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Sunday, April 27, 2008

What a great idea!

Free chess sets for schools in UK
---------------------------------

A secondary school is the first in this country to receive some of the 250,000 free chess sets produced by a plastics company.
Helenswood Lower School in Hastings welcomed the sets courtesy of Holloid Plastics.
The company created the items from plastic which would have otherwise have gone into landfill.
The scheme is the brainchild of sales director Fergus Christie, whose son Duncan discovered there was no chess club at the school.
Holloid Plastics has now teamed up with the English Chess Federation (ECF), based in Battle, near Hastings, to supply schools with free boards and pieces.
The first sets were handed to staff at Helenswood after the school became the source of the scheme’s inspiration.
Hastings and Rye MP Michael Foster presented the equipment.
He has written to other MPs to advise them to urge schools to apply for the chess sets.
The ECF has so far received almost 4,000 requests from schools across the country.
Peter Wilson, ECF’s marketing director, said: “With plastic chess sets and boards retailing at about £8 each, what we have is an injection of some £2 million into chess.
“I am not aware of anything of this scale being attempted anywhere.”

Source:http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/generalnews/display.var.2164747.0.free_chess_sets_for_schools.php

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Current Chess Events

The following chess events are currently being played in the world:

(a) 16th Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament - April 22nd - 30th April 2008 Location: Malmo,Sweden. Participants: GM Akesson,Smith,GM Stellwagen, GM Hillarp Persson, GM Portisch,GM Lars Bo Hansen, GM Agrest, GM Kotronias,GM Lie, GM Timman . The official tournament website for this event is: http://www.sigeman-chess.com

(b)European Individual Championship -April 20th-May 4th, 2008 Location:Plovdiv, Bulgaria The official tournament website is:http://www.eicc2008.com

(c)FIDE Grand Prix Baku -April 20th-May 6th, 2008 Location:Baku, Azerbaijan, The official tournament website is at: : http://baku2008.fide.com/ , with additional coverage at:
http://www.chesscenter.com/twic/twic.html and http://tournaments.chessdom.com/

XIV Dos Hermanas tournament

The XIV Dos Hermanas chess tournament was played from April 18th -20th. This event was played between some of the top-chess players in the world:Topalov,Shirov.Judit Polgar and Francisco Vallejo Pons.The tournament had a unique format:rapid chess (20 minutes for the game plus 10 seconds a move bonus). Topalov won the final over Vallejo Pons by winning the first game of their final match.

Here are Judit Polgars' game scores from the tournament: (in PGN format):


