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Friday, January 31, 2014

Zurich Chess R1: Aronian - Anand 1-0

Zurich Chess Challenge 2014 Round 1 - Five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand began his campaign in the Zurich Chess Challenge as he went down to Armenian Levon Aronian in the first round here. 

It turned out to be a bad day in office for Anand who lost his way in the middle game and his counter play bid did not materialize. The loss may prove quite costly as every win here is worth two points for the overall standings. 

World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen started from where he had left the classical chess. His last outing being the World Chess Championship match in Chennai, Carlsen did not show any rustiness coming back to the board and outplayed Boris Gelfand of Israel in a remarkable game. The other game of the six-player round-robin tournament between Fabiano Caruana of Italy and Hikaru Nakamura of United States ended in a draw. 

Viswanathan Anand all set for his game versus Levon Aronian. Photo: Maria Emelianova

With four rounds in the Classical chess remaining and then five in the rapid stage to be played, Carlsen and Aronian emerged as the early leaders on two points each and they are followed by Nakamura and Caruana with a point apiece. Gelfand and Anand will look forward to open their account in the second round. 

The tournament has a unique format wherein the Classical and rapid scores will be clubbed together to find the winner. Every Classical win gives two points, draw one and a loss none while in rapid every win gives one and a draw a half point. 

After tying for third and finishing fifth (in the opening pairings blitz chess), Anand got a black to start the proceedings and Aronian came up with the English opening as an initial surprise. After the opening Anand was close to equal but Aronian ensured a consistent pressure on the queen side that increased after an error. 

The Indian decided to part with a piece for three pawns but it was Aronian’s day as he masterminded the ensuing endgame in copy book fashion. The technical issues remained and Anand fought on till the end but the Armenian gave nothing away and won in 73 moves. 

Meanwhile, Carlsen was at his technical best against Gelfand. The Norwegian chose to get a playable position as white and then, in his typical style, created huge complications that were hard to handle. When the dust settled, Gelfand found himself two pawns less and the rest was child's play. 

Nakamura and Caruana battled it out in a Grunfeld defense game wherein the latter as black got a level endgame and the draw was a just result despite a tough contest. -- PTI

Results Round 1: Magnus Carlsen (Nor) beat Boris Gelfand (Isr); Levon Aronian (Arm) beat Viswanathan Anand (Ind); Hikaru Nakamura (Usa) drew with Fabiano Caruana (Ita). 

* Anand Gifts Magnus a Checkmate in Three

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Zurich Chess Challenge 2014: Carlsen beats Anand; wins Opening Blitz

Zurich: Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand won two, lost two and drew one for a joint third place finish at the blitz tournament of Zurich Chess Classic that concluded here on Thursady.

On what turned out to be a decent outing, Anand had to bear the brunt of losing to Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, who had beaten him in the last World championship match at Chennai, and Levon Aronian of Armenia. While he posted victories against Fabiano Caruana of Italy and Boris Gelfand of Israel.

Anand gifts Magnus a checkmate in three

The Indian ace played out a sole draw against American Hikaru Nakamura to tally 2.5 points out of a possible five and finished fifth in the tiebreak following a three-way tie for the third spot. Carlsen trailed the field in the first three rounds where he scored just one point but won his last two games to finish first along with Aronian, who also scored three points.

Gelfand ended last scoring 1.5 points in all. Carlsen suffered his first defeat in the very first game that he played as the world champion. Italian Caruana swept the number one ranked off the board in almost no time with black pieces displaying fine tactical acumen.

After a first round loss, Carlsen played out two draws and his first victory in the blitz came against Anand in a game that will haunt the latter at least for a few days. It was an innocuous opening, almost never tried in top level chess, from where Carlsen got a dangerous king side attack and won in a mere 21 moves. In the final round, the Norwegian again won at the expense of Nakamura and pipped Aronian at the post thanks to a better tiebreak.

For Anand, too, the event started with a loss against Aronian but the Indian pulled himself up quickly to beat Caruana. Then came a draw against Nakamura and after losing to Carlsen, Anand made short work of Gelfand to land in the tie for third. The blitz tournament also decided the draws for the classical tournament, wherein Anand will now get three black games out of a possible five.

Anand's first outing will be against Aronian again and he will meet Carlsen in the final round. The Classic is a short event with just five rounds between six of the world's top 10 players. The event boasts of being the highest category tournament ever organised with an average rating of 2801 elo points. -- PTI

Kasparov Receives First Interactive Digital Chess Magazine - New in Chess

New in Chess Digital - Amsterdam, Jan 30: Former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov received the first copy of New In Chess magazine 2014#1 when he visited the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. "I am delighted that you can replay all games without the need of a chess set," says editor-in-chief Dirk Jan ten Geuzendam, when he presented Kasparov with the iPad and the magazine. "This digital edition travels well. It is great that our readers can now choose between a paper and a digital edition. Or enjoy both!" 

