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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Tashkent Women's Chess Grand Prix: Koneru Humpy Leads with All Wins

Indian women's chess stars Koneru Humpy and Harika Dronavalli are leading the table at the Tashkent Women's Chess Grand Prix after three rounds. While top seed Humpy is in first place with three wins for a perfect score, Harika is right behind in second place with 2.5 points.

Koneru Humpy

The Tashkent Women's Grand Prix is currently being held in Uzbekistan from September 17th - October 1st. The tournament is part of the Women's World Championship cycle 2013-14 that will determine the next challenger for the world title. The 12-player round robin is based on the time control of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, with 30 minutes being added at that point and an additional 30 seconds per move through the entire game.

All the girls in Tashkent

Koneru Humpy, a former World Championship Challenger, beat Ju Wenjun, Elina Danielian and Alexandra Kosteniuk in the first three rounds for a perfect score. Harika, on her part, Bela Khotenashvili, drew with Guliskhan Nakhbayeva and beat Olga Girya. 

On Saturday, the Indian chess girls' pairing are:
GM Koneru Humpy 2607 vs GM Lagno Kateryna 2532
WGM Ju Wenjun 2535 vs GM Dronavalli Harika 2475

Harika and Girya

You can watch the games live at the official website every day including boards with analysis and live video feed.

Rank after round 3
1 GM Koneru Humpy 2607 IND 3 
2 GM Dronavalli Harika 2475 IND 2.5 
3 IM Khotenashvili Bela 2514 GEO 2 
4 GM Zhao Xue 2579 CHN 2 
5 GM Lagno Kateryna 2532 UKR 2 
6 WGM Ju Wenjun 2535 CHN 1.5 
7 GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2496 BUL 1.5 
8 WGM Muminova Nafisa 2293 UZB 1 
9 WGM Girya Olga 2439 RUS 1 
10 WGM Nakhbayeva Guliskhan 2307 KAZ 0.5 
11 GM Danielian Elina 2470 ARM 0.5 
12 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2495 RUS 0.5 

The opening ceremony of the third leg of FIDE Women Grand Prix Series 2013-2014 took place at the beautiful Gallery of Fine Art on the 17th of September. The event was attended by special guests including FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the Minister of Culture and Sports of Uzbekistan Minhozhiddin Hozhimatov, the First Deputy Minister of Sports of Uzbekistan Zhasur Akramov, the Head of the Administration of Sports Rashid Talipov, the Head of the Administration of Olympic reserve Kamil Bayazitov, the Head of The State Committee for Communication, Informatization and Telecommunication Technologies of the Republic of Uzbekistan Hurshid Mirzahidov and others. 

The Chairperson of Fund Forum's Board of Trustees Gulnara Karimova couldn't be present at the ceremony but passed her warmest welcome for the participants and expressed the hope to the future of the Fund Forum's cooperation with the World Chess Federation.

GM Viktorija Cmilyte was replaced for the current Grand Prix with WGM Guliskhan Nakhbayeba of Kazakhstan. Two stages of the Women's Chess Grand Prix 2013-2014 Series, out of six, have been played so far. 

GM Anna Muzichuk is currently leading the Chess Grand Prix score with 250 points, GM Nana Dzagnidze is in second place with 220, and third is GM Tatiana Kosintseva, who has replaced her sister Nadezhda for the entire Grand Prix Series, with 190. All could change after the Tashkent Chess Grand Prix!

Friday, September 20, 2013

World Junior Chess Round 7

Kocaeli: Indian Grandmaster S P Sethuraman came back into the reckoning for top honours after defeating Duda Jan-Krzysztof of Poland in the seventh round of World Junior Chess Championship.
After losing the sixth round against Yu Yangyi (photo left) of China, Sethuraman needed to win to stay in contention and he did that in style with white pieces to take his tally to 5.5 points.

Playing the white side of a Queen pawn game, Sethuraman got the initial advantage and he capitalised on it well to win a pawn by force in the middle game. Jan-Krzysztof, however, came up with some real resistance and it was only in the nick of time that Sethuraman found a brilliant queen sacrifice to march to glory.

