Please Support @kosteniuk on RUNET Competition

CLICK HERE to get to the Voting Page above

Hi everybody!

The life of a chess player is in constant competition. Some of those competitions are real and toughly fought, for example the Moscow Chess Open, which is taking place right now.

Some other competitions are virtual, for example, the recent ChessCafe Book of the Year Contest, which ends tonight. If you haven’t yet sent an email to to support Alexandra Kosteniuk’s “Diary of a Chess Queen” book, please do so now. We will be sending out prizes to people who write and send a copy of the support email to Alexandra. The results will be published on February 2, we are told. See our original post.

Today we hear about a new web competition, this time in Russia, it’s by RUNET and it’s goal is to find out who’s the top Russian micro-blogger around. While Alexandra Kosteniuk has over 120,000 followers in her English Twitter account @chessqueen, started 2 years ago, she has only around 700 followers in her Russian account which she just recently started @kosteniuk.

To support Alexandra, you will need to either have a FACEBOOK or a TWITTER account. If you do, please CLICK HERE and then select either the Facebook or Twitter button and send the tweet, hopefully, your vote will be counted.

Thanks for your support!


Your daily Chess Blog video tutorial hosted by Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

What’s the best way to begin the week? With a chess lesson of course. So here is an easy one but very can be very crucial when you are in a tournament. We wish you success with it.

The Philidor Position in R+P vs. R.
LEVEL: Easy   

It’s important to know the Philidor Position which shows the easiest way to draw as the weaker side in R + P vs. R Black plays and draws.

Ready to run the video? Go ahead.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Congress 2011 – Interview with GM Short plus great video
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Here is a nice interview with the creative Grandmaster Nigel Short about the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Open.

The first title holder of the Gibraltar international chess festival in 2003, former British Champion, GM Nigel Short, is once again back on the Rock participating in the festival for the fourth time. Nigel also won in 2004, and on his third visit came a close second.

After a break of a number of years he has returned to compete in the Tradewise Chess Festival 2011… as he puts it for the “good weather” but also because he believes that from modest beginnings the festival has now become the foremost open tournament in the world.

Find great photos of chess wizard
Grandmaster Nigel Short at

“The Gibraltar Festival has grown tremendously. It has never been a weak tournament even in the first year. From modest beginnings, and from the first year, great efforts were made to bring some top players. It is now the foremost open tournament in the world. Everybody agrees Gibraltar is the best opens around,” he says.

Nigel, who like many players around the world has closely followed the growth of the festival, which he acknowledges has gone from strength to strength, says: “It has built up slowly, and there continues to be a steady increase in numbers with very strong players.”

Is he surprised with the success of the Festival in Gibraltar?

“No. I am not surprised with its success because it has good organisation, and the people behind the event are very enthusiastic about it. That combination coupled with good sponsors, providing you can continue to improve on the event, then it all comes together to be what it is today, a very impressive event.”

Is he back to win back the Gibraltar title again?

Nigel, who says he is of course out to win the 2011 Gibraltar Master, and even though at the time of releasing this press release was leading the board, believes he has, “a very long shot for winning this tournament, and I say that as someone who has, in my three years here, won it twice, and come second, once. The tournament has improved and there are some really top class players, and there are a lot of them.”

A nice video from the tournament.

The musician in the video is Maria Yarur from Chile, who is playing in the Amateur competition.

The top-20 standings after Round 6

1GMIvanchuk VassilyUKR27645.52969
2GMShort Nigel DENG26585.02831
3GMFridman DanielGER26555.02822
4GMMikhalevski VictorISR25795.02622
5GMSengupta DeepIND25304.52758
6GMAdams MichaelENG27234.52741
7GMKulaots KaidoEST25774.52714
8GMDzagnidze NanaGEO25504.52712
9GMRoiz MichaelISR26494.52702
10IMKosintseva NadezhdaRUS25524.52690
11GMCaruana FabianoITA27214.52674
12GMGopal Geetha NarayananIND25974.52667
13GMKacheishvili GiorgiGEO25854.52650
14GMNisipeanu Liviu-DieterROU26784.52636
15GMIkonnikov VyacheslavRUS25804.52623
16GMEdouard RomainFRA26344.52589
17IMBellaiche AnthonyFRA24584.52549
18IMMelia SalomeGEO24494.52521
19GMFier AlexandrBRA25714.52461
20Szuper PaulUSA21744.52445

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Wrap-up chess report and videos on Tata Steel Chess Fest 2011
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk 2011

Hi everyone,

Here are more details and great videos for our wrap-up report on the Tata Steel Super-GM Chess Tournament 2011 that concluded in Wijk aan Zee yesterday. Hope you read our previous report here on

Hikaru Nakamura won the 2011 Tata Steel Chess Tournament. In the last round the American grandmaster drew with Black against Wang Hao from China. His main rival Vishy Anand from Indian also drew his game with Russian GM Ian Nepomniachtchi. In the B group Luke McShane and David Navara drew, and will both be invited for the A group next year. Daniele Vocaturo won the C group after drawing with Ilya Nyzhnyk in the last round.

