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

 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Top Names in Moscow Blitz Chess Championship 2013 on Sept 1; Watch Live

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 

The 67th Moscow Blitz Chess Championship will take place on 1st September at the park “Krasnaya Presnya”. The Championship was established back in 1946 by the newspaper “Vechernyaya Moskva” and traditionally takes place outdoors. You can follow the event live at the official website.

A number of well-known Grandmasters will take part in the event – the 2012 World Rapid Champion Sergey Karjakin, the 2012 World Blitz Champion Alexander Grischuk, two-times Russian Champion Alexander Morozevich and reigning Women's World Blitz Champion Valentina Gunina.

The event will consist of eight tournaments: the main Moscow Final Championship, Moscow Final “B” Championship, Women’s Championship, Veteran Groups (men and women), Junior Groups (boys and girls), and the Moscow Chess Federation Journalists Cup.
The time control will be 5 minutes per player per game. The tournaments will start at 12:00 local time and the closing ceremony will be at 18:00.

Many famous players were Moscow Blitz Champions, including the names like Mikhail Tal, Vassily Smyslov, Yuri Averbakh, Evgeny Vasiukov, Vladimir Kramnik, Alexander Grischuk and Alexander Morozevich.

Vasiukov and Morozevich are holding the record number of trophies – six each. (News by Eldar Mukhametov, press secretary of the Moscow Chess Federation/www.chessdom.com)
 
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President Chess Cup in Dubai: Omar Noaman wins Clear First

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 
 
The prestigious President Cup Tournament was held from 15th to 22nd August, 2013, at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club in Dubai, UAE. Top seeded player International Master Omar Noaman from Sharjah won the competition with 8,5 points from nine rounds.

CM Faisal Abdulla of Abu Dhabi Chess Club was runners-up with 7,5 points while FM Ibrahim Mohamed Khouri also from Abu Dhabi chess Club was placed third with 7 points. Mansour Abbas finished fourth with 5 points.

The tournament had a notable absence of Grandmaster Salem A.R.Saleh, the defending Champion, who was away playing in the World Cup at Tromso, Norway.

Mahdi Abdu Rahim, the Technical Secretary of the UAE Chess Federation, said: “The tournament was held smoothly as per FIDE Rules and will be a FIDE rated chess event”.

Saud Mohammed, the Manager of UAE Chess Federation, said: “The tournament showcased the best talents in UAE and also provided a unique opportunity for the budding chess players to hone their skills”.

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Chess World Cup Final Game 1: Vladimir Kramnik beats Dmitry Andreikin

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

Hi everyone,

What would you play as Vladimir Kramnik? Replay the full game at Chess King.

The Chess World Cup resumed on Friday with the first game of the final played between Vladimir Kramnik and Dmitry Andreikin of Russia. Both have already qualified for the Candidates 2014. The final includes four games followed by the tiebreak if required. 

The game started as a Queen's Gambit Declined in which Andreikin played cautiously only allowing the former world champion to take a grip on the game. In an almost equal position, Kramnik went for a Queen sacrifice picking up a rook and bishop while pressurising Black with a passed pawn. Black was in a bind particularly because of back-rank problems. Kramnik had no problems converting to a win in a Two Rooks versus Queen endgame. 

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Friday, August 30, 2013

10 Chess Films to Watch: Video Countdown

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 
 
Here is a nice video of scenes compiled from ten movies on chess. These are quite popular movies in English, French and Spanish that have chess as a central motif. Enjoy and don't forget to send us your favourite chess videos.

 

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Vienna Chess Open 2013: Stanislav Novikov wins on Tiebreak

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 


The 18th edition of the Vienna Chess Open was held on 17th – 25th August 2013 at the Vienna Town Hall – Stiege 1, Lichtenfelsgasse 2 – in the Austrian Capital.
The event consisted of four playing groups:Group A, Open to all / 9 rounds CH-system
Group B, rating Elo U2000 / 9 rounds CH-system
Group C, rating Elo U1600 / 9 rounds CH-system
Group D, rating Elo U1600 / 5 rounds CH-system

The playing venue was the beautiful Vienna Town Hall. The Group A had 397 participants from 39 countries, including 22 Grandmasters and 31 International Masters. At the end of the tournament, seven players were tied on the first place with 7,5/9 points each: GM Stanislav Novikov RUS 2545, IM Batuhan Dastan TUR 2417, IM Hagen Poetsch GER 2446, GM Alexey Kim KOR 2477, GM Ralf Akesson SWE 2467, IM Jonathan Hawkins ENG 2521 and IM Kacper Drozdowski POL 2437.

Stanislav Novikov is awarded the winner’s trophy thanks to the best tie-break. Batuhan Dastan and Hagen Poetsch have earned GM norms.

The Group B had 221 participants from 30 countries. Dominik Horvath (AUT 1784) took a clear first place with 8,0/9 points.

The Group C had 91 players from seven federations. Local players Nebojsa Ritopecki and Bertalan Molnar shared the first place with 7,5/9 points each.

