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

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

 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Nov 2013 World Chess Title Loss to Carlsen: Never seen Anand suffer so much, says wife Aruna

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,


We found this nice feature on former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand who has played some fantastic chess this last fortnight in Khanty Mansiysk to win the Candidates. Enjoy.

Aruna and Viswanathan Anand. Photo via Hindu.

"The King is dead. Long live the King". "Who next, after Anand?" The headlines blared as Viswanathan Anand slumped to a heart-wrenching defeat against Magnus Carlsen in Chennai just over four months ago.



Even as the media and chess pundits were writing epitaphs of his chess career and wondering whether he would even play after his poor performance, Anand was in his own private hell. And so was wife Aruna and family.

"That was a very difficult period. It was the lowest point of Anand's career. I have never seen Anand suffer so much. The entire family suffered seeing him suffer so much," Aruna, who is also the chess maestro's manager, told Hindustan Times on Sunday after 'Vishy' played out an easy draw in the inconsequential 14th and final round game against Peter Svidler of Russia in the 2014 Candidates Tournament at Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

Anand, who had qualified for a rematch with Carlsen to be played in November, remained unbeaten, finishing the tournament with 8.5 points from a possible 14.

The Indian GM decided to keep away from chess and take rest. "It was not like he talked a lot about the match (against Carlsen). He got used to the fact that the title was lost towards the end of the (Carlsen) match itself but, of course, he was very disappointed with the result as well as his overall performance," said Aruna.

After keeping away from the game for some time and assessing the situation, Anand geared up for another shot at the world crown. So once Anand decided that he was going to play the Candidates Tournament, he gathered his team together.

Many experts feel that Anand had felt somewhat liberated after losing the crown and played pressure-free in Khanty-Mansiysk. It's nothing like that, said Aruna. "He was actually well prepared for the Carlsen match but could not get good positions on the board. In Khanty, there was no such thing," she said.

But it is also a fact that Anand was rock solid this entire fortnight and rarely got into inferior positions.

He played practical chess, pressed for victory whenever the position demanded and did not try too many things. He showed great tenacity against Sergey Karjakin on Saturday, the only game in which he really looked in trouble.



The Candidates done and dusted, the 44-year-old is now ready for the biggest challenge of taking on Carlsen. If he plays like he did in the Candidates, Carlsen will really have something to worry.



From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Handsome Guy Makes Chess Exciting on the Beach

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,



A New Way to Have Fun at the Beach with Chess


Guess what beach- and chess-lover Timothy Callahan is up to! He just told Chess Blog, "One of my favorite summer rituals is riding the F train down to Coney Island and spending an entire day at the beach. Having grown tired of the usual Frisbee or book I invented a new way to have fun at the beach: Beach Chess."

Beach Chess consists of two cubes (one white, one black) that have the outline of one of each of the six unique chess pieces (pawn, rook, knight, bishop, king, queen) on each of the cube's six faces.

The black cube makes a fully depressed imprint in the sand whereas the white cube only makes an outlined imprint so you can tell the difference between the "white" and "black" pieces as shown below:



  • cube's side will measure about 2 1/2" square and is easily held in the hand. To play you simply draw the board with your finger and then line up your pieces by using the block to make imprints:

When you want to move a piece you make a new imprint where you want the piece to move and then use the edge of the cube to wipe away the previous imprint. When a piece is captured it is registered by the side of the board.


Timothy Callahan is going for crowd funding for this exciting chess project: 

His progress so far:


- I have 3d printed a prototype set and tested it at the beach. It works great!
- I am in communication with an injection molding company and have gone through several iterations of 3d drawings, finally coming up with a workable mold design.
- I have received a price quote for mass production with injection molding and can have the parts completed and ready for delivery in as little as 15 days after my project is funded. All funds will go towards the price of tooling for creating this one of a kind toy.

The Impact

You can be instrumental in the creation of this unique and beautiful object
Makes a fantastic gift for the chess player in your life

Beach Chess is not only a fun game to play at the beach but also a great way to get kids interested in chess
Callahan says, "If successfully funded I will be able to open a dedicated online store and engage in further production runs to share Beach Chess with even more people. I have chosen the fixed funding option, so you will only be charged if the project is successfully funded."
If you have any questions or comments don't hesitate to email beachchesscube@gmail.com.


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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at www.chessqueen.com
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April 2014 Chess Ratings: Carlsen, Judit top Lists; Kramnik, Kosteniuk top Russians!

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,

The April FIDE 2014 chess ratings list is out and World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen stays at the top with 2881. In second place is Levon Aronian despite losing 18 points and slumping to 2812. The big gain is by former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand who is not world no. 3 at 2785 with a cool 15-point gain. He has edged out Vladimir Kramnik who has gone to the fourth slot with a four-point loss. Here is a list of the top-20 players with rating:

Rank Name Title Country Rating Games B-Year 
1 Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2881 0 1990
2 Aronian, Levon g ARM 2812 14 1982
3 Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2785 14 1969
4 Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2783 14 1975
5 Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2783 0 1992
6 Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2777 0 1983
7 Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2772 14 1990
8 Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2772 14 1975
9 Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2772 0 1987
10 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar g AZE 2760 14 1985
11 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime g FRA 2758 0 1990
12 Dominguez Perez, Leinier g CUB 2757 0 1983
13 Svidler, Peter g RUS 2756 14 1976
14 Adams, Michael g ENG 2753 2 1971
15 Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2753 0 1968
16 Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2753 0 1969
17 Vitiugov, Nikita g RUS 2747 0 1987
18 Giri, Anish g NED 2745 0 1994
19 So, Wesley g PHI 2738 0 1993
20 Wang, Hao g CHN 2734 0 1989

Among the women chess players, Judit Polgar keeps her No. 1 spot and is followed by Hou Yifan. Koneru Humpy is in the third spot. 

