIDE Women's GP has just concluded. The top three winners are reigning women's world chess champion Hou Yifan of China, Olga Girya of Russia (who picks up a GM norm) and 12th Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk

Eleven rounds of exciting chess had Hou Yifan win the event with a strong 1.5 points, but the Russian girls were right behind all along. The last round witnessed a fierce struggle between Hou Yifan and Alexandra Kosteniuk, but the game was drawn.


Local Russian player Olga Girya proved to be the hero of the event playing above her rating and picking up an important GM norm. Alexandra Kosteniuk - with her fans cheering on twitter - played her usual killer chess to claim the unshared third place. She was the only one against whom Hou Yifan seemed to be under any pressure during the tournament. 


Two players tied for fourth with six points - Anna Muzychuk and Kateryna Lagno. 

FINAL STANDINGS


The prize distribution photos will be available soon. You can also look forward to a nice post by Chess Queen™ Alexandra Kosteniuk on her personal blog soon enough. Great round-wise reports by Alina l'Ami, along with nice photos by Nikolay Bochkarev, are available on the official website.


But, don't go away yet from Khanty Mansiysk! Tomorrow begins the Women's World Rapid Chess Championship followed by the Women's World Blitz Chess Championship. 

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Cool Chess Babe in White - You Know Her?

Hello everyone,

We love our chess girls... so, who's this chess babe in white? Don't forget to visit our collection of chess photo portraits including those for chess fashion at www.chesspics.com.





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Asian Blitz Chess: Yu Yangyi, Tan Zhongyi win Titles (Final Day Video)

Hello everyone,



Chinese Grandmasters Yu Yangyi and Tan Zhongyi have won the open and women's section at the Asian Blitz Chess Championship that concluded in Sharjah on 20th April. In the open section, Pentala Harikrishna and Ehsan Ghaem Maghami were second and third respectively. In the women's section Harika Dronavalli and Zhansaya Abdumalik were second and third respectively. Here is a video from the Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club: 




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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easiest Chess Photo Trivia Ever: Name the World Champions... and Guess what are they Talking about!

Hello everyone,

You cannot get an easier chess trivia question this Sunday! Name the World Chess Champions... and, can you guess what they are talking about? ;)


This historic and lovely photo is brought to you via #1 chess photo website www.chesspics.com. Browse around and let us know which chess photos you like best.

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Vugar Gashimov 'Lives Again' as Shamkir Memorial Chess 2014 begins with World's Top Chess Stars

Hello everyone,



The Shamkir Chess 2014 tournament was officially opened on Saturday at the Heydar Aliyev Center in Shamkir, Azerbaijan. A touching opening ceremony included a short movie about Vugar Gashimov, for whom this tournament is a memorial. The drawing of lots resulted in the following pairings for the first round on Sunday: Carlsen-Mamedyarov, Nakamura-Caruana, Karjakin-Radjabov (A group), Wojtaszek-Durarbayli, Eljanov-Mamedov, Motylev-Abasov, Safarli-Huseinov and Wang-Bacrot (B group).

The opening ceremony, which was attended by about 150 people, started with a one-minute of silence for Vugar. A number of honorable guests paid due respect to Vugar's memory giving speeches, including the mayor of Shamkir, the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport and the Vice President of the Azerbaijan Chess Federation.

A touching moment followed when the father of Vugar appeared on stage. Starting with “Dear good friends of Vugar, because that is what you are since you have come here”, he spoke proudly about how much his son had achieved in the short life he was given. There were hardly spectators who kept dry eyes.

He expressed his appreciation for the support he had received from the government and said: “he's not just my son, but the son of the motherland.”

Chairman of Supervisory Board at Synergy Group, Riyad Huseynov greeted all the participants. Emphasizing the importance of this tournament for whole chess community, Mr. Huseynov stated to be honored organizing Shamkir Chess 2014: "I assure all of you that the Organizing Committee of the tournament will do their best to make sure everything is on high level. I declare the tournament open. Let the strongest win."

One of Vugar's friends and former coach, Viorel Iordachescu, also gave a personal and emotional speech. “My collaboration and friendship with Vugar was the happiest period of my life. With the loss of Vugar I lost a part of me.” Iordachescu also introduced special stamps to the audience.

