20 Sep 2014

Yes, he will

The Carlsen consent

After a period of suspense, World champion Magnus Carlsen has agreed to defend his crown against Viswanathan Anand in Sochi from November 5.

By P. K. Ajith Kumar.

Will he, won’t he?

That was the question the chess world had been asking for a while, ever since World champion Magnus Carlsen expressed doubts about defending his crown. He had reservations about the venue, Sochi, where, FIDE had announced, the World championship match between the Norwegian and India’s Viswanathan Anand would be held from November 5 to 25.

Carlsen wasn’t happy with the venue and the prize-money of $ 3 million, which was one million less than what the last World championship in Chennai offered. Carlsen’s manager Epsen Agdestein sought a postponement of the event, citing unrest in Ukraine. FIDE, perhaps bolstered further by its president Kirsan Ilymuzhinov’s election victory against Garry Kasparov, refused. “This match has been part of the official tournament calendar since last year, and a postponement could lead to problems with the current calendar,” Ilyumzhinov said.

Carlsen’s deadline to sign the contract was August 31, which clashed with his participation at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis (US). FIDE though allowed an extension of the deadline till September 7, the final day of the Sinquefield Cup, which was also the strongest tournament in chess history.

Carlsen wasn’t exactly having a great time in Saint Louis and had to be the second best to Italian Fabiano Caruana, who played incredibly brilliant chess to win the tournament by a whopping three points (see box). On September 7, Carslen signed the contract. He also posted a photo of him signing the agreement on his Twitter account, captioning, “It has been a pleasure signing autographs for the fans in St. Louis. After the tournament I found the time for 1 more.”

That ended all the speculation. Chess followers were wondering if Carlsen would forfeit the title like Bobby Fischer — the biggest global superstar in chess before him — did or if he would arrange parallel World championships, like Garry Kasparov used to do, with someone like Levon Aronian, the World No. 2.

The world can now look forward to another battle of wits between Carlsen and Anand. Part 1 in Chennai was a big letdown, with the younger man comprehensively defeating the defending champion, who was playing in his hometown. The Indian genius could not win even a game. But, if you looked closer, you could find that the chess Anand played wasn’t as anywhere near as bad as the score-line would suggest.

More than Carlsen’s brilliance, it was Anand’s mistakes that decided the match. The genial genius got it strategically wrong too, as he did not, until it was too late, play to his strength of sharp, tactical chess; he had chosen, fatally, to take on Carslen in his own waiting game. Chess pundits, not surprisingly, were quick to write Anand off and gave little chance for him to earn the right to challenge Carlsen again.

He proved all of them wrong by winning the qualifying event, the Candidates tournament at Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia) last March in some style. He was seeded fourth, behind Aronian, Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov, and was the oldest in the field of eight.

In November, Carlsen could very well find Sochi, which had hosted the Winter Olympics earlier in the year, much hotter than Chennai.

Caruana cruisess past Carlsen

Apart from the Sochi World championship in November, the Sinquefield Cup was going to be the biggest event of the year in chess. The line-up was the strongest ever for a tournament. It was double-round robin featuring six of the finest players in the world: Carlsen (Elo rating 2877), Aronian (2807), Caruana (2801), Hikaru Nakamura (2787), Topalov (2772) and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2768).

Carlsen, statistically the strongest player of all time, was the favourite, but he could only finish runner-up, with 5.5 points, as Caruana ran away with the title and $ 100,000.

It was a remarkable show by the Italian, who won his first seven games — that is extraordinary at this level. It would remain one of the greatest performances of all time in chess. He finished with 8.5 points, after conceding draws to Carlsen, Nakamura and Aronian in the second leg.

Source: http://www.sportstaronnet.com

Anand wins Bilbao

Viswanathan Anand took an unbeatable four-point lead over top seed Levon Aronian to ensure the title with a round to spare in the Bilbao Chess Masters Finals at the Spanish town of Bilbao on Friday.

Draws on both boards meant Anand maintained his overnight four-point lead.

On Friday, Anand comfortably drew with former World champion Ukraine’s Ruslan Ponomariov following perpetual checks in their 41-move battle in Queen’s Gambit Declined. This equal battle reached an ending involving two minor pieces each, following a series of exchanges. Anand forced the perpetual checks when in danger in losing his bishop.

On the other board, Francisco Vallejo gave nothing away to Aronian and came out with honours even against the World’s second-ranked player.