Hikaru Nakamura – The champion’s interview.

The Tata Steel Chess Tournament was held from Friday, January 14th till Sunday, January 30th, 2011 in Wijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. Besides many amateur events there were three Grandmaster Groups (A, B and C), all 14-player round-robins. The time control was 100 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 50 minutes for 20 moves, then 15 minutes for the remaining moves with 30 seconds increment for each move starting from the first move. You can find loads of info at the official website

And, a nice article to read in The Huffington Post.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Your daily Chess Blog video tutorial hosted by Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

Ready for class with your cup of coffee? It’s Sunday Super Chess Class. Here is our next video from the hosted by Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk. Enjoy.

LEVEL: Intermediate
CATEGORY: Middle Game

This position was taken from a game between A. Kosteniuk and S. Cherednichenko, Szeged 1994. White plays and wins.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

John Nunn wins 2nd Tata Chess and Studies Day
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

The 2nd Tata Chess and Studies Day had
twenty, international participants.

Hi everyone,

The current world solving champion, British grandmaster John Nunn, has won the second Tata Steel solving tourney in Wijk aan Zee on Saturday, after finishing second in the first edition, two years ago. Twenty participants tried their best to crack nine original studies, seven of which were contributed by well-known Dutch GM Jan Timman.

Nunn, a three-time winner of the grandmaster A tournament in Wijk aan Zee, scored 36 out of the maximum of 45 points to closely finish ahead of the top Belgian solver GM Eddy van Beers (34 points). The big surprise of the event, was the third place finish of WGM Alina l’Ami (member of the Romanian Olympic women team and the wife of Dutch GM Erwin l’Ami) who scored 33 points in her first solving tourney ever!

She was followed by Dutch IM Piet Peelen, ahead of Marcel van Herck 31.5, Martin van Essen 29.5, GM Piotr Murdzia 27.5 (The world’s highest rated solver) , IM Twan Burg (winner of the first edition) 27, and GM Dolf Wissmann (the Dutch champion) 26.5. The best junior prize was won by Peter Ypma who ended in 10th place with 26 points.

You can find a great, detailed report at Enjoy.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

News Flash – Congratulations to Nakamura for winning Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2011
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Find great photos of Hikaru Nakamura at

Hi everyone,

We’ve been following the Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2011 from Wijk aan Zee and today, in the final round, drawing with Wang Hao, Hikaru Nakamura has walked away with the championship title. He notched up a total of 9 points.

Standings after round 13 of Group A

1. H. Nakamura 9
2. V. Anand
3. L. Aronian, M. Carlsen 8
5. V. Kramnik, M. Vachier-Lagrave
7. A. Giri, R. Ponomariov
9. I. Nepomniachtchi, Wang Hao 6
11. A. Grischuk, E. l’Ami, J. Smeets
14. A. Shirov 4

 Standings after round 13 of Group B

1. L. McShane, D. Navara
3. Z. Efimenko 8
4. L. Liem, G. Sargissian, W. So
7. V. Tkachiev 7
8. R. Wojtaszek
9. L. Fressinet, Li Chao 6
11. S. Ganguly
12. W. Spoelman 5
13. J. Hammer 4
14. F. Nijboer

Standings after round 13 of Group C

1. D. Vocaturo
2. I. Nyzhnyk 8
3. I. Ivanisevic
4. K. Lahno, D. Swiercz 7
6. M. Bluvshtein, M. Kazhgaleyev, T. Sachdev
9. B. Bok 6
10. S. Siebrecht
11. J.W. de Jong, R. Pruijssers, M. van der Werf, R. van Kampen 4

Updates to follow.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Tata Steel Chess Super-GM final round today: Exciting finish awaited; videos of Naka, Carlsen wins
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello Everyone,

The fantastic Tata Steel Chess Super-GM in Wijk aan Zee will witness the final 13th round today. It’s been an exciting tournament and the last round is sure to live up to it all.

First, the standings. 

Standings after round 12 in Group A
1. H. Nakamura
2. V. Anand 8, 
3. L. Aronian, M. Carlsen
5. V. Kramnik, M. Vachier-Lagrave 7
7. A. Giri, R. Ponomariov 6
9. I. Nepomniachtchi, Wang Hao
11. A. Grischuk, E. l’Ami, J. Smeets 4
14. A. Shirov

Today’s pairings
Group A: Round 13 – Sun. Jan. 30st
Ian Nepomniachtchi – Viswanathan Anand  
Vladimir Kramnik – Max. Vachier-Lagrave  
Wang Hao – Hikaru Nakamura  
Alexander Grischuk – Magnus Carlsen  
Levon Aronian – Jan Smeets  
Alexei Shirov – Erwin l’Ami  
Anish Giri – Ruslan Ponomariov

Some super cool videos now.

