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Friday, December 19, 2014

Wazir Chess Movie Teaser Video with Amitabh Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar

"A dangerous game is about to begin."

Remember the last time megastar Amitabh Bachchan played a schemer in Aankhen? It's about to happen again in Bejoy Nambiar's upcoming film Wazir.

The first teaser of the film, which released on December 19, shows Big B and co-star Farhan Akhtar engrossed in a precarious game of chess. However, their game is not limited to the chess board, but spills to real life.

Mr Bachchan, who is wheelchair-bound, takes on the role of a scheming 'wazir,' making moves that have a domino effect on Farhan's life, who is seen grappling with reality.

The film is written by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, who also co-produces with Rajkumar Hirani. Wazir is scheduled to release in 2015.

Watch:



Monday, November 24, 2014

Magnus Carlsen Retains World Chess Title with Game 11 Victory

SOCHI: Magnus Carlsen asserted his supremacy over Viswanathan Anand for the second year in running as the Norwegian retained his World Championship title after defeating the Indian Challenger in the 11th game on Sunday. 

The Norwegian world champion closed the 12-game match with a 6.5-4.5 scoreline, courtesy his win in the penultimate game. 

While this may have been closely fought in the eyes of the experts, the fact remains that Anand lasted only one extra game compared to the 2013 match at Chennai when it was all over in the tenth game of the match itself. 

For Anand, there were a lot of lessons to be learnt and it is clear that the five-time world champion will probably like to get another shy at the title during the next Candidates tournament. 

Anand knew that a draw would keep him in the match but expectedly the Indian ace was not hooked to the idea of staying on till the last game of the 12-game match, and tried to complicate when he got the first opportunity. 

When Anand went for the real complications the opinion of the experts was pretty divided out of another Berlin defense game. While the opening discussion continued, Anand was the first to deviate from earlier games in the same opening and in the opinion of Ian Nepomniachtchi, a former second of Carlsen, Anand went for unwarranted complexities. 

In the 11th game too, Anand made fewer mistakes than Calrsen and some even opined that the Indian had better chance. As it happened in the game, Anand came up with an exchange sacrifice when according to Grandmaster Peter Svidler, 'he felt he ought to be doing something'. 

As things became clear, the exchange sacrifice was probably not the best of solutions for Anand in a seemingly equal situation and this was what eventually plotted the downfall for the Indian, Anand however regretted his decision to sacrifice a rook for a minor piece. 

"It was a bad gamble, and I got punished," he said. Carlsen on his part remained the calculation machine he is known to be and his super judgment on the position was the critical factor to seize the initiative. 

Anand was pretty sure that the position was equal before that but while he was playing objectively till a certain point but took a nervous decision in the match. Anand could have drawn this and gone on in the 12th game of the match in a must-win situation. 

Anand conceded after the match that Carlsen's nerves held better in this match. But for the experts, it was clear that Anand had his chances which he did not capitalise. 

"Taking in to account that all things considered he did better. I did not something better and some things worse," Anand concluded at the post-game conference. 

Magnus Carlsen v/s V Anand 11th Game of World Chess Championship 2014: 

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 Bd7 10. Nc3 h6 11. b3 Kc8 12. Bb2 c5 13. Rad1 b6 14. Rfe1 Be6 15. Nd5 g5 16. c4 Kb7 17. Kh2 a5 18. a4 Ne7 19. g4 Ng6 20. Kg3 Be7 21. Nd2 Rhd8 22. Ne4 Bf8 23. Nef6 b5 24. Bc3 bxa4 25. bxa4 Kc6 26. Kf3 Rdb8 27. Ke4 Rb4 28. Bxb4 cxb4 29. Nh5 Kb7 30. f4 gxf4 31. Nhxf4 Nxf4 32. Nxf4 Bxc4 33. Rd7 Ra6 34. Nd5 Rc6 35. Rxf7 Bc5 36. Rxc7+ Rxc7 37. Nxc7 Kc6 38. Nb5 Bxb5 39. axb5+ Kxb5 40. e6 b3 41. Kd3 Be7 42. h4 a4 43. g5 hxg5 44. hxg5 a3 45. Kc3 1-0.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

World Chess Match Anand-Carlsen 5.30 pm Live Today in Sochi, Russia

Sochi, Nov 8: World Chess Championship Match 2014 between reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway and five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand of India begins today in Russia at 5.30 pm in the city of Sochi. You can watch it live at the official website from 5.30 pm onwards.
 


A glittering ceremony, opening press conference and pre-match 'rituals' took place yesterday in Sochi -- all broadcast live via the high-powered super-sleek official website last evening. 

The took place at the Congress Hall of the Radisson Blu Hotel and was attended by the International Chess Federation (FIDE) President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the Russian Chess Federation President Andrey Filatov, the adviser of the Russian President Igor Levitin, former World Champions Boris Spassky, Nona Gaprindashvili, Anatoly Karpov, Alexander Khalifman, Zhu Chen, Antoaneta Stefanova, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Russian deputy minister of sports Pavel Kolobkov and other officials, chess stars, and eminent guests.
 


Russian People's Artist Sergey Makovetsky and 12th WOmen's World Chess Champion ChessQueen Alexandra Kosteniuk were hosts of the ceremony.
Igor Levitin read out the welcome address of the Russian President Vladimir Putin:“Russia deserves the honour of holding this important and prestigious event. Our country has won wide recognition for its chess school and has extensive experience at holding events of this level, all the more so as this championship match is taking place in Sochi, which hosted the Winter Olympics earlier this year.

I am confident that Sochi’s developed sports, transport and tourism infrastructure and the traditional hospitality of its residents will ensure that this event takes place at the highest standard and will enable the competitors – Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand – to demonstrate the full measure of their skill and ability to find original solutions to the most complex tasks and show that they are worthy rivals in this battle for the chess world’s crown.”

Read full welcome address of the Russian President Vladimir Putin (RUS)


Kirsan Ilyumzhinov on behalf of the FIDE Presidential Board (the International Chess Federation unites 181 countries) sent greetings to the guests of the championship. He revealed a rich competitive and cultural agenda during the championship – the Tal Memorial grandmaster blitz tournament, junior Tournament of champions, master-classes, simultaneous displays, etc. In the end Mr. Ilyumzhinov wished good luck to the match participants and expressed hope for brilliant and exciting games.

Igor Levitin awarded the Russian players with state decorations. The order “For Merit to the Fatherland” of the 1st class was given to Alexandra Kosteniuk, Natalia Pogonina received this order of the 2nd class. Olga Girya and Sergey Rublevsky received Honorary Mentions of the Russian President. These players and the Russian women's team coach got their awards for winning the 2014 Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway as well as for their contribution to chess development in our country. 
 


After the mime show “Dance of chess queens” the Chief Arbiter of the match Andrzej Filipowicz (Poland) called for the drawing of lots. Vishy Anand will have the white pieces in the first game.
The grandmasters will play 12 games with classical time control: 120 minutes for 40 moves, then 60 minutes for 20 moves, and then 15 minutes plus 30 seconds per move for the rest of the game. If the match is tied, the tie-break with quick time controls will take place on November 27th.

The ceremony was concluded with the concert of a singer Tina Kuznetsova and the Jazz Quartet of People's Artist of Russia Igor Butman.

More photos from the opening ceremony

Official website

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Good Luck Vishy, says Modi

World Chess Championship 2014 in Sochi between five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand and reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlse: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today extended his good wishes to Indian chess wizard Viswanathan Anand as he prepared to reclaim the World Championships title from Norwegian Magnus Carlsen in Sochi, Russia from tomorrow. 
 
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand. Press photo from the Gujarat Swarnim Chess Mahotsav, 2010.

"Good Luck Vishy! Conveying my best wishes to our pride, Viswanathan Anand for the World Chess Championship in Sochi," Modi tweeted.

The much-awaited clash will conclude on November 28 during which Anand will take on Carlsen in a repeat of the 2013 World Championships.

The Indian had been outwitted on his home turf of Chennai by Carlsen the last time around. Anand earned a shot at the title by winning Candidate's Tournament earlier this year. -- PTI

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

World Jr Chess: India Starts Well

Pune: India's Vidit Santosh Gujrathi got off to a flying start by quickly winning the first round of the World Junior Chess Championship which commenced at Hotel Hyatt on Monday, defeating compatriot Ritviz Parab.

Second seed Robin Van Kampen also quickly won his game against Jan Rindlisbacher of Switzerland with black pieces in 28 moves after adopting the Sicilian Defence.

