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Showing posts with label vladimir kramnik. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vladimir kramnik. Show all posts

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

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Viswanathan Anand starts off in style at London Chess Classic 2013

London: Indian ace Viswanathan Anand put the disappointing loss in the World Championship behind him and started his campaign in style by beating local Luke McShane in the first 'A' group game of the London Chess Classic that got underway here.

Anand's victory came after some precise calculation and deft manoeuvres on his 44th birthday, leaving McShane gasping from a point where he thought he had a chance.

The five-time world champion Indian thus started with three points under the Soccer scoring system in place here that gives a three points for a win and one for a draw.





Viswanathan Anand put the disappointing loss in the World Championship behind him and started his campaign in style by beating Luke McShane.

Anand was not the only one to start with full points as Michael Adams of England matched him on points at the expense of Andrei Istratescu of France in the same group.

With 16 players taking part this year, the Classic is divided in to four groups and the top two from each group will reach the knockout stage after a double round robin.

Anand heads the 'A' group on three points after the first round sharing the lead with Adams while McShane and Istratescu are yet to open their account.

Russian Vladimir Kramnik was lucky to score over compatriot Peter Svidler from a seemingly drawn endgame while wild card entrant Jonathan Rowson of England scored over country-mate Matthew Sadler from a similar situation in the 'B' group.

The 'C' group saw local hopeful Gawain Jones holding Hikaru Nakamura of United States to a draw while former world championship challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel got the better of highest rated woman Judit Polgar of Hungary.

In the 'D' group, English duo of Nigel Short and his former protege David Howell played out a draw while rating favourite Fabiano Caruana of Italy shot in to lead defeating Emil Sutovsky of Israel.

Anand played Michael Adams of England in the second round of his group and drew. -- PTI


McShane, L. (2684) - Anand, V. (2773)

Result: 0-1
Site: London ENG
Date: 2013.12.11

[...] 1.e4 c6 2.♘f3 d5 3.♘c3 ♗g4 4.h3 ♗xf3 5.♕xf3 e6 6.♗e2 ♘f6 7.O-O ♗b4 8.e5 ♘fd7 9.♕g4 ♗f8 10.d4 c5 11.♗g5 ♕b6 12.dxc5 ♕xc5 13.♗e3 h5 14.♕g3 d4 15.♘e4 h4 16.♕f3 ♕d5 17.c4 ♕xe5 18.♗f4 ♕f5 19.♗d3 ♕h5 20.♘f6+ gxf6 21.♕xb7 ♘e5 22.♕xa8 ♗d6 23.c5 ♘f3+ 24.♕xf3 ♕xf3 25.gxf3 ♗xf4 26.b4 ♘c6 27.♗b5 ♔d7 28.♖fd1 e5 29.a3 f5 30.♔f1 ♔c7 31.♔e2 e4 32.fxe4 fxe4 33.♗xc6 d3+ 34.♔f1 ♔xc6 35.♔g2 ♔d5 36.♖g1 ♗e5 37.♖ad1 ♖g8+ 38.♔f1 ♖xg1+ 39.♔xg1 f5 40.♔g2 ♔d4 41.c6 f4 42.b5 ♗c7 43.♖b1 d2 44.♔f1 ♔d3 45.a4 e3 46.fxe3 fxe3

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Russian Chess Super Final Begins, Watch Live India Time 4.30 pm

How many World Chess Champions and how many Grandmasters can you spot? Photos: Eteri Kublashvili

Which chess country can boast of the strongest national chess tournament in the world? It has to be Russia. The Russian Chess Superfinal opening ceremony was held in Nizhny Novgorod today. The event was attended by the sponsor of the tournament Gennady Timchenko, the Chairman of the Board of RCF Ilya Levitov and Deputy Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region, Dmitry Svatkovsky, Olympic champion in 2000 on the Olympic pentathlon.

Gennady Timchenko and Ilya Levitov told the audience that the project "Chess in museums" will continue, and the Russian Chess Federation, together with the charitable foundation "Ladoga" and will continue to promote chess in the Russian regions. Former World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik said so far he has not won the Russian national chess championship and that will be a strong incentive for him to fight for first place. 



Dmitry Svatkovsky welcomed the guests to Nizhniy Novgorod expressed the hope that the Super Final will help promote chess in his hometown.

