Arlington Chess Club

ARCHIVE - ACC News & Tournament Reports

Our newswire covers club news and local tournaments as well as any particularly unique or interesting chess articles, videos and other items rom around the web. We leave coverage of most other national and international events to TWIC, Chessbase and others, though we do cover really big events.

REMINDER: Other than club updates and a few articles by club members, nearly all articles in this listing are links from other sources and authors.

November 1, 2017

Remembering Alexander Alekhine; André Schulz; ChessBase

Alexander Alekhine himself thought that he was born on November 1, 1892, but historians checked again and concluded that he was born on October 31. The confusion seems to be due to an error in the conversion of the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. All the same, we celebrate the fourth World Champion's birthday — reason enough to look back on his life and career.

October 31, 2017

October Wrap-Up; By ACC President

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game.

In big news, on Saturday November 11th, Timur will play a BlindFold Simul at the Arlington Chess Club - Claim Your Spot and Register Early! Come check this event out!

Timur is a Super-GM topping out at 2780 and currently in the high 2600s. He has made a name for himself by holding BlindFold Simuls and last December (2016), he set the world record for playing 48 opponents on the way to winning 35 of the games and drawing over half of the rest.

In the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), nearly 50 players competed for the Ladder Prize with young Tony Lin grabbing first place (3.5/5) a full point ahead of X. Jian and M. Hiban (2.5/5). Of the 12 players in the ACC Blitz tournament (5 double-rounds [10 games] at a G/3 +2 time control), Larry Gilden held off the opposition to win first place (7.5/10) a half point ahead of young Geoffrey Davis (7/10) and a full point ahead of 3-way tie for 3rd place. In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), Ken Chieu has returned to ACC events after a long hiatus to start collecting wins including running the boards against 11 other players to secure 1st place (3/3) ahead of a 3-way tie for 2nd place (2/3) by A. Indusekar, V. Guzman and Richard A. Allen (also returning after a long hiatus). And finally, in the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) we had a super low turnout as only 28 players slogged it out with Andrew Samuelson sweeping the opposition (5/5) in the Premier section to finish a full point and a half ahead of Zack Martin and Jason Liang who tied for 2nd place. In the U1700 section, Andy Chang won clear first (4/5) a half point ahead of Steven Scala and Isaac Stevens who tied for 2nd place(3.5/5). All in all, a busy month in which fun was had by all!

October 27, 2017

East or West; IM Malcolm Pein; Chess Magazine

In the November issue of CHESS Magazine, International Master and organiser Malcolm Pein shares his views regarding the recent 88th FIDE Congress in Antalya, Turkey, where one of the more unusual decisions coming out of the Executive Board meeting was a non-binding "motion to "request the FIDE President [Kirsan Ilyumzhinov] not to run in the next Presidential elections."

October 24, 2017

Opening trends; Staff; Chess Magazine

The Reti retains its seemingly inexorable grip on the top of our chart, while that club player favourite, the King’s Indian, makes a welcome return to the second spot. Elsewhere those non-c4 options after 1 d4 Nf6 continue to do well and the Kan has made gains under the patronage of Caruana, Andreikin and Artemiev. The statistics and a key game is given in this month's edition of the English chess magazine.

October 20, 2017

Vladimir Kramnik gets Candidates wild card; Colin McGourty; Chess24

Vladimir Kramnik has been nominated as the wild card to play the Candidates Tournament in Berlin next March to determine the next challenger for World Champion Magnus Carlsen. While not a big surprise – to date significant sponsorship has only been announced from Russian companies – the timing of the decision means no changes are possible based on the result of the final Grand Prix. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Teimour Radjabov now know there’s no lifeline if they fail to qualify via that event in Palma de Mallorca next month.

October 19, 2017

The Eternal Battle: Bishops vs Knights; Jeremy Silman; Chess.com

An examination of each piece's strengths and weaknesses.

October 18, 2017

50 games you should know; Johannes Fischer; ChessBase

Occupying the center, developing pieces, opening lines, mating the enemy king: Paul Morphy knew how to win quickly. His most famous game also followed this pattern. Morphy played it November 2, 1858, against the Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard in the Duke's loge in the Paris Opera. Morphy's brilliancy is more than 150 years old but the strategic pattern is still relevant. As Magnus Carlsen knows.

October 18, 2017

Stockfish & Komodo lead as TCEC Season 10 starts; Colin McGourty; Chess24

The Stockfish and Komodo chess engines have taken an early lead on 3.5/4 as the 10th season of TCEC, the unofficial World Computer Chess Championship, kicks off. It sees 24 of the world’s top chess engines play weeks of round-the-clock classical games both to determine this year’s champion and to showcase the play of our new computer overlords. You can watch non-stop here on chess24 and will probably be surprised at how the games are not only of extremely high quality but also great fun to watch.

October 17, 2017

Aronian: “We should be like wolves”; Colin McGourty; Chess24

Levon Aronian has had a fantastic year, both on and off the chessboard. The world no. 2 won the GRENKE Chess Classic, Altibox Norway Chess, the St. Louis Rapid & Blitz and finally the World Cup, before then marrying his long-term girlfriend Arianne Caoili. In a new interview he talks about coping with stress, irritating habits of opponents, how he proved people wrong as a late-starter and more.

October 17, 2017

Kramnik and the Reti; Alex Yermolinsky; ChessBase

More: Chessbase

Among the top active players, few if any can claim to have made as many powerful contributions to opening theory as Vladimir Kramnnik. One need only recall that Kramnik is the only player on record to 'out-prepare' Garry Kasparov, and for the World title no less. In recent times, one of his latest pet openings has been the Reti, and guiding the reader through some of the changes along the way is GM Alex Yermolinsky.

October 14, 2017

In Memoriam: William Lombardy (1937-2017) ; Macauley Peterson; ChessBase

More: Chessbase

Grandmaster Bill Lombardy died in California on Friday morning, of a likely heart attack. Lombardy was the World Junior Champion in 1957 (the first American to win that title) scoring a perfect 11-0, a performance that has never been repeated. He shared first at the U.S. Open Championship three times (1963, 1965 and 1975). But he is perhaps best known as a coach of Bobby Fischer. Lombardy was with Fischer throughout the 1972 World Championship match in Reykjavik. He would have turned 80 years old in December.

October 13, 2017

Memory Techniques: the chess equation; David Fadul; ChessBase

Concluding the series on memory techniques, after detailed tutorials on how to create a Memory Palace, its history, and the Peg system, here is the chapter on how it all ties together to be used in chess. Timur Gareyev, who broke the world record for a blindfold simul, wrote to the author detailing his personal adaptation used to help him break the record. We hope you enjoyed this series and find it useful.

October 10, 2017

Remembering Milan Vidmar; André Schulz; ChessBase

Milan Vidmar was a phenomenom: Despite being an amateur, between 1910 and 1930 he was one of the world's top players and regularly finished among the top in world class tournaments. Vidmar was an electrical engineer by training and in this field he also made a career. He died 55 years ago, on October 9, 1962.

October 8, 2017

What Is The Best Move?; GM Gregory Serper; Chess.com

All chess players encounter this situation in every single game. You are considering your next move and see numerous tempting opportunities. All the moves look equally strong, so which one should you prefer? What is the best move to play?

October 7, 2017

Kovalyov case moves to Ethics Commission; By Editor; ChessBase

More: Chessbase

It's tempting to make light of this affair by, for instance, referring to it as "the short(s) report". But when a tournament as prestigious as the FIDE World Cup is making international headlines for what amounts to dress code enforcement, it should be no laughing matter. We take a comprehensive look at the facts in evidence and Kovalyov's response to the previously published report.

October 6, 2017

Find the winning moves; Staff; Chess Magazine

Test your tactical ability with these positions grouped in rough order of difficulty. The games come from various recent events, not least the British Championship and the Grand Chess Tour. Don’t forget that whilst sometimes the key move will force mate or the win of material, other times it will just win a pawn. Take your time analysing the positions, on our news page, assisted by a JavaScript chess engine.

October 5, 2017

How To Improve Your Calculation; Jeremy Silman; Chess.com

Everyone wants to be able to calculate. Of course, there are those that are gifted (like Alekhine, Tal, Kasparov, etc.), but there are also grandmasters who admit that long, crazy calculations are their weakness.

October 4, 2017

Karjakin: “I’m simply a fighter”; Colin McGourty; Chess24

Sergey Karjakin was knocked out of the Tbilisi World Cup by Daniil Dubov in Round 2, but says in a new interview that “part of me was glad”, since it meant he could spend a full three weeks at home with his wife and their new son. His thoughts are already turning to the Candidates Tournament this March in Berlin, though, with Sergey estimating he’ll need four months to prepare for the event. He also talks about fame in Russia and reveals Vladimir Kramnik and Anatoly Karpov both helped him before the World Championship match.

September 31

September Wrap-Up by ACC President

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. Come check us out!

In big news, the club was visited twice this month by the BlindFold Simul King, GM Timur Gareyev. First, as a Reminder: On Saturday November 11th, Timur will play a BlindFold Simul at the Arlington Chess Club - claim your spot early! Timur is a Super-GM topping out at 2780 and currently in the high 2600s. He has made a name for himself by holding BlindFold Simuls and last December of 2016, he set the world record for playing 48 opponents on the way to winning 35 of the games and drawing half of the rest. This month, his first event with the club was a Small-Group Lesson in which 11 players received tournament prep guidance. Then Timur dropped by the club meeting a few nights later and gave an Impromptu Lecture on one of his games from the recent Atlantic Open.

In the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), 64 players competed for the Ladder Prize with Ian Turner grabbing first place (4.5/5) a half point ahead of Jason Robinson (4/5). Of the 18 players in the ACC Blitz tournament (5 double-rounds [10 games] at a G/3 +2 time control), young Sam Schenk played lights out (8.5/10) through tough competition to secure first place and ending a half point ahead of Larry Gilden (7.5). In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), 3 players out of 15 entrants tied for 1st place (2.5/3) including Eduard Hagara, Larry Gilden and Leonid Patsuk. And finally, in the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) 44 players slogged it out with newcomer Yibo Chen winning clear first (4.5/5) in the Premier section followed by Geoff Davis in second (4/5) and Larry Gilden and Bijan Tahmasebbi tied for 3rd (3.5/5). In the U1700 section, Donovan Chong swept through the opposition to win first place (4.5/5) followed by Frank Huber in sole second (4/5) and Elliott Lee in third (3.5/5). The U1400 Class Prize was won by Kevin Su and the U1200 Class Prize was split 3 ways. All in all, a busy month in which fun was had by all!

September 28, 2017

Investigating Hou's pairings; Albert Silver; ChessBase

There is a bit of déjà vu in the current controversy surrounding Hou Yifan's pairings Isle of Man. Readers will recall how Hou resigned her last round game in the Tradewise Gibraltar Masters after just five moves to protest what she felt had been manipulated pairings against women in seven out of nine rounds. Four rounds paired against women in the Chess.com Isle of Man International, was unnerving enough to lead her to take a fifth round bye. To set everyone's mind at ease, we investigated and share the results.

September 27, 2017

Forgetting our Intention; Amatzia Avni; CHESS Magazine

The practical point of this article is to minimise certain errors. Standard chess mistakes usually occur when a player misses a move or moves available to his adversary. FIDE Master Amatzia Avni, a psychologist by profession, focuses on mistakes that occur when you play a move without going back and rehearsing prior calculations and previous conclusions. Like Pal Benko in the 1962 Curacao Candidates, when he missed a clean draw against none other than Bobby Fischer when he forgot his original plan.

September 27, 2017

Hou mystified by pairings, sits out round five; Albert Silver; ChessBase

Since round four ended with the four leaders drawing their respective games, now seven share first with 3.5/4, from Magnus Carlsen to Alexander Lenderman. Hou Yifan, who faced her fourth consecutive female opponent, requested a half point bye in round 5, but contrary to rumour has no intention to withdraw for now.

September 26, 2017

Chess photography: Do's and Don'ts; Albert Silver; ChessBase

Photography, and notably chess photography, is a tricky thing, since on the one hand it seems so simple, while on the other it is clear some do it a lot better than others. You might be inclined to dismiss this as a matter of talent or expensive equipment, but the truth is one can do very well even with a smartphone following some basic rules of thumb.

September 24, 2017

Key Players Respond To Kovalyov Incident; Mike Klein; Chess.com

Two weeks after the most famous missing fabric in chess, the principal participants and some associated parties have responded. Mostly, they've dug in to their positions.

September 24, 2017

World Solving Championship solutions; John Nunn; ChessBase

Additional Article:
More Solutions

This Problem Solving event took place in Dresden, Germany, in early August. We reported extensively on it and gave you eight problems from the Championship to solve. Not an easy task, as most of them required some experience in this entertaining and challenging field. The solutions are wonderfully annotated by top problem solver Dr John Nunn. Learn and enjoy!

September 23, 2017

Armenian Lion vs Chinese Dragon and tour of Tbilisi; Sagar Shah; ChessBase

Both of them have qualified for the Candidates 2018 by reaching the finals of the World Cup 2017. But as Aronian put it, "The main goal has been achieved, how about a little bonus!" Winning a major event like FIDE World Cup would be a great addition to the resume. We have the statistics of previous encounters between Aronian and Ding Liren and also a poll for you to let us know your opinion. Finally, do not miss the rest day pictures of the Jvari monastery and Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.

September 23, 2017

Reconstructing Turing's "Paper Machine"; Frederic Friedel; ChessBase

Can you guess when the first chess program was written – relative to the invention of computers? Ten years later? Wrong. The great mathematician Alan Turing did it earlier than that. During the celebrations of his 100th anniversary, in Manchester, June 2012, Garry Kasparov and Frederic Friedel delivered a lecture on the reconstruction of the engine Turing had programmed. Now the process has been described in a scientific paper.

September 22, 2017

"All my life I try to improve my chess level"; Sagar Shah; ChessBase

Interviews with Vassily Ivanchuk are rare. The man is happy playing chess and would rather find new ideas, or indulge in a game of draughts, than answer questions from journalists. However, the chess world is always intrigued by his brilliance. They want to know more about him. At the World Cup in Tbilisi, Ivanchuk agreed for a short interview with ChessBase. In it he speaks about his World Cup performance, future plans, checkers, his inspiration for new ideas and whether he still would like to become the World Champion. Video with complete transcript.

September 21, 2017

Has The King's Indian Attack Been Forgotten?; Jeremy Silman; Chess.com

The Chess.com member Kingdom_chess2 asked: “Why is the King’s Indian Attack less popular at the top level? Is there any specific reason?” I think the KIA is still quite popular in amateur chess. Regarding grandmaster chess, it’s still seen at the highest levels. However, the tactics and tricks that used to blow Black out of the water are now known to everyone. Thus what was once a very dangerous line has pretty much been tamed (the mates from the past are now rare, and many games end up with a murky, though complex, kind of game).

September 15, 17, 2017

Grivas teaches: Rook vs Bishop; Efstratios Grivas; ChessBase

More installments:
Rd 4 World Cup
Still More

Like to earn some extra rating points? Or progress one more round in the World Cup? Last Friday in Tbilisi the young Hungarian GM Richard rapport drew our admiration by flawlessly winning a difficult endgame against Chinese GM Wei Yi. We reported on that fateful game, and now thankfully a top international chess trainer provides systematic instruction on how to play the rook vs bishop ending. Then in Round 4 of the FIDE World Cup, the endgame rook vs bishop occurred again, this time with a pawn each on the same side. The experienced Armenian Levon Aronian, currently number two in the world, decisively defeated the young Russian Daniil Dubov. Grivas tells us exactly how. Where did Grischuk go wrong and how could he have won? World-class trainer Efstratios Grivas show you how — and gives you the chance to win rating points in the process.

September 15, 2017

Noticing Change Or Opportunity On The Chessboard; Jeremy Silman; Chess.com

At the beginning of a game the professional chess player understands the ins and outs of the opening he plays which, of course, has been deeply studied. He knows where his pieces should be, he is well-versed about the pawn structure’s needs, and he’ll know if it’s going to be a slow positional battle or a raw, vicious, tactical war. Of course, if his opponent makes a mistake or somehow changes the position’s dynamics, then that slow positional battle might be tossed away and taken over by the hammer of Thor. Naturally, the same thing can happen in the middlegame. But, simply put, how can you notice change when it occurs? And how can you make use of opportunities if you’re not looking?

September 14, 2017

CHESS Magazine: That missed draw; Jonathan Speelman; ChessBase

While reading the chess column in The Times, Jonathan Speelman realised that Wolfgang Unzicker might have drawn a famous opposite-coloured bishop endgame. It’s one of a couple of opposite bishop endings ‘The Patriarch’ won by creating passed pawns on both flanks. There's a valuable lesson for you to learn from this article by Jonathan Speelman.

September 13, 2017

Chess.com Announces Computer Chess Championship; Editor; Chess.com

The world's strongest computer engines will compete in a first-of-its-kind speed chess tournament on Chess.com this November, the site announced today. As computer engines have claimed the undisputed title as the best chess-playing entities on earth, interest in the machines has risen among chess fans. The first annual Chess.com Computer Chess Championship (CCCC) will decide which engine is the best at the format of chess most played online: speed chess. The Computer Chess Championship is scheduled for Nov. 13-16, with all four days featuring full live coverage on Chess.com/TV with master commentary and high production values to promote computer chess as a fun viewing experience for the modern gaming audience.

September 13, 2017

The road to the Candidates 2018; Macauley Peterson; ChessBase

Checking in on World Championship candidates qualification, the twists and turns that have already occurred and are still to come as the drama mounts and the pool of players shrinks. For many potential candidates the World Cup is the only possible route to qualification, but some have multiple paths to follow. Will Mamedyarov and Caruana stay on track despite being eliminated from the World Cup? Who else can join Sergey Karjakin to attempt to overthrow Magnus Carlsen next year?

September 12, 2017

ESPN portrait of the strongest female player; Staff; ChessBase

"She has never really worked extremely hard," said Vladimir Kramnik, "and, of course, that's a big compliment — never working like the professional male top players and yet achieving so much." Chinese GM Hou Yifan, the greatest female talent in chess today, wants her life to be to be "rich and colorful, not narrow." In 2012 she enrolled in Peking University, and is now scheduled to do a course at the University of Chicago. Read all about her in this extensive ESPN article.

September 7, 2017

3 Of Emanuel Lasker's Greatest Hits; Jeremy Silman; Chess.com

I’m back with three more of my favorite Emanuel Lasker games. Remember that they might or might not be his best games. All that matters is that they are games that affected me over the years. Though Lasker was one of the greatest tacticians in history, and though he was also one of the best endgame players ever, his style was all about pressure. He loved to drag himself and his opponents to the edge of a precipice since he knew that most of his opponents couldn’t handle the slippery slope Lasker created.

July 4 – September 7, 2017

Bobby Fischer in Iceland – 45 years ago; Frederic Friedel; ChessBase

In the final week of June 1972 the chess world was in turmoil. The match between World Champion Boris Spassky and his challenger Bobby Fischer was scheduled to begin, in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, on July 1st. But there was no sign of Fischer. The opening ceremony took place without him, and the first game, scheduled for July 2nd, was postponed. Then finally, in the early hours of July 4th, Fischer arrived. Frederic Friedel narrates.

More installments:
Segment #2
Segment #3
Segment #4
Segment #5
Segment #6
Segment #7
Segment #8
Segment #9
Segment #10
Segment #11
Segment #12
Segment #13
Segment #14

September 4, 2017

Spassky, Averbakh, Karjakin headline Moscow TV studio showcase; Macauley Peterson; ChessBase

Boris Spassky, Yury Averbakh, Sergey Karjakin and four-year-old Mikhail Osipov, were the headliners at a glitzy day of chess in the Moscow TV studio Ostankino (www.ostankino.ru) on Tuesday, August 29th

September 3, 2017

The Beautifully Useless Chess Piece; Gregory Serper; Chess.com

Strong and weak squares are a cornerstone of chess strategy. The definition of a weak square is very simple: it is any square that cannot be defended by a pawn. Usually such a weak square in our opponent's camp is the ideal place to put our pieces. Therefore our opponent's weak squares are actually strong squares for our pieces! In most cases it is the knight who benefits the most from being placed on such a strong square.

August 31

August Wrap-Up by ACC President

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. Come check us out!

The club had a great turnout in our events this month. In the ACC Blitz tournament (5 double-rounds [10 games] at a G/3 +2 time control), Aditya Ponukumati (7.5/10) again battled through tough competition to secure first place ending a half point ahead of Nikolas Theiss and Bora Yagiz who tied for second (7.0). In the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), nearly 50 players competed for the Ladder Prize. This month, we had a 5-way tie for first (3/4) between X. Jian, D. Franco, C. Shoemaker, T. Vanderplas and E. Guo. In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), Isaac Chiu (3/3) held off a field of 16 players including Andy Rea in second place (2.5/3.0) and 6 players tied for third (2/3) to win the tournament. And finally, the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) was not held this month.

August 30

Chess Olympiads: Havana '66; Avatar: “Batgirl”; Chess.com

A look at the Chess Olympiad held in Havana in 1966. Amongst a slew of photographs, it includes a history of chess sponsorship in Cuba, a review of the global political context, a brief recap of outcomes as well as post-event perspectives from Larry Evans and Viktor Korchnoi, and then wraps up with a FBI report on Bobby Fischer. Its an interesting snapshot of mid-60s politics and chess.

August 30

Averbakh, Spassky, Karjakin & 4-year-old Misha; Colin McGourty; Chess24

The world’s oldest grandmaster, 95-year-old Yuri Averbakh, played 4-year-old child star Misha Osipov yesterday, while Sergey Karjakin gave a simultaneous display and 80-year-old former World Champion Boris Spassky looked on. The remarkable meeting of the chess generations took place as part of a Day of Chess in the Ostankino TV studios in Moscow, helping ensure it was covered heavily in the Russian media.

August 29

Chess without borders; Marco Baldauf; ChessBase

"Schach ohne Grenzen" ("Chess without limits" or "Chess without borders") is the confident name and motto of a young club from Kufstein/Tyrol in Austria. The club wants to promote chess in general and junior chess in particular. This summer the club organised its fifth "Chess and Adventure Camp". Almost 90 kids took part.

August 28

Play Chess, Win Wine, And 9 Other Stories You Missed; Mike Klein; Chess.com

Summer is not the time for pros to take a vacation. With tournaments in Paris, Leuven, Biel, St. Louis, Dortmund, Danzhou, Geneva, Khanty-Mansiysk, and many others, the news section has been crowded with tales of 2700s and 2800s plying their trade. That's left a lot of other chess news stories in the file cabinet, and this edition of in other newsis the largest yet. Here are 10 topics from the last month that you may have missed.

August 27

Why Was Kasparov Deep Thinking?; Gregory Serper; Chess.com

In last week's article we stated the obvious fact that the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz tournament was effectively ruined for Kasparov by his extremely poor time management. Today we'll try to figure out how such an experienced player like Kasparov could get himself in those extreme time troubles in every single game!

More Kasparov:
Chess.com

August 26

The World Cup starts in 1 week! Predictions?; Colin McGourty; Chess24

World Champion Magnus Carlsen tops the 128-player field for the most enjoyable and democratic event in the chess calendar when the World Cup starts next Sunday in Tbilisi, Georgia. The huge knockout will see almost a month of non-stop action, with the complete world elite fighting for a $120,000 top prize and two places in the 2018 Candidates Tournament. We preview the action, look at who may win and give you a chance to predict the outcome yourself.

More Pre-Cup:
Chess.com

August 24

Kasparov in St. Louis: a Closer Look; Marco Baldauf; ChessBase

In 2005 Garry Kasparov, World Champion from 1985 to 2000 and arguably the best player of all times, withdrew from tournament chess. At the Grand Chess Tour Rapid- and Blitz Tournament in Saint Louis in August 2017 he dared a comeback and played a serious tournament again. His final score of 13.0/27 indicates that he was not as dominant as he used to be - but how good did he play, how good was his opening repertoire and did he miss chances? Let's take a closer look.

July 6 - August 23, 2017

World Champions: Exercises in Style; By Johannes Fischer; ChessBase

World Champions have style. At least, this is often claimed. Kasparov loved to attack, Karpov excelled in prophylaxis, Capablanca liked positional play crowned by a "petite combinaison", Tal loved intuitive sacrifices while Botvinnik preferred clear strategic plans. But do you recognize the style of the World Champions when you see only the moves of their games? Try it out!

More installments:
Segment #2 - Solutions
Segment #3
Segment #4 - Solutions
Segment #5
Segment #6 - Solutions
Segment #7

August 20

Remembering Rudolf Spielmann; Johannes Fischer; ChessBase

The Austrian Rudolf Spielmann was a brilliant attacking player and a predecessor of Mihail Tal. His book "Richtig Opfern!" (The Art of Sacrifice in Chess) is considered to be a classic of attacking chess. Spielmann died under tragic circumstances on 20. August 1942, 75 years ago.

August 17

Reader Questions, Gripes, And Advice; Jeremy Silman; Chess.com

I used to do a lot of reader question columns but, for some reason, I haven’t done it in a long time. Why, I don’t know. However, I’m finally in the mood to discuss some of the Chess.com members' thoughts.

August 16

The Man Who Built The Chess Machine; Jimmy Soni; Chess.com

If anyone has a claim to be considered the founder of the information age, Claude Shannondoes. In his groundbreaking work at the intersections of mathematics, engineering, and computer science, Shannon (1916-2001) laid the theoretical groundwork that made modern digital computers possible.

August 15

All Sinquefield Cup interviews; Macauley Peterson; ChessBase

Ever wanted to see what the players said on the live commentary, but didn't have the time to go searching for their post-game interview (or whether they even had one)? Well, we've put together a quick reference for you! Here you'll find all player interviews from the Sinquefield Cup 2017. Every...single...one, linked for ease of use.

August 14

U.S. Open: It's Lenderman!; Staff; ChessBase

Lenderman wins the U.S. Open in Norfolk, Virginia, with 8.0/9. From considering quitting professional chess a few months ago, to qualifying for the 2018 U.S. Championship, it's been a stark turnaround for the 27-year-old grandmaster from Brooklyn. “Apparently the game of chess doesn’t want me to leave yet.”

August 13

Indian 12-year-old prodigy crosses 2500; Sagar Shah; ChessBase

On 10th of August, R. Praggnanandhaa turned 12 years old, and crossed 2500 FIDE Elo. He has an opportunity to go after Sergey Karjakin's record as the youngest grandmaster ever. In Vlissingen, in the Zeeland province of southwest Netherlands last week, he dominated a simultaneous exhibition, scoring 20-0, then played the annual HZ Tournament there, narrowly missing a GM-norm.

August 10, 2017

Frank Marshall's 140th Anniversary; Andre Schulz; ChessBase

American Frank Marshall was born 140 years ago today. Marshall was an ingenious chess gentleman who enriched opening theory with gambits and immortalised himself with many splendid combinations.

August 10, 2017

World Chess wants to hook up grandmasters to heart monitors to make matches ‘more exciting’; By Marissa Payne; Washington Post

Watching two grandmasters play chess can be a tedious affair, especially for those unfamiliar with the nuances of the game. But now organizers of the World Chess Championship, the game’s largest and most prestigious event, have come up with a plan to make it more exciting for spectators — strap biometric monitors to the players.

August 10, 2017

Awonder Liang Now World's Youngest Grandmaster; By Sam Copeland; Chess.com

FIDE has confirmed Awonder Liang's grandmaster title by written resolution. This makes the 14-year-old American the 10th youngest grandmaster of all time, and the youngest in the world today.

August 10, 2017

Emanuel Lasker's Greatest Hits; By Jeremy Silman; Chess.com

Though Lasker was one of the greatest tacticians in history, and though he was also one of the best endgame players ever, his style was all about pressure. He loved to drag himself and his opponents to the edge of a precipice since he knew that most of his opponents couldn’t handle the slippery slope Lasker created. In most cases his opponents simply wilted and, in the end, capitulated in the face of Lasker’s superior mind and iron will.

August 4, 2017

Beat Your Opponent by Retreating!; By Jeremy Silman; Chess.com

In general, amateur chess players do their best to push their pieces forward and attack. However, sometimes they think they have to retreat due to the opponent threatening something or starting to take over the game (I said “think” because in many cases threats aren’t threats at all, and retreat is often unnecessary). In fact, amateurs retreat in fear more often than you would imagine, and they react all the time, even though the reaction is counterproductive.

August 2, 2017

7 questions before the 2017 Sinquefield Cup ; By Colin McGourty; Chess24

Magnus Carlsen will have the black pieces against Fabiano Caruana as the 2017 Sinquefield Cup starts in St. Louis today, with live commentary in English and Spanish available here on chess24. The big question is, can the World Champion win his first classical chess tournament in over a year? We ask that and more as we preview an event that sees ten of the world’s top players compete for $300,000 in the third stage of the 2017 Grand Chess Tour.

August 1, 2017

Fedoseev on Dortmund and his World Cup dreams; By Colin McGourty; Chess24

22-year old Russian Grandmaster Vladimir Fedoseev has had a spectacular year, climbing 73 rating points and 68 places since January to reach 2731 and 28th place on the August FIDE rating list. He recently finished 2nd in Dortmund after beating Vladimir Kramnik in the first round and talked about his performance in an interview with Sport-Express. He revealed he has a two-year plan to break into the Top 10, but is also dreaming of qualifying for the Candidates Tournament from the World Cup in one month’s time.

August 1, 2017

July Wrap-Up; By ACC President

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. Come check us out!

The club had a great turnout in our events this month. In the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), nearly 70 players competed for the Ladder Prize. This month, Dr. E. Von York, Sr. (3.5/4) edged out M. Hiban (3/4) for the win. The ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) had nearly 55 players show with venerable L. Gilden (4/5) tying for 1st with A. Samuelson and Tan Nguyen. An U2000 prize was split by N. Jay, G. Davis and C. YU (3/5). In the U1700 section, F. Huber, S. Scala and M. Vivek tied for 1st (4/5) with S. Sapre and S. Sachion tying for the U1400 prize and K. Su and M. Harikumar tying for the U1200 prize. The ACC Blitz tounament (5 double-swiss rounds, G/3 +2) had 16 members compete with L. Gilden (7.5/10) edging out N. Theiss (7/10) for the 1st place win. And finally, the ACC Action tournament was not held due to the plethora of competing events this month.

August 1, 2017

Alex Yermolinsky wins US Senior Open; By Alex Yermolinsky; ChessBase

After years of eligibility to participate in the US Senior Open, GM Alex Yermolinsky finally caved in' and added his name to the roster when it coincided in date and location with a summer chess camp he was teaching at. This event came down very much to him and coleague GM Dmitry Gurevich, as they dueled for the title, but they were not alone. Still, it was not just a chance to compete, but also to catch up with old friends.

July 31, 2017

World juniors crush the USA in St. Louis; By Colin McGourty; Chess24

Extra segment: Segment #2

World Junior Champion Jeffery Xiong said “they managed to blow us out of the building” as his US team was crushed 30.5:17.5 in the Match of the Millennials by a world team featuring the likes of Praggnanandhaa and Abdusattorov. What had looked and begun as a balanced contest was all but decided on the third of four days, when the world racked up a 10.5:1.5 score. Vishy Anand and Wesley So were on hand to award the trophies as they returned to St. Louis for the Sinquefield Cup, which starts on Wednesday.

July 27, 2017

Kasparov opens USA vs. World match in St. Louis; By Colin McGourty; Chess24

“Now we have the future,” said Garry Kasparov as he opened the Match of the Millennials in St. Louis. The event sees US and Rest of the World teams compete in U14 and U17 age categories, with some of the world’s top juniors such as 11-year-old Praggnanandhaa and 12-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov getting their first feel for the intense scrutiny of elite events. The match is also notable in terms of chess politics, with Kasparov and St. Louis working together with FIDE under acting President Georgios Makropoulos.

July 26, 2017

The Chess Guessing Game; By Rune Vik-Hansen; Chess.com

In our previous installment, we discussed the concept of pattern recognition and this time we present a method for developing overall chess skills without having to rely on static generalizations or idealized simplicity (patterns).Playing chess requires a variety of skills and miracles both for our positional and general chess understanding: the guessing game, where we take an annotated game of a strong chess player and try to guess the moves played one-by-one.

July 26, 2017

Morozevich entertains at 50th Biel Chess Festival; By Colin McGourty; Chess24

The 50th Biel Chess Festival has brought some chess legends back into the limelight, with former champions Anatoly Karpov and Vlastimil Hort playing in the opening rapid knockout, while 65-year-old Rafael Vaganian is playing in the main 10-player round-robin. Perhaps the highlight so far, however, has been 3-time Champion Alexander Morozevich. He’s played three spectacular games, even if his sacrifice in Round 1 backfired against Hou Yifan, who currently leads with Ruslan Ponomariov and Etienne Bacrot.

July 24, 2017

“Women’s chess”: A misleading and counterproductive label; By Alisa Melekhina; ChessBase

The label has settled into chess parlance, but its usage is a disservice to the inherent meritocracy of chess that all players appreciate. FM Alisa Melekhina argues it's time to let the term “women’s chess” fade into our patriarchal past.

July 22, 2017

Awonder Liang, Akshita Gorti are U.S. Junior champs; By Alejandro Ramirez; ChessBase

The 2017 U.S. Junior Championship and Girls Junior Championship were held in Saint Louis, in the same hall as the prestigious Sinquefield Cup and U.S. Championship. After ten days of gruelling chess, we had two very different tournaments. Akshita Gorti dominated the Girls section from beginning to end, while the Juniors had an absolutely last-minute result, in which GM-elect Awonder Liang prevailed. | Photos: Austin Fuller, Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.

July 20, 2017

Precision count on Playchess; By Frederic Friedel; ChessBase

Some of you may not have noticed: in our live broadcast of international tournaments, when computer analysis is added to the games, there are "precision" statistics given at the end of the notes. They give the percentage of relevant (non-forced) moves that are identical with the ones a top chess engine would play. In top events we find correlations between 15% and 97%. You can compare the level of precision of different players, and also look for suspicious values. Here's how, and why you should care.

July 19, 2017

Help Nino Khurtsidze overcome cancer; By Sagar Shah; ChessBase

Top Georgian player Nino Khurtsidze is fighting cancer. She underwent surgery in Germany and now has to undergo five rounds of chemotherapy. The total cost is beyond what she can afford. Her friends have asked the chess community to support her efforts to overcome the situation and return to the chess board.

July 18, 2017

Alexander Morozevich turns 40; By Staff; Russian Chess Federation

Today, Alexander Morozevich celebrates his 40th birthday. Morozevich is one of the most original grandmasters in the chess scene and was in his best year, 2008, number two in the World Cup. The Russian Chess Association honors the anniversary with a portrait.

July 13, 2017

Passionate About Squares: Oddities; By Jeremy Silman; Chess.com

In this article we’ll take a look at "deep squares" (6th, 7th, and even the 8th!). So far we’ve used knights as the conqueror of squares, and most of the games will indeed highlight knights. However, this time I’ll also give examples of bishops moving into holes in the enemy camp, and even a rook.

July 11, 2017

Jerusalem Hosts the National Cup Games; By Yochanan Afek; ChessBase

National Cup games, in chess and in other sports, are usually run in a “knock out” system with half of the remaining competitors eliminated in each round. For already more than a generation, Israeli chess has been adopting a more innovative and dynamic method to run this traditional enterprise. At the end of the league season, 40 teams from the top divisions regroup for a day of real fun: A five-round rapid Swiss competition with almost all the country’s top players taking part.

July 11, 2017

25 years in Dortmund for Vladimir Kramnik; By Johannes Fischer; ChessBase

In a few days the Sparkassen Chess Meeting 2017 will begin in Dortmund. As always, it is a strong Grandmaster tournament but this year it is dedicated to Vladimir Kramnik, with good reason: Dortmund and the former World Championship have a long and special relationship.

July 7, 2017

The World Computer Championships: A History; By David Levy; Chess.com

The history of chess programs competing in tournaments is exactly 50 years old. … The World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) normally takes place every year, with no restriction on the computer hardware on which the programs may run. This event aims to find the world’s best chess software/hardware combination.

July 6, 2017

Some dramatic games you may have missed; By Colin McGourty; Chess24

The Grand Chess Tour recently took over chess coverage for two weeks (and with Garry Kasparov playing in St. Louis they’ve snatched a couple of days more!) so we’d like to take a brief look at some of the other action you may have missed. Queens were sacrificed with abandon at the Dutch Championship, a 10-year-old beat an experienced grandmaster in Corsica, 17-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik beat three GMs to score her first GM norm at the World Open, Anatoly Karpov and other legends were in action in Spain and there’s been some wild chess at the Russian Higher League.

July 6, 2017

Garry Kasparov returns to chess for US tournament; By Staff; Guardian

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov is coming out of retirement to play in a US tournament next month, organisers have said. Kasparov, who dominated chess for more than 15 years, will compete against nine top players in St Louis, Missouri. “Ready to see if I remember how to move the pieces! Will I be able to announce my re-retirement afterwards if not?!,” Kasparov tweeted sardonically.

July 5, 2017

Pattern recognition and pawn structures; By Matthew Sadler; ChessBase from NIC

In the recent issue of New in Chess magazine GM Matthew Sadler, having switched jobs and looking for a low-effort way to keep his feeling for chess alive, watched some ChessBase DVDs on positional themes. He started with Sergei Tiviakov and progressed to Adrian Mikhalchishin, whom he calls "an entertaining and lively host ... who kept me thoroughly entertained all through the many hours of content. He does however make tactical mistakes, caused by the author's unbridled enthusiasm. Still: definitely a series worth consideration.

July 4, 2017

Bobby Fischer in Iceland – 45 years ago; By Frederic Friedel; ChessBase

In the final week of June 1972 the chess world was in turmoil. The match between World Champion Boris Spassky and his challenger Bobby Fischer was scheduled to begin, in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, on July 1st. But there was no sign of Fischer. The opening ceremony took place without him, and the first game, scheduled for July 2nd, was postponed. Then finally, in the early hours of July 4th, Fischer arrived. Frederic Friedel narrates.

July 4, 2017

Controversial Finish To Canadian Championship; By Mike Klein; Chess.com

The 2017 Canadian Chess Championship was turned upside down this weekend, literally. Black advanced several passed pawns in the game's waning moments and was the first to promote. Note that he was not first to "queen" despite that being his intention. With six seconds remaining, Black played ...d1, scrambled to find a Black queen, and with none in sight, grabbed a captured rook. He announced "queen" and turned it upside down on d1 before pressing his clock with four seconds remaining. That's when the on-looking Chief Arbiter intervened by waving his hands and stopping the clock.

July 2, 2017

When Chess Legends Play Against Their Own Openings; By Gregory Serper; Chess.com

There are many openings in chess that were named after chess players who invented or make them popular. But what happens when such a chess player is forced to play against his own opening? When we study such games we can expect some opening revelations because who knows how to refute an opening better than the inventor himself?

July 1, 2017

June Wrap-Up; By ACC President

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. Come check us out!

The club had a great turnout in our events this month. In the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), over 60 players competed for the Ladder Prize. This month, Roberto Aguirre (4.5/5) was a full point ahead of Jason Northcutt (3.5) for the win. In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), Sam Mikhelson (3/3) held off a field of 16 players, including a 5-way tie for second, to secure the prize. The ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) had over 40 players show with venerable Larry Gilden (4/5) holding off the young Nguyen brothers, Trung and Tan (3.5) in the premier section. In the U1700 section, Pranav Chinthakuntla (4.5/5) also swept through the opposition for the first place prize followed by a 3-way tie for second by Max Yan, Jonah Treitler and Charles Willis (all 3.5). Andrew Welbaum earned the U1400 Class Prize and young newcomer Amber Tien won the U1200 prize. And finally, in the ACC Blitz tournament (5 double-rounds [10 games] at a G/3 +2 time control), Aditya Ponukumati (7.5/10) battled through tough competition to secure first place ahead of a 4-way tie for second (6.5).