Standings after round 12 of Group B

1. L. McShane, D. Navara 8
3. Z. Efimenko
4. L. Liem, G. Sargissian, W. So, V. Tkachiev 7
8. R. Wojtaszek 6
9. L. Fressinet, S. Ganguly, Li Chao 5
12. J. Hammer, W. Spoelman 4
14. F. Nijboer

Standings after round 12 of Group C

1. D. Vocaturo
2. I. Nyzhnyk 8
3. I. Ivanisevic
4. K. Lahno, D. Swiercz 7
6. M. Bluvshtein, M. Kazhgaleyev, T. Sachdev
9. B. Bok 6
10. S. Siebrecht
11. J.W. de Jong, R. Pruijssers, M. van der Werf, R. van Kampen 4

Stay tuned for Sunday’s final action in Wijk aan Zee at the official website

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Hou Yifan – talented chess champion next door
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

This is a nice interview in the Telegraph about the youngest women’s world chess champion. Hou Yifan is just 16, charming and your regular teenager next door – by self admission. Yes, you can be a fun person and still win at chess. That’s why chess is cool. Enjoy the interview.

I’m just a normal teenager’

By Peter Foster, Beijing 9:00PM GMT 29 Jan 2011

There is nothing in the slightest bit ordinary about the achievements of Hou Yifan, the Chinese chess prodigy who stunned the world just before Christmas by becoming the youngest ever women’s world chess champion at the age of just 16.

And yet, in appearance at least, it is a quintessentially ordinary Chinese teenager that shuffles in through the door at the Chinese Chess Association in Beijing, feet clad in Nike trainers, colourful scarf draped around her neck and a trendy purple beret holding back neatly bobbed hair.

As her mother looks on, Miss Hou greets us with a bright but bashful smile and an easy-going “hiya” showing off the English language skills she’s picked up from her travels on the international chess circuit where she has been playing since the age of nine. The story of Miss Hou’s ascent to the upper echelons of world chess is both the chronicle of single-minded ambition and the everyday tale of a Chinese only child born to hardworking parents who would sacrifice everything for their child’s achievements.

Miss Hou is both a genius – she became the youngest ever female chess grandmaster at the age of 14, earlier even than her hero Bobby Fischer – and a typical Chinese teenager who, like millions of nameless others, has worked almost unimaginably hard to make the most of her talents and opportunities.
But asked the sacrifices required for her daughter’s success, Miss Hou’s mother, a 42-year-old nurse, chooses to stress the ordinariness of her daughter’s start in the provincial city of Xinghua, 200 miles north of Shanghai where her father was an official in the local justice department.

“We weren’t rich, but we weren’t poor either,” says Wang Qian, “but you will have heard of China’s one-child policy, and like every other parent we were always thinking of ways of to improve our child’s development. “There was no dream or great plan, but one day when Yifan was aged five a neighbour’s older child taught her how to play draughts (checkers). After only being taught once, Yifan was winning easily against the older child, so we decided to pick on board-games to broaden her thinking.
“We took her to a local games club but she always showed fascination in the Western pieces, the horses and the castles,” adds Mrs Wang, “so we decided that chess was the one for her. But back then it was only about broadening her mind, and helping her education, we never dreamed we would come so far.”

By the age of seven, aided by the extra night shifts worked by her mother to free up time to guide her daughter, Miss Hou had already outgrown her local chess club in Xinghua and the family moved north to Shandong province where a bigger club helped with coaching and living expenses.

At that age she attended a full day at school, came home to complete her homework and then at 5pm went to played chess, sometimes for five or six hours at a stretch, although Miss Hou herself says it never seemed that long.

“I had such an interest in the game, a passion you could say, that meant I never got bored with it. I never tried to get out of playing. I think that is what has helped me succeed, I always wanted to keep playing, to keep learning more,” she says.
She dismisses the suggestion that her mother was a “Tigermom” in the mould of Amy Chua, the Yale Law professor, whose unapologetic paeon to tough Chinese parenting, Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior caused such furore recently. “My parents always gave me a choice about playing, but they said that if I wanted to play chess, then I should focus on it completely,” she says, adding that such attitudes and parental expectations are simply the norm for Chinese children. The difference is her success.

“I also have my other studies and I still have some time to do other things, like swimming, listening to music and reading books. I love to read. I recently just finished Oliver Twist for my English studies which is a great book.”
Miss Hou says that her sheer love for the game protected her from the stress that, according to a joint Chinese-UK study published in the British Medical Association’s Archives of Disease in Childhood journal last year, afflicts about a third of primary school age children in China.

Success also helps makes sense of the sacrifices – she won $60,000 for winning the world championship and the Shandong government have verbally pledged to give her family a new house – although Miss Hou says she doesn’t play for money, but to win.

“Half the money went to the federation, some more in tax and anyway I have it all to my parents. If I need something I just ask. After the world championship I asked for a new, faster computer as my old one was too slow for the best chess programs.”

It was in Shandong, at the age of nine that Miss Hou came to the attention of China’s national coach, the grandmaster Ye Jiangchuan, who recognised the talent of the young girl sitting opposite him when she played him and immediately picked up on almost all his weak moves.
“She had wisdom beyond her years,” he recalled with his protégé safely out of earshot, “she was precocious and an aggressive and fearless player. It was clear to me then that she was a very rare talent.”

