Saturday, November 16, 2013
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Soccer for Carlsen, family for Anand
By Ashok Venugopal | ENS - CHENNAI
Published: 12th November 2013 03:23 AM
Last Updated: 12th November 2013 03:23 AM
‘All work and no play makes a person dull’ goes a famous adage; which is all the more true in sports, in particular chess.
Chess is such a mentally demanding sport where fatigue and stress are much more than what a person experiences in any outdoor sport. These days, chess players make it a point to relax on off days to rejuvenate and emerge fresh for the next battle.
Monday being a rest day in their World Championship duel, both Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen decided to relax for the major part of the day. The match being billed as the biggest after Bobby Fischer vs Boris Spassky in 1972 has generated a lot of interest and in the process has added pressure on the players.
Anand, playing in his hometown and not having been in great form in the last year or so, has been under great pressure to defend his crown. On the other hand, Carlsen, the World No 1 and lauded by many as the next Garry Kasparov, is under pressure to keep his reputation intact. The Norwegian said openly on Sunday that he was under great stress and he needed to unwind after two tough games.
Sources said that Carlsen, after watching the EPL on Sunday, woke up late and had ‘brunch’. It is believed that Carlsen habitually, during off days, wakes up around noon. Some say that he has his lunch about 90 minutes before the match and sleeps as much as possible before the start of the match. It is said Carlsen believes that his mind works best for 4 to 5 hours after he wakes up.
In other words, people close to Carlsen say that sound sleep is like tonic for the Norwegian who does not follow a regular sleeping pattern like Anand. So Carlsen, after a late lunch on Monday and after hanging out in the hotel for sometime, chose to play some outdoor sport.
Carlsen by nature likes to sweat it out in a natural way by playing some field games. One person, who has known Carlsen for a long time, states that he has a natural compulsion to play some outdoor game or the other. He is not like many other chess players who prefer the cool confines of the hotel room. So late afternoon, Carlsen and his father, along with his security personnel, headed for the Santhome School, which is near the Marina beach.
He played football, and also basketball, for more than an hour.
Around 5.30 pm, he headed back to the hotel still in his shorts, dripping with sweat and dirt all over his shoes. Carlsen also likes to hit the gym regularly at the hotel.
“I have seen Carlsen in the gym of the hotel, but not met Anand there yet,” said Grandmaster Tejas Bakre of Ahmedabad who is spending a vacation in the city, enjoying the WCC.
Meanwhile, Anand had a quiet day with his family. It is learnt that Anand, during his stay, has been eating food from the hotel even though his house is hardly three km from the WCC venue. Sources said that he likes Italian and Chinese food apart from Indian food. Anand is also particular about his tea, which he takes during the match. However, his logistics manager Hans-Walter Schmitt, of Germany, wanted to have a feel of the city.
“We plan to go around the city and take chess-related and world chess championship match-related pictures in Chennai,” said Schmitt.
Sunday, November 10, 2013
World Chess C’ship: Anand caught off guard as game two ends in draw
Defending champion Viswanathan Anand was surprised by Magnus Carlsen’s opening as he played out a tame draw against his challenger with white pieces in the second game of the World Chess Championship in Chennai today.
World number one Carlsen showed that he was made of sterner stuff and pulled back the attention on himself with an easiest of draws against Anand, who played with his first white in the match. The first game, in which Anand played with black pieces, was also a drawn affair yesterday.
The scores are now tied 1-1 after two games and there are 10 more games to go under Classical time control in this Rs 14 crore prize money championship.
Just like Anand’s mesmerising work in the opening game yesterday, it was Carlsen all the way as Anand could not do anything.
“It’s my turn to offer a slight apology today. I had to be a bit prudent but things will get interesting,” Anand said after avoiding any undue risk that might have led to wild complexities out of a Caro Kann defense.
The local hero agreed that the opening was a surprise for him and even more the variation chosen by Carlsen.
It was a repetition of a game played by Anand against Chinese Ding Liren some time back and Anand spent a lot of time thinking about various complicated variations but could not be sure of himself.
