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Carlsen wins second game in a row in Norway

Norway ChessThe Norway Chess super-tournament continues and the fight for first place is getting livelier as Magnus Carlsen took down Teimour Radjabov and is now half a point behind the leader Sergey Karjakin. With three rounds to go, anything could happen in the first edition of this strong event. After winning his fifth round game, Hammer lost today against Levon Aronian.

Live games with computer analysis / Participants

Magnus Carlsen pulled a victory out of thin air against Teimour Radjabov. The local hero used the white pieces to take down the Azerbaijani in 68 moves. After his win over Karjakin in yesterday’s round, this full point was enough to close the gap with the Russian to only half a point.

The game was started as an English opening. Black broke quickly in the center and was left with two hanging pawns on the c- and d-files. Carlsen tried to use this structural weakness to get an edge but never seemed to get much out of the position. By move 27, only a rook and a minor piece for each side were on the board. Carlsen had a knight against Radjabov’s bishop. It seemed like the draw was inevitable but the Norwegian kept pushing and, once again, obtained a full point where most Grandmasters would have signed a draw much earlier.

Magnus Carlsen Vishy Anand 2013

Magnus Carlsen

The game that faced Levon Aronian with Jon Ludvig Hammer was much shorter. The Armenian only needed 24 moves to go back to a plus score in the tournament. Hammer defeated Wang Hao in the previous round but erred early in the opening today. He has gone back to the cellar, as Wang Hao drew his game today.

The Gruenfeld Defense was chosen by the Norwegian. Aronian used a direct central expansion, using his d- and e- pawns to create problems on black’s side. Hammer managed to spoil white’s kingside pawn structure, but the Armenian’s attack was much too fast and strong to hold the draw. The Norwegian resigned when it was clear that white’s d-pawn was going to promote and black’s a-pawn was not going to be enough to get counterplay.

Levon Aronian

Levon Aronian

A highly expected game was the fight between world champion Viswanathan Anand with white and leader Sergey Karjakin with black. The struggle was fierce and the draw was a fair result after both players showed their best game. However, none of them was able to create enough imbalances to achieve something. Anand remains one point behind Karjakin, who leads with 4.5/6 points.

Hikaru Nakamura and Peter Svidler signed their score-sheets with a half point for each player after battling during 30 moves in a sharp Ruy Lopez. Veselin Topalov split the point with Wang Hao after 32 moves in an endgame with two bishops against two knights.

The seventh round might be crucial for the final standings, as Magnus Carlsen has the chance to catch Karjakin in his game against compatriot Jon Ludvig Hammer. The Russian plays with white against Hikaru Nakamura.

Hikaru Nakamura

Hikaru Nakamura

Standings after 6 rounds:

1 Karjakin, Sergey RUS 2767
2 Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2868 4
3 Nakamura, Hikaru USA 2775
4 Aronian, Levon ARM 2813
5 Anand, Viswanathan IND 2783 3
6 Svidler, Peter RUS 2769 3
7 Topalov, Veselin BUL 2793
8 Radjabov, Teimour AZE 2745
9 Wang, Hao CHN 2743 2
10 Hammer, Jon Ludvig NOR 2608
Tue, 14 May 2013 20:29:30 +0000
U.S. House, Senate Recognize Saint Louis as Nation’s Chess Capital

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 18, 2013 – Representatives William “Lacy” Clay (D-MO) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced resolutions in the U.S. House and Senate today recognizing Saint Louis as the Nation’s Chess Capital. The resolutions also recognized the success of chess after-school programs and the benefit for students, including fostering problem-solving skills, and improving math and reading test scores.

“Saint Louis is definitely America’s Chess Capitol. I’m very proud to have both Webster University’s national champion chess team and the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis in my congressional district,” said Representative William “Lacy” Clay (D-MO). “I thank my Missouri congressional colleagues for joining me in introducing this bipartisan resolution.”

“Chess provides our young people with the kind of reasoning skills they need in an ever-complicated world, and I am proud to have the opportunity in Congress to support Saint Louis’ designation as our nation’s chess capital,” said Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO). “This resolution is also an opportunity to recognize the region’s ongoing commitment to the development of our young people’s minds and spirits.”

