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

 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Plan a chess holiday to Switzerland this December!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

How about a chess holiday to Switzerland followed by New Year celebrations?
  

The 28th Open International d’Échecs is scheduled to take place on 26-30th December in Genève, Switzerland. The tournament will be divided in two groups, Open A for players rated above 1700 and Open B for U1800 players.

The playing format is 7-round Swiss with 90 min for 40 moves plus 30 min for the remaining moves. The prize fund is 16,000 CHF.
GM Daniel Campora (Argentina), GM Rauf Mamedov(Azerbaijan), GM Namig Guliyev (France), IM Torstein Bae and WIM Silje Berke (both Norway) are the first titled players already signed up for participation. 

Open A / Open B
1st place – 3’000.00 / 900.00
2nd – 2’200.00 / 700.00
3rd – 1’800.00 / 500.00
4th – 1’400.00 / 400.00
5th – 1’000.00 / 300.00
6th – 800.00 / 200.00
7th – 600.00 / 150.00
8th – 400.00 / 100.00
9th – 300.00
10th – 200.00

More information on the official website







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Wednesday chess puzzle: Can you spot Fischer's idea?

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


Time for the chess class. Can you figure out how Fischer would have played this as White? 


Fischer, R vs Gligoric, S 1959
White to move




Looking for more such fantastic puzzles or to kickstart your free chess training with Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk?
Check out www.chesskillertips.com.






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GM Erns, IM Pancevski lead 25th Belgrade International Chess Open after six rounds

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


The latest chess tournament news update via www.chessdom.com is that GM Sipke Ernst and IM Filip Pancevski are leading after six rounds at the 25th Belgrade International Open Championship (Belgrade Trophy). The tournament runs from November 24 to December 2 in Obrenovac, near Belgrade.


The Championship with 198 participants is being played over 9 rounds according to the FIDE Swiss System and is valid for international norms for FIDE titles. The prize fund is 6000 EUR with 1500 EUR reserved for the winner.





Round 6 standings:


1-2. GM Ernst Sipke NED 2593 and IM Pancevski Filip MKD 2442 – 5.5
3-10. IM Filip Lucian ROU 2471, GM Damljanovic Branko SRB 2597, IM Radlovacki Jovan SRB 2429, GM Strikovic Aleksa SRB 2564, GM Neverov Valeriy UKR 2537, GM Todorovic Goran M SRB 2482, GM Blagojevic Dragisa MNE 2514 and GM Tadic Branko SRB 2486 – 5.0
11-28. Nenezic Marko SRB 2329, IM Olenin Nikolay RUS 2323, Indjic Aleksandar SRB 2411, GM Abramovic Bosko SRB 2450, GM Lajthajm Borko SRB 2500, GM Drenchev Petar BUL 2499, GM Pap Misa SRB 2511, GM Spasov Vasil BUL 2583, GM Perunovic Milos SRB 2576, Sarenac Ivan SRB 2327, FM Pantelic Sasa SRB 2341, GM Savic Miodrag R SRB 2523, Petkovic Slobodan SRB 2093, GM Nikcevic Nebojsa MNE 2412, IM Cioara Andrei-Nestor ROU 2453, FM Maric Dragan SRB 2251, IM Miron Lucian-Costin ROU 2513 and IM Cvetkovic Srdjan SRB 2395 – 4.5 etc


Round 7 top pairings:
  • GM Ernst Sipke 2593 – IM Pancevski Filip 2442
  • GM Todorovic Goran M 2482 – GM Damljanovic Branko 2597
  • IM Filip Lucian 2471 – GM Strikovic Aleksa 2564
  • GM Neverov Valeriy 2537 – GM Tadic Branko 2486
  • GM Blagojevic Dragisa 2514 – IM Radlovacki Jovan 2429
  • Indjic Aleksandar 2411 – GM Spasov Vasil 2583
  • GM Perunovic Milos 2576 – Nenezic Marko 2329
  • GM Savic Miodrag R 2523 – IM Olenin Nikolay 2323
  • GM Nikcevic Nebojsa 2412 – IM Miron Lucian-Costin 2513
  • GM Pap Misa 2511 – FM Maric Dragan 2251
  • IM Cvetkovic Srdjan 2395 – GM Lajthajm Borko 2500