[Event "XIV Rapid"]
[Site "Dos Hermanas ESP"]
[Date "2008.04.19"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Topalov,V"]
[Black "Polgar,Ju"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2709"]
[EventDate "2008.04.18"]
[ECO "D38"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 O-O 5. Bg5 d5 6. e3 h6 7. Bh4 c5 8.
cxd5 g5 9. Bg3 Nxd5 10. Rc1 cxd4 11. exd4 Nc6 12. h4 g4 13. Ne5 f5 14. Bc4
Nxe5 15. Bxe5 b5 16. Bxd5 Qxd5 17. O-O Bxc3 18. Rxc3 Bb7 19. f3 Rac8 20.
Qd2 Kh7 21. fxg4 Rxc3 22. bxc3 Rg8 23. g5 h5 24. Re1 Qc4 25. d5 Bxd5 26.
Qf2 Kg6 27. Bd4 Qxa2 28. Re2 Qb1+ 29. Kh2 Qd1 30. Qe3 Be4 31. Be5 Qd3 32.
Qf2 Qd5 33. Bg3 Rd8 34. Qxa7 Rd7 35. Qb8 Rd8 36. Qb6 Rd7 37. Qa6 Qc4 38.
Rf2 Rd3 39. Qa7 Qxc3 40. Qb8 Qg7 41. Be5 Rd8 42. Qxd8 Qxe5+ 43. g3 Bd5 44.
Qg8+ Qg7 45. Qe8+ Qf7 46. Qxb5 Qa7 47. Qb2 Kh7 48. Rc2 Be4 49. Rc8 e5 50.
Qe2 Kg7 51. Qd2 Qa4 52. Rd8 Bc6 53. Qe2 Qa1 54. Rd1 Qc3 55. Qf2 Qb4 56. Rc1
Bb7 57. Qa2 Qd6 58. Qb2 Kg6 59. Rc2 f4 60. Qxb7 Qd3 61. Rc6+ Kf5 62. Qh7+
1-0
[Event "XIV Rapid"]
[Site "Dos Hermanas ESP"]
[Date "2008.04.19"]
[Round "1.2"]
[White "Polgar,Ju"]
[Black "Topalov,V"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "2709"]
[BlackElo "2767"]
[EventDate "2008.04.18"]
[ECO "C92"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8.
c3 O-O 9. h3 Bb7 10. d4 Re8 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. a4 Na5 13. Bc2 b4 14. d5 bxc3
15. bxc3 c6 16. c4 Qc7 17. Ra3 Reb8 18. Nh4 Bc8 19. Rg3 Qd8 20. Nf5 Bxf5
21. exf5 cxd5 22. cxd5 Rb4 23. Nf3 Rc8 24. Bg5 Nc4 25. Bxf6 Qxf6 26. Ng5
Be7 27. Qh5 h6 28. Ne4 Qh4 29. Qe2 h5 30. f6 Bxf6 31. Qxh5 Be7 32. Qf5 Rcb8
33. Rg4 Qh6 34. Ng3 g6 35. Qd7 Kf8 36. Qc7 Qd2 37. Re2 Qxd5 38. Be4 Qa5 39.
Qxa5 Nxa5 40. Bd5 Rb1+ 41. Kh2 Rd1 42. Bf3 Rc1 43. h4 Nc6 44. h5 gxh5 45.
Nxh5 Nd4 46. Rxd4 exd4 47. Nf4 Bg5 48. Kg3 Bxf4+ 49. Kxf4 Rb4 50. Kf5 Rc5+
0-1
[Event "XIV Rapid"]
[Site "Dos Hermanas ESP"]
[Date "2008.04.19"]
[Round "1.3"]
[White "Topalov,V"]
[Black "Polgar,Ju"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2767"]
[BlackElo "2709"]
[EventDate "2008.04.18"]
[ECO "E16"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 a5 7. O-O O-O 8.
Bg5 Be7 9. Qc2 Na6 10. Nc3 d5 11. a3 dxc4 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. Ng5 Bxg5 14.
Bxb7 Ra7 15. Bg2 c5 16. d5 Nc7 17. Rad1 exd5 18. Nxd5 b5 19. a4 bxa4 20.
Nb6 Qe7 21. Nxc4 Rb8 22. e3 g6 23. Qxa4 Rb4 24. Qc2 Bf6 25. Bh3 Nb5 26. Rd5
a4 27. Rfd1 Nc3 28. bxc3 Rxc4 29. Rd7 Rxd7 30. Rxd7 Qe8 31. Qa2 Rxc3 32.
Qxa4 c4 33. Qc6 Rc1+ 34. Kg2 c3 35. Rd6 Qxc6+ 36. Rxc6 Rd1 37. Bg4 Rb1 38.
Bf3 Be5 39. Rc5 f5 40. h4 Kg7 41. h5 Kf6 42. hxg6 hxg6 43. Bd5 Rb2 44. Bc4
Rd2 45. Bb3 Rb2 46. Bd1 g5 47. g4 Rd2 48. Ba4 fxg4 49. Kf1 Ke6 50. Rc4 g3
51. fxg3 Rb2 52. e4 g4 53. Rc6+ Ke7 54. Rc5 Bd4 55. Rc4 Rd2 56. Rc6 Rd3 57.
Rc4 Be5 58. Rc5 Bd4 59. Rd5 Rf3+ 60. Ke2 Re3+ 61. Kd1 Bf6 62. e5 Bxe5 63.
Bd7 Rxg3 64. Bxg4 Rg1+ 65. Kc2 Rg2+ 66. Kb3 Rb2+ 67. Ka4 c2 68. Rxe5+ Kd6
69. Re1 Rb1 70. Bf5 Rxe1 71. Bxc2 Kc5 72. Kb3 Kd4 73. Bg6 Re6 74. Bh7 Ke5
1/2-1/2
[Event "XIV Rapid"]
[Site "Dos Hermanas ESP"]
[Date "2008.04.19"]
[Round "1.4"]
[White "Polgar,Ju"]
[Black "Topalov,V"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2709"]
[BlackElo "2767"]
[EventDate "2008.04.19"]
[ECO "C88"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8.
d3 d6 9. c3 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. Nbd2 Re8 12. d4 Qc7 13. d5 Bd7 14. b3 c4 15.
b4 Nb7 16. Rb1 a5 17. a3 axb4 18. axb4 Ra2 19. Nf1 Rea8 20. h3 Nd8 21. g4
h5 22. g5 Nh7 23. Kh2 Qc8 24. h4 f6 25. g6 Nf8 26. Ne3 Bg4 27. Rg1 Rxc2 28.
Qxc2 Bxf3 29. Nf5 Nc6 30. dxc6 Bd8 31. Rg3 Bg4 32. Rxg4 hxg4 33. Qd1 Qxc6
34. Qxg4 d5 35. Bh6 Ra2 36. exd5 Qe8 37. Be3 Qxg6 38. Qxg6 Nxg6 39. Rg1 Ne7
40. Rxg7+ Kf8 41. Bc5 1-0

Dubai Open chess championship

GM Wesley So of the Phillipines won the Dubai Open Chess Championship, which was played in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from April 5th-15th. Fourteen-year old So,the World's youngest GM, had a score of 7 points (in the 9 round event). WGM Maria Sergeeva of Kaz (elo 2317) finished in 45th place with a score of 5 points.She had entered the event as the 51st ranked player in the tournment. WIM Atousa Pourkashiyan ended the event in 48th place, WGM Nisha Mohta of India 56th place (5 points), WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy 65th place (4.5 points), WGM Jilin Zhang 66th place (4.5 points), WIM Sai Meera 72nd place (4.5 points), WGM Karolina Smokina 75th place (4.5 points) also competed in the tournament. To see the final crosstable go to:
http://www.arabfide.com/dubaiopen2008/Final%20Ranking%20With%20Prize%20Money.htm

Russian Team Chess Championships 2008

The Ural - Ekaterinburg team won the 2008 Russian Team Chess Championship. Entering the event, the team of Radjabov,Shirov,Kamsky,Grischuk,Malakov,Akopian,Dreev, and Motylev were the highest rated team and were the only team in the event with an average elo over 2700.

