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|10 Seconds with Borislav Ivanov|
Kingpin reader Clive Olley quizzes the rapidly improving Bulgarian.
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Sat, 08 Jun 2013 19:31:16 +0000
|Thessaloniki Grand Prix R8: Kamsky defeats Nakamura, becomes sole leader|
Gata Kamsky defeated his compatriot Hikaru Nakamura to score third consecutive victory and move into sole lead after round 8 of the Thessaloniki Grand Prix.
Five games started with Ruy Lopez and only Nakamura defended with French.
Leinier Dominguez remains in contention for the first place after beating Alexander Morozevich in a fine positional style. He is now sharing the second place with Fabiano Caruana who held an inferior game against Alexander Grischuk.
Etienne Bacrot got his first tournament win in the match with Veselin Topalov. Peter Svidler and Rustam Kasimdzhanov were also successful to complete the fantastic round with five decisive games.
Ivanchuk – Svidler
The game followed an earlier clash between Dominguez and Svidler, until Ivanchuk deviated by exchanging the Bishop on e7 and not the Knight on f6. Svidler joked that “…despite getting slaughtered in this line, I just keep playing it on and on. Probably I am too lazy to learn something else.”
Referring to the position around 17.b4, Svidler revealed that he has pages and pages of analysis on this position. He did review some of them before the round.
With 17…Rfe8 black is ready for c5-c4 and it is not clear what white can do. Ivanchuk thought for awhile and went for 18.f5.
White played all in with 21.e5, giving an exchange but hoping to compensate with an attack on the black King. Svidler believes that preparatory 21.Re1 was better option (21.Qf3 not that good because of 21…Nd7 and next f6).
The Russian also expected 24.Qf3 where he would reply with 24…Qd5. After 25.Rxf1 he calculated all the long lines and saw that he will not get mated. With 28…Qg4 black started the final phase in the fight for a win.
35.Qf3 might have been more resilient but it was already difficult to save the game.
Kamsky – Nakamura
In the all-American derby Kamsky chose the quiet Tarrasch system and sidelined the complicated positions that would arise in the main lines of 3…Be7.
Kamsky was surprised by 8…f6, but he quickly decided that the best plan was to take the Knight on h6 in order to prevent Nf7. The American champion suggested that 10…dxe5 might have been better, with probably only small advantage for white.
Just as black was ready to castle short and reposition the pair of Bishops, white got the action going with 12.b4. It was also too late for long castle because 14…0-0-0 15.Rb1, and there is no time for sacrifice on f3 as b4-b5 is coming in fast.
Kamsky said that Nakamura probably blundered 16.Bg6+, after which white is winning. He finally converted the advantage on move 50.
Remembering back to the first round when Grand Prix sponsor Ivan Savvidis made a ceremonial move for Kamsky, the American said – “It was nice, he told me something like ‘now you cannot lose’ and I felt obliged to try hard in the tournament”.
Topalov – Bacrot
Etienne Bacrot attempted to play the ultra solid Berlin defence in Ruy Lopez, but white responded with the topical 4.d3.
On the next move white traded the Bishop so c6 and the structure resembled the Exchange variation. 8.g3 was an incredible novelty by Topalov, weakening all the light squares on the kingside but possibly angling for Nf3-h4-f5.
Bacrot thought that g3 was a normal move, but he criticised 9.Nd5 as “it is not attacking anything and can be easily pushed back”. He expected 9.Nh4 instead.
Black relocated the Knight from f6 to c6 and then a fine move 11…Be7 left white with an important decision to make. The point was that Nh4 is prevented and black planed to continue with Be6 attacking the exposed Knight on d5.
White immediately erred with 12.b4, allowing a nice tactical shot 14…Bxb4 which wins at least a pawn for black. Here became apparent that the novelty was a bit too extravagant, particularly in connection with b4 advance.
In one of the earlier rounds Topalov expressed his affection for b4 in the Spanish structures.
White took the pawn back but was forced to concede an exchange because with 20.Qf4 Qxf4 21.gxf4 c5 22.Nc2 f5! black has much better endgame, as pointed by the Frenchman.
28.Rd1 was better because black is not in time to activate with 28…Qd4 since there is 29.Nf5. Bacrot believes that his opponent missed 33…Qg5 and there was no more hope of salvation.
Dominguez – Morozevich
Unlike the other games with d3 in Ruy Lopez, Morozevich refrained from pushing b5 and instead castled with quick Re8.
Dominguez expanded with 9.d4 and then 11.d5 “because this is a principled decision as black is playing without b5.”
White got an extra pawn but black was well mobilised to strike in the center with his own 13…d5. Dominguez calculated that 14.exd5 Nxd5 would give good compensation to black and decided to keep the files closed until his pieces are regrouped.
Similar pattern after 18…f6, white simply passed 19.e6, giving the pawn back but getting some tempi to occupy dominant central squares. 19.exf6 Qxf6 would allow black pieces to spring into life.
White established strong presence on d4-square and already after 22.Bf4 it was difficult to suggest a good plan for black.
23…Be6 was a mistake that simply handed too much to white, who proceeded to convert the advantage with relentless precision.
Grischuk – Caruana
Caruana intended to play the Marshall Gambit but Grischuk prevented it by quickly clarifying the central pawn structure.
The Italian was unhappy with his position from the opening and “he couldn’t remember how exactly he was supposed to play”. He moved 12…Bg4 planning to meet 13.h3 with 13…Nd4 but he realised it didn’t work to his favour.
