Fide Announces Chess Arbiter Awards
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


The 1st Quarter of 2012 FIDE Presidential Board that was held in Al Ain (UAE), decided to introduce Awards for Arbiters, referring to their long service as officials in major FIDE events (Long Service Meritorious Awards). The requirements for an Arbiter to be awarded were to have obtained the IA title before 1975 and to have worked in FIDE major events at least three (3) times.

The FIDE Arbiters’ Commission has announced the first FIDE Arbiters’ Awards for 2012.


The awarded Arbiters are:Yuri Averbakh (RUS) (IA title 1969)
Lembit Vahesaar (EST) (IA title 1969)
Philip Haley (CAN) (IA title 1973)
Svi Bar- Shira (ISR) (IA title 1974)

The Awards Ceremony will take place during the Closing Ceremony of the General Assembly of the Istanbul FIDE Congress (09.09.2012) and the awarded Arbiters or their representatives are kindly requested to be present, in order to receive their awards.

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IM Miguel Mosquera Wins 8th Open Internacional d’Escacs actius de Cervelló
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


The 8th Open Internacional d’Escacs actius de Cervelló took place on 29th July at the Salón de actos del Ateneu, carrer Santa Anna in Cervelló, Spain. 96 players from 7 countries competed in the 8-round rapid tournament with the time control 15 min + 5 sec.




IM Miguel Mosquera (Colombia) wins the tournament after edging FM Rolando Alarcon Casellas (Cuba) on tie-break. Both players finished with 7 points. IM David Arenas, holder of two GM norms and also from Colombia, is third with 6.5 points. The top seeded Grandmasters Sergio Barrientos and Holden Hernandez had to settle for 4th and 9th place respectively. Find more details at the official website.

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FM Carlos Mena Wins 20th Annual Souther Chess Open
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


FM Carlos Mena has won the 20th Annual Southern Open that was held from July 27-29, 2012, at the Wyndham Orlando Resort, 8001 International Drive, Orlando, Florida. FM Carlos Mena took a clear 1st place in the Open Section after finishing with 4½/5. Mena collected $1990 for his weekend’s efforts. Mena won all games apart from a draw in round 2 against the highest rated player in the event, GM Lars Bo Hansen.


Bo Hansen is in 2nd place after finishing with 4/5, his half-point bye in round 3 possibly costing him a share of 1st.


Open Section final standings:
1. FM Carlos E Mena – 4.5 ($1990.00)
2. GM Lars Bo Hansen – 4.0 ($948.00)
3-5. IM Daniel Fernandez ($379.00), John Edward Duggan ($379.00) and Makaio W Krienke ($758.00) – 3.5
6-11. Robert Perez, FM Mark Ritter, Corey Acor, Andrew S Cunanan ($221.00), Hengyi Wu ($221.00) and Daaim Shabazz ($221.00) – 3.0.


The event had 5 sections: Open, Under 2100, Under 1800, Under 1500 and Under 1200. All sections were 5 round Swiss tournaments with 3-day and 2-day schedules to play in.

Open Section: $2000-1000-500-300, clear/tiebreak winner $100 bonus, top Under 2300/Unr $800, Under 2200/Unr $700. FIDE rated.
Under 2100 Section: $1400-700-400-200, top Under 1900 $500.
Under 1800 Section: $1400-700-400-200, top Under 1600 $500, no unrated may win over $500.
Under 1500 Section: $1200-600-300-200, top Under 1300 $400, no unrated may win over $300.
Under 1200 Section: $800-400-200-100, trophies to top 5, 1st Under 1000, Under 800, Unrated. No unrated may win over $150.


The final standings for all sections, with prizes, are posted on the official website.


The same venue hosted the 10th Annual Southern Class Championships earlier this year. The winner of the Master Section was GM Lars Bo Hansen.


From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Kasparov Chess Record: Carlsen a Step Away from Reaching Highest-Ever Rating Milestone
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


World No. 1 Magnus Carlsen is barely four points away from reaching the highest-ever rating reached by a human chess player! Chessdom has a nice article on Carlsen’s current excellent performance in Biel at the annual chess festival.

