Tuesday, March 03, 2015

31st Cappelle-la-Grande Chess Open 2015 LIVE!

European Individual Chess Championship 2015

Jerusalem is hosting the 2015 European Individual Championship. The highly prestigious tournament, open to all members of European Federations, is staged at hotel Ramada on February 23rd – March 8th 2015 by the municipality of Jerusalem and the Israeli Chess Federation under the auspices of the ECU.

The prize fund was generously increased to 120,000 € and 115 Grandmasters have already joined the field.

Top seeds, members of “Club 2700+”, are GM David Navara, GM Nikita Vitiugov, GM Pavel Eljanov, GM Ian Nepomniachtchi, GM Etienne Bacrot and GM Fransisco Vallejo Pons, etc.

Official website/ EICC with special prize fund for seniors/ Full Regulations on ECU website/ Interview with ECU President Zurab Azmaiparashvili / Participants

3rd FIDE World Senior Team Chess Championship LIVE!

Photos from 2015 SPF National Open for Boys and Girls

About 150 photos so far of 2015 SPF National Open for Boys and Girls. More will be uploaded in the next day or so.


It has been a fantastic experience. We met so many wonderful people and made many new friends. Once again, big thanks to all the parents, coaches, volunteers, supporters, and sponsors, etc. for making this a very special event for young players. We are already scheduled to head back to the Bay Area at least 2-3 more times this year. Exciting details will be announced soon.

The 2016 SPF National Open for Boys and Girls will take place on the last weekend of February next year at the same venue. There will be MANY improvements and changes for the better, thanks to the feedback and suggestions from so many caring parents, coaches, and supporters.

India vs China LIVE!

Even More Puzzles from SPFNO Puzzle Solving Championship

White to move. Find the absolute best continuation. Can you solve both in 90 seconds or less?

World Senior Team Half Time Report

Half time Report
World Senior Team Championship 2015

On Tuesday, February 24th 2015, the 3rd World Senior Team Championship was opened with heartfelt words from FIDE Director for Seniors Dr. Dirk Jordan, welcoming all the players, followed by the procession of the flags from all 16 participating nations. Overall, 87 teams from as far as Argentina have found their way to Dresden, Germany.

As expected, the team England 1 50+ played exceptional chess in the first rounds and were able to keep their position on top of the younger group of seniors for 3 days. The sensation came in the fourth round. After dominating the 50+ group for the first rounds the English team had to surrender to their opponents from Slovakia on day 4. With this win, Slovakia is now leading the group and will defend their position during the next rounds. In section 65+ the team from Russia is on top. Right behind them are Scotland 1 and Germany 2. They are fighting to steal the first place from Russia.

But not only the championship is attracting attention. Yesterday's blitz tournament was another great event with many international players partaking. All in all there were 24 teams of two playing with a thinking time of 5 minutes and 3 seconds increment. The winners after 9 rounds of high class blitz chess were Keith Arkell and Matthew Sadler – forming the team „Young England“.

For all the players and accompanying persons not interested in indulging in more chess after the actual rounds there are many social events, put together by the organizers, to get their minds off of the last matches. The city tour on Thursday, designed to get to know the city of Dresden, was completely sold out and 40 people set off to walk on old paths and learn new things about the Baroque city. Another highlight was the ChessBase seminar held on Saturday, February 28th, by Mr. Martin Fischer, a representative of ChessBase. He introduced the new system „ChessBase 13“ and attracted more than 50 willing listeners. Later that day team captains and chess players alike got together to discuss current topics of Senior chess, an event hosted by Dr. Dirk Jordan. He was supported by Mr. Herbert Bastian, vice president of FIDE, and Mr. Johann Pöcksteiner, ECU Seniors Tournament Director.

Looking at the second half of the championship the question arising most is: „Who will be the World Champion in Section 50+ and in Section 65+?“

Audience at the Opening Ceremony

FIDE Trainers' Seminar in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

1. Objective: To educate and certify Trainers and Chess-Teachers on an international basis. This FIDE Trainers’ Seminar for FIDE Trainer Titles Diploma is approved by FIDE and the FIDE Trainers’ Commission (TRG). The seminar is co-organised by the FIDE, the Asian Chess Federation (ACF), the FIDE Trainers’ Commission (TRG) and the Mongolian Chess Federation (MCF).

