Also notable win by Antoaneta Stefanova over GM Siebrecht (2468). In a sisterly battle Humpy Koneru defeated Irina Krush. Nana Dzagnidze lost to GM Sandipan, Anna Zatonskih lost to GM Vallejo Pons (2705), Eesha Karavade lost to GM Geetha Narayanan (2584), Jovanka Houska lost to GM Maze (2554), Alexandra Kosteniuk drew with IM Saravanan, Anna Zozulia lost to GM Hoffmann.
There are lots of male GM's in Gibraltar, so there are plenty of opportunities for ladies to show their strength, and we're pleased to see that every day brings male GM victims of women chess stars.
The women's standings are as follows after 6 rounds:
5.0 (leading the tournament are only 4 players with 5.0/6):
Today's 5th round top result in the Gibraltar Chess Masters by women was by Natalia Zhukova who beat GM Lopez Martinez (2593), congratulations! Also great results by women against male Grandmasters: Harika drew GM Vallejo Pons, Zatonskih drew GM Istratescu (2466), Krush drew GM GM Halkias (2566), and Zozulia drew GM Naumann (2525).
Humpy Koneru lost to GM Michael Adams (2694), Sedina lost to GM Speelman (2525), Dzagnidze won against Dasaolu, Stefanova beat Videnova, Kosteniuk won against Stebbins, Javakhishvili beat Rioseco Pinochet.
After 5 rounds, the best women are as follows:
4.0: Nana Dzagnidze
3.5: Humpy Koneru
3.0: Viktorija Cmilyte
2.5: Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant
2.0: Joanna Dworakowska
There are 10 rounds in total so anything can happen, let's wish all ladies success, especially against male Grandmaster-competitors!
Out of the leading ladies who had 2.5/3, playing against male Grandmasters only Humpy Koneru was able to win against GM Hoffmann 2508, congratulations!
Antoaneta Stefanova lost to GM Bacrot 2713 in a hard-fought and very long game. Alexandra Kosteniuk lost to GM Fridman 2654, Lela Javakhashvili lost to GM Geetha 2584 and Viktorija Cmilyte lost to GM Edouard 2608.
Notable results are also by Pia Cramling who drew GM Movsesian 2708 and Natalia Zhukova who drew GM Malakhatko 2549.
This afternoon I arrived to Gibraltar, by first flying to Malaga, in Spain, and then driving down the road till the very tip down across from Africa. It's fascinating and quite exciting to be here! On the photo you can see the famous "Rock" of Gibraltar.
The opening ceremony took place just a few minutes ago and the top 3 players for men and women have been paired. The full pairings for the first round will be known tonight. You can follow the tournament and game lives on the official web-site, here.
During the tournament I might make fewer posts on my blog, but you can be sure that I will let you know how the tournament went as soon as it's over. Thanks to everyone for their kind emails and Twitter tweets and Facebook comments, I sincerely appreciate them!
The event in Belgium today January 23rd was sponsored and held by the Computer Profile company, whose managing director Pierre Mercier was the heart and soul of this event. We were treated like queens and would like to thank Pierre and his wife Teresa for their hospitality and the warmest welcome we received. You will see a little bit later in this post about the wonderful surprise-dinner they prepared for us after the simul.
The simul itself was held in one of the Horta's house, which is just being renovated and thanks to the owner of this house Mr. Michel Gilbert we were able to play in such a historic place.
In order to get to Brussels, we first drove to Nice and then flew across the Alpes to Brussels.
In order to prepare for the simul we headed to... a hairdresser salon of course!
It was a very nice hair-dresser salon that looked more like a museum.
After our "home-preparation" we went to the house where the simul was going to be held.
We were greeted by nice flags and posters and.... the red carpet!
You see that the renovation works are still on the way.
When I was working on this post Milan Pein just sent me the link to the photos he took during the simul. You can view all the photos here. The photos are really nice and you see that a real professional took them. Below are my favorites:
The final result was +23=1-1. The only winner was Dirk Demarcke (2205, on the photo above), while Abelardo Rodriguez (1610) made a draw.
