AAI Grandmaster Chess Tournament – Round Eight

Caruana wins again, wonderful day for Indians

New Delhi, June 30: Parimarjan Negi stopped his run of losses while Krishnan Sasikiran got back to his winning ways in what turned out to be good day for the Indian duo in the AAI Grandmasters Chess Tournament.

Negi completed a comprehensive 27-move win over Wesley So of the Philippines while Sasikiran after draws in previous two games took just 30 moves following a Queen’s Indian opening for a full point against Czech Viktor Laznicka in the eighth round on Thursday. In the third game of the day Fabiano Caruana beat Hou Yifan to extend his lead to 1.5 points with two rounds to go.

Caruana continues to be the only unbeaten player in the tournament scored his fifth win and with three other draws. With 6.5 points he is 1.5 points ahead of the second place Sasikiran, who has five points. Wesley So and Viktor Laznicka have four points each, Negi has 2.5 and Hou Yifan two.

Replay the games with computer analysis

“It was not really that easy because I took some risks today,” said Sasi. “At one point I offered a sacrifice which he need not have taken then but he did and it became a bit easier. Maybe the Kh1 (on 23rd move) from him was the mistake that helped me get to the win faster,” said Sasi, who with his 30-move win is now second place.

AAI r8 Mr. J S Balhara

Mr. J S Balhara making the inaugural move of 8th round

AAI r8 Parimarjan Negi and Krishnan Sasikiran

Parimarjan Negi and Krishnan Sasikiran

On his recent run with four wins and two draws in the last six rounds after starting with two losses, Sasikiran laughed and said, “Maybe the weather cooling down also helped me. I like playing in slightly cooler weather. There is two more games to go. As such before the tournament I was hoping to get to either plus three or plus four and I am right now plus two.” It was Sasi’s second win over Laznicka in the tournament as he had earlier beaten him in the third round.

The 17-year-old Indian National champion Negi approached the round rather cautiously but was surprised to see his rival, Wesley, play the Petroff defence, something he had played only once before against a noted opponent, Alexei Shirov, last year. “It was a big surprise to see him use the Petroff, maybe he just wanted to play solid and also surprise. I thought I wouldn’t take any chances,” said Negi.

But it was So who made the big error when he played Be7 on the 18th move and from there on the game turned decisively in Negi’s favour. It was thereafter only a matter of time as Negi won in just 27 moves. It was by far the quickest game in terms of moves and took less than three hours.

Asked is the nightmarish part of the week is over, Negi smiled and said, “I don’t know whether the nightmare is over as there are two more rounds to go, but this win was certainly welcome. There is always some pressure when you play a tournament, but I feel I have not been able to convert my chances. If you notice I have had my chances in many games, but was not able to use that.”

AAI r8 Wesley So

Wesley So

Negi and Sasi are both due to play Asian Team Chess in China next month and then the World Cup in Russia.

Negi, who had drawn his third round with Wesley So before his run of losses began in the fourth round, now has 2.5 points from eight games.

“It was a nice win. It is good to be 1.5 points ahead with two rounds to go, but no tournament is over till the last,” said the shy Caruana with a slight smile. He won in 46 moves from a Sicilian Najdorf.

There are two more rounds to go in the 10-round Category-17 tournament, which comes to an end on Saturday.

AAI r8 Raghav Sharma presenting

Young chess player Raghav Sharma presenting his on the spot painting of Chess Hall to GM Laznicka

AAI r8 Raghav Sharma's painting

Young Chess player Raghav Sharma’s on the spot painting of chess hall

Points after eight rounds:

6.5 points – Caruana

5 – Sasikiran

4 – Wesley So and Laznicka

2.5 – Negi

2 – Yifan

Results of the eighth round: F Caruana beat H Yifan; Negi P beat W So; V Laznicka lost to K Sasikiran

Draw for the Ninth round: V Laznicka v F Caruana; K Sasikiran v Negi P; W So v H Yifan

AAI r8 Negi and Sasikiran

Negi and Sasikiran after their 8th round victory

Official website

AAI Grandmaster Chess Tournament – Round Seven

Yifan downs Negi, Wesley So defeats Laznicka

New Delhi, June 29: It seemed to be a day for revenge in the seventh round of the inaugural AAI Grandmasters Chess Championships as Filipino Welsey So and China’s Hou Yifan avenged their earlier losses in the tournament against Czech Viktor Laznicka and India’s Parimarjan Negi respectively on Wednesday.

But in the third game which had a variation of the Kings Indian, Krishnan Sasikiran held the advantage for a good part of the game against tournament leader Fabiano Caruana, but the World Junior No. 1 hung in tenaciously and got himself a draw. Sasi said, “I was worse in the opening but then had a chance. But in the end I suppose I made some mistake I don’t know. I thought I was winning for a while, but it was a see-saw.” The game ended in a draw after 92 moves and seven hours.

Wesley beat Laznicka in 31 moves and Women’s world champion Yifan took 62 moves for her win over Negi.

Replay the games with computer analysis

In the second round of this tournament, when the same players were paired against each other, the whites had won and the same happened on Wednesday in two of the games and in the third white (Sasi) held advantage.

AAI r7 Mr. R M Dongre

Mr. R M Dongre, Vice President AICF making the inaugural move of round 7

AAI Round 7

Krishnan Sasikiran and Fabiano Caruana

Sasikiran’s draw brought him to four points along with Wesley So and Laznicka, while Caruana stayed as the only unbeaten player in the tournament and he now has 5.5 points and his lead stretched to 1.5 points with three rounds to go.

Wesley So needed just 30 moves in a Semi-Slav game against Viktor Laznicka to score his second win and it was the quickest decisive result of the tournament. That also pushed him into the second place with Laznicka and both have four points from seven rounds.

