Field thins out in Round Three

U.S. Chess Championships report by FM Mike Klein

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With players beginning to eye a spot in the semifinals, two-thirds of the games produced winners in round three of the 2011 U.S. Chess Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship. The tournaments are being held concurrently from April 14-28 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.

Group Two of the U.S. Championship offered a bounty of surprises, turned in mostly by the younger players. Late in the day, GM Robert Hess, still yet to take his first college course, ground down the nearly unbeatable GM Alexander Onischuk. Hess offered a draw in a balanced endgame, but after the 2006 champion declined, Hess marched his king into the action to win some of the few remaining pawns to earn the point.

Some players debated if Onischuk would have accepted the draw offer against a different player, but Hess did not view it as an insult. He cited Onischuk’s premature pawn advance 39. f4 as too committal. Onischuk made the move shortly before the first time control ended. Later, facing a difficult defense, Hess said he declined Onischuk’s counter-offer. The resulting rook endgame with f- and h-pawns is a theoretical draw, but “with no time it is very, very difficult to draw,” Hess said.

For Onischuk, it is only his third U.S. Championship loss. He holds the second-longest unbeaten streak in championship history. The streak ended last year.

Although Hess’s endgame alchemy pushed him to two points, he still trails GM-elect Sam Shankland by one-half point. Shankland (2.5/3) dethroned group leader Christiansen (2/3) in the longest game of the day. In doing so, he joined his opponent as the only player in the U.S. Championship to win two games in a row. Shankland, who claimed he was close to quitting chess after the 2010 championship, said, “Today I thought I played extremely well. Last year it took me nine rounds to get 2.5 points.”

Local player GM Ben Finegold also won his first game of the tournament, beating GM Gregory Kaidanov. Spectators gave Finegold the loudest applause of the event as he entered the press room to discuss his game. Finegold is the GM-in-Residence of the club and many of his fans and students were in attendance. Kaidanov is scuffling with only one draw in three games. GMs Yasser Seirawan and Alexander Shabalov also drew their game in Group Two.

In Group One action, defending champion GM Gata Kamsky held his lead by defending a Breyer Variation for the second year in a row against GM Ray Robson. He now has company, as both GM Yury Shulman and GM Alexander Ivanov won for the first time to join Kamsky with two points.

Shulman, a Chicagoan, also had many fans at the club, and used the support to beat GM Jaan Ehlvest. “I looked at this position some time ago and I wasn’t sure if Jaan knows this,” Shulman said of his early c-pawn sacrifice. Shulman is a past U.S. Champion and knows the care it takes to win. He laughed off a near-blunder during the post-game analysis, showing the audience the tactic 35. Qe5+ f6 36. Qxd6 Qxd6 37. Rg8#, which was pretty, but illegal, since the rook on g3 was pinned.

Ivanov handed IM Daniel Naroditsky his first loss of the tournament. Ivanov, known to be dangerous in the Open Sicilian, said his young opponent must have missed the thrust e5. “After this he is objectively lost,” Ivanov said. He offered a candid assessment of his chances. “I would be happy to get to the semifinals. I have a return ticket before the finals! But of course I’m fighting.”

St Louis Krush

Irina Krush

In the U.S. Women’s Championship, IM Irina Krush got back on pace to qualify for the semifinals with her second consecutive win. She questioned the wisdom of IM Rusudan Goletiani’s opening choice. “She just didn’t know the position,” Krush said. Goletiani is known to open with 1. Nf3 and save the fight for later in the game. “She probably didn’t feel like she had anything with her normal openings,” Krush said. “To play the White side of the Open Sicilian, when you don’t know anything, is very tough.” After accepting Goletiani’s sacrificed pawn, Krush stifled the attack and then praised her own decision to go for the jugular, which was “much stronger than playing in more solid ways.”

The only woman ahead of Krush is Sabina Foisor, whose win streak ended at two but who used a draw with WFM Tatev Abrahamyan to maintain her lead. IM Anna Zatonskih is tied for second with Krush. Zatonskih drew uneventfully with WGM Camilla Baginskaite to get to two out of three. WIM Iryna Zenyuk defeated FM Alisa Melekhina for the third consecutive year. “It just seems to me I’m not a comfortable opponent against her,” Zenyuk said. “I’m the lowest seed in the tournament. My advantage is that everyone wants to beat me.”

Round four will offer even more perspective on who is likely to qualify for the semifinals in both tournaments. Monday’s games begin 2 p.m. local time, 3 p.m. Eastern Time.

Official website / Round 1 report / Round 2 report / Live games with computer analysis

53rd Torneo di Capodanno in Reggio Emilia – Round Three

Paco Vallejo takes the lead, Sergei Movsesian moves back to his fatherland

The games between Fabiano Caruana and Nigel Short are already becoming a classic in tournaments, we all still remember their dramatic clash in the last round of the 2009 Corus B 2009, after which Caruana qualified to play in the main group in 2010. Before today Short was the leader in Reggio Emilia, with two victories in the first two rounds.

The opening was a quiet French Tarrasch variation, but black’s move f5 later brought some life into the position. After some exchanges, Caruana takes the game into a promising Queens’ endgame, where eventually he was able to collect a full point.

Sergei Movsesian – Michele Godena was a theoretic encounter in Michele’s “pet line”. The Armenian Grandmaster (from today he returns to represent Armenia, more bellow) decided to play 15. Na3 instead of 15. Qg3. It was a very complicated game but during the time pressure many pieces were exchanged and in the end Godena was a pawn up, however he couldn’t convert it into a victory.

Reggio Emilia hotel

The playing venue is at the Hotel Mercure Astoria (photos by Maria Bolshakova)

Paco Vallejo is inspired! In the opening his Queen took the poisonous-looking b7-pawn, but a brilliant exchange sacrifice gave him the possibility to attack and finally force David Navara into a very inferior endgame. In analysis room both players gave great commentary. Vallejo now leads with 2.5 out of 3.

Alexander Morozevich and Vugar Gashimov were involved in a very long game where white stood slightly better but couldn’t break through. A draw was agreed after the six-hours long combat.

Reggio Emilia Alexander Morozevich 2

Alexander Morozevich

Round 3 standings:

1. Francisco Vallejo Pons ESP 2698 – 2.5

2. Nigel Short ENG 2680 – 2.0

3-6. Fabiano Caruana ITA 2709, Sergei Movsesian SVK 2721, Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2764 and Alexander Onischuk USA 2683 – 1.5

7-9. Michele Godena ITA 2549, Vugar Gashimov AZE 2733 and David Navara CZE 2708 (-1) – 1.0

10. Alexander Morozevich RUS 2700 – 0.5 (-1)

Live/replay games with computer analysis

Official website / Interview with Caruana and Ivanchuk

53rd Reggio Emilia index page

Sergei Movsesian becomes member of the Armenian Chess Federation from today. He wrote an official letter to the Board of the Slovakian Chess Federation and said that he is coming back to his fatherland. He hesitated for a while and waited for a move from the new Slovakian Board, but finally realised that no big changes will happen. Armenia on the contrary has a great program for its best players and offers ideal conditions for the individual improvement.

Source: Šachový týdeník (Chess weekly), thanks to Viktor Novotny. Armenian Chess Federation and FIDE transfers page confirm the information.

Reggio Emilia organizers

Chief organiser Silvano Ferraroni, President of Circolo Ippogrifo di Scacchi, and Roberto Mogranzini, Director of Reggio Emilia tournament

Reggio Emilia organizers 2

WGM Olga Zimina, member of the Italian Women Olympic team, WGM Yulia Kochetkova, and WGM Martha Fierro, from Ecuador, reigning Women Continental Champion

Reggio Emilia city 1

Reggio Emilia city 2

Reggio Emilia city 3

Reggio Emilia city 4

Russia Superfinal – Round Three

N. Kosintseva and Galliamova with perfect score, Svidler leading among the men

After the starting draw, the defending Russian champion Peter Svidler scored two consecutive wins, against Denis Khismatullin and Alexander Riazantsev, and took the helm at the national superfinal championship. In the other games of the third round, Dmitry Jakovenko beat Evgeny Alekseev, while the 16-years old Sanan Sjugirov outplayed Nikita Vitiugov after a long struggle in the Open Ruy Lopez.

The women section is extremely interesting, having produced only two draws from a total of 15 games. Alisa Galliamova is making a fantastic comeback after being absent from the chess arena for about two years, and together with Nadezhda Kosintseva is smashing the opposition for the perfect score after starting three rounds. Natalia Pogonina and Anastasia Bodnaruk are full point behind. Tatiana Stepovaia is still without points, but Maria Manakova scored her first win today.

Round 3 results (men):

Svidler – Riazantsev 1-0

Grischuk – Khismatullin draw

Sjugirov – Vitiugov 1-0

Timofeev – Tomashevsky draw

Jakovenko – Alekseev 1-0

Round 3 results (women):

Manakova – Romanko 1-0

Galliamova – Pogonina 1-0

Kosintseva, N – Zaiatz 1-0

Bodnaruk – Stepovaia 1-0

Kosintseva, T – Gunina draw

Peter Svidler

Peter Svidler

Round four is taking place on Wednesday, follow the games live on the official website.

