22 May 2013

Chess Puzzle - 102

Source: ChessToday.net

White to move. How should white proceed?

Solution :

1.Nf5 with an idea of Nh6#, 
1...gxf5 2.Rg3#
1...Rxd8 2.Rxd8+ Be8 3.Rxe8#

FIDE Grand Prix in Thessaloniki 2013

FIDE is pleased to announce the fourth stage of the FIDE Grand Prix Series will be held in Thessaloniki (Greece) between the 21st of May and 4th of June 2013. The 5-star Makedonia Palace Hotel and its owner, international business investor and philanthropist Ivan Savvidi, are FIDE's sponsors for the 12-player Grand Prix Chess Tournament.

"This event could happen thanks to the active support of the well known philanthropist Ivan Savvidi. According to the wish of Mr Savvidi, an elite chess event is coming to Greece. As FIDE has its principal secretariat in Athens, we are quite happy to have such an elite event in Greece. Additionally, the Greek Chess Federation is one of the most experienced and organized chess Federations in the world and their involvement in the organization of the event will be critical to its success," said FIDE President Kirsan Iljumzhinov.

The opening ceremony will take place at the Makedonia Palace Hotel at Thessaloniki at 6.30 p.m. on 21st of May. The games start at 14:00h local time except the last round. The prize fund to be shared by the players in Thessaloniki is 170,000 EUR, while the organizer provides further 70,000 EUR to the accumulated prize fund for the overal Grand Prix series standings.

Participants include three former World Champions Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine), Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria), Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Uzbekistan). GM Teimur Radjabov has withdrawn from the Thessaloniki Grand Prix for personal reasons and has been replaced by GM Etienne Bacrot from France.

There will be a systematic renewal of images, reports, as well as live commenting (English, Greek) and press-conferences with the players. Official commentators are GM Ioannis Papaioannou and GM Stelios Halkias.

Time control: 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves and then each player will be allotted 15 minutes after the second time control and an increment of 30 seconds per move will be allowed from move 61 onwards.

The Grand Prix Series consists of six tournaments to be held over two years (2012-2013). 18 top players participate in 4 of these 6 tournaments. The winner and second placed player overall of the Grand Prix Series will qualify for the Candidates Tournament to be held in March 2014.


Name FED Title Rating
Bacrot, Etienne FRA GM 2725
Caruana, Fabiano ITA GM 2774
Dominguez Perez, Leinier CUB GM 2723
Grischuk, Alexander RUS GM 2779
Ivanchuk, Vassily UKR GM 2755
Kamsky, Gata USA GM 2741
Kasimdzhanov, Rustam UZB GM 2699
Morozevich, Alexander RUS GM 2760
Nakamura, Hikaru USA GM 2775
Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR GM 2742
Svidler, Peter RUS GM 2769
Topalov, Veselin BUL GM 2793

Average: 2753

Official webpage thessaloniki2013.fide.com 

9 May 2013

What to do?

It is the final position from the game I played recently. I was playing with black pieces. I had 4 pawns compensation for that knight but there is a doubled pawn in f-file. That was a disadvantage for me. It is white's turn here.

What would you do as white?
What could be the result?
Does black have any chances for win?

After making answers for the above questions, you can go ahead.

The game went like this 

1.Ng6+ Kd5 2.Nf4+ Ke5 3.Ng6+ Ked 4.Nf4+ ( both of us were having less time, so repeated for increasing time ) Kc5 5.Ne6+ Kd5 ( if white plays 6.Nd4, black wins by 6...f4+ ) 6.Nf4+ and draw.

7 May 2013

Official statement by Magnus Carlsen

Official statement by Magnus Carlsen regarding the WCC in Chennai

After qualifying for the World Championship match by winning the London Candidates I have been highly motivated for, and looking forward to the World Championship match against reigning champion V. Anand.

I’m deeply disappointed and surprised by the FIDE decision to sign a contract for the 2013 match without going through the bidding process outlined in the WC regulations, and for not choosing neutral ground. The bid from Paris clearly showed that it would be possible to have more options to choose from.