Months later in 2004 Miss Hou was enrolled under Ye’s tutelage at the Chinese Chess Association training program in Beijing where she continues to build on a talent whose full potential is still many years from being reached.
At just 16, Miss Hou is already the third-ranked woman player in the world (the world rankings, based on a points system, are separate from the world championship), with many predicting that she will continue to surpass the achievements of the great Hungarian woman player Judit Polgar. Ms Polgar, now 34 and the only woman among the world’s top 100 players according to FIDE, the international chess federation, became a grandmaster at 15 – a record broken by Miss Hou two years ago.
Miss Hou’s rise, like the rise of China in so many other spheres of life, is not isolated. She is now one of the 10 Chinese players in the women’s top 100, a position unthinkable as recently as 2002 when not a single Chinese woman made the elite list.

But Miss Hou’s sights are set higher than becoming the world’s best female player, with ambitions to take on the very best male players, emulating her hero Bobby Fischer whose games against the Soviet Union’s Boris Spassky she studies for her own training.

“Traditionally women have not beaten the best men,” adds coach Ye, “but Hou has the potential to rival the best men. Chess is a game based on military tactics and stategy, so it has always appealed more to men. You need to have a strong, aggressive desire, but she Hou has that. Now only time and hard work will tell.”

Ask Miss Hou herself and she seems slightly embarrassed by such talk, offering an answer of typically Chinese mix of self-deprecation and Confucian piety. “I think I will just keep working, follow my parents’ advice and keep playing my chess and let nature take its course. That is how I achieved my current status.”

But Liu Wei, the manager of the Shandong chess club where Miss Hou cut her teeth is more forthcoming, believing Miss Hou has a unique quality for a woman player that over the next decade could help her to achieve more than any woman chess player in history.

“When you meet her, she’s such a sweet-tempered, good-natured girl. She’s very quiet and straightforward, a bit like her father. But when she plays chess, then she plays with such aggression, she’s like another person. I think this drive and attacking spirit comes from her mother.” As so often in China, in the end, it all comes back to the parents.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Congress 2011 – Short, Nadezhda in joint lead after four rounds
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Victoria Cmilyte and Nadezhda Kosintseva

Hi everyone,

The news from the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival 2011 is that Nigel Short and Nadezhda Kosintseva are leading with a perfect score of 4.0 in four rounds. In fact, there was a four-way lead up to Round 3. But Nigel Short beat Deep Sengupta and Nadezhda Kosintseva beat Victoria Cmilyte. The two leaders would now face each other in the fifth round. Meanwhile, Vassily Ivanchuk also won a nice Rook-sac game against Viktor Erdos.

Here are the top standings after Round 4.

Rk.NameFEDRtgPts. TB1 
1GMShort Nigel DENG26584.03308
2IMKosintseva NadezhdaRUS25524.03231
3GMRapport RichardHUN25313.52914
4GMIvanchuk VassilyUKR27643.52873
5GMFridman DanielGER26553.52846
6GMKotronias VasiliosGRE25993.52749
7GMKorchnoi ViktorSUI25443.02772
8GMSengupta DeepIND25303.02748
9GMSasikiran KrishnanIND26903.02737
10GMFelgaer RubenARG25853.02728
11GMZhu ChenQAT24953.02723
12GMCmilyte ViktorijaLTU25263.02722
13GMAdams MichaelENG27233.02709
14GMBuhmann RainerGER25723.02706
15GMKulaots KaidoEST25773.02683
16GMRoiz MichaelISR26493.02678
17GMHarikrishna PentalaIND26673.02674
18GMAkobian VaruzhanUSA26183.02666
19GMSandipan ChandaIND26413.02662
20GMLafuente PabloARG25513.02635
21GMGopal Geetha NarayananIND25973.02634
IMKrush IrinaUSA24833.02634
23GMCaruana FabianoITA27213.02633
24GMGeorgiev KirilBUL26693.02616
GMKacheishvili GiorgiGEO25853.02616
26GMKosintseva TatianaRUS25703.02568
27IMZatonskih AnnaUSA24933.02564
28GMIkonnikov VyacheslavRUS25803.02555
29GMKanep MeelisEST25313.02551
30GMMikhalevski VictorISR25793.02524
31Vaarala EricSWE21523.02508
32GMLemos DamianARG25533.02463
33GMRobson RayUSA25323.02446

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Your daily Chess Blog video tutorial hosted by Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everybody,

Just because it’s a Saturday doesn’t mean we won’t have class today! So here’s your nice chess class from hosted by Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk.

LEVEL: Intermediate
CATEGORY: Middle Game

From a game DesChapelles – De Labourdonnais, Paris 1836 White plays and wins.

When ready just play the video. Enjoy.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

World Senior Chess in Croatia from Nov 14
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

The 21st World Senior Chess Championships will be held in Opatija, Croatia, from November 14, 2011 to November 27, 2011. You can find all the details here.

