World Mind Sports games Chess event hit by the global financial crisis

Chess at the WMSG is still on, but less players are expected in Beijing

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News was in the air since last Friday, but the official confirmation came to the Chessdom email on Monday afternoon. The Chess teams for the World Mind Sports Games were supposed to have two sponsors for air travel – Air China and a Russian company. The Chinese have fulfilled their part and some federations have received their tickets. The other sponsor has delayed the payment of the money, so FIDE cannot guarantee at this point that the other federations, which pay their tickets, will actually be refunded.

Earlier this summer FIDE officials have explained to IMSA (International Mind Sports Association, the official governing body of the World Mind Sports Games in Beijing 2008) that the proximity of the event with the Chess Olympiad in Dresden creates financial difficulties for the federations. Both organizations agreed that sponsorship for the participants is necessary and actions were taken, but situation changed rapidly last week. The Russian sponsor has stated that they cannot provide the requested financing in the timeline that was initially agreed. The official explanation from the sponsor is “problems in the banking system” and “the global financial crisis”. They have promised to release the money in November, when situation gets better.

FIDE, however, has taken quick action and has informed all the participants about the current situation. Now it is up to the federations if they send the players and cover their costs. If the sponsor gives the money, they will be reimbursed, but that cannot be guaranteed.

The present situation

Even though the present situation is difficult, the Chess event will still take place. The host from China have arranged free accommodation to all participants. Air China has already provided 250 free tickets (about 1/3 of the participants) from specific locations.

The only question standing now is how many players will show up at the event. The initially published official list has changed only a few days ago. Veselin Topalov, the top seeded in the men event, had to withdraw due to force major reasons not connected to the current situation. The lists will be headed by Wang Yue and Yifan Hou, but it is unclear how many of the players will show up.

Topalov will not participate in the World Mind Sports Games

Wang Yue and Hou Yifan top seeded

Stefan Sergiev, the president of the Bulgarian Chess Federation, is definitely the media star of the national sports media these days. On Wednesday he announced at a special press conference the “news” that Topalov and Stefanova will be at the World Mind Sports Games (quotes used because Chessdom published the info a month ago)

Two days later Sergiev sent a letter to the FIDE President Kirsan Ilymzhinov regarding the Kamsky – Topalov match, scheduled to take place in Lvov in November 2008.

The news count in online newspapers for the WMSG is over 100 articles, while the letter has been detected at 50 sources.

But what a day expected Stefan Sergiev on Saturday! His letter turned out to be translated incorrectly by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency and Bgnes. The translation almost brought an unwanted scandal by calling the match between Kramnik and Anand “semi final” and by entering more factual mistakes.

On top of that the news that Topalov will not play at the World Mind Sports Games came to the Chessdom email this morning. Topalov will skip the event due to force major situation, not connected to chess. With that new explanations will be needed for the mainstream media, why the info spread by Sergiev and the Bulgarian Chess Federation will not be the same next week.

World Mind Sports Games Update

With Topalov not going to the World Mind Sports Games, the Chinese GM Wang Yue will be the top seeded player at the event. He will be joined by 3 more 2700+ player – GM Leinier Dominguez, GM Ni Hua, and Bu Xiangzhi. In the women section top seeded will be Yifan Hou and she will be joined by Antoaneta Stefanova, Zhao Xue, and the World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk. In total more than 100 chess players will be present at the competition.

Where will the rest of the top players be at the same time?

About the same time the European club Cup will take place in kallithea. In total 600+ players will participate with the fantastic 20 players over 2700 and 80 players 0ver 2600. You can check out the participants lists here.

Bulgarian Chess Federation with yet another protest about Topalov – Kamsky

letter by Stefan Sergiev in the late Friday afternoon

Today, September 26th 2008, the President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation Stefan Sergiev has protested sharply against the development of the story around the match Kamsky – Topalov. This letters follows the previous protest from April 10. The letter has been sent out to the Bulgarian press news agencies and the text is only in Bulgarian. presents you the exact translation of his words, even though it contains several factual mistakes and finishes in a strange way.

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Dear Mr. Ilyumzhinov,

The Bulgarian sports community worries about the uncertainty around the semi final match between GM Veselin Topalov and GM Gata Kamsky. The decision taken at the PB meeting in Tallinn in 2007 was welcomed by everyone expecting the end of the schism in the chess family. This decision was confirmed at the November 2007 congress in Antalia. Everyone expected it to become true and the match date to be appointed. Until now this did not happen and that fact practically questions whether the match will take place.

