31 Mar 2013

Practical Play

White to move. How should White proceed?

I think white can start with 1.Rb3 to deflect the black queen from the diagonal b4-d6 so that the next move white can go with 2.Qd6+ and evade in.

Critical round 13

Round 13

GM Radjabov Teimour 2793 - GM Carlsen Magnus 2872 
GM  Grischuk Alexander 2764 - GM Aronian Levon 2809 
GM Kramnik Vladimir 2810 - GM Gelfand Boris 2740 
GM Svidler Peter 2747 - GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2757 

Official website: http://london2013.fide.com

Top 50 players in the world

30 Mar 2013

Chess Tactics

White to move. How should white proceed?

Source: ChessToday.net

Kramnik leading with two rounds to go

Official website: http://london2013.fide.com

Shocking round 12

This is one of the most unusual (or shocking) round I have ever witnessed in a long time. Aronian, in a dead drawn position, managed to find the only losing plan. Magnus, who was worse throughout most of the game, had drawing chances. But he did not find the right continuation and Ivanchuk managed not to blunder in time pressure to win. All of a sudden, Kramnik is now in 1st place with just two rounds to go. This is pretty incredible. What most people thought was a two horse race in the first half, turns out to be Carlsen chasing Kramnik.

Round 12 results 

GM Aronian Levon 2809 0 - 1 GM Kramnik Vladimir 2810
GM Carlsen Magnus 2872 0 - 1 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2757
GM Gelfand Boris 2740 ½ - ½ GM Svidler Peter 2747
GM Radjabov Teimour 2793 ½ - ½ GM Grischuk Alexander 2764 

Official website: http://london2013.fide.com

26 Mar 2013

Chess Tactics

White to move. How should white proceed?

I think 1.Be5 would be the move as it deflects the c7 bishop so white can then try Qd8#

Source: ChessToday.net

FIDE candidates round 10

Official website: http://london2013.fide.com

FIDE candidates standings

Official website: http://london2013.fide.com

Carlsen in lead at FIDE candidates

Magnus Carlsen is the sole leader after nine rounds at the FIDE World Chess Candidates’ Tournament. On Monday the Norwegian drew with Vladimir Kramnik (Russia) while co-leader Levon Aronian (Armenia) lost to Boris Gelfand (Israel).
Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk (both Russia) drew an amazingly complicated game and after 6.5 hours of play Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine) scored his first win, against Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan).

With the second half of the FIDE World Chess Candidates’ Tournament well under way, the interest in the tournament is growing, both online and at the IET in London. Every day both the number of spectators in the playing hall and journalists in the press room is growing, and many local grandmasters can be seen at the venue. Gawain Jones, Daniel King and Luke McShane have been frequent visitors and on Monday GMs John Nunn, Matthew Sadler, Jon Speelman and Simon Williams came along. They all witnessed another great round in which the big game was world number 2 Vladimir Kramnik against world number 1 Magnus Carlsen.

Kramnik got a nice advantage in a Catalan: “Actually it was my preparation for Kazan; I was about to play it against Radjabov in 2011 but finally for some reason I decided to play something else. Since that time I was keeping it and nobody played it. This 11.Qc2 and 12.Rd1 is kind of a new set-up; it’s quite dangerous I believe.” Carlsen: “I didn't know the details too much of this line. I more or less had to figure it out over the board. It’s not so easy to play and the way I played, he got a stable advantage so I probably did something wrong. I was just trying to find a good plan which I probably didn’t succeed in doing,” said Carlsen.

After 13.Nc3 White was “just better” and after 20.Qe3 it was “getting really critical for Black” (Kramnik) but then, starting with 22…Re8, Carlsen found a key defensive idea (and perhaps even the only move): 25…Nd5!. Almost by force an ending with rooks and opposite-coloured bishops came on the board where Kramnik’s extra pawn wasn’t worth much. “It just seems to work by millimetre,” the Russian said two times at the press conference.

“Of course Magnus is a very strong player, a very strong defender. I don't say that I missed any win today but I was better in the opening, had a very nice position and then… it seemed very close. It’s a bit disappointing of course,” said Kramnik. Carlsen about defending this game: “I thought it was dangerous but the good thing for me is that most of the time I had to make only moves. Then in a way it’s easier.”