June 29, 2017

I’m Still Passionate About Squares; By Jeremy Silman; Chess.com

In my first “Passionate About Squares” article I demonstrated how important it is to create weak squares in the enemy camp (often referred to as “holes”). In many cases putting one’s pieces (knights in particular) on these holes give you a serious positional plus. However, the piece living in the weak square is sometimes so powerful (think of Zeus throwing lightning bolts) that it convinces the whole army to start an attack against the enemy king.

June 25, 2017

Kramnik on Carlsen’s slump & the Candidates Race; By Colin McGourty; Chess24

Vladimir Kramnik turned 42 today, and the former World Champion did so as the no. 2 rated player on the live rating list after beating World Champion Magnus Carlsen in Altibox Norway Chess. In an interview afterwards he talked about the slump in form of both Magnus and his recent challenger Sergey Karjakin and also discussed his own hopes of qualifying for another World Championship match.

June 22, 2017

I’m Passionate About Squares; By Jeremy Silman; Chess.com

Many chess players have a limited understanding of the game. They think it’s all about mating the enemy king. They think it’s all about tactics and attack. They think it’s about creating threats. Of course, all these things are indeed part of chess, but there is so much more. And it’s these “other” things that turn a random “threat and tactics” player into a person who stands above the masses.

June 20, 2017

Kasparov on hand for Paris Grand Chess Tour launch; By Colin McGourty; Chess24

Garry Kasparov was again on hand as the 2017 Grand Chess Tour was launched in Paris on Tuesday. Magnus Carlsen tops the 10-player field for the Paris stage of the series, where he’ll face tough competition from tour regulars Nakamura, So, MVL, Karjakin and Caruana as well as wildcards Grischuk, Mamedyarov, Topalov and Bacrot. Three days of rapid chess begin on Wednesday to be followed by blitz over the weekend, with $150,000 and tour points at stake.

June 20, 2017

Chess moves help Iraqi refugees; By Robert Cole; ChessBase

For over a year the city of Mosul, a major city in northern Iraq, has been under siege by the Iraqi army, which is trying to dislodge the militant forces of ISIS. The civil population is suffering unimaginable horrors, with 100,000 currently trapped in the final assault of the Old City. To help refugees overcome trauma and grief the British NGO AMAR arranged a three-day chess encounter with two Azerbaijani grandmasters in Dohuk, less than 75 kilometres from Mosul.

June 20, 2017

Interview: 12-yr old Nihal Sarin; John-Paul Wallace; ChessBase from Chess Magazine

"I had the pleasure of first meeting Nihal in Stockholm at the end of last year," writes John-Paul Wallace. "He looked even younger than his tender age of 12, but it was immediately clear that he was a powerful chess player. A few days after this event I conducted a Skype interview with Nihal. As I think you will see, he is a very humble young man and undoubtedly he has a fantastic future ahead of him. I wish him all the best!" Interview in the June issue of CHESS Magazine.

June 17, 2017

Bringing a smile on the faces of children with disabilities; By Polina Torochkova; ChessBase

When the second leg of the FIDE Grand Prix 2017 was in progress in Moscow, a group of children with disabilities visited the playing venue at the Central Telegraph building on 19th of May. They saw all the top players in action and then got a chance to play the FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and GM Alexander Motylev in a simultaneous exhibition."

June 16, 2017

Jon Speelman's Agony Column #54; By Jonathan Speelman; ChessBase

This week's games come from Jim Guill who is 61 and retired in 2015. A USCF A grade player (i.e. between 1800 and 1999) he lives in Virginia and plays for the team Morphy's Mojo, which is entered in both the D.C. Chess League and the Northern Virginia (NVA) Chess League. He hangs out in local, Northern Va coffee shops, "where I sip tea, study chess and observe alien culture (i.e., the non-chess playing world) as it comes and goes and passes by."

June 1, 2017

Bisguier's Greatest Hits; By Jeremy Silman; Chess.com

More Hits
More Pics
US Chess

Quite a few obituaries have appeared, so I’m not going to do a study on Bisguier’s life. And, for personal details, I feel that his close friends are better suited for that task. What I will do is immerse you in some of his most interesting games. After all, his fame is all about his very creative chess, so let’s enjoy Bisguier the chess player.

June 1, 2017

May Wrap-Up; By ACC President

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. Come check us out!

The club had another good turnout this month for the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), as nearly 50 players competed for the Ladder Prize. This month, young newcomer Sungjoon Kim (3/4) beat out 7 other club members (2/4) for the win. In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), Bora Yagiz ran the tables to win 1st place (2.5/3) in a field of 10 players. The ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) had good player turnout and in the Premier Section Ronnie Coleman and Aditya Ponnukumati tied for first place (4/5) followed a half point behind by Cosmo Zheng in 3rd place (3.5/5). In the U1700 section, Zahir Muhammed tied for 1st with Daniel Ricciotti (4/5) followed closely by Satvik Lolla in sole 3rd (3.5/5). Young Dominic Earle won the U1400 Class Prize for the second month in a row and newcomer Shaka Green won the U1200 prize. And finally, in a busy month, there was no room to run the ACC Blitz tournament (5 double-rounds [10 games] at a G/3 +2 time control) - it will return on June 16!

May 31, 2017

Fedoseev on crossing the 2700 barrier; By Staff; Chess24

22-year-old Russian Grandmaster Vladimir Fedoseev has had a great year – he won the Aeroflot Open and qualified to face Kramnik, MVL and co. in Dortmund, came very close to winning both the Winter Chess Classic in St. Louis and the GRENKE Open and then starred for his team in the Russian Team Championship, where he crossed the 2700 barrier for the first time. IM Dorsa Derakhshani talked to the young star before his appearance in the European Championship.

May 30, 2017

Memory Techniques: An Introduction; By David Fadul; ChessBase

Have you ever read about some genius who seemingly had a memory reserved for movies or fiction? Have you ever wished you had some of that, even if you have a good memory now, or can barely remember the number of your mobile phone? The fact is that these seemingly impossible feats are well within the grasp of anyone, if they learn some basic techniques of memorization. Here is an introduction.

May 29, 2017

Chess Informant: Jubilee of Chess Studies; By Yochanan Afek; ChessBase

Older readers will remember it well: for decades the Chess Informant – Šahovski Informator – was a lifeline for serious chess players. Two, later three issues per year provided a selection of games and top-grade analysis. Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Vladimir Kramnik, and Viswanathan Anand have all said that the Informant was central to their tournament preparation. Now, after 50 years of publication, we are treated to a Jubilee Tournament of chess studies, which we bring you with the kind permission of Tourney Director Yochanan Afek.

May 27, 2017

Kupreichik: a chess eulogy; By Alex Yermolinksy; ChessBase

The unforgettable Viktor Kupreichik passed away a few days ago at the age of 68, and with him one of the greatest creative minds in chess passed away as well. Alex Yermolinsky readily admits he was one of his fans from an early age, and later had the chance to face him over the board. Instead of trying to neutralize Kupreichik's wild play, he invited it, leading to a game he explains "is so insane I can't even annotate it properly." Have fun!

May 24, 2017

How do chess engines think?; By Pepe Cuenca; Chess24

It’s rare to find a chess player unaccompanied by a chess-engine equipped computer during tournaments or training sessions at home. Gone are the days when in order to analyse a complicated position various grandmasters needed to spend hours and even days to try and get to the bottom of things – often without success. Nowadays it’s a matter of seconds for the “machine” to tell us the best move in any position more reliably than the World Champion Magnus Carlsen himself could manage. In this article we’re going to try and understand how engines function and the way in which they think. That means talking about some mathematical concepts, principally algorithms.

May 24, 2017

Paul Morphy: how good was he really?; By Johannes Fischer; ChessBase

Did you ever wonder who was or is the best player of all time? Who would win if all 16 World Champions, Philidor, Labourdonnais, Anderssen and Morphy could play against each other in a tournament? How would Steinitz, Lasker or Capablanca cope against the best players from today? Such questions have no answer, of course, but are hotly debated.

May 24, 2017

Botvinnik and the Pirc/Modern; By Alex Yermolinksy; ChessBase

Continuing his look at how champions began to include new openings later in their careers, the tireless student of the game, GM Alex Yermolinsky, looks at Mikhail Botvinnik, 'The Patriarch', and his employment of the Pirc-Modern defense. He also shares his first encounter with the great player as a junior, speculates on what a Botvinnik-Fischer match would have looked like, and even mentions his secret match with Gata Kamsky when he was 14. Enjoy this great article!

May 22, 2017

Paul Keres VII: Last chance in Curaçao; By Staff; Chess24

When Paul Keres was asked where he came closest to reaching a World Championship match against Mikhail Botvinnik, he responded “Curaçao”, referring to the 8-player, 28-round Candidates Tournament played on the Caribbean island in 1962. 46-year-old Keres went in to the penultimate round tied for first, but would once again finish second in a tournament infamous for Bobby Fischer’s accusations of collusion among the Soviet players. Joosep Grents continues his series on the life of the great Estonian player.

May 10, 2017

Garry Kasparov on A.I., Chess, and the Future of Creativity; By Tyler Cowen; Mercatus Center Podcast

The chess grandmaster, political activist, and author joins Tyler for a conversation on artificial intelligence, Russia, Putin, how education must change, favorite cities for chess, the most likely challenger to Magnus Carlsen, Tolstoy v. Dostoevsky, the benefits of pressure for performance, and why we should speed up our search for new frontiers and challenges.

May 9, 2017

Using your home chess engine anytime, anywhere; By Albert Silver; ChessBase

Recently, a grandmaster was explaining that one of the biggest problems when travelling was that analyzing on his laptop would eat up his battery in an hour or two at most. When asked why he didn’t just connect to his desktop, he said he was not a ‘computer whiz’ like some. Do you sympathize with him? If so, learn how incredibly easy it is to set this up with Fritz or ChessBase so you can access your personal desktop anytime, anywhere.

May 8, 2017

Returning to Reyjavik; by Alina L'Ami; ChessBase

There is clearly something that works in the formula of the Reykjavik Open, which continues to attract a wide range of players every year, from the world's elite such as Giri, Andreikin, and Jobava this year, to rank amateurs who pack the venue. Looking back at the tournament and locale is Alina L'Ami in her report with games, quiz positions and of course high-res photos!

May 7, 2017

Trump protesters clash with chess players; By Albert Silver; ChessBase

Readers may recall the astonishing accusations leveraged against Mihaela Sandu during the 2015 European Championship, after her great start, in which 15 players filed a letter of petition accusing Sandu of cheating, and requesting her games alone not be broadcast. Needless to say, computer analysis in no way backed their claims, and Sandu filed an official complaint against her accusers. The FIDE Ethics Commission has published its results.

May 5, 2017

Trump protesters clash with chess players; by Vanessa Sun; ChessBase

To be fair, the clash was not meant to be a direct confrontation, but chess players at Union Square were caught in the middle of a clash between protesters, and found their games interrupted with tables tossed and chess pieces sent flying, in spite of trying to stay apart from the angry banner bearers. Still, the community showed its spirit as a couple of Good Samaritans came to the rescue, and replaced the missing or destroyed material.

May 5, 2017

Forbes: Making A Living In Chess; by Albert Silver; ChessBase

It is not unusual to see chess appear in the mainstream press, but the topics are usually on either a scandal, a player profile, or a singular event such as the World Championship. Forbes published an interesting article regarding the state of professionalism in chess, making a living, and how the internet has opened doors not just for fans but working pros. Here are excerpts and a a video report.

May 5, 2017

Ivanchuk: “I’d like to play Bobby Fischer”; by Colin McGourty; Chess24

Vassily Ivanchuk won the World Rapid Championship at the turn of the year, recently beat Hou Yifan in a match and will play in the Capablanca Memorial later this month. In an interview with the Ukrainian Sport-Express he talked about his victory in Doha, how he now combines chess tournaments with checkers, his problems with losing on time and which of the World Champions he would most like to meet.

May 4, 2017

Sigeman returns after 3 year hiatus; by Staff; Chess24

Even long-established tournaments sometimes vanish, and that's what appeared to have happened to the Sigeman Chess Tournament in Sweden, which last took place in 2014 after more than 20 years as a fixture on the chess calendar. But now the event is being revived along with a new corporate partner TePe. Now dubbed the TePe Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament, the format remains a short sprint — a 6-player single round robin played at the Hipp Theater in Malmo, from May 10th-14th. The lineup is an interesting generational and stylistic mix with Pavel Eljanov, Nigel Short, Baadur Jobava, Nils Grandelius, Erik Blomqvist and Harika Dronavalli

May 4, 2017

Scandle Over Dress Code in Malaysia; By Peter Long; ChessBase

By now everyone, even those who are not primarily interested in chess, knows the story: at the National Scholastic Chess Championship 2017 in Putrajaya, Malaysia, a 12-year-old girl was warned by the chief arbiter because of the "improper dress" she was wearing, which was deemed to be seductive and "a temptation from a certain angle". The girl, fairly traumatized, withdrew from the tournament and all hell broke out in the press, with many thousands of reports appearing in the international news portals. Peter Long has harsh words for the Malayian Chess Federation.

May 3, 2017

Learning from an epic endgame defense; by Albert Silver; ChessBase

When faced with a very bad or lost endgame, it is sometimes hard to muster the strength, much less the resources, to truly revert the situation. Yet that is what Hikaru Nakamura did, and against no less an expert than Vladimir Kramnik himself. Somehow the American found ways to keep it alive and justify playing on. Some of the resources he found smacked of black magic even. Here is a look at this epic endgame with detailed analysis by endgame expert GM Karsten Mueller.

May 1, 2017

The hour of the holy men; By Siegfried Hornecker; ChessBase

GM Jan Timman, in his work as a chess composer, is a fan of checkmates with the bishop. He may be pleased to see that we will be presenting studies where a bishop is the hero of the day – partly as a gift to Jan, whose 65th birthday composing tourney has as its theme "mate by the bishop or struggle against mate by the bishop". Todays three studies are by Soviet composers, one of whom perished tragically under Stalin. Fortunately (for the chess world) he handed his notebook to Mikhail Botvinnik before he disappeared.

April 30, 2017

April Wrap-Up; By ACC President

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. Come check us out!

Again this month, the club had another large turnout for the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), as over 50 players competed for the Ladder Prize - even in a short 3-week month. This month, young Tony Lin tied with Jason Northcutt and new club member Sungjoon Kim (2/3). In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), Isaac Chiu and Abraham White tied for 1st (3/3) in a field of 12 players. The ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) had a solid 50 player turnout and in the Premier Section we saw the return of Trung Nguyen who tied with Alexander Moises for first place (4/5) followed a half point behind by a 3-way tie for 3rd place (3.5/5). In the U1700 section, Parth Jaiswal swept the boards and won first place (5/5) followed by Akshay Kobla in sole 2nd (4/5) and a 5-way tie for 3rd place (3.5/5). Newcomer Dominic Earle won the U1400 Class Prize and Jason Robinson won the U1200 prize. And finally, in the ACC Blitz tournament (5 double-rounds [10 games] at a G/3 +2 time control), Franco Jose held off the opposition to win (7.5/10) followed closely by Saigautum Bonam and Stan Fink tied for 2nd (7/10).

April 29, 2017

Baden-Baden claim 11th Bundesliga in 12 years; by Colin McGourty; Chess24

Baden-Baden have won the 2016-7 German Chess League with two rounds to spare, after the team that boasts Caruana, MVL, Aronian and Anand among its ranks won its 13th match in 13 this season. Sunday’s showdown with 2016 winners Solingen will now be a formality as far as the title is concerned, though we can expect to see top players in action and Baden-Baden will still be chasing a perfect 100% score. The women’s Bundesliga is going down to the wire, though Schwäbisch Hall are big favourites after a narrow win in Round 13.

April 27, 2017

Ranking chess players according to the quality of their moves; by Frederic Friedel; ChessBase

How do you rate players from different periods? An AI researcher has undertaken to do it based not on the results of the games, but on the quality of the moves played. Jean-Marc Alliot used a strong chess engine running on a 640 processor cluster to analyse over two million positions that occurred in 26,000 games of World Champions since Steinitz. From this he produced a table of probable results between players of different eras. Example: Carlsen would have beaten Smyslov 57:43.

April 25, 2017

Why Postal Chess Was Banned During Wartime ; by Daniel Oberhaus; Motherboard

The United States banned postal chess during WWII because it feared the game was being used to send secret messages. But how would this actually work?

April 25, 2017

The Link Between Chess and Options Trading; video; Bloomberg

Hikaru Nakamura, one of the top chess players in the world (number 7 right now), joined Bloomberg's Joe Weisenthal on "What'd You Miss?" to talk about using some of the same tactics in chess to trade options.

April 24, 2017

On human and computer intelligence in chess; by Frederic Friedel; ChessBase

In March there was an international furore over a chess position, published by famous mathematics professor Sir Roger Penrose. It purported to show a key difference between human and computer thinking, and have general implications for our understanding of Artificial Intelligence. The example was unconvincing, but as a reaction a number of chess players and AI researchers have sent us papers we want to share with you. We start with a challenge to humans and machines issued by GM Miguel Illescas.

April 23, 2017

Kasparov Chess Foundation promotes chess education in Asia; by Peter Long; ChessBase

In conjunction with the Kasparov Chess Foundation's 15th Anniversary Celebration, the Kasparov Chess Foundation Asia-Pacific proposed five activities as its contribution and four of them came together with a tour of four countries in Asia with the common theme of Chess in Education.

April 19, 2017

Morozevich: “There are players more talented than Carlsen”; by Colin McGourty; Chess24

Alexander Morozevich has somewhat dropped off the chess radar recently, but at his peak he was not only one of the most exciting and imaginative players in the world but reached no. 2 on the official FIDE rating list and no. 1 on the live list. He recently gave a lecture at his old university in Moscow, and also gave an interview where he talked about what makes Carlsen no. 1, gender differences in chess and how chess has changed for young players compared to when he was starting out.

April 16, 2017

Nihal Sarin announces his arrival; by Srinath Narayanan; ChessBase

Nihal Sarin has announced his arrival and how! It is true that he had already started making a name for himself as a dangerous 12-year-old boy who could crush you if you give him one small opportunity. But the TV2 Fagernes GM International saw the 12-year-old genius score his first GM norm, stay undefeated, smash a 2600 GM on the way, tie for second (take fourth place on the tiebreak), and play breathtaking chess. We have a report with grandmaster analysis of Nihal's games.

April 13, 2017

American Chess Magazine; Albert Silver; ChessBase

The second edition of the American Chess Magazine is out, and for those wondering whether this new foray into the challenging print chess magazine market could continue the promise of its first edition, the answer is a resounding yes. The main focus this time is of course the World Championship, but you will also find many fascinating articles, such as the tournament report on Nakamura's win in Gibraltar by... Hou Yifan!

April 11, 2017

US chess legend Arthur Bisguier passes at 87; by Frederic Friedel; ChessBase

He was recognized as the “Dean of American Chess” – in honor of his promotion of and many contributions to the game. During the 2017 US Championship, a title he had himself won 63 years earlier, this giant of chess, considered one of America's "most dangerous players", died of respiratory failure. He worked for decades for the United States Chess Federation and for its magazine Chess Life. There we find a touching eulogy.

April 11, 2017

Ilyumzhinov Loses Even More Power; Peter Doggers; Chess.com

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov is still the FIDE president, but all major powers are in the hands of deputy president Georgios Makropoulos. Yesterday's extraordinary presidential board meeting in Athens, described as "peaceful" by attendants, further confirmed Ilyumzhinov's weakened position. Chess.com interviewed the key players in Athens after the meeting concluded.

April 10, 2017

Stalemate in the FIDE power struggle?; By Frederic Friedel; Chessbase

After the turmoil of the past weeks – the official FIDE web site announced the resignation of its President, ollowed within hours by emphatic denials from Kirsan Ilyumzhinov – an Extraordinary Presidential Board meeting was held in Athens today. It was attended by Ilyumzhinov, Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos, and fourteen other voting members, representing a quorum. Ilyumzhinov apologized for making certain statements, and seems to remain in power. FIDE press release.

April 10, 2017

Foisor triumphs as 2017 US Champ; By Colin McGourty; Chess24
Also see: Chess.com

Sabina-Francesca Foisor described herself as “sad and excited at the same time” after winning a brilliant attacking game that made her the US Women’s Champion in the same year her mother passed away. Nazi Paikidze lost with White to 15-year-old Jennifer Yu, who has taken giant killing to a whole new level.

April 10, 2017

Wesley So is the 2017 US Champion; By Colin McGourty; Chess24
Also see: The Guardian
Official Website
TWIC
Chess.com
The Guardian

World no. 2 Wesley So got the one he wanted on Monday in St. Louis as he won the US Championship on his third attempt. Alexander Onischuk put up a heroic fight in the rapid playoffs but lost his way in complications in the first game and then needed to win the second to force Armageddon. He came incredibly close, but ultimately couldn’t stop Wesley snatching the $50,000 first prize.

April 7, 2017

Alexander Grischuk: Chess is “just a game”; By Colin McGourty; Chess24

Alexander Grischuk hasn’t been playing much of late – and is skipping the main events in the coming month – but he’s been making it count. He won $54,000 in the Doha World Rapid and Blitz Championships and took first place in the first FIDE Grand Prix in Sharjah. In a recent interview he talked about how chess isn’t “sacred” for him, how he’s turned his back on poker and why he doesn’t take an annual salary from the Russian Chess Federation.

April 7, 2017

Bobby Fischer on the Dick Cavett Show; By Johannes Fischer; Chessbase

Bobby Fischer's reclusiveness was legendary. But in 1971, before his Candidates Match against Tigran Petrosian, he was a guest of talkshow legend Dick Cavett. In 2008 a video of this show appeared on YouTube and by now it has more than a million views. Less known is the fact that Fischer appeared a second time on the Dick Cavett Show, this time before his match against Spassky. A video of this show was just published on YouTube.

April 6, 2017

Iconic Greenwich Village Chess Shop Perseveres; By Neil Giardino; NBC News 4 New York

The Chess Forum is steeped in history. The shop's yellowing walls are cluttered with framed photos of grand masters and the owner proudly displays vintage sets, including a civil war chess set with pieces representing the Union and Confederate armies. "This belongs in the Museum of Natural History," Imad Khachan, 52, said of his Greenwich Village business. "This is a dinosaur. But the appeal of it is that it's a dinosaur."

April 5, 2017

Ilyumzhinov announces $30 million 'Kirsan Fund' for chess; By Frederic Friedel; Chessbase

You know about the power struggle for control of the International Chess Federation FIDE, on which we have reported extensively. On the eve of his 55th birthday the embattled President made an clear attacking move: Kirsan Ilyumzhinov announced that he has registered a charitable foundation, the "Kirsan Fund", in the United States, and plans to invest 30 million dollars in its activities: Chess in Schools, Chess in villages, Chess in families and Chess for people with disabilities. "We set an ambitious task to bring the number of chess players to one billion."

April 1, 2017

Pal Benko: April Swindles – unusual chess problems; By GM Pal Benko; Chessbase

Eighty-eight – that is what the first two problems in the April 1st collection symbolize. That is the age of the composer, the indefatigable Pal Benko, who sent us five very unusual positions for this auspicious day. Do not expect to fire up the positions on your computer and press Ctrl-Alt-Del for engine assistance. Today you will have to think – you know, mobilize all that grey matter. And a fair bit of humour. We wish you fun and unusual enjoyment.

March 31, 2017

MArch Wrap-Up; By ACC President

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. Come check us out!

Again this month, the club had another large turnout for the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), as over 60 players competed for the Ladder Prize. This month, Xing Jian and Ghezai Menelik fought in the last round with Xing winning to pull him even with Ghezai for the month (4/5). In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), Mike Fellman fended off the opposition to win the tournament outright (3/3), followed by Dan Killian in second (2.5/3) who took down much higher rated opponents (and gaining over 100 ratings points!). The ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) had a solid 43 player turnout and in the Premier Section saw Isaac Chiu win sole first place (4.5/5) followed by Justin Paul in 2nd place (4/5) and Muskee Books in 3rd (3.5/5). In the U1700 section, Akshay Kobla won first place (4.5/5) followed by Briab Milian and Jonah Treitler tied for 2nd-3rd (4/5). Max Yan won the U1400 Class Prize and Brian Tay won the U1200 prize. And finally, due to such a busy regional tournament activity this month, no ACC Blitz tournament (5 double-rounds [10 games] at a G/3 +2 time control) was held this month.

March 29, 2017

The power struggle continues: letter from Makropoulos; By Frederic Friedel; Chessbase

Georgios Makropoulos, seven time Greek Champion, is the Deputy President of FIDE, and has been in that role for twenty years now. In December 2015, after the US Treasury had placed FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov on the sanction list, forbidding US citizens from conducting business with him, FIDE decided transfer the powers of legal, financial and business operations to Makropoulos. In the latest FIDE power struggle "Makro", as he is known to friends, has described his view of the events.

March 28, 2017

Power struggle at the top of the chess world; By Frederic Friedel; Chessbase
Also see: The Guardian

We reported yesterday: the official International Chess Federation web site announced the resignation of its President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, followed within hours by emphatic denials from Ilyumzhinov. Today there are new letters on the FIDE page, describing the circumstances of his alleged resignation: "During the Presidental Board Meeting in Athens, you several time threatened to resign, and at the end of the meeting three times you repeated 'I resign' before leaving the room." In a press conference of the Russian Chess Federation Ilyumzhinov explained his position.

March 27, 2017

Ilyumzhinov Resigns, Or Does He?; By Colin McGourty; Chess24

The FIDE website today claimed that its President, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, announced his resignation yesterday at the end of the quarterly Presidential Board meeting in Athens. No sooner had that notice appeared, though, when both Ilyumzhinov and Russian Chess Federation President and FIDE VP Andrey Filatov took to Russian media to dismiss that version of events, describing what took place as “a set-up”. Kirsan says he signed nothing and will continue in his role. UPDATE: FIDE respond to say Ilyumzhinov ended a meeting by 3 times saying "I resign", while Ilyumzhinov insists he'll remain in power at least until the 2018 FIDE General Assembly in Batumi.

March 27, 2017

Did Ilyumzhinov resign? Apparently not!; By Frederic Friedel; Chessbase

It is on the official FIDE web site: at the end of the Board meeting on the 26th March 2017, "Kirsan Ilyumzhinov announced his resignation from the position of FIDE President. The Presidential Board has been formally advised of this announcement..." But within hours there was a denial from Ilyumzhinov: "They wanted to oust me, but they could not pull it off," he said in an interview with TASS. A failed putsch by the FIDE officials in Athens?

March 27, 2017

Capablanca and the Nimzo-Indian; By Alexander Yermolinsky; Chessbase

The following article is an example of how a lifelong student of the game amuses himself. GM Yermolinsky noticed that right after losing his title to Alekhine in 1927, Capablanca began to play the Nimzo-Indian, something he had never done before. A remarkable change after the 31 Queen’s Gambit Declined games out of 34 from the match. Enjoy this fascinating analysis.

March 22, 2017

Iron Tigran: Clash of the Cavalries!; By Srinath Narayanan; Chessbase

"There have been many instances in history when an inspired cavalry charge disrupts the momentum of a battle," writes International Master Srinath Narayanan who thinks Tigran Petrosian is one of the greatest players of chess, ever. He dissects the play of the former world champion in the first of his planned series of articles on chess history. He tees off with an ode to the Iron Tigran. Enjoy.

March 21, 2017

Daniel King analyzes Bobby Fischer (part 1); By Albert Silver; Chessbase

If there is one player in chess, whose mystique and fascination know no bounds, it is the legendary Bobby Fischer. Ask GM Daniel King, chess author and video maker extraordinaire, who asked the patrons of his channel what they most wanted to see him look at. The result is a series analyzing games by the former World Champion, Bobby Fischer and starts with a positional masterpiece he played when he was 16.

March 21, 2017

Computer chess history – knowledge vs brute force; By Frederic Friedel; Chessbase

There has been considerable discussion surrounding the Penrose puzzle we recently presented, where computers "falsely evaluate" a drawn position as a win. We explained in our article that while they display a massive advantage the opponent, computers will play flawlessly to a draw for the defending side. That reminded us of a similar situation in the very early days of computer chess. In 1978 the most powerful computer in the world thought it was completely lost against a strong IM, but easily held the theoretical draw using nothing but brute force.

March 19, 2017

Maurice Ashley on One on 1; By Albert Silver; Chessbase

'It's hard to name something that Maurice Ashley hasn't done in the world of chess. He's played, coached, taught, created tournaments, done play-by-play for tournaments and traveled the world, preaching the gospel of his beloved game.' Thus opens the article and video profile on Maurice Ashley by Budd Mishkin on One on 1.

March 18, 2017

Which GM Said:"I was starving in the jungle"; By Alexey Root; Chessbase

Though a grandmaster of chess, Sam Shankland is a novice at surviving in the jungle. As such, he was one of ten novice contestants paired with survival experts. Shankland’s team was the third team eliminated. Although out of contention for the $500,000 prize for the winning team, Shankland says the experience was valuable and that he gained lifelong friends. Enjoy this report with comments and impressions by Sam Shankland.

March 17, 2017

An Evening at the UN with Judit Polgár.; By Staff; Chess24

As part of the ‘Planet 50/50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality’ initiative, chess grandmaster and Planet 50/50 Champion Judit Polgár spoke on the theme of ‘fighting stereotypes’ at a special event held on the evening of March 15 at the United Nations (UN) in New York. The event was a chance for engaged dialogue, a question and answer session, and a fast-paced simultaneous game with two teams of talented young chess players. The evening, though celebratory, also highlighted the amount of work needed to address gender equality in chess.

March 16, 2017

Petrosian on talent, character and near misses; By Colin McGourty; Chess24

Arshak Petrosian has had a highly successful coaching career, leading the tiny Armenian nation to an astonishing hat-trick of Olympiad victories. He was also a promising player in his own right, but in a recent interview he reflects on why he failed to reach the very top level. He also talks about what’s held Levon Aronian back from playing a World Championship match, and why his son-in-law and long-term protégé Peter Leko fell just short of becoming the 15th World Champion when he faced Vladimir Kramnik in 2004.

March 13, 15, 2017

Women World Championship: Looking back; By Elshan Moradiabadi; ChessBase

After a thrilling Women World Championship that provided entertaining chess rife with drama and excitement, a new World Champion was crowned. Elshan Moradiabadi looks back at some of the highlights of the competition, providing his usual insightful summaries and annotations as well as a focus on the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and lastly the standout qualities in Tan Zhongyi, the new world champion. GM Elshan Moradiabadi provides his analysis of the turning points of missed or hit shots that ultimately decided the title.

March 13, 2017

Oxford defeats Cambridge in 135th Varsity Match; By Macauley Peterson; Chess24

In a centuries-old rivalry, Oxford and Cambridge Universities squared off over the weekend for an 8-board match at the Royal Automobile Club in central London. Oxford won this round 4½-3½, narrowing Cambridge's overall lead to five match wins. The two teams have been competing in a variety of sports, notably rowing, since the 19th century. The first chess match was in 1873 and this is now the 135th — the encounter was suspended during the World Wars. Described as "one of the great traditions of British Chess", the match was attended by various alumni guests including grandmasters. Luke McShane and Jon Speelman — both graduates of Oxford — provided a brief commentary on the games in progress for the chess24 broadcast.

March 10, 2017

Learning from Kramnik; By Alexey Root; ChessBase

Dr. Chandramallika Basak is one of the leading researchers in the area of working memory and cognitive control, training strategies, cognitive and brain plasticity, aging, and biomarkers of complex skill learning (e.g., video games). She has now begun research on children and chess. Alexey Root attended Dr. Basak’s lecture “Cognitive Benefits of Learning to Play Chess and Other Strategy Games” and reports here.

March 9, 2017

Chess and comics at the World Chess Hall of Fame; By Macauley Peterson; Chess24

Did you know that Superman plays chess? Well he does. Not only that, he appeared as a chess piece 70 years ago. You know who also plays chess? Batman. He was spotted, even earlier, playing the joker as Robin looked on in 1944. In fact the entire Justice League of America enjoys planning sessions around a chessboard. Who knew? Apparently the history of chess in comics is so rich you can fill a museum exhibition and that's precisely what the World Chess Hall of Fame in Saint Louis, USA, have now done.

March 9, 2017

Interview with "celebrity oldie" Nigel Short; By Junior Tay; ChessBase

He is the oldest player in the world's top 100, and last December he won the British Knockout Championship, to the surprise of some. In the quaterfinals he was dragged into a tie-break by the lowest-rated player in the event, but he then went on to beat Luke McShane and David Howell to take the title. "I am very happy with my status as celebrity oldie – I suppose now that Viktor has gone, someone had to step up," says Nigel in this interview with Junior Tay.

March 8, 2017

International Women's Day; By David Martínez; Chess24

Today, March 8th, is International Women's Day and at chess24 we want to contribute to awareness of the occasion in the chess world, a world in which the sport continues to be overwhelming represented by men. Chess24 gave the floor to a few players from different parts of the world to express their opinion.

Mar. 7, 2017

Iran ban on chess players revisited; By Arash Akbarinia, ChessBase

Iran, the country that has just finished hosting the 2017 Women's World Championship, has been in the mainstream news of late for different reasons. In a remarkable incident during sidelines of the Championship the Iran Chess Federation banned two siblings for "hurting Iran's national interests" (e.g. not wearing a hijab in the Gibraltar Open). This has caused an international outcry, and now an Iranian player and computer scientist, Arash Akbarinia, weighs in.

Mar. 6, 2017

Chess and Physics in the classroom; By Ioannis Halkias, ChessBase

While comparisons between chess and mathematics and chess and science are not new, with greats such as Feynman elaborating, the article here is more than yet another comparison, it is an actual lesson that will appear in high school physics classes in Crete. Enjoy this excellent article by physicist Ioannis Halkias.

Mar. 4, 2017

Chess podcasts, then and now; By Macauley Peterson, Chess24

When you think "chess", you probably don't think "on the radio". A handful of chess fans and professionals are looking to change that via the medium's modern offshoot: downloadable on-demand audio — commonly known as podcasts (a mashup of Apple's "iPod" and "broadcast"). Let's take a brief look at this relatively dormant domain of chess media, which recently got a new lease on life.

Mar. 3, 2017

Tan Zhongyi is the new Women's World Chess Champion; By IM David Martínez, Chess24

Tan Zhongyi became the new Women's World Champion after defeating Anna Muzychuk in tiebreaks. The 25-year-old has kept the title in China, after showing good technique and an astounding competitive spirit. Tan Zhongyi played no less than 34 games, and overcame a number of highly tense encounters.

Mar. 3, 2017

AMD releases new Ryzen processor; By Albert Silver, ChessBase

One of the most important days in years for computer consumers was the launch yesterday of AMD’s newest microprocessor, the R7 Ryzen. For a decade, AMD had been out of the race in high-end desktop CPUs, but the release of the new architecture has shown it is not only back, but at a far more affordable price, and what is more: the best deal around for chess analysis.

March 1, 2017

February Wrap-Up; By ACC President

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. Come check us out!

Febuary saw another excellant turnout in our renewed ACC Blitz tournament (5 double-rounds [10 games] at a G/3 +2 time control), as 16 players fought for glory and a prize! When the dust settled, Nick Theiss and Isaac Chiu finished in first place (8/10) ahead of William Mercellino in sole second (7/10), a full point ahead of four other competitors. While the club hopes to sponsor blitz tournaments most months this year, we expect there will be months when we cannot hold a blitz tournament due to competition for dates with other tournaments. The club saw the usual fist-to-cuffs on the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), as over 50 players fought for the Ladder Prize. This month, Tom Hoopengardner and Demetrio Aragon held off the competition (3.5/4) to secure the prize. In an awesome turnout for the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), regular Zach Martn and Daniel Weissbarth tied for first with perfect tournament scores (3/3) followed by 6 players a full point behind. And finally, the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) had to be cancelled this month due to construction at our host church for that weekend.

Feb. 28, 2017

What went wrong in Sharjah?; By Colin McGourty, Chess24

The Sharjah FIDE Grand Prix ended fittingly with Alexander Grischuk and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave signing a quick draw on the top board to ensure they shared first place. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov joined them by beating birthday girl Hou Yifan, while Ding Liren also beat Levon Aronian, but it couldn’t stop the first stage of the Grand Prix being one of the least memorable top events in recent years. What went wrong?

Feb. 27, 2017

The power of chess!; By FM Mirko Trasciatti, ChessBase

Chess is a powerful game. It has the ability to transform lives. But what happens when the inmates of a high security prison in Spoleto, Italy are taught chess? FM Mirko Trasciatti was entrusted with this task and he tells about the impact that his teachings had on the lives of the prisoners. A heart warming story on how potent the game of chess is.

Feb. 23, 2017

Match of the Millennials; By Staff, ChessBase

There's going to be an extraordinary event in July in Saint Louis: eight American players will face some of the best juniors from around the world – four players under 17, two boys under 14 and two girls under 14 years old. "An extra-ordinary opportunity for the best juniors, both Americans and World, to test their skills and fighting spirit in a prestigious event," said GM Efstratios Grivas, who will be one of the trainers selecting the World Delegation.

Feb. 22, 2017

Memories of Salo Flohr; By Vlastimil Hort, ChessBase

Before World War II Salo Flohr was one of the world's best players. In 1939 Flohr was to play a World Championship match against Alexander Alekhine but the outbreak of the war destroyed Flohr's hopes to become World Champion. Vlastimil Hort knew Flohr well and shares memories.

Feb. 21, 2017

Iran bans teenage chessplayers for "harming national interests"; By Staff, ChessBase

Dorsa Derakhshani is a talented teenaged chessplayer residing in Spain, originally from Tehran, Iran. She is only the second female in Iran's chess history to have become an international master. Her younger sibling Borna Derakhshani is a talented lad of fifteen and has a good career ahead of him. Imagine their surprise when they were informed by Dorsa's friends that she and her younger brother had been 'banned' by the Iranian Chess Federation!

Feb. 20, 2017

In order to beat the monsters I had to become one myself!; By Sagar Shah, ChessBase
Part II Article; By Sagar Shah, ChessBase

It was the first super tournament of his life. B. Adhiban started as the last seed at the Tata Steel Masters 2017. Not much was expected from him. But he shocked the chess world with a performance of 2812 and finishing third behind So and Carlsen! We go in touch with Adhiban and spoke to him about his tournament, mind set, expectations, and last but not the least, his crazy opening choices. In the second part of the interview we continue the dissection of the key moments in Adhiban's games along with his views on them.

Feb. 16, 2017

Greater Scholastic Tournaments in America; By Alejandro Ramirez, ChessBase

2017 marks the 15th anniversary for the Kasparov Chess Foundation, and they are celebrating with record-breaking events around the U.S. This past weekend, despite sharing a busy schedule with the traditional Super Bowl, the Greater New York, Greater Chicago and Greater Baltimore Scholastic Chess tournaments brought in over 2000 players! Garry Kasparov himself made an appearance in New York.

Feb. 15, 2017

Video: Daniel King on Bobby Fischer; By Daniel King, ChessBase

Bobby Fischer was known for his eccentric behavior and for his principled, clear and aggressive chess. On his Power Play Chess Show on YouTube ChessBase author Daniel King recently analysed one of the many strategically instructive Fischer games. Daniel King on Bobby Fischer...