On June 1st, after all the deadlines were over, you personally declared that you guarantee the prize fund and took the responsibility for its organization. Since then more than 3 months have passed. We still do not know any details about where and in what conditions will be the match, and the announced by you date November 26th is approaching.

Mr Ilymzhinov, please inform me where and when the match will take place. We insist the decision for the match to be reflected in the players contracts, and they to be signed before the other semi final match between GM Kramnik and GM Anand. Further delay could be fatal and to ruin all the efforts so far. I think nobody has interest in the failure of the match Topalov – Kamsky. The Bulgarian chess player who is N1 in the current rank list cannot be eliminated from the competition for the world championship.

Sincerely yours,

Stefan Sergiev, President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation


Sofia, Bulgaria

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The text in Bulgarian is from the Bulgarian Telegraph agency, as well as Focus news, Sportal, etc.

News about Kamsky – Topalov

Topalov and Kamsky without contracts

Topalov to be N1 on the October rating list

Kamsky to participate in the European Club Cup

Lvov starting preparation?

Krk Women Chess Tournament

First place for WGM Pokorna, WFM Nikolova scores WIM norm

The 6th Krk Women Chess Tournament took place on 13-21st September in Vrbnik on the Croatian island of Krk. The top-seeded WGM Regina Pokorna of Slovakia confidently won the event with 7.0 points after nine rounds, full point ahead of the chasing pack. Talented 20-years old Adriana Nikolova from Bulgaria fulfilled WIM norm.

Final standings:

1. WGM Regina Pokorna (SVK 2357) – 7.0

2-5. WGM Ana Srebrnic (SLO 2268), WIM Veronika Schneider (HUN 2316), WIM Nino Maisuradze (GEO 2265) and WGM Tatiana Kostiuk (UKR 2231) – 6.0

6. WFM Adriana Nikolova (BUL 2242) – 5.5

7. WIM Elena Boric (BIH 2292) – 3.0

8. WIM Rajna Sargac (CRO 2195) – 2.5

9. WFM Ana Berke (CRO 2100) – 2.0

10. Zrinka Deur (CRO 2009) – 1.0

Tournament website

Vrbnik Croatia


Chess Olympiad 2008 Nations list

more than 140 countries to be present in Dresden

About a month is left to the Chess Olympiad in Dresden 2008. More than 140 nations have registered for participation in the Chess Olympiad. The official teams of the top countries are already known (find them here), and the rest are expected to be announced any moment now.

Here is the list of all participating nations.

A Afghanistan – Albania – Algeria – Andorra – Argentina – Austria – Armenia – Aruba – Australia – Azerbaijan

B Bangladesh – Barbados – Burundi – Bermuda – Botswana – Brunei Darussalam – Brazil – British Virgin Islands – Belgium – Bolivia – Bulgaria- Belarus – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Bahrain

C Costa Rica – Croatia – Cyprus – Canada – Czech Republic – Chinese Taipei – China – Colombia – Cuba

D Dominican Republic – Denmark

E Ecuador – Egypt – England – El Salvador – Estonia – Ethiopia

F Faroe Islands – France – Fiji – Finland

G Guernsey – Germany – Greece – Guatemala – Georgia – Gabon – Ghana

H Hong Kong – Honduras – Hungary

I Indonesia – Ireland – Italy – India – Iran – Israel – ICSC – Iceland – Iraq – IBCA – IPCA

J Jamaica – Jersey – Japan – Jordan

K Kazakhstan – Kyrgyzstan – Kenia

L Lebanon – Liechtenstein – Luxembourg – Lithuania – Latvia – Libya

M Macao – Madagascar – Malawi – Maldives – Mongolia – Macedonia – Monaco – Montenegro – Mozambique – Mauitius – Moldova – Malta – Mexico – Myanmar – Marocco – Malaysia

N Netherlands – Namibia – Nepal – Norway – Netherland Antilles – Nicaragua – New Zealand

P Paraguay – Peru – Philippines – Palestine – Papua New Guniea – Puerto Rico – Pakistan – Poland – Portugal – Panama – Palau

Q Qatar

R Romania – Russia – Rwanda

S South Africa – Scotland – Seychelles – Sierra Leone – San Marino – Somalia – Serbia – Sri Lanka – Switzerland – Suriname – Slovakia – Sweden – Spain – Slovenia – Sudan – Singapore – Syria

