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

 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Association of Chess Professionals Newsletter for First Quarter 2012

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,


As you know, the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) has charted a new and fresh course with great chess events this year with their new president, Grandmaster Emil Sutovsky.


We just found the ACP newsletter with a summary of their chess activities in the first four months of the 2012. Their membership count is now 873 with representatives from 80 national federations.

Here is the summary of chess activities:

1) Dzagnidze wins play-offs against Cramling to take the 2012 ACP Women's Cup
2) Announcing the Women's Rapid and Blitz World Chess Championships 2012 - Batumi will be the venue for this important event from 30 May to 6 June 2012. The total prize fund is of 100.000 USD, by far the highest prize fund ever for a women rapid chess event (notably the former record was held by another ACP event: the ACP Women Cup 2012).
3) Cooperation with FIDE
4) Cooperation with continental federations
5) The new ACP Book of the Year contest
6) The new ACP Tournament of the Year contest
They have also asked members to vote for the best tournament of the year 2011. This is yet another new initiative from the ACP to promote professional chess at all levels!
7) The Elite GM Survey
The ACP is working with FIDE commissions to prepare a comprehensive survey on the possible introduction of a new GM title. 
8) Jeroen van den Berg and Giovanni Vescovi join the ACP Board
9) The new ACP logo
You can read the full newsletter at the Association of Chess Professionals' website.

Here are some Chess Blog headlines we've posted on the ACP:

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Helping Children Find a Better Life with Chess

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


We found this nice chess story about how chess is helping these kids live a better life. Enjoy.









HARLEM — Standing on the opposite sides of a life-sized chess board, Maurice Campbell, 10 and Jhiana Evans, 11, fifth-graders at P.S. 36 in Harlem, rattled off commands that sent their classmates scurrying to white or black squares.

"Knight to F3," said Campbell who was wearing a white shirt with the letter K for king.

"Pawn takes E5," said Evans, wearing a white t-shirt with Q for queen.

Both had only a rudimentary understanding of the game before participating in Chess Lords, a human interactive chess program where kids learn by acting as pieces on a chess board.

But since joining the team, founded by Anthonyquiame Jackson-Bey, the students have improved their critical thinking skills, discipline and mathematical understanding — in addition to a host of other benefits with chess. Read more here.

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Simple Chess Trivia Questions: Guess the Players!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


Simple chess trivia questions for you this Sunday. All you have to do is guess who are these chess grandmasters and which chess tournament is this?




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Fantasy Chess Online Contest with Great Prizes on Sidelines of 2012 US Chess Championships

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


Do you know where the 2012 US Chess Championships (Men and Women's) is going to be held? In Saint Louis from May 7-20. But, this chess news is not about the event itself. It's about an exciting online parallel contest called Fantasy Chess that even you could participate in.
Defending US chess champions 
Gata Kamsky and Anna Zatonskih.

Fantasy chess is about anyone, from anywhere on the planet, making predictions and guessing about who is going to win. It is free to join and you could sign up at www.uschesschamps.com - the official website of the event. Sponsors have helped the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis offer great prizes for the fantasy chess event. These prizes include:
  • Biasov Luxury Chess Table and personalized U.S. Championships poster signed by the 2012 U.S. Champion and U.S. Women's Champion. Ships to continental U.S. only.
  • Private lesson (in person or online) with GM Ben Finegold, a joint membership to the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis and the World Chess Hall of Fame and a signed poster from the 2012 U.S. Championship and U.S. Women's Championship.
  • Private lesson (in person or online) with WGM Jennifer Shahade, signed copies of Jennifer's books "Chess Bitch" and "Play Like a Girl", and a vinyl board signed by the participants in the 2012 U.S. Women's Championship.
  • A wooden chess board signed by the players in the 2012 U.S. Championship and U.S. Women's Championship.
  • A 2012 U.S. Championships polo, vinyl board and Championship poster signed by the players in the 2012 U.S. Championship and U.S. Women's Championship
Find more details and enter your team at http://www.uschesschamps.com/fantasy-chess.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Reykjavik Chess Festival 2013 - Not Too Early to Plan!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,

It doesn't seem to be too early to plan for a chess tournament to play in 2013, particularly when the chess event is going to be in an exotic location? We talk of the Reykjavik Chess Open 2013 - in Fischer country - from March 5 to 13, 2013.



The Icelandic Chess Federation, along with the Reykjavik Chess Academy, has already announced the schedule of the 28th edition of the Reykjavik Chess Festival and are accepting entries. The interesting part is that the chess event of 2013 would have an additional tenth round! One whole new chess round to play. We think that's cool. The double chess-game rounds would also finish off in the first half of the chess fest itself.

There is a whole lot more to the Reykjavik Chess Festival next year -- extra online chess boards, improved recording in pgn of chess games, Hort system for chess tiebreaks, flight deals, and the chess stars as always.