Laznicka’s first mistake may well have been playing c5 instead of castling on the 17th and then he compounded it on 25th move with Kh8. That almost sealed his fate. It was only a matter of time after that and he resigned on the 31st.

The rain and the change in weather with much cooler temperatures not only brought a positive change in Wesley So’s mood but also changed his fortunes. “When I looked out of the window during the game it was raining for a while. I love the weather to be cool and it did change my mood,” said a laughing Wesley.

AAI r7 Delighted So

Delighted Wesley So in after match press conference

AAI r7 Laznicka

Viktor Laznicka

“It was a long wait for a win after the first one in the first round. At that time I thought I had begun well. But then there was a loss to Viktor and then four draws. Winning after a gap felt very good. I finally managed to get something substantial from the opening. In the past games I was not able to make much headway, maybe I was not good enough. Maybe I was not well prepared for India. I came from Sweden and I had not spent much time,” said Wesley, who is World Junior No. 4.

Asked if it felt satisfying to avenge his second round defeat at the hands of Viktor Laznicka, the smiling Filipino added, “It is always nice to avenge a defeat, but I kept thinking others were avenging their defeats against me.”

Yifan who had just half a point in first five rounds, seems to be making some ground in the second half. After a draw in sixth round against Wesley So, she beat Negi in the seventh. “I think the rest day did me good,” said Yifan, who went around the Capital with her coach on the rest day. She has two points and that pushed Negi (1.5) to bottom of the table.

AAI r7 Hou Yifan

Hou Yifan

AAI r7 Negi

Parimarjan Negi

Negi continued to be out of form. The Indian National champion, who won his second round against Hou Yifan and then drew against Wesley So in third round, has now lost four games in a row and five in seven rounds.

Yifan, who saw Negi opt for the Sicilian once again, this time in the Scheveningen variation, scored her first win of the tournament. “I played badly with too many mistakes in the first four games, but after that the mistakes have become less,” admitted the shy teenaged world champion. “In today’s game I had a better opening, but somewhere in the middle I made a mistake but my opponent missed the chances of a draw.”

There are three more rounds to go in the 10-round Category-17 tournament. The tournament comes to an end on Saturday.

Points after seven rounds:

5.5 points – Caruana

4 – Sasikiran, Laznicka and Wesley So

2 – Yifan

1.5 – Negi

Results of Seventh round: K Sasikiran drew with F Caruana; W So beat V Laznicka; H Yifan beat Negi P

Draw for eighth round: F Caruana v H Yifan; Negi P v W So; V Laznicka v K Sasikiran

AAI r7 Caruana

Fabiano Caruana

AAI r7 Sasi

Krishnan Sasikiran

Official website

Interesting start of the Turkish Is Bank League

Surprising results and strong games

The Turkish Is Bank League started with a blast in Konya. All matches were decisive in R1 of one of the strongest team competitions in Europe.

The biggest victory of the day was achieved by Aquamatch against Besiktas. Despite Dragan Solak’s draw on board 1 against Kasimdzhanov, the other players of the team including Nisipeanu, Atalik, and Pantsulaia brought an 8:2 victory for Aquamatch.

Turizm Pamukkale (GM Galkin on board 1) was also convincing against Yesilkoy Spor Kulubu (GM Arutinian) winning 7,5-2,5, Tarsus Zeka (GM Mchedlishvili) lost 3,5-6,5 against Yapi Kredi (GM Gurevich), while Manisa Doruk Koleji (led by GM Boris Savchenko) defeated Bursa (GM Spasov) 6,5-3,5.

One of the more competitive encounters of the day was Adana Truva vs Teknik University Istanbul. Board 1 presented an all Ukrainian clash, where GM Miroshnichenko managed to hold with black the 2700 club member GM Eljanov, giving wings to his team Adana. However, the team Istanbul immediately hit back with the in form GM Ipatov (bronze in Cappelle, silver in Nakhchivan, +30 ELO expected in July rating list) won against the local top GM talent Baris Esen. Adana Truva was quick to respond and GM Nana Dzagnidze won the women clash against Masdha Klinova, and with an important 3rd board win by GM Haznedaroglou against FM Erdogan, Adana Truva clinched the match 6:4.

In an even more exciting thriller of decisive games exchange Gazi University won 5,5-4,5 against Mersin, with only one draw out of ten games. Mamedov and Nikolova brought points to Mersin, but that was not enough as Nyzhnik, Emre Can, and the junior boards managed to clinch the match for Gazi team.

In another close encounter of the day Turk Hava Yollari lost 4,5-5,5 against Deniz Genclik. The top GM boards were all equal, the junior clash was balanced as well, but the 2010 World Youth Champion Narmin Kazimova won the decisive clash for the match.

Download all games here, a complete photo gallery is at the official website. Scroll down for full team and individual results.

first move

Official opening of the Turkish league

eljanov

Eljanov was stopped in his tracks and his team could not recover despite the strong play of GM Ipatov

dzagnidze

Nana Dzagnidze with a valuable point at the start of the Turkish league

kasimdzhanov

The ex world champion Kasimdzhanov defending the first board of Aquamatch

nisipeanu

Nisipeanu, also Aquamatch, victorious at the start

nikolova

The recently titled WGM Adriana Nikolova won her game, but her team lost the match with a minimal difference

nyzhnik

Nyzhnyk was key to the victory of Gazi Universitesi

1.1 1 MERSİN EZGİ SATRANÇ KULÜBÜ 4½ – 5½ 14 GAZİ ÜNİVERSİTESİ S.K.