After the press conference, the draw was held for the Round 1 pairings:

Men.
Kramnik - A. Shomo, P. Svidler - Ya Nepomnyashchii, D. Andrejkin - S. Karjakin, A. Goganov - Vitiugov N. and A. Motylev-E. Inarkiev.

Women.

D. Charochkina - Kosintzeva T., A. Bodnaruk - Kashlinskaya A., V. Gunina - Goryachkina A., B. Kovanova - Kosteniuk, A. and N. Pogonina - E. Kovalevskaya.

After the draw, a concert was organised with performances by Honored Artist of Russia, pianist Nikolai Lugansky and outstanding cellist Alexander Knyazev.

The live broadcast of the event will be held daily at the official Russian Chess Federation website from India time 4.30 pm. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Kramnik wins World Cup: Final Video

Vladimir Kramnik claimed victory in the FIDE World Cup after he drew the fourth classical game in the final match against Dmitry Andreikin. The overall score in the match was 2.5:1.5 in Kramnik's favor. The former World Champion won the first game of the final match while the other three games finished in a draw. The former World Chess Champion didn’t lose a single game during the event and showed great play. He won four out of seven matches in classical chess and the three others in rapid. His opponents were G.Bwalya, M.Kobalia, A.Areshchenko, V. Ivanchuk, A.Korobov, M.Vachier-Lagrave and D.Andreikin.
 
FIDE World Cup 2013: video report Day 24 Final Game 4, with Susan Polgar, Kema Goryaeva and Anastasiya Karlovich.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Geneva Chess Masters 2013 Live 7 pm

The Geneva Chess Masters Festival 2013 is taking place from June 26-30 at the Pitoeff Theatre, a renovated cathedral in the centre of Geneva. The main event will be the highlight of the big chess festival that includes two open chess tournaments and several age-group event for players U-10, U-12 and U-14.


The main event - a rapid masters - will have (two groups of four each in the single-round robin format) former world champion Vladimir Kramnik, former US champion Hikaru Nakamura, top-rated woman player Judit Polgar, former world champion Alexandra Kosteniuk, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Etienne Bacrot, Yannick Pelletier and Romain Edouard. Each group will have the top two players advance to the semi-finals. 

Every match between 2 players consists of 2 games of 25 minutes + 10 seconds; if it’s necessary a tie-break of two games of 4 minutes + 2 seconds will be played; in case of a tie, a decisive game with 4 minutes + 2 seconds for white and 3 minutes + 2 seconds for black (with draw odds) will be necessary. Watch the games live at the official website of the Geneva Chess Festival 2013.

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)

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 31, 2013

Candidates R12: Carlsen-Ivanchuk 0-1

In a dramatic 12th round Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) took over the lead from Magnus Carlsen (Norway) at the FIDE World Chess Candidates' Tournament in London. The former World Champion beat Levon Aronian (Armenia) while Carlsen suffered his first loss against Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine). The other two games, between Boris Gelfand (Israel) and Peter Svidler (Russia) and Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) and Alexander Grischuk (Russia), were drawn. With the FIDE World Chess Candidates’ Tournament entering its decisive phase, chess fans from all over the world will focus on London this Easter weekend. So far the tournament website has been visited by over half a million fans, even before the start of the 12th round! And every day the organizers are receiving dozens of emails. Christian from Germany wrote on Friday morning: “All of you are doing a marvellous job! Thanks to Socar, thanks to you, and thanks to Laurence and Nigel and everyone else making this fantastic event.”


In what was a truly dramatic round, for the first time all games went beyond move 40. Boris Gelfand and Peter Svidler, however, agreed to a draw immediately after the time control. Gelfand was happy with his position out of the opening, an Anti-Grünfeld. He said he knew that it’s “difficult to defend for Black”. Svidler agreed: “It’s a structure I’m not comfortable playing.” Making matters worse with the inaccurate 20…Red8 and 21…Bg7, Svidler was looking at an unpleasant position around move 30. “I’m kind of running out of moves. To call it a Zugzwang position is an overstatement but it’s very difficult for me to make moves.” Gelfand, however, missed a tactic with his 32nd move (he should have played 32.Qb3) when the worst was over for Black. “I thought I was winning a piece,” said the Israeli grandmaster.

