Will the next Candidates Chess Matches be held in Bulgaria?
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hello everyone,


We just found this interesting piece of chess news that Bulgaria might be in the running to host the next Candidates Matches! (In the photo: Veselin Topalov beat Gata Kamsky in February 2009 to win the right to face Anand for the world chess title. Photo by EPA/BGNES. As you know, Boris Gelfand of Israel will challenge World Champion Vishy Anand this year!)


Bulgaria has endorsed the town of Panagyurishte to run for host of this year’s Candidates Tournament chess clashes, it has been revealed. London and Baku have already entered the race to host the prestigious event, while New York is expected to join them.


Bulgaria recently hosted two key chess battles – the Candidate Match betweenVeselin Topalov and Gata Kamsky in 2009 and Topalov’s subsequent World Championship match against Vishwanathan Anand in 2010, which the Bulgarian lost. Both events took place in Sofia.


Panagyurishte’s candidacy is seen as Topalov’s only chance to get back into the title race.


Bulgarian Chess Federation President Silvio Danailov has pointed out that the country’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov support Panagyurishte’s candidacy. The Candidates Tournament is a chess tournament organised by FIDE since 1950, as the final contest to determine the challenger for the World Chess Championship.
The winner of the Candidates earns the right to a match for the World Championship against the incumbent World Champion.


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Vote for the YB Novelty of the Year 2011 and win a 1-year Subscription
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hello everyone,



Shortlist: Yearbook Novelty of the Year 2011
The Chess Player’s Guide to Opening News Contest

The inventor of the winning novelty will receive a prize of € 350. ($ 450)
A one-year subscription to the Yearbook will be raffled amongst those who have voted for the winning novelty.




Cast your vote before February 12, 2012




NIC Yearbook editor GM Genna Sosonko 
gives the first prize to Vishy Anand 

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Largest playing surface in the world? It’s a chess set!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hello everyone,

This is the largest playing surface in the world when it comes to board games! It’s a chess board! The board has been designed by Great Chesspectations as part of their ‘The Minister of Sinister’ series.
Built On Tradition … Great Chesspectations is the only source for oversized and battlefield style chess boards. They say, “We took tradition and multiplied it.” Their website is just being built. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter.


From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Gibraltar Chess Festival R7: Hou beats Judit; Michael Adams leads
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hello everyone,

Hou Yifan, reigning Women’s World Chess Champion, has defeated World’s highest-ever rated woman chess player Judit Polgar, in Gibraltar. It was their first encounter as they met in the seventh round of the ongoing Tradewise Chess Festival’s Masters tournament. Meanwhile, British Grandmaster Mickey Adams is leading the tournament with 6 points out of 7 games.




Other top players in the Masters include Peter Svidler, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Michael Adams, Zoltan Almasi, Le Quang Liem, Judit Polgar and Alexei Shirov.

The 2011 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival is taking place from Tuesday, 24th January to Thursday, 2nd February 2012 at the Caleta Hotel in Gibraltar. The event is the tenth in the series held on the Rock, the second to be sponsored by Tradewise Insurance with technical support by Gibtelecom. The rate of play: 40 moves in 100 minutes plus 20 moves in 50 minutes plus 15 minutes for all remaining moves with 30 seconds per move added from the start. You can access the official website for more info. 

Here is the Yifan-Judit game with Chess King. Enjoy.

Hou, Yifan (2605) – Polgar, Judit (2710)

Result: 1-0
Site: ?
Date: 2012.01.30
[...] 1.e4 c5 2.¤f3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.¤xd4 ¤c6 5.¤c3 a6 6.¥e2 ¤ge7 7.¥f4 ¤g6 8.¤xc6 bxc6 9.¥d6 ¥xd6 10.£xd6 £e7 11.O-O-O £xd6 12.¦xd6 ¢e7 13.¦hd1 ¤f4 14.¥f3 ¦b8 15.¦6d2 g5 16.¤a4 d5 17.g3 ¤g6 18.¦e1 ¢f6 19.¥h5 ¦b4 20.¤c3 d4 21.e5+ ¤xe5 22.¤e4+ ¢e7 23.¤xg5 h6 24.¤xe6 ¥xe6 25.¦xe5 ¦d8 26.f4 ¦b5 27.¦de2 ¢f6 28.¥f3 c5 29.a4 ¦b4 30.¦xc5 ¦xa4 31.b3 ¦b4 32.¥e4 ¥g4 33.¦e1 ¦d6 34.¥d3 ¥d7 35.¦ee5 ¥e6 36.¢d2 ¦bb6 37.¦a5 ¦bc6 38.¦a4 ¦b6 39.¦e4 ¥f5 40.¦exd4 ¦e6 41.¥c4 ¦ec6 42.¦a5 ¥c8 43.¥d3 ¥e6 44.¦d8 ¥c8 45.¦ad5 ¥e6 46.¦h5 ¢g7 47.f5

