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Showing posts with label boris gelfand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label boris gelfand. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Anand vs Carlsen at Zurich Chess Jan 29-Strongest Tournament in History

Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 – The strongest tournament in chess history to date

On Wednesday, 29 of January 2014, the «Zurich Chess Challenge 2014» will commence at the Hotel Savoy. With six participants it is the first tournament in the history of chess to reach category 23 with an amazing average rating of 2801!

The star of the «Zurich Chess Challenge 2014» will be the newly crowned world-championMagnus Carlsen. During his first tournament appearance since winning the world title last November, the 23-year old Norwegian will compete against his predecessor and former world-champion, Viswanathan Anand of India (number 9 in the world-ranking), the Armenian Levon Aronian (2), the American Hikura Nakamura (3), the US-Italian Fabiano Caruana (6), as well as the Israeli Boris Gelfand (8).



This brilliant event, which will take place in the extraordinary familial environment of the ballroom of the Hotel Savoy, has already caught the attention and led to the registration of many journalists and top-players from throughout the world, including Peter Leko,Jan Timman and Gennadi Sosonko. Further, the Chinese women's world-championHou Yifan will attend this unique occasion and will be playing a simultaneous exhibition with clocks against 6 top Swiss juniors on 1 February at 1 p.m. at the Zurich «Zunfthaus zur Saffran».

For the «Zurich Chess Challenge 2014», a blitz tournament will determine the color distribution on the first day. Five rounds of classical chess will then be played from Thursday to Monday (30 January to 3 February), followed by a rapid tournament with reversed colors on the last day (4 February). A won game in the classical tournament counts two points, draws one point. Wins in the rapid tournament count one point and draws half a point. All games will be commented live by GM Yannick Pelletier and IM Werner Hug and broadcast world-wide live via Internet on www.zurich-cc.com. Admission to the classical and rapid games of this formidable event is free and no previous registration of spectators is required!

The «Zurich Chess Club» was founded in 1809 and is the oldest active chess club of the world. With the «Zurich Chess Challenge 2014» it will continue its long-standing tradition of hosting top-level tournaments, which have included such memorable events as the «Candidate's Tournament 1953», the simul and rapid tournament of all living world-champions at at the Zurich main train station 2009, the «Zurich Chess Challenge 2012» with Levon Aronian and Vladimir Kramnik as well as the «Zurich Chess Challenge 2013» with the four grand masters Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, Fabiano Caruana and Boris Gelfand.

The «Zurich Chess Club» is very proud to be the organizer and host of this unique event. Further, it would like to thank the main tournament sponsor and chess-enthusiast Oleg Skvortsov from the «International Gemological Laboratories» of Moscow, Russia, whose generous contribution has allowed for this extraordinary happening! We look forward to welcoming all our friends from throughout the chess world either at the Hotel Savoy or live via the Internet!

Participants (Elo rating according to FRL of January 2014)

Magnus Carlsen (Norway, Elo 2872, Nr 1)
Levon Aronian (Armenia, Elo 2812, Nr 2)
Hikaru Nakamura (USA, Elo 2789, Nr 3)
Fabiano Caruana (Italy, Elo 2782, Nr 6)
Boris Gelfand (Israel, Elo 2777, Nr 8)
Vishwanathan Anand (India, Elo 2773, Nr 9)

Schedule

Daily from 30 January to 4 February 2014.
The rounds start at 15.00 local time (CET), except for the last round, which begins at 13.00 CET.
Spectators are welcome, entrance free.

Main sponsor

«IGC International Gemological Laboratories» is a Russian institute providing gemological services, such as diamond grading reports, enhanced diamonds identification, man-made/synthetic diamonds and imitation detection, as well as certification of diamonds, gemstones and jewelry in the Russian Federation. IGC is the Russian branch of «GCI» a group of gemological laboratories located worldwide.

Co-sponsors


Aspeco, SurJewel, Savoy Chess Corner, Zurich Chess Club (founded in 1809, the oldest chess club of the world)

Partners

Hotels Savoy Baur en Ville, Rössli and Seehof in Zurich

Organization

Zurich Chess Club

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Nakamura wins London Chess Classic 2013 Super-16 Rapid

Twenty-six-year-old American Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura has won the 5th London Chess Classic 2013, staged this year as a rapid chess tournament and billed 'the Super-Sixteen Rapid'. Nakamura defeated former World Chess Championship Challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel 1½-½ in the final.

