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Saturday, December 14, 2013

London Chess Classic 2013: Anand tops Group, Enters Quarter Finals

London: Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand found his way to the knockout stage in the London Chess Classic with an easy draw against tailender Andrei Istratescu of France in the fifth round of the preliminaries that concluded here at the Olympia on Friday.
After scoring three wins in the first four games itself, Anand was destined to move to the quarter-final stage in this 16-players event split into four groups. With one round still to come in the prelims, Anand is likely to head his 'A' group with 11 points in his kitty under the Soccer scoring system in place here. (Photo: Ray Morris-Hill Read a fascinating interview with Ray Morris-Hill at our world chess championship 2013 website)

Michael Adams of England trounced compatriot Luke McShane and joined Anand on 11 points and the two meet in the next round to determine the group winner.


Traditionally a super tournament, the London Classic this time became a Rapid tournament as the world championship was held just two weeks before its commencement.

Anand will play as black against Adams in the decider for the first place in the last round having promoted himself to the knockout quarterfinals in the 16-players event split in to four groups.

Among other groups, Russians Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler looked poised to qualify from the 'B' group while in the 'C' group Boris Gelfand of Israel and Hikaru Nakamura of United States already made the cut like Anand and Adams.

The situation in the 'D' group is also clear with Nigel short of England hitting form and the two qualifiers from here are Fabiano Caruana of Italy along with the English Grandmaster who holds a high repute.


Group A: Michael Adams 12, Vishy Anand 12, Luke McShane 4, Andrei Istratescu 4
Group B: Peter Svidler 11, Vladimir Kramnik 9, Matthew Sadler 7, Jonathan Rowson 4
Group C: Hikaru Nakamura 10, Boris Gelfand 9, Gawain Jones 7, Judit Polgar 5
Group D: Fabiano Caruana 16, Nigel Short 10, David Howell 5, Emil Sutovsky 0

Friday, December 13, 2013

London Chess Classic 2013: Anand Extends Lead in Prelims

London: Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand continued with his winning ways and scored a second victory against Luke McShane of England to secure a commanding lead in the preliminary round of the London Chess Classic 2013, on Thursday, at the Olympia Centre.

On what turned out to be another fine day, Anand came up with some brilliant planning to score two back-to-back victories after earlier crushing Andrei Istratescu of France in the third round game and sealed his place in the knockout stage of the Classic this year reserved for the top two finishers.

With two games still to come in the preliminaries, the Indian ace is sitting pretty on ten points in the 'A' group, two ahead of Michael Adams under the Soccer-like scoring system in place here. McShane on four points is a distant third while Istratescu is yet to open his account.
 

Anand showed his class to beat McShane out of an Irregular Queen pawn opening. The middle game appeared even till Anand launched a king side attack and followed it up with a knight sacrifice that left McShane gasping. A few moves later, McShane had to part with his queen and it was all over in 38 moves. (Photo by Ray Morris-Hill)

Earlier in the third round, Anand crushed Istratescu from the black side of a Sicilian Alapin. Anand controlled the centre and came up with a well judged exchange sacrifice to march his way to victory after 50 moves.

Meanwhile in the 'B' group, Russian Vladimir Kramnik was joined by compatriot Peter Svidler on seven points after a tough day for the former.

Drawing with Sadler in round three, Kramnik lost to Svidler who is scripting a fine comeback after getting just one point from the first two games. The group is closely matched with Matthew Sadler in third place on five points and Jonathan Rowson not too far behind on four.

Boris Gelfand of Israel was joined by Hikaru Nakamura of United States in the lead in 'C' group on eight points and these two seem poised to make it to the knockout stage from here.

World's strongest woman player ever, Judit Polgar of Hungary, won her first game in the event defeating Gawain Jones of England but that took her to only four points for a joint third spot.

What Anand is doing in the 'A' group, Fabiano Caruana seems to be replicating in the 'D' group. The Italian made sure of his qualification in the next stage taking his tally to 10 points and he is now followed by highly regarded and former world championship challenger Nigel Short of England who is on seven points.

English David Howell still has some catching up to do here on five points while Emil Sutovsky is at the bottom having lost all four games so far. --PTI

Complete results round 3:
Group A: Andrei Istratescu (Fra) lost to V Anand (Ind); Michael Adams (Eng) drew with Luke McShane (Eng).

Group B: Jonathan Rowson (Eng) lost to Peter Svidler (Rus); Matthew Sadler (Eng) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus).

Group C: Gawain Jones (Eng) lost to Judit Polgar (Hun); Hikaru Nakamura (Usa) drew with Boris Gelfand (Isr)

Group D: Fabiano Caruana (Ita) drew with David Howell (Eng); Emil Sutovsky (Isr) lost to Nigel Short (Eng).

Round 4:
Group A: Anand beat McShane; Adams beat Istratescu.

Group B: Svidler beat Kramnik; Sadler beat Rowson

Group C: Polgar drew with Gelfand; Nakamura beat Jones

Group D: Howell lost to Short; Sutovsky lost to Caruana

Standings after four rounds:

Group A: 1. Anand (10); 2. Adams (8); 3. McShane (4); 4. Istratescu (0).

Group B: 1-2. Kramnik, Svidler (7 each); 3. Sadler (5); 4. Rowson (4).

Group C: 1-2. Gelfand, Nakamura (8 each); 3. Polgar (4); 4. Jones (1).

Group D: 1. Caruana (10); 2. Short (7); 3. Howell (5); 4. Sutovsky (0).