FM Rakesh Kumar Jena, rated 2164, created a flutter when he held higher rated and 10th seed GM Grigoryan of Russia to a draw after 30 moves of a Sicilian Defence.

Vidit, the fourth seed, playing with black pieces, opted for a super sharp Sicilian defence against the King Pawn Opening. 





"I had decided to play aggressively and I am happy that my gamble played off as I managed to get an advantageous position early on," said Vidit.

A tentative and timid pawn push in the centre on the 15th turn by Ritviz had Vidit immediately pushing his pawn more boldly in the centre to get advantage.

Another wrong queen move on the next turn had Vidit smelling victory and his queen, rook and knight soon swung into action to decide the game in his favour after 23 moves. 


India's Padmini Rout obtains easy win over Turkova Karolina of Slovakia.
Iranian FM Amir Kousarania (2331) missed his flight and hence was not paired in the first round. He will begin his campaign from the second round. 

The highlight of Day 1
Ten-year old Nihal Sarin, the freshly crowned World-Under 10 champion, stole the limelight with a 94-move victory over higher ranked IM Jonathan Westerberg of Sweden as the LIC-sponsored World Junior Chess championship got underway here Monday.
Nihal said: "Obviously, today's match was a very tough as it lasted so many moves, but there was no tension and I enjoyed it very much."

Interestingly, it was the very first time that Nihal played against a titled player though his handling of two pieces for his opponent's rook in a Bogo Indian Defence defied his age and experience.

Collectively, it was a good day for Indians with GM Sahej Grover, GM Ankit Rajpara, IM Aravindh Chithabamram, IM Diptayan Ghosh and IM Sayantan Das, IM Shardul Gagare scoring victories over their lesser rated opponents.

Top two seeds Vladimir Fedoseev of Russia and Aseed Robin Van Kampen also scored effortless victories even as favourites fumbled in the very first round which is very unusual in a Swiss League tournament of this magnitude

FM Rakesh Kumar Jena, rated 2164, created a flutter when he held higher-rated and 10th seed GM Grigoryan of Russia to a draw after 30 moves of a Sicilian Defence.

Untitled Sai Vishwesh also rose to the occasion and held 14th seed GM Nijat Abasov of Azerbaijan to a draw in a Spanish Opening game which lasted 50 moves.
The biggest upset of the day was the loss of 19th seed IM Murali Karthikeyan (2499) who went down to his Tamil Nadu state-mate Siva Mahadevan.

The Girls section was a sedate affair with most of the higher rated players cruising through with victories. Padmini Rout, the highest rated Indian in fray, scored over Karolina Turkova. WIM Zhao Mo of China defeated WFM San Diego Marie Antoinette. -- Agencies

Important Round One results (Indians unless specified):
Boys: Vladimir Fedoseev (Rus) bt M Chakravarthi Reddy; Jan Rindlisbacher (Sui) lost to Robin Van Kampen (Ned); Wei Yi (Chn) bt A Muthaiah; Parab Ritviz lost to Vidit Santosh Gujrathi; Cori Jorge (Per) bt Konstantinos Megalios (Gre); Pranav Shetty lost to Duda Jan-Krzysztof (Pol); Benjamin Bok (Ned) bt Erik Ronka (Fin); Utkal Ranjan Sahoo lost to Karen Grigoryan (Arm); Aleksandar Indjic (Srb) bt Samir Sen (Usa); Rakesh Kumar Jena drew with Grigoriy Oparin (Rus); Vladislav Kovalev (Blr) bt Slaven Pastar (Bih); D Yashas drew with Kamil Dragun (Pol); Lu Shanglei (Chn) bt P Iniyan; C Sai Vishwesh drew with Nijat Abasov (Aze); Mikhail AAntipov (Rus) bt Fong Yit San (Mas); Rodrigo Mendoza (Bol) lost to Idani Pouya (Iri); Ankit R. Rajpara bt Rajdeep Sarkar; Yogesh Gautam lost to Diptayan Ghosh; Murali Karthikeyan lost to Siva Mahadevan; Sammed Jaykumar Shete lost to Ulvi Bajarani (Aze); Sahaj Grover bt A Abhishek.

Girls: Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus) bt Parnali S Dharia; Karina Azimova (Rus) lost to Meri Arabidze (Geo); Sarasadat Khademalsharieh (Iri) drew with Gu Tianlu (Chn); Liu Manli Chn (Chn) lost to Daria Pustovoitova A(Rus); Zhai Mo (Chn) bt Marie Antoinette San Diego (Phi); Karolina Turkova (Svk) lost to Padmini Rout; Ni Shiqun (Chn) drew with P Bala Kannamma; Angelina Fransson (Swe) lost to Nguyen Thi Mai Hung (Vie); Lisa Schut (Ned) lost to Madhurima Shekhar; Ani Krumova (Bul) drew with Anna Iwanow (Pol); Marina Brunello (Ita) bt Solenn Afraoui (Fra); Mitzy Mishe Caballero Quijano (Per) lost to Sabina Ibrahimova (Aze); Klara Varga (Hun) bt Rutuja Bakshi; Larissa Ichimura Barbosa (Bra) lost to Irina Petrukhina (Rus); Sarvinoz Kurbonboeva (Uzb) drew with Jessica Bengtsson (Swe).

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Poker Masters Chess in Isle of Man

Grandmaster and former world junior chess champion Abhijeet Gupta got off to a good start, crushing Kolbus Dietmar of Germany in the first round of Poker Masters Isle of Man International chess tournament here.

Seeded 10th in a very strong line-up that includes world number 12 Michael Adams of England and number 13 Maxime Vachier Lagrave of France, Gupta played out a chanceless game with his black pieces to show signs of good form in the 18000 pound sterling prize money tournament.

The other Indian in the fray, Grandmaster D Harika also made a good beginning as she got full points against Eddie Luiz Sant Anna of Brazil.

Harika, fresh from her bronze medal performance in the last women’s Grand Prix at Sharjah, got the point with black pieces.

The opening day in one of the strongest open tournament in recent UK history was not devoid of upsets as third seeded Grandmaster Laurent Fressinet was held to a draw by Simon Ansell of England.

Fressinet, a member of the 2700 ELO rating club, did not get many chances to convert his slightly superior position in the endgame and seasoned Ansell deserved all credit for pocketing a half point against one of the leading players in the tournament.

Gupta came up with his pet Grunfeld defence to counter the queen pawn opening by Kolbus and the German was out of his book quite early when the Indian decided to give a slightly better position rather than go for a simplified and equal endgame.

The strategy paid off as Kolbus was saddled with the task of handling a complicated position in which Gupta excelled with a timely attack on the white king.

Kolbus lost a pawn while trying to wriggle out of his problem and that was enough for the Indian to transpose to a winning endgame.

“I think he had his chances when I allowed a trick inadvertently, but we both failed to spot it thankfully, it was a nice game for an opening round in the end,” Gupta said after the game.

Adams is not a regular customer in open events but that uneasiness did not show in his clean victory against compatriot Mark Fergusson. The English opening gave England’s highest ranked player an edge and he nurtured it easily to win in 37 moves.

The event is being played under FIDE’s Swiss rules with nine rounds in all. The winner’s purse is 6000 pounds sterling. -- PTI

Important results after round 1: Michael Adams (ENG) beat Mark Ferguson (ENG); Alina L’Ami (ROU) lost to Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA); Laurent Fressinet (FRA) drew with Simon Ansell (ENG); Marcel Peek (NED) lost to Gabriel Sargissian (ARM); Julio Granda Zuniga (PER) beat Gerard Welling (NED); Stephen Mannion (SCO) lost to Sergei Tiviakov (NED); Gawain Jones (ENG) beat Christopher Wallis (AUS); Alan Tate (SCO) lost to David Howell (ENG); Nigel Short (ENG) beat Chris Duncan (ENG); Dietmar Kolbus (GER) lost to Abhijeet Gupta; Sant Anna, Eddie Luiz lost to D Harika.

World Junior Chess begins in Pune

Grandmasters Vidit Santosh Gujarathi and Padmini Rout are among the hot favourites for the title in the World Junior Chess Championships commencing here Monday.

Gujrathi, who has had a phenomenal run for the last one year in International chess, starts as a strong contender and is one of the five super Grandmasters (Rating above 2600) in fray.

Padmini, the most medal-decorated girl in Age Categories, will also be a favourite, especially after a glittering gold medal performance in the recently concluded World Chess Olympiad. Incidentally, Padmini is also amongst the top five highest rated girls in fray.

