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

Saturday, September 28, 2013

World Junior Chess 2013: Vidit Gujrathi wins Bronze for India

Kocaeli, Turkey: Former Under-14 world chess champion Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi won the bronze medal in the World Junior Chess Championship after settling for a quick draw with winner Yu Yangyi of China in the 13th and final round that concluded in Kocaeli, Turkey. (Photos: Photos by: Zeynep Yetisgin and Bengu Atli)

Gujrathi joined an elite list of Indians winning medals at the world junior champions starting from a gold medal by world champion V Anand in 1987, gold by Harikrishna in 2004, gold by Abhijeet Gupta in 2008 and Bronze by Sahaj Grover in 2011.

With Yangyi taking gold, the silver went to defending champion Alexander Ipatov of Turkey who defeated Aleksander Indjic of Serbia in the final round.

Yu Yangyi ended on 11 points from 13 rounds while Ipatov scored 10.5 in all.

Gujrathi tied for third spot along with Peruvian Grandmaster Jorge Cori and had the better tie break for his bronze medal.

Playing the black side of a Caro Kann, Gujrathi had little to do with black pieces as Yangyi was satisfied with a draw ensuring him the first place. On the second board Ipatop played it tough and defeated Indjic in a one sided affair.

"It's my best effort since winning the world under 14 a few years back," said Gujrathi after his medal winning performance adding quickly that he wants to break into the 2600 ELO rating club soon.

S P Sethuraman needed to win to be in contention of a medal and Jorgi Cori was not relenting as white. It was a Grunfeld defense wherein the Indian spurned down chance to repeat and draw and eventually ended on the losing side after gifting a handful of queen side pawns.

Grandmaster Sahaj Grover lost his second game in a row when he could not handle the complexities of a French Winawer against A R Saleh Salem of UAE.
Ending on 7.5 points, it turned out to be a mediocre performance for Grover who scored 50 per cent against the top three ranked players.

Debashish Das will have to wait for the confirmation of his Grandmaster title till the next tournament after he drew the final round game here. Needing a victory to complete his GM title, the Indian was held to a draw by Radoslav Dmitrov of Bulgaria.

In the girls' championship that concluded simultaneously, Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia won the gold scoring 10.5 points in all while the silver went to Zhansaya Abdumalik of Kazakhstan. Top seed Alina Kashlinskaya of Russia won the bronze.

Padmini Rout ended as the best Indian girl ending on eighth spot on eight points. -- PTI

Important and Indian results final round (Indians unless stated): Yu Yangyi (Chn, 11) drew with Vidit Gujrathi (9.5); Alexander Ipatov (Tur, 10.5) beat Aleksander Indjic (Srb, 8.5); Jorge Cori (Per, 9.5) beat S P Sethuraman (8.5); Debashis Das (8.5) drew with Radoslav Dimitrov (Bul, 8.5); A R Saleh Salem (Uae, 8.5) beat Sahaj Grover (7.5); N Srinath (7.5) drew with Jinshi Bai (Chn, 7.5); Sanal Vahap (Tur, 7.5) beat Rakesh Kulkarni (6.5); S L Narayanan (7.5) beat Fang Yan (Chn, 6.5); Atay Sergen (Tur, 4.5) drew with Sameer Kathmale (4.5).

Girls: Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus, 10.5) beat Andrea Paula Rueda Rodriguez (Col, 8.5); Padmini Rout (8.5) drew with Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kaz, 9.5); Dinara Saduakassova (Kaz, 8.5) drew with Irina Bulmaga (Rou, 8.5); Mitra Hejazipour (Iri, 9) beat Aulia Medina Warda (Ina, 8); Ivana Maria Furtado (7.5) beat Marvorii Nasriddinzoda (Tjk, 6.5); Fronda Jan Jodilyn (Phi, 7) drew with G K Monnisha (7); Irina Petrova (Ukr, 7) beat Rucha Pujari (6); Ayelen Martinez (Arg, 6) lost to Riya Savant (7); Vo Thi Kim Phung (Vie, 6.5) beat Shristi Shetty (5.5); J Saranya (6.5) beat Alymbay Kyzy Aizhan (Kgz, 5.5); Anjana Krishna (6) drew with Anu Bayar (Mgl, 6).