Employing Semi-Tarrasch Defence, Vallejo kept the position in balance. In the rook-and-pawn endgame that followed, Aronian tried until 59 moves to rattle an off-form Vallejo but in vain.

The results: Fifth round: Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukr, 5) drew with Viswanathan Anand (11); Levon Aronian (Arm, 7) drew with Francisco Vallejo (Esp, 2).

Sixth round pairings: Aronian-Anand; Vallejo-Ponomariov.

25 Jun 2014

Chess Puzzle - 106

White to play and win.

Solution :

1.Nd7 (1...Qxd7 2.Qh8#) 1...Kg8 2.Qe8+
a) 2...Kg7 3.Qf8+ Kh7 4.Nf6#
b) 2...Kh7 3.Qxf7+ Kh8 4.Qf8+ Kf7 5.Nf6#

19 Jun 2014

Carlsen wins World Rapid Championship and triple crown!

Final round top board results:

1 13 AZE Radjabov Teimour 9½ ½ - ½ 10½ Carlsen Magnus NOR 4
2 9 IND Anand Viswanathan 10 ½ - ½ 10 Levon Aronian ARM 7
3 8 RUS Karjakin Sergey 10 0 - 1 9½ Alexander Morozevich RUS 15
4 18 VIE Le Quang Liem 9 0 - 1 9½ Caruana Fabiano ITA 2
5 3 RUS Alexander Grischuk 9 1 - 0 9 Eljanov Pavel UKR 19
6 28 ARM Movsesian Sergei 9 0 - 1 9 Svidler Peter RUS 6
7 20 CHN Hao Wang 9 0 - 1 9 Tomashevsky Evgeny RUS 31
8 23 ESP Vallejo Pons Francisco 8½ 0 - 1 9 Etienne Bacrot FRA 32
9 25 AZE Mamedov Rauf 8½ 1 - 0 8½ Yudin Sergei RUS 68
10 45 CHN Yangyi Yu 8½ 1 - 0 8½ Meier Georg GER 41


Top finishers:

Rank Country Full Name Fide Rating Points

1 NOR Carlsen Magnus 2881 11.0

2 ITA Caruana Fabiano 2791 10.5
3 IND Anand Viswanathan 2785 10.5
4 ARM Levon Aronian 2815 10.5
5 RUS Alexander Morozevich 2731 10.5

6 RUS Tomashevsky Evgeny 2695 10.0
7 RUS Karjakin Sergey 2771 10.0
8 RUS Alexander Grischuk 2792 10.0
9 AZE Radjabov Teimour 2724 10.0
10 RUS Svidler Peter 2753 10.0
11 FRA Etienne Bacrot 2720 10.0

12 CHN Yangyi Yu 2675 9.5
13 AZE Mamedov Rauf 2659 9.5

14 GEO Jobava Baadur 2713 9.0
15 VIE Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son 2621 9.0
16 VEN Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo 2653 9.0
17 ARM Movsesian Sergei 2672 9.0
18 AZE Guseinov Gadir 2613 9.0
19 VIE Le Quang Liem 2712 9.0
20 UKR Efimenko Zahar 2648 9.0
21 CHN Hao Wang 2729 9.0
22 UKR Eljanov Pavel 2723 9.0
23 RUS Antipov Mikhail Al. 2502 9.0

24 RUS Nepomniachtchi Ian 2730 8.5
25 FRA Laurent Fressinet 2717 8.5
26 RUS Yudin Sergei 2546 8.5
27 ESP Salgado Lopez Ivan 2622 8.5
28 RUS Riazantsev Alexander 2692 8.5
29 USA Hikaru Nakamura 2775 8.5
30 POL Bartel Mateusz 2641 8.5
31 GER Arkadij Naiditsch 2705 8.5
32 GER Meier Georg 2632 8.5
33 ESP Vallejo Pons Francisco 2698 8.5
34 RUS Matlakov Maxim 2689 8.5
35 UKR Moiseenko Alexander 2707 8.5
36 RUS Nikita Vitiugov 2742 8.5
37 RUS Fedoseev Vladimir 2662 8.5
38 BLR Zhigalko Sergei 2678 8.5
39 BUL Ivan Cheparinov 2682 8.5

Congratulations to Magnus for winning the chess triple crown. He won the World Blitz title a few years ago!

17 Jun 2014

Chess Puzzle - 105

White to move. How should white proceed?

