French team chess event begins without the cheating accused
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,

We found a nice report on the French Teach chess event at www.chessvibes.com. According to them, the French Team Chess Championship begins without Feller, Hauchard and Marzolo - The three French players who were accused of cheating by the French Chess Federation saw their appeal rejected and their penalties increased. 

The French Team Championship has started in Mulhouse and there are some strong GMs participating, e.g. David Navara, Pavel Eljanov, Le Quang Liem, Etienne Bacrot, Arkadij Naiditsch, Anish Giri and Loek van Wely. 

The Top 12 of the French Team Championship takes place May 26th – June 5th, 2011 in Mulhouse, a city and commune in eastern France, close to the Swiss and German borders. In a round-robin, the strongest 12 teams fight for the French club title, with Chalons en Champagne defending their title.

After four rounds, four teams have won all their matches: Clichy, Evry Grand Roque, Marseille and host club Mulhouse Philidor. Also four players still have a 100% score: Alexander Riazantsev (one of Alexander Grischuk’s seconds in Kazan), Andrey Sokolov, Almira Skripchenko and Adrien Demuth. Among the players with 3.5/4 are Giri, Navara and Le Quang Liem.

A number of strong grandmasters are participating in Mulhouse. To name a few: Laurent Fressinet, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Alexei Dreev, David Navara, Pavel Eljanov, Le Quang Liem, Arkadij Naiditsch, Etienne Bacrot, Anish Giri, Loek van Wely and Mikhail Krasenkow. Three French players are notably absent: Sebastien Feller, Arnaud Hauchard and Cyril Marzolo.

These three names dominated the news in the French and international chess scene in February and March of this year, in an ongoing story about cheating during the Olympiad last year. 


Marzolo was sentenced to a 5-year suspension from play. Feller received a 3-year ban followed by 2 years of community service with the federation or another association. If he refused, the 2 years would be added to the suspension period. Hauchard was condemned to a lifetime ban from the duties of captain. Immediately after the verdict Feller’s lawyer, Charles Morel, announced that he would address the Appeals Committee; the lawyers of the other two players joined him.


You can refresh your memory about the French chess cheating scandal via our www.chessblog.com reports from this link.


Tweet

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Real cool one-minute chess film – The System!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

We love all the chess videos we receive from our www.chessblog.com readers. Here is another fantastic one-minute chess film. Very neat.

The System – A fictional short film based on the novella ‘Chess’ by Stefan Zweig. Two players face each other in a game of chess, where the reality is reflected by their moves.

Made by Fabrizio Füchslin, Yanick Loher, Sebastian Richner and Michael Ziörjen.

Shot with a Nikon D7000
Edited with Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro
Music made with Ableton Live & Yamaha Tyros 2



Tweet

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

GMs Susanto Megaranto, Mark Paragua, book Chess Cup entry with Asian Zone 3.3 first two places
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Grandmaster Susanto Megaranto
Grandmaster Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia has won the Asian Zone 3.3 Chess Championship with Grandmaster Mark Paragua of the Philippines finishing second. Both earn an entry to the World Cup of chess to be held later this year. Paragua has attended the World Cup thrice already in 11 years.


The sixth-seeded Megaranto was hardly in contention till he beat GM Rogelio Antonio and GM Darwin Laylo  and Paragua was in contention all along. He was lucky to be in second place on tiebreak.


Meanwhile, we also have the Asian Zonal 3.1 chess event is being held in Sharjah, UAE.

Tweet

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at


Tuesday chess time – study from award-winning database www.chesskillertips.com
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


We’re back with a chess class hosted by Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk from our award-winning database at www.chesskillertips.com. Enjoy… take your time, think it out and we bet you will have the beautiful answer!


CKT 052: Caught from all Sides
CKT 052: Caught from all Sides
LEVEL: Intermediate   
CATEGORY: Middle Game

From the game Klinger – Blatny, 1988, white plays and wins.