Thursday, September 26, 2013

World Junior Chess Round 12: Indians Going for medal Finish

Kocaeli, Turkey: Indian Grandmasters Vidit Gujrathi and SP Sethuraman placed themselves for a medal contention as they defeated Jorge Cori of Peru and Vladislav Kovalev of Belarus respectively in the 12th and penultimate round of World Juniors Chess Championship.

The victories took Gujrathi and Sethuraman to nine points out of a possible 12 and at least one of them looked poised to get a medal.

Yu Yangyi of China almost assured himself of the gold medal by beating Samvel Ter-Sahakyan of Armenia. The Chinese top seed took his tally to a whopping 10.5 points and a draw as white against Gujrathi in the last round will assure him of the title.

Alexander Ipatov of Turkey remained sole second on 9.5 points after drawing his game with Wei Yi of China. The defending champion can also ensure the silver with a draw in the last round.

Gujrathi played white and outclassed Cori from a side variation in the Grunfeld defense game. The opening gave Gujrathi a small but lasting advantage and he was quick to pounce on a pawn in the early middle game. Cori lost another pawn and did not get the desired counter play as the Indian romped home in 37 moves.

Sethuraman had to work harder against Kovalev from a King's Indian defense by the latter. Sethuraman went for an attack on the Kingside sensing his chances once black pushed the pawns ahead and got the advantage as Kovalev went for an error-filled plan. The game lasted 45 moves.

The other Indian boys had a mixed day. Grandmaster Sahaj Grover lost to Aleksander Indjic of Serbia while Debashish Das beat Simone De Filomeno to come within striking distance of becoming a Grandmaster.

In the girls' championship, Padmini Rout played out a hard fought draw with Alina Kashlinskaya of Russia and remained in with a chance to fight for the medal. Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia defeated Meri Arabidze of Georgia to lead this section on 9.5 points. --PTI

Important and Indian Results:
Round 12 open (Indians unless specified): Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (Arm, 8) lost to Yu Yangyi (Chn, 10.5); Wei Yi (Chn, 8.5) drew with Alexander Ipatov (Tur, 9.5); Vidit Gujrathi (9) beat Jorge Cori (Per, 8.5); S P Sethuraman (9) beat Vladislav Kovalev (Blr, 7.5); Sahaj Grover (7.5) lost to Aleksandar Indjic (Srb, 8.5); Simone De Filomeno (Ita, 7) lost to Debashis Das (8); Jahongir Vakhidov (Uzb, 8) beat N Srinath (7); Rakesh Kulkarni (6.5) drew with Sebastian Iermito (Arg, 6.5); Ege Koksal (Tur, 6.5) drew with S L Narayanan (6.5); Sameer Kathmale (4) lost to Temizkan Denizcan (Tur, 5). 

Girls: Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus, 9.5) beat Meri Arabidze (Geo, 7.5); Andrea Paula Rueda Rodriguez (Col, 8.5) beat Irina Bulmaga (Rou, 8); Deysi Cori (Per, 7.5) lost to Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kaz, 9); Alina Kashlinskaya (Rus, 8) drew with Padmini Rout (8); Rucha Pujari (6) lost to Qiu Mengjie (Chn, 7); G K Monnisha (6.5) drew with Ivana Maria Furtado (6.5); Riya Savant (6) Anastasiya Rakhmangulova (Ukr, 6); Aisa Imeeva (Rus, 6.5) beat J Saranya (5.5); Aizhan Alymbay Kyzy (Kgz, 5.5) drew with Anjana Krishna (5.5); Shristi Shetty (5.5) beat Belen Matute Loja (Ecu, 4.5).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

World Junior Chess Round 11: Padmini Rout beats Leader in Exciting Show

Kocaeli (Turkey): Women's Grandmaster Padmini Rout caused a major flutter by defeating tournament leader Irina Bulmaga of Romania in the 11th round of World Junior Girls' chess championship on Wednesday.

Playing black, Padmini was at her best in tackling Bulmaga who went hay wire in the middle game and lost a pawn. With perfect technique, Padmini picked up another pawn and then a rook for a knight, leading to a won position.

The shocker meant changes in the rankings as Aleksandra Goryashkina of Russia emerged as the sole leader here with 8.5 points out of a possible 11.

Padmini with this victory jumped to 7.5 points and she now shares the fourth spot with two rounds still to come.

In the open section being organised simultaneously, S P Sethurman continued with his fine form and defeated Nasanjargal Urtnasan of Mongolia. Sethuraman took his tally to eight points in all along with compatriot Vidit Gujrathi who too had a good day against Debashish Das.