When we got back home we of course analysed the game that we lost:)
And then we were invited "à table".
To finish this post just one photo of the main course meal we had during this amazing dinner.
I won't tease you with the photos of dessert and will end my photo-report about the simul in Brussels. Tomorrow we will go by train to Paris and on Monday I will be flying to Gibraltar where I will take part in a very strong Gibraltar open.
I have been charmed by the Principality of Monaco, tiny but amazingly beautiful! And I could sense a great love of chess, everybody so nice to me and Almira.
On Thursday Almira Skripchenko and I played a tandem simul in Monaco in the salon du Sporting Hiver. We played against 46 opponents, with the highest rated around 2300 ELO, and all players pretty strong! It was very much fun, with the exciting part trying to guess the ideas and plans of my partner Almira since we were alternating moves. The simul lasted for 4,5 hours. We had a very respectable result of +33 =9 -4 (against Van Hoolandt, Ruiz, Tersarkissok, Lomadong) and everyone was happy about how everything went.
Many important people of Monaco visited the simul, such as the vice-president of the Conseil National M. Bernard Marquet, the councilor of the Government for international affairs - M. Paul Masseron, the Minister of the education and sport - M. Claude Peri, the private councilor of the Prince M. René Novella, we also played a game against the former Minister of finance and now an Ambassador M. Henri Fissore.
We of course would like to thank very much Jean-Michel Rapaire the president of the Monaco Chess Federation and the President of the Monaco Chess Club for making this event real and organizing everything, who is doing so many wonderful things for promoting chess in the region!
You can see below a collage of photos of the event. You may recognize our friend Leo Battesti playing. He's the head of the Chess Federation of Corsica.
Tomorrow Almira and I are off to Brussels (Belgium) and will give another simul, photos and blog post to come very soon!
After a long voyage I safely arrived to Monaco. Monaco is the second smallest country in the world; only Vatican City is smaller. It's so nice here. When you walk in the old city on a rock extending into the Mediterranean, known as the Rock of Monaco, or simply Le Rocher (the Rock), where the palace is located, it feels like you are in a movie, everything is so "minuscule" and beautiful.
Today, at 6pm local time my best friend Almira Skripchenko and I will give a tandem simul to 42 players right in the center of Monaco, next to its famous Monte Carlo Casino (you can see this Casino on the photos of this post). You can read a little bit more about simul on the official page of the French Chess Federation, here, and of course I will tell you more about it tonight.
Now I will go and prepare a little bit for the simul, since this is a tandem simul, it means that Almira and I will take turns in making moves so for that we need to discuss and prepare a special opening repertoire, which will suit Almira and I.
By the way, Almira, yesterday was awarded the trophy of "la joueuse de l’année" in Poker in France. You can read more about it here.
The super strong Corus Chess Tournament started on the 16th of January in Wijk-aan-Zee. In the A-group with an average rating of 2719, top world grandmasters such as Anand, Carlsen, Kramnik among others take part. After 2 rounds Alexei Shirov is in the sole lead with 2 out of 2. In the "B" group, in the tournament with an average rating of 2629, after 2 rounds Anish Giri is in the lead with 2 out of 2. There is also one female representative in this group - Anna Muzychuk (on the photo below).
She is doing pretty well for the moment, with 2 draws out of 2. Her younger sister Maria Muzychuk, as well as the world girls champion under 20 Soumya Swaminathan are taking part in a very interesting "C" group. The average rating of the "C"-group is 2455, and for the moment Ray Robson is in the lead in this group with 2 out of 2. The tournament has a very nice video coverage by WGM Bianca Muhren, you can watch it on the official web-site, here.