As the world number four on the FIDE Rating List for classical chess, and number three at rapid chess, Nakamura's result was far from being a surprise but it was a significant achievement in the career of a remarkable player who must be a leading contender to threaten Magnus Carlsen’s world crown in the next few years.

Hikaru’s progression through the competition was impressive. He scored +2, =4, -0 in the preliminary phase, and then improved that to +3, =3, -0 against sterner opposition in the knock-out phase. To go through without a loss was a clear sign of strength. His toughest moment was when he came close to elimination in his second semi-final game with Vladimir Kramnik but he showed an amazing resilience in first holding the former world champion at bay and then taking advantage of Kramnik’s evident state of confusion to finish the match off with a win.

In the final match against Boris Gelfand, Hikaru showed the courage of his convictions by going straight for an ultra-sharp tactic in the opening against a player who had hitherto proved himself the best defender in the event, and also at this time control in world championship qualifiers. They say ‘fortune favours the brave’ and Hikaru’s conquest of this elite rapid chess event backs that up.

THE FINAL
Nakamura 1½-½ Gelfand


Game 1 - win for NakamuraHikaru received the white pieces in the draw for colours conducted by chief arbiter Albert Vasse, and they launched into a Grünfeld Defence, one of the most fashionable of all current super-GM openings.

Hikaru's 10.Ng5 is quite a double-edged move but Boris avoided the standard continuation 10...Nb6 by playing instead 10...Nc6. Hikaru's response was brave and speculative – 11.Nxf7!? – a move we all like to play against a castled king, whatever level we play at.


On the face of it, the line looks very dodgy for Black as he has to give up the exchange, but it is almost inconceivable that Boris wouldn’t have something prepared for this. By way of compensation he demolished the white centre and got his minor pieces to strong outposts. Was it enough? The unofficial grandmaster jury in the VIP Room was undecided: the Hiarcs engine thought White was better around move 15 but Matthew Sadler and others preferred Black.

Hikaru may not have been entirely confident of his chances as he thought for nine minutes about his 16th move: quite a big chunk of his allotted 25 minutes. However, within a few moves, the initiative seemed to have shifted back to the American after Boris played the dubious 17...Ne4. "He's blown it," exclaimed GM Julian Hodgson, perhaps a little melodramatically. Then, calming down slightly, "I think Hikaru's over the worst now – he'll survive."

Julian might have been right the first time. The next few moves saw Hikaru consolidate his material advantage, in machine-like fashion, and Boris never really looked like getting back into the game. At move 25 he used around half of his remaining six minutes, suggesting he was running out of ideas.

More solid moves followed from Hikaru and Boris had to resign.

Game 2 - draw

Boris, with White, played the Averbakh variation of the King's Indian Defence. It followed theory for about 15 moves and Boris acquired a space advantage. However, Black’s position remained playable and White couldn’t bring any real pressure to bear on it. Hikaru used his tactical prowess to exchange queens and then give up the exchange for two pawns. It might sound risky but Black’s pieces remained well-coordinated and Boris’s pair of rooks had no useful inroads. Boris pressed too hard and made a slip. Eventually only Hikaru could win the position but, since he didn’t need to, he was happy to acquiesce to a draw.

What a gripping competition! Thanks to Malcolm Pein and his team for their hard work, the players for their wonderful chess, and to everyone at home and at the venue for being a great audience. See you all again this time next year! -- Report by John Saunders/www.londonchessclassic.com


The first game of the final that Nakamura won over Gelfand:

Nakamura, H (2786) - Gelfand, B (2777)