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

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pro-Celeb Chess Event at London Chess Classic 2013

London Chess Classic Pro-Celebrity Challenge will feature Grandmasters Viswanathan Anand, Peter Svidler and Michael Adams, teamed up with three celebrities: 

The Pro-Celebrity Challenge

The Pro-Celebrity Challenge will see stars of TV, music and sport team up with the Grandmasters and face off against another pro-celebrity team.

Games will be played with 10 minutes and 10 seconds on the clock and broadcast live. Lawrence Trent and Malcolm Pein will officiate. Each winning team receive £5000 for their favourite charity.

- Alex Zane has opted for Community Links
- Shingai Shoniwa has asked for her prize to go to the Philippines appeal
- Edgar Davids has his own foundation @Fountain

Edgar Davids: Dutch footballing legend whose club career took him to Ajax, Juventus and Spurs, and included 74 international caps for Holland. His dreadlocked hair and protective goggles made Davids one of the most recognisable players of his generation.

Alex Zane: Alex is an English television personality and DJ best known for presenting Rube Tube on Channel 4. Alex was a guest at the 2010 London Chess Classic.

Shingai Shoniwa: Singer and bassist for the Noisettes, an English indie rock band from London who are best known for the single “Don't Upset the Rhythm (Go Baby Go)”.

Pairings
Shingai Shoniwa & Peter Svidler | Edgar Davids & Michael Adams | Alex Zane & Vishy Anand | TBC & Hikaru Nakamura

Lots of chess events happening at the London Chess Classic 2013: Check out their website.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Chess can take Kids off Social Media Madness: Boris Gelfand

Chess could help Indian parents heave a sigh of relief about their children being hooked to social media. Grandmaster Boris Gelfand, World Chess Championship Challenger 2012, has said he believes chess is the solution to many of the technology fixated modern generation.
“The ability to concentrate, focus, think ahead, respect rules and devote yourself to one thing and think deeply — these are all things which are missing in society but which chess has in abundance,” says Boris Gelfand. He was speaking to The JC.com.

According to the 2012 World Chess Championship Challenger, Jews have historically excelled at the game because it was firmly embedded in the life and traditions of the communities of Eastern Europe. He himself is from Belarus. Jewish children played the game as part of an essential element of their intellectual development.

Far from being elitist, he argues chess is the people’s game. “It is low cost. Even if you are poor, you can play without expensive equipment. Gelfand is visiting the UK this weekend to take part in the London Chess Classic tournament. He is also here to promote the Charity Chess in Schools and Communities, which aims to get more primary school pupils playing the game.

He said: “I have met many successful people from different professions — scientists, lawyers, business people. They all say that the values that they learned playing chess as children helped them to achieve in later life.”

Thursday, December 5, 2013

World Chess Champion Carlsen Simul in LA: You Can be Lucky to Play

The chance of a lifetime: World Chess Champion and World`s Number 1 chess player, Magnus Carlsen, will hold a simultaneous exhibition hosted by Nordic Semiconductor during the CES 2014, where Carlsen plays multiple games at a time with 20 other players.





A Nordic Semiconductor press release states, "We invite you to participate in this competition where you have the chance in your lifetime to be one of the lucky twenty that will play one of the most brilliant brains living today. Along with the honor of playing the number 1 chess player in the world, you will be rewarded with a signed chess board among other prizes."

The skills required are not higher than just another hobby player. To participate answer a few simple questions and solve an easy chess puzzle. The lucky winners will be noticed well in advance. Closing date for entry is December 19, 2013, 12:00:00 PST.

The Chess Tournament will take place:Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall Connector, Room S228Thursday January 9, 3-6PM

Enter the chess simul entry contest at the Nordic Semi website.

* Carlsen's sponsors Nordic Semiconductor (Link from our Anand - Carlsen World Chess Championship 2013 coverage website) 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Real Madrid Wows World Chess Champion with Birthday Gift

Magnus Carlsen took ​​the honorary kick off for the Real Madrid-Valladolid match (The Norwegian, who became world chess champion on 22nd November, turns 23 on Saturday, December 30, and received a shirt and watch as a gift from President Florentino Pérez). The World Chess Champion was personally invited by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez.




Magnus Carlsen is known as a Whites fan, took the honorary kick-off in the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Valladolid. The Norwegian, who is the second youngest champion in the chess history after Kasparov, received an ovation from the Bernabéu after winning the title by beating Viswanathan Anand, also a Real Madrid supporter, in Chennai (India). 



Prior to the match, Real Madrid President Florentino Pérez gave him a shirt with his name on and an inscribed watch for his 23rd birthday. -- Courtesy Real Madrid official website (Lots of other photos by Ángel Martínez on this link)

The World Chess Champion wore a Real Madrid shirt with 'Magnus' printed on the back. The home team won the match 4-0 with three goals by Gareth Bale.
"It was super cool, it was great for a football fan," said Carlsen to the Norwegian newspaper VG in the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, late Saturday night. "I had planned to stay home and relax, but this was something I could not say no to."

3-Second Chess Knights Tour Challenge: Beat Kosteniuk, Win Prizes

Try this chess challenge from the 12th Women's World Chess Champion, Chess Queen™ Alexandra Kosteniuk herself. 




Writing on her blog www.chessqueen.com, GM Kosteniuk says, "I was teaching my daughter how to train moving the chess knight across the board as fast as possible, and she asked me to show how to do it fast. I recorded a short video about how I can do it in about 3 seconds (with slow motion). If there is anybody out there who can do it faster, I’m glad to announce that Chess King has offered several prizes to anybody who can do it faster than me. So practice your knight’s moves and speed, and send me by email the result (video or link to video), and you may win a prize! Good luck!"

Come on India, we are sure some talented Indian chess players can crack the 3-second limit for the chess knight's tour of the chess board! 

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