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL)

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL)

“Excellence in this game requires the combination of creativity and intellect—skills our Saint Louis students are most certainly known for,” said Senator Claire McCaskill. “Making Saint Louis the nation’s chess capital would rightly highlight our state’s commitment to strong education, and our nation’s brightest young minds.”

“Chess is a way to promote problem solving, critical thinking, and self-esteem, which are important to the development and education of our nation’s young minds,” Representative Blunt said. “I’m proud to recognize Saint Louis as the ‘National Chess Capital’ and to applaud the success of our local chess scholars. I’ll continue to support chess programs in our schools and community centers in Missouri and nationwide.”

The introduction of the bipartisan, bicameral resolutions were announced during a morning reception on Capitol Hill where GM Yasser Seirawan, IM Irina Krush, WGM Jennifer Shahade, IM Kayden Troff, IM-elect Sam Sevian and WFM Sarah Chiang gave chess lessons to Members of Congress and their staff.

“We appreciate the leadership of Representatives Clay and Luetkemeyer and Senators McCaskill and Blunt recognizing Saint Louis as the nation’s chess capital,” said Tony Rich, executive director of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. “Their commitment to expanding the successful chess after-school programs is a tremendous example of how our nation can come together on a bipartisan basis to help our students.”

Also in attendance were students who have benefited from chess after-school programs led by the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis. These students played chess with Members of Congress and shared their personal stories of the educational benefits of chess.
Fri, 10 May 2013 16:35:18 +0000
Caruana takes sole second place in Zug, Topalov still leads

Two more playing days are left at the third leg of the Grand Prix series in Zug. Fabiano Caruana got an important victory today and closed on the leader Veselin Topalov. Ruslan Ponomariov, who was half a point behind the Bulgarian before this round, fell against Teimour Radjabov and now shares 3rd – 5th place with Nakamura and Karjakin.

Preview / Pairings / Live games with analysis

Yet another Ruy Lopez with 6.d3 was seen in the game that faced Gata Kamsky and Fabiano Caruana. The players maneuvered their pieces carefully without using drastic pawn advances. Caruana made the right exchanges and, eventually, Kamsky was left with three pairs of doubled pawns.

The ensuing endgame with a queen and a rook for each side was very dangerous for both, given the strength of this pair of pieces in the attack. Kamsky was the first one to lose his sense of danger and allowed the penetration of the black queen to the first rank. Caruana used the initiative effectively and forced his opponent to resign on move 39, while on heavy time trouble.

It is interesting to point out that Kamsky represents the United States even though he was not born there, while Caruana was indeed born in Miami, but represents Italy instead.

Fabiano Caruana

Teimour Radjabov finally managed to win a game and leave the bottom of the standings. He defeated previous co-leader Ruslan Ponomariov with the white pieces in a Queen’s Gambit Accepted. The Ukrainian decided to castle queenside and allowed his opponent to look for a direct attack. Radjabov played actively and left his king in the center, allowing Ponomariov to get enough counterplay.

When the smoke cleared, a materially balanced endgame presented itself over the board. Radjabov had more active pieces and put pressure on black’s position. Ponomariov defended correctly until move 40; in the last move before the time control, he blundered by exchanging his bishop for Radjabov’s knight. The Azerbaijani converted his advantage comfortably.

Teimour Radjabov

The other winner of the day was Hikaru Nakamura. The American was responsible for Alexander Morozevich’s third straight loss. Morozevich was a co-leader until round 6, but now has fallen to a -1 score and is completely out of contention for first place. This is not the first time that he shows this kind of erratic play.

The game was a King’s Indian Defense where the Russian obtained the initiative right after the opening. It seemed like he would sail calmly to a win, given the fact that he showed good chess at the beginning of the event. However, his advantage vanished slowly after some exchanges, and he ended up blundering on move 31. Three moves later, the score-sheets were signed and Nakamura obtained his second victory of the tournament.

Hikaru Nakamura

The leader Veselin Topalov faced Shakhriyar Mamedyarov’s Caro-Kann. The Azerbaijani fell against Karjakin with this defense a couple of rounds ago, but decided to stick with it today. A sharp battle followed, but none of the players was able to get an important edge. Topalov gave perpetual check on move 45.