The Group D had 28 participants. After five rounds of play, Iuliia Zaitceva (RUS) and Thomas Spitzer (AUT) shared the first place with 4,5 points each. (Official website)

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World Chess Champion Anand's Seconds: Sandipan Chanda, Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Radoslaw Wojtaszek

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 
Indian newspapers have reported that World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand's new team member is Indian Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda. Chanda belongs to the same city as another of Anand's seconds - Kolkata. Grandmaster Surya Shekhar Ganguly, from Kolkata, continues in Anand's team. Anand takes on World No. 1 Carlsen for the world championship in November. (Photo: Sandipan Chanda - new addition to Viswanathan Anand's team.)

Chanda, 30, is the second Indian player to be hired by the 42-year-old Anand. Ganguly, a five-time national champion, Pieter Heine Nielsen of Denmark, former world champion in the knock-out format, Rustam Kasimdzhanov of Uzbekistan and Polish GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek have been core members of Team Anand in the last three World Championships. 

Ganguly and Wojtaszek will continue to assist the world No. 7. Chanda had accompanied Anand during a recent GM tournament in Norway. 


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Wholesale Chess Now Selling Chess King Training DVDs, Software: 10% Off Through Sept 8

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 

Wholesale Chess is pleased to announce that the company has added the Chess King software and training DVDs to their extensive selection of chess software and DVDs. Chess King 2 and 3 are now available to purchase on the website. When customers buy Chess King 2, they will also receive the top-selling chess playing software, Houdini 2. Chess King 3 includes Houdini 3, which has all of the robust features of Houdini 2 but also supports up to six core processors for faster analysis.


“We are excited to have the Chess King Software and DVDs available to our customers,” says Neil Essig, the Marketing Manager at Wholesale Chess. “Not only are we carrying Chess King 2 and 3, but we have also added three levels of Chess King Tactics software, as well as Chess King Opening, Middle Game, and Endgame software.”


In addition to new software, Wholesale Chess has added six training DVDs from Chess King. The series Complete Chess Course features training on Opening Principles, Tactics and Strategy, and Endgames. Those who want to focus on their opening moves can purchase a DVD from the series Chess King’s Guide to Opening Ideas, which includes Open Games, Semi-Open Games, and Closed Games. These six titles can be viewed on a standard DVD player or DVD ROM drive.
For a limited time, Wholesale Chess is offering an introductory promotion of 10% off all Chess King titles. Use the promo code “ChessKing” in your shopping cart to receive 10% off all Chess King Software and DVDs. This promotion is valid through September 8th, 2013 and can be combined with free shipping to the continental U.S. on all orders over $50.
These new titles are limited in stock and will sell quickly. Don’t wait—check out the complete line of Chess King products at http://www.WholesaleChess.com.



About Wholesale Chess
Wholesale Chess is the number one supplier of chess sets and equipment on the web. We have thousands of items in stock ready to ship today. Some of the company’s customers include game shops, chess clubs, schools, after-school programs, libraries, prisons, churches, and individual chess enthusiasts around the world. 



If you would like more information on this topic or want to contact Wholesale Chess, call 801-544-4242 or email info@wholesalechess.com. Wholesale Chess is located at 695 North 900 West Ste. 5, Kaysville, UT, 84037.

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Interview with Chess Legends: Genna Sosonko on Elite Chess, Aging Process, World Champions

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

Hi everyone,


Mikhail Botvinnik (seated) and Salo Flohr during their match in 1935, Moscow. Sosonko: "Chess in the 21st century has changed unimaginably, it has become a completely different game."
Photo credit: RIA Novosti, Shagin.

Elite chess and the aging 

process: a conversation with Genna Sosonko

by David Kerans

If you take a peek at the table of contents of Genna Sosonko's latest book, The World Champions I Knew, you might think the title is a bit grandiose. For Sosonko devotes a significant amount of time to the legendary Capablanca and Alekhine, neither of whom he ever met. An attentive reader of the book, however, soon comes to conclude that the title is too modest.

In his successive portraits of the world champions Sosonko finds myriad ways to convey both well-known and lesser-known elements of chess culture as it developed over the twentieth century. A combination of oral history, anecdote, documents, photographs, and, wherever possible, his own personal recollections builds each portrait of a champion into a mosaic of a psyche and the world he experienced through chess. The result, I would wager, is the most memorable chess book you will ever read.

The World Champions I Knew makes no attempt at biography, nor chess analysis, nor psychoanalysis. Nowhere does Sosonko pretend to be complete in his coverage. Instead, he focuses on making these men as vivid as he can. In each case, he incorporates features of the time, the people, or the surroundings that oriented the man. In some cases he doesn't entirely establish what made them tick, but he always gives enough to feel that we know the man. And, importantly, the diversity of his subjects and his sources makes every chapter a fresh adventure. How many authors can claim that?

Beyond the world champions, and beyond the layer of grandmasters we meet along the way in The World Champions I Knew, we also get to meet Genna Sosonko, at least a bit. By this I mean not so much the moments when he participates in the narrative as much as the character of the narrative itself. Sosonko could not have made such a contribution to our images of the world champions without possessing a keen eye for detail, a knack for drawing out memories and reflections from many people, and, most important of all, a very unusual degree of empathy. Those who have read the chapter on Hein Donner in Smart Chip From St. Petersburg will have noticed how richly he portrayed Donner, and understood that such a portrait would not have been possible unless Sosonko had been engaged and perceptive in Donner's presence throughout their long acquaintance. Chess books don't teach you that...