GMs and former World Chess Champions Vladimir Kramnik (World No. 3 among men) and Alexandra Kosteniuk (World No. 8 among women) remain the top Russians in the world with 2783 and 2527 respectively. 

Here are the top-20 women chess players in the world:

Rank Name Title Country Rating Games B-Year
1 Polgar, Judit g HUN 2685 11 1976
2 Hou, Yifan g CHN 2618 11 1994
3 Koneru, Humpy g IND 2613 0 1987
4 Muzychuk, Anna g SLO 2560 0 1990
5 Zhao, Xue g CHN 2552 0 1985
6 Dzagnidze, Nana g GEO 2550 11 1987
7 Lagno, Kateryna g UKR 2543 0 1989
8 Ju, Wenjun wg CHN 2527 11 1991
9 Kosteniuk, Alexandra g RUS 2527 0 1984
10 Muzychuk, Mariya m UKR 2524 0 1992
11 Khotenashvili, Bela g GEO 2513 11 1988
12 Kosintseva, Nadezhda g RUS 2513 0 1985
13 Cmilyte, Viktorija g LTU 2511 2 1983
14 Gunina, Valentina g RUS 2508 2 1989
15 Hoang, Thanh Trang g HUN 2508 1 1980
16 Harika, Dronavalli g IND 2507 10 1991
17 Cramling, Pia g SWE 2507 3 1963
18 Ruan, Lufei wg CHN 2503 0 1987
19 Ushenina, Anna g UKR 2501 0 1985
20 Pogonina, Natalija wg RUS 2499 0 1985
 
Not much rating changes have taken place for the top-20 women this month, but then we have a fantastic new women's chess event coming up this April. Do you know which chess tournament it is and did you read our Chess Blog post about it? Yes, it is in Khanty Mansiysk!

Here is the FIDE page dedicated to chess ratings.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
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Chess Video: Joke told by actress Lily Collins!

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,

Actress Lily Collins tells a chess joke! Cool video.









Lily Jane Collins is an English-American actress and model. She is best known for her roles in the films The Blind Side (2009), Abduction(2011), and Mirror Mirror (2012). She portrayed Clary Fray in the fantasy film adaptation The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013), based on Cassandra Clare's best-selling novel City of Bones.

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Photo Chess Trivia: Name the Pretty Chess Player from South Asia

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,

Can you name this chess player? She is going to play in her country's national chess championship soon. Can you name her country as well? For the full report on the event read this FIDE report.


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at www.chessqueen.com
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Sunday, March 30, 2014

FIDE World Chess Candidates 2014 Ends: Karjakin Second (You know who's First!)

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,

Viswanathan Anand and Peter Svidler draw their Round 14 game at the Candidates. Anand already won the event yesterday in Round 13 by drawing with Sergey Karjakin. Photo: FIDE

Viswanathan Anand concluded the FIDE Candidates Tournament with a draw against Peter Svidler for a total of 8,5/14 points. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov made the honorary move for the World Championship qualifier.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Vladimir Kramnik also had a relatively quick draw, while Veselin Topalov and Dmitry Andreikin split the point only after 69 moves of play.



Replay all the games of Round 14 with Chess King.

In the longest game of the day Sergey Karjakin defeated Levon Aronian with black after seven hours of play.

With this victory Karjakin emerged clear second with 7,5 points. On shared third place are Kramnik, Mamedyarov and Andreikin with 7 points each. Svidler and Aronian and on 6,5 points each, while Topalov is last with 6 points.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was involved in some of the sharpest games of the previous rounds, but today he decided to go for the positional Qc2 line in the Nimzo-Indian Defence. As he admitted at the post-game press conference, he was already feeling tired.

Vladimir Kramnik happily entered his pet line 7…dxc4. Instead of the common retreat 11.Qc2, white accepted to trade the queens on move 11. The players commented afterwards that this exchange meant that the game will be drawn.

The play continued until most of the pieces were removed from the board and draw was signed on move 30.

Having already qualified for the World Championship Match, Viswanathan Anand felt no pressure ahead of the game with Peter Svidler, but he still “didn’t want to finish a good tournament with a defeat”.

Anand allowed the Ruy Lopez Marshall Gambit, stating that he wanted to test the new ideas by Fabiano Caruana. Svidler in his turn followed the plan of Rustam Kasimdzhanov – 14…Qf6.

Many pieces were exchanged and white was hoping to further trade the rooks and play a B vs N endgame with pawns on both sides of the board. However, before he could do that, black succeeded in clearing all pawns from the queenside.

Draw agreed on move 34.