T Trinidad & Tobago – Tunisia – Turkey – Tajikistan – Thailand – Turkmenistan

U Ukraine – U.S. Virgin Islands – USA – Uruguay – United Arab Emirates – Uzbekistan – Uganda

V Venezuela – Vietnam

W Wales

Y Yemen

Z Zambia

Kalamaria Open 2008

222 participants from 19 countries. Gelashvili and Rozentalis tied first

The 5th Open Kalamaria Chess Tournament took place between 27th August and 3rd September in Kalamaria, Thessaloniki, Greece. The top-seeded GM Tamaz Gelashvili and GM Eduardas Rozentalis finished tied first with 7.0 points after 9 rounds, but Gelashvili took the trophy on better tiebreaks. The best placed woman was Romanian WIM Paulet Jozefine with 6.0/9, which also earned her an IM norm. There were total of 222 participants from 19 countries, divided in two rating groups. 26 titled players and 12 GM played in the A group of the tournament and the total prize fund was 8.300 euros.

All the participants enjoyed the venue and the accommodation at the 4* hotel Golden Star. The Municipality of Kalamaria, Pireus Ban, OPAP and Vivartia were the main sponsors of the event. The official website provided pgn files, photos and all the details of the tournament.

Final standings:

1-2. GM Gelashvili Tamaz 2612 GEO and GM Rozentalis Eduardas 2599 LTU – 7.0

3-9. GM Berg Emanuel 2592 SWE, IM Haznedaroglu Kivanc 2444 TUR, IM Milanovic Danilo 2529 SRB, GM Andriasian Zaven 2533 ARM, IM Salem A R Saleh 2443 UAE, GM Stocek Jiri 2559 CZE and GM Jankovic Alojzije 2532 CRO – 6.5

10-15. GM Timoshenko Georgy 2572 UKR, WIM Paulet Iozefina 2275 ROU, GM Carlsson Pontus 2514 SWE, GM Iotov Valentin 2519 BUL, GM Mastrovasilis Athanasios 2518 GRE and IM Dimitrov Pavel 2415 BUL – 6.0

