Games Festival day 3

photos, pgn, results, and information from all events

The Games Festival continues in Thessaloniki with more than 1000 participants, a record breaking 500 in the chess sections. After 4 rounds there were many surprises and only a few sections could have players with full 4,0/4. Today round 5 starts at 17:00 local time with many interesting battles on the top boards. Here are the events and report from round 4.

world school chess

World School Chess Championship

As the battle unfolds at the World School Chess Championship, several players are making an early challenge at the World title by singling out on the top with perfect score after four rounds. China team can be very satisfied with current standings as Han Chao (Open U15), Nie Xin (Girls U13) and Wei Yi (Open U11) are leading in their respective groups. Wei Yi is paired to meet another player with 4 out 4 – Vyacheslav Tatekhin of Russia.

WFM Pierina Rosales and Riya Savant are confidently walking through the Groups Girls U11 and Girls U9 respectively. Open U9 is dominated by Turkish representatives Denizcan Temizkan and CM Bilgen Sazci, who are sharing first with Russian Mikhail Perelygin. Ansuman Singh and Zantye Riddhi Pravin are paired for tomorrow’s round to decide in direct duel who will be the sole leader in Open U7.

3.5 points are sufficient for Ana Kuchava (Girls U15) and CM Firmansyah Farid (Open U17) to grab pole positions in their age groups. In Boys U13, however, this number of points was reached by five players who are clustered on the top.

World School Chess Championship results and standings

Round 4 photo gallery

World Amateur Chess Championship

The World Amateur Chess Championship features over 100 players this year. After 4 rounds the top position is shared by the Geeman player Nagy Laszlo and the Romanian Stefan Parlog. Today they meet in a direct battle of high importance, as the chasing pack is only 1/2 point behind.



Thessaloniki Open

The first rounds came as a shock to the top rated players. GM Vladimir Georgiev, the top seeded player at the competition, is out of the top ten with 2,5/4 – after a loss against the untitled Pavlidis Antonios and a draw with WIM Fakhiridou. Pavlidis Antonios proved to be in top form and he also managed to hold IM Esen Baris to a draw and defeat IM Poley to be only half a point from the top position that is currently held by GM Bagaturov and IM Obodchuk.




WGM Karlovich taking photos before the start of the round

world amateur chess

World Amateur section features a multitude of players

world school chess

World School Chess Championship proves to be a difficult competition with 30 titled yound talents

world school chess

All photos from the event can be seen here

World School Chess Championship Round 4

results, standings, photos, pgn

world school chess

The World School Chess Championship round 4 will start today in Grand Hotel Palace in Thessaloniki at 17:00 local time. After the first rounds many surprises were seen in all sections, typical for a major youth event. This competition, however, will bring out the best of each player, as the winners receive the status of World School Champions and also the FIDE Candidate Master title.

Follow the links below for all results, standings, photos, and pgn.

All results / Standings Girls / Standings Open / Photos / PGN

Official site:

Leaders by section after R3

Open U17 Dimitrios-Alkis Kaforos (GRE) 3,0/3

Girls U15 Ana Kuchava (GEO) 3,0/3

Open U15 Han Chao (CHN), Remo Bassan (VEN) 3,0/3

Girls U13 Daria Vlasova (RUS), Nie Xin (CHN) 3,0/3

Open U13 CM Yuksel Atilla Koksal (TUR), Rahman Masruri (INA), Diyap Buyukasik (TUR) 3,0/3

Girls U11 WFM Pierina Rosales (PER), Liu Kexin (CHN), Irina Drogovoz (RUS) 3,0/3

Open U11 Vyacheslav Tatekhin (RUS), FM Ali Marandi Cemil Can (TUR), Wei Yi (CHN) 3,0/3

Girls U9 Nadya Ahmed Salah (YEM), Alexandra Obolentseva (RUS), Savant Riya (IND) 3,0/3

Open U9 Sazci Bilgen (TUR), Nikolaos Dalipis (GRE), Bayyurt Izge (TUR), Alexander Zlastin (ISR), Temizkan Denizcan (TUR), Mikhail Perelygin (RUS) 3,0/3

