Does your chess strategy match that of GM Ivanchuk’s?
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

Can you strategise like Grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk? Here is a nice game from the ongoing Reggio Emilia Chess Tournament. Use our super Chess King interface to run the game but do some of your own thinking before you play each move. Enjoy.

Ivanchuk,V (2775) – Morozevich,A (2762)

Result: 1-0
Site: Reggio Emilia ITA
Date: 2011.12.30

[...] 1.e4 e5 2.¤f3 ¤c6 3.¥b5 a6 4.¥a4 ¤f6 5.O-O ¥e7 6.d3 b5 7.¥b3 d6 8.a4 ¥d7 9.c3 O-O 10.¥c2 b4 11.¦e1 ¦e8 12.h3 ¥f8 13.¤bd2 g6 14.¤c4 bxc3 15.bxc3 d5 16.¤e3 dxe4 17.dxe4 ¤a5 18.£e2 ¤h5 19.¦d1 ¤f4 20.£e1 ¥d6 21.¦b1 f6 22.h4 ¦f8 23.g3 ¤e6 24.¤d5 £e8 25.£e2 ¥xa4 26.¥xa4 £xa4 27.¥h6 ¦f7 28.¤h2 ¤b3 29.¤g4 ¤bc5 30.¤gxf6+ ¢h8 31.h5 g5 32.¦b4 £a3 33.¦db1 c6 34.¤g4 cxd5 35.exd5 £xc3 36.dxe6 ¤xe6 37.¦c4 £a5 38.£e4 ¦d8 39.¦c6 £d2 40.£c4 ¦e7 41.¦bb6 e4 42.¢g2 e3 43.¤xe3 ¥xg3 44.¢xg3 ¤d4 45.¢g2 ¤xc6 46.¦xc6 £d7 47.¤g4 £f5 48.£c3+ ¢g8 49.¤f6+ ¢f7 50.£c4+ ¦e6 51.¦c7+ ¢xf6 52.¥g7#

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Top chess school team wants your support: Brooklyn Castle!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Here is the latest chess news update on Brooklyn Castle. Good Education carried a nice feature and video on this very talented chess team.

BROOKLYN CASTLE from Rescued Media on Vimeo.

Where’s the best junior high school chess team in the nation? It’s not at a private school or in some wealthy suburb. Instead, it’s at Brooklyn’s Intermediate School 318, where the majority of students are low-income children of color. A new documentary called Brooklyn Castle follows members of the school’s chess team for one year to show how the program has transformed the students and the entire school.

At I.S. 318, chess champions—not varsity athletes—are celebrities among their peers. The trailer above gives us a sneak peek at the incredible stories of the students on the team. Thirteen-year-old Rochelle, for example, is aiming to become the first black female chess master in the history of the game.

The film is a project of Rescued Media, a Brooklyn-based production company started by husband-wife filmmaking duo Katie and Nelson Dellamaggiore. The couple says that by featuring the five extraordinary teenagers, Brooklyn Castle serves as a “counterpoint to the tired notion that public schools—and public school students—can only fail.” When budget cuts threatened to eliminate many of the I.S. 318’s most successful programs, including the chess program, the filmmakers decided to use the school’s experience to represent that of countless schools where afterschool programs are on the chopping block despite boosting academic achievement and engagement.

In an effort to build national recognition of the I.S. 318 team and the challenges facing public schools, the Dellamaggiores are running aKickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 to hold screenings of Brooklyn Castle across the country. They’re also organizing tournaments at which the I.S. 318 students will go head-to-head against chess players at Harvard, Columbia, and the Google campus “so the kids realize those places are within their reach, and word gets out that public schools across the country are suffering from the crushing effects of budget cuts.” The fundraising campaign ends tomorrow, so if you’re inspired by the stories of Rochelle and her classmates and want future I.S. 318 students to have the same opportunities, now’s your chance to pitch in for the cause.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

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

Hello everyone,

Time for the New Year’s eve chess trivia question. Guess who?

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Cool chess short story for New Year’s eve!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

It’s lot of fun finding videos, poems, short stories, paintings, and lots of other creative chess expressions by chess lovers! So, it was really cool to find this nice chess story today. Enjoy.
Do you think there is an interesting twist to the short story?

Monday Writing Essential: Chess with dead warlocks.
by Franklin Newman 

 It had been a nightmarish day at the Symington clinic that morning. The outbreak of a flue virus had caused a panic among the parents, but because she’s Kylie Moriarty, Dr. Kylie Moriarty had gotten it sorted out. Now everything was peaceful enough for her to actually take her lunch break. The pizza she ordered from “Pizza Heaven” showed up, and so she took it and her tea and went to her office. To relax, she decided to use her computer and check out the latest record by thespian superstar Sarah Willopps, who just happened to be her best friend. As she was listening to Sarah’s top hit this week, a message box popped up, alerting her of a new e-mail. Kylie did not recognize the e-mail address it came from, so she decided to run a security scan. When she did, a second message box popped up, declaring a second message.