Nigel Short With Perfect Score at Sigeman 2009

Sigeman Co Chess Tournament takes place on 3-7th June in Malmo

Nigel Short square

Nigel Short

The 2009 Sigeman Co Chess Tournament could be a very short event by all standards, but that doesn’t make it less exciting, on the contrary. In the first three rounds we saw lots of attractive chess and only two draws. The five-games round robin tournament is ongoing until 7th June. The playing venue is classical Hipp Theater in central Malmo, for the twelfth time.

Swedish chess fans were secretly hoping to see their talented junior Nils Grandelius taking down another top Grandmaster, but Nigel Short stormed towards Black monarch and quickly forced Nils to throw the towel.

Ivan Sokolov used his expertize on pawn structures, of which he also recently published a book, to recover from yesterday’s shock and outplay Emanuel Berg. The game between Tiger Hillarp Persson and Tomi Nybäck was very complicated but in the end produced a draw by perpetual check.

Round 3 results:

GM Nigel Short (ENG 2674) – IM Nils Grandelius (SWE 2491) 1-0

GM Tiger Hillarp Persson (SWE 2618) – GM Tomi Nybäck (FIN 2655) draw

GM Ivan Sokolov (BIH 2669) – GM Emanuel Berg (SWE 2610) 1-0

Round 3 standings:

1. GM Nigel Short – 3

2. GM Ivan Sokolov – 2

3. IM Nils Grandelius – 1½

4-5. GM Tomi Nybäck, GM Emanuel Berg – 1

6. GM Tiger Hillarp Persson – ½

Round 4 pairings:

GM Tomi Nybäck (FIN 2655) – GM Ivan Sokolov (BIH 2669)

GM Nigel Short (ENG 2674) – GM Tiger Hillarp Persson (SWE 2618)

IM Nils Grandelius (SWE 2491) – GM Emanuel Berg (SWE 2610)

Official website

Six Players Sharing Lead at the European Women Chess Championship

After two wins at the start, the defending champion, GM Kateryna Lahno of Ukraine, was held to a draw by IM Irina Turova in round three of the European Women Chess Championship. It started as a wild Anti-Gruenfeld variation and Turova soon sacrificed a central pawn. But Black King remained in the middle of the board and White enjoyed solid compensation. After further exchanges, the position evaporated into an equal ending and draw was agreed soon.

The 2nd-seeded GM Nana Dzagnidze took a lead with perfect score after three rounds, together with five other players. She opened with a quiet Smyslov system against the Kings Indian defence and then gradually increased pressure on the kingside. WGM Jolanda Zawadzka tried to indirectly protect the weak pawns by imposing threats on the 2nd rank. However, Dzagnidze used a neat tactical shot to disturb material balance and quickly advance the passed pawns.


GM Nana Dzagnidze

Hoang Thanh Trang

GM Hoang Thanh Trang

Monika Socko

GM Monika Socko

Grandmasters Hoang Thanh Trang and Monika Socko have literally blasted their opponents off the board to join Dzagnidze on the first place tie. IM Evgenija Ovod, IM Cristina-Adela Foisor and WFM Oksana Gritsayeva complete the party on the top. 21 players with 2.5 points each are behind them.

Top round 3 results:

GM Dzagnidze Nana GEO 2518 - WGM Zawadzka Jolanta POL 2385 1-0

IM Turova Irina RUS 2379 - GM Lahno Kateryna UKR 2488 ½-½

GM Hoang Thanh Trang HUN 2483 - IM Zimina Olga ITA 2363 1-0

IM Zaiatz Elena RUS 2364 - WGM Romanko Marina RUS 2451 ½-½

IM Gaponenko Inna UKR 2450 - WFM Gritsayeva Oksana UKR 2341 0-1

WGM Demina Julia RUS 2361 - GM Socko Monika POL 2449 0-1

IM Kovalevskaya Ekaterina RUS 2442 - WGM Aginian Nelly ARM 2335 ½-½

WFM Girya Olga RUS 2315 - IM Lomineishvili Maia GEO 2437 ½-½

IM Ovod Evgenija RUS 2430 - WIM Daulyte Deimante LTU 2278 1-0

WIM Iljushina Olga RUS 2269 - IM Melia Salome 2422 ½-½

WFM Brunello Marina ITA 2106 - IM Foisor Cristina-Adela ROU 2412 0-1

WFM Malgina Tatiana RUS 2342 - IM Muzychuk Anna SLO 2540 0-1

WIM Molchanova Tatjana RUS 2319 - IM Arakhamia-Grant Ketevan SCO 2500 0-1

IM Ushenina Anna UKR 2499 - WIM Berzina Ilze LAT 2308 1-0

WIM Charochkina Daria RUS 2316 - WGM Pogonina Natalija RUS 2467 ½-½

WIM Bulmaga Irina MDA 2300 - IM Mkrtchian Lilit ARM 2460 0-1

IM Paehtz Elisabeth GER 2455 - WFM Tomilova Elena RUS 2300 ½-½

WIM Galojan Lilit ARM 2316 - IM Muzychuk Mariya UKR 2427 ½-½

IM Khurtsidze Nino GEO 2421 - WIM Chasovnikova Eugenia RUS 2302 1-0

WIM Komiagina Maria RUS 2283 - IM Khukhashvili Sopiko GEO 2416 0-1

Top round 4 pairings:

IM Foisor Cristina-Adela ROU 2412 - GM Dzagnidze Nana GEO 2518

WFM Gritsayeva Oksana UKR 2341 - GM Hoang Thanh Trang HUN 2483

GM Socko Monika POL 2449 - IM Ovod Evgenija RUS 2430

IM Muzychuk Anna SLO 2540 - WGM Shadrina Tatiana RUS 2416

IM Arakhamia-Grant Ketevan SCO 2500 - WGM Kovanova Baira RUS 2386

IM Khukhashvili Sopiko GEO 2416 - IM Ushenina Anna UKR 2499

GM Lahno Kateryna UKR 2488 - WFM Bodnaruk Anastasia RUS 2384

IM Mkrtchian Lilit ARM 2460 - IM Turova Irina RUS 2379

WGM Romanko Marina RUS 2451 - IM Gvetadze Sopio GEO 2377

WGM Cherednichenko Svetlana UKR 2367 - IM Kovalevskaya Ekaterina RUS 2442

IM Lomineishvili Maia GEO 2437 - IM Zaiatz Elena RUS 2364

IM Melia Salome GEO 2422 - WFM Girya Olga RUS 2315

WGM Aginian Nelly ARM 2335 - IM Khurtsidze Nino GEO 2421

IM Kosintseva Tatiana RUS 2497 - WIM Iljushina Olga RUS 2269

Round 1 report

Official website

My Daddy’s a Grandmaster – and so is my Mummy!

Gibtelecom Chess Festival Round Three Report

How many children in the world can claim that both their father and mother are full grandmasters? Well, we don’t know the exact answer – maybe somebody out there can help us? – but we do know that two of them are in the photograph below…

Gibraltar r3 1

Left to right: Anna Cramling-Bellon, Pia Cramling, Weronica Socko

Sitting at the board in the picture is little Anna Cramling-Bellon, daughter of GM Juan Manuel Bellon and GM Pia Cramling (who is also in the photo). Anna made her international competition debut on 29 January here in Gibraltar. On the right, having some fun with Pia Cramling is Weronica Socko, daughter of GM Bartosz Socko and GM Monika Socko. All four parents hold the full GM title. How many other children can boast two GM parents? Other than Weronica’s siblings that is. We can think of maybe one more double GM husband and wife with children but haven’t thought about it too deeply yet. Maybe there are more – can you think of any?

In Round 3 of the Masters event we expected the chess to be hard fought and exciting – and we weren’t disappointed!

