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

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


Saturday, July 31, 2010

Chess Trivia: Can you recognize this talented player?

Who is the player on the left?

Hello Everyone!

It's chess trivia time again. Can you recognize the player on the left?

Here are some hints: This player was taught by
Siegbert Tarrasch and though, never became world champion, was as good as any!

A famous quote: "Against Menchik, when she was world champion, I had a won game, but I found the three stupidest moves you could think of and lost."—New Yorker, September 19, 1964.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at


What's romance got to do with chess?

Hello Everyone!

As usual when we find a nice video with a chess motif on the Internet, we just cannot resist sharing it. More so, if it's got a little romance! The White King falling at the feet of the Black Queen, diamond rings and romantic music. Enjoy this short commercial we found on YouTube.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at


Women's Chess Grand Prix: Humpy takes early lead in Ulan Bator

Former World Champion Maia Chiburdanidze

Hello Everyone!

GM Koneru Humpy - top seed at the Women's Grand Prix in Ulan Bator - has taken an early lead after two rounds. She has won both her games. Following her closely are four GMs - Chiburdanidze Maia, Kosintseva Tatiana, Zhao Xue and Xu Yuhua - with 1½ points each.

In the second round, Humpy beat Sebag while Shen lost to Batkhuyag. Two former world champions Stefanova and Chiburdanidze drew their games.

You can find photos and other details about the Women's Grand Prix at the official website.

Results of Round 2

1. WGM Shen Yang-IM Munguntuul Batkhuyag 0-1
2. GM Stefanova Antoaneta-GM Chiburdanidze Maia 1/2-1/2
3. GM Kosintseva Tatiana-GM Zhu Chen 1-0
4. GM Zhao Xue-GM Hou Yifan 1/2-1/2
5. GM Xu Yuhua-WIM Yildiz Betul Cemre 1-0
6. GM Koneru Humpy-GM Sebag Marie 1-0

Standings after Round 2

1. GM Koneru Humpy 2
2. GM Chiburdanidze Maia
3. GM Kosintseva Tatiana
4. GM Zhao Xue
5. GM Xu Yuhua
6. GM Hou Yifan 1
7. GM Stefanova Antoaneta 1
8. IM Munguntuul Batkhuyag 1
9. GM Sebag Marie ½
10. GM Zhu Chen ½
11. WIM Yildiz Betul Cemre 0
12. WGM Shen Yang 0

Meanwhile, here is the nice Humpy-Sebag game. You can run it in the pgnplayer or watch in flash below.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at


Friday, July 30, 2010

Chess Crusades for iPad

Hello Everyone,

We found this nice review of Chess Crusades for iPad. If you are the one for all the jazz about animation then nothing like this neat application to enjoy your chess with.

There these short animation clips that run on the side of the screen for every move. The game starts off with velvet curtains being drawn back. Of course you can turn off the animation and play both in one-player or two-player mode. The audio can be adjusted also. You can read the full review here. And, tell us what you think if you try it.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at

Women's Grand Prix: Mongolia plays host to top women chess players

Top seed GM Koneru Humpy

Hello Everyone!

The fifth Women's Grand Prix has begun amidst much festivities in the capital of Mongolia - Ulan Bator (also Ulanbataa). The opening ceremony was held in the city centre - Sukhbaatar Square. The foundation stone for a chess academy was also laid on the occasion.

Top players participating in the event include:
1. Humpy Koneru (India)
2. Shen Yang (China)
3. Hou Yifan (China)
4. Tatiana Kosintseva (Russia)
5. Marie Sebag (France)
6. Xu Yuhua (China)
7. Maia Chiburdanidze (Georgia)
8. Batkhuyag Munguntuul (Mongolia)
9. Zhu Chen (Qatar)
10.Stefanova, Antoaneta (Bolgaria)
11. Yildiz Betul Cemre (Turkey)
12. Zhao Xue (China)

Three players who won their first round games included Koneru Humpy, Zhao Xue and Maia Chiburdanidze. The rest of the games were drawn. You can keep track of more details at the official website.

Results of Round 1
1. GM Koneru Humpy 2600 - WGM Shen Yang 2435 1 - 0
2. GM Sebag Marie 2519 - GM Xu Yuhua 2488 ½ - ½
3. WIM Yildiz Betul Cemre 2235 - GM Zhao Xue 2462 0 - 1
4. GM Hou Yifan 2577 - GM Kosintseva Tatiana 2562 ½ - ½
5. GM Zhu Chen 2476 - GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2560 ½ - ½
6. GM Chiburdanidze Maia 2514 - IM Munguntuul Batkhuyag 2421 1 - 0

Here is a nice round one game Koneru Humpy-Shen Yang. You can run the moves in our pgnplayer or watch in flash below.

