Rich As A King

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fabiano takes early Sinquefield Cup lead, beats Topalov with black

Round 1 results

Harika and Ju Wenjun out in front of Women's GP

Round 3 results

(CHN) Ju Wenjun vs (CHN) Zhao Xue [1-0]
(ARM) Danielian Elina vs (QAT) Zhu Chen [1-0]
(MGL) Batchimeg Tuvshintugs vs (UKR) Ushenina Anna [1/2-1/2]
(ROU) L'Ami Alina vs (RUS) Kosintseva Tatiana [0-1]
(UZB) Muminova Nafisa vs (IND) Koneru Humpy [1/2-1/2]
(CHN) Hou Yifan vs (IND) Harika Dronovalli [1/2-1/2]

Official website:

2014 SPICE Cup - $13,000+ prizes including $5,000 1st prize

2014 SPICE Cup Open

Sponsored by Webster University
and the Susan Polgar Foundation

St. Louis, Missouri
October 21-26, 2014

GM/IM norm opportunity - Minimum rating (FIDE) 2100
Limited to first 50 entries (Free entry to all players FIDE > 2300)

4 IM/GM norms earned in 2012
1 IM performance/2 GM norms earned in 2013

Time Control: G/90 + 30 second increment from move 1

$13,000 guaranteed (up from $11,000 last year)

U/2400 FIDE $500-$250-$125
U/2300 FIDE $500-$250-$125
Top Female $500-$250

October 2014 rating will be used

Limited FREE hotel accommodation (double occupancy) at the Crowne Plaza available to foreign GMs.


Free to all GMs, IMs, WGMs and all FIDE rated players over 2300 (must complete all 9 rounds), if registered by September 30, 2014. $50 later or on site.

$150 to FIDE 2200-2299, $200 to FIDE U-2200 if received by September 30, 2014. Additional $50 later or on site.


Crowne Plaza Clayton Hotel 7750 Carondelet Ave, St Louis, MO 63105 (FREE shuttle from the Lambert–St. Louis International Airport) $109/night, FREE Breakfast/Internet

For reservations guests can call directly to 314-726-5400 or 1-800-439-5719
Group Name is SPICE Cup or on line at Crown Plaza Hotel.
Group Code is SPZ

Send entries to:

Webster University - SPICE
470 E. Lockwood Ave
St. Louis, MO 63119

Questions or registration for titled players: Email: or call 314-246-8075


Tuesday, October 21
5:00 pm - Round 1

Wednesday, October 22
10:00 am - Round 2
5:00 pm - Round 3

Thursday, October 23
10:00 am - Round 4
5:00 pm - Round 5

Friday, October 24
5:00 pm - Round 6

Saturday, October 25
10:00 am - Round 7
5:00 pm - Round 8

Sunday, October 26
10:00 am - Round 9

All Rounds played at the Crowne Plaza Clayton Hotel

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

African Zonal 4.1 Championships

The Royal Moroccan Federation of Chess has the honor to invite all Chess Federations in Zone 4.1 affiliated to FIDE, to participate in the 2014 Zone 4.1 Open and Women Championships.

The Championships will be held from the 16 to the 23h September 2014 in Sidi Slimane, Morocco, under the auspices of African Chess Confederation.

Parallel to the championship, the Royal Moroccan Chess Federation plans to organize FIDE Abriters’ Seminar.

The tournament will be held at Aymen Hotel which is about 1 hour from Rabat, the capital city of Morocco. The playing hall and lodging facilities are all encompassed within Aymen Hotel.

Zone 4.1 region is composed of Chess Federations from the following countries: Algeria, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia.

In accordance with FIDE regulations statutes, the Zone 4.1 Individual Championships are open to all players from Federations within Zone 4.1 region which are affiliated to FIDE.

Federations will be allowed to bring a maximum of Five (5) players in each section. The host federation reserves the right to field Seven (7) players in each section (as per ACC regulations) and also hold a player in reserve that can be used if there is odd number of participants.

Registration forms for entries can be found on the official website. Federation officials must fill them in on or before 10th September 2014 and sent them strictly by e-mail to: , or

The Championships will be played in accordance with FIDE regulations as a 9 Round Swiss System tournament. Time control will be 90 minutes with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from the first move.

Draw offers are not allowed before Black’s 30th move. The zero tolerance rule will apply. A player arriving late at the start of the round loses the game.