Yu Yangyi of China regained sole lead defeating Andrey Stukopin of Russia on a day when defending champion Alexander Ipatov of Turkey was held to a draw Samvel Ter-Sahakyan of Armenia. Ipatov again slipped to the second spot on nine points, a half point ahead of Jorge Cori of Peru.

The Indian duo of Sethurman and Gujrathi are now joint fourth on eight points and need to do well in the last two rounds to be in with a chance for a podium finish.

Among other Indians, Grandmaster Sahaj Grover bounced back with a victory over Fang Yan of China, while N Srinath defeated Mykola Bortnyk of Ukraine.

Sethuraman had an easy day out of a Nimzo Indian defense as black. Winning a pawn in the endgame, Sethuraman was precise in his calculations and his two passed pawns proved much faster than Urtnasan's.

Gujrathi also won with black pieces. Debashish Das had a level position in the middle game but missed the thread as the game progressed. Gujrathi's technique was perfect to get a full point.

Sahaj Grover sacrificed a piece in the endgame when the position looked absolutely drawn. It was a good comeback for Grover after losing to Chinese Wei Yei in the previous round. -- PTI

Important and Indian results round 11 open (Indians unless stated): Alexander Ipatov (Tur, 9) drew with Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (Arm, 8); Yu Yangyi (Chn, 9.5) beat Andrey Stukopin (Rus, 7.5); Urii Eliseev (Rus, 7) lost to Jorge Cori (Per, 8.5); Debashis Das (7) lost to Vidit Gujrathi (8); Nasanjargal Urtnasan (Mgl, 7) lost to S P Sethuraman (8); Wei Yi (Chn, 8) beat Marcel Kanarek (Pol, 7); Fang Yan (Chn, 6.5) lost to Sahaj Grover (7.5); N Srinath (7) beat Mykola Bortnyk (Ukr, 6); S L Narayanan (6) beat Barros Rivadeneira Cristhian (Ecu, 5); Rakesh Kulkarni (5) beat Zhanbai Uulu Zhokhar (Kgz, 4); Assad Mamyrbay (5) beat Sameer Kathmale (4).

Girls: Irina Bulmaga (Rou, 8) lost to Padmini Rout (7.5); Deysi Cori (Per, 7.5) lost to Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus, 8.5); Arabidze Meri (Geo, 7.5) drew with Aulia Medina Warda (Ina, 7.5); Mitra Hejazipour (Iri, 7) drew with Alina Kashlinskaya (Rus, 7.5); Abdumalik Zhansaya (Kaz, 8) beat Sabina Ibrahimova (Aze, 6.5); Ivana Maria Furtado (6) lost to Ekaterini Pavlidou (Gre, 7); J Saranya (5.5) lost to Maria Bezgodova (Rus, 6.5); Ayelen Martinez (Arg, 6) drew with Rucha Pujari (6); Lena Miladinovic (Srb, 5) lost to G K Monnisha (6); Caterina Leonardi (Slo, 4.5) lost to Riya Savant (5.5); Anjana Krishna (5) beat Firat Deniz (Tur, 4).

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

World Jr Chess R10: Indians Joint Fifth

Kocaeli, Sept 24: Grandmaster S.P. Sethuraman came back into the reckoning with a thumping victory over Antonios Pavlidis of Greece in the 10th round of the World Junior Chess Championship here.

Playing the white side of a King’s Indian defense, Sethuraman went on the attack in the Saemisch variation and launched a direct assault with a pawn roller resulting in tremendous pressure. Pavlidis cracked when he ran out of useful moves and called it a day after 30 moves.

Sethuraman took his tally to seven points out of 10 games and given the fact that he has played the tougher opponents, he can now train his sight for a podium finish for which some more victories are needed in the rounds to come.

The Indian currently stands joint fifth in standings along with compatriots Debashish Das and Vidit Gujrathi (photo) who also have the same score.

Yu Yangyi of China, meanwhile joined Alexander Ipatov of Turkey in lead on 8.5 points disposing the challenge of Aleksandar Indjic of Serbia. Ipatov was held to a draw by Peruvian Grandmaster Jorge Cori on the top board.

These two are followed by Cori and Samvel Ter-Sahakkyan of Armenia on 7.5 points and the Indian trio is in joint fifth spot with five others. Sethuraman and Gujrathi have the best tiebreak among these players.

