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Friday, May 10, 2013

Norway Chess R2: Carlsen, Anand Draw


SANDNES: World champion Viswanathan Anand won the psychological battle holding his world championship challenger Magnus Carlsen of Norway to an easy draw in the second round of the Norway Chess 2013 Super tournament in progress here.

The much awaited clash turned out to be a full entertainer to the audience as Carlsen tried but could not make much use of his white pieces in a keenly contested game arising out of a Sicilian defence.

Both Carlsen and Anand inched to one point out of a possible two in the 10-player round-robin tournament following a draw in the opener too.

The other game to end early was a damp squib between former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan while Levon Aronian came up with a fine effort to outclass Hikaru Nakamura of United States.

In the other two games Sergey Karjakin crashed through the defences of Jon Ludvig Hammer of Norway and, in a surprise, Peter Svidler of Russia was outdone by Wang Hao of China.

After the end of the second round, Karjakin emerged as sole leader with a perfect two points out of a possible two and he is now followed by Aronian a half point behind.

Anand, Svidler, Nakamura, Calrsen, Topalov and Wang Hao share the fourth spot on one point each while Radjabov is ninth with ahalf point in his kitty. With seven rounds still to come, Hammer is at the bottom of the tables, yet to open his account.

Anand went for the principled Sicilian defence against Carlsen. The Norwegian had beaten Anand in the Moscow variation last time out and he stuck to the same but Anand was much better prepared this time. While the position remained equal Carlsen still had that nagging advantage he wanted to encash and Anand had to be precise in the defence even though it was not too difficult.

A rook and knight endgame was reached early and thereafter all Anand had to do was to get rid of the pawns off the board. The game was drawn with Carlsen having an extra knight but no pawns on the board on move 59.

Aronian crushed Nakamura out of an exchange Slav that speaks volumes about the world No 3. The position was about level out of the opening but the Armenian obviously had more ideas.

Nakamura thought he was fine when giving white a queen side pawn majority but he was proven wrong in the endgame as Aronian made most of it. In the end, the American fought vainly after losing a rook for lmost nothing. As it happened, nothing came of it and he had to resign after 70 moves.

Wang Hao played the game of the day outwitting Svidler in his pet Grunfeld. The Chinese was in command early in the opening and did not falter even while reaching an advantageous end-game.

Hammer lost with white which is certain to dent his confidence. Karjakin did everything right after getting a better endgame and won in 54 moves. (PTI)
Results: Magnus Carlsen (Nor, 1) drew with V Anand (Ind, 1); Veselin Topalov (Bul, 1) drew with Teimour Radjabov (Aze, 0.5); Levon Aronian (Arm, 1.5) beat Hikaru Nakamura (Usa, 1); Jon Ludvig Hammer (Nor, 0) lost to Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 1); Wang Hao (Chn, 1) beat Peter Svidler (Rus, 1).

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Norway Chess Round 1

SANDNES: World champion Viswanthan Anand could do little with white pieces as his opponent Levon Aronian of Armenia held him to an easy draw in the first round of Norway Chess 2013 super tournament that got underway in Sandnes.

It turned out to be rather sedate Anand who has got a tough draw in the tournament. White pieces against most of the top seeds and black against lower ranked players means that the Indian ace has to be in top form to deliver the goods and in the opener Aronian was not troubled much.

Sergey Karjakin of Russia continued from where he had left -- winning the blitz drawing of lots -- and put it across Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan whose woes continued after falling hugely in the world ranking.

Norwegian world number one Magnus Carlsen, who is set to play Anand in the next round as well as in the next world championship match in Chennai, could not do more than splitting the point with former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.

The other two games in the high category 10-player round-robin tournament, however, were decisive as Russian Peter Svidler scored a lucky win over Jon Ludvig Hammer of Norway and Hikaru Nakamura proved smarter than Wang Hao of China.

After the end of the first round, Nakamura, Karjakin and Svidler emerged as early leaders with a full point and Anand, Aronian, Topalov and Carlsen are close behind with a half point each. The three losers are on the bottom of the table.

Anand went for the closed Ruy Lopez as white and his strategy did not yield desirable result. Aronian was well armed in the opening and as many as three minor pieces changed hands by 13th move itself.

The resulting middle game with more heavy pieces was not dry but the presence of opposite coloured Bishops did not give any chance to either player. After a bit of a shadow-boxing, the peace was signed on move 33.

Radjabov slipped further after a dismal show in the last candidates tournament as he fell prey to a finely crafted manoeuvre by Karjakin in the middle game arising out of an off-beat Sicilian.

Playing white, the Russian sensed his chances perfectly in the middle game and his 26th move was a clincher leading to a winning endgame.

Svidler was only trying to equalize a pawn less endgame against Hammer out of a Grunfeld defence when the Norwegian number two started to make a lot of mistakes. Launching his double rook on the seventh rank, the Russian won a handful of pawns to turn the tables.

In the other decisive game of the day, Nakamura won two pieces for a rook with a sortie against Wang Hao to get a winning endgame. The Chinese had gone for the solid Petroff defence which did not come good as black.