Aronian-Kramnik, on paper the Big Game of this round, became an absolute thriller, an “epic battle”, as Kramnik called it himself. It started as a Semi-Tarrasch and Aronian, who had to play for a win in this game, chose the modest 6.e3. It could have transposed into a Panov Caro-Kann, but with 10…f5 Kramnik took a different and quite original path. About this move, commentator IM Lawrence Trent said: “It’s like marmite, either you love it you don’t like it at all!”


On move 16 the game became extremely sharp, and every move was crucial. As became clear at the press conference, the players evaluated the position after 17.Rc5 quite differently. Aronian: “Honestly speaking I thought I was close to winning.” Kramnik: “Really? I thought I was close to winning!” The Armenian actually saw the line 21.Rh5 Rac8 22.Ne5 which draws (missed by Kramnik) but thought he had more. In that phase, according to some pundits Aronian “self-destructed”.

Kramnik then missed the strongest continuation (21…Qf4). Instead he went for a promising ending, which he said was “technically winning of course”. However, by exchanging rooks at the right moment, Aronian found a way to draw it, based on the fact that he could exchange all the pawns on the kingside after which Black would end up with a bishop of the wrong colour. This was a “cold shower” for Kramnik, who said it was “a miracle” that he still had a chance to play for a win with 41…Kf8.

The drama wasn’t over yet as Aronian then missed “quite a simple draw” (Kramnik) at the end when he went for 50.g6 instead of 50.h6 g6 51.Kb5, as the Russian demonstrated at the press conference. “Throughout the game I couldn’t calculate one line. Of course it’s embarrassing to lose a game like this but I’ll have to deal with it”, said Aronian. Kramnik: “I’m happy with my play because of course everybody is very tired already and I’m also not totally fresh, especially because it was the third game in a row. If you consider this, I think my level was quite high for this state of mind which we’re all experiencing now!”


The next game to finish was Radjabov-Grischuk, which, because of the dramatic affairs on the other boards, didn’t get a lot of attention in the commentary. It started as a Ragozin and the Azerbaijani (finally!) got an advantage out of the opening with the white pieces. Grischuk: “I thought I had a very promising position but then I realized that [after 16…Ne6 17.Qe5 Be4] White just has 18.Nd2 so I had to switch to defence.” The Russian praised his opponent’s play: “I think Teimour played very well. I completely underestimated the dangers in the endgame.” Radjabov, who probably missed a chance on move 56: “I don’t know if I’m winning but it should be close.” About defending the infamous f+h rook ending, Grischuk said: “I had quite some experience. In one month I had two games with Pavel Eljanov. Both times I had the pawns myself; I drew the first one and won the second. And I read some articles about it.”


And then, after seven hours of play, the chess world was shocked as Magnus Carlsen lost his first game of the tournament, and with it his lead in the tournament. But if anyone could beat him it was the erratic Vassily Ivanchuk, who had the upper hand in their first mutual game as well. In a Taimanov Sicilian, the Ukrainian quickly got a pleasant ending. “When 10.Nb3 appeared on the board I understood that this structure resembles the French Defence and it’s interesting to play. Objectively it’s not better for him but there were many tricks and traps,” said Ivanchuk.

Quite upset about his loss, Carlsen did attend the press conference and was very critical of his play. “First of all I think I played absolutely disgracefully from move 1.” He admitted that it was Black who had an edge in the ending, but after the weakening move 18…a5 he started to play for a win again. But then his 24.Nb5 was "extremely stupid”. “I can do anything. Probably I'm actually not better but I should never lose it.” About the position after move 30, the Norwegian said: “I think there's still not too many problems for me but I just kept on missing more and more stuff.”
Ivanchuk kept pressing, but even the rook ending should have ended in a draw, e.g. with 71.c6. However, there Carlsen made the decisive mistake: “Here I was actually pretty sure that I would draw, which is why I played so carelessly. I hadn’t seen 71…Ke4 at all.” Although he wasn’t sure about his technique, Ivanchuk didn’t make a single mistake, converted the full point and made Kramnik the new sole leader.

The Ukrainian repeated what he said the day before: he sees the rest of the tournament as “preparation for the Russian league” (his next event). He didn't want to admit that he found extra motivation in playing the world’s number one. “Of course I wanted to do my best today. I didn’t have a goal to specially win this game but I was thinking after the 23rd move the position is objectively equal. If Magnus wouldn’t have taken risks, I wouldn’t have had chances to win.”