Debashish Das defeated Pouya Idani of Iran in a keenly contested game. Down a pawn in the middle game, Das never was in serious problems and worked his way for a fine counter play that left the Iranian defenseless.

Gujrathi accounted for N. Srinath in a miniature lasting a mere 20 moves. Out of an English opening, some lacklustre moves cost Srinath dearly as he fell way behind in development and it was all over in quick time. --PTI

Monday, September 23, 2013

World Junior Chess Round 9: Alexander Ipatov Leads, Sahaj Grover Joint 4th

Grandmaster Sahaj Grover provided the silver lining on a sluggish day for the Indian boys as he held top seed Yu Yangyi to a draw in the ninth round of the World Junior Chess Championship here in the ninth round.

Kocaeli: With the championship approaching its business end, the Indian boys were in for a rude shock as only Debashish Das could score a full point. Despite a good result, Grover slipped to joint fourth with 6.5 points.

Alexander Ipatov (photo) made the most of his chances against Indian GM Vidit Gujrathi and shot into sole lead on eight points out of a possible nine. For the records, this was Ipatov’s fifth victory against an Indian in the championship in as many matches.

For the first time in the event, Yu Yangyi slumped to second on 7.5 points while Jorge Cori of Peru elevated himself to third position on seven points.

With four rounds to come, Grover shares the fourth spot with Samvel Ter-Sahakyan of Armenia, Duda Jan-Krzysztof of Poland and Aleksander Indjic of Serbia, who all have 6.5 points apiece.

Among Indian boys, S.P. Sethuraman was held to a draw by compatriot N. Srinath in a keenly-contested game wherein the former could not make much use of an extra pawn for a long time as Srinath hung in to force a liquidation into a level queen and pawns endgame.

Das defeated lower-rated Jinshi Bai to move to six points, a position he shares with Srinath, Gujrathi and Sethuraman.

Grover did not get many chances out of a Nimzo Indian against Yangyi, who came with a new idea, forcing the Indian to spend a lot of time in the opening.

Grover found the way to equality without much ado and the players arrived at a rook and opposite colour Bishops endgame that was just level. --PTI

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Women's World Chess Champion Hou Yifan: Not Sure if I Defend Title in 2014

China's 19-year-old Hou Yifan has won the World Chess Championship for the third time. She told Anastasiya Karlovich, in an interview that: “This match was not as easy as people might think.” (Left: Hou Yifan, Photo: Anastasiya Karlovich)

The interview taken by Anastasiya Karlovich on the day after the decisive 7th game of the Women’s World Championship Match in which Yifan beat reigning Women's World Chess Champion Anna Ushenina of Ukraine, the 19-year-old World Champion talks about her preparation, her opponent Anna Ushenina, the match and her attitude towards chess and life. 

When I saw you in Beijing in July during Grand Prix tournament it seemed you were not really busy with preparation for the Match. Was it just my impression?
Actually I started my preparation few days after I came back from Tromso. In total it lasted less than one month. The only difference in my preparation was that I knew my opponent and it was a bit more specific. We didn’t have much time, so we worked on some basic things, some openings. 

There is an opinion you don’t really try to outplay your opponent in opening. Do you try to prove you are better in middle game and endgame, same way as Magnus Carlsen does?
Carlsen is famous for being very powerful and much stronger than most of the players in the world in the middle game and endgame. I’m not such a high level player. I believe openings are important but for me it’s also not the most important part of the game, it’s only the first stage and then we have two more.

What do you think about your opponent?
I think she is a strong player. We’ve played several games in the past but for few years we didn’t play at all. I thought if she managed to win the World Championship in knockout it means she is a fighter, she cannot be weak. 

After few years break you had a chance to play against Anna during Women Grand Prix in Geneva and you lost that game. What did you feel after? Did you make any conclusions?
At that tournament I lost not only against her, I also lost to some other players. The most important thing was my bad performance, I was not in a good shape and played just terrible. This game didn’t change my attitude to match, in any case I was going to prepare seriously as I try to do before any official event. Anybody who plays not only for fun should pay attention to preparation. 

How can you explain your results during the last year? Was it in some way connected with the forthcoming match?
I was not in a good shape for a long period. I don’t really know the reason but I thought it was normal in sense that in one moment it was supposed to happen. You cannot always play good and show great results. It also could happen here but what can you do about it, except trying to do your best to get ready for the tournament. I cannot also say that I put too much attention to the match and I didn’t care about other tournaments. No, my results were not connected with the match. In 2011 I showed good results before the match with Koneru, so I think I just had a bad period. 

