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

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Monday, August 26, 2013

World Cup Semis: 3 Russians, 1 French

The World Cup semi-finals begin at India Time 6.30 pm in Tromso. The two ratings favorites in their matches - Peter Svidler and Fabiano Caruana - lost in rapid chess against Dmitry Andreikin and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave respectively in the tiebreaks on Sunday.

Photo: Anastasiya Karlovich

Peter Svidler lost the first game and didn’t manage to even the score in the second. Fabiano Caruana drew with White against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave but lost the second game. Three Russian players - Vladimir Kramnik, Dmitry Andreikin and Evgeny Tomashevsky - plus Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, will play in the semi-finals.

Playing with Black Maxime Vachier-Lagrave made a smart opening choice in the first game and managed to equalise quite easily. He was unsure if he chose the most precise way to make a draw but it seems Black was in no real danger during the whole game.

In the second game Fabiano Caruana chose the Dutch Defence but Black got a passive position without counterplay. White's main idea was to push e4 at the right moment and when he finally succeeded in carrying out his plan Black’s position collapsed.

Fabiano Caruana lost his chance to qualify for the Candidates via the FIDE World Cup. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave will play against Vladimir Kramnik, who knocked out Anton Korobov the day before.

Dmitry Andreikin successfully followed the same scenario as in the previous match against Sergey Karjakin. After two draws in classical chess he won the first rapid game against Peter Svidler. Neither Karjakin nor Svidler could level the score. In the second game Andreikin forced a draw in a better position and goes through to the semi-finals. Peter Svidler, the winner of the World Cup in 2011, leaves Tromso.

Dmitry Andreikin will play now against Evgeny Tomashevsky. Both players are from Saratov (Russia). The fight in the semi-final matches will be very tough as only two out of the four players will qualify for the Candidates Tournament in March 2014.

Time controls and rules
The time control for each two-game match is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. If the score is equal there are two rapid chess tiebreak games, played at a rate of 25 minutes for each player with an increment of 10 seconds per move. If the score is still equal then two accelerated games will be played, with a time control of 10 min + 10 sec. If the score is still equal two more games will be played at 5 min + 3 sec. If the winner is still not determined then a final Armageddon game with 5 minutes for White and 4 minutes for Black, with a 3 sec increment after move 60, will be played. In this game Black has draw odds (i.e. he wins if the game is drawn).

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Kasparov Secrets: Intuition, Discipline

Garry Kasparov : 'A game designed for me'
The chess grandmaster tells Al Jazeera the key to his success has not only been his talent but his discipline and intuition.

Acknowledged by many as the greatest chess player of all time, Garry Kasparov has been marching to his own algorithm his whole life.

Born in Baku in 1963, Kasparov has taken on the greatest champions and won. And since retiring from the game, he has been involved in a political battle with one of the most powerful and controversial men alive - Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia.

Sir David Frost travels to Abu Dhabi to join Kasparov on his mission to promote chess in the Gulf. Kasparov shares his secrets of the game, discusses milestones in his life and expands on why chess should be compulsory in school curriculum. He even offers a few tips to some of the young chess players.

Kasparov impressed his parents at a very young age, when he finished a chess game they were struggling to solve. "I knew it was a game designed for me," he tells Sir David.

After losing his father when he was only seven, Kasparov's mother dedicated her life to nurturing her son's talent.

For a young boy, there was no better place to be a gifted chess player than the former Soviet Union. The game which is 1,500 years old, was actively promoted by Soviet leaders as to them, chess was a way of demonstrating not only sporting but intellectual superiority.

By 1976, Kasparov had won all the Soviet junior titles, and by the age of 14, he knew he would be a real contender. "I knew I was good, even special," he says.
Kasparov tells Sir David the key to his success has not only been his talent but his discipline and intuition: "if you don't trust your intuition you will never become a good decision maker".

Strategising is a crucial element of the game and Kasparov can visualise up to 15 moves ahead. And demonstrating his exceptional memory, he recalls games and moves as far back as 30 years ago. Some of those games include headline-making matches against his arch-rival, Anatoly Karpov.

"Karpov is a very solid player, positional, quiet…. I'm totally the opposite… Any match of that calibre is a personal rivalry, period," he tells Sir David.