Open U7 Ansuman Singh (IND), Zhou Xiangheng (CHN), Zantye Riddhi Pravin (IND) 3,0/3

GM Zhou Jianchao and WGM Ruan Lufei win the China zonal tournament

International Chess Zone Tournament for men and women

The International Chess Zone Tournament for men and women, zone China, took place April 17-28 in Beijing. It was a very close competition and the winners GM Zhou Jianchao and WGM Ruan Lufei had to be decided by the tiebreak criteria. With the same points, but worse tiebreak, the silver medals are for GM Wang Hao and WGM Shen Yang. The bronze medals are for GM Li Chao B and WGM Huang Qian.

Here are the full standings. For full results click here.

Zonal chess, men

1 GM Zhou Jianchao CHN 2635 7

2 GM Wang Hao CHN 2696 7

3 GM Li Chao B CHN 2643 6.5

4 GM Zhou Weiqi CHN 2563 6

5 GM Wen Yang CHN 2532 6

6 Gao Rui CHN 2500 5.5

7 Yu Yangyi CHN 2433 5

8 Ding Liren CHN 2458 5

9 GM Zhao Jun CHN 2560 5

10 Xiu Deshun CHN 2422 5

11 GM Li Shilong CHN 2557 4.5

12 GM Xu Jun CHN 2498 3.5

Note: GM Zhou Jianchao and GM Wang Hao have the same points, the same results of the players in the same point group (tiebreak 1), the same number of victories (tiebreak 2), but GM Zhou Jianchao has better Sonneborn-Berger

Zonal chess, women

1 WGM Ruan Lufei CHN 2486 7.5

2 WGM Shen Yang CHN 2420 7.5

3 WGM Huang Qian CHN 2410 7

4 Ju Wenjun CHN 2454 7

5 IM Wang Yu CHN 2364 6.5

6 Tan Zhongyi CHN 2436 5.5

7 WGM Gu Xiaobing CHN 2336 5

8 Wang Xiaohui CHN 2265 4.5

9 WFM Ding Yixin CHN 2281 4.5

10 WIM Zhang Xiaowen CHN 2340 4

11 Wang Jue CHN 2162 3.5

12 WGM Zhang Jilin CHN 2335 3.5

Note: WGM Ruan Lufei wins on a greater number of victories

Replay games

Akobian dominates the U.S. Champion in California’s First GM Invitational!

Akobian – Shulman match, April 22nd-25th 2009 in Lake County, California

akobian shulman

A fantastic match between California’s #1 GM Varuzhan Akobian and reigning U.S. Champion GM Yury Shulman took place on April 22nd-25th 2009 in Lake County, California. The two great tacticians of the chess board, both members of the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist team, met in the California’s First GrandMaster Invitational World Class Chess Event. After six rapid games, the match finished with a blitz finale.

Organizer of this event was Thomas Southerland and the venue was Lake County Wine Studio. The games were relayed live on the official site Here is Thomas Southerland’s post-match report.

As many considered this to be a nearly even match-up of two of America’s Strongest Players, with a slight edge going to the U.S. Champion, there were many who were undoubtedly surprised at the commanding performance of the underdog.

Day 1. Arrival:

I met GM Akobian at SFO early in the morning on the 21st. We had several hours before the arrival of GM Shulman, so we decided to head down to Fisherman’s Wharf for some lunch and to discuss the projects that we are working on. It was then that I realized just how relaxed he was and how determined he was to bring fighting Chess to the U.S. Champion. (This was a good sign I thought.)

After lunch, we headed back to the airport to await the arrival of GM Shulman. While waiting in the airport Var and I played two short blitz matches in which he gave me 5-1 on the clock. Of Course, he demolished me. In one game he literally defeated me in 13 seconds! (Again I was thinking; “This is a good sign.”)

After GM Shulman’s arrival we began the trek to the site of the match and my family’s ranch where the players and I would be staying.