Magnus Carlsen is just a step away from dethroning Kasparov as the highest rated player ever in chess history. After today’s victory against Bologan, the young Norwegian has live rating of 2847 ELO, just four points away from Kasparov’s peak 2851 ELO.

Kasparov’s rating peaked in July 1999 and January 2000 when he was 35-36 years old, now Carlsen has the chance to surpass the mark being only 21 years old. This is not the only achievement of Kasparov that Carlsen is going to surpass. In January 1984, Kasparov became the No. 1 ranked player in the world, with a FIDE rating of 2710, the youngest ever world No. 1, a record that lasted 12 years. The record is currently held by Magnus Carlsen.

How it all started
No one expected it in 2004, when Carlsen’s storming into chess life was just starting. Here is an excerpt of Prince of Chess directed and produced by Oyvind Asbjornsen. This was at the Reykjavic Rapid 2004 tournament where some of the world’s best players competed.



You can see the nice Bologan-Carlsen game with Chess King.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Community Chess Initiative in Chichester, Thanks to a Street Magician
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

We wonder if similar chess initiatives could be launched across the world in all the cities! We wonder how many cities already have such chess programmes. Street chess would probably never lose its appeal or go out of fashion no matter how many computer programmes raid the chess world!

This time a street magician came up with the idea. Community chess launched in North Street last week, when the Chichester Business Improvement Initiative (BID) came together with sponsor Patisserie Valerie, and a street magician who came up with the idea.

The free chess games, outside the Butter Market, are available to all, and has proved popular since its launch on Tuesday.


The scheme was piloted for five days previously, and is already a social hub in the city. City Centre Manager Kim Long was approached by street entertainer and magician, Nick Stein with the idea and together with Patisserie Valerie they have worked to put it into place. 
Mr Stein noticed many other countries play board games outdoors, so wanted to bring the idea to Chichester.


He said: “I’ve played chess since I was a child and having seen free chess available in cities throughout the world, I was convinced it would work here. “I have always loved chess but have few opportunities to play anyone. This is a great way to keep playing and to meet new people.”


Anyone can sit down and play a game of chess, and there is an opportunity to play speed chess, where Mr Stein will challenge chess champions to a one-minute game, where the player gets a minute each overall to complete all their moves.


The chess games will be a permanent feature, and run from Monday to Saturday, at 10am-1pm, weather permitting. There are talks of moving the games into the Butter Market at Patisserie Valerie if the weather is bad. The scheme is part of the BID initiative, tasked with delivering a series of improvements to the city centre over the next five years. Mrs Long could see the benefits of the scheme and said: “This is just the sort of thing BID is here for, to draw more crowds and custom to Chichester city centre businesses.


“I was thrilled when Nick approached me, as it’s such a simple idea, with such a big impact. “The pilot ran over four days last week and saw 215 games take place.” Patisserie Valerie voiced an interest in the city centre initiative, so 
Mrs Long offered them the opportunity of sponsoring the chess equipment and providing refreshments to players.


Helene Bailey, store manager of Chichester’s Patisserie Valerie, comments: “I am delighted 
we are able to support such a great scheme. “As a national company, we are always on the lookout for ways to get involved with the towns in which our cafés are based.


“We know that no two locations or the people in them are the same and as the store manager of the Chichester branch, I have a personal interest in ways in which we can support our city centre.


“I think the Community Chess Programme is a fabulous example of this and a brilliant way of inspiring people to get involved with local events.” The chess sets will be available for free games outside the Butter Market on North Street on sunny days, overseen by Nick Stein who is happy to take on challengers.


Players are invited to make a donation to support chess clubs in schools, the first recipient being The Academy in Selsey.