Finally, a word to the wise here. New In Chess press has established a habit of underestimating the appeal of its titles, such that copies of some of their recent publications have escalated in value. (Donaldson on Rubinstein, van Perlo's Endgame Tactics, and Bareev's From London to Elista come immediately to mind). So get yourself a copy of The World Champions I Knew.You will not regret reading it, and might just turn a profit on it.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Grandmaster Sosonko when he came through Washington as an honored guest of a special tournament to honor the memory of Grandmaster Yurii Razuvaev. We put a number of questions to him concerning chess culture.

Kerans: Since Magnus Carlsen broke on the scene, if not earlier, most people have been convinced that chess players are getting younger. It hasn’t been hard to find explanations for that. Thus, the internet allows developing players to find opponents of their approximate class 24 hours a day, and tactics training sites feed you unlimited quantities of problems pitched to your skill level. Further, opening theory has expanded quickly and become easily accessible and searchable through databases. These explanations seem sufficient to me. And we can add the rapid advance of chess computers, of course. I have the impression that chess computers don’t do that much to develop young players, but I could be wrong. In any case, I assume chess computers help to develop some players, those with a certain frame of mind.

Meanwhile, in one of your recent articles I noticed an interesting quote on the transformation of chess and the ascendance of younger players, written all the way back in 1959, long before the computer revolution. It came from your friend, grandmaster Hein Donner. As you summarized it:

“…the Candidates Tournament of 1959 forced Donner to reverse his earlier opinion that Fischer would never become World Champion. ‘He is only 16 years old, Bobby Fischer from New York. And everyone has already accepted the fact that the wunderkind is at the same level as the strongest grandmasters in the world. And why not? These days, when energy and vigor play a larger role than knowledge and experience, chess is obviously getting younger.’”

Then, in you newest book, you say that in comparison to the time of Botvinnik, "Chess in the 21st century has changed unimaginably, it has become a completely different game." (p. 109).



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Thursday, August 29, 2013

100-Day Countdown to 5th London Chess Classic Begins; Anand, Nakamura to play Rapid

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 

Chess in Schools and Communities is delighted to announce the 100 day countdown is underway for the 5th London Chess Classic to be staged at the Olympia Conference Centre in Kensington, running from Saturday 7th December to Sunday 15th December.

Due to a demanding elite-player schedule through 2013 -- that will culminate with the World Championship match in Chennai, India between Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen set to end on November 26th, and the World Team Championship in Antalya, Turkey on 6th December -- this year the Classic will be headlined by a world-class Rapid tournament (25 minutes + 10 seconds per move) that will start on Wednesday 11th December and finish on Sunday 15th December.

This will feature a 16-player field split into four groups, with the top two from each group qualifying for the quarter final knockout stages. Scoring will be 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw, 0 for a loss (Sofia Rules will apply regarding draw offers). The total prize fund on offer will be €150,000 - the full breakdown being: 1st €50,000; 2nd €25,000; 3rd-4th €12,500; 5th-8th €6,250; 9th-16th €3,125.

And the first two players to sign up for the 5th Classic are both big crowd-pleasers: World Champion Anand and the US No.1 Hikaru Nakamura.

Anand (with or without the world crown) will be heading to London immediately after his title match with Carlsen, and Nakamura not long after playing in the Sinquefield Cup -- along with Carlsen, Aronian and Kamsky -- in St Louis, one of the strongest tournaments ever to be held in America. Over the next two weeks, the rest of the field will be announced as player contracts have been signed and approved.

The schools events will be expanded and the festival, with weekenders, FIDE Open, simultaneous displays and lectures will all take place as usual -- but look out for what could be a novelty twist to the FIDE Open! The smorgasbord of chess at the London Classic will also include Pro-Celebrity Chess, Blindfold Chess and Chess 960. Tickets will go on sale in September after the field has been finalised. Tickets will again be free for children.


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3rd Indonesia Open Chess Championship from Oct 9 in Jakarta

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 
 
The 3rd Indonesia Open Chess Championship will take place on 9-18th October at the Puri Ratna Ballroom, Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel, Jl. Jenderal Sudirman 86 Jakarta 10220 – Indonesia.

The Indonesia Open Chess Championship 2013 is open for all chess players from federations member of FIDE with elo rating minimum 2200. The tournament is organized by the Indonesian Chess Federation and offers 100,000 USD in prizes.

The tournament format is 11-rounds Swiss system, FIDE rated. Time control is 90 minutes with 30 seconds increment for every move starting from move 1.

The number of participants is limited only to (approximately) 150 players. Registration is closing on 1st October 2013.

