Nakamura-Carlsen secret blitz chess match in the middle of the night
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everybody,

After the closing ceremony of the World Blitz Championship, in Moscow, Magnus Carlsen played a couple of tandem rapid games alongside Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov. They faced Vladimir Kramnik and Arkady Dvorkovich. Carlsen (and Kramnik) had already played several hours of 3-minute (+2 second increment) blitz during the final ten rounds – Day 3 – of the Blitz Championship.

After that Nakamura and Carlsen played 40 blitz games straight – way into the night/morning.The complete background to the ‘event’ is here – the Chess Life Online, December 8, 2010.
The following video was taken at around 4:00 AM by Macaulay Peterson, the early morning of November 19th. It was Game 38, of 40. Enjoy.




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Campomanes Memorial Chess Tournament in Yangon, Myanmnar from July 5-12
Chess blog for latest chess news and trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

This is like quaint. When did you last hear of an open chess tournament in Burma – ah! Myanmar now?



The Myanmar Chess Federation shall organise the Campomanes Memorial (Yangon International Open) 5-12 July 2011 in Yangon with $10,000 in cash prizes.

The tournament will be Swiss System; FIDE-rated and titled; Rate of play will be 90 minutes for the whole game with 30 seconds increment for every move starting from the first move.

Prize Fund (US$ 10,000)
Open: 1st US$ 3,000; 2nd US$ 1,600; 3rd US$ 1,200; 4th US$ 1,000; 5th US$ 700; 6th US$ 500; 7th & 8th US$ 300 each; 9th & 10th US$ 200 each. 

Best Myanmar Players: 1st US$ 500; 2nd US$ 300; 3rd US$ 200.
Best Women Players and Best Junior Players (U-18, U-14, U-10) prizes are also awarded.

Myanmar Chess Federation Members – US$ 60; Others – US$ 120
Entry fee is non-refundable. Entry Fees are waived for GMs, WGMs, IMs and WIMs. There will be a discount of 25% of entry fees for those who register on or before 31st May, 2011.

The venue is the Central Hotel, Bogyoke Aung San Road, Yangon.
The hotel is located in the center of Yangon. There are many places of interest such as the landmark of Myanmar Shwedagon Pagoda, Sule Pagoda, Bogyoke Aung San Market, Yangon Port, National Museum within the walking distance. More information can be found at www.myanmar.com.
Myanmar Chess Federation
Aung San Stadium, Yangon, MYANMAR.
or by Fax to: (95) 1546001 or 1546009
or by E-mail to: mgmglwin25@gmail.com, chess1991@gmail.com


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Anand, Judit rule top of Fide chess ratings lists for May 2011
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hi everybody,


Judit Polgar 2699
It’s great that Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk has gained 19 ELO points in the Fide rating list for May 1, 2011 taking her up to the 10th spot among women at 2522. The highest gain of ELO points has been made by the just-crowned US Women’s Chess Champion Anna Zatonskih. Judit Polgar continues to be at the first spot followed by Koneru Humpy and Hou Yifan. 


Among the men, since there were no super tournaments held in March-April, Viswanathan Anand remains at No. 1 with Magnus Carlsen right behind at No. 2.  



Here are the top-30 overall: (No we don’t have a woman there yet though Judit Polgar is just shy of the 2700 mark at 2699! We wish her quick ‘recovery’ of that one point.)