Carlsen played a solid English opening as white but got nothing against Topalov who is in top form the game was drawn after 51 moves. (PTI)

Results Round 1: Viswanathan Anand (Ind) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm); Magnus Carlsen(Nor) drew with Veselin Topalov (Bul); Sergey Karjakin (Rus) beat Teimour Radjabov (Aze); Hikaru Nakamura (Usa) beat Wang Hao (Chn); Peter Svidler (Rus) beat Jon Ludvig Hammer (Nor).

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Norway Chess Super Event Begins



SANDES: World champion Viswanathan Anand will take on Levon Aronian of Armenia in the first round of the Norway Chess 2013 super tournament that gets underway in Sandes.

Anand secured five whites in the nine-round tournament by finishing joint second in the blitz event that was played to prepare the drawing of lots.

The top five contestants in the blitz tournament will get five white and four black games in the 10-player event which is also one of the strongest ever.

The much-awaited clash between Anand and Norway's world number one Magnus Carlsen will happen as early as in the second round and the latter will get to play white in that encounter.

Carlsen, who had expressed his disappointment at Chennai being the awarded the hosting rights of the next world championship match between him and Anand, said he will not let that news "diminish the joy and excitement derived from playing the top level Norway chess tournament".

For Anand, apart from the clash with Carlsen, it will also be a real test against a very high quality opposition.

The event also boast of participation of world number four and former world champion Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria who is fresh from a fantastic victory in the Grand Prix tournament.

Sergey Karjakin and Peter Svidler of Russia and Hikaru Nakamura of United States are the other players, who are a big force to reckon with while Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan will look forward to regain his touch.

Wang Hao of China and local talent Jon Ludvig Hammer complete the line-up of the 10-player tournament to be played on a round-robin basis.

For the Indian ace it has been a decent start to the competition.

The blitz tournament was taken quite seriously by Anand, whose joint second finish was a good result even though he suffered a shocking loss at the hands of lowest-ranked Hammer.

Sergey Karjakin won the tournament scoring 6.5 points while Anand, Carlsen and Nakamura were tied for the second spot a half point behind.

Svidler finished fifth on 5.5 points after losing the last round against Carlsen. Topalov was completely off-colour in the blitz, finishing last with just one point from nine games while Aronian was another surprise for the spectators as he ended ninth scoring 2.5 points. (PTI)

Pairings round 1: V Anand (IND) vs Levon Aronian (ARM); Magnus Carlsen (NOR) vs Veselin Topalov (BUL); Hikaru Nakamura (USA) vs Wang Hao (CHN); Peter Svidler (RUS) vs Jon Ludvig Hammer (NOR); Sergey Karjakin (RUS) vs Teimour Radjabov (AZE).

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fide Defends Chennai Choice

Baku 06.05.2013 Press release

Since the Candidates’ Tournament ended, and GM M. Carlsen became the challenger of the coming World Championship Match there have been several developments, mails exchange between all parties (Carlsen, Anand, FIDE), questions asked, and also speculations.

FIDE would hereby like to put forward the current situation regarding this event.

Directly after the 2012 match was awarded to Moscow, FIDE agreed to grant an option to Chennai. The PB and its meeting in Armenia in January decided that FIDE and AGON, who holds the rights for organizing the whole cycle of the World Championship, were advised that India would take up its option organize the World Championship match. This was done on January 24 in Athens, where both parties agreed not to open a bidding procedure, but to grant an option to India, as requested. We should emphasize that according FIDE rules the World Championship cycle is not included in the list of events, for which FIDE is obliged to do so (like Olympiads, for instance). This has been deliberately done, because in many cases FIDE, having the priority in mind to secure the match and the cycle, was ready to give an option or even to grant the match if the proposal was attractive enough.

Consequently three of the last matches were given to an organizer without a bidding procedure.

On March 15th India asked to extend the option until April 10th and FIDE agreed to it because it was clear that the bid would be accepted and just needed an approval of the Tamil Nadu State Parliament, a session which took place on April 8th. One could ask why was the extension given to a date when the name of the challenger will be known already, and the simple answer is that FIDE, being convinced that the positive answer was just a matter of technicality, did not want to lose this bid for an alternative that gave no guarantee for a better result or any result at all.

When the approval of the bid by India was published and FIDE representative was called to formalize it, on April 8th, GM Carlsen’s manager contacted FIDE and asked to have a meeting to discuss this matter before a formal move is done with India.

Carlsen and FIDE’s representatives met in FIDE office on April 15th, when all claims were brought up by Carlsen’s representatives and were answered by FIDE. Among the points raised and answered we would like to emphasize one and this is the issue which was also raised in media – the question of neutrality. Unfortunately it has always proved difficult to find a sponsor to such a match when the name of the challenger is not known yet. Therefore most of matches in the past were organized in one of the participant’s countries. Consequently both World Champions Anand and Topalov played in their opponent’s country – a natural result of the situation.

