Rich As A King

Sunday, September 21, 2014

GM Zhang Zhong clear first in Malaysia Open

The 11th IGB Dato Arthur Tan Malaysia Open took place from 15-21st September at the Cititel Hotel Mid Valley, MidValley City, Kuala Lumpur.

130 players from 15 countries, including 14 Grandmasters and 19 International Masters, competed in the event.

Top rated GM Zhang Zhong (Singapore) emerged clear winner with 7,5/9 points after defeating the 2nd-seed GM Zhou Jianchao (China) in the final round.

FM Le Tuan Minh from Vietnam surprised by taking the second place ahead of many strong players. Full standings below.

Final standings (top finishers):

1 GM Zhang Zhong SIN 2608 – 7.5

2 FM Le Tuan Minh VIE 2347 – 7

3 GM Shyam Sundar M. IND 2468 – 6.5
4 IM Nguyen Van Huy VIE 2433 – 6.5
5 GM Laylo Darwin PHI 2495 – 6.5
6 FM Sean Winshand Cuhendi INA 2382 – 6.5
7 IM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan IND 2414 – 6.5

8 GM Zhou Jianchao CHN 2583 – 6
9 GM Kunte Abhijit IND 2483 – 6
10 GM Megaranto Susanto INA 2527 – 6
11 IM Farid Firman Syah INA 2408 – 6
12 IM Nolte Rolando PHI 2393 – 6
13 IM Pascua Haridas PHI 2389 – 6
14 IM Dableo Ronald PHI 2415 – 6
15 GM Gomez John Paul PHI 2519 – 6
16 GM Dao Thien Hai VIE 2482 – 6
17 GM Nguyen Anh Dung VIE 2465 – 6
18 FM Pham Chuong VIE 2366 – 6
19 FM Muhammad Luthfi Ali INA 2380 – 6
20 IM Nguyen Duc Hoa VIE 2515 – 6
21 IM Purnama Tirta Chandra INA 2384 – 6
22 WIM Gong Qianyun SIN 2353 – 6
23 WGM Aulia Medina Warda INA 2384 – 6
24 FM Tin Jingyao SIN 2305 – 6
25 GM Cao Sang VIE 2490 – 6
26 GM Barsov Alexei UZB 2486 – 6

27 FM Dang Hoang Son VIE 2172 – 5.5
28 Causo Deniel PHI 2285 – 5.5
29 IM Nitin S. IND 2348 – 5.5
30 Subramaniam Sumant MAS 2062 – 5.5
31 GM Laxman R.R. IND 2419 – 5.5
32 IM Wahono Awam INA 2353 – 5.5
33 FM Chan Nicholas MAS 2378 – 5.5
34 IM Tran Tuan Minh VIE 2320 – 5.5
35 GM Gonzales Jayson PHI 2404 – 5.5

Does practice make perfect?

Shelby Lyman on Chess: Practice, Practice, Practice?
Sunday, September 21, 2014
(Published in print: Sunday, September 21, 2014)

“Practice makes perfect” is an accepted truth, or at least a truism. But how much practice is really enough?

In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell popularized the notion — offered in a 1993 paper by K. Anders Ericsson — that 10,000 hours of immersion and practice are necessary to achieve “professional mastery.”

There is a direct correlation, Ericsson claims, between the number of hours and the degree of expertise. The rule applies to such diverse activities as playing the violin and chess.

It is not surprising that this theory — despite its insight into the central role of practice — evokes incredulity in more than a few of us. On the face of it, given our chess experience alone, the idea seems counterintuitive.

Sammy Reshevsky and Jose Capablanca, for example, were child prodigies who, it seems, were fully equipped by the gods at birth to play chess. Intensity, passion, scientific curiosity, stubbornness and competitiveness are also among the characteristics of a world-class grandmaster. The result is an unpredictable and unique synthesis.

Some, of course, are much better than others.

The Russian grandmaster Mark Taimanov offered this impression of Bobby Fischer: “His moves do not make sense, at least to all the rest of us. We were playing chess. Fischer was playing something else … call it what you will. Naturally there would come a time when we would all understand what those moves had been about. But by then it was too late. We were dead.”

