Monday, December 29, 2014

Real game practical chess tactic

Black to move. How should black proceed?


Aiming for Carlen

Vishwanathan Anand on the two C's in his life: Chess and Carlsen
by Ashish Magotra Dec 29, 2014 10:22 IST

A year ago, it seemed as if Magnus Carlsen might be the reason for Viswanathan Anand to stop playing chess. Carlsen beat him… no, he trashed Anand so soundly in the World Championship match in Chennai that it took the Indian Grandmaster the best part of a month to get over it.

Now, it ironically seems like Carlsen is the reason for Anand to keep playing. The 45-year-old may not say it but for any top player to stay motivated, he needs a challenge and a goal.

The Sochi defeat notwithstanding, Carlsen is that man for Anand.

Firstpost caught up with Anand to discuss among other things the two C’s in his life: chess and Carlsen.

It didn't seem to hurt as much this time... you recovered well, even went on to win the London Chess Classic after Sochi.

On the chess side, I am really enjoying myself. I had a lot more fun this year than last and I guess that carried forward into Sochi as well. Emotionally, having gone through Chennai -- I think I was better prepared in that sense. I had gone through it. Also, at some level there was some satisfaction. I know it could have gone either way – it came down to moments; moments I got wrong. But then I spent quite a lot of time after Chennai... thinking about what I wanted to do. So, in that sense... I was pretty clear that I did not want to sit and dwell too much over this.

Would you say you are a better player now than say in 2008? Is there a hint of nostalgia?

No idea. I would say I had brilliant years in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2005, 2003, 2004 -- in that order. But am I better now? It's hard to say. I am a different player now for sure. Over time, you tend to lose some skills and you compensate in other areas. Maybe in the old days, I was a bit sharper; maybe I would not have made some of the mistakes that I made in Sochi.

Does Carlsen match up well against you? For example, he mentioned it in the press conferences, that he plays well against Berlin and that is an opening you played a lot. Do you get the feeling that he isn't someone you can beat?

Right now, he is just astounding. I mean he is not just difficult for me. There is no player in the world who can claim to dominate Carlsen and that is a very real assessment. He wins against everyone. So it isn’t just me.

Judit Polgar told the Financial Times, “When I played him, it felt like I was drowning.” Would you agree with that assessment?

Well, it is alright for Judit to say that – she has retired – and that is probably how she feels. But I still hope to beat him, I know I can. There is no point in me getting psychologically beat up. Chennai was tough, Sochi was better. That counts as improvement in my book and for the moment, I want to only look at things from that perspective.

He sleeps, he yawns, he stretches, he fidgets, he makes faces... and he still wins. How intimidating is it to play Carlsen?

I also close my eyes during matches -- I have done it many times in the match. I have yawned too -- sometimes when you are concentrating very hard for a while, you yawn. The tension is high and all of that happens. But all of that… doesn't matter. What matters is that at the end of all that, he makes good moves. His mannerisms don't amount to much and they are certainly not his weapons. Intimidation doesn't matter if you can't back it up with the right moves. That is what Carlsen does. There are no big mistakes and to do that consistently is very difficult.

The record is unbelievable. He has been at over 2860 plus ELO rating points for a long time now and he has maintained that rating with ease. It is the kind of rating that many people will never achieve and even in this lot, it is only Caruana who is close. So is he the most formidable player ever? That is hard to answer but in the current generation no one comes close.

What is it like to sit opposite Carlsen? What goes through your mind at that point?

Well, it is only in the last two years that he has started to win against me. I had a score of 6-1 against him earlier. So my recollection of those meetings was not too much; not too difficult. But now against him, I just get the feeling that I play much worse than I can -- for no real reason. I come away thinking I could have won that. I get close and then the result hinges on a particular move or two. It is probably the worst feeling you can walk away with. And that is how I felt after Sochi too.

What is the future for Berlin Opening? Will you persist with it?

Well, the Berlin Opening is a very popular opening at the moment and to be fair, it did work. Most of the times, I was in a good position after the opening but it went away after that. It might sound like the wrong thing to say but some of the losses were unnecessary; avoidable. I still think about the 2nd and 11th game and can't believe how I played.

This is slightly off tangent. But during the World Championship, a lot of people following the match were doing so with the help of an engine. Is that good or is that bad?