The Reykjavik Chess Festival 2013 would be organised in Harpa -- Reykjavik brand new music hall near the harbour. The total prize fund for the chess festival is €15000. You can find more information at the official website of this amazing chess festival.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mr Oizo Chess Teaser for New Single

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

This one is just too cute a chess teaser! Quentin 'Rubber' Dupieux aka Mr Oizo has a new single out. What better way to promote it than to have William Fichtner play chess with a puppet?


Isn't it the best chess video we put up here? (Except of course the Chess Killer Tips! - wink)

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Which chess 'art piece' do you like?

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,



We just found these nice chess photos on the Facebook page of David Joueur D'echecs. Definitely worth sharing. Enjoy and have a chess-filled weekend. 





If you have a nice chess photo or chess painting to share, don't forget to send it to us.


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Friday, April 27, 2012

The Week of Chess Art in Dnipropetrovsk


Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,



A special chess event lasting a full week has drawn much applause in Ukraine. The unique event 'Week of Chess Art' was held in Dnipropetrovsk Region of Ukraine from April 19-25. It included:

  • Chess tournament with more than 5000 players from the Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine, Russia, Belorus, and Israel. 
  • Dnipropetrovsk native and Guinness World Record certified GM Alik Gershon's 80-board simul.




  • Chess exhibition 'Move by Move' devoted to history of chess in region at the local museum. It covered the history of chess activities in the region and biographies of famous chess players like Jose Raul Capablanca, Mikhail Botvinnik, and Mikhail Tal.
  • For the temporary exhibition in the Museum the Ukrainian Chess Federation provided the Hamilton-Russell Cup, which is the main prize of the World Chess Olympiad. It was made from the personal funds of the President of the British Chess Federation Federic Hamilton-Russell for the first World Chess Olympiad, held in 1927 in London. The Ukrainian chess team won the temporary Cup in the Chess Olympiad 2010 in Khanty-Mansiysk.
  • In 'Battle for Dnepr' children from Dnipropetrovsk art schools presented their work. A special catalogue of all the pieces was coordinated by Irina Filatova.


This special event was organised to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Dnipropetrovsk region and to develop the intellectual movement in the region. The simul lasted more than six hours. The grandmaster lost seven games and drew 17.


The governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, Oleksandr Vilkul, praised the event and said it was important for the development of the region. On the invitation of the governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, Alexander Vilkul, and the Ukrainian Chess Federation, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov also visited the opening ceremony of the event at the Potemkin Palace. 

Young artist Polina Usenko also presented her work 'Chess Maharajah' to Mr Ilyumzhinov. The work was created using an interesting technique of combining graphics, pastels and gouache on black paper.

Several other events were organised as well - international chess composition tournament at the National Center for Youth Aerospace Education, Internet competition for solving chess tasks among pupils of Dnipropetrovsk region, blitz tournament among veterans in Shevchenko Park etc., the traditional school team tournament 'Memorial of A.V. Sinitsyn'. For many years the event is financially supported by entrepreneur Andrey Filatov, a native of Dnipropetrovsk and the main sponsor of the World Chess Championship match between Vishwanathan Anand and Boris Gelfand to be held in Moscow in May 2012. 

The children's tournament brought together teams from Russia (St. Petersburg, Orel), Belarus (Minsk, Gomel), and Ukraine (Donetsk, Lugansk, Poltava region, and 10 clubs from Dnipropetrovsk). The winners of the tournament became the team of Sports School - 9 (Dnipropetrovsk), the second place took the team from the School named by B. Spassky (St. Petersburg), the third place got the team from Lugansk. All winners, as an additional prize, would get an opportunity to attend the Anand-Gelfand match in Moscow.
Selected TV-reports:

  1. Ukrainian national channel ICTV
  2. Ukrainian national channel UT-1
  3. Dnipropetrovsk regional Channel 11 

* Photos and information: Press Department of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Administration, Marketing Directorate of the Ukrainian Chess Federation


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International Chess Fest Nakhchivan Open 2012 Begins

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

The International Chess Festival Nakhchivan Open 2012, dedicated to the memory of Heydar Aliyev, is taking place from 28th to 6th May at the Nakhchivan Chess Center in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan. The Festival is organised by the Azerbaijan Youth & Sport Ministry, Azerbaijan Chess Federation, Nakhchivan AR Chess Federation and SOCAR. Last year's winner was GM Anton Korobov from Ukraine.

The players will be seeded in Tournament A if rated above 2250 FIDE (For Women above 2100 FIDE), while the lower rated players will compete in Tournament B. Both groups will be played over nine rounds of Swiss system.

Top prizes in the Tournament A are: 6000$ + cup/ 4000$/ 3000$/ 2000$/ 1500$/ 1200$/ 1100$/ 1100$/ 1000$/ 1000$ etc. There are 30 regular and many special prizes.



Official website of the chess festival: www.chess.az

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Italian Team Chess Final Round Begins on Friday

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Here is some more chess news from Italy. The final round of the Italian Team Championship starts on Friday (April 27) in Arvier (Aosta Valley) with players like Nakamura, Caruana, Gwain Jones, Marie Sebag, Alberto David and others. A total of 14 teams are competing for the 2012 team chess title. The event covers seven  rounds and includes about 20 grandmasters along with several international masters and young players from Italy. 