“Not exactly the brightest thing to do, clicking on e-mails when you don’t know the source.” With a snap of her fingers, she looked at the e-mail’s address and then searched for the source. She discovered, to her grave surprise, that the e-mail actually came from Hell. “How utterly queer. Who in Hell would wish to bother with me?” A third message box popped up, indicating yet again another e-mail. Intrigued, Kylie clicked on the box and reviewed the e-mail. The name caused her to gasp, for it was Matthew Sheridan. The old warlock, her deadliest arch-enemy and one of her best friends, long since killed years ago by Kylie’s magic, was requesting a chess game. She could hardly resist, and sent a message back agreeing to the game.

“It’s been a long time,” Sheridan e-mailed back. “And it took me a long time to get permission to do this.”
“You’re in Hell, Sheridan,” Kylie countered with an e-mail of her own. “I didn’t know they had computers there.”

“They’ve got everything here,” Sheridan answered. “But it takes forever to get it to work. Imagine the worst life has to offer, multiplied. And no, Kylie dear, I don’t mean America. Honestly, I don’t see what you’ve got against the place. Nor do I want an answer. Your thinking can often be as twisted as my own.”
“We often were the only two who understood each other,” she answered. “How’ve you been lately?”

“I’m getting out soon,” Sheridan wrote. “Found a little neophite mage who I’ve convinced to resurrect me. Back to old times.”

“I don’t do that anymore,” Kylie replied. “No more world-saving for me. Just a little town Doctor now.”

“Yeah right,” Sheridan retorted. “You can’t help but solve everyone’s problems. Maybe I can solve one for you.”

“Maybe,” Kylie wrote, “I insist you not solve me boredom, however. Shall we begin?”

“Yes,” Sheridan replied. “I’ll take black.”

“You’ll take white,” Kylie argued. “Spend most of your life being black.”

“You just want the advantage of not going first,” Sheridan replied. Kylie sent back a wink symbol. He answered with an icon that represented laughter.

“Let us begin,” Kylie answered. Sheridan opened a program, and invited Kylie to it. She clicked on the invitation link, and a chessboard appeared on the computer screen, completely set up and ready to go.

“Yes,” Sheridan wrote back. He moved Queen’s knight to to C-3. “Control of the center is very important.”

“I never thought so,” Kylie replied. She moved Queen’s rook’s pawn to A-5.

“You must be getting rusty,” Sheridan answered. He moved Queen’s pawn to D-3

Without saying anything, Kylie simply moved Queen’s bishop’s pawn to C-6.

“So what’s new with you, Matthew,” Kylie wrote him?

“Oh, me? You will not believe it,” Sheridan replied. Then he moved Queen to D-2.

“Jazmine left me.”

“That’s no surprise,” Kylie responded. “She loved your magic, not you.

She was the biggest tramp to come along since Madonna.”

“Supertramp,” Sheridan lamented. “How did I not see it?”

“She was the villiage bicycle, Matthew. You’re well rid of her. Who’d she leave you for?” With that, Kylie moved King’s pawn to E-6.

“A big rock star who died in the 70′s,” Sheridan answered. “But she didn’t stay long. She started cheating on him with a televangelist.” This caused Kylie to physically laugh. Meanwhile, Sheridan moved Queen to E-3. In response, Kylie moved King’s bishop’s pawn to F-5.

“How long did she stay with him,” Kylie wrote back?

“Until his money ran out, of course,” Sheridan said. “You’d think being Queen of Flourae would satisfy her. And I could’ve taught her any spell she wanted to know.”

“A wizardess with no intelligence is as unimpressive as a fighter with no strength,” Kylie fired off.

“You’re right,” Sheridan replied. “On to other news.” Then he moved Queen’s bishop to E-2. And Kylie moved Queen’s knight’s pawn to B-5. “My powers of prophecy and fortune-telling have really improved. Plus, being without Jazmine Rozzekker wasting all my money, my money-making skills have benefitted, too.”

“No more need to go out and take over the world now then, I presume,” Kylie replied. Sheridan sent her an e-mail with a laughing symbol, then a follow-up.

“That was never really my intention,” Sheridan argued. “Everyone around me wanted that. Takurem, and Rolaina, Scott, Lignoss and his brothers. They wanted the power of Callistor. Not me. Not that I wasn’t tempted but . . .”

“I know,” Kylie wrote. “How’s your bi-polar disorder?”

“It’s gone,” Sheridan answered. “Hell cures all your diseases, so you’re in prime shape to be tortured. Then it starts anew every morning.”

“Remind me never to visit,” Kylie replied. In response, Sheridan castled on the Queen’s side. And Kylie moved Queen’s knight’s pawn to B-4.

“Oh, so that’s your game,” Sheridan wrote.