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How to sell a chess set! Sexy chess advert from 1973?
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


We found this chess advert in a collection of vintage print advertisements. We won’t comment on how far this advert succeeded in the endeavour to sell the chess set. We just love to collect all videos and photos of advertising featuring chess. If you’ve got one, do share it right here at www.chessblog.com.




From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Have chess fun with Magnus Carlsen and Elizabeth Pähtz
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Okay this fun photo just doesn’t make a trivia question! So, enjoy the moment with GM Magnus Carlsen and WGM Elizabeth Pähtz. Thanks to our chess friend Michel for sharing this photo from the talented German WGM’s Facebook page. So, chess photo of the week? Agree?


If you spot a great chess photo, don’t forget to share it with us.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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RSSU International Chess CUP begins in Moscow with 1,470 players!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hello everyone,



On Saturday 28th of January the main tournaments of RSSU International Chess Cup “Moscow Open 2012” started with a beautiful opening ceremony. There are 1,470 chess players from 26 countries, including 95 international grandmasters and 70 international masters, taking part. FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov who opened the ceremony named the Russian State Social University as one of the largest chess centers in the world and has thanked organisers for a fine atmosphere for the sport of chess.  





Anatoly Karpov, former World Chess Champion, the deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, said he was glad that the tournament now is also named “RSSU International Cup”. He said the University strengthens its position as the leading center of development of chess in Russia and around the world.  
Follow the daily reports at http://open.moschess.ru/eng/


From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Colombo Chess Open and Cech Chess Tour dates announced
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Some chess tournament news update via Fide. 

Colombo Chess Open
The 5th Colombo International Chess Festival 2012, an International Rating Open Chess event, with a total prize fund of nearly Rs. 250,000/= in cash and other attractive awards will be played according to the Swiss System in 9 rounds from 15th to 22nd February 2012. Venue: Colombo. Read more here.

Czech Chess Tour 2012/13
Also, 12th International Chess Festivals Series CZECH TOUR 2012/2013 can be found on here. Preliminary regulations of the 23rd International Chess and Games Festival CZECH OPEN 2012 can be found here.

Registration deadline for 3rd NOVY BOR OPEN, which takes place 11th –18th February 2012, has been prolonged without extra fee for the late enrolment till 5th February 2012.

The registration deadline for 1st LANTA OPEN, which takes place 22nd – 28th March 2012 in Thailand, has been prolonged without extra fee for the late enrolment till 29th February 2012.

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Happy birthday to 10th World Chess Champion Boris Spassky
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hello everyone,


We wish Grandmaster and tenth world chess champion Boris Spassky a very happy birthday on January 30. You can find a very nice birthday message from Fide President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov for GM Spassky here. Wishes have poured in from around the world including the Gibraltar Chess Festival. You can read their birthday message here.


Here is a nice game to celebrate the birthday of a great chess player. Enjoy.




Spassky Boris V (FRA) (2660) – Fischer Robert J (USA) (2785)

Result: 1-0
Site: Reykjavik (Iceland)
Date: 1972


[...] 1.d4 ¤f6 2.c4 e6 3.¤f3 d5 4.¤c3 ¥b4 5.e3 O-O 6.¥d3 c5 7.O-O ¤c6 8.a3 ¥a5 9.¤e2 (9.cxd5²) 9…dxc4 10.¥xc4 ¥b6 (10…cxd4=) 11.dxc5 £xd1 12.¦xd1 ¥xc5 13.b4 ¥e7 14.¥b2 ¥d7!