1 GM AZE MAMEDOV NIDJAT 2587 1 : 0 GM EST KULAOTS KAIDO 2607

2 GM AZE MIRZOEV AZER 2481 0 : 1 GM UKR NYZHNYK ILLYA 2583

3 TUR ŞENGÜL CENGİZ 2225 0 : 1 GM TUR CAN EMRE 2487

4 TUR DUMAN AYDIN 2188 0 : 1 FM TUR YEKE SERKAN 2293

5 WIM BUL NIKOLOVA ADRIANA 2333 1 : 0 TUR GÜNEY GAMZE NUR 1731

6 TUR BOLAT AHMET 2074 1 : 0 GM AZE DURARBEYLI VASIF 2511

7 TUR BURNECKAS YUNUS 1920 0 : 1 CM TUR DAŞTAN MUHAMMED BATUHAN 2191

8 TUR MUTLU BESTE 1548 0 : 1 TUR ŞAŞMAZEL BURCU 1911

9 TUR SEVGİ VOLKAN 1912 ½ : ½ TUR KÖKSAL EGE 2004

10 TUR VATANSEVER BUSE 1585 1 : 0 TUR ŞAHİN HANDENUR 1738

1.2 2 TARSUS ZEKA SATRANÇ S.K. 3½ – 6½ 13 YAPI KREDİ SPOR KULÜBÜ

1 GM GEO MCHEDLISHVILI MIKHEIL 2629 ½ : ½ GM TUR GUREVICH MIKHAIL 2617

2 IM TUR ARDUMAN CAN 2349 ½ : ½ GM AZE AGAMALIEV GAMIL 2523

3 FM TUR BAYRAM YAKUP 2268 ½ : ½ IM AZE GULIEV LOGMAN 2459

4 TUR TÜLAY KAMBER BERKAY 2132 0 : 1 IM TUR KANMAZALP OĞULCAN 2404

5 IM ITA ZIMINA OLGA 2346 0 : 1 IM GEO KHOTENASHVILI BELA 2470

6 IM GEO PAICHADZE LUKA 2489 ½ : ½ TUR KERİGAN DEMRE 2134

7 TUR UZUN SARP 1967 ½ : ½ TUR ARAT UFUK SEZEN 2053

8 TUR TÜLAY SERAY 1778 1 : 0 TUR MENZİ NEZİHE EZGİ 1868

9 TUR BENZETSEL EKİM 1778 0 : 1 TUR YURTSEVEN MELİH 2050

10 TUR AKGÜL BEYZA 1582 0 : 1 TUR KESKİN ŞUARA 1693

1.3 3 TÜRK HAVA YOLLARI S.K. 4½ – 5½ 12 DENİZ GENÇLİK S.K.

1 GM GEO GAGUNASHVILI MERAB 2603 ½ : ½ GM ROU PARLIGRAS MIRCEA-EMILIAN 2626

2 IM GEO MELIA SALOME 2444 ½ : ½ GM AZE IBRAHIMOV RASUL 2532

3 IM TUR KILIÇASLAN HASAN 2250 1 : 0 TUR KELER FARUK 2231

4 TUR YARAMIŞ HAKAN 2094 ½ : ½ TUR DOĞANTUĞ İSMAİL 2218

5 TUR SAPMAZ DİLAY 0 0 : 1 WIM AZE KAZIMOVA NARMIN NIZAMI QIZI 2262

6 TUR ÜLKER TOLGA 1758 0 : 1 FM TUR TOPAK ENGİN 2306

7 TUR YARGICI MAZHAR KUTAY 1926 0 : 1 TUR ÖLÇÜM AHMET 1920

8 TUR YAKA BEYZA 1525 1 : 0 TUR ABDİMANOĞLU BESTE BAŞAK 1751

9 TUR ÖZGÜR EMRE 1732 0 : 1 TUR ERERDEM GANİ EREN 1996

10 TUR GÜNDOĞAN SİNEM ÇAĞLA 1433 1 : 0 TUR ÜSTÜNDAĞ NEFİSE MELİS 1695

1.4 4 BEŞİKTAŞ JİMNASTİK KULÜBÜ 2 – 8 11 İSEK AQUAMATCH S.K.

1 GM SRB SOLAK DRAGAN 2588 ½ : ½ GM UZB KASIMDZHANOV RUSTAM 2685

2 IM TUR ATAKİŞİ UMUT 2370 0 : 1 GM ROU NISIPEANU LIVIU-DIETER 2662

3 FM TUR ÇITAK SELİM 2356 0 : 1 GM TUR ATALIK SUAT 2616

4 TUR MARAŞLI TUTKU KAHRAMAN 2209 0 : 1 GM GEO PANTSULAIA LEVAN 2613

5 WIM TUR ÖZTÜRK KÜBRA 2262 0 : 1 IM TUR ATALIK EKATERINA 2436

6 FM TUR YILMAZYERLİ MERT 2318 ½ : ½ TUR KAZDAĞLI BENAN 1868

7 CM TUR EMİROĞLU CANKUT 2216 1 : 0 CM TUR ÖZEN BAHADIR 1751

8 TUR BİRGELİR MELİSA 1735 0 : 1 TUR YİĞİT ALEYNA 1732

9 FM TUR ALİ MARANDİ CEMİL CAN 2265 0 : 1 TUR BAĞLAN ESAT 1807

10 TUR ÖZALTUN ECEM 0 0 : 1 TUR FIRAT DENİZ 1635

1.5 5 BURSA TOPHANE MESLEK LİSESİ S.K. 3½ – 6½ 10 MANİSA DORUK KOLEJİ S.K.