The game between perennial Gibraltar participant, Polish GM Bartosz Socko (2631) and former Women’s World Champion, GM Antoaneta Stefanova (2557) of Bulgaria

Gibraltar r3 2

GM Bartosz Socko (2631) – GM Antoaneta Stefanova (2557)

produced one of the tournament leaders after the third round. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Bc5 Introducing the Neo-Archangelsk variation. 6.c3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a4 Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 Na5 11.Bc2 b4 12.d3 Rb8 13.Nd2 0–0 After some minor transpositions, we have now reached the position from Anand-Karpov, FIDE World Chess Championship Finals, Lausanne 1998. 14.Qe2 Re8 15.Nf3 bxc3 16.bxc3 Nb3 17.Bxb3 Anand’s novelty. [17.Rb1 Nxc1 18.Rfxc1 was successful for White in Nithander-Hector, Politiken Cup 2007.] 17…Rxb3 18.d4 exd4 19.cxd4 Rxf3!? An interesting exchange sacrifice introduced by Karpov. 20.Qxf3 Bxd4 21.Ra2 Nxe4 22.Qd3 Qf6 [An improvement that was suggested after the Anand-Karpov game which had continued 22...c5 23.Qxa6 d5 24.a5 when Anand recorded a memorable victory in 42 moves.] 23.Re2 [23.Qxa6 would permit 23...Ng3 24.Rd1 Qe6 with a draw by repetition if White were to choose 25.Rxd4 Qe1+ 26.Kh2 Nf1+] 23…d5 24.Be3 Be5 25.Rc1

Gibraltar r3 3

25…c5? [25...h6 protects the d5 pawn indirectly as the same combination that Socko employs in the game does not work as well here. 26.Qxd5 Nc3 27.Rxc3 Rd8 28.Rc5 Rxd5 29.Rxd5 leaves Black with an edge as White fails to pick up Black's c-pawn along the way.] 26.Qxd5! Nc3 27.Rxc3 Rd8 [Of course not 27...Bxc3?? as Black's back rank weakness spells disaster after 28.Bg5!] 28.Rxc5 Rxd5 29.Rxd5 h6 30.Bxh6 Bc7 31.Bc1 Qc6 32.Rd1 Qxa4 33.Rde1 The position has been simplified greatly to White’s advantage. 33…f6 34.Bb2 Qf4 35.g3 Qf5 36.Re8+ Kh7 37.R1e4 Bd6 38.Bc1 Kg6 39.Rg4+ Kf7 40.Re1 Qf3 41.Be3 a5 42.Kh2 Be5 43.Rc4 Kg6 44.Kg1 Qf5 45.Rg4+ Kf7 46.Rd1

Gibraltar r3 4

46…a4? [Black does better not to abandon the outside pawn and to play 46...g5 as the continuation 47.Rd5 Qb1+ 48.Kh2 Qa2 49.Rd7+ Kg6 50.Ra7 Bc3 for instance, illustrates the difficulties White faces in trying to eliminate it.] 47.Rxa4 Qxh3 48.Ra7+ Kg6 49.Rdd7 Kf5? [Passive defence would give Black good chances to hold as simplifying into a pawn up bishop endgame is insufficient for White to win. 49...Qh8 50.f4 Bb8 51.Rxg7+ Qxg7 52.Rxg7+ Kxg7 53.g4 Kf7 54.Kf2 Ke6 55.Kf3 Kd5 56.Bb6 Bd6 57.Bd8 Ke6 58.Ke4 Bf8 and White cannot make progress.] 50.Rxg7 The loss of this pawn without the simplification seen in the previous variation places Black in serious jeopardy. 50…Ke4 51.Bf4 Qh5 52.Ra4+ Bd4 53.Re7+ Kd3 Black’s position is quite unpleasant and difficult to play even with sufficient time on the clock. 54.Ra3+ Kc4 55.Be3 Be5 56.Kg2 Bd6? [56...Qd1 offers more resistance. White's winning technique would then lie in pushing Black's king to the edge to maximize checkmating opportunities. 57.Ra5 Qd3 58.Rc5+ Kb4 59.Rb7+ Ka4 60.Ra7+ Kb4 61.Rc8 Qe4+ 62.f3! Qd5 63.Rc5 and Black has to give up his queen to stay alive.] 57.Re4+ Kb5 58.Rb3+ Kc6 59.Rb6+ 1–0

Nearby, young English IM Stephen Gordon (2524) gave his chances of securing his third and final GM norm a boost by holding his more experienced opponent, American GM Varuzhan Akobian (2619), to a hard fought draw. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 0–0 7.e3 b6 The Tartakower System in the Queen’s Gambit Declined. 8.Be2 Bb7 9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.cxd5 exd5 11.b4 White attempts to control Black’s thematic advance …c5. 11…c6 12.0–0 a5 First employed by former World Champion, GM Anatoly Karpov, in the Leningrad interzonal 1973. 13.bxa5 Two popular alternatives are 13. b5 and 13. a3 13…Rxa5 14.a4 Bc8 15.Qc2 Be6 16.Rfd1 Nd7 [16...c5 proved successful in Tukmakov-Shabalov, Koszalin 1999.] 17.Rab1 Akobian’s treatment of this position, though similar, does not duplicate earlier examples. [17.h3 Be7 18.Bd3 Re8 19.Ne2 Qa8 Greenfeld-M.Gurevich, EU-ch 2001] 17…Qa8 18.Bd3 Rc8 19.h3 Be7 20.Bf5 b5 [20...c5 appears to be a more natural break in light of the placement of Black's rook in relation to White's queen. However, White can keep the c-file closed by playing 21.Ne5 Nxe5 22.dxe5] 21.Bxe6 fxe6 22.Ne5 Nxe5 23.dxe5 b4 24.Ne2 c5 25.Qg6 It is clear that White must begin operations against the enemy king as he is unable to contain the advancing pawns. 25…Ra6 26.Nf4 Rcc6 27.e4 The key. White opens a path for his rooks along the third rank. 27…d4 28.Rd3 Qf8 29.Rg3 Bg5

Gibraltar r3 5

30.Rxg5 Akobian displays excellent judgement as he correctly projects that White’s kingside attack will neutralize Black’s overwhelming material superiority on the other flank. 30…hxg5 31.Qxg5 Rxa4 32.Ng6 Qe8 [32...Qa8 is not any better as White's king will be unassailable on h2 even if Black's queen succeeds in penetrating to the first rank. For instance, 33.f4 Ra1 34.Rxa1 Qxa1+ 35.Kh2 and Black will have to hurry back in defence.] 33.f4 [33.Ne7+? Kf7 34.Nxc6 Qxc6 would recover the exchange but lose the game.] 33…Rca6 34.Kh2 d3 It is amazing that despite his three connected passed pawns, Black does not have a winning continuation. 35.Qh5 Ra1 36.Rxa1 Rxa1 37.f5 exf5 38.exf5 d2

Gibraltar r3 6

In many ways, such positions are relatively easy to handle as the strategy on both sides is forced. 39.Qh8+ Kf7 40.e6+ Kf6 41.Qxe8 d1Q The queen is dead! Long live the queen! 42.Qe7+ Kxf5 43.Nh4+ Ke4 44.Qxc5 Qh1+ 45.Kg3 Qe1+ 46.Kh2 Qh1+ 47.Kg3 Qe1+ and the two players settle for the inevitable. ½–½

Elsewhere, Surya Ganguly (2614) defended well on top board to hold a draw with the black pieces against Peter Svidler (2723) whilst there was something of a shock on board 2. The Greek GM Vasilios Kotronias (2603) has just played 24 Rdh1 to reach the following position

Gibraltar r3 7

Hikaru Nakamura (2699) replied 24…c5?? and lost quickly after 25 Rf4! as the Queen is trapped.

However, the real shock of the round was on board 8 where Georgian GM Nana Dzagnidze (2518) defeated French prodigy Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2696) whilst playing black. Nana obtained a good position from her Sicillain Dragon opening and then sacrificed the exchange on move 17, following which she used her active pieces to outplay her opponent.

Gibraltar r3 8

English amateur Gary Quillan (2357), having played brilliantly against GM Gashimov in Round 1 followed up by beating Serbian GM Milos Pavlovic (2520) with black. Having reached the following position

Gibraltar r3 9

Now Gary finished the game with 30…Bb7 31 f3 Rd2+ 32 Re2 Rd3 0-1 Due to the dual threats of Rxc3 and Bxf3+

Gibraltar r3 10

Gary Quillan on his way to victory. He was smiling later!

Lets hope that Round 4 on Friday proves to be just as exciting as today! The top pairings are:

GM Dzagnidze, Nana GEO 2518 – GM Socko, Bartosz POL 2631

GM Harikrishna, Pentala IND 2673 – GM Kotronias, Vasilios GRE 2603

GM Gashimov, Vugar AZE 2723 – GM Akobian, Varuzhan USA 2619

GM Lopez Martinez, Josep Manu ESP 2540 – GM Svidler, Peter RUS 2723

GM Ganguly, Surya Shekhar IND 2614 – GM Milov, Vadim SUI 2669

GM Sokolov, Ivan NED 2657 – GM Golod, Vitali ISR 2575

IM Gordon, Stephen J ENG 2524 – GM Berkes, Ferenc HUN 2651

GM Roiz, Michael ISR 2647 – GM Sandipan, Chanda IND 2568

IM Szabo, Krisztian HUN 2508 – GM Beliavsky, Alexander G SLO 2646

GM Avrukh, Boris ISR 2645 – IM Papp, Gabor HUN 2517

GM Gurevich, Mikhail TUR 2624 – IM Cmilyte, Viktorija LTU 2497

Quillan, Gary ENG 2357 – GM Berg, Emanuel SWE 2606

Full details can be found on the tournament website

Report compiled by Sean Hewitt and John Saunders with games annotated by Sunil Weeramantry.