The chess year is about to begin for me as well. This Tuesday I will be leaving Miami and will head to Europe where I will have quite a busy schedule. On January 21, 2010 my best friend Almira Skripchenko and I will be giving a tandem simul in Monaco, then on January 23 we will have another simultaneous exhibition in Brussels, after that on January 25 I will fly to Gibraltar where will take part in a super-strong open-tournament, with very attractive prizes for women. I promise to keep you updated on my traveling and games so make sure to come and visit my blog often :-)
I am finishing my new DVD "Chess Blitz Fever", and have prepared another YouTube video for you all, with my win against overall World Chess Champion Vishy Anand.
In how many other sports can you see the women's world champion beat the overall (men's) world champion? Isn't that cool? In fact it's one of the main reasons why I think chess is the coolest of games: with hard work and lots of passion for chess you can beat anybody!
And for me, this win against the overall World Chess Champion, while only a blitz game, nevertheless is the realization of my dream, and gives me strength and desire to keep working to continue to get better at chess.
And to all girls and ladies out there, and to Moms who don't know if it's a good idea to play chess and to teach their daughters to play chess, I can say for sure that it is good for girls to play chess! Chess teaches strong work ethics, helps to concentrate, teaches decision making, trains memory, and is a good way to practice being competitive at a young age, since later in business and in life those competitive skills will surely turn out to be quite useful.
I appreciate all your 5-star reviews and comments to my videos.
My DVD "Chess Blitz Fever" contains in the first part lots of tips on how to play better blitz chess and in the second part full commented videos of my wins (full games analyzed) against super-Grandmasters Vishy Anand, Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, Vugar Gashimov, Gashimov, Alexander Morozevich, Alexander Grischuk, Judith Polgar, and Arkady Naiditsch. It will come out at the end of February and any DVD order placed before then qualifies for free shipping.
I am finishing my new DVD project "CHESS BLITZ FEVER", which is in part a video course with advice on how to play better blitz and partly a collection of some of my best wins from the 2009 World Blitz Championship, including wins against World Champion Vishy Anand, World #1 rated Magnus Carlsen, and Super-GM's Levon Aronian, Alexander Morozevich, Vugar Gashimov, Alexander Grischuk, Judith Polgar, and Arkady Naiditsch. I posted some of them on TubeChess but without comments, and the DVD versions are professionally produced with proper video intros and full commented games with both 2D boards and live blitz in parallel.
The YouTube video above is a sample of this DVD. This game Carlsen - Kosteniuk is a memorable game for me since I was able to beat the World #1 rated player Magnus Carlsen, 2801 ELO at the time, while I only had 2517 ELO.
It also illustrates the Touch-Move rule in chess at its best. There is a lively discussion in the YouTube comments to my video, so feel free to join in if you have a YouTube nickname. If not, you can comment on this blog and also on my Facebook Fan page.
I will be posting some more samples on my YouTube channel in the days ahead, but hope that you will support me by buying my DVD (preorders taken right now), that helps me produce more free videos for you to enjoy.
I attach below a Press Release from our friends at Computer Profile. If you happen to be not far from Saint-Gilles in Belgium on January 23, come and see and Almira give a simul to 12 promising Belgium players!
On Saturday 23 January in an exceptional décor, the Horta Winssinger House, Alexandra Kosteniuk (World Chess Champion 2008) and Almira Skripchenko (European Chess Champion 2001) are set to challenge 12 promising Belgian chess players and 12 CEO's to a simultaneous game.
The chess event will be followed by an afternoon snack.
Doors : 1.30 pm
Start game : 2 pm
Expected end : 6 pm
Rue Hotel des Monnaies, 66
Parking with shuttle
at your disposal
To confirm you will be attending, please subscribe here before 18 January.
To enable us to welcome you accordingly, please specify if you will be accompanied (first name and name).
Many people attended this book signing session and many interesting questions were asked. I was pleasantly surprised to see such interest for chess and for my new book!