Prizes (Total 100.000 USD):
1st – 20.000 USD; 2nd – 10.000 USD; 3rd – 6.000 USD; 4th – 4.000 USD; 5th – 3.000 USD; 6th – 2.500 USD; 7th–12th – 2.000 USD; 13th–20th – 1.000 USD; 21st–30th – 750 USD; 31st–40th – 600 USD; 41st–50th – 500 USD.
Best Women 1st – 3.000 USD; 2nd – 2.000 USD; 3rd – 1.500 USD; 4th – 1.000 USD; 5th – 500 USD.
Best Junior U20 (born on 1st January 1993 and after): 1st – 2.000 USD 2nd – 1.500 USD 3rd – 1 000 USD; 4th – 750 USD; 5th – 500 USD.

Last year Chinese Grandmasters Yu Yangyi and Li Chao shared the first place, reports www.chessdom.com.
 
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Chess World Cup 2013 All-Russian Final: Vladimir Kramnik vs Dmitry Andreikin

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 
 
Nigel Short with Vladimir Kramnik at the press conference.

After a month of very strong chess, the Chess World Cup has its finalists - both Russians at that: Vladimir Kramnik and Dmitry Andreikin.

In the tiebreaks on Wednesday, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave lost the first game with White against Vladimir Kramnik and the former World Champion held his ground to draw the second game. Dmitry Andreikin and Evgeny Tomashevsky drew their first rapid game but the reigning Russian Chess Champion defeated his opponent in the second. 

According to the regulations Vladimir Kramnik qualifies for the 2014 Candidates Tournament as one of the finalists of the FIDE World Cup. His victory today helped his compatriot Sergey Karjakin, who had the highest average rating after Kramnik and Aronian, to qualify for the Candidates Tournament as well. “I’m waiting for a present from “Alpari” [the sponsors of Sergey Karjakin] - I think I deserve it,” said Vladimir Kramnik with a smile.
Speaking about his opponent in the final match the former World Champion siad: “I’ve played two games against Andreikin this year and lost both of them. One game I lost by an awful blunder. But that doesn’t make me afraid of him. I still believe I’m a slight favorite in this match. It would be an interesting point to try and take revenge.”

Evgeny Tomashevsky had to end his great run at the World Cup this year with a final fall in the semis. He was unable to exploit the advantage of the white pieces in the first game and it seemed as though the second game would also end in a draw. But, Dmitry Andreikin played precisely to win the match.

“I didn’t expect Evgeny and I would meet in a match. Even one round before when I played against Svidler and he played against Kamsky the chances of us meeting in the next stage seemed so small. I’m very glad to qualify for the Candidates Tournament even though I’m not really sure how I’m going to prepare for the event and how I'll play there…” said Dmitry Andreikin after the match.

Answering a question about his chances in the final Dmitry Andreikin pointed out: “Yes, it’s true that I have 2:0 against Kramnik but I must say I haven't played very well in classical chess in this event so far. At one moment I had to use the famous tactic where you're satisfied with two draws in classical and then try to win in rapid. That wasn't my goal from the beginning but it happened as I couldn't get anything with White. I decided to save my energy for rapid. I believe at this level it’s easier to make a draw with Black than to win with White. In any case, I’m sure Kramnik will try to press in classical chess. I’m very happy we have a free day tomorrow as I had only one free day before. It was a long time ago, after the second round when I accidentally won a classical game. The tournament hasn't finished yet - the final is ahead”.

After the rest day Vladimir Kramnik will play with the white pieces against Dmitry Andreikin on the 30th of August.
Time controls and rulesThe time control for each two-game match is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. If the score is equal there are two rapid chess tiebreak games, played at a rate of 25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds per move. If the score is still equal then two accelerated games will be played, with a time control of 10 min + 10 sec. If the score is still equal two more games will be played at 5 min + 3 sec. If the winner is still not determined then a final Armageddon game with 5 minutes for White and 4 minutes for Black, with a 3 sec increment after move 60, will be played. In this game Black has draw odds (i.e. he wins if the game is drawn).

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Paris Chess Grand Prix from Sept 27

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 

Even as the Chess World Cup comes to an end - with Vladimir Kramnik and Dmitry Andreikin to play the final - it is time to focus on the Grand Prix series. The series too will give two players entry to the Candidates 2014 as the Chess World Cup has for Kramnik and Andreikin.

The sixth stage of the FIDE Grand Prix will be held in Paris, France, from 21st September to 5th October 2013. There will be one round a day. Bulgaria's Veselin Topalov has already won the top slot and qualifies. Here is the list of the participants for the Paris edition:

Bacrot, Etienne FRA
Caruana, Fabiano ITA
Dominguez Perez, Leinier CUB
Fressinet, Laurent FRA
Gelfand, Boris ISR
Giri, Anish NED
Grischuk, Alexander RUS
Ivanchuk, Vassily UKR
Nakamura, Hikaru USA
Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR
Tomashevsky, Evgeny RUS
Wang, Hao CHN

The beautiful tournament Hall is Chapelle de la Villedieu
 



Official website: http://paris2013.fide.com/
The official hotel is: Pullman Versailles in Paris
Tournament venue: Chapelle de la Villedieu

Organizers: FIDE in copperation with FFE (President - Diego Salazar and Executive Director - Laurent Verat)