With geniuses such as Bobby, the 10,000-hour rule seems irrelevant.

More here.

Wasted opportunity due to incompetence and ugly chess politics

Wasted talents

Saturday, September 20, 2014
Rey Charles C Bantulo

(minor edits made)

FILIPINOS are just as talented compared to other nationalities and yet our government isn’t very keen in showcasing these talents by providing financial support. Many times those who already become popular because they have achieved recognition tend to be noticed late and are still not given enough.

This might be hard to believe but this happens too often and this is because of our CORRUPT organizations not doing their jobs properly.

A great example would be Wesley So, who is a Philippine chess grandmaster who won two international tournaments and wanted to achieve greater heights... The problem arises as Philippines can’t (support what) Wesley was aiming for. He is now eyeing to represent the United States instead, in order to advance.

Now if only National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) didn’t give a non-answer similar to a “no” to Wesley’s requests he wouldn’t have sat out for a year. NCFP was even demanding a compensation fee of about 50,000 Euros.

This was Wesley’s own decision to join and switch federations in order to become a top ten player in the world. He stated that he will not pay any compensation fee to the NCFP.

Because of this request, the NCFP even cut his allowance.

At first glance it would feel like he’s trying to leave our own to represent others and this would make him look like a traitor but someone who has given so much to the country and yet receive so little in return is more like the real story.

More here.

Some important questions about chess for children answered

Some important questions about chess for children answered

I receive questions countless questions from parents and coaches across the country every week. Here are some of the most popular questions. I may have touched on a few of them in the past but they are important so I will bring them up again.

Q: My daughters really love chess. However, because of the ratio of boys versus girls playing chess (about 10 to 1 in their school), they got frustrated and no longer want to play outside of our home. What do I do?

A: Unfortunately, there is no magic wand that can change this instantly. I am trying to correct this problem by creating programs and tournaments specifically for girls. I will post as much information as possible on my blog.

Girls and boys approach the game very differently. Many boys see chess as a form of competition and brute force. They want to win at all cost! Many girls view chess as an art form. They are less worried about the results and more concerned with the beauty of the game.

I was the same way; I did not perceive chess as an egotistical competition as did many of my male counterparts. I wanted to win just like anyone else, but that was not my top priority.

Many girls also like to attend different tournaments to meet and make new friends. By understanding girls have different priorities and interests, it may make it easier for parents to motivate their daughters.

Q: How can I attract my children to the game, maintain their enthusiasm and make chess fun, too?

A: That is an excellent question, one which has been asked by many parents. First of all, it depends on the ages of the children. From the age of 2 or 3 years old, you can start teaching the children the names of the pieces. Use fun terminologies such as "Horsie" and "Castle" rather than Knight and Rook.

At the ages of 4, 5 or 6, children can learn the rules of chess and basic puzzles such as checkmate in one, pins, forks, etc.

The most important things are to frequently motivate your children and always make it fun and exciting. Reward instead of punish. If they do not find a solution, you can help them with some small hints rather than getting upset or frustrated.

Q: What book or DVD do you recommend to teach children the basics of chess?

A: For a DVD, I recommend "Learn Chess in 30 Minutes - Chess for Absolute Beginners." On this DVD, I teach beginners basic chess knowledge including pieces, points, rules and moves. I, along with my animated teaching helpers set a fun stage for kids to learn chess.

For a book, I recommend "A World Champion's Guide to Chess: Step-by-step instructions for winning chess the Polgar way." They can all be found at You can also download a free training guide by visiting the SPICE Web site at

Q: Can chess software help my children improve?

A: Yes! One of the main reasons why today's children improve at an earlier age is because of chess software. Some programs have fantastic features to educate your children and to keep them busy and excited for a long time.

Q: My children know the basic rules of chess and how the pieces move. What is next?

A: This is one of the most frequently asked questions. Teach your children fun, exciting and challenging things such as tactics (pins, forks, discovery, etc.), combinations, checkmates and basic endgame puzzles. These are extremely important areas, and you can give your children some from each category daily. This will keep them from getting bored.

My son Tommy at the age of 4 or 5 was doing up to 50-75 of these puzzles daily. He absolutely loved it, and constantly asked for more puzzles. He enjoyed them so much that I used them as a reward.