Result: 1-0
Site: London ENG
Date: 2013.12.15

[...] 1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 g6 3.♘c3 d5 4.♘f3 ♗g7 5.♕b3 dxc4 6.♕xc4 O-O 7.e4 a6 8.e5 b5 9.♕b3 ♘fd7 10.♘g5 ♘c6 11.♘xf7 ♖xf7 12.e6 ♘xd4 13.exf7+ ♔f8 14.♕d1 ♘c5 15.♗e3 ♗f5 16.♖c1 ♕d6 17.b4 ♘e4 18.♘xe4 ♗xe4 19.f3 ♗f5 20.♕d2 ♖d8 21.♔f2 ♔xf7 22.♗e2 ♕f6 23.♖xc7 ♘e6 24.♖d7 ♖c8 25.♗d3 ♖c3 26.♗xf5 gxf5 27.f4 ♖c4 28.♖c1 ♖e4 29.g3 h5 30.h4 ♕g6 31.♗c5 ♗f6 32.♖e1 ♕g4 33.♖xe4 fxe4 34.♕d1 ♕f5 35.♖d5 ♕h3 36.♕f1



Sunday, December 15, 2013

London Chess Classic 2013 Quarters: Kramnik Knocks out Anand

London: Former World Chess champion Viswanathan Anand bowed out of the London Chess Classic 2013 after losing the quarter-finals to Vladimir Kramnik of Russia 0.5-1.5 here at the Olympia.

Anand, who had shown fine form coming in to the quarters, ran out of steam in the second game with white pieces and found himself in a lost position in almost no time in the 1,50,000 Euro prize money tournament.

Watch Live at the London Chess Classic 2013 official website.

Michael Adams of England kept the local hopes alive by defeating Russian Peter Svidler in the tiebreaker while Boris Gelfand of Israel stole the limelight ousting Fabiano Caruana of Italy. In the other quarter-final, Hikaru Nakamura of United States defeated Nigel Short to cement his place in the semis.
 

It turned out to be a disappointing second game for Anand from the white side of a queen pawn opening. Kramnik opted for the age-old Tarrasch defense and Anand avoided routine theory that allowed the Russian to equalise without batting an eye.

Anand made a positional error on the 15th turn that gave Kramnik the initiative to look for more and the latter came up with some sterling manoeuvres to seize the advantage. Anand was already fighting a lost position after 20 moves and a final blunder cost him a piece and the game soon after.

While the second game was almost a no-show by Anand, the first game was a clear indication of his good form displayed thus far. Playing black Anand went for the Semi-Slav defense and looked a little worse out of the opening when Kramnik moved his queen over to the sixth rank.

However, Anand's response - a brilliant retreat ? left the spectators in no doubt that they were in for a spectacular treat in the mental boxing between two modern greats. The game ended in a draw in the ensuing endgame and it was a rather abrupt end to the contest when Anand failed to find his rhythm in the return game.

Nakamura, like Kramnik, cruised in to the semifinal defeating Short 1.5-0.5. The American won the first game with black and then drew with white making things look easy.

Michael Adams' early lead against Peter Svidler was squared off by the Russian in the return game but in the tiebreaker the English was spot on and won both his games in the ten-minute chess.

Boris Gelfand had a similar tale to tell in the tiebreaker against fancied Fabiano Caruana after both games under rapid time control ended in draws. In the open section, former world junior champion and Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta put it across Jahongir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan to emerge in a three-way lead.

With one round still to come, the Indian shares the top honours on 6.5 points out of a possible eight along with Jon Ludvig Hammer of England and Vladislav Nevednichy of Romania. -- PTI

Friday, December 6, 2013

Chess can take Kids off Social Media Madness: Boris Gelfand

Chess could help Indian parents heave a sigh of relief about their children being hooked to social media. Grandmaster Boris Gelfand, World Chess Championship Challenger 2012, has said he believes chess is the solution to many of the technology fixated modern generation.
“The ability to concentrate, focus, think ahead, respect rules and devote yourself to one thing and think deeply — these are all things which are missing in society but which chess has in abundance,” says Boris Gelfand. He was speaking to The JC.com.

According to the 2012 World Chess Championship Challenger, Jews have historically excelled at the game because it was firmly embedded in the life and traditions of the communities of Eastern Europe. He himself is from Belarus. Jewish children played the game as part of an essential element of their intellectual development.

Far from being elitist, he argues chess is the people’s game. “It is low cost. Even if you are poor, you can play without expensive equipment. Gelfand is visiting the UK this weekend to take part in the London Chess Classic tournament. He is also here to promote the Charity Chess in Schools and Communities, which aims to get more primary school pupils playing the game.