(14…b6?! 15.¤f4 ¥b7 16.¤g5 ¤d8 17.¦ac1 h6 18.¤gxe6!± Spassky – Krogius, USSR (ch) Riga 1958)
15.¦ac1?! (15.¥xf6? ¥xf6 16.¦xd7?? ¥xa1µ)  (15.g4? ¦fd8 16.g5 ¤e4 17.h4 ¥e8=)  (15.¤ed4= Gligoric) 

(15.e4! ¦fd8




(15…¥e8 16.¤g3!²15…¥e8 16.¤g3!²






(16.e5?! ¤d7 17.¤g3 ¤b6 18.¥b3 a5! 19.b5 a4 20.¥a2 ¤a5 With counter-play)
)
16.e5 ¤e8 17.¤g3 ¤c7 18.¤e4² Krogius)
(15.¢f1!?² Botvinnik) 15…¦fd8 16.¤ed4 ¤xd4 17.¤xd4 ¥a4= 18.¥b3 ¥xb3 (18…¦xd4? 19.¥xa4² Pair of bishops) 19.¤xb3 ¦xd1+ 20.¦xd1 ¦c8 21.¢f1 ¢f8 22.¢e2 (22.¥xf6 ¥xf6 23.¦d7 ¦c3) 22…¤e4 With the idea Rc2  (22…¦c2+ 23.¦d2) 23.¦c1 ¦xc1 24.¥xc1 f6?!

(24…¢e8 25.¤a5 ¤d6 26.¢d3




(26.¥b2!? With the idea26…g6 27.¥e5 With initiative)
26…¢d7 27.¤c4 b5= Botvinnik)
(24…¥f6!? Krogius) 25.¤a5

(25.f3!? ¤d6 (25…¤c3+ 26.¢d3 ¤a4 27.¤a5 b5 28.¤c6 a6 29.¤b8) 26.¤c5 ¢f7 27.¢d3 b6 (27…b5 28.a4²) 28.¤a6 b5 29.e4² Krogius)
25…¤d6! 26.¢d3 ¥d8 27.¤c4 ¥c7 28.¤xd6 ¥xd6 29.b5! ¥xh2?

(29…¢e7 30.h3 f5=29…¢e7 30.h3 f5= (30…e5= With the idea Ke6) )
30.g3± h5

(30…¢e7 31.a4! ¢d6 32.¥a3+ ¢e5 33.¢e2 h5 (33…¢e4 34.f3+) 34.¢f3 h4 35.¢g2 hxg3 36.fxg3 ¢e4 37.¥c5 b6 38.¥xb6 axb6 39.a5ќ)
31.¢e2 h4 32.¢f3 ¢e7? (32…h3 33.¢g4 ¥g1 34.¢xh3 ¥xf2 35.¥d2!ќ)  (32…g5! 33.¢g2 g4! 34.¢xh2 h3! 35.f3 f5 36.e4 ¢e7±)  (32…a6!?) 33.¢g2 (33.¥d2!?) 33…hxg3 34.fxg3 ¥xg3 35.¢xg3 ¢d6 36.a4! ¢d5 (36…¢c5 37.¥a3+ ¢c4 38.¥f8 g6 39.¥e7 f5 40.¢f4ќ) 37.¥a3 ¢e4 (37…a6! Mednis) 

(37…e5!? 38.¢f3 g6 39.¥e7 ¢e6 40.¥d8 ¢f7 41.¢e4 ¢e6 42.¢d3± With the idea Kc4-c5 Krogius)


(37…¢c4?! 38.¥f8 g6 39.¥e7 ¢b3 40.a5 ¢a4 41.b6 a6 42.¥xf6 ¢xa5 43.¢f4 ¢xb6 44.¢e5 a5 45.¢xe6ќÅ¾e Smyslov)
38.¥c5 a6 (38…b6? 39.¥xb6! axb6 40.a5ќ) 39.b6! f5

(39…e5 40.¢g4




(40.¥f8 g6 Botvinnik






(40…¢xe3 41.¥xg7 ¢d4 42.¥xf6 ¢c5 43.¥d8 ¢b4 44.¢f3 ¢xa4 45.¢e4 ¢b5 46.¢d5! e4 47.¢d6 a5 48.¢c7 ¢a6 49.¥g5! a4 50.¥c1!ќ Zugzwang)
)
40…g6 41.¢g3! f5 42.¢h4 f4 43.exf4 ¢xf4 (43…exf4 44.¢g5ќ) 44.¥e7! e4 45.¥g5+ ¢f3 46.¥c1! e3 47.¢g5 e2 48.¥d2 ¢f2 49.¢xg6 e1=£ 50.¥xe1+ ¢xe1 51.¢f6ќ Pachmann)
40.¢h4! f4?

