Friday, November 28, 2014

5 second chess review - Checkmate in 2

White to move and mate in 2.

Why has the public profile of chess declined?

Does anybody still care about chess?
By David Edmonds
27 November 2014 Last updated at 20:48 ET

In the summer of 1972, newspaper editors were not short of headlines.

Henry Kissinger was trotting around the globe as the US sought to extricate itself from Vietnam.

The Ugandan Asians were in flight, expelled by the mad, bad President of Uganda, Idi Amin.

Sectarian riots had broken out in Northern Ireland; Chile appeared to be heading towards anarchy.

And there was a burglary at the Watergate complex in Washington DC - the repercussions of which would soon bring down the president.

So there was no dearth of news.

Yet, holding an almost daily place on the front pages was a chess match in the tiny Icelandic capital of Reykjavik.

Never before or since has chess captured the world's imagination in quite this way.

It became known as "The Game of the Century".

At stake was the world crown.Mesmerising personality

The two players were the Soviet champion Boris Spassky and the challenger Bobby Fischer.

Fischer's strident demands nearly torpedoed the contest and the fascination the match aroused owed much to his troubled, mesmerising personality.

Although in 1972 the US and the USSR were in a period of detente, Fischer was able to frame the match as the Cold War in microcosm.

He was a solitary American taking on the previously invincible Soviet chess machine.

Spassky-Fischer matches were followed around the world

The Soviets had dominated chess since World War Two: For them chess was a tool in a wider propaganda war.

Over four decades later, and the world chess championship is again front page news.

At least it is in Norway.

That the Norwegians are gripped by this contest is understandable.

The current world champion is 23-year-old Norwegian Magnus Carlsen.

He has just beaten the previous champion the Indian Vishy Anand - who, at 44, is probably past his peak.

Carlsen captured the crown from Anand only last year.

But while Carlsen's fortunes are followed in Norway by chess players and non-chess players alike, he is a less familiar figure outside the country.

Coverage of his retention of the world title was scant in the British media, and it hardly helped that the denouement came on the same day that Lewis Hamilton's secured the Formula One world drivers' championship.

In a recent episode of a British game show, Pointless, fewer people recognized his name than that of the 1972 champion - Bobby Fischer.

This raises a puzzle. Why has the public profile of chess declined?

Full article here:

Sevian breaks Robson's record as youngest American GM

At 13, Samuel Sevian is Youngest-Ever US Chess Grandmaster
The previous record for the youngest US Grandmaster was held by Ray Robson, who achieved the title two weeks before he turned 15. American legend Bobby Fischer also once held the record.
Reported by: Agence France-Presse
Last updated on Friday, 28 November, 2014 08:07 IST

Washington: Not many people can claim to have shattered a major American record at 13 years, 10 months and 27 days.

But chess prodigy Samuel Sevian can now do just that, after being crowned America's youngest-ever Grandmaster, easily besting the country's previous record holder by more than a year.

At a tournament in St Louis last weekend, he won all four of his games to push his World Chess Federation rating past 2,500 points -- enough to secure Grandmaster status.

"I feel really good and somewhat relieved. This was one of my best tournament performances," the teen told AFP, noting that he had beaten three Grandmasters during the event in only 20-25 moves.

His father Armen -- a scientist born and raised in Armenia who later emigrated to the United States -- is bursting with pride.

"He really outplayed his opponents in three games. But the fourth, it was really back and forth, it wasn't clear," he said.

"It was like a blitz, it came down to the last seconds. Both players were shaking."

The previous record for the youngest US Grandmaster was held by Ray Robson, who achieved the title two weeks before he turned 15. American legend Bobby Fischer also once held the record.

At an August tournament, the bespectacled Samuel had put the record within reach, getting to within 14 points of the 2,500 needed for the elite Grandmaster title.

The young chess wizard is well accustomed to setting US records, having become the youngest American Expert (another ranking) shortly before his 10th birthday.

At 12 years and 10 months, he became the country's youngest International Master.

Samuel's next target is to get to 2,600 points, which would secure him invitations to the most prestigious tournaments.

His ultimate dream is to become world champion; the question is when he will be ready to tackle the challenge.

"It's way out in the future and I don't want to busy my head with it now. First, I would need to improve my game," he said.

"After my big win in St Louis, my confidence level is high. This definitely helps."

The chess star's father said he is the sixth-youngest Grandmaster in the world.

The youngest person to win the status is Russia's Sergey Karjakin, who became a Grandmaster when he was just 12 years and seven months old.


Is chess a sport?

Should Chess be considered a sport?
By Lars Thomesen

This November the World Chess Championship was held in Sochi, Russia. For the second year running Norwegian Magnus Carlsen was crowned World Champion, but on home soil, the 23-year-old’s achievements are debatable on a sporting level.