As per our updates, the national federations and/or the players have to fill the Application Form that can be downloaded from The form has to be emailed to the organisers at by October 15, 2011. In addition to the written registration, it is required that the participants make a personal registration prior to the commencement of the tournament. The personal registrations will be made on November 14, 2011 from 10:00 to 21:00 o’clock and on November 15, 2011, till 12:00 o’clock.

All the best to everyone who is going to play at this special tournament. Chess is inspiring and surely can remain a lifelong passion. The legendary Viktor Korchnoi is a sterling example of that. You did see our post on him beating the young Grandmaster Fabiano Caruana just a few days back at the Gibraltar Chess Festival? Well, here is the link again.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Tata Steel Chess 2011 R11 – Nakamura in the lead with two rounds to go
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

With two rounds to go, Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura has surged into a half-point lead over the rest in the Tata Steel Chess Super-GM. He pulled off a fine victory over current Russian Men’s Champion Ian Nepomniachtchi. While Vishy Anand – who was in joint lead – had to settle for a draw with Vachier-Lagrave and Carlsen beat Vladimir Kramnik in a cool game.

Here are two nice videos giving you all the details about the situation after Round 11.

You can access more details at the official website also. It’s still anyone’s game at the top. Stay tuned for more.

Here are two nice games that you can run in our pgnplayer or watch in flash below.

PGN: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Bxd2+ 5.Qxd2 d5 6.Bg2 Nbd7 7.Nf3 c6 8.O-O b6 9.Rc1 O-O 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.Na3 Bb7 12.Nb5 a6 13.Nd6 Qb8 14.Qb4 a5 15.Qa3 Ba6 16.Ne5 b5 17.Qxa5 Qxd6 18.Rc6 Qb8 19.Rxa6 Rxa6 20.Qxa6 Nxe5 21.dxe5 Qxe5 22.Qxb5 Rb8 23.Qd3 Rxb2 24.Qe3 Qxe3 25.fxe3 Rxe2 26.a4 Rc2 27.a5 Rc7 28.a6 Ra7 29.Bf1 Kf8 30.Rb1 Ke7 31.Rb7+ Rxb7 32.axb7 Nd7 33.Kf2 Kd6 34.Bb5 Nb8 35.Be8 Ke7 36.Bb5 f6 37.Kf3 Kd6 38.Be8 Kc7 39.Bf7 Kxb7 40.Bxe6 Kc6 41.Bg8 h6 42.Kg4 Nd7 43.Kf5 Ne5 44.h3 Kc5 45.g4 Kd6 46.Bh7 Ke7 47.Bg8 g6+ 48.Kf4 Nf7 49.Bh7 g5+ 50.Kg3 Nd6 51.Bg8 Ne4+ 52.Kg2 Kd6 53.Kf3 Kc5 54.Bh7 Nc3 55.Bd3 Kb4 56.Ba6 Kb3 57.Bb7 Kc2 58.Ba6 Kd1 59.Bb7 Kd2 60.Bc6 Ke1 61.Bb7 Kf1 62.Ba8 Kg1 63.Kg3 Ne4+ 64.Kf3 Nd2+ 65.Kg3 Nf1+ 66.Kf3 Nd2+ 67.Kg3 Nc4 68.Bxd5 Nxe3 69.Bb7 Nf1+ 70.Kf3 Kh2 71.Kf2 Nd2 72.Bg2 Nc4 73.Bf1 Ne5 74.Ke3 Kg1 75.Be2 Kg2 76.Ke4 Kxh3 77.Kf5 Kh4 78.Bd1 Nc4 79.Ke4 Nd6+ 80.Kd5 f5 0-1

PGN: 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.h4 h5 5.c4 e6 6.Nc3 Ne7 7.Nge2 Bg4 8.f3 Bf5 9.Ng3 Bg6 10.Bg5 Qb6 11.Qd2 Nd7 12.a3 f6 13.Be3 Qb3 14.cxd5 Nxd5 15.Nxd5 Qxd5 16.Rc1 Nb6 17.Ne2 fxe5 18.dxe5 Qxe5 19.Bd4 Qc7 20.Qg5 Bf5 21.g4 hxg4 22.fxg4 Be4 23.Rh3 Be7 24.Qxg7 Rh7 25.Qe5 Qxe5 26.Bxe5 Bxh4+ 27.Ng3 Nd7 28.Bd4 Bf3 29.g5 Bg4 30.g6 Rh6 31.Rxh4 Rxh4 32.Rc3 Bf3 33.Rxf3 Rxd4 34.Bh3 Ne5 35.Rf6 Nd3+ 36.Ke2 Nf4+ 37.Ke3 e5 38.Rf7 Rd3+ 39.Ke4 Rxg3 40.Bd7+ Kd8 41.Bf5 Nxg6 42.Rg7 Rb8 43.b4 b5 44.Bxg6 Rg5 0-1

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Chess Queen begins 2011 chess quest with Moscow Young Grandmasters’ event
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

Chess Queen™ Alexandra Kosteniuk has begun her 2011 chess calendar at the Moscow Open 2011 in the Young Grandmasters (Women) section. You can cheer for her during the live broadcast at this link.