Rank
Name
Title
Country
Rating
Games
BYr
 1
 Anand, Viswanathan
 g
 IND
 2817
 0
1969
 2
 Carlsen, Magnus
 g
 NOR
 2815
 0
1990
 3
 Aronian, Levon
 g
 ARM
 2808
 0
1982
 4
 Kramnik, Vladimir
 g
 RUS
 2785
 0
1975
 5
 Ivanchuk, Vassily
 g
 UKR
 2776
 9
1969
 6
 Karjakin, Sergey
 g
 RUS
 2776
 0
1990
 7
 Topalov, Veselin
 g
 BUL
 2775
 0
1975
 8
 Nakamura, Hikaru
 g
 USA
 2774
 0
1987
 9
 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar
 g
 AZE
 2772
 0
1985
 10
 Gashimov, Vugar
 g
 AZE
 2760
 6
1986
 11
 Ponomariov, Ruslan
 g
 UKR
 2754
 10
1983
 12
 Grischuk, Alexander
 g
 RUS
 2747
 0
1983
 13
 Radjabov, Teimour
 g
 AZE
 2744
 0
1987
 14
 Svidler, Peter
 g
 RUS
 2739
 28
1976
 15
 Vitiugov, Nikita
 g
 RUS
 2733
 31
1987
 16
 Gelfand, Boris
 g
 ISR
 2733
 4
1968
 17
 Jakovenko, Dmitry
 g
 RUS
 2732
 20
1983
 18
 Kamsky, Gata
 g
 USA
 2732
 7
1974
 19
 Wang, Hao
 g
 CHN
 2732
 6
1989
 20
 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime
 g
 FRA
 2731
 5
1990
 21
 Dominguez Perez, Leinier
 g
 CUB
 2726
 12
1983
 22
 Adams, Michael
 g
 ENG
 2726
 9
1971
 23
 Vallejo Pons, Francisco
 g
 ESP
 2722
 30
1982
 24
 Wojtaszek, Radoslaw
 g
 POL
 2721
 22
1987
 25
 Almasi, Zoltan
 g
 HUN
 2719
 0
1976
 26
 Leko, Peter
 g
 HUN
 2717
 0
1979
 27
 Naiditsch, Arkadij
 g
 GER
 2716
 35
1985
 28
 Caruana, Fabiano
 g
 ITA
 2714
 21
1992
 29
 Wang, Yue
 g
 CHN
 2714
 11
1987
 30
 Eljanov, Pavel
 g
 UKR
 2712
 14
1983


And the women’s top-30




Rank
Name
Title
Country
Rating
Games
BYr
 1
 Polgar, Judit
 g
 HUN
 2699
 11
1976
 2
 Koneru, Humpy
 g
 IND
 2614
 11
1987
 3
 Hou, Yifan
 g
 CHN
 2612
 20
1994
 4
 Kosintseva, Nadezhda
 m
 RUS
 2567
 0
1985
 5
 Kosintseva, Tatiana
 g
 RUS
 2559
 0
1986
 6
 Dzagnidze, Nana
 g
 GEO
 2557
 11
1987
 7
 Zatonskih, Anna
 m
 USA
 2537
 27
1978
 8
 Muzychuk, Anna
 m
 SLO
 2537
 20
1990
 9
 Lahno, Kateryna
 g
 UKR
 2530
 10
1989
 10
 Kosteniuk, Alexandra
 g
 RUS
 2522
 7
1984
 11
 Harika, Dronavalli
 m
 IND
 2520
 18
1991
 12
 Ju, Wenjun
 wg
 CHN
 2511
 29
1991
 13
 Stefanova, Antoaneta
 g
 BUL
 2506
 16
1979
 14
 Danielian, Elina
 g
 ARM
 2506
 11
1978
 15
 Cmilyte, Viktorija
 g
 LTU
 2504
 21
1983
 16
 Sebag, Marie
 g
 FRA
 2504
 11
1986
 17
 Chiburdanidze, Maia
 g
 GEO
 2500
 11
1961
 18
 Galliamova, Alisa
 m
 RUS
 2492
 7
1972
 19
 Socko, Monika
 g
 POL
 2487
 20
1978
 20
 Gunina, Valentina
 wg
 RUS
 2487
 15
1989
 21
 Zhu, Chen
 g
 QAT
 2485
 11
1976
 22
 Xu, Yuhua
 g
 CHN
 2480
 11
1976
 23
 Ruan, Lufei
 wg
 CHN
 2479
 3
1987
 24
 Zhao, Xue
 g
 CHN
 2475
 20
1985
 25
 Muzychuk, Mariya
 m
 UKR
 2473
 14
1992
 26
 Dembo, Yelena
 m
 GRE
 2471
 10
1983
 27
 Khotenashvili, Bela
 m
 GEO
 2470
 17
1988
 28
 Krush, Irina
 m
 USA
 2469
 4
1983
 29
 Cramling, Pia
 g
 SWE
 2468
 18
1963
 30
 Ushenina, Anna
 m
 UKR
 2468
 16
1985