The drawing of lots was a rather simple affair, performed by Chief Arbiter Faik Gasanov. First the players of the B group came on stage, and then the players of the A group. They all had to choose a small trophy, and at the bottom they found their lot number. For the A group Magnus Carlsen appeared first on stage, and he picked number 1 which means he starts with two whites.
The ceremony finished with a dance performance, and after that there was a reception. (official website)


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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Young Chess Players Set to Compete in Honor of Defeating Breast Cancer

Hello everyone,


Charity and chess do go together. Here is a press release for such an event. We wish everyone the joy of chess and salute everyone promoting chess for a cause. 

Fremont, CA (PRWEB) April 19, 2014
Nearly every family has been touched by the disease known broadly as cancer. Every May, we set aside a date to honor our Mothers but this year, rather than just honoring Mothers, we can come together to help defend them against Breast Cancer at a chess tournament in Fremont, California. Chris Torres, the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy feels that, "Chess is about making good choices. If you value your child's chess education and hate cancer, the choice is easy. Come to our tournament in Fremont on May third."


The Torres Chess and Music Academy is a nonprofit organization whose chess programs regularly produce top best scholastic chess players in the country. In 2013, Mission San Jose Elementary School, again, became the National Elementary Chess Champions. On May 3, 2014 the Torres Chess and Music Academy will be hosting a chess tournament in the fight against cancer at Mission San Jose Elementary School. All students who attend will receive awards and help raise money to fight breast cancer in honor of Mother's Day.

This year's tournament should raise even more money for breast cancer research thanks to a sponsorship by Steve and Kate's Camp. Steve and Kate have been running the best summer activity camps for children since 1980. Steve and Kate’s Camp lets campers choose activities such as stop motion animation, soccer in an inflatable stadium, rock climbing on a 30 foot wall, bread making, knitting with bamboo needles, music recording in custom vocal booths, and pie throwing. A Steve and Kate representative will be on hand at the chess tournament to answer any questions about their awesome summer programs.

The Torres Chess and Music Academy will also be well represented at the May 3 chess tournament. Many of the TCAMA’s top coaches will be on hand to provide chess analysis and to otherwise assist in making the tournament an educational experience for all attendees. In addition, the Torres Chess and Music Academy will be providing live music and will have plenty of information available about summer chess activities in the area.

Don't miss out on a great opportunity to participate in a fantastic chess event while celebrating our Mothers. For round times, and registration please visit the Torres Chess and Music Academy online.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Kramnik Chess Trivia: What has the Russian Won, Where, When?

Hello everyone,


World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen has confessed that he has been influenced by Russian GM Vladimir Kramnik's games. Kramnik has a very special place in chess history. Can you say, in the photograph, what has he won, where and when?




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Thailand Chess: GM Vallejo Pons wins 14th BCC Open 2014, GM Barbosa is second on tiebreak

Hi everyone,

Thailand has annually held the BCC Chess Open regularly. Here is a report by Alexander J. Klemm via the official website.


GM Vallejo Pons wins 14th BCC Open 2014, GM Barbosa is second on tiebreak
The last round of the 14th Bangkok Chess Club Open 2014 saw the much anticipated clashes GM Oliver Barbosa (7) vs. GM Francisco Vallejo Pons (7) on the first board, and GM Jan Gustafsson (6½) vs. GM Bartosz Socko (6½) on the second. Yet, their games were somewhat anticlimactic, as no risks were taken. The players agreed to strategic draws after two hours, assuring them all top rankings and prize money.

The Spanish Grandmaster and tournament number one seed GM Francisco Vallejo Pons wins with 7½ points. Congratulations to ‘Paco’ and many thanks for his return to the BCC Open after his first appearance in 2011. We hope he will come back again next year to defend his title. The runner-up is GM Oliver Barbosa, who also reached an impressive 7½ points. GM Barbosa also won the Blitz tournament for the second year running, against stiff competition. Congratulations to the mighty Filipino for his outstanding performance. GM Jan Gustafsson, IM Qingnan Liu and GM Bartosz Socko all reached a very solid 7 points, putting them in 3rd to 5th place.