The lack of transparency, predictability and fairness is unfortunate for chess as a sport and for chess players.

My team and I will now start preparing for the match. The main thing now will be to come to an agreement with the Indian Chess Federation and FIDE regarding terms and conditions before and during the match. I really hope this process will run quick and smoothly.

Lastly, I will not let the news from Baku diminish the joy and excitement derived from playing the top level Norway Chess tournament starting tomorrow.

29 Apr 2013

The second half of the Alekhine Memorial in St. Petersburg

April 28th, 2013
The second half of the Alekhine Memorial began in St. Petersburg

The 6th round games of the Alekhine Memorial were played on April 28th in St. Petersburg. The official opening of the Russian half of the competition took place on April 26th in the Mikhailovsky Castle of the Russian Museum. Participants and guests of the tournament were welcomed by Vladimir Gusev, director of the Russian museum, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, Russian Chess Federation Chairman Ilya Levitov, and the sponsors of the event Gennady Timchenko and Andrey Filatov.

April 27th was the only day off at the tournament. The participants of the Alekhine Memorial, representing seven countries, enjoyed an excursion in the Russian Museum. Junior chess events and many excursions were organized in the Mikhailovsky Castle. On the next day the St. George Hall of the Mikhailovsky Castle hosted games of the Round 6.

Like in Paris, the hall was tightly packed with chess enthusiasts. The games were quite entertaining but all ended in draws, so the tournament situation remained the same – the French grandmaster Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is in the lead. Today he had White against Boris Gelfand, but their game was quite equal all the way.

Michael Adams, who had Black against Levon Aronian, missed a real chance to catch up with the leader. The Armenian grandmaster fought very hard for a win, even sacrificed a piece, but the sacrifice turned unsound, and Aronian was on the verge of defeat. However, his English opponent returned the favor, missing a win in a mutual time trouble, and allowed Aronian to save the game. Both players are just half a point behind the leader and have decent chances to win the tournament.

With three more rounds to go, a good half of the participants have chances to succeed. The winner of the Alekhine Memorial 2013 will be determined on May 1st.

Round 6 results: Vachier-Lagrave – Gelfand, Aronian – Adams, Fressinet – Vitiugov, Kramnik – Anand, Ding Liren – Svidler – all draws.

The standings after six rounds: 1. Vachier-Lagrave – 4; 2-5. Adams, Aronian, Fressinet, and Gelfand – all 3.5; 6. Anand – 3; 7-9. Kramnik, Vitiugov, and Ding Liren – all 2.5; 10. Svidler – 1.5.

The 7th round games: Adams – Vachier-Lagrave, Anand – Fressinet, Gelfand – Ding Liren, Vitiugov – Aronian, Svidler – Kramnik.

Contact information for journalists:
press-officer of the Alekhine Memorial
Mark Glukhovsky
Official website of the event www.alekhine-memorial.com

MVL maintains Alekhine Memorial lead after 6 rounds

Standings after 6 rounds
1.Vachier-Lagrave, MaximegFRA2722*½½..½.1½14
2-5.Gelfand, BorisgISR2739½*½1½.½..½
2-5.Fressinet, LaurentgFRA2706½½*½..½½1.
2-5.Adams, MichaelgENG2727.0½*½1½..1
2-5.Aronian, LevongARM2809.½.½*½.011
6.Anand, VishygIND2783½..0½*½1½.3
7-9.Vitiugov, NikitagRUS2712.½½½.½*.0½
7-9.Ding, LirengCHN27070.½.10.*½½
7-9.Kramnik, VladimirgRUS2801½.0.0½1½*.
10.Svidler, PetergRUS27470½.00.½½.*

26 Apr 2013

Chess Puzzle - 100

Black to move. How should Black proceed?