You can access complete lists here.


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For the love of chess… – Interview with Vassily Ivanchuk
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everybody,

We found this nice two-part interview with the talented and one of the strongest Grandmasters in the world – Vassily Ivanchuk at Chess In Translation. He talks about all the beautiful aspects of a chess life and life otherwise. Here are some excerpts:

——————————
In one interview you compared chess to love. Doesn’t your wife get offended by such comparisons, and by the fact that almost all your thoughts are about chess? (Translator’s note: in a recent interview GM Mikhail Golubev asked, “I’ve got a question from a fan. How can you find and not lose a taste for playing chess?” Ivanchuk replied: “You know, a taste for chess is a kind of love… and who can answer the question of how to find, or not lose, that love? I don’t know.”


VI: Oksana’s got used to it, no doubt. It’s not our first year together, after all. Initially, of course, it was hit and miss, but such is the life of a chess player. At least between tournaments we try to lead a rich and varied life. Grandmaster Vladimir Malakhov once responded to a similar question by saying, “Yes, I often travel to tournaments, but when I get back home I’m completely at my wife’s disposal”. I don’t know about being completely at her disposal, but I try. I devote a lot of time between tournaments to domestic matters. I don’t have to be begged to do something. I try to assist my wife at home, offering to help. You’d better ask Oksana whether that works out or not. My wife doesn’t see me as a grandmaster, but as a normal man. Does she understand chess? She has some idea: she knows how the pieces move, the surnames of famous chess players and she reads the chess magazines I subscribe to. So she knows about everything that’s going on. Of course, my wife supports me and follows my performances. She’s very glad when I win, but at the same time she understands that it’s impossible to win all the time. Therefore she’s philosophical about my defeats.

FLAWED GAMES ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL

You’ve had so many victories. Is there one among them which you recall more often than the others?

VI: In general, I’ve always believed that my greatest, and therefore also my most memorable victories, still lie ahead. But it’s true that I really do have a lot of favourite games. But you know how it is? After any game you play people start analysing it “to shreds”. Immediately after a won game it can strike you as truly beautiful and almost perfect. But then it turns out that at certain points there were mistakes, minor inaccuracies.

Have I played flawless games? Of course. But flawed games are usually the most beautiful and are dearer to me. If an opponent doesn’t put up much resistance then it’s much easier to play a flawless game. You remember games where, despite being positionally lost, you nevertheless managed to escape with a draw. One such example is the game against Gata Kamsky at the tournament in Armenia in 2009. I was saved from a loss by the 50-move rule, which states that if not a single piece has been taken over the course of those moves then the game is declared a draw. Kamsky almost gained the chance to take my piece, but only on the 51st move. So I put up as much resistance as I could: I calculated whether he’d be able to carry out the capture, and how long I could avoid it.(smiles) As for losses… They’re painful for me. Fortunately time heals wounds, and your memory washes away the feeling of losing.


Oksana and Vassily Ivanchuk

Here is the game:


You can read the full interview here.

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Balcony chess replaced by balcony kiss: Prince William, Kate British royal wedding today
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everybody,


Congratulations to Prince William of England and Kate Middleton for getting married today. Sources, however, told us that they had planned a balcony chess session before a large crowd!


But they had to manage with a balcony kiss (two actually) after the wedding – as part of a tradition started by their parents Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana!