The winners in each section will also be awarded FIDE titles as follows:
a) Open Section: IM, FM
b) Women Section: WIM, WFM

In the event of joint winners (players sharing the same points), the players will get titles as indicated below up to maximum of 3 players:
1 player in 1st position: IM or WIM Title
2 players in 1st position: 1st player IM or WIM title, 2nd player FM or WFM title
3 players in 1st position: 1st player IM or WIM, 2nd Player FM or WFM and 3rd Player FM or WFM

The host Federation shall provide free full board and lodging during the tournament on sharing basis for 2 players in each participating Federation; 1 player who will be in the Open section and 1 player in the Women’s section.

Additional players, officials and accompanying persons from participating federations will also lodge at Aymen Hotel at €50 per day and per person (sharing) or €60 per day and per person (single room). The cost includes 3 meals (breakfast, buffet lunch and dinner).

Organizers Contacts
Morocco Chess Federation
President email address:
Mobile: +212 649 615 882
Secretary email address:
Mobile: +212 637 322 430

Bermudian players lose Government funding for chess

Bermudian chess player laments loss of Govt funding
By Jonathan Bell
Published Aug 26, 2014 at 8:00 am

Bermuda’s chess competitors, fresh from international exposure the 41st Chess Olympiad in Norway, are now calling on Government to renew its support for the game.

Chess overseas is afforded television coverage, player Michael Webb noted, with chess masters viewed as celebrities — while the game has languished at home.

“After experiencing what I just experienced, after seeing young geniuses being challenges in this game, my eyes have been opened to the possibilities,” Mr Webb told The Royal Gazette.

The results are still being tallied for the event, held from August 1 to 14, in the city of Tromsø.

Bermuda’s five-man team had to carry the cost on their own, after a hoped-for grant didn’t materialise from Government.

“We’ve asked for help and been declined, which put us between a rock and a hard place — under the Progressive Labour Party we were getting some degree of funding, and in this case we asked for help with our tickets,” Mr Webb said. “The Olympiad was already expecting us, but this time Government didn’t give us support.

“I’m not trying to knock the Government, but it would have been great if they had been able to meet us halfway.

“It’s tough to do your best representing your country when your country doesn’t care that you’re there.

“With this huge tournament, it’s a team thing. It’s not for individuals. This is country to country.”

He extolled the experience of “like minded people of different faiths, different colours, from countries you’d seldom hear of, coming together in this incredibly concentrated, competitive event and still calling each other friends”.

The event was marred by two deaths: Seychelles player Kurt Keier succumbed to a heart attack, while Uzbekistan player Alisher Anarkulov was found dead in his hotel room — both on Thursday, August 14.

Mr Webb found it particularly shocking since he had just played a game against Mr Keier. But his top memory is of taking on chess master Jorge Massana of the US Virgin Islands — and winning.

“Your very first tournament, first Olympiad, you’re rated zero and your opponent is rated ridiculously high? Amazing.

“A great win for the team after being such an underdog — I was getting high-fives, people yelling out ‘Great job’; I had people recognising me in the street — I felt it was great for Bermuda as well as great for myself.”

Mr Webb, who discovered chess by chance in his neighbourhood after being invited to join in by some older players, said the Bermuda Chess Association had faded in recent years as members had left the Island and others found it difficult to make the time.

Chess is a fixture in many overseas parks, bars and coffee houses, but seldom seen around Bermuda.

A plan by the Corporation of Hamilton to establish a park at the corner of Court and Dundonald Streets for pursuits such as chess to flourish is unlikely to go ahead any time soon, according to City Secretary Ed Benevides, who said the concept remained at the planning stage but hadn’t been budgeted for this year.

“For our young people here in this country, it would be a great way to expend some energy and bring people together — it could be a very positive thing,” Mr Webb said, adding that European audiences seemed to regard top chess players as akin to “movie stars”.

“There are so many benefits to it — if we could establish a regular meeting place and have our young people come in and be introduced to chess, we could get some new blood in,” he said. “We’re looking to get some new faces and get ready for the next Olympiad in two years’ time.

“Our minds are set on going — we’re just looking at fundraising and really hoping we can secure a little help this time. We shouldn’t have to pay again.”

A spokeswoman for the Department of Youth Sport and Recreation said Government “did receive a grant application from the Chess Association after the grant applications had closed and the 2014 Budget was allocated.

“The Department was not in a position to offer assistance. The Department would like to take this opportunity to remind organisations to apply for grants before August 31 of each fiscal year.”


Sochi showdown, or not?

Carlsen pressured to defend title
August 25, 2014

Russian officials are threatening to effectively strip chess world champion Magnus Carlsen of his title if he fails to defend it in Sochi in November. Carlsen, exhausted after this month’s Chess Olympiad in Tromsø, is already on his way to another tournament in the US and hasn’t committed to play in a new world championship as well.

“Magnus has now traveled to the US and will play in a very strong tournament in St Louis,” his manager Espen Agdestein told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Monday afternoon. “For him, it’s critical to focus on this tournament. The question of another world championship will be taken up later.”