He said: “I have met many successful people from different professions — scientists, lawyers, business people. They all say that the values that they learned playing chess as children helped them to achieve in later life.”

Monday, June 24, 2013

Gelfand Wins Tal Chess 2013



World champion Viswanathan Anand ended his campaign with an easy draw against Sergey Karjaikin of Russia in the ninth and final round of Tal Memorial Chess tournament that concluded here.

Boris Gelfand of Israel, who had lost to Anand in the last World championship match, deservingly won the tournament after signing peace with Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the final round.

Gelfand finished with six points in all and remained a half point ahead of World number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway who ended on 5.5 points following a last round draw against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan.

Mamedyarov and Dmitry Andreikin of Russia and Fabiano Caruana of Italy finished tied third on five points, a half point ahead of Hikaru Nakamura of United States who succumbed to his third straight loss in the tournament after losing the final game against Alexander Morozevich of Russia.

Karjakin finished seventh on four points while Anand and Morozevich are tied for the eighth spot on 3.5 points each. Kramnik ended a disappointing last on just three points.

The last round was devoid of much excitement for obvious reasons. Kramnik just wanted to finish the tournament and did not do much with white against Gelfand who secured an easy draw.

With black, Anand too did not have to sweat much against Karjakin out of a Sicilian Najdorf that was drawn early.

Carlsen wanted to catch up with Gelfand at the top but he was lucky in fact to come out unscathed against Mamedyarov who played an enterprising game with white. Carlsen had to solve some tactical problems in the middle game and technical problems in the endgame to split the point.

Nakamura had beaten Anand in the sixth round but his luck apparently deserted him thereafter. In the seventh round he had lost to Gelfand, in the eighth Carlsen had proved stronger while in the final round Alexander Morozevich scored his first victory in the tournament at the expense of the American.

For Anand the bad showing here is going to reflect on his rating. With 2774 points after the outing here, Anand finds himself on seventh spot in world rankings.

For the records, Anand lost three games, won one and drew the remaining five. Kramnik was in similar shoes and lost three and drew six.

Caruana seems to be drawing closer to the 2800 rating mark with every tournament. The Italian is the new world number three in live ratings behind Carlsen and Levon Aronian of Armenia. (PTI)

Friday, May 3, 2013

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.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

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.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Alekhine Chess R4: Four in Lead


Round 4 games of Alekhine Memorial were played in Paris on April 24. Like in Round 3 four games out of five ended in a draw. The key game of the round was played between Levon Aronian and Peter Svidler. It was hard to predict however that this would be the only effective game of the round. Yet, Aronian’s fighting mood was clearly seen. It seems that he tries to catch up what he missed when he played in Candidates Tournament in London. 

Aronian performed a deep home preparation against Svidler’s hallmark in Grunfeld defense. Russian grandmaster, World Cup winner, couldn’t solve his opening problems and got a bad endgame, where Aronian gained a strategic advantage. Before the first time control was reached the game was consistently won for white. As all other games ended in a draw Levon Aronian joined the tournament leaders – Gelfand, Adams and Vachier-Lagrave.

Boris Gelfand, who was playing black, met some minor opening problems that were created by Nikita Vitiugov, but managed to avoid all the threats and drew the game. French grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave played white against World champion Viswanathan Anand. He got a slight advantage, but before the first time control Maxime made a mistake and his opponent capitalized on opponent’s error and drew the game as well. At the press conference after the game Vachier-Lagrave mentioned that the position on the board still remained equal.

The game between Chinese prodigy Ding Liren and former World champion Vladimir Kramnik ended earlier than others. Kramnik showed a precise way to equality. The game between Laurent Fressinet and Michael Adams looked much more dramatic. French grandmaster tried to change the tournament leader, however Adams performed an obstinate defense and saved himself half a point that still keeps him in the leading group of the tournament.

