CHESS NEWS BLOG: chessblog.com

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

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

 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

FIDE Chess Ratings December 1 Announced: Carlsen, Judit Stay No. 1; Kramnik, Kosteniuk Russia No. 1

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

Hello everyone,


The latest FIDE chess ratings list has been announced. World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen remains the highest-rated human on the planet with 2782 - a record he had set in April 2013. Carlsen earned two rating points for beating Viswanathan Anand at the Chennai World Chess Championship 2013 recently. 
  
Levon Aronian is the only player, besides Magnus, rated over 2800 elo though, the Armenian is still about 79 points behind. Vladimir Kramnik is third with 2793. Hikaru Nakamura of the US is at fourth place with 2786.  



World Chess Ratings Top-20
1 Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2872 10 1990
2 Aronian, Levon g ARM 2803 9 1982
3 Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2793 0 1975
4 Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2786 0 1987
5 Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2785 7 1975
6 Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2783 8 1983
7 Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2782 9 1992
8 Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2777 0 1968
9 Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2773 10 1969
10 Svidler, Peter g RUS 2758 11 1976
11 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar g AZE 2757 8 1985
12 Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2756 0 1990
13 Adams, Michael g ENG 2754 8 1971
14 Dominguez Perez, Leinier g CUB 2754 0 1983
15 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime g FRA 2745 11 1990
16 Vitiugov, Nikita g RUS 2741 0 1987
17 Bacrot, Etienne g FRA 2740 10 1983
18 Naiditsch, Arkadij g GER 2737 9 1985
19 Wang, Hao g CHN 2735 3 1989
20 Giri, Anish g NED 2734 10 1994


In the women's list, Judit Polgar retains her number 1 spot with 2693. In second place is Women's World Chess Champion Hou Yifan with 2629. India's Humpy Koneru is third with 2607. Chessqueen Alexandra Kosteniuk is back in the top-10 with a fantastic two months of hard work! Read all about it in her post at ChessQueen. She is now the #1 woman chess player in Russia and tied for world number 8 with a rating of 2527 along with Bela Khotenashvili. Vladimir Kramnik remains top Russian player in the men's group.


World Women's Chess Ratings Top-20
1 Polgar, Judit g HUN 2693 8 1976
2 Hou, Yifan g CHN 2629 0 1994
3 Koneru, Humpy g IND 2607 3 1987
4 Zhao, Xue g CHN 2568 3 1985
5 Muzychuk, Anna g SLO 2566 0 1990
6 Dzagnidze, Nana g GEO 2557 9 1987
7 Lagno, Kateryna g UKR 2543 9 1989
8 Khotenashvili, Bela m GEO 2527 9 1988
9 Kosteniuk, Alexandra g RUS 2527 8 1984
10 Cramling, Pia g SWE 2525 3 1963
11 Cmilyte, Viktorija g LTU 2514 9 1983
12 Ju, Wenjun wg CHN 2514 3 1991
13 Kosintseva, Nadezhda g RUS 2513 9 1985
14 Gunina, Valentina g RUS 2509 10 1989
15 Hoang, Thanh Trang g HUN 2507 10 1980
16 Muzychuk, Mariya m UKR 2503 8 1992
17 Sebag, Marie g FRA 2501 9 1986
18 Ushenina, Anna g UKR 2501 8 1985
19 Krush, Irina m USA 2499 12 1983
20 Kosintseva, Tatiana g RUS 2496 0 1986

For a full list of all ratings read this FIDE page. For a list of the progress chart, read this FIDE chess ratings list.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
YouTube Channel



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GM Jonathan Rowson Gets London Chess Classic Wild Card Call-Up

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

Hello everyone,

The three-time British Champion, GM Jonathan Rowson, steps up to play in the biggest tournament of his career after being given the wild card spot into ‘The Super Sixteen’ Grandmaster Rapid at the London Chess Classic, that runs 7-15 December at the Kensington Olympia. Two spots remain to be filled for the Super Sixteen, and two players will win their way there from the FIDE Open at the Classic. It was hoped that the new World Champion, Magnus Carlsen would play in the London Chess Classic, which was the primary reason the wild card spot was devised this year for the tournament.

However, due to a heavy workload, and the need for rest after his recent title match in Chennai with Vishy Anand, Carlsen, regretfully, had to decline the spot. But an elated Rowson immediately accepted his invitation, tweeting: “Hugely grateful, very excited and suitably nervous to be 'the wild card' at the London Chess Classic. Inspired by Magnus, I'm going to prepare some endgames.”

Rowson, 36, who originally comes from Aberdeen, is the Scottish number one and was his country’s third grandmaster. In 2004-06, he won the British title – the first Scot in 58 years to do so - in three  consecutive years. He also won the 2000 Canadian Open Championship and tied for first place in the Hastings International Chess Congress in 2003/04.

Outside of chess, Jonathan has degrees spanning a range of social science disciplines from Oxford and Harvard, that led to his Doctoral research. He is also Director of The Social Brain Project at the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), and member of DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) Behavioural Science Network.