Yu Yangyi of China, meanwhile, stayed ahead of the rest with another fine performance against Russian Urii Eleseev. The Chinese took his tally to a commanding 6.5 points out of a possible seven and stayed a half point clear of defending champion and local hero Alexander Ipatov.

Indian Grandmaster Sahaj Grover and Sethuraman share a four-way tie for the third spot along with Jorge Cori of Peru and Idani Pouya of Iran with six rounds still to go in the premier event for under-20 players in the world.

Grandmaster Vidit Gujarathi also scored a comeback victory over Turkey's Dastan Muhammed Batuhan while, after initial hiccups, Asian junior champion N Srinath played a fine game to cruise past Martin Romero Martinex of Colombia. Both Gujrathi and Srinath have five points apiece.

Among other Indians in the fray, S L Narayanan moved to four points, Sameer Kathmale secured 3.5 after a draw while Rakesh Kulkarni took his tally to three points with his second victory.

Padmini Rout defeated G K Monnisha to reach five points in the girls' championship being played simultaneously. Irina Bulmaga of Romania defeated overnight leader Aulia Warda Melina of Indonesia to emerge as the new sole leader on six points from seven games in this section.

It was a mixed day for the Indian girls as Rucha Pujari met her nemesis in Zhansaya Abdumalik of Uzbekistan while Ivana Maria Furtado was held to a draw by Aisa Imeeva of Russia. J Saranya also ended on the losing side while Anjana Krishna and Riya Sawant won their games.

Important and Indian Results of Round 7 Open (Indians unless stated): Urii Eliseev (Rus, 5) lost to Yu Yangyi (Chn, 6.5); Alexander Ipatov (Tur, 6) beat Debashis Das (5); Vladislav Kovalev (Blr, 5) drew with Sahaj Grover (5.5); Andry Stukopin (Rus, 4.5) lost t Jorge Cori (Per, 5.5); S P Sethuraman (5.5) beat Duda Jan-Krzysztof (Pol, 4.5); Aleksandar Indjic (Srb, 4.5) lost to Idani Pouya (Iri, 5.5); Vidit Gujrathi (5) beat Dastan Muhammed Batuhan (Tur, 4); Martin Romero Martinez (Col, 4) lost to N Srinath (5); S L Narayanan (4) beat Carneiro Vitor Roberto Castro (Bra, 3); Sameer Kathmale (3.5) drew with Diyap Buyukasik (Tur, 3.5); Yargici Mazhar Kutay (Tur, 2) lost to Rakesh Kulkarni (2).

Girls: Aulia Warda Medina (Ina, 5.5) lost to Irina Bulmaga (Rou, 6); Wang Jue (Chn, 4.5) lost to Alina Kashlinskaya (Rus, 5.5); Deysi Cori (Per, 5.5) beat Zhai Mo (Chn, 4.5); Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz, 4.5) lost to Meri Arabidze (Geo, 5.5); Padmini Rout (5) beat G K Monnisha (4); Zhansaya Abdumalik (Uzb, 5) beat Pujari Rucha (4); J Saranya (3.5) lost to Xiao Yiyi (Chn, 4.5); Ivana Maria Furtado (4) drew with Aisa Imeeva (Rus, 4); Anjana Krishna (3.5) beat Barbara Racki (Cro, 2.5); Gulay Ayca Nuriye (Tur, 2) lost to Riya Savant (3). -- PTI

Thursday, September 19, 2013

World Junior Chess Round 6: Sahaj Grover in Joint Second Place

Kocaeli, Turkey: Grandmaster and former U-10 world champion Sahaj Grover came up with an inspired performance to beat compatriot Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi in the sixth round of the World Junior chess championship.

The victory with white pieces helped Grover to jump to joint second spot on five points out of a possible six. Yu Yangyi of China regained sole lead on 5.5 points defeating S P Sethuraman in a keenly contested game.

Grover was in his elements in a Nimzo Indian defense game against Gujrathi. It was a complex middle game wherein Gujrathi was the first to err and Grover won a pawn to reach a better endgame.

On the 40th move Gujrathi made the fatal error resulting in loss of another pawn that sealed the fate of the game. Grover picked the full point without much ado thereafter.