Peter Svidler and Alexander Grischuk played the most spectacular game of the tournament so far. The latter went for the ever-interesting King’s Indian Defence, and like in his game against Radjabov, Svidler played the Sämisch variation. Then, on move 12, Grischuk came up with an absolutely stunning novelty that involved a long-term piece sacrifice.

At first Svidler was “very worried”. “In a practical game (…) every move will be a torture.” English grandmaster Matthew Sadler, who lives in The Netherlands but spent his weekend with family, joined the commentary for a while and said: “I was counting the pieces and I must have counted them at least ten times!”

Svidler went for a long think, played an interesting sequence of moves and then felt he was winning. “Of course I missed 19…h3. After that I realized the game continues.” Eventually White got three minor pieces for his queen, and Svidler still felt that “White should be better somehow”, but “it became a bit too messy for my liking”. In time trouble he might have missed some ways to make Grischuk’s life harder. Just after the time control Black had created so much counter play that Svidler had seen enough and accepted his opponent’s draw offer.

The game between Boris Gelfand and Levon Aronian became quite very important for the tournament standings. In a Queen’s Gambit Declined that turned into some sort of Stonewall position, around move 25 Aronian missed a tactic and lost an important pawn. Computers don’t like his 26…Bf7, a move Gelfand didn’t expect: “Here I think Levon is in trouble.”

However, according to the Israeli Black wasn’t lost yet. “After 32…Rd3 I don’t know if my advantage is so big, but 32…h5 is a blunder.” Aronian, who had to skip the press conference because of a drug test (which Carlsen, Kramnik and Svidler also had to perform), said he had missed 28.e6 and then “completely forgot about this 33.f5 stuff”. However, just before the time control Gelfand missed a quick win, and a double rook ending came on the board. “Fortunately I have this plan of a king’s attack,” said Gelfand, who won the ending without too much trouble. It wasn’t an easy game for him, though. “I think for me it was more difficult because I played with my very close friend and he is leading the tournament. But we're professionals and we have to play our utmost in each game.”

After six and a half hours of play, Vassily Ivanchuk scored his first win of the tournament. He got a pleasant advantage out of the opening against Teimour Radjabov, who played what could be dubbed the “Accelerated Lasker Variation” of the Queen’s Gambit Declined. For a moment commentator Nigel Short thought that Radjabov had perhaps accidentally played Lasker’s Nf6-e4 one move too early, but in fact the Azerbaijani spent five minutes on it. Radjabov: “It was a long torture somehow. I got this unpleasant position, I mixed something in the opening and I got this slightly worse position where you always have to stand. I didn't have so many counter play ideas.”

Both players were not sure if the ending was really lost for Black. “Maybe I didn't have to change the knights as then the position became really easy to play for White. There’s maybe no direct win,” said Radjabov. Instead of his preparation, as suggested by Kramnik in an interview, Radjabov blamed his inactivity for his disappointing play thus far: “I should have played in one of the recent tournaments, but my family situation did not allow this. You can see that the players who played in Zurich didn't start very well, but now they are all in good form.”

After nine rounds, Carlsen is in clear first place with 6 points. Aronian is now second with 5.5, followed by Kramnik with 5 points. Gelfand moved to shared 4th place with Grischuk: both are on 4.5. Svidler is 6th with 4 points, Ivanchuk 7th with 3.5 and Radjabov last with 3. Tuesday, March 26th is the third rest day of the tournament. Play resumes on Wednesday, March 27th at 14:00 GMT with the tenth round: Carlsen-Gelfand, Aronian-Ivanchuk, Radjabov-Svidler and Grischuk-Kramnik.

The FIDE Candidates' Tournament is taking place March 14th-April 1st, 2013 at IET London, Savoy Place. It is sponsored by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and organized by AGON and the World Chess Federation (FIDE). Games and information can be found at http://london2013.fide.com.

20 Mar 2013

Chess Puzzle - 95

Black to move and win.