Kalamaria Gelashvili

Tamaz Gelashvili

Kalamaria Rozentalis

Eduardas Rozentalis

Kalamaria Paulet

IM norm for Iozefina Paulet

Kalamaria Papathanasiou

Ageliki Papathanasiou won the ‘B’ Group

Kalamaria Playing Hall

The playing hall

News and photos: Giannis Antoniadis

Top players at the European Youth Chess Championship 2008

Daniil Dubov with perfect score after round 7

More about the European Youth Chess Championship 2008

Information and players

Round 4 detailed info

Official website

Youth Chess Championship Boys U10

1 CM Ali Marandi Cemil Can TUR 6,5

2 Vetoshko Volodymyr UKR 6,0

3 Vorontsov Pavlo UKR 6,0

4 Steinberg Nitzan ISR 5,5

5 Duda Jan-Krzysztof POL 5,5

Youth Chess Championship Boys U12

1 Dubov Daniil RUS 7,0

2 FM Berbatov Kiprian BUL 6,0

3 Beradze Irakli GEO 6,0

4 Tomsia Kamil POL 6,0

5 Bortnik Alexandr UKR 5,5

Youth Chess Championship Boys U14

1 FM Bukavshin Ivan RUS 6,0

2 CM Grigoryan Karen H ARM 6,0

3 FM Kovalev Vladislav BLR 6,0

4 Sochacki Christophe FRA 5,5

5 Mokhov Vladimir RUS 5,5

Youth Chess Championship Boys U16

1 FM Nyzhnyk Illya UKR 6,0

2 FM Ter-Sahakyan Samvel ARM 5,5

3 FM Grandelius Nils SWE 5,5

4 Sivuk Vitaly UKR 5,5

5 Pavlidis Antonios GRE 5,5

Youth Chess Championship Boys U18

1 IM Swiercz Dariusz POL 6,0

2 IM Chirila Ioan Cristian ROU 5,5

3 IM Vila Gazquez Xavier ESP 5,5

4 IM Can Emre TUR 5,5

5 FM Kopylov Alexander A RUS 5,5

Youth Chess Championship Girls U10

1 Osmak Iulija UKR 6,5

2 Katanova Marina RUS 6,0

3 Kisteneva Liza RUS 6,0

4 Zamalova Ramilya RUS 5,5

5 Vasenina Anna RUS 5,5

Youth Chess Championship Girls U12

1 WFM Styazhkina Anna RUS 6,5

2 Navrotescu Andreea Cristiana FRA 5,5

3 WCM Fataliyeva Ulviyya Hasil Qizi AZE 5,5

4 Tantsiura Marja UKR 5,5

5 Osmanodja Filiz GER 5,5

Youth Chess Championship Girls U14

1 WFM Arabidze Meri GEO 6,5

2 Jalabadze Natia GEO 5,5

3 Baciu Diana MDA 5,5

4 WFM Lach Aleksandra POL 5,5

5 WFM Efroimski Marsel ISR 5,0

Youth Chess Championship Girls U16

1 Shvayger Yuliya UKR 6,0

2 WIM Tsatsalashvili Keti GEO 5,5

3 WFM Paikidze Nazi GEO 5,5

4 Schut Donna NED 5,5

5 Abdulla Khayala Mardan Qizi AZE 5,5

Youth Chess Championship Girls U18

1 WFM Girya Olga RUS 6,0

2 WFM Danelia Mariam GEO 5,5

3 WGM Nemcova Katerina CZE 5,5

4 WFM Ozturk Kubra TUR 5,5

5 Fuchs Judith GER 5,0

WASKO HetMaN Szopienice Claims Polish Ekstraliga

6-14th September in Karpacz

Polish Team Chess Championship, popular Ekstraliga, took place in Karpacz between 6th and 14th of September. In spite of facing strong opposition, WASKO HetMaN Szopienice successfully ended the campaign to win the second consecutive title. Powerful Polonia Warszawa, with average rating of 2593 and much higher than the rest of the field, finished on tied 2nd place but was declared third on additional criteria.

More information on the official website (Polish language)

Final crosstable (with average team rating, match points and sum of individual points):

1. WASKO HetMaN Szopienice (2527) – 15.0 (34.5)

2-3. AZS UMCS Lublin (2511) – 14.0 (33.0) and Polonia Warszawa (2593) – 14.0 (33.0)

4-5. KS Polonia Votum Wrocław (2495) – 11.0 (30.5) and PTSz Płock (2435) – 11.0 (29.0)

6. JKSz MCKiS Jaworzno (2444) – 8.0 (27.0)

7-8. Javena Hańcza Suwałki (2391) – 7.0 (23.5) and BKSz PROKONEX Brzeg (2364) – 7.0 (22.0)

9. DRAKON – SKOK Chmielewskiego Lublin (2334) – 2.0 (18.5)

10. Zelmer SMAK-EKO Górno (2387) – 1.0 (19.0)

News by GM Mateusz Bartel

European Youth Chess Championship R4

the young talents are competing in Herceg Novi

The European Youth Chess Championships are currently going on in Herceg Novi. More than 900 players from 44 countries are participating. After 4 rounds there have been some surprises, which is a logical fact in the junior events. Here are the group by group summaries.

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Youth Chess Championships, Boys U18

The similar strength of the players of the U18 youth section, combined with the fighting spirit of the participants is leading this group to a very interesting competition for the top spots. After 4 rounds there is no player with full score and six are sharing the top spot in the group. Among them are the IM Swiercz (who is one of the top seeded for the U18 group of the U18 World Youth Championship in Vung Tau, Vietnam), the Turkish top junior IM Emre Can, the Czech talent FM Krejci, and the Russian hope IM Rozum. The big surprises among the leaders are the untitled Teodor Anton (2353) and Adrian Panocki (2338) who managed to stun FM Recuero and IM Chirila.

The rating favorites GM Salgado Lopez and IM Ivan Saric are with 3,0/4.

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Youth Chess Championships, Boys U16

The surprise in the U16 group came in round 3 after the only IM in the filed, IM Peter Prohaszka made a draw with the untitled Italian Alessio Valsecchi (2298). This let FM Ter-Sahakyan and FM Nils Grandelius take the lead with full 4,0/4. They are closely followed by a chasing pack with 3,5/4. There is the Ukrainian hope FM Illya Nyzhnyk, as well as Stefan Mazur, Vitaly Sivuk, and Antonio Pavlidis.

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Youth Chess Championships, Boys U14

FM Vladislav Kovalev is sole leader of the U14 Boys Youth Chess Championships. He is closely followed by Kristian Seegert, Roman Grib, Zaur Fazahir Oglu Mammadov, Karen Grigoryan, and FM Ulvi Bajarani with 3,5/4. The top seeded FM Bukavshin has 3,0/4, the same points as the Mtel Masters Junior winner Sasho Andreev.