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Chess great Kasparov to lecture at World Festival of Ideas in Moscow

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


Chess great Gary Kasparov is going to lecture on 'The Right move: the quest for a winning strategy and the individual characteristics of the human intellect' at the World Festival of Ideas. The former world chess champion is among several celebrities invited to speak at the Central House of Artists in Moscow at the festival from November 30 to December 4. The festival is celebrating 150th anniversary of the oldest scientific and educational journal of Russia 'Around the World'. You can access the official website for more info: http://150.vokrugsveta.ru/








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US Chess Scoop visits National Chess Congress

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


The US Chess Scoop visited the National Chess Congress in Philadelphia, held over Thanksgiving weekend from November 25-27. GM Alexander Ivanov, featured in the video, won on tiebreak over IM Leonid Gerzhoy (also featured) and GM Giorgi Kacheisvili. All three earned $1,733.34 while GM Ivanov took home an additional 1st place $100 bonus. Christian Brothers Academy from Lincroft, NJ won the team competition and also talked to the US Chess Scoop.


Penn student Troy Daly earned $1400 for winning the Under 2400 section. Alexander Katz also had a great event defeating IM Irina Krush and drawing against GM Alexander Ivanov on the way to breaking 2200. For more information, including event summary and standings on all sections, see http://nationalchesscongress.com/  Here is the US Chess Fed website.


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GM Abhijeet Gupta leads Vizag GM Chess Open after 9 rounds

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


Indian national chess champion Abhijeet Gupta leads the Vizag GM International Open Chess Championship taking place from November 23 to December 1 in Visakhapatnam, India.

The 11-round Swiss tournament with 198 participants saw Gupta go into the lead after 9 rounds a full point ahead of the rest of the field. 

Round 9 standings:
1. GM Gupta Abhijeet IND 2640 – 8.0

2-9. GM Dzhumaev Marat UZB 2485, GM Gleizerov Evgeny RUS 2566, IM Vaibhav Suri IND 2448, IM Grover Sahaj IND 2515, GM Andriasian Zaven ARM 2619, GM Petrosian Tigran L ARM 2636, GM Danielsen Henrik ISL 2542 and IM Lalith Babu M R IND 2484 – 7.0
10-21. Krishna C R G IND 2305, IM Shyam Sundar M IND 2462, GM Sumets Andrey UKR 2569, IM Anwesh Upadhyaya IND 2413, Navin Kanna T U IND 2377, Swayams Mishra IND 2386, IM Nolte Rolando PHI 2455, IM Swapnil S Dhopade IND 2435, GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J IND 2492, IM Satyapragyan Swayangsu IND 2436, FM Rajesh V A V IND 2338 and IM Sangma Rahul IND 2357 – 6.5 etc


Round 10 top pairings:
  • GM Gupta Abhijeet IND 2640 – IM Grover Sahaj IND 2515
  • GM Danielsen Henrik ISL 2542 – GM Petrosian Tigran L ARM 2636
  • GM Andriasian Zaven ARM 2619 – GM Gleizerov Evgeny RUS 2566
  • IM Vaibhav Suri IND 2448 – GM Dzhumaev Marat UZB 2485
  • IM Nolte Rolando PHI 2455 – IM Lalith Babu M R IND 2484
  • GM Sumets Andrey UKR 2569 – Krishna C R G IND 2305
  • FM Rajesh V A V IND 2338 – GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J IND 2492
  • IM Sangma Rahul IND 2357 – IM Shyam Sundar M IND 2462
  • Navin Kanna T U IND 2377 – IM Venkatesh M R IND 2499





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FM Marc Lang creates blindfold world simul chess record of 46 boards

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


FM Marc Lang has set a world record for biggest blindfold simul exhibition playing against 46 players in Sontheim an der Brenz, Germany. He scored 34.5-11.5 in 21 hours and 9 minutes. Lang is 41 years old and married with two kids. His wife, Anne Lindenmayer Lang, according to the German Chess Federation website, wrote: "The hundredweight tension of recent weeks and months fall away from me abruptly and gives way to a great sense of happiness. The efforts and sacrifices of the past half-year were not in vain, Marc has actually done it!"
Read Lang's personal essay on her husband here.