Did your results during the last year influence your self-belief?
I’m not the person who cares so much about the results, even I take chess seriously. 

Was this period connected with changes in your life? As I know, you started to study in the university.
Yes, I cannot take so much attention to chess as I did before because I have to study as normal student. The only advantage I have is an opportunity not to attend lessons when I participate in the tournaments but I still have to study myself if I miss something. Also it depends on professors, if the person is quite strict and pedantic so I cannot miss a lot. 

What did it mean for you to play in Taizhou? What do you think about conditions? Is it important to play on “your field” as in football?
In fact, Taizhou is not my native city. I was born in Xinghua, it’s one hour by car from here. Xinghua has at least 1 million inhabitants and many of my relatives still live there. 
South of China is not so polluted; there is a fresh air here, better food, vegetables. Of course, while playing here I didn’t need to change my schedule due to time difference and food was okay for me but in general I think the organization was more or less the same as for any other chess event.

What was your reaction when you learnt that Korobov and Khalifman were going to help Anna Ushenina during the match?
At first when I saw her team I said as many other people did: “Wow! Her team is so strong and so powerful!” I thought at that moment: “Maybe I should be more serious about it? Maybe I should do something different?” (smiles) But then after Tromso I just decided to hire a second by myself to help me preparing.

Did you expect the match to finish so quickly?
Well, I was expecting any situation. I expected it would be difficult, or I would have some difficult moments. 

Can you tell which difficult moments did you face during the match?
The first game was very complicated and the fifth game also.

You believed Ushenina’s team was strong. Why did you repeat Keres Attack in the 5th game? Wasn’t it a bit risky?
It was just reasonable, so I repeated. How can you know that some other surprises are not waiting for you in other variations, other openings? (smiles)

How did it happen that Anna lost three games with white pieces? Do you think it was because of wrong opening choices?
In first two games there was Nimzo-Indian, my main weapon with Black. She didn’t lose those games because of openings. It happened later. I can only say that in the third game there was an obvious mistake made by her. 

Are you satisfied with the level of play you showed here?
It’s okay for me but not perfect. I didn’t make big mistakes, I didn’t blunder but I also didn’t play precisely sometimes. I had worse positions in the games I’ve mentioned and I think it was because of my inaccurate play.

You had already won two matches – one in Tirana against Humpy Koneru and another one just one day ago. How can you compare them?
I felt happy two years ago and I feel happy today because in general I’m glad to win such important tournaments. The match in Tirana was more difficult for me. Last time the first half of the match I had worse and difficult positions and I tried hard to fight back. This time it was more one-sided. At the same time this match was not as easy as people might think, judging only from the outcome. In Tirana I faced more problems in the openings comparing to this match but it’s hard to say if I was better prepared in the openings for this match or not. 

You had health problems in Tirana. Have you ever had that unknown pain in stomach again?
Sometimes I get sick during the tournaments. During this match I felt okay, but I had problems just few days before the start and had to take some medicines for 4-5 days. 

Who was helping you this time?
I didn’t have a team this time and as I mentioned before that I only hired a second short time before the match started. Also you may know that GM Ye Jiangchuan is our Chinese team’s chief coach, so when he had time he also helped me a bit but most of the time he had many other jobs to do besides preparing. That’s why finally I decided to hire a second by myself. And a lot of friends all around the World were helping me whether with advises in chess or just support. They were cheering me up and I feel very grateful. I really appreciate their help! 

How do you mentally prepare yourself for the games and for the match?
Of course, I considered this match as a very important event but it’s not the most important thing in my life. For me it’s more important to be healthy, to be happy person in my daily life. I will try to explain you another way. Health and happiness means number “1” for me. Achievements, victories are “zeros”. So I would add those zeros to number “1”. The total number of my day can be 10, 1000, 10000 but without number “1” it’s nothing. I think my attitude helped me to enjoy the match and feel good. I try not to make a tragedy if I lose a game. Until the match is not over I would just focus on following games. In general when you win it doesn’t mean something crazy, if you lose it’s not the end of the world. 

But what if you lose this match?
Yes, I thought about it before the match and for me both cases were acceptable. 
I know many people contributed to organize this match, I appreciate the help of the government and the organizers, but still all results were possible. I was just trying to do my best and to be optimistic.

