Rich As A King

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Chess Variants at Chess4Fun festival in Sardinia

Chess Variants at Chess4Fun festival in Sardinia
Thursday, 21 August 2014 09:12

Basque Chess was introduced in San Sebastian in December 2011/12. You play two games at the same time against the same opponent, one with white and one with black. This cuts out the colour advantage or disadvantage, and it reduces the idle time of waiting for your opponent´s moves. Virtually all participants liked and praised the format back then. Basque Chess was also part of the Sport Accord World Mind Games in Bejing in December 2013. Yet you cannot find open tournaments for Basque Chess.

The Chess4Fun-Festival provides a rare opportunity. It starts with a Basque Chess rapid to get used to the format, followed by five daily rounds (5-9 October). A guaranteed €1000 first prize makes sure that strong amateurs will show up. The festival also offers Bughouse (10 October), Chess960 (11 October) and chess action on several evenings.

The Club Hotel Ancora in the pretty Sardinian resort village of Stintino provides the unique setting, which is unusually family-friendly for a chess event. Early October is great for swimming and beach life, and there are low cost flights to nearby Alghero. For the adventure loving chess player this is great value for money and could be the perfect chess holiday.

Chess4Fun Festival Stintino (Italy) 4 – 11 October 2014
Website in English, German, Dutch:

A forgotten American IM

Southborough resident an International Master in Chess
By Zenya Molnar, Contributing Writer

Southborough – James Rizzitano’s interest in chess started one summer when he was around 11 years old. After he was stung by a bee and had a very allergic reaction, he was cautious for the rest of the summer playing board games and reading. He first read about how to play chess in a book, and since then, Rizzitano, a Southborough resident, has played 2,500 games in tournaments, become an International Master, and written five books on the game of chess.

Rizzitano won the U.S. National Junior High School Championship in 1976, and in 1979 he won the U.S. National High School Championship.

“When I first started, the idea was to get as strong as possible,” he said. “I didn’t know quite where that would lead. But like anything else, if you’re good at something and you keep improving, [it] becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy where you’re going to keep getting better hopefully.”

Rizzitano, who currently works in information technology as a manager of database solutions, became an International Master in 1985 after having won three title norms, or high performance level requirements of FIDE (Féderation Internationale des Échecs), in international competition.

The International Master level is the second highest level in chess with the Grand Master being the highest achievement.

After taking a 15-year break from chess while he attended graduate school and started a family, Rizzitano wrote his first book, “Understanding Your Chess,” to prepare himself to play again. He analyzed his own games to see how he had improved and what he had learned from his previous tournaments. Playing chess, which Rizzitano described as a “combination of accurate calculation and accurate assessment,” is a hobby that involves practice to maintain one’s skill.

“You have to solve combinations to keep sharp,” Rizzitano said.

According to Rizzitano, the game of chess has changed significantly since the early 2000s.

“Playing originally, there were no computers and no analytical engines that could play chess very well at all,” he said. But that changed when the 2000 World Champion lost the first chess match to a computer. Although computers are able to beat the strongest chess players, chess has not yet been solved by the computer: the number of possible moves is too great to be determined by a machine. In comparison, games like checkers and backgammon have been solved by computers.

In tournaments in the United States, rules have changed to reflect the growing presence of technology. For instance, players are not allowed to bring their cellphones into the bathroom during tournaments. This is to ensure that players do not access chess analytical engines on their phone, which have the capability to determine moves based on a player’s position.

During Memorial Day weekend, Rizzitano competed in his latest tournament at the five-day Chicago Open where he won five rounds and lost four. Chess tournaments, which consist of nine rounds, can last up to six hours.

“[The] challenge for me is that I’m playing against people that are full-time players or competing against players in their 20s with a lot of energy,” he said, adding that the entire game is “concentrated thinking.”

In his 27 years of active chess playing, Rizzitano cited his biggest accomplishment as when he won first place at an international championship in 1982 in front of several famous grand masters. He enjoys being able to play in tournaments in many different countries.

“It’s truly an international game and you can meet people from all over the world,” Rizzitano said.

He believes that players share a common language of playing chess. Additionally, Rizzitano said that chess players are “very sociable” and that even though the atmosphere is quiet during a tournament, afterwards “the chess players are an interesting crowd.”