At that point I was able to play some blitz with GM Shulman. Same time odds, though I didn’t fall as quickly as before while playing Var. I began to see that this match was going to be much closer than many had expected, In fact, I was thinking that Var seemed sharper on that day, and had a real chance to defeat GM Shulman in the match.

After dinner and a movie at the ranch, the players retired to their suites to rest up for the beginning of the match the next morning.

Day 2. The Match Begins:

Day one of play saw GM Akobian drawing first blood in a King’s Indian then securing a draw (The only draw out of 14 games!) in a Bogo-Indian. Again, Var seemed very relaxed. Confidently out-performing Shulman and clearly enjoying the occasion.

After the games we had a very nice lunch at the Tallman Hotel’s “Blue Wing Cafe” before heading back to the ranch where the players went over the games while I worked on getting our live broadcast up and running and ready for the next day’s games. Unfortunately after many hours working to establish the broadcast capabilities I was making no progress, So I decided to focus on providing the best coverage we could through ICC. Many thanks to the good people there for helping to bring the games to the online audience. As well as GM Susan Polgar, Jennifer Shahade and the USCF, and Mark Crowther’s “The Week In Chess”.

Day 3. Akobian Leads, Shulman resolves himself:

The second day of the Rapid saw GM Shulman put a full point on the board with the Black side of the King’s Indian and GM Akobian taking the full point in round four in a Slav defense.

So Akobian lead after two days play 2.5 to 1.5. Although he was leading, it was still very close and I knew that Shulman was within striking distance. And again, seeming quite resolved to come-back in the rounds 5 and 6.

After the games we headed back to the ranch where the players analysed the games from rounds 3 and 4. Then it was time to have some fun on the quads! Life in the country has many perks and the players seemed to enjoy a great deal being in the fresh air, going for walks and taking the opportunity to make the most out of the training camp for the 2009 U.S. Championship coming up next month.

Late evening saw the arrival of Macauley Peterson to the ranch. After a brief introduction and chat he settled into the guestroom for some rest from his journey and to prepare for the next days rounds of 5 and 6.

Day 4. Akobian still leads and is growing in confidence:

After arriving at Susan Feiler’s Lake County Wine Studio for Fridays rounds of 5 and 6 I could tell that Var seemed to be doing what we used to call in tournament tennis in Florida; “Tree-ing”. This is basically when a player’s confidence and preparation come together in a display of rare precision. An expression of being far beyond the sum of the parts. Though GM Shulman wasn’t going down without a fight!

Fridays rounds were fiercely contested with GM Akobian winning the first game in a QGD Exchange, The second game going to the U.S. Champion in a solid performance via a Catalan. Akobian was apparently winning round six with a better position and a time advantage when GM Shulman dug-in and produced perhaps the greatest comeback I have ever seen at this level! I congratulated GM Shulman on an amazing game. A spectacular display of Chess Mastery. He thanked me and indicated that he was now focused on winning the blitz.

The Rapid was over, and GM Akobian was victorious! Shortly after arriving back at the ranch on Friday, the band began to show-up for the party that would unfold later in the evening.

Apparently, word quickly spread that I was throwing a party for the players and before I knew it there were way more people showing up than I had invited. Which was fine of course.

Great food, company, and Great entertainment by Neon Napalm, Michael Barrish and Friends made celebrating our hero’s victory, (California’s strongest player) over the U.S. Champion in the Rapid Match a sweet moment. Of course we also celebrated the visit of our U.S. Champion and our highly esteemed chess journalist Macauley Peterson for gracing our hometown with their enthusiastic presence.

After the party wound down, Var and Yury watched a movie in the home theatre at the ranch while Macauley and I played some blitz. Although Macauley came out well ahead of me, it was quite enjoyable, and I realized what a true gentleman he is. It was a pleasure to meet him and spend some downtime with him involved in our most passionate experience; “Playing Chess”.

Day 5. The Blitz:

The blitz match was very exciting for the spectators, GM Akobian was clearly on another level. It’s as if he were putting on a clinic in how to play blitz against a world-class opponent. Taking nothing away from GM Shulman, Var was quite simply “On Fire!”. The result was a quick 6-2 victory.