You can access the official website of the event here.
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Canadian Chess Comedy Film 'Ivory Tower' Out On DVD

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Ivory Tower is a Canadian feature film and the directorial debut of Adam Traynor, a musician from the German-based hip-hop group Puppetmastaz. The film is just out on DVD. The film was co-written by Canadian pianist and rapper Gonzales and French director and screenwriter Céline Sciamma.

It stars a variety of Canadian-born musicians, including Gonzales himself, Peaches, Feist and Tiga. Additionally, Gonzales' mother appears in the film. Here is the official promo. Enjoy. You can access the official website at http://chillygonzales.com/


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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chess players head for China - 1st SportAccord World Mind Games from Dec 9

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

The first edition of SportAccord World Mind Games from 8-16 December in Beijing! Watch live the world's best Bridge, Chess, Draughts, Go and Xiangqi players. Coverage to kick-off on 9 December on The Sports Hub. Here is the nice promo.


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How chess helped Staszko in his poker!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,



We've just got another update on chess player-turned-poker player Martin Staszko. It has just been announced that this year’s WSOP Main Event runner-up Martin Staszko, has just been signed on as the newest recruit to Team PokerStars Pro. The 35-year-old Czech pro earned $5,433,086 for his WSOP runner-up finish, plus a whole lot of kudos culminating in his now representing the world’s biggest online poker room.


Around 5 years ago the talented chess player decided to turn his attention towards playing poker and, as he explains:



“Playing chess taught me how to endure long sessions by the table. Chess also required much more preparation, which is not needed for poker. So compared to chess, poker playing is a piece of cake with much higher earnings.”

Here is our previous post on the champion.

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Strongest-ever chess tournament in England begins Dec 3 - London Chess Classic 2011 pairings

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,

It's flight time from Moscow to London. We're headed from one chess extravaganza to another. The London Chess Classic 2011, the strongest tournament in the history of British chess, runs from 3-12 December 2011. The 2800 club makes yet another meeting right after the VI Tal Chess Memorial and Carlsen, Anand, Aronian, and Kramnik will face each other in a round robin tournament together with Nakamura, Adams, Short, McShane, and Howell. Chessdom / Chessbomb live games platform will have Houdini analysis of the championship. Official website: www.londonchessclassic.com.

Meanwhile, here are all the pairings. Keep track.

London Chess Classic – pairings

Round one: December 3rd, starting at 14.00
Vladimir Kramnik -Hikaru Nakamura,
Levon Aronian -Luke McShane,
Magnus Carlsen -David Howell,
Michael Adams -Viswanathan Anand.
Nigel Short bye, assisting the commentary

Round two: December 4th, starting at 14.00
David Howell -Michael Adams,
Luke McShane -Magnus Carlsen,
Hikaru Nakamura -Levon Aronian,
Nigel Short -Vladimir Kramnik.
Viswanathan Anand bye, assisting the commentary

Round three: December 5th, starting at 14.00
Levon Aronian -Nigel Short,
Magnus Carlsen -Hikaru Nakamura,
Michael Adams -Luke McShane,
Viswanathan Anand -David Howell.
Vladimir Kramnik bye, assisting the commentary

Round four: December 6th, starting at 16.00
Magnus Carlsen -Vladimir Kramnik,
Michael Adams -Nigel Short,
Viswanathan Anand -Hikaru Nakamura,
David Howell -Luke McShane.
Levon Aronian bye, assisting the commentary 