The organisation is in full gear by now. The Facebook (www.facebook.com/WorldJuniorChess2014) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/MCL_CIS) handles of the event are already busy, creating a buzz before the event, not to forget the official website. An impressive array of titled players of the state of Maharashtra have been lined for live web video commentary during the event - former world junior girls champion WGM Soumya Swaminathan along with IM Sagar Shah, IM Prathamesh Mokal, and WGM Swati Ghate.

The last time that India hosted the championship here in 2008, Abhijeet Gupta and Dronavalli Harika clinched the titles. Incidentally, it was the first and only time in the history of the game that two players from the same country had won the title.

The event is spread over 15 days and will comprise of 13 rounds with more than 200 players from 45 countries confirming their participation.

The Government of Maharashtra and Life Corporation of India (LIC) are the main sponsors while ONGC, Amanora, Jain Irrigation and Everstone are the other sponsors.

Vladimir Fedoseev (2661) of Russia, currently ranked 88th in the World, is the top seed followed by Robin van Kampen (2641) of the Netherlands, Yi Wei (2641) of China, Gujarathi (2635) and Jorge CoriA (2612) of Peru.

It is expected to be a close contest amongst these super GMs. The other Indians to be watched out for in this section are GM Ankit Rajpara, GM Sahej Grover, IM Aravindh Chithambaram, IM Shardul Gagare, IM Murali Karthikeyan and IM R. Prasanna among others.

In the girls section, WGM Alexandra Goryachkina (2430), the defending champion is the highest rated player in fray and is followed by Meri Arabidze (2409).

Interestingly, there is a wide rating gap between these two girls as other strong contenders are rated 2300 plus. Padmini, after an indifferent showing in the National Women's Challenger has lost a few precious points.

Gujarathi has gained around 30 rating points from the recent Rating List released on October 1 which is a clear-cut indication of him gaining strength in the build up to this event.

He recently won a strong Category-16 tournament in Armenia and would be definitely wanting to elevate his performance from bronze at the last edition to a gold.

"I am happy that the event is being conducted in Pune, as there is nothing better than home advantage and most importantly, food advantage," he said.

Orissa-based Padmini is also very upbeat on the event and confessed: "I really love Pune and am looking forward to putting up a good show here. It has been a lucky venue for me as I won the best woman player award in both editions of the Maharashtra Chess League (MCL) and the organization of chess events in Pune has always been excellent." -- IANS

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dubai Chess R4: Abhijeet in Sole Lead

Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta, the highest rated Indian in the fray, shot into sole lead, defeating Hatim Al-Hadarani of Yemen in the fourth round of 16th Dubai International open chess tournament on Friday.
 


The victory with black pieces turned out to be fourth in a row for Gupta and his clean slate helped him annex the sole lead on four points. It was a clean effort by the Indian as Hatim Al-Hadarani fell prey to some finely crafted manoeuvres in the endgame.

As many as six players — Axel Bachmann of Paraguay, Eduardo Itturizaga of Venezuela, Zaven Andriasian of Armenia, Constantin Lupulescu of Romania, Anuar Ismagambetov of Kazakhstan and Romain Edouard of France — remain on the heels of the leader with 3.5 points apiece. With five rounds still to come in the $50,000 prize money tournament, another 32 players are in close pursuit with three points each.

However, the day belonged to Gupta as he made the most of opportunities against Hatim Al-Hadarani who played an irregular queen pawn game. Playing black, Gupta obtained a complicated middle game and then pounced on a killer stroke that netted him a pawn without any counter play. As the game progressed, Al-Hadarani fell under time pressure and the ensuing rook and pawns endgame was no respite.

Grandmaster M.R. Lalith Babu also came up with a good result although he was not quite satisfied with the draw against highly regarded Vladimir Akopian of Armenia as the Indian felt he held good chances in the middle game and then in the endgame.

For the record, it was a Slav defence wherein Akopian got in to some difficulties and the liquidation also resulted ina worse endgame.

Resourceful as he is, Akopian fought on to get the equality he was looking for and the peace was signed in 54 moves.

Grandmaster Sahaj Grover put his loss against Abhijeet Gupta aside and scored an easy victory over compatriot Harshal Shahi. The Taimanov Sicilian by Shahi did not yield desired results as Grover got an opening advantage that he nurtured well enough to score his third victory in the tournament.

M. Shyam Sundar and Diptayan Ghosh came out with good results drawing with Aleksandr Rakhmanov of Russia and Csaba Balogh of Hungary respectively while Debashish Das and Swapnil Dhopade ended on the losing side. -- PTI

Important and Indian results round 4 (Indians unless specified): Romain Edouard (Fra, 3.5) drew with Axel Bachmann (Par, 3.5): Anuar Ismagambetov (Kaz, 3.5) drew with Eduardo Iturrizaga (Ven, 3.5); Hatim Al—Hadarani (Yem, 3) lost to Abhijeet Gupta (4); Anton Korobov (Ukr, 3) drew with Ghaem Maghami Ehsan (Iri, 3); M R Lalith Babu (3) drew with Vladimir Akopian (Arm, 3); Aleksandr Rakhmanov (Rus, 3) drew with M Shyam Sundar (3); Zaven Andriasian (Arm, 3.5) beat Debashis Das (2.5); Swapnil Dhopade (2) lost to Yuriy Kuzubov (Ukr, 3); Solak Dragan (Tur, 3) beat Sayantan Das (2); Cicak Slavko (3) beat Aniruddha Deshpande (2); Sahaj Grover (3) beat Harshal Shahi (2); V Karthik (2) lost to Jahongir Vakhidov (Uzb, 3); Marina Makropoulou (Gre, 2) lost to Ashwin Jayaram (3); S Ravi Teja (2.5) beat Mayed Al—Rashedi (2); Prince Bajaj (2.5) beat Al Badani Abdu (1.5); Moayed Obied (1.5) lost to Abhishek Kelkar (2.5); N Raghavi (2.5) beat Harikrishnan Samyuktha (1.5); Sultan Ibrahim (2) drew with Ivana Maria Furtado (2); C R G Krishna (2) beat Ahmed Holi Ali Moawia (1); Felix Tuomainen (1) lost to Pratyusha Bodda (2); Assaubayeva Bibissara (Kaz, 1.5) drew with Nishant Malhotra (1.5); Faranka Khaled (1) lost to Nimmy George (2); Marcos Marvin (Phi, 2) beat Akshay Halagannavar (1); A K Elnaami Hashem (1) lost to Siva Mahadevan (2).

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dubai Chess R3: Gupta Keeps Joint Lead

Dubai Chess Open 2014 Round 3 - Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta got the better of Grandmaster Sahaj Grover to stay in joint lead after the end of the third round of 16th Dubai International Open Chess tournament on Thursday. 
 


It turned out to be another good day for Gupta, who played almost flawless chess to score his third victory in as many rounds in this USD 50000 prize money tournament.

With six rounds to go, its a six-way tie at the top with Eduardo Romain of France, Axel Bachmann of Paraguay, Anuar Ismagambetov of Kazakhstan, Eduardo Itturizaga of Venezuela, Hatim Al-Hadarani of Yemen and Gupta sharing the honours with a perfect score.

Indian Grandmasters -- M R Lalith Babu, Debashish Das, M Shyam Sundar -- and International Master Diptayan Ghosh are among those who have 2.5 points and this list is topped by highest ranked Anton Korobov of Ukraine.

In all there are 18 players sharing the seventh spot on 2.5 points each and they are followed by a pack of 43 hopefuls, including Sahaj Grover with two points apiece.

Gupta played a fine game to beat Grover from the white side of a Queen's Indian defense. Grover tempted Gupta in to an exchange sacrifice that was hard to judge and the latter took the bait to reach a tense endgame.

The right defense would have yielded a draw but Grover could not find it with his clock ticking away and ended up losing a handful of pawns that proved decisive.

After a sedate start, Lalith Babu came back in reckoning after scoring over Dinara Saduakassova of Kazakshtan. The Nimzo Indian defense by Lalith Babu came good as he won queen in a favourable position against two rooks.

While Saduakassova tried to work her counter play, the damage was done as Queen and Knight proved to be a lethal combination. The game lasted 52 moves.

Among other Indians in the fray, Debashish put up a perfect defense to hold higher ranked Csaba Balogh of Hungary in a long drawn endgame. Das was down a knight but his two pawns kept him in contention and some fine calculations towards the end saved the day.