From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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New Chess and Imagery Link Analysed in Psychological Study
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

A new psychological study has analyzed imagery skills among chess players and canoeists. When considering what it takes to be a top Olympic slalom canoeist few people would draw parallels with chess. However, studies have found that the skills needed for these activities aren’t so different after all.

Canoe-slalomists are prohibited from practising on the actual course before a competition so they must plan their route and paddle strokes from a location on the bank. Similarly chess players picture their moves several moves ahead, pre-empting the opponent’s moves along the way. This ability is known as imagery.

For Professor David Lavallee, a Chartered Psychologist from the University of Stirling, imagery is the ability to mentally picture scenarios. He says: “This simulation can involve different senses, seeing the gates, feeling of the pull on the paddle, the splash of water and even knowing where the next obstacle is even if it is out of view.”

Evidence suggests that both chess players and canoeists excel in this ability. Dr Tadhg MacIntyre, a Chartered Psychologist from the University of Ulster, says: “When tested on pencil and paper inventories, it is possible to predict finish position in a World Cup Slalom event on the basis of an athletes performance on spatial imagery ability.

“In one qualitative study in which world class athletes were asked to imagine a recent race, their time for paddling the course in reality and in their imagination were almost identical.”

The latest sports psychology news and features, during the Olympics and Paralympics, can be found on our Going for Gold website. Once there, you can also take part in our online experiment, which gives you the chance to walk the path of a judoko preparing for a judo bout.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Also see her personal blog at
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Cool Chess Video from Jermuk Women’s Chess Grand Prix
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


Time for a cool chess video compiled at the Jermuk Women’s Chess Grand Prix. It captures nicely the mood, the charm of a chess tournament with equally charming grandmasters! Enjoy.





Read the Chess Blog report on the event that was won by Hou Yifan.




From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Poisoned-Pawn Chess Video Puzzle: Chess Killer Tips!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


Let’s begin the week with a nice chess video puzzle – rather a podcast hosted by Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk. ChessKillerTips is the award-winning chess video podcast that’s a must if you want to improve your chess. The best part is, it’s all free!


This is an intermediate level, middle game chess puzzle from a game Reshevsky – Najdorf.

What happens after Black plays 1…Bxb2?


From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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San Juan Chess Open: GM Deepan Chakkravarthy Wins on Tiebreak
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,
GM Deepan Chakkravarthy
The latest chess tournament news via Fide is that the 6th Open Internacional de Ajedrez A.D. San Juan was held from 23rd to 29th July at the Hotel Iruña Park in Pamplona, Spain. Indian players GM Deepan Chakkravarthy and IM Venkatesh M R and FM Juan Carlos Obregon Rivero from Cuba shared the first place with 7 points each. Deepan Chakkravarthy gets the winner’s trophy on tie-break. The 9-round Swiss tournament offered top prizes as 1.500 € / 1.000 € / 800 € / 600 € / 500 € etc. 92 players from 10 countries competed.

Top final standings:
1-3. GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J IND 2468, IM Venkatesh M R IND 2506 and FM Obregon Rivero Juan Carlos CUB 2485 – 7
4-10. GM Khamrakulov Ibragim S ESP 2507, GM Ortiz Suarez Isan Reynaldo CUB 2562 – 6.5, IM Fernandez Romero Ernesto ESP 2472 – 6.5, IM Ninov Nikolai BUL 2501, IM Reinaldo Castineira Roi ESP 2468, IM Moreno Ruiz Javier ESP 2504 and IM Guerra Mendez Jose Angel CUB 2428 – 6.5
11-16. Krishna C R G IND 2273, IM Larino Nieto David ESP 2469 – 6, IM Ibarra Jerez Jose Carlos ESP 2530, GM Martinez Duany Lelys Stanley CUB 2474, FM Buchenau Frank GER 2299 and FM Pena Riasco Alexander COL 2245 – 6 etc



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2016 Chess Olympiad Gets Generous Bid by Azerbaijan
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


The Chess Federation of Azerbaijan has come up with a rich offer to host the 2016 Chess Olympiad and 2015 World Cup in Baku. The proposed venue is the Baku Crystal Hall, a new multi-functional indoor complex that was built in order to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2012, according to a report by Chessdom.