After twelve rounds the standings are as follows: Kramnik leads with 8 points, followed by Carlsen with 7.5. Aronian is third with 6.5 points and Svidler fourth with 6. Grischuk and Gelfand are tied for fifth place with 5.5 points, Ivanchuk has 5 and Radjabov 4 points. Saturday, March 30th is a rest day. After the clock is set one hour forward, the 13th round will be played on Sunday, March 31st at 14:00 British Summer Time (BST) with the games Radjabov-Carlsen, Grischuk-Aronian, Kramnik-Gelfand and Svidler-Ivanchuk.

(Report by Peter Doggers/Pictures by Anastasiya Karlovich)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Candidates R11: Kramnik Trails Carlsen

In Thursday's 11th round of the FIDE World Chess Candidates' Tournament 2013 Vladimir Kramnik moved to second place. Russia's number one beat Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan), while Levon Aronian (Armenia) lost to Peter Svidler (Russia). Drawing his black game with Alexander Grischuk (Russia), Magnus Carlsen (Norway) kept his half point lead in London with three rounds to go. Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) and Boris Gelfand (Israel) played a very quick draw. 


Designed by world-renowned Pentagram Design, the playing zone in the IET’s Lecture Theatre has a lower middle area and a higher area at the back. It is there where the arbiters stay and where the players are getting their food and drinks during the game. As became clear at the start of the 11th round, chess players aren’t really used to such a split-level room. Vassily Ivanchuk slipped and almost fell down, hurt his left ankle and had to treat it with some ice. (Now he’s fine.) At the press conference his opponent, Boris Gelfand, said that he too almost fell down in one of the previous rounds, plunged in thought about his position!



The encounter between Ivanchuk and Gelfand was in fact the shortest game of the tournament so far. In a Grünfeld, the two started repeating moves right after the opening, and agreed to a draw at move 17. It was a bit of a theoretical duel, as Ivanchuk repeated his Bf4 system which he adopted against Carlsen in the fifth round, Gelfand deviated on move seven and then the players followed the game Fridman-Kramnik, Dortmund 2012 until move 11. “It’s not easy to play if you don’t know it because it’s a very sharp position and both pawns are hanging. I think Vassily found a good solution to be safe,” said Gelfand. Ivanchuk: “I remember that Fridman played 12.Qb3 but I didn’t analyse it.”


Gelfand showed a few variations on the laptop in the press room, and said about the final position: “White can never be worse here. I think as a player who played Catalan all my career, I like generally White’s possibilities with this bishop on the big diagonal.” Asked about the historical importance of this Candidates’ Tournament, Gelfand said: “Tournaments like these are a milestone. Unfortunately recently I feel that the respect to the players is dropping, maybe because of computers. People think ‘OK, he didn’t see this move, the computer shows 0.65’, and they tend to respect players less. But of course such a tournament is fantastic. It’s wonderful to play here.”

Candidates R10: Carlsen in Sole Lead

Magnus Carlsen kept his half point lead in Round 10 of the FIDE Candidates’ Tournament in London. On Wednesday the Norwegian ground down Boris Gelfand (Israel) with White in a Rossolimo Sicilian. His main rivals also won: Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) admitted that he was lucky as in a drawish Berlin Endgame Alexander Grischuk (Russia) blundered in time trouble, while the opponent of Levon Aronian (Armenia), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), overstepped the time limit for the fourth time in this tournament, after playing well in a Budapest Gambit. Dejected about his score with White so far, Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) went for a quick draw against Peter Svidler (Russia) in a Grünfeld. 
 

An hour and a half into the 10th round, the game between Teimour Radjabov and Peter Svidler was already over. It’s about time to quote commentator Nigel Short’s description of such games: it was a damp squib. Having repaired his Grünfeld after his loss against Kramnik (“It wasn’t that broken, to be honest” – Svidler), the Russian grandmaster again went for his favourite defence but his opponent did manage to surprise him with his 16th move. This “either caught me by surprise or I simply couldn’t remember what my notes say,” commented Svidler, who continued playing sensible moves.
 

All of a sudden Radjabov started repeating, as early as move 19. At some point Svidler walked away from his board in his own time to get himself a cup of tea. “The longer he thinks, the more likely he’ll agree to a draw!” said Nigel Short. And indeed, Svidler did accept Radjabov’s silent draw offer, arguing: “I don’t believe I’m better, I couldn’t find any advantage after both 21…Qc3 and 21…Qa3.”