It's great at one level. It gives you some insight and an idea of what the GM may be looking to do. But if you are someone who has played a few tournaments and plays chess well, he should try to experience the tensions that the players are under. And for that you need to follow without the computer. It's like watching a tennis match on television. We watch the players make a mistake and go 'I could have done that as well.' But the moment you try and hit one of the shots yourself, you realise that it isn't as easy as it looks. That different perspective can help. But I am not complaining -- follow it as you will as long as you will follow it.

What plans for 2015? The world championship is only going to take place in 2016 now. That is a long time away

Well for starters, I am not thinking about retirement. I have been going around the country and in every press conference, they have asked me whether I am retiring. It is almost as if they have all gone and googled the question. But they haven’t googled my answer. I am not going anywhere. I am feeling good about my chess and in the next year, I am going to play a lot of chess. There are other tournaments than the World Championship and I want to go out there and enjoy myself. That is my plan... my only plan for now.


PanAm 2014 Round 4 Pairings

Playing Against the Higher-Rated Opponent: Part 1 ... and more

Playing against the Higher-Rated Opponent: Part 3 - Practical Examples:
Posted on December 26,2014 By GM Levan Aroshidze in Strategy & Game Review, General Chess Articles, Beginner's Corner. Practical Examples: Provocative Strategy Let's see the various examples of playing against the higher-rated opponent by using different playing strategies. Position after 5... Qc7 Aroshidze 2401 vs Mastrovasilis D. 2568 1. e4 c5! The high-rated player immediately offers a double-edged Sicilian Defense and hopes to outplay the opponent with knowledge, experience and good skills of calculation. 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7  Now we get th[...]

Playing Against the Higher-Rated Opponent: Part 2 - Psychological Pressure
Posted on December 25,2014 By GM Levan Aroshidze in Strategy & Game Review, General Chess Articles, Beginner's Corner. The High-Rated Player Under Psychological Pressure Objectively, high-rated players may also be under psychological pressure while playing with a lower-rated player. It happens because of everybody's expectations that the higher-rated player is supposed to win. In the beginning, these expectations may help the high-rated player maintain a very positive mood, but if a low-rated player shows himself as a real fighter and does not let the rival take[...]

Benko Accepted - IM Andrew Martin
Posted on December 24,2014 By OnlineChessLessons.NET Contributor in Strategy & Game Review, Chess Openings, All Articles w/ Videos. A positional sacrifice out of the opening! In the video "Benko Accepted" by IM Andrew Martin, we are introduced to the Benko Gambit, an opening where Black immediately sacrifices a pawn for positional reasons. This opening has been played by top Grandmasters such as Kasparov, Gelfand and Adams and is very dangerous to play against. Black builds up a large amount of pressure on the queenside in this opening, forcing White to be very careful with i[...]

Playing Against the Higher-Rated Opponent: Part 1
Posted on December 23,2014 By GM Levan Aroshidze in General Chess Articles, Beginner's Corner. During my coaching practice, I have encountered many situations in which the young, low-rated players had a problem playing against higher-rated opponents. The low-rated player felt helpless against the more experienced rival, and was psychologically defeated without even playing the game. It is a big mistake and a wrong approach that really makes failure inevitable. Playing against a higher-rated opponent is not about losing or winning. It's abo[...] is a producer of thousands of free chess articles and free chess videos by FIDE chess masters. They recently released the renowned Empire Chess series that has been taking the chess world by storm. Please consider checking out their chess blog and chess shop with tons of free updated previews.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

SPF National Open for Boys and Girls in Northern California (A World Youth Qualifier - Over $100K in prizes)

Dear Chess Parents,

We have officially opened registration for the 2015 Susan Polgar Foundation's National Open Championship for Girls and Boys. We sincerely invite you to join the SPFNO on February 27th - March 1st, 2015 in San Mateo, California.

In the course of the three-day chess festival, the SPFNO will award qualifications for:

The Prestigious Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls
The FIDE World Youth Chess Championship 2015 in Porto Carras, Greece.
As well as $100,000 in prizes.

Please mark your calendars now and join us this February 27th - March 1st. We look forward to seeing you in San Mateo.


The prestigious annual Susan Polgar National Open Championship was created in 2006 and is sponsored by the Susan Polgar Foundation to give more opportunities to young chess players in the United States. The SPNOGB is an official qualifying event for the: The Prestigious Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls, and the FIDE World Youth Chess Championship 2015 in Porto Carras, Greece.
WHEN: 2/28 & 3/1/2015

1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo, CA 94403


U8, U10, U12, U14, U16/18* in separate sections for Girls and Boys

Age Cut-Offs

To qualify for an age section the player cannot have reached the age of that section before January 1, 2015.