With my favorite student Rachel Gologorsky
during the book signing in Barnes & Noble
Everything went very well and I'm already looking forward to the second signing session which will take place on January 11, 2010 at 8 PM in Books & Books in Coral Gables. Make sure to mark your calendars and not miss it, I can assure you that you won't regret it!:)
I came across today the rating list of the best chess countries in women's chess, as compiled by FIDE using the average of the top 10 women chess players of each country.
It's very interesting to study this list. You can see that China and Russia are ahead of the other countries, basically because they have a lot of good lady players. You will note that for both those countries their 10th player is still above 2400 ELO, which makes it easier to build strong teams for national team competitions such as the Chess Olympiads.
That proves the point that for a country to have a good national team it's not enough to support the top players but one needs to start at the grass-roots, and get as many players to start chess as possible. Especially important is to try to get chess into schools, to show both boys and girls that chess is a cool game, that will help them in their studies and later on in life. And of course that will provide a larger pool of talent for many women players to grow and hopefully as many as possible candidates for representing their country in the national team.
Competition at the top is good. The best proof of it is the fierce competition there is in Russia to be part of the national team. Due to that uncertainty to be part of "The Team", everybody trains real hard and everyone's rating increases. The result is that Russia is the only country who has 4 lady players whose rating is above 2500 ELO (the two Kosintseva's, Pogonina and me), and players with 2450 ELO have little or no chance to be part of the National Team.
So I congratulate all chess teachers, coaches, and educators, and thank them for the great work they do to promote chess to our youth and introduce them to our wonderful game. That's the only way that our countries will get strong national teams, thereby winning medals and providing incentive for others to follow their leadership.
The top Chess Countries for Women's Chess are as follows:
1 Hou, Yifan g CHN 2590 14 1994 2 Ju, Wenjun wg CHN 2512 4 1991 3 Zhao, Xue g CHN 2504 4 1985 4 Ruan, Lufei wg CHN 2479 2 1987 5 Xu, Yuhua g CHN 2478 3 1976 6 Qin, Kanying wg CHN 2466 0 1974 7 Tan, Zhongyi wg CHN 2464 3 1991 8 Shen, Yang wg CHN 2444 2 1989 9 Huang, Qian wg CHN 2439 3 1986 10 Zhang, Xiaowen wg CHN 2437 24 1989