“It couldn’t be clearer you intended to castle,” Kylie replied. “How many times need I tell you castling is a trap.”

“Says a woman who uses her King to attack when no one else would dare,” Sheridan countered. “Only one safe spot for my knight to go.” He promptly moved his knight to A-4.

“What were you saying about making money,” Kylie inquired?

“Oh yes. Well, I’ve been able to use some human psychics who didn’t think before they astrally projected. Makes it so easy for a soul like me to slip in and take over while they’re out.”

“Ghost in the machine syndrome,” Kylie answered.

“Exactly,” Sheridan said. “Since my divination skills have improved so well . . . it’s amazing how effective torture is at focusing a person, bringing out hidden talents and sharpening current ones.”

“Almost mascochistic.”

“Actually yes,” Sheridan wrote. “They punish mascochists here by forcing them to endure endless pleasure and joy. Of all the people with nothing in Hell to complain about. And it’s your move.”

“I know,” Kylie wrote. She moved Queen to F-6.

“If that’s the way you want it,” Sheridan answered. He moved Queen’s bishop to C-3.

“Are you sure,” Kylie asked? “Please reconsider.” Sheridan looked at the board again, and realized that he’d put his bishop right where Kylie’s pawn could kill him.

“May I,” he asked?

“Just this once,” Kylie said. “But I’ve the right to one reconsideration meself.”

“Fair is fair.” He put the bishop back to B-4, and moved his knight to B-6 instead. “There. A split, Kylie. Have to choose. The bishop or the rook?” She answered by moving Queen’s bishop to B-7.

“Go for my rook and your knight is also lost,” Kylie warned.

“I take it you forgot the value of the pieces,” Sheridan answered. He gladly moved his knight to A-8, killing Kylie’s rook. She answered by moving her bishop to A-8, slaying his knight. He reacted to that by moving Queen’s pawn to D-4. So Kylie struck back, moving King’s bishop’s pawn to F-4. Sheridan simply moved Queen to E-4. Then Kylie moved Queen’s pawn to D-5.

“I didn’t care for Rolaina or Jazmine,” Kylie wrote. “And I don’t care for this one either. You’ve got terrible taste in Queens.”

“I offered you the position once,” Sheridan replied.

“Forgive me, but I don’t date outside me species,” Kylie answered.

“I’m offended,” Sheridan joked. “I’m human.”

“Aye, but I’m an Orc. This human form is just a glamour,” Kylie responded.

“When did you become an Orc,” Sheridan asked?

“After Scott and I killed each other,” Kylie replied.

“I thought he loved you.”

“Mere obsession, Matthew, nothing more. Love doesn’t involve violence.”

“He told me about that,” Sheridan wrote. “One day he got drunk and jealous and started beating you. No one does that to people like me, or you.”

“Exactly,” Kylie rejoined. “Never strike a witch. You won’t like what happens.”

“At least this Queen has the sense to know when she’s not wanted,” Sheridan said. He moved Queen back to D-3. Kylie moved King to D-7. “Stop that. I won’t be distracted by you flaunting your King around,” Sheridan shot off. He moved King’s rook’s pawn to H-4. Kylie merely moved King to C-7. Sheridan moved King’s pawn to E-3. Kylie moved King to B-6.

“If you use your Queen to move to the white squares next to me King, she will die either by me knight or me princesses. You’ll need to find another approach.”

“Did I mention that I hate you,” Sheridan asked?

“Frequently,” Kylie answered.

“By the way,” Sheridan asked, “I’ve always wondered why you call pawns Princesses.”

“Because they become Queens most frequently,” Kylie said. “What could be more logical?”

“Maybe I should try a spell to heal your autism. Remove all this logical thinking.”

“You’re just mad because I out-thought you whenever you hatched your evil plans,” Kylie said. “Speaking of evil plans, what is Scott up to now?”

“Oh, him? He’s around me all the time,” Sheridan said. He moved Queen to B-3.

Kylie moved King’s bishop to D-6. “He mopes around, and I don’t envy him. At times, I regret invading eath to save him and having you prove with your D&A tests that he was my son.”

“You saved him from Mark Frakes, an abusive man who’d let his superhero powers override his good judgement and his restraint,” Kylie said. “Scott was being abused.”

“Yes, and became an abuser. I hardly did him any favors by allowing Takurem to influence him,” Sheridan said. “At least my two daughters turned out all right. Do you talk to them?”

“Vickie’s too busy protecting the druids and working with Madame Kirustinu,” Kylie explained. “You’d never know her. Jackie and I speak often enough. She’s visiting soon. Shall I send her your regards?”

“Better not,” Sheridan shot back. “She and I aren’t exactly on opposite sides of the law.”

“Neither are we, but we get on great, when you’re not trying another dastardly scheme.”

“It’s not quite the same,” Sheridan said. “Fathers and daughters are a more difficult relationship than a man and his daughter-in-law. By the way, how is Steve?”