In Norway, chess is not recognised as a sport by the official federation. It has become an undefined game, even if Norwegian sports journalists voted Carlsen as Norway’s 2013 Sportsman of the Year.

That was the first time a chess player had ever received that award and it was a questionable decision because chess is not a part of the The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports (NIF).

On a global level however, chess is recognised as a sport by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The World Chess Federation (FIDE) has in fact been a part of the IOC since 1999.

So why is there a debate in Norway, the home of the best chess player of recent times? Even if the IOC considers it a sport there is still widespread scepticism across the globe on whether chess can be defined as such.

The answer is simple.

Call me nerdy. Call me patriotic. Call me whatever you want. When Magnus Carlsen played India’s best chess player, Viswanathan Anand, for the World Chess Championship earlier in November I was watching vigilantly.

It was the same battle as the previous year (Carlsen was the defending champion) and obviously, Norwegian as I am, I was rooting for him.

It was exciting. At times it was long. But first and foremost it was impressive, inspiring and exciting. In my humble opinion, that is what sports is all about. It is meant to excite people – the viewers. It is meant to inspire, impress and leave you thinking; “I wish I could do that”.

The main arguments against chess being a sport are that “there is no obvious form of physical skill involved” and “it is just a board game”. Neither is it actually included in the Olympics; it has its own separate Olympic event.

To dig further into this debate I decided to look into the word “sport”. The Oxford Dictionary defines sport as “An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment”. Digging further into this definition, the “physical exertion” aspect becomes key to understand why chess in fact should be considered a sport.

Defining “exertion” gives us the answer “physical or mental effort”. Chess is definitely a mental effort. I would also argue that it takes a lot of physical effort sitting in a chair for anything up to 6-8 hours day in day out for two weeks analysing the millions of different options available on a live chessboard.

In the World Chess Championship the athletes even have rest days to recover, much like the cyclists of Tour de France. Chess is a different type of effort than cycling, but it is still an effort that in one way or another is draining and, at least for the top players, requires them to get enough rest to perform at their best in the following match. Surely that alone would indicate that there is a physical exertion, as well as a mental exertion, aspect to the game?

Full article here.

Webster University / SPICE - Full and partial chess scholarships available

If you would like to be a part of the #1 College Chess program in the United States, please feel free to contact me ( Full and partial scholarships available for qualified student players.

Webster University – SPICE Chess Program Top 10 Facts

1. Webster University has 11 Grandmasters from 10 different countries. The SPICE program has 4 World Champions, 11 Olympians, and 17 National Champions...

2. Webster University chess team has been ranked #1 in Division I College Chess since its inception in August 2012 (with 4 freshmen and 1 sophomore on the A team), which is over 120 consecutive weeks.

3. Webster University A team has never relinquished the top ranking and has never lost a match.

4. Webster University team members won 2 world championships and 23 national titles in the past 2 years.

5. Webster University won the last 2 straight Final Four Championships, both by 2.5 points, the largest ever margin in College Chess history.

6. Webster University won the last PanAm InterCollegiate Chess Championship with a perfect 6-0 score, and won all 3 Final Four matches, to close out the season with an unprecedented perfect 9-0.

7. Webster University sophomore Wesley So won the World University Championship, and is ranked #12 in the world. Webster University freshman Le Quang Liem won the World Blitz Championship, and is ranked in the top 40 in the world. Illia Nyzhnyk and Ray Robson are both ranked as top 10 juniors under 21 in the world.

8. Webster University sponsors and hosts the annual SPF Girls' Invitational, the most prestigious all-girls event in the U.S., as well as the annual prestigious SPICE Cup.

9. Students of Webster University actively volunteer in the community to bring chess into schools. They, as a team, also maintain a very high GPA.

10. The SPICE chess program has won 4 consecutive Final Four Championships, and has not lost a match in 4 straight Final Four Championships.

2014 Webster University – SPICE chess team members (August 2014)

1. GM Le Quang Liem (Vietnam) – World Blitz Champion, National Champion, Olympian
2. GM Wesley So (Philippines) – World University Champion, National Champion, Olympian
3. GM Illia Nyzhnyk (Ukraine) – National Champion, European Champion
4. GM Ray Robson (USA) – National Champion, Olympian
5. GM Georg Meier (Germany) – National Champion, Olympian, European Champion
6. GM Vasif Durarbayli (Azerbaijan) – World Youth Champion

7. GM Fidel Corrales Jimenez (Cuba) – National Champion, Olympian
8. GM Manuel Leon Hoyos (Mexico) – National Champion, Olympian
9. GM Andre Diamant (Brazil) – National Champion, Olympian
10. GM Denes Boros (Hungary) – National Champion
11. GM-elect Ashwin Jayaram (India) – National Champion
12. IM Vitaly Neimer (Israel) – National Champion
13. FM Jake Banawa (USA) – National Champion
14. WGM Anna Sharevich (Belarus) – National Champion, Olympian
15. WIM Inna Agrest (Sweden) – National Champion, Olympian
16. WFM Luisa Mercado (Colombia) – National Champion
17. Mara Kamphorst (Brazil) – National Champion
18. Paul M. Truong (USA) – National Champion
19. Tori Whatley (USA)
20. Reginald Jackson (USA)

Webster students are around the world. There are 22,000+ students enrolled at Webster University - with students from 50 states and 148 countries around the world.