Var had done it. He beat the U.S. Champion in the Rapid and the Blitz!

And the rest is history.

I’d like to personally thank both players for an outstanding showing of “Fighting Chess”. I can’t remember the last time I heard of a match score between players of this caliber where out of 14 games there was only 1 draw.

Till next time….

All My Best To All Of You!

Thomas Southerland

World School Chess Championship round 2

More than 1000 participants at the Games Festival

The second round of the World School Chess Championship, World Chess Amateur Championship and Thessaloniki Open started this morning at 10 am local time (photo gallery here). All School groups are still in that initial stage when it is difficult to speak about contenders for the titles. According to the regulations, winners of all age groups will be awarded with the FIDE Candidate Master title.

World School Chess Championship

Round 1: Results all groups

Pairings: Girls, Boys, Open U7 and Open U17

World Amateur Chess Championship

Results and pairings

Thessaloniki Open

The favorites started with wins the first round of the Thesaloniki Open. GM Vladimir Georgiev, IM Esen Baris, and GM Bagaturov won on the top 3 boards. There were a few surprises with untitled Sidorenko defeating IM Pavel Dimitrov and Georgia Grapsa drawing with IM Danilov.

All results from round 1

world school chess

The five star venue with many participants gathered at the entrance


Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou officially opened the World School Chess Championship, World Chess Amateur Championship and Thessaloniki Open

world school chess

Mr. Kostyev, President of the International School Chess Union, speech at the opening ceremony

World School Chess Championship starts

pairings and round 1

games festival

World School Chess Championship 2009 has started in Thessaloniki, Greece.

The first winner in each open age category is the FIDE World School Champion for 2009 and the first girl in each girl age category is the FIDE World Girl School Champions for 2009. According to the regulations they are awarded with the FIDE Candidate Master title.

The players are accommodated at the 5 star Grand Hotel Palace, where the games will be played. The tournament will be played according to the Swiss System in 9 rounds. National ratings will not be taken into consideration for the pairings. Rate of play will be according to FIDE regulations 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the Game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move.

The participants in the event (full list here) are over 300 people and signups are accepted until 12:00 local time on Monday 27th. Then will be held a technical meeting where pairings will be announced. The moment they are available you will be able to find them here on and on the official site. Round 1 starts at 16:00 local time.

Parallel to this event will take place the World Chess Amateur Championship and the Thessaloniki open. Again, pairings, results, standings, and photos will be posted at the official site.

Stay tuned for more information!

Prince Bajaj and Arunima Kalra chess champions in Delhi

Amity Delhi State Chess Festival

prince bajaj

Prince Bajaj
Winner of

Chess prodigy Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi’s School become a happy hunting ground for the former World Under-10 bronze medalist Prince Bajaj as he won the Amity Delhi State Under-15 Open Chess Championship here at Amity International School, Saket today. Rishi Thariani finished second while Rishi Sardana and Abir Sinha finished third and fourth respectively and selected to represent Delhi state in the forthcoming National Sub-Junior Chess Championship. In the final round encounters, Prince and Rishi settle for a quick draws against Anirudh Singh Negi and Abir Sinha respectively.

Meanwhile in the girls section, top seed Arunima Kalra secured her pole position with 4.5 points without much struggle while second seed Madhurima Sekhar finished second. Himani Sharma and Vanshika Agarwal secured third and fourth respectively.

Final Standings (Open)

1 Prince Bajaj (6.5)

2 Rishi Thariani (5.5)

3 Rishi Sardana (5)

4 Abir Sinha (5)

5 Anirudh Singh Negi (5)

6 Ram Gupta (5)

7 Sarthak Mahajan (5)

8 Harshal Shahi (5)

9 Pavit Singh (5)

10 Utkarsh Khaneja (5)

Important Results (Round-7 Open) :- Prince Bajaj (6.5) drew with Anirudh Singh Negi (5) ; Abir Sinha (5) drew with Rishi Thariani (5) ; Harshal Shahi (5) drew with Rishi Sardana (5) ; Ram Gupta (5) beat Rishab Garh (4) ; Aryan Chopra (4) lost to Deep Kapoor (5)