“Chief detective on the Symington police force,” Kylie said. “And unlike me, Steve is still in the business of saving the world. He’d be so cheesed if he knew you were active on earth again.”

“Don’t worry,” Sheridan said. “If I did come, I’d come only as a father come to see his family.”

“I’d advise against it,” Kylie warned. Sheridan moved Queen to A-4. Kylie moved King’s knight to E-7.

“Let’s see if I can clean up some of this mess you’ve made of the chessboard,” Sheridan wrote. He moved Queen’s bishop to B-4. “Now it looks like I’ve got you trapped, because however you take my bishop, you open up a doorway for my Queen.”

“I think I see the way out.” Then Kylie moved King’s bishop’s pawn to E-3, taking

Sheridan’s King’s pawn.

“Playing pawns won’t save your bishop, or your King,” Sheridan argued. He moved Queen to E-5, taking Kylie’s Queen’s rook’s pawn.

“Only a threat if I let it be,” she said. She moved King to B-7. Sheridan moved his bishop to D-6, killing Kylie’s bishop.

“You must be rusty,” Sheridan wrote. Ignoring him, Kylie moved Queen to F-2, taking Sheridan’s pawn. Sheridan scoffed at this, and picked up his Queen to send it to A-6, to directly threaten Kylie’s King. But as he was doing it, he realized her knight was stationed on B-8. A typical Kylie trap, and he nearly walked right into it. But because he did not remove his hand from the Queen, he broke no law from changing his mind. He realized he could still get her indirectly, and moved Queen to B-4. “Check.”

“Quite,” Kylie stated. She retreated King to C-8. He couldn’t get her now.

“That’s only stalling,” Sheridan wrote. He sent Queen to E-5.

“You forget who I am,” Kylie replied. Boldly, she moved King to D-7. So Sheridan moved Queen to B-4. And in response, Kylie moved King’s rook to C-8.

“Ah, so that’s what you were planning,” Sheridan wrote. “And all I did was help you out by cleaning up part of the board.”

“No, you also put me in check,” Kylie stated. “Drawing in the snare.”

“Speaking of snares,” Sheridan said. “We forgot to finish talking about Scott.”

“I’m sorry I brought it up,” Kylie said.

“And I’m sorry I didn’t, bring him up, that is,” Sheridan said. “He has all of Simon Freznik’s psychic powers but none of Simon’s discipline. Even for the most evil man I ever sensed, Simon was no fool, but coldly calculating. Scott is being eaten alive by the power. I wish I could do something to redeem him, save him. If he’d let me, I’d use a spell to strip him of his memory. Then he could start life over again, fresh and new.”

“You know, that’s one more thing we both have in common,” Kylie said. “We both love Scott, and yet each of us knows he needs to be destroyed.”

“Agreed,” Sheridan said. Sheridan moved King’s bishop to A-6.

Only to realize he’d walked right into Kylie’s trap after all. Her knight moved to A-6 and slaughtered his bishop. To save his Queen, he moved her to A-3. Gently, Kylie moved King’s pawn to E-5.

“I’ve put some bondage magic on Scott, but he doesn’t know it yet. It confines his greatest abilities, though nowhere near as much as you killing him with his own power did, Kylie.”

“It had to be done,” she wrote.

“I know. He mourns for the loss of you, but his particular madness, Hell doesn’t heal. For him, they’re leaving him burdened with it forever,” Sheridan said. “It breaks my cold, evil heart.”

“I know,” she wrote back. “Maybe I’ll visit Hell after all. Perhaps I can help.”

“I think I’d be glad if you did,” Sheridan answered. Sheridan moved King’s knight to H-3. Kylie moved Queen to G-2, taking Sheridan’s pawn. So he countered, moving Queen’s rook to G-1. Kylie took her Queen away, to E-4. Sheridan moved Queen to A-6, killing Kylie’s knight. And Kylie moved King’s rook to D-8. Then Sheridan moved Queen to A-7. “Once again, check,” Sheridan wrote.

“But the log jam is slowly breaking up,” Kylie answered. She moved King to E-6. Sheridan moved Queen to E-7, killing Kylie’s knight.

“Yet again, check. Running out of answers.” Kylie moved her King to F-5, so Sheridan moved his Queen to D-4, slaying her rook. Kylie moved King’s bishop’s pawn to E-2. So, Sheridan moved his Queen to F-8. “You’re not going to get another Queen, Kylie. And it’s check.”

“So did I tell you about Doctor Beltane, Matthew,” Kylie wrote?

“No, you didn’t,” Sheridan remarked.

“She resigned from medicine due to age, and left me in control of the clinic. Her daughter’s in control of the family coven.”

“Then Karyn Beltane must be the most bored woman in England,” Sheridan wrote.

“Actually, no,” Kylie corrected him. “She ran for Mayor of Symington, and won, with her completely brill ‘I am a witch’ campaign.”