Feb. 14, 2017

Pal Benko's Valentine Day problems; By GM Pal Benko, ChessBase

Since the days of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century Valentine's Day, February 14, has been associated with romantic love, with the presentation of flowers, confectionery and (often anonymous) greeting cards called "valentines". Our indefatigable friend, problem composer Pal Benko, sent us something different: twin problems in valentine shapes. Take a look, but be warned: they are trickier than you would expect – and definitely more romantic.

Feb. 11, 2017

Women's World Championship Starts in Tehran; By Elshan Moradiabadi, ChessBase

After an almost non-stop stream of controversy regarding the Women World Championship, whether because of the infamous Hajibgate, or simply the country itself, the grand championship has finally begun its cycle to determine the next title-holder. The opening proceedings were somewhat overshadowed by the recent demise of Romanian IM Cristina Foisor, who remained in the roster as a tribute. Here is the amply commented report on the opening.

Feb. 9, 2017

Paul Keres VI: The Eternal Second; By Staff, Chess24

Paul Keres will always be remembered as one of the greatest players never to become World Champion. He never even got to play a match, though as the latest instalment of Joosep Grents’ centennial series on the Estonian legend shows, he couldn’t have come much closer. From 1953 until 1959 he finished second in three Candidates Tournaments in a row. Youngsters Bobby Fischer and Mikhail Tal also appear on the scene, with Keres more than holding his own as he enters his fifth decade.

Feb. 7, 2017

Former Chess Champion Checkmates Donald Trump; By Alexey Root, ChessBase

On January 30, 2017, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson sued to block key portions of President Trump’s executive order on travel. Trump’s executive order had barred entry to the United States by refugees and visa holders from seven predominantly Muslim countries. On February 3, a judge granted Ferguson’s request for a temporary restraining order, meaning that federal employees cannot enforce Trump’s executive order. Result: Ferguson-Trump 1-0. Report by Alexey Root, who knew Ferguson as a chess opponent.

Feb. 6, 2017

Grand Prix Lineup Announced; By Colin McGourty, Chess24

Six Top 10 players turned down their FIDE Grand Prix invitations, but that still leaves Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Levon Aronian, Hikaru Nakamura and Anish Giri topping the lineup for the four-tournament series that starts in the United Arab Emirates city of Sharjah in under two weeks’ time. Moscow-based anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab, which sponsors Sergey Karjakin individually, has also been announced as a partner of the Grand Prix series.

Feb. 2, 2017

Hou Yifan Resigns in 5 Moves!; By ChessBase

In a curious case at the Gibraltar Masters, women's world champion Hou Yifan resigned in a mere 5 moves, breaking the record previously held by Viswanathan Anand for the quickest loss by a grandmaster. The 'scandal' occurred during the final round of the Masters tournament, known to be the best Open in the world. In a bizarre series of events, Hou Yifan lodged a unique form of protest at the Gibraltar Masters by choosing to make uncharacteristic moves in the opening and resigned soon after.

Feb. 1, 2017

Aronian Replaces Kramnik in Grand Chess Tour; By Colin McGourty, Chess24

Vladimir Kramnik has rejected his invitation for the 2017 Grand Chess Tour, citing a busy schedule that would have made playing four tournaments a problem. Levon Aronian takes his place as first reserve, with the full line-up for the $1.2 million series featuring all of the world’s top nine players except Kramnik – Carlsen, Caruana, So, MVL, Anand, Aronian, Nakamura and Karjakin – as well as Nepomniachtchi. Kramnik could still potentially take part in individual events as a wild card.

February 1, 2016

January Wrap-Up; By ACC President

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. Come check us out!

January 2017 saw the return of the blitz tournament to the Arlington Chess Club. We had an excellant turnout in our renewed ACC Blitz tournament (5 double-rounds [10 games] at a G/3 +2 time control), as 15 players fought for glory and a prize! When the dust settled, Willie Marcelino stood well ahead in first place (8.5/10) followed by Andrew Tichenor in sole second (7/10), a half point ahead of three other competitors. While the club hopes to sponsor blitz tournaments often this year, we expect there will be months when we cannot hold a blitz tournament due to competition for dates with other tournaments.

The club had another large turnout for the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), as nearly 60 players fought for the Ladder Prize. This month, newcomer Wael Shreiba ran over his opposition (3/4) while narrowly edging out long-time member Roberto Aguirre (2.5/4) to secure the prize. In an awesome turnout for the month, the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) had nearly 50 players compete over boards of 64 squares. With the higher than usual turnout, the club added a class prize in the Premier section. Big surprise (not!), Andrew Samuelson returned to his winning ways and ran the boards (5/5) to collect top prize in the Premier section. He was followed by young Andy Huang in sole second (4/5) and Zach Martin in sole third (3.5/5). The Premier class prize went to young Bradley Guo who also picked up just over 100 rating points! In the U1700 section, two up and coming young players, Jason Liang and Sachin Satishkumar, tied for 1st-2nd (4/5), followed by a 3-way tie for 3rd just a half point behind. Though she qualified for both, Neha Konduru snagged the U1200 Class prize leaving a 5-way tie for the U1400 prize. Note: under USCF prize rules, any player that qualifies for more than one cash prize will be awarded the highest prize (to include accounting for split prizes). And finally, for the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), we had another great turnout as 16 players competed. Nikolas Theiss outlasted many higher rated opponents to win sole 1st place (3/3) while Andy Huang and Isaac Chiu tied for 2nd (2.5/3). Even with adding a new event, the club had a huge turnout for all of our events. We thank everyone who played at ACC this month!

January 30, 2017

Gibraltar Round 6: Short Defeats Caruana; By John Saunders, ChessBase

At the end of five rounds of play, six players led the standings with 4.5/5. After a trio of bloody battles at the top boards in the sixth round, three players are left in the lead. Early leaders Emil Sutovsky and Ju Wenjun were 'punished' by the goddess Caissa according to Nigel Short, who was also the highlight of the day as he defeated the world number two Fabiano Caruana. John Saunders reports from Gibraltar.

Jan. 29, 2017

The Day Donald Sutherland Showed Me Some Chess Moves; By Fiona Cummins, The Guardian

As a former show business journalist, I’ve met my fair share of celebrities—George Clooney and Michael Jackson to name(drop) a couple of them—and been invited to the glitziest parties in the A-list calendar. But in December 2006, work was the furthest thing from my mind. I’d just married my lovely husband Jason, and we were beside ourselves with excitement at the prospect of our three-week honeymoon in Australia.

Jan. 29, 2017

Wesley So Wins Tata Steel; By Mark Crowther, The Week in Chess

Wesley So started 2017 just as he finished 2016 with a major tournament victory in the Tata Steel Masters. So was playing black against Ian Nepomniachtchi and it was seen as likely someone would catch him after a draw. All those calculations went out of the window as Nepomniachtchi played the Trompowsky as White, got it completely wrong and was lost after just 9 moves. So didn't make any mistakes. It's taken So a little while to settle after his move to the U.S. but he is now clearly one of the main prospects to be Carlsen's next challenger. So is very much a self-made man and deserves huge admiration.

Jan. 26, 2017

Speelman's Agony: The Truth or Reality; By Jonathan Speelman, ChessBase, plus ACC member Tom Harley

In his ChessBase column this month, Jonathan Speelman analyzes a game between Arlington Chess Club members Tom Harley and Josh Hiban. Tom had submitted the game and Speelman selected it for his column.

Jan. 25, 2017

Chess In Africa; By Maurice Ashley, ChessBase

After visiting Africa on a tour, GM Maurice Ashley was deeply moved by the extreme poverty, underlying beauty, and promise of hope. Instead of just writing about all this, he decided to take action, and together with Graham Jurgensen, they enlisted the help and patronage of the Paul Allen Foundation, as well as the Kasparov Chess Foundation in the USA and Africa, to take three grandmasters on a training tour for 18 weeks in Africa.

January 24, 2107

Conversation with Neil deGrasse Tyson; By Albert Silver, ChessBase

The famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, a tireless promoter of science, and considered by many as the spiritual successor of Carl Sagan, opened game eight of the World Championship Match. He accepted to sit down with a few journalists for a casual conversation where he talked about his connection with chess and what he finds interesting about chess and chessplayers, as well as how he sees it relative to education. A revealing piece.

January 16, 2107

Hans Berliner, Player and Programmer, Dies at 87; By Dylan Loeb McClain, New York Times

He learned chess at the age of 13, and played for the US Olympiad team and four times in the US Championship. He later graduated in computer science and became a professor at the Carnegie Mellon University. There he pioneered hardware programming and built the first machine that exceeded 2400 Elo points. Last Friday he passed away in Florida. Hans Berliner is also remembered for what many have called the greatest chess game ever played. An excellent eulogy of Berliner appeared in the Monday edition of the New York Times.

January 14, 2107

The Tale Behind The (48) Blindfold Record; By Albert Silver, ChessBase

On December 4, 2016, Timur Gareyev played against 48 opponents in a blindfold simul that lasted nearly 20 hours to set the new world record, a truly unbelievable exhibition of human strength and stamina. However, the road to the record was one of extensive preparation during which he met with leading experts in memory techniques, and even brought in the last surviving opponent of Najdorf's 1947 record, 92-year-old Luciano Andrade. Here is the full story behind the world record.

Jan. 12, 2017

Women's World Championship: Who Plays, Who Doesn't?; By Johannes Fischer, ChessBase

The Women’s World Championship 2017 will be played from 10 February to 5 March in Tehran. The decision to play in the Iranian capital was controversial, not least because women in Iran are forced to wear a headscarf in public, and all players have to comply to this rule. But Fide stood by its decision and now published a list of the 64 players who will fight for the women's title. Top seed is Ju Wenjun, second seed Anna Muzychuk. But a number of top players refused to start.

Jan. 11, 2017

2017 World Chess Calendar; By Colin McGourty, Chess24

2017 is a chess year without a World Championship match or an Olympiad, but it’s set to be packed with events. We have the World Cup, the World and European Team Championships as well as two major competing series. After the FIDE Grand Prix in 2016 was postponed all four events are set to be crammed into 2017, alongside five Grand Chess Tour events. Then, of course, we have all the traditional events, including Tata Steel Chess and the Gibraltar Masters this January.

Jan. 9, 2017

Paul Keres 5: The 1948 World Championship; By Staff, Chess24

The death of Alexander Alekhine in 1946 left the chess world without a World Champion for the first time in 60 years. The question of what to do next was resolved with a five-player match-tournament held in The Hague and Moscow in 1948. On paper it was another chance for Paul Keres to fulfill his dream, but as Joosep Grent explains in his latest installment of the series on the Estonian genius, it wasn’t to be. Four losses in a row to Mikhail Botvinnik meant the “Patriarch” of Soviet chess became the 6th World Champion.

Jan. 6, 2017

Svidler on Carlsen–Karjakin, Computers, and More; By Colin McGourty, Chess24

There’s a week to go until the chess year kicks off in earnest on Saturday, 14th January in Wijk aan Zee, with Peter Svidler commentating on the first seven rounds here on chess24. In a recent in-depth Russian interview the 7-time Russian champion talked about commentary, the Carlsen-Karjakin match, the influence of computers, how Kramnik has adapted his style and much more.

Jan. 6, 2017

Best Move of 2016; By ChessBase

Have a look at the spectacular, surprising, paradoxical or simply beautiful moves Oliver Reeh selected from games played in 2016. Which of these moves, do you think, is the best move of 2016?

Jan. 5, 2017

In Memoriam: Gary P. Taylor, Sr.

(July 17, 1955 - September 27, 2016) Gary "Ricky" Paul Taylor Sr. was born July 17, 1955 at DC General Hospital in Washington, D.C. Ricky was adopted as an infant and blessed to become the only child of his proud, doting parents Paul and Margarette Taylor, who loved him unconditionally. Gary departed this life on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 at the Washington Adventist Hospital, Takoma Park, MD surrounded by the love and presence of family. Ricky attended DC Public Schools throughout his childhood and graduated from McKinley Tech High School in 1973. He then went on to attend college at Monmonth University in New Jersey. Ricky was an Electrician by profession. For many years he worked for Amtrak until his retirement. As his pastimes, Ricky loved playing chess: he was a chess aficionado. He faithfully attended his weekly Chess Club meetings, travelling across the local District, Maryland and Virginia (DMV Chapter) to attend them. He also would participate and compete in the Annual Chess Conference [World Open]. He taught the game of chess as a business enterprise "Gary's School of Chess" and would encourage others to play, tutor family members and local children on the tactics of the game. Along with chess, Ricky enjoyed studying martial arts, playing tennis, reading books and also writing poems and books. He wrote his first book and became a published author of the book titled, "Love Deprived". Ricky married Robin Wright Hairston and from that union were born two children. Gary Paul Taylor Jr. and Tinisha Taylor. Ricky spent a number of his years searching for his biological family. Finally after extraordinary effort and diligent search, in 1998, he located his biological siblings; three sisters, Veronica Graves, Victoria Pendegraph, and Michelle Pendegraph who all welcomed him into the family, and shared love with him. From that point on, Ricky spent many of his holidays and birthdays celebrating in the company of his sisters, brothers-in-law, nephews, nieces and cousins. He leaves one son Gary Paul Taylor Jr. one daughter Tinisha Taylor, three sisters Veronica Edwina Lyles Graves, Paula Victoria Marie Pendergraph (deceased), Michelle Pendergraph, one brother Carige Pendergraph (deceased), one brother-in-law marcus I. Graves, two nieces Talibah Pendergraph, Khadiyah Alia Ali Pendergraph, two nephews Lamont Pendergraph, Scott Pendergraph and many cousins and friends.

Jan. 4, 2017

The Story of Fred and Bruce; By Bob Jones, ChessBase

Back in 1997, after early retirement from teaching, I found myself being drawn into the world of old chess books. Not that that was what I’d originally intended—it was just the way things were developing. One day, late in the year, I got a phone call from a young lady in London, asking if I’d be interested in a collection of books she was having to clear out from the house of a recently deceased elderly relative. It was a long way from Exmouth, but it sounded an interesting proposition and at that time I was keen to build up a credible stock, so I agreed.

Jan. 4, 2017

Best of 2016: Best Game; By ChessBase

2016 brought a a lot of entertaining, fascinating and amazing games. But what was the "best game" of 2016? Our expects created a shortlist of ten games; now it's your turn. What, do you think, is the best game of 2016?

Jan. 3, 2017

Indonesia: Always the Same, Yet Always Different; By Alina L'Ami, ChessBase

With about 260 million inhabitants Indonesia is the world's fourth most populous country, and it is a land full of natural beauty and diversity. Economically, Indonesia is on the rise and it also has a flourishing chess community. When revisiting Jakarta to play a tournament in the Indonesian capital, Alina l'Ami was again struck by the many fascinating facets of Jakarta and Indonesia.

Jan. 3, 2017

Who Was the Best World Champion in History?; By IM Daniel Rensch, Chess.com

What if we had a time machine? What if we could bring all the greatest chess players in history together, removing any advantages of opening theory or other evolved knowledge of our game for a super-tournament? What if Fischer played Kasparov? Kramnik played Alekhine? Carlsen played Morphy? This long-asked, yet virtually impossible-to-answer question might finally have a starting point.

January 1, 2016

December Wrap-Up; By ACC President

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. Come check us out!

The club had a large turnout for the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), as over 60 players fought for the Ladder Prize. This month, Demetrio swept the opposition to secure the prize (3.5/4). In decent turnout for the month, the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) had nearly 40 players compete over boards of 64 squares. For a second month in a row Larry Gilden tied for first place in the Premier section, this time with Zachary Martin (4/5) followed by a 4-way tie for 3rd (3/5). In the U1700 section, Max Yan had an excellent tournament running the boards to win first place (5/5), followed by Michael Jennings (returning after quite some time away) in second place (4/5) and another 4-way tie for 3rd place. Zach Strasberg won the U1400 prize and newcomer Andrew Lachtman won the U1200 prize. For the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), we had a near record turnout as 22 players competed. Akshay Indusekar and Andrew Tichenor tied for 1st and 2nd (3/3) and Andy Huang and Andy Rea tied for 3rd (2.5/3)!

Dec. 31, 2016

Seirawan: A Radical Solution, Final Thoughts; By Yasser Seirawan, ChessBase

I really must beg for your indulgence. When I wrote my original article, “A Radical Solution,” it was a knee-jerk rant of sorts. Reeling from the “thirty-five-minute punch,” of Game 12 in the World Championship Match (WCM) was simply too much of a disappointment for me to bear. With the whole world tuning in to watch a dramatic final game of a competitive sporting duel, we witnessed instead a dud masquerading as a classical game, leaving me greatly annoyed. The players can’t be faulted—it was the match rules that were to blame.

Dec. 30, 2016

Ivanchuk, Karjakin Win World Rapid and Blitz Championship; By Mark Crowther, The Week in Chess

Vassily Ivanchuk edged out Alexander Grischuk and Magnus Carlsen to take the rapid title after they all scored 11/15. The blitz saw Sergey Karjakin win the title on tie-break from Magnus Carlsen with a win in the final round vs Jobava after both scored 16.5/21. Daniil Dubov was a distant 3rd on tie-break. Anna Muzychuk scored a fine double triumph in both rapid and blitz in the women's section.

Dec. 29, 2016

Kasparov on the Future of Artificial Intelligence; By Frederic Friedel, ChessBase

"You will go down in history as the first person to be beaten by a machine in an intellectual pursuit where you were the most advanced member of our species," says American author, philosopher, and neuroscientist in this extraordinary podcast interview with Garry Kasparov. After discussing the current world political situation they go on to the subject of machine intelligence. Kasparov also announced a book called Deep Thinking that is due for release in May.

Dec. 25, 2016

Christmas puzzles; By Pal Benko, ChessBase

Another year passes, and we end it with our traditional Christmas puzzles – this year for the seventeenth time. Over the holidays we try to give you something unusual: puzzles that cannot be easily solved with a computer, tasks which require you to think all by yourself. And once again, as happened frequently in the past, we received three wonderfully entertaining problems from the great composer Pal Benko, who wished us and our readers a Happy Christmas.

Dec. 22, 2016

Who Is the World's Best Junior?; by Marco Baldauf, ChessBase

Wei Yi and Richard Rapport are the world's top two juniors and both are known for their entertaining and uncompromising attacking chess. From 20th to 23rd December they play a match in Yancheng, China. Wei Yi won the first game, Rapport the second, the third was a draw and this leads to a current score of 1.5-1.5. Analyses and photos.

Dec. 22, 2016

Caruana's Queen Sacrifice; By Arno Nickel, ChessBase

Caruana's positional queen sacrifice in his game against Hikaru Nakamura at the London Chess Classic fascinated the public particularly. But are modern engines able to evaluate such a queen sacrifice and its consequences correctly? Arno Nickel grandmaster of correspondence chess took a close look at the critical phase of that game.

Dec. 20, 2016

Kavalek: 50 Years Of Chess; By Lubomir Kavalek, ChessBase

His graduation from National Master and International Master to full GM took just seven months and happened 51 years ago. “A grandmaster title is like a driver’s license,” an experienced colleague told him. “You don’t yet know how to drive well, you learn on the go.” In his Huffington Post column Lubomir Kavalek looks at memorable players – Flohr, Spassky, Petrosian, Fischer – and games from that time. His article is historically and didactically interesting.

Dec. 20, 2016

Paul Keres IV: The War Years; from Chess24

In our previous article marking the centenary of the great Paul Keres, we saw him win the Avro Tournament but have his hopes of a World Championship match with Alexander Alekhine thwarted by the outbreak of World War II. The years that followed were full of upheavals, with Keres’ native Estonia occupied first by the USSR, then Germany and then again the USSR. He found time to marry, have two children, and play in the USSR Championship, but his main concern was survival. Joosep Grents continues his account of Keres’ life.

Dec. 18, 2016

Am I Too Old for Chess?; By Gserper, Chess.com

If your goal is to become the world champion, then forget about it! If you want to become a grandmaster, while it is very unlikely to happen, who knows, you can be the first! If you are aiming for a master title, then it is a difficult, but definitely a doable task. After all, Oscar Shapiro became the oldest person to obtain the USCF master title at a very respectable age of 74!

Dec. 18, 2016

Wesley So: Double Winner in London; By ChessBase

Winning the Grand Chess Tour is a great achievement for Wesley So. He did it on the penultimate round—and he considers this success the biggest win of his career. On Sunday he also secured first place in London—so he won $295,000 in total. Fabiano Caruana couldn't catch up with his compatriot. Veselin Topalov finally managed to win a game, Anish Giri finished with 9/9 draws.

Dec. 16, 2016

The Americans Love Wesley So; By Sabrina Chevannes, ChessBase

Wesley So might be the newest member of the U.S. Chess team, and many may consider him to be a “transfer," but he is slowly growing in popularity. After helping the U.S. team win a gold medal in Baku and doing it with such grace and style, it is no wonder the U.S. is falling for the American-Filipino.

Dec. 16, 2016

Caruana's Brilliancy: The Engine Challenge; By ChessBase

When a grandmaster analyzing a game, professes a move or type of move as exceptionally challenging for an engine, it is obviously going to be scrutinized left and right. That is precisely what happened in the analysis of Fabiano Caruana’s fantastic queen sacrifice against Hikaru Nakamura in game six of the London Classic. The comments on engines were not entirely wrong, but as we will see, there are notable exceptions! Learn how the entire sacrifice could have been solved in seconds.

Dec. 12, 2016

Maurice Ashley: 12 Games Are Enough!; By Maurice Ashley, ChessBase

Yasser Seirawan did not like the 12 game format in Carlsen vs Karjakin and proposed a "Radical Solution". Now Maurice Ashley disagrees. After asking the top players for their opinion and looking back at previous matches he concludes that 12 games and a rapid tiebreak are enough!

Dec. 9, 2016

Reflections on the World Championship by Carlsen's Trainer; By André Schulz, ChessBase

Peter Heine Nielsen is the second of Magnus Carlsen. In an extensive interview he looks back on the World Championship match in New York, tells us about Carlsen's helpers, explains why it is difficult to prepare with White, how Carlsen felt after losing game eight and what mindset is best for Magnus to play good chess. Q & A with Peter Heine Nielsen.

Dec. 9, 2016

Karjakin in War of Words with Kasparov after World Championship; By Leonard Barden, the Guardian

After Sergey Karjakin v Magnus Carlsen, the next bout was Karjakin v Garry Kasparov in a sharp war of words. The legend and former world champion Kasparov, defeated in his bid for president of the global chess body, Fide, lives in New York but did not attend a single session at the match site in Manhattan. At the end of the series Kasparov tweeted, “Congratulations to Magnus! His lack of preparation angered the goddess Caissa, but not enough to drive her into the drab Karjakin’s arms.”

Dec. 8, 2016

Kasparov: "Karjakin as Champion would have been a misunderstanding"; By Vera Jürgens, ChessBase

Of course, the match between Carlsen and Karjakin was closely followed by the Russian chess press. Karjakin lost narrowly but in Russia he is still a hero. Garry Kasparov, however, was blunt: "A World Champion Karjakin would have been a misunderstanding." Here are more reactions from the Russian press, including an interview with Sergey Karjakin.

Dec. 7,10,13, 2016

Carlsen vs Karjakin: Missed opportunities; By Yasser Seirawan, ChessBase

Sierawan reviews games 1 to 6.

Seirawan reviews last half of match.

Having a World Championship in Manhattan, in New York, the financial and media capital of the world - this sounds like a dream come true. A golden opportunity to put chess into the limelight, to experience three weeks of chess fever and a chance to show the world why the game is so exciting. In his three-part review of the Carlsen vs Karjakin match in New York, Yasser Seirawan first criticizes that a lot of opportunities were missed, then reviews games 1-6, then reviews the balance of the match.

Dec. 7, 2016

Post Match GM Analyses ; various authors, ChessBase

Post mortem: before the World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin we asked experts for predictions and prognoses. Now we asked again and gathered views from von David Navara, Markus Ragger, Mikhail Golubev, Daniel King, Dorian Rogozenco, and lots of others. Some of them think that Carlsen deservedly won the match while praising Karjakin's defensive skills and his preparation. Ruslan Ponomariov, however, criticises the performance of the World Champion. He claims that Carlsen has stopped making progress as a chess player.

Dec. 6, 2016

Championship match format: Sutovsky; By Emil Sutovsky, ChessBase

Yasser Seirawan does not like the current format of the World Championship and proposed a number of hotly debated changes. Now, Emil Sutovsky, President of the Association of Chess Professionals, counters. He offers an out-of-the box proposal and invites readers to make their opinion heard.

Dec. 5, 2016

Another world record: simul match; from ChessBase

Timur Gareyev used the weekend to set a new world record in Las Vegas by playing 48 games blindfold simultaneously, and David Navara and Sergei Movsesian spent the weekend in Prague to also set a new world record in simultaneous chess: they played 12 games against each other - at the same time. Navara won 8.5-3.5.

Dec. 5, 2016

Gareyev breaks blindfold record; from ChessBase

On December 3, at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas Timur Gareyev made an attempt to break the world record in blindfold simultaneous play. Without seeing the board Gareyev played against 48 opponents at the same time, more than any player before him. With a mask before his eyes and on an exercise bike. 35 wins, 7 draws, and 6 losses later Gareyev could say: "Yes, world record."

December 1, 2016

November Wrap-Up; By ACC President

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. Come check us out!

While, the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5), was cancelled for 3 straight months at the request of our host, the Arlington Forest United Methodist Church, the tournament returned this month on October 22, 2016! For a returning event after a period of inactivity, we had a solid turnout with nearly 40 players matching wits on a pleasant Saturday afternoon. Andrew Samuelson and Isaac Chiu tied for 1st (4/5) followed by Mahbub Shahalam and Doug Malcolm tied for 3rd (3.5/5). In the U1700 section, newcomer Daniel Schaeffer ran the board against the competition finishing in 1st place (5/5) followed by Thomas Lane in second (3.5/5) and a 5-way tie for 3rd. Another newcomer who is newly moved to the Richmond area, Pranav Chinthakuntla, won the U1400 prize and Isaac Stevens won the U1200 prize.

For a short month, as we do ever year we only met 3 Fridays because of Thanksgiving, ACC had a good turnout for the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), as 55 players fought for the Ladder Prize. There are more 2000- and 2100-level players participating lately. This month, Ghezai Menelik secured the Ladder Prize (3/4) followed by a 6-way tie right behind (2/4). For the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), 10 players competed with Akshay Indusekar winning for the second month in a row (3/3) followed by young Sam Schenk in 2nd place (2.5/3.0). The result got Sam over 2000!

November 11-30, 2016

**SPECIAL** 2016 World Chess Championship (Updated After Each Round)

The World Championship began on Nov. 11 in New York between World Champion Magnus Carlsen and Challenger Sergey Karjakin. Below, we are providing round-by-round one-stop coverage of the match from the official site and all of the major chess news websites.

Essential Links:

Pre-Match:
-- Before the Match: Pre-Match
-- Pre-match Press Conference Presser
-- What the Experts Say: Pre-Analysis
-- Sergey Karjakin Bio: Wiki-Bio
-- Magnus Carlsen Bio: Wiki-Bio
-- Karjakan on Winning Candidates: Video
-- Interview: Karjakan (Chess 24): interview
-- Speelman: How Will Karjakan Fare?: here
-- Kramnik's & Gelfand's Pre-match Views: here
-- Carlsen's Pre-Match Views: here

-- Official Website: New York
-- Schedule: Day-By-Day
-- Rules: Rules
-- Get Tickets: Buy Now
-- Opening Ceremony: Flags

-- Broadcasting Lawsuit Part 1 Lawsuit-1
-- Broadcasting Lawsuit Part 2 Lawsuit-2
-- Karjakin: The Inside Story Karjakin's Story
-- New York Times: NYT
-- Washington Post: W-Post
-- Who Will Win Match?: ChessBase


Post-Match:
-- Official Website: New York
-- Schedule: Day-By-Day

Round - Tiebreaks: Carlsen Remains the Champion!

ChessBase,
TWIC,
Chess24.

Round 12: The Match Goes into Tiebreaks

ChessBase,
TWIC,
Chess24.

Round 11: A Tense Draw

ChessBase,
TWIC,
Chess24.

Round 10: Carlsen Evens the Score

ChessBase,
TWIC,
Chess24.

Round 9: A Tense Draw

ChessBase,
TWIC,
Chess24.

Round 8: First Blood! Karjakin Wins!

ChessBase,
TWIC,
Chess24.

Round 7: Karjakin Switches from 1.e4 to 1.d4

ChessBase,
TWIC,
Chess24.

Round 6: Comfortable Draw

ChessBase,
TWIC,
Chess24.

Round 5: Magnus "Screws Up"?

ChessBase,
TWIC,
Chess24.

Round 4: Carlsen Is Better but Can't Convert

ChessBase,
TWIC,
Chess24.

Round 3: Karjakin Escapes

ChessBase,
TWIC,
Chess24.

Round 2: No Berlin, No Thriller

ChessBase,
TWIC,
Chess24.

Round 1: Carlsen Starts with the "Trumpowsky"

ChessBase,
TWIC,
Chess24.

Nov. 29, 2016

Yasser Seirawan: A Radical Solution; By Yasser Seirawan, ChessBase

Still reeling from the 35-minute punch of Game 12 of the “Classical” World Chess Championship match, I am writing this opinion article under the duress of disappointment. As a long-time critic of FIDE’s Rules Committee, I’m fully loath to enter its realm of spirited self-delusion but feel compelled to do so. Likely, in the morning, after a good night’s rest, I’ll disavow this commentary in whole or in part. Perhaps even hoping it may self-destruct. Before today’s shock wears off let us muse about the following ...

Nov. 28, 2016

Mark Taimanov Dies at 90; By Dylan Loeb McClain, New York Times

In Memoriam Mark Taimanov (1926–2016); By Dagobert Kohlmeyer, ChessBase

Mark Taimanov: 1926–2016; By Peter Doggers, Chess.com

In the night between Sunday and Monday, Mark Taimanov died in St. Petersburg at the age of 90. He was a world-class player for decades and one of the participants of the legendary Zurich 1953 Candidates' Tournament. Besides being a top grandmaster, Taimanov was a renowned musician—and both of his talents developed at an early age. He learned to play the piano from his mother, who was a piano teacher.

Nov. 23, 2016

An American Chess Resurgence?; By Vanessa West, ChessBase

Is chess really thriving in the U.S.? Is the game really moving forward between New York City and Los Angeles after the U.S. won the Olympiad, has three players in the Top 10 and hosts the World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin in New York? Our author Vanessa West takes a look at the chess scene in the U.S., browses through the media coverage and provides ample food for thought...

Nov. 10, 2106

Mark Dvoretsky's final interview—Part III; by Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal, ChessBase

Part III, the finale of Mark's interview, deals with his current students, his favourite chess books and what prophylaxis means to him. With interesting anecdotes about an American author, a Russian tribe and two students facing each other, Mark gives us some invaluable pearls of wisdom. His final message caps his approach perfectly – everything can be achieved with normal, effective, rationally organized work, good books, articles, materials and regular training.

Nov. 10, 2016

What the Experts Say; By ChessBase

Magnus Carlsen vs Sergey Karjakin - who will win the match in New York? Is there a clear favorite? What are strengths, what are weaknesses of Carlsen and Karjakin? We asked experts, officials and chess authors how they see the match and what they expect from Carlsen and Karjakin. A lot of experts, a lot of opionions. Statements.

Nov. 9, 2016

Remembering Mihail Tal; By Dagobert Kohlmeyer, ChessBase

Tal's World Championship match against Mihail Botvinnik in the spring of 1960 was one of the most interesting World Championship matches in the history of chess. Tal's convincing victory surprised and rattled the chess world. A bit later I had the chance to see the new World Champion in person: in the fall of 1960 Tal came to Leipzig, East Germany, to take part in the Chess Olympiad 1960. Here he played a fantastic game against the young American Bobby Fischer, which made headlines. We memorised the game by heart and were simply stunned by the bold moves and maneuvers of this exciting duel. Of course, as a 14-year-old I could not imagine that I would one day meet these two chess heroes face to face.

Nov. 7, 2016

A Baby-Faced Chess Grandmaster Meets His Match; By Alex Hawgood, New York Times

Perhaps surprisingly, being an international chess superstar comes with many of the same perks as Hollywood A-listers, including flashy sports cars and parties like the championship gala on Nov. 10 at the Plaza hotel, for which the actor Adrian Grenier will be the host. “Recently in Moscow it became a trend to add some intellectual chess flavor to V.I.P. social events,” he said. “I like being part of it, but mainly to promote the game among different audiences.”

Nov. 6, 2016

Queen of NY: Judit Polgar Talks about Analyzing the Match; by Fernando Offermann, ChessBase

After officially retiring from professional play, many fans might have worried the Hungarian star would drop out of the chess world, but these fears seem to have been put to rest. We first saw Judit Polgar embrace new roles such as coach of the Hungarian ‘Open’ team at the Olympiad, and now as another first, when Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin battle it out in New York City, she will be the official commentator. Judit Polgar talks about her expectations, her preferences and her plans.

Nov. 6, 2016

Carlsen vs. Karjakin: The Final Countdown; By GM Gregory Serper, Chess.com

The most awaited chess event of the year is right in front of us, and there is definitely no lack of forecasts. Both professional players and amateurs have their opinions about the coming world championship match. Of course, we have discussed this subject here too. In trying to find the components that might influence the outcome of the match, we looked at variety of factors.

Nov. 4, 2016

World Class Smackdown on South Street!; By John Leland, New York Times

In the other big showdown this coming week, two guys will play chess at the South Street Seaport. It’s a match for all the marbles in the chess world. How many marbles that is remains to be seen.

November 1, 2016

October Wrap-Up; By ACC President

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out!

While, the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5), was cancelled for 3 straight months at the request of our host, the Arlington Forest United Methodist Church, the tournament returned this month on October 22, 2016! For a returning event after a period of inactivity, we had a solid turnout with nearly 40 players matching wits on a pleasant Saturday afternoon. Andrew Samuelson and Isaac Chiu tied for 1st (4/5) followed by Mahbub Shahalam and Doug Malcolm tied for 3rd (3.5/5). In the U1700 section, newcomer Daniel Schaeffer ran the board against the competition finishing in 1st place (5/5) followed by Thomas Lane in second (3.5/5) and a 5-way tie for 3rd. Another newcomer who is newly moved to the Richmond area, Pranav Chinthakuntla, won the U1400 prize and Isaac Stevens won the U1200 prize.

Elsewhere in the club, ACC had a good turnout for the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), as 55 players fought for the Ladder Prize. There are more 2000- and 2100-level players participating lately. This month, Ghezai Menelik secured the Ladder Prize (3/4) followed by a 6-way tie right behind (2/4). For the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), 10 players competed with Akshay Indusekar winning for the second month in a row (3/3) followed by young Sam Schenk in 2nd place (2.5/3.0). The result got Sam over 2000!

October 31, 2106

Mark Dvoretsky's final interview—Part II; by Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal, ChessBase

In Part II of our interview with Dvoretsky we go into more specifics. We ask Mark how can we improve at tactics and endgames. We ask for his opinion on famous authors like Jacob Aagaard and Karsten Müller, and also great trainers like Tukamkov and Chuchelov. He also narrates a funny incident about working with ChessBase software and reads out a passage written by Lev Psakhis that had him in splits. It's an interview from which you can learn a lot, and even though you might not agree with everything that Mark says, it's definitely food for thought.

October 25, 2106

Mark Dvoretsky's final interview—Part I; by Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal, ChessBase

It was 15th of March 2016, the fourth round at the Candidates tournament 2016, Moscow. Sitting in the press room, I was working on the analysis of the four games that were in progress. Suddenly I noticed Amruta (my wife), who was busy taking pictures, making a dash into the press room. With heavy breath and great excitement, she blurted, "He is here, he is here, come quick!" I left all my work. I knew who had entered into the tournament venue. Before coming to Moscow, Amruta and I had decided that if any of us saw Mark Dvoretsky we would leave whatever it was that we were doing, no matter how important, and spend maximum time with the legend.

October 19, 2016

New York chess hustlers get pwned by Magnus; By Frederic Friedel, ChessBase

No, it's not a typo! Background: there is vigorous chess activity in New York's Washington State Park, and plenty of hustling going on there. Sometimes, though, someone turns up who is really, really strong. And then the hustlers get owned. A viral video shows this happening recently: World Champion Magnus Carlsen took a detour to the park, watched his manager get "crushed" and then, with Liv Tyler watching, proceeded to restore the honour of Norwegian chess.

October 16, 2016

Why Bother to Bone Up on Steinitz?; By IM Craig Pritchett; Full Article From: ChessBase

"I have always been hooked on the game’s history," writes IM Craig Pritchett, a leading Steinitz authority, in the British magazine CHESS. "As I struggle to keep my FIDE rating afloat into my chess-playing seniority, I have taken to writing books on great players, their styles, times and significance. I have never had the slightest doubt that striving to understand the contribution to the game’s development made by Wilhelm Steinitz (1836-1900) and others is not just intrinsically of interest, but that it also positively benefits our own chess."

October 13, 2016

The Time-Trouble Blues; By IM Jeremy Silman; Full Article From: Chess.com

Time trouble plagues beginners, strong amateurs, masters, and grandmasters. There is no universal cure. Some players simply accept that it’s a part of the “chess rush.” Some, like Sammy Reshevsky (one of the best three or four players in the world during his prime), never did find a way to avoid time pressure, but he did something most can’t do: With seconds left, he suddenly played even better!

October 11, 2016

Karjakin: "If Carlsen wants to beat me he needs to show the best play of his life"; By Colin McGourty, Chess 24

The Carlsen-Karjakin World Championship match starts exactly one month today in New York, with the players now entering the finishing straight of their preparation. Magnus Carlsen is said to have already entered his “bubble,” while Sergey Karjakin recently gave a final press appearance in Russia before he heads to Miami on 17 October for a training camp. In a lengthy interview with R-Sport Karjakin talked about his “killer instinct,” his work with Mamedyarov and Nepomniachtchi, and what he expects in New York.

October 7, 2016

The Hijab Protest in Chess; Full Article From: ChessBase

Who is currently in the news, which chess player is dominating the headlines in the straight press? It is not Magnus, Nepo or Anish, but a 22-year-old US/Georgian IM who is boycotting the Women's World Championship in Tehran because of the requirement to wear a hijab of headscarf. Failure to do so in Iran can result in a fine or a prison term. This has unleashed a flurry of attention in the international press.

October 5, 2016

Why bother to bone up on Steinitz? (1/2); Full Article From: ChessBase

"I have always been hooked on the game’s history," writes IM Craig Pritchett, a leading Steinitz authority, in the British magazine CHESS. "As I struggle to keep my FIDE rating afloat into my chess-playing seniority, I have taken to writing books on great players, their styles, times and significance. I have never had the slightest doubt that striving to understand the contribution to the game’s development made by Wilhelm Steinitz (1836-1900) and others is not just intrinsically of interest, but that it also positively benefits our own chess. ...

October 5, 2016

Financial Times: Inside the Home of Magnus Carlsen ; Full Article From: ChessBase

Did you ever wonder how World Champion Magnus Carlsen lives? The "Financial Times" did, and asked journalist Mihir Bose and photographer Ilja C Hendel to visit the world's best chessplayer and take a look into the "home and (mind)" of Magnus Carlsen. When talking to Bose Carlsen revealed amongst other things a great interest in political figures and military history. ...

October 5, 2016

Millionaire Chess: an interview with Maurice Ashley ; by Johannes Fischer; Full Article From: ChessBase

On 6th October the 3rd Millionaire Chess tournament starts in Atlantic City. And again it is a tournament in which players can win a lot of money. Chess organiser, author, coach and commentator GM Maurice Ashley is one of the driving forces behind the Millionaire Chess tournament. In an interview he openly talks about expectations, this year's tournament, Chess in the US and why he is so enthusiastic about the game. ...