In the first digital chess magazine with a gameviewer the reader can play through all games which are annotated by top GM's. Issue 2014#1 has annotations by Nakamura, Karjakin, Giri, Vachier-Lagrave, Nepomniatchi and many others.
  • Hikaru Nakamura: I’m the biggest threat to Carlsen
  • Jonathan Speelman on the trickiest player on the planet
  • Yuri Dochoian explains why coaching the Russian team to victory in the World Team Championship was a hell of a job
  • The 30,000 chess books of Lothar Schmid
  • Willy Hendriks on Turing, Alzheimer and chess
  • Mihail Marin: why was Lajos Portisch so good?
  • Nigel Short: how the Brits invented rapid chess
  • Jan Timman: what really happened in my match with Karpov
  • Daniel King on playing the bass-guitar

Other regular contributers are Magnus Carlsen, Levon Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik, Peter Svidler, Nigel Short, Anish Giri, Jan Timman and many more.

New In Chess 2013#8 is still available as a FREE download for iPad. This issue features the World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand. Top-GM Anish Giri analyses the crucial games of the match. Vishy Anand explains why he lost and Russian GM Sergey Shipov points out why Carlsen won.

To download the app and the free issue, please click here

The apps for Kindle Fire and Android tablets will be available soon.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Zurich Chess Live: India 12 am Tonight

Indian chess ace Viswanathan Anand will find himself in the unfamiliar position of starting as the lowest-ranked player when he takes on a tough field in his first Classical tournament since losing the world title, in the Zurich Challenge at the Savoy. 

The small event, having just five rounds between six players, boasts of a very strong field led by reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen, who is playing his first tournament since clinching the champion's tag from Anand. 

Watch Live tonight India time 12.00 am at official website.

For Anand it will be a new challenge and one can expect him to play at his best having got a good rest. For the upcoming candidates tournament too, this could prove to be a good warm-up. Anand will have a chance to even the scores a little. 

World number two Levon Aronian of Armenia, Fabiano Caruana of Italy, Hikaru Nakamura of United States and former world championship challenger Boris Gelfand of Israel complete the lineup of what is the highest category tournament ever in the history of the game. 

This will be the first time when Anand starts a tournament as the lowest ranked player with his world ranking slipping to number nine. 

According to the January list, Nakamura is third, Caruana is fourth and Gelfand is just a shade ahead of Anand at eight. Anand's return to competitive chess after the World Championship was in London Classic but it was played under rapid chess rules. 

The Indian was ousted in the quarterfinals when he lost to Vladimir Kramnik of Russia. Here, however, it will be a different ball game wherein Anand will get a chance to test himself before the Candidates Tournament slated in mid-march. Carlsen has been busy in various promotions since the World Championship triumph. 

The 23-year-old was on a long tour to United States where he gave a simultaneous display against Google employees, a nine-move checkmate to Bill Gates and some lesson to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg besides others. 

Carlsen's return to the board might not sound alarming to his competitors but the form he displayed in the match against Anand makes him a huge favourite for the title here. Aronian is fresh from his round-to-spare victory at the Tata steel tournament that finished just a few days back and is considered to be in top form while rising star Caruana has proven himself to be a world beater on his day. 

Nakamura had an indifferent Tata Steel tournament and the American will be keen to make amends. Gelfand, who finished joint last in the Tata event, too would like to stage some sort of comeback. The draw of lots will be done through a blitz tournament and the event will complete with a rapid event. -- PTI

S. Asian Amateur Chess in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU: Nepal is hosting the first South Asian Amateur Chess Championship next month with around 100 players from the region taking part in the inaugural edition to be held from February 1-6.

“We are hosting such big event of chess for the first time in South Asia and we need cooperation from all the quarters of society,” said Rajesh Hari Joshi, President of Nepal Chess Association, at a press meet today.

Around 100 players including 30 women from all the South Asian nations except for Afghanistan have confirmed their participation in the February 1-6 tournament — for below 2,000-rated players — to be held at the Russian Culture Centre. “The number of participants might go up as we have also invited top two players each from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bhutan,” added Joshi.

As of now 60 Nepali players including 10 women have confirmed their names for the championship that offers a cash purse of Rs 222,000, informed Press Coordinator Herakaji Maharjan, who is also the Secretary of NCA. The top three players will receive Rs 50,000, Rs 35,000 and Rs 25,000 respectively. Others in the top 15 will also get their share of cash prizes. Likewise, the winners in other categories — unrated, women, veteran, U-15, rated below 1,600, 1,699 and 1,799 — will also get cash.

“The World Chess Federation has provided us financial help for this tournament but we are planning to make it big in future. We have decided to propose the world chess governing body to make it an official event during the FIDE congress in August in Norway,” Joshi added.