“Oh my,” Sheridan said. “I wonder where she got that idea.”

“From an American politician with more mouth than sense,” Kylie shot back. Kylie returned her King to E-6. Sheridan moves his King’s knight to G-5. “Yet again, check.” Quickly, Kylie moved her King to D-7. Sheridan moved his Knight to D-4, slaying Kylie’s Queen. But it got answered by Kylie moving King’s pawn to E-4, slaying the knight. So, Sheridan moved Queen’s rook to G-7. “Give up, my girl. This game is mine. I told you, you’re rusty.”

“Not quite,” Kylie wrote. Then she moved her King back to E-6. Closing in, Sheridan moved his Queen to F-6.

“Check.” Kylie escaped with King to D-5. Undaunted, Sheridan sent Queen to E-5, slaying a pawn and once again putting Kylie in check. She sent her King to C-4. Finally, Sheridan moved Queen to C-5. It was over.

“Checkmate, I believe,” Kylie wrote to Sheridan. “You are right. I am rusty. But don’t you worry. I’ll get together with me brother, Kelly, and we’ll practice all day like we used to do. Then we’ll see who’s rusty!”

“You’re on,” Sheridan said. There was a knock at the door. Kylie looked up, and saw Nolan, her Brazillian head nurse, waiting outside.

“Hey, Doctor, we need you up front. It’s a medical emergency. Someone’s having a heart attack.”

“Be right there,” Kylie said. Then she wrote Sheridan an apology for having to leave so quickly.

“Sheridan, I need to go. A heart attack.”

“I understand. I’ll be waiting for your visit,” Sheridan wrote back.

“We’ll play another game of chess,” Kylie answered. Then she grabbed her green medical backpack and ran out of her office. 

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Video chess interviews with Hikaru Nakamura and Sopiko Guramishvili at Reggio Emilia Chess 2011
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Here are two nice chess video interviews from the ongoing Reggio Emilia Chess Tournament 2011 in Italy. Of course, before you watch these chess interviews, the latest updates after Round 4 is that Vassily Ivanchuk beat leader Alexander Morozevich in an exciting game. The other two games were decisive too. Nikita Vitiugov lost to Fabiano Caruana and Anish Giri lost to Hikaru Nakamura.
In the women’s section Sopiko Guramishvili beat Iva Videnova, Marianna Chierici lost to Marina Brunello and Maria De Rosa drew with Anna Sharevich. You can access the official website at this link.

Round 4 standings (3 points for a win, 1 for a draw):
1-2. Nakamura Hikaru 2758 USA and Ivanchuk Vassily 2775 UKR – 8
3. Morozevich Alexander 2762 RUS – 7
4. Caruana Fabiano 2727 ITA – 4
5-6. Giri Anish 2714 NED and Vitiugov Nikita 2729 RUS – 2

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Top chess photo of the week! Wladimir and Vitali Klitscheko
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

The Mail Online has carried a nice feature on their best sports photos of the year. It includes one of chess! Do you like it?

Locking horns: Ukrainian heavyweight boxing brothers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko take a moment away from the ring to play a game of chess for a special Sportsmail feature back in June. Both boxers are avid chess players

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Rilton Chess Cup R3 tied with four-way lead
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

We have the latest chess news update via from the the 41st Rilton Cup in Stockholm being held from 27th December 2011 to 5th January 2012.

This year’s tournament, with a prize fund of more than 200 000 SEK (about 20 000 euro), is being played in three groups: Rilton Cup, Rilton Elo and Rilton Open (the Open is only for Nordic players with a national rating lower than 1800).

Rilton Cup and Rilton Elo are rated with FIDE and played over 9 rounds of Swiss system. The playing venue is the Clarion Hotel Stockholm, Ringvägen 98, 111 20 Stockholm.

Last year winner GM Sergey Volkov is on 1.5 points, while the winner of the 39th Rilton Cup GM Eduardas Rozentalis is with 2.5 points following the quick victory against IM Nielsen Fries Jens Ove.

Round 3 standings:

1-4. GM Gajewski Grzegorz POL 2616, GM Cicak Slavko SWE 2566, GM Shimanov Aleksandr RUS 2549 and IM Smith Axel SWE 2480 – 3.0

5-11. GM Ivanov Sergey RUS 2537, GM Socko Bartosz POL 2635, GM L’Ami Erwin NED 2594, GM Rozentalis Eduardas LTU 2586, GM Bakre Tejas IND 2509, GM Brynell Stellan SWE 2486 and GM Karlsson Lars SWE 2485 – 2.5