Chief Arbiter: IA Laurent Freyd
Deputy Arbiter: IA Anastasia Sorokina
Chairman of Appeals Committee: Israel Gelfer
Press Officer: Alina l'Ami


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Chess and Art: Samuel Beckett's Obsession with Chess

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone,

Stephen Moss has a brilliant article on Samuel Beckett's great obsessions in the Guardian. Was this game of fierce purity and life-or-death stakes is the key to all his work?
Chess represents life reduced to essentials, to a struggle to survive … a 2009 production of Samuel Beckett's chess-themed play, Endgame. Photograph: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian

"I am something of an interloper at the Samuel Beckett festival in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. While the Beckettians are here to venerate the master and his works – concentrated, intense, elliptical – I have come for the chess, which is why on Sunday afternoon I find myself in the high street playing a game on a giant chess set against the man who created it, local sculptor Alan Milligan," writes Moss.

It is a monumental struggle, or would be if Milligan were any good at chess. Even though he designed the set, with bronze pieces modelled on Beckett's characters and pawns representing props used in his plays (boots and carrots from Waiting for Godot, a banana from Krapp's Last Tape, the pistol from Happy Days), he knows little about the game. In anticipation of playing me, he has been studying a book optimistically called Learn to Play Chess in a Weekend, but I still checkmate him in 20 moves. Don't give up, I tell him. Fail again. Fail better.

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Forgetting my Computer is my Biggest Nightmare: World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 

CHENNAI: With his World Championship match against World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen just two months away, preparation is the watchword for Viswanathan Anand. 

Taking time out from a busy schedule, the defending champion discussed a range of issues with the Indian newspaper Times of India, starting from his current form, the weight of expectation at home, to his worst nightmare. Excerpts:

Do you feel more than ever before, a compelling need to prove that your best form is not behind you as the countdown for the World Championship begins?

In every World Championship, you try to rise above yourself for your own self. This time round, too, that is what I will be aiming to do. When I train I don't think of form or what I expect from myself. I try to work, both, on the physical aspects and my chess. Before a match, you draw up a basic strategy and try to work as much as possible towards that. This takes up most of your waking hours. So that's what I am concentrating on. Form will take care of itself if the work is thorough and you can cope through the 12 games.

Your thoughts on Fide's zero-tolerance policy. Do you think it would be more appropriate to impose fines than make a player forfeit a game for being late? In World Championship matches, it works differently. But this is a question for the chief arbiter.

Carlsen has said he expects a different Anand in November. In terms of preparation, in what ways is your approach towards November's match different? Well, we know it will be different. What exactly that will be, we will know only on November 9.

Playing on home turf will bring with it the added weight of expectation. How do you intend to deal with this pressure? Normally, during a World Championship match, the team stays as a closely knit family and we maintain a certain discipline. In Chennai too we will do the same. Of course, for me it's a big moment that India, my hometown at that, will play host to one of chess' biggest events ever. I feel a sense of personal pride to see how chess has grown and in the role I played in it. I have played big events in India earlier too, in Chennai against Dreev, in 2000 the World Championships in New Delhi and in 2002 the World Cup. These three events hold very positive memories for me.

The illness clause has been agreed upon by both players. Why do you think an exception of such a nature was made for this particular World Championship? This I think the Fide should answer as the officiating body. I wouldn't think that it would be misused though. Magnus Carslen is a person of integrity and will definitely play true to the sporting principles he stands for.

This match has been billed as a clash of generations. How do you see that? Is it between his youth and your experience?

It is. We grew up in different chess eras. We were the cross-over generation to move from chess books and bulletins to databases and analysis engines. He just grew up in the internet generation.

There's a thought that Carlsen is the toughest you have played in the finals over the last decade. Your comments? What do you make of Carlsen and his tag 'Mozart of chess'?

I think every match opponent is the 'toughest yet'. The same was said about Kramnik in 2008, Topalov in 2010 and Gelfand in 2012. A match just makes a person rise to his maximum level. Carslen is a gem of a talent and of course going by the achievements at his age, it is definitely something special.

All this hue and cry over a recce trip. Do you think it's necessary? You never did that yourself.
I haven't followed the news in a while. I try not to follow chess news while I train and play. Aruna mentioned he was in Chennai and I hope he enjoyed our city. In my case, Aruna handles all these aspects, my job is to simply turn up and play. She handles everything else.

Kasparov said that Carlsen can rekindle a new interest in chess. Your thoughts.

Carlsen definitely is an interesting personality.

With the Championship two months away, which is a bigger nightmare - failing to defend your world title or the feeling that your best is well past you?

My biggest nightmare is always forgetting to take my computer to the match. Luckily in Chennai that can be remedied in 10 minutes.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

88th Argentina Chess Championships begin

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 
 
The 88th Chess Championship of Argentina is taking place from 25th August to 7th September at the Hotel Atrium Gualok - Resistencia - Roque Saenz Peña - Chaco. 14 players compete in the round robin event.

The Championship is organized by the Federacion Chaqueña de Ajedrez, the tournament director is IA Raul Bittel and the chief arbiter is IA Leandro Plotinsky.

The average elo of the playing field is 2487. The defending champion is Martín Lorenzini.