Round 9 results at top boards:
GM Oliver Barbosa (7) ½ – ½ GM Francisco Vallejo Pons (7)
GM Jan Gustafsson (6½) ½ – ½ GM Bartosz Socko (6½)
GM Suat Atalik (6) ½ – ½ GM Darwin Laylo (6)
GM John Paul Gomez (6) ½ – ½ GM Marat Dzhumaev (6)
GM M.R. Venkatesh (6) 0 – 1 IM Qingnan Liu (6)

Final ranking of top players after round 9:
1-2 (7½ pts.): GM Francisco Vallejo Pons, GM Oliver Barbosa
3-5 (7 pts.): GM Jan Gustafsson, IM Qingnan Liu, GM Bartosz Socko
6-12 (6½ pts.): GM John Paul Gomez, GM Suat Atalik, GM Marat Dzhumaev, IM Aleksandar Wohl, IM Roy Saptarshi, IM Rolando Nolte, GM Monika Socko

A GM norm was achieved by fourth-placed IM Qingnan Liu from China and a WIM norm by Ying Zhu (5 ½), also from China. Best lady player is Polish GM Monika Socko (6½). Best juniors are the Chinese youngsters Yan Liu (6) and Xiongjian Peng (6), as well as Richi Sardana (5½) from Australia. Congratulations to these players for their well-earned successes.

In the Challenger category, this year’s 14th BCC Open champion is Leonardo Alidani from the Philippines. He scored six points, as did his fellow countryman Marvin Ting, who is second based on tiebreak. Thotsaporn Thanatipanonda (THA), Kumar Samuel (IND) and Trong Binh Phan (VIE) scored 5½ points, which puts them on 3rd to 5th place.

Please visit chess-results.com for complete rankings, results and further details about the tournament.

A very big thank you goes to the 210 players from Asia and around the world for their hard-fought games and the many chess fans who followed the action in the playing hall and live online.

We thank our sponsors Thai Bev, Univentures, PYN Fund Management, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Chess4Thai, and the marvelous playing venue hosted by the Dusit Thani Bangkok Hotel. The tournament could not happen without their wonderful and generous support.

Many thanks also to all the members of the dedicated BCC Open tournament team who kept the tournament running smoothly at all times.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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University Chess in Pakistan: Karachi Varsity Retains Title

Hello everyone,

Some chess news from South Asia: FIDE reports on the Pakistan University chess: The Pakistan Chess Federation in collaboration with the country's Higher Education Commission organised the All-Pakistan Inter Universities Chess Championships from 13th April to 17th April in Faisalabad, the country's third biggest city. A record number of 24 universities took part with three members each and a reserve players. 

Top-seed Karachi University beat their arch rival Punjab University in the final to win the title for the second year in a row. Although the latter had better ranked players in its team. The University of Veterinary Sciences squeezed into third place.

The Inter University Tournament has become a regular feature to take place as a prelude to the National Chess Championships in Pakistan every year. Based on the individual scores on respective tables, three top players are selected to give them a berth in the country's premier National Chess Championships which for 2014 are going to take place in Lahore from 25th April. In Faisalabad, the qualifiers were Awad of Karachi University, Arqam of Punjab University and Ahmad Ali from Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences. *Find more photos at FIDE


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US Chess #1 Hikaru Nakamura sponsored by RedBull!

Hello everyone,

The #1 US player Hikaru Nakamura has a new and exciting sponsor: Redbull. "Always try to win at all costs", he says on his page on the Redbull website. Nakamura is currently the #8 player in the World.

Here is the Red Bull page for Hikaru Nakamura! *below is the bio and one of the photos on the page. 




Hi, my name is Hikaru Nakamura. My discipline ischess. My friends call me Hikaru, but I’ve been known by my handles: Smallville, CapilanoBridge, and Star Wars. I was born on 9 December 1987 in Osaka, Japan. My special talent istrying to win at all costs. My philosophy of life is live every moment, every game as though it is your last. The most important person in my life ismy mother. My favourite food ispasta. My favourite music is a mix of rock and folk/indie.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

History Chess Trivia Photo: Name the Grandmaster

Hello everyone,

Here is some history chess trivia: Can you name the Grandmaster? Hint: |The role of chess Grandmaster Kronsteen in James Bond movie 'From Russia with Love' was based on this GM!