Agdestein has been trying to get the international chess federation FIDE to postpone a rematch against Carlsen’s defeated world championship rival from last year, Vishy Anand of India, until after New Year. FIDE, whose Russian leader Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was re-elected at the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø earlier this month, has refused.

Full article here:

Combining chess with education

Q&A | Parimarjan Negi India’s youngest-ever Grandmaster on balancing chess and studies, and his future plans 
V. Krishnaswamy

I will play less and focus on big events

Parimarjan Negi’s life has not been an ordinary one. He has been playing chess since the age of 4 and has been travelling for it since the age of 7. He was 9 when he won the Asian Youth Under-10 in Tehran, Iran, in 2002.

He became India’s and Asia’s youngest Grandmaster (and the world’s second youngest) at 13 years, three months and 22 days and was Indian national champion in 2010. In 2013, he won the Asian Continental title and, earlier this month, played a stellar role in India’s success at the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø, Norway, where India won a bronze medal for the first time.

Negi did lose to world No.3 Fabiano Caruana of Italy, but he drew with world No.2 Levon Aronian of Armenia and beat former world champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov from Uzbekistan.

After juggling school, chess and travel for 10-odd years, Negi, 21, took two years off from education to focus on his chess, before enrolling for an undergraduate degree in psychology at Stanford University in the US last year. He will join the university next month. Edited excerpts from an interview:

Why academics, especially after your finest moment—a first-ever Chess Olympiad medal?

I didn’t make the decision right now of course; the American college application process is a lengthy one, so I made my plan sometime last year. After I had finished school I was still rather confused about what I wanted to do in life. I certainly didn’t want to pursue a college degree without really attending classes as I had done in school. So I decided to take a couple of years off academics to lead the life of a chess professional and then decide about my future after that. During this time I realized that a single-track career like this wasn’t very appealing to me, and I wanted to explore more in life.

Are there any major examples of how a top player may have combined a chess and academic career?

From the current top youngsters, Wesley So (of the Philippines) has risen to world No.13 despite studying in an American college in the last few years, while there are many examples of Grandmasters ranked in the top 100 also pursuing an academic degree. Besides that, British Grandmaster Luke McShane continued to rise through the world rankings and beat most of the world’s top players, including (Magnus) Carlsen and Aronian, despite studying at Oxford, and later working in the British financial sector. Perhaps the most famous example in academia is the Harvard professor and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, Kenneth Rogoff, who was world No.40 at his peak.

Will you continue to play chess while at Stanford? Events like the Asian championships, the Olympiad or world championships?

Definitely I would. Chess is not something you can just decide to stop. But since I will play less than before, I feel I will be able to play with even greater intensity. I will focus on big events, such as the ones you mentioned. I’d particularly like to continue playing for the Indian team. Besides this, I also have American Open events planned for every month in October, November and December. Since they have a shorter format (two rounds a day allow it to finish in five days or less), it’s not a big break from my studies, and it will give me enough of a chance to continue to increase my rating.

You are writing a series of books on chess, a rare thing for an active player. The first one is already out.

I am already particularly theoretical, a bit too much for my level actually. Now that I would have to devote a considerable time to academics, I realized it would be impossible for me to continue updating such sharp and concrete lines constantly for my own play, so I started adapting my opening style to the new challenges. At the same time I did not want my analysis in all the combative lines to go waste, so I decided to put them on paper.

How do you see your chess career four-five years from now?

That seems too far ahead to think right now. I think the educational experience will be very useful in the process of self-discovery, and having a backup career option in academics also reduces the stress to perform in the hyper-competitive world of professional chess.


Sinquefield Cup 2014 LIVE!

Aronian v Nakamura, Topalov v Caruana, MVL v Carlsen in round 1

Round 1 pairings

Levon Aronian - Hikaru Nakamura
Veselin Topalov - Fabiano Caruana
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave - Magnus Carlsen


French Championship LIVE!

French women's championship LIVE!

Abu Dhabi International Masters Tournament LIVE!

FIDE Women’s Grand Prix in Sharjah, UAE LIVE!

5th International Chess Festival “Yaroslav the Wise” LIVE!

The 5th International Chess Festival “Yaroslav the Wise” features a double round robin tournament of six European Chess Champions in the period 2009-2014.

The participants are: Alexander Motylev (European champion in 2014), Alexander Moiseenko (2013), Dmitry Jakovenko (2012), Vladimir Potkin (2011), Ian Nepomniachtchi (2010) and Evgeny Tomashevsky (2009).

More information here

Tricky chess tactic

White to move. What is the best continuation for White? How should white proceed?

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