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Saturday, May 4, 2013

World Championship 2013: Paris Offer

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


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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Philippe Mouttou 
WWC in Paris

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Dear Mr President,


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

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

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

Yours sincerely,
Bertrand DELANOE

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

Friday, May 3, 2013

Women's Chess GP Begins in Geneva


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

Watch Live India Time 5.30 pm onwards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aronian Wins Alekhine Chess 2013



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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Anand-Carlsen Match: Norway Protests

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


Dear Mr. Ilyumzhinov / Presidential board 
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,
Jøran Aulin-Jansson
President
Norway Chess federation

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Topalov Wins Renova Chess Grand Prix



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

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

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

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

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

Alekhine Chess R8: Gelfand Leads



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

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

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

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


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


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

Alekhine Chess R7: Gelfand Joins Lead


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

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

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

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

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

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

Alekhine Chess 2013 R6: Maxime Leads

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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