The easier way out was to play solid, as Carlsen did when posed with slightest difficulty and the draw was up for grabs for the Norwegian.
While the first game lasted just 16 moves, this one went on till the 25th but the result of the game had been forecasted by many much before that.
Carlsen’s surprise opening apparently took Anand completely off guard and the world champion will now have to look at some new options to figure out the Caro Kann.
The variation that Carlsen chose has tendencies to go for wild-play which is a major shift from the Carlsen camp according to general perception that the Norwegian plays well in dry positions.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Anand seeks sixth title at World Chess Championship
PTI | Nov 8, 2013, 07.20 PM IST
CHENNAI: Billed as the most high-profile clash in chess history in more than 40 years between defending champion Viswanathan Anand and challenger Magnus Carlsen of Norway, the World Chess Championship match begins on Saturday with the experts divided over who will walk away with the coveted title.
The hype surrounding the match between the ageing five-time champion Anand and 22-year-old world number one Carlsen, comparable to the historic clash between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in 1972, will come to an end when the two rivals take on each other in the opening game at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Saturday.
Carlsen has the advantage of playing white in the opener but that may not count much as both players get six white and black games in this 12-game November 9-28 contest.
Anand has seen similar situations before while Carlsen is playing his first match in a World Championship. So, while the Norwegian enjoys the tag of a favourite, his mannerisms thus far have suggested that he is gullible like any other youngster in a certain sense.
Twirling in his chair, scratching his head while answering questions during the first press conference on Friday, Carlsen gave the impression of someone tense but exuded confidence once the tete-a-tete was over.
Anand, who has won World Championship matches in 2000, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012, is used to open with black pieces in World Championship matches.
Against Vladimir Kramnik of Russia in Bonn in 2008 and against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria in 2010, Anand had started with black, which is known as a slightly unfavourable colour in the game, and yet won in style. In 2012 though, Anand had white in game one against Boris Gelfand of Israel.
Seeking his sixth title, Anand looked upbeat ahead of the biggest challenge of his life while Carlsen seemed to get the game going. The mind games have just begun and much would unfold once the match starts on Saturday.
Whether Anand's preparation holds him in good stead or Carlsen will play his typical long games to grind out the reigning world champion Indian will have to be seen.
Anand, the undisputed world champion since 2007, faces a strong challenge from the Norwegian sensation in one of the most awaited and most followed World Chess Championship matches in recent history.
Asked how well he has prepared for the event, Anand said, "I worked as I always did. Couple of months of training and I think I am ready to attack. We will see how it goes but I think I am ready to play. I am really excited to play in my home city. I am looking forward to the match starting."
Having won five world titles, Anand said his experience could come in handy in the match.
"Obviously, it is one factor among many. I will bring to bear those factors into my game. Definitely it is one of my resources I would like to draw from. We will have to see."
Carlsen sought to downplay the view of some experts that he will start as favourite in the match.
"I do not know if everyone considers me a favourite but in general I expect to do well in tournaments. If I manage to do well to my abilities and levels, I can win and that will be my mind set here as well," he said.
For Anand, there is an extra motivation to win the match, according to legendary chess player Garry Kasparov.
"While the world champion has never given any importance to matters of chess history or his legacy, he must know that his entire career will get an extraordinary new dimension should he beat the Norwegian wunderkind against the odds," he said.
While Anand has this chance of reinventing himself once more, a motivated Carlsen though should know that he will be world champion one day or the other.
"The difference (between us) is that I have been winning tournaments and he (Anand) has been holding on to his title. It will be an interesting clash between two different ideas of what constitutes the best player in the world," Carlsen had said.
In all, 12 games will be played in the match under Classical System in which both players will get 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 and the 15 minutes for the remaining game with an increment of 30 seconds per move effective from the 61st move.
The first to score 6.5 points will win the match and the remaining games will not be played should it happen before the 12th game. The winner will take home 60% of the prize fund.