Sethuraman played the Najdorf Sicilian and showed excellent preparation in the early part of the game. However, Yangyi got the balance in his favour with an over-the-board improvement and Sethuraman's king came under fire.

The Indian sacrificed a piece but could only reach a slightly worse endgame where Yangyi's technique was too good.

Yangyi is now followed by Grover, defending champion Alexander Ipatov of Turkey, Urii Eliseev of Russia and Debashish Das who all have five points apiece.

Debashish Das came close to attaining the Grandmaster title for which he needs to touch the 2500 rating mark. In the sixth round Das defeated Jahongir Vakhidov of Uzbekistan.

Aulia Warda Melina of Indonesia seized the lead in the girls' championship being played simultaneously defeating top seed Alina Kashlinskaya of Russia. The Indonesian girl took her tally to 5.5 points in all.

The all-Indian duel between Rucha Pujari and Padmini Rout ended in a draw and both inched to four points out of their six games.

G K Monnisha also reached four points after settling for a draw with Zhansaya Abdumalik of Uzbekistan.

Amongst other Indians in the fray in the open section, S L Narayanan and N Srinath played out draws while Sameer Kathmale and Rakesh Kulkarni scored victories.

In the girls' category, J Saranya, Shristi Shetty and Riya Sawant posted victories, Anjan Krishna lost while Ivana Maria Furtado was held to a draw. -- PTI

Important and Indian Results round 6 open (Indians unless stated): Yu Yangyi (Chn, 5.5) beat S P Sethuraman (4.5); Tamas Petenyi (Svk, 4) lost to Alexander Ipatov (Tur, 5); Sahaj Grover (5) beat Vidit Gujrathi (4); Urii Eliseev (Rus, 5) beat Marcel Kanarek (Pol, 4); Duda Jan-Krzysztof (Pol, 4.5) drew with Pouya Idani (Iri, 4.5); Debashis Das (5) beat Johangir Vakhidov (Uzb, 4); Jorge Cori (Per, 4.5) beat Paul Velten (Fra, 3.5); Vahe Baghdasaryan (Arm, 3.5) lost to Vladislav Kovalev (Blr, 4.5); N Srinath (4) drew with Sanal Vahap (Tur, 4); Ashiku Franc (Alb, 3) drew with drew with S L Narayanan (3); Cem Gundogan (Tur, 2) lost to Sameer Kathmale (3); Rakesh Kulkarni (2) beat Erdene Baasansuren (Mgl, 1).

Girls: Alina Kashlinskaya (Rus, 4.5) lost to Aulia Warda Medina (Ina, 5.5); Irina Bulmaga (Rou, 5) drew with Deysi Cori (Per, 4.5); Meri Arabidze (Geo, 4.5) drew with Wang Jue (Chn, 4.5); Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus, 4) drew with Anastasiya Rakhmangulova (Ukr, 4); Sabina Ibrahimova (Aze, 3.5) lost to Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz, 4.5); Rucha Pujari (4) drew with Padmini Rout (4); G K Monnisha (4) drew with Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kaz, 4); Sarasadat Khademalsharieh (Iri, 3.5) drew with Ivana Maria Furtado (3.5); Xiao Yiyi (Chn, 3.5) beat Anjana Krishna (2.5); Cansu Soylemez (Tur, 2.5) lost to J Saranya (3.5); Melisa Birgelir (Tur, 1.5) lost to Shristi Shetty (2.5); Riya Savant (2) beat Zivile Urbonaviciute (Ltu, 1).

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

World Junior Chess R5: Sethuraman of India in Joint lead, Grover Third

Kocaeli, Turkey: Indian Grandmaster SP Sethuraman crashed through the defenses of Russian Andrey Stukopin to score an impressive win and join Yu Yangyi of China in lead on 4.5 points after the end of the fifth round of World Junior Chess Championship.

Playing the black side of a Sicilian Najdorf, Sethuraman capitalized on his chances in the middle game and launched a direct attack on the king that resulted in his winning a piece for a couple of pawns. Stukopin hung in there trying to find some counter play but the Indian came up with a startling manoeuvre to force checkmate after a knight sacrifice.