12-31. GM Tikkanen Hans SWE 2586, GM Berczes David HUN 2555, IM Semcesen Daniel SWE 2490, IM Lindberg Bengt SWE 2415, IM Leer-Salvesen Bjarte NOR 2380, GM Åkesson Ralf SWE 2421, Johansson Linus SWE 2197, GM Solak Dragan TUR 2629, IM Nithander Victor SWE 2423, Bharat Arjun IND 2178, FM Sagit Rauan SWE 2368, WGM L’Ami Alina ROU 2364, Denisov Ivan RUS 2348, FM Sipilä Vilka FIN 2316, GM Cramling Pia SWE 2495, FM Malmdin Nils-Åke SWE 2308, GM Socko Monica POL 2479, FM Deniz Arman TUR 2304, FM Byklum Björnar NOR 2252 and Glimbrant Torbjörn SWE 2250 – 2.0 etc

Round 4 top pairings:
GM Shimanov Aleksandr 2549 – GM Gajewski Grzegorz 2616
IM Smith Axel 2480 – GM Cicak Slavko 2566
GM Socko Bartosz 2635 – GM Ivanov Sergey 2537
GM L’Ami Erwin 2594 – GM Brynell Stellan 2486
GM Bakre Tejas 2509 – GM Rozentalis Eduardas 2586
GM Karlsson Lars 2485 – GM Solak Dragan 2629
GM Tikkanen Hans 2586 – FM Sagit Rauan 2368
GM Berczes David 2555 – WGM L’Ami Alina 2364
FM Sipilä Vilka 2316 – GM Cramling Pia 2495
IM Semcesen Daniel 2490 – Denisov Ivan 2348

You can access the official website for more info:

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Chess players are born or made? What Alexander Alekhine thought!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Here is a beautiful video pointed out via @kosteniuk and @chessqueen twitter accounts by fan @swalkiki. The video has been uploaded by alecksandrkoblents on YouTube. Enjoy.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at

Reggio Emilia R3: Ivanchuk beats Caruana, Morozevich leads
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

The chess news from Italy is focused on the 54th Reggio Emilia Tournament that is into the third round now. In the third round, Fabiano Caruana lost to Vassily Ivanchuk giving the latter a shared second spot for now with Hikaru Nakamura. Here is the Caruana-Ivanchuk game.

Caruana, Fabiano (2727) – Ivanchuk, Vassily (2775)

Result: 0-1
Site: Reggio Emilia ITA
Date: 2011.12.29

[...] 1.e4 c5 2.¤f3 ¤c6 3.d4 cxd4 4.¤xd4 ¤f6 5.¤c3 e6 6.¤db5 d6 7.¥f4 e5 8.¥g5 a6 9.¤a3 b5 10.¥xf6 gxf6 11.¤d5 f5 12.g3 fxe4 13.¥g2 ¥g7 14.¥xe4 ¥e6 15.O-O O-O 16.c3 f5 17.¥g2 ¦b8 18.¤c2 a5 19.a3 ¢h8 20.£e2 £d7 21.¦ad1 e4 22.f3 ¤d4 23.¤xd4 ¥xd5 24.£d2 b4 25.axb4 axb4 26.fxe4 bxc3 27.bxc3 fxe4 28.¦xf8+ ¦xf8 29.£e3 £e7 30.¥h3 £e5 31.¦e1 ¦f6 32.¥g2 ¦f7 33.¦b1 ¥b7 34.¤e2 d5 35.¦b6 £c7 36.¦b1 ¥e5 37.¤d4 ¥a6 38.¥f1 ¥c4 39.¥xc4 £xc4 40.¤e6 £a6 41.¤d4 h6 42.¤e2 ¢h7 43.¦f1 ¦xf1+ 44.¢xf1 £a1+ 45.¢g2 £e1 46.£f2 £xf2+ 47.¢xf2 ¢g6 48.¢e3 ¢f5 49.h3 ¥f6 50.¤d4+ ¢e5 51.¢d2 ¥g5+ 52.¢e2 ¥c1 53.¤b5 ¢e6 54.¤d4+ ¢f6 55.¤b5 ¢e5 56.¤d4 ¥a3 57.¤c2 ¥c5 58.¤e3 ¢e6 59.¤g4 ¥f8 60.¤e3 ¥g7 61.¢d2 ¥e5 62.g4 ¥f4 63.¢e2 ¥g5 64.¤f5 ¢e5 65.¤e3 ¢d6 66.¤f5+ ¢c5 67.¤e3 ¥f4 68.¤g2 ¥c7 69.¤e3 ¥a5 70.¤d1 ¢d6 71.¢e3 ¢e5 72.¢e2 ¢e6 73.¢e3 ¥b6+ 74.¢e2 ¢f6 75.¤e3 ¥xe3 76.¢xe3 ¢g5 77.¢f2 ¢f4 78.¢g2 ¢e3 79.h4 ¢f4 80.g5 hxg5 81.h5 ¢f5 82.¢g3 ¢f6 83.¢g4 ¢g7

Nakamura, on his part, drew his game with Alexander Morozevich who maintained his lead. The other game – between Nikita Vitiugov and Anish Giri – also ended in a draw.

In the women’s tournament Sopiko Guramishvili won and leads with a perfect score. You can access the official website for more info.