He also writes a weekly chess column for the Herald newspaper in Scotland, and has authored three critically acclaimed books on chess for Gambit Publications: Understanding the Grunfeld (1998), The Seven Deadly Chess Sins (2000), and Chess for Zebras.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
YouTube Channel


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Komodo Chess Engine leads Chess Computers' Championship TCEC

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

Hello everyone,

The Komodo chess engine continues to lead the Superfinal of the world’s strongest computer chess championship TCEC. It has a 2 point advantage after round 41, seven rounds before the end. Komodo was off to an exciting start, but Stockfish quickly caught up. The balance of powers maintained until game 25, when Komodo got three consecutive wins. Until game 34 it maintained a four points lead, but them Stockfish started waking up. With two heavy blows in games 40 and 41, the distance was reduced to just two points, seven rounds before the end.

Who will be this year’s Superfinal champion of TCEC? Follow the games live daily on the official website.

Replay annotated Komodo – Stockfish by GM Jacob Aagard here

Read also:
Komodo Chess Engine creator Don Dailey is No More


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
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FIDE Chess Titles Approved by 4th Quarter Announced; Congratulations Everyone!

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

Hello everyone,

FIDE has published the list of titles approved by the 4th quarter Presidential Board 2013 meeting held in Chennai, India on 8-9 November 2013.




GM 
Khotenashvili, Bela GEO
Hausrath, Daniel GER
Debashis, Das IND
Eliseev, Urii RUS
Smith, Bryan G. USA

WGM
Medina, Warda Aulia INA
Worek, Joanna POL

IM
Barrero Garcia, Carlos ESP
Cotonnec, Melkior FRA
Becking, Stephan GER
Girish, A. Koushik IND
Abdyjapar, Asyl KGZ
Laurusas, Tomas LTU
Goudriaan, Etienne NED
Malakhov, Igor RUS
Vavulin, Maksim RUS
Baikovsky, Yuriy UKR
Kurayan, Ruslan UKR

WIM
Raghavi, N. IND

IA
Ismayilov, Gudrat AZE
Viegas, Cesar Brasil BRA
Christensen, Werner DEN
Ganesan, Kabali IND
El Jawish, Ali LIB
Cajo Esteban, Ruben ESP
Panagoda, Buddhi SRI
Perera, Werochana SRI
Mus, Gokmen TUR

FA
Mafra, Kaiser Luiz BRA
Kasela, Sten EST
Maseras Rozas, Gumersind ESP
Perez Trapero, Antonio ESP
Dhakal, Mahendra IND
Hajra, B.M. IND
Limbu, Bhawani NEP
Toktogonov, Damil KGZ
Heba, Krzysztof POL
Owczarek, Przemyslaw POL
Piwowarczyk, Piotr POL
Vibbert, Tracey

IO
Blasco De La Cruz, Luis ESP
Hormiga Amador, Miguel Angel ESP
Walther, Bernd GER
Lagerman, Robert ISL
Sidabras, Jonas LTU
Dari, Halil Hilmi TUR

CONDITIONAL ON RTG 


IM
Aghasiyev, Kamal AZE
Sukandar, Irine Kharisma INA
Kojima, Shinya JPN

Download the LIST OF NEW TRAINERS' TITLES approved by the 4th quarter PB 2013.


We, at Chess Blog, congratulate everyone who fulfilled one of their chess dreams with this achievement! 

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
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Carlsen's Chess Approach Resembles that of a Human Computer: Anand

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

Hello everyone,

Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand is back to being hounded by journalists, but he's ready to face them. After yesterday's indepth interview with CNN-IBN, Anand took on questions tossed by FirstPost. Read on:


Q: Magnus Carlsen has, at various points, mentioned that once he sits down on the chess board he doesn’t believe that anyone could beat him. He carried that same confidence into the World Championship match too. What were your thoughts at the start of the match? Did you feel invincible too? 

Viswanathan Anand: I thought that if I had a good start, I would be able to play well. I thought that if I had a good start, I could force him out of his comfort zones. I was under no illusions that I would have to raise my game – but that’s exactly what I had worked so hard for. I knew I had a chance. I knew my recent shape had not been very good. But I was hoping that I had managed to turn all that around. 

Q: A match like this is always tough. In the sense, it almost feels like you are locked in a cage at times. At what point did you think it was over for you? 

Viswanathan Anand: Well, it was staggered. The first few games were probably okay. I thought I held my own. The fifth game (his endgame errors cost game five) loss hit me really hard. It was precisely the thing that I had worked so hard on; the areas that I had sought to improve in my preparation and I was unable to execute. In that sense, I failed. The 9th game blunder didn’t change things very much – I didn’t see a win, it would have been a draw. The 10th game was really nothing. 

Q: So what is it about Carlsen? Did any aspect of his game surprise you? 

Viswanathan Anand: He surprised me by changing so little. I know how he plays. But I expected him to come out and try something different. But he stuck to his guns – it was brave. It was also unexpected for me. Usually for a World Championship match, people work on something different… maybe something to surprise the opponent. Carlsen just stayed the same. 