October 2, 2016

September Wrap-Up; By ACC President

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out!

Big News! While, the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5), was cancelled for 3 straight months at the request of our host, the Arlington Forest United Methodist Church, the tournament will be returning again starting October 22, 2016! There is a new pastor and the church needed the space for welcoming events. This inactivity had no effect on the regular Friday evening ACC club meetings or DC Chess League matches. ACC meets every Friday starting at 7pm and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future!

Elsewhere in the club, ACC had a great turnout for the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), as nearly 70 players battled it over boards of 64 squares for the Ladder Prize. There are more 2000- and 2100-level players participating lately. For the second month in a row, Dennis Franco tied for first place on the Ladder, this time with young Akshay Kobla (4.0/5.0), both holding off 3 players tied for 3rd (3.5/4) just a half point behind the leaders. In another high turnout for the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), another 16 players competed with Akshay Indusekar returning from a long hiatus to win sole 1st place (3/3) followed by Alexander Moises in 2nd place (2.5/3.0).

October 1, 2016

Creativity: Why it cannot be a machine property ; Full Article From: ChessBase

A month ago, we published an article discussing the topic of machine creativity entitled “Machine creativity: What it is, and what it isn’t”. Naturally, this was not meant as the final word on the topic, but rather an invitation to discuss and deliberate on it. In the pursuit of that discussion, author and programmer Dr. Ofer Shamai, a PhD in Philosophy of Science, sent a thoughtful reply to it, expounding his thoughts on the subject with a slightly different definition of 'creativity'. Food for thought. ...

September 30, 2016

An Interview with Chess Legend Judit Polgar; By Manuel Weeks; Full Article From: ChessBase

Judit Polgar was a chess prodigy and is the only woman who has ever made it to the top ten in chess. After the Chess Olympiad in Tromso 2014 Judit Polgar retired from tournament chess but of course remained faithful to the game she loves. At the Chess Olympiad in Baku 2016 she was captain of the Hungarian team that played in the Open and she is the driving force behind the Global Chess Festival in Budapest, a fine celebration of chess.

September 30, 2016

World Youth Championships: a perspective by a coach ; Full Article From: ChessBase

The World Youth Championships U14, U16 and U18 are played from 20th September to 4th October in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. More than 400 players travelled to the Siberian city, accompanied by more than 260 parents and coaches. David Koetsier is coach of the Australian team and sends a report about the adventures of the Australian team that reflects on the unique atmosphere of youth tournaments....

September 29, 2016

Protest against playing the Women's World Championship in Iran ; by André Schulz; Full Article From: ChessBase

During the Chess Olympiad 2016 in Baku the General Assembly of FIDE made two important decisions which concern major tournaments. FIDE decided to play the Chess Olympiad 2020 in Khanty-Mansiysk and to let the Iranian Chess Federation organise the Women's World Championship 2017. This decision caused furious protests because in previous tournaments in Iran the women participants were forced to wear a headscarf. ...

September 28, 2016

Timur Gareyev Breaks World Consecutive Blindfold Chess Record; By Eric Vigil; Full Article From: ChessBase

GM Timur Gareyev is a man with a mission: the man who likes to call himself "Blindfold King" wants to set records in blindfold chess. And he does: on September 24th, at the Coralville Marriott Hotel in Iowa, from 9:32 in the morning to 7:45 in the evening, he played 64 consecutive blindfold games, winning 54, losing 8 and drawing 2. That's a new world record!

September 28, 2016

How Anand trounced Mamedyarov's speculative sacrifice ; by Priyadarshan Banjan; Full Article From: ChessBase

Vishy Anand joined the lead at the 2016 Tal Memorial in a stylish manner. He fended off a sacrificial attack by Mamedyarov to emerge a piece up in a winning endgame, despite Black's three passed pawns as compensation. A study-like finish gave a nice win to the Indian former World Champion. Find out all about this endgame in step-by-step analysis by Sagar Shah, and in comments by Viswanathan Anand himself! Very instructive....

September 27, 2016

Carlsen wins Handicap simul 11-0; by Johannes Fischer; Full Article From: Source Name

Maybe Magnus Carlsen took it as a good omen. On 22nd September 2016, 50 days before his World Championship match against Sergey Karjakin in New York, which will begin on 11th November, he played a handicap simul against eleven opponents in New Jersey. All his opponents were users of the Play Magnus App and they all had 30 minutes for the whole game while Carlsen had 30 minutes for all his games. But the World Champion had no trouble to win with a clear 11-0 score. Games, impressions, video ...

September 26, 2016

Mark Dvoretsky passes away at 68; by André Schultz; Full Article From: ChessBase

Also see:"> Actual Q&A Today, the Russian Chess Federation announced that the well-known Russian chess coach and author Mark Dvoretsky had died. As a young player Dvoretsky was a promising talent but he soon decided to end his career as a player to focus on a career as a coach. Since then he has supported and trained countless strong players and has helped many of them to make it to the top. ...

September 25, 2016

Spassky stars as Mamedyarov crushes Tal blitz; by Colin McGourty; Full Article From: Chess24

Boris Spassky was the surprise revelation of the opening day of the 2016 Tal Memorial. The 79-year-old 10th World Champion told the story of Botvinnik’s escape against Fischer in the 1962 Olympiad before the modern players engaged in a fast and furious nine rounds of blitz. Mamedyarov cruised to victory with six wins and three draws, leaving second-placed Aronian two points adrift. Nepomniachtchi, Svidler and Giri were the other players to win the prize of five Whites in the main event, while Kramnik narrowly missed out. ...

September 23, 2016

How fast was the Cray?; by Frederic Friedel; Full Article From: ChessBase

The Cray-1 was the most successful supercomputer in history. It was built in 1975 and cost eight million dollars. Soon a chess program was ported to it, and "Cray Blitz" proceeded to win the Computer Chess World Championship twice in a row. So how fast exactly was the Cray, and how much progress we have made in four decades. Are today’s consumer computers faster, and if yes by what factor? Ten? You are not going to believe this. ...

September 22, 2016

Baku Olympiad 2016 - an insider's guide ; by WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni; Full Article From: Chess24

It has now been a week since I came back from Baku and there has been plenty of time to reflect on what made this Olympiad special, but also on what can be improved upon. This was my eighth participation in an Olympiad and, as such, I felt I was well-placed to draw some comparisons. Most of all, though, I just want to share some insider impressions and hopefully give you a bit of a taste of what it was like to be in Baku for this super event, as well as sharing my opinion about some of its main talking points. ...

September 20, 2016

Carlsen-Nakamura Blitz Championship Set For October 27; By PeterDoggers; Full Article From: Chess.com

You can't afford to miss it, so mark your calendar right now. It's the match everyone has been waiting for, and it's coming soon. The dream finale of Chess.com's inaugural Grandmaster Blitz Battle Championship, featuring the two best speed chess players on the planet, is scheduled for October 27.

September 19, 2016

Best game in the Bundesliga ; by Johannes Fischer; Full Article From: ChessBase

In Germany's first league, the "Bundesliga", 16 teams with eight players each play a 15-round round-robin team tournament. Now, the readers of "schachbundesliga.de", the internet portal of the "Bundesliga", voted for the best game of last season. However, voters did not have to go through all games of the season, 15 made it to the shortlist. The most votes received Jan-Krzysztof Duda's win against Grzegorz Gajewski, a fine example of the power of pawns. ...

September 19, 2016

Learning from Kramnik!; Full Article From: ChessBase

Among the many brilliant performances turned in at the Baku Olympiad was Vladimir Kramnik's gold medal performance on board two, and taking him to 2817 Elo and world no.2. While everyone appreciates his brilliance, understanding the games and moves of such a deep player often requires the help of a grandmaster who can shed light on seemingly baffling choices. Providing just that is GM Elshan Moradiabadi who shares his insights in this wonderful class on strategy....

September 17, 2016

Even Kramnik couldn't find this one!; by Sagar Shah; Full Article From: ChessBase

Three years ago Vladimir Kramnik won the 2013 FIDE World Cup in Tromsø, a 128-player knockout tournament. It was a fine and stunning victory, which involved defeating Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (currently the World's number two) in the sixth round. In game two Kramnik could have settled matters with a study-like win he had on the board, but failed to find. Not surprising in short time controls under high pressure. Try to solve the position and let Sagar Shah of ChessBase India teach you a bit about an important endgame. ...

September 16, 2016

World Championship 2016 – new broadcast, new sponsors; Full Article From: ChessBase

The 2016 World Championship, which will take place from November 11th to 30th in New York, has announced that it has a new sponsor, EG Capital, and has partnered with Livestream to build a Virtual Reality broadcast platform that will allow people all over the world a 360° view of the match. This is a first for any sport and will cost viewers $15 – for all twelve games. Naturally there will be traditional broadcast with partner chess news sites. Press release + video....

September 16, 2016

Pre-Tal Memorial Q&A with Peter Svidler; Full Article From: Chess24

Also see:"> Actual Q&A We’ve been spoiled rotten with Peter Svidler shows in the last week, with no less than four Banter Blitz sessions! He’s about to embark on a busy schedule that starts with the Tal Memorial (Kramnik, Anand, Aronian…) in 10 days’ time, but first we have one last treat – a Q&A session where you can ask the 7-time Russian Champion a question and see it answered in his live show on Saturday. ...

September 15, 2016

Nigel Short calls anti-cheating rule “anti-chess”; Full Article From: Chess24

Nigel Short’s greatest moment of the Olympiad – a match-winning victory over China’s Li Chao – almost turned to disaster. He received an official warning, but not a forfeit, for refusing to undergo a security check during the game. In this interview with IM Dorsa Derakhshani, the former World Championship Challenger vents his fury at those behind some of the new anti-cheating regulations, commenting, “they are ruining the very beauty that is chess.” ...

September 15, 2016

Anand: "In Chess, 40 Is the New 50"; By Editor; Full Article From: ChessBase

Former World Champion Vishy Anand is now 46 and a new father but doesn't plan to give up the game any time soon. He talks about his age and fatherhood and, of course, chess, in a recent interview with Susan Ninan of ESPN. Of the other players in the Candidates, he says, "I played my first Candidates before three of them were born or maybe one was a toddler." But he does admit that chess is becoming harder for older players to keep up, and one of the reasons is computers. He says, "So everyone is drowning in all this computer information, learning new things. The speed in which chess evolves, if you generate an idea you can probably use it just once since everyone else figures it out then. These are general trends which affect all players; it's just that it's possibly harder for our generation of players." See the full interview ...

September 15, 2016

Can Anyone Be an IM or GM?; By Editor; Full Article From: Chess.com

The odds are very low, probably impossible if you've started as an adult. But chess coaches continue to get this question, so it deserves an answer. See how chess teacher IM Jeremy Silman answers it honestly from a new 19-year-old player with high hopes ...

September 14, 2016 e

18 conclusions from the 2016 Baku Olympiad ; by Colin McGourty; Full Article From: Chess24

The new-look USA team lived up to the hype to win the Chess Olympiad for the first time in 40 years, edging out Ukraine in a tiebreak cliff-hanger. All the big teams won as expected in the final round, giving Russia bronze and meaning India missed out this time round. In the women’s event it looked for a while as though Russia would beat China and win their 4th Olympiad gold in a row, but instead China turned the tables, giving Hou Yifan her first team gold medal as Poland took silver and Ukraine bronze. The Russian women didn't make the podium. We draw some conclusions from the event. ...

September 14, 2016

Daniel King's final report from the Baku Olympiad; by Frederic Friedel; Full Article From: ChessBase

In the final video report on the Baku Olympiad, Daniel King brings images and comments on the eleventh round. He talks about the big matches with the historic US victory, including the surprising tiebreak conundrums, which turned into a vertiable cliff-hanger, and a small chat with Ukraine's top board Pavel Eljanov. He discusses China's first Gold with Hou Yifan, and other tidbits from Azerbaijan. Plus additional on the spot interviews.

September 13, 2016

USA Wins the Olympiad; By Editor; Full Article From: TWIC

The American men's team has won its first Olympiad since 1976. Ukraine came in second, Russia third, India fourth, and Norway fifth. The team was composed of Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura, Wesley So, Samuel Shankland, and Ray Robson, with a very strong average of 2746. China won the women's section, and the American women (Irina Krush, Nazi Paikidze, Anna Zatonskih, Katerina Nemcova, and Sabina-Francesca Foisor) took a respectable sixth. See the story and games ...

September 13, 2016

Favorite website? Chessbase.com!; by Johannes Fischer; Full Article From: ChessBase

Chessplayers from all over the world meet at the Chess Olympiad in Baku, super grandmasters and professionals, amateurs and casual players. This creates a unique atmosphere and lots of chances for a little chat. Which the ChessBase team in Baku likes to use for interviews with a variety of players. Fabiano Caruana and Robert Hess were both ready to answer a barrage of questions in 99 seconds. ...

September 12, 2016

The "Chess Train" rolls again ; Full Article From: ChessBase

The "Chess Train" journey is one of the most entertaining and charming chess events of the year. The voyage of the "Chess Train 2016" begins 7th October 2016 in Prague where it also ends on 11th October 2016, after stops in Regensburg, Innsbruck, Salzburg and Český Krumlov. During the day the participants play chess on the train, in the evening there is time to visit some of the most beautiful and culturally interesting cities of Europe. However, keep in mind that only a limited number of tickets are available - and these are very much in demand. ...

September 12, 2016

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov applies for US citizenship; Full Article From: ChessBase

At first it seems to be hard to believe but according to the Russian News Agency TASS Kirsan Ilyumzhinov sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama to apply for US citizenship. This surprising move by the FIDE President seems to be directed against the sanctions imposed on him by the U.S. Department of Treasury. As Ilyumzhinov explained, as a US citizen the sanctions "could be considered at a local court". ...

September 10, 2016

The Record Holder: Eugenio Torre ; Full Article From: ChessBase

Eugenio Torre from the Philippines, Asia's first grandmaster, is a phenomenon. In Baku he plays his 23rd Olympiad, more than any other player in chess history. Torre, who once qualified for the Candidate Matches and at his peak was number 17 in the world, gave his olympic debut in Siegen 1970 and since then has won three bronze medals for his results on board one. He is 64 years old, but still very strong. In Baku he plays on board three for the Philippines and started with 6.0/7 and an Elo-performance of 2712. A short tribute. ...

September 5, 2016

Lesson in strategy: knowing your classics; Full Article From: Chessbase

In the third round of the Baku Olympiad 2016, Evgeny Tomashevsky was playing Iordachescu. In their game, the Russian had a dominating knight on d4 against his opponent's sick-looking bishop on e6, yet he captured the bishop with his knight in what seemed to be a positively paradoxical move. Had he blundered? Or was there a hidden reason behind this choice? The answer lies in a classic game played exactly 31 years ago by Anatoly Karpov! ...

September 3, 2016

How to Follow Elite Tournaments

Do you skip out on following the top GM tournaments, telling yourself, "Why bother? I'll never be able to understand games at that level"? Nonsense, says FM Kostya Kavutskiy, who has three tips for getting the most out of elite tournaments. One, watch live commentary, he says. "Apart from live lessons, this is the best way to hear a GM's unfiltered thoughts," he says. Two, read daily reports, where you can get analysis by the players themselves. And, three, choose a player and play what he or she plays. See Kavutskiy's article:
Here.

September 3, 2016

Playing Chess for 100 Years ?!

From ChessBase: It is tempting to think that must be a typo. 110 years old? Or that the description is a generous exaggeration to link this supercentenarian (the official term for anyone reaching 110) to the noble game, but neither is the case. Zoltan Sarosy, born in Hungary in 1906, is the oldest man living in Canada, and was a professional chess player with titles from the 1920s to the 1980s, winning the Canadian Correspondence Championship three times. Here is a look at a man who has literally played chess for 100 years.
Here.

September 3, 2016

Protest of FIDE's New Anti-Cheating Toilet Rule

Three team captains at the Olympiad are collecting signatures to protest a new anti-cheating rule in effect there: players must inform the arbiter when they have to use the toilet. The protesters say the rule is humiliating for players, that it is unnecessary since the bathrooms have always been part of the playing area, that it will give the opponent a clock advantage, and that it will require arbiters to remain always at their posts in case a player has to use the bathroom urgently. They say, for example, that older players have to go more often, and that doesn't mean they are cheating. See the story: here.

September 2, 2016

Carlsen Opens with 1. e3

At the 42d Chess Olympiad in Baku, Azerbaijan, World Champion Magnus Carlsen opened his round 2 game with 1. e3, the first time he has ever played that move. Now, that can happen on the Internet when your mouse slips, but this game was over the board! Carlsen transposed into a Nimzo/Queen's Indian and won in 33 moves. Baku has spent 13.3 million euros on this year's Olympiad, making it the most lavish ever, and parts of the opening ceremony reminded us of the Olympics. See the story:
Chess.com: Here,
ChessBase: Here.

September 1, 2016

August Wrap-Up

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out!

Big News !! While, the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5), was postponed again at the request of our host, the Arlington Forest United Methodist Church, the tournament will be returning again starting October 22, 2016. There is a new pastor and the church needed the space for welcoming events. This inactivity has and will have no effect on the regular Friday evening ACC club meetings or DC Chess League matches. ACC meets every Friday starting at 7pm and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

In other club activity, ACC had a great turnout for the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), a over 50 players battled it out in a normally slow month for the Ladder Prize. There are more 2000- and 2100-level players participating lately. This month, Mark Hyland tied with Dennis Franco (2.5/4.0) both holding off 10 players tied for 2nd (2/4) just a half point behind. In a high turnout for the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), 16 players competed with newcomer Niccolo Hilgendorf winning sole 1st place (3/3) followed by Andy Huang in 2nd place (2.5/3.0) and SIX players tying for 3rd behind them (2/2). For a change, there were few draws in this event.

August 31, 2016

Tactical Detector

From ChessVibes: Tactics. After thousands of books written on this concept, after the development of several excellent tactical training tools (such as Chess.com's own Tactics Trainer), after the release of countless free engines that serve as paragons of tactical invincibility, what else can be said? I'll answer in one word: plenty! See more:
Here.

August 31, 2016

FIDE Congress - New chess laws, championships and more

From ChessBase: The Olympiad in Baku is about to start, and naturally all eyes in the chess world will turn towards this huge event. However, the team competition is not the only noteworthy event taking place, there is also the very significant FIDE Congress held near the end. Here is a preview of what will be covered, from the proposed change to allow challenges for the title, to the Chief Arbiter report of the Candidates, and even changes in the Laws of Chess.
Here.

August 31, 2016

World Championship: Sponsorship Agreement

From ChessBase: The 2016 World Championship will take place from November 11th to 30th in the Fulton Market Building in New York. Now AGON, is the official partner of the World Chess Federation (FIDE) and owner the World Chess brand as well as commercial rights holder to the FIDE World Chess Championship cycle, has announced that a green Russian fertiliser manufacturer has signed a strategic partnership with AGON to finance the match. See press release:
Here.

August 29 & 27, 2016

Take a Crack at These Killer Chess Problems

For the second straight year, Polish player Kacper Piorun won the 40th World Chess Solving Championship held last month in Belgrade. Now, we should warn you that these problems are tough, but former champ John Nunn has selected some of the easier ones and provided clear explanations to help you become a better solver.
Solutions part 1: Here,
Solutions part 2: Here.

August 29, 2016

Chess Volunteer Gets Hit with a £300,000 Tax Bill

For 20 years, Mike Basman has organized the Delancey UK Schools Chess Challenge, which includes 1200 British schools and up to 70,000 children, making it the largest chess championship anywhere. But now Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (the British IRS) has told Mr. Basman he owes £300,000 for value-added taxes that must be levied on entry fees. Mr. Basman, 70, doesn't have the money. He said, "There's no way I can pay this. I'm a chess teacher, and my work is to run a tournament, not to collect tax." See the story:
Here.

August 28, 2016

Machine creativity: what it is and what it isn't

From ChessBase: As technology and computer science advance, the contributions of computers to human knowledge have made it harder and harder to delineate which part of the equation was the more essential, humans or the computers they used. Obviously we cannot outcalculate the top computers anymore than we can outrun a car, but one area we still outdo machines is in creativity, right? Is this still true, and if so, for how long? See more:
Here.

August 27, 2016

40th World Chess Solving Championship – solutions

From ChessBase: During the first week of August the city of Belgrade, famous for many notable chess events in the past, hosted the 40th World Chess Solving Championship. The event was covered vigorously in the national media, and it was won by the Polish participants. John Nunn, who won the Seniors section, sent us a report with some very nice problems for our readers to solve. Today he presents the solutions, annotated in his wonderfully lucid style. Full article:
here.

August 23, 2016

Impressions From British Championship

From ChessBase: Michael Adams has been a member of the world’s elite for twenty odd years. Like Anand, Gelfand, Ivanchuk, and others he is a player who has turned 40 but refuses to go away. These days he often has to face opponents half his age. In the recently concluded British Championship Adams scored a stunning 10.0/11 points to take his fifth title. Manuel Weeks shows us some of the highlights from the event with training questions for you to solve. More:
Here.

August 22, 2016

Interview: Hou Yifan

Before becoming a chess player, Women's World Champion Hou Yifan says she wanted to be a detective. "I found out that there are similarities between the two things, because both need theoretical thinking," she says. In a recent interview with online trading company Tradimo, she also says she would rather achieve 2700 than another world championship. On being rich, she says, "If we can play the top men’s events, be a Top 10 player in the world, it could be kind of promising, but for a women’s player, even if you are playing a World Championship match, it is probably a little bit better than a normal job, but it is nevertheless far away from the 'rich' level." See more:
Here.

August 21, 2016

Interview: Jeffery Xiong, World Junior Champion

From ChessBase: It was a dominating performance from the American, as he secured his tournament win with a round to spare. Jeffery Xiong (pictured with his father) becomes the first player from the US to win this tournament in 19 years! We bring you an express report on his tournament, including annotations on his key and flashy victory against Aravindh, and will update with an extensive interview.
ChessBase: Here,


Chess 24: Here.

August 20, 2016

Huffington Post: Wesley So

From Huffington: “I am living a dream,” exclaimed Wesley So after winning the 2016 Sinquefield Cup, the strongest tournament of his life and one of the year's best. With this victory he took the lead in the Grand Chess Tour. Huffington Post columnist GM Lubomir Kavalek shows us how Wesley handled a sharp Catalan against Hikaru Nakamura, Kavalek also looks at the best game of the event, Nakamura vs Ding, and a geometrical gem by Ulf Andersson from 2012. There's a lot to learn. See more:
Huffington: Here,


ChessBase Interview: Here,


TWIC: Here.

August 19, 2016

Paul Keres: Prince without a Crown

From Chess24: In 2016 the chess world lost Viktor Korchnoi, many people’s choice as the strongest player never to become World Champion. Another contender for that title is Paul Keres (1916-1975), the great Estonian grandmaster, who would have turned 100 this year. To mark his centenary his compatriot Joosep Grents looks back on the life and career of the “Eternal Second”, starting with Keres’ early years until his explosion onto the international scene at the 1935 Olympiad.
Here,
Here.

August 18, 2016

Mate with Bishop and Knight

Could you pull off the K+B+N vs. K mate, the most difficult of the elementary mates? We have at least one ACC club member who was in that situation and was able to find the way against an opponent who wouldn't resign and made him play it out to the bitter end. Here's a great two-part lesson on the mate from lichess.org:
Here.

August 16, 2016

Chess Trash Talk

Isn't chess supposed to be a gentleman's game? Alas, trash talk has come now even to chess. After the Sinquefield Cup concluded, Garry Kasparov, Yasser Seirawan, Rex and Randy Sinquefield, and the tournament players got together for some informal team blitz. But the trash talk was the highlight. See for yourself:
Here.

August 16 & 11, 2016

Someone Who Excels At Everything Including Chess

From ChessBase: Who is the youngest player to become the World Junior Champion in the history of the game? Kasparov? Anand? Karpov? No, none of them. It is the French grandmaster Joel Lautier. In part one of the interview with Joel Lautier we spoke about Joel's early chess career, his World Junior victory, and his battles against Garry Kasparov. In the second part Lautier narrates his exciting story of working with Kramnik as a second and how the Berlin Defence came into play. He also tells us about the ACP and reveals the reason why he left chess. Reading this interview you will realize that it is absolutely no miracle that the man excels at everything he does. More:
Part 1: Here,
Part 2: Here.

August 15, 2016

Wesley So Wins Sinquefield Cup

$75,000 is not bad for nine day's work. That was the size of American Wesley So's check for winning the Sinquefield Cup with a score of 5.5/9 and an amazing performance of 2857. But it was hard work. He had to compete against nine of the world's top players, six of them in the world top ten. The Sinquefield Cup is the third of four Grand Chess Tour tournaments. See the story:
Here.

August 13, 2016

What Does Nakamura Think about the World Championship?

When world #6 Hikaru Nakamura was recently asked what he thought about the World Championship, he said he was disappointed with the location and thought the World Championship cycle should be more like tennis's Grand Slam. Hear his reasons in the following video (the Nakamura interview begins at 3:22):
Here.

August 9, 2016

Sinquefield Cup Round 4 Report

Round 4 of the Sinquefield Cup has ended with draws in all 5 games, making a total of 10 consecutive draws. One of those games can be blamed on food poisoning. In what could have been an exciting Benoni, Aronian transposed into a drawish Queen's Gambit against Caruana, and the game ended in a short, 30-move draw. Aronian apologized afterwards, explaining that he had a bout of food poisoning and wanted to get the game over quickly. At this point in the tournament, four players (So, Anand, Aronian, and Topalov) are tied with 2.5 points each.
Round 4 report: Here,
Live games here: Here.

August 8, 2016

Confirmed: World Championship in New York

The 2016 World Championship Match between champion Magnus Carlsen and challenger Sergey Karjakin will be held in the Fulton Market Building in New York City Nov. 11–30, thus dispelling rumors that the match might be moved to Moscow. The sponsors for the event have not yet been announced. ChessBase has pictures of the setting as well as the schedule here:
Here.

August 5, 2016

Does Playing Chess Make Your Children Smarter?

Educational experts have long thought that chess improves concentration and confidence in children, therefore improving their grades. However, a recent study in England showed no improvement in math scores. After 30 hours of chess instruction each, 3000 primary school children did no better on two key math exams than did other students who had not received the chess lessons. Perhaps chess lessons only improve your chess game. See the story:
Here.

August 4, 2016

Russian Federation Proposal to FIDE

From ChessBase: The FIDE office in Athens has received a proposal by the President of the RCF suggesting that World Champion should in the future be allowed to "accept the challenge of any player who can contribute to the prize fund and the costs of holding of the match." FIDE would get 50% of the prize fund. The proposal, which is to be discussed in September at the FIDE Congress in Baku, has met with immediate protest from the Association of Chess Professionals. Full article:
Here.

August 3, 2016

Interviews with Chess Legends in Denmark

From Chess24: In Round 8 of the Xtracon Chess Open Alexei Shirov beat Jan Timman while Boris Gelfand commentated live on the game, as though 25 years of chess history had never happened. Shirov went on to tie for first place with six more players, and while 19-year-old Matthias Bluebaum took the trophy on tiebreaks it was the veterans who stole the show. Simen Agdestein and Julio Granda were among the players interviewed by the organisers, with top seed Granda confessing to never having been a chess fan and finding most elite chess games boring. We have highlights from the interviews.
Here.

August 3, 2016

What GMs Fear Most II (in Simuls)

From ChessBase: In this part two of this article – part one had grandmasters tell us what they fear most during simuls – two FIDE masters recall their most memorable games from playing in simuls. Normally, FMs give simuls rather than play in simuls. Long before he became an FM, Keith Hayward played in grandmaster Lubomir Kavalek’s simul. The second FM, William Schill, couldn’t pass up the chance to play the current World Champion. They describe the experience:
Here.

August 3, 2016

Live Coverage of British Championship

Chess24 has live coverage of the 103rd British Championship. After 9 rounds, Michael Adams leads a field of 86 players with a score of 8/9. This is a good tournament to watch because many of the players are well known to us because we have so many of their excellent chess books! The tournament concludes on Aug. 5. Get live coverage:
Here.

August 2, 2016

July Wrap-Up

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out!

In July, the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5), had to be cancelled at the last minute at the request of our host, the Arlington Forest United Methodist Church. There is a new pastor and the church needed the space for welcoming events. The August event also had to be cancelled. This new activity will have no effect on the regular Friday evening ACC club meetings or DC Chess League matches. ACC meets every Friday starting at 7pm and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

But otherwise, ACC saw excellent turnout for the other events held this month. For the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5), a whopping 75 players battled it out for the Ladder Prize (usually club Ladder entries tops out in the fifties each month). There are more 2000- and 2100-level players participating lately. This month, Xing Jian tied with newcomer Reevu Adakroy (4/5) both holding off 3 players tied for 3rd (3.5/4) and two others at (3/4). In a high turnout for the ACC Action tournament (5 rounds, G/30, d5), 18 players competed with Isaac Chiu and Missaka Warusawitharana tying for 1st place (3/3) with SEVEN players tying for 3rd behind them (2/2). For a change, there were few draws in this event.

August 1, 2016

A Gamer? or Just a Chess Player?

From ChessBase: The Czech Open held in Pardubice is one of those events that is just a joy to follow and see unfold. Although chess is its greatest focus with a very strong open, followed by opens of all kinds for every variant there is such as Chess 960, bughouse, problem solving… you name it, it is a festival of games from classics such as bridge, go and backgammon, to Rubik’s cube, Mankala and Smoking Cat! Here is a huge pictorial with commented games.
Here.

August 1, 2016

5 Reasons Chess Is Better Than Pokémon Go

Chess.com writer "Pete" says, "Pokémon Go is the fastest-growing smartphone game in history, and it's been dominating the news since its launch in July, at least in the gaming world. But is it a better game than chess? We don't think so." Read his funny article here to find out why he thinks so:
Here.

August 1, 2016

Kramnik Withdraws from Sinquefield Cup

Citing "health issues," world #3 Vladimir Kramnik has withdrawn from the Sinquefield Cup, which will start Aug. 5. Russian Peter Svidler was invited to take his place, and he has accepted. The Sinquefield Cup, the third of four tournaments in the Grand Chess Tour, is the strongest annual tournament on U.S. soil and will feature ten of the world's top players, including three Americans. How strong is it? The lowest-rated player is rated 2754!
Story here: Here,
Player bios: Here.

August 1, 2016

Video Master Class: Korchnoi

Among the many activities and events hosted at the Biel Chess Festival were two excellent Master Classes. The first was presented by MVL, and this second one is by GM Daniel King together with GM Yannick Pelletier. The theme is suitably a tribute to Viktor Korchnoi, who was a Swiss citizen for much of his life, and his games played at the Biel tournaments. Enjoy this video presentation on Viktor the Terrible! See video:
Here.

July 31, 2016

What GMs Fear Most (In Simuls))

Your best chance to draw or win against a grandmaster is to play one in a simultaneous exhibition. In part one of this article by WIM Dr Alexey Root, grandmasters tell us what they fear most during simuls – and why, despite those challenges, they enjoy giving them. Read more:
Here.

July 31, 2016

Interview: Karjakin On Spain

Sergey Karjakin’s last individual tournament before his World Championship match against Magnus Carlsen didn’t go to plan. He failed to win a single game in the 2016 Bilbao Masters, and lost the first game and came close to losing the second against the World Champion. The Russian star reflects on his performance in a recent interview and talks about the Russian team’s chances in the upcoming Olympiad in Baku. See more:
Here.

July 30, 2016

Mihalcisin: Critical Moments

The idea of critical moments is not hard to understand, and perhaps because of this is so easy to underestimate. These key moments in our games are essentially the turning point, leading to a decisive and negative change if missed or played improperly. Veteran trainer Adrian Mikhalchishin casts his expert eye on this topic to teach the student to recognize them and not misplay them. See more:
here.

July 27, 2016

Interview: Svidler

On his 40th birthday Peter Svidler was in Almaty to play in the Eurasian Blitz Cup and gave an interview for the Kazakhstan edition of Esquire magazine. He talked about the life of a chess player, the phenomenon and likely consequences of the popularity of chess in Norway, and how he’s already beginning to think about what he might do when he can no longer play chess at the very highest level. Hear more:
here.

July 22, 2016

Interview: Nigel Davies

Currently, Grandmaster Nigel Davies, author of 40 DVDs and 17 books, does not play in tournaments. But he attends them, as parental support for his 14-year-old son Sam. In this interview, Nigel discusses chess improvement, the concept of being fully engaged, martial arts and fighting, chess parenting, and why he and Sam are in different chess federations. Read more:
here.

July 22, 2016

Chess Dodging Terror

In a world that seems to have gone mad, it was yet another act of terror that has almost left us numb after so many in succession. Gunmen had entered the Olympia mall in Munich, killing eight. The laws of probability said that even chess might someday become a casualty and today seemed like that day might have come as a massive chess event took place right there expecting over ten thousand children. Read more:
here.

July 22, 2016

Featured Website: ChessKid.com

From time to time, we like to point out nice discoveries we've made on the internet, and this week we want to tell you about ChessKid.com, which is a part of Chess.com. The site says, "ChessKid.com is specifically designed to be a safe and fun place for kids. The website is kid-friendly and easy to navigate. Lessons and videos are short, engaging and fun!" You'll see that it also provides help to parents, schools, clubs, teachers, and coaches. Check it out:
here.

July 21, 2016

Bilbao: World Championship Preview?

In round 8 of the Bilbao Masters, Sergey Karjakin and Magnus Carlsen played for the last time before their World Championship Match in November. If fans were expecting an exciting preview of the fierce duel to come, they didn't get it. The two played to a quick draw by repetition in only 19 moves in one of the least exciting games of the tournament. Carlsen has a comfortable lead in the 6-player tournament with two rounds to go. See the story:
here.

July 20, 2016

Dawn of Komodo

Komodo is a chess program that is different from the rest. Its search makes greater use of extensions than any other top engine, which allows Komodo to often see deeper than the others, even if it is displaying a slightly lower search depth. Still, have you ever wondered about the birth of a top chess engine? Here is its tale and the actors whose passion and genius fueled its creation. Read more:
here.

July 17, 2016

The Perfect Pawn Center

Is a "perfect" pawn center, one in which your king and queen pawns are on the fourth rank, a winning advantage? As John Nunn explains in his Understanding Chess Move By Move, "A pawn center well supported by pieces is desirable, whereas one that is overextended and vulnerable is not. The dividing line between these two cases is often quite fine, and may depend on tactical nuances specific to the given position." Chess.com writer "GM Gserper" uses some obscure games to show the difference. See his enjoyable article:
here.

July 16, 2016

The Big Book of World Chess Championships

During World War I, Alexander Alekhine, who would go on to become the fourth World Champion, was captured by the Germans, later served with the Red Cross in Italy, and later narrowly escaped a death sentence because a Ukrainian chess master was able to get him a pardon. Mikhail Tal, the eighth World Champion, was a good piano player despite having only three fingers on his right hand. In the Candidates Tournament leading up to the match with Bobby Fischer in 1972, reportedly there was match fixing between Petrosian and Korchnoi because Soviet officials felt that Petrosian had the better chance to beat Fischer. These stories and more appear in Andre Schulz's The Big Book of World Chess Championships. See John Watson's excellent review of the book:
here.

July 15, 2016

** New ** ACC Club Pictures

Arlington Chess Club has uploaded a host of club pictures from the last two years including from the DC Chess League. All the older pictures are still available as well - they can be found of the link to the Photo Archives page. You can see them all:
here.

July 14, 2016

Chess Informant: Annotation Symbols

Every chess player knows what ? and ! mean, but do you really know what all those other, more obscure annotation symbols mean in chess books? Here is the list of the Chess Informant symbols adopted by many chess book publishers, and it's a good website to bookmark:
here.

July 16, 2016

Bibao Rd 3: Carlsen Trounces Karjakin

Magnus Carlsen took the sole lead after three rounds of the Bilbao Masters Final with a convincing win against Sergey Karjakin. With three points for a win and one for a draw Carlsen leads with 6/9 a point clear of Hikaru Nakamura. Read more:
King Video: here,
TWIC: here,
Chessbase: here.

July 13, 2016

Bilbao: Nakamura Beats Carlsen in Round 1

American Hikaru Nakamura has beaten Magnus Carlsen in round 1 of the Bilbao Masters. This is the first time Nakamura has beaten Carlsen at classical time controls. The tournament is the strongest underway now and features 6 of the world's top players, but what is most interesting about it is that it will be the last time we see World Champion Carlsen playing against Challenger Sergey Karjakin before their World Championship Match in November. See the story:
here.

July 12, 2016

Picking the Correct Opening Repertoire

"You must pick an opening that gives you a sense of excitement and joy whenever that opening appears on the board," writes GM Simon Williams. "After all," he continues, "if you enjoy an opening, you will naturally play it well." Williams goes on to give 4 other rules for choosing an opening repertoire, and you can see them all:
here.

July 12, 2016

Speelman: Korchnoi Tribute

arguably the strongest player never to become world champion. Viktor Korchnoi died just under a month ago, and a lot has been written about this super-grandmaster who had played against six generations of chess players. Jonathan Speelman, who faced him 18 times, has written an insightful eulogy in CHESS magazine, which includes a number of little-known pictures. Check it out:
here.

July 11, 2016

Summer Chess Festivity, Jerusalem

The National Cup games in Israel are a traditional one-day rapid team competition. For the first time this popular event was hosted by the Israeli capital, Jerusalem. Alongside this massive team competition with 38 teams was a series of parallel activities for aficionados and children, with balloons, chess, arts and craft, chess, actors, and more chess! Read more:
here.

July 10, 2016

Q&A with Mark Dvoretsky

Mark Dvoretsky, perhaps the world’s best known chess coach, has been in Hamburg this week to film two video series for chess24. With the hard work over, he’s now available for one final treat – a live Question and Answer session on Monday. Ever wanted to ask a true expert about how to approach your own chess – or want to hear about his experiences with some chess legends? This was your chance!
Chessbase: here,
Video: here.

July 9, 2016

Chess Masters Tackle the Gender Gap

The gender gap in chess persists: there are no women on the list of the world's top 100 rated players. No one yet understands why, but perhaps there is progress. At an elite clinic for young masters at the Marshall Chess Club last week, 4 of the 14 top young masters were girls. One of them was Virginia's 14-year-old Jennifer Yu. See the story:
here.

July 6, 2016

Germany Wins World Senior 50+ Team Championship

Many of us would take offense that the chess world considers you a "senior" if you're over 50, but that is how the World Senior Team Championship in Radebeul, Germany, classified it. Germany won the 50+ section, but Russia remains a major chess power and won the 65+ and women's sections. Each team was made up of five players. See the story:
here.

July 5, 2016

Komodo Is World Computer Chess Champion

Komodo 10 has won the International Computer Games Association (ICGA) World Computer Chess Championship. Komodo, running on a 48-core computer, beat out five other very strong chess engines, including Jonny, which was running on 2400 cores. Although many chess engine enthusiasts consider the TCEC competition the real world championship and note that Stockfish, Komodo's usual strongest competitor, did not participate, the ICGA tournament is nevertheless an extremely strong one. Komodo was developed by the late Don Dailey, Mark Lefler, and Arlington Chess Club's GM Larry Kaufman. It is rated 3362. That's 507 points higher than the current human world champion! See the story:
here.

July 5, 2016

Interview - Dvoretsky on Computers

Mark Dvoretsky is the world’s best known chess coach. In a recent interview the 68-year-old talked about how Magnus Carlsen has been the trendsetter for chess players to move away from opening theory, the influence of computers on the middlegame and endgame, and how Sergey Karjakin is in a similar position to the Russian football team as he tries to win the World Championship. See more:
here.

July 2, 2016

Impeachment for Ilyumzhinov?