The budget for the 2015 World Cup is set to 2,2 million EUR. From this sum 1,28 million EUR is the prize fund, while 256.000 would be the FIDE fee.


The budget for the 2016 Chess Olympiad is the astounding 13,3 million EUR! 6,8 million is set for the first-class accommodation for the players and delegates. Another 1 million is planned for the FIDE Commission for World Championships & Olympiads and intellectual rights.


Baku Crystal Hall

On the top of everything, Azerbaijan offers a special travel grant of 1,5 million EUR to FIDE to allocate for teams requiring travel subsidy. Great news for the federations like Australia and others where players have to pay for the airfare on their own. The other two bids, coming from Albena, Bulgaria and Tallinn, Estonia, appear to be much more modest. The bids are included in Agenda for the 83rd FIDE Congress in Istanbul.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Andorra Chess Open: Jon Ludvig Hammer Wins on Tiebreak
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,


Grandmaster Jon Ludvig Hammer has won on tiebreak the 30th Andorra Chess Open that took place from July 21-29, 2012 at the Hotel Sant Gothard, Ctra. d’Arinsal s/n. Erts (La Massana), Andorra. The 9-round Swiss event was organized by the Federació d’Escacs Valls d’Andorra. Grandmasters Jon Ludvig Hammer, Kiril Georgiev, Miguel Illescas and Julen Luis Arizmendi Martinez shared the first place with 7 points each.

Hammer narrowly edged defending champion Georgiev on tie-break (2699 vs 2695 elo performance) to be declared the tournament winner. More details can be found at the official website

Final top standings:1. Hammer Jon Ludvig NOR 2638 – 7
2. Georgiev Kiril BUL 2680 – 7
3. Illescas Cordoba Miguel ESP 2601 – 7
4. Arizmendi Martinez Julen Luis ESP 2559 – 7
5. Iturrizaga Eduardo VEN 2628 – 6.5
6. Alonso Rosell Alvar ESP 2502 – 6.5
7. Granda Zuniga Julio E PER 2657 – 6.5
8. Negi Parimarjan IND 2661 – 6.5
9. Kogan Artur ISR 2587 – 6.5
10. Szabo Krisztian HUN 2548 – 6.5
11. Narciso Dublan Marc ESP 2539 – 6.5
12. Prasca Sosa Rafael VEN 2415 – 6.5
13. Berczes David HUN 2530 – 6.5
14. Fernandez Reyes Lisandro CUB 2367 – 6.5
15. Burg Twan NED 2470 – 6
16. Marin Mihail ROU 2548 – 6
17. Demuth Adrien FRA 2460 – 6
18. Solodovnichenko Yuri UKR 2598 – 6
19. Peralta Fernando ARG 2602 – 6
20. Comas Fabrego Lluis ESP 2514 – 6
21. Norwood David R AND 2494 – 6
22. Del Rio De Angelis Salvador G. ESP 2547 – 6
23. Valdes Leonardo CRC 2380 – 6
24. Berkovich Mark A ISR 2366 – 6
25. Getz Nicolai NOR 2354 – 6
26. Silva Rodriguez Fernando ESP 2179 – 6

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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French Chess Cheating Case: Fide Suspends Hauchard, Feller and Marzolo
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,


Fide have just posted the judgement rendered by the FIDE Ethics Commission in the case “French Team”, concerning a complaint submitted by the French Chess Federation against Sébastien Feller, Arnaud Hauchard and Cyril Marzolo. A report was submitted by the FIDE Executive Director, in reference to facts allegedly committed during the 2010 Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia), for an alleged violation of par. 2.2.5 of the FIDE Code of Ethics.