Ghosh also did well to hold Russian GM Aleksandr Rakhmanov to a draw. -- PTI

Important and Indian results of Round 3 (Indians unless specified): Ante Brkic (Cro, 2.5) drew with Anton Korobov (Ukr, 2.5); Pavel Kotsur (Kaz, 2) lost to Romain Edouard (Fra, 3); Debashis Das (2.5) drew with Csaba Balogh (Hun, 2.5); Anuar Ismagambetov (Kaz, 3) beat Amin Bassem (Egy, 2); Eduardo Iturrizaga (Ven, 3) beat Pontus Carlsson (Swe, 2); Abhijeet Gupta (3) beat Sahaj Grover (2); Diptayan Ghosh (2.5) drew with Aleksandr Rakhmanov (Rus, 2.5); Axel Bachmann (Par, 3) beat V Karthik (2); Al-Hadarani Hatim (Yem, 3) beat Rinat Jumabayev (Kaz, 2); Viorel Iordachescu (Mda, 2.5) beat S Ravi Teja (1.5); Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz, 1.5) lost to M R Lalith Babu (2.5); Ziaur Rahman (Ban, 2.5) beat Prince Bajaj (1.5); Nimmy George (1.5) lost to Adrien Demuth (Fra, 2.5); Ashwin Jayaram (2) beat Nishant Malhotra (1); Swapnil Dhopade (2) beat Marvin Marcos (Phi, 1); Siva Mahadevan (1) lost to Amirreza Pourramezanali (Iri, 2); Sayantan Das (2) beat Alattar Rakan (Jor, 1); Harshal Shahi (2) beat C R G Krishna (3); Abhishek Kelkar (1.5) drew with Sultan Ibrahim (Uae, 1.5); Aniruddha Deshpande (2) beat Hamed Mohamed (Sud, 1); Ahmed Fareed (Uae, 1.5) drew with N Raghavi (1.5); Harikrishnan Samyuktha (1.5) drew with E Momeni (Iri, 1.5); Ivana Maria Furtado (1.5) beat Guliyev Gasan Alipasha (Aze, 0.5); Pratyusha Bodda (1) drew with Assaubayeva Bibissara (Kaz, 1); Akshay Halagannavar (1) beat Ahmed Al Khatib (Jor, 0).

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dubai Chess R2: Abhijeet in Joint Lead

Dubai Chess Open 2014: Grandmaster and former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta continued with his winning ways as he defeated Nezad Husein Aziz of Qatar to remain in joint lead with two points after the end of the second round of Dubai International Open chess tournament on Wednesday. 
 
GM Abhijeet Gupta with black versus IM Nezad of Qatar. Jobannie Tabada of the Philippines looks on.

On what turned out to be a tough day, Gupta had to sweat it out with his black pieces against Aziz who had done a good home work. The Grunfeld defense met with an opening surprise and the Indian had his back to the wall and only some deft defense allowed him to stay in the game.

Aziz missed his chances when the endgame arrived and allowed counterplay when he could have avoided that. Gupta, from a pawn less, came up with an extra pawn when the dust subsided and the rest was easy.

Young Indian V Karthik stole the honours in the second round while Siva Mahadevan came out with another fine performance. Karthik defeated Athanasios Mastrovasilis of Greece with white pieces showing depth of understanding in the endgame while Mahadevan drew with Gawain Jones of England in a game with wild complexities.

Another good result was achieved by Prince Bajaj who got a half point against higher ranked Grandmaster Viorel Iordachescu of Moldova.

With seven rounds still to come in the $50000 prize money tournament, as many as 27 players remain in joint lead with a perfect score.
Apart from Gupta, Grandmasters Debashish Das, M Shyam Sundar and Sahaj Grover are among the pack of leaders and other Indians enjoying a clean slate are Karthik and Diptayan Ghosh.

Karthik showed his endgame skills against Mastrovasilis out of a Ruy Lopez opening as white. The Brayer variation by the Greek Grandmaster gave Karthik a small advantage and he posted his knight on the sixth rank to cause the damage once the queens got traded.

Mastrovasilis could only watch as the Knight created havoc and won a couple of pawns without any compensation. The game lasted 58 moves.

Among other Indians in the fray, Sahaj Grover had an easy outing against Swede Gustav Halvarsson. The Four Knights opening by Grover as white led simplifications giving Grover a huge positional advantage and he won a piece with simple play. The game was dragged on but Grover gave no chances. -- PTI

Important and Indian results Round 2 (Indians unless specified): Anton Korobov (Ukr, 2) beat Jahongir Vakhidov (Uzb, 1); Gudmundur Kjartansson (Isl , 1.5) drew with Vladimir Akopian (Arm, 1.5); Romain Edouard (Fra, 2) beat Ashwin Jayaram (1); Constantin Lupulescu (Rou, 2) beat Swapnil Dhopade (1); Csaba Balogh (Hun, 2) beat Sayantan Das (1); Nezad Husein Aziz (Qat, 1) lost to Abhijeet Gupta (2); C R G Krishna (1) lost to Stevic Hrvoje (Cro, 2); Prince Bajaj (1) drew with Viorel Iordachescu (Mda, 1.5); Rinat Jumabayev (Kaz, 2) beat Abhishek Kelkar (1); Alojzije Jankovic (Cro, 2) beat Aniruddha Deshpande (1); V Karthik (2) beat Athanasios Mastrovasilis (Gre, 1); Debashis Das (2) beat Turar (Kaz, 1); Alshaeby Boshra (Jor, 1) lost to Diptayan Ghosh (2); Nandu Gagarin (1) lost to M Shyam Sundar (2); Sahaj Grover (2) beat Gustav Halvarsson (Swe, 1); Gawain Jones (Eng, 1) drew with Siva Mahadevan (1); M R Lalith Babu (1.5) beat Alipasha Guliyev Gasan (Aze, 0.5); S Ravi Teja beat Tarek Altaher Salman (Uae, 0.5); Niusha Afshar (Iri, 0.5) drew with Ivana Maria Furtado (0.5); Rafee Mohd Hayel (Syr, 0.5) drew with Pratyusha Bodda (0.5); Nishant Malhotra (1) beat AkshayHalagannavar (0); Elnaami Hashem (Lba, 0) lost to Nimmy George (1); Abdulla Al-Hamed (0) lost to Harshal Shahi (Uae, 1).

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dubai Chess R1: Indians Start Well

16th Dubai Chess Open 2014: DUBAI (UAE): Highest ranked Indian in the fray Abhijeet Gupta (left) got off to a flier, defeating Osman Abdelgadir of Sudan, while Grandmaster M R Lalith Babu was held to a draw by Elena Partac of Moldova in the first round of the 16th Dubai International open chess that got underway on Tuesday.

It turned out to be a good day in the office for Gupta as he had to exert little for a maximum result against Abdelgadir. PLaying the white side of an English opening, Gupta got an early advantage and then spotted a simple tactic to earn a knight for just a pawn. The rest was easy.

Lalith Babu faced an early wake up call by Partac who matched the Indian move for move despite a hige desparity in ratings. It was a Caro Kann defense by Babu wherein Partac played a less played system and the game was always close to equal.

Babu fancied his chances in the rook and pawns endgame but Partac was equal to the task as she gave nothing away. After 87 moves the draw was agreed to leaving both players on a half point after the first round.

The opening day was not devoid of upsets usual for a strong tournament like the Dubai open. Highly regarded Grandmaster Tigran Petrosian went down to Mona Khaled of Egypt while Gawain Jones of England had to part with a half point against Narmin Khalafova of Azerbaijan.

Amongst the Indians, Siva Mahadevan came out with a good result holding Russian Grandmaster Sergey Volkov to a creditable draw. It was a typical hit-and-miss game as Mahadevan got a winning position after capturing Volkov's queen for just two minor pieces but missed a simple blow that cost him a rook. Volkov thought he had chances but the Indian fought back to win the rook for his passed pawn and the Russian was lucky to find a fortress. The game lasted 104 moves.

The Indian GMs had a good day apart from Lalith Babu. Debashish Das got the better of compatriot Harshal Shahi, Niusha Afshar of Iran proved no match against M Shyam Sundar while Sahaj Grover excelled at the expense of Ahmed Elgantiry of Egypt.

At the top of the tables, Anton Korobov scored over Asian junior girls' champion Ivana Maria Furtado in a game where the Indian girl fought hard. Nishant Malhotra was the other Indian on the receiving end despite putting up a brave show against Grandmaster Stevic Hrvoje of Croatia.

The Dubai open is one of the strongest Asian open with $50000 as prize fund. The tournament will be played over nine rounds.