Grischuk thought that it was better to play 14.a5, not allowing the black Knight to jump there. Later he missed the cute 17…Nd5 jump. It was nothing drastic though, and Caruana believes that 20.e5 was an interesting possibility, but Grischuk didn’t like it.
Grischuk pointed that 21.Nc4 would be met with nasty 21…Bxf2+, therefore he first moved away from the check 21.Kg2.
Caruana regretted that he didn’t take 22…Nxc4 because white’s next 23.Nce5 was very unpleasant and after 27.h4 it is already dangerous for black.
The opinions about the position after 34…Rg7 differed, Caruana said it was roughly equal, but Grischuk shook his head in disagreement – “…we should ask Kramnik what he thinks about this.”
40…Kh6 was a wrong side to move the King and Caruana said it is “nearly losing”.
Grischuk asked the Italian why he didn’t try 43…Rg2 44.Rh1+ (44.Rd7! engine) Kg7 45.Rh7+ Kf8 46.Nd4 (46.e6! might be much more dangerous, Caruana) Rxf2+ 47.Kxf2 Bxd4+ 48.Kf3 Bxe5, because he already played similar ending against Morozevich in Russian League 2011. Caruana said “I didn’t like it and I didn’t want to play it again.”
After 49.Bf5 the game was heading towards a draw. Probably the last try to press for a little longer was 49.Bd5 Nf6 50.Ba2. The game was drawn on move 65.
Ponomariov – Kasimdzhanov
Kasimdzhanov started with the Ruy Lopez Arkhangelsk variation but Ponomariov left the theoretical discussions side and continued with the quiet 7.Nc3.
The opening was very complicated and Kasimdzhanov later admitted -”I didn’t understand what was happening.” 12.exd5 surprised him, he thought that black should be okay, but somehow white started threatening to the kingside.
18.b3 was a surprise for black, he was mostly looking at the play on the kingside, but white simply wanted to fortify the d5-pawn. Kasimdzhanov thought that 18…Re5 and 19…Qd8 was a very clever defence, but he “misjudged the position because white could get something on the diagonal”.
26.Bxe1 “shocked” black. He took the dark-squared Bishop to move it to b4, but while his hand was still in the air, he realised that 27.Qb3 would win. Having touched the piece, he had to play 26…Bb6.
Kasimdzhanov said that “28.Bf5 just didn’t feel right and it turned that it was a blunder.” He proposed 28.Nf5 Qf6 29.Nxh6+ Kf8 30.Qxf6 gxf6 31.Bc3″ where black is probably busted but he is still fighting with a pair of Bishops.”
He was very happy with the move 28…Re3 as after Ponomariov’s 29.Qb2 the tactics work very well for black who attained two pieces for a Rook and an easier endgame.
But then FIDE Press Officer Anastasya Karlovich asked if white could have protected the Be1 with 29.Qa1. For the third time today Kasimdzhanov “was shocked” – “Can this really work? It’s good that I didn’t have to play you, Nastia!”
With hindsight, it turned out that Bf5 was slightly inferior but certainly not a blunder, and that Re3 did not have a devastating effect.
The endgame was very complicated and black’s plan was to put his opponent into zugzwang.
Around move 53 Ponomariov claimed a three-fold repetition, but he was mistaken and black was given additional three minutes on the clock. Kasimdzhanov said that he repeated some moves in order to reach 60 time control, but he was very careful not to allow draw.
Black proceeded to treat the endgame with precision and finally won a full point.
Thu, 30 May 2013 23:25:29 +0000
|Li Chao becomes Asian Chess Champion|
The 2013 Asian Continental Championship (Open) was held on 18-26th May in Manila, Philippines. The tournament was organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines and Eugene Torre Chess Foundation, Inc.
75 players from 14 federations, including 26 Grandmasters and 18 IMs, took part in the tournament.
Chinese Grandmaster Li Chao emerged Asian Continental Champion after concluding the tournament with 7,0/9 points.
Half a point behind, there were five players sharing the 2nd place. Local chess fans are delighted that Philippines’ Grandmasters Oliver Barbosa and Mark Paragua grabbed the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Further, Le Quang Liem (Vietnam, 4th) and Adhiban Baskaran (India, 5th) also qualified for the 2013 World Chess Cup. Sasikiran Krishnan had the worst tie-break and remained outside of the qualification.
1 GM Li Chao B CHN 2686 – 7
Mon, 27 May 2013 13:16:03 +0000
|Huang Qian becomes Asian Women’s Champion|
The 2013 Asian Continental Championship for Women was held on 18-26th May in Manila, Philippines. The tournament was organized by the National Chess Federation of the Philippines and Eugene Torre Chess Foundation, Inc.
40 players from 9 countries took participation, among them 12 WGMs, 2 IMs and 9 WIMs.
It was an exciting race between Huang Qian and Tan Zhongyi, both from China, who finally finished the tournament on 7,0/9 points each. However, Huang Qian took the title of Asian champion on better tie-break and qualified for the next Women’s World Championship.
WGM Mary Ann Gomes from India sneaked in between the row of Chinese players to claim clear third place with 6,5/9 and take the bronze medal.
1 WGM HUANG Qian CHN 2469 – 7
Mon, 27 May 2013 08:15:44 +0000
|Carlsen wins second game in a row in Norway|
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
Standings after 6 rounds:
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.”
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Standings after 9 rounds:
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 www.alekhine-memorial.com.
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.
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
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