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Friday, September 13, 2013

ACP Rapid Chess in Riga: Spectacular Knockout with 16 Fighters Sept 13-15

We have an extended weekend of some spectacular chess coming up! Beginning Friday, 16 of the world's best chess fighters will go after a haul of $75,000 at the ACP Chess Cup 2013 in Riga, Latvia. The format is an exciting knockout one with time controls of two games of 25 minutes each (increment 10 seconds).

7 Vesetas St., Riga, LV-1013
ACP Chess Cup Live India Time at official website: India time 4.30 pm. 

The Association of Chess Professionals, along with the Latvian Chess Society, is holding the event in Riga, Latvia, from September 12 to 15. The opening ceremony was held Thursday evening, so the games begin Friday. Who would you like to put your chips on (listed according to rapid rating order)?

Blitz Specialist: Alexander Grischuk - With his chess play endorsed by none other than the legendary Garry Kasparov, this Russian Grandmaster can easily call himself a blitz specialist. He has won the Chess World Blitz Championship twice (2006, 2012) and, at one time, had the highest blitz rating on the Internet Chess Club. 
Federation: Russia
Birth Date: October 31, 1983
Birth Place: Moscow, Russia
Residence: Moscow, Russia / Odessa, Ukraine
Title: Grandmaster since 2000
World ranking: 4
FIDE Rating: 2785
World Rapid ranking: 2
FIDE Rapid Rating: 2830

Aggressive Sharp-Shooter: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov - The reigning Chess World Rapid Champion is a sharpshooter who virtually ran away with the crown scoring 11.5 out of 15 in Khanty Mansiysk in June this year. He's aggressive, has strong instincts and is daring enough to innovate in the openings. 
Federation: Azerbaijan
Birth Date: April 12, 1985
Birth Place: Sumgayit, Azerbaijan
Residence: Sumgayit, Azerbaijan
Title: Grandmaster since 2002
World ranking: 7
FIDE Rating: 2775
World Rapid ranking: 4
FIDE Rapid Rating: 2822

Wolf Incognito: Ian Nepomniachtchi - Another of those young Grandmasters brought up in the rich traditions of Russian chess, don't go by his animated conversations and sweet looks. Given the chance, he devours the enemy with relish. Former European and Russian champion he has also worked with World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen. 
Federation: Russia
Birth Date: July 14, 1990
Birth Place: Bryansk, Russia
Residence: Moscow, Russia
Title: Grandmaster since 2007
World ranking: 29
FIDE Rating: 2717
World Rapid ranking: 6
FIDE Rapid Rating: 2804

Petersburg's Hard-Hitter: Peter Svidler - The six-time Russian champion plays chess like Sachin Tendulkar bats. He even uses the handle Tendulkar on the Internet Chess Club. Svidler is a Chess960 specialist who can play any endgame - the most recent and spotlight hogging one being the destruction of Magnus Carlsen at the London Chess Candidates 2013 in the last round. When in form, Svidler only hits sixes.... er.. checkmates.
Federation: Russia
Birth Date: June 17, 1976
Birth Place: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Residence: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Title: Grandmaster since 1994
World ranking: 15
FIDE Rating: 2746
World Rapid ranking: 10

FIDE Rapid Rating: 2761

Pawn Squeezer: Teimour Radjabov - A King's Indian expert, the youngster from Baku who, in Linares 2003, not yet 16 years old, became the first player in seven years to beat the legendary Garry Kasparov with the black pieces in a rated game, a feat no one repeated before Kasparov's retirement two years later. He's also an ACP Rapid Cup from Odessa, 2008. He knows how to squeeze out a win after capitalizing on minor advantages. 
Federation: Azerbaijan
Birth Date: March 12, 1987
Birth Place: Baku, Azerbaijan
Residence: Baku, Azerbaijan
Title: Grandmaster since 2001
World ranking: 21
FIDE Rating: 2733
World Rapid ranking: 11
FIDE Rapid Rating: 2760

Nuke Button: Vladimir Malakhov - The nuclear physicist-turned-chess player brings the same meticulous calculation and deep study to the chess board as to his earlier profession. Give this Russian a chance, and he will finish you mercilessly. He's the button on a nuclear warship, just don't press.
Federation: Azerbaijan

Birth Date: March 12, 1987
Birth Place: Baku, Azerbaijan
Residence: Baku, Azerbaijan
Title: Grandmaster since 2001
World ranking: 21
FIDE Rating: 2733
World Rapid ranking: 11
FIDE Rapid Rating: 2760

Complicated Chameleon: Alexander Morozevich - Confuse them first then kill them! This Russian talent likes to complicate even simple positions much to the chagrin of his opponents. He dares use even the most unpopular openings in top-level chess without any fear of defeat. A difficult opponent to prepare in battle for, Morozevich is the powerhouse that went up to be World No. 2 at one time. He enjoys gambits and is a Chigorin Defense specialist.
Federation: Russia
Birth Date: July 18, 1977
Birth Place: Moscow, Russia
Residence: Moscow, Russia
Title: Grandmaster since 1994
World ranking: 18
FIDE Rating: 2739
World Rapid ranking: 16
FIDE Rapid Rating: 2742

Anand Ally: Radoslaw Wojtaszek - He has been one of the four seconds to World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand since his successful title defence match against Vladimir Kramnik in October 2008, also assisting him in defending his title in April–May 2010 against Veselin Topalov and in May 2012 against Boris Gelfand. No one is going to take him lightly what with his access to the World Champion's dossier.
Federation: Poland
Birth Date: January 13, 1987
Birth Place: Elbląg, Poland
Residence: Elbląg, Poland
Title: Grandmaster since 2005
World ranking: 47
FIDE Rating: 2701
World Rapid ranking: 19
FIDE Rapid Rating: 2735