Final Standings (Girls)

1 Arunima Kalra (4.5)

2 Madhurima Shekhar (4)

3 Himani Sharma (3.5)

4 Vanshika Agarwal (3)

6 Rachita Sharma (3)

7 Priyam Chaliha (2)

8 Sharvi Goyal (2)

9 Stuti Dewan (2)

10 Sehaj Kaur (1.5)

11 Palkin Kaur (1.5)

Results (Round-5 Girls): Arunima Kalra (4.5) beat Vanshika Agarwal (3) ; Madhurima Shekhar (4) beat Kesshni Bhasiin (3) ; Priyam Chaliha (2) lost to Himani Sharma (3.5) ; Sharvi Goyal (2) lost to Rachita Sharma (3) ; Sehaj Kaur (1.5) lost to Stuti Dewan (2) ; Palkin Kaur (1.5) got bye.

More about Amity Delhi State Chess Festival

Round 1-3 report

delhi chess
delhi chess
delhi chess

Rotary Federal Bank FIDE Rated Chess Tournament

GM Panchanathan Magesh Chandran is top seeded

chess india

Over 300 players, out of which 15 titled, participate in the Rotary Federal Bank FIDE Rated Chess Tournament that started today in India. Top seeded is the former junior Asian champion GM Panchanathan Magesh Chandran. One of his strongest oppinents will be IM Murali Krishnan, who just won the PKV chess tournament.

Round 1 had no surprises and the top 20 rating favorites won their games. The tournament continues tomorrow.

More information and participants list

GM Yuri Drozdovskij sole leader at the Scandinavian open

IM Thorsten Michael Haub half a point behind

scandinavian open

After 7 rounds of the Scandinavian open, the Ukranian GM Yuri Drozdovskij is leading the tournament. GM Drozdovskij has collected 5,5/7 points in what proves to be a very close competition. Only half a point behind is IM Thorsten Michael Haub and there are four players – IM Nils Grandelius, GM Miroslaw Grabarczyk, GM Carsten Høi, IM Hans Tikkanen – with 4,5/7. With 3 rounds left the final outcome is difficult to be predicted.

In round 8 the leader GM Drozdovskij will play against GM Carsten Høi, while IM Thorsten Michael Haub will meet IM Nils Grandelius.

Scroll down for round by round reports.

More about Scandinavian open

Official site

Previous rounds report

Download pgn

scandinavian open

GM Carsten Høi and FM Daniel V. Pedersen

tania sachdev

Tania Sachdev sharing the top women spot with 3,0/7

Round 5

In round 5, nine out of the ten games were decisive, the players obviously being in an exceptionally belligerent mood.

On the top board, Yuri Drozdovskij and Nils Grandelius played a sharp Grünfeld game in which the Ukrainian grandmaster weakened his opponents king position with the pseudo-sacrifice 17.Bxf7+ and later exploited this to win a pawn. After 21.Qb5, grabbing the b2-pawn would cost an exchange after 21.- Qxb2 22.Qc4+ because of the threat of smothered mate. Grandelius threw in the towel on move 38 when he was about to lose a whole rook.

Thorsten Michael Haub again played a Hippopotamus setup, this time with black, and again with success. As is in the spirit of this venerable opening system, he managed to weaken the impressive looking white pawn center to such an extent that when Esben Lund had had enough on move 35, it lay completely in ruins.

Henrik Danielsen’s Polar Bear also went hunting but allowed its prey to escape and even strike back. In one of the notoriously sharp queen and opposite colored bishop positions, he optimistically declined Miroslaw Grabarczyk’s offer of a queen exchange in favor of a pawn grab but soon realised that Black’s pieces would be first to invade the weak squares around the enemy king and that the hunter had thus suddenly become the hunted.