Round 3 standings (3 points for a win, 1 for a draw):
1. Morozevich Alexander 2762 RUS – 7
2-3. Nakamura Hikaru 2758 USA and Ivanchuk Vassily 2775 UKR – 5
4-5. Giri Anish 2714 NED and Vitiugov Nikita 2729 RUS – 2
6. Caruana Fabiano 2727 ITA – 1

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Unique San Sebastian Chess Formula: GMs play two games at the same time!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

A very interesting chess tournament is taking place in San Sebastian from December 28 to January 6 – The Donostia Chess Festival. The festival includes A, B, C tournaments and a blitz competition. It is being held in memory of famous chess tournaments which were held a century ago in San Sebastian – the first edition won by José Raúl Capablanca. Look at the videos to see how it works:

One hundred years later the tournament has a prize fund of 100,000 Euro (the first prize being 20,000 Euro + an electric motorbike!) and a unique format. It is a knock-out event with some modifications, as the players who get eliminated will keep playing in a parallel group. Some top names at the event include Ruslan Ponomariov, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Antoaneta Stefanova, Vugar Gashimov and others. Following David Bronstein’s idea, matches consist of two games of classical chess played simultaneously. This way no one has the advantage of playing the first game with the white pieces. You can access the official website here.

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World’s first Fide-rated blitz chess tournament on Jan 2
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

The world’s first ever FIDE-rated Blitz tournament will take place at the White Rock Hotel, Hastings on Monday 2nd January.

Add power to your blitz chess
with Chess Queen’s special DVD.
Click on photo to know more.
The DVD has many tips on how
to play better blitz chess and
World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk
shows eight of her sensational wins
from the 2009
World Blitz Championship,
where she beat World #1
Rated Magnus Carlsen,
World Champion Vishy Anand, and
super Grandmasters Gashimov,
Aronian, Morozevich, Grischuk,
Judith Polgar, and Naiditsch.
All games are fully commented
with simultaneous live screens
and 2D boards.
FIDE are starting to collect rating information from blitz and rapidplay games starting 1 January 2012. The two new lists will be published 1 July 2012. The standardplay ratings will not be affected by the blitz or rapidplay results. The ratings of players who are already FIDE-rated will be used initially.

Depending on the number of entries, the tournaments will be sections of 10 with not more than 6 unrated players in each section. This means that each unrated player will be able to get a FIDE Blitz Rating on the night.

There will be no FIDE charge for rating blitz or rapidplay tournaments throughout 2012. The decision about charges for 2013, if any, will be made at the FIDE Congress in Turkey.

The K factor for all players will be 20. If a rated player plays more than 35 games in a period, then his new rating will be his Tournament Rating Performance for that period.

Entry fee: £2.00 if FIDE-rated, £5.00 if not FIDE-rated
Prizes: All entry fees will be returned as prizes
Rate of play: All the moves in 3 minutes, add on 2 seconds per move from the first move.
The Blitz tournament is part of the 87th Hastings International Chess Congress

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Intense chess commercial about real estate from Taiwan!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Business and chess do combine. Even real estate and chess does! Well, continuing our series of advertisements and commercials from mainstream media with chess as a motif, here’s one all the way from Taiwan.

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American chess talent GM Nakamura launches website
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

For all fans of American Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura, here’s some nice chess news. The grandmaster has launched his brand new website which you can check by clicking on the photo below. Have fun.

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Reggio Emilia Chess R2: Morozevich leads with perfect score
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

The chess news update from the second day at the Reggio Emilia tournament is that Anish Giri went down fighting to Alexander Morozevich giving the latter a perfect score wit six points according to thee football scoring in effect at the tournament.

Anish Giri on his way to losing to Alexander Morozevich.

The other winner of the first round, Hikaru Nakamura had to settle for a draw with Fabiano Caruana while Vassily Ivanchuk and Nikita Vitiugov also had to draw their game after a tough fight. You can access more details at the official website.

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The chess moods of chess great Gary Kasparov!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Chess great Gary Kasparov never fails to enchant us with the amount of hard work and energy he brings to chess. Here is a great set of photos via of the chess great playing a simul in Tbilisi, Georgia recently. 

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Wednesday chess trivia photo: Guess who!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

So, can you tell us who both these chess players are? Look closely!

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Stay in high chess spirits for the season
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Continuing our series of chess videos from around the world with chess featuring in mainstream media, here’s one to keep you in high chess spirits. Thanks to Olga Kovalavskaya for sending us this video. You can send your favourite video with chess motif too. Enjoy.

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Funny chess definitions for a chess Wednesday!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

We found this nice humorous chess glossary with most of these  ”definitions” compiled by U.S. Master Eliot Hearst and first published in an article titled ‘A Gentle Glossary’ in the July 1962 issue of Chess Life (magazine). Some are by Ed Collins!