In case of a tied score after twelve games, games of shorter duration will be played to determine the winner. However, if the tiebreak stage is reached the winner will get 55% of the total prize at stake.
The players will play two games on the trot followed by a rest day till 10th game and for the last two games, there is rest day after each game. If needed, the tiebreak games will be played on November 28 followed by the closing ceremony.
There is a special illness clause which can delay the match. In case a player reports sick, he has the right to postponement for a day. However, chances of it being used are minimal unless, health wise, something drastically goes wrong for either player.
The match was officially opened on Friday by Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha. The Tamil Nadu Government is the official sponsors of the match and have given a cap of Rs 29 crore as the total budget which is inclusive of a prize fund of around Rs 14 crores.
Meanwhile, the final preparations for the much-awaited clash were almost done and the players will be behind a glass cube when the first game begins at 3pm IST on Saturday.
Glass cube was first introduced in the Masters Chess tournament in Bilbao, Spain. The idea is to keep noises from the spectators away from the players. This effective technique does not even let the sound of a huge sneeze sneak in.
The games will be beamed live through internet as well as on Doordarshan's sports channel. The commentary team has the likes of former world champion Susan Polgar, International Master Lawrence Trent and Tania Sachdev.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Pioneer meets prodigy in battle of masterminds
By R Srinivasa Raghavan - CHENNAI
Published: 07th November 2013 12:48 PM
Last Updated: 07th November 2013 12:48 PM
The World Chess Championship match between Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen, which is starting here on Saturday, has created a buzz that has not been witnessed since the Kasparov-Karpov duels in the 80s.
Despite Sachin Tendulkar closing in on his milestone and farewell Test, chess is getting an equal share of coverage in the media with India’s most popular sport, which shows the growth of the game in the country and the impact of Anand’s five world titles.
Having won world titles in Tehran, Mexico City, Bonn, Sofia and Moscow, Anand will be eyeing his sixth title against Carlsen, who is the most talked about and most successful tournament player from the time he became the youngest world No 1 in 2010.
World title matches are getting tougher and tougher for Anand but his hunger remains undiminished. The Indian will face twin challenges – home expectations and an in-form Carlsen, who has accomplished much more than most of the former world champions at 22. Anand knows how to deal with pressure, having battled the likes of Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov but needs to raise his level to turn the tables on the Norwegian in the 12-game match.
Anand is the only top 10 player to have a better head-to-head record against Carlsen (6 wins, 3 losses, 20 draws). After losing four games, Carlsen beat Anand for the first time in 2009. However, Anand outwitted him twice in 2010 to gain ascendancy in one-on-one confrontations. With Carlsen’s rating soaring higher and higher, the Norwegian has had the better of Anand twice in the last five encounters, his victory in the Tal Memorial being quite impressive.
It has been a mixed year for Anand. Except for his last tournament in Moscow, Anand’s performances in Wijk Aan Zee (joint third), Baden Baden (first), Paris/St Petersburg (third) showed he is on the right track. Carlsen started the year with a bang, winning in Wijk Aan Zee. He followed it up by winning the Candidates and became the challenger to Anand.
Despite apparently having no shortcomings, Carslen showed mental fragility for the first time in the closing stages of the Candidates. Losing to Vassily Ivanchuk and Peter Svidler almost proved costly but Vladimir Kramnik’s loss in the final game and a better tie-break helped him cross the line. His third success came in the Sinquefield Cup in St Louis, which was his last event before the big match.
Preparation has been the key for Anand’s success in world title matches. He has left no stone unturned working quietly for close to four months with his team of seconds in Bad Soden, which is close to Frankfurt. Chess has been interspersed with physical workouts and swimming. Carlsen doesn’t want to tweak his approach too much, which has worked wonders for him in tournaments. The Norwegian believes he can replicate the same approach in matches successfully.
Carlsen, who trained in Muscat to get acclimatised to the conditions in Chennai, doesn’t underestimate the value of preparation, but believes he can outwit any opponent with his skills. The general perception of Carlsen being the favourite because of the huge difference in ratings holds some value, but once the match starts, the player who imposes himself on the game and holds his nerve will be the gainer.