Solution :

1...Qxf3+ (2.Kd2 Qxf2+ and wins) 2.Kxf3  Bxg4#

Candidates tournament round 5 pairings

Round 5 pairings 

GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2757 - GM Carlsen Magnus 2872 
GM Svidler Peter 2747 - GM Gelfand Boris 2740 
GM Kramnik Vladimir 2810 - GM Aronian Levon 2809 
GM Grischuk Alexander 2764 - GM Radjabov Teimour 2793 

Official website: http://london2013.fide.com

FIDE candidates - Standings after 4 rounds

Official website: http://london2013.fide.com

Carlsen leads FIDE candidates

Magnus Carlsen catches Levon Aronian in first place at FIDE Candidates 
Official website: http://london2013.fide.com

In Tuesday’s fourth round of the FIDE World Chess Candidates’ Tournament in London Magnus Carlsen of Norway caught Levon Aronian of Armenia in first place. Carlsen beat Alexander Grischuk of Russia in a Ruy Lopez Berlin, while Aronian was held to a draw by Peter Svidler of Russia in a Queen’s Gambit Accepted. The two oldest participants, Boris Gelfand of Israel and Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine, drew a very interesting game that started with the rare Chigorin Defence. Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan and Vladimir Kramnik of Russia drew a Nimzo-Indian that was always more or less balanced. 

After enjoying their first rest day, on Tuesday the eight top grandmasters returned to the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) at Savoy Place for the fourth round of the FIDE World Chess Candidates’ Tournament. It was also the first day that, in the commentary room, host IM Lawrence Trent was joined by former World Championship contender GM Nigel Short. Throughout the tournament, online spectators can follow the games while watching and listening to live commentary simultaneously. In the playing hall, the audience enjoys a similar experience thanks to Samsung tablets which are waiting for them on their seats at arrival.

The first game to finish was a relatively short draw: tournament leader Levon Aronian split the point with Peter Svidler after 31 moves. In this game, Svidler showed once again that he has come to London very well prepared. The grandmaster from St. Petersburg successfully employed a rare line of the Queen's Gambit Accepted in which Black actually hangs on to his c-pawn with an early ...a6 and ...b5.

“During the game I was trying to remember what my intention was, but I failed," said Aronian. According to Svidler, his opponent didn't play the most dangerous plan: "This is actually not such a straightforward line but with some precision Black tends to equalise if White goes for the pawn grab. I suppose the critical lines are somewhere where White ignores the pawn for a while."

Svidler's 10...Rb8 instead of 10...Ra7 is a new idea (played only once before) that involves a long-term pawn sacrifice. It worked well, and Svidler equalised quite comfortably. "It's nice to have half a rest today. Somewhat nicer for me than it is for Levon I'm sure but for me it's fairly nice," said Svidler.

A bit more than 3.5 hours into the round, Magnus Carlsen won his second game of the tournament to catch Aronian in first place. In the popular Berlin variation of the Ruy Lopez, his opponent Alexander Grischuk started spending a lot of time early on. An important moment was 17…f5, a move disliked by Carlsen. “I missed a lot of things with this move. I completely overestimated my position. I still think Black is fine but [during the game] I thought Black was better,” said Grischuk. One of Black's problems was his bad bishop on f8 – the reason why his position looked better than it was.

To make matters worse, Grischuk’s disadvantage on the clock started to grow. After making his 21st move, Grischuk had only 4 minutes and 24 seconds left on the clock for his next 19 moves. It was just impossible to reach the time control without making mistakes, and Carlsen profited from these mistakes by not paying attention to his opponent’s time trouble too much. As he said after the game, he was “just trying to play well”. And he was never really worried: “Obviously there are threats but I felt that I always had enough resources to parry them. You can never be absolutely sure but I thought that I had enough play on the queenside to counter whatever threats he could muster.”

Only two players are older than forty in this tournament: Boris Gelfand and Vassily Ivanchuk. Both 44, these chess legends must have played over a hundred games against each other. Gelfand referred to this when he expressed the following nice words about his opponent: “Each game is very interesting and always a big lesson for me. Probably it’s one of the reasons for our chess longevity: when you play such a great player so many times, it gives you so much experience and knowledge – it helps a lot!”