Final Standings

Rank SNo. Name Rtg FED Pts Res. vict SB

1 GM Anand Viswanathan 2770 IND 8 0 3 50,25
2 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2787 RUS 6½ 4 3 42,50
3 GM Andreikin Dmitry 2709 RUS 6½ 4 2 42,50
4 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2757 AZE 6½ 3½ 3 41,2
5 GM Aronian Levon 2830 ARM 6½ 3½ 3 41,25
6 GM Karjakin Sergey 2766 RUS 6½ 3 2 42,00
7 GM Svidler Peter 2758 RUS 6 0 3 38,75
8 GM Topalov Veselin 2785 BUL 5½ 0 2 36,00

Dmitry Andreikin’s treatment of the Berlin Ruy Lopez was rather original as he quickly expanded with the pawns on kingside and in the center.

It was a strategy with considerable risk and Veselin Topalov rushed to open up the play to exploit black’s weaknesses.

White managed to snatch a pawn but his own structure was slightly compromised. He proceeded to force the exchange of the rooks hoping that he could get something in the endgame with minor pieces.

Topalov pressed for a long time but couldn’t do harm to Andreikin’s fortress.

It is rare occurrence that Levon Aronian opens the game with 1.e4. Another surprise was his relatively modest approach against Serey Karjakin’s Sicilian defence.

Black played all the logical moves, even succeeded in locking the white bishop on b1, but then a small inaccuracy handed a pawn to white.

In order to shift the trend, black gave up the exchange to destroy white’s structure and win the pawn back.

White’s reaction was not the best, he handed the material back and even fell under attack.

The material was already reduced and it was not easy to exploit the weaknesses around the white king.

Only in the 7th hour of play white cracked under pressure and dropped a piece for pawn. He tried to compensate with the advanced passer, but black was quick to force the exchange of the queens and finally clinch a victory. (Official website)

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Vassily Filipenko: During the Candidates we held quite a few regional-level chess events in Khanty Mansiysk

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,

The Head of Khanty-Mansiysk and the President of Ugra Chess Federation Vasily Filipenko visited the Ugra Chess Academy several times during the event. Before the start of the FIDE Presidential Board he answered the questions of the FIDE Candidates Tournament press center.

– Vassily Alexandrovich, do you follow the candidates tournament?
– Of course I do.

– Do you like the organization of this event?
– I am a wrong person to ask! (Laughs.) Probably you should ask the players. As for me, I never heard any complaints about our efforts, so I hope everything is okay.

– Are you surprised by the outcome, Viswanathan Anand’s victory with a round to spare?
– Obviously Anand is a great player, and his convincing victory is fair and just. Of course, we were rooting for our players, but they committed some very unfortunate errors. It is also curious that the next World Championship match will be a rematch. There were many rematches in the chess history, but mostly in a distant past. No rematches were played for quite a while.

– Let us talk a bit about women’s chess. In 2012 Khanty-Mansiysk hosted the biggest women’s tournament – the World Cup. Soon you are hosting a FIDE Grand Prix event and World Championships in Blitz and Rapid. Could you tell me if it was the first tournament that influenced your decision to host more women’s events? Is there such interest to women’s chess in Ugra?
– Our interest to women’s chess has never disappeared, but let’s put it like this: the new era of chess in Ugra started in 2005. In general, the number of people playing chess is proportional between men and women. During the candidates tournament we held a number of regional-level competitions, and many girls and women attended these events. Naturally big international competitions promote women’s chess in Ugra, and its popularity grows.

– Do you mean there are equal numbers of boys and girls studying chess in Ugra?
– Well, there are more boys, of course, but the difference isn’t huge. Many girls in Ugra are interested in chess.

– Should we expect any innovations from the organizers of the coming women’s tournaments?
– Usually when people play competitive chess they don’t have much time for anything else. Of course, we always have our excursions and cultural events, if not for the players, then at least for their coaches and journalists. We are always happy to show our sightseeing.

– Which events do you prefer to watch, men’s or women’s? Classical chess, rapid, or blitz?
– You know, each format is interesting on its own. A classical game can be followed for a long time, you can see the tension of the players and so on. Other formats are more dynamic. I like everything.

As for men’s and women’s chess, naturally following women’s events brings more fun and pleasure. And I don’t understand chess deep enough to see the difference in their level of play.



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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Cats Playing Chess Videos - Which Ones do You Like?

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,

We happened to find these two cool chess videos this Sunday. Yes, cats do play chess... which ones do you like? ;)








From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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at www.chessqueen.com
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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Viswanathan Anand Wins Khanty Mansiysk Candidates, Qualifies for 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match versus Magnus Carlsen

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,


World Chess Viswanathan Anand will have another shot at the World Chess Championship title after winning the Candidates Tournament 2014 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.

In round 13 Anand held a draw against Sergey Karjakin to take his score to 8 points and secure clear first place with one round to go.

Anand is set to play a match with World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen in November. The hosting city should be announced soon.

In the other games Dmitry Andreikin defeated Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik won against Veselin Topalov. Peter Svidler and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov split the point.