Places after four rounds: 1-4. Adams, Vachier-Lagrave, Gelfand, Aronian – 2.5 points; 5-7. Kramnik, Ding Liren, Fressinet – 2 points; 8-9, Vitiugov, Anand – 1.5 points, 10. Svidler – 1 point.
Round 5 pairings: Gelfand – Aronian, Adams – Vitiugov, Svidler – Vachier-Lagrave, Kramnik – Fressinet, Anand – Ding Liren.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Alekhine Chess R3: Three in Lead


Round 3 games of the Alekhine Chess Memorial were played in Paris on April, 23. Four games out of five ended in a draw. The key game of the round was played between Boris Gelfand and Michael Adams. Adams was playing black. He started the tournament with two victories over Anand and Svidler. As for Gelfand – it was his first game in the tournament played with white pieces. The most significant duel of the round lasted longer than others and continued for approximately seven hours.

After the game Gelfand said he used the opening scheme that was played by Alekhine himself. The Grandmaster from Israel grabbed the initiative and systematically increased his advantage. In the endgame, Gelfand won a pawn and gradually forced his opponent to resign. Having won his first game in the event so far, Boris Gelfand joined the tournament leader.


Vladimir Kramnik had a good chance to join the leaders too, but he missed it. Kramnik won a pawn against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, board number 1 of the French national team. However, Vachier-Lagrave managed to save a difficult endgame and also became one of the tournament leaders

Another French Grandmaster Laurent Fressinet faced young Chinese prodigy Grandmaster Ding Liren. The game turned out to be a sharp one. Black had an initiative but white found a way to save the game and it ended in a draw.

Anand– Aronian game showed that the World Champion couldn’t use the advantage of his white pieces and had to pass to an equal endgame. This game ended first. Soon after that a draw was concluded by two players from Saint-Petersburg – Peter Svidler and Nikita Vitiugov. Their game finished with a perpetual check.

Round3 results: Gelfand – Adams 1-0, Kramnik – Vachier-Lagrave, Ding Liren – Fressinet, Anand – Aronian, Svidler –Vitiugov (all four games ended in a draw).


Standings 

1-3.Adams, Vachier-Lagrave, Gelfand – 2 points; 
4-7. Aronian, Kramnik, Ding Liren, Fressinet – 1,5 points; 
8-10. Svidler, Vitiugov, Anand – 1 point.
Round 4 pairings: Watch Live 5.30 pm onwardsVachier-Lagrave– Anand, Vitiugov – Gelfand, Fressinet – Adams,Ding Liren – Kramnik, Aronian – Svidler.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Candidates R13: Carlsen, Kramnik Lead

In yet another truly dramatic 13th round of the FIDE World Chess Candidates' Tournament Magnus Carlsen (Norway) caught Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) in first place. Carlsen, who ground down Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) in 89 moves, is now first on tie-break because of his higher number of wins. Kramnik had a promising position against Boris Gelfand (Israel) but couldn't get more than a draw. Alexander Grischuk (Russia) and Levon Aronian (Armenia) drew as well, while Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) lost yet another game on time against Peter Svidler (Russia).


In the 13th round “giant killer” Vassily Ivanchuk returned to his bad habit in this tournament of handling the clock terribly. It’s hard to believe but it’s true: the Ukrainian overstepped the time limit for the fifth time. It must be said that this time his position was lost. “It was a new experience for me. When he played 27…Rd7 he looked away, and after I played 28.a4 and pressed the clock, he lost about half a minute trying to figure out which move I made,” said Svidler.

The game was a French Advance, and the Russian grandmaster played concrete moves from the start. “If I do nothing Black will develop very naturally so I went 11.Bg5 and 12.Be3 asking questions with every move.” Then, on move 15, Svidler went for pawn sacrifice. It was “one of those moments” where he thought: “If I don’t play this I will kind of regret it forever.” After 23.Re1 he was “very happy for a while” until he realized that Black has 23…Nd6 there. Svidler then showed an amazingly complicated computer line which his seconds told him about after the game. “Good luck finding that. There’s absolutely no one who can find that out at the board!”



Ivanchuk didn’t spot it, again spent too much time and after White’s 37th move his flag fell. “I saw White’s ideas but I didn’t know what to do. From the opening my position wasn’t very comfortable,” the Ukrainian said. At the press conference GM Danny King asked him the question that needed to be asked: how can you explain to yourself the masterpieces you played against Radjabov and Carlsen, and at the same time losing on time in five games? Ivanchuk: “Everything has happened. I don’t like to focus too much on my lost games. I’d like to forget them as quickly as possible and soon start a new tournament.” On his game against Kramnik tomorrow, he said: “For me it’s not important, it’s just a normal game.”