(40…¢d5! 41.¥b4! (41.¥e7 ¢e4 42.¥g5 e5 With the idea e4)




(41.¥d4 e5 42.¥c3 ¢e4 43.¢g5 f4 44.exf4 exf4² With the idea Kd5-c4)
41…¢c6 42.¥a5!! ¢c5 43.¢g5 ¢c4 44.¢g6 ¢d3 45.¢xg7 ¢xe3 46.¢f6ќ Mednis)
41.exf4 Sealed move 41…¢xf4 42.¢h5!ќ ¢f5

(42…g5 43.¢g6! g4




(43…e5 44.¥d6 ¢e4 45.¢xg5 ¢d5 46.¥c7 e4 47.¥f4 ¢c5 48.¥e3+ ¢b4 49.¢f6 ¢xa4 50.¢e6 ¢b5 51.¢d7 a5 52.¢c7 ¢a6 53.¥d2 a4 54.¥c1ќ Krogius)
44.¢f6 e5 45.¥d6ќ Gligoric)


(42…¢e5 43.¢g6 ¢d5 44.¥g1 ¢c4 45.¢f7! ¢b4 46.¢xe6 ¢xa4 47.¢d7 ¢b5 48.¢c7ќ Mednis)


(42…e5 43.¢g6 e4 44.¢xg7 e3 45.¥xe3+ ¢xe3 46.¢f6 ¢d4 47.¢e6 ¢c5 48.a5! ¢b5 49.¢d6 ¢xa5 50.¢c7ќ Botvinnik)
43.¥e3! ¢e4 44.¥f2

(44.¥c1 ¢d5 (44…¢f5 45.¥g5 e5 46.¥c1 e4 47.¥e3ќ)




(44…¢d3 45.¢g6 ¢c2 46.¢xg7! ¢xc1 47.¢f6 ¢c2 48.¢xe6 ¢b3 49.¢d6 ¢xa4 50.¢c7ќ)
45.¢g6 ¢c5 46.¥e3+ ¢b4 47.¢f7! (47.¢xg7? ¢xa4 48.¢f6 ¢b5 49.¢xe6 ¢c6=) 47…¢xa4 48.¢xe6 ¢b5 49.¢d7 a5 50.¢c7 ¢a6 51.¥d4 g5 52.¥f6 g4 53.¥e5 a4 54.¥d6!ќ Zugzwang Botvinnik)
44…¢f5 45.¥h4! e5 46.¥g5 e4 47.¥e3! ¢f6 48.¢g4 ¢e5 49.¢g5 ¢d5 50.¢f5 a5 51.¥f2! g5 52.¢xg5 ¢c4 53.¢f5 ¢b4 54.¢xe4 ¢xa4 55.¢d5 ¢b5 56.¢d6 (56.¢d6 a4 57.¢c7 ¢a6 58.¥d4ќ)



From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Turkish Chess Championships 2012 begin in Kemer
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,



The Turkish Chess Championships for men and women have begun in Kemer, Antalya, and will continue over ten rounds of Swiss system until 5th February.
The top seeds in the men’s Championship are GM Dragan Solak, GM Baris Esen and GM Emre Can, among 309 participants (52 more compared to previous year), including 19 titled players sorted as 4 GMs, 6 IMs 6 FMs and 3 CMs.
A total of 69 players compete in the Women Turkish Championship, including WIM Betul Yildiz and WGM Kubra Ozturk.


Current Turkish Women’s Chess Champion Betul Yildiz


This is the first Turkish championship for Dragan Solak who recently completed the transfer from Serbian Chess Federation and is going to represent Turkey in the next Chess Olympiad in Istanbul.


This year an impressive prize fund for both Championships was introduced by sponsors. Turkish Chess Federation together with Is Bank provided a prize fund of about 12,500 EUR in Turkish Championship among men.
At the same time Women’s Championship has its own sponsorship from Arzum Company who provided about 20,000 EUR in total. This includes products (4300 EUR) + money prizes (7500 EUR). In addition, the 20 top female players received free accommodation in the 5-star Limra Hotel.