The schedule:
The tournament will start on Friday April 27th afternoon (at 3 pm).
Rounds 2 and 3 on Saturday 28th (start at 8.45 and 15.30)
Fourth round on Sunday 29th (at 3 pm)
Rounds 5 and 6 on Monday 30th (start at 8.45 and 15.30)
Last round (7th) on May 1st (start at 8.45)

Live games and results on www.scacchivda.com
The favourite is ‘Obiettivo Risarcimento’. It would be interesting to know who would be the official first board from among Nakamura and Caruana. The champions of Pesaro will try to repeat the exploit of last year, and the same will try Nereto, but the team of Chieti (with Jones and Marie Sebag) seems dangerous.


Starting from Saturday 28th is also the women's team chess championship of Italy. 


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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Forni di Sopra: Play Chess in the Heart of Italian Alps from June 16

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Want to play chess in an authentic village in Europe? Check out the 2nd International Chess Tournament of Forni di Sopra that is taking place from June 16-23 in Forni di Sopra, part of the Friulian Dolomites Natural Park and one of the jewels of the Italian Alps.


The previous edition was won by GM Carlos Matamoros. The Academia Internazionale di Scacchi, Circolo Scacchistico Udinese, ScacchiRandagi, FSI and Comune Forni di Sopra are organising the event in the Palasport of Forni di Sopra. The complex includes swimming pool / gym with large and bright conference rooms no more than 5 minutes walking distance from the centre.


The A section is available to players with an elo above 2000, 9 rounds Swiss system , time control 90′x 40 moves + 30′ + 30”
The B section is open to players with an elo above 1600 ELO (and lower than 2000 ELO), 8 rounds Swiss system, time control 90′x 40 moves + 30′ + 30” . The C section is open to players with an elo under 1600, 8 rounds Swiss system, time control 90′x 40 moves + 30′ + 30 ”. The total prize money amounts to 10,000 Euro. Top three prizes in the Open A are 1400, 900 and 700 EUR respectively.
The tournament will be covered on www.scacchirandagi.com and www.accademiainternazionalediscacchi.comand the top 30 boards will be broadcasted live.
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Bragi, Throstur Tie for First at Iceland National Chess 2012

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


IM Bragi Thorfinnsson and GM Throstur Thorhallsson have tied for the first place at the Icelandic Chess Championship 2012. They share the top spot with 7.5/11 points each. A Fide report said they would go for a playoff later. 




The Icelandic Chess Championship was organised by the Icelandic Chess Federation from April 13 to 23 in Kópavogur, the second largest city in Reykjavik. The national championship was the strongest that has been held this century in the country, with four Grandmasters and an average rating of 2398.

Twelve players competed in the round robin tournament. Top seeded was the 11-times national champion Hannes Stefansson.
Final standings:1. IM Thorfinnsson Bragi 2421 – 7.5
2. GM Thorhallsson Throstur 2398 – 7.5
3. IM Arngrimsson Dagur 2361 – 7
4. GM Danielsen Henrik 2504 – 7
5. FM Kjartansson David 2305 – 5.5
6. GM Stefansson Hannes 2531 – 5.5
7. GM Kristjansson Stefan 2500 – 5.5
8. IM Kjartansson Gudmundur 2357 – 5
9. FM Bjornsson Sigurbjorn 2393 – 4.5
10. IM Thorfinnsson Bjorn 2416 – 4
11. Gislason Gudmundur 2346 – 3.5
12. Jensson Einar Hjalti 2245 – 3.5

You can find the official website of the chess tournament here.
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

World Chess No. 1 Magnus Carlsen on The Colbert Report

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


Guess where was chess superstar Magnus Carlsen on April 24? He was on The Colbert Report. The program is a satirical show with a focus on a fictional anchorman character named Stephen Colbert who is a "well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot."






You can watch the full episode of the April 24 Colbert Report here.


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Eduardo Iturrizaga Wins UNED Guadalajara Chess

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

The 7th International Chess Open UNED Guadalajara was held on 22nd April at the Hotel Tryp in Guadalajara, Spain, according to a Chessdom report. The tournament was organized by the Club UNED and supported by Guadalajara city, Guadalajara region, UNED Guadalajara associated center, Hotel Tryp, Equigoma, Hotel Alcarria and Bar Las Vegas.
GM Eduardo Iturrizaga from Venezuela and IM Juan Reyes Larena from Peru shared the first place with 7 points each. Iturrizaga grabs the winner’s trophy on better Buchholz. A total of 108 players from 15 federations participated in the event. The list of participants included eight Grandmasters and 10 International Masters in attendance.

The tournament format was 8 rounds Swiss with the time control of 20 minutes per player. Top prizes are 700 € and trophy, 500 € and trophy, 400 € and trophy etc.