What does this title means for you? How is it important for you to get it back after nine and half months?
I’m happy to get the title of the Women’s World Champion back. Last year my results were not so good and I hope it’s a signal that I started to recover. 

Do you feel you are the strongest player among women?
No, I don’t. There is no obvious difference in level between me and other players. There are many strong players who have rating over 2500 and with some of them I have a plus, with others balanced results. At the same time I don’t have an opponent among women I have difficulties to play against. 

Does it bother you that you can lose your title in the next World Championship with knockout system like it happened to you in Khanty-Mansiysk?
I have no idea if I’m going to play there or not, I don’t have clear schedule for the next year. You may know that I didn’t really want to participate in the World Championship but had to go to play because of other reasons in the end. I don’t have clear idea which system should be used in women’s chess but we can compare it with the system in men’s chess. I believe the organization of whole cycle in men chess is more reasonable, fairer. I would be glad if FIDE makes the same system for women chess. 

You are young, beautiful and the World Champion! How can you describe your life at the moment?
It’s still long way to go and I have many years ahead to do almost everything I want. It’s time to observe the new things in chess, in studies, in other parts of life. I just want to expand my life. Life is wonderful!

World Junior Chess Round 8: Alexander Ipatov, Yu Yangyi Lead

Kocaeli: Grandmaster Sahaj Grover (left) played out a draw with Iranian Pouya Idani, while Vidit Gujrathi defeated Polish Marcel Kanarek to be joint third after the eighth round of the World Junior Chess Championship here.

On what turned out to be a mixed day for the Indian boys, Gujrathi was at his technical best to squeeze out a victory with black pieces. The middle game arising out of a Taimanov Sicilian was about equal and Gujrathi reached a queen and minor piece endgame where he began perfect deployment of forces to win a pawn.

Kanarek went looking for counter-play but ended up losing his queen in a tactical melee. Grover fell short of time when he needed it the most in another Sicilian Taimanov of the day.

Pouya Idani was quick to spot a tactical stroke after suffering for the major part of the game and Grover could not find the right path to exert pressure with his clock ticking away. The result was a draw after Grover suffered some material deficit.
S.P. Sethuraman could not match the guile of defending champion Alexander Ipatov of Turkey and lost from a position of strength.

It was a promising middle game for the Indian out of a Queen’s gambit declined but Ipatov stayed focused to pose problems for white. As it happened, Sethuraman missed the thread of the position and lost a piece and it was soon all over.

Debashish Das was the other Indian who lost from a drawn position against Vladislav Kovalev Belarus.

Yu Yangyi of China shares the lead with Ipatov on seven points and these two are now a point clear of nearest rivals, Grover, Gujrathi, Idani, Kovalev and Jorge Cori of Peru who drew with Yangyi in the eighth round.

In the girls’ championship being held simultaneously, Padmini Rout showcased her attacking skills to outwit erstwhile leader Aulia Warda Media of Indonesia. It was a French Winawer by Padmini as white that led to complexities favouring her.

G.K. Monisha’s prospects of a norm suffered a setback when she lost to Lanita Stetsko of Belarus and the Indian will have to win a few games to come back in contention.

Among other Indians in the fray, Ivana Maria Furtado also suffered a setback while Shristi Shetty and Anjana Krishna also lost their games. Riya Sawant and J. Saranya won while Rucha Pujari was held to a draw.

Irina Bulmaga of Romania and Alina Kashlinskaya of Russia share the lead in this section on 6.5 points each. Padmini Rout shares the third spot with three others on six points. --PTI

Prakash Nepal Wins Prem Bahadur Thapa Magar Chess in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, Sept 21: Prakash Nepal (left) of Jhapa has won the Prem Bahadur Thapa Magar Memorial Second National Chess Championship held in Hetauda. Nepal totalled seven points in eight rounds to stand clear first.

Nepal beat Balaram Sanjel of Makawanpur in the final round to earn the title and Rs 15,000. He also earned direct qualification for the Nepal chess entry for the Asian Amateur Championship to be held in Saudi Arabia in November and the World Amateur Championship scheduled to be held in Singapore in April, 2014.

Purushottam Chaulagain of Standard Chartered finished second with 6.5 points. He beat Bivek Thing of Times International College in the last round. Suman Shrestha of Dhankuta was third on tie-break ahead of Suraj Pandit of Kathmandu. Shrestha and Pandit received Rs 7,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively. Shrestha beat Herakaji Maharjan of Lalitpur in the last round and Pandit beat Rajan Subedi of Damak, Jhapa.