Peter Leko could not transform the edge he got in the opening against Sergey Karjakin and had to settle for a draw after 57 moves. Another player who missed good winning chances was Rustam Kasimdzhanov. The Uzbek obtained a good position with black, but was not able to find a precise continuation to defeat Anish Giri. Draw on 58 moves.

The Grand Prix of Zug finishes on Tuesday. Stay tuned to see who gets first place in this strong event.

The spectators at the commentary room on Sunday

Standings after 9 rounds:

1 Topalov Veselin 2771 BUL 6
2 Caruana Fabiano 2772 ITA
3 Ponomariov Ruslan 2733 UKR 5
4 Nakamura Hikaru 2767 USA 5
5 Karjakin Sergey 2786 RUS 5
6 Kamsky Gata 2741 USA 4
7 Morozevich Alexander 2758 RUS 4
8 Radjabov Teimour 2793 AZE 4
9 Giri Anish 2727 NED 4
10 Leko Peter 2744 HUN 4
11 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2766 AZE 4
12 Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2709 UZB

Photos by Anastasiya Karlovich
Sun, 28 Apr 2013 20:46:05 +0000
Michael Adams beats world champion Vishy Anand for second time

Michael Adams, the England No1, has beaten the world champion, Vishy Anand, with the black pieces for the second time in four months. The 41-year-old Cornishman, who scored against the Indian at the London Classic, did it again this week in the opening round of the Alekhine Memorial in Paris, where his king and rook defeated the champion's king and three pawns in 56 moves.

In contrast to Adams's rapid double there was a colossal gap of 61 years in the doldrums of English chess between Joseph Blackburne's win from Emanuel Lasker at London 1899 and Jonathan Penrose's defeat of Mikhail Tal at Leipzig 1960. The champions José Capablanca, Alexander Alekhine and Mikhail Botvinnik never lost to an Englishman while they held the crown.

Matters improved with the 'English chess explosion' of the 1970s, when the standout game was Anatoly Karpov v Tony Miles at the European team championship in 1980 where Black's bizarre opening 1 e4 a6!? shattered the Russia's equanimity. Nigel Short beat Garry Kasparov once during their 1993 title match and once in a 1986 tournament; his other wins were only in rapid and exhibition games. Adams beat Vlad Kramnik as champion twice, at Wijk 2004 and Sofia 2005.

His two victories against Anand since the Indian won the title in 2007 represent a historic achievement, tnerefore, which may remain unmatched for a long time. The next world champion is likely to be Magnus Carlsen, who rarely loses, and England currently has no rising talents with obvious potential to challenge the very best.

The nine-round Alekhine Memorial, which also includes the world No2, Levon Aronian, and world No3, Vlad Kramnik, is still in progress and transfers to St Petersburg this weekend. Adams continued his good start and has 3/5. Round six is tomorrow, when he faces Aronian.

Play starts at 11am and the games can be viewed live and free online at

Anand was heading for a draw but spoilt his position by 20 exd5? (20 Nc6!) then erred by 39 Rb7+? (39 g4!) after which Black's distant passed b pawn proved a winning trump.

Vishy Anand v Michael Adams

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 O-O Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 O-O 8 a4 b4 9 d4 d6 10 dxe5 dxe5 11 Qxd8 Rxd8 12 Nbd2 Bc5 13 Bc4 Ng4 14 Re2 Na5 15 Bd5 Rb8 16 Nb3 Nxb3 17 cxb3 h6 18 h3 Nf6 19 Nxe5 Nxd5 20 exd5? Rxd5 21 Bf4 Be6 22 Rc1 Bd6 23 Bg3 Re8 24 Re3 c5 25 Nd3 Bxg3 26 fxg3 Red8 27 Nf4 Rd1+ 28 Rxd1 Rxd1+ 29 Kh2 Rd2 30 Nxe6 fxe6 31 Rxe6 Rxb2 32 Rxa6 Rxb3 33 Rc6 Rc3 34 a5 Kf7 35 a6 Ke7 36 a7 Ra3 37 Rxc5 Rxa7 38 Rb5 Ra4 39 Rb7+? Kd6 40 Rxg7 Kc5 41 Rc7+ Kd4 42 Rd7+ Kc3 43 Rc7+ Kd3 44 Rb7 Kc3 45 Rc7+ Kb2 46 Rc6 b3 47 Rxh6 Kc3 48 Rb6 b2 49 Rxb2 Kxb2 50 g4 Kc3 51 Kg3 Re4 52 Kh4 Kd4 53 Kg5 Ke5 54 Kg6 Re2 55 g5 Rxg2 56 h4 Kf4 0-1