You can read more at www.chessdom.com and view live broadcast of games. 


From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Tata Steel Chess 2012 – Congratulations to Levon Aronian for winning Group A
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hello everyone,


Grandmaster Levon Aronian had his chess flowing – like a river of jewels – to win the Tata Steel Chess Group A this Sunday! Before anything else, here are the videos of the champion. Must watch. Congratulations to GM Levon Aronian for a fantastic tournament. Congratulations to Grandmasters Pentala Harikrishna and Maxim Turov for winning the Groups B and C respectively. 





The 74th Tata Steel Chess Tournament took place from 13 to 29, 2012 in the sports hall Moriaan in Wijk aan Zee. There were three grandmaster tournaments with 14 players each playing 13 rounds at 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves and finally 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30 seconds/move increment starting with the first move of the game. 

Here are the final results of all the three groups:
Final standings – Group A
1. Aronian, L. 9
2. Carlsen, M.
Caruana, F.
Radjabov, T. 8
5. Ivanchuk, V.
Nakamura, H.
7. Kamsky, G. 7
8. Karjakin, S.
9. Van Wely, L.
10. Gashimov, V.
Gelfand, B.
Topalov, V. 5
13. Giri, A.
Navara, D.

Group B
1. Harikrishna, P. 9
2. Bruzon, L.
Motylev, A.
4. L’Ami, E.
Tiviakov, S. 8
6. Nyzhnik, I.
Reinderman, D.
8. Potkin, V.
9. Timman, J. 6
10. Ernst, S. 5
11. Lahno, K.
Vocaturo, D.
13. Cmilyte, V. 4
14. Harika, D.

Group C
1. Turov, M. 10½
2. Tikkanen, H. 10
3. Adhiban, B.
Brandenburg, D.
5. Grover, S.
Paehtz, E.
Sadler, M. 7
8. Tania, S. 6
9. Danielian, E.
10. Goudriaan, E. 5
11. Ootes, L.
12. Hopman, P.
Schut, L. 4
14. Haast, A.


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Historic chess clash today – Hou Yifan and Judit Polgar play each other today in Gibraltar Chess 2012!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hello everyone,

There will be a historic clash at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Masters in Round 7 on 30 January 2012 at the Caleta Hotel starting 3pm today (Gibraltar time).

Women’s World Champion Yifan Hou (China) rated 2605 will play white against Judit Polgar (Hungary) 2710, the highest-ever rated woman player in the history of the game.

The match has begun and you can watch live at the official website or at www.chessdom.com.

They have never previously met as Judit doesn’t play in women only events and it is some years since she played in an open tournament. Both players have 4.5/6.

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Chess King Video Tutorial by Steve Lopez Episode 1: Introduction to Chess King
We just got news from Chess King (Blog, Twitter, Facebook) about a new series of Video Tutorials. Here’s the first episode, with a description of the software:


You can still buy Chess King for the incredible price of $49 thanks to the Coupon code INTROKING50. Chess King includes the strongest engine available Houdini 2 and the huge GigaKing game database.

Chess Queen and Chess King News – Which photo you want to click?
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daily chess news from around the world

Is space like a chess board?
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hello everyone,


This Science Daily article did not make it to mainstream media last year but it’s quite a read if you are fascinated by how chess applies to all aspects of our life. Enjoy.

Physicists at UCLA set out to design a better transistor and ended up discovering a new way to think about the structure of space.

Space is usually considered infinitely divisible — given any two positions, there is always a position halfway between. But in a recent study aimed at developing ultra-fast transistors using graphene, researchers from the UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy and the California NanoSystems Institute show that dividing space into discrete locations, like a chessboard, may explain how point-like electrons, which have no finite radius, manage to carry their intrinsic angular momentum, or “spin.”

While studying graphene’s electronic properties, professor Chris Regan and graduate student Matthew Mecklenburg found that a particle can acquire spin by living in a space with two types of positions — dark tiles and light tiles. The particle seems to spin if the tiles are so close together that their separation cannot be detected.

“An electron’s spin might arise because space at very small distances is not smooth, but rather segmented, like a chessboard,” Regan said.