1 GM BUL SPASOV VASIL 2594 ½ : ½ GM RUS SAVCHENKO BORIS 2630

2 IM BUL KARAKEHAJOV KALIN 2493 0 : 1 IM TUR ERTURAN YAKUP 2346

3 FM TUR GÜRCAN SELİM 2240 0 : 1 FM TUR SECER ATA 2329

4 TUR KORKMAZ NECMETTİN 2189 0 : 1 TUR ŞİRİN ATAKAN 2230

5 IM GEO GVETADZE SOPIO 2330 ½ : ½ IM UKR USHENINA ANNA 2468

6 TUR KOMUT BURAK 1980 ½ : ½ GM RUS SHIMANOV ALEKSANDR 2583

7 TUR DÖNMEZ BATUHAN 1849 1 : 0 TUR ÇİLOĞLU DOĞU 1770

8 TUR ŞANAL SUNA 1685 0 : 1 TUR PATEL YEŞİM 1804

9 TUR KALEOĞLU FATİH 0 0 : 1 TUR ÖZCAN KEREM 1578

10 TUR ULUSOY NİSAN 1585 1 : 0 TUR HOCALAR ÖZGE 0

1.6 6 YEŞİLKÖY SPOR KULÜBÜ 2½ – 7½ 9 ÇELİKKOL TURİZM PAMUKKALE ÜNİVERSİTESİ S.K.

1 GM GEO ARUTINIAN DAVID 2564 ½ : ½ GM RUS GALKIN ALEXANDER 2598

2 GM GEO SANIKIDZE TORNIKE 2524 ½ : ½ GM TKM ODEEV HANDSZAR 2405

3 TUR DOĞAN ALİ EKBER 2130 ½ : ½ FM TUR REYHAN DOĞAN HEVAL 2343

4 TUR AFYONCU ÖMER 2112 0 : 1 TUR SALEPCİ OSMAN FIRAT 2154

5 WIM ITA BRUNELLO MARINA 2177 0 : 1 WGM GEO GURAMISHVILI SOPIKO 2299

6 TUR AYDOĞDU ERKMEN 2031 0 : 1 TUR OKUŞ MELİH 1893

7 TUR ERGENE MERTCAN 1731 0 : 1 TUR KOMUT KAAN 1917

8 TUR ALEV GÖNÜLDEN SEDA 1605 ½ : ½ TUR MORGÜL ERÇİN 1723

9 TUR DEVİREN ERDİ 1927 ½ : ½ TUR SOYSAL SERKAN 1795

10 TUR TANDOĞAN BUKET 1548 0 : 1 TUR BAL SEVGİCAN 1610

1.7 7 ADANA TRUVA SATRANÇ S.K. 6 – 4 8 İSTANBUL TEKNİK ÜNİVERSİTESİ S.K.

1 GM UKR MIROSHNICHENKO EVGENIJ 2651 ½ : ½ GM UKR ELJANOV PAVEL 2712

2 GM TUR ESEN BARIŞ 2553 0 : 1 IM ESP IPATOV ALEXANDER 2536

3 GM TUR HAZNEDAROĞLU KIVANÇ 2444 1 : 0 FM TUR ERDOĞAN HAKAN 2235

4 IM TUR ERDOĞDU MERT 2434 1 : 0 FM TUR ATAMAN ALPER EFE 2188

5 GM GEO DZAGNIDZE NANA 2557 1 : 0 IM ISR KLINOVA MASHA 2315

6 GM UKR VOVK ANDREY 2545 ½ : ½ IM TUR YILMAZ MUSTAFA 2489

7 TUR ÇOBAN METE SADIK 1922 ½ : ½ TUR AŞIKUZUN BERKAY 1842

8 WCM TUR SOP SELEN 1995 1 : 0 TUR ÖZTÜRK HİLAL 1765

9 CM TUR YÜKSEL ATİLLA KÖKSAL 2035 ½ : ½ CM TUR ŞANAL VAHAP 2210

10 TUR METİN EMİNE 0 0 : 1 TUR YOLAL SENA GÖKÇEN 1653

AAI Grandmaster Chess Tournament – Round Six

Caruana stretches lead with a win over Negi

New Delhi, June 28: Fabiano Caruana of Italy living up to his top billing stretched his lead to a full point as he beat Parimarjan Negi after a marathon 98 moves in the sixth round of the inaugural AAI Grandmasters Chess Championships on Tuesday. Meanwhile the other two games in the round ended in draws.

Caruana with his fourth win in six games now has five points and is a full point clear of Viktor Laznicka, who was disappointed with his draw against Women’s World Champion, Hou Yifan. In the other game, Krishnan Sasikiran’s winning streak was halted as he was held to a draw by Wesley So of the Philippines.

Sasi has 3.5 points in third place and So has three points. Negi has 1.5 points and Yifan has one.

Replay the games with computer analysis

AAI r6 Mr. VK Mahendru

Chief Guest for the day Mr. VK Mahendru, Sports Head ONGC making the inaugural move

A day after the only rest day in the inaugural AAI Grandmasters Chess Tournament, as two of the three games ended in draws, Parimarjan Negi suffered his second loss of the tournament at the hands of World Junior No. 1 Caruana, who has beaten him in the opening round of the event.

In a Sicilian – Najdorf, Caruana with white was determined to keep the advantage and he kept his slight edge. But Negi did have the clock on his side and the position looked fine for him. He had a lot of time advantage over his rival, but just then he made a mistake in the middle game, as has been the trend this tournament.

Into the middle game, Caruana displayed his greater experience as Negi sought a risky route. Caruana sacrificed a queen for three pieces and then kept pushing the Indian back. Negi for his part, knew he was fighting a losing battle but kept hoping for a draw, which was not to be. He finally resigned after 98 moves and after both players queened their pawn. Negi had two queens to Caruana’s queen and three pieces. Caruana kept his advantage intact and eked out a fine win.