On that day both parties signed a paper whereby it was agreed to give Norway an option to come up with an organizer for half of the match, provided that India would accept such a solution.

FIDE tried its hardest to convince India to split the match, but they refused India wanted to fulfil what has been approved by the government of the Tamil Nadu State and FIDE had to keep its obligations, and consequently an M.O.U was signed in Chennai on April 19th. One day later, the FIDE President visited France, where he got a proposal to organize the match in Paris. Mr Ilyumzhinov promised to bring the proposal before the Presidential Board. The French proposal was higher than the Chennai one, with more contributions offered. However, the Board decided (unanimously with one abstention) that FIDE must respect its obligation and thanked the French federation and the city of Paris for their proposal, hoping that there will be another opportunity to have a big event in Paris.

FIDE has acted with full transparency during the whole process, trying its best to secure the match and standing by its obligations and reputation. FIDE will do everything to secure equal conditions for both players and also will try and still trying to increase the prize fund for the match.

FIDE wishes these two great players a successful match, and is sure that India, the homeland of Chess will bring to the world a fascinating event.

Gens Una Sumus.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Carlsen Redefines Chess Appeal

STAVANGER: He does fashion shoots with Liv Tyler, enjoys soccer-style sponsorship deals and was recently named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people. Who is this superstar? The world's top-ranked chess player.

With his trendy look and athletic physique, Norway's Magnus Carlsen has brought an injection of cool to the normally sedate world of global chess — extending its popularity beyond its niche following. The 22-year-old's home country is buzzing with excitement as he competes in a tournament here just months before he tries to crack the greatest prize in the game: the chess World Championship.

In November, the young Norwegian challenges the reigning world champ, Viswanathan Anand, for the title, which typically is contested every other year. The inaugural Norway Chess competition in Stavanger, starting Tuesday, is being widely touted as a dress rehearsal for the championship that is tentatively slated to be played in Chennai, India, where Anand enjoys home court advantage.


FILE - In this photo taken Monday April 29, 2013 Norwegian chess champion Magnus Carlsen smiles during a press conference in Oslo. Carlsen has brought an injection of cool to the normally sedate world of global chess. And the 22-year-old’s home country is buzzing with excitement as he competes in a tournament here months before he tries to crack the greatest prize in the game: the chess World Championship.

With the lure of Carlsen and the 43-year-old Anand, and the 275,500 euros prize money, the competition has attracted one of the strongest lineups ever assembled for a chess tournament. Even with the withdrawal in April of world No. 2, Vladimir Kramnik, the 10-man competition will feature seven of the world's top 10 players, and nine of the top 16, all vying for the 100,000 euros top prize.

"It is very good timing for us. It is very big for Norway that Magnus is doing so well and this probably wouldn't have been possible without him," said Norway Chess chairman Kjell Madland. "We hope it will be the first of very many big chess moments in Norway."

The competition is the first example of oil and gas-rich Norway, today one of the most successful welfare states in the world, leveraging Carlsen's brilliance to try to earn a place alongside more traditional chess superpowers like Russia, Armenia and the United States.

"It is right to say that when nations are in good shape, they tend to throw up good chess players," said Simon Terrington, a British chess writer, evoking Russian chess legend Garry Kasparov's observation that every world champion is a representative of the geopolitical age.

Russian mastery in the shape of Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov in the 1980s helped prop up an otherwise creaking Soviet ideology. Later, Viswanathan Anand's triumph in the World Championship in 2000 and his reign as world champ since 2007 has coincided with the re-emergence of India as a great world power. Carlsen took Anand's place at the top of the monthly world rankings in July 2011. Anand has since slumped to 5th.

Now Carlsen's prodigious brilliance is seen by some as bringing intellectual and cultural heft to the social welfare models of Nordic Europe, particularly Norway.

"Chess is connected to what you can call a kind of prestige in the sense that many people look upon the best players as very intelligent and many countries would like to be associated with this," said Joeran Aulin-Jansson, president of the Norwegian Chess Federation. "We hope that the next Magnus Carlsen will come from Norway, though the chances in such a small country are fairly slim."

If not a necessarily a geopolitical shift, the tournament here certainly represents chess' generational shift bringing into sharp focus the edge afforded by youth.

In a game rarely associated with feats of physical endurance, Carlsen prepares for tournaments by mentally revising openings while pounding a treadmill. He will be the youngest competitor at Norway Chess. But he is among six of the world's top eight, all competing here, who are still under 30.

"These long tournaments are quite tiring and long games are very tiring, especially at the end," he told The Associated Press. "If you are in good shape and can keep your concentration you will be the one who will profit from your opponents' mistakes. In general towards the end of the tournaments younger players have that advantage so the other players will have to try to equal that by having good fitness as well."

His fitness matches his unusual style of favoring the middle and long game over obsessive strategizing about opening exchanges.

"I do focus quite a bit on the opening," Carlsen said. "But I have a different goal. Some people try to win the game in the opening. My goal is to make sure I get a playable position and then the main battle is going to happen in the middle game and the later game."