The Moscow Open 2011 is actually an international open chess festival being held from January 28 to February 7. It includes nine events including

  • Round robin tournament of young grandmasters (men)
  • Round robin tournament of young grandmasters (women)
  • Student Cup of Russia (men)
  • Student Cup of Russia (women)
  • Mass Tournament (Cup of Russia among the men)
  • Mass Tournament (Cup of Russia among the women)
  • Team tournament champion schools, school and children’s clubs
  • RSCU Olympics – Tournament of secondary school graduates
  • Third World Cup of chess composition.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Kosteniuk Beats World’s Top Three Men at Chess

Hello everybody,

We just checked the Live Chess Ratings Web Site today, and see that in top 3 positions are Vishy Anand, Levon Aronian, and Magnus Carlsen.

It’s great to see that a lady, probably the only one in the world, has been able to beat all three of them in a direct encounter. And you will notice she wins with the black pieces all 3 games! We’re talking about Chess Queen™ Alexandra Kosteniuk.

We present below 3 YouTube videos of those games. On YouTube the videos can be seen up to full HD 1080p. Alexandra’s has set the bar extremely high and the quality of her videos with full commentary is unsurpassed, which has led to over 500,000 upload views, thousands of genuine comments, and to YouTube asking Alexandra to be an official YouTube partner. We’re grateful for your “thumbs up” rating on all videos as well as for subscribing to Alexandra’s channels “ChessQueen“, “ChessQueenTV” and “ChessKillertips“.

Then reigning Women’s World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk beats reigning World Champion Vishy Anand

Alexandra Kosteniuk beats Levon Aronian

Alexandra Kosteniuk beats then #1 rated Magnus Carlsen

Posted on chessblog

Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Congress 2011 – Nadezhda, Cmilyte among leaders after 3 rounds
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Don’t worry Mama, I got all the enemy pawns
Ana Cramling Bellon, 8-year-old daughter of GMs Pia Cramling and Juan-Manuel Bellon Lopez/

Hi everyone,

There are four players with a perfect score after three rounds at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Congress 2011 being played from Jan. 24 to Feb. 3, 2011, at the Caleta Hotel. There are 231 players in the Masters section: 53 grandmasters, three of whom are rated over the elite level of 2700, and 15 between 2600-2699. A special £10,000 prize will be awarded to the best womenn player. The tournament leaders on 3/3 are Nigel Short (England), Nadezhda Kosintseva (Russia), Victoria Cmilyte (Lithuania), Deep Sengupta (India).

Here are the top-20 board results.

123GMFelgaer Ruben2½ – ½2GMIvanchuk Vassily1
24GMVallejo Pons Francisco2½ – ½2GMBuhmann Rainer29
311GMShort Nigel D21 – 02GMKosintseva Tatiana31
428GMKulaots Kaido2½ – ½2GMFridman Daniel12
513GMRoiz Michael2½ – ½2GMRapport Richard41
633IMKosintseva Nadezhda21 – 02GMSandipan Chanda14
717GMBerg Emanuel20 – 12GMCmilyte Viktorija43
838GMKorchnoi Viktor2½ – ½2GMAkobian Varuzhan18
919GMKotronias Vasilios2½ – ½2GMZhu Chen51
1042GMSengupta Deep21 – 02GMGopal Geetha Narayanan20
1121GMErdos Viktor2½ – ½2FMWeber Tom90
122GMAdams Michael1 – 0IMHarika Dronavalli45
1344GMSpeelman Jon S0 – 1GMSasikiran Krishnan6
1455IMKrush Irina1 – 0GMNisipeanu Liviu-Dieter8
1548GMHoffmann Michael0 – 1GMHarikrishna Pentala10
1669IMSarkar Justin½ – ½GMIkonnikov Vyacheslav25
1775GMBellon Lopez Juan Manuel0 – 1GMDzagnidze Nana36
1840GMKanep Meelis½ – ½WGMPogonina Natalija57
1985Tabatt Hendrik10 – 11GMCaruana Fabiano3
2086FMZaremba Andrie10 – 11GMBologan Viktor5

John Saunders wrote in his interesting wrap-up report of Round 3:


It was a particularly good day for the women players. As well as Victoria Cmilyte’s and Nadezhda Kosintseva’s wins against higher-rated GMs, Irina Krush beat former world championship finalist Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Nana Dzagnidze beat Juan-Manuel Bellón and Monica Calzetta beat Jean-Pierre Le Roux – which was incidentally Monica’s second GM scalp and Jean-Pierre’s second disaster against a lower-rated opponent. It wasn’t all one-way traffic, however, with former women’s world champion Antoaneta Stefanova falling victim to a much lower rated amateur player, Francisco Javier García Jiménez of Spain. Regrettably most of the women’s wins were rather long and technical, whereas this Spanish amateur’s win against Antoaneta was brisk and entertaining.

Here is a nice game from Round 3. You can run the moves in our pgnplayer or watch in flash below.