The Ethics Commission rules that:
- all submitted objections and preliminary requests have to be dismissed;
- Mr. Sébastien FELLER, Mr. Arnaud HAUCHARD and Mr. Cyril MARZOLO are responsible for the violation of par. 2.2.5 of the FIDE Code of Ethics;


- Mr. Arnaud HAUCHARD has to be sanctioned with the exclusion from the participation in all FIDE tournaments, as a player or as a member of a national delegation, for a period of 3 (three) years, starting from the 1st of August 2012;
- Mr. Sébastien FELLER has to be sanctioned with the exclusion from the participation in all FIDE tournaments, as a player or as a member of a national delegation, for a period of 2 (two) years and 9 (nine) months, starting from the 1st of August 2012;
- Mr. Cyril MARZOLO has to be sanctioned with the exclusion from the participation in all FIDE tournaments, as a player or as a member of a national delegation, for a period of 1 (one) year and 6 (six) months, with a suspension of the sanction for the last nine months, under probation, in accordance with the decision of the CNOS (Comité National Olympique et Sportif Français); for what concerns the effects of the present decision, the validity of the already executed suspension since 27 May 2011 can be confirmed, but it has to be affirmed the competence of the FIDE EC regarding the evaluation of the period of probation, starting from 27 February 2012 till 27 November 2012, and the French Chess Federation has to be requested to send the FIDE Secretariat a report on the behavior of Mr. Cyril MARZOLO during the above mentioned period of nine months;

- FIDE Secretariat and FIDE Presidential Board have to be informed of the present decision for all possible consequences related to the results of the games played by Mr Sébastien FELLER during the 2010 Chess Olympiad, concerning ratings, rankings and prizes;

- a written motivation will follow and will be communicated to the parties by the FIDE Secretariat. 

You can read the PDF at the Fide website. Read some previous Chess Blog posts on the issue at this link.

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New Chess Table: How Much Joy’s That Worth?
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

We found this interesting story about a new chess table. Just the thought that more people would find the joy of chess for a lifetime is enough for us to feel happy and carry the story. The article appears in The Bulletin, Toronto. A lot of chess has been happening in Canada lately.


César (right) studies the board as Leslie (left) and Joel Dick look on. Dick has raised half the cost of a fifth table.


In front of Metropolitan United Church on Queen St. between Jarvis and Church, they gather every day to play chess. A diverse crowd, all male, brought together by their life on the margins of society in Toronto—some homeless, some physically disabled, some with emotional issues, some just down on their luck—and by a need for companionship and a common love of the game.

There are far more potential players than the four tables can accommodate. Downtown lawyer Joel Dick wants to do something about that. Talking to The Bulletin among a group of players around the tables, Dick says, “I decided to run for council in Ward 27 in the 2010 election. While I was out looking for votes I got to know these guys, and they told me they needed more tables, and I promised to do something about that. I didn’t win the election, but decided that I could do something about the tables anyway.”

Leslie, one of the regulars, came to Toronto from Eastern Europe about 23 years ago, and immediately found the place where the chess players hung out. In those days, it was outside Sam the Record Man at the corner of Yonge and Gould, and there were 10 tables.

When Sam’s finally closed down and was demolished in 2007, six of the table and stool sets–all substantial pieces of concrete permanently sited–were moved by the city to Nathan Philips Square. The other four went to Metropolitan United where they are filled to overflowing.

The ones in front of city hall don’t get much use: “You feel like a tourist attraction, going there to play,” contributes one of the regulars.

The front of Met United isn’t much less public, but the scuffed lawn under the trees has a more homey feel than the monumental square three blocks west. It’s identifiable turf.

Dick says that trying to get the six Nathan Philips tables moved would be an exercise in bureaucracy that is probably doomed from the outset. So, with permission from the church and the city who respectively own and administer the grounds, he will keep his campaign promise one table at a time.

To date he has raised about half the price of one set, which must be purchased from a city-approved vendor’s list since they have to be sturdy and non-movable. Any donation over $10 qualifies for a charitable receipt from the Lions’ Club of Toronto. More information about the project can be found at joeldick.com.