Q: Can a chess coach help my children? If so, how do I select a good one?

A: Yes! A good coach can help a great deal. There are many things a coach can offer that you cannot get from a book or software.

It is a challenge to find a good one. Start by looking for a coach who has experience with children and a good record of positive results. Some coaches are good with adults but not with kids. If the coach does not have the patience to deal with children or the ability to connect with kids, it will not work.

The drawback of hiring a private chess coach is the costly expense. Private chess coaches can charge anywhere between $40 an hour up to $150 an hour or more based on their experience and credentials. To solve the financial burden for many parents, I created not long ago an online training course ( in three different levels (beginners, intermediate, and advanced) for less than $2 a week.

Q: How important are chess ratings for children?

A: My answer may be unpopular but ratings are not very relevant at an early age. The problem is that many parents are so concerned about the ratings their children become too timid to play "proper" chess in order to improve. They are so afraid of losing that they play not to lose instead of playing to win and this can seriously hinder the development of their children.

While in the short term ratings can satisfy one's ego, it is better to look at the long term outcome.

Chess in Central Park

Kids Turn Out In Central Park For Chess-In-The-Parks Tournament 
September 20, 2014 10:00 PM

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was a beautiful day to get an outdoor workout Saturday, but mental exercise took over Central Park.

As CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported for TV 10/55, hundreds of pint-sized players turned out to compete in a chess tournament.

Most of the chess players were barely out of elementary school. But don’t doubt their fast-moving hands or the look of concentration on their young faces – these kids are the real deal.
“You have to have very good focus and patience,” said Niah Plenty of Harlem.

Niah, 12, and her 8-year-old sister Yoni, said it is all about strategy.

“You have to think before you move, and you have to know your pieces,” Yoni Plenty said.

The sisters were among about 800 people in Central Park Saturday for the 14th Annual Chess-in-the-Parks tournament – the largest of its kind in the country.

“We have such a diverse group of people here — from ages to backgrounds,” said Shaun Smith of the group Chess-in-the-Schools.

Anyone can enter for the tournament. But the majority of participants are from the Chess-in-the-Schools program, which brings the game to schools across the city.

The program has taken off.

“I saw kids in third grade wear chess T-shirts, and I said, ‘Wow, there’s a team in this school?’” said Partho Nath of Jamaica, Queens.

“It’s a real-world exercise in their brain so they become better students; better thinkers; better planners — and they’re more disciplined,” said chess coach Marlon Bailey.

The players are competing for medals and prizes, but a lot of the kids will tell you they are looking well into the future to see how the game can help them.

“If you do good in chess, you can get scholarships,” said Adeeb Seleh of Jamaica, Queens.

“They want to talk about nationals. They’re talking about going to Sweden,” added coach Bailey. “They’re more focused in their game.”

Donations make the tournament possible, and it is free to all participants.


Durban Open LIVE!

World Youth U18 Durban 2014 LIVE!

Live Games: WYCC U18 live / WYCC U16 / WYCC U14 / WYCC U12 / WYCC U10 /WYCC U8

Topalov reaches 2800 again

Lightning quick chess tactic

Black to move. How should black proceed?


No chess player even comes close to making this list

Forbes' list of world's highest-paid athletes

Anand, SOCAR, and Batumi rule Bilbao - 44 million fans

14-20 September


Five-time world champion Anand, got the only big world title missing in his résumé after yesterday’s victory at the Bilbao Masters Final.

About 44 million fans from all over the world, mainly Europe, India and China, followed the Bilbao Chess 2014 on the Internet.

Bilbao, 20 September 2014

DAY 7:

Bilbao Masters Final standings after Day 7:

1. Anand (India) 11 points

2. Aronian (Armenia) 10 points

3. Ponomariov (Ukraine) 5 points

4. Vallejo (Spain) 5 points

European Club Cup Open final standings

1. Socar (Azerbaijan)

2. G-Team Novy Bor (Czech Republic)

3. Malakhite (Russia)

Women’s European Club Cup final standings

1. Batumi (Georgia)

2. Montecarlo (Monaco)

3. SHMM Nashelie (Russia)

Big favourite Socar from Azerbaijan confirmed this evening all the predictions, getting the overall European title this evening on the last day of Bilbao Chess 2014. Batumi from Georgia surprised those present by winning the women’s European title, even if they were not initially regarded as strong candidates.