It turned out to be a good day for Indian boys as GM Sahaj Grover outplayed Muhammad Luthfi Ali of Indonesia to jump to joint third spot on four points.

Grover was at his technical best in another Sicilian Najdorf of the day and got a passed pawn on the queenside with some precise calculation. Ali was at sea in figuring out the best defense with his clock ticking away and Grover's Queen and Bishop dealt the knockout blow.

Debashish Das and Vidit Gujrathi also moved to four points in contrasting styles. Das again came up with a fine positional display and defeated Martin Romero Martinez of Colombia while Gujrathi played out a draw with Polish Duda Jan-Krzysztof.

Among other Indian boys, Asian junior champion N Srinath defeated Ali Marandi Cemil Can of Turkey, Sameer Kathmale scored over Erkin Karaolcu of Turkey while Rakesh Kulkarni drew with Vehid Mesic of Bosnia. SL Narayanan ended on the losing side against Peruvian Grandmaster Jorge Cori.

In the girls' championship being held simultaneously, GK Monnisha lost to Meri Arabidze of Georgia. But, Rucha Pujari brought cheers to the Indian camp defeating higher rated Indonesian Monica Sihite Chelsie.

The highest rated Indian, Padmini Rout was held to a draw by Sarasadat Khademalsharieh of Iran. Rucha, Padmini and Monnisha all have an identical 3.5 points from five rounds.

Ivana Furtado moved to three points after defeating Ani Krumova of Bulgaria. Anjana Krishna played out a draw while J Saranya, Shristi Shetty and Riya Sawant went down fighting.

With eight rounds still to come, Alina Kashlinskaya of Russia, Aulia Media Warda of Indonesia and Irina Bulmaga of Romania share the lead in this section on 4.5 points apiece. --PTI

Important and Indian Results Round 5: (Indians unless stated):
Alexander Ipatov (Tur, 4) drew with Yu Yangyi (Chn, 4.5); Vidit Gujrathi (4) drew with Duda Jan-Krzysztof (Pol, 4); Andrey Stukopin (Rus, 3.5) lost to S P Sethuraman (4.5); Idani Pouya (Iri, 4) drew with Urii Eliseev (Rus, 4); A R Salem Saleh (Uae, 3.5) drew with Tamas Petenyi (Svk, 3.5); Wei Yi (Chn, 3.5) drew with Mykola Bortnyk (Ukr, 3.5); Martin Romero Martinez (Col, 3) lost to Debashis Das (4); Muhammad Luthfi Ali (Ina, 3) lost to Sahaj Grover (4); S L Narayanan (2.5) lost to Jorge Cori (Per, 3.5); Ali Marandi Cemil Can (Tur, 2.5) lost to N Srinath (3.5); Sameer Kathmale (2) beat Erkin Karaokcu (Tur, 1); Vehid Mesic (Bih, 1) drew with Rakesh Kulkarni (1).

Girls: Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz, 3.5) lost to Alina Kashlinskaya (Rus, 4.5); Aulia Medina Warda (Ina, 4.5) beat Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus, 3.5); Zhai Mo (Chn, 3.5) lost to Irina Bulmaga (Rou, 4.5); Meri Arabidze (Geo, 4) beat G K Monnisha (3.5); Deysi Cori (Per, 4) beat Irina Petrova (Ukr, 3); Wang Jue (Chn, 4) beat Andrea Paula Rodriguez Rueda (col, 3); Padmini Rout (3.5) drew with Sarasadat Khademalsharieh (Iri, 3.5); Monica Sihite Chelsie (Ina, 2.5) lost to Rucha Pujari (3.5); J Saranya (2.5) lost to Sabina Ibrahimova (Aze, 3.5); Anjana Krishna (2.5) drew with Maria Gevorgyan (Arm, 2.5); Ani Krumova (bul, 2) lost to Ivana Maria Furtado (3); Shristi Shetty (1.5) lost to Anna Styazhkina (Rus, 2.5); Bibissara Assaubayeva (Kaz, 2) beat Riya Savant (1).

5 Reasons why Carlsen better not Underestimate Anand

We have a nice report from our partner site that has lot of fun articles surrounding the upcoming World Chess Championship 2013 between Carlsen and Anand. Check it out here. 