Important and Indian results round 1 (Indians unless specified): Ivana Maria Furtado lost to Anton Korobov (Ukr); Vladimir Akopian (Arm) beat Marina Makropoulou (Gre); Narmin Khalafova (Aze) drew with Gawain Jones (Eng); Abhijeet Gupta beat Osman Abdelgadir (Sud);Pratyusha Bodda lost to Mikheil Mchedlishvili (Geo); Tigran Petrosian (Arm) lost to Mona Khaled (Egy); Stevic Hrvoje (Cro) beat Nishant Malhotra; Nimmy George lost to Zaven Andriasian (Arm); Siva Mahadevan drew with Sergey Volkov (Rus); Elena Partac (Mda) drew with M R Lalith Babu; Harshal Shahi lost to Debashis Das; Diptayan Ghosh beat Hamad Abdul Razzaq (Uae); M Shyam Sundar beat Niusha Afshar (Iri); Ahmed Elgantiry (Egy) lost to Sahaj Grover; Ashwin Jayaram beat Borsa Derakhshani (Iri); Swapnil Dhopade beat Felix Tuomainen (Swe); Sayantan Das beat Alattar Ghayda (Jor); Assaubayeva Bibissara (Kaz) drew with S Ravi Teja; Akshay V Halagannavar lost to C R G Krishna; Khaled Gahfer (Lba) lost to Prince Bajaj; Abhishek Kelkar beat Holi Sief Al Din (Sud); Aniruddha Deshpande beat Kamil Montaser (Sud); Al Zarooni Ahmed (Uae) lost to V Karthik ; N Raghavi lost to Nandu Gagarin; Gameel Mohamed (Yem) beat Harikrishnan Samyuktha. -- PTI

Dubai Chess Open 2014 Begins

DUBAI (UAE): Grandmaster and former world junior chess champion Abhijeet Gupta will start as the highest rated Indian in the strong Dubai International open chess tournament that gets underway here on Monday.

In the Photo: (Standing from left) Mahdi Abdulrahim Chief Arbiter, Ahmad Fardan General Secretary of Sharjah Sport Council, Ibrahim Al Bannai Chairman of Dubai Chess Club and President of Arab Chess Federation, Ibrahim Abdulmalik General Secretary of UAE sports and Youth, Sheikh Saud Al Moala Chairman of Sharjah Chess Club, Abdulaziz Khoury Vice president of UAE Chess Federation. Seated Players: WIM Ivana Maria Furtado from India versus top seed GM Korobov Anton from Ukraine



A winner of this tournament in 2011, Gupta recently won the Al-Ain Classic in UAE and the country remains one of his favourite grounds. The Indian is ranked 12th in one of the strongest open tournament in Asia.

Anton Korobov of Ukraine starts as the top seed. The semifinalist of the last world chess cup had also won the AICF-AAI cup in Delhi in December 2012 and remains a feared opponent.

Apart from Korobov, Vladimir Akopian of Armenia, French duo of Romain Edouarda and Andrei Istratescu, Romanian Constantin Lupulescu and Csaba Balogh of Hungary are other players above 2650 ELO rating in the tournament.

The tournament will be played under FIDE's Swiss rules and there will be nine rounds in all. The total prize pool is 50000 USD out of which the winner will take home 10000 USD.

As usual, the 16th edition of the Dubai open has attracted a variety of Indian players. There are 30 Indians in the fray in a list that boasts of 160 players currently but is likely to go up by the time the first round starts at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club.

There are as many as 40 Grandmasters in the fray apart from 22 International Masters, eight Woman Grandmasters and three Woman International Masters making the total number of titled players over 70.

Apart from Gupta, the Indian interest will revolve around Grandmasters M R Lalith Babu, Debashish Das, M Shyam Sundar and Sahaj Grover. International Masters Deeptayan Ghosh, Swapnil Dhopade and Ashwin Jayaram will be looking forward to a performance which will take them closer to the Grandmaster title while the other Indians are all IM norm aspiarants.

The event will be followed by Asian Continental championship in Sharjah and for Gupta and other Indian GMs it will be crucial to be in good shape for the real test that begins soon after the Dubai open.

"This tournament remains one of my favourite events across the world as the players are taken care off well and the playing conditions are excellent too," said Abhijeet Gupta while gearing up to play the first round late on Tuesday.

"And it goes without saying that it is indeed one of the strongest open tournament in the continent, all this makes up for an exciting contest that I have always liked to be a part off," he said. -- PTI


List of players

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chessboxing Spectacular Season begins April 12 London Scala Nightclub!

Adrenaline rush, attack, counter attack... find that ultimate brain-brawn sport: Check out 'Chessboxing'!



The start of the Chessboxing Year at the iconic Scala nightclub in King’s Cross, London is set for April 12. The “Season Opener” is always an outstanding event and 2014 promises to be one of the best years yet with a host of new faces arriving on the London Chessboxing stage.



APRIL 12 – THE 2014 SEASON OPENER


We’ll witness the debut of some terrific young talent including Londoners Toby “Slowby” White, Gavin Patterson and Eduard Lleshi. We’ll also see experienced chessboxers Matt “Crazy Arms” Read and rising star Nick “Showstopper” Cornish back in the ring as well as Scala’s favourite George Crespo. Furthermore, the talented fighters “Slick” Ricky Brown and Richard “The Razor” Frazer will join us again for what promises to be nothing short of a spectacular chessboxing season opener.

A thrilling evening of chessboxing, entertainment and excitement awaits!

The event will also feature live interval cabaret, DJ Buchman plus special guests. After the show you can enjoy board games and dancing at a long-running after-party in the Scala’s atmospheric Balcony Bar.

*VIP tickets include a generous supply of “performance enhancing” cocktails, served throughout the evening.

Tickets are available now @ “Buy Tickets” page!


THE LINE UP IS CONFIRMED!
HEADLINE FIGHT:
Toby “Slowby” White vs. Nick “Showstopper” Cornish

UNDERCARD:
Gavin Paterson vs. Matt “Crazy Arms” Read
Eduard Lleshi vs. Richard “The Razor” Frazer
George Crespo vs. “Slick” Ricky Brown


Official website: http://londonchessboxing.com/

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Anand wins Candidates Chess Easily

RUSSIA: Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand sealed the Candidates tournament title with an effortless draw with Peter Svidler of Russia in the 14th and final round on Sunday.

Having won one of the strongest tournaments of recent times with one round to spare, Anand just didn't want anything to go wrong and went for the draw with white pieces that was for the taking. The Indian ace thus officially earned the right to a rematch with Magnus Carlsen of Norway along with the winner's purse of 13,5000 Euros (a little over Rs one crore).
 
The bidding for Anand-Carlsen II are now open and FIDE, the apex chess body will decide the awarding of this match after receiving all the bids by April 30 this year. The match will be held from November 5-25. (Right photo -- Viswanathan Anand by Kirill Merkuriev/FIDE)

The last day provided mixed games. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov also played out a quick draw as white against Vladimir Kramnik while Veselin Topalov's bid to come out of the last place was foiled by Russian Dmitry Andreikin.

Sergey Karjakin of Russia was the lone winner in the day at the expense of out-of-form Levon Aronian of Armenia. Till the ninth round, Aronian was considered as the likely challenger but then things turned out really bad for the world number two here.

Anand ended the tournament on 8.5 points, a full point ahead of Karjakin who finished a creditable second after a bad start. Kramnik, Andreikin and Mamedyarov finished joint third on seven points apiece while Aronian and Svidler ended joint sixth on 6.5 points in all. Topalov ended last scoring six in all.

Playing the white side of a Marshall gambit out of a Ruy Lopez opening, Anand simply gave no chances to Svidler. The pieces got exchanged at regular intervals as Svidler also could do little and in almost no time the players found themselves in a drawn minor piece endgame. The game lasted 34 moves.

As if taking a cue from Anand, Mamedyarov also wasted no time in taking the half point from Kramnik. For the records, it was the Capablance variation of the Nimzo Indian defense that Kramnik was well prepared in and Mamedyarov got nothing in the queen-less middle game that ensued.

The Azeri decided to go for mass exchanges and had a dead-drawn position on board by move 30 in a Bishop and pawns endgame. The draw was a just result.

Veselin Topalov tried putting in some pressure on Dmitry Andreikin but the Russian who has shown tremendous determination throughout this event despite being the lowest ranked, did not budge. Topalov went for the closed Ruy Lopez when offered to play against the Berlin and got a complicated position in the middle game.