For five months in 1984, the two players battled it out but the International Chess Federation eventually intervened to call it a draw. Kasparov was furious and remains so to this day. He tells Sir David how he broke away from the federation, forming his own alternative, the International Chess Association. The institution did not last and it coincided with the demise of the Soviet Union.

But, the crumbling of the Soviet Union triggered a personal tragedy for Kasparov.

In 1990, Kasparov and his family, who are of Armenian descent, were caught up in the vicious programmes against Armenians in Azerbaijan, forcing thousands of ethnic Armenians to flee. And that is when Kasparov escaped to Moscow.

"The psychological trauma was awful - this thought is still painful" he says.

Following his move to Moscow, Kasparov engaged against a new partner - IBM's super computer, Deep Blue, which created huge interest worldwide.

But most recently, having retired from the game of chess, Kasparov has embarked on a new mission - to bring democracy and justice to Russia and to see Putin ousted from power. He tells Sir David of his treatment at the hands of Russian police, of being arrested and his time in a Russian prison, and why he was keen to stand up for the members of the rebel pop group Pussy Riot, who were jailed after an anti-Putin video.

Kasparov finishes his conversation with Sir David by telling him why he is now too old to play competitive chess and the show ends with an extraordinary twist on Garry Kasparov's future - he will no longer be returning to Russia.

The Frost Interview can be seen each 
week at the following times 
GMT: Friday: 2000; Saturday: 1200; 
Sunday: 0100; Monday: 0600.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Kasparov on World Cup Last Eight

No chess event worth its value is complete without a comment from the legendary 13th World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov. The World Cup is down to the last eight and here are Kasparov's comments (official FB Page):

"The chess World Cup knock-out tournament in Tromso, Norway, is down to the final eight players. As has become something of a tradition, this is a good time for me to take stock now that the field is a manageable size. Several of the big rating favorites were eliminated in round four, including America's Nakamura, former world championship challenger Gelfand, and my compatriot Karjakin. 

"They both lost to much lower-rated opponents and there is almost no chance to recover in this format. One loss usually guarantees elimination no matter how well you played in your other games. Nakamura is surely a better player than Korobov, but the American played poorly in their match and was punished.

"Morozevich suffered a similar fate against Tomashevsky today in a marathon tiebreak session. Tomashevsky played without pressure and this nothing-to-lose mindset often helps the underdog in these events. But I cannot call any of this final eight "tourists"; they all deserve their spots and should provide tough matches for their more famous opponents.

"Good nerves are critically important to success in the KO format. The tension is very high at every moment and the most talented player can suffer a breakdown and be unable to concentrate. This is especially true in the rapid and blitz tiebreak games. So it's no surprise to see veterans like Kamsky, Svidler, and Kramnik move on to the round of eight. Of course, they are all also very strong players. 

"Nerves are important, but moves still matter! Even in this "lottery" format, good chess is required by the winner. Svidler and Kamsky have both won this event before. Svidler has played the most interesting chess so far, while Kramnik has been very solid.

"So despite Grischuk and Karjakin's elimination, Russia is well-represented. Karjakin made some big statements before the event about his ambitions on the highest title, but his play in Tromso failed to back up those statements. (The two finalists in Tromso will automatically qualify for the next stage of the world championship cycle.)

"Svidler and Kramnik are big favorites in their matches against Andreikin and Korobov, respectively. This is partly due to the level of chess shown so far in Tromso and partly out of respect for the rating system and what we might call regression to the mean for the underdogs. It is cumulatively less and less likely lower-rated players will continue to play above level, even in a single event and even in a relatively random one like a knock-out tournament. (An exception is very young stars, who are often underrated.) But surprises are really no surprise in this format, even with only four matches!

"Kamsky is a slight favorite versus giant-killer Tomashevsky (before beating Morozevich he eliminated world #2 Aronian). The match closest to being a toss-up is Italy's Caruana versus Vachier-Lagrave of France. Caruana is higher rated and capable of the better chess, but he has not been convincing in Tromso. And fate may yet demand compensation for the huge gift Caruana received in his match with Malakhov! 

"A certain loss with white in their first tiebreak game in round two turned into a win for Caruana. While there is no luck in chess, I do believe in good fortune and the goddess Caissa often demands payment sooner or later. We will see that was "winner's luck" for Caruana or if the bill will come due against Vachier-Lagrave.