Rizzitano’s peak ranking in the U.S. was 12th in 1985, and in the following few years he ranked around 30. After starting to play again in 2004, his rank has fluctuated from 100-120. Along with his achievement of International Master, Rizzitano is a four-time Massachusetts Open Champion and a two-time New England Open Champion.

His other books on chess opening sequences, which are published through the leading chess publisher Gambit Publications, are: “Play the Najdorf Sicilian,” “Chess Explained: The Queen’s Gambit Declined,” “Chess Explained: The Taimonov Sicilian,” and “How to beat 1 d4.”


Interview with RCF President Filatov by Itar-Tass

Translation of the interview that President of the Russian Chess Federation and Vice-President of FIDE Andrey Filatov gave to Itar-Tass, the Russian newswire. It's his first big interview in this capacity and he speaks about the Chess Olympics, the elections, and other recent events.

Andrey Filatov: Chess is an efficient way to fight drugs

Head of the Russian Chess Federation and Vice President of FIDE Andrey Filatov in an exclusive interview told ITAR-TASS about the scandal with Garry Kasparov, summarised the Chess Olympics, which ended with the Russian women's team's victory, and explained why Gennady Timchenko, Sergey Sobyanin, and Dmitry Peskov are members of the RCF's board of trustees.

- Are you happy with the results of the Olympiad?

- Yes, I can say I am. The victory of the women's team was triumphant, two Russian representatives have joined the FIDE governing bodies, and the men's team shared the second place based on the points scored.

- Are you happy with the result of the men's team as well?

- Obviously, we are always keen to see the national team take the first place. But when despite the fact that something is amiss and the game doesn't really go with a swing, the team pulls itself together and manages to snatch the second place, it proves that it has character and will. In chess, each game is thoroughly analyzed. Coaches and players will certainly do this to prepare for more ambitious goals for the next Olympiad.

- Will Yuri Dokhoyan remain as head coach of the national team?

- Mr. Dokhoyan is an outstanding coach. Under his leadership, the Russian women's team took gold during the 2010 Olympiad for the first time in history. Mr. Dokhoyan then moved to the men's team and made it a world champion. In Tromsø, in spite of all the difficulties, the team was able to finish the competition on a high note, beating France and joining contestants for sharing the second place. There are no grounds for replacing Dokhoyan.

- The Russian men's team is the world's strongest in terms of individual ratings, but it's the women's team that has been consistently winning. Why is that?

- Team play is different from individual. Our ladies are in a winning mood, they think as a team and are therefore a strong force. In the men's team, this process has only just begun. In terms of talent, we are the strongest of all, but in a team competition all depends on common tactics and confidence.

- Kramnik and Svidler have played for the Russian national team in more than ten Olympiads. Don't you think that despite their merits it is time for a generational change? Giving way to the young? China did not send its Top 3 players to the Olympiad, but it is precisely the Chinese that have won the team competition in Tromsø.

- Age in chess is a relative concept. What counts is the player's shape. Russia has an immense pool of players. If Kramnik is not selected for the national team, speculations will follow as to the reasons why; and if he is but does not deliver, people start evoking the need for a generational change. The balance is rather delicate.

- 10 days before the Olympiad, the Organizing Committee sought to prevent the Russian women's team from competing, for formal reasons. Did politics intervene?

- It was the election campaign. The Olympiad’s Organizing Committee included people close to one of the candidates for the presidency of FIDE, and they thought that this story could help them politically. I am convinced that their intention was to cause maximum damage to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, above all, as a representative of Russia. Russia however has considerable international clout, which eventually led to Mr. Ilyumzhinov's more than convincing victory.

- Despite everything, Russian ladies did participate in the Olympiad and showed a brilliant game. On the last day, the competition organizers even offered their apologies. How was it even possible to ensure this?

- We are very grateful to the American law firm Quinn Emanuel, which defended our women's team. In fact, many Americans in Tromsø supported our team. That was really great. During the match China – Russia, one of the representatives of the United States Chess Federation came up to me and said that he was supporting a Russian team for the first time in his life. I think the organizers were ashamed of succumbing to political intrigues but, to their credit, nevertheless had the courage to admit their mistake end even offered us cooperation.