Alexander Morozevich With A Glaring Start At The Mikhail Tal Memorial

18th-31st August 2008 at GUM Exhibition Hall, Moscow


Three rounds of the 2008 Mikhail Tal Memorial have been played and Russian champion Alexander Morozevich emerged as sole leader, half a point ahead of Peter Leko and Vassily Ivanchuk. Moro went of to a flying start by beating both of his compatriots – Biel winner Evgeny Alekseev and former World champion Vladimir Kramnik.

Another decisive result in the round three was Leko’s win against Alexei Shirov, who finished second at the last year tournament, but is now knocked at the bottom of the crosstable without points. Just like the legendary champion Tal, Shirov is hailing from Riga, Latvia, and is fostering similar attacking attitude. Today he sacrificed an exchange from the Black side of Naidorf Sicilian, but Leko was able to trade off all the pieces and leave Black with weak dark-squared Bishop.

Round 3 results:

Leko – Shirov 1-0

Morozevich – Kramnik 1-0

Ponomariov – Mamedyarov draw

Ivanchuk – Alekseev draw

Kamsky – Gelfand draw

Round 3 standings:

1. Alexander Morozevich – 2.5

2-3. Vassily Ivanchuk and Peter Leko – 2.0

4-8. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Boris Gelfand, Ruslan Ponomariov, Vladimir Kramnik and Gata Kamsky – 1.5

9. Evgeny Alekseev – 1.0

10. Alexei Shirov – 0.0

Round 4 pairings:

Shirov – Gelfand

Alekseev – Kamsky

Mamedyarov – Ivanchuk

Kramnik – Ponomariov

Leko – Morozevich

7th Miguel Naidorf Memorial

Krishnan Sasikiran leading after three rounds

The 7th International Chess Festival, dedicated to the memory of great Miguel Naidorf and organized by Warsaw Chess Foundation, Mazovian Chess Federation, “Polonia” Chess Club, is taking place on 2-10 August in Warsaw, Poland. The Festival consists of GM 10-player round-robin, chess prodigies (born 2000 and later) tournament, and two open sections.

Round 3 standings in GM round-robin:

1. GM Krishnan Sasikiran (IND 2684) – 2.5

2-3. GM Csaba Balogh (HUN 2624) and GM Bartosz Socko (POL 2628) – 2.0

3-6. GM Emanuel Berg (SWE 2592), GM Bartlomiej Macieja (POL 2606) and GM Michal Krasenkow (POL 2639) – 1.5

7-10. GM Eduardas Rozentalis (LTU 2599), GM Robert Kempinski (POL 2613), GM Tomi Nyback (FIN 2639) and IM Michal Olszewski (POL 2458) 1-0

Sasikiran reading contract

Current leader – GM Krishnan Sasikiran

More information on the other sections can be found on the official website

Ikaros Chess Festival round 4

The direct clashes for top places start today

Ikaria Nas Beach

The Ikaros Chess Festival and its main event Aegean Open 2008 continue without any big surprises in the Accelerated Swiss System. The top players have full points and occupy the first places.

However, this is about to change today, when we will witness serious games on the top boards. The rating favorite GM Evgeny Postny will meet IM Siebrecht. The rating women favorite WIM Elitsa Raeva will have black against GM Schneider. Here aer all the pairings for round 4. Do not forget to follow the games on the official website

More about Ikaros Chess festival


Ikaros Chess festival begins

PGN round 1-2

Pairings round 4


















Naiditsch Smashed Kramnik’s Petroff

Vishy Anand must be taking notes

Just as we thought that Vladimir Kramnik is off to “another +2 with White, equal with Black” expedition, young German Grandmaster Arkadij Naiditsch set out to impossible mission of challenging Kramnik’s trustworthy Petroff defence. The World Championship finalist didn’t lose a classical time control game in this opening since his clash with Peter Svidler at the 2005 Russian Superfinal.

Naiditsch introduced a daring novelty 19. Qd2!, which should allow White to mobilize faster than with 19. Rf5 as seen in Kasimdzhanov-Yussupov. Kramnik side-stepped the critical 19…Qxe5 20. Qb4+ Ke8 (20…Kg8 21. Ne7+ and 22. Ng6+ wins the Queen) 21. Re1 Ne2+ 22. Kf1, which looks extremely dangerous in spite of having extra Rook, because King is stuck under heavy fire.

After almost one hour of calculation, Black decided to continue with 19…Ng6, hoping to consolidate and connect the Rooks. However, White heavy pieces quickly possessed the central files and Kramnik was forced to give up a Queen for Rook and Knight. Naiditsch played the remaining moves quickly and with confidence until Kramnik gave up on move 42.

Examining all the tactical nuances in this variation in a new assignment for Viswanathan Anand’s team.

Serbia legue Arkadij Najdic-Juri Solodovnicenko

Arkadij Naiditsch (left) during 2007 Serbian League

Round 3 results:

Arkadij Naiditsch 2624 – Vladimir Kramnik 2788 1-0

Loek Van Wely 2677 – Peter Leko 2741 ½ – ½

Vassily Ivanchuk 2740 – Ian Nepomniachtchi 2634 ½ – ½

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2752 – Jan Gustafsson 2603 ½ – ½

Round 3 standings:

1-2. Jan Gustafsson 2603 and Peter Leko 2741 – 2.0

3-6. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2752, Vladimir Kramnik 2788, Arkadij Naiditsch 2624 and Ian Nepomniachtchi 2634 – 1.5

7-8. Vassily Ivanchuk 2740 and Loek Van Wely 2677 – 1.0

Round 4 pairings:

Vladimir Kramnik 2788 – Peter Leko 2741

Ian Nepomniachtchi 2634 – Loek Van Wely 2677

Jan Gustafsson 2603 – Vassily Ivanchuk 2740

Arkadij Naiditsch 2624 – Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2752

Cautious First Round at Dortmund 2008

Burning Stage in Dortmund (Round 2)

IM Nana Dzagnidze leading in 2008 Kaupthing Open

Saturday 10.05 – Saturday 17.05.2008, at the Woiwer Sports Center, Differdange, Luxembourg

The 2008 Kaupthing Open launched with the first round on Saturday in Differdange, Luxembourg, and goes on until May 17th. A total of 85 players are fighting in the Open A section for the lucrative prize fund of 17.000 Euro. In addition, there are 79 participants in the Open B and 24 in the Open C-Youth. Last year GM Humpy Koneru and GM Hannes Stefansson tied the first place.

Total Prizefund 17 000 Eur

Prize for the A-tournament winner : 3 000 Eur

Special prize for the first woman : 1 500 Eur

Mode : 9 rounds Swiss Chess

A-Open : 90′/40 + 30′ + 30” per move

B-Open U2200 : 90′/40 + 30′ KO

C-Youth Open U1600 : 90′/40 + 30′ KO

Talented IM Nana Dzagnidze of Georgia is leading the Open A section after three rounds with 100% score, followed by a bulk of players with 2.5 points. TV DD India has every-day video reports from Kaupthing Open during the 8:30 pm Sports Hour.

Official website

Kaupthing Open 1

Kaupthing Open 2

Kaupthing Open 3

Kaupthing Open 4

Kaupthing Open 5

Kaupthing Open 6

Photos courtesy of Vijay Kumar

Kaupthing Open kids

Youth Open C

Tania Sachdev square

IM Tania Sadchev of India

Photos courtesy of official website

Even a Great Wall Can’t Stop Him

Vassily Ivanchuk with third consecutive win at the start of 2008 Mtel Masters

Round 3 results:

Ivanchuk Vassily 2740 UKR 1 – 0 Bu Xiangzhi 2708 CHN

Radjabov Teimour 2751 AZE ½ – ½ Aronian Levon 2763 ARM

Cheparinov Ivan 2695 BUL 0 – 1 Topalov Veselin 2767 BUL

Tomorrow on Chessdom (14 CET): Live game commentary by GM Vladimir Dimitrov and live blog with the Chessdom team in Sofia. See you there!

All news about 2008 Mtel Masters

Photo Gallery

Vassily Ivanchuk wanted to avoid discussion in the Slav defence and decided to delay d4 by employing some kind of Reti setup. Bu Xiangzhi did him a great favor by carelessly playing 7…Bh5? and after the temporary sacrifice 9. Bxb5 black was already good to resign. Bu just sat there in disbelief and continued playing to avoid embarrassment in front of the journalists. Ivanchuk is off to a wonderful start with three straight wins, which can be crucial in such a short event of only 10 rounds. He admitted that there was no previous preparation and was happy that such a nice move can come out so early.

Mtel Masters cage 3

The games are taking place inside the soundproof glass aquarium

Veselin Topalov said at the press conference that the most difficult issue before today’s game against Ivan Cheparinov was to choose an opening “because they know each other very well”. “My choice of today’s opening comes from yesterday’s game. The game with Morozevich was also on my mind” – he added. Cheparinov described the experience of playing with his co-worker as “normal, serious game, but still intriguing”. He will look to quickly forget today’s loss: “I now have to focus on the next round”.