Rest day: December 7th


Round five: December 8th, starting at 14.00 
Hikaru Nakamura -David Howell,
Nigel Short -Viswanathan Anand,
Vladimir Kramnik -Michael Adams,
Levon Aronian -Magnus Carlsen.
Luke McShane bye, assisting the commentary

Round six: December 9th, starting at 14.00
Michael Adams -Levon Aronian,
Viswanathan Anand -Vladimir Kramnik,
David Howell -Nigel Short,
Luke McShane -Hikaru Nakamura.
Magnus Carlsen bye, assisting the commentary

Round seven: December 10th, starting at 14.00
Nigel Short -Luke McShane,
Vladimir Kramnik -David Howell,
Levon Aronian -Viswanathan Anand,
Magnus Carlsen -Michael Adams.
Hikaru Nakamura bye, assisting the commentary

Round eight: December 11th, starting at 14.00
Viswanathan Anand -Magnus Carlsen,
David Howell -Levon Aronian,
Luke McShane -Vladimir Kramnik,
Hikaru Nakamura -Nigel Short.
Michael Adams bye, assisting the commentary

Round nine: December 12th, starting at 12.00
Luke McShane -Viswanathan Anand,
Hikaru Nakamura -Michael Adams,
Nigel Short -Magnus Carlsen,
Vladimir Kramnik -Levon Aronian.
David Howell bye, assisting the commentary
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Garbus' Bobby Fischer documentary on BBC this week

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

For everyone tuning in to BBC, here's great chess news.

Veteran filmmaker Liz Garbus' documentary exposes the disturbingly high price Fischer paid to achieve his legendary success and the resulting toll it took on his psyche. Rare archival footage and insightful interviews with those closest to him expand this captivating story of a mastermind's tumultuous rise and precipitous fall.







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Dr Who theme chess set

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Here is an interesting chess set. The Doctor Who Lenticular Animated Chess Set featuring 32 highly detailed Doctor Who characters in 3D lenticular image (front and back).
Lenticular printing makes the images change when viewed from different angles.  


Pieces:

Black (Silver Tops &Bases) White (Blue Tops & Bases)
King Supreme Dalek and The Doctor
Queen Weeping Angel and Amy Pond
Knight Cyberman and Rory Williams
Bishop Silurian General Restac and Professor River Song
Rook The Pandorica and TARDIS
Pawn Smiler and Judoon

Here's another one of the pewter kind but same theme.


If you're the one for themed chess sets then possibly this one's for you!
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Monday, November 28, 2011

Tal chess memorial interview: Carlsen says more draws because of very high level of defense

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Maria Fominykh interviewed Sixth Tal Chess Memorial winner Magnus Carlsen for the official site - Russian Chess Federation website. Here are some excerpts and great photos. 




Magnus, did this Tal Memorial be any different from previous tournaments?
There were lot of draws but the level of defence has risen significantly. That’s a really notable difference between the current Memorial and the previous ones – the resistance has reached a totally new level.

The abundance of draws doesn’t spoil the impression made by the tournament?
I don’t think so. All of the players were trying to fight. Many times someone could not win despite winning chances because the opponent defended very strongly.



Ian Nepomniachtchi at third place.


Levon Aronian at second place on tiebreak

Which games were you most satisfied with?
Overall I played well in the first half of the tournament. I made some mistakes, but the games were very hard-fought. In the second half I played worse: tiredness had its say and I lacked energy. I got lucky in the last round and I won.

Can you compare this tournament to a World Championship?
Of course this tournament is the strongest this year,and one of the strongest for many years. For me the Tal Memorial is one of the main tournaments and I take it very seriously.

Your contemporaries Sergey Karjakin and Ian Nepomniachtchi played very well, but you finished the tournament ahead of them?
I’ve known Nepomniachtchi and Karjakin for long. Sergey was well-known chess player even before I got the international master title. Ian’s also a great talent and he was beating me back in junior tournaments. So the history of our rivalry started a long time ago and it promises to continue for a long time!