3303 1 Kf6 Kg4! 2 g6 Kh5! 3 g7 Kh6 4 Kf7 Kh7 wins. © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
Fri, 26 Apr 2013 14:02:57 GMT
St. Louis Recognized as US Chess Capitol
U.S. House, Senate Recognize St Louis as Nation's Chess Capitol Resolution Highlights Benefits of Chess After School Programs PRESS RELEASE: WASHINGTON, D.C., April 18, 2013 - Representatives William "Lacy" Clay (D-MO) and Blaine Luetkemeye...
Fri, 19 Apr 2013 14:37:00 -0700
Candidates R11: Kramnik beats Radjabov, now second as Aronian loses to Svidler

In Thursday's 11th round of the FIDE Candidates' Tournament Vladimir Kramnik moved to second place. Russia's number one beat Teimour Radjabov with a nice combination, while Levon Aronian lost to Peter Svidler. Drawing his black game with Alexander Grischuk, Magnus Carlsen kept his half point lead in London with three rounds to go. Vassily Ivanchuk and Boris Gelfand played a very quick draw.
Thu, 28 Mar 2013 18:27:49 +0000
Decomposing an endgame
The position from the previous post proves to be a bit too difficult for me. That's why I try first to get some insight in a simplified version of the position. We already know that the underlying pawnending is winning. How about the light pieces only?

White to move.
When the computer plays this game against itself, it is winning for white time and again. Sofar I have identified the following weapons for white:
  • Threat of promotion of the a or b pawn.
  • Threat against the c pawn. Actually I haven't seen that this played a big role, so it seems to be more theoretical than practical.
  • Kingwalk to the kingside during the time black needs to get rid of the outside passer.
  • Scattering the kingside pawns with a pawn sac. Eating pawns during the time black needs to get rid of the outside passer. If white puts his pawns on the dark squares as precaution, they are immune for the bishop.
So the general idea is: threathen promotion at the queenside.
Gobble up pawns at the kingside while black rids himself of the threat at the queenside.  Attack two weaknesses, so to speak.
Fri, 08 Feb 2013 12:38:00 +0000
Torneo Candidati 2013. Secondo bilancio
Gelfand spariglia le carte!
Batte Aronian e dopo il nono turno Carlsen è solo in testa.
Kramnik aleggia sempre in zona.

Il ritorno di Gelfand ha caratterizzato questi ultimi turni del Torneo dei Candidati, qui è già difficile vincere, figuriamoci due vittorie di fila! La vittoria di Boris su Aronian, agevola il primo posto di Carlsen; Kramnik è sempre lì e ci sono ancora cinque turni tosti, ma è proprio Magnus che sulla carta si trova dinnanzi i giocatori più accessibili. Comunque il Torneo continua a mantenere tutte le attese, con partite spettacolari, contorniate dagli invitabili errori che se commessi dai grandissimi (Kramnik ne ha fatto uno solo ed è stata subito notizia) vengono messi in impietosa evidenza.

I Candidati (foto di Anastasiya Karlovich)

Magnus Carlsen

Nel settimo turno Carlsen rischia grosso con Radjabov che come al solito attua un poderoso attacco sull'ala di Re, Magnus dà una qualità per arginare, ma non sembra sufficiente, il tempo però è dalla parte del Norvegese e Radja si deve accontentare della patta: Carlsen alla conferenza post-partita insofferente come non mai. Nell'ottavo turno patta tra Magnus e Levon, giocano a cambiare i pezzi in sicurezza, Magnus insoddisfatto promette cambiamenti. Ma non è proprio il caso di metterli in pratica nel nono turno: Kramnik ancora in buona giornata, mette pressione su Magnus che però si libera con grande maestria entrando nel finale con Alfieri contrari. Dopo il nono turno Carlsen, sfruttando lo scivolone di Aronian, da solo in testa con 6 punti.