As so often, Ivanchuk played a rare opening set-up. With Black he went for the Chigorin Defence (1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nc6) and it took Gelfand a few minutes to decide on which line to play. In a position that looked a bit better for White, on move 22 a very nice piece sacrifice was found (and played instantly!) by Ivanchuk. After some wild complications White ended up with an extra bishop on h2 that was completely out of play, and there Black could force a perpetual check.

The last game to finish, between Teimour Radjabov and Vladimir Kramnik, was a Nimzo-Indian game that always looked fairly equal. “I think I got a very nice position out of the opening and it’s also very easy to play. I had this very simple plan of trying to attack these hanging pawns but of course White is also very solid. It might be equal and maybe it’s a matter of style, but I would take Black in this position, it’s easier to play somehow,” said Kramnik. The Russian was happy with his manoeuvres, and thought he was pressing. “But Teimour seemed to defend very well.”

Radjabov agreed that he got “nothing out of the opening". “I probably mixed up some things in the opening, how I got this position without the two bishops. It’s kind of a dream position for Black.” But the Azerbaijani managed to avoid serious mistakes, and so Black’s advantage was never more than symbolical.

After four rounds Aronian and Carlsen are tied for first place with 3 points while Svidler is the only player with 2.5. Kramnik and Radjabov are on 50% with 2 points, Grischuk has 1.5 points and Gelfand and Ivanchuk are still in last place, with 1 point. Wednesday, March 20th at 14:00 GMT the fourth round will be played: Ivanchuk-Carlsen, Svidler-Gelfand, Kramnik-Aronian and Grischuk-Radjabov.

Source : susanpolgar.blogspot.com/

18 Mar 2013

Aronian leads Candidates

Armenian star Levon Aronian got his second win in a row today and is now the sole leader in London. Peter Svidler and Magnus Carlsen trail a half point behind after winning their third round games.

Candidates London 2013 news / Pairings / Live games / Chess videos

Levon Aronian arrived to the third round as the co-leader, after defeating Boris Gelfand yesterday. He had to play with the black pieces against Vassily Ivanchuk. 

These two elite players faced each other in numerous occasions in the past, with Aronian having a small historical advantage. However, today’s game was probably one of the most important clashes for each of them.

The Ukrainian used the Trompowsky Attack trying to avoid huge masses of preparation in the Queen’s Gambit or the Slav. Aronian followed suit using some of his typical very original play. Ivanchuk pushed his pawns forward looking for an attack and the position became very complicated. 

The Armenian then started to show his strength in this kind of positions, playing precise and annoying moves. As usual, Vassily fell in huge time trouble – he had just 8 minutes left for 19 moves. This proved to be the decisive factor as the Ukrainian lost on time on the 35th move after making a mistake with Kd1.

World Cup winner Peter Svidler obtained his first win today against yesterday’s co-leader Teimour Radjabov. The King’s Indian setup used by the Azerbaijani did not surprise anybody. His play, however, was quite remarkable, as he constantly looked for ways to complicate the position.

Eventually, the material balance was slightly altered – Radjabov had a rook for Svidler’s bishop and knight. The contenders had the same amount of pawns, but the Russian’s passed a-pawn was the decisive difference. Teimour was forced to put pressure against this pawn, leaving the rest of the board somewhat unprotected. Svidler took his king to the queenside, activated the pieces and converted the positional advantage into a full point on move 55.

World’s number 1 Magnus Carlsen did not lag behind and beat World Championship’s challenger Boris Gelfand with the black pieces. This is Gelfand’s second loss in a row and he is now in the shared last place of the standings along Vassily Ivanchuk.

The Israeli’s position seemed to be perfectly fine in the middlegame, as he even had more active pieces. However, it is impossible to rule out the chances of the Norwegian prodigy. 
Magnus remained calm looking for an endgame where the only advantage he had in the position – the queenside pawns majority – would play a decisive role. His precise play in these positions emerged once again and Gelfand was forced to resignation on the 57th move.