Q: You have said that you couldn’t figure out Carlsen’s style. What does that mean? 

Viswanathan Anand: I thought I could get a grip on him. I thought that I could force him to make mistakes. I thought that if I stayed with him in the early going, I would be able to match him. But his style makes it difficult. In a sense, he is an all-rounder. He can do everything well and he makes mistakes – but they aren’t big enough to take advantage of. He is also unconventional – there are times when he will play something and take it back on the next move… to the same place. 

Q: Did it feel like you were playing a computer?
Viswanathan Anand: His approach resembles… I hesitate to say… computer. Put him in front of one and he’d lose easily. But he is very confident of his calculating ability – so in that sense… yes, probably like a human computer – if that makes sense. 

Q: One of the things that were mentioned before the start of the match was that Anand was the openings specialist and Carlsen took over in the middle and end game. Do you think you did enough with that advantage? 

Viswanathan Anand: I think what is not understood about Carlsen is that he is not bad at openings. He is not a specialist but a generalist. He can play a lot of opening and he can play them at a fairly high level. His aim is to get a solid position and you can’t do that at the top level if you are bad with openings. This thing about openings is an exaggeration. 

Q: So if Carlsen were to play Kasaprov – you have played them both – who wins? 

Viswanathan Anand: One thing that is clear about Carlsen is that he is one of a kind. I am a big believer in comparisons. I would say both are very good, very strong. But these are the kind of kind of comparisons that chess buffs all over the world make all the time. It probably just adds to the fun… Well, Carlsen is a more all-round player. His strengths are harder to determine. Kasaparov was a specialist. He thought hard about his game and had very specific strengths. So if anything, I would Carlsen the edge there. Being an all-rounder is not easy – you are backing yourself to keep up the level throughout the game but somehow Carlsen has managed it. 

Q: In interviews to the Norwegian press, Carlsen has criticised your approach, saying that you blamed tournament losses to preparation for the world championships. He has also said that he will never do that. Your thoughts? 

Viswanathan Anand: I guess you have to put up with some snide remarks when you have lost. But honestly, what can I say… 

Q: You have spoken about wanting to play in the Candidates next year. Does this loss change anything? Will your method change? Will you change? 

Viswanathan Anand: I think the recent trend is away from openings. In a sense, computers have killed the opening phase. There is only so much that you can do. So if anything can be done, it is to rebalance the game. That can only happen by concentrating on the middle and end game. For now though, I have taken a break from chess. Then I got to London for a tournament. Then I take another break – a long break. That’s when I will give it some serious thought – what I want to do and how I want to do it. 

Q: Do you think about your legacy? Is it about time to start thinking about it? 

Viswanathan Anand: Well, there are times when you wonder what you have done for the sport. I am happy at the kind of response that the match got in India and I feel I played some part in it. I would like to believe that India understands chess and with NIIT Mind Champions academy, I hope to help more players in the country. A legacy though is not just about what I think. Finally, how are you going to wind down? Probably with a game of Blitz – maybe on the internet, maybe just at home. Blitz would be fun. For the moment, I just want to enjoy chess without thinking of results; without thinking really.


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
YouTube Channel



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Friday, November 29, 2013

Huge Discount Black Friday Chess Deals on Amazon (Even if You are not in the US, UK)

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

Hello everyone,

Here are some fantastic Black Friday chess deals. Grab them before they're gone!

Chess King 3 Max Playing and Analysis Software (Just Published June 2013)

Chess King 3 is 40% off at only $49 instead of $69 and Chess King 2 is also 40% off at only $23.97 - while supplies last

If you're not in the USA but would like to take advantage of those incredible deals message chessqueen@me.com

Product Features

- This is the new 2013 version of top selling Chess King with Houdini
- Includes 5 million game GigaKing Database, free updates 2013
- Classical and random playing modes, hundreds possible levels of play
- Includes Super-GM engine Houdini 3, supports up to 6 cores and 4 GB of hash
- Prepare for your opponent, opening and custom trees, 1500 puzzles and 100+ quest games








Black Friday for CHESS on Amazon UK! For United Kingdom Shoppers 40% big discounts 1 week only! Biggest discounts on Chess King, Chess King Training interactive programs and DVD's.


This course is aimed at the club and intermediate players and presents the theory and playing hooks in Open Games, appearing after moves 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4: Two Knight's Defense, Italian Game, Evans Gambit. The course presents the overview of the actual variants and 630 exercises to solve. The course will be useful for the chess players who practice Open Games on either white or black sides. The playing program allows to fix the knowledge by playing the appearing positions. Language: English. System requirements: IBM-compatible PC, 256 Mb RAM, hard disk 100Mb, Windows XP/Vista/7/8.






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Looking forward to Playing at London Chess Classic in Week's Time: Viswanathan Anand

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

Hello everyone,

Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand, in his first detailed interview after losing the World Title to Magnus Carlsen, has said he is not retiring, but would first like to take a sabbatical to clear his mind. Anand told Indian news channel CNN-IBN on Friday that he was very happy the way the World Chess Championship was organised in Chennai and he looks forward to playing at the London Chess Classic in a few days' time. 