Alexander Grischuk and Levon Aronian drew a Slav/Catalan in 38 moves. “I think I got a comfortable advantage out of the opening. Black has of course decent chances to equalize but he has to play very accurately because White has a positional advantage in the centre,” said Grischuk, who thought that Aronian’s 12…a5 was “very ambitious”. White got a nice endgame advantage with the bishop pair and more active rooks, but somehow Grischuk misplayed it. “White has to be precise and it will be long suffering for Black,” he said. A tactical phase followed and Aronian could save the half point. At the press conference Grischuk said that he did play for a win: “Of course I lost a big part of my motivation but it’s not every day that I can play against such a brilliant player like Levon!”

Moving on to the two key games of the round, Vladimir Kramnik and Boris Gelfand were the first to finish. This encounter started as a Fianchetto Grünfeld and the former World Champion came up with a new idea as early as move five – something that’s very rare in chess. “It’s amazing how many ideas he’s introducing, maybe more than all of us together!” said Gelfand. “At least I got a game, I got a game,” said Kramnik, who needed to keep all options open: going for a solid draw or playing for a win, depending on the developments in Radjabov-Carlsen.

After move 17 White seemed to have nice pressure and with giving up his dark-squared bishop Black appeared to be walking a tightrope. Kramnik: “One little mistake and everything starts to collapse!” About the position after 21.Qd3 he said: “Black cannot even create a threat. I think I’m clearly better, strangely enough.” The critical moment of this game was perhaps at move 30 where with little time on the clock Kramnik might have missed a stronger continuation. But, throughout the game Gelfand defended fantastically, and the Israeli fully deserved the half point he got.

About his game in the last round, against the unpredictable Ivanchuk, Kramnik said: “It doesn't matter with whom you play. The last game is the last game. I played many decisive games already, it doesn’t matter. I’m not nervous, I’m OK.”

For Magnus Carlsen the big question was how he would cope with what was his first loss since September last year. According to commentator IM Lawrence Trent the Norwegian’s strategy was basically “not to go crazy”. Against Teimour Radjabov, Carlsen played a rare line of the Nimzo-Indian in which he had to give up the bishop pair at an early stage. With simple developing moves Radjabov got a slight edge, but the Azerbaijani missed a tactic and Carlsen grabbed the initiative.

Avoiding further mistakes, Radjabov managed to reach an ending that was only slightly worse for him, and which should have led to a draw. However, as he has down so often lately, Carlsen just kept on trying and trying and eventually, after 89 moves, he managed to “squeeze water from a stone”, as one chess fan put it, and win the ending. Knowing that he was leading the tournament again, Carlsen entered the press room relieved and excited, doing a joyous and explosive high-five with his manager Espen Agdestein.

At the start of the press conference Radjabov put a smile on everyone’s face, including Carlsen’s: “I prefer to lose today than all my previous games because at least there is an intrigue in the tournament and it might be one historical loss for me!” Carlsen: “It was tough. I was really upset after the last game, I couldn’t sleep and I was not feeling so great today. I think I got a pleasant position at some point but then I couldn’t make any of it and then we got this endgame which is basically equal but I felt because of the tournament situation I have to try and take whatever little chance I might have. (…) Probably it was a draw right till the end, I don't know, I couldn’t calculate. But I managed to keep the game going and he made enough mistakes so that I could win. I’m back in the running and after my last game that’s all I can ask for!”

After thirteen rounds Carlsen is tied for first place with Kramnik. Both have 8.5 points, but the Norwegian has a higher number of wins. This means that Kramnik needs to outperform Carlsen in the last round to win the tournament. Aronian and Svidler are shared third with 7 points, Grischuk and Gelfand shared fifth with 6 points, Ivanchuk is seventh with 5 points and Radjabov is in last place with 4 points. The 14th round and final round will be played on Monday, April 1st at 14:00 BST with the games Carlsen-Svidler, Ivanchuk-Kramnik, Gelfand-Grischuk and Aronian-Radjabov.