You can read our previous post about the tournament here:

Carlsen wins sixth Tal Chess Memorial on tiebreak ahead of Aronian!








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Double whammy chess puzzle for the week

Chess blog for latest chess puzzle and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


How about beginning the week with a simple chess position. It's one of those super easy puzzles you cannot miss. But often you might because of being nervous. So, never ever rush on the chessboard - haste makes waste - in life and in chess!


White to play and win








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Moscow Chess Open 2012 from Jan 27

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


The latest chess tournament news for those looking for a great chessy start to 2012 - here's a cool update.



The international chess festival 'Moscow Open 2012' takes place in Moscow on January 27 (date of arrival) - February 6 (date of departure), 2012. The venue is Russian State Social University (RSSU), located at V. Pika Street, 4 ("Botanichesky Sad" metro station). You can access the official website – www.open.moschess.ru – for more information.

There is something for everyone.
The International Cup of RSSU "Moscow Open 2012" consists of 9 separate tournaments:

  • Tournament A "Russian Cup stage for men", 
  • Tournament B "Russian Cup stage for women",
  • Tournament C "Cup for chess amateurs”,
  • Tournament D "Cup for university student grandmasters - men",
  • Tournament E "Cup for university student grandmasters - women",
  • Tournament F "Cup for university students",
  • Tournament G "Cup for school champions" (26.01 to 05.02),
  • Tournament H "Cup for school-leavers" (26.01 to 05.02),
  • Tournament I "Fifth World Cup on solving".
  • The total guaranteed prize fund of the Festival is 3 150 000 roubles.
REGULATIONS of the "Moscow Open 2012" chess festival.

Of course there is also the Aeroflot Open Chess Festival beginning right after from February 6 to 17, 2012 at a new venue in Moscow: the Hotel Cosmos, one of the largest in Moscow, located in a beautiful park area 20 travelling minutes from Red Square. The total prize fund is 150,000 Euros, and it includes qualification places for the Dortmund Super Tournament. You can register now.
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Rare chess photo video collage of Anatoly Karpov

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


We found this very nice video collage of rare photos of chess great Anatoly Karpov. Must watch.










From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Monday chess trivia question: Guess who?

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


Quickly tell us who this chess player is? And, what tournament is he playing?









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GM Dragan Paunovic wins Valladolid Open Chess Tournament

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


The 7th Torneo Internacional de Ajedrez de Valladolid took place recently at Hotel “Novotel” in Valladolid, Spain. According to the latest chess news via www.chessdom.com, the tournament was played over eight rounds with 112 participants. There were more than 30 money prizes with 500 EUR reserved for the first place.

GM Dragan Paunovic’s last round victory against famous chess trainer IM Boris Zlotnik got him the first prize with 7.0 points.



GM Dragan Paunovic

Valladolid is a historic city and municipality in north-central Spain, situated at the confluence of the Pisuerga and Esgueva rivers, and located within three wine-making regions: Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Cigales. It is the capital of the province of Valladolid.

Final top standings:
1 GM Paunovic Dragan SRB 2528 – 7
2 GM Granda Zuñiga Julio E. PER 2636 – 6.5
3 GM Khamrakulov Ibragim S. ESP 2518 – 6.5
4 FM Gonzalez De La Nava Amador ESP 2295 – 6.5
5 IM Zlotnik Boris A. RUS 2433 – 6
6 GM Cifuentes Parada Roberto ESP 2523 – 6
7 FM Andres Gonzalez Ivan ESP 2318 – 6
8 IM Roa Alonso Santiago ESP 2418 – 6
9 IM Barria Zuniga Daniel CHI 2438 – 6
10 FM Martin Fuentes Alberto ESP 2307 – 6








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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday chess puzzle: Can White win this?

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hi everyone,


Here is a nice position from Vaulin-Korobov, Elista, 2001
Black is all set to face the Re8 but White is ready with a deeper calculation. Enjoy!