Anand is first with 8 points, point and a half ahead of the large group of players on shared second place – Andreikin, Kramnik, Aronian, Mamedyarov and Karjakin. Svidler is 7th with 6 points, while Topalov is last with 5,5 points.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov remained consistent and chose once again the Sicilian Naidorf. Peter Svidler answered with 6.Be3, the line in which he has huge practical experience.

The first critical junction was on move 16 when black played Nd4 instead of Grischuk’s Nce5. Next he offered exchange of the queens.

More pieces were traded soon and a rook endgame was reached around move 25. Black had the doubled f-pawns.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen tuned into live commentary with GM Peter Heine Nielsen and said that white can keep pressing for a long time without any risk.

Svidler tried for something more until the time control, but then he agreed to a draw.



Replay all the games of Round 13 with Chess King.

Levon Aronian played another very original opening, defending against the Trompowski employed by Dmitry Andreikin.

After only ten moves of play black’s pawn structure looked awful, but he still tried to stir trouble on white’s long castle and advanced pawns.

White decided to trade the queens and go into a roughly equal endgame. He offered an exchange for advanced passed pawn, but black snubbed the offer because the eventual result was likely to be a draw. Aronian needed a win to stay in contention for the first place.

Andreikin skillfully took advantage of the poor placement of black bishop to win a pawn and proceed to the double rook ending. He converted into full point on move 44.

Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov tested the Semi-Slav Moscow variation. Again Topalov was first to insert a new move, by playing the speculative 10…c5.

Kramnik cemented the development advantage with an excellent 14.Bb5, which prevents black knight from coming into play. Magnus Carlsen also praised this move in his live commentary.

Black somehow untangled his pieces but white already had the action going on the kingside. However, after a couple of inaccurate moves, white lost all of his advantage and even started looking suspicious because black had the pair of bishops.

The resulting endgame was sharp and unclear. It was extremely difficult to find the most precise moves – only deeper analysis can tell.

Topalov was the last to make a mistake, when he allowed white rook to reach the back rank and claim a bishop. Kramnik quickly wrapped up the game.

Sergey Karjakin was fully charged to fight in the game versus Viswanathan Anand, having in mind that only a victory would have given him the chance to win the first place and match against the World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

White played a modest yet flexible setup with fianchetto on b2. Black replied with the principled strike in the center c5, but was soon left with a backward c6-pawn.

Karjakin won this pawn but the queens got exchanged and it looked like black had a good compensation for the material. Anand’s idea to trade the light-squared bishops with 17…Bd7 was criticized by Magnus Carlsen.

The reigning World Champion had a good hunch, as black soon came under pressure on the queenside.

Anand made a huge decision to give two pieces for a rook and pawn. The material favored white, but all pawns were on one side of the board and white pieces were poorly coordinated.

The Grandmasters who commented the game on Twitter believed that black had better chance to draw than white to win.

Anand succeeded in setting a fortress, and despite the huge effort Karjakin simply couldn’t find a way through.



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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Philippines' GM Oliver Barbosa wins Kolkata Chess Open 2014

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,

Grandmaster Oliver Barbosa of the Philippines beat MR Lalith Babu on better tiebreak to win the 19th International Open GM Chess Tournament in Kolkata on Sunday. Both scored 7.5 points in ten rounds. 

In the last round, the Slav defence game between Oliver Barbosa and Ziaur Rahman ended in a draw after 38 well-fought moves, with both having queens, a minor piece and three pawns each. Oliver had to patiently wait for the game between Lalith and Vidit to get confirmation of his title, as a win for Vidit would have put Vidit on the top.

Lalith Babu shattered the dreams of Vidit to clinch the title in the Queens Indian defence employed by him, After Vidit exchanged the queens on 23rd move, Lalith grabbed Vidit’s two connected pawns. Vidit tried in vain to halt the onward march of Lalith’s pawns on a- and b- files in a rook ending. Lalith played correctly to force the win in 97 moves.

In another rook and pawn ending arising out of a Scotch game, top seeded Nigel Short of England used his isolated passer pawn to inflict a defeat on former national champion P. Konguvel of PSPB.

GM Henrik Danielsen of Island lost the game to Sergey Fedorchuk of Russia, as he did not complete 40 moves in the stipulated time control. India No.2 Pentala Harikrishna and Kolkata GM SS Gnaguly distributed the prizes. (FIDE)

Top final standings
Final Rank
Rank Name Rtg FED Pts TB1 TB2
1 GM Barbosa Oliver 2564 PHI 7½ 56½ 51
2 GM Lalith Babu M.R. 2585 IND 7½ 55 50
3 GM Kunte Abhijit 2439 IND 7 61 55½
4 GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2602 IND 7 58½ 53
5 GM Rahman Ziaur 2486 BAN 7 56½ 51½
6 GM Adhiban B. 2608 IND 7 55 50
7 GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. 2496 IND 6½ 57½ 53
8 GM Landa Konstantin 2645 RUS 6½ 56½ 51½
9 GM Sethuraman S.P. 2578 IND 6½ 53½ 49
10 GM Sengupta Deep 2529 IND 6½ 52 47½

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
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Historic Chess Trivia Photo: Name the Legends Playing now in Germany!

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,

Can you name these two chess legends of our times? They have just played an exhibition match in Germany! Find a full report at www.chess-news.ru.