The strategy has worked. Earlier this year, he passed Kasparov's record to attain the highest chess rating ever in the world governing body FIDE rankings. With his modeling contract alongside Liv Tyler for fashion label G-Star Raw, soccer-style sponsorship slogans on his clothing and unnervingly fast and aggressive decision making, the emergence of this telegenic young chess superstar has also helped spur interest in the game not seen since the '70s and '80s — the heydays of the Russian masters and the American Bobby Fischer.

Norwegian grandmaster Simen Agdestein, who will provide commentary on the Stavanger tournament over the Internet, says the interest in Carlsen has been astounding.

In April's Candidates tournament in London, in which top players faced off for the right to play Anand in November, Agdestein's Internet connection became patchy whenever Carlsen was competing.

"All of the top players around the world, and lots of other interested people, were watching him. I don't think the bandwidth could handle it," Agdestein said.

In Stavanger, the round-robin format, in which each of the 10 players will accumulate points by competing against every other competitor, ensures Carlsen will face Anand.

"I don't think it really matters which of us wins that game in Stavanger," Carlsen said. "The kind of momentum that I have going into the November match will be decided by the tournaments I play. I can disassociate the earlier match whatever the result."

Aulin-Jansson is not so sure.

"Whoever wins that game, going into the World Championship, it will be like having a 1-0 lead in a soccer match," he said. (AP)

Carlsen Disappointed, but Determined

Here is World No. 1 and Challenger Magnus Carlsen's official statement regarding Fide choosing Chennai as the venue of the World Chess Championship 2013 to be held from November 6-26.

After qualifying for the World Championship match by winning the London Candidates I have been highly motivated for, and looking forward to the World Championship match against reigning champion V. Anand.
I’m deeply disappointed and surprised by the FIDE decision to sign a contract for the 2013 match without going through the bidding process outlined in the WC regulations, and for not choosing neutral ground. The bid from Paris clearly showed that it would be possible to have more options to choose from.The lack of transparency, predictability and fairness is unfortunate for chess as a sport and for chess players.
My team and I will now start preparing for the match. The main thing now will be to come to an agreement with the Indian Chess Federation and FIDE regarding terms and conditions before and during the match. I really hope this process will run quick and smoothly.
Lastly, I will not let the news from Baku diminish the joy and excitement derived from playing the top level Norway Chess tournament starting tomorrow.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Anand vs Carlsen: Fide says Chennai

NEW DELHI, MAY 5: Viswanathan Anand will defend his World Chess Championship title against world number one Magnus Carlsen in his home city as FIDE today chose Chennai as the venue for the prestigious match. Even as it has been reported that Carlsen was not keen to play in Chennai and instead preferred Paris as the venue, the FIDE Presidential Board confirmed Chennai as the venue during a meeting at Baku, Azerbaijan today.

The match between the Indian and his Norwegian opponent will be played from November 6 to 26. “The agreement was signed today at Baku by Bharat Singh, Hony Secretary All India Chess Federation and FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov,” a press release stated. Anand had defeated Boris Gelfand of Israel to retain his title in 2012. (PTI)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Geneva Women's Chess GP Begins


The first round of the first stage of Grand Prix tournament in Geneva got under way on the 3rd of May 2013, after the founder of Neva Fondation Elena Timtchenko made the first symbolic move in the game Kosinseva-Hou Yifan 1.e4. The President of Swiss Chess Federation Prof. Dr. Adrian Siegel repeated 1.e4 in the game Muzychuk-Girya. 

The first round was a pretty tough one for the start of the tournament – Bela Khotenashvili and Anna Muzychuk started with victories while other four games were drawn. Another Georgian player Nana Dzagnidze was very close to defeat Alexandra Kosteniuk but missed the victory in the time trouble. The quickest game of the round one between Lahno and Cmilyte finished with three-time repetition after 31 moves. Mongolian player Tuvshintugs Batchimeg made a draw against Women’s World Champion Anna Ushenina.

Batchimeg-Ushenina 1/2-1/2

Playing with Black Anna Ushenina equalized comfortably and got a playable position. The game developed quite logically but at one point White forgot about the weakness of the first rank. Black immediately used it and managed to win a pawn. “I was playing normally today but then I missed this move Qe7 after Qe5. I had to play h4 first and then maybe Qe5 or Qd4. So I’ve got these complications right after Qe5 but luckily my opponent let me make a draw. It’s my birthday today, so maybe this was a reason I was lucky,” said Tuvshintugs Batchimeg during the press-conference. As Adrian Mikhalchishin pointed out, Ukrainian player could have got winning rook endgame after an important maneuver 44…Re5-e6-c6.

Dzagnidze-Kosteniuk 1/2-1/2
White started to play quite aggressively at the opening (g4-h4-g5) and after h6 pushed the pawn to g6 to open g-file. It was scary for Black to make a short castling so Alexandra decided to look for counter play on the Queen’s side. According to the former world champion, Black’s moves b5 and Nc3 are dubious as after that her position became really bad. Nana Dzagnidze was sure White had winning position but didn’t find the right way to establish her advantage. One of the easiest way for White was to change white square bishops by playing 19.Bh7-20.Bg6. However, the variation chosen by Georgian player was in White’s favor as well, If she would play Qe4 instead of Ng6. After all troubles Alexandra was happy that the game was converted into the endgame where Black managed to make a draw. 