Final Standings:
Team / Match points / Game points1. Ural (Yekaterinburg) 17 (39.5)2. Economist 1 (Saratov) 15 (37.0)3-4. TPS Saransk (Saransk) 14 (37.0)3-4. Finek Gazprom (Sankt Petersburg) 14 (35.5)5-6. Spasio-Swiss (Moscow) 12 (34.5)5-6. Shatar Buryatia 12 (34.0)7. 64 (Moscow) 11 (32.0)8-9. SHSM (Moscow) 10 (33.5)8-9. Tomsk 400 10 (31.0)10. Politekhnik (Nizhny Tagil) 9 (31.0)11. South Ural (Chelyabinsk) 5 (27.5)12. Economist 2 (Saratov) 3 (23.5)

Go to http://previews.chessdom.com/russian-team-chess-championship for the team lists.

GM Kaidanov wins the Gausdal Chess Classic

GM Gregory Kaidonov of the USA won the Gausdal Chess Classic with a score of 7/10. He entered the tournament with an elo of 2596 and he had a performance rating of 2729 for the event. WGM/IM Irina Krush of the USA finished with 3.5 points. Her performance rating for the tournament was 2442 (her elo entering the event was 2729).

Monday, April 14, 2008

Who is Wang Hoa?

GM Wang Hao was born on August 4.1989 in Harbin, Heilongjiang . In 1999 he played in the U-10 World Youth Chess championship, and won his section. In July 2004, he won the U-14 section at the World Youth Chess Festival with a score of 8/9.Wang won the 2005 Dubai Open , and although he was untitled at the time he finishing clear first with 7/9 points (rating performance of 2731), ahead of 53 grandmasters and 30 international masters (see http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=2324).

In August 2005 Wang won scored an amazing 10/11 (two points clear ahead of the rest of the field) in the 2nd IGB Dato' Arthur Tan Malaysia Open in Kuala Lumpur (rating performance of 2843) . In October 2005 he came joint-first in the Beijing Zonal 3.3 tournament, and took the second place after a playoff match.

In February 2007 he won the GACC Tournament at the University of Malaya.
In September 2007 he came in second place at the Asian Individual Chess Championship and in October 2007, Wang came third in the World Junior Chess Championship in Yerevan.

Wang won the individual Gold Medal for board three at the Asian Team Chess Championship in 2008, with a score of 5/6) In March 2008, he won the 23rd Reykjavik Open with a score of 7/9 points (2721 rating performance)

Wang Hao shares a very impressive quaity with GM Garry Kasparov in that Wang Hao became a grandmaster without first gaining an international master title. He achieved his first grandmaster norm at the Aeroflot OPen (A2 tournament), in Moscow in February 2005, his second norm at the 2005 Dubai Open and his third at the 2005 2nd Dato Arthur Tan MAS Open.

Hao always opens the game with the White pieces by 1.e4. When playing Black, he uses the French Defense as his main defense against 1.e4 and favors playing the Slav Defense against the Queen's Gambit.

With his performance in the Russian Team Chess Championship, Wang Hoa's elo rating hs jumped to 2700.

Score: 8.0/11
Perf: 2795 (+111)
Rating points gained: +16

Current rating: 2684
New rating: 2700 !!>
This rating of 2700, makes him the third- highest rated player in China and the 25-th highest-rated player in the world.



Russian Team Chess Championships 2008

The Russian Team Championship took place in Dagomys, Sochi from April 1st-14th 2008. The 2008 winners of the championship are the Ural - Ekaterinburg team . This team was composed of Grandmasters Radjabov, Shirov, Kamsky, Grischuk, Malakhov, Akopian, Dreev and Motylev.
Chinese GM Wang Hao was the top-scoring player in the event with a score of 8/11 (performance rating of 2795),second was V. Ivanchuk (7.5/11). Also with 7.5 points was Movsesian, followed by Ni Hua, with 7 points. Eljanov, Bu Xiangzhi,Najer and Amonatov, Karjakin, Laskin and Tkachiev all finished with 6.5 points. Scores of other notable players: Krasenkow and Rublevsky 6, ,Navara 6,Shirov,Kamsky, Svidler 5.5/9, Grischuk and Morozovich 5 points.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Expert chess players keep up their skill level or improve despite decreases in cognitive ability

According to a 2005 study done by Michael Tuffiash, a fifth-year psychology student at Florida State University and Florida State psychology professor Neil Charness, PhD, expert chess players appear to be able to maintain expert-level Elo rankings even into their later years of life.These researchers believe this is due to the fact that these players are engaging in serious practise activities related to chess.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Gausdal Chess Classic

The Gausdal International Chess Classic tournament is taking place in Gausdal, Norway from April 8-16th. Among those playing in the event is WGM/IM Irina Krush of the USA. Here are the standings after 4 rounds of play:

Standing after round 4
1 Sandipan, Chanda IND 2585 gm 3.5
2 Kaidanov, Gregory USA 2596 gm 3.0
3 Lie, Kjetil A NOR 2558 gm 2.5
4-7 Gopal, Geetha Naraynan IND 2562 gm 2.0 Krush, Irina USA 2479 im 2.0 Macieja, Bartlomiej POL 2599 gm 2.0 Kotronias, Vasilios GRE 2611 gm 2.0 8 Ikonnikov, Vyacheslav RUS 2578 gm 1.5
9 Hole, Øystein NOR 2387 im 1.0
10 Moskow, Eric USA 2229 0.5


Source:http://www.bergensjakk.no/gausdal/classics2008/index.htm
Games (in PGN) are available for download from: http://www.bergensjakk.no/gausdal/classics2008/index.htm

A B-section GM tournament and an elo tournament are also being held at the same time as the GM-Group A event.

Russian Team Chess Championships 2008:

Standings after 8 rounds
------------------------
Not surprisingly, the highest-rated Ural (Yekaterinburg) team is in first place in the Russian Team Chess Championships after 8 rounds of play. The team (composed of GM's Radjabov,Shirov,Kamsky,Grischuk,Malakhov,Akopian,Dreev and Motylev) has 29.5 points (1.5 points ahead of second place Economist 1:

Team / Match points / Game points

1. Ural (Yekaterinburg) 13 (29.5)
2. Economist 1 (Saratov) 12 (28.0)
3-5. TPS Saransk (Saransk) 10 (27.5)3-5. Finek Gazprom (Sankt Petersburg) 10 (26.0)3-5. Shatar Buryatia 10 (25.0)

6. Spasio-Swiss (Moscow) 9 (25.0)

7-8. SHSM (Moscow) 8 (25.5)7-8. 64 (Moscow) 8 (22.5)

9. Tomsk 400 6 (21.0)

10. Politekhnik (Nizhny Tagil) 5 (21.0)

11. Economist 2 (Saratov) 3 (18.0)

12. South Ural (Chelyabinsk) 2 (19.0)

Source:http://www.chesscenter.com/twic/twic.html

II Ruy Lopez International Chess Festival:

GM Michael Adams of England won the II Ruy Lopez International Chess Festival . This event took place in Merida, Spain from April 4th-13th, 2008. It was a category 16 event (The tournament categories are determined by the average tournament rating. To determine the average ELO rating of a tournament you obtain the sum of all ELO ratings of all the players in the event and divide this number by the number of players participating in the tournament. Here are some of the main categories used by the FIDE:
(see http://kannan.jumbledthoughts.com/index.php/what-are-chess-tournament-categories/)

GM Humpy Koneru of India was the top-scoring woman in the event with 4.5 points. Hou Yifan scored 2 points in the seven-round event.

Final Standings
---------------

II Ruy Lopez Masters 2008
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1

1. Adams,Mi 2726 +96 * ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 5.5/7
2. Zhang Pengxiang2640+128 ½ * 0 ½ 1 1 1 1 5.0/7
3. Sargissian,G 2676 +30 ½ 1 * ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 4.5/7
4. Koneru,H 2612 +103 0 ½ ½ * 1 1 ½ 1 4.5/7
5. Caruana,F 2598 -84 0 0 0 0 * ½ 1 1 2.5/7
6. G. Zuniga,J 2588 -130 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½ * 0 ½ 2.0/7
7. Hou Yifan 2527 -60 0 ½ 0 1 * 0 2.0/7
8. Perez Cand., 2537 -72 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 1 * 2.0/7
Average elo: 2613 <=> Category: 15 gm = 3.50 m = 2.10

The four digit number after the player's name is the player's FIDE Elo rating entering the tournament. The number after the elo rating (ie. Adams +96) refers to that player's performance rating for the tournament. The performance rating is obtained by taking the player's elo entering the tournament and adding this number to it: for example. Michael Adams had a performance rating of 2726+ 96 = 2824 for this tournament.

Arpad Elo (1903-1992), a "Hungarian born American physics professor devised the current system for rating chess players, used by the FIDE. He used a model that relates the game results to underlying variables representing the ability of each player. Elo's central assumption was that the chess performance of each player in each game is a normally distributed random variable (. Although a player might perform significantly better or worse from one game to the next, Elo assumed that the mean value of the performances of any given player changes only slowly over time. Elo thought of a player's true skill as the mean of that player's performance random variable (A random variable is an abstraction of the intuitive concept of chance into the theoretical domains of mathematics.) " (see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elo_rating_system)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

II Ruy Lopez International Chess Festival:Round 4-6 results

Here are the results from round 4,5, and 6:


Round 4 (April 8, 2008)
------------------------------
Adams, Michael -- Zhang Pengxiang, draw

Sargissian, Gabriel-- Perez Candelario, Manuel, draw


Koneru, Humpy- Hou Yifan draw

Granda Zuniga, Julio E - Caruana, Fabiano, draw


Round 5 Results
----------------
Yifan-Granda 1-0
Pengxiang-Koneru draw
Candelario-Adams 0-1
Caruana-Sargissian 0-1