1 Kosintseva, Nadezhda m RUS 2533 9 1985 2 Kosteniuk, Alexandra g RUS 2523 10 1984 3 Kosintseva, Tatiana g RUS 2515 8 1986 4 Pogonina, Natalija wg RUS 2501 0 1985 5 Tairova, Elena m RUS 2455 0 1991 6 Gunina, Valentina wf RUS 2448 7 1989 6 Korbut, Ekaterina m RUS 2448 0 1985 8 Romanko, Marina m RUS 2433 6 1986 9 Kovalevskaya, Ekaterina m RUS 2428 4 1974 10 Ovod, Evgenija m RUS 2415 0 1982
1 Chiburdanidze, Maia g GEO 2514 0 1961 2 Dzagnidze, Nana g GEO 2506 19 1987 3 Javakhishvili, Lela m GEO 2493 7 1984 4 Khotenashvili, Bela m GEO 2461 8 1988 5 Khukhashvili, Sopiko m GEO 2438 7 1985 6 Melia, Salome m GEO 2431 9 1987 7 Khurtsidze, Nino m GEO 2414 13 1975 8 Matnadze, Ana m GEO 2407 9 1983 9 Tsereteli, Tamar wg GEO 2403 9 1985 10 Lomineishvili, Maia m GEO 2371 0 1977
1 Lahno, Kateryna g UKR 2518 16 1989 2 Gaponenko, Inna m UKR 2470 16 1976 3 Zhukova, Natalia wg UKR 2462 8 1979 4 Ushenina, Anna m UKR 2452 6 1985 5 Muzychuk, Mariya m UKR 2447 0 1992 6 Vasilevich, Tatjana m UKR 2414 0 1977 7 Zdebskaja, Natalia wg UKR 2402 16 1986 8 Cherednichenko, Svetlana wg UKR 2349 0 1984 9 Hryhorenko, Nataliya wm UKR 2344 9 1986 10 Melamed, Tatiana wg UKR 2312 0 1974
1 Polgar, Judit g HUN 2682 4 1976 2 Hoang Thanh Trang g HUN 2487 0 1980 3 Madl, Ildiko m HUN 2385 7 1969 4 Gara, Anita m HUN 2370 17 1983 5 Vajda, Szidonia m HUN 2369 17 1979 6 Gara, Ticia wg HUN 2354 8 1984 7 Medvegy, Nora Dr. m HUN 2344 0 1977 8 Schneider, Veronika wm HUN 2315 0 1987 9 Lakos, Nikoletta wg HUN 2292 5 1978 10 Rudolf, Anna wg HUN 2283 16 1987
1 Koneru, Humpy g IND 2614 8 1987 2 Harika, Dronavalli m IND 2471 11 1991 3 Karavade, Eesha wg IND 2405 11 1987 4 Tania, Sachdev m IND 2398 11 1986 5 Meenakshi Subbaraman wg IND 2353 11 1981 6 Mohota, Nisha wg IND 2330 11 1980 7 Gomes, Mary Ann wg IND 2325 24 1989 8 Soumya, Swaminathan wg IND 2323 24 1989 8 Swathi, Ghate wg IND 2323 0 1980 10 Padmini, Rout wm IND 2294 37 1994
1 Rajlich, Iweta m POL 2455 13 1981 2 Socko, Monika g POL 2450 14 1978 3 Zawadzka, Jolanta wg POL 2391 19 1987 4 Dworakowska, Joanna m POL 2374 7 1978 4 Majdan, Joanna wg POL 2374 7 1988 6 Kadziolka, Beata wg POL 2328 14 1986 7 Szczepkowska-Horowska, Karina wm POL 2322 5 1987 8 Jaracz, Barbara wg POL 2284 5 1977 9 Przezdziecka, Marta wg POL 2265 5 1988 10 Matras-Clement, Agnieszka wm POL 2251 5 1982
1 Zatonskih, Anna m USA 2466 0 1978 2 Krush, Irina m USA 2455 5 1983 3 Goletiani, Rusudan m USA 2366 0 1980 4 Baginskaite, Camilla wg USA 2343 0 1967 5 Rohonyan, Katerina wg USA 2329 0 1984 6 Foisor, Sabina-Francesca wg USA 2306 0 1989 7 Abrahamyan, Tatev wf USA 2286 4 1988 8 Melekhina, Alisa wm USA 2262 5 1991 9 Zenyuk, Iryna c USA 2255 11 1986 10 Battsetseg, Tsagaan wm USA 2230 0 1972
1 Paehtz, Elisabeth m GER 2484 9 1985 2 Michna, Marta wg GER 2370 8 1978 3 Kachiani-Gersinska, Ketino m GER 2346 7 1971 4 Schleining, Zoya wg GER 2334 0 1961 5 Levushkina, Elena wg GER 2307 0 1984 6 Ohme, Melanie wm GER 2300 7 1990 7 Borulya, Ekaterina Uriivna wg GER 2296 0 1969 8 Juergens, Vera wg GER 2290 0 1969 9 Trabert, Bettina wg GER 2278 0 1969 10 Tammert, Iamze wf GER 2277 0 1971