And, if you're looking to improve your chess, have you looked at all these fantastic free chess videos by Chess Queen and how she has beaten the world's top grandmasters? They include super games to learn from apart from chess puzzle podcasts at www.chesskillertips.com. Enjoy!

Watch Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk Play against the World’s Top Grandmasters


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Congratulations to world senior chess champion IM Vladimir Okhotnik and senior women's world chess champion WIM Galina Strutinskaya

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


Here is nice chess news from the World Senior Chess Championship that just concluded in Opatija, Croatia. 

Congratulations to the new world senior chess champion IM Vladimir Okhotnik and new senior women's world chess champion WIM Galina Strutinskaya.

The 2011 world senior chess champions

WGM Tamar Khmiadashvili (four times World Senior Champion) and GM Anatoly Vaisser came back to defend their 2010 titles. The 2009 Champions GM Miso Cebalo and GM Nona Gaprindashvili (former World Champion and twice World Senior Champion), and reigning European Senior Champion GM Mihai Suba also competed. You can access the official website at this link.






Final top-10 standings (open)
1. IM Okhotnik Vladimir FRA 2427 9.0
2. GM Komljenovic Davorin CRO 2451 8.5
3. GM Timoscenko Gennadij SVK 2483 8.5
4. GM Vaisser Anatoly FRA 2555 8.0
5. GM Kurajica Bojan BIH 2532 8.0
6. GM Cebalo Miso CRO 2446 8.0
7. GM Rajkovic Dusan SRB 2416 8.0
8. GM Balashov Yuri S RUS 2443 8.0
9. GM Hulak Krunoslav CRO 2480 7.5
10. GM Kovacevic Vlatko CRO 2482 7.5
Full standings are here.

Final top-10 standings (women)

1. IM Strutinskaya Galina N RUS 2277 8.5
2. WFM Melashvili Nino GEO 2106 8.0
3. WGM Saunina Ludmila RUS 2274 8.0
4. GM Gaprindashvili Nona GEO 2360 7.5
5. WIM Thipsay Bagyashree Sathe IND 2152 7.5
6. WGM Fatalibekova Elena RUS 2285 6.5
7. WGM Khmiadashvili Tamar GEO 2166 6.5
8. WIM Miednikova Swietlana RUS 2165 6.5
9. WIM Bilunova Rimma I RUS 2151 6.5
10. WFM Lopatin Olga GER 2091 6.5
Full standings are here.


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Cool human chess video of Gary Kasparov playing with African television personality

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


Here is a nice human chess video of chess great Gary Kasparov's recent visit to Africa as part of a Moves for Life campaign. The 13th world chess champion played the game with radio and television personality Wackhead Simpson.  Enjoy.










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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Congratulations to Jacqueline Piatigorsky for turning 100 - we salute a rare benefactor of chess in the US

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,


We found this very nice article in The New York Times by Dylan Loeb McClain. Absolute Must Read. But first at a look at this rare photo we found at RookHouse.

Boris Spassky, Mr. and Mrs. Piatigorsky, Bobby Fischer.


Milestone for a Benefactor 

of Historic Chess Matches


Jacqueline Piatigorsky, one of the most important figures in American chess in the 1960s, turned 100 this month.

Piatigorsky, a member of the Rothschild banking family, was married to the cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, and together they sponsored three significant chess events. The first was a 1961 match between Bobby Fischer and Samuel Reshevsky, the two best American players.

It was a best-of-16 match, and after 11 games, each man had won twice and the other games were draws. And that is how it ended. Fischer quit after a fight with Mrs. Piatigorsky over the scheduling of the 12th game. (Fischer wanted an afternoon game so he could sleep in, and she wanted a morning game so she could attend a concert by her husband later in the day.)

In 1963, the Piatigorskys sponsored the Piatigorsky Cup tournament in Los Angeles, which featured eight of the top players in the world, including the new world champion, Tigran V. Petrosian, who was from Soviet Armenia.Petrosian and Paul Keres, who was from the Soviet republic of Estonia, tied for first.