Teimour Radjabov brought a bag of fresh ideas from Baku Grand Prix. He used Inarkiev’s novelty in the Anti-Moscow Semi-Slav from the game with Cheparinov. Levon Aronian looked surprised and spent some time to find the best defending plan. He succeeded in parrying off the attack and after further simplifications the game ended in a draw. Radjabov wore a watch that honors his national leader hoping that this will bring him luck in today’s game.

Current standings:

1. Ivanchuk Vassily 2740 UKR – 3.0

2. Topalov Veselin 2767 BUL – 2.0

3. Cheparinov Ivan 2695 BUL – 1.5

4-5. Radjabov Teimour 2751 AZE and Aronian Levon 2763 ARM – 1.0

6. Bu Xiangzhi 2708 CHN – 0.5

Round 4 pairings:

Ivanchuk Vassily 2740 UKR – Cheparinov Ivan 2695 BUL

Radjabov Teimour 2751 AZE – Topalov Veselin 2767 BUL

Bu Xiangzhi 2708 CHN – Aronian Levon 2763 ARM

Vassily Ivanchuk square 9

Vassily Ivanchuk

Mtel Masters Radjabov 1

Teimour Radjabov

Mtel Masters Aronian 1

Levon Aronian

GM Wesley So leading Dubai Open chess championship

Wesley So with rating performance over 3000

GM Wesley So continues his flawless performance at the Dubai Open chess championship. The youngster defeated GM Pantsulaia (Georgia) in round 3 to climb top of the table with 3,0/3.

Seven more players have full score from the first rounds, however, Wesley So is on top with better tiebreak (sum of the ratings of the opponents). In the next round he will meet another young chess start with 3,0/3 (currently 4th) – the world junior champion GM Ahmed Adly.

Here are the results of the top tables, the standings, and the pairings.

Dubai open, results round 3

GM Ibrahimov Rasul 2 ½ – ½ 2 GM Gelashvili Tamaz

GM Pantsulaia Levan 2 0 – 1 2 GM So Wesley

GM Gupta Abhijeet 2 1 – 0 2 GM Ghaem Maghami Ehsan

GM Kuzubov Yuriy 2 ½ – ½ 2 GM Ibrayev Nurlan

GM Drozdovskij Yuri 2 1 – 0 2 IM Ismagambetov Anuar

IM Laxman R R 2 ½ – ½ 2 GM Li Chao B

GM Adly Ahmed 2 1 – 0 2 GM Ramesh R B

IM Sadorra Julio Catalino 2 ½ – ½ 2 GM Kotanjian Tigran

GM Kotsur Pavel 2 1 – 0 2 IM Tissir Mohamed

FM Salem A R Saleh 2 1 – 0 2 GM Neverov Valeriy

Zhou Weiqi 2 1 – 0 2 FM Moosavian S Hamed

GM Gagunashvili Merab 2 1 – 0 2 FM Othman A Moussa

Sadatnajafi M 2 0 – 1 1½ GM Arutinian David

IM Frhat Ali 1½ ½ – ½ 1½ GM Gleizerov Evgeny

IM Nedochetov Mikhail 1½ 0 – 1 1½ GM Safarli Eltaj

Praveen Kumar C 1½ ½ – ½ 1½ GM Guliev Sarhan

IM El Taher Fouad 1½ ½ – ½ 1½ WGM Ramaswamy Aarthie

Phadke Sohan 1½ 0 – 1 1½ IM Ashwin Jayaram

WIM Pourkashiyan Atousa 1½ ½ – ½ 1½ IM Guliev Logman

FM Alhuwar Jasem 1½ ½ – ½ 1½ IM Khader Sami

GM Guseinov Gadir 1 1 – 0 1 Ramnath Bhuvanesh R

FM Al Mahayri Sabri 1 0 – 1 1 GM Negi Parimarjan

Suresh Kumar T J 1 0 – 1 1 IM Kalegin Evgenij

IM Sachdev Tania 1 1 – 0 1 WIM Ghader Pour Shayesteh

Wang Li 1 1 – 0 1 Mari Ooriad Pouya

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1 GM So Wesley 3,0

2 GM Gupta Abhijeet 3,0

3 GM Drozdovskij Yuri 3,0

4 GM Adly Ahmed 3,0

5 GM Kotsur Pavel 3,0

6 Zhou Weiqi 3,0

7 GM Gagunashvili Merab 3,0

8 FM Salem A R Saleh 3,0

9 GM Gelashvili Tamaz 2,5

10 GM Ibrahimov Rasul 2,5

11 GM Li Chao B 2,5

12 GM Kuzubov Yuriy 2,5

13 GM Ibrayev Nurlan 2,5

14 IM Laxman R R 2,5

15 IM Sadorra Julio Catalino 2,5

16 GM Kotanjian Tigran 2,5

17 IM Ashwin Jayaram 2,5

18 GM Safarli Eltaj 2,5

19 GM Arutinian David 2,5

20 FM Moosavian S Hamed 2,0

21 Sadatnajafi M 2,0

22 FM Soozankar A M 2,0

23 FM Othman A Moussa 2,0

24 WGM Ramaswamy Aarthie 2,0

25 GM Pantsulaia Levan 2,0

26 Praveen Kumar C 2,0

27 D’cuna Antonio V. 2,0

28 IM Ismagambetov Anuar 2,0

29 GM Ramesh R B 2,0

30 WIM Pourkashiyan Atousa 2,0

31 Tabada Jobannie C 2,0

32 IM Tissir Mohamed 2,0

33 IM Sachdev Tania 2,0

34 IM Mas Hafizulhelmi 2,0

35 GM Neverov Valeriy 2,0

36 GM Ghaem Maghami Ehsan 2,0

37 GM Gleizerov Evgeny 2,0

38 Wang Li 2,0

39 Nikzaban Ehsan 2,0

40 Nasri Amin 2,0

41 IM Ravi Lanka 2,0

42 WGM Zhang Jilin 2,0

IM Sharma Dinesh K 2,0

44 WGM Smokina Karolina 2,0

45 IM Bajarni Ilgar 2,0

46 FM Wu Xibin 2,0

47 WGM Sergeeva Maria 2,0

48 GM Guseinov Gadir 2,0

49 Arellano Robert 2,0

50 GM Guliev Sarhan 2,0

51 FM Grover Sahaj 2,0

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Pairings round 4

GM Gagunashvili Merab 3 – 3 GM Drozdovskij Yuri

GM So Wesley 3 – 3 GM Adly Ahmed

GM Gupta Abhijeet 3 - 3 GM Kotsur Pavel

FM Salem A R Saleh 3 - 3 Zhou Weiqi

GM Gelashvili Tamaz 2½ – 2½ GM Safarli Eltaj

IM Ashwin Jayaram 2½ – 2½ GM Kuzubov Yuriy

GM Arutinian David 2½ - 2½ GM Ibrahimov Rasul

GM Li Chao B 2½ - 2½ IM Sadorra Julio Catalino

GM Kotanjian Tigran 2½ - 2½ IM Laxman R R

GM Ibrayev Nurlan 2½ - 2 GM Guseinov Gadir

IM Sharma Dinesh K 2 - 2 GM Pantsulaia Levan

GM Ghaem Maghami Ehsan 2 - 2 WGM Zhang Jilin

GM Neverov Valeriy 2 – 2 FM Wu Xibin

GM Gleizerov Evgeny 2 - 2 FM Grover Sahaj

GM Negi Parimarjan 2 – 2 FM Arvind C J

IM Kalegin Evgenij 2 – 2 Sadatnajafi M

IM Ismagambetov Anuar 2 - 2 Praveen Kumar C

GM Guliev Sarhan 2 – 2 FM Alhuwar Jasem

IM Bajarni Ilgar 2 - 2 IM El Taher Fouad

GM Ramesh R B 2 - 2 WIM Pourkashiyan Atousa

IM Tissir Mohamed 2 - 2 WGM Smokina Karolina

IM Guliev Logman 2 – 2 FM Soozankar A M

IM Khader Sami 2 - 2 D’cuna Antonio V.

FM Othman A Moussa 2 - 2 IM Sachdev Tania

WGM Sergeeva Maria 2 – 2 Wang Li

FM Moosavian S Hamed 2 – 2 Nikzaban Ehsan

IM Mas Hafizulhelmi 2 - 2 Tabada Jobannie C

WGM Ramaswamy Aarthie 2 - 2 IM Frhat Ali

Momeni E 2 – 2 IM Ravi Lanka

Nasri Amin 2 – 2 Arellano Robert

GM Michael Adams takes the lead at the Ruy Lopez Chess Festival

Gabriel Sargissian surprises Zhang Pengxiang

Preview / Round 1 / Round 2

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The International Chess Festival Ruy Lopez in Merida, Spain, took an important turn in round 3.
Gabriel Sargissian surprised with the black pieces the leader Zhang Pengxiang and Michael Adams used the opportunity to take the lead with a nice victory over Hou Yifan.

