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

9 Apr 2013

World Championship match awarded to Chennai without open bid

CHENNAI: Come November, Viswanathan Anand will be defending his world title against Magnus Carlsen at home. Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa had pitched in for it and the world chess federation (FIDE) awarded the game to Chennai without a bidding process. 

"The state government has decided to host the chess championship event following a request from the FIDE. The government will allocate Rs 29 crore ($5.3m) for the event," Jayalalithaa said in the assembly on Monday. 

DV Sundar, vice-president, FIDE, told reporters that this was the first time that the chess world body had offered the title round without a bid. 

"The FIDE chief Kirsan Ilyumzhinov met the Tamil Nadu chief minister last year and requested her to host the world championship title round. Unfortunately India's bid was lesser than Russia's bid and we missed the chance last year," Sundar said. 

"But Ilyumzhinov was keen to offer another opportunity to Chennai and thus FIDE decided to offer the world championship without any bid this time," Sundar said. 

The November 6-26 event will be a 12-round affair, but in case of a tie, Anand and Carlsen will play four Rapid games. If it's a tie even then, four Blitz games will follow and if the deadlock is not broken after that, the Armageddon (sudden death, where a draw is enough for black while white has to win) will determine the eventual winner. 

Last year, Chennai had lost the bid to host Anand's title match against Boris Gelfand to Moscow which upped the prize fund to $2.25m. This time the prize fund will be $2.55 million (Rs 13.6 crore), which will be divided in a 60:40 ratio between the winner and the loser. 

"We are happy that the state government has come forward for the second time to host the championship," Anand's wife Aruna told the TOI on Monday. "Anand is excited about playing in front of the home crowd. The state's backing sometimes gives you the much needed push," she added. 

This will be Anand's first World title match at home although he has played a world championship cycle match in India before. Only last week Anand had spoken of playing the title round at home. "The World chess championship is one of the biggest tournaments, and playing in Chennai will be great," he said.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

$2.55 million for Anand - Carlsen WC match

World championship match to offer $2.55 million
Chennai, April 8, 2013 

The World Chess Championship 2013 will be held in Chennai between November 6 and 26 at Chennai and the state government will allot Rs 29 crore for the event, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa told the Assembly on Monday.

Making a suo motu statement in the House, she said the championship 2013 would be between World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand, winner of the World Chess Championship 2012, and Magnus Carlsen of Noway, who had secured 2,872 points, the highest in the FIDE (Word Chess Federation) rating. 

Ms. Jayalalithaa said when the World Chess Federation president Kirsan Illyumzhinov met her in 2011, he had requested her to hold the World Chess Championship in Chennai. She also had agreed to organise the event at a cost of Rs. 20 crore. 

“However, it failed to materialise as Russia made the highest bidding for the championship. Since Tamil Nadu came forward to organise the event in 2012, The Word Chess Federation agreed to hold it in Chennai without bidding,” she said. 

Ms. Jayalalithaa said the international event would further encourage the youth to learn chess and would lead to creations of more and more champions.

Source: http://www.thehindu.com

8 Apr 2013

Chess Puzzle - 98

White to move.


1.Nxf5+ ( 1..Kh5 2.Qf6 ) gxf5 2.Rxd6+

WC Anand - Carlsen in Chennai

Anand to defend world title in Chennai
Special Correspondent  

The World Chess Championship 2013 will be held in Chennai between November 6 and 26 at Chennai and the state government will allot Rs 29 crore for the event, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa told the Assembly on Monday. 

Making a suo motu statement in the House, she said the championship 2013 would be between World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand, winner of the World Chess Championship 2012, and Magnus Carlsen of Noway, who had secured 2,872 points, the highest in the FIDE (Word Chess Federation) rating. 

Ms. Jayalalithaa said when the World Chess Federation president Kirsan Illyumzhinov met her in 2011, he had requested her to hold the World Chess Championship in Chennai. She also had agreed to organise the event at a cost of Rs. 20 crore. 

“However, it failed to materialise as Russia made the highest bidding for the championship. Since Tamil Nadu came forward to organise the event in 2012, The Word Chess Federation agreed to hold it in Chennai without bidding,” she said. 

Ms. Jayalalithaa said the international event would further encourage the youth to learn chess and would lead to creations of more and more champions.