AAI r6 Caruana and Negi

Fabiano Caruana and Parimarjan Negi

“It was a tough and tiring battle, but I knew I was winning so I had to keep going,” said Fabiano Caruana with a smile of a tired but satisfied man.

Sasikiran who lost to Wesley So in the first leg of the tournament was unable to avenge that defeat as they drew the Anti-Meran in 50 moves. Back in 2010 Sasi beat So in the Asian Games in Doha enroute to the gold medal, but this time around even with white pieces, Sasi was unable to conjure up a win.

Sasikiran may have had his favourite green coloured shirt but it didn’t bring him a fourth win. “I think I was better out of the opening and the exchange sacrifice seemed good, but it didn’t quite work,” said Sasikiran. “But he gave back that exchange sacrifice and overall the result was okay.”

AAI r6 Sasi and So

Krishnan sasikiran and Wesley So

Laznicka with white and fully rested after the first half of the tournament may well have expected a full point from the off-form Hou Yifan. But the women’s world champion, playing black, defended well and held the Czech champ to a draw in 32 moves following a Catalan opening.

Laznicka trying to stay in touch with the leader, Caruana, was disappointed with the draw. “I must admit that I am disappointed. With white I was hoping for a better result, but she defended well. I could not find a way, I am not sure where I made a mistake, if any,” said Laznicka, who saw a bit of the city with his parents on his the rest day.

Hou Yifan admitted she was finding problems. “I have been in time trouble as I was not able to adjust to the fact that there was no incremental time here and I also made a lot of mistakes. But last two rounds were better and I hope I can play better in the coming games,” said Yifan. “I have enjoyed the city a lot and I saw a few well-known spots in Delhi like India Gate and Qutub Minar and I would love to come to India in the future for more events.”

AAI r6 Hou Yifan - Laznicka

Hou Yifan making the move against Viktor Laznicka

On the rest day on Monday, the players went for some sight-seeing to soak in some of the landmarks of the Indian capital.

There are four more rounds to go in the 10-round Category-17 tournament.

Points after six rounds:

5 points – Caruana

4 – Laznicka

3.5 – Sasikiran

3 – Wesley So

1.5 – Negi

1 – Yifan

Results for sixth round: F Caruana beat Negi P; V Laznicka drew with H Yifan; K Sasikiran drew with W So

Pairings for seventh round: K Sasikiran v F Caruana; W So v V Laznicka; H Yifan v Negi P

AAI r6 FA Sandeep Singh and IA Vijayaraghavan

FA Sandeep Singh and IA Vijayaraghavan, men behind live transmission

Official website

World Chess Championship 2012 in Moscow?

Moscow sent a bid for the Anand – Gelfand 2012 match (updated)

Anand ceremony sq

As Chessdom informed a few weeks ago, there are no official bids, but there is certainly interest in organizing the World Chess Championship 2012 after the large media success of the 2010 edition of the event. The match Anand – Gelfand is rumored to be wanted by India and several other countries, but the first one to make a move is Russia.

Moscow will send a bid for the World Chess Championship match 2012 between Anand and Gelfand. This news came via the Russian Chess Federation, cited by Moskovski Novosti, and the rumor quickly spred through the local media. The last world championships organized in Moscow were the 1985 match between Kasparov and Karpov, and the 2002 knockout World Championship won by Ponomariov.

The information about Moscow has been confirmed by Ilya Levitov according to the Russian media. Berik Balgabaev countered, “Yes, indeed there is interest from Moscow, but who has submitted a bid I will tell when I have the right to. For now I can only say that the information did not come initially from us and I cannot confirm it, but let me note that there is high interest from India and Israel also.”

The deadline for the Anand – Gelfand bids is 31 July 2011, and the full details on the bidding procedure are here

Update: Ilya Levitov confirmed that the bid to host the World Chess Championship 2012 in Moscow has been sent to FIDE. The offer is 2 million USD worth, matching the prize fund provided by the Bulgarian government for the match Anand-Topalov.

The newspaper “Kommersant” notes that the bid comes shortly after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev instructed the government and Russian Olympic Committee to continue on bringing the biggest sports event to the country. A small reminder that the 2014 Winter Olympic Games will be held in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup will also take place in Russia.

According to Kommersant columnist Alexey Dospehov, the challenger Boris Gelfand welcomed the bid and added that Moscow “is probably the best option.” On the question about possible bids from Israel, Gelfand said that there has been some interest but without concrete steps.

Several sources revealed that Andrey Filatov, co-owner of the “N-Trance” company and a devoted chess fan, is actually sponsoring the bid. Filatov is known for financing the restoration of Alexander Alekhine’s monument in Paris.

AAI Grandmaster Chess Tournament – Rest Day

Sasikiran hopes to build on his recovery as GMs interact with Delhi kids

New Delhi, June 27: After five grueling rounds, it was a case of well-earned rest for the six Grandmasters assembled for the inaugural AAI Grandmasters Chess Championships that is now halfway through.

The Grandmasters met up with a group of young chess players from the city and interacted with them, giving them useful tips and also encouraging them. “I am very happy to see so many youngsters keen on learning and improving in the game,” said the World Junior No. 1 Fabiano Caruana of Italy.

India’s senior player, Krishnan Sasikiran added, “Chess has become popular and the addition of tournament like the AAI Grandmasters event will mean more interest and better results for Indian chess.”

AAI Sasikiran analysis

Sasikiran analyses his game for the kids. GM Tejas Bakre sitting next to him.