GM Bogdan Lalic Wins Cesenatico Chess Tournament in Italy

GM Bogdan Lalic of Croatia has won the 17th Torneo di Cesenatico that was held from August 31-September 8 with a strong performance from start to finish at the State Middle School n. 1 Viale Torino in Cesenatico, Italy. You can also locate him as quite an active Grandmaster on Facebook.

A total of 160 players competed in three groups – Open A (elo 1900 and higher), Open B (U2000) and Promotion (juniors born on 1997 and later). The Open A had 70 participants. In the last round GM Bogdan Lalic defeated the earlier leader IM Olga Zimina to secure a clear first place with 7,0/9 points.

The Open B had 102 participants. Simone Marangoni (ITA 1855) won the section with 7,5/9 points. In the “Promotion” event Luigi Doronzo (ITA 1410) and Marco Landi (ITA 1416) shared the first place with 6,5/8 points each.

Open A final standings:
1. GM Lalic Bogdan 2484 CRO – 7,0
2-5. IM Mrdja Milan 2377 CRO, IM Roeder Matthias 2412 GER, IM Zimina Olga 2337 ITA and FM Schacher Gerd 2347 ITA – 6,5
6-14. IM Stella Andrea 2447 ITA, FM Drei Andrea 2257 ITA, FM Dittmar Peter 2344 GER, GM Naumkin Igor 2445 RUS, GM Cebalo Miso 2440 CRO, FM De Santis Alessio 2289 ITA, FM Barlocco Carlo 2093 ITA, FM Schaufelberger Heinz 2262 SUI and FM Xia Jie 2287 ITA -6,0 etc.

Here is a cool video of the game from another chess tournament: The Czech Open 2013: 
IM Stefan Kuipers - GM Bogdan Lalić 0 - 1

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

World Junior Chess Round 4: Gujrathi, Sethuraman in Joint Second Place

Kocaeli, Turkey, September 16: Indian Grandmasters Vidit Gujrathi and S P Sethuraman registered victories to jump to joint second spot on 3.5 points after the end of the fourth round of World Junior Chess Championship.

While Gujrathi outclassed Jurab Javakhadze of Georgia, Sethuraman got the better of Vahe Baghdasaryan of Armenia in their fourth round encounters.

On what turned out to be a good day for the Indian boys, Gujrathi made most of the opportunities in a complex game against Javakhadze from the black side of an irregular opening.

Getting his knight posted in the centre of the board, Gujrathi exerted pressure and the Georgian did not have a chance.

Sethuraman also fought for the blood out of a Semi-Slav defence and won a pawn with precise calculations. The technicalities were far from easy but the Indian made them look like child's play when his two passed pawns marched down in the ensuing Bishops and pawns endgame.

The other Indian Grandmaster in the fray, Sahaj Grover also scored a fluent victory over Benjamin Arvola of Norway.

Playing the white side of a Nimzo Indian defence, Grover made early inroads in black's position with some finely crafted manoeuvres in the middle game.

Arvola could not resist for long as the pressure mounted on the queen side resulting in a loss of piece for the Norwegian. The game lasted just 25 moves and Grover took his tally to three points out of a possible four.

Top seed Yu Yangyi of China emerged as the sole leader after scoring his fourth victory on the trot. On the receiving end was A R Saleh Salem of UAE who was outdone in a Scotch opening game.

With Yangyi in front, as many as eight players are in close pursuit half a point behind including Gujrathi and Sethuraman.

Grover and Debashish Das are both on three points after the latter was held to a draw by Muhammad Luthfi Ali of Indonesia.

Meanwhile, G K Monnisha continued with her winning ways and defeated Sarasadat Khademalsharieh of Iran. The victory helped the Indian girl jump to joint lead with six others on 3.5 points in the girls section being played simultaneously.

Padmini Rout continued with her comeback attempt at the expense of compatriot Ivana Maria Furtado. Ivana played aggressively but met with some perfect defence that proved decisive in the end.

Rucha Pujari, J Saranya and Anjana Krishna ended on the winning side while Shristi Shetty and Riya Sawant lost their respective fourth round games.

Nine rounds still remain in the premier event for the under-20 players in the world.