Webster University offers academic excellence in more than 100 programs offered at a vibrant home campus and at locations throughout the world, with all the benefits of a student-centered education and a real-world perspective.

Experience Webster University — in two minutes

A historic mission. An inviting home campus: Founded in 1915, with five students and a pioneering educational mission, Webster has a history of shaping the future of higher education.

Local and global: With 22,000 students at locations around the world, Webster is defining global education for the future.

Students from 50 states and 148 countries: You experience the diversity of the world in a richly educational way.

Average class size: 10 : Small, highly interactive classes encourage innovation, collaboration, and self-expression.

Faculty-to-student ratio: 1:9 : Students have all the advantages of a student-centered university that supports personalized learning and gives every student an opportunity to excel.

Global locations: We have metropolitan, military, and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional campuses in Asia, Europe, and North America. Our Study Abroad programs are ranked in the top 2 percent by U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges 2013."

163,000 Alumni: A growing and involved alumni community are connecting online, in-person, and at worldwide events.

One and only: Webster is the only Tier 1, private, nonprofit university with campus locations around the world including metropolitan, military, online and corporate, plus traditional, American-style campuses in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Diversity is a core value: Webster is one of the most diverse universities in the country, which is an enduring part of our history and central to our future.Undergraduate and graduate programs. More than 75 different majors and around 60 graduate programs in a supportive, educational environment that allows students to excel.

A global, Tier 1, private, nonprofit university

* Global feature in academic programs. Globalized curriculum is our distinctive hallmark
* Academic programs engage your mind and stimulate your understanding beyond your home country and culture
* Every student experiences a global learning component
* Every student is exposed to a worldwide network of fellow students who live, work and study around the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia
* Learn in class today and apply it in real life tomorrow
* Five schools and colleges: Arts & Sciences; Business & Technology; Communications; Education; and Fine Arts

Learn From Your Fellow Amateurs 6 - NM Dana Mackenzie ... and more

Training Program to Reach Master Level
Posted on November 27,2014 By GM Levan Aroshidze in Strategy & Game Review, General Chess Articles, Beginner's Corner. It is possible to reach a successful result only by hard work and training. I would like to reveal a master training program, a more or less complete list of the most important themes that should be developed in order to become a professional chess player. Endgame Technique You need to explore special positions with various material ratios in order to develop your endgame technique. This knowledge will become your landmark in many different situa[...]

Dzindzichashvili on Chess Openings - GM Roman Dzindzichashvili
Posted on November 26,2014 By OnlineChessLessons.NET Contributor in Strategy & Game Review, Chess Openings, All Articles w/ Videos. In this video we observe traps, instruction and chess openings, Roman explains that these should only be played 'with good moves' so as to not risk damaging you own position - just in case your opponent sees the trap,  Roman is very keen on accentuating that a trap should not be played without fully considering positional considerations. This analysis features a number of chess opening traps. Roman includes an examination of the concepts of traps[...]

Learn From Your Fellow Amateurs 6 - NM Dana Mackenzie
Posted on November 24,2014 By OnlineChessLessons.NET Contributor in Strategy & Game Review, Chess Openings, All Articles w/ Videos, General Chess Articles. The Leningrad in the Nimzo! Learn From Your Fellow Amateurs 6 - NM Dana Mackenzie, from the ChessLecture series. This game features the Nimzo Indian, Leningrad variation middlegame! The Nimzo Indian late middlegame seems very good for Black, and Dana proves this beyond reasonable doubt. Black will eventually pressure the weak 'c' file with a double or triple battery. Although Black may have to fend off some early initiative, with no weaknesses it[...]