Solution : 

1. Qh7!! f1=Q? 2. Qg8+ Qf8 3. Bxf7+ Ke74. Rxb7 Kf6 (Rc7 Rxc7 Kf6)5. Qg6#
1. 1. Qh7 Qxe62. Qxh8+ Ke73. Rxb7+ Qd7 (Rc7 Rxc7+ Qd7)4. Qe5+ Kd8 (Kf8 Rxd7 any Qh8#)5. Rxd7+ Kxd76. Qd6+ Ke87. Ne5 Rd8 (f1=Q+ Qd7+ Kf8 Qxf7#. f1=1N+ Ke1 Rd8 .8. Qf6 Rd7 9. Qh8# 

12 Jun 2014

Carlsen - Anand World Championship 2014 in Sochi

Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand will play the World Championship Match in November in Sochi, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov announced at the press conference with Interfax.

The Match will take place from 7 to 28 November at the Olympic Village in Sochi. The budget is 3 million USD.

ITAR-TASS states that both players agreed with this solution.

The RCF President Andrei Filatov confirmed that the federation will participate in the organization of the event.

Magnus Carlsen became the World Champion last November by defeating Viswanathan Anand in Chennai, but the Indian bounced back and earned a rematch by winning the Candidates Tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Espen Agdestein, manager of Magnus Carlsen, said for Dagbladet that “there was nothing wrong with Sochi”. The city hosted the Winter Olympics and even Carlsen was there to follow biathlon competitions.

Regarding the world politics, Agdestein added that he contacted the Norwegian Foreign Ministry and currently there is no question of any sports boycott.

Source - http://susanpolgar.blogspot.com/

6 Jun 2014

The art of Defence in chess

GM Igor Smirnov is back with another great article! Lets go!
Today we’ll see how to DEFEND in chess.
But firstly, I would like to talk to you about an important subject. We have created a survey for our students and this is the opportunity for you to give us your wishes and needs about future lessons.
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Now we’ll go to the theme of the day: DEFENCE
The position below was played in a game between Iturrizaga Bonelli (2635) and Alvarez Marquez (2410). This game is very interesting, because Black has lots of attacks and White has to stay in defence.
Iturrizaga – AlvarezIturrizaga- AlvarezWhite’s Turn
In this position, it’s White to move. Now you are Iturrizaga Bonelli and you have to find the best way to defend this difficult position. Take your time, if you don’t want to give Black the opportunity to checkmate you.
How would YOU play in the position from the diagram? Don’t leave without posting your answer!
16...Ng4Black is ready to play Qh4. White should be extremelly careful now; otherwise he risks to get mated in a few moves. 17.Ncxe4! White starts bringing his forces towards king-side. In order to withstand opponent's attack on a certain flank, you should have equal quantity of defenders on this side of the board.17.g3 is giving an escape path to White's king, and it's possible as well. However, in this case Black still can continue his attack. Qxc5Black needs to bring his queen to h-file, and now he's ready to play Qh5. Perhaps White can defend, but it's not an easy task. 17...Qh4 18.Nf3 "Offense if the best defense". White is attacking Black's queen and is bringing 1 more defender to the king-side. Qh5 19.Neg5!This is the move Alvarez missed; the knight is going to h3, closing h-file and defending the entire position. The manoeuvre c3-g5-h3 is a great example of calculation and defence. Be5+ 20.Nh3 Bf5 21.Qe2 Be4 22.Bxe5 Nxe5 23.Nfg5 Now Black is simply a piece down and he resigned. Being under attack you should be extremelly careful, and calculate all eventual attacking moves of your opponent. 1 mistake can be decisive, and you don't want to make it!after 23.Nxe5 Black has prepared a tricky mate! Qxh3+ 24.Kg1 Qxg2#

5 May 2014

Chess Puzzle - 104

White to move and win.

Solution : 1.Qxf8+ Kxf8 2.Bh6+ Kg8 3.Re8+ Qf8 4.Rxf8#
                  if 2...Bg7 3.Re8#

30 Apr 2014

Chess Puzzle - 103

White to move. How should white proceed?

Source: ChessToday.net

Solution : 1.dxe6 Rxd4 2.exf7+ Kh8 3,Ng6+ Kh7 4.f8=N#

If 2...Kf8 3.Ng6# and if 2...Kh7 3.f8=N+ Kh8 4.Nfg6#

25 Apr 2014

How to prevent blunders

Chess From GrandMaster


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