Hyatt Regency will have the honour of hosting the prestigious match. DD Sports will show the match live. There will be plenty of chess literature on the web, with the official website streaming the match live. The organisers have gone all out to celebrate the big occasion, conducting tournaments for amateurs as well as strong players.
Chennai becoming the venue was possible thanks to the initiative of Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa, who sanctioned `29 crores for the match. Impressed with the quick response, FIDE kept their promise and allotted the match to the city without any bid.
Viswanathan Anand is the underdog against Magnus Carlsen in a battle of ages, experience and playing styles
Experts and bookmakers have written off Viswanathan Anand, the reigning world chess champion for the past six years, even before his 12-game match against Magnus Carlsen, the world’s highest rated player, has begun.
The reason: Anand at 43, according to some experts, is past his prime, whereas Carlsen, who turns 23 at the end of this month, has been scaling new heights since 2010. Game one of the Fide (World Chess Federation) World Championship match starts in Chennai on Saturday.
Considering his strength, it is surprising that Carlsen hasn’t yet won the world title. That is partly because he sat out the 2012 World Championship in protest against its format, which he thought favoured the reigning champion.
He was in great form in 2012, won three high-level tournaments and pushed his rating—a measure of a player’s strength—to a record high. By the end of the year, Anand slipped on world rankings despite defending his world title. For two years till the middle of 2011, Anand and Carlsen played catch up with each other for the top position on the rating list, but since then the Norwegian has surged ahead.
Carlsen has only his own records to break, going forward. Rated 2,870, he is ahead of the No.2 in world rankings, Armenia’s Levon Aronian, by 69 points, and Anand, ranked eighth, by 95 points.
Going by statistics, Carlsen is already the strongest chess player the world has ever seen. He says he is still enjoying the game, which means he will rule the world of chess for many more years. Welcome to what former world champion Garry Kasparov had predicted as the “Carlsen era” of chess.
This match is being billed by commentators as the most anticipated after the Bobby Fischer-Boris Spassky gladiatorial duel of 1972 at the height of the Cold War. Why?
Anand is undoubtedly the underdog, but he is going to come with truckloads of lab work. Sometimes the research could be lethal: Anand faced it himself when Kasparov routed him with homework in a 1995 match. The Indian grandmaster is meticulous with his homework. At one point, he has even worked with Carlsen ahead of a match, so he knows how his opponent’s mind works.
Carlsen has trained under and practised with various people, including Kasparov, but typically not for long. He abruptly terminated the arrangement with Kasparov because he found the Russian’s coaching too stifling for his own style of playing. An intuitive player, Carlsen is known to dislike chess-playing programmes and the training camps that most world title challengers would go to ahead of a match.
Unlike other top players, Carlsen is known not to focus on the opening moves: he would only make sure that he doesn’t get into a horrible position early in the game. His real strength, say experts, is his ability to carve out wins even from sterile positions. But every now and then, his strength becomes his Achilles’ heel: Carlsen is known to overreach and sometimes, ends up losing. He said in a recent interview that he makes mistakes in every game. Just that his opponents aren’t smart enough to seize the opportunity.
Playing before a home crowd in a World Championship final for the first time, Anand will come with his best preparation ever and unless he collapses under performance anxiety, he is not going to go down without a fight.
It may not be as easy for Carlsen as one would think looking at the bookmakers’ odds on this match.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Official website and LIVE commentary: http://chennai2013.fide.com
Official commentators: GM Susan Polgar and IM Lawrence Trent
I will have daily updates and behind the scene tidbits right here on my site (www.ChessDailyNews.com), as well as on my twitter account @SusanPolgar. Be sure to check it out.