In a rare version of the Ragozin Queen’s Gambit, Daniel Semcesen energetically took advantage of Daniel V. Pedersen’s risky decision to castle after playing h6 and g5. A piece sacrifice forcing the opening of the h-file left the black king utterly helpless before the unslought of White’s heavy artillery, and the neat 20.Nf4, leaving two pieces en prise, compelled Pedersen to give up decisive amounts of material in order to avoid mate.

Stellan Brynell clearly was not happy about being an accomplice to the only draw of the day and avoided repetition on several occasions. However, despite ingenious temporary pawn and exchange sacrifices and an active rook on the seventh rank, he eventually had to accept that Simon Bekker-Jensen’s position was too solid to break down.

In an attempt to protect her weak pawn on d5, Natalia Zdebskaja’s pieces discoordinated themselves and allowed Carsten Høi to win an exchange on move 22. Her hopes of counterchances with a passed d-pawn proved futile as White could simply take it and trade everything down to a won pawn endgame.

With Black against Stefan Christensen, Hans Tikkanen got the better end of a Ruy Lopez by acquiring the bishop pair and saddling White with an isolated d-pawn. After gobbling that up, he conducted the heavy piece endgame with great energy and caught the enemy king in a mating net.

When Axel Smith’s pawns came rushing toward her king, Tania Sachdev reacted cooly by infiltrating with her queen on the weak squares they had left behind and playing for control of the open d-file. After she had accomplished this and Black’s pawn storm had run out of steam, she simply took one of the far advanced infantrymen and converted this material advantage in a virtuosic rook endgame. One of the extra queens posted outside all boards finally came into use when she managed to promote both the e- and the g-pawn.

Björn Thorfinnsson seemed to break all principles of sound opening play by moving his bishop first to g5, then to f4 and then all the way back to c1, leaving his entire piece assortment undeveloped until move 10, but despite its eccentric appearance, this Trompowsky worked like a dream for him. After another 7 moves, Jasmin Bejtovic found himself down two pawns without adequate compensation, almost forcing him to try a desperate pawn thrust on the kingside which backfired and exposed his own king fatally.

After four defeats in as many games, Olli Sisättö finally got things going for him when he managed to smoke Bo Jacobsen’s king out of his foxhole by means of a bishop sacrifice on f7. According to Fritz, Black could have saved his king with an advantage by moving it to h6 on move 17, whereas the move played, 17.- Kg5, was just as dangerous as it looked. Five moves later it was mate.

Round 6

As was to be expected after Tuesday’s bloodbath, round 6 saw the players in a more conciliatory mood, the drawing percentage going up from 10 to 70.

The first peace settlement was reached on the top board where Miroslaw Grabarczyk and Yuri Drozdovskij signed their scoresheets after only 8 moves. Nils Grandelius and Hans Tikkanen on the other hand slugged it out in an exciting Ruy Lopez game where White seemed to be on to something with his passed e-pawn and kingside structural advantage but had to accept total liquidation after accurate play from Black.

Apparently Björn Thorfinnsson and Henrik Danielsen had decided to pay tribute to their country’s literary heritage by reenacting a battle scene from one of the Icelandic sagas on the chess board. Already on move nine, after White had foolheartedly grabbed a central pawn and then refused to give it back, Danielsen seized the opportunity to inflict fatal wounds on his opponent. With 9.- Ng4 he prevented White from castling due to Qh4 and forced him to play the ugly 10.Rf1 to protect the weak point f2. The remaining 20 moves can be considered a long but eminently entertaining death struggle.

Carsten Høi fared considerably better with the black pieces against Stellan Brynell than he did in last year’s tournament. He managed to neutralize White’s pressure, and with an – admittedly weak – extra pawn, he could probably have played on without risk when the draw was agreed. But then again, saving energy for the evening round might not have been too bad an idea.

Natalia Zdebskaja played with great determination on the black side of an English opening against Bo Jacobsen and seemed to be steamrolling her way to victory with her connected passed c- and d-pawns. However, when a queen endgame had been reached, the pawns looking more dangerous than ever, she squandered her advantage by trying to keep them together. Instead of 49.- c4, Fritz wants to give a couple of checks and then post the queen on e2 from where it protects the h-pawn and secures the promotion of the d-pawn. The move played allowed Jacobsen to seize the initiative, and in the final position he was suddenly two pawns up, but probably too relieved to consider trying for a win.