Andreikin found his defense in form of a pawn sacrifice that relieved him of tention as the queens got traded. The extra pawn was only an optical advantage as Topalov learnt and after trying out for 69 moves agreed for the drawn result.

Karjakin played a patient game with black pieces. Aronian went for the Closed Sicilian and the players were in unchartered territory pretty early in the opening. Marshalling his forces on the king side, Karjakin damaged Aronian's pawn structure and waited for the opportunity that came very late.

It was past the sixth hour that Aronian crumbled under pressure, blundered a piece through a tactical skirmish and lost the game after 94 moves. Karjakin, after pushing Anand for 90 moves in the previous round, yet again played the longest game of the tournament that lasted seven hours. -- PTI
Results final round: V Anand (Ind, 8.5) drew with Peter Svidler (Rus, 6.5); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 7) drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 7); Veselin Topalov (6) drew with Dmitry Andreikin (7); Levon Aronian (Arm, 6.5) lost to Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 7.5).

World Chess Candidates Victory: Anand gets 1 crore, Critics get Zero!

Khanty Mansiysk, Russia: Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand proved all his critics wrong and won the Candidates Chess tournament after settling for a draw with Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the 13th and penultimate round here today.
 
Viswanathan Anand drew with Sergey Karjakin in Round 13 to win the World Chess Candidates in Khanty Mansiysk on Friday. One more round is to be played tomorrow, but Anand has an unassailable lead. Photo: FIDE/Kirill Merkuriev

It was a marathon against Karjakin and the rest day did Anand a world of good. The Indian held on to his own in the endgame that lasted more than five and a half hours.

The draw helped Anand reach eight points and he benefited from the biggest upset in the tournament when top seed Levon Aronian of Armenia lost to lowest ranked Dmitry Andreikin of Russia.


On a day that saw Vladimir Kramnik avenging his earlier loss in the tournament against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan played out a draw with Russian Peter Svidler to seal the fate in Anand's favour irrespective of the results tomorrow.

With Anand on eight points, Karjakin, Kramnik, Mamedyarov, Andreikin and Aronian are now 6.5 points each. Peter Svidler stand seventh on six points while Topalov reamined on 5.5 to fill the last place.

In the last round Anand meets Svidler and the draw could be a likely result as the Indian will play with white pieces. In the game against Karjakin, Anand equalised quite easily with the Queen's gambit declined and had no troubles whatsoever in finding a thematic pawn sacrifice that made his position easier to play.

However, while trying to work out the right path, Anand erred slightly and faced a difficult but possible defense when he parted with two pieces for Karjakin's rook.
The ensuing endgame was easier for Karjakin and the defense was not easy, yet Anand kept finding the right moves and obtained a passed pawn on the king side that proved vital. Karjakin was aware at this point that the fight was over but he played on till 91 moves before signing the peace treaty.

The tournament victory gives Anand the winner's cheque of 135000 Euros (a little over Rs 1 crore) and the right to a match against Magnus Carlsen of Norway who dethroned the Indian champion at Chennai in November last at the World Chess Championship. This rematch will take place sometime in the last quarter of this year. -- PTI

Friday, March 28, 2014

Khanty Mansiysk Chess Candidates: Flight Anand Ready to Land Safely!

Friday March 28, 2014, Khanty Mansiysk (Russia): As he approaches the big game against Russia’s Sergey Karjakin, five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand would aim to carry forward his good from into the crucial 13th and penultimate round of the Candidates Chess tournament, here tomorrow.





The oldest competitor in the fray, Anand has thus far outlasted everyone else. The Indian’s tryst with destiny to win the Candidates and earn the right to challenge tormentor Magnus Carlsen is well on track.And Karjakin is one last hurdle that Anand faces with black pieces before he has a white game against Peter Svidler of Russia in the final round.

With 7.5 points in his bag from the first 12-rounds of this double round robin event, Anand has a full point lead over top seed Levon Aronian of Armenia who has 6.5 points.Karjakin and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan are the other two in contention with six points each while the other four players – Russian trio of Vladimir Kramnik, Dmitry Andreikin and Svidler and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria have an identical 5.5 points.The one point lead for Anand is effectively 1.5 points lead as he beat Aronian 1.5-0.5 in their personal encounter.

The tournament rules specify that in case of a tie for the top spot, the personal encounter between the tied players will be the first consideration to resolve the tie.And since Anand beat Aronian, it is clear that the Armenian will have to score half a point more than Anand if he has to win the tournament. Matching Anand on points is not an option for Aronian.In the scenario, one point from the remaining two games will be enough for Anand to secure the tournament victory even if Aronian wins the last two rounds. The Armenian has a black game against Dmitry Andreikin before he plays his last game against Karjakin.

The history here is in favour of Anand. The Indian ace has never lost to both Karjakin and Svidler in any Classical game ever and this would give Anand a lot of confidence. This fact could also be one of the reason Anand did not “tempt fate” in his own words in the previous round. -- PTI

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Candidates Chess R11: Anand almost Unstoppable, Leads with 1 Point

Khanty Mansiysk: Five-time World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand inched closer to clinching the Candidates Chess tournament title after settling for an easy draw as black against Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in the 11th round here. With just three rounds to go, Anand maintained his full point lead over nearest rival Levon Aronian of Armenia and with two white games in hand out of the last three, there is little that can go wrong for the Indian ace.


Anand is almost there... Only three rounds remain and he has a comfortable 1 point lead over the rest of the field after 11 rounds. Photo: FIDE/Kirill Merkuriev

On what turned out to be a pretty dull day, Russian Peter Svidler played out a draw with Aronian, Dmitry Andreikin signed peace with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan while Sergey Karjakin held his position against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria to get a half point.

With all games ending in draws, the leader-board did not see any change apart from the fact that everyone added to their overnight tally in this 600000 Euros prize money tournament that double up as the selection event for the next World Championship challenger.

Anand took his tally to seven points out of a possible 11 and Aronian remained his closest adversary with six points. Karjakin, Mamedyarov and Svidler follow the Armenian a half point behind while Kramnik and Andreikin have five points in all. Topalov is on last spot with 4.5 points in his kitty.

Kramnik chose the Catalan opening with white pieces and the pressure of having lost the last two games weighed heavy on the Russian. Anand opted for a quite and fashionable system wherein Kramnik's attempt to complicate matters did not see the light of the day.

In the early middle game, Anand had a pawn weakness and instead of a passive defense, he sacrificed it for active counter play. Kramnik played on with an extra pawn but had to give it back to release the tension. Soon peace was signed in just 31 moves.

Peter Svidler's approach was cautious against Aronian after the latter parted with his Bishop for a Knight early in a Reti Opening. Playing white, Svidler allowed a symmetrical pawn structure on the board the rooks changed hands on the only open file leading to a level queen and minor pieces endgame. The players did not find a reason to continue after the queens also got traded and the draw was agreed to in 33 moves.

Sergey Karjakin had some chances after defending a slightly passive position for a long time. His opponent Veselin Topalov went for the English opening and faced the Hedgehog set up. Though Topalov had optically better prospects for the major part of the game, Karjakin also hung in there waiting patiently and making the right defensive moves.

After exchanging queens, Karjakin still had an unpleasant position but easier to defend. In his bid for complications, Topalov sacrificed a couple of pawns and Karjakin followed up with a counter rook sacrifice for a Bishop. While Karjakin came out with a miniscule advantage after the tactical sortie, Topalov was equal to the task in defense when situation demanded. The game lasted 57 moves.

Andreikin and Mamedyarov played a long theoretical variation in the Catalan opening where the former played white. The pieces got exchanged at regular intervals and in almost no time a minor pieces endgame was on board. Further liquidation led to another draw. -- PTI



Standings
1 GM Anand Viswanathan 2770 IND 7
2 GM Aronian Levon 2830 ARM 6 

3 GM Karjakin Sergey 2766 RUS 5½
4 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2757 AZE 5½
5 GM Svidler Peter 2758 RUS 5½
6 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2787 RUS 5
7 GM Andreikin Dmitry 2709 RUS 5
8 GM Topalov Veselin 2785 BUL 4½

Candidates Chess R10: Anand on Course to WC, Keeps 1 Point Lead!

Khanty Mansiysk: Former World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand remained on course for a rematch with Magnus Carlsen of Norway after securing an easy draw against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan in the 10th round of the Candidates Chess tournament.

It turned out to be another good day for Anand as main contemporaries Levon Aronian of Armenia and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia failed to bridge the gap and the Indian ace continues to be in front with a full point lead.