Round 6 Results
-----------------
Granda-Sargissian draw
Adams-Caruana 1-0
Koneru-Candelario 1-0
Yifan-Pengxiang 0-1

Monday, April 7, 2008

Russian Team Chess Championships 2008:Team lists

A complete list of teams can be viewed at: http://previews.chessdom.com/russian-team-chess-championship

II Ruy Lopez International Chess Festival: Results and Pairings

Here are the results from round 3 of the tournament:

White Result Black
1 Humpy KONERU (2603) 1-0 - Julio GRANDA (2609)
2 Hou YIFAN (2549) 0-1 -Michael ADAMS (2729)
3 Zhang PENGXIANG (2640) 0-1 -Gabriel SARGISSIAN (2643)
4 Manuel Perez CANDELARIO (2537) 0-1 Fabiano CARUANA (2620)

These results mean the standings after 3 rounds of play are:

1.Adams,Michael 2729 2.5
2.Zhang Pengxiang 2640 2
3.Koneru,Humpy 2603 1.5
4.Julio Granda 1.0
5. Hou Yifan 0.5

Round 4 Pairings:
The pairings for round 4 are as follows:
1 Julio GRANDA (2609) - - Fabiano CARUANA (2620)
2 Gabriel SARGISSIAN (2643) - Manuel Perez CANDELARIO (2537)
3 Michael ADAMS (2729) - - Zhang PENGXIANG (2640)
4 Humpy KONERU (2603) - - Hou YIFAN (2549)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

II Ruy Lopez International Chess Festival

The Second annual the International Festival Ruy Lopez is being held in the city of Merida, Spain from April 4th-April 13, 2008. The official tournament website for this event (in Spanish) is at: http://ruylopez.juntaextremadura.net/modules/news/
Coverage is also occcuring at: http://www.chessbase.com/ and http://www.chessdom.com/
Here is a crosstable of the event after 2 rounds of play:

Magistral Ruy Lopez 2008

1 2
1 Zhang Pengxiang 2640 +1 +1 2.0/2
6 3
2 Adams,Michael 2729 +½ +1 1.5/2
4 7
3 Caruana,Fabiano 2620 +1 -0 1.0/2
8 1
4 Granda,Julio 2609 +½ +½ 1.0/2
2 6
5 Sargissian,Gabriel 2643 +½ +½ 1.0/2
7 8
6 Perez,Manuel 2537 -0 +½ 0.5/2
1 4
7 Koneru,Humpy 2603 +½ -0 0.5/2
5 2
8 Hou Yifan 2549 +0 -½ 0.5/2
3 5

Russian Team Chess Championships 2008

The 2008 Russian Team Chess Championships have begun in Sochi. A list of the teams can be viewed at http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=4552 (Karpov and Korchnoi are playing on the same team!) No women are participating in this event. The official tournament website (in Russian) is at: http://www.russiachess.org/ It is hard to believe that GM Alexander Motylev (former Chess Champion of Russia) is playing on board 8 for the highest-rated team in the event, "Ural Ekaterinburg"!

10th Dubai Open

The 10th Dubai Open chess tournament is being played at the Dubai Chess & Culture Club,United Arab Emirates, from April 6th-15, 2008. There are 131 players participating. These players come from 25 countries. The following number of titled players are participating: 29 GM/WGM, 21 IM/WIM and 22 FM/WGM. . The format of this event is a 9-round Swiss. The top-rated player in the event is GM Gadir Guseinov (2625) of Azerbaijan. The top-rated woman is WGM/IM Tania Sachdev of India (2423). Round-by-round results of the tournament can be followed at http://chess-results.com/tnr12149.aspx?lan=1

List of Titles Approved by the FIDE

The FIDE has approved the titles of the following women:

WGM
----
Country Name
CHN Huang, Qian
HUN Rudolf, Anna
POL Krupa, Monika
RUS Fatianova, Tatiana

WIM
-----
Country Name
CHN Zhang, Xiaowen
CUB Linares Napoles, Oleiny
ESP Robles Garcia, Claudia
RUS Akatova, Ekaterina
UZB Hamrakulova, Yulduz

WGM -Conditional (see http://www.fide.com/official/handbook.asp?level=b0101)
Country Name
UKR Cherednichenko, Svetlana

Source:http://www.fide.com/news.asp?id=1554

FIDE April Ratings

The FIDE has posted its April Ratings lists at its website. GM Viswanathan Anand of India is the highest-rated chess player in the world with an elo of 2803. In second place is World Champion GM Vladimir Kramnik of Russia with an elo of 2788. In third place is GM Alexander Morozevich of Russia, with an elo of 2774. GM Judit Polgar of Hungary is the highest-rated woman with an elo of 2709 (21st position).