The only draw of the day was seen in the game between the two players that have showed the most solid chess in the event, the Russians Vladimir Kramnik and Alexander Grischuk. The ex-World Champion faced Grischuk’s Gruenfeld Indian defence with fianchetto variation.

Kramnik, true to his style, took a pawn giving up the pair of bishops with the hope of converting his advantage in the long run. 

Grischuk, on the other hand, responded with some active play and penetrated his compatriot’s position with the queen. This was enough to reach a triple repetition and sign a draw in 35 moves.

Tomorrow will be a rest day in London. The games will resume on Tuesday, March 19th: Carlsen – Grischuk, Radjabov – Kramnik, Aronian – Svidler and Gelfand – Ivanchuk.

Photos by Anastasiya Karlovich

Official website

17 Mar 2013

Candidates - Round 3

Round 3 pairings

GM Gelfand Boris 2740 - GM Carlsen Magnus 2872 
GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2757 - GM Aronian Levon 2809 
GM Svidler Peter 2747 - GM Radjabov Teimour 2793 
GM Kramnik Vladimir 2810 - GM Grischuk Alexander 2764 

Official website: http://london2013.fide.com

16 Mar 2013

Candidates Tactics

This is the position in the game between Ivanchuk and Grischuk in the 2013 Candidates tournament.
It is white's turn now! What can you tell about white's move and the game result?

Carlsen VS Kramnik - Round 2

Round 2 pairings
GM Carlsen Magnus 2872 - GM Kramnik Vladimir 2810 
GM Grischuk Alexander 2764 - GM Svidler Peter 2747  
GM Radjabov Teimour 2793 - GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2757 
GM Aronian Levon 2809 - GM Gelfand Boris 2740 

Official website: http://london2013.fide.com

14 Mar 2013

Carlsen on the candidates tournament

Carlsen on the candidates tournament: 

Nobody would remember how well I played in Wijk-aan-Zee or London Classic, if I fail at the candidates tournament. I realize winning in London will be extremely hard. Everyone prepared for this tournament for months. However, I feel I am ready for something big. And I think I play better than anyone else right now. 

My main rival in London is Aronian. He proved his strength many times, and we should not take his recent mishaps into account. Levon considers the candidates tournament to be his last chance to get the chess crown. Kramnik also has a chance, but I feel he has already passed his peak. I do not rule out other participants as well. 

I keep preparing for the tournament constantly, and will have a two-week training session with Ian Nepomniachtchi prior to the start of the event. If I manage to win and advance to the championship match with Anand, I will have to expand my team and look for more people...


WWTC tactics

Black to move. How should black proceed?

8 Mar 2013

Armenia believes in Levon Aronian's victory

YEREVAN, MARCH 7, ARMENPRESS. Armenia believes in Levon Aronian's victory in the Candidates’ Matches of the FIDE. In a conversation with "Armenpress" the prominent masters of the chess superpower assessed Levon Aronian’s chances. The First Vice President of Armenian Chess Federation Smbat Lputyan noted that he is hopeful about our strongest chess player. The Director of the Armenian Chess Academy Lputyan stated: "Levon can win the Candidates' Matches." 
The acting champion of Armenia Tigran Petrosyan shares the opinion of his elder friend. Tigran Petrosyan noted: "The main struggle will flare up between Aronian and Carlsen. I do not want to underestimate the other competitors, but they will be the best players. It has already been declared that in the first round Levon will play against Carlsen. I am confident that he will not lose."

The Candidates' Tournament will launch in London on March 14 and will be over on April 1. 8 Grand Masters will participate in the tournament. Among them are: Levon Aronian (ARM), Magnus Carlsen (NOR), Boris Gelfand (ISR), Alexander Grischuk (RUS), Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR), Vladimir Kramnik (RUS), Teimour Radjabov (AZE), and Peter Svidler (RUS).

Source: http://armenpress.am

6 Mar 2013

Candidates Tournament - Round 1

Drawing of lots order 

1. Levon Aronian 
2. Boris Gelfand 
3. Vassily Ivanchuk 
4. Peter Svidler 
5. Vladimir Kramnik 
6. Alexander Grischuk 
7. Teimour Radjabov 
8. Magnus Carlsen

Round 1

Aronian – Carlsen
Gelfand – Radjabov
Ivanchuk – Grischuk 
Svidler – Kramnik

Chess Puzzle - 94

White to move and win.