- Do you intend to seek recovery of legal costs?

- In our view, what counts most is justice, not money. The incident is resolved and we do not consider it necessary to seek a small financial gain to the detriment of friendly relations with Norway.

- Russia's position in the world of chess seems to be somehow shaken due to the global geopolitical situation…

- On the contrary, in Tromsø we received a lot of support. And the convincing victory of a Russian representative in the elections of the FIDE President is the best proof of this. Many privately mentioned that Russia was fortunate to have a sports-minded President, and that media coverage of Russia is often untruthful. Many people came to understand that they should not believe everything they read and hear about our country in the Western media.

- Is it true that during the debate in the run-up to the FIDE presidential elections Gary Kasparov threatened you with sanctions from the U.S. State Department?

- He predicted them, let’s put it this way.

- And is it true that Mr. Kasparov also said that Barack Obama himself supported his election as the FIDE President, and that Mr. Obama would personally call the vote participants?

- More precisely, that he would call the President of the Canadian Chess Federation Vladimir Drkulechu. But I believe all this came from a member of Mr. Kasparov's election team. Kasparov is a chess genius but his incursions into politics have so far been somewhat clumsy and inconsistent. He first aggressively criticizes Gennady Timchenko, and then attends a dinner at the Franco-Russian Chamber of Commerce, which Mr. Timchenko co-chairs together with the CEO of Total Christophe de Margerie. He sends an official letter of support to Elena Boytsun who ran for Vice President of FIDE from Ukraine but does not vote for her during the elections. Because of the position of the 13th world champion, Ukraine failed to obtain vice presidency of the International Chess Federation.

- Have you been following his election campaign?

- Tromsø is a small town and hundreds of campaign posters with the face of the 13th world champion were impossible to ignore.

- According to Kasparov, the FIDE elections were undemocratic and corruption is rampant in its governing bodies...

- If you have facts and if you are sure you are right, go ahead and initiate legal proceedings. Everything else is a political slogan. Delegates from 172 countries attended the FIDE presidential elections. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov received 110 votes, Garry Kasparov - 61, and 1 delegate abstained. Kasparov's candidacy did not gather support from either Canada or the national federations in Europe. And the problem was not the voting process but a low ranking of the 13th world champion. According to my observations, something has broken in Kasparov. And it happened long time ago, after he lost to Kramnik in 2000. I really deplore the change in him. There are many projects aiming to develop and promote chess, there is chess diplomacy. And Kasparov's role in all this would be invaluable. As for his outright bashing of his compatriots, it is somehow not becoming of a champion and certainly not of a man...

- What are your impressions of the elections of the Vice President of FIDE?

- I ran for Vice President for the first time in my life, went through the entire election process from beginning to end, and obtained 98 votes out of 148. /Formerly, the FIDE President appointed the Vice President of FIDE from Russia. - ITAR-TASS Note/. I can say with confidence that there is no corruption in the FIDE election process. Voters simply wish to know what you have done for chess in the past and what you are able to do in the future. And if you have something to say, if you are trusted, you will be voted for. By the way, I would recommend all the Kasparov supporters to be more prudent with unfounded statements alleging corruption in the FIDE governing bodies. Again, if you are in possession of reliable information, bring a court action. As an official representative of governing bodies of both FIDE and the Russian Chess Federation, I believe one should be responsible for one's own words.

- Do I understand it right that you see your main job as the President of the Russian Chess Federation in developing chess for juniors?

- We want to develop all kinds of chess in Russia but, indeed, children are a priority. Obviously, chess for seniors, veterans' and students' chess tournaments are also important. And it is very important to develop chess in the army. We need to promote and popularize chess and restore at least the status it enjoyed in the Soviet Union.

- In today's Russia, how does chess score in popularity compared with other sports?

- It is in the top five. Virtually everyone in Russia has a chessboard at home. Probably thanks to the Soviet past, everyone in the country knows chess piece moves.

- But how can you make children interested in chess when all they do is playing the World of Warcraft?