From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
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Chess Boxing Features in 'Photo of the Day' Pick on Russia & India Report News Website

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

Hello everyone,

There is a very special bond that India and Russia share which includes chess! Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has said that he was greatly influenced by the Russian system of chess, and recently, even praised Russian chess in the McKinsey Essay. So, we were happy to find this 'Photo of the Day' in the Russia & India Report news website today! Happy chess surprise!

Nikolay Sazhin (L) of Russia competes against Italy's Gianluca Sirci during their heavyweight World Championship chessboxing match in Moscow November 28, 2013. Chessboxing alternates between a round of chess and a round of boxing in three minute intervals, and demands the most of its competitors, both mentally and physically. Picture taken November 28, 2013. Source: Reuters

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
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Indian Chess News: SP Sethuram beats Vladislav Borovikov to Lead 2nd Hyderabad Chess Open after 6 Rounds

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

Hello everyone,

The Hyderabad Chess International Open tournament began right after the Anand, Carlsen World Chess Championship concluded. Here are some updates from the chess tournament from our friend at Indian Chess News.

Talented Indian Grandmaster S P Sethuraman has taken sole lead at the tournament after six rounds. He beat overnight joint leader Grandmaster Vladislav Borovikov of Ukraine at the 2nd Hyderabad International Grandmasters Chess Tournament on Friday. 

The tournament is sponsored by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd, Mahindra Ecole Centrale, Andhra Bank, Petronet LNG Ltd and Airports Authority of India. All top three boards witnessed decisive results in the sixth round encounters.

Sethuraman, playing White on Friday afternoon, beat Ukrainian Grandmaster's Sicilian Najdorf variation with a middlegame onslaught lasting 60 moves. The Indian Grandmaster now has 5.5 points from six rounds for sole lead. 

Top seed Russian Grandmaster Ivan Popov and Georgian Grandmaster Levan Pantsulaia are in joint second place after six rounds with five points each. Playing black side of Meran system, Popov defeated Grandmaster Alon Greenfeld of Israel in 32 moves while Pantsulaia applied Symmetrical variation of English opening to beat Armenian Grandmaster Levon Babujian in 40 moves on the third board.

In other important encounters in the sixth round, Indian Grandmaster Vidit Santosh Gujarathi signed the peace treaty with Grandmaster Merab Gagunashvili of Georiga while Lalith Babu was forced to split the point with Deepan Chakkravarthy with light pieces.  (Left photo: Grandmaster Vidit Santosh Gujarathi on his way to a draw with Grandmaster Merab Gagunashvili)

Continuing his fine run in the event, Andhra youngster Dhulipala Bala Chandra Prasad defeated International Master Ravichandran Siddharth in the sixth round game.

The seventh round of the 11-round tournament will be played on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Category B event which is being held simultaneously, 14 players including third seed Varun V of Andhra Pradesh are sharing the lead after the end of third round matches with perfect score.

In the third round Varun defeated Shaon Chowdhury of West Bengal while top seed Lokesh N suffered a minor setback in the third round as he forced to split the point with lower seeded Ameya Audi of Goa.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
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FIDE introduces Official Chess Set for Anand - Carlsen Chennai World Chess Championship 2013

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

Hello everyone,

FIDE introduced its first official 2013 World Chess Championship chess set. It was used during the Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship match in Chennai. The set was designed by renowned design firm Pentagram. 

It is based on the classic Staunton design, first produced in 1849. Pentagram’s leading industrial designer Daniel Weil says: ‘When the initial Staunton set was produced there was great precision – since then a disrepair had set in. I had to unravel the rationale behind the original set.’

In the new Weil’s design, the pieces conform to the exact height of the Parthenon’s pediment. The FIDE World Chess Championship set pieces are individually carved and made out of rosewood and maple. The king’s height is 3.75”.

During the Championship match, the set was paired with the electronic DGT board. To learn more or to buy the set, please visit www.fidechessset.com.



From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog 
at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
YouTube Channel

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Reykjavik Chess Open (March 4) 50% Discount to Players born 1997 and after, Groups

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

Hello everyone,

The next edition of the Reykjavik Chess Open is taking place March 4-13 at the beautiful Harpa concert hall by the Reykjavik harbour. There are special entry fee discounts being offered to players born in 1997 and after and groups as well.

GM/IM/WGM/WIM – Free
FM/WFM – €75
FIDE 2300 and above - €75
FIDE 2150-2299 – €100
FIDE 2000-2149 – €125
FIDE 1800-1999 – €175
FIDE 1000-1799 – €225
Unrated – €275

Players born 1997 and later get 50% discount. Special discounts for groups (5 players or more). Groups, please contact at reykjavikopenchess2014@gmail.com.

The 2014 Reykjavik Chess Open will celebrate a 50 year anniversary of the tournament. The tournament will be played over 10-rounds of Swiss system. Top prizes are 5.000€ / 2.000€ / 1.250€ / 800€ / 600€ etc.