The FIDE Candidates' Tournament is taking place March 14th-April 1st, 2013 at IET London, Savoy Place. It is sponsored by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and organized by AGON and the World Chess Federation (FIDE). Games and information can be found at http://london2013.fide.com. (Report by Peter Doggers/Pictures by Anastasiya Karlovich)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Candidates R7: Carlsen, Aronian Lead


In what was the shortest round of the FIDE World Chess Candidates’ Tournament so far, Levon Aronian of Armenia and Magnus Carlsen of Norway maintained their 1.5 point lead over Russians Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler. Against Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan, Carlsen needed to sacrifice an exchange to wear off dangerous threats against his king, which proved to be sufficient. Aronian got a small positional advantage against Alexander Grischuk of Russia, who saved himself by going for active defence. For a moment Kramnik was in big trouble, but he escaped with a draw when his opponent Boris Gelfand of Israel refrained from playing actively on move 19. Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine and Peter Svidler of Russia played the shortest draw of the round in a Scotch game that quickly turned into an endgame.



In the seventh round of the FIDE World Chess Candidates’ Tournament all games were finished in less than four hours. It’s hard to believe, though, that the participants were trying to be ready in time for the Chess Boxing event which is taking place at London’s Scala Club on Saturday night. Especially Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian have something better to do, on the night before they will play each other for the second time.

Less than three hours into the round, Vassily Ivanchuk and Peter Svidler were in the middle of an interesting ending when they suddenly agreed to a draw. “I didn’t expect the Scotch, and he probably didn’t expect long castles,” is how Svidler explained the time spent by both players in what was a theoretical opening variation. “It was a new position to me. I was trying to understand what was going on, and trying not to blunder something,” said Ivanchuk.

The players quickly reached an ending where White had a rook, bishop and knight with five pawns against two rooks and seven pawns for Black. Because neither player could really play for a win, the move repetition was a logical finish. Not satisfied with his play in the previous two rounds, Svidler said: “I don’t particularly mind equalizing and making a draw against a very strong player.”

The FIDE Candidates' Tournament is taking place March 14th-April 1st, 2013 at IET London, Savoy Place. It is sponsored by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and organized by AGON and the World Chess Federation (FIDE). Games and information can be found at http://london2013.fide.com.

Standings after Round 7
1.Magnus Carlsen 5
2.Levon Aronian 5
3.Peter Svidler 3.5
4.Vladimir Kramnik 3.5 
5.Teimour Radjabov 3
6.Alexander Grischuk 3
7.Vassily Ivanchuk 2.5
8.Boris Gelfand 2.5

Sunday pairings round 8
1.Magnus Carlsen-Levon Aronian
2.Teimour Radjabov-Boris Gelfand
3.Alexander Grischuk-Vassily Ivanchuk
4.Vladimir Kramnik-Peter Svidler



Report by Peter Doggers/Photos by Anastasiya Karlovich

Monday, February 25, 2013

Zurich Chess Challenge 2013 Super Videos by Vijay Kumar: Vishy Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, Fabiano Caruana, Boris Gelfand

Videos by the renowned producer Vijay Kumar for Chessdom.com, including the start of the games of round 1, press conference with Gelfand, Caruana, and Kramnik, and interview with World Champion Viswanathan Anand. (As the players walk in, don't miss that short shot of India's most endearing chess couple!)





Thursday, July 5, 2012

World Chess Championship Blitz & Rapid Inauguration Ceremony Today in Astana


The chess world is going to witness the first-ever World Chess Championship in Rapid and Blitz formats of the sport in Astana, Kazakhstan. The head of the country of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev will officially declare open the World Rapid and Blitz Championship in Astana today - July 5.

The inauguration ceremony would be held in Astana at the Radisson hotel and would include the drawing of colours for the pairings. Not only is the format exciting, but so is the line-up of players: the strongest in the world.