Their findings are published in the March 18 edition of the journal Physical Review Letters.

In quantum mechanics, “spin up” and “spin down” refer to the two types of states that can be assigned to an electron. That the electron’s spin can have only two values — not one, three or an infinite number — helps explain the stability of matter, the nature of the chemical bond and many other fundamental phenomena.

However, it is not clear how the electron manages the rotational motion implied by its spin. If the electron had a radius, the implied surface would have to be moving faster than the speed of light, violating the theory of relativity. And experiments show that the electron does not have a radius; it is thought to be a pure point particle with no surface or substructure that could possibly spin. 

Read more here.

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Gibraltar Chess Festival R4 – Hou Yifan among leaders
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,
 
No one has a perfect score at the Gibraltar Chess Festival after four rounds. The top two boards were drawn and Le Quang Liem beat Ruben Felgaer. The match between Judit Polgar and Humpy Koneru ended in a draw. Swedish IM Patrik Lyrberg drew with 200-points higher rated GM Constantin Lupulescu. He had warlier draw with Alexei Shirov and beaten Eduardo Iturrizaga.

There is a huge tie on the first place: GM Hou Yifan CHN 2605, GM Adams Michael ENG 2724, GM Short Nigel D ENG 2677, GM Le Quang Liem VIE 2714, GM Laznicka Viktor CZE 2704, GM Sasikiran Krishnan IND 2700, GM Movsesian Sergei ARM 2700, GM Brunello Sabino ITA 2581, GM Gopal G N IND 2566, GM Rapport Richard HUN 2543 and GM Dzagnidze Nana GEO 2535 are all with 3.5 points.

Replay the games with computer analysis. Round 5 live broadcast starts at 15:00 CET.

Top round 5 pairings are GM Adams Michael – GM Brunello Sabino, GM Short Nigel – GM Le Quang Liem, GM Gopal G N – GM Laznicka Viktor, GM Dzagnidze Nana – GM Movsesian Sergei, GM Sasikiran Krishnan – GM Hou Yifan and GM Almasi Zoltan – GM Rapport Richard.

From Alexandra Kosteniuks
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Tata Steel Chess Rd12: Aronian beats Gelfand and secures tie for first
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hello everyone,

The excitement at Tata Steel Chess 2012 is down to the last round. As you know, Levon Aronian is in great form. And, he beat Boris Gelfand in Round 12 to ensure he at least ties for first. Only Radjabov and Carlsen have the theoretic chance catching him with one round to go – that also, only if Aronian loses in the last round. 

Similar is the case in the other two sections.

Round twelve
Group A: Round 12 – Sat. Jan. 28th
Veselin Topalov – Anish Giri 1-0
David Navara – Fabiano Caruana ½-½
Boris Gelfand – Levon Aronian 0-1
Teimour Radjabov – Vassily Ivanchuk ½-½
Sergey Karjakin – Vugar Gashimov ½-½
Hikaru Nakamura – Loek van Wely 1-0
Magnus Carlsen – Gata Kamsky ½-½



The B group has Pentala Harikrishna in first, followed by Alexander Motylev and Erwin L’Ami a half point behind. Even Cuban GM Lazaro Bruzon has a chance to tie for first should he win his game against Sipke and Harikrishna lose. The C group has two leaders – Maxim Turov and Hans Tikkanen – both  have 9.5/12, and a two point lead over the rest. You can access the official website here.

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Icelandic Chess Day celebrated on Jan 26 in honour of Friðrik Ólafsson
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hello everyone,

The first annual Icelandic Chess Day was celebrated around the country for the first time on Thursday. It is held in honor of Iceland’s first grandmaster Friðrik Ólafsson, who celebrated his 77th birthday on January 26.

Friðrik is considered to have furthered the sport and boasted magnificent success in his career, including beating four world champions, Morgunblaðið reports.

A reception was held at the presidential residence Bessastaðir to mark the occasion. Among visitors were children who will play for Iceland at the Nordic Championship in Chess.

Friðrik played against ten-year-old Nansý Davíðsdóttir, the Icelandic Children’s Champion in Chess, who is the first girl to earn the title. The game ended with an honorary draw.