Aronian could not use his white pieces to much use against Bulgarian Veselin Topalov and had to settle for a draw while Kramnik's poor run continued when he failed to spot a tactical stroke that led to a quick loss against compatriot Peter Svidler. The other game of the day between Russians Dmitry Andreikin and Sergey Karjakin also ended in a draw.




Anand remained on course for a rematch with Magnus Carlsen after securing an easy draw against Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan in the 10th round. Photo: Photo: FIDE/Kirill Merkuriev

With just four rounds to come, Anand is sitting pretty training his sights for the next world championship match on 6.5 points. Aronian remains the nearest contender on 5.5 points followed by Mamedyarov, Karjakin and Svidler who all have five points apiece.

Kramnik remained on 4.5 points and he has Andreikin as company while Topalov is at the last spot another half point adrift.

Apart from the match for the next world championship, the winner here also takes home 135000 euros.

Playing with white, Anand stuck to his guns and repeated the moves of his previous round game against Topalov.

The opening went off well for Anand but Mamedyarov was probably not impressed and came up with the equaliser in no time.

The Indian had to exchange the dark square Bishop early and then Mamedyarov followed suit with castling on the queen side leaving the position absolutely level.

Anand tried manoeuvring his pieces to correct squares and once that was done the players just decided to split the points. The game lasted 30 moves.

The shocker of the day came from Svidler when Kramnik simply missed a game changing tactical stroke. It was the Dutch defense as black by Svidler and Kramnik, trying to shy away from the usual, allowed his Russian teammate to equalise easily.

It was in the middle game that Kramnik missed a simple check by the Bishop. The result was huge deficit in the material as Svidler picked up a rook and a couple of pawns for his Bishop and romped home.

Aronian faced the Slav defense from Topalov and the latter had no difficulty in getting a playable position.

The pieces got exchanged at regular intervals and even though Aronian had something to hope for, the position was close to equal for major part of the game. The ensuing rook and minor piece endgame had little chance for either player and the peace was signed in 45 moves.

Karjakin-Andreikin duel was the shortest game of the day lasting 29 moves.

Karjakin went for an early trade of queen in the Sicilian Taimanov but Andreikin was up to the task in keeping the balance. The draw result was guess of every expert. -- PTI

Results after round 10: Vishwanathan Anand (IND, 6.5) drew with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE, 5); Vladimir Kramnik (RUS, 4.5) lost to Peter Svidler (RUS, 5); Levon Aronian (ARM, 5.5) drew with Veselin Topalov (BUL, 4); Sergey Karjakin (RUS, 5) drew with Dmitry Andreikin (RUS, 4.5).

Pairings Wednesday March 26 Round 11GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS - GM M Shakhriyar AZE
GM Topalov Veselin BUL - GM Karjakin Sergey RUS
GM Svidler Peter RUS - GM Aronian Levon ARM
GM Kramnik V RUS - GM Anand Viswanathan IND

Monday, March 24, 2014

Candidates Chess R9: Anand on Top!

khanty Mansiysk world chess candidates 2014 Round 9 -- India’s Viswanathan Anand regained the sole lead with a sparkling victory over former challenger Veselin Topalov from Bulgaria in the ninth round of Candidates Chess tournament, here today.
Anand demolishes Topalov, takes one-point lead in Khanty Mansiysk at the World Chess Candidates 2014. Photo: FIDE/Kirill Merkuriev

The hard-earned victory proved crucial for five-time World Champion Anand as he took his tally to a six points out of a possible nine.

The equations went for a toss in the ninth round as Shakhriayar Mamedyarov defeated top seed Levon Aronian of Armenia and Vladimir Kramnik suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Russian teammate Sergey Karjakin.

The other game between Russian duo of Dmitry Andreikin and Peter Svidler ended in a draw.

With five rounds still to come, Anand now enjoys a full point lead over Aronian who remained on five points after the debacle.

Kramnik was joined by Karjakin and Mamedyarov on 4.5 points for joint third spot while Andreikin and Svidler are now joint sixth on four points apiece while Topalov is on the last spot on 3.5 points.

To sum things up, Anand is on a roll and will fancy his chances a great deal now.

It was Anand’s day all the way. Up against Topalov’s pet Sicilian Najdorf, Anand did not give much away in the opening as white and retained a minuscule advantage as the game entered unchartered territories.

Topalov decided to go for exchanges at regular intervals while his position remained slightly worse and this was not a good strategy as Anand continued to exert pressure when the game reached queen and minor piece endgame.

The Indian picked up a pawn when Topalov erred and handled the remaining technicalities of the queen and pawns endgame in masterly fashion to script his third victory in the tournament.

Mamedyarov played the spoiler for Aronian and continued with his roller-coaster ride in the tournament. After blundering his way against Kramnik in the seventh round game when he mishandled a won position and lost, Mamedyarov made sure he held on to his own after attaining an advantage against Aronian who was out of sorts in this ninth round game.

Mamedyarov won in 44 moves.

Karjakin continued with his comeback act and defeated Kramnik for his second straight victory. Starting with an ultra-safe approach in the opening, Karjakin capitalised on some erroneous play by Kramnik in the middle game to win a handful of pawns.

The technicalities thereafter were not difficult to handle. -- PTI

Results round 9: V Anand (Ind, 6) beat Veselin Topalov (Bul, 3.5); Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 4.5) beat Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 4.5); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 4.5) beat Levon Aronian (Arm, 5); Dmitry Andreikin (Rus, 4) drew with Peter Svidler (Rus, 4).

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Candidates Chess R8: Aronian, Anand Draw, Lead: Kramnik 1/2 Point Behind

Khanty Mansiysk : Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand on Saturday, gave jitters to his fans before signing an early draw with top seed Levon Aronian of Armenia in the eighth round of Candidates chess tournament here.

Levon Aronian in joint lead after eight rounds. Both have 5 points. Vladimir Kramnik has 4.5 points. Photo: FIDE/Kirill Merkuriev

The draw against Aronian was important for Anand as the Indian ace not only maintained his joint lead with the Armenian but now also has four white games to come in the last six rounds that gives him an edge over others.

Vladimir Kramnik of Russia could not get past the solid defences of a resurgent compatriot Dmitry Andreikin and had to settle for a draw and the game between Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan was also drawn after showing promise of an intense battle.

In the other game of the day, Peter Svidler was fighting hard to salvage a half point against Russian team-mate Sergey Karjakin.

With six rounds still to go, Anand and Aronian have five points apiece and they are followed by Kramnik on 4.5 points. Svidler on 3.5 has an extra ongoing game in hand compared to Topalov, Andreikin and Mamedyarov, who all inched themselves up to the same score.

Karjakin on 2.5 is on the last spot. The stakes are high in the candidates as the winner takes home 135000 Euros as prize money apart from the right to challenge Magnus Carlsen in the world championship match later this year.

It was a very unusual start to the game between Anand and Aronian. Playing white, Aronian came up with a less played manoeuvre on the third move by moving his queen while Anand threw caution to the winds with his next move that could not be found in any existing chess database.

If this was not enough, Anand sacrificed a pawn on his fourth move for sheer compensation and many in fact believed that the Indian had blundered. However, as Anand pointed out in the post-game conference, he had seen the pawn sacrifice and thought it gave sufficient compensation.

Aronian, though a pawn up, did not like his position. "I think I was worse," he conceded later.

As it happened after some routine manoeuvres, the players decided to repeat and the game was drawn in just 19 moves.

Kramnik showed aggression out of an irregular opening once again but Andreikin was up to the task in his defense. With some cold-water treatment, Andreikin even stood slightly better for a while when he captured a pawn and Kramnik had to liquidate to a level endgame at the first opportunity.

Mamedyarov played the Sicilian defense and the game took shape in a variation akin to the Dragon variation. Topalov did not get much and Mamedyarov came up with a piece sacrifice to complicate matters. Not wanting to take any undue risk, Topalov returned the material in time to reach a drawn endgame. The game lasted 32 moves. -- PTI

Results round 8: Levon Aronian (Arm, 5) drew with V Anand (Ind, 5); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 4.5) drew with Dmitry Andreikin (Rus, 3.5); Veselin Topalov (Bul, 3.5) drew with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 3.5); Peter Svidler (Rus, 3.5) playing Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 2.5).

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Candidates Chess R7: Aronian, Anand in Joint Lead in Khanty Mansiysk

Khanty Mansiysk, Russia: Five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand the signed peace with Peter Svidler of Russia in the seventh round to play out his fourth consecutive draw at the Candidates Chess tournament.