Challenger: GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR 2870)
World Champion: GM Viswanathan Anand (IND 2775)
Best if 12 classical games
Time Control: 120 minutes for the first 40 moves
Add 60 minutes after move 40
Add 15 minutes +30 seconds inc. after move 60
Tie-break System: 4 games at 25 minutes and 10 seconds increment
If 2nd tiebreak is needed: 2 games at 5/3 (Max of 10 games)
If 3rd tiebreak is needed: 1 game at 5 mins (w) and 4 mins (b)
The winner will be declared World Champion of 2013 and 2014
Rules & Regulations for the FIDE World Championship Match (FWCM) 2013
The World Chess Federation (FIDE) is the governing body of the World Chess Championship. For the purpose of creating the rules and regulations, communicating with the players and negotiating with the organizer, the FIDE President has nominated the FIDE Commission for World Championships and Olympiads (hereinafter referred to as WCOC).
Upon recommendation by the WCOC, the body responsible for any changes to the regulations of the World Championship Cycle events is the FIDE Presidential Board.
The FIDE World Chess Championship Match (hereinafter referred to as FWCM) is the final event of the World Championship cycle. The two participants are World Champion V. Anand (India) and his challenger GM Magnus Carlsen who qualified from the Candidates Tournament 2013. The winner of the FWCM 2013 will be declared World Champion for the period 2013-2014.
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Thursday, October 31, 2013
A period of phenomenal success
The penultimate part of the Carlsen series plots his ascent to World No.1 as a teenager
It’s said that appetite improves during the meal, and Magnus Carlsen was proving the adage right. With every taste of success, he grew hungrier. The New Year’s Day of 2008 saw him ranked 13th in the World with a rating of 2733. But he would have a special reason to rejoice at the end of the month.
Carlsen was back at Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands, for the Corus tournament. Eager to make amends for the fiasco on his debut — he went without a victory in 13 games — the previous January, Carlsen came well prepared after being made part of the strongest field assembled by the organisers.
What followed was Carlsen’s finest performance, reinforcing his place among the chess elite. He tied for the top place with Levon Aronian by scoring eight points. His list of five victims included Vladimir Kramnik and Judit Polgar. One of his two losses came against a third-placed Viswanathan Anand.
Carlsen performed at the level of 2,830 — almost 100 points above his rating. “Before the tournament, I thought if I could score 50 per cent, it would not be a bad result. I wasn’t expecting to win, of course, and sharing of first place was a pleasant surprise to me,” said a modest Carlsen.
By this time it was clear that Carlsen was perfecting his positional understanding, and the technique to play simple positions, especially in the endgame. Gone was the eagerness to get into sharp, exciting positions and brilliant finishes. Instead, it was more businesslike execution of what he discovered as “playable” positions.
From the success at Corus, Carlsen arrived to take on an even stronger field at the Morelia-Linares super tournament. In this hand-picked eight-player field, Carlsen finished second behind Anand. He posted five victories, including two against former World champion Veselin Topalov and once over Vassily Ivanchuk. Again, one of his three losses came against Anand. Creditably, Carlsen had performed 75 points above his rating — a performance that would launch him into the top-10 in the next publication of the rankings.
After Corus and Morelia-Linares, noted Russian chess journalist Yuri Vasiliev wrote: “Magnus, this little mongoose, rising sharply and swiftly over the board when he needs to grasp the nape of another cobra, is the new super-hero!”
It was apt enough a metaphor for the 17-year-old’s dynamic and uncompromising play. These successes earned Carlsen 32 rating points from 27 games. That meant that when the rankings were announced in April, he had jumped to fifth spot with a rating of 2765 — at the age of 17 years and four months.
Later that month, Carlsen started as the ‘rating favourite’ in the 14-player Grand Prix at Baku, where he eventually became part of a three-way tie for honours. For the rest of the year, Carlsen progressed at a slower pace and climbed only one more rung in the world rankings. However, the chess world knew it was only a matter of time before Carlsen scaled ‘Peak 2800’.
For the better part of 2009, the 18-year-old trained with Garry Kasparov. What followed was a path-breaking performance in the Nanjing Pearls Spring event in China. In a double round-robin format, Carlsen destroyed the six-player field by scoring 8/10. He defeated everyone in the draw at least once, and performed at a whopping 3002.