The reasons a kiss replaced chess:

  • The shaky weather – as it is always in London – meant that rain might just spoil the royal chess set
  • The Royal wedding live telecast cameras had not been hooked up in the balcony and we wouldn’t have a clear view of the chessboard
  • The Queen would get tired after already having sat through a beautiful though long wedding ceremony. Of course she is a great chess fan too.
(Ok we’re just kidding but some genuine chess connections with the British royalty)

Here is our favourite note about Queen Victoria -

The following quote from a contemporary publication was given on page 14 of the January 1889 International Chess Magazine:

‘…the greatest solace the Empress Victoria has in her widowhood is chess – a game she frequently played with the Crown Prince when they found themselves with a leisure hour. The Empress generally travels with a chess board and men.’



Also just the time to remind you of our previous www.chessblog.com posts:




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Chinese city Shi Jiazhuang chess team wins Asian Cities Chess 2011
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

The team from the Chinese city of Shi Jiazhuang won all their matches to win the Asian Cities Team Championship for the Dubai Cup held 21-28 April 2011 in Jakarta, Indonesia. The team included GM Yu Yangyi, GM Li Chao, Wan Yunguo, GM Wang Rui and GM Zhang Pengxiang. They scored a perfect 18 match points on the basis of 2-1-0 points per match.

ac_shijzihuang

Asian Chess Federation president Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifah Al Nahyan (left) awards the Dubai Cup to the Chinese city of Shi Jiazhuang with the check for $10,000. At right is Senator GM Utut Adianto, Chairman of the Jakarta Asian Cities Organizing Committee.

ac_astana

The Astana team with their runner-up check of $6,000
ac_tehran

Sheikh Sultan presents the third place check of $4,000 to the Tehran team.

ac_allteamwinners


Visit chess-results.com for round by round results and standings. Download games at the Asian Chess Federation site. Visit the official site.

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Your chance to play chess with astronaut aboard International Space Station
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everybody,

Get ready with your chess suits again. NASA astronauts Greg Chamitoff and Greg H. Johnson, who have launced into space today (April 29), are challenging all of us here on earth to a rematch. NASA and the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) had hosted the first Earth vs. space match in 2008 when Chamitoff lived aboard the International Space Station. Of course, Earth had won the match with help from chess champions at Stevenson Elementary School in Bellevue, Washington. 

Greg Chamitoff at the chessboard aboard the International Space Station in the previous Earth Vs Space chess match

“Chess is a great game that challenges the mind and helps young people develop critical thinking skills that will serve them well in math, science, and all aspects of their future careers,” Chamitoff said. He and Johnson will play the game during their 14-day space shuttle flight to the International Space Station. The USCF will facilitate the match on its website at:

At this site, you can suggest or vote on a chess move. The USCF will decide how to respond to the astronauts’ moves. NASA and USCF will use Twitter and Facebook to notify participants about the status of the game and when to vote on moves. “We hope the excitement and interest this game generates will inspire students to become interested in chess,” said USCF Executive Director Bill Hall. Chamitoff, who will conduct two spacewalks during the shuttle mission, is a chess aficionado. He took a chess set when he launched to the space station in May 2008, and brought it back when he returned home in November 2008. He will be taking a different chess set for this trip. “We hope to do better in this Earth vs. space match,” Chamitoff said. “But, I have to admit it will be a challenge because we have an extremely busy flight ahead of us.” 

A cool video from the previous match:


Updates on the chess match will be posted on the USCF Twitter and Facebook sites, Chamitoff’s Twitter account and the International Space Station’s official Facebook page: 

For more about Chamitoff, the space shuttle and the space station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov

We are all set with our vitamins and water bottles… are you?