Fabiano Caruana did not miss the chance and won won against Manuel Perez Calendario to share the second place. The women Indian GM Humpy Koneru won her game against GM Granda and is currently 5th.

Ruy Lopez, results round 3

Humpy KONERU (2603) 1 - 0 Julio GRANDA (2609)

Hou YIFAN (2549) 0 - 1 Michael ADAMS (2729)

Zhang PENGXIANG (2640) 0 - 1 Gabriel SARGISSIAN (2643)

Manuel Perez CANDELARIO (2537) 0 - 1 Fabiano CARUANA (2620)

Standings after round 3

Michael ADAMS (2729)


Fabiano CARUANA (2620)


Zhang PENGXIANG (2640)


Gabriel SARGISSIAN (2643)


Humpy KONERU (2603)


Julio GRANDA (2609)


Manuel Perez CANDELARIO (2537)


Hou YIFAN (2549)


Selected games

Russian team chess championship round 3

Results, standings, games

Ural from Yekaterinburg and first lineup of Economist Saratov are going strong and share the lead after three rounds played with full six points. Finek Gazprom and Shatar Buryatia are two points behind. It is notable that most of the FIDE Grand Prix participants are signing quick draws among themselves.

Teimour Radjabov about FIDE Grand Prix

We have contacted Teimour Radjabov asking him how is he going to cope with the exhausting tournament schedule. The Russian team championship ends on 14th April, then Baku Grand Prix takes place on 20th April – 6th May, and Mtel Masters 2008 starts immediately on 7th May. The last two are forcing longer playing schedule by imposing Sofia rule.

Radjabov said: “Of course, for me it will be very difficult. But what can I do? Unfortunately, FIDE has published Grand Prix terms when I already had the schedule of my chess tournaments. The first stage of Grand Prix will be in Baku and I should play there because of all my fans from Azerbaijan are expecting me to play on the home ground. This is also the first great event in chess life of Azerbaijan after gaining the independence. What to do? I should play. Life is life -:))”

Radjabov coffee1

Teimour Radjabov

Round 3 results:

TPS Saransk (Saransk) – 64 (Moscow) 3:3

GM Vassily Ivanchuk – GM Boris Gelfand draw

GM Konstantin Sakaev – GM Sergey Rublevsky draw

GM Andrei Volotkin – GM Pentala Harikrishna 1-0

GM Mikhail Kobalia – GM Wang Hao 0-1

GM Sergey Volkov – GM Alexander Khalifman draw

GM Evgeniy Najer – GM Maxim Rodshtein draw

Finek Gazprom (Sankt Petersburg) – SHSM (Moscow) 3.5:2.5

GM Peter Svidler – GM Alexander Onischuk draw

GM Vadim Zvjaginsev – GM Karen Asrian draw

GM Sergey Movsesjan – GM Ivan Popov 1-0

GM David Navara – GM Vladimir Potkin 0-1

GM Maxim Turov – GM Michał Krasenkow 1-0

GM Marat Makarov – GM Stanislav Novikov draw

Spasio-Swiss (Moscow) – South Ural (Chelyabinsk) 3.5:2.5

GM Ruslan Ponomariov – GM Alexander Riazantsev 1-0

GM Ernesto Inarkiev – GM Viktor Korchnoi 1-0

GM Vladislav Tkachiev – GM Evgeny Sveshnikov 1-0

GM Alexei Aleksandrov – GM Evgeny Romanov 0-1

GM Denis Khismatullin – IM Pavel Ponkratov 0-1

GM Vladimir Kosyrev – IM Sergey Matsenko draw

Economist 2 (Saratov) – Shatar Buryatia 3:3

GM Dimitry Andreikin – GM Kamil Miton 1-0

GM Alexander Evdokimov – GM Pavel Tregubov 1-0

GM Evgeny Shaposhnikov – GM Anton Shomoev draw

GM Alexey Korneev – GM Boris Avrukh 0-1

GM Sergey Djachkov – GM Farukh Ammonatov draw

GM Alexander Kovchan – GM Alexander Lastin 0-1

Tomsk 400 – Ural (Yekaterinburg) 2:4

GM Sergey Karjakin – GM Teimour Radjabov draw

GM Dimitry Jakovenko – GM Alexei Shirov draw

GM Loek Van Wely – GM Gata Kamsky 0-1

GM Artyom Timofeev – GM Alexander Grischuk 0-1

GM Andrei Kharlov – GM Alexei Dreev 1-0

GM Andrei Belozerov – GM Alexander Motylev 0-1

Politekhnik (Nizhny Tagil) – Economist 1 (Saratov) 2.5:3.5

GM Zahar Efimenko – GM Evgeny Alekseev draw

GM Alexander Areshenko – GM Evgeny Tomashevsky draw

GM Boris Grachev – GM Pavel Eljanov draw

GM Igor Lysyj – GM Ni Hua 0-1

GM Dimitri Bocharov – GM Michael Roiz draw

GM Dimitry Kokarev – GM Alexander Galkin draw

Current Standings

Team / Match points / Game points (click here for the team lists)

1-2. Ural (Yekaterinburg) 6 (12.5)

1-2. Economist 1 (Saratov) 6 (11.5)

3-4. Finek Gazprom (Sankt Petersburg) 4 (9.5)

3-4. Shatar Buryatia 4 (9.5)

5-9. SHSM (Moscow) 3 (9.5)

5-9. Politekhnik (Nizhny Tagil) 3 (9.0)

5-9. TPS Saransk (Saransk) 3 (9.0)

5-9. 64 (Moscow) 3 (9.0)

5-9. Spasio-Swiss (Moscow) 3 (8.5)

10. Economist 2 (Saratov) 1 (6.5)

11-12. South Ural (Chelyabinsk) 0 (7.0)

11-12. Tomsk 400 0 (6.5)

Selected games from earlier rounds:

Ataturk Masters day 2 and 3

Cramling, Atalik, and Yifan leading

After 10 games played, there has been only one draw. It came in round 2 of the Ataturk Masters and was a result of a long fight. After round 2 Pia Cramling and Hou Yifan were leading the field with perfect score after winning against Zhu Chen and Betül Cemre Yýldýz respectively. Ekaterina Atalýk and Irina Krush reached 1,5 points after drawing against each other. Xhue Zhao stroke back after winning against Anna Ushenina as Indian prodigy Harika Dronavalli did against Lela Javakhishvili. In the third round the early leaders Hou Yifan and Pia Cramling are facing each other.

In the clash of two grandmasters in the tournament Pia Cramling made a double-edged decision to play with the isolated pawn for the sake of having a more comfortable. Until white captured on e4 everything seemed in order but after that there was a drastic change in the position. After Ne2, and the more or less necessary misplacement of the queen at h2 caused black to lose the game.

Hou Yifan faced the younger local hero Betül Cemre Yýldýz and they reached a Benoni-type position with a similar pawn structure which seemed to favor white. White seemed to have the upper hand in the rest of the game but when the time control came closer white’s d pawn decided the outcome and Chinese youngster won her second consecutive game.

Zhao won against Ushenina in Queen’s Gambit Tarrasch where our silicon friends change the evaluation of the position upside down from balanced to a clear plus for white after 17..Ba4 which allows white to save her queen in a much better position. Before f6 , a6 might be another good alternative but the text caused black huge problems which caused black to lose.

The first draw of the tournament was between Atalýk and Krush which reached an ending where white had some chances of winning but in the time scramble and some resourseful defence by black, the advantage eventually melted down and the game ended with the perpetual check.

The game between Dronavalli and Javakishvili ended as a win for the latter after a slightly better game for black turned into a clearly better position for white when white found chances for penetrating into the black position.

Ataturk Masters round 2


WGM YIFAN Hou 1 – 0 WIM YILDIZ Betul Cemre



IM KRUSH Irina ½ – ½ IM ATALIK Ekaterina

In round 3 the game between the two leading players Pia Cramling and Hou Yifan ended as a draw. Ekaterina Atalýk, the top Turkish women player won against ex-world champion Zhu Chen in a drawish rook endgame after the latter made a mistake while pushing too hard and Atalýk won the game to join the leaders. Zhao won against Yildiz while Krush and Javakhishvili had drawn against each other. Indian star Dronavalli won for the second time consecutively against Ushenina.

Ataturk Masters round 3

IM ATALIK Ekaterina 1 – 0 GM CHEN Zhu



WIM YILDIZ Betul Cemre 0 – 1 WGM XUE Zhao




2 WGM YIFAN Hou 2½

3 IM ATALIK Ekaterina 2½

4 IM KRUSH Irina 2


6 WGM XUE Zhao 2



9 WIM YILDIZ Betul Cemre 0

10 GM CHEN Zhu 0

More about the tournament

Opening ceremony

Round 1

Videos with Ali Nihat Yazici

Official website

Corus A – Same Target, Same Distance

Fabiano Caruana and Arik Braun with perfect score in Corus C

Corus A

Six games in the main Group A finished in uneventful draws, only Teimour Radjabov, for the third day in a row, remained on the stage to defend position against Loek van Wely. He successfully achieved draw after being exchange down. Standings remained the same, Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian are leading with 2.5 points, followed by Teimour Radjabov with 2 points. Full standings.