There are also prizes for best women, juniors and elo categories.


Tournament website

Top participants registered so far:

1. GM Rapport Richard HUN 2680
2. GM Kobalia Mikhail RUS 2649
3. GM Jones Gawain C B ENG 2648
4. GM L Ami Erwin NED 2648
5. GM Van Kampen Robin NED 2618
6. GM Ramirez Alejandro USA 2597
7. GM Stefansson Hannes ISL 2539
8. IM Gretarsson Hjorvar Steinn ISL 2511
9. GM Danielsen Henrik ISL 2502
10. GM Kristjansson Stefan ISL 2491


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog 
at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone from Chess Queen, Chess Blog and Chess King

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

Hello everyone,

It is time to wish everyone Happy Thanksgiving so let's do it with a lovely chess painting by the Sketchpad Warrior.


Artist Kristopher writes, on his blog: Here's a blast from the past, and one that relates to Thanksgiving. This is an oil painting entitled, "The Chess Game," and depicts several Marines sitting around playing chess and reading, passing the time.

"It's based on a sketch and photos I took at an outpost on Route Michigan in Al Anbar Province on Thanksgiving Day, 2006. The Marines depicted were engineers who had spent their day on a route clearing mission (making sure there were no IEDs on the road)-- they certainly had earned some down time.

"I enjoyed watching these Marines relax, and we spent a few moments chatting about Thanksgiving. As the "old man" in the room, I asked the young men to go around the room and mention something they were thankful for, and they obliged. Each expressed thanks for home, family and friends-- and to be alive, of course.

"It was a bit of home there in an outpost.

"I was thankful to God that America still produces young people like these, willing to serve wherever called. I am still thankful for that today."

Happy Thanksgiving everyone from Chess Queen™, Chess Blog and Chess King™.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
YouTube Channel 
 


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Cool Chess Photo of the Week: What event is This?

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

Hello everyone,

This is a neat chess photo from the closing ceremony of a recent chess tournament: We vote it the chess photo of the week. Here's the official website of the event: Did you guess what chess event it was?


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
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Komodo Chess Engine author Don Dailey is No More

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

Hello everyone,

Don Dailey, author of the Komodo chess engine, has passed away after a long battle with leukemia. He left this world November 22, 2013, in Roanoke, Virginia at age 57, just about the same time that Komodo pulled ahead of Stockfish by winning game 2 in the TCEC final.

Don started chess programming in the 80s, and was author and co-author of multiple commercial as well as academical chess programs. He has been active poster in computer chess forums and computer Go newsgroups. More about Don Dailey in this detailed wiki article. The work of Don Dailey will be continued by his partner Larry Kaufmann and the new addition to the team Mark Lefler.


We express deepest condolences to Don’s wife Mary, to his family, to his partners Mark and Larry, and to all his friends and Komodo fans. Read more at www.chessdom.com.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
YouTube Channel

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Kosteniuk to play Goodwill simul in favor of Telethon Geneva on December 8, 2013

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

Hello everyone,

If you happen to be in Geneva, Switzerland on December 8 at 2 PM, come and meet me or even play with me in a 30-player simul at the yearly Geneva Telethon, which collects money to support research to cure people from genetic diseases. You can read the announcement on the 12th Women's World Chess Champion personal blog at www.chessqueen.com.



From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
YouTube Channel
 





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Magnus Carlsen: No Childhood Dream of World Chess Champion, Just got Motivated for Top Title Last Year

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

Hello everyone,

New World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway gives an exclusive interview to ChessTV after winning the championship match against Viswanathan Anand in Chennai, India. 
Interviewer: Anastasiya Karlovich, FIDE Press Officer
Production: ChessTV

 

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
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Doctor Who Theme Chess Tournament in Mablethorpe Today

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

Hello everyone,

A Doctor Who themed chess tournament is taking place in Mablethorpe today (Thursday November 28). 

The tournament, which is open to everyone, will take place at Mablethorpe Library from 4 pm until 5.45 pm. There will be prizes for the best Doctor Who fancy dress, and for the winner and runners-up of the tournament. Jamie Carter runs the chess club at Mablethorpe Library, Sutton on Sea Library, and Alford Library. He also runs successful chess clubs at Sutton on Sea Community Primary School, and Monks’ Dyke Tennyson College in Mablethorpe.

Jamie said: “We have got quite a few regulars now at the chess club sessions, but we always welcome new members and new volunteers to help run the club. It’s nice to have an inter-generational club, as chess is a great game for all ages.” For more information, call Jamie on 01507 478331.