Radjabov: “Considering my amazing score with White in this tournament (…) I decided that a draw is a very nice result. I am not the guy who is here to lose all my games. I thought that if Peter would play for a win I would also play for a win because there would be no other chance. There were times in my life when I was very unsatisfied with a draw but now I think a draw is an amazing result sometimes!”

Another hour and a half later, Alexander Grischuk resigned his game against Vladimir Kramnik, who again brought back memories from his match against Kasparov in London by playing his favourite Berlin Ending. “The openings I played back in 2000 are working very well for me,” Kramnik said, “but although I score well in this Berlin, in fact I hadn't won a single classical game in it, only rapid and blitz.”
 


The 14th World Champion reached a comfortable position by “playing just theoretical moves”, and around move 25 it was “quite drawish”. Kramnik: “27…Bf5 was a clever move, there were a few traps.” Meanwhile Grischuk, who described his position after the opening as “awful”, was getting into time trouble. “I was not happy to get this position and just defend. I didn’t know what to play.”

30.Bxd4 was “an awful blunder” said Kramnik: “In general I was quite lucky; it should have been a draw. It’s quite unusual for me to score half a point more out of nothing. Usually I give up points. For me it's rare that somebody blunders. It was just a present. I am not used to these kind of things. There are some players who are receiving this kind of presents quite often, but not me.”

Vassily Ivanchuk was also bringing back memories, but of a totally different kind. Against Levon Aronian the Ukrainian overstepped the time limit, for the fourth time already this tournament. By now we just have to mention German grandmaster Fritz Sämisch (1896-1975), who at the age of 73 played two tournaments, one in Büsum, Germany and another in Linköping, Sweden, where he lost all games (fifteen in the former and thirteen in the latter) on time.

Ivanchuk’s opening play, however, is still as unpredictable as ever. “[He’s] known to play any kind of opening so I just decided not to prepare much, keep my head fresh,” said Aronian, who faced the rare Budapest Gambit this time. The Armenian felt he played “a bit imprecise” in the early middlegame, but after he found a double pawn sacrifice (going from one up to one down), the tables turned. “After 26.g4 I have very good compensation. I was actually quite happy with my position,” said Aronian.By then Ivanchuk was yet again in horrible time trouble: after his 27th move he had two and a half minutes left, and then his moves just didn’t get through anymore. With playing 29…gxf5 (a losing move anyway) he left himself with just one second for eleven moves! Aronian: “I’m happy to kind of recover after a loss against Boris. Let’s see, let’s see. Still many round to go!”

Magnus Carlsen then became the third winner of the day, slowly grinding down Boris Gelfand from a Rossolimo Sicilian. According to the Norwegian, after the opening “White is slightly better but it's of course very playable for Black.” After some forced moves Gelfand went for the manoeuvre Qd8-b6-b3-c2 where computer engines prefer the passive 20…Qf8. “What computers are missing is that the whole concept was to get the queen active and to keep the white pieces paralysed. But I just missed one thing,” said Gelfand. That thing was a deep tactic which forced the Israeli to change his intended plan (Ra8-a1) and find something else at move 25. There were many ways to defend in that phase, and after the press conference Gelfand stayed around for about ten minutes, analysing blindfold with Jon Speelman and some journalists.

Carlsen said that after his neat 28.Qa5! “it’s clear that I’m playing for two results” and he was happy with his 37.Qe2! as well. “I’m happy to still be leading so I think I’ll just try do more of the same. I wasn’t thrilled that the other two guys won their game but there’s nothing you can do about that. And… I wasn’t sure that the Budapest Gambit was what I wanted to see but I think I can only change what I do myself! I just try to play and that’s what I’ll do for the rest of the tournament.”

After ten rounds Carlsen is leading with 7 points. He’s followed by Aronian (6.5) and then Kramnik (6). Then there’s a gap with: Gelfand, Grischuk and Svidler who have 4.5 points. Ivanchuk and Radjabov are in last place with 3.5 points. On Thursday, March 28th at 14:00 GMT with the tenth round: Grischuk-Carlsen, Kramnik-Radjabov, Svidler-Aronian and Ivanchuk-Gelfand.