Levon Aronian

Dopo due patte inappuntabili (con Grischuk e Carlsen) che non facevano presagire niente di che, brutto scivolone nel nono turno contro un Gelfand intraprendente e spettacolare. Ora Aronian è costretto a inseguire, naturalmente è ancora in gioco, ma sperare in passi falsi di chi è attualmente in testa è ardito. Punti 5.5 su 9.

Vladimir Kramnik

Sempre ottima cifra di gioco nonostante il brutto errore (18...Ce8?) nella partita contro Gelfand. Molto elegante la sua vittoria contro Svidler. Nel nono turno mette pressione a Carlsen, ma ha di fronte un vero campione nell'arte della difesa e non va oltre la patta. Un punto di distacco da Carlsen dopo averlo già affrontato è un divario consistente, ma ci sono ancora cinque partite, è ancora in gioco. Punti 5 su 9.

Teimour Radjabov

In caduta libera. Dopo l'occasione persa con Magnus al settimo turno, soccombe senza colpo ferire ad un ritrovato Gelfand e subisce duramente pure da Ivanchuk. Sembra che qualcosa si sia rotto e che il destino di Radja sia quello di uscire ridimensionato dopo questo Torneo dei Candidati, le aspettative per lui erano molto elevate. Punti 3 su 9.

Alexander Grischuk

Risale la china dopo tre partite niente male: patta con Aronian, vittoria apprezzabile con Ivanchuk e combattuta patta con Svidler, in una partita sbilanciatissima e complicatissima, proprio come piace ad Alexander (novità teorica con sacrificio per lui). Certo difficile per lui mirare in alto, ma sembra in forma e nei prossimi turni incontrerà Kramnik, Carlsen e Aronian sempre con i Bianchi: potrebbe rivelarsi l'ago della bilancia. Punti 4.5 su 9.

Vassily Ivanchuk

Vittoria scaccia crisi con Radjabov nel nono turno, dopo aver subito da Grischuk nel turno precedente. Probabilmente l'Ivanchuk a intermittenza che molti si aspettavano, la scalata al Mondiale è rinviata ad un'altra occasione. Punti 3.5 su 9.

Peter Svidler

Perde da un implacabile Kramnik nell'ottavo turno, poi dà vita ad una partita scoppiettante contro Grischuk, una patta che certo non deprime. Peter per il momento può essere soddisfatto del proprio torneo. Punti 4 su 9.

Boris Gelfand

Il Boris che non ti aspetti mette paura a Kramnik (anche se in conferenza stampa tutti e due erano completamente sorpresi della forza di 19 Cg5!), poi batte uno dietro l'altro Radjabov e Aronian, entrambi in maniera travolgente. Un bel riscatto per il Vice-Campione del Mondo, subito bistrattato dopo l'inizio poco felice in questo torneo. Punti 4.5 su 9.
oo oo oo oo oo oo oo

Situazione dopo il nono turno:

Nome Elo FED 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts. 
Carlsen Magnus  2872 NOR *** ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 ½  ½   6
Aronian Levon  2809 ARM ½ ½ *** ½  1 0 ½  ½  1 1 5,5
Kramnik Vladimir  2810 RUS ½ ½ ½  *** ½  ½  ½ 1 ½  ½  5
Gelfand Boris  2740 ISR 0 0 1 ½   *** ½  ½  ½  ½ 1 4,5
Grischuk Alexander  2764 RUS 0 ½  ½  ½   *** ½ ½ ½ 1 ½  4,5
Svidler Peter  2747 RUS 0 ½  ½ 0 ½  ½ ½ *** ½  1 4
Ivanchuk Vassily  2757 UKR ½  0 ½  ½  ½ 0 ½  *** 0 1 3,5
Radjabov Teimour  2793 AZE ½  0 ½  ½ 0 ½  0 1 0 *** 3

44º Abierto de Mar del Plata 2013: Sandro Mareco único puntero
Wed, 27 Mar 2013 13:32:00 +0000
9 Queens/Bookman’s Family Chess Nights are on the SECOND Wednesday of the month in April &

Come and join us for a fun hour of chess and chess puzzles at the Speedway/Wilmot Bookman’s location. During April and May we will be meeting at 7pm on the SECOND Wednesday of the month. April 10th & May 8th.
Mon, 18 Mar 2013 21:22:14 +0000

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