The performance saw Carlsen catapult to the second spot in World ranking with a rating of 2801 — at 18 years and 11 months, the youngest among the five players at that point of time to ever breach the 2800-mark.
His pursuit for the World No.1 spot continued when he finished tied-second behind Kramnik in the super strong Tal memorial tournament in Moscow. Carlsen left the city after winning the World blitz title finishing three points ahead of Anand.
Carlsen then dominated the year-ending London Classic. He defeated Kramnik in the opener and maintained his lead to claim the title.
By taking his rating to 2810, as on January 1, 2010, Carlsen seized the World No.1 spot from Topalov, becoming the youngest to reach the summit at 19 years and one month.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Garry Kasparov, the former world chess champion who retired in 2005, is preparing to re-enter the chess arena, and his next opponent may be the most formidable, and strangest, he has faced.
Mr. Kasparov, 50, announced recently that he would run for the presidency of the World Chess Federation, the game’s governing body, and try to unseat Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who has led the federation since 1995. The election will be held during the Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway, next August.
Mr. Kasparov would seem to have a number of advantages. He is charismatic, famous in the chess world and beyond it, and in frequent demand as a public speaker. Since he retired from competition, he has also been a political gadfly in Russia, a leader of opposition political groups and an outspoken critic of President Vladimir V. Putin.
By contrast, Mr. Ilyumzhinov, 51, is a businessman who was born in Kalmykia, an impoverished Russian republic on the Caspian Sea, and amassed a fortune after the fall of the Soviet Union, though exactly how, and how much, is something of a mystery. He was the president of Kalmykia from 1993 to 2010, serving partly at Mr. Putin’s discretion.
Though he never won fame as a player, Mr. Ilyumzhinov’s devotion to chess seems genuine — but so are his eccentricities. He has said that he believes the game was invented by extraterrestrials, and he claims to have been abducted by aliens in yellow spacesuits on the night of Sept. 17, 1997. He built Chess City, a huge glass dome surrounded by a housing development, in Kalmykia’s obscure and inaccessible capital, Elista, and had the federation hold championship tournaments there.
In June 2011, at the height of the civil war in Libya, Mr. Ilyumzhinov appeared in Tripoli to meet with an old friend, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, ostensibly to discuss opportunities for developing chess programs in the country. The men played a game of chess for the cameras. It was the last time Mr. Qaddafi was seen alive in public before he was captured and killed four months later.
In an interview, Mr. Kasparov blamed Mr. Ilyumzhinov for one of the biggest shortcomings of the federation, known by its French acronym, FIDE: its inability to attract big corporate sponsorships. “Anybody Googling FIDE sees he is dealing with someone who is taken by aliens and is playing chess with Qaddafi,” he said.
Mr. Ilyumzhinov, who also visited President Bashar al-Assad of Syria in August 2012, said in an interview that his trips were not intended to make statements. “Chess is not political,” he said. “I am not communist, I am not socialist, I am not a democrat. I am peaceful.”
Despite Mr. Ilyumzhinov’s quirks, Mr. Kasparov faces an uphill battle to get elected. Each member country of the federation has a single vote regardless of size, so the tiny Republic of Palau in the western Pacific Ocean has the same say as the United States.
While Mr. Ilyumzhinov has had little support in most Western countries during his tenure, he has marshaled the backing of many small countries that are not at the forefront of chess, and has had no trouble retaining power. When Anatoly Karpov, Mr. Kasparov’s old chess adversary, ran for president of FIDE in 2010, Mr. Ilyumzhinov beat him handily, 95 votes to 55.
Mr. Kasparov said that while past elections were dogged by rumors of fraud and bribery and “were not transparent,” this time around “those issues have been resolved.” He added obliquely, “I have resources that can help me to run a global campaign.”
Those resources include the deep pockets of Rex Sinquefield, a retired businessman from St. Louis who is Mr. Kasparov’s nominee to lead the federation’s organization in the Western Hemisphere. Mr. Sinquefield has become the biggest benefactor of chess in the United States in recent years, and has sponsored the United States Championship.