Daniel V. Pedersen and Esben Lund played a Four Knights game with g3 where Black had some initiative in the rook endgame but White too few weaknesses to be in real danger. Simon Bekker-Jensen beat Tania Sachdev in a sharp Nimzo-Indian struggle where he won a pawn in the tactically loaded middlegame but had to live through some really hairy moments before being able to neutralize Black’s initiative. On move 37, the merciless engine points out that Black could have won a piece with Rc1!, the point being 38.Qxc1 Qe3+! After overlooking this in time trouble, Sachdev soon saw her position crumble.

Axel Smith gained a small advantage against Olli Sisättö, but in the rook and bishop versus rook and knight endgame, Black kept everything protected while his knight prevented White from making any progress. Thorsten Michael Haub’s game against Daniel Semcesen ended in an unusual repetition on move 17 after an even more unusual opening. Finally, Jasmin Bejtovic happily sacrificed a couple of pawns in a Winawer in order to prevent Stefan Christensen from castling short and then successfully threw the kitchen sink at him once he had castled long.

Round 7

Top seed Yuri Drozdovskij has grabbed the sole lead of K41 Scandinavian Open after beating Daniel Semcesen convincingly in round 7, played Wednesday evening. The grandmaster was faced with an unusual opening system where Black gave up the bishop pair in return for damaging White’s pawn structure slightly. While he could probably claim an advantage due to his strong knight on d5, it was kept within reasonable limits until 26.- h5, which weakened the light squares around Black’s king and allowed White to exchange the bishop that was supposed to protect them by means of the nice pawn sacrifice 27.c5 followed by 28.Ne7. When White invaded with his bishop on f7 and his queen on e6, forking the two black knights, Semcesen was forced to resign.

Thorsten Michael Haub dropped to second place after an exciting draw with black against Miroslaw Grabarczyk. After giving up a pawn as well as the bishop pair in a Dutch stonewall, the German IM proved his securely entrenched knight on e4 and White’s doubled e-pawns to be quite reasonable compensation. A draw was agreed on move 36, and Haub still has excellent chances of scoring a GM norm.

Henrik Danielsen abandoned the Polar Bear in favor of a double fianchetto Reti system for his game against Nils Grandelius but still lost; he has now scored 1/4 with white as opposed to 2½/3 with black. At first nothing much seemed to be happening, but after a major exchange sequence on moves 16-20, Grandelius’ rook on the open d-file gave him a minuscule advantage which he slowly but systematically increased during the next 25 moves through exquisite constricting maneuvers reminiscent of Karpov. Having forced White’s pieces into ridiculously passive positions on the back rank, he put the icing on the cake with 47.Ba2! which put White in zugzwang and prompted immediate resignation.

Hans Tikkanen versus Simon Bekker-Jensen was a King’s Indian in which Black’s bishop pair turned out to be insufficient compensation for the damage inflicted on his pawn structure by the bishop for knight exchange. After the weak black c-pawn had succumbed to the white rooks’ relentless pressure, Bekker-Jensen sought his chances in a pawn down bishop endgame which he soon found was beyond saving.

For the second time in the tournament, Carsten Høi won in less than 20 moves. This time he only needed 14 moves to dispatch Daniel V. Pedersen who weakened his king’s pawn shelter with g5 in order to break the pin on his f6 knight and, clearly disgusted by his position, dropped a pawn to the tactic 14.Nxd5. Høi now shares third place and plays Drozdovskij on the top board in round 8. Esben Lund and Stellan Brynell played a slightly uncommon Nimzo-Indian where Black parted with the bishop pair as usual, only in this case it was the light squared bishop that was exchanged while the other one stayed. After the rooks had come off, White converted this advantage to a pawn (as they say, the good thing about the two bishops is that you can exchange one of them at the proper moment), which was then again converted to a direct and irresistible mating attack with queen a bishop.