My congratulations to every member of the final eight and I wish them all good chess and good nerves!"

World Cup: Four Russians in Last Eight

Four Russians, one French, one American, one Italian and one Ukrainian Grandmaster has made it to the last-eight at the World Chess Cup 2013 being played in Tromso, Norway. Also in the last-eight is defending champion Peter Svidler. 

Round 5 pairings:
Tomashevsky Evgeny RUS 2706 – Kamsky Gata USA 2741

Vachier-Lagrave Maxime FRA 2719 – Caruana Fabiano ITA 2796
Kramnik Vladimir RUS 2784 – Korobov Anton UKR 2720
Andreikin Dmitry RUS 2716 – Svidler Peter RUS 2746

In the Round 4 tiebreaks, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave knocked out Gelfand Boris and Andreikin Dmitry pulled off a major upset by knocking out Sergey Karjakin. Peter Svidler got the better of Le Quang Liem ending Vietnam's challenge at the World Cup. Evgeny Tomashevsky ground out Alexander Morozevich in an exciting tiebreak where fortunes swung both ways.

Gata Kamsky qualified in the classical games with super attacks against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov along with Fabiano Caruana who got the better of Julio Granda Zuniga. Valdimir Kramnik beat Vassily Ivanchuk and Anton Korobov got the better of Hikaru Nakamura, 

Watch live the World Chess Cup 2013 from India time 6.30 pm.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

'Secret' Clause in World Chess Match

World Chess Championship 2013 Contract Controversy: Indian television news channel Times Now aired this section of a press conference held recently during World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen's visit to inspect the venue in Chennai. Sources from Viswanathan Anand's team told Times Now that the "illness clause" was against the spirit of the championship. You can watch the video below from the Times Now news cast. (

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Best Carlsen Quotes from Chennai

World Championship 2013 Challenger and World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen just visited Chennai, the venue of the match. He was swamped by journalists and cheered by fans. Here are top-five quotes from his visit (For the full list of best comments by Carlsen in Chennai, check out 

-- I can speak for myself, and I am not part of the computer generation. I grew up with a chess board and books. (When asked if younger players such as Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Luigi Caruana, Sergey Karjakin and he are more computer-centric, as regards preparation and the way they approach the game as compared to Viswanathan Anand, Vladimir Kramnik, Boris Gelfand and others.)

-- The Russians are still a force in chess! (The last time two non-Russian-speaking players played for the World title was in 1921 with Jose Raul Capablanca versus Emmanuel Lasker in Havana, Cuba.)

-- I respect Anand. But I don’t fear him. Am pleased with all the arrangements here.

-- Of course, I should recognise that Anand is the World Champion. He is a great player. But the kind of form he is in now gives me confidence. I have been successful in the last few outings with him.

-- As along as I am in top shape and work on the game, I think, I have every chance to win. I am sure anyone will go into a world championship with a supreme belief that you will win. I also will come back to Chennai with the belief that everything is in my favour.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Carlsen Okays Chennai Arrangements

Chennai, August 19: World No. 1 Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen has said he is satisfied with the arrangements at the World Championship 2013 venue in Chennai for the match against World Champion Viswanathan Anand. Carlsen and his team inspected the venue today. The 22-year-old talent was accompanied by his manager Espen Agdestein and his father Henrik Carlsen. Full story at

Kasparov, Thiel on Chess, etc: Video

This special video features World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov and billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel discussing technology, chess, Russian and American politics as well as human rights and prospects for the world economy. 

Garry Kasparov
The youngest world chess champion in history at 22 in 1985, Kasparov remained the top-rated player in the world for 20 years, until his retirement in 2005. He then became a leader of the Russian pro-democracy movement against Vladimir Putin and is currently the chairman of the NY-based Human Rights Foundation. The Kasparov Chess Foundation promotes chess in education around the world with centers in the US, Europe, and Africa with more soon to come. Kasparov speaks and writes frequently on technology, decision-making, and risk. His book, "How Life Imitates Chess," has been published in more than 20 languages.

Peter Thiel
Peter Andreas Thiel is a German-born American entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and hedge fund manager. Thiel co-founded PayPal with Max Levchin and served as its CEO. (Wikipedia)


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