Chess-News learnt that Kirsan Ilyumzhinov might face an impeachment procedure during the coming FIDE General Assembly that will take place in Baku in September. In order to do so it is necessary to collect 50% plus one delegates' vote. See more:
here.

July 2, 2016

Interview - Gelfand: On Missing Baku

Boris Gelfand will not play in the 2016 Olympiad in Baku, his first absence from the world’s top team event since he moved from Belarus to Israel in 1998. The reason is a dispute with the Israeli Chess Federation management, who he accuses in a recent interview of having “absolutely forgotten about such things as the prestige of the country”. The interview covers much more than that sad topic, though, including Boris’ thoughts on how lucky his generation was to be able to combine the best of the pre-computer age with new technology. See more:
here.

July 2, 2016

Carlsen Drops Out of GCT

Although Magnus Carlsen is leading the Grand Chess Tour after two events, he is dropping out to start preparing himself for the World Championship in November against challenger Sergey Karjakin. The first two GCT tournaments were speed events. The next two, in St. Louis and London, will have classical time controls. In the GCT, players get to drop their lowest result from the four events. See the story:
here.

July 1, 2016

June Wrap-Up

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out!

In June, the DC Chess League (DCCL) decided to hold all matches at the Arlington Chess Club for the near future. The first couple of rounds have been put in the books and the transition appears to have completed without a hitch though some Amateur section teams have dropped out for at least the summer session. Some 50 players fought it out over boards of 64 squares on the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5) this past month. Xing Jian tied with Lev Bargramian (2.5/4) both holding off Kevin Carriere and Thomas P. Moore by a half point (2/4) to win the Ladder. In a low turnout in the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5), newcomer Lokesh Palani swept through the competition to win first place (4.5/5) followed by Andrew Samuelson in second (4/5) and Mauro Boffa in 3rd (3.5/5). In the U1700 Section, David Lin spotted the field a game after an early loss but then ran the board to win first place (4/5) followed by Yevgeny Dodzin in second (3.5/4) and Micah Shenk-Evans in third (3/5). Adamson Steiner won another class prize (U1400) as did Sachin Satishkumar (U1200). In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), 14 players competed with both Sam Schenk and newcomer Missaka Warusawitharana sweeping their opponents to tie for first place(3/3).

June 30, 2016

What Is the Initiative?

We all know that having the initiative in chess is an advantage. But what is it, really? Chess teacher Jeremy Silman says, "An initiative isn’t necessarily an attack. It just means that you are calling the shots and your opponent has to respond." But the initiative is only a temporary advantage; you must convert it into a long-term, static one. Silman goes on to elaborate with examples, and you can read his article:
here.

June 30, 2016

The Blindfold King

Later this year, GM Timur Gareyev is going to play 47 opponents at once while blindfolded in an attempt to break the current world record of 46. While preparing for it, he agreed to let a team of neuroscientists from UCLA put him in an MRI and observe how his brain worked as he played four chess games blindfolded. It turns out that Gareyev has above average visualization regions in his parietal lobe. Read his story:
here.

June 29, 2016

Interview - Wojtaszek on Carlsens

Radosław Wojtaszek is Poland’s no. 1 and one of the top 30 players in the world. The highlight of his career so far has been beating World Champion Magnus Carlsen and then world no. 2 Fabiano Caruana in the space of three rounds in the 2015 Tata Steel Masters. In a recent interview he talks about what went right, and then wrong, at that tournament, and, as the husband of Russian Grandmaster Alina Kashlinskaya, he talks about men and women in chess.. See more:
here.

June 28, 2016

Interview - Karjakan: Prepping for Carlsen

Sergey Karjakin will take on Magnus Carlsen in the Bilbao Masters in two weeks’ time, though it’s of course just a dress rehearsal for the big one – the 2016 World Chess Championship match in New York this November. In a recent interview the challenger talked about that match and how it’s affecting his tournaments this year. See more:
here.

June 24, 2016

A month in the life of Garry Kasparov

What does a legendary World Chess Champion do when he retires? Appear as a VIP guest at chess events, or as a celebrities at social events. Not the 13th World Champion who jets across the globe holding political, business and chess speaking events, with participation in a world class blitz tournament as a quick interlude. Garry Kasparov sent us a description of hs recent activities. You should especially watch the video lecture at the end of the report. See more:
here.

June 23, 2016

Luxury Weekend in Marrakech

Looking for something special – we mean really special? How about a weekend of chess, with two well-known British GMs (Short and Conquest) providing daily classes and lectures, in the most luxurious surroundings you can imagine (in Marrakech, Marocco)? It will set you back £2,000 per person, all inclusive, plus £600 for a partner in the same room. Before you shelve the idea take a look at these pictures. See more:
here.

June 22, 2016

Chess to Music

One of the most popular youtube video channels is run by Kurt Hugo Schneider. The young US-American can boast of seven million followers which makes him more popular than the NBA. Schneider is also an excellent chessplayer and was once one of the most promising talents in the US. But he then decided to use his creativity to change modern music. See more:
here.

June 20, 2016

Carlsen Wins YourNextMove

World Champion Magnus Carlsen has won the YourNextMove GCT rapid and blitz tournament, the second of four Grand Chess Tour events for 2016. American player Hikaru Nakamura, normally a superstar at blitz, finished in a disappointing fourth place. The tournament was played in Leuven, Belgium. The next Grand Tour event will be the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, which starts on Aug. 1. See the story:
here.

June 20, 2016

Carlsen wins Grand Chess Tour Leuven

In Paris, at the first leg of the Grand Chess Tour 2016, Hikaru Nakamura was able to get the better of World Champion Magnus Carlsen. But at the second Grand Chess Tour tournament 2016 in Leuven Carlsen came back with a vengeance. He showed an impressive performance in the second part of the blitz tournament and won the event convincingly. See more:
ChessBase Report: here,

Reviewing Tour: here.

June 16, 2016

Russia Beats China

The tenth friendship match between Russia and China in Moscow ended in a narrow 25.5-24.5 victory for Russia. It was Russia's women's team that decided the event in Russia's favor. The men drew their match 12.5-12.5 but the Russian women beat the Chinese 13-12. The result could have even been clearer had the Russian women used all their chances in the final round. See more:
ChessBase Report: here,

Inside The Match: here.

June 14, 2016

IM Daniel Kopec dies at 62

A highly talented home-bred US player, New York High School Champion at 14, National Master at 17, Scottish Champion at 26, he was also a computer science professor at Brooklyn College, with a PhD in Machine Intelligence. In the chess world he is best known for the "Bratko-Kopec" test used to evaluate the positional understanding of chess programs. We bring you a video eulogy with analysis of his games. See more:
here.

June 13, 2016

Russia v. China

Since 2001 Russia and China play friendship chess matches against each other. The tenth of these friendship matches takes place from 11th to 15 June in Moscow. Each team consists of five players and each player of one team plays against all players from the other team. After three rounds the score in the men's event is even but in the women's event Russia leads 8.5-6.5. See more:
here.

June 13, 2016

Nakamura Wins Grand Chess Tour Paris

American GM Hikaru Nakamura is practically unbeatable at fast time controls, and he's proved it once again. Paris was the home of the first tournament of this year's Grand Chess Tour. The format for the tournament was a grueling two days of 9 rapid games followed by two days of 18 blitz games. With two games to go, Nakamura was 2.5 ahead and had already cliched the win. He won the rapid portion of the tournament with a performance of 3001! He tied with World Champion Magnus Carlsen in the blitz portion, but that was enough to win overall. American players Wesley So and Fabiano Caruana finished in 4th and 8th places, respectively. Stay tuned for more Grand Chess Tour events, which pits ten of the world's top players together. See the story:
here.

June 10, 2016

Chess Vacations

Playing chess in nice surroundings has a lot of advantages. If you play well, you will enjoy the nice surroundings even more. And if you do not play well, you can always enjoy the nice surroundings. When Alina l'Ami played a small, fine tournament in Salento, Italy, her results could have been better but she enjoyed the tournament and the place. Large pictorial report. See more:
here.

June 6, 2016

Viktor Korchnoi Dead at 85

GM Viktor Korchnoi, considered to be the strongest player never to have won the World Championship, died on June 6 at the age of 85. Korchnoi was the Soviet champion four times. He played in ten Candidates Tournaments, winning twice. In the 1974 Candidates, he lost to Anatoly Karpov, who was 20 years younger than he was, in a very close match. When Fischer declined to play the following year, Karpov became World Champion. After a tournament in Amsterdam in 1976, Korchnoi defected from the Soviet Union and settled eventually in Switzerland, where he later became the oldest player to win a national championship at the age of 78. Despite a stroke in 2012, he was the oldest active GM, having played in a simul as recently as 2015. Here are tributes by the chess world and the press:
ChessBase: here,

ChessBase 2: here,

Various Homage: here,

Kasparov: here,

Telegraph: here,

New York Times: here,

Chess 24: here,

Karpov: here,

Svidler: here,

Golubev: here,

Historic, Acers 1: here,

Historic, Acers 2: here,

Historic, Acers 3: here.

June 4, 2016

Mamedyarov Beats Caruana in Playoff at Shamkir

Although American Fabiano Caruana had been leading most of the way, Azerbaijani player Shakhriyar Mamedyarov made an amazing sprint at the end of the tournament, winning his last two games and then the playoff against Caruana to win the very strong Vugar Gashimov Memorial Tournament, which was held in Shamkir, Azerbaijan. Caruana is ranked third in the world, and Mamedyarov, 18th. See the story:
here.

June 3, 2016

Youngest IM Ever

Indian player R. Praggnanandhaa has become the youngest IM in history at the age of 10 years, 10 months, and 19 days, when he won his third norm at the KiiT International Chess Festival in Bhubaneswar, India. Incidentally, the player whose record he broke is Sergey Karjakin, the new challenger for this year's upcoming World Championship Match against Magnus Carlsen. Praggnanandhaa's rating is now 2415, and if he follows Karjakin's rapid rise, perhaps it's not too early to learn how to pronounce his name. Chess.com has the story here, as well as a list of the youngest GMs:
here.

June 2, 2016

"Developing the Initiative" by Timur Gareyev

By now you have seen and read the reports on GM Timur Gareev and his blindfold chess exploits. Aside from his unique focus, and fashion sense, his chess is also very attractive with a disregard for material and talent for attack that make for very enjoyable viewing. Sharing his understanding, he recorded a 60-minute masterclass on the initiative. See more:
here.

May 30, 2016

May Wrap-Up

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out!

This month,just under 50 players battled it our in the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5) as Josh Hiban (4/4) held off Xing Jian (3.5/4.0) by a half point. Their closest competitors had only a couple of points (2/4). In the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) 41 players battled it out with Yuri Barnakov (4.5/5.0) coming back to the area for a brief visit to spot the field half a point and then run the tables including beating top seed Andy Samuelson, who finished in sole second (4/5). In the U1700 Section, Ken Borghese and Srini Aiyer dominated (4/5) their way to tied 1st place (4/5) a half point ahead of Sachin Satishkumar in 3rd (and who picked up over 150 ratings points!). Adamson Steiner won the U1400 Class Prize (and about 100 rating points!) and Ritvika Palani won the U1200 Class Prize. In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), 19 players competed with Isaac Chiu (3/3) knocking off Franco Jose on his way to a clear 1st win followed by Jason Spector and Kebadu Belachew tied for 2nd (2.5/3).

May 25, 2016

New Cheating Incident

The scourge of cheating continues to threaten the integrity of our game. The prize fund for the Delhi (India) Chess Association's Under 1600 Tournament was a million rupees (about $15,000). Such large prize funds can attract cheaters, and sure enough, this one did. After player Shrang Rajendra won the tournament with a score of 8.5/9, officials searched him and found a hidden cell phone and power supply in his trousers, as well as a micro earpiece in his right ear. In his statement, Rajendra admitted that he had used the phone and microphone to communicate moves with an accomplice, who was using a chess engine. You can see the devices used in the pictures that accompany the article here:
here.

May 23, 2016

Happy Birthday, Anatoly Karpov

Anatoly Karpov, the 12th World Chess Champion, turned 65 on May 23. ChessBase writer Priyadarshan Banjan provides a fascinating look back at Karpov's career. Karpov was the world #1 player for 90 months, a record beaten only by Garry Kasparov. Karpov dominated chess from 1975 until Kasparov defeated him in 1985. But was that only because Bobby Fischer defaulted on the 1975 match? Read Banjan's fascinating story here:
here.

May 22, 2016

The Touch-Move Rule Outbreak

There has been a recent spate of touch-move rule infractions. Or has there? Maybe it only seems like it because so many more games are captured on video nowadays. Chess.com has an interesting set of videos of several very famous players, including Karpov, Kasparov, and Carlsen, all of whom apparently need a refresher on the rule. For example, in one of the videos, former World Champion Karpov castles by touching the rook first; that's a no-no. Watch the videos here:
here.

May 22, 2016

When Computers Used to Go Wrong

Tired of having your computer crush you at chess every time? Even when you turn on the "dumbed-down" settings? ChessBase founder Fredric Friedel, however, remembers when computers weren't so strong. Most readers will know that a bishop and a pawn against a lone king is a draw if the pawn is on the a- or h-file and the bishop doesn't control the queening square. Human players have known this for 500 years, but Friedel tells the story of how computers had to be taught it in the 1980s. Read his story:
Part 1: here,

Part 2: here.

May 21, 2016

Crushing Queen Pawn Openings

Some of our club members prefer to learn chess from books, some prefer chess teachers, and other prefers learning over the Internet. If you haven't discovered that last category yet, you're in for a pleasant surprise. YouTube has a huge number of chess lectures online, and they're mostly free. In the link below, we provide just one example, taken almost at random. It's an hour-long lecture by Bulgarian IM Valeri Livov in which he promises to show you "how to crush all those solid, positional 1.d4 players." See his "Crushing Queen Pawn Openings" here:
here.

May 21, 2016

Chess Progress: Making The Big Leap

Contrary to some fields where controlled steady progress is the norm, chess is dominated more often than not by timely bursts forward preceded by periods of seeming stagnation. It can be tricky knowing when it is one or the other. Here is the tale of just such a leap forward, as well as tips and recommendations to help you make your big leap. Full article:
here.

May 20, 2016

Hou Yifan Drops Out of the Cycle

Women's World Champ Hou Yifan has dropped out of the Women's World Championship cycle, in protest. She has been urging FIDE to adopt a qualifiers-Candidates-World Championship Match cycle for women, just as the men do, but FIDE won't go along. As it is now, the winner of the Women's Grand Prix circuit is the new World Champion. Hou Yifan believes the winner should be the challenger, not the new champion. Perhaps Hou Yifan is now strong enough to made changes. See her story here:
here.

May 18, 2016

Wilhelm Steinitz: A Short Tribute

In 1886 Steinitz won the first official match for the World Championship in chess against Hermann Zukertort to become the first World Champion in chess history. Steinitz is also considered to be the founder of the scientific approach to chess. A short biography and three games follow:
here.

May 14, 2016

How Underrated Are Kids? (Part 2)

In his first article studying the ratings disparities of juniors compared to adults, Ganesh Viswanath had studied the causal factors that might be responsible. In this second article, he posits, "I find that on average juniors are statistically underrated by up to 50 Elo rating points against adult players, and this bias increases with the age difference." Here is his statistical study:
here.

May 11, 2016

Carlsen: The Cool GM

The Norwegian has brought designer clothes and interactive apps to chess and in six months time he puts his reputation as the world’s best player on the line. ednesday marks the start of a six-month countdown to the World Chess Championship in New York, where Russia’s Sergey Karjakin will try to snatch the title from the champion, Magnus Carlsen from Norway, who has been holding it since 2013. See more:
here.

May 10, 2016

Ernesto Inarkiev Is the 2016 European Champion

Russian GM Ernesto Inarkiev has won the European Championship with a score of 9/11 and a performance of 2882. Inarkiev is on a tear because he finished the Russian Team Championship just the week before with a 2901 performance. We probably need to keep our eye on this 30-year-old. The Week in Chess has the results here:
here.

May 10, 2016

A Fast King in the Corner

Some endgames are just magic. Endgame guru Karsten Müller writes a weekly column for ChessBase, and this week's has a position that looks hopeless for White. White's king is all the way in the corner while Black's king is nicely centralized, and Black has a passed pawn that White can't get to. Yet, by precise play, White can draw. Try the puzzle for yourself:
here.

May 9, 2016

Kramnik Puts Karjakin to Carlsen Test

An entire team of trainers has been working with Sergey Karjakin for quite some time; exactly how many new GMs have joined his team since he became the official world championship challenger will probably remain a mystery right until the end of his match with Carlsen this November. But yesterday in Sochi Karjakin gained a free yet priceless 138-move training game with Vladimir Kramnik. See more:
here,

here.

May 9, 2016

Russian Team Championship

You might expect the competition at the Russian Team Championship to be ferocious, and you would be right. Chess24 is closely following the event and has posted seven stories from the last three rounds, including the blunder of the tournament by rising star 18-year-old Vladislav Artemiev. See the stories here:
here.

May 8, 2016

China-USA Grandmaster Summit

Chinese #1 player Ding Liren and American #3 Wesley So played a 4-game match in Shanghai May 4-8. Ding won game 3 (the others were draws) and took the $20,000 first prize. So won $10,000, not bad for second place! See the games:
here.

May 6, 2016

In Memoriam: Dennis Strenzwilk

Denis F. Strenzwilk, Abingdon, MD, 04/14/16. He is predeceased by his parents, Frank Strenzwilk and Reca Strenzwilk of Rochester NY. He is survived by brother Alan Strenzwilk (Judy) and sisters Judy Scarlato and Karen Bryant-Rossi (Anthony) of Rochester NY and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Denis held a PhD in solid state physics and spent his entire working career at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. His avocations were golf and chess. He was a member of Maryland Golf and Country Club for many years and was active in The United States Chess Federation both as a player and authoring many chess articles. Services will be held privately. Published in Baltimore Sun on Apr. 21, 2016.

May 6, 2016

Kavalek: Immortal Blitz Game

The spectacular game Wesley So played at the Ultimate Blitz Challenge against legendary World Champion Garry Kasparov – with echos of Anderssen and Morphy – will go down in history. But there were other highlights in a month filled with exciting chess. Huffington Post columnist Lubomir Kavalek treats us to seven examples taken from the events in Norway and St Louis. See full article:
here.

May 2, 2016

Kavelek: US Championship and Norway

Grandmaster Kavalek reports on 2016 United States Championship and 4th Norway Chess with analyses of a game and some positions. See much more:
here.

April 30, 2016

Nakamura Blitz Champ!

Hikaru Nakamura dominated day two of the Ultimate Blitz. He scored 11.0/18 and finished a full point ahead of others. Wesley So took the second spot with 10 points and Garry Kasparov was right behind him on 9.5. Caruana was able to muster only 5.5 points. The event was a huge success as it attracted a lot of attention from fans all over the world. More: here.

April 30, 2016

April Wrap-Up

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out!

This month, we had the return of ACC's GM Simultaneous Exhibition Match (and lecture) this time featuring GM Sergey Erenberg! He gave a nearly 2-hour lecture examining a game of his where the continuation was very unclear and for which computer analysis cannot find the correct continuation. He followed this with a lecture on how to actively play with the isolani (isolated pawn). Those in attendance thought that not only did the games he chose excellently illustrate his points but Sergey had spent so much time preparing to examine every significant variation that everyone was left wanting to continue the lecture for another hour! A great time was had by all - where were you?!

Also this month, in the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) 42 players battled it out with Mauro Boffa and Andrew Samuelson tying for 1st-2nd (4/5) followed close behind by Muskee Books and Ako Heidari tied for 3rd (3.5/4). In the U1700 Section, Ben Siegel dominated (5/5 and 175 ratings points!) a full 1.5 points ahead of Gideon Lohr and Gary McMullin (3.5) who tied for 2nd-3rd. Rahul Palani won the U1400 Class Prize (and over 150 rating points!)and Jonah Treitler won the U1200 Class Prize. The club had another strong showing for the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5) as nearly 70 players pushed wood! Youngster Phap Nguyen (4/4) held off Thomas Shupe (3.5/4) and Adam Chrisney and Tom Moore (3/4) to win the Ladder this month. In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), only 10 players competed this month. Ako Heidari (3/3) took down 2100-rated Zach Martin on his way to a clear 1st win followed by Isaac Chiu (2.5/3).

April 30, 2016

Nakamura Blitz Champ!

Hikaru Nakamura dominated day two of the Ultimate Blitz. He scored 11.0/18 and finished a full point ahead of others. Wesley So took the second spot with 10 points and Garry Kasparov was right behind him on 9.5. Caruana was able to muster only 5.5 points. The event was a huge success as it attracted a lot of attention from fans all over the world. More: here.

April 29, 2016

Kasparov still has the magic!

It was exciting nine rounds of blitz chess. Day one ended with Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So taking the lead with 5.0/9. While the duo played well, the player of the day was surely Garry Kasparov. The 13th World Champion showed that he still is a force to reckon with as he played some scintillating games. We have loads of analysis, interesting moments and a touch move incident which was handled very maturely by Hikaru Nakamura. More: here.

April 28, 2016

Midwest Renaissance

Ashley: "Right now ... there are a few countries with a head start in chess development: China, Russia, India. But the U.S. now has collected a core talent base—three of the top ten players in the world—and with the scholastic programs we have and the initiatives happening around the country, led by the one here in St. Louis, the United States is fast becoming the best chess country on Earth. More: here.

April 28, 2016

Interview: Gelfand

ChessBase editor Sagar Shah met Boris Gelfand at the Candidates tournament 2016 in Moscow and did an hour long interview with him. In this first part we ask Boris about how he became such a strong blindfold player, how one should work on the three phases of the game, his best games of chess and how much importance he gives to computer engines.
Part 1: here,

Part 2: here.

April 27, 2016

The FIDE Grand Prix, Remade

The Grand Prix series, which is part of the World Championship cycle, is increasing the number of participants and changing its format. FIDE and Agon have decided to expand the 2016-2017 Grand Prix to 24 players (from previously 16) in nine round Swiss events (from 11 round all-play-all). The total prize fund for the four GP tournaments, scheduled for October 2016 to July 2017, will be 520,000 Euros. More: here.

April 13-26, 2016

2016 U.S. Championships

The 2016 U.S. Championship and Women's Championship will be played from Apr. 13 to Apr. 30 in St. Louis. Each of the two tournaments has 12 players. By average Elo, this is the strongest U.S. men's tournament ever. The Women's Championship includes two players from Virginia, Akshita Gorti, a 13-year-old from Chantilly, and Jennifer Yu, a 14-year-old from Ashburn. Here is our round-by-round coverage:
Tournament Site: Here,
Standings & Results: Here,
The Week in Chess - Overview: Here.

Round 11: Caruana & Paikidze Triumph

ChessBase: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 10: Caruana Stays Ahead; Tatev or Nazi?

ChessBase: Here.

Round 9: Abrahmian & Caruana Pull Ahead

ChessBase: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 8: Crowded Leaderboards For Both Men & Women

ChessBase: Here.

Round 7: So Joins Caruana; Women Still in a Bunch

ChessBase: Here.

Round 6: Caruana pulls ahead; Women Bunched

ChessBase: Here.

Round 5: Wesley So Catches Caruana, Paikidze Leads Women

ChessBase: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 4: Caruana is sole leader in men's tournament, 3 women tied for lead

ChessBase: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 3: No Fischer prize

ChessBase: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 2: 3 Men, 2 Women Still Perfect

ChessBase: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 1: Favorites Dominate

ChessBase: Here,
Chess24: Here.

April 20, 2016

Barden's Record-breaking Column

According to our calculations Leonard Barden has been at it for sixty years and seven months – making him the longest running uninterrupted weekly chess column in the world and in history. At 86 Leonard remains hale and his columns are topical and refreshing. And they are always accompanied by a chess puzzle that is great fun to solve. Here are excerpts and links to his recent Guardian chess columns: here.

April 15, 2016

Interview: Carlsen

Before the Altibox Norway Chess tournament, Klaudia Prevezanos interviewed Carlsen for the "Deutsche Welle" and Carlsen talked about computers, his preparation for the Norway Chess tournament, the World Championship, and his relationship to Sergey Karjakin. Full Interview: here.

April 11, 2016

Philidor Position: Moscow Turning Point

In the 2016 Candidates tournament round thirteen, Fabiano Caruana - Peter Svidler reached a position with Rook + Bishop vs Rook. During play, Svidler drifted into a losing position (at one point exactly within the 50 move rule) and Caruana was unable to win. The position is the Philidor Position, known since 1749. What happened? See: here.

April 10, 2016

Speelman: Karjakin’s Decision-Making

Sergey Karjakin’s emergence as Magnus Carlsen’s challenger has sparked an intense debate of his chances, which Jon Speelman was delighted to stoke a week ago with an article here. Even though he agrees that Carlsen is a favorite, he presents here some analysis of Karjakin's key moments and just how good his decision-making was in Moscow, under pressure. Fascinating analysis here: here.

April 10, 2016

How Underrated Are Kids?

An interesting phenomenon of the ELO rating system is that when examining game outcomes for a group of lower rated players, higher rated players tend to underperform relative to the theoretical ELO probability, and lower-rated players overperform. What are the causal factors explaining the inability of the ELO system to predict results? A study by Ganesh Viswanath. here.

April 9, 2016

Movie: 'Queen of Katwe' Announced

Based on the true story of Phiona Mutesi, a starving Ugandan girl living in the streets who learned chess at age nine while looking for food handouts and became the Ugandan Open junior champion (defeating the boys) at age 16, Disney will be releasing a film on her later this year starring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o. here.

April 9, 2016

Interview: Karjakin

On 29th of March, one day after the Candidates tournament came to an end, our editor Sagar Shah along with two other journalists met Sergey Karjakin at the Four Seasons Hotel for an interview. The Russian had hardly slept the night before, but looked fresh as a daisy! In this interview Sergey throws light on what helped him to win the Candidates and how he doesn't fear Magnus Carlsen. All this and much more in this Q&A session. here.

April 8, 2016

The Death of the Berlin Defense (?)

About the Berlin Defense, Chess.com writer GM Gregory Serper writes, "Spectators hate it, most chess players hate it . . ., and yet it remains the weapon of choice of the super elite." The Berlin became popular after Kramnik used it in his World Championship Match against Kasparov, and Kasparov was unable to win a single game out of four against it. This caused some GMs to abandon 1.e4 altogether, and fans hated it because the opening goes into a boring endgame right from the start. In his article, Serper suggests a few ways to play against it if you have White. See the article: here.

April 8, 2016

3 Americans in the Top 10

In the FIDE April ratings, Americans Fabio Caruana (no. 3), Hikaru Nakamura (no. 6), and Wesley So (no. 10) are in the top 10. It's unusual for this many Americans to be in the top 10 at the same time, and all three of them are playing each other now in the U.S. Championships. Russian player Sergey Karjakin's victory in the Candidates has pulled him back into the top 10. It's a good thing for the challenger to the World Championships to be in the top 10! See the story: here.

April 8, 2016

Who Was Bobby Fischer's Father?

Love him or hate him, American chess players are still fascinated by Bobby Fischer. One of the mysteries about him is, who was his father? Prof. Nagesh Havanur has investigated and presents his findings in a 2-part series for ChessBase. See the articles here:
Part 1: here,

Part 2: here.

April 8, 2016

Norway Chess

While we Americans are focused on the U.S. Championships in St. Louis, there is an even stronger tournament under way in Norway, the Altibox Norway Chess 2016 Tournament. After three rounds, World Champion Magnus Carlsen leads with a score of 2.5/3. Here's the coverage:
Tournament Site: here.

ChessBase: here,

The Week in Chess: here.

April 8, 2016

Historical Chess Ratings

Were the best chess players of long ago as good as those of today? Is it even possible to compare them? Mathematician Ron Edwards has come up with the Edo historical chess rating system as a way to compare the ratings of players separated in time. See the story: here.

April 7, 2016

Karjakin Withdraws from Norway Chess

Candidates winner Sergey Karjakin has withdrawn from the elite Norway Chess Tournament in Stavenger just 12 days before the start of the tournament. His manager wrote that Karjakin was exhausted from the Candidates Tournament and now needed to focus on preparation for the World Championship Match later this year. But the Norway organizers have responded by writing that Karjakin had a contract and that it was disrespectful to withdraw. The fans had hoped for a preview of the coming World Championship because both Karjakin and Magnus Carlsen would have played together at the Norway tournament.
See the story: here.

April 6, 2016

Blindfold King Timur Gareyev on Tour

In 2016 Timur Gareyev wants to break the world record in blindfold play by taking up 47 opponents simultaneously. In March he played a 35 player blindfold simul in Santa Clara, California. Gareyev lost one game, drew two and won 32. As Gareyev believes that physical fitness and mental excellence go together he spun a stationary bike for over 9 hours during the simul!
See full story: here.

April 5, 2016

Player Profile: Karjakin

In 2002, Sergey Karjakin of Russia became the youngest grandmaster ever at the age of 12 years and 7 months, a record that still stands today. His win at the recent Candidates Tournament means he is the challenger for this year's World Championship Match against current champion Magnus Carlsen. Chessgames.com has an interesting player profile for Karjakin.
See more: here.

April 4, 2016

Shogi: Japanese Chess

Shogi is the Japanese variation of chess. In Shogi you can use the pieces you captured from your opponent to strengthen your own army. Thanks to the internet Shogi is becoming more and more popular in Europe and in March beginners and experienced players tried their skills in the Open German Championships.
See more: here.

April 2, 2016

Interview with Hou Yifan

In March Hou Yifan, number one on the women's ranking list, regained the world title, which she had lost when she did not take part in the knock-out World Championship the year before. In an interview with Dagobert Kohlmeyer the World Champion criticises the mode of the Women's World Championship and reveals that her proposals for a different system were made in vain.
See interview: here.

April 1, 2016

Giri's "60 Memorable Draws"

GM Anish Giri, the world no. 4, drew some criticism for drawing all 12 of his games at the recently concluded Candidates Tournament. The website Chess24 had some fun with this by writing that Giri planned to publish his "60 Memorable Draws." The story turned out to be an April Fool's joke.
See the story: here.

March 31, 2016

March Wrap Up

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out!

This month, the club had another strong showing for the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5) as nearly 60 players battled it out over boards of 64 squares! A 5-way tie amongst T. Hoopengardner, G. Menelik, J. K. Williams, D. Aragon, and M. Hiban (2.5/4) held off 7 other members (2/4) to win the Ladder this month. In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), only 8 players showed for an early event this month. Newcomer Alex Emmons had a strong event as he took down the top two players and won clear 1st followed by a three-way tie for second a full point behind (2/3). In the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) 42 players battled it out with Richard Tan and Andrew Samuelson tying for 1st-2nd (4.5/5) followed by Mauro Boffa and Zachary Martin tied for 3rd. In the U1700 Section, Maz Yan dominated the field (4.5/5) snagging first place (including about 140 ratings points!) followed by Ronen Wilson and Srini Aiyer tied for 2nd/3rd place (4/5). Rahul Ponugoti won the U1400 Class Prize and John Rossi won the U1200 Class Prize.

March 11-30, 2016 **SPECIAL** - Updated After Each Round

One-Stop Round By Round: 2016 Candidates Tournament

The Candidates Tournament began on Mar. 11 in Moscow, pitting eight players against each other to fight for the right to play Magnus Carlsen in the next World Championship Match. Below, we are providing round by round one-stop coverage of the World Championship from the official site and all of the major chess news websites:

Essential Links:

-- Official Website: Moscow,
-- Karjakan on Winning: Video,
-- Interview: Karjakan (Chess 24): interview,
-- Candidates Closing Ceremony: here,
-- More On Closing Ceremony: here,
-- Speelman: How Will Karjakan Fare?: here,
-- TWIC Recap: here,
-- Huffington Post: here,
-- NYT: Masters of Chess, But Not PR: here,

-- Schedule/Results: here,
-- Rules and Regulations: here,
-- **LIVE** Games: here,
-- Photos: here , and more: here , and more: here , and more: here
-- Opening Ceremony: here,

-- History of the Candidates: Part 1: here,
-- History of the Candidates: Part 2: here,
-- Kramnik's & Gelfand's Views: here,
-- Carlsen's Views: here,
-- Speelman - Early Analysis - As Of Rd. 3: here,
-- Speelman - Analysis As Of Rd. 6: here,
-- Speelman - Analysis As Of Rd. 9: here,
-- Speelman - Looking to Final Rounds: here,

Round 14: Karjakin to Challenge Carlsen!

King Video Analysis: Here,
Chessbase: Here,
TWIC: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 13: Draws Abound, Either Caruana or Karjakin to Win

King Video Analysis: Here,
Chessbase: Here,
TWIC: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 12: Topsy-Turvy: Anand Loses, Karjakin Wins

King Video Analysis: Here,
Chessbase: Here,
TWIC: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 11: Anand Wins to Leap Back to Sharing Lead

King Video Analysis: Here,
Chessbase: Here,
TWIC: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 10: Caruana Wins to Join Lead

King Video Analysis: Here,
Chessbase: Here,
TWIC: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 9: Anand and Karjakin Share the Lead

King Video Analysis: Here,
Chessbase: Here,
TWIC: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 8: Caruana Wins His First Game

King Video Analysis: Here,
Chessbase: Here,
TWIC: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 7: Nakamura Beats Topalov

King Video Analysis: Here,
Chessbase: Here,
TWIC: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 6: Anand and Aronian Win

King Video Analysis: Here,
Chessbase: Here,
TWIC: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 5: Caruana Tries the Benoni

King Video Analysis: Here,
Chessbase: Here,
TWIC: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 4: Karjakin Takes the Lead

King Video Analysis: Here,
Chessbase: Here,
TWIC: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 3: Aronian Gets the Only Win

King Video Analysis: Here,
Chessbase: Here,
TWIC: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 2: Nakamura Blunders

King Video Analysis: Here,
Chessbase: Here,
TWIC: Here,
Chess24: Here.

Round 1: Anand Gets First Win

King Video Analysis: Here,
Chessbase: Here,
TWIC: Here,
Chess24: Here.

March 25, 2016

Historic Sets Auctioned at Sotheby's

When discussing expensive chess sets, the reason for their premium value usually falls into two categories: unusual materials and workmanship, or precious metals and gems. Next month, the famous auction house Sotheby’s will be offering rare and old chess sets and pieces expecting to fetch top prices, such as ivory pieces carved during the Samanid Empire more than 1,000 years ago!
See more: here.

March 21, 2016

Troitsky In Memorium

Endgame studies are without a doubt that area of chess where the lines between science and art are blurred. While they offer great beauty as an art form, they are also prime tools to develop imagination and calculation. This month marks the 150th birth anniversary of Alexey Troitzky, a great pioneer of the modern endgame study.
See more: here.

March 20, 2016

The New York Gambit

Two Americans, Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana, both of whom grew up in New York, are currently playing in the Candidates Tournament, the winner of which will become the challenger for the World Championship to be held in New York this November. As New York Times writer John Leland says, "It is exceedingly rare for a single American to make it this far, let alone two." If either man wins, this will be the first time an American has had a chance to become World Champion since Bobby Fischer in 1972.
See Leland's article: here.

March 17, 2016

Kids Interview: Magnus Carlsen

In February Magnus Carlsen was in Hamburg, Germany, to play a simul. Henrike and Luis, two young chessplayers were invited by "Dein Spiegel", a magazine for children between the age of 8 and 14, to interview the World Champion. They used the chance to ask unusual and open questions, e.g. whether Carlsen cries after losing a game or why chess is better than the gameboy.
See more: here.

March 16, 2016

Lombardy Faces Eviction

The New York Times has a big story on William Lombardy, a former catholic priest and strong chess grandmaster, who coached and seconded Bobby Fischer from the age of eleven to the World Championship in 1972. Lombardy, now 78, faces eviction from his apartment in New York, over rent arrears that he hotly disputes.
See more: here,
Related Video: here.

March 2-14, 2016 **SPECIAL** - Updated After Each Round

2016 Women's World Championship: Hou Yifan Regains the Title

The 2016 Women's World Championship between current World Champion Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine and Challenger Hou Yifan of China, herself a former World Champion, has concluded after 9 games with Hou Yifan regaining the title with a score of 6/9. Muzychuk was unable to win a single game.
Opening ceremony: Here,
Official site: Here.


Game 9: Hou Yifan Is the World Champion: Here,
Game 8: Another Draw. Hou Yifan Is a Half Point From the Title: Here,
Game 7: 81-Move Draw: Here,
Game 6: Win by Hou Yifan Puts Her 2 Points Ahead: Here,
Game 5: A Short Draw: Here,
Game 4: Short but Exciting Draw: Here,
Game 3: Muzychuk Tries 1.d4 but Draws: Here,
Game 2: Hou Yifan Draws First Blood: Here,
Game 1: Tournament Starts With Draw: Here.

March 11, 2016

Remembering Bobby – Part 1

Eight years ago Bobby Fischer, American prodigy and World Champion passed away at the age of 64 (the significance of that number is not lost on our readers). Today he would now be 73, and to celebrate his birthday just passed on March 9th, ChessBase brings you a series of articles on the life and games of this legendary player.
See more: here.

March 10, 2016

Computer Beating Top Human Go Player

Remember how in 1997 World Champion Garry Kasparov lost a match to IMB's Deep Blue? That was a watershed moment in computer history, but Artificial Intelligence has one last insurmountable barrier to cross: beat the best players in the world at the ancient Chinese game of Go. Played on a 19x19 grid the task seemed impossible – until today, when a five-game match has begun in Seoul, Korea. See more:
Preview: Here,

Mid-Match: Here.

March 4, 2016

Marketable Candidate Wanted for World Championship

The $460,000 world title candidates tournament starts in Moscow next Friday. Challenging for the global crown carries high prestige, and especially so for the two Americans in the eight-player field. Fide, the international body, has announced that Magnus Carlsen’s 12-game championship defence against the candidates winner will be staged in New York, starting on 10 November. See more:
here.

March 4, 2016

Spassky Interview: "I'm waging a War!"

Boris Spassky was talking to Yury Golyshak and Alexander Kruzhkov in a long “Friday interviews” section of the Russian newspaper Sport Express. Chess24 has translated some of the highlights:
here.

March 4, 2016

Candidates Tournament Is One Week Away

The 2016 Candidates Tournament, the final step in determining the challenger for the next World Championship, will begin in Moscow on Mar. 10. The tournament is an 8-player, double-round robin event, and this year there are two American players: Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana. So, it's possible that we could have another American World Champion later this year, the first since Bobby Fischer in 1972. ChessBase has a nice summary of the players and venue:
here.

March 4, 2016

WWCh, Game2: Hou Yifan Takes the Lead

Hou Yifan has taken the lead by winning game 2 against Mariya Muzychuk. Hou Yifan had White in an Open Spanish. See the game report:
here.

March 3, 2016

Women's World Championship

The 2016 Women's World Championship between current World Champion Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine and Challenger Hou Yifan of China, herself a former World Champion, has gotten under way in Lviv, Ukraine. Game 1 was an Italian game, and ended in a draw. Interestingly, this was the very first time Hou Yifan, who had Black, has played 1...e5 against 1.e4.
Opening ceremony: here;
Game 1 report (ChessBase): here;
Official site: here.

March 1, 2016

Febuary Wrap Up

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out!