Three years later, the second Piatigorsky Cup included another world-class field, this time of 10 players. Boris Spassky took first place, just ahead of Fischer, who had mended fences with Mrs. Piatigorsky.

She was not only a sponsor of chess events — she was also one of the country’s top female players, ranking No. 2 at one point. In 1957, at the first Women’s Chess Olympiad in Emmen, the Netherlands, she played Board 2 for the United States and won a bronze medal by scoring 7.5 points in 11 games.



All we can say is WOW.







From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Women's world chess champion interview: Hou Yifan compares title matches with Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk, Ruan Lufei and Koneru Humpy; speaks about life, chess prep and more

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


In the interview taken by WGMs Anastasiya Karlovich and Anna Burtasova on the day after the decisive 8th game of the WWCC match, 17-year-old world champion Hou Yifan from China talks about the match, the hospital story, her hobbies and her view on life. Here is the interview via the official website. Enjoy.

Hou Yifan in Tirana, Albania Photo: Fide
Find great photos of the world's best grandmasters on www.chesspics.com

Q: Congratulations on the victory! Can you now reveal some secrets of your preparation? Who helped you?
I played European Club Cup which finished at the beginning of October. When I was back to China, I also had to participate in a special gathering for the Mind Games to represent chess. It took a few days. When I came back from there I started my preparation for the match but I had only less than a month left.


Q: How did you prepare?It was just a normal preparation. First of all I wanted to rest because I played a lot of tournaments recently. I worked on the openings and made some physical exercises. I like swimming so I went to the pool. Here in Tirana I went to the hotel pool once, too.


Q: Who helped you? During the tournament we saw only grandmaster Ye here.There was no one of the foreign grandmasters. Ye was here from the beginning. Yu Shaoteng, who is my coach for many years, is here too, but he was not here from the beginning. He took part in some competition in China and as it finished only in the middle of the match, he came later.


Q: Did you ever think of using the help of foreign grandmasters?
I never thought of foreigners to help me. Usually our chess federation decides on such things. I also have a coach in China so he decides together with the federation and I follow their advices.


Q: We saw you in a good mood smiling before every game, although the match is very tough. How can you combine such a good mood and concentrated play?
You can see it before the game or after the game but not during the game – during the game I am concentrated. But besides the board I want to be in my natural mood. I also like to smile for journalists when they make pictures because I think it is good for media.


Q: Did something in your life change when you became world champion for the first time in December 2010?
In my opinion World chess champion title did not change me. Like before, I try to practice chess and study something new, study English, read books and meet with friends. Maybe after I won the title for the first time I had a period with many interviews, especially in China. In that time I was busy with this attention. But in my mind nothing changed.


Q: Did you always have this desire to become world champion?
I believe that every professional player has this goal so if you decided to go this way, you should try your best. It was my goal but not my final dream.


Q: So what’s you final dream?
I don’t know. I think that maybe you should not have one. If you want something in life and you reach it, what about the rest of your life? So I believe you should have goals and reach them step but step.


Q: What is your next goal?Now I just want to improve my play, get more rating.


Q: Do you consider yourself a professional?I play chess for more than 10 years so in some way it is my profession. But it is not the only thing I care for. I agree with Anatoly Kaprov who said “Chess is my life but my life is not only chess”.


Q: You played two other matches for the world championship. First one was the final of knock-out championship against Alexandra Kosteniuk when you lost and the other one was against Ruan Lufei in the final of the next knock-out when you won. This match was the third one and the longest one. Which of the three you consider the most difficult?None of them was easy. The first time when I played against Kosteniuk I did not have experience. She played very well in that match. With Ruan Lufei, after I won the first game, I played not very good in the next games. But this match is different. With Ruan Lufei, for example, I played only four games. Here the match was for the best out of 10.


Q: This was special about this match?I never played such long matches before. But it was ok.


Q: Do you like the match system?I think the players should like any kind of tournaments. You should not choose what you like but try to prove you are the best in any system.