Final standings:1. GM Iturrizaga Eduardo VEN 2628 – 7
2. IM Reyes Larena Juan PER 2437 – 7
3. Valles Moreno Ivan ESP 2391 – 6.5
4. FM Anton Guijarro David ESP 2476 – 6.5
5. IM Perez Mitjans Orelvis ESP 2482 – 6.5
6. GM Rakhmanov Aleksandr RUS 2602 – 6
7. GM Suba Mihai ROU 2438 – 6
8. FM Aranda Marin Cristian ESP 2321 – 6
9. IM Zlotnik Boris A RUS 2433 – 6 (Last year's winner)
10. IM Moreno Ruiz Javier ESP 2513 – 6
11. IM Rubio Mejia Luis Ignacio ESP 2439 – 6



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Fish Men Actor Talks About Chess Hustlers

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Remember the recent post we put up about a nice presentation - Fish Men? 


Here is an interview with its protagonist and his take on the chess hustlers of Washington Park!
 

In “Fish Men,” the second of three world premieres at the Goodman produced in partnership with the Latino troupe TeatroVista, by Teatro resident playwright (and US Chess Federation Grand Master) Candido Tirado, Cantor plays Stuart, a successful real-estate broker who considers himself part of the scene at the park.

Though the chess hustlers consider him just another “fish” or mark, one of the two meanings of the show’s title, along with a reference to mythical figures from the Mayan Book of the Dead, who come down to Earth to redeem and/or punish the wicked.

Preceding the action of the play, which unfolds in real time on a set recreating the gaming tables in Washington Square, the chess hustlers have savagely fleeced a sucker who was unstable enough to allow himself to be taken for everything he owns — and Stuart, as self-appointed moral arbiter, takes them to task. Soon after, a young half-Mayan named Rey Reyes (Raul Castillo) arrives. A survivor of genocide in Guatemala, he seems at first to be just another fish but eventually reveals a vengeful agenda of his own.

Who’s on top

“One of the themes in the play is a set of concentric circles, micro to macro, about the way exploitation and brutality and domination plays out in the world,” said Cantor, an Evanston resident and assistant professor of acting at Northwestern University. “The most micro is the game of chess itself, which can be very aggressive. Then you have the community in the park, with its dominators and dominated. Then you have political domination, all the way up to using genocide to oppress a population.”

The play also concerns itself, he said, with revealing the motivations driving
the various characters,
from the chess hustlers, to the guys hanging out in the park like his character (“after all my sanctimoniousness, it’s revealed that I’m a bit of a slumlord”), to a World War II Holocaust survivor (Howard Witt), who has taken an oath never to play chess again, for mysterious reasons, and who forms an attachment to the young Guatemalan survivor.

If none of that sounds like a laugh riot, “Fish Men” may surprise you, according to Cantor.

“It might sound grim, but it’s also very funny,” he said. “There’s a lively, free-spirited, humorous street culture among the hustlers that’s really enjoyable. Tough things are going on in the play, but it’s fun and colorful and kind of hilarious at the same time.”

Read the full interview here.

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Chat with Champion Children's Chess Team Members - Brooklyn 318

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,
 
These chess kids are not nerds and really popular in school. They are regular kids who have given a new cool image to chess. We found this nice interview with one of the members of the Brooklyn 318 chess team. Nice read.

Isaac Barayev, the teenage grandson of émigrés from the former Soviet Union on both sides of his family, doesn’t remember exactly when his introduction to the game of pawns and rooks and kings began. But he recalls how it happened.

He was about 4 years old. His grandfathers, who live a few blocks from each other and from him in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens, taught him the basics of chess. “They put me on their knees and showed me how to set up the pieces.” Within a few years, Isaac was beating his grandfathers.

Winning chess games against older opponents has become familiar territory for him. Now 13, an eighth grader at Intermediate School 318 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Isaac was part of the team that won the U.S. Chess Federation’s national high school championship earlier this month in Minneapolis. Over the weekend that coincided with the final days of Passover, he and the public school’s seven other top-ranked players triumphed over older, more-experienced high school competitors from around the country.

You can read the full story here.

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Horror Movie with Chess Theme - 5150 Elm's Way

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

5150 ELM'S WAY is located at the end of a quiet street in a small town. When Yannick fell off his bike, he knocked at the door of the Beaulieu residence so he could clean the blood off his hands. But Jack Beaulieu and his family had other plans for Yannick. Beaulieu is a righteous psychopath and fanatic chess player who wants to rid the world of evil. And even though Yannick has done nothing wrong, he is beaten, tortured and tormented before Beaulieu makes him an offer: win at chess and he is free to go. And so Yannick is now a pawn in Beaulieu's game. A game in which he will either lose his mind or his life. 

Watch the trailer. Viewer discretion required as trailer contains disturbing scenes.


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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A 25-Year-Old Chess Tradition from Fiji

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

A simple chess tradition, but an expression of great love of chess. Such is this story by Arin Kumar from Fiji. One of the chess players who introduced and took part in every Mohammed Badshah Memorial Open Chess Tournament will not feature in this year's chess tournament.
 
Australia-based Dr Sanmogan Goundar is a notable exclusion from this year's Mohammed Badshah Memorial Open. Dr Goundar, who has been sponsoring the tournament since its inception 25 years, was also one of those players who had competed in the tournament for 25 years.