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Anna Zatonskih is US Women’s Chess Champion 2011 – videos and games
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Anna Zatonskih – nerves and hard work pay off


Hello everyone,


IM Anna Zatonskih is the new US Women’s Chess Champion 2011. Playing in Saint Louis, she survived some tough moments throughout the tournament to go down to the wire and eventually win the championship with a three-game final against an equally strong player WFM Tatev Abrahamyan. Since the three-game final was with drawn scores, they had to play a rapid armageddon with Zatonskih choosing 19 minutes 55 seconds on the clock. Since the game ended in a draw, the title went to Zatonskih. This was her fourth US title. 


In fact Zatonskih missed a win in the three-fold drawn game that her husband GM Daniel Friedman pointed out to her after the match! She could have avoided the tiebreaks. But then no one’s complaining. You can access the official website here


Now the video and the games. 













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Gata Kamsky is US Chess Champion 2011 – videos plus games
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Gata Kamsky – American conquest


Hello everyone,


Here is a roundup of the finals of the Men’s Section of the US Chess Championships 2011. Going into the finals, GM Gata Kamsky kept his cool and won an interesting endgame against GM Yuri Shulman with White. In the second game the next day, he held on for a draw with Black and the title. In fact, GM Gata Kamsky was only one of the few to have won the event twice. He was the defending champion this year – a title he had won last year also against Shulman. 

“He should have done what he did last year against me in the rapid game – played slowly to build up pressure,” Kamsky said. “After he played e4, I realized it was almost done.” Shulman agreed that his seventh move was imprecise. “I should have shown some fight,” Shulman said.


Here are the games and the videos with GM Gata Kamsky. Enjoy.











You can access the official website here.


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Sabina Foisor wins the Goddesschess Fighting Chess Award


Hello everybody!

I have been glued to the screen, watching the final of the U.S. Women’s Chess Championships, which was just won by Anna Zatonskih in the tie-breaks against Tatev Abrahamyan. It was so interesting, we will make shortly a special post about it with the games.

Before anything else, I’d like to congratulate the
Saint Louis Chess Club for putting up such a prestigious event in such great style, and also all the players for showing such great sportsmanship! The live commentary by GM Maurice Ashley and Jennifer Shahade was wonderful!

Thanks also go to
Goddesschess, who is continuing its effort to support women’s chess in the world, and has offered to sponsor a Fighting Chess Award to go to the most deserving player from the U.S. Championship.

I was chosen as the judge for this award, and I had a very hard time, as many players are deserving, starting with the eventual winner, Anna Zatonskih, but also certainly Tatev Abrahamyan who fought to the end, and Irina Krush, who won the initial tournament. However, after looking over most of the games, I saw that Sabina Foisor’s style was also uncompromising, and she was the only player to have beaten Irina Krush in the preliminary tournament. I have decided to vote for the Fighting Chess Award to go to Sabina Foisor, congratulations!

Posted by Chess Queen™ Alexandra Kosteniuk
12th women’s world chess champion
www.chessqueen.com
www.kosteniuk.com
www.chessblog.com

GM Sergey Tiviakov wins Norwegian Chess Open 2011
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hi everybody,


GM Sergey Tiviakov has won the Norwegian Open Chess Championship 2011 which was held as part of the  Norway Chess Federation’s 100th anniversary! He scored 7.5 points to take a clear first in the main group. Tiviakov – on his way to victory – also beat Swedish GM Lars Karlsson (born 1955) while five other Grandmasters tied for the second place. Among the youngsters, Norwegians Aryan Tari and Sebastian Mihajlov, both still only 12 played well. Eric Vaarala of Sweden (born 1993) won the prize as the best player rated 2150 to 2299, and Anders Thingstad of Norway the same rated below 2150.


From left organizer Řystein Brekke, GMs Mirzoev, Miezis, Kasparov (Sergei), Tiviakov, Jones and Karlsson, with vice-mayor Svein Erik Hilmen

Heikki Westerinen of Finland (66) continued to improve his record of having participated in the most number of Norwegian international tournaments. He was a co-winner way back in 1970 at the first edition of the tournament!



