French Chess Championship

Tkachiev and Vachier-Lagrave win

Here are the final standings in the French Chess Championship. Today there will be a tiebreak match for first place.

1. Tkachiev, Vladislav FRA 2655 7.5

1. Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime FRA 2595 7.5

3. Sokolov, Andrei FRA 2582 7.0

4. Dorfman, Josif FRA 2584 6.5

4. Bauer, Christian FRA 2626 6.5

6. Fressinet, Laurent FRA 2646 5.5

6. Fontaine, Robert FRA 2567 5.5

8. Degraeve, Jean-Marc FRA 2520 5.0

8. Vaisser, Anatoly FRA 2544 5.0

10. Nataf, Igor-Alexandre FRA 2588 4.0

11. Renet, Olivier FRA 2498 3.5

12. Guidarelli, Laurent FRA 2450 2.5

Robert Fontaine vs Maxime Vachier Lagrave

Ilia Smirin wins Acropolis Chess Tournament

19 GMs, 16 IMs, and a total of 80 players participated in the strong Acropolis International Tournament from 14 – 22 August 2007 in Athens, Greece. After 9 rounds of tought battles GM Ilia Smirin (ISR) won the tournament with 7,0/9. Smirin was among the leaders since the first rounds and never left the top spot. However, his success was not easy at all since the chasing pack was always half a point behind. Top board draws in the last round secured the victory of Smirin. Second with 6,5 is GM Kiril Georgiev. He grabbed silver medal on better tiebreak than 5 more players with the same points. Third place on the tiebreak is for GM Mircea Parligras.

Full information, photos, bulletins, and round by round reports can be found at the official site of the tournament

Final standings

1 GM Smirin Ilia 2649 ISR 7

2 GM Georgiev Kiril 2663 BUL 6½

3 GM Parligras Mircea 2542 ROM 6½

4 GM Mastrovasilis Dimitrios 2541 GRE 6½

5 GM Malakhatko Vadim 2596 BEL 6½

6 GM Banikas Hristos 2567 GRE 6½

7 GM Svetushkin Dmitry 2618 MDA 6½

8 GM Rozentalis Eduardas 2551 LTU 6

9 GM Halkias Stelios 2580 GRE 6

10 GM Gelashvili Tamaz 2604 GEO 6

11 IM Esen Baris 2441 TUR 6

12 GM Macieja Bartlomiej 2596 POL 6

13 GM Kotronias Vasilios 2602 GRE 6

14 GM Romanishin Oleg M 2546 UKR 6

15 GM Mastrovasilis Ath. 2538 GRE 6

16 IM Moutousis Konstantinos 2428 GRE 5½

17 IM Dzagnidze Nana 2404 GEO 5½

18 GM Grivas Efstratios 2507 GRE 5½

19 IM Atakisi Umut 2383 TUR 5½

20 IM Managadze Nikoloz 2433 GEO 5½

21 Papadopoulos Ioannis 2395 GRE 5½

22 WGM Zawadzka Jolanta 2354 POL 5½

24 GM Nikolaidis Ioannis 2525 GRE 5

23 IM Karagiannis Athanasios 2349 GRE 5½

25 IM Erdogdu Mert 2423 TUR 5

26 GM Chatalbashev Boris 2573 BUL 5

27 GM Barsov Alexei 2517 UZB 5

28 IM Kapnisis Spyridon 2412 GRE 5

29 Morchiashvili Bachana 2415 GEO 5

Out of 80 players total.

Acropolis Georgiev Chatalbashev

David Navara wins Ordix Open on better tiebreak

Sasikiran beats Navara but loses ORDIX title on Progressive Average, by Vijay Kumar

Vijay Kumar from Mainz, 20th Aug: India’s second best Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran came back from behind to beat the championship leader David Navara in the 11th and final Game of Ordix Open which concluded today at Rhinegoldhalle.

Sasikiran, ranked 37 in World list, lost a game on the first day to score four points from five games and did exceedingly well to score 5.5 points from the last six games to tie with David Navara.

Both the players finished the tournament with 9.5 points but a better average saw Navara winning the championship.

David Navara Sasikiran reading contract

David Navara and Krishnan Sasikiran

Playing with black, Sasikiran replied with d5 to Navara’s d4 opening and after the usual moves the game was played on Queen’s Gambit.

Right from the beginning Navara, ranked 54th, found himself quite uncomfortable, with Sasikiran quick to form an impregnable fort which the Czech found difficult to penetrate and eventually lost the game.

Words from Krishnan Sasikiran and David Navara

Speaking to Chessdom, a dejected Sasikiran said: “I think this is a strange tournament for me because 9.5 points from 11 games and I did not meet a single player above me. It is quite strange. Ok in the last game I came out victorious but then I was unlucky to lose the title.”