PGN: 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 g6 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O e6 8. Qc2 Nbd7 9. Rd1 b6 10. e4 dxe4 11. Nxe4 Qc7 12. Nxf6+ Bxf6 13. Bg5 Bg7 14. Rac1 Re8 15. h4 e5 16. d5 Nc5 17. d6 Qb8 18. Be7 a5 19. Qd2 Bf5 20. Qe3 Ra7 21. h5 Qc8 22. h6 Bf8 23. Bxf8 Kxf8 24. Nxe5 f6 25. d7 Nxd7 26. Nxd7+ Rxd7 27. Qa3+ c5 28. Bf3 Qc7 29. g3 Re5 30. Qc3 Be6 31. Rxd7 Qxd7 32. Rd1 Qe7 33. a3 Kf7 34. Qb3 Qc7 35. Qd3 Qe7 36. b3 Bf5 37. Bd5+ Be6 38. f4 Rxd5 39. cxd5 Bf5 40. d6 Bxd3 41. dxe7 Bc2 42. Rd6 b5 43. Rxf6+ Kxe7 44. Rc6 Bxb3 45. Rxc5 46. axb4 1-0

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at


Do you know what's Bullyproof Chess?

Hi Everyone!

Here is an interesting article combining chess with personality development and improving confidence in young people.

Bullyproof is a way to help kids, ages 5-12, make the right moves when faced with a bully.

Rener Gracie based the program on techniques and strategies of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu which is called “the soft art” because it is like a physical chess match. No punching or kicking. Like chess, the opponents must have many moves and countermoves, strategies and gambits in mind. In both chess and Bullyproof kids learn that they have to remain focused, use critical thinking, be patient and not make rash decisions in order to come out on top. Both chess and Bullyproof teach kids to think before you make a move.

You can read the full article and watch a nice video here.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at

Biel Young Masters Chess: Caruana wins title after tie-break showdown

Biel Young Masters 2010 champion GM Fabiano Caruana

Hello Everyone!

The young Italian Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana has won the 2010 Biel Young Masters Chess Tournament. It was a nice birthday gift for himself as he celebrated his becoming 18 years old a day after the tie-break win on Thursday. You can check the official website for videos and swell photos.

Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (the best player according to Sonneborn-Berger points) was qualified for the final. Fabiano Caruana and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave played a semi-final of two blitz games (5 mins. + 2 sec. increment per move). Caruana won the first, Vachier-Lagrave, both taking advantage of the white pieces. In the Armageddon game the French GM had to win with the white pieces.

In the first game of the rapid chess final (10 mins. + 10 sec. increment per move) the Vietnamese GM Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son gained a considerable advantage with the black pieces against Fabiano Caruana and must have been winning around move 60. But he blew it at move 62 (...b2) and the game was soon drawn. In the second game Caruana picked up a pawn and was able to win the ensuing knight + pawns ending quite convincingly.

Here is a list of previous winners for statistics sake.

Past winners
1977 Anthony Miles (ENG)
1979 Viktor Kortchnoi (SUI)
1980 Yehuda Grünfeld (ISR)
1981 Eric Lobron (GER); Vlastimil Hort (TCH)
1982 John Nunn (ENG); Florin Gheorghiu (ROM)
1983 Anthony Miles (ENG); John Nunn (ENG)
1984 Vlastimil Hort (TCH); Robert Hübner (GER)
1986 Lev Polugajevski (URS); Eric Lobron (GER)
1987 Boris Gulko (USA)
1988 Ivan Sokolov (YUG); Boris Gulko (USA)
1989 Vassily Ivantschuk (URS)
1990 Anatoly Karpov (URS)
1991 Alexej Shirov (LAT)
1992 Anatoly Karpov (RUS)
1994 Viktor Gavrikov (SUI)
1995 Alexej Dreev (RUS)
1996 Anatoly Karpov (RUS)
1997 Viswanathan Anand (IND)
1998 Mladen Palac (CRO)
1999 Jeroen Piket (NED)
2000 Peter Svidler (RUS)
2001 Viktor Kortchnoi (SUI)
2002 Ilya Smirin (ISR)
2003 Alexander Morozevich (RUS)
2004 Alexander Morozevich (RUS)
2005 Boris Gelfand (ISR); Andrei Volokitin (UKR)
2006 Alexander Morozevich (RUS)
2007 Magnus Carlsen (NOR)
2008 Evgeny Alekseev (RUS)
2009 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA)