Example - to qualify for the U14 section the player cannot have reached 14 years of age before January 1, 2015, in other words he/she must be born in 2001 or later.

To qualify for the World Youth places your federation under FIDE must reflect USA otherwise the qualifier spot will go to the next player in line.1st place in each age category will be a wild card representative for the SPICE World Youth Team.

ROUND TIMES: All sections will be G/60 – All players MUST be current USCF Members

2/28/15 * Round 1 @ 9am * Round 2 @ 12:15pm * Round 3 @ 3:30pm

3/1/15 * Round 4 @ 9am * Round 5 @ 12:15pm * Round 6 @ 3:30pm

AWARDS: 3/1/15 @ 6:45pm

Over $100,000 are awarded in prizes, which include trophies, computers, chess prizes and scholarships. Trophies go to the top 20 players and top 3 teams in all sections. All other participants will get medals. Trophies will also be awarded to the top players rated under 800 in the U8 sections, the top players rated under 1000 in the U10 sections, the top players rated under 1200 in the U12 sections. the top players rated under 1400 in the U14 sections, the top players rated under 1600 in the U16 sections, and the top players rated under 1800 in the U18 sections.

The first place winner in the girls sections will qualify for The Prestigious Susan Polgar National Invitational for Girls. The first place winner in sections U8, U10, U12, U14, U16/18 will qualify for the World Youth Chess Championship 2015 in Porto Carras, Greece. Triple Crown Winners (main event, blitz, and puzzle solving) will receive $1,000 scholarship to help defray expenses to the 2015 World Youth (if participating*)

* After flight ticket has been purchased, a $1,000 reimbursement check will be sent to the winners.

Team Rules: Minimum 2 players in same section from same school or feeder school (if feeder school parent / coach must provide proof). Top 3 (or 4?) scores count if more than 2 players on a team. A single school with many players cannot create additional teams in the same section. 1 team per section per school.


2/27/15 – 6:30 pm Q & A and 25 board Simul against GM Susan Polgar

2/28/15 -- 5-5:30 pm Puzzle Competition (one section). Top 10 will get trophies

– 5:45pm Blitz Tournament (one section). Top 10 will get trophies

HOTEL: Sofitel San Francisco Bay * Special Room Rate for this tournament $129

Call (650) 598-9000 for reservations 223 Twin Dolphin Dr, Redwood City


Main Event – ONLY $60 if registered by 2/1

$80 after 2/1

Polgar Simul - $40 if registered by 2/1

$50 after 2/1

Puzzle Competition - $15 if registered by 2/1

$20 after 2/1

Blitz Tournament - $15 if registered by 2/1

$20 after 2/1

Event Application

Please click on the links to register for each event

Main Event * We do have a sibling discount for multiple children participating in this event, however, we are unable to process automatically process the discount at this time. Please go here to pay online with the sibling discount included

Susan Polgar 25 Board Simul and Q & A Session

2/27/15 – 6:30 pm Q & A and 25 board Simul against GM Susan Polgar

Puzzle Competition

2/28/15 -- 5-5:30 pm Puzzle Competition (one section). Top 10 will get trophies

Blitz Tournament

2/28/15 – 5:45pm Blitz Tournament (one section). Top 10 players will get trophies

Commemorative T-Shirt

If you would rather print out the application, click here. You can mail the application and check to:

16691 Colonial Trail
Lathrop, CA 95330

3nd Winter Sea Deluxe Open in Gabicce Mare

3nd Winter Sea Deluxe Open in Gabicce Mare
Dec 28, 2014

The 3nd Winter Sea Deluxe Open is set to take place from 2-6th January, 2015, in Gabicce Mare, Italy, next to the Adriatic Sea.

The first two editions had 120-130 participants and were won by the Hungarian Grandmaster Robert Ruck in 2013 and by the Bulgarian Grandmaster Vladimir Petkov in 2014, respectively.

The playing venue is the old-fashioned Hotel Michelacci ****Superior, with SPA and rich meals. The closest airports to Gabicce are Rimini, Bologna and Ancona.