- I do not mind videogames. But one can also play chess on his screen. It is necessary to create conditions to get children involved and make them enthusiastic. What we need are junior tournaments, chess schools. We need to promote chess. You should have seen Tromsø and experienced its ambiance during the Chess Olympiad! Chess was omnipresent. People played chess out in the streets, in hotels, everywhere. Bars offered chessboards – it was just incredible!

- The Board of Trustees of the Russian Chess Federation now counts Dmitry Peskov, Sergei Shoigu, Sergei Sobyanin, Gennady Timchenko and other prominent figures among its members. What is the reason for this?

- The fact that chess has always been a symbol of our country. Chess has been bringing together the country's best minds, the intellectual elite. The fact that these highly worthy national figures have honored the chess movement by entering the RCF Board of Trustees helps us to revive the tradition of chess and promote chess in Russia. I will give you one example: a junior graduating from a chess school never uses any illegal substances. This is confirmed by various studies. In Armenia, chess has been introduced as a compulsory subject in school, and a dedicated TV show is now broadcast in the country. This aims not only to promote chess among youngsters but also to prevent drug abuse. Chess is an effective way to combat drug addiction.

- In what way?

- By playing chess a child begins to recognize and calculate his/her next moves and their consequences. He/she begins to understand responsibility for his/her actions, which, among others, can lead to disastrous results. This is why I am a strong supporter of the popularization of chess. This game teaches respect for rules and laws, it develops analytical skills and teaches respect for the opponent. Positive aspects are many.

- Is it possible that chess one day will be introduced as a compulsory subject in Russia's schools?

- I believe chess should be available in all schools as an optional course.

- What exactly does the board of trustees of the RCF?

- It supports and promotes chess. The situation has been changing: we are seeing a revival of interest in chess and chess education, reopening of chess clubs in our cities, and inaugurations of grand master schools. The RCF trustees have been playing an important role in this process, for which we are sincerely grateful. Dmitry Peskov, in particular, has been passionately dedicating his time to chess.

- And what about the sponsors?

- Sponsors are extremely important in the chess world. Examples of long-term cooperation include Alpari, the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Fund, and Mr. Friedman. Our project "Chess in Museums", which benefits not only chess but also museums, including regional ones, would quite simply not exist without sponsors. Our patrons organize chess competitions, support national chess teams and grandmaster schools. There are also sponsors who prefer not to publicize their involvement but invest in the development of chess projects for orphans and disabled children.

- How important are sponsors to individual chess players?

- Chess players are not wealthy people and financial support is therefore important to them. But supporting a grandmaster is always very beneficial for sponsors. A simple example: India's Viswanathan Anand has 260 million fans who watch and analyze his games. During the game Anand-Karyakin, all these people became aware of the existence of Alpari, Sergei's long-term corporate sponsor.

- Do sponsors usually manifest themselves or are long negotiations needed?

- A real sponsor is always passion-driven. And in chess, we only have those.

- The President of the Russian Tennis Federation Shamil Tarpishchev recently said that the development of tennis in the country requires US$30 million a year. How much is needed to develop chess?

- This question is not mathematical. The more support we gather, the more different chess competitions and projects will emerge. RCF is currently working on the preparation of a major international tournament - the Tigran Petrosian Memorial. The President of Armenia is a member of the Memorial's Organizing Committee, which is a great honor for us. Petrossian was a great chess player, the 9th World Champion. He was an unbelievably gifted man, a historical figure in chess and the pride of Armenia and the USSR. This tournament would be impossible without sponsorship. We are keen to organize and develop an entire range of competitions.

- Including junior competitions?

- Especially junior competitions. 130,000 students participated this year in the school teams' tournament «White Rook». Four years ago they were less than half of that and our current goal is twice as many! And this is realistic. There are ideas to revive the match Russia - China and Russia - other countries. We are prepared to work with any budget. Because the more projects we have, the more people we can make truly excited about chess.

- Would a match Russia - United States be possible in the current environment?

- Of course it would. We maintain a very good relationship with the United States Chess Federation. In America, chess has been gaining momentum; a chess museum has recently opened its doors there. Our chess museum is yet to open in September, on Gogolevsky Boulevard in Moscow.

- Is «White Rook» an international tournament?