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at


Chess set for those who love wood

Hi Everyone,

We found another of those lovely chess-set photos on the Internet here. There aren't any details available except that it's possibly made of wood. The design is so modernistic and the pieces could very well pass off as that made of stone. The finish is lovely and wouldn't you want to touch it?

Let us know about any of your own favourite chess sets!

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Chess World Championship 2010: Anand's second explains strategy

Hi Everybody!

We found this interesting interview of World Champion Viswanathan Anand's Polish second Radosław Wojtaszek here. It's an interesting read. Wojtaszek gave an interview to the Polish chess magazine 'Mat'. Here is part of the question-answer session.

Q. How did you get Anand prepared? To what degree was it about openings, and to what degree about the middlegame and endgame? Did you devote a lot of time to analysing Topalov’s playing style, looking for weaknesses?

Of course an analysis of Topalov’s style was the basis of our preparations. Then we tried to adapt appropriate openings to it. That was where we placed the greatest emphasis during our sessions. Vishy also played a lot of training games, and also occasionally solved combinations.

Q. How much of all of this was “computerised”? Was the equipment you were operating far removed from the standard equipment a chess player uses?

Of course working on the openings without computers nowadays misses the point. They’re essential, but it strikes me that it only makes chess more attractive, as it’s not so easy to surprise your opponent. At the same time, you can’t allow yourself to go crazy, so we also looked at the positions, and not only the moves that the computer was suggesting. As for standards, of course we had access to good equipment, though it would be hard to compare it to the computer Topalov used.

Q. What did the help of Kasparov, Carlsen, Kramnik and Giri actually consist of? Was it really significant? It’s hard to avoid the impression that publishing those revelations was more about building an image – I (Anand) was supported by the whole world of chess, while Topalov was only supported by a supercomputer and those he paid.

Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri mainly played training games with Vishy before the match. That was really important given that Anand had very little experience e.g. in the Catalan. Kasparov and Kramnik helped out with our opening preparation. No doubt it also gave Vishy a boost to know that those who were, after all, recently his rivals, were offering to help.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also read her personal blog at

Chess World Championship to be motif in Welsh rock group video

Rock group Manic Street Preachers talking of chess

Hello Everyone!

We're sure this news item refers to the Boris Spassky-Bobby Fischer 1972 world championship match. You can read the full report at this website. When you read it, just replace 'Kasparov' with 'Spassky' in the text.

Welsh rock survivors Manic Street Preachers have recruited Michael Sheen to star in their new video. Their upcoming single '(It's Not War) Just The End Of Love' is set to have an unusual video, starring Michael Sheen.

The report states, Sheen is set to play Russian chess icon Gary Kasparov (read Spassky) in the upcoming video, inspired by a classic match between two Grandmasters.

"It looks like Michael Sheen is gonna be in the video, which we're really thrilled about," Nicky Wire told the NME. "We've tried to recreate the classic '70s chess match between Kasparov (read Spassky-admin) and Fischer. That's the kind of vibe behind it. It's real '70s Russia – just that idea of 'it's not war, just the end of love', I think a chess game really fits that."

Continuing, the bass player explained that the video would tackle Cold War politics. "It's a really serious intellectual game but, you know, it's not World War Three. Although the cold war chess games were kind of like wars played out on a chess board. Me and James (Dean Bradfield) have come up with the idea for it."

As long as it's chess, we're enjoying the music.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Biel Young Masters Chess: Three-way tie for top slot, tie-breaks on Thursday

In a three-way tie for top place: Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son

Hello Everyone,

The last round saw a quick draw by one of the leaders - Maxime Vachier-Lagrave - with Parimarjan Negi. In fact there were three other draws with just one game with a result. That one game was Nguyen Ngoe Truong Son beating Anish Giri allowing the former to be in a three-way tie for the first spot.

Tie-breaks would be held on Thursday to decide the winner between Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Fabiano Caruana and Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son.