Jasmin Bejtovic was a pawn down and seemed to be in trouble against Tania Sachdev, when his knight pair all by themselves created enough kingside counterplay to force a perpetual, despite Sachdev being a menacing passed pawn up. After a Berlin Ruy Lopez, Natalia Zdebskaja and Axel Smith agreed on a draw in a position adverse to breakthroughs of any kind. Björn Thorfinnsson showed great fighting spirit by declining Olli Sisättö’s offer of an early repetition and managed to win a pawn through active piece play, a material advantage he was unable to convert in the rook endgame, however.

Bo Jacobsen must have experienced heavy deja vu when Stefan Christensen, just like in their previous encounter less than two weeks ago at the Danish championship, sacrificed a knight on h6. This time, the knight clearly could not be taken, but again Jacobsen found an adequate response. After sidestepping the check and exchanging queens, he demonstrated that the brave knight could not retreat without allowing material loss. Christensen might have pinned his hopes on the knight fork on c7 (still the same knight by the way), but as this turned out to be a fata morgana due to 25.- Rh8, he was simply down a piece. With Black in control of the fantastic knight square d4 and White lagging behind in development, two pawns were nowhere near enough compensation, and Christensen gave up on move 30, thus making the game a full 77 moves shorter than their last one – but no less exciting, it should be added.

Drozdovskij is now on 5½/7, half a point ahead of Haub and a whole point ahead of the trio Grandelius, Grabarczyk and Høi.

IM Murali and FM Vishnu win PKV chess tournament

WIM Kiran Manisha Mohanty is the top woman

chess india

Tamil Nadu’s International Master B.T. Murali Krishnan and FIDE Master V. Vishnu Prasanna emerged joint winners in the P.K.V. Memorial all-India FIDE-rated chess tournament which concluded in Thodupuzha on Tuesday.

The two were tied at 7.5 points at the end of the nine-round event and the progressive scores were also equal at 39. With P. Shyam Nikhil and P. Phoobalan taking the third and fourth places, the Tamil Nadu players took the top four positions in the tournament.

On 5th place, and as top woman of the competition, is WIM Kiran Manisha Mohanty.

Final standings

1 IM Murali Krishnan B T 7.5

2 FM Vishnu Prasanna V 7.5

3 FM Shyam Nikil P 7

4 Phoobalan P 7

5 WIM Kiran Manisha Mohanty 7

6 Nimmy A G 7

7 IM Koshy Varugeese 7

8 Ram S Krishnan 7

9 Kunal M 7

10 Arvind Shastry 6.5

11 Paramasivam M 6.5

12 Alaguraja M A 6.5

13 Tejas Ravichandran 6.5

14 Sekar B 6.5

15 Venkatesh H 6.5

16 WIM Meera Sai 6.5

17 Ganesh D V 6.5

18 Anilkumar O T 6.5

19 Vijay Kumar Agarwal 6.5

20 Santhosh P V 6.5

21 G Yogesh 6.5

22 Joy Lazar M A 6.5

23 Ajeesh Antony 6.5

24 Madhusoodanan K R 6

25 Manigandan S S 6

26 Konde Gaurav 6

27 Ramalingam Karthik 6

28 Kulkarni Vinayak 6

29 Gireman Ja 6

30 Einthiresh R S 6

31 A Akshaya 6

32 Dk Chopra 6

33 Jishore V M 6

34 Shenvi Mohit 6

35 Anilkumar K V 6

36 Shajahan I S 6

37 Bala Kannamma P 6

38 Roshan Rangarajan 6

39 Sheena E 6

40 Bharadwaj Akshay 5.5

41 Jitendria Vels 5.5

42 Ganesh R 5.5

43 Shreeshan S 5.5

44 Sharang M S 5.5

45 Satvik M 5.5

46 Amir Asim 5.5

47 Ganesh Kumar 5.5

48 Augustin A 5.5

49 Salil Kumar D 5.5

50 Prasannaa S 5.5

51 Vishnu Surendran 5.5

Total: 201 players