Participants:
GM Peralta Fernando ARG 2609
GM Felgaer Ruben ARG 2586
GM Flores Diego ARG 2578
GM Mareco Sandro ARG 2561
GM Perez Ponsa Federico ARG 2497
GM Valerga Diego ARG 2490
Lorenzini Martin ARG 2487
IM Iermito Sebastian ARG 2473
IM Tristan Leonardo ARG 2457
IM Liascovich Lucas ARG 2447
GM Slipak Sergio ARG 2444
IM Krysa Leandro ARG 2422
IM Pierrot Facundo ARG 2419
FM Paveto Kevin ARG 2343

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Hamdouchi and Maisuradze are 2013 French Chess Champions

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 
 

The 88th French Chess Championships were held from 11th to 23rd August at the Palais des sports Jean Weille in Nancy. A total of 846 players (not counting all the players in many blitz and other activities around the official events) competed in 9 official tournaments organised by the French Chess Federation and its new president Diego Salazar.

A total of 24 professionals fought in the two “Nationaux” groups for the two official titles of 2013 French Chess Champions – 12 men in the “National” and 12 women in the “National-féminin”.

In fact, there were only 11 men because GM Marie Sebag, top French female player and number 10 in the world, chose to play with the men. She had already won the women’s championship at age 14. Amongst her male colleagues, she suffered a bit, finishing last with 3,0/11 points, but she probably learned a lot.

In the absence of the three 2700-rated stars Vachier-Lagrave, Bacrot and Fressinet, who competed in the World Cup 2013 in Tromso, the top seeded players were young Romain Edouard (2662), the ex-European champion Vladislav Tkachiev (2637) and the local boy Christian Bauer (2633).

It is a big surprise that none of them finished in top 3! Finally, two experienced Grandmasters in their forties made an impressive tournament – Hicham Hamdouchi (2613 and 41-years old) and Jean-Marc Degraeve (2563 and 42-years old) finished equal first with 7,5/11 each.

Similar story in the women’s championship with the big favourite Sophie Milliet (2401) finishing only third, and two players who made the tournament of their life – Nino Maisuradze (2288) and Mathilde Congiu (2190) finishing equal first with 8,5/11 points each.

The tie-break matches were necessary to attribute the two special “Vases de Sèvres”, offered by the French President since year 1914 (!), plus a beautiful sculpture from “Daum”, a luxury items company from Nancy (http://www.daum.fr/ ).

Hamdouchi quickly claimed the national trophy by one draw and one win in the rapid games, whereas the girls had to play some blitz after two draws in rapid. Finally Maisuradze won two games and her first French champion title.

All results and games : http://www.echecs.asso.fr/Default.aspx?Cat=15
Official website : http://www.nancyechecs2013.com/
All videos : http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtFhgGFOmt5gFtTXtHsrrQA

(Report by IM Christophe Philippe)

(Click on photo thumbnails for full size)

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Schwarzacher Chess Open: GM Vitaly Kunin wins Clear First

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 
The 28th Schwarzacher Open was held 17-24th August in Schwarzach, Austria. A total of 148 players from 18 countries competed, including 27 title holders. The majority of participants was from Germany. 

Germany's GM Vitaly Kunin won the main tournament of the Schwarzacher Open with 7 points from nine rounds. On the shared second place, each with 6,5 points, are GM Mladen Palac (CRO) and IM Artem Smirnov (RUS).

The best local player from Salzburg and Austria was Juro Ljubic (5,5 points).

Austrian Peter Mooslechner won the Open B with 7,5/9 points, while the unrated German Gerhard Loew surprised everyone in the Open C to take the first place on tie-break.


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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

World Computer Chess Championship begins with Top Chess Engines

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 
TCEC, the unofficial world computer championship by Martin Thoresen, started this August 26th with the participation of the top chess engines.

It is the second season of the championship, and everyone expects to see how the defending champion Houdini 3 will perform against the new version of Stockfish 4, the new entry Bouquet, and the established Rybka, Komodo, Critter, Gull, and Equinox, all above 3000 ELO.

Right on day 1, TCEC broke two of it’s own records. The first one is the record of highest number of visitors on day 1 of the competition, beating the past January 22nd with close to 175% higher interest. The other one is record of the highest hour EVER registered, beating the previous record hour of May 4th, the most active day during the finals of the previous season.

The tournament director Martin Thoresen comments, “I am very happy about these numbers since they clearly show that there is a big audience out there interested in high quality computer chess. I can’t wait to see how the Season unfolds, it will be a great few months ahead.” (www.chessdom.com)

Results from the first 24 hoursDelphi 3 – Toga II 0-1
Junior 13.3 – Arminius 1-0
Minkochess 1.3 – Nebula 2 1-0
Firefly 2.6 – Onno 0-1
The Baron 3.35a – Spark 1 1/2-1/2

Remaining pairings of round 1Houdini 3 – Sjeng WC2008
Tornado 4.88 – Stockfish 4
Rybka 4.1 – Scorpio 2.76
Jonny 6 – Komodo 1063
Critter 1.6a – Bugchess2 1.9
Crafty 23.6 – Bouquet 1.8
Gull 2.2 – Gaviota 0.87a8
Arasan 16 – Equinox 2b
Naum 4.2 – Exchess 7.15b
Octochess 5178 – Hiarcs 14
Hannibal 220813 – Alfil 13.1
Hamsters 0.71 – Shredder 12
Spike 1.4 – Redqueen 1.14

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Pitching for Chess and Peace: Duncan Glassey

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013



Hi everyone,


Edinburgh-based Wealthflow’s Duncan Glassey is hoping to use his passion for chess to help those less fortunate than him.