Results of Round 9

Maxim Rodshtein - Evgeny Tomashevsky ½ - ½
Parimarjan Negi - Maxime Vachier-Lagrave ½ - ½
Fabiano Caruana - David Howell ½ - ½
Wesley So - Dmitry Andreikin ½ - ½
Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son - Anish Giri 1 - 0

Standings after Round 9

1. Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (VIE, 2617) 5.5
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA, 2723) 5.5
Fabiano Caruana (ITA, 2697) 5.5
4. Dmitry Andreikin (RUS, 2650) 5.0
5. Wesley So (PHI, 2674) 4.5
Evgeny Tomashevsky (RUS, 2708) 4.5
Maxim Rodshtein (ISR, 2609) 4.5
8. Anish Giri (NED, 2672) 4.0
9. David Howell (ENG, 2616) 3.5
10. Parimarjan Negi (IND, 2615) 2.5

Son qualifies for the final tie-break because of a better tie-break score. Vachier-Lagrave and Caruana would play a semifinal and the winner would take on Son in the final of the tie-break.

Meanwhile, here is the nice Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son - Anish Giri game that helped Son tie for the first. You can run the moves in our pgnplayer or watch the flash below.
Also check the official website for photos and videos.

PGN: 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 c6 4. d3 Bg4 5. O-O Nbd7 6. h3 Bh5 7. Qe1 e5 8. e4 dxe4 9. dxe4 Be7 10. Nh4 O-O 11. Nf5 Bc5 12. b4 Bb6 13. Na3 Bg6 14. Nc4 Bxf5 15. exf5 Qe7 16. a4 Nd5 17. Rb1 e4 18. a5 Bd4 19. Qxe4 Qxe4 20. Bxe4 Nc3 21. Bb2 Bxf2+ 22. Rxf2 Nxe4 23. Re2 Nxg3 24. Re7 Nf6 25. Bxf6 gxf6 26. Kf2 Nxf5 27. Rg1+ Kh8 28. Rxb7 Rab8 29. a6 Rxb7 30. axb7 Rb8 31. Na5 Nd6 32. Rd1 Nxb7 33. Nxc6 Rc8 34. b5 Kg7 35. Kf3 Rc7 36. Rd5 f5 37. c4 Kf6 38. c5 Ke6 39. Re5+ Kf6 40. Kf4 Rd7 41. Rxf5+ Ke6 42. Re5+ Kf6 43. Rh5 Nd8 44. Rf5+ Ke6 45. Re5+ Kf6 46. Nxd8 Rxd8 47. c6 Rd1 48. Re8 Rf1+ 49. Kg4 Rc1 50. Kf3 h5 51. Ra8 Rc5 52. Ke4 Re5+ 53. Kd4 Re7 54. Kd5 Re5+ 55. Kd6 Rxb5 56. c7 Rb1 57. c8=Q Rd1+ 58. Kc5 Rc1+ 59. Kd4 1-0

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at


Chess love for Indian actor

Indian actor Kay Kay Menon

Hello Everyone!

Kay Kay Menon, well-known Indian actor who is busy shooting for his upcoming movie Bhindi Bazar - based on pick-pocketing - has finally found some time to play his favorite game chess!

Director Ankush Bhatt says, "Kay Kay is very fond of this game. As his role in the movie is related to playing a don of the pick-pocketing world, he is seen playing chess. His shots are mostly teaching the chess game to one of his gang member." Kay Kay said, "The very idea of how chess players manipulate their game for their own mean ends excite me. In the movie all the killings are related to chess."

Oh! But chess players are some of the most peace-loving creatures on the planet!
You can read the full interview here. And, if you're in India do let us know what you think of the movie when it releases. It's nearly complete.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at


Mid-century chess set on eBay

Mid-century aluminum chess set

Hello Everyone!

As usual when a chess set pops up on eBay for sale, all chess lovers want to check out the details whether they intend to buy it or not. Here is one such latest mid-century retro chess set we found here.

This rare American mid-century chess set was designed by Austin Cox for Austin Industries. It is smaller of the two modernist styled extruded aluminum chess sets designed by Cox and manufactured by the Alcoa Aluminum Company

The white pieces are in natural aluminum while the black pieces are bronze anodized on all their non-cut faces. All pieces have their bases stamped with “© 1966 AE

This set comes in it’s original wooden (wall mountable) presentation display case with blue Plexiglas sliding lid. The Pawns measure 1.5" high. and the Power pieces are 2" high.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at

Chess billboards

Hello Everyone!