National Sports Council, Nepal Tourism Board and Hotel Mountain are the partners of the tournament to managed by Kathmandu District Chess Association. After the tournament, Geoffrey D Borg, Chief Executive Officer at the FIDE will conduct the Trainer’s Seminar from February 7-9. -- Agencies

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Gibraltar Chess 2014: The 1st Move

The first move of the 2014 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival at The Gibraltar Masters tournament took place this afternoon at the Caleta Hotel. 
Tradewise Chairman James Humphreys makes the first move against England No.1 Michael Adams. Standing is Adams' Round 1 opponent Spanish player FM Emilio Miguel Sanchez Jerez from Murcia. Photos: Sophie Triay

At precisely 3pm (Gibraltar time/India time 7.40) James Humpreys, Chairman of Tradewise Gibraltar Insurance Ltd, the main sponsor of this event made the first move on the top board against top seeded player Grandmaster Michael Adams, England’s No.1 and ranked 13th in the world. In his first round game GM Adams is playing against one of the many Spanish players in this festival FM Emilio Miguel Sanchez Jerez from Murcia.

James Humpreys, whose company has been sponsoring the game for nine years, four of them as the main sponsor, welcomed the players and wished them well.

“Have a great time!” he told them all.

As play began he spoke of the importance of the development of chess on the Rock and of the Festival itself.

“Tradewiseis becoming synonymous with chess as much as it is to insurance and this is important for Gibraltar. In chess we have Tata Steel, and I am hoping that over the years Tradewise will be exactly the same as that company in its association with the festival,” he said.

Moments later the 252 chess players in The Masters from some 60 countries made their opening moves in the tournament which is being held over the next 10 days over 10 rounds.

The top woman player this year is Anna Muzychuk (Slovenia).

Gibraltar Chess Begins - Watch Live 7.40 pm 70 GMs from 60 Countries!

The pairings for the start of the 2014 Masters Chess tournament which kicks off today at 3 pm local time (India time 7.40 pm) were drawn last night by Gibraltar’s Sport,Culture and Heritage Minister Steven Linares at the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Gibraltar Tradewise Chess Festival. Minister StevenLinares welcomed all the players to Gibraltar “those who have annually been coming to this tournament and to those who are here for the first time.”

Mr Linares once again pledged the Gibraltar Government’s commitment to the tournament which has grown annually over the past 12 years.

“It is a great pleasure to be part of the biggest tournament and event annually in Gibraltar,” he said.

“As it continues to grow the Government will continue to support it as it does others. But this tournament takes the biscuit. It is the biggest tournament the Government has ever been involved with,” he added.
Minister for Sports Culture, Heritage and Youth, The Hon. Steven Linares draws the black pieces, in round 1, for top seed GM Mickey Adams (left). Photos: Sophie Triay (and below) Cheer for India: Pentala Harikrishna, Tania Sachdev, Surya Sekhar Ganguly.

In a relaxed and friendly atmosphere Minister Linares told England’s No.1 and ranked 13th in the world GM Mickey Adams, “It’s black!”

Adams plays on the top board today against FM Emilio Miguel Sanchez Jerez from Spain. GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave from France is paired with Peter Lombaers from the Netherlands. GM Vassily Ivanchuk from Ukraine is paired with IM Leon Lederman. GM Nikita Vitiugovfrom Russia is paired with IM Petter Haugli from Norway.

Hosting the night Director of the tournament, Stuart Conquest, spoke of the tournament’s many accomplishments over the years.

“This is a story of continued success,” he said which this year welcomes close to 70 Grandmasters from 60 nations.

The Live Commentary from the studio with Simon Williams and Irina Krush (Reigning women's USA Chess Champion). There are 252 chessplayers in the Gibraltar Masters this year with around 370 playing in all three tournaments. Sixty countries are being represented this year.
For all information, as well as live commentaries, Masterclasses, and interviews, the dedicated festival website, powered by Gibtelecom, is The festival venue is the Caleta Hotel. The festival closes on Thursday, February 6th, with a banquet and prize-giving ceremony.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gary Kasparov Press Conference in Wijk aan Zee Video (Updated)

Former world #chess champion Gary Kasparov and Fide election 2014 candidate addresses a press conference in Wijk aan Zee on the sidelines of the 76th Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2014. New in Chess editor, Dutch sports journalist, Dirk Jan Ten Geuzendam conducts the press conference for the organisers.  

I believe I will be opening the (world chess championship 2014) match in November 2014 (as FIDE president) between Magnus Carlsen and the Khanty-Mansiysk Candidates winner: Gary Kasparov.

I am grateful for Magnus Carlsen being an inspiration for so many players: Kasparov on the 'end of draws'  

* NY Times article

* FIDE announcement in reference to the article

* FIDE letter to Ignatius Leong seeking resignation


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