Subedi, Rahul Chau Pradhan of Kavre and Nabin Kumar Chaudhary of Saptari were 5th-7th with 5.5 points each. Bivek Thing, Balaram Sanjel and Sundar Karki of Makawanpur finished 8th-10th. Each won Rs 2,000 each.

The event organised by Makawanpur District Chess Association was officiated by Gyanendra Khaiju, the first international arbiter from Nepal. -- B&W Chess News Desk

Saturday, September 21, 2013

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

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

Koneru Humpy

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

All the girls in Tashkent

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

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

Harika and Girya

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, September 20, 2013

World Junior Chess Round 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, September 19, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 Reasons why Carlsen better not Underestimate Anand

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

GM Bogdan Lalic Wins Cesenatico Chess Tournament in Italy

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also Read: 

Monday, September 16, 2013

World Junior Chess: Mixed Results for Indians in Kocaeli, Turkey

Kocaeli, Turkey, September 16: Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi played out a fighting draw with Bai Jinshi of China, while GM Sahaj Grover lost to defending champion Alexander Ipatov of Turkey in the third round of World Junior chess championship here.

It was an English opening by Gujrathi that did not promise much hope in the middle game even as Jinshi exchanged off pieces at regular intervals to retain the parity. The players arrived at a queen and pawns endgame where the draw was a just result after 38 moves.

A faulty variation in the Queen’s gambit cost Sahaj Grover dearly as he was outdone in quick time by Ipatov.

Playing black, Sahaj made an error in the opening to allow a dangerous king side attack. Known for his fondness for attack, Ipatov pounced on the chance and reached a winning endgame that was easy to convert.

The other Indian Grandmaster in the fray – S.P. Sethuraman - made amends for his draw in the previous round and outplayed Ayan Akhmetov of Kazakhstan. A sacrifice in the middle game by Sethuraman led to a winning position.

With ten rounds still to go, Yu Yangyi of China, A.R. Salem Saleh of UAE, Duda Jan-Krzysztof of Poland and Ipatov emerged as joint leaders with a perfect score.

Sethuraman, Gujrathi and Grandmaster-in-waiting Debashish Das are among those who have 2.5 points each, while Grover and S.L. Narayanan are another half a point adrift.

Among other Indians in the fray, S.L. Narayanan defeated Temur Igonin of Uzbekistan while Das overpowered Saiyn Zhanat of Turkey. Rakesh Kulkarni and Sameer Kathmale ended on the losing side against Jorge Cori of Peru and Temizkan Denizcan of Turkey, respectively.

In the girls’ championship being played simultaneously, G.K. Monnisha continued with her excellent run to beat Mitra Hejazipour of Iran and took her tally to 2.5 points. -- PTI

Grischuk Wins ACP Chess Rapid Knockout 2013 in Riga

Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk of Russia has won the fifth edition of the ACP Rapid Knockout Cup - 2013 in Riga, Latvia. The final match Grischuk-Nepomniachtchi reached the Armageddon stage, after the players drew both rapid games after exciting fight, and later exchanged the victories in the blitz games. In the final game, Grischuk gained an advantage in the opening, and emerged victorious.

Ian Nepomniachtchi plays 44. ...Kf4. Grischuk went for 45. QxRg7. Can you see a spot another great continuation for Grischuk?

Grischuk, Alexander - Nepomniachtchi, Ian

Result: 1-0
Site: Riga
Date: 2013.09.15
[...] 1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 g6 3.♘f3 ♗g7 4.e3 O-O 5.♗e2 d5 6.cxd5 ♘xd5 7.e4 ♘b6 8.O-O ♗g4 9.♘bd2 ♘c6 10.d5 ♘b8 11.a4 c6 12.a5 ♘6d7 13.h3 ♗xf3 14.♘xf3 ♘f6 15.♕b3 ♕c8 16.♗g5 ♘xe4 17.♗xe7 ♖e8 18.d6 ♘xd6 19.♗xd6 ♖xe2 20.♘g5 ♕d7 21.♖ae1 ♖xb2 22.♕c4 ♘a6 23.♖e7 ♕f5 24.♖xf7 ♕d5 25.♖xg7+ ♔xg7 26.♕c3+ ♔g8 27.♕xb2 ♕xd6 28.♕xb7 ♘c7 29.♘e4 ♕e5 30.♕xc6 ♖f8 31.♕c4+ ♔g7 32.♖d1 ♖f7 33.♘c5 h5 34.f3 ♕e3+ 35.♔h1 ♕f2 36.♕c3+ ♔h7 37.♖d8 ♖g7 38.♘e4 ♕f1+ 39.♔h2 ♕b5 40.♘f6+ ♔h6 41.♖h8+ ♔g5 42.♘e4+ ♔f4 43.♕xg7
43.g3+ ♔f5 44.♕f6# (0:00:00),42...Kf4 Yes it's checkmate in two! But any way, Grischuk is winning all the way since quite some time.
43...♘d5 44.♕d4 and Nepomniachtchi resigned!