Join us tomorrow for the LIVE commentary of derby match Carlsen-Aronian!

Corus A, round 3 results

T. Radjabov – L. van Wely ½-½

S. Mamedyarov – V. Kramnik ½-½

P. Eljanov – V. Anand ½-½

M. Adams – M. Carlsen ½-½

L. Aronian – P. Leko ½-½

V. Ivanchuk – B. Gelfand ½-½

J. Polgar – V. Topalov ½-½

Polgar Topalov

Judit Polgar – Veselin Topalov

Pavel Eljanov square Vishy Anand square 2

Pavel Eljanov – Vishwanatan Anand draw

Corus B

Group B continued to sparkle with decided games. Hou Yifan demolished Nigel Short’s Berlin defence, while Sergei Movsesian finally expressed desire to win and outplayed Mikhal Krasenkow. The only draw was agreed between Daniel Stellwagen and Pentala Harikrishna. Ivan Cheparinov pushed to hard against Jan Smeets and eventually lost to bounce back to 50% score. Etienne Bacrot and Jan Smeets are elading with 2.5 points, full standings.

Corus B, round 3 results

Y. Hou – N. Short 1-0

D. Stellwagen – P. Harikrishna ½-½

W. Spoelman – E. Bacrot 0-1

S. Movsesian – M. Krasenkow 1-0

J. Smeets – I. Cheparinov 1-0

I. Nepomniachtchi – G. Sargissian 1-0

E. L’Ami – H. Koneru 1-0

Erwin Lami square Humpy Koneru square

Erwin l’Ami – Humpy Koneru 1-0

Ian Nepomniachtchi square Nigel Short square

Ian Nepomniachtchi victorious, Nigel Short defeated

Corus C

Italian star Fabiano Caruana and German IM Arik Braun are smashing through the competition in Corus Group C. The two are now leading with the perfect score, full point ahead of pack of players. Full standings.

Corus B, round 3 results

A. Ushenina – I. Krush ½-½

F. Nijboer – S. Li 1-0

P. Negi – J. van der Wiel 1-0

Z. Peng – A. Braun 0-1

M. van der Werf – P. Carlsson ½-½

D. Ruijgrok – F. Caruana 0-1

D. Reinderman – E. Grivas ½-½

Russia goes strong

European Team Chess Championship 2007

Third round of the European Team Chess Championship was marked with narrow 2.5-1.5 wins on the top four tables in men section. Peter Svidler beat David Navara with the Anti-Marshall and with other games drawn, Russia took most of against Czech Republic. Each day, Azerbaijan has different hero, this time it was Shakhriyar Mamedyarov’s turn to shine and blast Peter Heine Nielsen off the board with a beautiful rook sacrifice.

ETCC 2007 Round 3 12

Russia wining with one point advantage over the Czech Republic, paired with Slovenia in round 4

ETCC 2007 Round 3 13

Azerbaidjan gained one point victory over Denmark and meeting the Netherlands next round

Defending champion Netherlands and Serbia played a highly interesting match when Damljanovic’s blunder in the time trouble decided a winner. Slovenia continues upsetting big guns, this time they beat Hungary and Beliavsky-Almasi is a must see game. As Beliavsky told us, he followed attacking idea developed by GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu.

ETCC 2007 Round 3 14

Netherlands vs. Serbia at table two also finishing 2.5:1.5, where Serbia is going to play with the Czech Republic tomorrow

ETCC 2007 Round 3 15

Slovenia accomplished a 2.5:1.5 win over Hungary

Another man to praise is modest GM Michael Roiz. He beat Sergey Karjakin with black pieces to save the day for Israel. During the dinner we had with Michael, he explained what happened in the game: “I think I have surprised Sergey with Breyer variation of Ruy Lopez as I haven’t used it for several years. We`reached an equal position, but Sergey found a nice piece sacrifice with allowed him to create some pressure. In one moment, he missed a better move that would have kept things unbalanced, and I gained the initiative which won me the game”. Valjevo Gorenje 2007 winner and one of the most promising young players in the world has for long time been underestimated by tournament organizers. As he admitted, his schedule is empty after the Khanty-Mansysk World Cup.

ETCC 2007 Round 3 23

Michael Roiz, playing with the rest of Israel’s team against Hungary in round four

Men section results:

Russia-Czech Republic 2.5-1.5

Azerbaijan-Denmark 2.5-1.5

Netherlands-Serbia 2.5-1.5

Slovenia-Hungary 2.5-1.5

Israel-Ukraine 2-2

Spain-Croatia 1-3

Austria-Armenia 1-3

Montenegro-Bulgaria 0.5-3.5

Greece-Sweden 1-3

Poland-Scotland 3.5-0.5

ETCC 2007 Round 3 16

Spain vs. Croatia, Croatia winning by 1:3, waiting for Bulgaria next round

ETCC 2007 Round 3 06

Austria vs. Armenia going on 1:3 as well, Armenia meeting Denmark tomorrow

ETCC 2007 Round 3 18

Montenegro and Bulgaria finished 0.5:3.5, next team on Bulgaria’s way is Croatia

ETCC 2007 Round 3 20

Greece suffered defeat by Sweden with 1:3, Sweden to take on England in round four

ETCC 2007 Round 3 22

Poland defeated Scotland with 3.5:0.5, waiting for Austria in the next round

More on the ETCC

Official website

General ETCC section coverage

Ural Sverdlovskaya leading the European Club Cup

Keystone, Alkaloid, and Tomsk chess clubs are also with full match points

Shirov square Radjabov 1 square

GM Shirov and GM Radjabov

The third day of the European Club Cup in Kemer, Turkey, confirmed the trend established at round 2. Ural Sverdlovskaya (Radjabov, Shirov, Grischuk, Akopian, Malakhov, Dreev) did not have mercy against the strong team of Vesnianka Gran (Fedorov, Azarov, S. Zhigalko, A. Zhigalko, Lutsko, and Mochalov). Ural won convincingly 4,5 – 1,5 and showed they are one of the teams with highest ambition to win the European Club Cup.

Vesnianka Gran - Ural Sverdlovskaya 1½:4½

GM Fedorov Alexei 2620 - GM Radjabov Teimour 2742 ½ – ½

GM Azarov Sergei 2586 - GM Shirov Alexei 2739 0 – 1

GM Zhigalko Sergei 2562 - GM Grischuk Alexander 2715 ½ – ½

GM Zhigalko Andrey 2554 - GM Akopian Vladimir 2713 ½ – ½

GM Lutsko Igor 2428 - GM Malakhov Vladimir 2690 0 – 1

IM Mochalov Evgeny V 2446 - GM Dreev Alexey 2607 0 – 1

Ponomariov yellow suit Alexander Onischuk

GM Ponomariov and GM Onischuk

The Ukranian machine Keystone (Ponomariov, Onischuck, Areshchenko, Miroshnichenko, Efimenko, Baklan, and Vysochin) were even more convincing against Vilnius Chess-Bridge club ”NSEL30” (led by GM Kveinys) and won their match 1:5.

Vilnius Chess-Bridge club ”NSEL30” – Keystone 1:5

GM Kveinys Aloyzas 2517 - GM Ponomariov Ruslan 2705 0 – 1

IM Zagorskis Darius 2472 - GM Onischuk Alexander 2674 ½ – ½

IM Sarakauskas Gediminas 2438 - GM Areshchenko Alexander 2638 0 – 1

Novikov Vitalij 2327 - GM Miroshnichenko Evgenij 2651 ½ – ½

FM Lapienis Donatas 2292 - GM Baklan Vladimir 2639 0 – 1

Rocius Marijonas 2192 - GM Vysochin Spartak 2524 0 – 1

Kiril Georgiev and Mamediarov

GM Georgiev and GM Mamedyarov for Alkaloid

Clichy Echecs 92 – Alkaloid was the derby match of round 3 of the European Club Cup. In a very balanced encounter, chess club Alkaloid managed to get a solid victory 4:2 thanks to the fantastic performance on boards 1 and 2. GM Mamedyarov and GM Kiril Georgiev showed first class chess agains GM Pelletier and GM Naiditsch, thus putting Alkaloid on 3rd place, with equal match and game points as Keystone, but lower Buchholz.

Clichy Echecs 92 – Alkaloid 2 : 4

GM Pelletier Yannick 2609 - GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2752 0 – 1

GM Naiditsch Arkadij 2647 - GM Georgiev Kiril 2649 0 – 1

GM Fressinet Laurent 2654 - GM Volkov Sergey 2648 ½ – ½

GM Tregubov Pavel V 2609 - GM Kozul Zdenko 2609 ½ – ½

GM David Alberto 2536 - GM Nedev Trajce 2528 1 – 0

GM Apicella Manuel 2539 - IM Colovic Aleksandar 2477 0 – 1

Karjakin elegant

GM Karjakin

The ex USSR team of Tomsk-400 had a relatively easy oponent for todays match, chess club Utrecht (led by IM Dambacher). Even though Tomsk clinched 1½:4½, the rating difference shows that the result could have been much better for Tomsk and now they could be clear second instead of 4th. The first board of Utrecht, IM Dambacher, held Karjakin to a draw, while IM Berkvens surprised GM Inarkiev.