Tweet

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

GM Timur Gareev Wins Chicago Open 2011
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Grandmaster Timur Gareev
Grandmaster Timur Gareev from Uzbekistan, currently student at the University of Texas at Brownsville, won the main Chicago Open Section 2011 by collecting 7.5 points. He scored in the final round game against GM Tamaz Gelashvili, winner of the recent Philadelphia Open, while GMs Alejandro Ramirez and Pentala Harikrishna finished at 7.0 points each.

The 20th Annual Chicago Open was held from May 26-30 at the Westin Chicago North Shore Hotel, Wheeling, IL with a nine and seven round format in six rating groups: Open Section, U2100 Section, U1900 Section, U1700 Section, U1500 Section, U1200 Section. The total prize fund for all sections was $100,000 guaranteed. You can access the official website for complete results and more details.

Tweet

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Who is this Lady Chess Player?

Click on the image to see it bigger
Hi everyone!

Can you try to guess who is this lady chess player, featured in the most recent Magazine Sharp?

June 2011 issue of SHARP (Russian Edition)



Beijing leads in Chinese Chess League 2011
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


A nice venue for some chess.
The Chinese League 2011 is taking place from April 12 to December 6. Ten teams are taking part in the double round robin system with 18 rounds, divided into weekends throughout the year. Rounds 4-6 were played in Chengdu on 26-28th May. You can access the official website at this link.

The matches are played on five individual boards (three men, two women), and the tournament system is not strict on following the names’ order in the basic roster, thus each team is shuffling the players for the next round. The earlier leaders Shanghai won only one match allowing the team of Beijing to take over the helm. Full individual scores bellow the images.

Round 6 standings:

Team / Matches / Wins / Draws / Losses / Match Points / Ind. Points
1. Beijing / 6 / 5 / 0 / 1 / 10 / 17.5
2. Shanghai / 6 / 4 / 1 / 1 / 9 / 18.5
3. Shandong / 6 / 3 / 1 2 / 7 / 18.5
4. Tianjin / 6 / 3 / 1 / 2 / 7 / 16
5. Zhejiang / 6 / 2 / 2 / 2 / 6 / 15.5
6. Qingdao / 6 / 2 / 2 / 2 / 6 / 14.5
7. Jiangsu / 6 / 2 / 1 / 3 / 5 / 15
8. Hebei / 6 / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 13.5
9. Sichuan / 6 / 0 / 4 / 2 / 4 / 12
10. Chongqing / 6 / 0 / 2 / 4 / 2 / 9


Tweet

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

Three-way lead for German National Chess Championship 2011
Top seed Jan Gustafsson
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

The German Chess Championships 2011 is mid-way. Being held in Bonn, it is based on a nine-round Swiss event with 34 players taking part it takes place from May 26 to June 3. This year’s championship is the 20th since the separate East and West German championships were combined following the re-unification of the country in 1990. Top seed is Jan Gustafsson (Elo 2646) is in a three-way tie for the lead with Igor Khenkin and Oswald Gschnitzer. All of them have a perfect score of 3/3.

There is also a separate 16-player women’s championship with Heike Vogel in sole lead on 3/3. The official website for the championships can be found here

Tweet

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


Get set for the first Internet Chess Club Open for players of all categories
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,


The official countdown for this week’s launch of the inaugural ICC Open with $3,500 in prize money has begun. ICC members will not only get the chance to hone their skills on some of the world’s top GMs and IMs, but they will also get the opportunity to win cash prizes within their own rating band!

The 1st ICC Open has something for everyone –  ranging from the hardened-pros of GMs and IMs to tournament players and the occasional club player with an Open, U2200, U2000, U1800 and U1600. Four qualifying tournaments (with a time control of 3 0 throughout) will be held on ICC on Friday and Saturday, 3rd-4th June, starting at 3 pm and 8 pm EDT.  