For the third edition there are many strong payers in the field:

GM Prohaszka (HUN, 2613), GM Banusz (HUN, 2591), GM Petkov (BUL, 2527), GM Arnaudov (BUL) GM Kosic (SRB, 2497), GM Czebe (HUN, 2430), IM Bokros (HUN, 2467), IM Kantans (LAT, 2447), GM Djuric (SRB, 2402) IM Karayan (UKR, 2414), FM Lettieri (ITA, 2406), IM Caprio (ITA, 2397), IM Benkovic (SRB 2395), FM Gilevich Artem (2396 ITA), FM Altini (ITA, 2391), IM Stets (UKR, 2381), IM Bodiroga (SRB 2337) WIM Iwanov (POL, 2290), FM Jamrich (HUN, 2296), FM Brancaleoni (ITA, 2219).

At the present 125 players are in the tournament and registrations are open until 1th January.

The players will be divided in four groups: Open A for those rated above 1900, Open B for the U2000 participants, Open C for U1600 and Juniors U16 (born after 1.1.1997).

Open A, valid for title norms, will be held over 9 rounds of Swiss system. Time control: 90′+30” from beginning.
Open B, C and U16 will be held over 7 rounds. Time control: 90′x40+15′+30” from beginning.

Top prize in the Open A is 600 EUR. The total prize fund is 5,000 EUR.

The tournament is organized by the Fano Chess Club and Dario Pedini. The club celebrates 27th anniversary in 2015.

This year Fano Chess Club 1988 already organized for the 4th time in 2011-2014 the Italian Rapid Championships with 600 players and the 3nd Fano on the Sea & Carnival International with 165 players and many GM over 2600 and 2500.

The 4rd summer edition is scheduled for 1-8th August, 2015.

Official Website:
Mobile: +39-335-224916

Komodo is the new TCEC Grand Champion

Komodo 1333 (3210) outplayed the TCEC – Season 6 champion Stockfish 141214 (3218) at the TCEC Season 7 Superfinal to take the title.

Komodo was superior in the match and won the event with full 3 points advantage, becoming the new TCEC Grand champion, in spite of Stockfish’s great fight.

TCEC official website

Replay the games from TCEC – Season 7 in the Archive mode

Download TCEC Season 7 posters here

Final standings:

Komodo 1333 – Stockfish 141214 33.5 – 30.5

TCEC so far

Komodo wins TCEC Season 5 / Stockfish wins Season 6/ Gull wins Stage 1a / Houdini wins Stage 1b/ Only 3000+ engines qualify for Stage 3

PanAm 2014 LIVE!

PanAm 2014 Round 3 Pairings

Gupta is best performing Indian in Al Ain Classic

Abhijeet Gupta finishes as best performing Indian in Al Ain Classic
By | December 28, 2014 8:14 AM

Al Ain (UAE), Dec 27 Riding on three back-to-back victories, Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta emerged as the best performing Indian as he finished seventh in the Al Ain Classic International chess tournament.Gupta, who started the tournament as the defending champion, lost his fifth and sixth round games but scored victories in the remaining and his last round win against Vadim Malakhatko of Belgium was particularly special.

Gupta finished seventh overall with a tally of 6.5 points in all. Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi played out a hard fought draw with top seed Yuriy Kryvoruchko of Ukraine in his final round game and finished eighth overall after matching Gupta on points. The other Indian in contention, Sandipan Chanda, however, lost his last round game against Sergei Zhigalko of Belarus.

Sahaj Grover and Chanda finished among the prizes too ending on 14th and 17th spot overall with six points each in their kitty. Grover did well in his final game to hold a higher-ranked Samuel Shankland of United States to a draw. It was a four-way tie at the top and Gaioz Nigalidze of Georgia emerged as the champion on seven points winning his last round game against compatriot Mikheil Mchedlishvili.

Tigran Petrosian of Armenia, Vladimir Onischuk of Ukraine and Zhigalko finished ina tie for first but ended 2-4 respectively after the tie was resolved. P V Nandhidhaa was one of the biggest gainers among Indians adding over 50 ELO rating points from the event. The Chennai-girl also completed the requirements of becoming a Woman International Master in the process as she crossed the 2200 rating barrier while scoring five points in the tournament.

Gupta stood as the lone warrior on a tough final day for the Indians. Playing white against Malakhatko, the Indian sacrificed a pawn early and opened lines on the king side with a pawn onslaught. Malakhatko was fine in the middle game till he went for an erroneous exchange of Bishop with a knight and soon Gupta was in control which he did not let go.


Rilton Cup LIVE!

52nd University of Groningen Chess Open 2014 LIVE!

Lisbon Christmas Open 2014 LIVE!

PanAm 2014 LIVE!

Real game chess tactic

White to move. How should white proceed?