Fiji Chess Federation president Dr Virgilio de Asa said Dr Goundar was not able to get leave for the event. "He is working in Australia and he did not get leave for this event," De Asa said.

"But he has not lost interest in the tournament. In fact, he has increased the prize money to $1500."

De Asa said Mohammed Badshah was Dr Goundar's classmate and the two players were the pioneers of chess clubs at the Fiji School Medicine in Suva. "Unfortunately, Mohammed Badshah was involved in a tragic accident in Canada that claimed his life and his classmate and friend, Dr Goundar and Dr Singh started this tournament in his memory. And ever since then, Dr Goundar has been the major sponsor for the tournament," he said. FCF general secretary Teliko Koroi said the tournament was rapidly becoming the most hyped local tournament in the sport as the prize pool is one of the largest.

"We are hoping to see a huge turnout since prizes will be allocated in all categories, with concentration on rewarding younger and intermediate players to encourage long-term growth of chess as a professional sport in Fiji," Koroi said.

The 2012 Mohammed Badshah Open will be held this Sunday at the Pasifika Campus of the Fiji School of Medicine in Suva.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ni Hua Wins Dubai Chess Open on Tie-Break

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

After nine rounds at the Dubai Chess Open, five Grandmasters concluded their score with seven points each. These chess players were Ni Hua from China, Baadur Jobava and Mikheil Mchedlishvili from Georgia, Normunds Miezis from Latvia and Sandipan Chanda from India. The 14th Dubai Open was held from April 14 to 24 at the Dubai Chess & Culture Club in United Arab Emirates. A total of 160 players from 32 countries took part in the tournament, with the largest group of 37 arriving from India.
Ni Hua and Parimarjan Negi in their last round game.

Ni Hua took the winner’s trophy on the best tie-break – sum of the ratings of the opponents (without one result). 


Top Final standings:


1. GM Ni Hua CHN 2637 – 7
2. GM Jobava Baadur GEO 2706 – 7
3. GM Mchedlishvili Mikheil GEO 2626 – 7
4. GM Miezis Normunds LAT 2557 – 7
5. GM Sandipan Chanda IND 2595 – 7
6. GM Akopian Vladimir ARM 2684 – 6.5
7. GM Petrosian Tigran L ARM 2643 – 6.5
8. GM Miroshnichenko Evgenij UKR 2624 – 6.5
9. GM Andriasian Zaven ARM 2616 – 6.5
10. GM Gupta Abhijeet IND 2643 – 6.5
11. GM Hovhannisyan Robert ARM 2600 – 6.5
12. GM Volkov Sergey RUS 2623 – 6.5
13. GM Zhou Weiqi CHN 2628 – 6.5
14. IM Shyam Sundar M IND 2474 – 6.5
15. GM Sokolov Ivan NED 2653 – 6.5


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Why Chess Boxing is Taking Europe by a Storm?

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

CBS News has a nice chess news story from London. It is about chess boxing. CBS News correspondent Mark Phillips took a closer look at chess boxing with a fine report.


"It involves 34 men, 64 squares and one ring -- and you have to see it to believe it." On one side of the ring, there's Andy "The Rock" Costello. You wouldn't want to be his punching bag.

On the other side of the ring, there's Nikolai "The Siberian Express" Sazhin, who never met a blini he didn't like. They're both a new kind of fighter.

They don't just try to knock each others' brains out: They also use what's left of their brains. The two men will battle it out over the chess board, wearing headphones so they can't hear the crowd shouting moves. Then they'll box each other in the ring.

Chessboxing is 11 alternate rounds. It's three minutes of chess, followed by three minutes of boxing. You can either win by a knock out or by checkmate, which ever comes first.

"I think the contrast of seeing two people playing chess and then hitting each other, either of them in isolation wouldn't be comedic," Costello said. "But when they're alternated it is (pretty funny)."

However, he stated it isn't funny when you're the one fighting. Costello is a 6-foot, two-inch, 210-pound former cop. He was also a child chess prodigy who played for his English county at the age of 10. Chessboxing is the sport he's been waiting for all his life.

"It's more fun if you're kind of doing the pounding," he said. "But there's no guarantee of that ... The pounder undoubtedly has more fun than the poundee."

The other fighter, Sazhin, is now a real estate agent in his native Siberia. He was on the Russian youth boxing team as a teenager. He's been playing chess for 10 years. Costello and Sazhin were the headline bout on this card that drew an overflow crowd to this London venue.

Read the full chess boxing story here.

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Cool Chess Photo of the Week

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Chess is forever - any situation, any time...


Taxi drivers played chess as their cars lined a street during a strike Monday over tariffs for journeys to and from a new Berlin airport. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Dubai Chess Open R8: Miezis, Chanda in joint lead; to play decisive last round

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Indian grandmaster Sandipan Chanda, fetching a lucky win over Parimarjan Negi, will now take on the other tournament leader Normunds Miezis at the Dubai Chess Open.