Mr. Ilyumzhinov defended his record, saying that he had invested a lot of his own money to promote the game and had attracted some major sponsors, including Rosneft, the giant Russian energy company, which is underwriting a program to promote the teaching of chess in schools and has sponsored some tournaments.
In general, he said, chess is hard to sell to sponsors, compared with “action” sports like tennis, football and basketball that are “interesting for TV.” At a chess tournament, the audience remains quiet and minutes may go by without anything appearing to happen. “You cannot say, ‘Go! Go! Rah! Rah! Good move!’ ” he said. “People want some emotion. Chess is an art and not a spectator sport.”
Mr. Ilyumzhinov insisted that Mr. Kasparov could do no better than he had on the sponsorship issue. He said Mr. Kasparov was a poor manager and that groups he started, like the Professional Chess Association in the 1990s, had failed. He also criticized Mr. Kasparov’s political activities in Russia, including his opposition to Mr. Putin.
Mr. Kasparov said that, though he still believed that Mr. Putin was “destroying the future of my country,” he would give up his political ambitions and devote himself wholeheartedly to FIDE if elected.
That would not be a very great concession, it would seem. In 2009, Mr. Kasparov and his wife, Daria, bought a $3.4 million condominium on West 76th Street in Manhattan, and his youngest daughter attends school in New York. He has spent less and less time in Russia in recent years, and even said last June that he would not go back, for fear of arrest.
So as a practical matter, he said, “I don’t see how much this will scale back my political activities.”
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Hou Yifan, a Chinese grandmaster, may soon be the former and future queen of chess.
Ms. Hou, 19, the women’s world champion in 2010 and 2011, is playing for the current title in Taizhou, China, against Anna Ushenina, 28, a Ukranian grandmaster who is the reigning champion. Each player earns one point for a victory and a half-point for a draw, and, after four games, Ms. Hou leads 3 to 1. The winner will be the first player to amass 5½ points.
The champion will earn 120,000 euros (about $160,000) and the runner-up 80,000 euros (about $106,000).
Ms. Hou lost in the second round of a 64-player elimination championship tournament last year when Ms. Ushenina, who was the 30th seed, won it to become the champion.
Ms. Hou earned the right to challenge Ms. Ushenina this year by winning the 2011-12 Women’s Grand Prix, a series of six tournaments featuring most of the world’s best female players.
Before the current match started, Ms. Ushenina was already considered the underdog; she is ranked No. 17 in the world, while Ms. Hou is No. 2. But the relatively short length of the match — it is scheduled for 10 regulation games, if necessary — has made defending her title even more difficult now that she has fallen behind.
Championship matches that are 10 or 12 games long are a recent phenomenon. In the ‘70s, ‘80s and early ‘90s, the most common length was 24 games — with the notable exception of the 1984-85 match between Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov. It went 48 games because the winner was going to be the first player who won six games. When neither seemed able to do that, the match was stopped.
A longer match creates more opportunities for a player who falls behind to catch up. The most famous example was in 1972, when the American Bobby Fischer lost the first game against the champion, Boris Spassky of Russia, and then forfeited the second because he had complaints about the playing site. After those complaints were resolved, he resumed the match and came back to win the title, 12½ to 8½.
Since the 1995 match between Mr. Kasparov and Viswanathan Anand of India, who is the current men’s champion, the number of games has been steadily reduced — perhaps by a desire by the players to avoid grueling matches that can stretch for weeks, but also by the organizers, whose costs rise as the competitions continue.
In the current women’s title match, Ms. Ushenina has struggled the most when she has had White, losing both her games, including Game 3 on Saturday.
The game started the same way as Game 1, but Ms. Ushenina chose a different and quite aggressive fifth move.
Playing aggressively made sense, as Ms. Ushenina was trying to win the game and level the score in the match. But the particular system she chose to play may not have been a wise choice, as Chinese players are known to be very familiar with it. Indeed, Ms. Hou played a new idea on the 16th move, and Ms. Ushenina immediately blundered. Within a few moves, she had lost material and resigned after only 24 moves.