Top standings

1. GM Sergey Tiviakov, Netherlands – 7 points
2. GM Sergey Kasparov, Belarus – 6,5
3. GM Gawain Jones, England – 6,5
4. GM Lars Karlsson, Sweden – 6,5
5. GM Normunds Miezis, Latvia – 6,5
6. GM Azer Mirzoev, Azerbaijan – 6,5
7. GM Michael Richter, Germany – 6
8. GM Yuri Solodovnichenko, Ukraine – 6
9. (IM) Frode Olav Urkedal, 1911, Oslo – 6
10. IM Eirik Gullaksen, Bergen – 5,5
11. GM Leif E. Johannessen, Oslo – 5,5
12. Eric Vaarala, Sweden – 5,5
13. IM Luis Ignacio Lubio Meija, Spain – 5,5
14. Anders Hobber, Porsgrunn – 5,5
15. GM Heikki Westerinen, Finland – 5,5
16. Aryan Tari, Asker – 5,5
17. IM Jeroen Bosch, Netherlands – 5,5


You can access the official website here.


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World Schools Individual Chess Championship 2011 opens in Krakow, Poland
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hi everyone,

For all the school kids out there – the technical conference of the World Individual School Chess -2011 is set to take place in Krakow on Friday. The event begins on Saturday at the Szczepanski Square in Krakow. The opening ceremony will include a ballet-pantomime performance titled (what else) ‘Chess’ by Jan Kochanowski.

This is the seventh edition of the championship and includes age categories of under-7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17. The previous championship had 350 players from 30 countries. More than 400 kids are expected this time. We love to watch children play and look forward to all the sweet photos that come out from any such event. You can access the official website here.

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Computer chess programme Rybka-4 beaten blindfold by neurosurgeon
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011



Hi everyone,

This one’s for all humanity. Ukrainian Andrew Slyusarchuk, 39 years old, neurosurgeon by profession, has taken on Rybka-4 and beaten him(her/it) blindfold!

Nope, he’s not a grandmaster (and doesn’t intend to give Vishy Anand any competition). He says, he wanted to display to the world the power of the human mind. What a celebration for all of us!

Andrew was searched thoroughly for any hidden devices before the event. He says, he just learned it all up! He won with white then drew with black to win the match. Incidentally, Andrew plan a simul against 150 Grandmasters. By the way, Andrew specialises in improving memory technologies and knows by heart 20,000 books and 30 million digits of the pi.

We thank www.chess-news.ru for leading us to this super video. You will love it even if language is an issue.



And another…


And, another…


Of course, as most of you would agree, this is more to do with memory-related expertise than particularly chess-related technique. But then, chess has always been a portal to the last frontier when it comes to brain power. Chess forever…


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What calibre is your chess set?
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

We won’t ask you what calibre your chess is but surely how about: What calibre your chess set is?!



Olde World Collectibles and Creations has released a new chess set that is really unique.
It is a bullet chess set of .223 caliber. In place of white and black pieces this set has pieces in steel castings and brass castings. Steel pieces have red oak wooden bases and the brass pieces have black walnut wooden bases. No live shell has been used. The pieces range from 1 ¼ to 2 ½ inches in length. The board is made from a solid piece of red oak. Two brass handles on the side add to the beauty of the board and help in carrying it. It is a beautiful set and significant because a game of chess is a symbolic war between two armies.