Muzychuk-Girya 1-0
Caro-Kann was played in the game and both players were repeating the well-known theoretical line. “I think this endgame was slightly better for White, I liked my position,” said Anna Muzychuk during the press-conference. Olga Girya estimated the ending as equal:   saw many games with many different plans in that endgame but somehow I forgot all of them (smiles).” It was not necessary for Black to take on c4 and create a weakness on c6 but Olga pointed out it was not easy to find the moves in that position. Russian player could have tried to defend more actively but chose quite passive defence, so Anna Muzychuk was improving her position step by step. White grabbed the pawn on c6 and with accurate play converted the advantage into a full point. 

Kosintseva-Hou 1/2-1/2
Despite the absence of Nadezhda Kosintseva in Geneva (she let her sister Tatiana replace her for one event), she keeps on helping her sister Tatiana with the preparation through Internet. Today Tatiana repeated the moves from the game Kosintseva Nadezhda-Hou Yifan but chose to play 16.Bd3 instead of 16.Be2. Both opponents remembered the theory quite deeply and were following the main line. White got enough compensation for the pawn but Black had also quite safe position. It was not easy for both players to find the way to fight for more than draw. “I think it’s easier to play this position with White,” said Hou Yifan during the press conference but at the same time she also didn’t see any idea for White to fight for more. 

Khotenashvili-Ju Wenjun 1-0
Black chose to play quite risky move 10…Ne4 instead of more quiet 10…Re8 and playing white Bela Khotenashvili spent some time choosing between 12.Nd2 and 12.Ng5. 12. Nd2 guaranteed White stable advantage and good play, so since that moment it was not easy for Black to find the right plan. Please follow the deep analyzes of this game provided by GM Adrian Mikhalchishin. (Anastasiya Karlovich/official website)

Without exception the players expressed their joy to participate in this tournament.
Tuvshintugs Batchimeg: “It’s my first time here in Grand Prix and I’m really glad that FIDE is organizing one of the stages in our country. I’m lucky to participate in such a strong field here in this tournament and I would like to thank the Mongolian Chess Federation for giving me this opportunity. It’s great to be here in Geneva, I’ve been here for three times.”

Anna Ushenina: “I can say that organization is perfect here. I would like to express my gratitude to FIDE and Neva Fondation. It’s not easy to organize the event on such a good level”.

Viktorija Cmilyte: “It’s a very nice place and excellent hotel. It’s really nothing to complain about at all. I’ve got nominated by FIDE President not a long time ago and it came as a very pleasant surprise! I didn’t have much time to prepare for this event but I’m glad to have this fantastic chance to play in series of very strong tournament.”

World Championship 2013: Paris Offer

The French Chess Federation has approached Fide to host the World Chess Championship Match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen in November, 2013. The French Chess Federation website states: 


"FFE, in collaboration with the City of Paris, on behalf of a group of private companies, is a candidate for organising the World Chess Championship 2013. The presidential office of FIDE, which will meet this weekend, should address the problem of opening a tender for this match. In fact, after the Match was given to Chennai (India), Carlsen and the Norwegian Chess Federation have officially requested that the game takes place in a neutral country."

The Federation site offers for download the following letter from the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe, to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, FIDE president and the original press release by Philippe Mouttou. 



Press Release
Paris is ready to organize Anand-Carlsen World Chess Championship


Paris – 3rd of May 2013. The city of Paris, France, is ready to host the World Chess Championship Match between GM Viswanathan Anand, from India, and GM Magnus Carlsen, from Norway.

In a letter to FIDE, the Mayor of Paris Mr. Bertrand Delanoë, expresses full support to the French Chess Federation in its aim to organize the final match to take place in November 2013.

The Paris Mayor states in his letter to FIDE that “the city of Paris welcomes the French Chess Federation initiative” to organize the Anand-Carlsen Chess World Championship, and “is happy to give its whole hearted support to the French Chess Federation to successfully carry out this project.” 

The offer sent to FIDE includes a € 2.65 Million- Prize fund and a € 800 000-contribution to FIDE in accordance to FIDE regulations. It also offers a specific budget allocated for media coverage.

“Paris is the city where FIDE was born and ever since, chess has been part of our cultural heritage. Our Capital is looking forward to organize and welcome in the best possible conditions this Championship” concludes Mayor Delanoë’s letter to FIDE President Kirsan Ilymzhinov. 

FIDE, the World Chess Federation, was founded in Paris in 1924. A world Chess Championship in Paris would be a prelude to FIDE’s 90th anniversary.

Philippe Mouttou 
WWC in Paris

-----------------------
Dear Mr President,


I have learnt with great interest of the French Chess Federation project to organize in Paris the upcoming Chess World Championship in later in November this year. This Championship is very exciting with the match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen.