Glassey (pictured), who is senior partner at Wealthflow, wants the firm to back a world peace-building programme called Chess for Peace, run by the World Chess Federation and Peace And Sport, an organisation that promotes reconciliation through sport,.

The game is close to Glassey’s heart and he enjoyed success at a young age. Wealthflow plans to gift chess boards and sets.

‘Chess can help children of all ages do better in school as well as develop many important life skills,’ said Glassey.

‘Countless studies have shown that chess can help develop critical thinking that can be used in other areas of a child’s life, academics and social situations.’


Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk is also an ambassador for Chess and Peace. Have you seen this full video post


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Tobey Maguire to portray chess master Bobby Fischer in Montreal

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 

TORONTO — Actor Tobey Maguire is heading to Montreal this winter to make a feature film about the chess match of the century.

Maguire, 38, is set to portray the late American chess master Bobby Fischer in Pawn Sacrifice.

The movie, directed by Edward Zwick, tells the story of the chess prodigy’s road to the epic Cold War face-off with Boris Spassky in 1972. Fischer emerged victorious and ended 24 years of Soviet domination of the World Championships.

Pawn Sacrifice goes into production later this year in Montreal, Global News has learned. Maguire’s Material Pictures will co-produce the film, which was written by Stephen Knight (Eastern Promises).

It is not yet known who will portray Spassky.

Zwick, whose credits include 2006′s Blood Diamond and 1994′s Legends of the Fall, has experience bringing real-life characters to the big screen — he helmed 2008′s Defiance and 1989′s Glory.

Maguire, who most recently appeared in The Great Gatsby, playedSpider-Man in three movies and starred in 2009′s Brothers and 2003′s Sea Biscuit.

Fischer’s dramatic life was chronicled in the 2011 documentaryBobby Fischer Against the World and the chess champ appeared as himself in the 1993 feature Searching for Bobby Fischer.

He died in 2008 in Iceland at 64.

Spassky is 76. (John R. Kennedy/Global News)

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Monday, August 26, 2013

America's Oldest Chess Championship from Aug 30: Annual New York State Tournament

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone,
 
Albany Marriot

The 135th edition of the Annual New York State Championship - America’s oldest annual tournament, will be held from August 30-September 2, 2013, at the Albany Marriott, 189 Wolf Road, Albany, New York.

The event has five sections: Open, Under 2100, Under 1800, Under 1500 and Under 1200. All sections will be played over 6 rounds of Swiss system.

The Open section has either 4-day (August 30-September 2) or 3-day (August 31-September 2) to play in. The Under 2100-Under 1200 sections have either 4-day (August 30-September 2), 3-day (August 31-September 2) or 2-day (September 1-2) schedules to play in.

The event has a $13,000 prize fund, unconditionally guaranteed.

Open Section: $1500-700-500-300, top Under 2300/Unr $700, U2200/Unr $600. FIDE rated, but USCF rules used. State title and $100 bonus to top scoring NY State resident.
Under 2100 Section: $1000-500-300-150, top Under 1900 $400.
Under 1800 Section: $1000-500-300-150, top Under 1600 $400.
Under 1500 Section: $800-400-250-150, top Under 1300 $300.
Under 1200 Section: $500-250-150-100, plaque to first 3, top Under 1000, Under 800, Under 600, Unrated.
Unrated may not win over $150 in U1200, $300 U1500, or $600 U1800.

Defending champion is Grandmaster Alex Stripunsky. Access the tournament website for more details.

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World Chess Candidates 2013 in Khanty-Mansiysk?

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 

The UGRA Chess Federation has sent a bid to FIDE to hold the Candidates Tournament in March 2014 in Khanty-Mansiysk.
President of the UGRA Chess Federation, V.A.Filipenko, confirmed in his letter that the local organizers “guarantee the fulfillment of the requirements specified in the Regulations of the tournament".

According to the Rules & Regulations for the Candidates Tournament, FIDE should open a bidding procedure for the event before 31 December 2013, according to a Chessdom report.

In addition, the article 4.8.4 states that “In the event that FIDE receives a satisfactory open offer that covers all the necessary financial requirements, then FIDE may immediately terminate the bidding procedure.”

The proposed prize fund for the players should be minimum 420,000 euros and offered net of any applicable local taxes.

The decision should be taken at the FIDE Presidential Board.
 

The Candidates Tournament to determine the challenger for the 2014 World Chess Championship Match shall be organised in the first quarter of 2014 and represent an integral part of the World Chess Championship regulations for the cycle 2012-2014. Eight (8) players will participate in the Candidates Tournament and the winner qualifies for the World Chess Championship Match.