-- Doctor Who is a British science-fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of the Doctor, a Time Lord—a time-travelling humanoid alien. He explores the universe in his TARDIS, a sentient time-travelling space ship. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, which was a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Along with a succession ofcompanions, the Doctor faces a variety of foes while working to save civilisations, help ordinary people, and right wrongs.
From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
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_____________________________________________________________________________


The book "How I became Grandmaster at age 14" includes an instructional part that will help anyone go from complete novice to a knowledgeable beginner in just ninteen lessons. This part will be very helpful for parents who wish to opem the magical wolrd of chess to their children. For more experienced players, the book provides advice, practical problems, and quizzes to ensure continued improvement. And Alexandra's best games, carefully selected and annotated by the young grandmaster, will be interest to all lovers of this intellectual game, regardless of their skill level. Alexandra and her parents provide a candid account of what their unique chess family is like, and of how they live through interchanging joys and disappointments - lifelong companions of all chess professionals. 212 pages, b/w, 32 pages full of color photos.

by GM Alexandra Kosteniuk, 12th Women's World Chess Champion  
Price: $20.00

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Mid-week Chess Trivia: What is Karjakin, Anand, Carlsen's Ranking and Which Event is This?

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

Hello everyone,

Let's take you back in time for this chess trivia photo. Can you name the event and which of the top-three prizes each of these three players in the photo have won (Sergey Karjakin, Viswanathan Anand, Magnus Carlsen)? Check your answers with Chesspics.com.



From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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World Team Chess Round 1: Russia - Armenia Draw

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

Hello everyone,

The World Team Chess Championship 2013 has begun in Antalya, Turkey. The most important pairing of the first round was Russia versus Armenia, but it ended in a hard-fought draw!

The top game of the day, Vladimir Kramnik versus Levon Aronian was a very sharp struggle in a Botvinnik Slav. The exchange sacrifice by Kramnik resulted in an queen+bishop vs. queen+rook ending, where Kramnik had two pawns for the exchange. The position was in dynamic equilibrium and although Kramnik tried a bit to play for a win, but Aronian didn't let him get anything. 


On the second board Movsesian, achieved a nice advantage and wanted to torture Karjakin which didn't materialise in the end as Karjakin managed to exchange pieces to relieve the pressure and save the game. Also on the fourth board Armenia seemed to have the advantage but when Sargissian missed the double attack 39...Qa7 he had to concede the draw to his resourceful opponent Nepomniatchi. 

The last game was Grischuk-Akopian in which the Russians hoped that Akopian would falter under the pressure of Grischuk in a rook endgame up a pawn but the game was drawn. 

The other big fight was the Ukraine versus USA match. Nakamura wanted to employ the impenetrable Berlin Wall (possibly inspired by the recent Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship), but Ivanchuk preferred not to bother dealing with it and chose instead the old Two Knights System. As he didn't manage to create something out of this well-studied line, the game ended in a draw. Moiseenko-Onischuk was also a quiet affair in which neither side could imbalance the game. 

On the remaining two boards Akobian couldn't convert his nice positional edge into a full point due to the dynamic defense of Kryvorouchko and thus when Korobov punished Kamsky's over-optimistic pawn sacrifice in a long endgame it was time to cheer for Ukrainians. 

USA will for sure try to make a comeback in the race for the world team champion title. 

Actually the first match to finish in the first round was Netherlands-China. On first board after a Caro Kann opening Anish Giri decided to force a repetition in a balanced position pretty quickly whereas second and fourth boards saw two longer draws in which Dutch players showed strong and solid play, giving their Chinese opponents no chance to take advantage of white pieces. 

The only decisive result of the match came from the Tiviakov-Bu Xiangzhi game. Bu had obviously prepared thoroughly for Tiviakov's pet line Alapin Sicilian and even being perhaps the most formidable expert of the variation Tiviakov couldn't achieve any advantage with white. 

To make things worse for Netherlands he soon lost control of position under time pressure and collapsed giving China the chance to score an important match victory.

One of the most exciting games of the round was played on the fourth board of Germany-Egypt match between Bassem Amin and David Baramidze. Feeling perhaps the need to win as the leading player of Egypt, Amin didn't allow a threefold repetition and instead moved his king to h4 in a complicated middlegame with queens on the board! It was a very risky decision which was at the end efficiently punished by Baramidze. What was perhaps unfortunate for the representative of Africa was the fact that although in the first three boards they were definitely the underdogs they managed to held their ground and their cause of defeat came from the most unexpected board. But such is chess!

Finally, in the first round the hosts had a tough challenge against the Azerbaijani team but they were obviously hoping to get a good start to the championship. The positions of Turkish players were looking mostly fine at one point however Azeris didn't give them a chance to score a win in the end and the defeat of Yilmaz at the hands of Nidjat Mamedov meant a disappointing loss for the Turkish team. 

In the second round pairings include USA-Russia! Also don't forget to follow the live commentary by GM Oleksienko and IM Arduman.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Viswanathan Anand Praises Russian Chess in McKinsey Essay

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

Hello everyone,

Chess legend and five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand praised the chess prowess of Russia in an essay that was edited consulting firm McKinsey.

The former world chess champion, who lost to Magnus Carlsen in Chennai last week said, the Soviets included a chessboard along with the bride's wedding trousseau to ensure that the children knew the rules of the game, according to the report.