This month, the club had another strong showing for the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5) as over 60 players crossed swords over their chessboards! Newcomer Rajendra Adhikari (3/4) held off two ACC members by a half point, Kebadu Belachew and Demetrio Aragon (2.5/4) and eight others by a full point (2/4) to win the monthly Ladder prize. In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), only 8 players showed for an early event this month. Newcomer Alex Emmons had a strong event as he took down the top two players and won clear 1st followed by a three-way tie for second a full point behind (2/3). In the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) 45 players fought it out with Sergey Erenburg (2653) dominating the field (4.5/5) to win first in the Premier section followed by Daniel Lowinger a half point behind in sole 2nd (4/5) and Justin Paul and David Bennett tying for 3rd (3.5/4). In the U1700 Section, Mark Hyland swept the field (5/5) for first place (plus 70 ratings points!) followed by a 3-way tie for 2nd/3rd place (4/5). Doug Bahnick won the U1400 Class Prize and Shaurya Bisht won the U1200 Class Prize.

February 29, 2016

Aronian Interview: "They wrote me off"

Levon Aronian sneaked into the 2016 Candidates Tournament at the last possible opportunity, failing to qualify but gaining the wild card of the Armenian sponsors. In a new interview he talks about his desire to exploit that opportunity and prove he’s the best, while he also discusses his early days when people had given up on his chances of ever becoming a top player. See more:
here.

February 29, 2016

Women's World Championship Starts

Ukrainian GM Mariya Muzychuk is the current title holder, having won the 2015 Knockout Women World Championship in Sochi. The Challenger is Hou Yifan of China, former World Champion 2010-2012, 2013-2015 (who did not participate in Sochi). The venue is Potocki’s Palace in Lviv, Ukrain – a city that has 30 GMs. The opening ceremony is on Tuesday, round one on Wednesday. See more:
here.

February 29, 2016

The Joys of Correspondence Chess

Correspondence chess is a challenge and offers the chance to explore chess in real depth. And modern correspondence chess is not a battle between engines but a battle in which humans use modern engines to play strong and correct chess. If you like to analyse deeply and if you like to search for the truth, then it might be time to try correspondence chess. See more:
here.

February 26, 2016

Five new players in the Hall of Fame

An induction ceremony in April will recognize five exceptional players for a places in history as members of the World and U.S. Chess Halls of Fame. FIDE has selected David Bronstein, Sonja Graf­Stevenson and Howard Staunton. The trustees of the U.S. Chess Trust selected grandmasters Maurice Ashley and Gata Kamsky to join the other 55 players currently in the U.S. Hall of Fame. See more:
here.

February 24, 2016

ACP: Grand Chess Survey

ACP has published its Grand Survey. It has 60 questions and it includes topics like Rules of Chess, Time Controls, Draw Offers, Anti-Cheating, World Championship Cycle and a lot more. You are invited to take part and make your opinion count! We will report on the results once the data has been evaluated. The survey, in English and Russian, will run until March 15 and is open to everyone. See more:
here.

February 22, 2016

Carlsen's 70-board Simul

Germany's very prestigious news weekly, Die Zeit, have just chalked up seventy years of publication. As part of the anniversary celebration they invited the World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen to play a seventy-board simultaneous exhibition. A number of prominenten opponents took part, and a number of fairly strong players. The event took six hour and ended in a veritable massacre. See more:
here.

February 21, 2016

Video: Crazy Ivans

Those Crazy Ivans are up to it again with an ice-water chess tournament. Russian swimmers braved the icy water and freezing temperatures of Lake Shartash in the Ural mountains to hold a chess tournament. The players, who were submerged up to their chest in the water, said it helped them to concentrate and speed was a key factor for success. They decided their next move within seconds during each game, which lasted about 10 minutes. See more:
here.

February 20, 2016

Die Zeit Magazine: Carlsen Interview

"Die Zeit" is one of the most prestigious German weeklies. The first edition was published on 21st February 1946 in Hamburg, and to celebrate the jubilee, the "Zeit" hosts a number of cultural events, among them a 70 board simul with the World Champion. "Zeit"-journalist Ulrich Stock spoke with Carlsen about the Candidates, chess and islam, and how he motivates himself. See more:
here.

February 18, 2016

30-Month Tournament

Nowadays, a match for the world championship in chess lasts about three weeks. Despite computers, engines, databases and critical voices - correspondence chess is very much alive. Of course computers have changed correspondence chess but to play it with success handling engines well is not enough. See more:
here.

February 17, 2016

Video: Trash-Talking Maurice

In Washington Square Park, to be precise, where masters set up chess boards and clocks to play people at $5 a game. Traditionally the master trash talks the opponent – deprecation and humiliation are part of the experience. But what if the hustler inadvertently challenges a grandmaster? It was recorded as part of a "Tim Ferriss Experiment” and is a great pleasure to watch. See more:
here.

February 12, 2016

Why Chess Players Blunder

How is it that when our blunders are pointed out to us, the correct moves are obvious? And why do we make blunders in the first place? After all, the chess board is completely visible right there in front of us. Chess.com writer Vik-Hansen uses the latest findings of neuroscientists to show that we apparently come up with our moves subconsciously, and only then use conscious thought to accept or reject them. In other words, our conscious minds act only to veto what our subconscious minds have already found. And our subconscious minds look at only a small, manageable number of "bits" of reality, rejecting the rest, which means we're not really seeing everything there is to see on the chessboard. Read this fascinating article:
here.

February 11, 2016

Nakamura Wins Gibraltar

At the Tradewise Gibraltar Tournament, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Hikaru Nakamura finished the regular games tied at 8/10. In the tie-break, the players drew four games in a row, but then Nakamura won the Armageddon blitz game, giving him the overall win. Nakamura also won this tournament in 2015. Chessgames.com has all the games with readers' comments:
here.

February 11, 2016

Grand Chess Tour: Rejuvenated?

Last year it was three events, in Norway, Saint Louis and London. This year Norway drops out and is replaced by two rapid+blitz events, in Paris and Brussels. The three top finishers from 2015 are invited, as well as the five highest average rated players of 2015. The participants are still to be announced, the total prize fund is US $1,050,0000 across the four events. See more:
here.

February 10, 2016

King Dance

In his game the world's top-rated woman Hou Yifan World Champion Magnus Carlsen found himself in an endgame that was a theoretical draw. But it was not as easy as one may have thought: the Chinese GM would have to find a precise defense in a wonderful world of zugzwangs, stalemates and critical, correspondence or conjured squares. See more:
here.

February 10, 2016

Zurich Chess Challenge 2016

From Feb. 12 to 15, six of the world's top players (Kramnik, Nakamura, Anand, Shirov, Aronian, and Giri) will play the Zurich Chess Challenge at the Zurich Chess Club, billed as "the oldest chess society in the world." There will be five rounds of classical play, followed by a blitz round with colors reversed. How can they play that many games in only three days? Because the club is promoting a faster classical time control of 40 minutes per game plus an additional 10 seconds per move. On its website, the club says, "We think that in the future classical chess could pass to 1 hour control for each player. We have come to the conclusion that the game needs to become faster." See the website:
here.

February 9, 2016

Magnus Loses Simul Game

World Champion Magnus Carlsen lost a game while playing a simul against 30 politicians in the Dutch Parliament. That player was Jeroen van den Berg, the organizer of the Wijk aan Zee Tournament. Van den Berg, obviously a strong player himself, had played Carlsen before in a simul and drew that game. Asked by a reporter afterwards how he had prepared, Carlsen said, "I prepared by playing chess all my life." See the story:
here.

February 9, 2016

Kasparov's Revenge?

We think not but in an interview to a Russian newspaper Sport-Express, Vladimir Kramnik shares his opinion on the sanctions the U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed on Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. See more:
Kramnik: here
Kasparov: here.

February 7, 2016

Taimanov's 90th

Today, 7th February 2016, Mark Taimanov celebrates his 90th birthday. Taimanov is a living legend and when he celebrates his 90th birthday on Sunday many guests will come to St. Petersburg to congratulate him. In the course of his long career Taimanov met all the great chessplayers of his time and a number of historical personalities such as Winston Churchill, Nikita Khrushchev and Fidel Castro. See more:
here.

February 5, 2016

Hesse: Threats of the nth degree

Averbakh called them "threats of the 1st degree" – moves which directly and bluntly threaten to bring about a concrete mate or the win of material. 2nd degree threats are moves which are intended to enable threats of the 1st degree. And so it continues, recursively. In his wonderfully entertaining book Joys of Chess Prof. Christian Hesse goes all the way to threats of the 5th degree. See more:
here.

February 2, 2016

Paul Keres: Chess Composer

For his 100th jubilee there was a Keres Memorial tournament in Talinn, Estonia. Paul Keres, the strongest player who never made it to World Champion, is still a legend for his adventurous play and astounding combinational skill. But he was also a remarkable composer who started with a clever two-mover at the age of thirteen. Prof. Nagesh Havanur presents a collection of Keres problems and studies for you to solve. See more:
here.

February 1, 2016

Pawn Star: Aronian - The Beckham Of Chess

It isn’t every day that a chess player is compared to a sports star of David Beckham’s stature, yet that is precisely what CNN did in a recent portrayal of Levon Aronian. Of course, the comment must be put in context before any ado. It is his home and country, Armenia, that have elevated him to such heights, by virtue of their singular love of chess, and where he reigns supreme. See more:
here.

January 31, 2016

January Wrap Up

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out!

Our regular monthly schedule was SHATTERED by Snowzilla. We expected five Friday club meetings and got four ... the monthly Action tournament was CANCELLED ... and our first-in-a-long-time Simul Match with GM Erenburg was POST-PONED until April ... Boo, Hiss, Boo! That all said, we still had a record monthly turnout for the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5) as nearly 65 players battled it out for the monthly Ladder prize. Randall Henri held off Xing Jian to win the Ladder prize this month. In the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5), a low turnout saw 30 players fight it out with Andrew Samuelson taking first place (4.5/5) in the Premier section followed by Oladapo Adu securing 2nd place (4/5) and David Bennett winning 3rd (3.5/5). In the U1700 Section, Frank Huber continued his streak of good performances by winning sole first place (4/5) followed by Michael Hu in second place (3.5/5) and a logjam of six players tied for 3rd (3/5). In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), as previously noted, nothing happened - as the event was cancelled by Snowzilla. Finally, the Simultaneous Chess Match and Lecture to be given by GM Sergey Erenburg has been postponed until Saturday April 2nd. All details for the Simul will remain the same - see main webpage for more info.

January 29, 2016

Chess24 Video: Q&A GM Peter Svidler

World Championship Candidate Peter Svidler answered questions from chess24 Premium Members on their live Q&A show hosted by Jan Gustafsson on the final Wijk aan Zee rest day. See more:
here.

January 28, 2016

Interview: Longtime Tata Steel TD

On January 24, during the 8th round of the 78th Tata Steel Chess tournament, Chess-News interviewed the long-time director of the tournament, Jeroen van den Berg. The interview of course covered the Tata Steel Chess Tournament itself but van den Berg also discussed the future of the game, how chess could develop, covered many organizational issues and other curious things. The full text follows:
here.

January 24, 2016

Top Saudi Cleric Says Chess Is Forbidden

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdelaziz Al Sheikh, Saudi Arabia's top cleric, has said the game of chess is "the work of Satan" because it "wastes time and money and causes rivalry and enmity." He justified his claim by referring to a Quran verse that bans gambling, intoxicants, and idolatry.
New York Times article: here
Saudi Chess Association response: here
US Chess Writer's take: here.

January 22, 2016

Carlsen: "Ignorance Is Bliss!"

In the 6th round of Tata Steel Chess Masters, World Champion Magnus Carlsen seemingly crushed Evgeny Tomashevsky taking only 25 moves to reach a complete domination on position as well on the clock against the 2700+ Russian GM. Right afterwards, Magnus joined IM Robert Ris in the studio to describe what had happened in the game. Here is the transcript:
here.

January 21, 2016

Introducing the New Chess.com (Version 3)

It's been a long time coming, but a brand-new version of Chess.com is finally ready to be unveiled. In this new version 3 (v3), everything is new: new graphics, revised user and mobile web experience, and new anti-abuse and anti-cheating technology site-wide - but it still feels like Chess.com — just now easier, faster, and more powerful. And more fun. See more:
here.

January 21, 2016

Sanchez: Capablanca Biography

Cuban writer Miguel Angel Sánchez has published a new book about Raul Capablanca which is an update on his original biographical work from nearly 40 years ago. The new book is a well researched biographical work about one of the most revered chess geniuses of all time. See more:
here.

January 17, 2016

10 Chess Lowlights of 2015

Fiona Steil-Antoni of Chess24 says that not all of 2015 was just great results, fantastic events and remarkable moves. In the following piece, she highlights a top-10 of chess lowlights in the past year. See more:
here.

January 13, 2016

In Memoriam: Hal Mouzon

Harold Alwyn “Hal” Mouzon, 86, died of natural causes on December 15, 2015. A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Mr. Mouzon lived most of his life in Alexandria, Virginia. He was a dedicated public servant, volunteering for the Army during the Korean War and working as an attorney for the Department of Labor. Mr. Mouzon was an avid chess player who won many tournaments, and he was a long time member of the Arlington Chess Club. He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 51 years, Denyse, and is survived by their five children—Elizabeth (Jeff Isenhour), Sally, Adele (Mark Perry), Didi, and Wyn (Shannon)—and nine grandchildren—Adele, William, Emilie, Elise, Susannah, Thomas, Eloise, Benjamin, and Henry. A memorial service was held Dec. 19 at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Alexandria. Following is a memorial article in the Washington Times:
here.

January 12, 2016

Carlsen Leads Tata Steel

Tata Steel, the world's strongest tournament, is taking place in Wijk ann Zee, Netherlands. The tournament has two sections of 14 players each, with the top "masters" section including the world champion and 13 other top GMs and the "challengers" section including 14 lesser-rated but still strong players. After 7 rounds, Carlsen and Caruana were tied for first place in the masters section, but Carlsen drew and Caruana lost in round 8, moving Carlsen into sole first place. Indian player Baskaran Adhiban (rating 2653) is leading the challengers section. The tournament runs until Jan. 31. See the Week in Chess's coverage:
here.

January 10, 2016

More Best of the Year

What was the best game of 2015? And how about best player, best chess engine, best move, best tournament, best up-and-coming player? See Chess.com's picks for all these categories and more:
here.

January 9, 2016

Game, Endgame, and Opening of the Year

ChessBase is holding a vote for the best game and endgame of 2015, as well as the most popular opening. The final results have not been announced yet, but you can see the candidates and preliminary votes here:
Best game: here
Best endgame: here
Most popular opening: here

January 8, 2016

ChessBase's New Year's Puzzle

ChessBase finished its annual Christmas series of puzzles with an especially hard "proof" one on New Year's Day. The problem, labeled QM3 in the article, gives only the final result, and you have to come up with the moves that lead to that result. Be warned: many readers spent hours on it.
Problem here: here
Solution here: here.

January 7, 2016

Great Chess Minds Think Alike

World Champion Magnus Carlsen finished the year by winning the Qatar Masters, and we have already reported that in an earlier article, but now chess Lubomir Kavalek has written an article for the Huffington Post about the fascinating parallels between Carlsen's play and that of the greatest games of two great players: Bent Larsen and William Steinitz. In the Qatar tournament, Carlsen played a masterpiece in his tie break against Chinese GM Li Chao, and after the 19th move in that game, Kavalek shows an amazing similarity to his 1970 game against Larsen. In that game, considered by Larsen to be his best, Larsen played a beautiful line-clearing attack to get at his opponent's king. Five moves later in the modern Carlsen–Liao game, Carlsen played a wonderful interference move that mimicked that in a game played by Steinitz 120 years ago, a game Steinitz later considered to be his best ever. Kavalek's comparisons with the earlier games make this analysis fun to read. Check out his article:
here.

January 5, 2016

Fritz 15 - Q&A

The new engine has come with a large number of questions have arisen regarding its strength, its origin, and its future. Here are the answers as well as an introduction to the Fritz 15 engine. See more:
here.

January 4, 2016

Interview: Boris Gelfand

Boris Gelfand ended 2015 on a high with the best performance in the Nutcracker Battle of the Generations. However, it was otherwise a year to forget for the Israeli no. 1. In two interviews he focused on how there were “fewer interesting games,” but highlighted Vladimir Kramnik as perhaps the “most vivid player” of 2015. See more:
here.

January 3, 2016

More Best of the Year

What was the best game of 2015? And how about best player, best chess engine, best move, best tournament? See more:
here.

January 1, 2016

Carlsen Emulates Spassky

Praise continues to pour in for Magnus Carlsen's winning performance at the Qatar Masters, the first time a reigning World Champion has played in an Open tournament since Spassky in 1971. We've already covered the tournament in previous articles, but we wanted to add just one more item: Leonard Barden's excellent chess column in the Guardian. Barden gives some analysis from one of the tie-break games and adds insight about current tournament formats. See the article:
here.

December 31, 2015

December Wrap Up

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out!

The club had a short month (only 3 meetings) due to the Thanksgiving holiday this month. But we still saw 50 players battle each other on the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5). Newcomer Andrew Davison (2.5/3.0) held off nine, yes!, nine (9) other ACC members to win the monthly Ladder prize. In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), 12 players over 1800 competed over boards of 64 squares. Michael Auger (2287) won clear 1st followed by Andrew Tichenor (2184) in clear second. In the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) 42 players fight it out with Sergey Erenburg (2653) rightly sweeping the field (5/5) to win first in the Premier section followed by Larry Gilden and Kebadu Belachew tying for 2nd/3rd. Belachew earned 50+ ratings points for his performance and young Sam Schenk had a great tournament picking up over 80 ratings points. In the U1700 Section, visiting from Massachusetts, Ben Gunby swept the field (5/5) for first place followed by Max Yan winning sole second place (4/5) and Frank Huber nailing down sole 3rd place (3.5/5). Jonathan Tong won the U1400 Class Prize and there was a four-way tie for the U1200 Class Prize. For their efforts, Gunby had a huge ratings increase of over 300 ratings points (!) while both John Chu and Randall Henri earned 100+ pts and Zach Strasberg earned 70 pts.

December 31, 2015

ChessBase Xmas Puzzles

ChessBase is ending the year with their traditional Christmas puzzles. They start with their talent test for the newest young chess talent. Then follow it with the solution and another test - then more tests. Have fun solving!
First test: here,
Second Test: here,
Third Test: here,
Fourth Test: here,
Fifth Test: here.

Sixth Test: here.

Seventh Test: here.

December 30, 2015

In Memoriam: Yining Wang

In solemn news, Mr. Yining Wang passed recently and unexpectedly at the age of 47. Many knew Yining by sight if not by name as he was to be found at most area tournaments in recent years accompanying his kids Joie and Andrew Wang. In the memory of Yining, there will be a special tribute event - the Yining Memorial Open 2016 - to be held this coming Sunday, January 3rd. See below for more details and to register.

For the past decade, Mr. Wang had been a familiar figure at local and national chess scenes, and is remembered for his passion for the game of chess and contributions to the growing chess community in the Virginia-DC-Maryland area. All proceeds from this event will go to Mr. Yining Wang's family, with the goal of benefiting his two children, both highly accomplished chess players, in their continued pursuit of chess.

Main Event: 4-SS, G/15, d5, USCF rated. Plus a non-rated section for those who just want to show their support!
Side events: Bughouse Tournament, Family Team Fun Blitz, Simul with World/US/VA Champions, and a Blind Chess Tournament.
Date: Sunday, January 3, 2016 from 1:00pm to 6:00pm.
Location: Pender Center (HS International Academy), 3901 Fair Ridge Center, Fairfax, VA 22033.

Register: here.

December 29, 2015

Carlsen Wins Qatar Masters

Magnus Carlsen has won the Qatar Masters Open in a tie-break against Yu Yangyi in a field of 132 players. Mark Crowther of The Week in Chess says, "It is possible that this is the first appearance by a reigning World Champion in a Swiss Open at standard time controls since Boris Spassky played in Vancouver in 1971." See the tournament report:
here.

December 29, 2015

Mikhalchishin: The Strategic Opening Exchange Sacrifice

Opening theory evolves very quickly and most instruction addresses concrete opening variations and lines. However, Adrian Mihalcisin of Slovenia (sometimes spelled Mikhalchishin in the US), who has previously published a number of instructive DVDs, discusses the evolution of the exchange sacrifice in opening theory in detail. Its a very entertaining presentation. See more:
here.

December 26, 2015

FIDE: GM Gets 3 Year Ban, Title Stripped

FIDE just issued its first judgement on cheating since the Anti-Cheating Commission was created. This follows an incident earlier this year in which GM Gaoiz Nigalidze was caught cheating in the 2015 Dubai Open using his smartphone which had been stashed in a toilet stall.
Article on FIDE Ruling: here,
Article on Nigalidze Cheating: here,
Full FIDE Decision: here.

December 25, 2015

What If Sun Tzu Played Chess?

Here's an interesting chess book idea. Al Lawrence, the former USCF executive director and Vietnam War vet, and Iranian GM Elshan Moradiabadi have teamed up to write Chess and the Art of War: Ancient Wisdom to Make You a Better Player, to be released in January. The authors have apparently studied Sun Tzu and applied his military strategies in 40 chess lessons. See the review: here,

December 20, 2015

Interview: Svidler

Straight after the crucial match against Hungary, several members of the Russian men's team joined the live broadcast to converse with one of the official commentators, GM Simon Williams. See full interview: here.

December 17, 2015

Interview: Aronian: Friendly by Day

A little more than one and a half year ago, Garry Kasparov, while being interviewed by Chess-News on air, had told us the following: "Only two players are capable of challenging Carlsen - they are Kramnik and Aronian". See full interview: here.

December 15, 2015

Agon/FIDE sign record-breaking media deal

Agon is the commercial partner of FIDE, NRK a leadin Norwegian TV network. NRK paid a record sum to secure long-term broadcasting rights for World Championship events on TV, from now until 2020. NRK has developed exciting ways to make chess interesting for TV audiences in countries around the world. The exact amount of the deal was not revealed, but it is in the low seven figures. See full article: here.

December 11, 2015

Interview: Kramnik: No Respect for Topolov

In Round 5 of the European Club Cup Vladimir Kramnik defeated his arch rival Veselin Topalov. The win has helped Siberia to beat SOCAR 3.5-2.5. To find selected extracts from the interview with Kramnik go: here.

December 9, 2015

Kavalek: The Ups and Downs of Champions

It is an encouraging sign to see older players be reluctant to age, finding the motivation to stay around. At the top of the rating list, the young Carlsen is alone against three forty-plus players. The conflict of the generations is a never-ending topic, often discussed in literature. GM Kavalek discusses it in an article:
Huffington Post: here,
Chessbase: here.

December 9, 2015

Axe Soup

Russian GM Andre Deviatkin suggests there should be more and more open tournaments with both top and middle-class players present, probably Swiss ones. At the same time, the number of closed elite events should be reduced to the minimum. He believes in no way do the closed elite tournaments help promote chess, whatever their organization; on the contrary, they intensify the wide public's impression of chess as a very boring activity for the few. See more: here.

December 8, 2015

Ilyumzhinov Delegates His Authority to Makropoulos

A recent FIDE Presidential Board meeting was held in Athens, during which Kirsan Ilyumzhinov made a proposal to suspend himself from the presidential duties. At his request the Presidential Board restricted his authority concerning financial operations by FIDE in the United States of America. See perspective:
Chess News: here, and
Chessbase: here.

December 7, 2015

Telegraph: Portrait of Judit Polgar

Judit Polgar has retired from tournament chess but still promotes the game. The English newspaper "The Telegraph" met "On the black-and-white battlefield with the world’s greatest female chess player" and Rachel Halliwell turned this meeting into a long portrait, in which Polgar speaks about her career, sexism, the benefits of chess and offers four winning tips. See more: here.

December 7, 2015

Kasparov: Crashing Down to Earth

According to fomer World Champion Garry Kasparov, Ilyumzhinov’s “suspension” or “withdrawal” or whatever its called will not save him or FIDE because he and his people will not go willingly. The only hope is that there is something worth saving in FIDE when eventually they are gone. See more from Kasparov: here.

December 6, 2015

Komodo Is TCEC Champion

How exhausted would you be if you had to play a 100-game championship? Well, this year's champion, Komodo, didn't even need a nap. That's because Komodo is a computer program. After a 100-game superfinal match against its rival Stockfish, Komodo has won the Season 8 TCEC, now renamed the Top Chess Engine Championship, with a score of 53.5–46.5. Only nine of the games were decisive, with Komodo winning 8 of them. Apparently, this has generated some discussion among engine developers about how to prevent the large number of draws. Komodo has now won three times. Previous winners have been Houdini (three times) and Stockfish (once). (This doesn't add up to 8 because Season 3 was not completed.) See the story: here.

December 5, 2015

The Endgame Is Everything

As a friendly reminder that you need to be spending some study time on endgames, Chess.com user "NM ih8sens" has published an endgame in which an FM blundered and gave up what should have been an easy win. See if you can find the winning move for Black. Warning: the board is shown with Black at the bottom, so the black pawn is moving up the board, and White is not in check. See the puzzle: here.

December 4, 2015

Secret Championship in Ukraine

The organizers of this year's Ukrainian Chess Championship, now under way in Lviv, are under heavy fire from spectators for a bizarre decision to keep all the games secret. They're doing that to keep the Chinese from getting any information about World Champion Mariya Muzychuk's opening prep and playing style. Muzychuk will defend her title against Hou Yifan, a former world champion herself, in the Women's World Championship in March 2016. Therefore, the organizers of the Ukrainian tournament are refusing to publish the games, nor are they allowing them to be transmitted over the Internet. The fans are not happy. One fan posted, "Attention, a Chinese drone was seen close to the window." See the story: here.

December 3, 2015

London Chess Classic, early round

The top section of this year's London Chess Classic has an average rating of 2784! That makes it the strongest tournament ever held in the UK. The top section has ten players: Carlsen, Caruana, Nakamura, Topalov, Grischuk, Anand, Giri, Aronian, Adams, and Vachier-Lagrave. After two rounds (of nine), there has been only a single decisive game, a win by Giri against Topalov in round 1. The London Chess Classic is the UK's premier tournament. Read the round 2 report: here.

December 2, 2015

ACC Membership Dues To Increase

Despite recent economic woes and inflationary pressures in the nation's economy, ACC has been able to maintain annual membership dues at a static level for nearly the last ten years. But due to major cost increases at the club's current site, ACC is finally being forced to raise annual dues rate to $75 for adults and $60 for seniors (age 65+) and youth (under 19 years old). The primary driver of the rate increase is that the club's rent will double as of the beginning of 2016. But, our rental rate is still far below what would be charged at nearly every other potential site explored to date. The value of the membership remains awesome as members can play on the Ladder nearly every Friday (equal to about $1.50 per game) plus getting $5-10 discounts on all ACC tournaments and other events (lectures, simuls, etc.), amongst other benefits. Compared with $100 or more entry fees for 5 or 6 games at most area tournaments ($15-20/game), there is no better value. ACC has been notifying the membership for the last few weeks of the imminent change so that all who want to take advantage of the opportunity to sign up under the old rates can do so over the next few weeks. ACC urges members to continue to support their club through this challenging time! Thanks!

December 1, 2015

November Wrap Up

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out!

The club had a short month (only 3 meetings) due to the Thanksgiving holiday this month. But we still saw over 50 players battle each other on the ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60, d5). Brian Higgins (3/3) held off ACC Editor James K. Williams and new member Cuong Nguyen (2.5/3) and 7 other players (2/3) to win the monthly Ladder prize. In the ACC Action tournament (3 rounds, G/30, d5), 14 players competed over boards of 64 squares. All of the other high rated players suffered through suprising upsets while Srdjan Darmanovic held the competition at bay to win outright (2.5/3). In the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) a small turnout saw over 30 players fight it out with Larry Gilden and Andrew Samuelson tying for 1st-2nd in the Premier Section. Richard Tan secured sole 3rd place ahead of the rest of the field. In the U1700 Section, Yevgeny Dodson proved that try-and-try-again does pay off as he dominated the field (5/5) to win 1st place outright. He was followed by a 4-way scrum tying for 2nd-3rd by Ken Borghese, Sudarshan Sriniaiyer, Isaac Karachunsky and Adivi.

November 30, 2015

NY Times: Caruana

A dozen elementary school students were playing Fabiano Caruana, who at 23 is the No. 2 chess player in the United States. Caruana, who was born in this country but has dual Italian and American citizenship, will play for the United States after playing for Italy for 10 years. See NT Times article: here.

November 30, 2015

Meet Magnus Carlson

With dry humor the World Champion talked about his career, love and infatuation, his elo-rating, his passion for soccer and the pros and cons of being a super-star. See Telegraph article: here.

November 27, 2015

Anand: Pursuing Excellance

an annual talk show ‘In Pursuit of Excellence’ that is into its second year. Louis Philippe is a premier Indian men’s apparel brand, and in this show it interviews Indian icons across a varied number of fields, discussing their journey to reach the top of their profession. Into its second season, the show hosted by Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj featured former World Champion Vishy Anand in the latest episode.
Part 1here
Part 2here.

November 26, 2015

FIDE & WADA: Chess Doping

On November 24, Ilyumzhinov has announced FIDE partnership with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). See more: here.

November 25, 2015

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov Blacklisted by the US Government

The US Department of the Treasury has added Kirsan Ilyumzhinov to its list of sanctioned persons and entities. The FIDE President is now treated by the US government as a specially designated person which means that his US assets, if any, are now blocked and the US citizens are generally forbidden to deal with him. Read more: here.

November 24, 2015

TCEC Superfinal

In case you still think Deep Blue is the state of the art in chess computers, you are way behind the times. These days, chess engines are far beyond the abilities of even the very best human players. The two top engines, Komodo 9.3x and Stockfish 021115, are rated 3223 and 3224, respectively. You can watch them play each other by following the superfinal of TCEC, the Thoresen Chess Engines Competition. The superfinal pits the two strongest chess engines left standing against each other in a final round that will conclude on Dec. 1. Komodo leads by 41.5 points to 36.5. Watch the live games: here.

November 23, 2015

Russia Wins Double Gold at ETCC

Russia has won both the open and the women's sections of the European Team Chess Championship, and it came down to the final round to determine the winner. In the open section, Armenia and Hungary took second and third, and in the women's section, Ukraine and Georgia took second and third. One victim of the tournament was World Champion Magnus Carlsen's rating, which fell to 2834. The tournament was held in the Laugardalshöll Sports and Exhibition Center in Reykjavík, Iceland, the same location as the 1972 Fischer-Spassky match. Players were offered a tour of Fischer's gravesite, which is nearby. See the story: here.

November 22, 2015

"I've Got to Work on My Endgame"

Maximillian Lu became a master at 9 years, 11 months, and 2 days, the new American record. What is he doing to get even better? In an interview with ABC News, Lu says he needs to work on his endgame. Fewer than 2 percent of USCF members are masters, which means a rating of at least 2200. Jean Hoffman, executive director of the USCF, believes that young players are now stronger than in the past because of online play and school programs. See the interview: here.

November 20, 2015

The Most Active GM in Online Play?

Filipino GM Rogelio Antonio Jr., 53, has played 105,874 games on Chess.com. Antonio, who goes by the user name "gmjoey1," has a record of +63,641 -38,985 =3,189, including three wins against Nakamura, and he reached a high rating of 2972 in 2011. In an interview with Chess.com, he says he didn't realize he had played so many games. We wonder if he ever sleeps. Read Chess.com's interview with Antonio: here.

November 18, 2015

St. Louis Showdown

The chess world continues to experiment with unusual tournament formats, and this month St. Louis was the site of two unusual exhibition matches. The first was between Fabiano Caruana and Hikaru Nakamura, America's top two players, and the other between former women's world champion Hou Yifan (China) and former Asian champion Parimarjan Negi (India). The matches consisted of two "Basque" games, followed by four Fischer Random ones, then four rapid, and finally eight blitz games, all compressed into just four days and held Nov. 12-15. The final result was Caruana 10, Nakamura 8, and in the other match, Hou Yifan 11, Negi 7. See the story: here.

here.

November 8, 2015

Warrenton Chess Club

We welcome Jon Maxwell and the newest club to the Virginia chess scene. It meets every Thursday night at the Saint James Episcopal church in Warrenton, VA. For details, see the club's website: here.

November 6, 2015

Are Time Controls Getting Too Fast?

The time control for the next Zurich Chess Challenge, one of the world's strongest tournaments, will be 40 minutes per game with an additional 10 seconds per move and two games per day. Despite the faster time control, the sponsor of the tournament, the Zurich Chess Club, the world's oldest, still considers this to be classical chess. In its press release, the club says "We think that in the future classical chess needs to become faster." But that has angered many chess fans, who suspect it's all about money, as you can see for yourself from the readers' comments: here.

November 5, 2015

FIDE Candidates 2016

FIDE has announced that the 2016 Candidates Tournament, which will decide the challenger for the World Championship, will take place in Moscow Mar. 10–30. Seven of the eight players have already been determined. They are Topalov, Anand, Nakamura, Caruana, Karjakin, and Svidler, with Aronian as the wild card. The number eight spot is still up for grabs, but Giri has the best chances right now. See the story: TWIC: here
Chessbase: here.

November 4, 2015

Tournament Etiquette for Kids (and Their Parents)

When kids act up at tournaments, is it the fault of the kids, the TDs, or the parents? Following some complaints about out-of-control kids at recent tournaments, Laura Doman of the Georgia Chess Association has some helpful suggestions. See her article: here.

November 3, 2015

Book: Fischer's Final Years

There is a new and extraordinary book about one of the most charismatic and controversial personalities in chess. It describes the last years of Fischer's life, spent in Iceland, and is written by the only real friend Bobby had during ths time. Instead of rehash it contains genuine insights into the personality of the eleventh World Champion. It is in Icelandic, but will appear in English in 2016. See more: here.

October 31, 2015

October Wrap-Up

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out!

This month saw nearly 60 players battle each other on the ACC Ladder (4 rounds, 30/90, SD/60, d5). Long-time member Rene Stolbach (4/5) beat out 6 players who tied for second (3/5) to win the monthly Ladder prize. In the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) a small turnout saw 33 players fight it out with Andrew Samuelsom, Michael Auger and Bora Yagiz tying for 1st-3rd in the Premier Section, a half point ahead of Larry Gilden and Michael Bennett. In the U1700 Section, new ACC member Daniel Sellstrom swept the competition (5/5) to run away with 1st prize followed by Isaac Karanchunsky in 2nd (4/5) and who's only loss was to Sellstrom. New tournament player Joe Wholey won clear 3rd (3.5/5) while Satvik Lolla and Alan Peltzman split the U1400 class prize and young Shishir Narala won the U1200 class prize. Finally, in the ACC Action (3 rounds, G/30, d5), 17 players competed with perfect scores (3/3) by both Michael Auger and Akshay Indusekar letting them split 1st and 2nd place prizes a full point ahead of 6 other players.

October 30, 2015

Kasparov and the Scotch

In the latest installment of GM Bryan Smith's Chess.com series on world champions and their openings, we come now to Garry Kasparov and the Scotch. The Scotch was by no means Kasparov's main opening, or even one of them, but he certainly gets the credit for bringing it back into the limelight. Before him, it was very rare at the GM level, probably because it was considered to release the tension too soon, so it was a real surprise weapon when he reintroduced it in his world championship match against Karpov. He continued to play the Scotch off and on, hammering out a modern theory on it, and today, if you play 1 ... e5, you have to be prepared for it. See Smith's article: here.

October 28, 2015

The Minority Attack

In the classical chess days of Steinitz, "it was believed that a queenside pawn majority was an absolute, hands-down advantage to winning because the pawn majority created a passed pawn," says Chess.com writer "Samatha212." But then the Soviet chess school came along and figured out the correct strategy to fight against it. That strategy was the minority attack, in which two pawns on the queenside attack three, creating weaknesses that can be exploited by the heavy pieces. The minority attack is very common in 1. d4 games, and Samatha212 gives a great lesson in how to get it done. See her article: here.

October 26, 2015

8th Grand Slam Masters

The strongest tournament currently under way is the 8th Grand Slam Masters in Bilbao, Spain. It's the latest tournament with a scoring system meant to discourage draws. Players get 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw, and 0 for a loss. Perhaps because of this, the latest round featured a 172-move game between Ding Liren (China) and Anish Giri (Netherlands). And after all that effort, the game ended in a draw anyway. See the analysis of the game: here.

October 24, 2015

Going Back or Going Forward?

If you want to improve at chess, you need to solve tactics puzzles. Every day. To get you started without further procrastination, we provide the latest puzzle from Oliver Reeh, who writes the tactics column for ChessBase Magazine,: here.

October 22, 2015

In Memoriam: IM Emory Tate (Tom Beckman)

IM Emory Tate was a madman. Where we mortals might sac a pawn, he thought nothing of sacing a piece. He was an amazing attacking player and fine tactician. GMs feared him; Experts revered him. It was an honor knowing and playing him. RIP. I was winning in 2 of the 3 games we played (remember when you offered a draw that I declined) but we all know what that was worth in the end...na da! A43 Emory Tate vs. Tom Beckman, World Open, Rd. 7, Philadelphia: 1.d4 c5 2.d5 g6 3.e4 d6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Be2 Nf6 6.Bg5 O-O 7.Qd2 a6 8.a4 Qa5 9.Ra3 e6 10.Qf4 exd5 11.Bxf6 d4 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.Qxd6 Nc6 14.Nf3 dxc3 15.Rxc3 Qxa4 16.O-O Qxe4 17.Re1 Nd4?! (better is 17...Qb4) 18.Qxc5? (18.Re3 Nxe2 +/=) 18...Nxe2+ 19.Kf1? (19.Kh1 -/+) 19...b6! 20.Qc7 a5 21.Nd2 Qb4 22.Qe5+ Kg8 23.Ne4? (23.Kxe2 is still -+) 23...Qd4? (23...Nxc3 --) 24.Nf6+ Kh8? = (24...Kh6 wins) 25.Rxe2 Qxe5 26.Rxe5 Ba6+ 27.Kg1 Ra7? (27...Rfc8 =) 28.h4 h6 29.Rc6 Rb8 0.h5 Kg7 31.hxg6 fxg6 32.Nd5 1-0.
See Chess Drum article: here.

October 16, 2015

Fischer and the KID

With the movie Pawn Sacrifice now at theaters, Bobby Fischer is back in the news, and that makes the latest Chess.com article by GM Bryan Smith timely. Smith has been running a series of articles on the opening repertoires of world champions, and the current article covers Fischer and the King's Indian Defense, which Fischer played nearly always against the closed openings (just as he almost always played 1.e4 as White). This made the KID extremely popular at the time among club players, but it is seen less often these days. Fischer's consistency in openings, however, is inconsistent with his invention of Fischer Random Chess, which he came up with because he felt opening preparation was killing the game. See the article: here.

October 14, 2015

Nakamura Wins Millionaire Open

A $100,000 check for playing chess? This doesn't happen for us club players even in our dreams, but the picture in the link below will show you the big smile on the face of Hikaru Nakamura, who is taking home a check for that amount, his largest prize ever, by winning this year's Millionaire Open in Las Vegas. Nakamura, as well as Caruana, has already qualified for next year's Candidates, so keep an eye on him. See the story: here.

October 12, 2015

Grischuk Wins World Blitz Championship

Maybe Magnus Carlsen is beatable after all. Last year, Carlsen won all three of the World, World Rapid, and World Blitz Championships, but it was not to be this year. GM Alexander Grischuk has won the 2015 World Blitz Championship, which was held in Berlin. Carlsen came in sixth. See the story and game analysis: here.

October 10, 2015

Nakamura-Caruana Match

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis will host a match on Nov. 12-15 between America's top two players, Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana. In only four days, they will play four Fischer Random games at G/20+10, four rapid games at G/15+10, and eight blitz games at 3+2. The prize fund is $100,000, with $60,000 going to the winner. Both GMs have already qualified for the Candidates. See the story: here.