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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19-Year-Old Aleksandar Indjic is Serbia Chess Champion 2014

Hello everyone,

The latest chess tournament news via FIDE is that 19-year-old Grandmaster Aleksandar Indjic is the new Serbian chess champion for men. He was the sole winner of the prestigious 12-player round robin tournament and deservedly got the top prize of 1000 EU. Collecting 7,5/11, Indjic left the nearest opponent half a point behind. GM Milos Perunovic became second with 7 points, while GM Nikola Sedlak took the bronze with 6,5 points.

The event took place from 7th to 17th April, 2014, at Hotel Patria, in Subotica, Serbia.


Final standings:
1. GM Indjic Aleksandar (2523) 7,5
2. GM Perunovic Milos (2631) 7
3. GM Sedlak Nikola (2568) 6,5
4. GM Markus Robert (2610) 6
5. GM Damljanovic Branko (2566) 6
6. GM Popovic Dusan (2540) 5,5
7. GM Miladinovic Igor (2583) 5,5
8. IM Nestorovic Nikola (2427) 5
9. IM Nestorovic Dejan (2422) 5
10. GM Lajthajm Borko (2539) 4,5
11. IM Cabarkapa Novak (2392) 4
12. IM Sarenac Ivan (2407) 3,5


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships 2014 in Dubai June 15

Hello everyone,


The FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships 2014 will be held at the Dubai Culture & Chess Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 15th June to 21st June 2014.

The events will be both Swiss pairings tournaments and will be held over two days for Blitz and three days for Rapid.

The Blitz will have twenty one (21) rounds, with a single game for each round, Swiss event. The Rapid will be fifteen (15) rounds, with a single game for each round, Swiss event.

In the Blitz Championship, each player will have 3 minutes + 2 seconds additional time per move, starting from move 1.

In the Rapid Championship, each player will have 15 minutes + 10 seconds additional time per move, starting from move 1.

Participation
1. All players rated at least 2500 in any of the three FIDE rating lists (Standard, Blitz or Rapid) as at the 1st of March 2014 are eligible to participate in the World Blitz Championship.
2. The Blitz & Rapid Championships are open to all the National Champions representing their National Chess Federation regardless of their title or rating.
3. Applications have to be sent by the national federations only.
4. Application form must be submitted online on www.Dubai2014wrb.com/registration not later than 10.05.2014.

The prize fund for each event, Rapid and Blitz, is 200,000 USD. The respective winners will be awarded with 40,000 USD each.


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Anand on Chess and Energy: If you are happy with yourself, you won't feel your age!

Hello everyone,


Here is a great interview with former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand. The world title challenger for 2014 spoke Indian sports magazine Sportstar in Chennai recently. We picked up the main quotes from the interview. Enjoy.

Getting his act together  

Back Home... Anand with his wife Aruna and son Akhil at the Chennai airport after his victory in the Candidates Tournament. Photo: R Ragu


- I kept faith that one day the phase will be over. 

- London was more positive in a certain way. I felt I was playing more freely. Okay, I got punished by Vlady (Vladimir Kramnik). Beyond that, I actually played a good tournament. Zurich was a bit harder. I didn’t see why I was again starting the same way. In the last three rounds I kind of stabilised but nothing really to look back on.

- Before Khanty Mansisyk, the best thing I did was not to think too much. I spent two weeks doing nothing, fooling around with Akhil (son), and not thinking about what happened. Looking for explanations can sometimes kill you when you can’t do anything about certain things. So I decided to simply stop doing that. It’s a waste of time. No point looking for explanations, trying to understand what happened.

- I had a short training session with (Polish Grandmaster Radoslaw) Wojtaszek, and then I sent the results of that work to Sandipan (Chanda). Then I played a Bundesliga weekend. And before going to Khanty, I thought the best thing was not to look at chess but to let the mind just get away from it. I did not think of any opponent. Let’s say, I had done a lot of thinking over the last year.

- My mind was blank. I got on with the job of looking at my openings, going through scenarios. I was just working on the preparations. Since I had taken two weeks off from chess, I thought it was time to get back to it.