  •  Adjournment: an interruption in play to enable both players to obtain analytical help from their chess master-friends, chess libraries, or chess computers.
  • Analysis: irrefutable proof that you could have won a game you lost.
  • Attacking Moves: moves that my opponent seems to make much more frequently than I do.
  • Bad Bishop: the one that you still have left on the board.
  • Blunder: Sacrificing for a tactical disadvantage.
  • Brilliancy: a combinative sequence which is understandable to anyone once the solution is revealed.
  • Bughouse Chess: a game gaining in popularity since you can always blame all of your losses on your partner’s play.
  • Castling: a defensive move played by a cowardly opponent.; a special move solely done for king’s safety only to be dismantled by your opponent later.
  • Center: according to the hyper moderns, the squares a1, a8, h1, h8.
  • Challenger’s Tourney: a tournament to decide which Russian will play another Russian for the world championship.
  • Cheapo: a phrase coined by U.S. Master Dr. Karl Burger, who has won a large percentage of his games by such a maneuver; a move which threatens something so obvious that only an idiot would fall for it, and he does.
  • Checkmate: a self-inflicted torture by novices who don’t know the word “resigns.”
  • Duffer: anybody who can beat you three times in a row.
  • Endgame: your last opportunity to miss a win or a draw.
  • Fianchetto: an Italian method of developing bishops; popularized by Russians.
  • Fish: a player who falls for all your traps and still wins.
  • Fool’s Mate: the logical conclusion to any game of chess; a chess player’s spouse.
  • Foresight: the ability to play in only those tournaments you are sure of winning.
  • Good Bishop: your opponent’s bishop.
  • Grandmaster: anyone who has reached the point in chess where he is acclaimed for drawing all his games.
  • Grandmaster Draw: a friendly conclusion due to mutual fear.
  • Internet Chess: a method of playing chess in which you can pay a monthly fee, tie up your phone line, all to play your neighbor across the street.
  • Kibitzer: someone who gives good advice to your opponent and bad advice to you.
  • King’s Indian Reversed: naidni sgnik.
  • Lost Game: something your opponent had before he won.
  • Opening: that phase of the game in which intelligence plays no part.
  • Rating System: an objective method of ranking chess players which does not take into consideration the inherent beauty of a rose.
  • Trap: Something you saw but forgot about until you fell into it.
  • Weekend Tourney: a tournament for which a player travels 300-500 miles in order to be paired with players from his home town.
Don’t forget to share your own chess definitions with us!

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Minimalist chess problem to solve!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

Do you know what is minimalist chess? Like in the world of art and literature, minimalists seek to remove the non-essential. We found a nice chess minimalist problem and article at the US Chess Federation website! You can read the full solution and detailed article on minimalism in chess after you spend some time solving this puzzle!

Julius Buchwald
Die Schwalbe 1964

White to play and mate in four

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Why chess robots have trouble ‘grasping’ the game!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

The New Scientist recently had an interesting article about how robots are still less efficient at ‘grasping’ than humans. That makes them still steps behind humans. If you read our news about the Chess Terminator developed by Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk’s father Konstantin Kosteniuk, you would like to read this article too. Here it is. Enjoy.

Chess robots have trouble grasping the game

(Image: Jeffrey Sylvester/Getty Images)

Deep Blue’s victory over Gary Kasparov in 1997 may have shown how computers can outsmart people, but if the game is taken into the physical world, humans still win hands down.

That’s because, for all their software smarts, robots remain clumsy at manipulating real-world objects. A robotic chess competition held in August, for example, showed that even robotic arms used for precise work on industrial manufacturing lines have trouble when asked to negotiate a noisy, chaotic real-world environment.

The contest, held at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence annual conference in San Francisco, California, had a number of automatons competing to see who could best move pieces quickly, accurately and legally in accordance with the rules of chess.

Some teams used vision systems to identify where pieces were, but none attempted to distinguish between a rook and a knight, for example. Instead they relied upon remembering where pieces were last placed to identify them and move them accordingly.

The bots quickly ran into snags – their vision systems often misread moves, which led to confusion as to what piece had moved, and where the other pieces were on the board.

One approach, by robotics company Road Narrows, used a commercially available fixed robotic arm normally used for light industrial applications without any vision at all. The winner was a team led by Mike Ferguson at the University of Albany, in New York, which had a mobile robot with an arm attached. Despite the many variables introduced when moving a robot around, the droid’s vision system managed to keep track of the board and pieces as it moved about, says Mike Stilman, one of the event’s organisers, of Georgia Institute of Technology, in Atlanta.

But even Ferguson’s bot is a long way from earning the title “grand master” – all the teams’ chess tactics came from a standard open source program that wouldn’t have given Deep Blue a run for its money. But the creation of a software champion chess program wasn’t just about winning, Stilman says – it was about gaining an insight into how the human mind works in order to build smarter machines. By bringing the challenge into the real world, the hope is to do the same for the physical problems of robotics, he says.

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