1 Foisor, Cristina-Adela m ROU 2440 10 1967 2 Peptan, Corina-Isabela m ROU 2411 7 1978 3 Motoc, Alina wg ROU 2349 10 1985 4 Cosma, Elena-Luminita wg ROU 2332 7 1972 5 Paulet, Iozefina wg ROU 2314 14 1989 6 Voicu, Carmen wg ROU 2297 7 1981 7 Hamdouchi, Adina-Maria wg ROU 2295 12 1979 8 Olarasu, Gabriela wg ROU 2277 0 1964 9 Sandu, Mihaela wg ROU 2259 6 1977 10 Moldovan, Corina wm ROU 2257 1 1983
1 Sebag, Marie g FRA 2510 8 1986 2 Skripchenko, Almira m FRA 2456 0 1976 3 Milliet, Sophie m FRA 2404 13 1983 4 Leconte, Maria wg FRA 2330 6 1970 5 Collas, Silvia m FRA 2313 7 1974 6 Guichard, Pauline wm FRA 2291 21 1988 7 Maisuradze, Nino wg FRA 2249 19 1982 8 Schweitzer, Viktoriya wm FRA 2221 1 1959 9 Delorme, Laurie wm FRA 2219 0 1984 10 Roumegous, Marina wm FRA 2207 10 1964
1 Maric, Alisa m SRB 2387 9 1970 2 Bojkovic, Natasa m SRB 2384 9 1971 3 Manakova, Maria wg SRB 2346 2 1974 4 Chelushkina, Irina wg SRB 2326 18 1961 5 Belic, Jordanka wg SRB 2313 0 1964 6 Rakic, Marija wm SRB 2306 3 1990 7 Stojanovic, Andjelija wg SRB 2301 32 1987 8 Benderac, Ana wg SRB 2299 6 1977 9 Maksimovic, Suzana wg SRB 2272 0 1962 10 Drljevic, Ljilja wm SRB 2233 9 1984
1 Peng, Zhaoqin g NED 2402 9 1968 2 Lanchava, Tea m NED 2349 2 1974 3 Schuurman, Petra f NED 2345 7 1968 4 Bensdorp, Marlies wm NED 2313 12 1985 5 Muhren, Bianca wg NED 2280 11 1986 6 Sziva, Erika wg NED 2258 1 1967 7 Haast, Anne NED 2234 3 1993 8 Schut, Lisa wm NED 2219 19 1994 9 De Mie, Mariska wf NED 2212 2 1979 10 Hamelink, Desiree wm NED 2208 0 1981
1 Mkrtchian, Lilit m ARM 2503 9 1982 2 Danielian, Elina m ARM 2495 11 1978 3 Galojan, Lilit wg ARM 2374 8 1983 4 Aginian, Nelly wg ARM 2298 6 1981 5 Hairapetian, Anna wf ARM 2204 13 1989 6 Andriasian, Siranush wm ARM 2198 13 1986 7 Aghabekian, Liana ARM 2174 0 1986 8 Gasparian, Narine wm ARM 2122 0 1982 8 Movsisian, Naira wg ARM 2122 0 1977 10 Kharatyan, Anahit ARM 2096 0 1987
19. Czech Republic2254
1 Jackova, Jana m CZE 2403 16 1982 2 Kulovana, Eva wg CZE 2302 8 1987 3 Nemcova, Katerina wg CZE 2272 9 1990 4 Pertlova, Sona wm CZE 2262 7 1988 5 Sikorova, Olga wm CZE 2256 0 1975 6 Richtrova, Eliska wg CZE 2233 0 1959 7 Korenova, Martina wm CZE 2226 0 1975 8 Cedikova, Katerina wm CZE 2216 4 1981 9 Pirklova, Hana CZE 2190 0 1982 10 Blazkova, Petra wm CZE 2178 0 1978
1 Le, Thanh Tu wg VIE 2344 0 1985 2 Pham, Le Thao Nguyen wm VIE 2325 9 1987 3 Hoang, Thi Bao Tram wg VIE 2318 21 1987 4 Nguyen, Thi Thanh An wg VIE 2291 17 1976 5 Le, Kieu Thien Kim wm VIE 2226 16 1981 6 Nguyen, Thi Mai Hung wf VIE 2223 19 1994 7 Nguyen, Thi Tuong Van wm VIE 2207 17 1980 8 Dang, Bich Ngoc wf VIE 2203 0 1984 9 Nguyen, Thi Thuan Hoa wm VIE 2196 0 1970 10 Mai, Thi Thanh Huong wm VIE 2180 0 1974