In the last round, which will be played on Monday, Miezis has White against Sandipan. One of them can get the top prize of $10,000. There are twelve grandmasters half a point behind the leaders. In that group, which includes the three rating favourites: Baadur Jobava, Loek Van Wely and Vladimir Akopian, the pairings are as follows: Ganguly - Jobava, Mchedlishvili - Van Wely, Akopian - Hovhannisyan, Andriasian - Gupta, Miroshnichenko - T.L.Petrosian, Ni Hua - Kuzubov. Here is a nice video by Vijay Kumar from Dubai Chess Open 2012. 


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Valenti, Maria Rosa Win Italy Senior Men, Women Chess Championship 2012

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Chessblog friend Adolivio Capece has just informed us about some chess news from the beautiful country of Italy. The Italian Senior Chess Championship 2012 has concluded in Arvier (Aosta Valley). A total of 44 players took part in the chess event. The winner was FM Giuseppe Valenti from Milano, with points 7.5 out of 9 (undefeated, 6 wins and 3 draws); he was leading the tournament since the beginning. He was also a member of the Italian team in the European team championship 2012.
 
Longest game of the event (Five hours and 40 minutes)
Valenti (left) – Facchetti 

Second place went to Gianni Facchetti, from Milano, who got 7 points. In the last round he played one of the longest games (against Laco). The game ended in a draw after 5 hours and 40 minutes.
Third place, thanks to the best tie-break, went to FM Carlo Barlocco from Legnano (small town near Milan) and fourth place went to Giuseppe Laco from Gorizia. Both scored 6.5 points.
It was not too good a tournament for top seed FM Antonio Rosino from Venice. 

Italy Senior Women's Chess Champion 2012 - Maria Rosa Centofante from Varese

Meanwhile, the chess tournament in the women's section was won by Maria Rosa Centofante from Varese. You can find more details and complete final standing plus games in pgn on the official website www.scacchivda.com.

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Zurich Chess Challenge - Aronian Leads Against Kramnik 1.5-0.5

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,
 

Vladimir Kramnik and Levon Aronian, two of the grandmasters to ever break the 2800 rating barrier, are playing a friendly match 21-28 April in Zurich. The venue of the event is the Hotel Savoy Baur en Ville at Paradeplatz and is sponsored by IGC International Gemological Laboratories and Aspeco N.V. Kramnik.


Kramnik and Aronian are winners of two most prestigious tournaments of the last few months. While the 36-year-old Kramnik gained a convincing victory at the London Chess Classic in December, the 29-year-old Aronian won the famous tournament in Wijk aan Zee with an outstanding score.
The match is preparation for Kramnik and Aronian for the upcoming Candidates Tournament in 2012. Classical time control will be used, with a new twist for the show – if the game ends in a draw in under three hours, the players have to play a rapid game (25 minutes with a 10 second increment). You can access the official website here.



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Kivanc Haznedaroglu Wins Alexander the Great Chess Open 2012


Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,

Alexander the Great Chess Open 2012 was held parallel to the World Amateur Chess Championship 2012. Four Grandmasters shared the first place with 6.5 points each – Kivanc Haznedaroglu from Turkey, Dejan Antic from Serbia, Athanasios Mastrovasilis from Greece and Petar Drenchev from Bulgaria.



Haznedaroglu, who held the sole lead until the eighth-round loss to Antic, took the winner’s trophy on best tie-break, but the money prizes were split equally. Read more on Fide.

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Haralambos Tsakiris from Greece, Laura Perez from Colombia, are World Amateur Chess Champs 2012


Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,

The latest chess news update is that Haralambos Tsakiris from Kavala, Greece, is the new FIDE World Amateur Chess Champion 2012. He was crowned at the 5-star Porto Carras Grand Resort in Halkidiki, Northern Greece at the conclusion of the event held from April 16 to 22. The win gives Tskiris the title of FIDE master and a rating of 2200.

Second place went to Akinci Muzaffer Ege (Turkey) who gets the Silver Medal and will be awarded a rating of 2100. Johannesson Oliver (Iceland), Manelidis Savvas, Kafetzis Georgios (both Greece) and Reyes Rios Juan Camilo (Colombia) shared the thired place with 7.0 points each. Johannesson is best on tie-breaks and takes the Bronze Medal and a rating of 2050. 

Laura Perez from Colombia scored four consecutive victories in the final rounds to finish with a total of 6.5 points and win the title of the Women’s World Amateur Champion. She will be awarded the title of Woman FIDE Master and a rating of 2050. Silver Medal went to Torill Skytte (Norway) and Bronze went to Olga Benavides Moncayo (Colombia). Photo: Top 3 women in the FIDE World Amateur 2012 - Olga Benavides Moncayo, Laura Perez, and Torill Skytte.



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Mad Chess Video for the Week

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


We have no clue how people come up with all sorts of creative, funny, mad, funky... chess videos. But, as long as we keep getting these chess videos, we are having fun. Enjoy.





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Sunday, April 22, 2012

World Amateur Chess R8: Oliver Johannesson of Iceland in Sole Lead

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Iceland's Oliver Johannesson is leading after eight rounds at the 2012 Fide World Amateur Chess Championship in Port Carras, Greece. He has 7 points with a half-point lead over the rest. Four players have 6.5 points. 
 