Chessdom spoke to the Champion David Navara: “I never expected to win this strong championship where so many strong chess players took part. Even now I am not able to grasp that actually I am the Champion. Though I lost against Sasikiran in the last game but overall my play at open was very satisfying.”

Pentala Harikrishna, who finished with 4.5 points from 5 games on the first day, also played well. He lost one game, drew another and won four to finish with a creditable to nine points from 11 games. In the ninth round he lost a winning game to Championship leader David Navara on time. He came 7th overall.

Mainz Classics Negi

Parimarjan Negi

India’s Parimarjan Negi won the first prize amongst Under-14 for scoring a creditable 7.5 point from 11 games.

“I am happy with Under-14, however I could have performed better had I played well in two games. I will now concentrate on openings for the next tournament which I will play in Amsterdam from 23rd August,” Negi told Chessdom after getting his prize.

More on Mainz

Anand avenges Chess960 defeat by beating Aronian in World Rapid – videos added

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Bologan beats Ivanchuk to claim Finet Title

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Aronian retains Chess960 World Rapid Title

Videos of Aronian, Anand, and Kasimdzhanov

New England Masters – Final Report

German GM Leonid Kritz winner, US champion Alexander Shabalov tied 2nd

GM Leonid Kritz was the winner of the New England Masters, finishing with 7.0/9, a half-point ahead of US champion GM Alex Shabalov and IM Dean Ippolito. Kritz maintains perfect record of winning tournaments organized by Chris Bird, which includes his joint first in the Las Vegas Masters last year.

Finishing in fourth place was IM Robert Hess with 6.0/9, while IM Lev Milman, IM Josh Friedel and 12 year old FM Ray Robson finished tied for fifth with 5.5/9.

Ippolito’s 2nd place finish was also good for the top Under 2400 prize while Robson took second in the same category. FM James Critelli and local youngster Max Enkin took the top Under 2300 prize, both of them finishing with 5.0/9, and both of them notching up a win against English GM Nigel Davies during the course of the tournament.

IM Dean Ippolito’s 6.5/9 was good enough for a GM norm performance and FM James Critelli’s 5.0/9 was good enough for an IM norm performance. Unfortunately both players played six USA players and the FIDE rules stipulate that a maximum of 60% of your opposition can come from your own federation. FM Ray Robson and Max Enkin both ended up just a half-point shy of IM norm performances, although they would have also failed to play the necessary non-USA opposition.

Final standings:

1. GM Leonid Kritz (GER 2571) 7.0

2-3. GM Alexander Shabalov (USA 2637) and IM Dean Ippolito (USA 2395) 6.5

4. IM Robert Hess (USA 2439) 6.0

5-7. IM Lev Milman (USA 2499), IM Joshua Friedel (USA 2472) and FM Ray Robson (USA 2347) 5.5

8-13. GM Eugene Perelshteyn (USA 2540), IM Justin Sarkar (USA 2403), IM David Vigorito (USA 2393), IM Ronald Burnett (USA 2373), FM James Critelli (USA 2262) and Max Enkin (USA 2213) 5.0

14-16. GM Nigel Davies (ENG 2495), IM David Pruess (USA 2424) and IM James Rizzitano (USA 2328) 4.5 etc

Chris Bird

Organizer, New England Masters Chess Tournament

Anand beats Aronian, lifts World Rapid Title for the 10th time

By Vijay Kumar

Mainz 19th August 2007 The World Rapid Kind and the defending Champion Viswanathan Anand broke his own record to lift the World Rapid Title for the 10th time at the Grenke Leasing World Rapid Championship which concluded here at Mainz.

The First three games against the Chess960 World Champion Levon Aronian were drawn and it was only in the crucial 4th game that Anand could beat Aronian and stamp his supremacy in the Rapid format.

Aronian and Anand played the last game on the Catalan lines and Aronian was quick to keep the game on his side. Anand playing with black, slowly improved from his worse position and took complete control of the game. In the endgame Aronian was in time trouble, but gave a tough fight. Alas he could not stop Anand from winning the game.

Anand spoke to Chessdom’s correspondent Vijay Kumar, “I am very happy to lift the title for a record 10th time. This was a very tiring championship as I had to play 14 games with Aronian, but I am happy to win. In My last game Aronian was better in the opening, but as the game developed and my Knights became more powerful blocking all his pieces. There was no other way left for him.”

More on Mainz

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Bologan beats Ivanchuk to claim Finet Title

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Aronian retains Chess960 World Rapid Title

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Anand and Aronian to meet in the World Rapid Final

By Vijay Kumar

Mainz 18th August 2007 World Rapid King and the defending Champion, Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, will meet Levon Aronian in the finals of the Grenk Leasing World Rapid. In the four games final to be played on Sunday Anand will defend his title for the 10th Time.