AAI Caruana signing the autographs

Fabiano Caruana signing the autographs

The Indians have had mixed luck so far with Sasikiran having rebounded after his first two losses with three wins in a row, but young National champion, Parimarjan Negi has managed only 1.5 points with one win and one draw and suffered three losses in five rounds.

Sasi said, “I am not fully satisfied with the quality of my game, but now with a plus one I hope to build on it and do better. I am playing Category 17 tournament after a long time and the more I play the better it is. Playing Closed events like this with highly rated players is always different from Open events where the initial opponents are weak. Here every player is very strong.”

The other Indian challenger, Negi, added, “I am beginning well but have not been able to keep up the tempo. I need to concentrate more. But I am not putting any extra pressure on myself.”

AAI Negi blitz 1

Parimarjan Negi playing blitz with the local talents

The tournament leader, Fabiano Caruana, who has won three games and drawn two and is the only unbeaten player in the tournament is confident of maintaining his form. “I will not say I have been playing brilliant chess, but I have been happy with some of my games. Hopefully I will do better with white pieces in the second half. But I must say I am enjoying the tournament and the interest it has created in Delhi,” said Caruana.

Women’s World champion Hou Yifan has been disappointing with four losses in five games. The teenager smiled and said, “I am hoping I can improve in second half after the rest.”

Caruana leads with four points while Laznicka is second with 3.5 points. Sunday’s win with black for Sasikiran from a Ruy Lopez in 56 moves brought him to three points and that must seem a big relief after two losses at the start. Wesley So has 2.5 points, Negi 1.5 and Hou Yifan has half a point.

AAI Hou at Famous Rajpath

Hou Yifan at Famous Rajpath. South Block behind.

AAI So playing a 1 min 5

Wesley So playing a blitz game with 1 min vs 5 min time odds

AAI Negi signing autograph

Negi signing autograph

After the rest day on Monday, the sixth round will be played at 2 pm on Tuesday.

Points after five rounds:

4 points – Caruana

3.5 – Laznicka

3 – Sasikiran

2.5 – Wesley So

1.5 – Negi

0.5 – Yifan

Draw for sixth round: F Caruana v Negi P; V Laznicka v H Yifan; K Sasikiran v W So

Official website

AAI Grandmaster Chess Tournament – Round Five

Caruana in lead, Sasikiran beats Negi to grab third successive win

New Delhi, June 26: Krishnan Sasikiran scored a third successive win and in the process avenged his recent loss at the hands of Parimarjan Negi in the inaugural AAI Grandmasters Chess Championships that is now halfway through.

In another game, Women’s World champion Hou Yifan got her first points through a draw against Filipino Wesley So in 52 moves. A little later the third game between Fabiano Caruana and Viktor Laznicka, which began in the Caro-Kann Advanced Variation, also ended in a draw in 59 moves. It was the first time a round had produced two draws. Overall only four games out of 15 have ended in draws in the first five days.

Fabiano Caruana leads with four points while Laznicka is second with 3.5 points. Sunday’s win with black for Sasikiran from a Ruy Lopez in 56 moves brought him to three points and that must seem a big relief after two losses at the start. Wesley So has 2.5 points, Negi 1.5 and Hou Yifan has half a point.

Replay the games with computer analysis.

AAI r5 Mrs. Archna Agrawal

Mrs. Archna Agrawal inaugurating the fifth round proceedings

Asked if he was relieved with three lout of five in the first half, Sasi said, “No doubt about that. It felt good to come back at fifty per cent after the two wins and now I am plus one,” said Sasi, who lost to Parimarjan Negi in the Dubai Open in April. Their earlier clash in the Asian Championships had ended in a draw.

For both Sasikiran and Negi, the tournament has been bitter-sweet. This game against Negi may well have been Sasi’s first in the past week without any serious error but Negi in most of his games in the ongoing tournament has begun well but has been found wanting in the middle game.

“I agree there were no major errors from my side, but I would still be happier if I can play higher quality chess than what has been seen so far. Hopefully in the second half I will get to do that also. My today’s aim was to stay clear of time trouble and I think I managed that.”

AAI r5 Sasikiran

Krishnan Sasikiran

On Sunday, in a Ruy Lopez Closed with Breyer Variation, Negi was again fine in the opening and in fact was actually better positionally. But once again he went awry in the middle game. This time, he attempted to go for Saskiran’s a6 pawn with Qe2 on the 29th and that may well have been the beginning of the end. Negi did make a fight of it, but Sasi hung onto his advantage to grab the full point.

Wesley So, who had admitted to having mistakenly having got ready for Hou Yifan instead of Fabiano Caruana a day earlier, did not quite manage to grab a win from the Women’s World champion.

In a game that was a Vienna opening, Wesley kept pushing Hou Yifan, who made a dubious 46th move Rh2 but her opponent’s reply of Re7 was not too good either. Hou got a draw to finally appear on the scoreboard. “She was slightly better in the opening and then I may have had chances, but she defended very well,” said the smiling Wesley. “Hopefully the second half will see better chess from me.”

AAI r5 So & Hou

Hou Yifan and Wesley So

It was Hou’s first draw after four losses. With a rest due for Monday, she will be hoping for a better second half of the tournament.

It was a very well fought 59-move draw between Caruana and Lazincka, who are now first and second at the midway stage of the tournament.

Monday will be a rest day. The sixth round will be played at 2 pm on Tuesday.