Setting Traps for Your Opponent
Posted on November 21,2014 By GM Levan Aroshidze in Strategy & Game Review, General Chess Articles, Beginner's Corner. Setting traps for the opponent is very exciting and everybody likes doing it. Traps may have different levels of difficulties. For example, creating threats on the opponent's pieces from a long distance may be a serious trap for beginners, as they control the board quite badly. This is an elementary trap. In the games of experienced players we see much more complicated traps based on combinations, tactical strikes and more. But we have to underst[...] is a producer of thousands of free chess articles and free chess videos by FIDE chess masters. They recently released the renowned Empire Chess series that has been taking the chess world by storm. Please consider checking out their chess blog and chess shop with tons of free updated previews.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Qatar Masters Rd 3 Pairings

Full standings here:

Li Chao wins Heusenstammer Schloss-Open 2014

GM Li Chao claims Heusenstammer Schloss-Open 2014
Nov 27, 2014

The 2014 edition of Heusenstammer Schloss-Open was held on 20-23rd November 2014 at the Culture and Sports Center Mart Insee, in Heusenstamm, a town in Germany.

The event was organized under the patronage of Heusenstamm’s Mayor Peter Jakobya in a 7-round Swiss format with prize fund in the amount of 5.500 €.

Chinese GM Li Chao emerged a clear winner on 6/7 points and grabbed the first prize in the amount of 1.000 €.

Second place was shared in an eight-way tie by GM Vladislav Borovikov, GM Andrey Sumets, GM Igor Rausis, GM Eckhard Schmittdiel, FM Igor Zuyev, IM Stefan Solonar and FM Hans-Jorg Cordes on 5.5 points each.

However, Borovikov took the silver on superior tie-break score, while Rausis remained third. You can see the top standings and replay the games with analysis below.

Top standings:

1. GM Li Chao b 2724 2284 6,0
2. GM Borovikov,Vladislav 2525 2291 5,5
3. GM Andrey Sumets 2544 2224 5,5
4. GM Danin,Alexandre 2557 2233 5,5
5. GM Igor Rausis Dr. 2562 2261 5,5
6. GM Schmittdiel,Eckhard 2447 2155 5,5
7. FM Zuyev,Igor 2415 2207 5,5
8. IM Solonar,Stefan 2324 2148 5,5
9. FM Cordes,Hans-Jörg,Dr. 2167 2072 5,5
10. GM Inkiov,Ventzislav 2435 2195 5,0
11. Baskin,Robert 2176 2145 5,0
12. FM Carow,Johannes 2386 2028 5,0
13. GM Pap,Misa 2459 2030 5,0
14. IM Klundt,Klaus 2266 2114 5,0
15. Heider,Martin 2112 2048 5,0
16. FM Alber,Horst 2220 1998 5,0
17. Schupp,Tobias 2128 1913 5,0
18. von Rahden,Arvid 2142 1939 5,0
19. Benninger,Rudolf,Dr. 1951 1893 5,0
20. IM Sadzikowski,Daniel 2412 2218 4,5
21. GM Skembris,Spyridon 2380 2220 4,5
22. Dorst,Johannes 2223 2087 4,5

XVIII Neujahrs Open in Guben 2015

The 18th edition of Neujahrs Open is organized by Chess Club “SV Chemie Guben 1990 e.V.” on 2-6th January 2015 in Guben, a town on the Lusatian Neisse river in the state of Brandenburg, Germany.

The event is a 9-round Swiss open tournament with tempo of play 120 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 seconds increment starting from move one and first prize in the amount of 1.000 €.

The venue of play will be the splendid Spa Hotel Waldow****.

Last year’s winner was Chinese GM Li Chao.

Harry Thiel,
Tel.: 03561 – 540585

Official website

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting!

If a person isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get. ~Frank A. Clark

Kramnik out of the top 10 on LIVE rating list

Russian Super Final Championships

Russian Championship Superfinal 2014
Nov 27, 2014

The Russian Championship Superfinal for men and women is taking place from 28th November to 8th December at the Historic and Architectural Complex of the Kazan Kremlin, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The tournament is organized by the Russian Chess Federation in cooperation with the Charity Foundation Elena and Gennady Timchenko, with the support of the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan. The total prize fund is 118,000 EUR.

Superfinal is a continuation of the program “Chess in Museums” launched on the initiative of the RCF PresidentAndrei Filatov.

Participants, men:

Peter Svidler (7-times Russian Champion)
Ian Nepomniachtchi
Nikita Vitiugov
Igor Lysyj
Vadim Zvjagintsev
Dmitry Jakovenko
Denis Khismatullin
Boris Grachev
Sergey Karjakin
Alexander Morozevich

Participants, women:

Valentina Gunina
Alexandra Kosteniuk
Natalija Pogonina
Olga Girya
Alina Kashlinskaya
Ekaterina Kovalevskaya
Oksana Gritsayeva
Aleksandra Goryachkina
Alisa Galliamova
Anastasia Bodnaruk

Official website

Qatar Masters LIVE!

74th Italian Individual Chess Championship 2014 LIVE!

8th Kings Tournament Romgaz 2014 LIVE!