2. Dates: May 1st to 3rd, 2015.

3. Location: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.



Magnus to visit Reykjavik Open

World Champion Magnus Carlsen will be guest of honor at this year Reykjavik Open. Magnus will be visiting Iceland between the 13th and 16th of March, the official website announced.

What Magnus will be up to during his stay can’t be disclosed for now but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him visit Bobby Fischer’s grave or visit during one of the rounds of the Reykjavik Open

Magnus will very likely look critically at the games of his father, Henrik Carlsen, and one of his main seconds, Jon Ludwig Hammer, as both are participating in this years Reykjavik Open.

Magnus should have fond memories from Iceland. He made an impression worldwide when he made a memorable draw with Garry Kasparov at the young age of 14. Magnus also participated twice in the Reykjavik Open in 2004 and 2006. Magnus failed to win either time but won the very strong Glitnir Blitz tournament in 2006.

The Icelandic Chess Federation welcomes the current World Champion and the holder of the highest FIDE rating ever back to Iceland. It’s very pleasing for us as organisers to have some of the strongest players in history visit our tournament. Last year Garry Kasparov was guest of honor.

Carlsen himself mentioned the visit in this blog post:

Next week I’m off to Barcelona and the week after to Nice for my main sponsors Nordic Semiconductor and Arctic Securities respectively. I’ll also visit Iceland during Reykjavik Open, without playing myself, to finally see some of the attractions I missed out on in 2004 and 2006, and to see how some of my friends and my father are doing first hand☺

ECU President Zurab Azmaiparashvili will also attend the Reykjavik Open.

Easy Way to Beat The Pirc Modern Defense - GM Roman Dzindzichashvili ... and more

Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation Pawn Structure

Posted on February 27,2015 By FM Dalton Perrine in Strategy & Game Review, Chess Openings, General Chess Articles, Beginner's Corner. The Ruy Lopez is known as one of the longest-living openings in the history of chess. Players from all generations have played the Ruy Lopez and it is known to be incredibly solid and very difficult to defeat. One line that can arise from this opening is the "exchange variation". This variation is sometimes used by lower-rated players who want to create doubled pawns for their opponent as quickly as possible. The variation starts with the moves 1[...]

FREE US$50 Smirnov Product and 50% off sale!

Posted on February 26,2015 By GM Damian Lemos in Non-Chess related, All Articles w/ Videos, General Chess Articles. Great news! Earlier today I had a call with GM Igor Smirnov and he was nice enough to give us $53.30 in premium lectures completely free to our readers. At the end of this post I'll tell you how to get these 2 webinars completely free, but first I wanted to give you guys another exciting announcement, for the next 7 days we are giving you 50% off all Smirnov products. This is an exciting opportunity to get those Smirnov products you wanted, at an[...]

Easy Way to Beat The Pirc Modern Defense - GM Roman Dzindzichashvili

Posted on February 26,2015 By OnlineChessLessons.NET Contributor in Strategy & Game Review, Chess Openings, All Articles w/ Videos. A set-up to crush the Pirc Modern Defense! In the video "Easy Way to Beat The Pirc Modern Defense" by GM Roman Dzindzichashvili, we see a way to set-up our pieces when Black plays the Pirc Modern Defense. With this set-up, we achieve a strong position that has many ways to cause Black problems. Even if Black plays solidly and doesn't make any mistakes, White is able to get a small but clear advantage with the piece set-up that we are shown. The s[...]

The Importance of Development - Part 2

Posted on February 24,2015 By FM Dalton Perrine in Strategy & Game Review, General Chess Articles, Beginner's Corner. A lead in development can be incredibly beneficial in the opening if we know how to use it well. Just because we have more pieces developed than our opponent, and are castled before they are, does not mean that an attack will fall out of the sky. We need to understand when and how to use this lead in development in order to build a quick attack against the unsuspecting opponent. The main reason that a lead in opening development can lead to a qui[...]

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Monday, March 02, 2015

Tkachiev takes top prize in Cannes Open

The 29th Cannes Winter Open – Festival des Jeux 2015took place from 22nd February to 1st March at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France.

The chess festival consisted of three sections:
- Tournament A for players with a 2200+ Elo rating
- Tournament B for players with a rating lower than 2100 (The players with a rating between 2100 and 2200 can choose to participate on Tournament A or B)
- Tournament C for players with a rating lower than 1600

A total of 356 players participated in the Festival. The main Open A had 57 players. GM Vladislav Tkachiev emerged clear winner with 7,0/9 points.