From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Friday, March 28, 2014

15-year-old Chess Prodigy Aims for Polish National Title

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,

The Polish Chess Championships are taking place in Warsaw from March 25 to April 2, with 15-year-old Grandmaster Jan-Krzysztof Duda one of the favourites.

Players do battle at the Polish Chess Championships at the Novohotel in Warsaw: photo - PAP/Bartłomiej Zborowski

Jan-Krzysztof Duda from Krakow, southern Poland, achieved his GM title in 2013 at the age of 15 years and 21 days, becoming the second youngest Grandmaster in the world after China's Wei Yi and is being tipped as a potential challenger for the world title in the future.

Duda has got off to a great start at the championships, winning two and drawing the third of his marches so far.

Also taking part in the men's competition is Radoslaw Wojtaszek, who was a second to Viswanathan Anand when he lost his world championship crown to Magnus Carlsen last November.

The winners of the men's and women's titles will represent Poland at this year's Chess Olympiad in Norway. (The News)


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal chess blog
at www.chessqueen.com
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Kingsley’s Gambit - One-Act Play by Weston High Theater Company

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,

“Kingsley’s Gambit” is an original one-act play created by 19 cast members of the Weston High Theater Company. The play is the story of a chess master, Charles Kingsley, who transfers his techniques of controlling from the chessboard to his family life. Through a mix of comedy and drama, it addresses the destructive nature of control and the nature of winning – for every win, there must also be a loss.

“Kingsley’s Gambit” is an original one-act play created by 19 cast members of the Weston High Theater Company.

The play is the story of a chess master, Charles Kingsley, who transfers his techniques of controlling from the chessboard to his family life. Through a mix of comedy and drama, it addresses the destructive nature of control and the nature of winning – for every win, there must also be a loss.

“Kingsley’s Gambit” has made it though the first two rounds of the Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild Drama Festival, and is now one of the 14 schools to make the state finals on March 27 to 29 at the John Hancock Hall/Back Bay Events Center in Boston.

During the first round of competition at Norwood High School on March 1, seniors Alex Rougeau, Charlie Gold, James Cebulla and Sammy Hooper all received acting awards for their performances.

Weston High School hosted one of the semifinal rounds on March 22 and was one of two schools selected to move on to state finals. Garnering awards on that day for Weston were Becky Jesurum for lighting design, and Clark Eglinton, Kristen Sands, James Mullany and Michael Brown for acting. Also, Becky Jesurum won the David Dooley Award as the “unsung hero” of this round of the festival.

Weston High School takes the stage for the state finals on Friday, March 28 at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online (http://ticketstage.com) or at the box office (cash or check only) at the corner of Berkeley and Stuart streets in Boston.


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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World Chess Champ Magnus Carlsen to Visit Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology April 8

On April 8, 2014, the World Chess Champion and one of the youngest grandmasters in the world, Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, will visit MIPT. The twenty-three year old chess player, who already made an appearance on Time magazine’s "100 most influential people of 2013" list, will hold a simultaneous exhibition for students, graduate students and students of the MIPT "Phystech lyceum."
 

The name Magnus Carlsen (Norwegian: Sven Magnus Øen Carlsen) is well known to people interested in chess. “He beats leading chess players in such positions in which people usually settle for a draw. He has an absolutely phenomenal technique and in addition - as if a complete absence of the nervous system. And Carlsen calculates variations very well, as young people do," says international grandmaster Evgeniy Bareev.

Currently, Magnus Carlsen is the youngest World Chess Champion and a holder of a record high FIDE rating.

The official part of the visit will take place on April 8 at the MIPT Concert Hall, where Magnus Carlsen will meet with MIPT students and guests.
The event starts at 10:30 am. The meeting host will be Tina Kandelaki, and the meeting will be held in English.
From 12.00 to 14.00 the grandmaster will play a simultaneous match with MIPT students and postgraduate students, and from 15.00 to 16.00 – with students from the "Phystech lyceum."

The main purpose of the event, organized by Runa Capital fund, Phystech-Union and Sberbank Technologies, is to give an opportunity to talented students to meet the World Chess Champion and to mark a new stage in the development of an IT cluster at MIPT. (MIPT News)
 

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Chess Candidates 2014 R12: Anand takes a practical decision, draws Andreikin to Keep Lead!

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,

Viswanathan Anand - two rounds close to Candidates victory and match with Magnus Carlsen - settles for comfortable draw versus Dmitry Andreikin in better position. Photo: FIDE

Viswanathan Anand took a practical decision to accept draw against Dmitry Andreikin in a better, but extremely complicated position. Considering the other results, Anand is coming closer to challenging World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen to another match.

Levon Aronian – Vladimir Kramnik and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – Sergey Karjakin were drawn, while Veselin Topalov won a nice game against Peter Svidler.

After 12 rounds of play in the FIDE World Candidates Tournament, Anand is first with 7,5 points, still a full point ahead of Aronian. Mamedyarov and Karjakin share the third place with 6 points each. On 5-8th place and with 5,5 points each are Kramnik, Svidler, Topalov and Andreikin.


Replay all the games of Round 12 with Chess King.