Socar started out as favourite owing to the strong lineup with which they were participating in this year’s European Club Cup, including Topalov and Mamedyarov, two of the world’s top 10 players.

The Bilbao Chess 2014 honour roll was completed at the Grand Slam Masters Final with five-times world champion Viswanathan Anand’s victory. As well as getting the title, the Indian player did his personal best ever in the five times he took part in the Bilbao competition. However, he lost his last game against Aronian, the reigning champion until this evening. With this victory at the Masters Final, Anand, who is also preparing for the World Championship rematch against Magnus Carlsen, who took the title away from him a few months ago, adds to his résumé the one title that was missing so far. The Bilbao Grand Slam Masters Final is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world, as well as one of the few in reaching level 22, the highest in terms of competitive quality in the chess sphere. Vallejo got his first victory today, this time over Ponomariov.

At the European Club Cup, the best individual players in the tournament in terms of results were Fabiano Caruana from Italy (number 2 in the world’s ranking) in the open section, and Hou Yifán, the world women’s champion, in the women’s section.

During the Bilbao Chess 2014 closing ceremony, Bilbao mayor Ibon Areso handed over the trophy and medals to the new European champion. Socar thus replaces Czech G-Team Novy Bor, who surprisingly won the title last year in Rodas. Gabino Martínez de Arenaza, Provincial Director of Tourism and Foreign Trade, proclaimed Anand winner of the Bilbao Masters Final 2014.

The Indian Grandmaster succeeds his opponent today, Levon Aronian, in the Masters Final title. Aronian has won the title twice — the last one, in 2013 —, just like number 1 in the world ranking and reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen. The list of winners includes Veselin Topálov from Bulgary, who won the first edition back in 2008 (and was also proclaimed winner with Socar in the teams tournament), and his great rival and “worst enemy” Vladimir Kramnik from Russia, who won in 2010.

The Bilbao Chess 2014 gathered the world chess elite in Bilbao between 14 and 20 September. Participating were 9 of today’s top 10 players in the world and most of the world’s best grandmasters, divided in 60 teams coming from 30 European countries.

As regards to the Basque teams, Sestao Naturgas Energía and Gros finished mid-table their participation in the European Club Cup, following the strong East European teams that, together with Italian Obbjeto, have taken over the leading positions in the standings.

Although Gros from San Sebastián and Solvay from Cantabria were also victorious today, they had a poor start. The pairing system of this tournament, according to which the strongest teams face the weakest, made them all lose most of the chances they had to join the stronger team that will be competing for the title until tomorrow’s last day.


The high competitive level displayed in Bilbao these days drew spectacular attention from the world chess sphere and broke the audience ratings which Bilbao’s organization had been increasing edition after edition.

Out of the world’s 200 million potential fans that follow the chess events on-line, 44 million people from all over the world (mainly from Europe, India and China), followed Bilbao Chess 2014 during the 7 days the competition lasted for. Most people followed the event on the tournament’s official sites, as well as the world’s main chess portals. Masses of people went into the Euskalduna Congress Centre every day to watch the games on site. The tourists that visited Bilbao during the eight days of the event brought the city an economic profit of millions of euros.

Besides the economic benefits, the event was a brilliant success in many regards. Not only did the Bilbao society respond very well, but also did the media. The teams participating in the tournament were equally satisfied with the organization of the event — no complaints have been placed in the mailboxes the organization put up in order to provide all the competing delegations with the best possible service.

Venue for Carlsen - Anand in Sochi

Henrik Carlsen in Sochi (photo by Ilya Merenzon)

The organizing committee of the FIDE World Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand has chosen Sochi Media Center in Adler as the playing venue for the event.

Sochi Media Center hosted international and Russian media around the clock during the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014.

Henrik Carlsen inspected the venue and hotels for Team Carlsen. He remarked about some details, but nothing out of the ordinary, according to the sources of The inspection went well and now Team Carlsen will discuss it internally and get back to the organizers.