Open A final standings:
1. GM TKACHIEV Vladislav FRA 2634 – 7
2-5. GM EPISHIN Vladimir RUS 2573, IM KOZIAK Vitali UKR 2448, FM DI NICOLANTONIO Lucas FRA 2397 and FM MORONI Luca Jr ITA 2415 – 6½
6-11. GM SANCHEZ Joseph PHI 2500, IM BELLIA Fabrizio ITA 2405, GM ANKIT R. Rajpara IND 2479, IM BRUNNER Nicolas FRA 2436, IM PILE Richard FRA 2428 and IM VUILLEUMIER Alexandre SUI 2347 – 6
12. GM MAIOROV Nikita BLR 2579 – 5½ etc

The Open B had 174 players. FM Milan Kandic SRB 2101 and Francesco Simoncini ITA 2037 shared the first place with 7,5/9 points each.

The Open C had 125 players. Patrick Loistron 1550 and Philippe Menardo 1621 (both France) shared the first place with 7,5/9 points each.

Official website

EICC round 7 matchups

Full pairings: http://chess-results.com/tnr157274.aspx

Rules & Conditions for the 12th Annual Susan Polgar Foundation Girls' Invitational

Rules & Conditions for the 12th Annual Susan Polgar Foundation Girls' Invitational
(Over $200K in prizes and scholarships)
July 26 – 30, 2015 at Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri)

Webster University will provide complimentary room and meal accommodation on campus for all qualifiers!

The annual Susan Polgar Girls’ Invitational, in its 12th year, is the most prestigious all-girls event in the United States. It will once again be held at Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri).

• There will be an intense training session with Susan Polgar and members of the SPICE team, followed by a 6 round (g/90+30) FIDE rated championship tournament.

• The traditional Blitz, Puzzle Solving, Bughouse events will stay the same as in previous years.

• There will be many chess prizes awarded, as well as scholarships to Webster University.

Each state is allowed one representative to be nominated by June 8, 2015. Official representative alternates may be substituted no later than July 6, 2015. (Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may allow the host state to enter an additional qualified player.) Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may allow exceptions to the June 8 entry/alternate deadline. Should the state affiliate fail to respond to the notice for this tournament, Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee may determine the candidate from that state.

Players must have been enrolled in a school (up to 12th grade) located in the state they represent, also of the year in which the tournament is held. Home-schooled students who are 19 or under on the year in which the event is held or students who have never attended traditional college on a full time basis prior to July 1 of the year in which the tournament is held, are eligible to represent the state in which they reside.

Exception: If a player graduates from high school early and is already attending college, she may still represent her state if nominated. This is the decision of each state affiliate.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: The participants of the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational DO NOT have to be high school students. Any qualifier who is 19 or under (on the year in which the tournament is held) is eligible!

Special invitation for this year: All past participants of the SPNI and SPFGI (Susan Polgar National Invitational/Susan Polgar Foundation Girls’ Invitational 2004-2014) are invited to participate in the 2015 SPFGI. The idea is to have the past participants learn my method of training so they can go back home and share their knowledge with the younger players. However, registration MUST be made ASAP since space is limited. There will be mutual training sessions for all, however separate section & prizes for alumni participants over the age of 20.

Players are required to furnish the organizer an emergency phone number and the e-mail address of a parent/guardian.

There is no entry fee to participate in the 2015 SPFGI; however, players are responsible for their own travel. For all state representatives, and qualifiers from the SPFNO or SPFWO, Webster University will provide complimentary room and meal accommodation on campus.

For alumni participants, wild card/special invites, coaches, parents, or other family members, inexpensive accommodations are available for housing and dining on Webster’s campus. Please note that all reservations and registrations MUST be made (and accommodation expenses prepaid) no later than June 15, 2015.

Prizes: Trophies / plaques will be awarded to the winners of the Susan Polgar Foundation Girl’s Invitational Puzzle Solving, Blitz, Bughouse and the SPFGI Championship. Co-champions are recognized in the case of a tie, with each champion receiving a Champion’s Plaque or Trophy.

The Champion (or Co-Champions) of the main event will automatically be invited to defend her/their title (must meet age requirement).