Class prize-winners will be determined by their best score in one qualifier and competitors can play in as many qualifiers as they like. The Open will be contested in a grand winner-takes-all knockout final that all ICC members can watch live on Sunday, June 5th, starting at 3pm EDT.

Qualifier 1: Friday, June 3, at 3pm
Qualifier 2: Friday, June 3, at 8pm
Qualifier 3: Saturday, June 4, at 3pm
Qualifier 4: Saturday, June 4, at 8pm
Finals: Sunday, June 5, at 3pm

All times are server time (EDT, New York Time, UTC/GMT -5 hours).

For condition of entry, rules and full schedule of the 1st ICC Open, go to the official site at http://www.chessclub.com/activities/ICCopen2011/.


Tweet

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

How about some ‘toasty’ chess – cool chess video
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


We continue our series of commercials featuring chess so enjoy a ummmm… tasty, toasty, chessy Sunday. 




Quizno’s: “Chess Match”
Tags: Quizno’s: “Chess Match”

Don’t forget to send us your own favourite videos too.


Tweet

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

Kramnik, Judit, Giri, Vachier-Lagrave to play 15th Unive Hoogeveen chess tournament in October
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everybody,



The 15th Chess Univé Hoogeveen Tournament will have quite an exciting group with former world champion Vladimir Kramnik, strongest woman chess player Judit Polgar and the very talented young grandmaster Anish Giri confirming their entries for the crown group at the event that is to take place from October 14 to 22. 


Vlaidmir Kramnik is participating for the first time in the event, Polgar for the second time and Giri for the third time in this event! The fourth participant is going to be Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who last year as the reigning World Youth Chess Champion, won the event convincingly. .


Participants 15th Chess Unive


  • Vladimir Kramnik, Russia, 2785, 4
  • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, France, 2731, 20
  • Judit Polgar, Hungary, 2699, 41
  • Anish Giri, Netherlands, 2687, 47
Ratings by 1 May 2011 from FIDE world ranking. Average rating: 2726 (Class 20) The average rating of 2726.

Besides the crown group there will also be the traditional Unive Open with a strong international field of hundreds of players. You can keep track of the event or register yourself once June starts at the official website here

Tweet

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Two chess puzzles to brighten up your Sunday
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


How about chess puzzles from our award-winning database at www.chesskillertips.com where Chess Queen Alexandra teaches chess. For now, here are two puzzles for you today – one easy and one difficult. Enjoy.



CKT 051: A Lesson in Geometry
CKT 051: A Lesson in Geometry
LEVEL: Difficult   
CATEGORY: Study

Solution of Christmas Competition Position 3. Study by Troitzky, 1910. White plays and wins.





CKT 050: No Hesitation at all
CKT 050: No Hesitation at all
LEVEL: Easy   
CATEGORY: Middle Game

Solution of Christmas Competition Position 2. Taken from a game Paulsen – Morphy, New York 1857. Find Black’s next move.










Tweet

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

GM Darwin Laylo keeps lead after six rounds in Asian Zone 3.3 chess
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra

Hello everyone,

Interesting chess is on at the 2011 Asian Zone 3.3 chess championship currently on in Tagaytay City. In the sixth round GM Darwin Laylo maintained his sole lead with a draw with Asia’s first GM Eugene Torre. The seventh-seeded Laylo (ELO 2516) was half a point ahead of Torre and GM Mark Paragua, and Singapore GM Wei Meing Goh and Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia in the chase for the two World Cup qualifiying berths at stake.

Meanwhile, in the women’s section, Vietnamese WGM Nguyen Thi Thanh Anh beat WGM Irine Kharisma Sukandar of Indonesia to surge ahead of the women’s division with 5.5 points. Nguyen thus boosted her chances for the lone Women’s World Championship berth at stake in the event.
Other important results included those of GM Rogelio Antonio Jr. beating GM Nguyen Duc Hoa and newly-crowned Asian Youth under-16 gold medalist Jan Emmanuel Garcia beating GM Nguyen Anh Dung.