Solution : 1.Bb6+ Ke8 2.Qa4+ Qd7 3.Qa8+ Qc8 4.Qxc8#

5 Mar 2013

Checkmate in 3

White to move and checkmate in 3

Solution : 1.Qh4+ Ng4 2.Qe7+ Bxe7 3.Rd4#

World Class Tactics

This was position between Kaidanov (2420) - Anand (2500) in Moscow in 1987. Anand just played 24...Kf8. How should White proceed?

Source: ChessToday.net

3 Mar 2013

Candidates tournament 2013

London Savoy

The London Candidates will be the strongest tournament of its kind in history. The Prize Fund to be shared by the players totals €510,000. The winner of the Candidates will become the Challenger to Viswanathan Anand who has reigned as World Champion since 2007.

Dates: March 14, 2013 - April 1, 2013
Format: The Candidates is a double round-robin tournament with four rest days.

Levon Aronian (ARM)
    Magnus Carlsen (NOR)
Boris Gelfand (ISR)
Alexander Grischuk (RUS)
Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR)
Vladimir Kramnik (RUS)
Teimour Radjabov (AZE)
Peter Svidler (RUS)

Chess Puzzle - 93

White to move.

Solution : 1.g3 g6+ 2.Kxf6 g5 3.Kf5 g4 4.fxg4#

Anand took down Kramnik to finish 2nd in Zurich

Anand beats Kramnik to finish second in Zurich Chess
Zurich (Switzerland), Mar 2, 2013 (PTI)
World champion Viswanathan Anand capitalised on a blunder by Vladimir Kramnik of Russia to beat him in the final round and finish second in the Zurich Chess Challenge that concluded here.

The Indian ace was under pressure to come back to a 50 per cent score after losing to Fabiano Caruana of Italy in the fourth round and got lucky when Kramnik had a rare oversight resulting in a full point and the first victory for the world champion in the tournament.

Caruana, meanwhile, deservedly won the tournament finishing on a high with a fine victory over Boris Gelfand of Israel in his last round game.

The Italian finished with a very impressive tally of four points out of a possible six in the four-player double round-robin tournament.

Anand finished sole second with one win, a loss and four draws tallying three points in all.

That he left the field a full point behind speaks volumes about the talent of Caruana who is sure to find his way back in the top ten of world rankings after an excellent performance here.

Kramnik and Gelfand ran out of steam in the last round and finished with identical 2.5 points apiece to tie for the third spot.

Source: http://www.deccanherald.com

1 Mar 2013

Attacking Chess Tactics

White to move. How should white proceed?
Source: ChessToday.net

I think white could try 1.Nxh7 Kxh7 2.Nf6+ Bxf6 3.Qh5+

Caruana leads Zurich

The super-tournament at Zurich keeps showing great games without decisive results. Fabiano Caruana’s only win is still enough to lead the event with one round to go.

Boris Gelfand played with white against Viswanathan Anand. They signed a draw exactly on move 40.

The World Champion advanced his queenside pawns early in the game, and Gelfand responded naturally using them as targets. Anand gave up two pawns for the exchange and invaded on the second rank with his rook. The Israeli coordinated his knight and bishop to defend his passed pawn on the queenside, but Anand’s rook was too annoying. The players repeated moves and signed the draw when the time control had just passed.

Kramnik and Caruana battled in a very original position. The Russian, once again, played a sideline to avoid showing his home preparation. He attacked on the kingside and Caruana – just like Anand – sacrificed the exchange for two pawns in order to avoid getting his king in trouble. A difficult struggle took place on the early middlegame and the Italian eventually finished with the upper-hand. Vladimir Kramnik found a very interesting rook sacrifice to force a draw by repetition on move 47.

Tomorrow is the last round in Switzerland. 

Round 6 pairings:

Viswanathan Anand – Vladimir Kramnik
Fabiano Caruana – Boris Gelfand