Points after five rounds:

4 points – Caruana

3.5 – Laznicka

3 – Sasikiran

2.5 – Wesley So

1.5 – Negi

0.5- Yifan

Results of fifth round: F Caruana drew with V Laznicka; Negi P lost to K Sasikiran; Hou Yifan drew with W So

Draw for sixth round: F Caruana v Negi P; V Laznicka v H Yifan; K Sasikiran v W So

AAI r5 Mr. Bharat Singh

Tournament Director & President Commonwealth Chess Association Mr. Bharat Singh celebrating his 51st Birthday by cutting the cake with players, officials and spectators

Official website

Young Clinches U.S. Junior Championship in Saint Louis

Final report by Ken West

Saint Louis, June 25, 2011 — Gregory Young is the 2011 U.S. Junior Champion, taking the title with a win Friday before the final round of play even began.

Of the 10 people playing, Young’s 2384 rating entering the tournament was seventh in the field. His performance rating will be much higher as he finished the tournament with a final score of 7.5/9. He said he did not have high expectations because he had not played chess in six months.

“I’m practically speechless,” he said after clinching the title. “Even getting invited is incredible enough to play at this incredible chess club in Saint Louis. I wasn’t even thinking about results. I was thinking about it as a tournament to get back into rhythm and play.”

Young’s rhythm threw most players out of step. In round 8, he played another Sozin Bc4 against Warren Harper’s Najdorf Sicilian. Young used the line in his earlier win over John Bryant only to choose another line against Harper on move 13, f4 instead of Nf3. After Young’s 15.f5, Harper moved his king to h8, breaking the pin on his g pawn. Young gave up his bishop on h6 by playing fxe6.

Gregory Young

Gregory Young

Round 9

The champion had already been decided, but fighting chess continued for the ninth and final round of the U.S. Junior Closed Championship at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis Saturday.

Young clinched the day before but second place was up for grabs. When the final round ended, Shen held a draw with Young for a score of 5.5/9 and Getz beat Sturt for the same score. Holt also finished with 5.5/9. Holt would have had clear second with a win but lost to Troff, who won his last two games to finish with 3/9. Holt had been on a tear, winning his previous four games.

Daniel Naroditsky drew Jialin Ding to end the championship with 5/9, tied with Warren Harper and John Bryant. Harper beat Bryant Saturday to get the tie – with Holt’s loss, Bryant could have had clear second with a win.

When the matches ended, the players talked about what they learned from the experience.

“I don’t think I played well the entire tournament,” Shen said. “I had some games where I got lucky. Kayden had a winning position against me. Warren also had a winning position. I think I scored more points with bad positions. In my game with Gregory, I had a slight pull but it was never clear.”

As for improving his game, Shen said he will work more on his openings to broaden his repertoire and work to avoid time trouble.

“I need to improve my tactics,” Getz said. “It cost me four points. There were positions I could have held to draws.” Getz said by round 5 he thinks he gave up subconsciously. “I have to work on my fighting spirit,” he said.

Naroditsky told Finegold that he put too much pressure on himself and collapsed. Harper said he also could have improved on his performance. “I don’t think I prepared well,” he said.

Bryant played uncompromising chess throughout the event, sometimes sacrificing pieces in positions that surprised Finegold and Friedman. He had five wins and four losses.

“I just try to play the best lines and it happens sacrifices are the best moves in my positions,” he said. Bryant also said he found it hard to study for his opponents as his computer recently quit working.

Kayden Troff said he will use his computer less frequently. “I’m going to analyze more by myself,” he said. “Computers can be cool, but it’s hard not to get carried away using them. I’ll also work on my openings a little bit and improve my positional understanding.”

Ding said as the tournament went on he felt he gained confidence after being somewhat overwhelmed by his opponents’ higher ratings. “This was a big tournament for me,” Ding said. “I need to manage my time better. I played more openly as the rounds went on.”

Friedman pointed out that Ding was fine in nearly every game around move 25 only to make a mistake or an oversight that cost him a few moves later.

Gregory Young with GM Ben Finegold

Gregory Young with GM Ben Finegold

In the Shen-Young game, commentators Finegold and Friedman preferred Shen’s position most of the game. On move 20, Shen played c4, protecting his passed pawn and having both bishops. Young’s dark-squared bishop stuck on g7 with a pawn on f6. Shen thought he was better but he didn’t know by how much. He had a bishop when the game ended but no way to attack Young’s pawns.

Holt stuck with his Slav defense in his game, but his 10. f4 against Troff baffled the commentators. He followed it by capturing on e3, which Troff recaptured with his bishop. “He gave away his f pawn with tempo,” Friedman said.

However, on move 14 Holt placed his queen on a5. The move forced Troff to bring his queen back to c2. That pulled Holt back in the game but he said he made “a random bad move” with rook to d8 on move 24. Both players were in time trouble.

In the Harper-Bryant match, the last to finish, moves 15 to 17 cost Bryant a pawn. “He’s down a pawn, it’s passed and d6 is weak,” Friedman said. “As we have said many times this week, white is a pawn up with good compensation,” Finegold joked.

The early moves of the game were the same as Harper’s game against GM Ray Robson in the final game of last year’s U.S. Junior Closed Championship. Harper won that game, preventing Robson from winning the event.

The Naroditsky-Ding game began as a symmetrical English and began looking like a Grunfeld. Finegold and Friedman said Ding was comfortabe throughout the game and had slightly better piece placement.

Sturt had a rough tournament and had no respite the last game against Getz. His bishop remained stuck on g6 and Getz played Bc5 on move 24 to trap Sturt’s queen. The trapping of the queen was preceded by bishop takes e6 on move 23 by Getz.

Young takes the first-place prize of $3,000 and receives an invitation to the 2012 U.S. Chess Championship to take place at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis on a date yet to be set.

AAI Grandmaster Chess Tournament – Round Four

Caruana maintains the lead, mixed luck for India

New Delhi, June 25: It was mixed luck for the Indian fans as Krishnan Sasikiran won his second successive game but National champion Parimarjan Negi lost his game in the fourth round of the inaugural AAI Grandmasters Chess Championships at the AAI Officer’s Institute on Saturday.