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Youth Chess Championships, Boys U12

The rating favorite, and the only IM in this group and the U14 group, IM Kiprian Berbatov, started with 4 consecutive wins. However, things are pretty tight at the top as more players have full points – Beradze, Bortnik, Chigaev, and Dubov. All these players meet in round 5 in direct clash for the top places.

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Youth Chess Championships, Boys U10

Vladimir Minko and Ali Marandi Cemil Can are leading this section with full points. They are followed by 8 players with 3,5/4 and many more with 3,0/3. The group of the youngest players is always unpredictable and anything may happen. Yet surely among these young talents we may find future top players.

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Youth Chess Championships, Girls U18

WFM Kubra Ozturk and WFM Olga Girya are cleearly dominating the U18 girls group with full score 4,0/4. Ozturk managed to take down two WFM players on the way. Girya has not met any rated opponents yet, but her games were not easy as well. The two leaders meet on board 1 in round 5.

The top seeded WGM Katerina Nemcova and the German hope WFM Melanie Ohme are a point behind the first positions, while Marija Rakic is having hard time and is with 2,5/4. Very good performance so far are having Teodora Traistaru, Ekaterini Pavlidou, Maria Dvoranova, Varduhi Kalashyan, Joanna Kasperek, and Maria Demidowicz who are performing above their rating level.

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Youth Chess Championships, Girls U16

This group will be a clear ace between Russian and Georgian players. WFM Varvara Repina is leading with 4,0/4, followed by her compatriots WFM Alena Suslova and WFM Anna Gvanceladze with 3,5. The two Georgian rating favorits WFM Nazi Paikidze and WFM Keti Tsatsalashvili have 3,5/4 as well. Round 5 game on board 1 will be WFM Repina vs WFM Paikidze.

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Youth Chess Championships, Girls U14

Everyone was wondering who of the WFM players will take the lead – Mihaela-Veronica Foisor, Marsel Efroimski, or Marina Baraeva. The untitled Diana Baciu surprised them all and is sole leader with 4,0/4. Foisor and Efroimski are with 3,5/4, but nothing can be predicted into this group as there are many silent favorites for the top places as Burcu Sasmazel, Salome Neuhauser, or Tsveta Galunova.

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Youth Chess Championships, Girls U12

WFM Styazhkina and Andreea Cristiana Navrotescu are leading with 4,0/4. Bitalzadeh, Dziodzio, Tantsiura, and Belova are with 3,5/4, while WFM Visanescu is way behind for her rating with only 2,0/2. Round 5 will see the top board clash between the leaders.

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Youth Chess Championships, Girls U10

As the general rule goes, the rated players in this group are always surprised by the unrated ones. Such is the situation here, as the unrated Anna Vasenina, Iulija Osmak, Marina Marina, and Aleksandra Goryachkina are leading with full 4,0/4. The rating favorite Sagadijeva is with 2,0/4, the same score as Teodora Rackic.

Official site:

Alexandra Kosteniuk Wins The Crown

Women World Chess Championship, Nalchik, Russia

Alexandra Kosteniuk played another superb game today to clinch the final match and crown herself as the 14th Women’s World Champion. Seven years after losing a final to Zhu Chen, Kosteniuk was ready for the Chinese challenge and outplayed 14-years old GM-elect Hou Yifan by 2.5-1.5.

The last game opened as Sheveningen Sicilian and Yifan threw everything forward in an attempt to equalize the score and reach the rapid tiebreaks. White, however, never appeared to be in trouble as Kosteniuk skillfully handled complicated variations. The final position is completely winning for White, but the new champion took a needed draw by perpetual check while it was there.

WWCC final match

Forth game of the final match

Kudos to Alexandra as she broke through all the stages of a difficult and stressing knockout system to become the Champion. She was confident and aggressive and she never appeared to be struggling in weaker position. She even dropped a couple of winning positions, notably against Tatiana Kosintseva and 2nd game against Hou Yifan. Her coach GM Yuri Razuvaev said that Alexandra played convincingly and completely deserved to win the Championship.

In the aftermath press conference, Kosteniuk dedicated this victory to her daughter and husband. “I played this Championship, but my daughter hasn’t seen her mother for almost a month and a half. I am hoping to catch up soon.” – she added.

Alexandra Kosteniuk square

Alexandra Kosteniuk

Hou Yifan square

Hou Yifan (photos by the official website)

More information, photos and videos are available on the official website