Tweet

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

Special questionnaire sent to top-20 players for opinion on World Chess Championship cycle
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011 


Hello everybody, 

…And what would Fischer say?
Here is the letter sent by GM Emil Sutovsky of the World Championship and Olympiads Committee to top chess players for their opinion on the World Championship Cycles. Stay tuned about what updates we receive about the players’ answers.

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of the World Championship and Olympiads committee ( WCOC ), I’d like to ask your opinion regarding the format of the future World Championship Cycles.

As we all know, opinions differ, and it is not easy to find a solution that will satisfy all the leading players. However, we shall try to find a system which will be both professional and realistic. In this regard, I would appreciate hearing your thoughts before the topic is discussed on the next WCOC meeting in the beginning of June and important decisions are taken.

As the topic is too complex, I’ve prepared several questions. It would be nice to have your answers, but of course, you are most welcomed to present your vision as a separate letter. The questions:

What is more suitable system for Candidates – matches or double round robin?

If the match system is used, what format would you prefer (4+4+6, like in Kazan, 6+6+6, other…) Do you have positive/negative remarks about the format used in Kazan?

Should the World Champion’s privilege stay intact or should the World Champion join the Candidates in the future cycles?

 
Do you think FIDE should preserve two-year cycle or consider switching to a yearly Championship?

I would appreciate having your response before May 30, so that it can be presented on the WCOC meeting.

Best regards,
Emil Sutovsky


Tweet

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

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


Hello everyone,


Here is a nice, creative chess animation video. Continuing our series of videos with the chess motif, we encourage you to share yours. So beautiful is chess, so undefinable is the joy of a game, so countless are the interpretations of a chess analogy… the fun, the joy, the sorrow, the peace… emotions all undefinable but experienced in a chess game alone. Got your views, got your videos, send them to us. Meanwhile, enjoy this one.







Tweet

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

Children and chess in the curriculum video news story
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011


Hello everyone,


We love all those nice stories about chess and children so here’s a cool news story video about chess in the curriculum in the US. Enjoy.





Tweet

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

Nice videos: Nakamura and Robson win St Louis Exhibition chess matches
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everybody,

Hikaru Nakamura and Ray Robson won their matches held this week in Saint Louis, Missouri (USA). Nakamura defeated Ruslan Ponomariov in the last classical game to score 3.5-2.5, and won the rapid games 3-1. Robson defeated Ben Finegold 4-2 in the classical games and in the rapid he was the strongest with 2.5-1.5.

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (USA) hosted two 10-game matches (6 classical, 4 rapid) from May 16 to 25, 2011. One was between Saint Louis Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, ranked No. 7 in the world, and GM Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine, ranked No. 11 in the world. The other was a match between GMs Ben Finegold and 16-year-old Ray Robson. 

The final press release had ‘Whirlwind Rapid Play Ends International Match’ as the headline. Tornado warnings sent the four grandmasters to the basement more than once at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis on Wednesday.



You can find more such great videos by Macauley Peterson at the official website link.

Tweet

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Paco Vallejo wins first Bahia Feliz chess tournament
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

GM Paco Vallejo of Spain has won the first Bahia Feliz tournament on the Gran Canaria island, but not without some drama happening in the last round! He was undefeated for eight rounds but lost his last game with the white pieces. Just the right opportunity for the second-placed 14-year-old Grandmaster Ilya Nyzhnyk (Ukraine) to catch up. But the latter lost too. So Paco Vallejo won the tournament with a clear 6/9. 

The first Bahia Feliz GM tournament was held May 12-21 in Gran Canaria, one of the Canary Islands (also known as ‘Canaries’ or Canarias in Spanish). The group of seven islands and six islets is located just off the north-west coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. Gran Canaria is the third largest, after Tenerife and Fuerteventura.