Peter Svidler’s Taimanov Sicilian was not a great surprise for Veselin Topalov, but the recapture on 8th move, dxc6 instead of Qxc6, is a rare continuation.

Topalov continued in the straightforward manner by transferring the knight to c4 and playing a key move, according to Svidler in the post-game press conference, 12.f3 to effectively stop the counterplay.

The rigid pawn structure and gapping hole on d5 were preventing black from activating the pieces. He was reluctant to part with the bishop pair to eliminate the dominant c4-knight.

White eventually broke through the d-file to win the black a5-pawn. Being unable to find a perpetual check, Svidler gave up.

The game between Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik started as a Queen’s Gambit Exchange variation, but white deviated from the theory quite early, by playing the literally unknown 8.h3.

Black immediately used the opportunity to trade the dark-squared bishops and speed up his development.

Both players castled long and tucked their kings into safety. The pieces were shuffled around until white decided to go for a central break with e3-e4.

Aronian admitted that he wouldn’t risk that much if he would be closer to the first place. The players repeated the moves for a draw in 31 moves.

Actually, instead of Ba6 in the end, Kramnik had an interesting maneuver in 28…Nb5 29.exd5 Na5! which might have given him something. Aronian was stunned when FIDE Press Officer showed him this line.

Dmitry Andreikin wanted to try a Caro-Kann against Viswanathan Anand, exactly the line that Carlsen played in game 2 of Chennai WCC match.

Anand definitely had an improvement ready, as he deviated on move 15 with Qd3-f3. In this development he kept more pieces on the board.

Black was trying for a usual queenside counterplay, while white centralised his pieces waiting to answer black’s c6-c5 break with d4-d5.

Black immediately went astray by allowing the pawn to advance further, all the way to d7. In addition, white launched an attack against the enemy king.

However, Andreikin didn’t roll over, and he sacrificed a bishop to lead the white king out in the open field.

His efforts paid off when Anand conceded a draw by “taking a practical decision” to repeat the moves.

Anand commented later – “I looked at Kd2, but there are two rooks, queen, knight jumping around, and I couldn’t see it through.” He added that 36.Bd2 might have been a better try.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Sergey Karjakin played the longest game of the day. Karjakin took note of Mamedyarov’s handling of the sharp f3 Nimzo-Indian in the earlier clash with Aronian.

The Russian team prepared a Benko-like counterblow 5…b5. As it was expected from the tactically gifted Azeri, he quickly expanded to grab space in the center.

Karjakin was pleased with his opening, but at the pres conference he criticized 20…Ndc5, which took the knight far away from the defence of the king.

Black did win three pawns, but he was running low on time and white was constantly endangering the king. At one moment black had only 14 seconds to complete six moves (there is no increment before first time control).

Karjakin beat the zeitnot, but by then white simplified the position and in the next hour held a draw in a double rook endgame despite being one pawn down.


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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chess Candidates 2014 R11: All games drawn, Anand still with 1 point lead

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,


A determined Viswanathan Anand holds on to his one-point lead after 11 rounds at the Khanty Mansiysk World Chess Candidates 2014. Only three more rounds are to be played. Photo: FIDE

All four games of the 11th round of the FIDE World Candidates Tournament ended in draws.
The first to split the point were former World Champions Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand. Peter Svidler and Levon Aronian, Dmitry Andreikin and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, followed the suit around the first time control.

Sergey Karjakin was pressing for a victory against Veselin Topalov, but the Bulgarian was alert to parry all the threats.

Round 11 standings: 1. Anand 7; 2. Aronian 6; 3-5. Svidler, Mamedyarov and Karjakin 5,5; 6-7. Kramnik and Andreikin 5; 8. Topalov 4,5.

Possibly the toughest challenge for Viswanathan Anand in the last four rounds was the game with black against Vladimir Kramnik.

It wasn’t a great surprise that Kramnik opened with the Catalan, which brought him so much success in the past.

The line with 7.Ne5 is considered innocuous, but Kramnik wanted to play something that he is familiar with. In an over-the-board inspiration he decided to go for the rare 11.Na3, which he analysed some years ago.

Anand continued in the regular manner, by quickly advancing the c-pawn to clear the files and achieve counterplay with heavy pieces.

A temporary pawn sacrifice helped black to clear the queenside and reach an easy draw.

Replay all the games of Round 11 with Chess King.

The game between Peter Svidler and Levon Aronian started as a Reti but soon the pawns were arranged in the shape of Slav Exchange variation.

Black solved the problem of the light-squared bishop and this helped him achieve good play on the queenside.

The structure was symmetrical but there were still plenty of resources for either player.

Svidler marked 22.b4 as a mistake after which black succeeded in trading the heavy pieces on the c-file. Both players agreed that 22.Rc2 was a better try, when black would probably start preparing a break with e5.

After the queens went off, draw was signed on move 33.

Dmitry Andreikin and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov also explored the Catalan opening. White inadvertently followed in the footsteps of former World Championship Challenger Boris Gelfand, but already by move 20 he was down to less than half an hour on the clock.

Andreikin admitted that he was surprised in the opening and had to spend lots of time to find the best moves.

White made a break by advancing c4-c5, but black exchanged all the pawns on the queenside. On a positive note, white obtained a pair of bishops.