Unpredictable Alter-Ego: Vassily Ivanchuk - Possibly the most unpredictable Grandmaster in the world. He can lose easily, or beat even the strongest... specifically the likes of Carlsen and Kramnik. If it were not for Ivanchuk's exploits at the London Chess Classic this year, Viswanathan Anand might as well be defending his crown against someone else instead of Carlsen. You never know which Ivanchuk will show up at the board: The killer, or the killed! Either way, you know he's going to affect the final standings.
Federation: Ukraine
Birth Date: March 18, 1969
Birth Place: Kopychyntsi, Ukraine
Residence: Lviv, Ukraine
Title: Grandmaster since 1988
World ranking: 22FIDE Rating: 2731
World Rapid ranking: 24
FIDE Rapid Rating: 2725

Attacking Tiger: Ruslan Ponomariov - A former FIDE World Chess Champion, his opening repertoire is an attacking one. An attacking tiger, Ponomariov goes into battle all cylinders firing. This youngest Grandmaster in the world at one time, never hesitates to experiment. 
Federation: Ukraine
Birth Date: October 11, 1983
Birth Place: Horlivka, Ukrainian
Residence: Kiev, Ukraine
Title: Grandmaster since 1998
World ranking: 14
FIDE Rating: 2756
World Rapid ranking: 25

Hard-nut-to-Crack GM: Pavel Eljanov -  A steady player who relishes positional chess and savours creative combinations, Pavel Eljanov has made steady progress up the FIDE world rankings, and on the September 2010 FIDE Elo rating list, Eljanov had a rating of 2761, making him number 1 in Ukraine and number 6 in the world. In May 2010, he won the Astrakhan FIDE Grand Prix with a score of 8/13. He's going to be a hard nut to crack at the ACP event.
Federation: Ukraine
Birth Date: May 10, 1983
Birth Place: Kharkov, Ukraine
Residence: Kharkov, Ukraine
Title: Grandmaster since 2001
World ranking: 42
FIDE Rating: 2706
World Rapid ranking: 29
FIDE Rapid Rating: 2712

Home-Crowd Favourite: Alexei Shirov - Alexei Dmitrievich Shirov is a Soviet-born Latvian chess Grandmaster and the home crowd is going to be cheering for him for sure. He has consistently ranked among the world's top players since the early 1990s, and reached a ranking as high as number four in 1998. Shirov is also a well-regarded chess author. To him also the credit of helping bring the tournament to Riga.
Federation: Latvia
Birth Date: July 4, 1972
Birth Place: Riga, Latvia
Residence: Riga, Latvia
Title: Grandmaster since 1990
World ranking: 55
FIDE Rating: 2696
World Rapid ranking: 39
FIDE Rapid Rating: 2706

Stubborn Samurai: Laurent Fressinet -  As stubborn as they come. He's in the record books for playing the longest rapid chess game during a tournament in the world against 12th Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk. A former French and European champion, he's recently rubbed shoulders and tossed pieces with World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen. He's armed to the teeth, in good form and raring to go.
Federation: France
Birth Date: November 1, 1981
Birth Place: Dax, France
Residence: Paris, France
Title: Grandmaster since 2000
World ranking: 38
FIDE Rating: 2708
World Rapid ranking: 46
FIDE Rapid Rating: 2690

Dark Horse: Dmitry Jakovenko -  This Russian Grandmaster has learned chess from Garry Kasparov's former trainer Alexander Nikitin. He's been the world u-18 champion and, at one time, was ranked number one in Russia ahead of Vladimir Kramnik. A believer in modern chess ideas built on traditional Russian chess theory, he could be the surprise horse to back in the ACP Cup race.
Federation: Russia
Birth Date: June 29, 1983
Birth Place: Omsk, Russia
Residence: Nizhnevartovsk and Moscow, Russia
Title: Grandmaster since 2001
World ranking: 23
FIDE Rating: 2724
World Rapid ranking: 53
FIDE Rapid Rating: 2678

Laser Precise: Alexander Moiseenko - Reigning European Chess Champion, this Grandmaster from Ukraine has a string of tournament victories to his credit from Istanbul to Edmonton to Montreal and more. He brings to the table laser precision in play and could be the nemesis of higher-rated players in Riga over the next two days. 
Federation: Ukraine
Birth Date: May 17, 1980
Birth Place: Severomorsk, Russia
Residence: Kharkov, Ukraine
Title: Grandmaster since 2000
World ranking: 41
FIDE Rating: 2706
World Rapid ranking: 63
FIDE Rapid Rating: 2669

Steel Solid: Igor Kovalenko - Another one for the home crowd, he's the reigning Latvia Chess Champion. He's known for his grounded, steady play without reckless risks. Being the last seed, everyone is likely to go after his throat, but he's "steel-throated considering" his careful and fast play. He has excellent nerves as well!
Federation: Latvia
Birth Date: December 29, 1988
Birth Place: Novomoskovsk, Ukraine
Residence: Riga, Latvia
Title: Grandmaster since 2011
World ranking: 117

FIDE Rating: 2644
World Rapid ranking: 128
FIDE Rapid Rating: 2633

The first round matches are split between two shifts.And so, the pairings are:

Afternoon shift (starts at 14:00 Riga time = 13:00 CET = India 16.30)

Mamedyarov - Kovalenko
Nepomniachtchi - Moiseenko
Malakhov - Eljanov
Wojtaczek - Ivanchuk

Evening shift (starts at 18:00 Riga time = 17:00 CET = India 20:30)

Grischuk - Fressinet
Svidler - Jakovenko
Radjabov - Shirov
Morozevich - Ponomariov

-- Zainab Raza Undulusi 
( Readers can also find some fun and interesting 
chess articles by this writer at our partner site



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