Top round 9 pairings are: Tsakiris Haralambos – Johannesson Oliver, Akinci Muzaffer Ege – Moscotes Fernando, Reyes Rios Juan Camilo – Musiienko Danylo, Tqavadze Giorgi – Manelidis Savvas, Paetz Carsten – Liberman Alexander, Kafetzis Georgios -Bes Michal and Pertaia Enver – Ersoz Bartu.

In the Alexander the Great Chess Open,  white pieces dominated on the top four boards. GM Dejan Antic defeated the earlier leader GM Kivanc Haznedaroglu after a fine positional squeeze, while GM Petar Drenchev converted the extra piece into a full point in the game against Nikolaos Galopoulos.

GM Athanasios Mastrovasilis won against IM Rasmus Skytte and IM Malcolm Pein punished the risky opening choice of WGM Andjelija Stojanovic.

Top round 9 pairings are: GM Drenchev Petar – GM Antic Dejan, Galopoulos Nikolaos – GM Mastrovasilis Athanasios, GM Haznedaroglu Kivanc – IM Pein Malcolm, IM Skytte Rasmus – Tsarouhas Vasilios, FM Ali Marandi Cemil Can – WIM Djukic Sandra, Spirliadis Achileas – FM Gogolis Alexandros

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GM Baadur Jobava Wins Dubai Chess Blitz

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Top seed GM Baadur Jobava of Georgia won the Dubai International Chess Blitz Tournament on April 20 at the Dubai Chess Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He beat six opponents and drew with three others to finish alone with 7-1/2 points out of 9 rounds.
 
GM Baadur Jobava displays his winner's Cup. 

Four players shared 2nd to 5th place. Tied with 7 points each were GMs Mikheil Mchedlishvili of Georgia, Vladimir Baklan and Alexander Kovchan of Ukraine, and Avetik Grigoryan of Armenia. A strong group of 84 players from 21 countries took part in the one-day competition including 21 Grandmasters and 9 International Masters. At stake was a total of $5,000 in cash prizes.

On his way to winning the top prize of $1,000 Jobava, rated 2706, beat GMs Gevorg Harutjunyan of Armenia, David Arutunian and Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia and IM Fouad El Taher of Egypt. Jobava drew with GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami of Iran, Alexander Kovchan of Ukraine and coasted to a draw in the last round with compatriot GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili.

Visit chess-results.com for round by round results and final standings.

Top standings after 9 Rounds
Rk. Name FED Rtg Pts.
1 GM Jobava Baadur GEO 2706 7.5
2 GM Mchedlishvili Mikheil GEO 2626 7
GM Baklan Vladimir UKR 2612 7
GM Grigoryan Avetik ARM 2600 7
GM Kovchan Alexander UKR 2598 7
6 GM Andriasian Zaven ARM 2616 6.5
GM Hovhannisyan Robert ARM 2600 6.5
IM El Taher Fouad EGY 2483 6.5
Baghdasaryan Vahe ARM 2406 6.5
10 GM Volkov Sergey RUS 2623 6.5
11 GM Miezis Normunds LAT 2557 6
GM Harutjunyan Gevorg ARM 2455 6
Dilanyan Grigor ARM 2276 6
14 GM Petrosian Tigran L ARM 2643 6
GM Salem A R Saleh UAE 2522 6
IM Ramnath Bhuvanesh R IND 2343 6
17 GM Pantsulaia Levan GEO 2595 5.5
GM Arutinian David GEO 2553 5.5
IM Grigoryan Karen H ARM 2510 5.5
IM Roy Chowdhury Saptarshi IND 2405 5.5
21 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar IND 2633 5.5
GM Ghaem Maghami Ehsan IRI 2581 5.5
GM Kayumov Sergey UZB 2505 5.5
Hilwani Talal SYR 2277 5.5
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Trick Chess Video - Check it Out!


Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

We found this funky chess video. Is it a camera trick? Check it out.


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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Contract Signed for Chess Olympiad in Istanbul

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

FIDE Vice President Georgios Makropoulos and the President of Turkish Chess Federation Ali Nihat Yazici signed a contract on holding the 40th World Chess Olympiad in Istanbul, Turkey.
 
According to Chessdom the ceremony was attended by a number of officials including FIDE Treasurer Nigel Freeman. Let us remind you that Turkey won the right to organise the Chess Olympiad 2012 at the FIDE congress in Dresden. Particularly, Makropoulos said, "I have visited 90 countries so far. I think Istanbul is the most beautiful city among the cities I have seen. Turkish Chess Federation is currently the biggest chess federation in the world and with a huge gap between the second. With the support of Ministry of Sport and Türkiye İş Bankası, I am confident that we will organise this Olympiad perfectly."

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Rapid, Blitz World Chess Regulations Approved: GM Sutovsky

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

The latest chess news update about the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship to be held in Kazakhstan is that the regulations are in place and the prize fund is now $400,000.