Important and Indian results after round 4: (Indians unless stated): Yu Yangyi (CHN, 4) beat A R Salem Saleh (UAE, 3); Duda Jan-Krzysztof (POL, 3.5) drew with Alexander Ipatov (TUR, 3.5); Tamas Petenyi (SVK, 3.5) beat Nils Grandelius (SWE, 2.5): Jurab Javakhadze (GEO, 2.5) lost to Vidit Gujrathi (3.5); S P Sethuraman (3.5) beat Vahe Baghdasaryan (ARM, 2.5); Urii Eliseev (RUS, 3.5) beat Bai Jinshi (CHN, 2.5); Nasanjargal Urtnasan (MGL, 2.5) lost to Andrey Stukopin (RUS, 3.5); Debashis Das (3) drew with Muhammad Luthfi Ali (INA, 2.5); Sahaj Grover (3) beat Benjamin Arvola (NOR, 2); Jerad Docena (PHI, 2.5) drew with S L Narayanan (2.5); N Srinath (2.5) beat Uysal Burak (TUR, 2); Kutay Yargici Mazhar (TUR, 2) beat Sameer Kathmale (1); Rakesh Kulkarni (0.5) lost to Kitir Ahmet (TUR, 1.5).

Girls: Aleksandra Goryachkina (RUS, 3.5) drew with Zhai Mo (CHN, 3.5); Aulia Medina Warda (INA, 3.5) drew with Wang Jue (CHN, 3); Alina Kashlinskaya (RUS, 3.5) beat Zhansaya Abdumalik (KAZ, 2.5); Andrea Paula Rodriguez Rueda (COL, 3) drew with Deysi Cori (PER, 3); Irina Bulmaga (ROU, 3.5) beat Nguyen Thi Mai Hung (VIE, 2.5); G K Monnisha (3.5) beat Sarasadat Khademalsharieh (IRI, 2.5); Ivana Maria Furtado (2) lost to Padmini Rout (3);Barbara Racki (CRO, 1.5) lost to Rucha Pujari (2.5); Seda Alev Gonulden (TUR, 1.5) lost to J Saranya (2.5); Ana Kuchava (GEO, 2.5) beat Shristi Shetty (1.5); Liu Hongyan (CHN, 1) lost to Anjana Krishna (2); Riya Savant (1) lost to Shyngys Kyzy Aijarkyn (KGZ, 2). --PTI

Carlsen's 2966 Show @ Sinquefield Chess vs Kamsky, Naka, Aronian

World's Best Wins Strongest Chess Tournament in U.S. History
Norwegian Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen wins the inaugural Sinquefield Cup in Saint Louis

SAINT LOUIS, Sept. 16, 2013: The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL) crowned Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen, 22, of Norway, the champion of the inaugural Sinquefield Cup, the strongest chess tournament in U.S. history. Carlsen is the No. 1 chess player in the world and the first-place finish in the tournament netted him $70,000.

This prestigious event was Carlsen's first-ever appearance at a tournament in the U.S., and his last before he challenges Viswanathan Anand of India in November for the World Championship title. He finished a full point ahead of Hikaru Nakamura, 25, of Saint Louis, who is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 5 in the world.

"The final margin of victory was a little flattering," Carlsen said at a press conference following the event. "I think I will enjoy some rest over the next couple of weeks. Then I'll have a pretty long training session, and go to India."

Carlsen holds the record as the highest-rated player in chess history. He was named one of TIMEmagazine's 100 most influential people of 2013 and has been the highest-rated player on the planet since he was 19.

Carlsen beat out three of top-ranked chess players in the world including Nakamura, World No. 2 Levon Aronian, 30, of Armenia, and U.S. No. 2 Gata Kamsky, 39, of Brooklyn. Nakamura earned $50,000 for second place, Aronian took home $30,000 and Kamsky netted $20,000 for his last-place finish.

CCSCSL Executive Director Tony Rich said this event marks an important milestone for U.S. chess.

"Bringing the world's best to Saint Louis is yet another sign that the U.S. is becoming a major player in the world chess scene," Rich said. "It also further establishes Saint Louis as the epicenter of chess in the United States."

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