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Wanna play KIIT Chess Cup, India and Albena Chess Cup, Bulgaria
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

Calling all Bulgarian fans – The Albena Chess Open 2011 will take place from June 25 – July 3 in the Albena sea resort (near Varna, Bulgaria). It is a 9 round open Swiss tournament with time control 90 minutes for each player plus 30 seconds per move starting from the first move. Albena Chess Open has a prize fund of over 40 000 eur. The first prize in Albena is the impressive 8000 eur, but what is even better for the chess enthusiasts, there are 30 prizes ranging from 1000 to 100 eur for amateur chess players, and 16 prizes ranging from 500 to 100 eur for youngsters. The tournament is a FIDE rated open and is valid for international norms. You can check the official website at http://www.albenachess.com.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to play in India this May-June then check out the third KIIT Chess Cup international event in Bhubaneshwar, India from May 28 to June 6 wit a total prize fund of 31000 USD approx, the first prize being 4000 USD. You can drop an email to IM Sekhar Sahu, chief co-ordinator at sekhar_im@yahoo.co.in



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Who is watching Gata Kamsky the closest at US Chess Championships?
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everybody,



Can you tell us who must be watching Grandmaster Gata Kamsky most closely at the ongoing US Chess Championship Final 2011? If you said GM Veselin Topalov then you’re absolutely correct! 

Kazan National Library
In one week’s time – May 3-27 – the FIDE Candidates matches will begin in Kazan, Russia. It is Veselin Topalov vs Gata Kamsky, Vladimir Kramnik vs Teimour Radjabov, Levon Aronian vs Alexander Grischuk and Boris Gelfand vs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. One of them would qualify for a match with reigning World Chess Champion Vishy Anand for the title match.

The matches, with the above pairings, will be played over four games. Two days after these matches end, the second round starts, with the winner of Topalov-Kamsky against the winner of Gelfand-Mamedyarov and the winner of Kramnik-Radjabov against the winner of Aronian-Grischuk. These matches will also consist of four games. The final match will consist of six games. That means we have quarterfinals and semifinals as best of four games with the final as the best of six games.

Veselin Topalov qualified as the runner up of the previous World Championship. Vladimir Kramnik qualified by rating. Levon Aronian was the winner of the FIDE Grand-Prix 2008-2009 and Boris Gelfand was the winner of the FIDE World Cup 2009. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was kept as the wild card, originally picked by organizers in Baku, Azerbaijan, before the event was moved to Kazan. Teimour Radjabov came second in the FIDE Grand-Prix and Alexander Grischuk also qualified from this GP. The Russian replaces Magnus Carlsen who decided not to play early November, 2010. Gata Kamsky is in as the runner up of the Challengers Match 2009.

Time control
The time control will be 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, then 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then 15 minutes for the rest of the game plus an additional 30 seconds increment per move, starting from move 61. Tiebreaks will consist of four games of 25 minutes plus 10 seconds increment, two blitz games (five minutes plus three seconds) and one sudden death game (five against 4, with 3 seconds increment from move 61, and draw odds for Black).

Prizes
The four losers of the first round matches will each receive a (minimum) amount of 30,000 euros. The two losers of the second round matches will each receive a (minimum) amount of 60,000 euros. The minimum prize fund for the final match of the 3rd round is 180,000 euros which will be divided 50%-50% between the two players (90,000 euros each).


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Rap chess song – Wu-tang Clan: Da Mystery of Chessboxin’
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

One of our www.chessblog.com readers – refusing to be named – has sent us this video with a “desperate” plea of: “Chess Queen please, please carry this on your wonderful blog”! We bow down to the wish. Watch the video – (at your own risk).

They say, the game of chess is like a swordfight You must think first before you move…




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Chess.com’s first worldwide meetup full of fun

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hi everyone,

We found this nice little article spreading the cheer of chess across the planet. Who cares if someone is there to praise us or not, if someone is there to cheer us on or not… we love chess and the lovers of chess go on…

Last weekend, people in local communities all over the world got together to enjoy chess – offline and in person – as Chess.com along with Meetup.com collectively rang in the first-ever Chess.com worldwide meetupwith help. Interesting idea. The site then called out for the members to send in stories and photos. Here are the results:

Columbia, South Carolina USA

Nice venue! Also, apparently very kid-friendly. How many travel chess sets make such a perfect complement to a Dora The Explorer drink-bottle?? Score!