- It was nice to beat Aronian, for the first time in my life, with white (pieces). It was a nice game as well. Quite a few others said this about the game. Then I knew this was a wonderful result to put into the bank, forget about it and think about the next 13 games. At least, you know that you have some balance in the bank. Obviously, at that point, it was too early but I knew the tie-break would be nice and so on.

- Generally, I was very contented (going into the first rest day with two wins). I slept very well that evening. It is also a very nice feeling when you have a good result like that and then you can have a rest day. So we (Anand and Sandipan) went to a Georgian restaurant the night before the rest day. That, more or less, became a habit to go to that restaurant every night before a rest day. That also gave some variety to our food. You start to feel positive. Suddenly, you find yourself thinking ambitiously and then you remind yourself to wait.

- In the game with Karjakin, I knew I had messed up something. In fact, I read somewhere that the most absurd thing was that I played defensively against Karjakin and I was punished as a result. I don’t understand this nonsense. This is so clearly wrong. Look at my game with Karjakin. I was not being punished for being defensive. I was punished for sacrificing a pawn, charging ahead and following it up incorrectly. So I knew I had made a tactical mistake. I had to sit and defend carefully. And I got on with it. Basically, the thought of losing was so repulsive that I raised my level.

- Going by your reaction after the draw with Karjakin, you looked ready to mock-strangle him?
That is basically what I told him. I would have mock-strangled him. We both started laughing at that time. He was very sweet. The first thing (after the game), he shook hands and congratulated me. And then there was my mock reaction. I didn’t know that was being photographed.

- Apart from the games you won, which were your other games that left you satisfied?
I was happy with the way I drew with Aronian. Despite the fact that it was a short game, I thought, in an unknown position, I actually went for the most courageous moves, or the most principled moves, if you like. No hanging back or second guesses. I just saw the best moves and that was good. The first draw against Andreikin and (Peter) Svidler were also good games.

- Though you admitted you were tired after the 13th round, your energy levels appeared good.
I think it is a question of happiness. If you are winning games, playing well and you are happy with yourself, you won’t feel your age. If it is depressing and you are struggling, you’ll feel more than your age. In that sense, what I meant was, a result like this will boost my energy and my enthusiasm. That is more important than anything else.

- You gained the right to challenge Magnus Carlsen, collected 15 rating points, a good share of the prize-money and much more. But what would you choose as your biggest gain from Khanty?
I had used this expression a couple of times... for me, it felt like ‘oxygen.’ I really needed it at that point. It is only so long that you can go on with bad results. For the first time, in a long time, I did not have to explain to anyone as to what happened and what went wrong. It was nice to just stop doing that.

- How much of the unused preparations (against Carlsen) did you use in Khanty?
Definitely my play was based on my unused preparations for the match. But I did not get to use a lot from them, anyway. Obviously, I did not want to have a big training camp for this because I simply did not need it.

- Did you play more aggressively than you did in the World title-match in Chennai?
I would agree that in a sense I tried to be a bit relaxed. I was trying to play in a controlled way and I gave up on that. I played a lot lighter when I was young.

- How do you deal with the accusation (from some section of the chess world) that you keep your preparations under wraps for the tournaments and play seriously in the World title clashes?
Such a statement is one of those things floating around and I have no idea where it came from. I never withheld preparations from my tournaments. I would often say that my focus had been on the matches. I meant my mental focus. Not that I am playing second-rate stuff (in tournaments). My point is, I honestly don’t follow this stuff. The thing is, this is perfectly normal behaviour.

Fans in any sport have animated discussions, speculate what is happening between this and that. They try to get to ulterior motives. That’s how they enjoy their sport, which is fine. Equally, it’s my job not to read this stuff because it’s meant to annoy me. It’s relevant... well let them have their fun. That’s what they are supposed to do. I am not going to do it. I just think some of the explanations they come up with are reasonably good guesses, even if they are not correct. Some tend to be accurate but I cannot even see them. The point is, it doesn’t matter to me. It doesn't matter if they hit on something that might turn out to be a good explanation. I don’t particularly think the way you play chess is to solicit second opinion. At least, that is not the way I play chess. When I play chess, I am solving problems, having fun.