This was announced by Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) president GM Emil Sutovsky during an interview with Chess-News. GM Sutovsky also spoke about several important decisions made during the FIDE Presidential Board meeting in Elista. "At last, the regulations were approved about the Rapid and Blitz World Championships to be held in Kazakhstan between 24 June and 1 July. I think it's great that it was possible to attract a serious prize fund of $400,000. As a person who is involved in writing the regulations for these championships (there were discussions about how many people should be invited according to their rating and how many selected), I always have the view that in these kind of tournaments there should be as many places as possible available for a selection, since it's not quite right to invite everyone according to their rating and provide 1-2 places for the selection. That's because, first of all, the official rating is for classical chess, while it's not quite clear why there must be invitations for the rapid and blitz tournaments according to the rating. At the end, a compromise decision was reached: there will be selection to the rapid and blitz tournaments. There will be six places selected for the rapid and five for the blitz. That's because one place in blitz is reserved for the previous World Championship winner, while there hasn't been a championship like that in the rapid before. Therefore, there will be sixteen participants [in each type of tournament] who will include five in the blitz and six in the rapid selected."

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Saturday Chess Forum: Do You Get Physically Exhausted After Playing Chess?

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


We found a nice update about a chess research in Shelby Lyman's column for the Colombus Dispatch today. He writes: Researchers at Temple University found in 1971 that the pulse and respiratory rates of chess players during peak moments of a game were comparable to those of boxers and football players during competition. A clue to understanding these findings is the Russian notion that a chess game is a debate. Imagine an intense argument that lasts four or five hours without relief. Could not the equivalent in a chess competition wreak physical and psychological havoc — especially for those who are obliged to play day after day with only an occasional respite?


Chess struggles can have a mind-boggling intensity. Each move by the opponent potentially introduces new threats and dangers. A surprise move or a material sacrifice can instantly raise the level of stress.

Imagine also the clock ticking away, an intense audience of aficionados nearby and on the Internet, a press room full of rival grandmasters second-guessing each play, and future players poring over each move and mistake. It’s not surprising that perennial Russian world champion Mikhail Botvinnik, a sober man and scientist, posited that each world-championship match could cost him two years of his life.
______________________________________________

Saturday Chess Forum
What do you think? Do let us know! Have a great chess weekend.



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Friday, April 20, 2012

Fish Men Chess Play - Humour, Pathos, and Super Story!

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,
 

Here is a nice theatre production with chess as a main motif. Goodman Theatre, in Chicago, presents the Teatro Vista Production of 'Fish Men'. With biting humor and unexpected pathos, Fish Men focuses on a group of unforgettable characters, drawn together by a shared need to overcome their individual demons. On a hot summer day in Washington Square Park, New York, a group of chess hustlers engage in spirited matches played out in real-time, hoping to lure unsuspecting players into a high-stakes hustle. Their patience is soon rewarded with the appearance of Rey Reyes, a young professional who naively agrees to their challenge. But as the game progresses, the circumstances that stoke the fire of each player’s obsession with the game are revealed, laying bare their inner demons and devastations.

Check out all the show times here.

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Funny Chess Video With the Rock!


Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


You gotta watch this funky cartoon. It's got bits of chess, bits of life, and bits of frustration in it. (Sigh. Why it has to sound so familiar.) But, take heart, you've got a nice excuse for not moving. And, at the end of it, it's so silly funny. Enjoy. 





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Fide World Amateur Chess R5: Alexander Liberman, Hralambos Tsakiris in Joint Lead

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

After the 5th round at the 2012 FIDE World Amateur Championship, that is currently under way in Porto Carras, two players still have the perfect score – Alexander Liberman from Russia and Haralambos Tsakiris from Greece. Bartu Ersoz from Turkey and Claus Riemann from Germany are close behind with 4.5 points each.
 

Results round 5 / Standings round 5

Top round 6 pairings are Liberman Alexander – Tsakiris Haralambos, Ersoz Bartu – Tqavadze Giorgi, Kafetzis Georgios – Riemann Claus and Iosifidis Evangelos – Musiienko Danylo.

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Dubai Chess Open R5: Akopian, Ni Hua in Joint Lead

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,
 

Vladimir Akopian of Armenia and Ni Hua of China are in shared first place after five rounds at the Dubai Open. Both GMs scored 4.5/5 and will meet each other in round 6 on Saturday. The 14th Dubai Open, also called the Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup, is currently under way in the Dubai Chess & Culture Club. The tournament is named after the Deputy Ruler of Dubai and the Minister of Finance and Industry of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).The prize fund of US $50,000 has attracted a number of strong grandmasters: the top 10 present consists of Baadur Jobava, Loek van Wely, Vladimir Akopian, Ivan Sokolov, Viorel Iordachescu, Abhijeet Gupta, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Tigran Petrosian, Parimarjan Negi and Ni Hua.


The first round saw few upsets but Marcos Marvin (2079) of the Philippines managed to beat GM Georgy Timoshenko (2569) of Ukraine and Shekhar Madhurima (1947) drew with GM Morteza Mahjoob (2455) of Iran. After four rounds only Ni Hua of China still had a 100% score. You can read the full report in ChessVibes.

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