Top-Rated Players
-----------------
Rank Name Title Country Rating Games B-Year
1 Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2803 27 1969
2 Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2788 13 1975
3 Morozevich, Alexander g RUS 2774 11 1977
4 Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2767 27 1975
5 Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2765 27 1990
6 Aronian, Levon g ARM 2763 27 1982
7 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar g AZE 2752 13 1985
8 Radjabov, Teimour g AZE 2751 27 1987
9 Svidler, Peter g RUS 2746 11 1976
10 Leko, Peter g HUN 2741 27 1979
11 Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2740 35 1969
12 Shirov, Alexei g ESP 2740 14 1972
13 Karjakin, Sergey g UKR 2732 0 1990
14 Adams, Michael g ENG 2729 13 1971
15 Kamsky, Gata g USA 2726 0 1974
16 Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2723 13 1968
17 Ponomariov, Ruslan g UKR 2719 0 1983
18 Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2716 11 1983
19 Jakovenko, Dmitry g RUS 2711 11 1983
20 Alekseev, Evgeny g RUS 2711 0 1985
21 Polgar, Judit g HUN 2709 13 1976
22 Bu, Xiangzhi g CHN 2708 16 1985
23 Bacrot, Etienne g FRA 2705 13 1983
24 Ni, Hua g CHN 2703 28 1983
25 Movsesian, Sergei g SVK 2695 29 1978
26 Dominguez Perez, Lenier g CUB 2695 15 1983
27 Cheparinov, Ivan g BUL 2695 13 1986
28 Rublevsky, Sergei g RUS 2695 0 1974
29 Sokolov, Ivan g NED 2690 1 1968
30 Milov, Vadim g SUI 2690 0 1972


Here are the top-rated women on the FIDE list by rating:

Rank Name Title Country Rating Games B-Year
1 Polgar, Judit g HUN 2709 13 1976
2 Koneru, Humpy g IND 2603 13 1987
3 Xie, Jun g CHN 2574 0 1970
4 Hou, Yifan wg CHN 2549 22 1994
5 Cramling, Pia g SWE 2539 38 1963
6 Stefanova, An. g BUL 2538 35 1979
7 Zhao, Xue wg CHN 2524 17 1985
8 Kosteniuk, Alex.g RUS 2523 0 1984
9 Sebag, Marie m FRA 2521 13 1986
10 Zhu, Chen g QAT 2521 10 1976

Top-Rated Girls
---------------
Rank Name Title Country Rating Games B-Year
1 Hou, Yifan wg CHN 2549 22 1994
2 Muzychuk, Anna m SLO 2486 34 1990
3 Lahno, Kateryna g UKR 2479 18 1989
4 Harika,Dronavalli m IND 2461 48 1991
5 Shen, Yang wg CHN 2440 17 1989
6 Tairova, Elena m RUS 2412 29 1991
7 Muzychuk, Mariya wg UKR 2387 18 1992
8 Foisor, Sabina-Fran. wg ROU 2375 39 1989
9 Ju, Wenjun CHN 2374 9 1991
10 Vasilkova, Svetlana wm RUS 2373 16 1988
11 Charochkina, Daria wm RUS 2361 44 1990
12 Girya, Olga wf RUS 2361 20 1991
13 Zhang, Xiaowen wm CHN 2361 18 1989
14 Tan, Zhongyi CHN 2353 0 1991
15 Bodnaruk, Anastasia wf RUS 2347 36 1992
16 Paikidze, Nazi wf GEO 2347 25 1993
17 Stock, Lara wm CRO 2346 0 1992
18 Nebolsina, Vera wg RUS 2345 8 1989
19 Nemcova, Katerina wm CZE 2344 23 1990
20 Majdan, Joanna wm POL 2338 22 1988

Kramnik defeats Werle and Sebag in clock simul

World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik defeated GM Jan Werle (2581) of the Netherlands and WGM/IM Marie Sebag (2531) of France in a clock simultaneous held on April 2nd at Enschede Netherlands. To play through the games (move by move) go to: http://chessbase.com/news/2008/games/foidos01.htm

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Krush defeats Mkrtchian in 1st North American Match Challenge

WGM/IM Irina Krush of the US defeated WGM/IM Lilit Mkrtchian of Armenia by a score of 2.5-2.0 in a match played in Chicago Illinois from March 31st-April 3rd. Here are the moves of the games (in PGN format):

[Event "1st North American Match Challenge"]
[Site "Skokie"]
[Date "2008.03.31"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Mkrtchian, Lilit"]
[Black "Krush, Irina"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteELO "2405"]
[WhiteTitle "IM"]
[BlackELO "2473"]
[BlackTitle "IM"]
[Source "MonRoi"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.Bxc6 bxc6 5.O-O Bg7 6.Re1 Nh6 7.c3 O-O 8.d4 cxd4 9.cxd4 d6 10.h3 f6 11.Nc3 Nf7 12.b3 e5 13.Bb2 f5 14.exf5 gxf5 15.dxe5 dxe5 16.Na4 Qc7 17.Rc1 Be6 18.Nd4 Bd7 19.Nb5 Qd8 20.Nd6 Qe7 21.Nxf7 Rxf7 22.Bxe5 Bxe5 23.f4 Bxf4 24.Rxe7 Rxe7 25.Rc4 Bg3 26.Nc5 Re1 27.Qxe1 Bxe1 28.Nxd7 Rd8 29.Kf1 Bg3 30.Rd4 Kg7 31.Ke2 Re8 32.Kf3 Bc7 33.Nc5 Bb6 34.Rd7 Kf6 35.b4 36.Rd6 Kf7 37.Rxc6 Rf1 38.Ke2 Ra1 39.a4 Ra2 40.Kf3 Bxc5 41.Rxc5 Rxa4 42.Rxf5 Kg6 43.Rb5 Ra3 44.Kf4 Ra4 45.Kg3 Kh6 46.h4 Kg6 47.h5 Kf6 48.Kf3 Ra3 49.Kf4 Ra4 50.Kf3 Ra3 1/2-1/2