Solution :

1...Bxe5 2.dxe5 Bc6 3.Qxc6 f3

Vachier Lagrave leads Alekhine Memorial

Standings after round 5
1.Vachier-Lagrave, MaximegFRA2722*½...½1½.1
2-5.Fressinet, LaurentgFRA2706½*½½..½1..3
2-5.Gelfand, BorisgISR2739.½*1½...½½3
2-5.Adams, MichaelgENG2727.½0*.1..½13
2-5.Aronian, LevongARM2809..½.*½01.13
6.Anand, VishygIND2783½..0½*1.½.
7-9.Ding, LirengCHN27070½..10*½..2
7-9.Kramnik, VladimirgRUS2801½0..0.½*1.2
7-9.Vitiugov, NikitagRUS2712..½½.½.0*½2
10.Svidler, PetergRUS27470.½00...½*1

Official website: http://www.alekhine-memorial.com

25 Apr 2013

Gelfand, MVL, Aronian, and Adams lead Alekhine Memorial

Standings after 4 rounds
1-4.Gelfand, BorisgISR2739*..1½...½½
1-4.Vachier-Lagrave, MaximegFRA2722.*..½1½½..
1-4.Aronian, LevongARM2809..*..01½.1
1-4.Adams, MichaelgENG27270..*½..1.1
5-7.Fressinet, LaurentgFRA2706½½.½*½....2
5-7.Ding, LirengCHN2707.01.½*½...2
5-7.Kramnik, VladimirgRUS2801.½0..½*.1.2
8-9.Anand, ViswanathangIND2783.½½0...*½.
8-9.Vitiugov, NikitagRUS2712½.....0½*½
10.Svidler, PetergRUS2747½.00....½*1

22 Apr 2013

Alekhine Memorial - Round 1 Anand, Aronian lose

Round 1 results

Anand, Viswanathan - Adams, Michael 0-1  
Ding, Liren - Aronian, Levon 1-0 
Kramnik, Vladimir - Vitiugov, Nikita 1-0 
Svidler, Peter - Gelfand, Boris ½-½ 
Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime - Fressinet, Laurent ½-½ 

Official website: http://www.alekhine-memorial.com

20 Apr 2013

Improve Your Chess - 15 Tips


I have made a video lesson "Improve Your Chess - 15 Tips". I hope you will enjoy watching the video. I hope by following these tips, you can easily improve your chess in an easy way. 

Thank you!

World Championship Match 2013

World Championship Match 2013

Today FIDE Vice President, Israel Gelfer signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the All India Chess Federation in Chennai regarding the World Championship Match 2013.

Kramnik: I believe Anand definitely has his chances

Kasparov on the candidates, Kramnik on Anand-Carlsen 
Published on Friday, April 19, 2013 00:00
Written by Zaldy Dandan

FORMER world champ Gary Kasparov, who turned 50 on April13th, has weighed in on the recently held London candidates, and his comments, as usual, are very interesting:

“The tournament showed that rumors of the death of classical chess were somewhat exaggerated. It was a vivid spectacle, there was a high number of decisive games… Yes, it ended up being a wonderful tournament, but I’m not sure it was the best ever.”

His former student, Carlsen, won but according to Gary, the tournament showed Magnus’s “weaknesses in terms of the opening and his ability to play deciding games. For example, the final round was the game of [his] life, and he lost it. He got lucky that his rival [Kramnki] also succumbed.

Who did Carlsen beat in this tournament? The bottom half of the table. Against his strongest rivals he didn’t play convincingly. His style also isn’t fully developed. For instance, in the final game against Svidler he had to choose 30.Bh8! instead of 30.Bh4. That’s a different kind of chess, however, and Magnus doesn’t yet play that way. Anand is an experienced fighter and is capable of playing a strong match. Nevertheless, if Carlsen does some work and eliminates his flaws he’ll undoubtedly win, because at the moment he plays chess better than Anand. Incidentally, Kramnik also plays better than Anand.”

As for the only man who managed to beat him in a match, here’s what Gary has to say: “It’s hard to call me a big Kramnik fan, but he really did play brilliantly. That was one of the best tournaments of his career.”

Overall, Gary says, “the tournament showed who’s who.”