Other events included multiple games of chess played simultaneously in the Laugardalslaug swimming pool in Reykjavík and the inauguration of a swimming pool chess board in the Akureyri pool.

Gunnar Björnsson, president of the Icelandic Chess Federation, said the sport is growing in popularity in Iceland. “It is inexpensive and easy to practice chess. […] And chess is incredibly fun and rewarding.”

Chess Day is organised by various chess associations, sports associations and others.

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Hrant Melkumyan is Armenia’s Chess 960 champion of 2012
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,
 
Scoring 6 points out of 7, grandmaster Hrant Melkumyan became Armenia’s Chess960 (Fischer Random Chess) champion of 2012.
With 5 points Zaven Andriasian came 2nd, while Levon Babujyan came 3rd with 4 points.
Chess960, or Fischer Random Chess, is a chess variant invented by former World Champion Bobby Fischer. It uses the same board and pieces as standard chess but the starting position of the main pieces is chosen at random.

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

Tata Steel Chess 2012 R11 – Aronian leads amidst exciting chess!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hello everyone,

They say there’s no show like show business. We say, there’s no show like super GM show in an elite chess tournament! If you had attended the 11th round of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2012 in Wijk Aan Zee, you couldn’t have agreed more. You can access the official website here.





Round eleven
Group A: Round 11 – Fri. Jan. 27th

Magnus Carlsen – Veselin Topalov 1-0
Gata Kamsky – Hikaru Nakamura ½-½
Loek van Wely – Sergey Karjakin 0-1
Vugar Gashimov – Teimour Radjabov 0-1
Vassily Ivanchuk – Boris Gelfand 0-1
Levon Aronian – David Navara 0-1
Fabiano Caruana – Anish Giri 1-0


The standings after Round 11:
Levon Aronian leads with 7.5 points while Magnus Carlsen and Teimour Radjabov are right behind at 7 points. Fabiano Caruana and Vassily Ivanchuk at 6.5 points each. Hikaru Nakamura is at 6. Gata Kamsky and Sergey Karjakin are at 5.5 points. We have Loek Van Wely and Boris Gelfand at 5 points. Anish Giri, Veselin Topalov and Vugar Gashimov at 4 points each while David Navara is at 3.5.

Don’t go by the standings. Everyone’s been beating everyone and it’s great chess all around!

Here is the spills-thrills-chills game between Magnus Carlsen and Vaselin Topalov with Chess King. 




Carlsen,M (2835) – Topalov,V (2770)

Result: 1-0
Site: Wijk aan Zee NED
Date: 2012.01.27
[...] 1.e4 c5 2.¤f3 d6 3.¥b5+ ¤d7 4.c3 ¤gf6 5.£e2 a6 6.¥a4 £c7 7.O-O e5 8.d4 b5 9.¥c2 cxd4 10.cxd4 ¥e7 11.¤c3 O-O 12.¥g5 h6 13.¥h4 ¥b7 14.¦ad1 ¦ac8 15.¥b3 ¦fe8 16.dxe5 dxe5 17.¥g3 ¥f8 18.h3 ¤b6 19.¤h4 ¤c4 20.¤f5 ¤xb2 21.¥h4 ¤xd1 22.¥xf6 ¤xc3 23.£g4 ¥xe4 24.¤xh6+ ¢h7 25.¥xf7 £xf7 26.¤xf7 gxf6 27.f4 ¥g6 28.£h4+ ¢g7 29.fxe5 ¤e4 30.¦xf6 ¥c5+ 31.¢h2 ¤xf6 32.£xf6+ ¢h7 33.¤g5+ ¢h6 34.¤e6 ¦xe6 35.£xe6 ¦e8 36.£f6 ¥e7 37.£xa6 b4 38.£c4 ¥f8 39.g4 ¢h7 40.e6 ¥d6+ 41.¢g2 ¥e7 42.£c7 ¢g8 43.¢g3 ¢f8 44.£f4+ ¢g7 45.£d4+ ¢g8 46.h4 ¦d8 47.£c4 ¥d3 48.£c6 ¥b1 49.h5 ¥xa2 50.£e4 ¢h8 51.h6 ¥f6 52.e7 ¦e8 53.£f4 ¥g7 54.hxg7+ ¢xg7 55.g5 ¢g8 56.£f6


From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
Also see her personal blog at