But, Aronian played a fantastic game to beat Sergey Karjakin and drew level with Viswanathan Anand. 
Levon Aronian looks on as Shakhriyar Mamedyarov sips some coffee on his way to losing to Vladimir Kramnik. Photo: official website.

In other games, Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria was outdone by Dmitry Andreikin in the big upset of the day while Russian Vladimir Kramnik played a wild, wild game to beat Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.
At the halfway stage, Anand took his tally to 4.5 points out of a possible seven and will have an easier second half wherein he has four white games lined up out of seven. Levon Aronian too now has 4.5 points.

Round 8  
GM Kramnik Vladimir RUS  - GM Andreikin Dmitry RUS
GM Svidler Peter RUS - GM Karjakin Sergey RUS
GM Topalov Veselin BUL - GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE
GM Aronian Levon ARM - GM Anand Viswanathan IND

Svidler was a bit tentative in the closed Ruy Lopez after Anand went for the Berlin defense - the flavour of the season.

The Indian got in to the groove pretty fast with his knights moving to the King side for some rapid action in the early stages of the middle game. Svidler felt the heat but did not give much away.

The critical moment was when Anand could win a pawn which was also suggested by all chess engines albeit hard to judge for a human mind. Anand in the end concluded that it was all a bit "messy", a sentiment echoed by Svidler.

However, the game was far from over as Anand came up with a positional queen sacrifice to liven things up. Svidler knew his chances of holding were high with pawns exchanges and the Russian wasted no time in pushing his brigade forward.

Anand could do little after a timely exchange sacrifice that left him with two rooks for a queen.

"In fact his draw offer was useful, it helped me with my evaluation. Peter (Svidler) is not a devious guy, there are people who will offer a draw in a worse position," Anand said in the post-game conference.

The Indian ace conceded that he was not at his best on Friday.

"I needed a lot of time and calm moves before I can threaten 'f3', I can't do it," he said.

Andreikin caused a sensation at the expense of Topalov who was a pale shadow of himself.

It's been a roller-coaster ride for Topalov in the last three rounds as he lost one against Svidler, bounced back to beat Kramnik and now suffered a disastrous loss against Andreikin.

Topalov went for the Queen's gambit declined as black and faced a side variation. The Bulgarian got a decent opening with a temporary pawn sacrifice but missed the thread as he gave too much weightage to an optical attack against the king.

Andreikin steered his king to safety with a long walk to the queen side and the extra pawn did the damage thereafter. -- Agencies
Standings1 GM Anand Viswanathan 2770 IND 4½
2 GM Aronian Levon 2830 ARM 4½
3 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2787 RUS 4
4 GM Svidler Peter 2758 RUS 3½
5 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2757 AZE 3
6 GM Andreikin Dmitry 2709 RUS 3
7 GM Topalov Veselin 2785 BUL 3
8 GM Karjakin Sergey 2766 RUS 2½



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Magnus Carlsen Video Chat on World Chess Candidates 2014


World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen just posted on his Facebook Page:
You've asked, I've answered. Here are my thoughts thus far on the FIDE World Candidates Tournament. I sat down with my Manager, Espen Agdestein to discuss. Check it out on the link below:

Candidates Chess: Anand at Crucial Juncture; Play Resumes Tomorrow

Khanty Mansiysk: Placed comfortably on top of the table with a half point lead, five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand will enter the crucial phase of the Candidates chess tournament, taking on Peter Svidler after the second rest day in Khanty Mansiysk on Friday.

Viswanathan Anand: Can he set up a second date with Magnus Carlsen? Photo: Kirill Merkuriev/FIDE

From a great beginning to some cautious play, Anand, with four points in his bag from six games, enjoys a half point lead over nearest contender Levon Aronian of Armenia.

It's a closely matched field as almost everyone except the lowest seed Dmitry Andreikin of Russia seems to be in the race for the challenger of the next world championship match against Magnus Carlsen to be played later in 2014.

The eight-player double round-robin tournament has seen a lot of excitement and there are no clear favourites as yet but surely Anand has an edge thanks to his half point cushion.

The stakes are high as apart from a match against Carlsen, the winner will take home 1,35,000 Euros (a little over Rs one crore) as cash prize. The Russian duo of Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Svidler, Bulgarian Veselin Topalov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan follow Aronian a half point behind on three points apiece and they all have reasons to fancy their chances as the tournament nears the completion of the first half.

Not far behind is Sergey Karjakin on 2.5 points who can not only play the spoiler but also has it in him to pull a few victories to match leaders.

Anand has been in lead from day one. It was the day when Anand showed to the world that he is not finished yet. No one could have asked for a better start than a victory over Aronian. Next followed a draw with Topalov with the Indian ace in absolute control and in the third round was an inspiring performance when Mamedyarov was crushed in all departments of the game.

However, since then it has been a cautious approach by Anand. In the fourth round Kramnik played the Vienna variation wherein the Indian would fancy his chances on another day. The Russian showed better preparation and got an easy draw.

Andreikin struggled a little in the fifth round but did not face many difficulties before drawing with the Indian and then in the previous round, Sergey Karjakin again suffered just momentarily before steering himself to safety.

If the first three games showed Anand in great spirits, the last three have dampened them a little. And the next two games will be most crucial as Anand first meets Svidler with black and then has another black game lined up against Aronian in the eighth round. Should he come out unscathed in the next two, Anand will become a huge favourite for title in Khanty Mansiysk.

After an insipid start that involved four draws and a loss, Topalov came back with a bang scoring over Kramnik in the previous round. The result changed many equations and Kramnik who had looked almost invincible thus far suddenly turns vulnerable.

It was a similar story for Svidler who had come up with some sterling chess till the fifth round. Had Svidler been on track in each round, he would have had at least one point more till the fifth round itself. And the way he lost the sixth round game against Mamedyarov goes to prove that nerves play a major role in big games.

Kramnik crushed Karjakin in round two, missed a winning continuation against Aronian and got the easiest of draws as black against Anand. Things were shaping out well till he met Topalov. The Russian will have to do the hard work over again.

Mamedyarov was written off in the first three rounds that resulted in two losses and just one draw. Thereafter the Azeri has seen a reversal in fortunes complementing his uncompromising style. He will surely want to carry on with the momentum. -- PTI

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Candidates Chess R6: Anand Draws Karjakin, Leads in Khanty Mansiysk

Sergey Karjakin - Viswanathan Anand draw in Round 6. Photo: FIDE (Thursday is a rest day)

Khanty Mansiysk, Russia: Viswanathan Anand remained in sole lead with a third straight draw, signing peace with Russian Sergey Karjakin in the sixth round of Candidates Chess tournament here on Wednesday.

After scoring two victories in the first three rounds itself, Anand did not get many chances for the third day running even as Karjakin had to work hard for the half point. It turned out to be another high-tension round in the candidates that will select the challenger to Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the next World championship match later this year.

Bulgarian Veselin Topalov reacted like a wounded tiger after losing the previous round to Peter Svidler and defeated second seed Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in a fine display while Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan put it across Peter Svidler of Russia to announce his arrival as a contender in the tournament.

Anand remained in sole lead with a third straight draw, signing peace with Russian Sergey Karjakin in the sixth round of Candidates Chess tournament.

If this was not enough, top seed Levon Aronian of Armenia spoiled all the hard work of the first few hours and mishandled a winning position to let Russian Dmitry Andreikin off the hook with a draw. 

After the lopsided round, Anand took his tally to four points and remained a half point ahead of Aronian. While Kramnik and Svidler slipped to joint third spot along with Topalov and Mamedyarov who came back to a fifty percent score.

Karjakin moved to 2.5 points and is now on seventh spot, a half point clear of Andreikin who was simply lucky to survive today. For the first time in Candidates, the main line of the Berlin defense came on board. Anand has not been able to crack it since the last world championship match and today was no different even though Karjakin had to find some right way to equalise.

After the usual trading of queens, Anand got the typical breakthrough on the king side but while that gave him a better control in the king side, Karjakin punctured the other flank by parting with his bishop. Even as Anand's king walked to the center, black's position remained impregnable and the draw was agreed to after 33 moves. -- PTI 


Results Round 6: V Anand (Ind, 4) drew with Sergey Karjakin (Rus, 2.5); Veselin Topalov (Bul, 3) beat Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 3); Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze, 3) beat Peter Svidler (Rus, 3); Levon Aronian (Arm, 3.5) drew with Dmitry Andreikin (Rus, 2).

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