(Official website report by 
Peter Doggers and Photos by Anastasiya Karlovich)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Carlsen Survives Kramnik: Video

Here's the press conference video featuring Magnus Carlsen and Vladimir Kramnik after their amazing game in Round 9 at the London Chess Candidates 2013. A draw - coming back from a lost position - gave the World No. 1 sole lead in the tournament. Five more rounds have to be played. The host is Anastasiya Karlovich. Play resumes today - Wednesday, March 28 - and you can watch live at the official website from 7.30 pm India time.

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, December 6, 2012

2012 London Chess Classic Round 4: Anand Holds Kramnik to Draw; Carlsen Leads


World Champion Viswanathan Anand's hunt for an elusive victory continued as he was held by the former challenger Vladimir Kramnik of Russia for a draw in the fourth round of London Chess Classic on Tuesday. Wednesday was a rest day. The fifth round resumes on Thursday with the following pairings:

Vladimir Kramnik - Luke McShane
Gawain Jones - Vishy Anand
Mickey Adams - Magnus Carlsen
Judit Polgar - 
Hikaru Nakamura


Earlier, on Tuesday, another draw statistically meant that Anand hasn't won for 17 classical games in a row, including four matches in the last World Championship, the Final Masters tournament where he finished winless and three games in the Classic here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

2012 London Chess Classic Round 2: Anand Escapes McShane with Draw

World champion Viswanathan Anand survived anxious moments before he salvaged a draw against Luke McShane of England in the second round of the London Chess Classic on Sunday. Having started with a bye, Anand had the advantage of playing white in the opener but the Indian ace could not find any real advantage and finally survived by the skin of the teeth to open his account.

World number one, Norwegian Magnus Carlsen registered himself as the highest-rated player ever in the history defeating second seed Levon Aronian of Armenia in a finely-crafted game.

Former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia made sure that Carlsen did not get a runaway lead in just two rounds and ground down Hikaru Nakamura of United States in a long drawn queen and pawns endgame. The other game between Judit Polgar of Hungary and Gawain Jones of England ended in an exciting draw.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Carlsen beats McShane, cracks all time high rating


World number one Magnus Carlsen of Norway cracked all-time high ratings, defeating Luke McShane of England in the first round of the London Chess Classic at the Olympia here.

The rating for Carlsen stood at 2851.2 points in the unofficial live rating portals which means that the Norwegian has cracked the all-time high rating record of 2851 held by former world champion and his former trainer Gary Kasparov of Russia.

On what turned out to be a perfect opener, all the four games in the nine-players round robin tournament ended decisively and the biggest upset was recorded by Hikaru Nakamura of United States who defeated World number two Levon Aronian with black pieces.

With Nakamura calling the shots, Vladimir Kramnik turned out to be another winner of the day at the expense of world's top woman player Judit Polgar of Hungary. 
The all-decisive-games record was kept intact by a late-benefitting Michael Adams of England against compatriot Gawain Jones. World champion Vishwanathan Anand had a rest day in the opener as he drew number one in the official drawing of lots.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tal Chess Memorial Round 8: Fabiano Caruana Takes Lead

Italy's Fabiano Caruana shot into the lead with a nice win over Russia's Vladimir Kramnik in the eight round at the Tal Chess Memorial on Sunday. Kramnik not only lost a pawn, but in self-destruct mode, committed an endgame blunder as well. What has been amazing at the tournament is that leader from the beginning, Alexander Morozevich has suddenly lost three games in a row. Vladimir Kramnik, who joined Morozevich in the lead, has lost two games in a row.

This is how they cheer chess players in Moscow...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tal Chess Memorial Round 7: Both Overnight Leaders Morozevich, Kramnik Lose

The seventh round at the 7th Tal Memorial saw two upsets - both the joint overnight leaders losing their games! Not only did Alexander Morozevich lost his second game in a row to last seed Evgeny Tomashevsky, but joint leader and former world chess champion Vladimir Kramnik lost to Luke McShane as well. This allowed five players now in joint lead.
The pawns must be fed on tea or coffee regularly

So, that's the strategy...