Champion: Webster University scholarship* (full tuition and fees approximately $24,000 + per year x 4 years) Champion's Cup. (In case of a tie, a playoff will used to determine the level of scholarships)

2nd place: Webster University scholarship (approximately $14,000 + per year x 4 years)

3rd place: Webster University scholarship (approximately $12,000 + per year x 4 years)

Additional prizes this year!

Top under 16: $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2015 World Youth (if participating**)

Top under 14: $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2015 World Youth (if participating**)

Top under 12: $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2015 World Youth (if participating**)

Top under 10: $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2015 World Youth (if participating**)

* The scholarships to Webster University must be exercised no later than Fall of 2018, and are not transferable. In addition, these scholarships cannot be combined with other academic scholarships, or stacked. If players won scholarships in past events, they can choose to exercise the highest one.

** After flight ticket has been purchased, a $1,000 reimbursement check will be sent to the winners.

The Polgar Committee’s goal is to have all 50 states (including two representatives for California, two for Texas, and two for Missouri) and the District of Columbia represented. We strongly encourage each state and the District of Columbia affiliate to hold a scholastic championship tournament to determine each state’s champion and representative. Failing this, rating criteria may be acceptable. A scholastic girls’ champion or the highest rated girls’ scholastic player in a state who has no state affiliate of the USCF should contact the Polgar Committee as soon as possible.

Susan Polgar and/or the Polgar Committee and its members may elect to award a limited number of wild cards each year for the Susan Polgar Girl’s Invitational.

Special qualifying events: The Polgar Committee will award automatic qualifying spots to the reigning winners in each section of the annual Susan Polgar Foundation NO for Girls and the Susan Polgar World Foundation Open for Girls.

The SPFGI Chairperson is Martha Underwood (AZ).

NOTICE TO ALL STATE OFFICIALS: Please send the nomination from your state to the Polgar Committee (PolgarCommittee@gmail.com).

Contact info: Polgar Committee (PolgarCommittee@gmail.com)

The Susan Polgar Foundation can be contacted at 806-281-7424 or through info@PolgarFoundation.org.

4-way tie for the lead in Jerusalem after 6 rounds

Full standings: http://chess-results.com/tnr157274.aspx

Interview with FIDE VP Israel Gelfer

FIDE Vice President Israel Gelfer arrived to Tbilisi to attend the FIDE Grand Prix and discuss with Georgian Chess Federation the preparation for the World Cup and Chess Olympiad.

Q: Mr.Gelfer, you are here in Tbilisi for the closing ceremony of the FIDE Grand Prix. What can you say about the tournament?

A: I was following the games online, but now that I am here I can say that the venue, the ceremony, everything is excellent, and fits perfectly the tradition of Georgian hospitality and chess organization.

Israel Gelfer speaking at the closing ceremony of Tbilisi Grand Prix

Q: You will also combine this visit to meet the Georgian Chess Federation and discuss the preparation for the World Cup and Chess Olympiad in Batumi. What are the steps in this process?

A: Well, we only started now to discuss the necessary conditions for the World Cup and Chess Olympiad. We might go to Batumi to inspect several hotels and venues. We will discuss some procedural points, contract etc. I hope that we will have great events here in Georgia.

Q: You’re coming from Israel, where the European Individual Championship is currently in progress in Jerusalem. How is this event going?

A: I was in Jerusalem for the opening ceremony. The event is very well organized, we prepared this for a long time. As I heard the participants are happy, I hope the tournament will continue on this note. ECU President Zurab Azmaiparashvili will come for the closing ceremony and we will congratulate the happy 23 winners who will qualify for the World Cup.

Israel Gelfer interviewed by Georgian TV

Q: Israel’s Foreign Minister recently proposed to make chess mandatory subject in schools. What do you think about this move?

A: You know that already for many years FIDE and FIDE President are investing lots of effort to introduce chess to schools. There was a 4-year project in Israel, a joint initiative by FIDE President and our Minister of Education, where chess was taught in after-school hours.

Chess is still not a part of the regular curriculum in Israel, I hope one day it will be. I didn’t hear about Lieberman’s proposal, but I welcome the idea, I hope it succeeds. If this happens, I will support him to be Education Minister in the next government (laughing).

In general, I think that the Minister of Sport and Minister of Education have a very good approach to chess for now.