October 5, 2015

The History of Chess Notation

On July 1, 1977, FIDE made the use of algebraic notation mandatory for recording games, but if you think that algebraic notation is a fairly new invention, you would be mistaken. In fact, variations of algebraic go back all the way at least to the 1100s. Chess.com's "batgirl" has written a fascinating history of the topic. See how many of the centuries-old game scores you can figure out. See her article: here.

October 4, 2015

Karjakin Wins World Cup

In a 10-game final match that did not include a single draw, Sergey Karjakin has won the 2015 World Cup. Karjakin, close to elimination many times in earlier rounds, defeated fellow Russian Peter Svidler in an exciting and ferocious duel between the only two players left standing out of a starting lineup of 128. Both players will move on to take part in the Candidates in 2016 to decide the challenger for the next World Championship. Complete coverage and analysis:
ChessBase: here,
The Week In Chess: here.

October 3, 2015

Bobby Fischer's Boys' Life Article

Bobby Fischer once wrote an article for Boys' Life. It appeared in the October 1969 issue, and in it, he analyzed a game from the U.S. Junior Championship of that year. Fischer's comments were clear and incisive, as usual, and he provided five great tips for players at the end. We only wish he had left a much larger body of writing. See the article here: here.

October 1, 2015

September Wrap-Up

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out!

This month saw the return of ACC President Adam Chrisney to active duty after a 7-week hiatus. On the ACC Ladder (4 rounds, 30/90, SD/60, d5), some 55 players fought over the ranks and files of the chess board. Newcomers, Stanley Wu and David Lin tied for first (3/4) splitting the Ladder prize and beating out eight players tied for 3rd (2/4). In the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) 43 players fought it out with newly relocated Michael Auger winning clear first (4.5/5) followed closely by Larry Gilden and Franco Jose who tied for 2nd (4/5) in the Premier Section. In the U1700 Section, Vedant Balu (4.5/5) dominated the competition (4.5/5) followed by Sudarshan Sriniaiyer and David Li tied for second (4/5). Sergey Patsuk won the U1400 prize while the U1200 prize was split by Adam Kriz and Karthik Bhargav. Finally, in the ACC Action (3 rounds, G/30, d5), 16 players competed with Andrew Tichenor (3/3) breezed to a clean sweep while narrowly edging out Srdjan Darmanovic (2.5/3) who survived an early draw to win clear second.

September 30, 2015

Yeltsin Appointed Ilyumzhinov?

On a Russian radio show, Echo of Moscow, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov claims he was appointed to his current position by none other than former Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Who can tell what is true but it will be interesting to see if any of the FIDE President's account is ever verified. Read more here: here.

September 27, 2015

World Cup Tactics

How many can you see? Over hundreds of World Cup games, there has been a lot of spectacular play. Following is a selection of moments from the games, some easy, some hard, moves to find, avoid, and save. Can you do as well as these elite players? More:

here.

September 22, 2015

Giri: "I Didn't Behave ..."

Anish giri told Chess-News about an incident that took place in the second rapid tiebreak of the World Cup. "I didn't behave myself during the tiebreak - I was adjusting the pieces when his time was running. I wasn't doing it on purpose, but that's a habit I have. Giri was talking about a bad habit that many players have - one that gets them penalized. See more here: here.

September 21, 2015

"Pawn Sacrifice" Review

The new chess movie "Pawn Sacrifice," starring Toby Maguire as Bobby Fischer, is at theaters now, so it will be interesting to see how true to life the film is. Kenneth Rogoff, a grandmaster who knew Fischer, has reviewed it for the Boston Globe. Rogoff says, "Maguire portrays Fischer with remarkable authenticity—indeed, pitch-perfect for those of us who met Fischer in his prime." See Rogoff's review: here.

September 19, 2015

World Cup Report

Round 4.2 of the World Cup has proved to be bad news for top players Topalov, So, Adams, and Caruana, all of whom were eliminated. Twelve players remain in the round, but only eight will move on to round 5 after tiebreaks. Nakamura is the only American remaining. The World Cup is being held in Baku, Azerbaijan, and began with 128 players. Each round eliminates half of the players, and they will continue until a final championship round between the last two players left standing. See the round 4.2 report: here.

September 17, 2015

Nepomniachtchi Loses Appeal Against Nakamura

In round 3 of the World Cup, American Hikaru Nakamura used both hands to castle in the final armageddon tiebreak game. His opponent, Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi noticed but made his own move. After the game, which Nakamura won, Nepomniachtchi filed an appeal. The arbiters warned Nakamura but refused to overturn the result because Nepomniachtchi had failed to stop the clock at the time and summon an arbiter. In the video below, you can clearly see Nakamura using both hands and then later, adjusting his king without first informing his opponent, which is also forbidden. Chess rules require that players make moves with only one hand. See the story and video: here.

September 9, 2015

Aronian's Comeback

Levon Aronian won the third Sinquefield Cup, the second leg of the Grand Chess Tour. The top Armenian grandmaster finished a full point ahead of other top players including world champion Magnus Carlsen. Huffington Post columnist Lubomir Kavalek provides an evaluation and analysis of Aronian's and Nakamura's games. See full story: here.

September 8, 2015

World's Longest-Running Chess Column

Leonard Barden's chess column ran in the printed London Evening Standard from 1956 to 2010, a run of 54 consecutive years. Barden had a huge role in popularizing chess in Britain. He was quite a strong player himself and has a Morphy number of 3 (he played Mieses who played Bird who played Morphy). Since 2010, his column has continued to run online, and you can read the latest for yourself: here.

September 7, 2015

The 7 Most Amazing Chess Records

Did you know that a game was once played that went for 94 moves without a capture? "Pete" of Chess.com lists that as one of the 7 most amazing chess records. What's the best tournament performance rating ever? Fabiano Caruana's 3103 in the 2014 Sinquefield Cup. Who holds the #1 spot on Pete's list? Bobby Fischer, but we'll let you see why for yourself. See the list: here.

September 6, 2015

World Junior U20 Championship

The FIDE World Junior U20 Championship takes place from Aug. 31 to Sep. 16 in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. There are two sections, open and girls, with 13 rounds in each. After five rounds, GM Karen Grigoryan (Armenia) leads the open section, and WGM Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kazakhstan) leads with a perfect score. See more: here.

September 5, 2015

Sinquefield Cup Recap

Levon Aronian has won the Sinquefield Cup with a score of 6/9 and a performance of 2918. World Champion Magnus Carlsen tied for second place, along with Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave, and Giri. American Nakamura has emerged from the tournament as the world #2. With eight of the world's top ten players, the Sinquefield Cup will probably end up being the strongest tournament of the year. See ChessBase's interesting recap: here.

September 4, 2015

More Cheating, This Time with Morse Code

Italian chess player Arcangelo Ricciardi was caught cheating using a hidden camera and a device under his armpit to receive Morse code. The tournament director became suspicious when Ricciardi, ranked only 51,366 in the world, made it to the eighth round of a strong tournament in Italy. The TD noticed that Ricciardi always kept his arms folded with his thumb in his armpit. The devices were found when the player was forced to walk through a metal detector. Read the story, in the Telegraph: here and in the Guardian: here.

August 30, 2015

August Wrap-Up

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out!

This month our intrepid leader, Adam Chrisney, was on a hiatus from the club and ACC Club TD Karl Peterson ably stepped in to cover management duties for ACC. On the ACC Ladder (4 rounds, 30/90, SD/60, d5), we again saw nearly 60 players compete during our Friday club meetings this month. Newcomers, Susheel Vishwa and Kurt Whiting tied for first (4/4) splitting the Ladder prize and beating out Gary Taylor (3/4). In the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) nearly 50 players fought over boards made of 64 squares with Larry Gilden and Justin Paul tying for 1st (4/5) followed by a 4-way tie for 2nd in the Premier Section. In the U1700 Section, Nandha Nagappan (4.5/5) beat out 3 others who tied for 2nd place (4/5). Finally, in the ACC Action (G/30, d5), we had a low turnout as 10 players competed with Michael Auger (3/3) narrowly beating out David Franklin (2.5) for the 1st place prize.

August 28, 2015

How to Play Plus-Equals Mode

In his very popular book, The Seven Deadly Chess Sins, GM Jonathan Rowson presented a way of transforming small advantages to maintain psychological pressure on your opponent and cause him to make a mistake. The technique involves three steps: posing roblems, transforming the position, and accumulating small advantages. GM Jonathan Speelman calls this "plus-minus mode," and it can be particularly effective if your opponent is just out for a draw. Read about it here: here.

August 26, 2015

Is Chess a Sport?

The English Chess Federation's John Foley says, "There is probably no sporting activity in which two people are locked in a competitive struggle of such intensity for such a sustained period of time." Yet chess is not considered a sport in the UK, even though the International Olympic Committee and more than 100 countries do. Read his article here about why it should be a sport: here.

August 24, 2015

Sinquefield Cup

With eight of the world's top ten players entered, the Sinquefield Cup is by far the strongest tournament under way right now. After five rounds, Magnus Carlsen and Levon Aronian are tied with 3.5/5, and have pulled ahead of Veselin Topalov, the early leader. The Sinquefield Cup is the second of three tournaments in the Grand Chess Tour. See coverage here:
Official tournament site: here Chessbase: here TWIC: here.

August 21, 2015

Fear of Losing Rating Points

Are you sometimes afraid to play for fear of losing rating points? According to NM Julian Lin, that's what keeps most people from entering tournaments. But he goes on to say, "You are not defined by your rating." You can see what he means by that and hear the rest of his pep talk: here.

August 19, 2015

TCEC Season 8

On Aug. 21, the Top Computer Chess Championship (TCEC) Season 8 will start. A few chess engines have been left out because of software glitches during the final testing, but the rest are ready to go, including last year's winner, Komodo, and its archrivals Stockfish and Houdini. All in all, there are 24 engines competing. The tournament is played in four stages, and in stage 1, opening books are not permitted. See the full list of engines and rules: here.

August 18, 2015

Blind Chess - Documentary

Algorithms is a documentary on the thriving world of Blind Chess. Filmed over three years, it travels with three talented Indian boys to national and world championships, documenting their struggles, anxieties and hopes. See more: here.

August 17, 2015

Tomashevsky and Goryachkina Win Russian Superfinals

Both Evgeny Tomashevsky and Aleksandra Goryachkina drew in their final rounds, but that was enough to win the men's and women's championships of the Russian Superfinals. Keep an eye on Goryachkina. She is only 16 and a quickly rising star. See the story and final-round games: here.

August 15, 2015

Jonathan Hawkins Wins British Championship

Three-time-winner David Howell was the favorite going in, but GM Jonathan Hawkins has won the 2015 British Championship with a score of 8.5/11. Howell, Nicholas Pert, and Daniel Gormally tied for second place, all with scores of 8/11. Hawkins took home £5000 in prize money. Akshaya Kalaiyalahan won the Ladies' Championship. See the story: here.

August 13, 2015

Max Euwe Center In Peril

After his death in 1981, Max Euwe, the only amateur player to become World Champion, the city of Amsterdam established a Center with a museum and a modest library containing Euwe’s chess inheritance and books. Now after 24 years, the city is threatening to withdraw it subsidy. Read more: here.

August 12, 2015

Carlsen Proposes WCh Changes

Just over a week before the start of the Sinquefield Cup, Magnus Carlsen suggested notable changes to the format for the format of the World Championship cycle. Essentially, he is suggesting a knock-out formula as done in the past. Read more: here.

August 9, 2015

Album 61: Gelfand's WCH Finale - Documentary

Boris Gelfand had ascended the massive world championship ladder to earn the right to battle Vishy Anand for the title. A camera crew followed him throughout the match, filming the drama involving not only him and his team, but all those who helped him prepare the way ... depicting not only a champion forged from his earliest years, but a system and structure that westerners can only wonder at. Read more: here.

August 7, 2015

Winner's Impressions

Because 15-year-old Junior Champion Akshat Chandra likes to write articles, Garry Kasparov once nicknamed him "the journalist," and the name has stuck. Last month, Chandra won the Junior Championship in St. Louis with a score of 7/9 and a stunning performance of 2688. In a series of two articles for ChessBase, Chandra gives his impressions of the tournament. Chandra is quite a good writer as well as a good chess analyzer, so don't miss these entertaining articles.
See article 1: here.

See article 2: here.

August 6, 2015

World Champion Openings

Do you choose your opening based on the talent of your opponent or the level of your opponent's computer preparation? Do you play different openings based on the rating level of the tournament? Or do you stick with the same opening no matter what? GM Bryan Smith discusses these questions and more in a new series of articles on openings of the world champions. The first article starts with Steinitz and his defense to the Ruy Lopez. See the first article: here.

August 5, 2015

The Kazakh Prodigy

Dinara Saduakassova had a problem. She was so gifted at so many things she couldn't make up her mind which one to concentrate on. Attending a school for gifted children in Kazakhstan, she showed great promise as a pianist and a gymnast, but there was also chess, which she had learned to play at age 5. She eventually chose chess as her main passion, and at age 18, she is now the top WGM in her country and will represent Central Asia at next year's Women's World Championship. Read her story: here.

August 2, 2015

Czech King Walks Into History

Prague-born David Navara took his king on a breathtaking march at the grandmaster tournament in Biel, Switzerland. Navara's king-walk made for a memorable tournament. There are not many examples in chess history like this one. The Czech champion prepared it with the computer, but it was not clear how far. Read the full article: here.

August 1, 2015

July Wrap-Up

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out!

This month, we had 45 players enter the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 rounds, G/45, d5) with Mahbub Shahalam creaming the competition to take 1st prize (5/5) followed by a 3-way tie for 2nd by Dr. Zivkovic, Srdjan Darmanovic, and Andrew Zheng (4/5) in the Premier Section. In the U1700 Section, Eduardo Rodriguez and Vedant Balu tied for 1st (4/5) followed by a 4-way tie for 3rd (3.5/5). U1400 prize for the section was split by Brad Schmonsees and Omkar Kovvali. Prabhas Adivi won the U1200 Class prize. The ACC Ladder (4 rounds, 30/90, SD/60, d5) saw nearly 60 players compete during our Friday club this month. Edgar Almazan (4/5) won the Ladder prize beating out Stanley Wu (3.5/4) and 4 members who tied for 3rd (3/4). Finally, in the ACC Action (G/30, d5), we had an average turnout as 14 players competed over a board with 64 squares. Ako Heidari beat out 7 higher ranked players to win 1st place (3/3) including a last round win over Adam Weissbarth. Daniel Clancy and Michael Spencer tied for 2nd.

July 31, 2015

Tactics

Oliver Reeh's column in Chessbase magazine helps us with our eternal quest at better use of tactics. See more: here.

July 24, 2015

Tigran Petrosian: Exchange Sacrifice Master

GM Daniel Naroditsky says, "It is impossible to become a world champion without mastering every facet of the game. Most champions, however, are remembered for their proficiency in one particular area of the game." Tigran Petrosian, the 9th world champion was especially fond of exchange sacrifices and made over 30 successful ones in his career. Naroditsky lists three reasons for making an exchange sac in the first place and gives an amazing example by Petrosian to illustrate all of them. Read the article: here.

July 22, 2015

Biel Chess Festival

The 48th Biel Chess Festival takes place in Biel, Switzerland, July 20–30. The grandmaster section of the festival has six very strong players, including world #2 junior Richard Rapport (Hungary) rated 2671 and five other GMs all above 2700. At the halfway mark, David Navara (Czech Republic) is leading with a score of 3.5/5. Despite the fact that draws are not permitted before move 40, all the round 5 games ended in draws. The Week in Chess has the story and games: here.

July 20, 2015

Caruna–Carlsen: A Match Worth Paying For

Washington Post sports writer "Couch Slouch" says he wouldn't pay 99 cents to watch another Mayweather–Pacquiao boxing match, but he would pay to watch a Caruana–Carlsen chess match, also he says he's not sure chess is a sport. See his humorous take on the hypothetical match: here.

July 18, 2015

Benko Problems

GM Pal Benkö turned 87 this month and he is celebrating with some wonderful puzzles to share with chess problem lovers, now including: positions shaped like digits!: here.

July 16, 2015

Movie: Dark Horse

A lot of attention has been given recently to the new film on Bobby Fischer to be released next month in September but there is another film on chess worth noting. The Dark Horse is a heart-warming, intense drama about the struggles and failures in the life of New Zealander: Genesis Potini. See review: here
See follow up article: here.

July 15, 2015

Carlsen And Cars

On a trip to the big German automaker Volkswagen, World Champ Magnus Carlsen got to ride a 700 hp Lamborghini and visit the secret Volkswagen test site. On his trip to Wolfsburg, Carlsen donned a racing suit and joined FIA World Rally Champion Sébastien Ogier as his co-driver: here.

July 9, 2015

Chess Lessons Exposed

Are you considering taking chess lessons? IM Jeremy Silman has published an interesting set of questions and answers he uses with new students to determine whether chess lessons will work. Here's an example:
Q. Does the student want to learn or does he just want to be entertained? Does he just want to show off his games?
A. Teachers get a bit of all three. I refuse students who don’t have improvement goals.
Chess.com has part 1 of the article: here.

July 8, 2015

Grace Time Controversy

Indian GM Koneru Humpy, the third highest rated female player ever, withdrew from the Commonwealth Chess Championship in New Delhi last month after losing her fourth round game on time. After the game, she refused at first to sign the scoresheet and complained that the arbiter had not properly explained the time control. The tournament rules included an "additional 30 minute" grace time to show up for a game without forfeiting, but apparently Humpy thought this meant that 30 minutes would be added to her clock after the first control. The All India Chess Federation (AICF) has submitted a complaint to FIDE asking that Humpy be sanctioned for violating six breaches of the code of conduct for chess players. See the initial report in ChessBase: here
and the response by A.K. Verma, the secretary of the Delhi Chess Association,: here.

July 7, 2015

World Open: ACC Member Results

Crystal City recently hosted the World Open, a major tournament with 24 sections. The open section included 32 GMs, and eight of them tied for first (in tiebreak order): Alex Lenderman (USA), Rauf Mamedov (Azerbaijan), Ilya Smirin (Israel), Alexander Ipatov (Turkey), Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (Iran), Illia Nyzhnyk (Ukraine), Romain Edouard (France), and Axel Bachman (Paraguay). These players split the first place prize, each being awarded $5162.50, with Lenderman earning the $300 bonus and champion title by defeating Mamedov in an Armageddon tiebreak.

ACC Member results were as follows: Vishal Kobla tied for U2100-2nd class prize in the U2200 section; Kevin Zhang tied for the U1900-2nd class prize in the U2000 section; Bradley Guo tied for 4th winning the U1700 class prize in the U1800 Section; Vikraman Boobalan tied for 5th in the U1600 section. In the Warm-Up tournament, Vishal Kobla tied for 1st place overall and Isaac Chiu and Jason Carr tied for the U2000 class prize, and Bradley Guo tied for the U1700 class prize. In the World Senior Open, in the U2210 section, Larry Gilden tied for 1st place and Jim Guill and Carlos Vegh tied for the U2010-2nd class prize. Please give these members a hearty Congrats when you see them next! See the full results here: here.

July 3, 2015

Retro Video: Bob Hope & Bobby Fischer

From one of our members, video footage of a Bob Hope skit with Bobby Fischer spoofing Bobby's recent World Champion victory over Boris Spassky. Fischer and Hope laugh at themselves and the championship tournament. Not bust-a-gut amuzing but enjoyable none-the-less. We're sure most viewers at the time missed some of the chess and championship references. Enjoy the video: here.

July 1, 2015

June Wrap-Up

ACC events continue to be a great value with lots of quality competition at every rating level. All of our events are $1-$9 per game. You won't get overcharged for phantom prizes. You won't see us skimp on prize pay-outs. Come check us out again!

This month, the ACC Ladder (4 rounds, 30/90, SD/60, d5) saw 63 players compete during our club meetings every Friday. Xing Jian (3.5/4) came from behind to eke out a win for the Ladder prize beating out Demetrio Aragon (3/4) and Robert Aguirre and Gary Taylor (2.5/4). Some 40 players entered the ACC Action-Plus (5 rounds, G/45, d5) with Larry Gilden and Andrew Zheng tying for 1st (4/5) followed by Ako Heidari in sole 3rd place (3.5/5) in the Premier Section. In the U1700 Section, Rachel Naidich started out slow with two draws but finished on top (4/5) followed by a 4-way tie for 2nd/3rd/U1400 (3.5/4). Don Loos won the U1200 Class prize. Finally, in the ACC Action (G/30, d5), lower than normal turnout saw 10 players compete with Larry Gilden and Isaac Chiu tying for 1st place and Sam Schenk and Richard Allen tying for the U1800 prize.

June 30, 2015

Walter Browne, 1949–2015

Six-time U.S. champion Walter Browne has died at age 66. He was a colorful character, and we honor him by offering up this entertaining article from Sports Illustrated's Vault about Browne at age 26. You'll enjoy the parallels to Bobby Fischer, but you'll have to forgive him for his boast, made so long ago, that "there is not a computer alive that can beat me. They lack imagination." See the article: here.

June 28, 2015

The One Diagonal Principle

Endgame guru Karsten Müller goes over a particularly instructive endgame each week for ChessBase. This week's endgame emonstrates how to make the right decision about where your bishop should go: the one diagonal principle. And that is your hint for trying out this week's puzzle: here.

June 26, 2015

Topalov Wins Norway 2015

To no one's surprise, GM Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) has won Norway 2015, with a score of 6.5/9. He had been leading most of the way. But what is a surprise is that World Champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway) finished in seventh place out of ten. Carlsen even lost his last round to countryman Jon Hammer, who is rated 199 points lower. Carlsen lost four games and 23 rating points overall, making this his worst tournament since earning his GM title. See the final round report: here.

June 21, 2015

Women's Online Blitz Championship

GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia) and WGM Aleksandra Dimitrijevic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) have tied for first place in the FIDE World Online Women's Blitz Championship, out of 38 players. FIDE conducted the tournament online to save travel expenses. The women had to play using the FIDE Online Arena software, which includes algorithms to detect cheating. See the tournament report: here.

June 19, 2015

What's Wrong with Carlsen?

The world's strongest tournament now under way is the Norway 2015 Tournament. After four rounds, World Champ Magnus Carlsen has only 0.5 point. Veselin Topolav of Bulgaria leads with 3.5, and American Nakamura is in second with 3.0. Carlsen is in a shocking last place, out of 10 players. All the commentators are busy trying to explain Carlsen's poor performance, but we would not write him off just yet. See the round four report: here.

June 17, 2015

The Draw Problem

Correspondence chess has a problem. In the highest-level tournaments, 80-85 percent of games now end in draws, and that percentage is rising. Correspondence Chess GM Arno Nickel has written an open letter calling for changes to bring competitive excitement back to the game. His idea is to reward successes that fall short of checkmate and end as draws. For example, if you end up with bishop and king against a lone king, you would get 3/4 and your opponent 1/4. The same goes for stalemates. See the letter: here.

June 12, 2015

And Then There Were Two

"It’s nearly useless—not to mention soul-crushing!—to play full games against the top engines," says chess teacher and TD John Hartmann. All of them can easily beat human players simply because the engines don't make mistakes. But he says there are now clearly two at the top of the heap: Stockfish 6 and Komodo 9. Hartmann tested both for ChessBase. His overall result: "Komodo 9 is ever so slightly stronger than Stockfish 6 when it comes to engine-engine play, and this advantage seems to grow when longer time controls are used." But you need to look at his full review to see why he thinks you should still use both. Read it: here.

June 11, 2015

Video: Top Ten World Championship Blunders

We club players may take secret delight in knowing that even world champions can make blunders, but they don't make very many of them. GM Jan Gustafsson has published a Youtube video of the top ten blunders in world championship matches. Example number 10 is the famous blunder by Bobby Fischer in game 1 of the 1972 match against Boris Spassky; Fischer inexplicably threw away his bishop and went on to lose the game. Example number 2 is a much more recent one: the double blunder by Carlsen and Anand in game 6 of their 2014 match. Who earned the number 1 spot? Chigorin, in his 1892 match against Steinitz. See the video: here.

June 10, 2015

Video: Every Russian Schoolboy Knows

Russian GM Yermolinsky has published another Youtube lecture in his excellent "Every Russian Schoolboy Knows" series. In this one, he answers questions from followers, but the main point of the lecture is his assertion that China is now the most powerful chess country in the world. He says that country got there in just two generations, despite the fact that there are a relatively small number of players there. Listen to his lecture: here.

June 4, 2015

Corruption: It's Not Just Soccer

Prosecutors have started investigating the Bulgarian Chess Federation for corruption. The charges include "inflated financial spendings, organization of false or nonexistent tournaments, unreasonable travel expenses, and mind-boggling amounts spent for security and ceremonies at events." Three-time Bulgarian champion Kiril Georgiev says that "the BCF has turned into a money laundering machine." You can read more details about the charges: here.

June 3, 2015

Carlsen Blitzes Blindfold

In an amazing exhibition match in New York, World Champion Magnus Carlsen played blindfolded in a blitz simul with three other players and won all three games. What made the match particularly difficult was that the match was played with a clock, which is unusual for blindfold matches; Magnus had nine minutes to play all three games, an average of three per game. Before the match began, host Maurice Ashley asked Carlsen if he was ready, and Carlsen drew a laugh from the audience when he replied, "I've never done this before so I wouldn't know." Carlsen was playing at the Sohn Conference, the world's largest investment conference, which was started to raise money for pediatric cancer research. Watch the exhibition: here.

June 2, 2015

2800!

American GM Hikaru Nakamura's tie for first at last month's Khanty-Mansiysk Grand Prix gained him 3 Elo rating points, which doesn't sound like much until you realize it puts him over 2800 for the first time, and he joins a very exclusive club of only four players. In the June FIDE rankings, World Champion Carlsen is ranked first in the world, Caruana is second, Anand is third, and Nakamura is fourth. American Wesley So is ranked ninth; so when Caruana switches over to the U.S. Chess Federation later this summer, the U.S. will have three players in the world's top ten. Bobby Fischer was the last and only American world champion in 1972, and it may not be long before we get another one. Find the story: here.

May 31, 2015

May Wrap-Up

Some 66 combatants fought on the month-long ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60) over 5 rounds (4 Fridays) and when the dust settled two players finished in a tie for first (3.5/5) - new member John Maxwell and our long-time friend Edgar Almazan. They were followed by 3 players a half point behind. ACC's monthly Action tournament (3 round G/30) saw 18 players battle for the glory with Andrew Samuelson fighting through the competition to finish first (3/3) followed by Pablo R. Martini (2.5/3). For those that haven't tried it out, the Action tourney is a great way to get in 3 rated games in a single evening at ACC! And finally, the Action-Plus tournament (5 round G/45) had 31 players with local legend Larry Gilden winning the Premier Section (4.5/5) followed by Srdjan Darmanovic in second (4.0) followed by a 3-way tie for third (3.5). In the U1700 Section, Sudarshan Sriniaiyer won sole 1st place (4/5) followed by a 3-way tie for second place (3.5). Omkar Kovvali won the U1200 class prize.

May 28, 2015

Caruana on the Qualification Cycle

Fabiano Caruana hated the hotel food at the recently concluded Khanty-Mansiysk Grand Prix Tournament. Who knew? He revealed that and much more to interviewer Eteri Kublashvili shortly after he qualified for the Candidates. In this fascinating interview, he talks about the fairness of the world championship qualification cycle, his own chess preparation, how he relaxes during tournaments, what to do about cheating, and his recent games. Chess.dom has the interview: here.

May 27, 2015

Lasker's Chess Wisdom

"When you see a good move, look for a better one." That is one of World Champion Emmanuel Lasker's best-known rules, and it's one many of us violate all the time, even though we know better. We find a good move, get excited, go ahead and play it, and thereby miss an even better move. GM Gregory Serper, in an article on Chess.com, has many examples of this. And don't think it only happens to beginners! See his article: here.

May 26, 2015

Movie: Pawn Sacrifice

Pawn Sacrifice, the new movie about Bobby Fischer starring Tobey Maguire, is set to open in theaters on Sep. 18. Watch the trailer: here.

May 25, 2015

Caruana and Nakamura Advance to Candidates

The fourth and final FIDE Grand Prix tournament has concluded in Khanty-Mansiysk with three players tying for first: Dmitry Jakovenko (Russia), Fabiano Caruana (Italy), and Hikaru Nakamura (USA). But what is much more important for American chess is that this result means Caruana and Nakamura are the top two finishers overall for the Grand Prix, which qualifies them for the 2016 Candidates Tournament. By then, Caruana, who has dual U.S. and Italian citizenship, will have switched to the USCF and will be representing the U.S. For the first time, there will be two American players in contention for World Champion. See the story: here.

May 20, 2015

The 5 Best Computer Chess Engines

Computer chess engines have long passed the point of being able to crush even the best human players, and their play is now so strong they spend much of their time playing other computers, sometimes playing moves that baffle us mere mortals. Chess.com has a short review of the top five engines. Ranked from first to fifth, they are Komodo 9, Stockfish 6, Houdini 4, Fire 4, and Gull 2.8b. See the review: here.

May 18, 2015

16th European Women's Championship

The 16th European Women's Championship will take place in Chakvi, Georgia, May 19-30. Ninety-eight players, including Nana Dzagnidze, Antoaneta Stefanova, and Olga Girya, have signed up. Follow the games: here.

May 17, 2015

6-Year-Old Girl Defeats GM

Six-year-old Like-Merlo Heliesen defeated GM Simen Agdestein, a seven-time Norwegian chess champion who was conducting a simul exhibition with nine girls. Agdestein resigned the game and said later, "She is much better than Magnus Carlsen at her age." Yes, the parents of the little girl named her after a grape. See the story: here.

May 16, 2015

Khanty-Mansiysk: Round 5 Report

The fourth and final FIDE Grand Prix tournament is under way in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. After five rounds, Fabiano Caruana is leading with a score of 3.5/5. The only American player, Hikaru Nakamura, is in fifth place, out of a total of 12 players. The Grand Prix tournaments are important because they feed the World Championship cycle. The top two finishers will move on to the 2016 Candidates Tournament, which determines the challenger for the next World Championship. See the story: here.

May 12, 2015

Caruana Switching Back to USA

GM Fabiano Caruana, the world's third-highest-ranked player, has announced that he is rejoining the U.S. Chess Federation and will play as an American starting in September. Caruana has dual Italian and American citizenship. He played for the U.S. from age 5 to 13 but then switched to Italy in 2005 because he wanted to raise the level of the sport there. When he is back on the American team, the U.S. will have three players in the top ten for the first time ever (Hikaru Nakamura is #4 and Wesley So is #9) and will also have a potential chess Olympic team rated second only to Russia's. See the story: here.

May 9, 2015

Mate in 203 Moves

Do you think you could find the winning line in a 203-move combination in which every move is forced? In 1976, Danish composer Walther Jörgensen published a mate in 200 in the magazine Schwalbe, although later it was discovered that the problem could be extended to 203 moves. GM John Nunn believes it is the longest dual-free direct mate problem ever discovered. "Dual-free" means that it does not have a single move that is not forced. See Nunn's story: here.

May 8, 2015

Tenacity

GM Daniel Naroditsky says there is one quality that all elite GMs have: tenacity. In an article on Chess.com, he says, "At an elite level, dogged resistance is the norm rather than the exception." The art of modern chess defense, he says, has three fundamental components: calculation, creativity, and perseverance. But dogged perseverance is key, and he illustrates it with an Anand–Carlsen duel in which Carlsen, by especially tenacious defense, went on to draw a game in which he was a pawn down. See this interesting article: here.

May 4, 2015

Play Top GM Anish Giri To Support Nepal

More than 7,000 people died in the Nepal earthquake. You can both help the recovery effort and play chess: On May 10, Chess.com will host an online fundraiser simul by GM Anish Giri. One hundred percent of money raised will be donated to the UNICEF relief fund. See more: here.

May 2, 2015

April Wrap-Up

Surprise! This month's Action tournament (3 round G/30) had a record 24 players battle it out over a board of 64 squares. Pablo Martini, returning to competitive chess after decades, had a perfect 3/3 score and won sole 1st place followed by a 4-way tie for 2nd 2.5/3. New club member Justin Pickens had a good result that picked him up over 100 ratings points! The month-long ACC Ladder (30/90, SD/60) had over 50 players playing in 4 rounds (4 Fridays) and ended in a 3-way tie by Ghezai Menelik, Lev Bagramian and Mike Hiban (3/4). And finally, the Action-Plus tournament (5 round G/45) had rather low turnout of 34 players with Andrew Samuelson dominating the Premier Section with a perfect 5/5 score followed by a 5-way tie for second at 3.5/5. In the U1700 Section, Rachel Naidich won sole 1st place (4/5) followed by Ashely Xing in sole 2nd (3.5/5). Ronen Wilson won the U1400 class prize and James Harrison, Jr. won the U1200 class prize. Smallish tournament with lots of fireworks!

May 1, 2015

Brazen Cheating

The latest cheating episode comes just two weeks after a player was caught using his smartphone in a toilet cubicle during the Dubai Open. In the recent incident, the player who was caught during the fifth round of the inaugural Dr. Hedgewar Open Chess Tournament in New Delhi, was rated 1517, but he outplayed GM Praveen Thipsay, who is almost 900 points higher on the Elo scale. See more: here.

April 29, 2015

ChessBase Apps For The Web

Over the last couple of years, ChessBase released various apps that run exclusively in the browser, and thereby on any operating system. These tools are all free. A detailed overview is found: here.

April 28, 2015

Wall Street Journal: Chess Culture Shock

In the last decade, the U.S. has seen a surge in the number of foreign chess players attending American universities and settling in the country after graduation. Yuanling Yuan, a top Canadian chess player who recently moved to the US to study at Yale described her astonishment at chess in the USA. See article: here.

April 27, 2015

Final Report: World Team Championship

The World Team (here) and the Women's Team (here) have both concluded. See brief reports: World: here,
Women's: here.

April 26, 2015

Battle of the Legends

It was a match between two of the best players in history. Garry Kasparov played like the young champion of old. Nigel Short put up his best resistance but Kasparov rolled to 8.5-1.5 final match score. A full report, and of course the highlights of the decisive moments. Match reports are:
Chessbase 1: here,
Chessbase 2: here,
TWIC: here.

April 25, 2015

ChessBase's Free Tactics Training

Strategy collapses if the tactics are flawed - this point is relentlessly pounded into students. After releasing a slew of web applications, from cloud database to Fritz or children instruction, ChessBase now presents its latest addition, a free tactics trainer with over 34 thousand positions. See more:
here.

April 24, 2015

New Million Dollar Grand Chess Tour Announced

Garry Kasparov and Nigel Short were on hand for a press conference that announced the launch of a "Grand Chess Tour" featuring Magnus Carlsen and seven more of the world's very best players. They will compete for a combined prize fund of $1,050,000. There is a new international chess competition providing opportunities for the world’s best chess players to compete. The inaugural 2015 Tour will kick off in June as a three-event cycle, beginning with Norway Chess 2015, followed by the Sinquefield Cup in August/September, and finishing with the London Chess Classic in 2015. Articles:
Chessbase: here,
TWIC: here.

April 23, 2015

World Team Championship

Ten teams are taking part in the World Team Championship in Tsaghkadzor, Armenia, and after three rounds, there are some surprises. Cuba and Israel are tied for first, while Russia, which should be first if you look at players' ratings, is tied for last with the U.S. and Egypt. But there are six more rounds to go, so anything can happen. The official tournament site has pairings, results, and games here: here.

April 21, 2015

Shamkir, Round 5 Report

The strongest tournament now under way in the world is the Vugar Gashimov Memorial taking place in Shamkir, Azerbaijan, Apr. 17–26. The players include the world champion, Magnus Carlsen, and two former world champions, Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik. Carlsen has the lead after five rounds with a score of 4/5. Wesley So, coming back from his poor performance at the U.S. Championships, is playing much better and is in second place (out of 10 players). See the round 5 report: here.

April 19, 2015

Vive la Différence!

GM Nigel Short has waded into the contentious waters of why men continue to outperform women at chess and is now taking quite a beating for it in the press. In his article "Vive la Différence!" in the latest issue of New in Chess, he gives his theories about it. Rather than attempt to paraphrase, we give you a link to the article here so you can read it for yourself: here.

April 16, 2015

GM Caught Cheating

The reigning Georgian chess champion, 25-year-old GM Gaioz Nigalidze, has been caught using a cell phone with a chess engine at the Dubai Open Chess Tournament. His opponent, GM Tigran Petrosian of Armenia, alerted the tournament director when Nigalidze started to visit the men's room after every move, visiting the same stall each time. The TD investigated and found an iPhone wrapped in toilet paper and hidden behind the toilet. Nigalidze denied that the phone was his, but the phone was logged into a social networking site under Nigalidze's account, and there was a chess engine analyzing Nigalidze's game with Petrosian. Nigalidze was ejected from the tournament, and FIDE is now deciding how to punish him. See the full story: here.

April 14, 2015

Nakamura, Krush Win U.S. Championships

As expected, the top seeds won in both the men's and women's championships this year in St. Louis. GM Hikaru Nakamura is the new men's champion, winning with a score of 8.0/11, and GM Irina Krush is the women's champion, winning with an even better score of 8.5/11. The tournament was a rough one for the number 2 men's player, Wesley So, who came in third and lost to 14-year-old Sam Sevian. Even worse, So forfeited his game in round 9 for making an illegal note on his score sheet. ChessBase has the final round report: here.

April 8, 2015

Kasparov-Short Exhibition Match

On April 25–26, just 11 days after the conclusion of the U.S. Championships in St. Louis, former World Champion Garry Kasparov and his old rival Nigel Short will play a two-day exhibition match at the same site. The format is two rapid games followed by four blitz games, with no tiebreak in case of a draw. Kasparov and Short played in the controversial first Professional Chess Association World Championship after those two players split off from FIDE. Kasparov won that match, but result was not recognized by FIDE. See the story: here.

April 7, 2015

U.S. Championships: Round 6 Report

The U.S. Championship and U.S. Women's Championship are under way at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center in St. Louis. The Championship has 12 male players, including the top two American players Nakamura and So. The Women's Championship also has 12 players, with Irina Krush as the top seed but also including Virginia player Jennifer Yu of Ashburn. After six rounds, Nakamura leads the men with a score of 4.5/6, and Katerina Nemcova leads the women with 5.0/6.
The round 6 report is: here,
And the official tournament site is: here.

April 6, 2015

14-Year-Old Beats World No. 8

GM Sam Sevian can't even drive yet. That's because he's only 14. Sevian, the youngest GM in U.S. history, just defeated the world's number 8 player, Wesley So, in round 3 of the U.S. Championship, now under way in St. Louis. Sevian had the black pieces and is rated 2531, and So is rated 2788, so this is considered a big upset in such an early round. Even Business Insider, not the usual place to catch up on chess news, carried the story, and you can read it: here.

April 3, 2015

Mariya Muzychuk Is the 15th World Champion

Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine has been crowned the 15th women's world chess champion. The tournament had a 64-player knockout format, and after five grueling rounds of classical games and tiebreaks, it came down to a four-game match between the last two players left, Muzychuk and Natalia Pojonina of Russia. Muzychuk won the final round 2.5-1.5, with no need for tiebreaks.
See a report of the final game: here,
And the official tournament site: here.