In an interview, former world champ Kramnik admitted that he was “a bit unlucky” in London but says Carlsen’s strengths are “overestimated”: “I believe that both Aronian and I can match his skills. Well, he has certain qualities: young age, lots of energy, a good nervous system, incredible motivation, killer instinct...but in the chess sense I don’t see why he should be a lot stronger, if at all, (than me or Levon).”

Asked about the upcoming world championship match, Kramnik says: “I believe [Anand] definitely has his chances. It is absolutely realistic. The only problem that I think Anand is facing is that he — this is just my opinion — is somewhat intimidated by Carlsen. He is playing unconfidently against him — he’s scared of him, I would say…. He should relax and not be afraid of Magnus. One can face Carlsen and actually beat him. If Anand manages to prepare himself this way, then I think the chances will be equal. If not, then his chances will be very low. 

Psychology matters a lot in world championship matches. This is probably the first plot of the match. I would say that if he manages to hold the pressure of Magnus for at least 6 games (i.e., tie at 3-3), then Anand will become a favorite in my eyes…. . In the opening Anand is clearly superior to Magnus. [Anand] is a very difficult match opponent, because he is extremely well-prepared. It is so hard to obtain a promising position against him even with white. During our match I had to take immense risks to somehow lure him out of his armor coat, but I didn’t succeed.”

Kramnik describes Carlsen as “an improved version of Karpov….. Cold-blooded, rather pragmatic, somewhat melancholic even. His chess is also swampy, laidback, choky/boa constrictor type…. His skills are remarkable.”

More here: http://www.mvariety.com

19 Apr 2013

FIDE to finalize the WC details in Chennai

We are happy to inform you that Mr.Israel Gelfer, Vice President FIDE and member World Chess Championship Match committee has come to Chennai to finalize the arrangements in organizing the World Chess Championship Match 2013 between World Champion GM V.Anand and Challenger GM Magnus Carlsen.

In this connection an MOU will be signed between World Chess Federation (FIDE) and the All India Chess Federation & Tamilnadu State Chess Association today at 04.00.P.M. at hotel Raj Park, 180, T.T.K.Road, Alwarpet, Chennai – 18.

Bharat Singh
Hon. Secretary
All India Chess Federation

Team Carlsen unhappy about plans to hold the championship in India

Carlsen ‘surprised’ by his influence 
April 19, 2013 

Norway’s Magnus Carlsen, who ranks as the best chess player in the world, said he was “surprised” but “quite proud” that he’d landed on an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, as chosen by Time Magazine. 

The US-based magazine claims to have more than 25 million readers around the world every week, and its annual list is considered important in defining the people who have the most influence on a global scale, for better or worse. Among them, for example, is the controversial  president of North Korea Kim Jong-un, but also US President Barack Obama.

Carlsen, the 22-year-old former child chess prodigy from a western suburb of Oslo, also joins the likes of film director Steven Spielberg, rapper artist Jay-Z, the founder of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, and the new pope.

Time described Carlsen as a “chess wunderkind,” and former chess world champion Garry Kasparov called him “as charismatic and independent as he is talented.” Kasparov, asked by Time to write the magazine’s short profile of Carlsen, also claimed that after having “the opportunity to train Carlsen” three years ago, he believes the young Norwegian has “an intuitive style” that “conserves the mystique of chess at a time when every CPU-enhanced fan thinks the game is easy.”

Carlsen has been back in London, where he most recently won a major tournament that qualified him to face off against current world champion Vishy Anand of India, who won the title at a time when Carlsen had chosen not to compete because of disagreements over regulations. Anand himself has admitted that Carlsen is “probably the favourite” in their upcoming competition set for November.

Carlsen, his manager Espen Agdestein and Kasparov as well have recently been unhappy again about the world chess authorities’ plans to hold the championships in India, where Anand arguably would have a home turf advantage. Others feel the championship tournament should be held on neutral territory and in a country where climate, food and health issues aren’t major concerns.

This week, however, Carlsen and Agdestein seemed mostly happy that the young chess star was chosen for Time’s list. Carlsen called his inclusion an important international recognition of chess itself, and that he hoped it would further strengthen the position of chess in the world.