Anand’s performance

Anand started the second day games against Kasimdzhanov. Playing with black Anand replied with d5 to his opponent’s d4 opening. After playing some set moves the game than turned into Queen’s Gambit Declined, Semi Slav variations. In the beginning Anand played aggressively as he need just a win to qualify for the final. However, Kasimdzhanov came fully prepared and did not allow Anand any opportunity for a win. It was a long game and after 67 moves Anand decided to offer a draw which Kasimdzhanov gladly accepted.

In the second game against Levon Aronian (Queen’s Pawn), Anand played a safe game which lasted just 25 moves and ended in a draw.

In the third game Anand had white pieces against Etienne Bacrot and played a different opening taking the game on the lines of Philidor Defense. Both Anand and Bacrot did not pursue the game for long and after 17 moves shook hand and drew the game.

Anand will meet Aronian in the Four game Final to be played here on Sunday Evening.

Aronian’s day 2

Aronian started the second day with 1,5 points earned with the victory against Bacrot and the draw with Kasimdzhanov. In the first game of day 2 Aronian had black against Bacrot. In a Giuoco Piano game, Levon was able to grab a 47 move victory. That gave Aronian a point advantage in front of the third. Draws against Anand and Kasimdzhanov assured his place in the final.

First day games

Anand avenges Chess960 defeat by beating Aronian in World Rapid – videos added

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Bologan beats Ivanchuk to claim Finet Title

Finet classics Day 1

Aronian retains Chess960 World Rapid Title

Videos of Aronian, Anand, and Kasimdzhanov

Ordix Open day 1

by Vijay Kumar

Ivanchuk, Mamedyarov, Akopian, Khenkin, Navara, and Sargissian won the all their games to lead on the first day of the two day Ordix Open. It began today at Rhinegoldhalle, in Mainz, and will be an 11 rounds event.

A record number of 72 Grandmasters from all over the world were part of the total 761 Chess players here at Mainz, the largest gathering of chess players ever at Chess Classics. Top players like Ivanchuck, Shirov, Grischuck, Akopian, Almasy, Sergissian, Mamedyarov, Kamsky, Karjakin, Sasikiran, Harikrishna, and world’s youngest grandmaster India’s Parimarjan Negi.

The players at the top of the table did not get the full points easily. Ivanchuk had long and diffiult battle in the fifth game against Naiditsch. Mamedyarov defeated Drozodovsky in another interesting game to remain a part of the first 6 players.

Harikrishna, who has 4,5/5, talked to chessdom’s correspondent, Vijay Kumer, “Today I played better than in Chess960. I won the first four games, but due to time trouble I had to accept a draw from my opponent in the fifth. I think 4.5/5 games is a good result and If I can perform as I have done today I will certainly have a good position.”

India’s Wizkid had a satisfying performance with 3.5 points from 5 games, while the former World Women Champion, Zhu Chen, lost her 5th round game to Sargissian and remained with 4 point. Sasikiran won the first three, lost the fourth, and finally won the 5th game to finish with 4 points.

On the 2nd day 6 more games are to be played and the Championship is still wide open.

Top Boards Standing after 5 Rounds

1-6 Ivanchuck, Mamedyarov, Akopian, Khenkin, Navara and Sargissian 5.0/5 points.

7- 12 Harikrishna , Grischuk, Meir, Landa, Lysij, and Ilijn on 4.5/5 points

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Bologan beats Ivanchuk to claim Finet Title

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Aronian retains Chess960 World Rapid Title

Videos of Aronian, Anand, and Kasimdzhanov

Anand avenges Chess960 defeat by beating Aronian in World Rapid

Grenke Leasing World Rapid Championship – Videos included

By Vijay Kumar

Mainz, 17th August 2007 – The World Rapid King and the defending Champion Viswanathan Anand avenged his Chess 960 Final’s defeat at the hands of Aronian by beating him on the first day of the Grenke Leasing world Rapid Championship which began today at Rhinegoldhalle here in Mainz. In the first round, Anand playing with White against his traditional rival Rustam Kasimdzhanov opened with e4 the game took the course of Ruy Lopez lines. Anand played a technically perfect game, occupied all the relevant squares and did not give Kasimdzhanov any chance to improve his position. Realising what kind of mess he was caught into, Kasimdzhanov surrendered to the Rapid King on the 45th move.

Mainz rapid Anand Kasimdzhanov

Rustam Kasimdzhanov – Viswanathan Anand

In the second round Anand was more aggressive against Aronian. In another Ruy Lopez game, by the time Aronian realized what is happening on the board, Anand surrounded the black pieces and finally gave a check to Aronian’s King on the 37th move with Rf7. Aronian, however, survived the attack, but than could not bear the pressure of Anand’s onslaught and surrendered on the 40th move.