“For the Soviets, chess was in their DNA,” the news agency quoted Anand as writing in the essay for the book titled 'Reimagining India: Unlocking the potential of Asia's next superpower'.

Anand said that on his first visit to Moscow in the late 1980s, he was so intimidated by the chess prowess in the country that that he thought he could be “checkmated by every cab driver.”

“Such was the esteem in which India held the Russian chess school. As a young kid sprouting a wispy moustache, I was sometimes dismissed by the Russians as an upstart. I have even been referred to as a 'coffeehouse player,'” Anand was quoted as saying in the report. “Over the years, Russia's dominance over the game has ebbed and players have begun to emerge from China, Norway, Armenia and Israel.”

Anand said he dreams about the game being played in every school in the country, according to the report. “My dream is to see chess played in every school in India,” he said “With time and effort, our more intuitive Indian way of introducing a child to chess and letting his or her mind capture the essence of the game would not do too badly either.”

Anand wrote in the essay that he brings his "Indian identity" to his play. “I am often described as a natural or intuitive player. I agree there is something to that,” he was quoted as saying. “When I started out, the Indians did not have much interest in chess, no one talked about it. Now India seems to spawn new chess academies every day. The game is really taking off.”

The Indian chess legend added: “In some small ways, I believe that I may have made it possible, if only by showing that a coffeehouse player from Chennai without a physical trainer or psychological coach could hold his own against competitors from the Russian school.”


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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at www.chessqueen.com
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World Team Chess begins in Antalya: Russia vs Armenia in Round 1 Today

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

Hello everyone,

The FIDE World Team Chess Championship 2013 is taking place November 24th – December 6th in Antalya, Turkey.



Participants are Armenia, Russia, USA, Germany, Turkey, Azerbaijan, China, Ukraine, Holland, and Egypt in a single round robin event.

More: Official website / Live games with analysis

Round 1 pairings:

Germany – Egypt
GM Khenkin Igor 2612 : IM Ezat Mohamed 2454
GM Meier Georg 2623 : IM Abdel Razik Khaled 2450
GM Naiditsch Arkadij 2727 : IM Shoker Samy 2500
GM Baramidze David 2614 : GM Amin Bassem 2652

Turkey – Azerbaijan
GM Ipatov Alexander 2630 : GM Mamedov Rauf 2647
GM Solak Dragan 2618 : GM Safarli Eltaj 2653
GM Yilmaz Mustafa 2577 : GM Mamedov Nidjat 2616
GM Esen Baris 2565 : GM Durarbayli Vasif 2559

Netherlands – China
GM Giri Anish 2732 : GM Ding Liren 2711
GM Van Wely Loek 2678 : GM Wang Yue 2725
GM Tiviakov Sergei 2663 : GM Bu Xiangzhi 2683
GM Sokolov Ivan 2625 : GM Yu Yangyi 2668

Ukraine – USA
GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2731 : GM Nakamura Hikaru 2786
GM Korobov Anton 2713 : GM Kamsky Gata 2721
GM Moiseenko Alexander 2709 : GM Onischuk Alexander 2672
GM Kryvoruchko Yuriy 2701 : GM Akobian Varuzhan 2625

Russia – Armenia
GM Kramnik Vladimir 2793 : GM Aronian Levon 2801
GM Karjakin Sergey 2756 : GM Movsesian Sergei 2700
GM Grischuk Alexander 2785 : GM Akopian Vladimir 2681
GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2721 : GM Sargissian Gabriel 2676


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Magnus Carlsen already thinking about Defending his World Chess Champion Title Next Year!

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

Hello everyone,

World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen was crowned the World Chess Champion in Chennai on Monday. Here are top quotes by Magnus Carlsen from an interesting interview given to LiveMint:

On the nervousness carried forward from close victory at London Chess Candidates
Magnus Carlsen: I stopped thinking about it. Obviously the candidates’ tournament was a close call. It was very tiring and very exciting as well. But when I reached the final, I put everything behind and focused on what was happening in the final and not on how I got to it.


Official photo: World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen receiving the World Chess Champion trophy in Chennai on November 25


Preparing for World Chess Championship Match:

Magnus Carlsen: My main objective was to get playable positions—not to come under any great pressure from the beginning. I think I managed to equalize games from the opening, especially with black pieces, and outplay Anand, or at least pressure him in the rest of the games.

Was beating five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand easier than expected:


Magnus Carlsen: The match was difficult in the beginning because, for instance, in the first game, Vishy came up with a novelty in a really obscure line of play. When I analysed the game later, I was very impressed with the things that he had considered and how fast he was thinking. I was thinking to myself, if he was going to play this way, how am I going to ever catch him off-guard. But fortunately, it turned out that he, too, was a bit nervous.

Besides your preparation, what helped win:

Magnus Carlsen: It helped me to stay relaxed during the match and treat it like any other tournament. I did what I usually do. To stay relaxed, I like to take part in other sports, watch movies in between games, and not think about the result all the time.

Does becoming the world chess champion make you anxious:


Magnus Carlsen: Not really. I’ve been the No. 1 (by rating) for some time, but it has always been a bit of burden on me that I did not have the world title. Now that I have it, I can relax a little bit and do what I do best.