The resulting endgame 2B vs B+N and four pawns on the same flank should be equal, but still some precision was required from black.

Mamedyarov recollected that Kramnik and Gelfand held similar endgames, but he didn’t feel entirely at ease in today’s game. Nevertheless, he managed to trade more pawns and draw was finally agreed on move 46.

Veselin Topalov and Sergey Karjakin played the Double Fianchetto Hedgehog, following for a while their earlier game from 2012 World Rapid Championship.

Topalov was the first to deviate by advancing his pawn to g5. In the battle for the long a8-h1 diagonal both players maneuvered their queens to the corners of the board.

The queens and three pairs of minor pieces were soon exchanged. Black tried to create an outside passed pawn on the h-file, while white concentrated his efforts on breaking through on the queenside.

While white was throwing his pawns forward, black seized the opportunity to trade a rook for the bishop and doubled passed pawns on the a-file.

Despite being an exchange up, white remained passive because black always threatened to advance the passers.

Eventually white stopped both pawns with his king and rook and black couldn’t find a way to activate his own king to make a decisive impact on the final outcome. Draw in 57 moves. (Official website)



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Namibian Chess Champ Goodwill Khoa wins Independence Blitz

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,

WINDHOEK – Namibian Chess Champion Goodwill Khoa added another title to his already glittering cabinet of accolades when he scooped the Independence Blitz Chess Tournament, scoring 10 out of 11 points.

Khoa, the 2013 national chess champion, had an impressive tourney, suffering a single defeat at the hands of Otto Nakapunda who finished 3rd with 8.5. Four-time champion Charles Eichab was the runner-up after scoring 9.5 points. 

A disappointed Eichab said: “I had my eyes on a fifth Blitz title, but it wasn’t to be. The young ones are coming through the ranks now and giving us problems.”

The 24-year-old Khoa, a teacher at Jan Mohr, was surprisingly not too elated with his win. “I still don’t feel good enough; I’m not 100% happy. There’s still a lot of work to be done because everybody’s getting stronger. It was a well-organized tournament and I’d like to thank Unam Khomasdal Campus for the venue.”

Johannes Nyandi and Immanuel Gariseb finished 4th and 5th and walked away with cash prizes. The tournament saw 75 participants battle it out for top honours. Dolly Nepando again won the Best Woman award for the second successive season. In the U/8 age group Owen Gous was the only player to complete all games and was awarded top prize.

Hewicke Uatjiri won the U/10 category followed by Jushua Mulokoshi and Jody Hoveka in 2nd and 3rd places respectively. Kevin Gurirab took bronze in the U/12 age group, which was won by Aldo Horn and Dante Beukes who both finished with 6 points each and none of the three tie-breaks (direct encounter, progressive score and most wins) could separate the two youngsters.

In the U/14 category, Hiren Naidoo edged out 2nd placed Mubasen Hochobeb and left Nguno Vilho to pick up the pieces in 3rd place. 

Former national women’s chess champion Nicola Tjaronda took home the U/16 title and was closely followed by Shikufa Haitembu and Etu Nangula.

Montgomery Gurirab, Kaakunga Kumujeke and Dyllan Bedja were the top three in the U/18 section while the trio of Immanuel Gariseb, William Kamberipa and Matjiua Kajovi topped the U/20 section. (newera.com)

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Russian Jail Chess Cup Video Advert: Play for Your Life

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,



Russian Chess Federation: Jail Chess CupThe headline in Russian has a play on words: the first meaning is 'outplay your life' and at the same time it means 'change your life'.

TBWA\Moscow, The Russian Chess Federation, with the support of Anatoly Karpov and the Federal Penitentiary Service of Ryazan have come out in support of prisoners already on the road to rehabilitation and hosted a chess tournament between several prisons. 



The finalists have been given a chance for early release.

The idea of a prisoners’ chess tournament was developed by the creative agency TBWA\ Moscow, on the request of the Russian Chess Federation. The concept of the campaign is communicated in the slogan, “Play for your life”; participation in a chess tournament as a way of receiving a letter of recommendation. TBWA\ Moscow developed the campaign based on the status of chess as an intellectual sport, one that makes the player think several moves ahead and assess the likely outcome of his decisions. 





These qualities form an essential part of the rehabilitation process for those in correctional facilities. Any prisoner, regardless of their level of experience, could participate in the tournament. The only condition for entry was a desire to turn their lives around and engage in the rehabilitation process. All short films were shot on location in the Pre-trial Detention Centre, which helped communicate a real idea of the prisoners’ daily environment.

Advertising Agency: TBWA\Moscow, Russia
Creative Director: Maxim Kolyshev
Art Director: Natalia Bystrova
Copywriter: Julia Komolikova
Designer: Igor Erasov
Published: March 2014


Read also 

Karpov-Inspired Chess Match between US, Russian Jail Inmates! Guess who won


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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Chess Candidates 2014 R10: Anand Maintains 1 Point Lead

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,

Viswanathan Anand drew comfortably with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov to maintain his one point lead in Khanty Mansiysk on Tuesday. Photo: FIDE

Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand maintained a full point lead in the FIDE World Candidates Tournament after playing a draw with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in round 10.
Anand’s nearest rival Levon Aronian also made a draw, with white against Veselin Topalov.In the all-Russian matches Peter Svidler defeated Vladimir Kramnik, while Sergey Karjakin and Dmitry Andreikin drew.