- We are working in that direction. In Tromsø, the Russian Chess Federation signed agreements with the national federations of Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Israel, to standardize competitions. From now on, tournament and selection rules and criteria in these countries will be the same as ours, while winners will compete in the all-round international final. A similar agreement with Armenia is in the pipeline.

- In football, there's been debate around the inclusion of Ukrainian clubs in the Football Union of Russia /FUR/. Does RFC face any issues with Crimea?

- This issue was on the agenda of the General Assembly of the European Chess Union in Tromsø. It was decided, with respect to this issue, to rely on the UN documents and guidelines of the International Olympic Committee. There is no place for politics here, and the Crimean Chess Federation will not exist. Crimean players will play for Russia. As you may know, Crimean juniors have already formally participated in the «White Rook» Tournament. And we were very pleased to welcome them at our country's main junior competition.

- Is the scandal around the transition of Ekaterina Lagno from the Ukrainian team into the Russian team still ongoing?

- There is no scandal and there has not been one. No one contested Ekaterina's transition, there were just a few people who played a political game and were openly unsupportive of the Russian chess players, hence the splash. This is not football, where a player «overexposed» in a national team cannot really play for other national teams. In chess, this is common practice. In 2009, Sergey Karyakin smoothly moved from the Ukrainian team to the Russian one. After the departure of Lagno, ranked third, she was replaced in the Ukrainian team by Slovenia’s Anastasia Muzychyuk, ranked second. From the ranking point of view, Ukraine has actually benefited from this transition.

- Have you been playing chess for a long time?

- From childhood. In 1992, I graduated from a Physical Training University, with a specialization in chess. Then I took time off and went into business. Together with my partners I founded Globaltrans and Global Ports, two transport and logistics companies. Both companies are publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange. The management now ensures day-to-day operational control, while I am a minority shareholder, which leaves me time for chess.

Butch, please release Wesley So

By Frank 'Boy' Pestaño
Thursday, August 21, 2014

I CAN'T understand the reasons. The National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) has nothing to gain but ridicule and scorn from the Philippine chess community if it does not release Wesley So to the USCF.

In Tromso, Norway, where the Chess Olympiad was just held, Wesley accompanied by Paul Troung and Susan Polgar, his manager and trainer respectively, said a meeting--more like a confrontation--with NCFP Butch Pichay Jr. did not lead to any amicable settlement.

Pichay allegedly said that releasing So would jeopardize the government funding to the chess body, which is provided by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). Pichay repeated several times that releasing Wesley means the NCFP will lose around $500,000 from the PSC each year.

Wesley was “in total shock and physically shaken as he was not expecting this bullying session in front of others in the Olympiad VIP Lounge.”

Under Fide rules, a player may transfer to a new federation immediately provided the old federation does not object. Otherwise, the transfer becomes complicated, including payment of fees and sitting out as long as two years. In that period, a player is prohibited from participating in any competition. Since Wesley has a 2700 plus Elo, the transfer fee amounts to 50,000 Euros or around P3 million pesos. So hoped to avoid all the complications by getting a simple release from the NCFP.

Ritchie Garcia ,the Chairman of the PSC, reacted strongly against the claim by Pichay.

He said the government sports agency will not withhold financial assistance to the NCFP if it allowed GM Wesley So to transfer to the United States Chess Federation (USCF).

“Personally, I wish him well in his dream to become a world chess champion because I know, no matter what happens, he will always be a Filipino,” said Garcia in an interview with the Journal Group of Publications.

“There’s no truth to reports that the PSC is telling the NCFP to prevent Wesley So from transferring to the USCF by refusing to sign an agreement releasing him. As a government sports agency, we all know we cannot meddle in the affairs of the NCFP or any other national sports association.


The Strongest Chess Tournament in History

2014 Sinquefield Cup to Become Strongest Chess Tournament in History

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2014 Sinquefield Cup will be the highest-rated tournament in the history of chess, bringing six of the world's top-nine Grandmasters together at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL).

Last year, the inaugural super-tournament thrilled spectators as the strongest chess competition ever held on U.S. soil. For its 2014 encore, beginning August 27 to September 7, the tournament will be the strongest ever held on earth, its six players averaging a historical peak FIDE rating of 2802.