From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Fun Chess Photo Trivia: Identify the People, Place!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,



Identify the people in the photo and place! ;)
For the answers, click on the photo!

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Congrats to Hou Yifan for Winning Jermuk Women’s Chess Grand Prix and Overall Grand Prix As Well!
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


Winners: Nadezhda Kosintseva (joint second), Hou Yifan (first), Kateryna Lahno (joint second)

Women’s world chess champion, China’s Hou Yifan has won the Jermuk Women’s Chess Grand Prix in Armenia with a solid performance. She won a clear first despite a last-round loss to Kateryna Lahno tallying a score of 7 out of 11 points. Incidentally, Hou Yifan has also won the overall Grand Prix as well!

All the three Chinese players – Yifan, Ju Wenjun and Ruan Lufei – at the top of the table lost their last round game to Lahno, Koneru Humpy and Nadezhda Kosintseva respectively. all suffered defeats against Lahno, Humpy Koneru and Nadezhda Kosintseva, respectively.



Check the following games with Chess King
Kateryna Lahno-Hou Yifan 1-0
Ju Wenjun-Koneru Humpy 0-1
Nadezhda Kosintseva-Ruan Lufei 1-0

Final standings:
1. GM Hou Yifan CHN 2617 – 7
2-4. GM Kosintseva Nadezhda RUS 2516, GM Lahno Kateryna UKR 2537 and GM Koneru Humpy IND 2598 – 6.5
5-6. WGM Ju Wenjun CHN 2518 and WGM Ruan Lufei CHN 2483 – 6
7. GM Zhao Xue CHN 2556 – 5.5
8-9. GM Danielian Elina ARM 2480 and IM Mkrtchian Lilit ARM 2450 – 5
10. IM Kovalevskaya Ekaterina RUS 2417 – 4.5
11. IM Munguntuul Batkhuyag MGL 2447 – 4
12. IM Khurtsidze Nino GEO 2456 – 3.5

Hou Yifan had also won the first and second editions of the Grand Prix in Rostov and Shenzhen. Chinese Zhao Xue had won the next Grand Prix in Nalchik. The fourth Grand Prix was won by Anna Muzychuk and Koneru Humpy jointly in Kazan.

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12-Year-Old Tea Gueci is Italian National Women’s Chess Champion 2012
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,



Tea with elder sister Laura
A 12-year-old has become the Italian national women’s chess champion! Tea Gueci, born in Palermo (Sicily), on December 26, 1999 won the Italian women’s chess championship being played at Grand Hotel Thermae in Acqui Terme (a nice little town near Alessandria, Piemonte). Tea finished at the top of the table with 6.5 points out of eight rounds. She won her first six games straight, lost the seventh and drew her last round game to stand a clear first with a full-point lead ahead of the competition. Complete final results are available at the official website.


Tea together GM Nakamura in Arvier (Aosta Valey) where the Italian team championship was played this year
Tea began to play chess thanks to her father and learned the game along with her sister Laura who is two years older to her. In 2006, Tea played at the local club “Alfiere di Re” and immediately she won the regional championship Under-8 and Under-10. In 2009, she won the Italian championship Under-10 and in 2011, the Italian championship Under-12. She had recently been training with WGM Martha Fierro. Tea finished fourth at the recent Italian Junior Chess championship open section. She also plays in the Italian team championships for the club of Chieti.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Wesley So Wins Quebec Open Chess Championship
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,


Grandmaster Wesley So from the Philippines has won the Quebec Open Chess Championship that was held from July 21-28, 2012. He beat GM Bator Sambuev of Canada to gain a clear first. The tournament was held at the beautiful venue College Brebeuf in Montreal, Canada.

Canada’s most successful tournament attracted 9 GMs and 1 WGM, as well as 10 IMs looking for GM norms. 32 players competed in the invitational section for a first prize of $4 000.