With two victories at hand, Anand was more at ease against Frenchman Etienne Bacrot. Playing with black this time Anand replied with e5 to Bacrot’s opening move of e4. In this game also Anand took to Ruy Lopez lines which gave him the earlier two wins. He had some problems in the middle game tough, but was able to keep them away. He played a relaxed game and agreed for draw when offered on the 37th move.

Mainz rapid Anand Aronian

Levon Aronian – Viswanathan Anand

Anand spoke to Chessdom after the games: “It is nice to win two games. In the third game I was slightly worse but with no problems. It is a nice start. Tomorrow I have 3 more games and it is still a long way to go.”

In the other games Aronian defeated Bacrot in the first game, lost the 2nd to Anand and drew the third game with Kasimdzhanov. Bacrot beat Kasimdzhanov in the 2nd game.

Standing after 3 rounds:

1. Viswanathan Anand 2.5

2-3. Levon Aronian and Etienne Bacrot 1.5

4. Rustam Kasimdzhanov 0.5

More on Mainz:

Exclusive interview with Vishy Anand

Videos from Mainz

Chess960 – day two report

Aronian wins Chess960 Final

Viktor Bologan wins Finet Chess960 Open

Bologan beats Ivanchuk to claim Finet Title

Kamsky second, Ivanchuk third

by Vijay Kumar

Mainz, 17th August 2007 Viktor Bologan lifted the coveted FiNet Open Rapid Championship and qualified to play in the Top Four at Chess960 World Rapid Championship 2008. He defeated the leader Vessely Ivanchuk in the final round of the FiNet Open which concluded today here in Mainz.

In the final round Ivanchuk just needed a draw to claim the title and a place in the next years Chess960 World Rapid. He had white pieces, but a determined Bologan played an attacking game and while Ivantchuk lost a few pawns, Bologan exploited his opponents weak defense and defeated him to become the new FiNET Chess960 Champion.

Bologan spoke to Chessdom’s correspondent Vijay Kumar after his crowning, “I am very happy to win the title. This will now allow me to play in the Next year’s Chess960 World Championship. My last game with Ivanchuk was very exciting. Ivanchuk just needed a draw and I had to win to get the title. I played very aggressively and Ivanchuk made several mistakes. I was lucky to get a break and won the game. 9.5 from 11 games , I think that this is a very good result”.

Etienne Bacrot, who won the FiNet open last year, but lost the place in this years Chess960 World Rapid, preferred to try his luck again in this year Finet Open to regain a place next year. Surprisingly, after trailing for a few rounds, he came back in the game to beat 8th round leader Gata Kamsky to jointly lead the championship with Ivanchuk. However, in the 10th round he could not keep his winning streak and lost to Vassily Ivanchuk. Gata Kamsky was close to the leaders as well, but finished with 9.0 to claim third place. India’s Krishnan Sasikiran finished the tournament with 8.5 points, while his compatriot Harikrishna finished with 7.5 points and the young Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi got 7 points.

1. Viktor Bologan 9.5

2. Gata Kamsky 9

3. Vassily Ivanchuk 9

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Finet classics Day 1

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Aronian retains Chess960 World Rapid Title

Special report from Mainz by Vijay Kumar

The defending champion Levon Aronian defeated World Rapid King and new entrant to the game of Chess960, Indan grandmaster Viswanathan Anand. Both the players scored 2 points in rapid games to finish 2:2. The Chess960 World Rapid Final concluded with a tiebreak blitz games won by Aronian 1,5:0,5.

Anand lost the first game and drew the next two. However, he came back in the final game to equalize the score.
In the tie break, however, Anand could not bear the onslaught of Aronian’s attack and surrendered in the first game. In the 2nd game, despite having the white pieces, Anand realized that in no way he can win the game and agreed for a draw, which meant 2nd consecutive title for Aronian.
A dejected Anand left the venue immediately after the prize giving and did not come to the traditional press briefing.

Aronian told Chessdom’s correspondent Vijay Kumar after the match: “I am happy to retain my title for the 2nd time. It was a tough match and Anand played well but he committed many mistakes in the first game and lost. I lost the 4th game which I could have drawn but I love playing Fischer Random and therefore fought till the last despite knowing that the win is not there”

Anand, Aronian, Kasimdzhanov and Bacrot will now play in the main Grenke Leadsiung World Rapid Championship for next three days. Anand is the defending Champion and has won the title for a record 9 times.

Final Score

1 Levon Aronian 3.5 Champion

2 Vishy Anand 2.5 runners up

Semi finals

1. Levon Aronian 4.5 points

2. Vishwanathan Anand 4 points

3. Etienne Bacrot 2 points

4. Rustam Kasimdzhanov 1.5 points

More on Mainz chess960

Videos of Aronian, Kasimdzhanov, and Anand

Mainz day 1 report

Mainz day 2 report

Live Tele Logo

Vijay’s fantastic site with more info about chess

Mainz Aronian Anand day 1

Aronian and Anand