World Champion Magnus Carlsen, winner of the 2013 Sinquefield Cup, will return to defend his title against an expanded field. This year's prestigious event will award $100,000 to its winner, part of a $315,000 total prize fund.

Returning with Carlsen is Armenia's Levon Aronian and the United States' Hikaru Nakamura, respectively the World's No. 2 and No. 5 players. New challengers to the Sinquefield Cup include Italy's Fabiano Caruana, Bulgaria's Veselin Topalov and France's Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

World Rank
No. 1
Magnus Carlsen
No. 2
Levon Aronian
No. 3
Fabiano Caruana
No. 5
Hikaru Nakamura
No. 8
Veselin Topalov
No. 9
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

The 2014 Sinquefield Cup will be a six-player, double round-robin tournament, with additional special events for spectators. The main event will be followed by two bonus events: Ultimate Moves, to be held Monday, September 8; and Ultimate Showdown on Tuesday, September 9.

The CCSCSL, located in the historic Central West End neighborhood of Saint Louis, has hosted the U.S. Chess Championships for six consecutive years, helping to solidify the city as the pre-eminent chess destination in the United States. Also home to the World Chess Hall of Fame and the Guinness World Record largest chess piece, Saint Louiswas recently recognized by the U.S. Senate as the Nation's Capital of Chess.

Tickets to the 2014 Sinquefield Cup start at $15 per round, but discounted ticket packages are available at $65 for five rounds or $100 for all ten rounds of the event. For more information on the event, including the full schedule, ticket information and lodging details, visit

Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis (CCSCSL)

French Championship LIVE!

French women's championship LIVE!

Riga Chess Open 2014 LIVE!

Turkish Super League 2014 LIVE!

13th World University Championship 2014 LIVE!

Attacking chess tactic

White to move. How should white proceed? 10 seconds to solve.


FIDE Women’s Grand Prix in Sharjah, UAE

The 6th and final tournament of the FIDE Women’s Grand-Prix 2013-2014 will take place from 24th August to 7th September at the world’s largest chess club in Sharjah (UAE).

Twelve players will compete in the round robin tournament. The event is organized by the Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club, FIDE and Global Chess MFZE.

The Women’s Grand-Prix 2013-2014 will give qualification to the Women’s World Championship match 2015.

The previous five tournaments were held in Geneva, Dilijan, Tashkent, Khanty-Mansiysk and Lopota.


Hou Yifan GM CHN 2661
Koneru Humpy GM IND 2598
Ju Wenjun WGM CHN 2559
Harika Dronavalli GM IND 2521
Kosintseva Tatiana GM RUS 2513
Zhao Xue GM CHN 2508
Danielian Elina GM ARM 2490
Ushenina Anna GM UKR 2487
Zhu Chen GM QAT 2461
L’Ami Alina IM ROU 2446
Batchimeg Tuvshintugs WGM MGL 2346
Muminova Nafisa WGM UZB 2315

Tournament website

Abhijeet Gupta leads Indian delegation in Abu Dhabi

Abhijeet leads Indian challenge in Abu Dhabi Masters

Grandmaster and former world junior champion Abhijeet Gupta will spearhead the Indian challenge in the Abu Dhabi Masters that starts in the Gulf Emirate here.

Struggling with some last round blues recently, Gupta will look forward to a successful stint in one of his favourite hunting ground - the UAE.

The Indian had won the Al-Ain Classic here last December and has previously also won the Dubai International open.

Besides Gupta, there is a huge line-up of Indian Grandmasters in fray and topping the list is Surya Shekhar Ganguly, a member of the team of five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand.

Vidit Gujarathi is another Indian who can steal the limelight and recently won remarkably in the Lake Sevan Grandmasters tournament in Armenia.

The other Indian Grandmasters in fray are M R Lalith Babu, G N Gopal, Vaibhav Suri, Ankit Rajpara, Sahaj Grover and M Shyam Sundar.

This will be one of the strongest Abu Dhabi tournaments ever with participation of Wang Hao as the top seed. The Chinese, rated 2730 on FIDE list, is known as one of the strongest Asian player.