The city of Paris welcomes this initiative and I am happy to give my whole hearted support to the French Chess Federation to successfully carry out this project.

Paris is the city where FIDE was born and ever since, chess has been part of our cultural heritage. Our Capital is looking forward to organize and welcome in the best possible conditions this Championship that will enable Paris to profile itself internationally.

Yours sincerely,
Bertrand DELANOE

Monsieur Kirsan ILYUMZHINOV
President de la Federation Intemationale d'Echecs
9 Syggrou avenue
11743 ATHENES GREECE

Friday, May 3, 2013

Women's Chess GP Begins in Geneva


The Neva Foundation in partnership with the International Chess Federation (FIDE) is organising the first leg of the official Women's Grand Prix series for the first time in Geneva. From May 3 to May 15, 12 of the world's best women chess players featuring current Women World Champion Anna Ushenina from Ukraine, will confront each other at the N'vY hotel. 

Watch Live India Time 5.30 pm onwards

"This tournament is a unique opportunity to discover a favorite sport in Russia," says Mrs Timtchenko, President of the Neva Foundation.

Competitive sport with multiple benefits
It was the opening ceremony attended by Mrs Isabel Rochat, Geneva State Chancellor, Mrs Sandrine Salerno, Administrative Chancellor of the City of Geneva and chess people, which kicked off the Championship bringing together the leading women players. "We are happy to be in Geneva and we thank the Neva Foundation for making it possible," said Mr Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, FIDE President. "Introducing chess lessons at schools is undoubtedly beneficial for the young people in many respects. The Neva Foundation wishes to encourage the discovery of this highly strategic sport by creating opportunities for cross-cultural interaction," added Mrs Elena Titchenko.

Geneva public associated with the eventIn order to give the chess aficionados from Geneva an opportunity to take advantage of every single day of the competition, the games will be available to the public from 2 pm. and will be commented on live by a specialist at the Nolita room of the N'vY Hotel. The tournament is also broadcast on the FIDE official website (www.fide.com).

On Sunday 12 May, one of the two free days granted to the players, around thirty young passionate players, members of the Geneva Chess Federation, will play simultaneous games with one or other Grandmaster.La tribune de Genève, Léman bleu and One FM are media partners of the Grand Prix.

The Neva Foundation and chessThe Foundation Neva Women's Grand Prix is a reflection of the Neva Foundation's desire to raise awareness about this discipline considered as a national sport in Russia as well as of its involvement in popularizing it abroad. In April 2013, the Neva Foundation was partner of the Alekhine Chess Memorial tournament which took place at the Louvre Museum in Paris and brought together the best chess players. More broadly, the Neva Foundation is dedicated to encouraging closer links between Switzerland and Russia. 

This ambitious aim is given concrete expression in a number of initiatives in the sphere of sports, culture and science.The Neva Foundation: For over fifteen years, Elena and Gennady Timtchenko have been actively and personally engaged in philanthropic activities. 

In order to better manage the growing complexity of these projects, they created three foundations, among which the Neva Foundation established in Geneva in 2008. Its core mission is to strengthen historical ties between Switzerland and Russia, two nations which share many common values and the same classical culture. 

By supporting projects promoting excellence in the field of culture, science and sport, the Neva Foundation is helping to promote the Russian cultural diversity among the Swiss, to multiply exchanges between the two countries and to encourage their connection. Since 2013 the Neva Foundation extends its partnerships to France. Anastasiya Karlovich/official website

Aronian Wins Alekhine Chess 2013



The games of the last round of the Alekhine Memorial were played on May 1st in St. Petersburg. Levon Aronian and Boris Gelfand shared the first place with 5.5 points out of 9. The Armenian Grandmaster had a better tie-break score and was awarded the first prize. The Israeli Grandmaster took the second place. The reigning World Champion Vishy Anand finished third with 5 points.

In the last round, Boris Gelfand had White against Vishy Anand. Last year these players competed for the chess crown in a World Chess Championship match in Moscow. Their game was quiet and ended in a draw on the 40th move.

Levon Aronian played a very aggressive opening against the recent leader Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. The French Grandmaster ended up in severe time trouble and soon committed the decisive error. Thanks to this victory, Levon Aronian, who considers Alexander Alekhine his favorite player, won the Alekhine Memorial.
 

At the closing ceremony Aronian thanked the sponsors of the event, its organisers and spectators, who showed genuine interest to the tournament and inspired its participants to demonstrate their creative talent.

The longest game of the round was Adams-Kramnik. The Russian Grandmaster managed to score his second victory, and finished at 50%. The main prizes and special prizes were awarded during the closing ceremony.


The prize for a game in Alekhine's style was given to Laurent Fressinet who defeated Vladimir Kramnik in Paris. The best combination prize went to Ding Liren for his victory against the eventual tournament winner. Boris Gelfand received the best technique prize and Nikita Vitiugov got the last special prize for the best play during the St. Petersburg half of the tournament.