Utrecht – Tomsk-400 1½:4½

IM Dambacher Martijn 2463 - GM Karjakin Sergey 2694 ½ – ½

IM Ris Robert 2381 - GM Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2690 0 – 1

IM Berkvens Joost 2452 - GM Inarkiev Ernesto 2674 1 – 0

Willemze Jeroen 2413 - GM Tkachiev Vladislav 2661 0 – 1

FM Van Beek Alexander 2338 - GM Bologan Viktor 2657 0 – 1

IM Willemze Thomas 2417 - GM Smirnov Pavel 2636 0 – 1

Peter Svidler at Corus 2007

GM Svidler

It was a difficult day for the favorites at the European Club Cup OSC Baden-Baden e.V. They had to meet the solid club of Gros Xake Taldea. For Baden Baden GM Schlosser was substituted by GM Svidler, who until now was recovering after the long Mexico World Chess Championship. The change worked fine and Svidler won on board 1 against GM Loek Van Wely. However, the rest of the team met serious resistance. Carlsen could not outplay Milov, and Bacrot, Nisipeanu, and Harikrishna drew their games as well against Zhang Pengxiang, Istratescu, and Bauer. It was even worse for Anand’s second in Mexico – GM Peter Heine Nielsen. He lost his game against GM Hamdouchi who deserves a round of applause for being the only player of Gros Xake Taldea with full points.

With this score Baden Baden lost their first match point and are 5th with better tiebreak than 5 other teams.

The only full victories of today (6:0) were by Herzliya Chess Club (IM Haimovich, GM Zifroni, GM Lev Ronen, GM Bykhovsky, IM Grinshpun, and FM Ben-Menachem) who outplayed Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo, by the Chech team Novoborsky SK against Schackklub De Sprénger Echternach, and by Chess Club Zagreb (with GM Sasikiran) against Klubi Shahut Prishtina.

Round 3 results

1 OSC Baden-Baden e.V. - Gros Xake Taldea 3,0 : 3,0

2 Vesnianka Gran - Ural Sverdlovskaya 1,5 : 4,5

3 Utrecht - Tomsk-400 1,5 : 4,5

4 Bank King Yerevan - Bosna Sarajevo 3,0 : 3,0

5 Vilnius Chess-Bridge club ”NSEL30” - Keystone 1,0 : 5,0

6 Clichy Echecs 92 - Alkaloid 2,0 : 4,0

7 Hamburger SK - Linex Magic – Merida 1,0 : 5,0

8 Sollentuna Chessclub - Ashdod City Club 1,5 : 4,5

9 Opus Capita Tampere - Economist SGSEU-1 Saratov 0,5 : 5,5

10 Klubi Shahut Prishtina – Chess Club Zagreb 0,0 : 6,0

11 Chess Club Zeljeznicar Sarajevo - Hellir Chess Club 5,5 : 0,5

12 Turk Hava Yollari - Aquaprofit Chess Club Nagykanisza 1,5 : 4,5

13 Reykjavik Chess Club - Bronshoj Skakforening (Copenhagen) 5,0 : 1,0

14 Oslo Schkakselskap - Csuti – Hydrocomp Chess Club 2,5 : 3,5

15 Besiktas - Cannes Echecs 1,0 : 5,0

16 1. Novoborsky SK - Schackklub De Sprénger Echternach 6,0 : 0,0

17 Cercle d’Echecs de Strasbourg – Hilsmark Kingfisher 4,5 : 1,5

18 Schachfreunde Reichenstein - Namur 4,5 : 1,5

19 Homburg Apeldoorn - SK Rochade Eupen 2,0 : 4,0

20 Cuna de Dragones – Ajoblanco – Asker SK 2,5 : 3,5

21 Herzliya Chess Club - Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo 6,0 : 0,0

22 Kilkenny Chess Club - Doruk Koleji SK 2,0 : 4,0

23 C.R.E. Liège E.L. - Klubi Shahut Theranda 5,0 : 1,0

24 HMC Calder - Matinkylan Shakkekerho Espoo 3,5 : 2,5

25 Tarsus Zeka Satrac SK – Aarhus Skakklub / Skolerne 3,5 : 2,5

26 Nidum Liberals – Plunge Chess Club Bokstas 2,0 : 4,0

27 Cwmbran - Chess Club Niederrohrdorf 2,5 : 3,5

28 “Apollonia” Chess Club Fier - Rathmines 2,5 : 3,5


(MP = match points, GP = game points)

1 Ural Sverdlovskaya 6 MP 16,5 GP

2 Keystone 6 MP 15,0 GP

3 Alkaloid 6 MP 15,0 GP

4 Tomsk-400 6 MP 14,0 GP

5 OSC Baden-Baden e.V. 5 MP 14,0 GP

6 Linex Magic – Merida 5 MP 13,0 GP

7 Bank King Yerevan 5 MP 13,0 GP

8 Ashdod City Club 5 MP 13,0 GP

9 Bosna Sarajevo 5 MP 12,5 GP

10 Gros Xake Taldea 5 MP 11,0 GP

11 Herzliya Chess Club 4 MP 14,5 GP

12 Chess Club Zagreb 4 MP 14,0 GP

European Club Cup round 4

The round 4 of the European Club Cup will have four exciting derbies. The difference between the leaders is very small and round 4 can turn things around. Here are the pairings on the first 10 boards.

Tomsk-400 - Ural Sverdlovskaya

Keystone - Alkaloid

Bosna Sarajevo - OSC Baden-Baden e.V.

Linex Magic – Merida - Gros Xake Taldea

Ashdod City Club - Bank King Yerevan

Csuti – Hydrocomp Chess Club – Economist SGSEU-1 Saratov

Reykjavik Chess Club – Clichy Echecs 92

Chess Club Zagreb - Vesnianka Gran

SK Rochade Eupen - Chess Club Zeljeznicar Sarajevo

Asker SK - Aquaprofit Chess Club Nagykanisza

2007 Biel Chess Festival

Carlsen, Motylev and Onischuk leading after three rounds

Main group of the Biel Chess Festival, one of the strongest summer events alongside Dortmund, saw its start on Sunday, July 23rd. Unlike the couple of previous years, this time its single round robin with ten players.

Three rounds have been played and Magnus Carlsen, Alexander Motylev and Alexander Onischuk are leading with 2 points each. Another Alexander, World Chess Championship participant, was struggling in inferior position to score two draws and one loss. Loek van Wely is off again to another poor start.

Alexander Motylev Alexander Onischuk

Alexander Motylev and Alexander Onischuk

First round: Carlsen won a wonderful Rook and opposite-colored Bishops ending against Bu. Particularly neat was his last move 84. f7. Judit Polgar celebrated her birthday by beating Van Wely with Black pieces. It was another of her trademarked “hit all over the board” display and Loek cracked under the pressure. Onischuk sacrificed an exchange for strong initiative against Radjabov’s Kings Indian, but Teimour found resourceful Knight sacrifice to force White on moves repetition.

Second round: Alexander Onischuk performed didactic plan against Grischuk’s central pawn mass and scored important point. Carlsen held inferior Ruy Lopez Open against Judit Polgar, after she showed some irresolution in the follow-up. Pelletier enjoyed opening initiative against Motylev, but White’s timely Queen for two Rooks exchange eliminated danger.

Polgar happy 1 Bu Xiangzhi 1

Judit Polgar and Bu Xianghzi

Third round: Bu Xianghzi took the advantage of his first game with White pieces. His original build up against Polgar’s Tarasch-like defence paid off when she started to drop pawns. Facing Queen’s exchange to lost endgame or deadly attack against the weakened King, she gave up. Van Wely was pressuring on Motylev’s centralized King, but his own f2 weakness proved to be decisive factor in the game. Grischuk misplayed against Kings Indian and allowed Radjabov to seize the advantage. Yet, 37. e5 positional sacrifice boiled things up, as Radjabov wanted to counterattack and give couple of pawns in return. After the complicated tactical struggle, game was driven into drawing wrong-colored Bishop endgame.

Round 3 standings:

1-3. Magnus Carlsen (Norway 2710), Alexander Motylev (Russia 2648) and Alexander Onischuk (United States 2650) 2.0

4-8. Judit Polgar (Hungary 2707), Yannick Pelletier (Switzerland 2591), Boris Avrukh (Israel 2645), Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan 2746) and Bu Xianghzi (China 2685) 1.5

9. Alexander Grischuk (Russia 2726) 1.0

10. Loek van Wely (Netherlands 2679) 0.5

Biel Round 4 report

Biel Round 5 report

Biel Round 6 report

Biel Round 8 report