Yuriy Kryvoruchko of Ukraine is another member of the 2700 ELO rating club here apart from his compatriot Alexander Areshchenko. The Indian participation is huge in the nine-round masters as well as in some other side events.

There are 34 Grandmasters vying for the top prize of $10,000 among 95 participants in the nine-round tournament to be played under FIDE’s Swiss rules.

The onus will be on Gupta after missing out on what one thought were easy pickings recently. After a commanding one point lead with two rounds to go in the Commonwealth Championship at Glasgow in July, the Indian spurned it losing the final round to compatriot Aravindh Chithambaram.

In the following Rethymno International open at Greece, Gupta again had a half point lead going in to the last round but fell prey to David Alberto of Italy and in his last tournament at Paleochora in Greece, he lost the penultimate round after being in joint lead.

Barring the debacles, Gupta still remains a safe bet given his growing knowledge in the game and is expected to give the favourites a run for their money here.


Polgar Chess University now back on ICC

Welcome to the all-new Polgar Chess University, where chess students of all levels, no matter where they live, have an opportunity to learn chess from some of the best instructors in the game. GM Susan Polgar, former Women's World Chess Champion, created this online school with the dream of bringing expert advice and training to chess enthusiasts around the world at a very affordable cost.

Curriculum Structure

Susan herself developed the structured curriculum, personally teaching many of the courses along with other top chess players and professional instructors who will be joining the faculty as the school grows. Polgar Chess University is offered in this format:

- Courses identified by level — Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced
- Three general courses, one at each level, run concurrently
- Course lessons are prerecorded lectures that may be viewed at your convenience.
- Your purchased lessons are yours forever. Download the lessons to your computers and devices.
- Your purchased videos are always available in your "My Downloadable Products" section.
- Courses can be imported into iTunes an sync'd on all your iDevices.

Sample Lessons

See for yourself what Polgar Chess University has to offer. Here is a sample full lesson in each track for your FREE viewing.


Full Lessons

Please view individual lessons for each track below. We recommend watching each track in lesson order from the beginning of each level.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

FIDE Grand-Prix 2014-2015 Announcement

FIDE announces the full details of the Grand-Prix 2014-2015, from which the first two (2) winners will qualify to the Candidates Tournament of the World Chess Championship Cycle 2014-2016. The schedule of the four events is the following:

a.) 1 - 15 October 2014: Baku, Azerbaijan

b.) 20 October - 3 November 2014: Tashkent, Uzbekistan

c.) 14 - 28 February 2015: Tehran, Iran

d.) 13 - 27 May 2015: Moscow, Russia

In total 16 players will participate, 11 qualifiers as per regulations (listed below) plus 4 nominees from the organisers (to be announced) plus 1 nominee of the FIDE President (to be announced).

The 11 original qualifiers who have to confirm their participation by 27 August 2014 are:

01. Carlsen, Magnus (World Champion)
02. Anand, Wiswanathan (World Ch. match 2013)
03. Kramnik, Vladimir (World Cup winner 2013)
04. Andreikin, Dmitry (World Cup runner-up 2013)
05. Tomashevsky, Evgeny (World Cup semi-finalist 2013)
06. Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime (World Cup semi-finalist 2013)
07. Aronian, Levon (Average Rating List 5/2013 to 4/2014)
08. Caruana, Fabiano (Average Rating List 5/2013 to 4/2014)
09. Grischuk, Alexander (Average Rating List 5/2013 to 4/2014)
10. Nakamura, Hikaru (Average Rating List 5/2013 to 4/2014)
11. Topalov, Veselin (Average Rating List 5/2013 to 4/2014)

The first reserves for any replacement needed are:

1. Karjakin, Sergey (Average Rating List 5/2013 to 4/2014)
2. Gelfand, Boris (Average Rating List 5/2013 to 4/2014)
3. Mamedyarov, S (Average Rating List 5/2013 to 4/2014).

Each player will play in 3 tournaments and all his results will be taken into account for the overall final standings of the Grand-Prix.
The full regulations of the Grand-Prix 2014-2015 can be downloaded from the FIDE website here:

The qualified players mentioned above shall download their participation contract from here and return it signed to the FIDE Secretariat, as scanned email or fax, by the deadline of 27 August 2014.