Agdestein told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that “Magnus is very honoured to make the list.” Now they’ll need to evaluate whether to attend the magazine’s party for all those listed as being among the most influential.

Jan Egeland, the former peace broker from Norway who made the list in 2006 when he was the UN’s undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief, advised Carlsen to “go to the party and have fun” if he has the time. Egeland declined his invitation to attend at the time because of a planned trip to Africa and doesn’t regret that, but said he simply failed to make it a priority.

“I didn’t put so much weight on being on the list at that point,” Egeland told NRK on Friday. “It was afterwards that I understood that other people weighed it more heavily than I did.”

Views and News from Norway / Nina Berglund

Source: http://www.newsinenglish.no

Chess Puzzle - 99

White to move and win.

Solution :

1.Qf6+ Qxf6 2.exf6+ Kxf6 3.Rxd8 Rxd8 4.Rxd8 wins

16 Apr 2013

Frozen relation between Kasparov and Anand?

From Russia, with love: Kasparov offers Carlsen help vs Anand
Express news service : New Delhi, Mon Apr 15 2013, 00:57 hrs 

Norwegian news website VG reported that former World Champion Garry Kasparov has offered his services to challenger Magnus Carlsen during his title bout against Viswanathan Anand this November. 

Regarded by many as the greatest chess player of all time, Kasparov turned 50 on Saturday and was in Oslo, Norway, to lecture on Russian politics and celebrate his birthday. He told reporters there that he would help the challenger if he was approached in that regard. "I will help Magnus with pleasure (for the match against Anand) if his team approaches me. I still have a very good relationship with them," he said. 

Kasparov had previously worked with Anand during the Indian's title defense against Bulgarian Veselin Topalov in Sofia, 2010. It also emerged that he had contacted Boris Gelfand, Anand's opponent last year, in an effort to help his title bid. The Israeli, however, turned down the offer, stating it was not the right thing to do, for Kasparov was privy to Anand's preparation. "For me it was unthinkable to receive help from somebody who has access to secrets of my colleagues," he had said. 

Frozen relations 

Relations between Kasparov and Anand have never been too cordial and after the final in Moscow, Anand said: "it's not a big secret that Garry and me are not the best friends anymore."

Kasparov had told VG that Carlsen would be the favourite for the event. "If Magnus will be doing his homework properly and will be psychologically prepared, he will win the title. The World Championship Match is completely different from other tournaments: you're playing against the same guy all the time. We should remember that Magnus still has weaknesses as a player and Anand is an expert in exploiting the mistakes of others. In addition the Indian is very experienced and probably he will also have an advantage of playing in his home country," he said. 

Chennai deal not done 

 Meanwhile, Chennai hosting the final in November is not a done deal. FIDE, the world chess body, has not yet made an official announcement in that regard, while the agreement will also have to be signed by both Anand and Carlsen. 

 Norwegian papers also indicated that Carlsen may object to playing in India, considering his unfamiliarity with the climate and food. Leonard Barden, writing for The Guardian, said that FIDE granting the hosting rights to Chennai without going through a bidding process indicates that the world body and Agon, who has been granted the rights to promote the Championships, may not be on the same page. If another competitive bid comes up, the process could still drag on.

Source: http://www.indianexpress.com

11 Apr 2013

Defending against an opponent 21 years younger

The Carlsen effect 

Anand will defend his world chess title at home against the No.1 player, who is also 21 years younger. So who has the advantage? 

Aminul Islam
Wed, Apr 10 2013. 09 24 PM IST

When Viswanathan Anand meets 22-year-old Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the 2013 World Chess Championship, to be held in Chennai from 6-26 November, it will probably be the first time he will be up against an opponent so much younger than him.

The 43-year-old Anand’s title, as the winner of the 2012 World Chess Championship, will be challenged by the current world No.1, Carlsen, who was hailed as the “Mozart of chess” by The Washington Post in 2004 when, at age 13, he beat former world champion Anatoly Karpov, pushed another former world champion Garry Kasparov to a draw, and became a chess grandmaster.