For the second day running Sasi played out a marathon game before beating Hou Yifan to haul himself back into the tournament. But before that Negi lost to the higher rated Viktor Laznicka. In the first game to finish on Saturday, leader Fabiano Caruana drew with Filipino Wesley So in 32 moves.

After four rounds, Caruana remained as the only unbeaten player. He leads the six-player field with 3.5 points, while Laznicka, who bounced back from his third round loss to Sasi on Friday, has three points. Sasikiran and Wesley So have two each, Negi 1.5 and Hou Yifan is yet to open her account as the tournament continued to be a miserable one for women’s world champion lost her fourth game in a row.

AAI r4 Chief Arbiter MS Gopakumar

Chief Arbiter MS Gopakumar, IA welcoming Caruana for the fourth round

Sasikiran and Hou Yifan were engaged in a Catalan Classical that lasted 62 moves. Sasi looked like winning way ahead, but mistakes from either side prolonged the game, though in the end the Indian benefitted from Hou’s monumental blunder on 36th.

“At some point I think Rd1 was a mistake, probably a big blunder, and she may have been better at that stage. But she allowed me to get away and on the 36th, she played Nc5, which was a big mistake from her. After I got g4 (43rd) move I think I was winning,” said Sasi. “That was a lease of life, because I came down from a very good position to a poor one with my mistake.”

“Anyway it is good to get a second successive win. Now that brings me to 50 % at this stage,” he added.

The Laznicka-Negi battle was in the Queen’s Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, where both players admitted to having made a few mistakes. “My opponent surprised me in the opening and I had not prepared for this line, even though I have seen it. I spent a lot of time on. It was a sharp game and towards the end he (Negi) made some mistakes. Though I won, I did not get a very good feeling about the game,” said Viktor Laznicka, for whom this was his third win in four games. “I think I was tired and not concentrating, but it is always good to get a win.”

AAI r4 Sasi and Hou shaking hands

Sasikiran and Hou Yifan shaking hands before the match

Parimarjan Negi said he felt he had draw chances before he overlooked Laznicka’s 51st move Qf6. “That was something I overlooked and from there on I lost. It was a sharp game,” he added.

Playing against Caruana the Filipino Wesley So confessed to being still disappointed with his second round loss to Laznicka.

In a Guico Piano battle, also called the Italian, leader Caruana drew in 32 moves against Filipino Wesley So. That helped him keep his nose ahead in the 10-round double round-robin game.

Caruana finally had his winning streak halted. “It had to end sometime. But I am happy with this game as I got a draw with black and Wesley is a good player. Anyway with 3.5 in four games is a good start,” said Caruana. “Today there was not much in the game for both of us, so a draw is fine.”

Wesley has already played three of his games with white and lost one, which is bothering him a bit. He said, “I have been a bit upset about my loss to Laznicka. I should have done better. Usually I don’t let losses bother me, but this has been different. And then in third round, I was expecting to win with white. Overall I was expecting to be better than 50 per cent after four rounds.”

The smiling So also added, “Initially I thought I was playing Hou Yifan in fourth round, but was later told that it was Caruana. But anyway I don’t have to plan for Hou in fifth round on Sunday.”

Late last night, Sasikiran, who had lost his first two games, played white in a Catalan Opening and held an advantage over Laznicka for most of the game. The Czech player put up a spirited defense and hung in there for a long time, but once he opened his position he seemed to be creating weaknesses for himself. Then into the third time control, Laznicka finally resigned and gave the Indian a well-deserved win.

“It is good to score a win finally. In the last game I thought I had a chance but allowed it to get away and lost. Today I knew I had the edge and was able to get that full point,” said the ONGC officer Sasi.

The games in the fourth round were inaugurated by Mr. DV Sundar, the current Secretary of the All India Chess Federation.

AAI r4 Shri. D V Sundar

Shri. D V Sundar, FIDE Vice President & Secretary AICF interacting with World Women Champion Hou Yifan

Points after four rounds:

3.5 points – Caruana

3 – Laznicka

2 – Wesley So, Sasikiran

1.5 – Negi

0 – Yifan

Results of fourth round: Viktor Laznicka beat Parimarjan Negi; Krishnan Sasikiran beat Hou Yifan; Wesley So drew with Fabiano Caruana

Draw for fifth Round: F Caruana v V Laznicka; Negi P v K Sasikiran; Hou Yifan v W So

AAI r4 Sports Reporters

Sports Reporters listening carefully to Negi and Laznicka

Official website

Ukraine team for Ningbo announced

Ivanchuk, Eljanov, Efimenko, Areshchenko and Moiseenko to play

The Ukrainian Chess Federation has selected the players which will represent the country at the World Chess Team Championship 2011 in Ningbo, China, GM Oleksandr Sulypa confirmed for Chessdom.

The event will be held from July 15 2011 (arrival) to July 26 2011 (Departure) at the playing venue in New Century Grand Hotel Ningbo. The championship will be played using a 9 round, round-robin system. Ukraine qualified as winner of the 2010 Chess Olympiad.

Jermuk Ivanchuk

Vassily Ivanchuk

Freshly inaugurated Ukraine champion Ruslan Ponomariov is missing the event.

The team will be composed of Vassily Ivanchuk 2776, Pavel Eljanov 2712, Zahar Efimenko 2701, Alexander Areshchenko 2694 and Alexander Moiseenko 2679.

The Captain is GM Oleksandr Sulypa

Russia team for Ningbo

India team for Ningbo

Azerbaijan team for Ningbo

Israel team for Ningbo

Hungary team for Ningbo