From my point of view, I can say that it is a very silly idea that I was holding something back (in tournaments). I would have gladly used all my ideas if I could. But may be, my preparation for matches was so oriented towards one opponent that it was hard to find ideas that I could use against others. Or, perhaps, I was unable to focus on tournaments with the same intensity as matches. These are statements that I can live with. But saying that I withheld something because I felt in some way playing tournaments like this was okay, I think it’s an insane idea.

- On coming back, were there any celebrations at home?
Not in a formal way. I spent the afternoon tickling Akhil. It was a pleasant day of phone calls from friends. That’s celebration enough. Akhil came to the airport. He was very excited because there were planes in the background. He kept touching my photo and said papa... papa...When I came out, he was very excited to see the real thing. He came running to me and kept saying... aple... aple... (for aeroplane) and he kept pointing at the back. I couldn’t have asked for a more touching reception.


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dave and Dusty Cute Kid, Pooch Chess Video (1947)

Hello everyone,





We found this cute chess video dating 1947 on YouTube. Enjoy.






From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
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Shamkir April 19 Vugar Gashimov Memorial - World's Top Chess GMs Gather to Salute a Chess Star

Hello dear Chess Blog friends,




Vugar Gashimov Chess Memorial 2014

Shamkir - the city that lies quietly on the banks of River Chagirchay in the foothills of the Lesser Caucasus - is named after the brightest of stars, the Sun. 

Come April 19 and some of the world's best chess stars will gather in the Azerbaijan city to pay homage to another star - Vugar Gashimov. Gashimov is no more, but his beautiful chess remains with us forever. A chess memorial attended by the world's best could alone be a befitting tribute to Vugar Gashimov.

There will be two groups - A and B.



The official website of the event will transmit live all the games along with commentary, in English, Russian, and Azerbaijani, by some of the best in the chess world. 


The Azeri comments will come from Grandmasters, honored coach of Azerbaijan, FIDE trainer Anar Allahverdiyev and coach of the national team of teenagers Farid Abbasov.

Two-time Wijk-aan-Zee champion, Olympiad and European Championship participant, honored FIDE coach Gennady Sosonko will also be part of the commentary team.

Along with Sosonko, coach of Vugar Gashimov Viorel Iordakescu will comment the games in English. Sergey Shipov, one of the world's most famous commentators will comment in Russian.

The tournament is hosted and organised by "Synergy Group" which works "For a sustainable future". The opening ceremony will be held on April 19 at Heydar Aliyev Center in Shamkir. Established in 2010, Synergy Group is one of the largest private investment holdings in Azerbaijan. The Group invests in a number of strategic industry areas with high growth potential. Synergy Group successfully operates a dynamic portfolio of 28 diverse and growth-oriented businesses and with all its companies employs more than 1500 people.
Vugar Gashimov

Born on July 24th, 1986 in Baku, Vugar Gashimov achieved his peak ranking-world#6 in November, 2009. He has been the winner of Baku Grand Prix. Representing Azerbaijani team, he became the European champion in 2009. He played a crucial role in the historical victory of the national team at the European Championship held in Serbia. In 2011 he became the winner of Reggio Emilia chess tournament held in Italy since 1958. Playing on behalf of several chess clubs, he became the champion of Croatia, Turkey, Romania, Iran, Spain and Moldova. A silver-medalist, Gashimov was known as a particularly strong blitz chess player. Owner of more than 72 titles, Vugar Gashimov is the winner of Kasparov Cup. For his individual indicators, he became silver medalist of the Chess Olympiad held in 2008. He is also a silver and bronze-medalist of the World Intellectual Games.

Vugar Gashimov passed away on January 10th, 2014 in Heidelberg, Germany at the age of 27. The grandmaster from Baku had been ill for a long time and was under treatment for the last 1.5 years.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
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Medieval Chess Set - Impressive, Creative Hobby Project

Hello Chess Blog friends,

We were just sent these lovely photos by MarvelStanley via Facebook. A reddit user uploaded these amazing pictures of a medieval chess set created by his mother. Here are the photos and you can read more at viralnova.

The project took Pamela about 6 months to complete and it’s currently sitting in her basement waiting for a gallery. Each piece is hollow, and as such are lighter than they look. The tallest king is around 6″.

Pamela's official website is pmummy.com where she states that she is enchanted by the human form that also inspires her.

Enjoy the chess set folks!







From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
YouTube Channel




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