Do you plan to go back to university?


Magnus Carlsen: For now, I am happy playing chess.

You have named some players as potential challengers to your world title, but not Anand. What are your thoughts about his future as a chess player?

Magnus Carlsen: First of all, he’ll have to figure out if he wants to play in the candidates’ tournament. His results lately have not been too good. He’ll need some time to readjust. If he is able to play at his highest level, I think he can come back, but right now I don’t think he is the favourite to become the challenger.

So do you think Anand’s era of chess is over?


Magnus Carlsen: I think it all depends on his motivation. He’ll have to figure a lot of things out. If he manages to keep his motivation after this match, he’ll be a force to reckon with.

Why have you refused to name your seconds even after winning the world title?


Magnus Carlsen: I am already thinking about defending the title and that is the reason why I don’t want to talk about my seconds too much, because they would be part of my team going forward.
Chess appears to have got a huge fillip in Norway.


What we’ve seen in Norway is (that) an amazing number of people who did not play chess previously are now following chess—playing the game in schools and at work, and discussing it all the time.

Who do you owe this title to?


Magnus Carlsen: I think I owe it to everyone: my seconds (players who assisted), my team, my family, and especially my father. My team has attended to every need and every request however unreasonable it might have been.

Is there anything at all that you have learnt from this match or Anand?


Magnus Carlsen: To be honest, I think I’ve learnt a great deal from him in the past, both by playing against him and training with him. Previously, he could outplay me in certain positions, and he could do that in ways that no else could. But I think I showed him in a way that although he has taught me many things in the past, now it’s probably my turn to teach him.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Monday, November 25, 2013

Uganda Chess News: Ssegwanyi, Kabengano win Kawuma Open Chess Championship

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

Hello everyone,

Let's catch up on some chess news from Uganda: Former National Chess Champion, Arthur Ssegwanyi put up an unbeaten display to win the Kawuma Open Chess Championship with 5.5 points out of 6 at Hotel Africana on Sunday. 



Ssegwanyi who only drew with Bob Bibasa in the last round walked away with a prestigious trophy and a cash prize of one million Uganda shillings (1,000,000/=). In second position was IM Elijah Emojong at 5 points followed by Mathias Allan Ssonko, also at 5 points owing to tiebreak.


Six players tied on 5 points including Bob Bibasa, CM Patrick Kawuma and FM Harold Wanyama and they shared second and third prizes (totalling seven hundred thousand) amongst themselves.

Joyce Kabengano won the women's trophy and cash prize of four hundred thousand with 4 points followed by Olympians WCM Ivy Amoko and Goretti Angolikin with 3.5 points apiece. This was Kabengano's first major tournament victory.

Amoko was the player of the event after securing three big wins against strong male opposition including claiming the scalp of a much fancied and higher rated Haruna Nsubuga, David Muwanguziand drawing with veteran Joseph Kaamu.

The two day FIDE rated event attracted 72 players and was sponsored by Prof. and Mrs Kawuma and family to the tune of three million eighty thousand shillings only (3,080,000/=). The family led by Mrs. C. Kawuma who handed over the prizes pledged to continue sponsoring the event on an annual basis.

The Kawuma family is the most successful chess playing family in Uganda boasting of two FIDE Masters in Stephen and Moses Kawuma and Candidate Master Patrick Kawuma.

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Magnus Carlsen formally Crowned World Chess Champion 2013 in Chennai

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

Hello everyone,

Norway's Magnus Carlsen receiving the World Chess Champion's trophy from politician and main sponsor J Jayalalitha and FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, in Chennai, on Monday / Official Website 

World No.1 Magnus Carlsen of Norway was formally crowned the World Chess Champion at a glittering, brief ceremony in Chennai on Monday afternoon.

The closing ceremony had no speeches, only background announcements in Tamil and English. National anthems of both Norway and India were also played.

Jayalalithaa gave away the winner's gold trophy to Carlsen, amid loud cheers from supporters. She also honoured the 22-year-old Norwegian with an olive garland from the Nilgiri hills, while World Chess Federation president Kirsan Illyumzhinov presented him a gold medal. Magnus Carlsen earned US $1,582,732/€ 1,169,883 for his efforts. Anand, who lost the crown in his home city, was rewarded with prize money of US $964,028/€ 711,021 and a silver medal.

Carlsen became the new world chess champion after defeating Anand by 6.5-3.5 in 12 game match held between November 7 and 22. The crucial tenth game went in a draw and favoured Carlsen to claim the title.

Former world champion Viswanathan Anand, who had checked out of the Presidential Suite on Saturday morning, came directly from his home and left after the ceremony. The ceremony lasted 15 minutes and started a few minutes ahead of the scheduled time.

Anand was dressed formally in tie and jacket and Carlsen had his jacket on. The venue was the same hall in which the ten games were played. Over 500 people attended the crowded ceremony which also witnessed huge security personnel both inside and outside the hotel.


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