The tournament took place in the Hotel Orquidea of the Bahia Feliz resort, on the south coast of the island. It was a 10-player, single round robin with quite an interesting field of players: Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spain), Julio Granda Zuniga (Peru), Markus Ragger (Austria), Henrique Mecking (Brazil), Ilya Nyzhnyk (Ukraine), Gerald Hertneck (Germany), Stefan Bromberger (Germany), Stefan Kindermann (Germany), Ramon Mateo (Dominican Republic) and Sabrina Vega Gutierrez (Spain).

The tournament was sponsored by Roman Krulich, a chess player himself but also partner of the Munich Academy of Chess and the founder of the Munich Chess Foundation. 


Tweet

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Laylo continues to lead Asian Zone chess c’ships
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everybody,

Grandmaster Darwin Laylo beat fellow GM Cao Sang of Vietnam to remain in lead at the 2011 Asian Zone 3.3 chess championships being held at the Tagaytay International Convention Center in Tagaytay City. This was his fourth straight win helping him keep sole lead. Laylo is well on track to earning an entry into the World Cup with his current performance. The top two get a ticket to the World Cup from this zonal chess event.

The win helped Laylo move to a one-point lead over GMs Mark Paragua and Eugene Torre, and International Master Richard Bitoon; top seed GM Zhang Zhong and Wei Ming Goh of Singapore; GM Susanto Megaranto of Indonesia and Vietnamese GMs Nguyen Anh Dung and FM Nguyen Duc Hoa. See www.chess-results.com for results and standings for the Open and Women’s.

Tweet

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Confessions of a grandmaster – the chess and weight connection
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everybody,

As you know, the very nice chess exhibition was organised in Saint Louis. Before we tell you all the results, here’s a nice piece written by Grandmaster Ben Finegold after his not so nice loss to the 16-year-old Ray Robson. It’s a cute piece. The fun part aside, it shows how important physical fitness is if you want to play top-class chess.

Confessions of a Grandmaster
By Ben Finegold, Grandmaster, special to the Beacon


The world did not end Saturday, but maybe those who were making predictions were just a little off. Perhaps their lines got crossed, and instead of “the end of the world will occur on May 21″ they meant “Ben Finegold will lose his match on May 22.”

When I lost to America’s youngest-ever grandmaster, 16-year-old Ray Robson, in this week’s international match, it made me think of one of my son’s favorite laments: “What world do we live in?” I have decided to stop idly wondering and take some steps to proactively make it a world that works better for me.

I have a lot of bad habits (who doesn’t?), and I decided Sunday night – after losing the last slow chess game in my match with young Robson – that I was going to make some changes in my life. What specifically?

  • Spend more time studying/working on my chess game
  • Lose weight (eat less of the wrong stuff and enjoy more of the right stuff and go to the gym more)
  • Keep my home clean and my thoughts more clear

The most important decision was No. 2 on that list. I have had trouble with my weight, and this became more obvious during my chess match. My esteemed opponent is a tall, thin 16 year old. He is probably 5 foot 11 inches and 110-120 pounds. Conversely, I am 5 foot 8 and 315 pounds. Looking at the webcam and pictures from the match was quite disturbing, to say the least.

Now, I’m not making such rash life changes because it is the best thing for me. That would make too much sense. I decided to improve my life simply due to my suffering chess game. Chess is what I do best, and lately I have been playing poorly. About five years ago, I lost 100 pounds, and my chess rating soared. I went from about twenty-fifth rated in the U.S. to the top 10. I was playing and feeling great! Since then, I have gained all the weight back, and my chess has suffered. Now I am barely in the top 30. Enough is enough.

My birthday is Sept. 6. I will lose 50 pounds by then, and another 50 by the year’s end. And that is just the beginning. Why all the fuss? Let’s have a look at the sixth match game played Sunday.

****
Will my chess improve as my health gets better and my weight decreases? Only time will tell.

We wish him the best with his goals and all of you who are inspired to set similar goals! Don’t forget to share you experiments with us.

Tweet

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