Q: But if you could choose, which system would you prefer?There is no system that I prefer, I like to play any kinds of competitions.


Q: What do you think about your opponent?I played with Koneru many times before. Her rating is always on the top level. She is a strong player and her opening preparation was also very good. You could see that I spent a lot of time in the openings. It was just that she was making mistakes in the time troubles that decided the match.


Q: Don’t you think her mistakes were also caused by the psychological pressure as you have won a lot of games against her before?Maybe she felt this way, but for me it was nothing of that. During the game I concentrate on the game and moves, I don’t think about the history of our competition.


Q: Didn’t you feel you needed to improve your openings?
Maybe not only the openings. (smiles)


Q: You said before that the preparation is not the most important aspect of the game for you…Well, it is important. But the first thing is that you should rest well, your head should be fresh.


Q: So what happened in the hospital that you won two games after you went there?Actually my coach was joking about this – next days he was asking: “What’s the time now? Maybe we should go for the hospital?” In fact I got this pain in the stomach area early in the match, too, but it was not that severe. After the 5th game it happened again, a worse feeling than the previous time. I felt very bad so I thought it was the time to visit the hospital.


Q: There they offered you some pain killers but you did not take them, why?First thing they did was that they checked everything. And I did not want to use any medication before they declare the exact reason of the pain.


Q: Was it because you were afraid the pills would affect your thinking?Not really, just I try to use less medicine recently, not only during the match. If I felt really bad, I would take the pills of course.


Q: Who is your favorite chess player?Bobby Fischer. I admire his playing style. I also like that when he got the world champion title he was the only one to compete and win over the hegemony of soviet players.


Q: Do you want to play every game for win like Bobby Fischer? For example at Rostov Grand Prix stage the draw was enough for you to be first, but you continued to play your last round game against x-world champion Stefanova…
In the last game in Rostov I played just because I thought I had some advantage. Normally when I come to the board I don’t have this feeling that I have to win whatever the cost, I just want to play normally according to the position.


Q: What do you think about Facebook, twitter?Yes, I like social networks. I use Facebook when I am abroad because in China it is a little bit difficult as it is banned. There are messengers of the same kind as Twitter in China so I use them.


Q: Did you check all the congratulations with this success that are written on your Facebook wall? There are plenty of them!I did not have time because there were a lot of journalists from China contacting me through Internet so I used all the time after the last game of the match to answer them.


Q: Your English is improving with every tournament, is it your hobby to learn it?I like to learn English, it is one of my interests. Before I went to the school with English classes.


Q: Are you interested in studying more languages?Maybe English is enough to use. But if I have a chance in the future, then maybe I would like to study other languages.


Q: Because of the WWCC match you did not join university this year. What do you want to study when you enter it?
When I go to university I would decide, but right now I do not have a clear picture of what I would like to study.


Q: What music do you like?Mostly I listen to Chinese pop music. In recent years I also listen to some English songs. For example, I like the band called “Groove Coverage”. “God is a girl” is one of their most famous songs.


Q: Do you sing during the game?Not really.


Q: Do you play on ICC, Playchess or other chess servers on Internet?Long time ago I did but now I participate in so many tournaments that I do not have any more power to spend my free time playing blitz.


Q: What is your favorite book or the last book you read?
Recently I read a book that is called “Window boy”. It is from an American writer. It is a story about disabled boy who had a dream. From the window near which he was sitting every day he could see the school yard and the basketball team training there. In the end he became the captain of the basketball team. When you read this story, you see that this boy overcame all these difficulties. At one point he almost gave up but still he continued with his dream. The famous basketball player of China wrote on this book that it is for the people who want to reach their goals. My friend from the same sport agency gave me this book.


Q: Do you have any sayings or particular historical figures that inspire you?I do not remember the names of the people who said different things, but I memorize the sayings. For example, recently I read such a sentence: “You hate today, but the people who died yesterday were hoping for this day to be their tomorrow”.






From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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