Resuts of Round 9: Aronian – Vachier-Lagrave 1-0, Adams – Kramnik 0-1, Gelfand – Anand, Vitiugov – Ding Liren, Svidler – Fressinet draws.

Final standings: 1-2. Aronian and Gelfand – both 5.5; 3. Anand – 5; 4-8. Adams, Vitiugov, Fressinet, Kramnik, and Vachier-Lagrave – all 4.5; 9. Ding Liren – 3.5; 10. Svidler – 3.

Anand-Carlsen Match: Norway Protests

Norwegian Chess Federation president Jøran Aulin-Jansson has sent an open letter as a "formal complaint" to World Chess Federation (FIDE) on the selection of Chennai as the host of the 2013 World Chess Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen. The letter calls for a "fair and transparent procedure and competition for the selection of the organizer" while emphasising that the letter is not a campaign against Chennai organisers. 


Dear Mr. Ilyumzhinov / Presidential board 
 

With reference to the discussion that for some time has been going on between FIDE and Magnus Carlsen’s representatives with regard to the venue for the upcoming FIDE World Championship Match, the Norwegian Chess Federation finds reasons to intervene in this dialogue with a formal letter to FIDE.

As you are aware of Mr. Magnus Carlsen has expressed dissatisfaction with the plans to arrange the World Championship Match in Chennai, India without having any formal competition on the venue for this match. Mr. Carlsen’s view has been presented to FIDE both in emails and in a meeting in Athens with his manager and his lawyer.

It is our understanding of the rules and regulations for the FIDE World Championship Match 2013 that any federation or sponsor may bid for being an organizer. We strongly urge FIDE to facilitate a procedure that enables other interested parties to bid for the event. Furthermore FIDE must, based on the regulation consider all bids before making a final decision.

From the regulations, it is not clear that FIDE has the right to grant Chennai an option.We maintain, as expressed by Mr. Carlsen, that it will be an advantage both for the players and FIDE to have a fair and transparent procedure and competition for the selection of the organizer and also for the reputation of chess in general.

Since the Championship is to be held in November, there will be acceptable time to consider other bids and make a qualified decision in due time prior to the event.

The Norwegian Chess Federation expects that FIDE will follow its own regulation for the World Championship Match enabling others to bid for the event as was the procedure for selection of the organizer for the 2014 Chess Olympiad.

We would like to emphasize that this is not a campaign against Chennai as an organizer; it is merely a request to follow the rules and principles of transparency and fairness.

This letter should be regarded as formal complaint on the process for selecting the organizer for theWorld Championship Match 2013.

Sincerely,
Jøran Aulin-Jansson
President
Norway Chess federation

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Topalov Wins Renova Chess Grand Prix



In the 11th round Veselin Topalov needed a draw to secure his sole victory in the tournament. At the same time Sergey Karjakin showed the will to fight and the former world champion took the challenge. Veselin showed fantastic performance and increased his live elo to 2793. All other games were drawn. The games Radjabov-Mamedyarov and Ponomariov-Morozevich were finished relatively quickly. Hikaru Nakamura finished on the sole second place. Ruslan Ponomariov and Fabiano Caruana shared the third place.

Topalov-Karjakin 1-0
Sergey Karjakin chose a Benoni structure with Black and it became obvious that both players will fight till the end. “It was a brave decision of Sergey to play for win today despite his yesterday’s result,” said Veselin Topalov during the press conference. Russian player got a comfortable position with Black but went for dubious plan with Qh8. Later on Karjakin decided to sacrifice a pawn but didn’t play accurately and failed to get enough counter play. It was hard to defend the position under time pressure and after the first time control Black’s position was already lost.

Leko-Kasimdzhanov 1/2-1/2
Once again Peter Leko got a very pleasant position out of the opening but his opponent Rustam Kasimdzhanov tried to keep the balance and was defending very well. At one point the former world champion started to play quicker than his opponent and managed to get time advantage. The knight sacrifice of Rustam proved to be good enough for a draw,

Nakamura-Caruana 1/2-1/2
Hikaru Nakamura had white pieces against Fabiano Caruana and was the only one who could try to catch the leader Veselin Topalov. Hovewer, American player didn’t get much in the Exchange variation of the Slav Defense but tried to keep the pressure. It was hard to break Fabiano Caruana’s defense and the last game in the tournament finished in a draw.

The awards ceremony took place after the last game was finished. The ceremony was attended by Alexey Moskov, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Renova Group, FIDE President Kirsan Iljumzhinov, FIDE CEO Geoffrey Borg, President of Swiss Chess Fedration Prof. Dr. Adrian Siegel, other officials, guests and players. (Photos/reports Official website: Anastasiya Karlovich)

Alekhine Chess R8: Gelfand Leads



The penultimate, 8th round of the Alekhine Memorial was played in St. Petersburg on April 30th. The young St. Petersburg Grandmaster Nikita Vitiugov celebrated his first victory. With Black pieces he outplayed the French Grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who was undefeated and shared the first place before the start of the round. St. Petersburg spectators applauded the local player after the game.