Anand is clear first with 6,5 points, one point ahead of the second-placed Aronian. Mamedyarov, Karjakin and Svidler are on 5 points each, while Kramnik and Andreikin share the 6th place with 4,5 points. Topalov remains last with 4 points.



Replay all the games of Round 10 with Chess King.

The 6.h3 Naidorf Sicilian is all rage now in the FIDE World Candidates Tournament. In round 10 Viswanathan Anand again used the system, this time in the game against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

The game was similar to Anand’s match against Topalov, but this time black was more vigorous to trade the pieces, counter in the center and achieve good play.

Anand made a good psychological decision to go for relatively simple position in which Mamedyarov, a gifted tactician, could not create threats with taking excessive risk.

At some point white offered moves repetition but black decided to play on. However, on move 30 black changed his mind and offered a draw.

Dmitry Andreikin defended with the Taimanov Sicilian and Sergey Karjakin used Rustam Kasimdzhanov`s favorite 7.Qd3, although Karjakin admitted he didn’t analyzed this variation with his second.
Karjakin followed his earlier clash with Mamedyarov (2009), but then he chose a different pawn structure with 13.e5, very similar to the Classical French.Black didn’t meet many obstacles in solving the typical problems – exchange of the light-squared bishops and counterplay on the b-file.

Having achieved no advantage, white conceded a draw by repeating the moves.

Peter Svidler had another go at the Dutch defence and Vladimir Kramnik responded with the customary expansion in the center.

With the slightly better pawn structure white claimed a small advantage, but black always remained solid and was close to trading off the entire queenside.

At one point Kramnik blundered horribly by allowing 32…Bxh2+ which lost him an exchange and a pawn.

Further, the white king was exposed to a relentless attack and he gave up shortly before the time control.

Levon Aronian chose a quiet setup against Veselin Topalov’s Chebanenko Slav, allowing black to extinguish much of the opening pressure.

Around move 14 white was uncertain how to place the pieces. At the press conference Topalov proposed 15.a4 Qb6 16.Bc3, but Aronian replied that he didn’t like the bishop there.

After black installed the knight on the strong d4-outpost, white understood that he should be careful not to end up worse.

Topalov thought that he had small advantage throughout the middlegame, but he decided not to be rash and make mistakes in pursuit of a victory at all costs, as it happened to him earlier in the tournament.

Despite the doubled f-pawns and opponent’s passer on d-file, white was able to hold the endgame. Draw signed on move 45.


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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Also see her personal chess blog 
at www.chessqueen.com
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Commented Chess Game Video: Tatiana Kosintseva - Alexandra Kosteniuk 0-1

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,




Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk comments her second game against Tatiana Kosintseva from the 2008 Women's World Chess Championship in Nalchik. The opening was a Ruy Lopez. (By the way, do you know what happened at the end of the tournament?)





From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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at www.chessqueen.com
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Norwegian Chess Historian, Writer, Player... Who's He?

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,

Chess photo trivia: Do you know this talented person (historian, organiser, writer, chess player) is also an ambassador, along with GM Alexandra Kosteniuk and host of other chess stars, for the Norway Chess Olympiad 2014 to be held in Tromso? Can you identify him?


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Calling Chess Players: 1st International Day of Sport for Development and Peace April 6

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,


Launched by the UN at the initiative of the International Olympic Committee, the first ever ‘International Day of Sport for Development and Peace’ will take place on 6 April 2014. To mark this historic day, Peace and Sport is calling on people across the globe to take part by launching a dedicated platform - www.april6.org - that will bring together and promote all the initiatives being carried out worldwide to celebrate this event.

The general public, teachers, associations, sports clubs and federations and NGOs are all invited to join this major celebration of sport for peace by organizing or participating in a symbolic action or event on 6 April 2014 and registering it on the website www.april6.org.

Joлl Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport:

“By establishing 6 April as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, the UN and IOC are paying tribute to the unique role of sport in our society and honouring its constructive and positive values. Throughout the year, a tremendous amount of work is carried out by stakeholders on the ground – often in difficult conditions. This day serves as a way to recognize and honour their achievements. We created www.april6.org to provide these different actors with a platform that could bring them together and present their actions to the general public. Sports champions will also be key to this celebration. As role models, they have the power to encourage large numbers of people to take part. 6 April must make its mark as a major event for peace-building through sport, which is one of the cornerstones of our movement.”


A number of events have already been announced worldwide on www.april6.org
As you know Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk is a champion for Peace and Sport. You can read all posts by the 12th Women's World Chess Champion on this post-collection link at chessqueen.com
Here is an interview for Peace and Sport.



For more information please visit www.peace-sport.org

From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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at www.chessqueen.com
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Photo Chess Trivia: Name the GMs, Chess Tournament!

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,

How many Grandmasters can you name? The photograph is from the opening ceremony of which tournament? Click on photo to go to the official website of the event.


From Alexandra Kosteniuk's
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at www.chessqueen.com
Don't miss Chess Queen™
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