We found this photo of two billboards advertising cars here. For those of us who are crazy about chess... well chess anywhere on anything is interesting! Right?

The first billboard with the black car reads 'Your move' and the second billboard with the white car reads 'Checkmate'!

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at

Chess Puzzle: Should Black resign?

Carl Oscar Ahues

Hello Everyone!

This is from a simul game played in 1926. Black was one of the players against International Master Carl Oscar Ahues. Ahues was born in Germany in 1883. He was Berlin champion in 1910 and German Champion in 1929. His son Herbert Ahues is a famous chess composer. You can read more about him here.

In this position below, Ahues had sacrificed material to gain attack and here played 1. Qxf6 with mating threats. If you run the flash below you will see that Black cannot take Queen with 1. ... gxf6 as mate will follow with 2. Rg3+ Kh8 3. Bxf6 1-0.

So Black resigned! Do you think Black had a way out?
Think about it before looking at the solution in the second flash diagram.

This is the answer but don't run it till you think a bit!

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at


Biel Young Masters: Vachier-Lagrave, Caruana in joint lead with one round to go

Maxim Rodshtein (left) vs Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Hello Everyone!

The eighth round at the Biel Young Masters Tournament included some action after a dull seventh round. Overnight leader Fabiano Caruana drew his game allowing Maxime Vachier-Lagrave to draw level. The latter beat Maxim Rodshtein. Other games were also interesting with Tomashevsky losing to Son and Anish Giri beating Wesley So. There's just one more round to go.

Results of Round 8

Evgeny Tomashevsky- Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son 0 - 1
Anish Giri-Wesley So 1 - 0
Dmitry Andreikin-Fabiano Caruana ½ - ½
David Howell-Parimarjan Negi 1 - 0
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave-Maxim Rodshtein 1 - 0

Pairings for Round 9

Maxim Rodshtein-Evgeny Tomashevsky
Parimarjan Negi-Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
Fabiano Caruana-David Howell
Wesley So-Dmitry Andreikin
Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son-Anish Giri
Standings after Round 8
1. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA, 2723) 5.0
Fabiano Caruana (ITA, 2697) 5.0
3. Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son (VIE, 2617) 4.5
Dmitry Andreikin (RUS, 2650) 4.5
5. Anish Giri (NED, 2672) 4.0
Wesley So (PHI, 2674) 4.0
Evgeny Tomashevsky (RUS, 2708) 4.0
Maxim Rodshtein (ISR, 2609) 4.0
9. David Howell (ENG, 2616) 3.0
10. Parimarjan Negi (IND, 2615) 2.0

If two or more players are tied for the first place after the last round then a tie-break would follow. The tie-break would include two rapid games (10 minutes, with 10 second increments per move). If the result is 1-1, then two blitz will be organised.

Meanwhile, here is the nice Maxime Vachier-Lagrave-Maxim Rodshtein game. You can run it in the pgnplayer or watch in flash below. You can also check the official website for photos and videos here.

PGN: 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. g3 Bg7 6. Bg2 Nb6 7. Nf3 O-O 8. O-O Nc6 9. d5 Na5 10. e4 c6 11. Bf4 cxd5 12. Nxd5 Nxd5 13. exd5 Nc4 14. Qb3 Nd6 15. Rfe1 Bf6 16. Be5 Qa5 17. Bc3 Bxc3 18. bxc3 Re8 19. c4 Bf5 20. Ne5 f6 21. g4 Bc8 22. Nd3 b6 23. g5 Bd7 24. Qb2 fxg5 25. Ne5 Rad8 26. Nxd7 Rxd7 27. Bh3 Nf5 28. Bxf5 gxf5 29. Re5 Rd6 30. Rae1 Qa4 31. Qe2 Qd7 32. Qh5 Rg6 33. Re6 Kg7 34. R1e3 f4 35. Rh3 Rxe6 36. Qxh7 Kf6 37. Rh6 Ke5 38. Rxe6 Kd4 39. Qf5 Qa4 40. Re4 Kc5 41. d6 e5 42. Rxe5 Kxd6 43. c5 bxc5 44. Qf6 Kc7 45. Qf7 Kd8 46. Qd5 Kc7 47. Qxc5 Kb7 48. Qd5 Kb6 49. Rxg5 Qc6 50. Qxc6 Kxc6 51. h4 f3 52. h5 Re4 53. Kh2 Ra4 54. Kg3 1-0

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
Also see her personal blog at