Another St. Petersburg Grandmaster, the World Cup winner Peter Svidler made a relatively easy draw as Black against the World Chess Champion Vishy Anand. Soon after that another draw occurred in Fressinet-Aronian. Ding Liren from China and Michael Adams from England played a very complicated and hard-fought game, which ended peacefully.

The longest game of the round was played between Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand. It was also very important for the tournament situation. Kramnik demonstrated a strong novelty and obtained a big advantage. Gelfand defended very tenaciously, as drawing the game would make him a sole leader of the tournament. After seven hours of play, following the series of mutual errors, the game was finally drawn. The last round of the Alekhine Memorial is played on May, 1st.

Results of the round 8: Vachier-Lagrave – Vitiugov 0-1, Kramnik – Gelfand, Fressinet – Aronian, Dong Liren – Adams, Anand – Svidler – all draws.


The standings after eight rounds: 1. Gelfand – 5; 2-5. Adams, Anand, Aronian, Vachier-Lagrave – all 4.5; 6-7. Vitiugov, and Fressinet – both 4; 8. Kramnik – 3.5; 9. Ding Liren – 3; 10. Svidler – 2.5.


The 9th round games: Gelfand – Anand, Aronian – Vachier-Lagrave, Adams – Kramnik, Vitiugov – Ding Liren, Svidler – Fressinet.

Alekhine Chess R7: Gelfand Joins Lead


The 7th round of the Alekhine Memorial was played on April 29th. Before the start of the round it was announced that the charity funds Ladoga and Neva created four special prizes: the best game in Alekhine's style, the best combination, the best technique, and the best result in the St. Petersburg part. These prizes will be awarded at the closing ceremony on May 1st.

There were two decisive games in the 7th round. The World Champion Vishy Anand scored his second victory in the tournament, defeating the French Grandmaster Laurent Fressinet with White. This sharp game was not ideally played by both sides, but Anand made a better use of the opponent's mistakes, and is now just half a point behind the leaders.

His former opponent in the World Championship Match Boris Gelfand defeated young Chinese Grandmaster Ding Liren with White. This victory allowed Gelfand to tie for the first place with two rounds to go.

Round 7 results: Anand – Fressinet 1-0, Gelfand – Ding Liren 1-0, Adams – Vachier-Lagrave, Vitiugov – Aronian, and Svidler – Kramnik – draws.

The standings after seven rounds: 1-2. Gelfand and Vachier-Lagrave – both 4.5; 3-5. Adams, Anand, and Aronian – all 4; 6. Fressinet – 3.5; 7-8. Kramnik and Vitiugov – both 3; 9. Ding Liren – 2.5; 10. Svidler – 2.

The 8th round pairings: Kramnik – Gelfand, Vachier-Lagrave – Vitiugov, Fressinet – Aronian, Ding Liren – Adams, Anand – Svidler.

Alekhine Chess 2013 R6: Maxime Leads

The second half of the Alekhine Memorial began in St. Petersburg on Sunday with the sixth round. The official opening of the Russian half of the competition took place on April 26th in the Mikhailovsky Castle of the Russian Museum. Participants and guests of the tournament were welcomed by Vladimir Gusev, director of the Russian museum, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Russian Chess Federation Chairman Ilya Levitov, and the sponsors of the event Gennady Timchenko and Andrey Filatov.

April 27th was the only day off at the tournament. The participants of the Alekhine Memorial, representing seven countries, enjoyed an excursion in the Russian Museum. Junior chess events and many excursions were organized in the Mikhailovsky Castle. On the next day the St. George Hall of the Mikhailovsky Castle hosted games of the Round 6.

Like in Paris, the hall was tightly packed with chess enthusiasts. The games were quite entertaining but all ended in draws, so the tournament situation remained the same – the French Grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is in the lead. He had White against Boris Gelfand, but their game was quite equal all the way.

Michael Adams, who had Black against Levon Aronian, missed a real chance to catch up with the leader. The Armenian Grandmaster fought very hard for a win, even sacrificed a piece, but the sacrifice turned unsound, and Aronian was on the verge of defeat. However, his English opponent returned the favour, missing a win in mutual time trouble, and allowed Aronian to save the game. Both players are just half a point behind the leader and have decent chances of winning the tournament.

With three more rounds to go, a good half of the participants have chances to succeed. The winner of the Alekhine Memorial 2013 will be determined on May 1st.

Round 6 results: Vachier-Lagrave – Gelfand, Aronian – Adams, Fressinet – Vitiugov, Kramnik – Anand, Ding Liren – Svidler – all draws.

The standings after six rounds: 1. Vachier-Lagrave – 4; 2-5. Adams, Aronian, Fressinet, and Gelfand – all 3.5; 6. Anand – 3; 7-9. Kramnik, Vitiugov, and Ding Liren – all 2.5; 10. Svidler – 1.5.

The 7th round pairing: Adams – Vachier-Lagrave, Anand – Fressinet, Gelfand – Ding Liren, Vitiugov – Aronian, Svidler – Kramnik.

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