PGN: . d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. Qb3 c5 8. a3 Bxc3+ 9. Qxc3 c4 10. Qe3+ Qe7 11. Qxe7+ Kxe7 12. a4 h6 13. Bc1 a5 14. b3 cxb3 15. Nd2 b6 16. Ba3+ Kd8 17. e3 Ba6 18. Bxa6 Rxa6 19. Rb1 Ra8 20. Rxb3 Rc8 21. f3 Re8 22. Ke2 Rc6 23. Rc1 Rxc1 24. Bxc1 Re6 25. Kd3 Ne8 26. e4 Nc7 27. Ba3 Rc6 28. Nb1 dxe4+ 29. fxe4 Rf6 30. Rb2 Rf1 31. Nc3 Ne6 32. Bd6 f6 33. Rc2 Re1 34. Bg3 Ra1 35. Kc4 Nc7 36. Bxc7+ Kxc7 37. Kd5 Nf8 38. Nb5+ Kd8 39. Rc7 Rxa4 40. Rxg7 Ra2 41. Kd6 Re2 42. Rb7 Kc8 43. Rxb6 1-0

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Your daily Chess Blog video tutorial hosted by Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

All set for today’s endgame tutorial? Here is the simple technique of enfilade for you from a 1737 book. White plays and wins. You can find all our great tutorials on database. Better still, tune in here to for our daily study session together. Enjoy.

Run the podcast hosted by Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk to see the solution.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Tata Steel Chess 2011 Rest Day 3 video and R11 pairings
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everybody,

There are just three more rounds to go at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2011 Super-GM. Without much ado, first the interesting and analytical Rest Day 3 video.

Group A
Round 11 – Friday the 28th
M. Vachier-Lagrave – V. Anand
I. Nepomniachtchi – H. Nakamura
V. Kramnik – M. Carlsen
Wang Hao – J. Smeets
A. Grischuk – E. l’Ami
L. Aronian – R. Ponomariov
A. Shirov – A. Giri

Group B
Round 11 – Friday the 28th
G. Sargissian – L. Fressinet
J. Hammer – L. Liem
Z. Efimenko – R. Wojtaszek
S. Ganguly – L. McShane
W. So – F. Nijboer
D. Navara – V. Tkachiev
W. Spoelman – Li Chao

Group C
Round 11 – Friday the 28th
I. Nyzhnyk – B. Bok
R. van Kampen – D. Swiercz
D. Vocaturo – K. Lahno
M. Kazhgaleyev – I. Ivanisevic
J.W. de Jong – S. Siebrecht
M. Bluvshtein – M. van der Werf
T. Sachdev – R. Pruijssers

Enjoy the live telecast on and at the official website

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Fide responds to women players’ Open Letter on the World Chess Championship 2010 held in Turkey
Chess blog for latest news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Here is the text of the Fide response to the Open Letter by women participants of the World Chess Championship 2010. You can read the Open Letter here at You are welcome to leave your comments on the issue.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Dear fellow chess players,

With great surprise I read your letter of 14 January, signed by several players, concerning the conditions of the World Women’s Championship 2010 in Antakya.

It is even more surprising that the main accusation, repeatedly mentioned, is that the organisers of the Turkish Chess Federation tried to make money by overcharging the players. I would like to remind that the organisers have provided the full prize fund of the event (450,000 USD) by taking on their own cost the 20% contribution to FIDE and not deducting it from the players. This means that a total of 90,000 USD was offered free to the players by the organisers. Each participant received a bonus starting from 750 USD (for the players who were eliminated in the first round) and reaching up to 12,000 USD (for the World Champion).
If the organisers wanted to “make more money”, wouldn’t they simply not offer this bonus? This is well known to all the chess community and it is pretty strange to suggest that an organiser would first donate 90,000 USD to the players and then FIDE or the players should fight with the organisers if they make or not 15-20 euros per day from each hotel room. It is not fair to insult the Turkish Chess Federation, which has showed so much support by organising many top women events with big prize funds and good conditions (Women’s Grand-Prix, European Championships, Women’s World Championship). Furthermore it is also not fair for the organisers to be treated like this by certain players, when at the same time we hope for more sponsorship money in women’s chess and larger prize funds in the future.

A letter with a different and positive attitude, which would first acknowledge the efforts up to now of the Turkish Chess Federation and then suggest possible improvements, would have been much more appreciated and not create such a negative image for our organisers and sponsors.

Concerning the other accusations about the conditions of the latest Women’s World Championship, they are simply not accurate in most of its content. The hotel was a good four-star hotel, and after the first game all the other rounds were held within the hotel, so the players avoided any travel before the games. The front road was asphalted and only the side roads were not asphalted as the area of the hotel is a developing suburb. In all cases, the roads were not dirty as your letter suggests. The center of the city was within a four-minute taxi ride without traffic, and some participants even walked the distance. A park was right next to the hotel for anyone who wished to have a walk nearby. There were not any problems with the air conditions outside of the hotel nor with the air-conditioning of the hotel itself. Obviously, if there were really such problems, they would have been noticed at the event, as the games were played for almost 25 days! Furthermore, no player asked the organisers or the FIDE officials to change her room, not even for noise problems as your letter suggests.