Update: Henrik Carlsen clarified that the Media Center is in Adler District in Sochi

Sochi Media Center

Chess trivia

Can you name this grandmaster?

Playing With Opposite Colored Bishops ... and more

Converting Advantages in Chess - FM Alisa Melekhina

Playing With Opposite Colored Bishops

Posted on September 19,2014 By GM Levan Aroshidze in General Chess Articles, Beginner's Corner. Sometimes each side has a single bishop left, but they reside on opposite colored squares and can't attack or block each other. Opposite colored bishops create very special conditions. Their presence may have a huge impact despite the material balance on the chess board. Sometimes opposite colored bishops help us save hopeless positions and win a draw, but sometimes they become the reason for gaining the winning attack. Opposite Colored Bishops i[...]

Zeitnot: How to use, and survive, it

Posted on September 18,2014 By GM Levan Aroshidze in General Chess Articles, Beginner's Corner. Zeitnot is time trouble and describes the situation in which a player has little time to complete the required moves. When a player is forced to play quickly, the probability of making blunders is extremely high. That's why good time management is a very important aspect in chess. Time is one of the most important indicators for the evaluation of the game. A player may have huge material/positional advantage that would be useless because of time[...]

Knight or Bishop: Which has greatest value?

Posted on September 16,2014 By GM Levan Aroshidze in General Chess Articles, Beginner's Corner. In the beginning, all new chess players must learn the relative values of the pieces. The most complicated subject is to compare and evaluate the powers of the bishop and the knight. These two pieces are completely different from each other but, surprisingly, they have similar values (3 pawns). Some coaches prefer to say that a bishop probably a quarter-pawn more valuable than a knight, but this is a quite unstable statement as the final choice o[...]

Beating the Nimzo-Indian Defense - GM Timur Gareev

Posted on September 15,2014 By OnlineChessLessons.NET Contributor in Strategy & Game Review, Chess Openings, All Articles w/ Videos, General Chess Articles. The Nimzo-Indian Refuted? The 4.Qc2 Nimzo-Indian. Timur explains that there is no reason to allow a Queen’s Indian because Black will struggle against this White response and that the Black Nimzo-Indian is harmless as the 4.Qc2 move is favored by both Kasparov and Carlsen with excellent results. Timur then examines Aronian-Karpov and makes the following findings; Queen's Indian sidelines and the Ragozin considered if 3.Nf3 is played 3.Nc3 limits[...] 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.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Grandmaster clash in STL

Grandmaster Clash
By Seth Stevenson

Before any of the six entrants in the 2014 Sinquefield Cup had nudged a white pawn to e4, they’d already been hailed as the strongest collection of chess talent ever assembled. The tournament, held in St. Louis, featured the top three players in the game. The weakest competitor in the field was the ninth best chess player on the planet.

The favorite was current world No. 1 and reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen. The young Norwegian—who is among the best players in the history of chess—strolled into the lounge of the St. Louis Chess Club as the most alluring grandmaster ever, a brilliant, handsome 23-year-old with a modeling contract for the clothing company G-Star Raw. Forget about his overmatched foes. If anything could stop Carlsen, his fans reckoned, it would be the swirl of distractions occupying the parts of his brain not given over to memorizing Nimzo-Indian variations.

As the tournament began on Aug. 27, Carlsen was mired in an ongoing faceoff with FIDE, the international governing body of chess....

...Sinquefield launched the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis in 2008 on a quaint, brick-laden block in the city’s Central West End neighborhood. The center has 6,000 square feet of playing halls, libraries, and classrooms, and more than 1,000 dues-paying members. Across the street—past a phalanx of outdoor chess tables arranged on the sidewalk—sits the World Chess Hall of Fame. Sinquefield apparently dug its archives out of mothballs from some sad venue in Florida, augmented the existing collection with his own trove of chess memorabilia, and housed it all in a gorgeous, dedicated facility replete with a gift shop full of Bobby Fischer tchotchkes. Not far from here, on the same side of the city, is Webster University, home to the nation’s best college chess team.

Together, these institutions have made St. Louis the new center of American chess. Susan Polgar, among the best female chess players ever, relocated here to coach the Webster team.

Full article here.