[Event "1st North American Match Challenge"]
[Site "Skokie"]
[Date "2008.04.01"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Krush, Irina"]
[Black "Mkrtchian, Lilit"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteELO "2473"]
[WhiteTitle "IM"]
[BlackELO "2405"]
[BlackTitle "IM"]
[Source "MonRoi"]

1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 c6 5.Nf3 d5 6.O-O Bd6 7.b3 Qe7 8.Bb2 b6 9.Qc1 Bb7 10.Ba3 Nbd7 11.Bxd6 Qxd6 12.Nbd2 O-O 13.Qb2 c5 14.Rfd1 Qe7 15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Ne4 17.e3 Rad8 18.a3 Nxd2 19.Rxd2 dxc4 20.Bxb7 Rxd2 21.Qxd2 Rd8 22.Qe2 Qxb7 23.bxc4 Qe4 24.Rd1 Rxd1 25.Qxd1 Qxc4 26.Qd8 Kf7 27.Qd7 Kg6 28.Qxa7 Qb3 29.h4 c4 30.Qd7 c3 31.Qe8 Kh6 32.Qd8 Kg6 33.Qe8 Kh6 34.Qd8 1/2-1/2

[Event "1st North American Match Challenge"]
[Site "Skokie"]
[Date "2008.04.02"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Mkrtchian, Lilit"]
[Black "Krush, Irina"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteELO "2405"]
[WhiteTitle "IM"]
[BlackELO "2473"]
[BlackTitle "IM"]
[Source "MonRoi"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 h6 9.Bh4 Nbd7 10.O-O-O Qc7 11.Be2 Rb8 12.Qg3 g5 13.fxg5 hxg5 14.Bxg5 b5 15.e5 Nxe5 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Ne4 Be7 18.Qg7 Rh4 19.Bf3 d5 20.Nf6 Bxf6 21.Qxf6 Nxf3 22.Nxf3 Qf4 23.Qxf4 Rxf4 24.Rhf1 Rb7 25.g3 Re4 26.Ng5 Rg4 27.Nh7 Ke7 28.Rf6 Rc7 29.Rdf1 Rg7 30.Rh6 f5 31.Nf6 Rc4 32.Nh5 Rf7 33.Nf4 Re4 34.Rf3 b4 35.Kd2 Kd6 36.a3 a5 37.axb4 axb4 38.h4 Rc7 39.c3 Rb7 40.Rd3 bxc3 41.bxc3 Kc5 42.Kc2 Bd7 43.Rd2 Kc4 44.Ne2 Ra7 45.Kb2 Rb7 46.Kc2 Ra7 47.Kb2 Rb7 48.Kc2 1/2-1/2

[Event "1st North American Match Challenge"]
[Site "Skokie"]
[Date "2008.04.03"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Krush, Irina"]
[Black "Mkrtchian, Lilit"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "2473"]
[WhiteTitle "IM"]
[BlackELO "2405"]
[BlackTitle "IM"]
[Source "MonRoi"]

1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Qc2 Bb4 5.e3 O-O 6.Bd3 d6 7.Nge2 c5 8.d5 Bxc3 9.Nxc3 exd5 10.cxd5 Ng4 11.O-O Na6 12.Be2 Qe7 13.h3 Nf6 14.b3 Bd7 15.Bb2 Nc7 16.Rad1 Ne4 17.Rfe1 Qh4 18.Bd3 Rae8 19.f3 Nxc3 20.Bxc3 b5 21.e4 fxe4 22.Bxe4 Rc8 23.Re2 Rf7 24.a4 Ne8 25.Rde1 bxa4 26.bxa4 Rb8 27.Rb1 Rxb1 28.Qxb1 Bxa4 29.Bf5 Qc4 30.Bxh7 Kf8 31.Qe1 Nf6 32.Bg6 Rb7 33.Bxf6 gxf6 34.Re4 Qa2 35.Qh4 Rg7 36.Qh8 1-0

Friday, April 4, 2008

Victor Korchnoi

It is nice to see 77-year old Victor Korchnoi playing in this year's Russian Team Chess Championships. Korchnoi, who had all sorts of difficulties with the Russian Chess Federation in the 1970s' which lead to his defection to the Netherlands in 1974. Many Russian GM's (including Petrosian) had voiced their anomosity towards Korchnoi, and this was the main reason Korchnoi decided to leave the Soviet Union in 1977 and was forced to play his World Chess Championship match knowing that his son had been imprisoned in the Soviet Union for "draft evasion."