Earlier, Grischuk knocked out Peter Svidler and Nepomniachtchi knocked out Ponomariov in the semi-finals. The final match was commented jointly by Grandmasters Alexei Shirov (who was replaced by GM Artur Neiksans during the tie-break) and Emil Sutovsky. All the photos and videos are available on the official website: The ACP Cup was organised by the Association of Chess Professionals together with the Latvian Chess Federation. The venue for the tournament is provided by Rietumu Bank, which has one of the best premises in Riga for hosting exhibitions, auctions and other cultural and intellectual events. The bank is also participating in the financing of the tournament.

The Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) is a not-for-profit organisation, whose main purpose is the protection of chess professionals’ rights and the practice and promotion of chess worldwide, in particular through the organisation of chess tournaments and other chess events. (All photos by Lennart Ootes).

* ACP Rapid Chess in Riga: Spectacular Knockout with 16 Fighters Sept 13-15
* ACP Rapid Chess Riga Day 1: Three Easy Knockout Punches to Enjoy

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Exciting ACO World Amateur Chess Championship 2014 in Rhodes

Do you love chess and can play it well? Even if you're caught up in your profession the year round, this is one chess tournament that you would hate to miss. You can become a world chess champion (in your category) as well! By now already more than 180 players have registered. 
Save your Early Bird offer till 15 September 2013! 
After that date the prices will increase by 50 EUR per person! The last edition was booked out already several months prior to the start of the tournament,
therefore an early decision is recommended.

Through this link you can find all information in PDF format:

ACP Rapid Chess Riga Day 1: Three Easy Knockout Punches to Enjoy

There was exciting chess on the first day of the ACP Rapid Chess Cup in the art gallery of Rietumu Bank in Riga. The live commentary was followed by local chess fans and thousands of spectators online at the official website.

Here are the results:
Grischuk - Fressinet : 3:1 (on the blitz tie-break)
Mamedyarov-Kovalenko: 1.5:0.5
Nepomniachtchi - Moiseenko: 1.5:0.5
Svidler - Jakovenko : 1.5:0.5
Radjabov - Shirov : 1.5:0.5
Malakhov - Eljanov : 1.5:0.5
Ponomariov - Morozevich: 1.5:0.5
Wojtaszek - Ivanchuk : 1.5:0.5

Photos: Lennart Ootes

Saturday pairings for the 1/4 final:
Click to WATCH LIVE India 4.30 pm

Grishuk - Wojtaszek (at 14:00 Riga time = 13:00 CET)
Mamedyarov - Ponomariov (18:00 Riga time = 17:00 CET)
Nepomniachtchi - Malakhov (18:00 Riga time = 17:00 CET)
Svidler- Radjabov (14:00 Riga time = 13:00 CET)

*India is 2 1/2 hours ahead of Riga

Here are three knockout punches to enjoy from Day 1 at the ACP Rapid Chess Cup

Svidler - Jakovenko 1-0
Black just played 53... Rf5. Why is that a blunder?

Ivanchuk - Wojtaszek 0-1
Black just attacked the White Rook on e1 with Bc3. White saved the Rook to e2. Was that correct?

Kovalenko - Mamedyarov 0-1
White has resigned in a well-known position. Do you know how to win from here?

A: 1.Ke4+ Ke6 forced protecting Rook 2.Rd6 winning
B: Even though White is in a squeeze, Re2 loses immediately as the Knight on d3 goes. Better would have been Rd1. The game progressed 1.Re2 f5 2.Bf3 Qxd3
C: You don't even need to struggle with the Lucena position in this as Black just needs to keep the White King cut off and take the King down to the support of the g-pawn and roll it down to Queen.

Yes, it's all about the basics! You can do it too with your chess!
- Zainab Raza Undulusi



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