The only issue which was addressed by the players after the first round was the quantity of the food portions. From the second round this had significantly improved, very much because of the efforts and pressure of the organisers to the hotel management. In all events such minor problems may occur and the organisers in Antakya were very quick in resolving them.

I would also like to remind that many participants in Nalchik 2008 were in a hurry to complain for the location of that event and afterwards the players appreciated FIDE and the local organisers for the high level of that championship. FIDE will take into consideration your proposals for the future, as it always listens to the views of the players, but the distribution of such “open letters” does not help in attracting sponsors for women’s chess.

By this letter, FIDE re-establishes the true facts about the last Women’s World Championship in Antakya and we would like to thank once more the Turkish Chess Federation for its continuous support to women’s chess events.

Best regards,
Georgios Makropoulos
FIDE Deputy President

Last Days to Vote for Diary of a Chess Queen for Book of the Year

Hello everybody!

As you may know from my post last week, my book “Diary of a Chess Queen” made it to the finals of the ChessCafe Book of the Year Contest.

I would appreciate if you could support my book in this event by sending a simple support email before January 31st to, stating that you think my book deserves to win, and give a short reason to sound convincing. Adding your name and city would help to show it’s a genuine email and not a robot sending emails :-)

We have tough competition from the excellent books by Seirawan and Naroditsky, which are also excellent! If you’ve read my book I hope you liked it, and if not, read what 18 actual readers have said about it on the review page of Amazon.
Thanks to everybody who voted for my book and to those who sent me copies of the email, I am touched by your kind words of support and so happy you liked my book!

Three books have been elected to be the finalists of this prestigious competition:

- Yasser Seirawan’s “Chess Duels: My Games with the World Champions”
- Daniel Naroditsky “Mastering Positional Chess”
- Alexandra Kosteniuk “Diary of a Chess Queen”


Now I need your help to please vote for it as your favorite chess book (of course if you’ve read it and like it!), by sending a short email to stating you vote for it and a short reason why (for example great chess games, nice story with lots of photos, emotional account of a chess professional who achieved her goal, etc. it should be your text).

Your email should arrive before the end of January, and the results and winner will be declared on February 2. Even if you’ve already voted for Round 1 you need to vote again for your vote to count. Just copy and paste your last email, or do a “forward” of your first one, just mentioning it’s for the final round.

Here’s some more information about my book:
“Diary of a Chess Queen” contains my whole life story, with 64 commented games, but also lots of text (I’d say over 1/3 of the book), and over 100 photographs. I worked on it quite a bit since I got the title of women’s world chess champion at the end of 2008, it’s the work of my life to date.

If you’d like more information about my book, here are some useful links:

- Book availability on December 9
- January 7 Book Signing in Barnes & Noble
- January 16 Book Signing in Coral Gables
- Announcement of the Book on
- Official Chesscafe rules of the Book of the Year Contest

- Link to purchase my book on my web shop (free personal autograph!)
- Link to purchase my book on
- Link to ALL the reviews on

Here are some reviews from Amazon buyers:

Seth: The structural layout of Alexandra’s book very much resembles Tal’s classic, “The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal.” Kosteniuk’s book is, like Tal’s work, an autobiography. There is much prose (normally at the beginning of each chapter). She starts at her childhood, and takes the reader right up to (and a bit past!) her 2008 World Championship match. Many game fragments are sprinkled throughout each chapter, as well as a substantial number of full-length, annotated games. Alexandra’s writing is easily accessible to players of every skill level, whether they be young, old, beginners or masters. I found that she mixed the number of variations and explanations evenly. Since Alexandra typically plays a slashing, aggressive brand of chess, the games are never boring! Also, the translation (sometimes a problem in chess books) made the English read naturally (shout out to the translator, fellow Michigander Jim Marfia!!). She drops various tips and tricks of the Grandmaster trade along the way. The Women’s World Champ clearly invested alot of time and effort into writing this book. I wonder if she’ll write another some day?

So to sum up, “Diary of a Chess Queen,” is a very interesting read, and you probably won’t be disappointed if you purchase it.

Cajunmaster: Alexandra Kosteniuk’s autobiography should be of great interest to any chess player, male or female, young or old, experienced or not. This candid and well crafted book is, to chess literature, very much like the breeze of fresh air that Alexandra and many other talented women have let into the stuffy atmosphere of the old chess world in the past decade. There is no turning back, luckily, and this book proves it beyond a doubt. Ms. Kosteniuk, who was the 10th woman in history to be recognized as an overall (i.e., unisex) Grandmaster of the game and is the current World Champion among women, has produced a winner. Her book is both highly entertaining and of great technical interest. This cannot be said of many of the innumerable books written by men, whether it be in the 19th century or today. Very simply, Alexandra Kosteniuk, recognized by the United States Chess Federation as the outstanding chess journalist of the year for 2009, should perhaps be considered by many to be a role model worthy of emulation, something that a host young girls throughout the World already know!

Posted by Chess Queen™ Alexandra Kosteniuk
12th Women’s World Chess Champion
Author of “Diary of a Chess Queen”