Though the World Chess Federation (Fide) has not declared the venue for the title match in November, Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa announced in the assembly on Monday that Chennai would host the event.

So what is Anand up against?

When Fide published its monthly list in January, Carlsen, whose current Elo rating (a system to calculate the relative skills of players) is 2,872, had officially achieved the highest-ever rating since the system was introduced. His then rating of 2,861 was 10 points higher than Kasparov’s legendary record from 1999. Anand, ranked at No.6, has an Elo of 2,783 and his peak rating was 2,817 in September 2011.

When Carlsen became the world’s top-ranked player in 2010, AFP wrote in its profile: “Initiated into chess early on by his father, as a boy, Carlsen nevertheless preferred other pastimes that he explored on his own. Aged 2, he could recite all car brands; as a five-year-old, he built monumental creations out of Lego; then he moved on to memorizing the world’s countries, their flags, capitals, and areas. But he was soon brought back to chess by the desire to beat his older sister at the game.”

As a teenager, Carlsen was typically aggressive and hurried, but he grew up into an all-round performer. His game is not restricted to any specific opening favourites; rather, he plays a variety of them, which makes it difficult to prepare against him.

In a 2012 interview in New in Chess magazine, current world No.3 Vladimir Kramnik said Carlsen is successful because of his physical condition and his ability to avoid psychological lapses, which enable him to maintain a high standard of play over long games when the energy levels of others drop.

Carlsen’s endgame prowess has been described as among the greatest in history. English grandmaster Jonathan Speelman, who analysed Carlsen’s endgames from the 2012 London Classic, described his wins as the “Carlsen effect”. “Through the combined force of his skill and no less important his reputation, he drives his opponents into errors. He plays on for ever, calmly, methodically and, perhaps most importantly of all, without fear. This makes him a monster and makes many opponents wilt,” wrote Speelman in New in Chess.

“It will be an interesting clash between these two ideas as to what constitutes the best player in the world,” Carlsen told reporters in London after winning the Fide World Chess Candidates Tournament on 2 April that gave him the right to challenge Anand for the world title in seven months.

“Before he is done, Carlsen will have changed our ancient game considerably,” Kasparov told Time magazine in January 2010 when the Norwegian became the youngest top player in the world.

 Some experts have already compared the November contest to the intriguing battle between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in 1972.

Though Anand has struggled a bit in the last two years, it will be difficult for Carlsen to overcome him. Anand is still a master tactician and one who loves to keep himself physically fit.

Anand is one of only six players in history to break the 2,800 Elo mark. In April 2007, at the age of 37, he became world No.1 for the first time. He was at the top of the world rankings five out of six times, from April 2007 to July 2008, holding the ranking for a total of 15 months. In October 2008, he dropped out of the world top 3 rankings for the first time since July 1996. Anand regained the top ranking in November 2010 but had to concede the top spot to Carlsen in July 2011.

The Indian is aware of Carlsen’s strong and weak points and there will be huge expectations from the Chennai-born grandmaster. “There always is pressure.... It was there in the previous World Championships as well. This time, I’ll be experiencing it at home. That’s the only difference,” Anand said in an email interview.

Anand is not perturbed at losing the No.1 spot to his challenger. Instead, he says he uses the ranking as a motivational target and is sure to regain the top spot. “I would want to be the world No.1 but I think the main thing is to see the ranking as a motivational target. I’m gaining rating points and that is positive. I don’t think one should worry about rankings,” says Anand, who became the first sportsman to be awarded the second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, in 2007.

Anand held the World Chess Championship title from 2000-02, at a time when the world title was split—for a few years from 1993, a rival organization, the Professional Chess Association, held its own world championship. In 2007, Anand became the undisputed world champion and successfully defended the title against Kramnik (2008), Veselin Topalov (2010) and Boris Gelfand (2012). Will the Norwegian be able to do what Kramnik, Topalov and Gelfand couldn’t?

Source: http://www.livemint.com