Game 4 on Sunday was a lively one, but it ended in a draw after 31 moves. Game 5 is scheduled for Tuesday.
source: NY Times
Thursday, April 25, 2013
PARIS: World champion Viswanathan Anand's hunt for an elusive victory continued as he played out a draw with Levon Aronian of Armenia in the third round of Alekhien memorial chess tournament.
With his second draw in three games besides the painful loss against Michael Adams of England in the opener, Anand took his tally to one point out of a possible three and his tournament situation did not change much as the Indian remained in joint eighth spot in the 10-player super tournament.
Boris Gelfand of Israel put an end to the exploits of Adams by scoring a methodical victory in the lone decisive game of the day. Gelfand emerged as one of the co-leaders thanks to his superb effort and he now shares the lead with Adams and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France.
In other games of the third round, Vladimir Kramnik of Russia was held to a draw by Vachier-Lagrave, another local star Laurent Fressinet got the same result against Ding Liren of China while the all-Russian affair between Peter Svidler and Nikita Vituigov ended peacefully through perpetual checks.
With six rounds still to go in the unique tournament split between France and Russia (where the last four rounds will be played), the three leaders are followed by a pack of four players who have 1.5 points apiece -- Kramnik, Fressinet, Liren and Aronian. Svidler, Anand and Vituigov follow them another half point adrift.
Anand played the fashionable Closed Ruy Lopez rejecting the Berlin defense by Aronian. The idea is increasingly popular these days and Aronian had little problems in maintaining the equilibrium he was hoping for as black pieces.
The game took an easier turn in the endgame after both rooks got traded and a 'just-level' minor pieces endgame was reached. The game lasted till the 40th move but the result was anyone's guess by the 25th move.
Gelfand faced the Queen's gambit declined as white and got a slightly better middle game. Adams had to defend precisely but the overnight leader erred and landed himself a pawn less endgame. Gelfand, known for his technical display, did not give any chances and squeezed out the full point after 77 moves.
Ding Liren went for the kill but found Fressinet quite up to the task in defense. Throwing caution to the winds, the Chinese sacrificed a rook to generate attack against an uncastled black king but only managed to get perpetual checks after a right defense.
Vituigov was in similar shoes as Liren as his attack in the French Winawer variation as black also ended in perpetual checks while Kramnik could not convert his extra pawn into a full point in the endgame against Vachier-Lagrave.
Results of Round 3: Viswanathan Anand (Ind, 1) drew with Levon Aronian (Arm, 1.5); Ding Liren (Chn, 1.5) drew with Laurent Fressinet (Rus, 1.5); Peter Svidler (Rus, 1) drew with Nikita Vituigov (Rus, 1); Boris Gelfand (Isr, 2) beat Michael Adams (Eng, 2); Vladimir Kramnik (Rus, 1.5) drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (Fra, 2).
source: India Times
Thursday, February 7, 2013
KEJOHANAN CATUR TERBUKA
FELDA LASAH 2013
(merebut Piala YB
Datuk Haji Ahamad b Pakeh Adam, ADUN LINTANG)
PENGANJUR: KELAB CATUR SUNGAI SIPUT
TEMPAT: Dewan SMK RLKT Lasah
TARIKH: 17 Feb 2013 (Ahad)
Terbuka : RM 15.00 seorang
Pelajar Sekolah B12 / B15 : RM 10.00 seorang
NOTA: Rating pemain adalah berdasarkan kepada Senarai Rating Kebangsaan terbaharu yang dikeluarkan oleh MCF
FORMAT 6 Pusingan Sistem Swiss KAWALAN MASA 20 minit hingga tamat
PEMUTUS SERI (i) Bucholz (ii) SB (iii) Kumulatif
TARIKH TUTUP: 15 Feb 2013 (Jumaat)
sila tel Cikgu Abu Bakar (019 4007663) , Cikgu Zaid (013 4892595) untuk pengesahan penyertaan.