So finished on 7.5 points, leaving the earlier co-leader Lazaro Bruzon from Cuba half a point behind. Bruzon took a quick draw with black against Anton Kovalyov. So had also recently won the Toronto International Chess Tournament. So would be playing the top board for the upcoming Istanbul Chess Olympiad. The prize fund of the Quebec Open Chess Championship was $18,000. A total of 277 players participated in all the groups.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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Interesting Chess Park in Venice City
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012


Hi everyone,


We wonder how these chess parks come up in the first place. Must be because someone loves chess so much that they start with a single table and then the chess just grows. Similar must be the case with this international chess park in Venice.

Public chess parks are fascinating places, filled with people looking for a challenge, some competition, or sometimes merely enjoying the companionship of other players.
At the International Chess Park on Venice beach, the players are young and old, from seasoned pros to beginning novices. A Harvard-trained mathematician may be taking on a homeless man; a curious teenager might be squaring off against a wily street performer.

Several different languages rise up from the soft murmuring at the tables, all set against gainst the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean with its soft yellow beaches. Many come to learn, teach, and listen to the myriad stories the eclectic participants weave as they move their pieces around sandy, well-worn game tables.

To play is free, and all skill levels are welcomed. The only rules are the ancient rules of chess itself, and the only requirements is an understanding of the innate civility of the game. And, of course, a participant must not mind the colorful company everpresent at the park.

From Alexandra Kosteniuk’s
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More Chess Grandmasters due to Chess Inflation: Anand
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

In an interesting interview to an Indian newspaper in Mumbai, World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand has said there is a sudden spurt in the number of grandmasters because of “inflation”. “It seems that chess is undergoing inflation,” he joked. “GM titles are mimicking it. Earlier, it was very difficult to complete a single (GM) norm because there was a big gap between a top-ranked player and his rival. These days there are more average players, so they garner more points with wins,” added Anand, who was in Mumbai to interact with school kids.

“It’s happening because there are stronger players now having similar (ELO) ratings. These days the kids ask me about how I open with black pieces etc. Just goes on to show how the awareness about the game has risen,” he observed.

Anand went on to applaud the achievements of the new crop of youngsters who have done India proud. “Chess as a game develops concentration, patience and ability to draw conclusions. That’s why I became part of MCA to popularise chess in schools and the results are great – we recently got a under-12 champion in Murali Karthikeyan through this initiative,” the 42-year-old informed.

Terming his fifth World Championship title as the “most difficult one” to achieve, Anand said, “Normally I try not to read newspapers or websites to keep focus on my game as you might get affected by some comment or other.”

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

Chess in Schools and Communities Commended in UK
Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,


Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC), a new charity that uses the ancient game of chess as a learning tool in classrooms across England and Wales have been shortlisted and highly commended in the annual Community Sport and Recreational Awards, formerly the Sports Club of the Year Awards, for 2012.



The judging panel, chaired by the BBC’s Eleanor Oldroyd awards sport and recreation organisations that have excelled in areas such as volunteer management, school links and green thinking.

CSC, formed in September 2010, were not only shortlisted in the category of school links but were also highly commended for their innovative work in schools by the judging panel.

The charity teaches chess to children in class as well as organising the traditional after school and lunchtime clubs, showing that chess, a game that crosses all social barriers, is for all children and not just the academically oriented. CSC delivers chess sets, chess tutors and a 30 week chess curriculum that emphasises cross curricular links.

In December, CSC will be bringing 1000 children in their ‘Urban Chess’ program to Olympia to enjoy free training and sample the London Chess Classic, their flagship event which will include five of the world’s top players including world number one Magnus Carlsen and world champion Vishy Anand.

“ Chess in Schools and Communities has already reached over 100 schools and we plan to involve 400 schools and teach 30,000 children the game over the next two years in inner city areas.” commented Malcolm Pein, CSC chief executive. “It’s wonderful to see our work, and the role chess can play in improving educational outcomes, recognised in this way.”

The President of the SRA, HRH Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex presented the winners and highly commended organisations with their awards at the organisation’s Annual General Meeting on July 19th at St. James’s Palace.

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