India's first chess features print magazine published quarterly from Lucknow since 2004 by Aspire Welfare Society.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Grenke Chess Classic 2013 Round 1: Fabiano Caruana Starts with Win, Adams-Anand Draw

When Baden-Baden hosted arguably the world’s first super-tournament back in 1870 it began in mid-July. 143 years later February snow was falling on the German spa town as tournament director Sven Noppes welcomed the players onto the stage. Things soon warmed up, however – Adams and Anand threw caution to the wind, Naiditsch and Fridman engaged in a fierce struggle, but it was Caruana who claimed the day’s only win. The Italian trapped Georg Meier’s king in the centre before ruthlessly applying the finishing touches.

Chess players have a reputation for iron logic, but in their press conference after a dazzling game both World Champion Viswanathan Anand and England’s no. 1 Michael Adams revealed that logic only takes you so far. When commentator IM Lawrence Trent started by asking the players how they were feeling Adams replied, “Good… confused by the game”. The confusion started on move 16:

Adams explained his first thought was, “16.Nd2 is a draw, but such is life – move on”. He’d dismissed 16.f4, but then thought, “Black has so many options that one of them must be good, but which one? Let’s see what happens!” Suddenly Vishy was also faced with a dilemma – all kinds of exchange sacs on e4 are possible and the rook can also simply retreat to e8, but the World Champion claimed his decision was also impulsive: “For some reason I started to like the idea of 16…Rh5, so I decided it was worth a punt”. The rest of the game was perhaps best summed up by Adams: “I was very suspicious of Rh5 – I was completely unable to refute it in any way, but it looked a very funny move.” After 17.e5 Nd7 18.Qe2 Rh4 19.e6 things looked dicey for Anand, but19…Nc5! showed he had the situation under control, even if he still felt Black needed to be very accurate in the play that followed.

Both players were in good spirits afterwards. In the position following 27…Qd7 Adams regretted playing a3:

They discussed alternatives, but Vishy brought the discussion to a close by joking, “it would have been a reasonable bluff just to play Rad1 and see if I have the guts to take on a2!”
 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Tata Steel Chess: Anand Finishes Joint Third, Carlsen Claims Crown

Levon Aronian congratulates Magnus Carlsen (right) as World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand looks on. (Photo: Tata Steel Chess Press)

World champion Viswanathan Anand suffered a shocking last-round defeat against Wang Hao of China and had to be content with a joint third finish at the 75th Tata Steel Chess tournament in Wijk Aan Zee, The Netherlands. 

Having done decently so far, Anand ran out of steam in the last round and was outplayed by Wang Hao. Anand remained at sixth spot in the world rankings and stands to gain seven rating points from his efforts.

Magnus Carlsen of Norway completed the formalities of winning the crown after surviving a scare against Anish Giri of Holland. Carlsen was pushed to the wall but salvaged a half point to match Garry Kasparov's best ever 10 points out of a possible 13 in this tournament.

Levon Aronian of Armenia ended second on 8.5 points after a draw with out-of-sort Fabiano Caruana of Italy. Anand with eight points in all tied for the third spot with the other winner of the day -- Sergey Karjakin of Russia.

After a spate of draws in the last round, Peter Leko of Hungary finished fifth on 7.5 points, half a point more than Hikaru Nakamura of United States who played out a draw with P Harikrishna in his final round game.

How a Game of Chess Won Irrfan Khan a Film Role

 
Bollywood celebrities are known for their quirks. And before signing him for his next movie, Tigmanshu Dhulia gave Irrfan Khan a challenge that he needed to complete.

Tigmanshu challenged the actor to a game of chess and only after he beat him hands down, did he let him sign on the dotted line.

A source says, "For the sequel of Saheb, Biwi aur Gangster, everyone thought that since Irrfan is Tigmanshu's good friend, getting in would be a cakewalk for Irrfan. But the director came up with this unique test." Irrfan finally beat Tigmanshu in the game and came on board for the film.

The source adds, "It was only later that Tigmanshu explained to Irrfan that since his character plays mind games in the film, he wanted to see him in action in real-life too." (NDTV Movies)

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