Must be careful about strategy stealers

For Heaven's Sake Don't Move the Queen


Results:
1. Radjabov - Caruana draw
2. Aronian - Grischuk draw
3. Nakamura - Carlsen draw
4. Tomashevsky - Morozevich 1-0
5. McShane - Kramnik 1-0

Standings:1-5. Morozevich, Carlsen, Radjabov, Kramnik, Caruana - 4
6. Nakamura - 3.5
7-9. Grischuk, Aronian, McShane - 3
10. Tomashevsky - 2,5

The Tal Chess Memorial is being held at the Pashkov House in Moscow with 10 of the world's top players from June 8-18. You can watch the games live at the official website from India time 7.30 pm. Rest days were June 11 and 15. The time control is 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 minutes for the next 20 moves, and 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. Draw offers are not allowed until after the first time control. The prize fund is 100,000 euros. 
 (Photos by Eteri Kublashvili official website of the Russian Chess Federation.)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tal Chess Memorial Round 5: Morozevich in Sole Lead; Teimour Tries Scotch and Loses to Carlsen

World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen

Alexander Morozevich - In Sole Lead
The fifth day of game play at the 7th Tal Chess Memorial currently being played at the Pashkov House in Moscow saw two decisive games. Alexander Morozevich capitalised on Aronian's piece sacrifice for several pawns as the latter drifted into a loss. Magnus Carlsen continued with his out-for-a-win attack and won over overnight joint leader Teimour Radjabov. The other games were a draw, but not without efforts by all players. The 7th edition of the Tal Chess Memorial includes 10 players vying for the title over a round-robin format from June 8 to 18. Rest days are June 11 and 15. Time control: 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 minutes for the next 20 moves, and 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. Games can be viewed live online at the official website. The prize fund is 100,000 Euros.

Round 5: Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Alexander Grischuk-Fabiano Caruana 1/2-1/2
Teimour Radjabov-Magnus Carlsen 0-1
Levon Aronian-Alexander. Morozevich 0-1
Hikaru Nakamura-Vladimir Kramnik 1/2-1/2
Evgeny Tomashevsky-Luke McShane 1/2-1/2

Standings after Round 5
1. Morozevich - 4
2-4. Carlsen, Radjabov, Kramnik - 3
5. Caruana - 2,5
6-9. Grischuk, Aronian, Nakamura, McShane - 2
10. Tomashevsky - 1,5

You can view the Carlsen-Radjabov game in our Chess King applet by expanding this post. (Photos by Eteri Kublashvili/Official website.)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tal Chess Memorial Round 2 - Radjabov Leads; Caruana, Nakamura play 107-move Draw in Seven Hours!

Beautiful Pashkov House in Moscow
The Tal Chess Memorial second round saw fighting games all around even though there were three draws and only two decisive games. Teimour Radjabov pulled off his second victory in as many rounds by beating Luke McShane with the Black pieces. Former World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik also beat Alexander Grischuk. World Chess No. 1 Magnus Carlsen survived against Alexander Morozevich and managed to draw. Two other games that ended in tough draws included Evgeny Tomashevsky-Levon Aronian and Fabiano Caruana-Hikaru Nakamura. In fact, Caruana and Nakamura played for a full seven hours flat for a 107 moves squeezing out the last bit of chess to a fulfilling draw.

Results of Round 2
Kramnik – Grischuk 1-0
McShane – Radjabov 0-1
Caruana – Nakamura draw
Morozevich – Carlsen draw
Tomashevsky – Aronian draw

Standings after Round 2
1. Radjabov 2; 
2-4. Morozevich, Kramnik, Aronian 1,5; 
5-6. Carlsen, Grischuk 1; 
7-9. Nakamura, Tomashevsky, Caruana 0,5; 
10. McShane 0.

Round 3 pairings: 
Carlsen – Caruana, 
Grischuk – Morozevich, 
Radjabov – Kramnik, 
Aronian – McShane 
Nakamura – Tomashevsky.
The 7th Tal Chess Memorial is a 10-player round robin chess tournament that is taking place at the beautiful Pashkov House in Moscow from June 8 to 18. The prize fund is 100,000 euros. There will be two rest days on June 11 and 15. The time control offers 100 minutes for 40 moves, 50 minutes for extra 20 moves, and 15 minutes for finishing the game. There is a 30-second increment for every move from the starting of the game. Games start at India time 4.30 pm and you can watch them on the official website. Photos/text by Eteri Kublashvili (Tal Chess Memorial Official Website)

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