Igor Kurnosov, Alexey Dreev, Vladislav Tkachiev Qualify for World Rapid Chess 2012

GM Igor Kurnosov has won the qualifier of the World Rapid Chess Championship in Astana, Kazakhstan. He was already leading on the first day and finished the qualifier with a point ahead of the rest of the field. Second place was shared by four players, but 2nd and 3rd on tiebreak were Alexey Dreev and Vladislav Tkachiev, who also qualified for the World Rapid Chess 2012 finals.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

World Rapid & Blitz Chess Championships 2012 Begin in Astana - Magnus Carlsen Top Seed; Gelfand is Playing

The qualifiers to the World Rapid Chess Championship 2012 and World Blitz Chess Championship have begun in Astana Kazakhstan. In fact, the championships of this format of chess tournament are being held for the first time in the history of chess. The championships will be held in Astana from July 1-11. The top ten players of the current FIDE rating list were invited to take part in the event. Kazakhstan had nominated Murtas Kazhgaleyev and Anuar Ismagambetov in rapid chess and Pavel Kotsur and Rinat Dzhumabayev in blitz. Three winners of the blitz and rapid qualifiers would receive an entry into the finals. World Chess Champion India's Viswanathan Anand qualifies according to rating, but is not playing. However, his challenger, Israel's Boris Gelfand is playing.

Qualifiers by rating for finals (6-10 July)
01. Magnus Carlsen 2835
02. Teimour Radjabov 2784
03. Sergey Karjakin 2779
04. Alexander Morozevich 2769
05. Vassily Ivanchuk 2764
06. Alexander Grischuk 2761
07. Veselin Topalov 2752
08. Peter Svidler 2741
09. Boris Gelfand 2727
10. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2726

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July Chess Ratings: Magnus Carlsen at Record 2837; Anand Slips to 5th Place for Winning World Chess Championship!

World's Highest Rated Chess Player
Norway's Magnus Carlsen
Fide has released the July chess ratings which have World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen on a runaway lead with a record rating of 2837. The highest ever rating record is held by legendary 13th World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov of an 'Everest elo' worth 2851!

The list of top players is published at dedicated page of FIDE ratings website. All players can check new ratings at the main page of FIDE ratings website or download TXT version from downloads page.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

No Retirement, Out to Win More: Vishy Anand

World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has said he has no plans to retire, but is motivated to win more chess tournaments. Fifth-time World Chess Champion was speaking at a felicitation function organised by sponsors NIIT, in Chennai, on Sunday

Anand said his morale was on a high after defeating a "complicated" opponent like Boris Gelfand in Moscow recently. "There are definitely no thoughts of retirement. In fact quite the opposite. (Winning a fifth world title) has been a huge boost to my morale. As long as I enjoy, I don't see any reason to retire."


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Super Chess Radio Show The Full English Breakfast Episode 22

Give it to the British for fine humour and surreal chess... Now, you can add a must-listen chess radio show as well to the list. 

Folks, if you are not listening to the Full English Breakfast, there's something seriously wrong with your chess diet! Episode number 22 speaks about how to check draws in world chess championship matches, Hikaru Nakamura interview soundbites from the US Chess Championship, and Viswanathan Anand press conference from the World Chess Championship 2012! Use the flash player below to hear the show, or head to The Full English Breakfast website. You can watch a previous B&W post for the full video interview with Hikaru Nakamura conducted by Jennifer Shahade.
   

   
   
   
   
   
   

   
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Don't go to sleep tonight without listening to The Full English Breakfast Chess Radio Show number 22.

Tiebreak Chess Game 2 Anand-Gelfand played Kasparov Style

Efim Geller - Chess before
computer prep!
Legendary World Chess Champion Gary Kasparov has been following chess keenly even after his retirement from the sport. In an interesting comment on the recently-concluded Anand-Gelfand World Chess Championship 2012, Kasparov referred to his own game played in 1979 against Efim Geller in the Russian National Chess Championship. You can read about Gary Kasparov's comments on the recently-concluded World Chess Match at Crestbook. But, before you surf away, here are both the games: the second Anand-Gelfand tiebreak and the Geller-Kasparov chess game from 1979. You can replay the games in our flash chess game player. (Note by blog admin: Post-mortem of chess games played is a done thing in the chess world and not a criticism of the players themselves.)


Efim Geller-Gary Kasparov, 1979, 1/2-1/2



Viswanathan Anand-Boris Gelfand, 
World Chess Match Tiebreak Game 2, 1-0


Isn't chess amazing... like bridging time and universes, like navigating through dimensions... and returning to oneself over and over again, to the same moments mirroring back to us, on the chess board and in life? 

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