The players who qualify for the Candidates Tournament are determined according to the following, in order of priority:

- World Championship Match 2013 – The player who lost the 2013 World Championship Match qualifies.- World Cup 2013 – The two (2) top winners of the World Cup 2013 qualify. In case one of the two top winners of the World Cup qualifies from 2.1 above, then the qualification spot goes to 3rd place of the World Cup.- FIDE Grand-Prix 2012/2013 – The two (2) top players from the FIDE Grand-Prix 2012/2013 qualify to participate. In case any of the two top winners of the FIDE Grand-Prix qualify from 2.1 or 2.2 above, then the qualification spot(s) are given to the next player(s) in the final standings of the Grand-Prix.- Average FIDE Rating List of the 12 monthly lists starting from 1st August 2012 to 1st July 2013 – Two (2) players qualify to participate by rating (excluding the players who qualify from articles 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 above). A player can qualify by rating only if he/she participates in the World Cup 2013 or the FIDE Grand Prix 2012-2013. For the purpose of deciding the 2 rated player qualifiers, the average from the following twelve FIDE rating lists will be used: the sum of all 12 monthly lists starting from 1st August 2012 to 1st July 2013 divided by 12. A minimum of thirty (30) rated games in total is required for each player in the 12 monthly rating periods. In case of equality two decimals will be taken into consideration. If the numbers are still equal then the total number of games in all 12 rating periods shall be decisive. That means the player with the greater number of games shall qualify.- One nominated player by the Organiser – A player, nominated by the organiser, with a rating of at least 2725 in the FIDE rating list of 1st July 2013.- Replacements – If any replacement is needed due to withdrawal or refusal of participation, the first reserve player from the final standings of the FIDE Grand-Prix 2012/2013 will be invited. Any further replacement needed will be fulfilled from the average rating list described in article 2.4 above.

The 8 players will play a double round robin tournament (14 rounds). The players who are from the same federation will play each other in rounds 1 and 8 (if only two) and if up to four players are from the same federation in rounds 1, 2, 3 and 8, 9, 10.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Rare Russian Chess Books Available Now

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 

There's no denying that Russia has given the planet the maximum number of strong and legendary chess players throughout history. Here are some of the rare chess books that have shaped Russian chess thought. If you are interested in acquiring any of these (and other books from a huge list) of rare Russian chess books, contact Chesspics.com!



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Executives' Chess Congress at Western Kentucky - Creative New Concept!

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 


Here is an interesting new chess event: A Leadership Congress Catering to the Enhancement of Presidents, Senior Executives, and Professionals

A master looks at every move he would like to make, even the impossible ones. – Garry Kasparov

The above quote illustrates one of the most admirable qualities of top-level chess players. Grandmasters don't just memorize vast amounts of material, they have an innate ability to look at a situation, come up with a number of potential solutions, and make the right decision that ultimately leads them to victory, writes 
Samuel J. Hunt, CEO, Game of Kings, LLC, President, WKU MasterMind Chess Club, Ed.D. Student, Western Kentucky University.

"I would like to personally invite you to join other top C-level executives and thought-leaders from 20 nations to the inaugural Executive Chess Congress at Western Kentucky University. This special event will be held on April 9-14, 2014 with the objective of establishing a forum for executives to enhance their leadership and decision making skills and to promote the power of the chess network as a method for achieving increased success."

The itinerary for the first two days of the event includes discussions from respected experts in the fields of technology, finance, business strategy, and education. The third day will feature a keynote address by GM Magnus Carlsen, who will also participate in a simul exhibition after a formal dinner. In addition, the event will include various breakout sessions with opportunities to network with colleagues and apply chess learning to solve business issues. Executive seminar speakers include: Mr. Bob Rice, Mr. Dinesh D'Souza, Ms. Tea Lanchava, Dr. Joseph Cangemi, and Mr. Jim Egerton.

On the final day, you will have the opportunity to participate in distinguished workshops sponsored by the WKU Gordon Ford College of Business or in an Executive Chess Tournament. Valuable prize packages worth over $27,000 will be offered to those who finish in the top four positions!

"As an accomplished chess player and leader, I'm confident that you will see the value of this endeavor. This event will help further the success of attendees while fulfilling the mission of providing player-scholars with a path towards chess mastery and future employment opportunities," writes Hunt.


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Amazing Chess Music: Byrne - Fischer Game with Percussionists Connor Shafran, Eric Poe

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 
The famous game played in 1956 between Donald Byrne (White), and 13-year-old Bobby Fischer (Black) has now been set to amazing music by two percussionists. The moves are entirely accurate to the original game, and the rhythms coincide with the flow and strategy. Recorded at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, 2013. Written and performed by Connor Shafran and Eric Poe. Sheet Music will be available within the next few days at www.connorshafran.bandcamp.com.


 



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Saturday, August 24, 2013

World Chess Champions: Trivia Photo

Alexandra Kosteniuk's Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) 2013

Hi everyone, 

This is the easiest chess photo trivia question that you would ever encounter :) Name the two very strong Grandmasters... err... World  Chess Champions!!!


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's

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