In round one of the 2008 Russian Team Chess Championship, GM Korchnoi was defeated by GM Sakaev in 54 moves. Korchnoi had the white pieces and the opening was the very complicated Semi-Slav Defense-Meran variation which begins: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Nf3 Nbd7 6.Bd3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 b5 8.Bd3 Bd6. On move 9 Korchnoi played the interesting 9.a4. The game followed known opening theory until move 12, when Sakaev played the theoretical novelty 12...O-O. By move 25, Sakaev had achieved an equal position (according to the Rybka 2.3 chess engine). On move 29 Korchnoi decided to give up his bishop for one of Sakaev's knights. This weakened Sakaev's kingside, however it also gave Sakaev the two bishops. However, on move 33 Sakaev decided to give up one of his bishops for Korchnoi's knight on c4. Korchnoi could ha ve played 33.Qd2 and play might have continued: 33...Bc3 34.Qe2, however after 34...Bxc4 Korchnoi still would have had to deal with isolated pawns on a4 and b4.

Korchnoi played on but decided to resign on move 55:

[Event "TCh-RUS"]
[Site "Dagomys RUS"]
[Date "2008.04.02"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Korchnoi, V."]
[Black "Sakaev, K."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D47"]
[WhiteElo "2598"]
[BlackElo "2649"]
[PlyCount "108"]
[EventDate "2008.04.02"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. Bd3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 b5 8. Bd3
Bd6 9. a4 b4 10. Ne4 Nxe4 11. Bxe4 Bb7 12. Nd2 O-O N (12... Qc7 {
Pelletier-Soln}) 13. Nc4 Be7 14. b3 Rc8 15. Bb2 Ba6 16. Qc2 Nf6 17. Bd3 c5 18.
Rd1 Qc7 19. dxc5 Qxc5 20. O-O h6 21. Bd4 Qc7 22. Qe2 Rfd8 23. Rc1 Qb8 24. h3
Bb7 25. Qb2 Qa8 26. f3 Rd5 27. Bb1 Rcd8 28. Qc2 Kf8 29. Bxf6 Bxf6 30. Qh7 Ke7
31. Qc2 Rc5 32. Rfd1 Bd5 33. Qe2 (33. Qd2 Bc3 34. Qe2 Bxc4 35. bxc4) 33... Bxc4
34. Rxc4 Rxd1+ 35. Qxd1 Rxc4 36. bxc4 Qc6 37. Qb3 Qd6 38. Bd3 a5 39. f4 g5 40.
g3 h5 41. Qc2 Qc5 42. Kf2 h4 43. Qd2 b3 44. fxg5 hxg3+ 45. Kxg3 Qxg5+ 46. Kf3
b2 47. Qh2 Qh5+ 48. Kg2 Qc5 49. Qg1 Qd6 50. Be4 Qd2+ 51. Qf2 Qc1 52. Qc2 Qxe3
53. c5 Bd4 54. c6 f5 0-1


Due to a series of exchanges, on move 36 Korchnoi was forced to accept isolated a- and c-pawns. Korchnoi immediately decided to use his queen and bishop to protect his weak a- and c-pawns.
However, at a later point in the game, Sakaev was able to gain a protected- passed pawn on the a2-square, which was decisive. Korchnoi's downfall in this game appeared to begin on move 29 when he played 29.Bxf6 (instead Rybka suggested 29.Ne5 as favoring Korchnoi). In his life Korchnoi was one of the survivors of the the Nazi Germany 900-day siege of Leningrad (during World War 2) , which occurred between January 1941 and January 1944. He has always been a fighter on and off the chessboard. For more on Korchnoi read Raymond Keene's column at Chessville: http://www.chessville.com/Keene/Korchnoi.htm

Russian Team Chess Championship

The Russian Team Chess Championship is underway in Dagomys, Sochi from April 1st-14th, 2008. Three rounds of games (PGN format) are available for downloading at http://chesscenter.com/twic/twic.html. After 3 rounds, GM Motylev has scored 3 successive victories. Shirov,Romanov,Avrukh, Inarkiev,Movsesian, Wang Hoa and Ni Hu all have scores of 2.5/3.

Current Chess Events

(1)The Serbian Women's and Men's Chess Championships
----------------------------------------------------------
The Serbian Women's and Men's Chess Championships were held from March 15th-28 in Mataruska. Unfortunately only partial results of the tournaments exists at the official tournament website :http://www.serbiachess.net/english.htm

In the Women's Championship, third-seeded WGM Maria Manakova (elo 2331) and fourth-seeded WGM Andjelija Stojanovic (elo 2310) and third-seeded WGM Maria Manakova led after 7 rounds of play with scores of 5.5 points.

In the Men's Championship, GM Ivan Ivanisevic won the event with a score of 9 points.

French League Top 16
----------------------
The first three rounds of the French League Top 16 took place from March 22nd-24th 2008. Some of the top names in the world of chess participated in this event. The official website for this event is: http://www.echecs.asso.fr

Humpy Koneru finishes 6th at the Kolkata Open

GM Victor Laznicika won the 3rd annual Kolkata Open Chess Tournament on a tie-break over Indian GM Krishnan Sasikiran. Both had finished the ten round event with scores of 8.5/10. In third place was GM Shukhrat Safin with a score of 7.5 points. GM Humpy Koneru returned to competitive chess with a score of 7 points (6th place overall) Source:The Week in chess

Visit GM Alexandra Kosteniuk's Women's Chess Blog:Please click on the image below:

Visit GM Alexandra Kosteniuk's Women's Chess Blog:Please click on the image below:
Chess needs more women and girl participants and administrators!

Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.