Arlington, Texas USA
“Greetings from Texas. Of the twelve people who RSVP’d, we had nine
show up. J.R. Bentley’s was a wonderful host. This local pub has a
great back room, a perfect place for a casual game of chess. The owner Dana told us we were welcome to return anytime. We arrived at 11:00 AM and stayed until about 2:30 PM.


Occasionally, a game would get interesting and others would lean over to see what was happening. The post-mortems became group activities. Everyone wanted to give their opinion on how a game was won or lost. We are already making plans for our second meet up.” ~ David H

Dover, New Hampshire USA

“The Dover, NH meet up was held at Café On The Corner and 5 Chess.com members attended. A good time was had and some good games played.” ~ Scott M (aka “Methos1979″)

London UK

After a week or two with Toronto, Canada in the lead for largest meetup community, London overtook the #1 spot and never looked back! Not surprisingly, it’s looking like this might mark the beginning of a vibrant new network of chess-friends.

Austin TX USA

The gang at Brainstorm Coworking appreciate a good game of chess!


San Diego CA USA

Healthy crowd of chess enthusiasts in SD!!


Vancouver BC Canada

Chess with a side of some of the city’s most colorful characters and best cappuccino!


New Delhi, India

Two works! (One… not so much.)
“It was a nice first meet, only two people could make it. But I guess
two was the minimum required and therefore we are happy that our first
meet was successful. Myself and Avinash played three interesting games and had a great time.

We will look forward to the next meet and hopefully the numbers of the participants will go up next time.” ~Saurahb

Sunnyvale CA USA
Without a doubt, one of the more beautiful venues we’ve seen! And a giant chessboard to boot!



Too bad about Erik and Jay crashing the party & making everyone play 3-minute bughouse…

Regensburg, Germany
Getting ready to rock in the Stadtpark…

Barcelona, Spain

“Dear chess.com friends, Congratulations on the initiative of MEETUP DAY! The Team Catalonia have not failed. We met today in Barcelona and we had a great time. Many people interested in the meeting could not come because in Spain today begin the Easter holiday. The Bar where we had arranged to meet, was closed for holidays!… So quickly we had to find another place nearby and we found it. This is the poster that we haveclosed the door of the bar:


         

In the second bar where we went, the owners have been delighted. The women owner of Bar has signed up today at chess.com! And their children too! He told us that we can arrange further meetings there.”~Pau P, Admin of Team Catalonia

…And that’s just a fraction of the chess that went down in 100s of cities and towns last Saturday. Frankly, it was so much fun, we’ve already decided to do it again. So mark your calendars – the 2nd Chess.com Worldwide Meetup is set for June 25!
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Chinese Shi Jiazhuang team leads Asian Cities Team Chess with perfect score after five rounds
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Yu Yangyi vs Murtas Kazhgaleyev on board 1 for Shi Jiazhuang vs Astana.

Hi everybody,

The Chinese team from the city of Shi Jiazhuang is leading at the Asian Cities Team Chess Championship after beating the Kazakhastan team of Astana in the fifth round. The event is being held in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Chinese city now has a perfect score of five in five rounds.

GM Li Chao scored the winning point on board two against GM Rinat Jumabayev as the three other boards were drawn to give the Chinese 2.5 points against 1.5. You can check the standings at chess-results.com, download games and see photo gallery at Asian Chess Federation site.and visit the official site.



Tehran, Astana and Jakarta teams are second with four match points each. There are six other teams at three points each.


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Bazna Kings chess 2011 preview video
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hi everyone,

The 5th International Chess Tournament Bazna Kings is going to take place from June 11-22 with defending champion Magnus Carlsen, Vassily Ivanchuk, Sergey Karjakin, Hikaru Nakamura, Teimour Radjabov and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu. Here is a nice preview video for the event with a commented game via www.chessdom.com.





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From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
www.chessblog.com
Also see her personal blog at
www.chessqueen.com