April 1, 2015

March Wrap-Up

This month's Action-Plus tournament (5 round G/45) had another standard turnout of 43 players with Franco Jose (2006) putting on a great performance (picking up over 100 ratings points! - this doesn't happen often at his level ...) to win 1st place in the Premier section (4.5/5.0). "Newcomer" Pablo Martini (returning to competitive chess after a 30 year hiatus!) tied for 2nd-3rd with the Nguyen brothers, Trung and Tan (4/5) - Trung picked up nearly 70 ratings points! In the U1700 section, Lawrence Dirks and Shane Jayasundera tied 1st-2nd (4/5) followed by a 4-way tie (3.5/5.0) for the 3rd and the U1400 class prize by Vedant Balu, Anjali Pattanaik, Siddhant Nair, and Nate Carr. The U1200 class prize was split by Kanishk Singh and Paurav Kananur. Separately, the ACC ladder (30/90, SD/60) was won outright by Aleksey Bashtavenko (3.5/4.0) who has slowly but surely climbing the Ladder ranks. Tom Hoopengardner and Win Persina (again! watch out for her!) tied for 2nd place (3/4). Finally, the ACC Action tournament (3 round G/30) was cancelled in March when the VA Open was booked for the same month.

March 31, 2015

Webster University wins President's Cup

For the third year straight Webster University won the College Chess Final Four championship, also known as "President's Cup" with a team composed of Liem Le, Ray Robson, Illia Nyzhnyk, Vasif Durarbayli, Fidel Corrales Jimenez, and Andre Diamant. The three teams that tried to prevent Webster from winning their third title were Texas Tech, University of Maryland Baltimore County, and University of Texas in Dallas. Webster clearly dominated - see the article: here.

March 26, 2015

Pondering His Next Move

It would be hard to top former ACC member Majur Juac's story of how he became a chess player. Juac, now a chess teacher in New York and a national master, was once one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, and he is lucky to be alive. During Sudan's civil war, he was forced along with other boys to walk hundreds of miles into Ethopia and then later forced back again into Sudan. He once walked for two straight days without stopping, and many of the other boys didn't survive. Juac took up chess when aid workers delivered a chess board to the refugee camp he was living in. Don't miss this fascinating story by Washington Post writer Kent Babb here:: here.

March 25, 2015

Every Chess Game Tells a Story

Most people who don't play chess believe that the checkmate ends the game. Huffington correspondent Lubomir Kavalek once offered to resign in a lost position and curiously saved a draw. See Kavalek's article here: here.

March 24, 2015

Kasparov and Carlsen Push for Chess in Schools

On Mar. 22, former and current world champions Garry Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen addressed the Norwegian Parliament to promote chess in schools. Although it is not yet proven, some educators think chess can improve grades in other subjects. There are already strong school chess programs in Spain and Hungary. See the story here: here.

March 23, 2015

The 7 Weirdest Chess Openings

Ever heard of the Toilet Variation, the Monkey's Bum, the Hillbilly Attack? "Pete" of Chess.com has written an amusing article on these and four other unusual chess openings, but it's not clear if he's really recommending them. See his article here: here.

March 21, 2015

Women's World Championship

The 2015 Women's World Championship is under way in Sochi, Russia, from Mar. 17 until Apr. 7. The format is a 64-player knockout tournament, with five rounds of two-game matches, followed by a final four-game match between the two top players, with a complicated tie-break system in place. Many former world champions are attending, with the notable exception of the current world champion, Hou Yifan of China, who was unable to attend because of personal reasons. Here are some key links:
Official site: here,
ChessBase: here,
The Week in Chess: here.

March 19, 2015

US Buying Nerds?

It is no surprise that countries recruit top players from other countries to switch citizenship to boost their potential to win international events. Comedy Central's John Stewart has taken a recent New York times article on the topic and run with it in a five minute sletch on chess: here.

In a recent Daily Show, host Jon Stewart poked fun at American attempts to buy foreign players to stack the U.S. Chess Olympiad team. Check out the video here: here.

March 14, 2015

The Komodo Files – Working With a Chess Engine

The upside of working with computers on chess analysis is that it can tell you if the attack is just winning. The following article raises some alternative concerns as to whether creative chess is dead and how much of a crutch they have become for many players at the top or just us patzers. See the article and more about a top analytic program, Komodo, in the following articles:
Part 1: here, part 2: here.

March 11, 2015

Study of Square Utilization and Occupancy

Inspired by a 2014 article, Devin Camenares, a professor in biology, created a suite of tools to analyze square utilization and occupancy for all pieces and squares throughout all games in a database. He then applied this to the games of Fischer and Carlsen and analyzed the results: here.

March 10, 2015

How Grandmasters Think

During the Indian National Team Championships Chessbase reporter Sagar Shah did something unique: he asked select players to select a critical moment from their games and explain their thought process at that point. The following article and videos shows what they shared: here.

March 9, 2015

Mastering Squares, Part 7

To improve at chess, you must understand the concept of weak squares. IM Jeremy Silman has published a series of articles for Chess.com on mastering squares, and in part 7, he shows how much easier it is to come up with a plan if you learn to recognize holes. A hole is a weak square in the enemy camp on which you can post a piece that can't be driven away by pawns. See the article here (the article has links to the previous parts): here.

March 7, 2015

Najer Wins European Chess Championship

Russian GM Evgeniy Najer is the 2015 European Chess Champion with an 8.5/11 score. The tournament was held in Jerusalem and included 250 players from 33 countries. Apparently, it really is an advantage to be White: White won 35% of the games, Black won 22%, and 43% were draws. See the final report here: here.

March 5, 2015

India–China Chess Summit

India and China are rising chess powerhouses that have become fierce rivals. For the first time, they are taking each other on in an exclusive India-China Chess Summit in Hyderabad, India, Mar. 1–10. Each of four of the top players from each country will be paired twice, once with each color. After 7 rounds, China leads 15.5-12.5, but it is still possible, though a long shot, for India to win if every Indian player wins his final-round game. See the standings and round-by-round reports here: here.

February 28, 2015

February Wrap-Up

First, please note that there will NOT be an Action (3 rd G/30) tournament in March due to the plethora of other regional events. This month's Action had the usual turn-out of 14 players but the big news was the outstanding play of little Bradley Guo (1413) who beat both a 1700 and a 1900 player picking up 125 ratings points! Daniel Clancy won 1st place (3/3) after Andy Huang and Srdjan Darmanovic drew their final game to finish tied for 2nd (2.5/3). In the month's Action-Plus tournament (5 round G/45), nearly 50 players battled it out over a board of 64 squares. There was another surprise performance as Camden Wiseman won his last round over a 2300 player to end in a 3-way tie for 2nd-4th place (and picking up about 70 ratings points!) with Srdjan Darmanovic and Robert Keough (4/5) while Andrew Samuelson won clear 1st (4.5/5). The U1700 section had a tie for 1st-2nd between Nathan Hoisington (gaining over 200 ratings points!) and Rahul Ponugoti (gaining over 300 ratings points! Wow!). Last month's U1700 winner Nithil Suresh finished in 3rd, David Li won the U1400 class prize and Elijah McKay won the U1200 class prize. Finally, the ACC ladder (30/90, SD/60) was won outright by newcomer Ben Umansky (4/4) followed by Brian Higgins (3.5/4).

February 27, 2015

ChessCafe's Book of the Year

ChessCafe's readers have selected John Nunn's Chess Course as the 2014 Chess Book of the Year. Nunn calls his book "a complete chess education based on the games of [second World Champion Emanuel] Lasker." See the story here: here.

February 26, 2015

Karpov Tells All (Conclusion)

These kids today! Anatoly Karpov says, "The representatives of the current generation are weaklings in terms of endurance, and cannot fathom the marathons we had. I played a match against Korchnoi that lasted 110 days and another one against Kasparov that went for almost five months." A week ago, we told you about part 1 of 4 of ChessBase's interview with Karpov. In part 3, he says he got his first gray hair during the secret and unsuccessful negotiations to persuade Bobby Fischer to play the 1975 World Championship. He says that some people in the Soviet Union spread the false story then that he was trying to sell the title to Fischer. Don't miss all four parts of the interview: Part 1: here.
Part 2: here.
Part 3: here.
Part 4: here.

February 25, 2015

Battle of the Chess Generations

The young are taking over chess. Just look at the result of the recent Wijk aan Zee Tournament: Magnus Carlsen (age 24) won, the next four players were his age or younger, and the Challengers section was won by a 15-year-old. Russian writer Vlad Tkachiev noticed this trend and has written a fascinating article on Chess24 in which he breaks down the top 100 chess players into seven generations and attempts to explain why the game is passing to the younger ones. You can probably guess that computers play a big part in the story, and he names the seventh generation (those born between 1995 and 1999) the "protocyborgs." Chess preparation has changed dramatically. For example, the older Russian school emphasized deep endgame competence, which could be put to good use in the days when games were still adjourned. See his article here: here.

February 21, 2015

Cloud Database: saving/updating your games

After a reader's question, Chessbase shows how players can create a database of their own games in the Cloud Database, and transfer them there, even if you're at a tournament with no computer at hand. Here's the step-by-step guide: here.

February 18, 2015

Korchnoi Interview

Interviews with chess great Viktor Korchnoi are no longer easy to convey and understand due to the difficulty the grandmaster has with speaking. But with Genna Sosonko's help Korchnoi's thoughts are conveyed ... and one thing is clear, Korchnoi's sharp tongue and wit have not lost their edge. here.

February 13, 2015

What's Next for Nakamura?

Hikaru Nakamura, back on top of the U.S. rankings, is much happier these days. In an interview for Chess.com, he says he will play in the in this year's U.S. Championship in St. Louis, which is good news for American chess fans, as well as the next Millionaire Chess Tournament in October. In the interview, he also talks about the rook ending he failed to win against Howell in the Gibraltar Masters and explains why top GMs might want to play now in open tournaments rather than taking part only in invitation-only ones. Read the interview: here.

February 12, 2015

Nakamura Wins Gibraltar

GM Hikaru Nakamura, America's top-rated player, has won the Gibraltar Masters Tournament with an amazing score of 8.5/10. Nakamura started out the tournament with six straight wins and led the whole way. His live rating is now 2792. See the story: here.

February 11, 2015

Karpov Tells All

Did you know that the U.S. Air Force helped Anatoly Karpov during the 1978 World Championship? Karpov, the 12th World Champion, tells the story and many others in an interview published by ChessBase. Chess history buffs will love these insider tales. See part 1 of the interview: here.

February 10, 2015

Carlsen Wins GRENKE

Magnus Carlsen has squeaked out a win in the GRENKE Classic, but he had to go all the way to an Armageddon tie-break to do so, after a tie in the rapid tie-break and another two draws in blitz. That put Arkadij Naiditsch in second place, with an identical score of 4.5/8. See the story: here.

January 30, 2015

January Wrap-Up

This month on the ACC Ladder, Xing Jian ran through the competition to take clear first (4.5/5) and jump solidly into a 2000 level rating. Be sure to give him your own "Congrats" the next time you see him. Ben Umasky and Win Persina ended in a close second (4/5). This is the third month in a row that Win has had such a dominating performance - watch out for this woman! In the Friday Action tournament (3 round G/30), ACC had another solid turnout as 14 players showed up to battle over a board of 64 squares. entered. And, surprise! Beating out 4 or 5 2100-level players, Kebadu Belachew finished in sole first place (3/3). Finally, 45 players entered the Action-Plus tournament (5 round G/45) where Andrew Samuelson won clear 1st (4.5/5) followed by Daniel Lowinger and Bora Yagiz (4/5) who tied for second in the Open section. In the U1700 section, Nithil Suresh beat the rest of the pack for sole first place (4.5/5) while picking up 150 ratings points! He was followed by 4 players a whole point behind (3.5/4.5) and tieing for 2nd, 3rd and the U1400 prize. Patrick Ellsworth snagged the U1200 prize.

January 29, 2015

Computer Programmer Creates Smallest Chess Program Ever

At only 487 bytes long, don't expect a fancy user interface, and it doesn't even allow castling, but French programmer Olivier Poudade has written the smallest chess program ever. He set out to beat the previous record of 672 bytes held for 33 years by 1K ZX Chess, which was designed to run on the ancient Sinclair ZX81 computer, which had only 1K of RAM. That older program didn't allow castling either, nor did it allow pawn promotion. See the BBC article: here.

January 27, 2015

Carlsen Wins Tata Steel

World Champion Magnus Carlsen blundered a pawn in the final round but was able to draw, and that was enough to finish in first place at the prestigious Tata Steel Tournament with a score of 9/11. Four players (Vachier-Lagrave, Giri, So, and Ding) tied for second with 8.5 points each. The Week in Chess has the final round report: here.

January 25, 2015

GM Blunders: A Statistical Analysis

Stunned by Magnus Carlsen's blunder in game 6 of the last World Championship Match, and Vishy Anand's immediate follow-up one, Joe Doliner set out to determine how rare blunders are at this level of play. Doliner used the Crafty chess engine to analyze almost 5 million moves in games from 2014 to find that only 0.96 percent of moves by players above 2775 were 2-pawn blunders. He also discovered that "gaining 600 rating points halves the number of blunders a player makes." See his fascinating ChessBase article: here.

January 19, 2015

How Far Ahead Can Great Players See?

Do great players see dozens of moves ahead? Probably not. Then do they win by playing long, consistent, logical plans? Maybe. Or do the winners just find long, logical "plans" afterwards when they are annotating their games? Read this fascinating article by Gregory Serper on Chess.com that features great quotations by Bronstein and Alekhine: here.

January 18, 2015

Karsten Mueller Instructs

Halfway through the Tata Steel Tournament, expert Karsten Mueller has analyzed three instructive endgames from the tournament for ChessBase. In the Ivanchuk–Jobava game, Mueller shows that even some computers got it wrong in a complex rook-and-pawn endgame. But Ivanchuk did not, and he went on to win. Treat yourself to these endgames: here.

January 17, 2015

Book of the Year Finalists

ChessCafe has announced its three finalists for the best chess book of 2014. They are Bologan's Black Weapons in the Open Games by Victor Bologan, John Nunn's Chess Course by John Nunn, and Mikhail Botvinnik: The Life and Games of a World Chess Champion by Andy Soltis. ChessCafe's readers will vote, and the winner will be announced on Feb. 2. See the article: here.

January 16, 2015

Tata Steel Round 8 Report

After five straight wins, Magnus Carlsen has pulled into sole first place at Tata Steel with a score of 6/8. Vassily Ivanchuk, the early tournament leader, has fallen into fifth place out of 14 players. Wesley So, playing now as an American player, is tied for second with two others. See the story: here.

January 8, 2015

Featured Chess Site: Chess Corner

In case you haven't figured it out yet, chess is huge on the Internet, and we are constantly on the lookout for new sites, as well as old ones we haven't discovered yet. Chess Corner is a great site dedicated to beginning players. It has tutorials on the rules of the game, notation, how to use chess clocks, tactics, and recommended opening repertoires. You can play online too if you register, which is free. Click here to go to the site: here.

January 7, 2015

Tata Steel

For the 77th year, the famous Tata Steel Tournament will be held in Wijk aan Zee, the Netherlands, Jan. 9–25. This will be by far the strongest and most important tournament to watch this month. Participants include World Champion Magnus Carlsen and world #2 Fabiano Caruana. Wesley So will represent the U.S. in the masters section.
ChessBase's preview: here
Official site: here

January 6, 2015

America's Youngest GM

13 years 10 months 27 days. That's how long it took Sam Sevian to earn his grandmaster title, beating the previous record of 14 years 11 months 16 days, set by Ray Robson in 2009. Sevian lives in Southbridge, Mass., and has to be home schooled because of how much time he spends at tournaments. Sevian recently attended a weekend training session in New York City with Garry Kasparov as part of Kasparov's Young Stars Program. See Sevian's story: here.

January 3, 2015

December Wrap-Up

December was another short month where weekly club meetings were truncated by the arbitrariness of the calendar. ACC only met for 3 weeks due to Christmas falling the day before. With such a short number of rounds, the Ladder saw another log-jam going into the final week as 6 members seeking the final prize of $50 for the month. But ACC member Ian Southcote-Want won the Ladder prize outright (3/3) followed by 8 members tied with 2/3. The club had a good turnout this month for the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 round, G/45) as 40 players battled it out for over $900 in prizes. The Premier section was a rough slog as 4 players tied for 1st (4/5) including Andrew Samuelson, newcomer Daniel Lowinger, Srdjan Darmanovic and Mahbub Shahalam. In the U1700 section, Seva Zhuravskiy and Sudarshan Sriniaiyer tied for 1st(4.5/5) while Daniel Vaslliere secured the U1400 prize and David Li won the U1200 prize. Separately, in the the ACC Action (3 round, G/30) also had a good turnout as 14 players competed with Jason Carr pulling a surprising upset as the top two seeds (Andrew Samuelson and Daniel Clancy) drew their game letting Jason's win secure sole first place a half point ahead of them(3/3).

December 31, 2014

The Best Chess of 2014

It's been a great year for chess. There was Fabiano Caruana's amazing winning streak at the Sinquefield Cup. There was the great comeback of Vishy Anand, although he wasn't able to beat Magnus Carlsen at their rematch the for the World Championship. Chess.com has published a list of the best chess of the year, including best opening of the year (the Berlin) and best chess engine of the year (Komodo). See the full article: here.

December 30, 2014

Christmas Puzzles

ChessBase has published the 15th installment of its annual Christmas puzzles. Even grandmasters have had trouble solving some of them. You have been warned. Try them: here.

December 29, 2014

Deep Blue Revisited

In 1997, World Champion Garry Kasparov played his famous rematch with IBM's Deep Blue, a computer program that cost the company millions of dollars to develop. After the match, IBM made Deep Blue's analysis open to the public. Nowadays, cheap or even free chess engines on PCs or smart phones can easily clobber Deep Blue, which was the state of the art at the time. Author Albert Silver has done a fascinating comparison of the old Deep Blue analysis with that of Komodo 8, today's top chess engine. See his articles ...
Part 1: here,
Part 2: here.

December 22, 2014

2014 Book Reviews

"Maybe just one more chess book will get me to expert." Our club has many chess book addicts who talk like that, and some of them have thousands of books. Jeremy Silman's website has a very large number of book reviews that can be of help. You can see the list of reviews for 2014: here.

December 21, 2014

Wesley So: America's Number 2 Player

Twenty-one-year-old GM Wesley So is on a tear. The winner of the $100,000 top prize at the Millionaire Open, he has gone 34 straight games without a loss and is now the second-highest-rated American player after Nakamura. His goal is to be the next 2800 player. But he shocked his fans when he switched from the Filipino chess federation to the U.S. one in 2013, and some called him unpatriotic. See how So answered his critics in this fascinating two-part profile:
Part 1: here
Part 2: here

December 20, 2014

Pushing Wood

GM Maurice Ashley wants to "sell a slow game to a fast world." By promoting big events like the recent Las Vegas Millionaire Open, which had the largest prize fund in chess history, he thinks he can bring about another Fischer Boom for the game. Filmmakers Jeffrey Plunkett, Andrew McAllister, and Michael Lockridge are making a movie about Ashley's efforts. Read about it: here.

December 14, 2014

More on the London Chess Classic

In case you missed it, the London Chess Classic featured not only matches with classical time controls, but also had blitz and rapid play matches too. Don't miss the chance to study all these high-quality games. Chessgames.com has them all:
Classical: here
Blitz: here
Rapid: here

December 12, 2014

Young GMs Try to Make Chess Cool

The intense rivalry between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana is bringing the cool factor back to chess. Although they have very different styles of play, both players are popular with their fans and are skillfully using social media to promote their careers. See the article: here.

December 10, 2014

Anand Wins London Classic on Tie-Break

Despite losing to Carlsen in the World Championship, GM Vishy Anand is still in the game. He has won the London Chess Classic with a score of 7. Kramnik and Giri also ended up with 7 points, but Anand won the tie-break by winning the only game as Black. See the story: here.

December 7, 2014

Russian Championships

The Russian Championships concluded on Sunday, with GM Igor Lysyj winning the men's section with a score of 5.5/9. Unfortunately, two-thirds of the games were draws in that section. GM Valentina Gunina won the women's section with a 7/9 score. The final round for the women was especially nerve-wracking because Gunina and WGM Alisa Galliamova, who were tied for the lead at that point, were paired up. Take a look at their crazy game: here.

December 6, 2014

Carlsen Analyzes the World Chess Championship

Magnus Carlsen has recorded a game-by-game summary on YouTube of his recent match with Vishy Anand, which author Albert Silver has summarized for ChessBase readers. Don't miss this fascinating commentary by the world champion, including an explanation of the famous mutual blunder in game 6.
Part 1: here,
Part 2: here.

December 5, 2014

Nakamura Wins LCC Super Rapid

American Hikaru Nakamura, well known for his skill at fast time controls, has won the London Chess Classic Super Rapid with an amazing score of 9.5/10. The games were played at a time control of G/25 with a 10-second increment. What was unprecedented for this tournament is that the event was open to anyone. It is rare for super GMs to play much lower rated players, and in this case, there were games with more than 1000 points separating the two players. See the story: here.

December 3, 2014

November Wrap-Up

In November, ACC also only met for 3 weeks due to Thanksgiving. With such a short number of rounds, the Ladder saw a log-jam going into the final week with nearly 10 members seeking the final prize of $50 for the month. But ACC member Mike Kobily won the Ladder prize outright (3/3). The club had a good turnout this month for the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 round, G/45) as 44 players battled it out for over $900 in prizes. Srdjan Darmanovic and Eden Diano tied for first place (4/5) in the Premier section followed by Andrew Samuelson in 3rd (3.5/4). Newcomer Mason Korb won sole first place in the U1700 section (4.5/5) followed by Vinay Velovolu in sole second place (4/5) while picking up over 100 ratings points! Separately, in the the ACC Action (3 round, G/30) also had a good turnout as 14 players competed with 3 players all tying for first place (2.5/3) including Andrew Samuelson, Srdjan Darmanovic, and Andrew Tichenor. Notice: ACC will be closed in December for Friday December 2014.

November 30, 2013 **SPECIAL**

World Championship Postmortem

The World Championship Match between defending champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway and challenger Viswanathan Anand of India just ended Nov. 23 in Sochi, Russia, with Magnus Carlsen pouring it on at the end and winning by securing a final draw for a final score of 6.5-4.5. Following is a collection of articles from around the web with outcomes from the recent match:

The official Championship website: Sochi,

Closing ceremony with pictures: Closing,

Wrap-Up 1: TWIC,

Wrap-Up 2: Chess.com,

Chessgames.com has a nice interface for playing over all the games: Chessgames.com,

Polgar on Carlsen: Polger,

Carlsen Interview: Interview,

Caruana Interview: Interview,

Kasparov (Chessbase): Chessbase,

Kasparov (Chess.com): Chess.com,

Sochi Organizer: Chess.com.

November 7-23, 2014 **SPECIAL** - Updated After Each Round

One-Stop Round By Round: 2013 World Championship

The World Championship Re-Match between defending champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway and challenger Viswanathan Anand of India began Nov. 7, in Sochi, Russia. The Match is played over a maximum of twelve games and the winner of the match shall be the first player to score 6.5 points or more. If the scores are level after 12 games, 4 tie-break games are played. Games will begin each day at 7:00 a.m. EST time, with six rest days added in. Below, we are providing round by round one-stop coverage of the World Championship from the official site and all of the major chess news websites:


Essential Links:

-- Official Championship website: Sochi,

-- Schedule: here,

-- **LIVE** Games: here,

-- Photos: here,

-- Rules and Regulations: here,

-- Carlsen Bio: here,

-- Anand Bio: here,

-- Seconds, etc.: here.


Game 11: High Drama - Carlsen Wins!!

Video Analysis: YouTube,
The Hindu,
Wall Street Journal,
Chessbase,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 10: Missed Chance for Anand

Video Analysis: YouTube,
Chessbase,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 9: Quick Draw

Video Analysis: YouTube,
Chessbase,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 8: Another Draw

Video Analysis: YouTube,
Chessbase,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 7: 2nd Longest WC Draw Ever

Video Analysis: YouTube,
Chessbase,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 6: Carlsen Strikes!

Video Analysis: YouTube,
Chessbase 1,
Chessbase 2,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 5: Another Draw

Video Analysis: YouTube,
Chessbase,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 4: Quiet Draw

Video Analysis: YouTube,
Chessbase,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 3: Anand Crushes Back!

Video Analysis: YouTube,
Chessbase 1,
Chessbase 2,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 2: Carlsen Crushes!

Video Analysis: YouTube,
Chessbase 1,
Chessbase 2,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 1: Anand's Lost Chances

Video Analysis: YouTube,
Chessbase 1,
Chessbase 2,
Chessbase 3,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

November 5, 2014

World Championship Preview (Video)

"You never know. Anand could easily win if Carlsen is not on absolutely top form, and in 2014 we haven't really seen Carlsen in top form" says IM Andrew Martin, who gives another preview of the match in this two-part video at ChessCafe: here.

November 3, 2014

World Championship Preview

A year ago, Magnus Carlsen won his match desisively against Vishy Anand and became the second youngest World Champion ever. Anand looked like a broken man after that, but he bounced back with big tournament wins over the last year, including winning the Candidates Tournament without losing a single game. As we eagerly await the rematch, which starts on Nov. 7, check out this two-part review of what both players have been up to over the last year and how they are preparing.


Part 1: here, Part 2: here.

October 30, 2014

Tashkent Grand Prix

While you wait for the World Chess Championship to start on Nov. 7, the strongest tournament under way that you can follow now is the Tashkent Grand Prix. After eight rounds, three players are tied for first: Dmitry Andreikin (Russia), Hikaru Nakamura (USA), and Baadur Jobava (Georgia), each with a score of 5/8. The Grand Prix tournaments are important because they provide challengers for the World Championship cycle. The Week in Chess has the report: here.

October 29, 2014

How Much Is a Ticket to the World Chess Championship?

35,000 Russian rubles. That's how much a ticket to the upcoming World Chess Championship will cost you. That's 827 U.S. dollars. FIDE has begun selling tickets to the event, which starts Nov. 7 in Sochi, Russia. Champion Magnus Carlsen will be playing challenger Vishy Anand, the former champion. ACC will have much more coverage of the event. But for those rich enough to go in person, here's the FIDE ticket site: here.

October 28, 2014

10 Things Good Chess Players Don't Do

"Good chess players don't look for training shortcuts," says Yuri Markushin, writing on The ChessWorld site. Nor are they afraid of playing stronger players. He has eight more tips where those two come from. You'll have to ignore the poor translation into English, but you can find the article: here.

October 27, 2014

Is Chess Solvable?

The game of checkers has been completely solved, but is that possible for chess? Murray Campbell, one of the developers of Deep Blue, the computer program that beat Garry Kasparov in 1997, says no. He says, "Certain small parts of the game can be solved exactly with just a few pieces on the board, but the game of chess being solved, I don't see how that's going to happen." The BBC interviewed Campbell while he was playing a chess game, and in it, Campbell also addressed the cheating accusations that Kasparov made in the 1997 match. ChessBase has a link to the interview: here.

October 20, 2014

World Juniors

More than 200 players from 45 countries took part in the World Juniors, which concluded on Oct. 19 in Pune, India. Lu Shanglei of China won the open section with a score of 10/13, and Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia won the girls section with a 11/13 score. The Week in Chess has the story: here.

October 19, 2014

Millionaire Chess

GM Wesley So has taken the top prize of $100,000 in the Millionaire Chess Tournament in Las Vegas. The tournament had a guaranteed prize fund of $1 million, the highest ever for a chess tournament, and that amount was indeed paid out to the top finishers in six sections, with the highest single prize of $100,000 going to the first-place finisher in the open section, won by So. Alejandro Ramirez has written an entertaining article about the tournament and its unusual setting. See his article: here.

October 18, 2014

When to Break Rules in Chess

Everybody knows that you shouldn't move the pawns around your king, right? Sometimes it's okay, says GM Gregory Serper, who has written a series of articles on Chess.com about "situations in which it is beneficial to ignore well-established principles of chess." In his latest installment, he analyzes games in which Lasker, Kasparov, Spassky, and Capablanca did just that but nevertheless went on to win. See the article: here.

October 17, 2014

Houdini vs. Komodo

After 10 rounds, Houdini 4 is in the lead at TCEC, now renamed the Top Computer Chess Championship. Houdini 4 has a score of 9.5/10. Komodo 8 is in second place with 9.0/10. In this stage of the competition, 13 rounds are played, and only the top seven engines go on to the next round. Stockfish was last year's champion. You can follow the competition: here.

October 10, 2014

The 10 Chess Pieces Least Likely to Survive a Game

Which chess piece is least likely to survive a chess game? White's d-pawn, which has only a 24.45% chance of survival. To see the other nine, click: here.

October 8, 2014

World Junior Championship

In what may be the strongest World Junior Championship ever, this year's tournament got under way on Oct. 5 in Pune, India. These young players seem to be getting stronger and stronger each year, and this year's tournament includes 18 GMs and 20 IMs. How many world junior champions went on to become world champion? The answer is four. To see who they were, click: here.

October 6, 2014

What's Your Morphy Number?

We chess players are easily amused by such weighty questions. Paul Morphy (1837-1884) was unbeatable in his day and would have won easily if there had been a World Championship at the time. It was a high honor to play him. Opponents who directly played him are considered to have a "Morphy number" of 1 (MN 1). Players who played an MN 1 have an MN of 2, and so on. Writer Taylor Kingston has carefully researched Morphy's opponents and determined that some players of our own day have lower MNs than they thought. For example, current World Champion Magnus Carlsen has an MN of 5. See the article: here.

October 4, 2014

Baku Grand Prix

The world's strongest tournament now under way is the Baku Grand Prix. Twelve of the world's top players are taking part, including American Hikaru Nakamura. The Grand Prix tournaments are important to watch because they provide challengers for the World Championship cycle. After five rounds, Fabiano Caruana (Italy) and Boris Gelfand (Israel) are tied for first with 3.5/5. See The Week in Chess's story: here.

October 2, 2014

October Ratings: Caruana and Hou Yifan Move Up

With Fabiano Caruana's recent incredible winning streak, it should come as no surprise that he has moved up to the no. 2 spot on the FIDE ratings list with a rating of 2844, just 19 points below Carlsen. On the women's list, Hou Yifan has moved up to 2673, just two points from overtaking Judit Polgar, who has remained on the top of the women's list for an amazing 25 years! See all the lists, including those for juniors: here.

October 1, 2014

September Wrap-Up

Watch for the return of the ACC Blitz in October! Another strong turnout for the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 round, G/45) this month as nearly 60 players battled it out for over $900 in prizes. Andrew Samuelson won first place (5/5) in the Open section followed by a 3-way tie for 2nd-4th (4/5) by Srdjan Darmanovic, Justin Lohr and Robert Keough. Gideon Lohr and Rishab Anand tied for 1st in the U1700 section (4/5). On the Ladder (30/90, G/60 d5) where we topped 60 players this month, Win Persina locked up sole first place (4/5) winning hte $50 prize for the second month in a row. At the end of the month, the ACC Action (3 round, G/30) also had a strong turnout as 20 players competed with Andrew Samuelson finishing alone in 1st place (3/3) followed by a 3-way tie for 2nd by Srdjan Darmanovic, Sahil Sinha, and Bora Yagiz (2.5/3).

September 30, 2014

Shirov-Sveshnikov Match

These days it seems only the super-GM tournaments with lots of players get any attention, but the more traditional matches pitting just two players in a fierce duel are fun to watch, too. In 1992, GM Evgeny Sveshnikov challenged his fellow Latvian GM Alexey Shirov to a match, but the match fell through because of money. The players, now 22 years older, finally held it this month in Riga, and the games were exciting battles. The time control was 50 minutes per game, with a 10-second increment, two games per day. Shirov won the match with a score of 5.5/6. See the story and games: here.

September 29, 2014

Choosing a Chess Engine

Komodo, Houdini, and Stockfish are the three strongest chess engines today. John Hartmann has tested all three against a test suite with known solutions. Our own club's GM Larry Kaufman, one of the developers of Komodo, has compared the three in this way: "Komodo is best at evaluating middlegame positions accurately once the tactics are resolved. Stockfish seems to be best in the endgame and in seeing very deep tactics. Houdini is the best at blitz and at seeing tactics quickly." Hartmann's review seems to confirm that, and he declines to pick a winner, recommending simply that you get all three. See his review: here.

September 28, 2014

Women's World Championship Postponed

FIDE has announced that this year's Women's World Championship, a 64-player knockout which was to start on Oct. 11, has been postponed "for a few months," probably because no sponsors have come forward. This is a real mess for FIDE, and it now means there will be two women's world championships in 2015. See the story: here.

September 27, 2014

Experts Comment on the Carlsen-Anand Rematch

The next World Chess Championship, which begins Nov. 7 in Sochi, Russia, will be a rematch between Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen. Many experts are saying it will be a much tougher for Carlsen this time around. For example, Carlsen's former trainer GM Simen Agdestein says, “It is more difficult for Carlsen this time. Anand is the challenger and not under the same pressure as last year.” Also, Anand's confidence is high after coming off a big win at Bilbao, and Carlsen just lost badly to Caruana at the Sinquefield Cup. Could the result be different this time? See what other experts are saying: here.

September 22, 2014

ACC Has *New* Photos!

We have dozens of new batches of photos - from the DC Chess League, World Open, VA Senior Open, and the Cherry Blossom events. See photos here.

September 20, 2014

Fischer-Spassky Movie

For those of us old enough to remember, the 1972 World Championship between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky was a major front-page Cold War event, one that got many of us started in chess for the first time. Finally someone has made a movie of it. Edward Zwick's "Pawn Sacrifice" was shown this month at the Toronto International Film Festival and is now awaiting U.S. distribution rights. It stars Tobey Maguire as Fischer and Liev Schreiber as Spassky. According to a review, Maquire nails the Fischer role. See the review: here.

September 18, 2014

FIDE's Anti-Cheating Law

Based on a recommendation by its Anti-Cheating Committee, FIDE has modified the wording of Law 11.3b, which now starts out with the wording, "During a game, a player is forbidden to have a mobile phone, electronic means of communication or any device capable of suggesting chess moves on their person in the playing venue." The law has not been formally approved yet by the General Assembly, but in the meantime, FIDE is recommending that arbiters begin to enforce it. There is much more than just this one sentence, so make sure you read the law in its entirety: here.

September 16, 2014

The Future of Chess, Not FIDE

After his painful loss to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov for the presidency of FIDE, Garry Kasparov has written a closing essay on his campaign website. In it, he writes, "Ilyumzhinov then used his speech to mock me and to mock everyone who cares for chess with outlandish promises everyone in the room knew were lies before his words stopped echoing in the auditorium." He goes on to blast the Kremlin's role in the election, as well as the power and corruption in FIDE. Read the full essay: here.

September 14, 2014

Bilbao Masters

Four of the world's top players are taking part in the super-GM Bilbao Masters from Sep. 14 to Sep. 20. This will be Anand's last tournament before his rematch with Carlsen at the World Championship, which starts Nov. 7 in Sochi, Russia. Besides Anand, the other players are Levon Aronian (Armenia), Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine), and Francisco "Paco" Vallejo Pons (Spain). The average rating is 2754. To discourage draws, the players get 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw, and 0 for a loss. After four rounds, Anand leads by a score of 10/12 and is on track to win, and if he does, that will give him confidence and momentum going into the Sochi match. See the report: here.

September 12, 2014

Why Didn't Aronian Resign?

In the round 9 game between Carlsen and Aronian at the Sinquefield Cup, the computers were giving +5 to Carlsen, but Aronian just kept playing on. Baffled fans wondered why Aronian wasn't resigning, but he knew what he was doing and ended up with a Vancura draw. Endgame guru Karsten Müller explains how he pulled it off in his article: here.

September 10, 2014

Feat of Historic Proportions

Italian GM Fabiano Caruana achieved a remarkable feat of winning his first seven games in a row at the just-completed Sinquefield Cup. He then drew his final three games, giving him a final score of 8.5/10 and winning first prize. The last time anybody came close to a streak like this was the 2005 World Chess Championship, when Topolav won the first six games. The average rating of the six players in this year's Sinquefield Cup was over 2800, making this the strongest tournament in chess history. The New York Times has the story: here.

September 8, 2014

Interview with Caruana's Coach

Now that we've all seen the fantastic 7-game winning streak of Fabiano Caruana, wouldn't it be nice to know how he trains? Chessbase has interviewed his coach, GM Vladimir Chuchelov. In the interview, Chuchelov says that all his students begin their training with his 60-hour "strategic balance" course. He says, "Then we begin routine work such as analyzing games, working on your opening repertoire, and having calculation sessions." See the whole interview: here.

September 3, 2014

Brilliancy Prize

What does it take to win the brilliancy prize? The Singapore Chess Column just awarded one to Alexander Jia Jie Chan for a miraculous escape in a lost game. See the game: here.

September 2, 2014

6-0!

After six rounds at the 2014 Sinquefield Cup, Italian GM Fabiano Caruana has a phenomenal 6-0 score and appears unstoppable. Are we looking at a future world champion here? This year's super-GM event is taking place at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center in St. Louis and is being billed as "the strongest tournament in the history of chess." Six players are taking part, including World Champion Magnus Carlsen. See Chessbase's round six report: here.

September 1, 2014

Millionaire Chess

Next month, a tournament with the largest prize fund in history, $1 million, will begin at the Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas. The organizers, GM Maurice Ashley and Canadian entrepreneur Amy Lee, are doing it to promote chess, but it looks like they will almost certainly lose money on it. Despite an early low number of entries because of the $1000 entry fee, there are now 500 players from 39 countries signed up. See the article in the New York Times: here.

August 31, 2014

August Wrap-Up

The club had an unusually strong turnout for the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 round, G/45) this month as over 50 players battled it out for over $900 in prizes. Mahbub Shahalam won first place (5/5) in the Open section followed by Stephen Jablon and Jerry Wu tied for 2nd/3rd (4/5). Wendel Skidgell won the U1700 section (4.5/5) followed by Ajitha Balasubramian and Vikraman Boobalan tied for 2nd/3rd (4/5). On the Ladder (30/90, G/60 d5) where we topped 60 players this month, Win Persina locked up sole first place (4/5) for the $50 monthly prize followed by 3-way tie for second (3.5/5) by Dennis Franco, Andrew Wagner and Robert Aguirre. Early in the month, the ACC Action (3 round, G/30) 16 players competed with Andrew Tichenor finishing alone in 1st place (3/3) followed by Chris Snell (2.5/3) in second place.

August 24, 2014

How Norway Filmed the Olympiad

When Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) was given the job of televising all the Olympiad games, its planners realized they had some major technical problems to solve. For example, at any given time, there could be up to 650 games going on simultaneously. Also, standard TV cameras would be way too big to work around the small tables crowded with players and onlookers. But they pulled it off, and to see how, read the English version of NRK's own report: here.

August 22, 2014

FIDE Announces Next Grand Prix

The 2014-15 Grand Prix will consist of four tournaments (down from six). Sixteen players will take part, including of course Carlsen and Anand plus nine other players who have already qualified from previous results. Nakamura, who qualified by average rating, is the only American. That leaves five players yet to be named. To see pictures of the players, see the Chessbase article: here.

August 21, 2014

All Olympiad Games Are Online

In the Tromsø Olympiad, 3714 games were played in the open section and 2891 in the women's section. That's a total of 6605 games, and Chessgames.com has them all online in a format that makes it easy to play quickly through many games, which are listed by player, opening, and result. Since many of the Olympiad players were far below GM level, many of these games will perhaps be more typical of those faced by club players. Don't miss this invaluable resource to improve your game. Open section: here Women's section: here.

August 19, 2014

Olympiad: China, Russia Win

The 41st Chess Olympiad has concluded with 6730 games having been played. The Chinese team won the open section losing only one game in 11 rounds. Hungary and India came in second and third, respectively. In the women's section, Russia, China, and Ukraine came in first, second, and third, in that order. See the final report: here.

August 17, 2014

Two Players Die at the Olympiad

Two players died within hours of each other at the recently concluded Olympiad in Norway. Kurt Meier, 67, playing for the Seychelles team, collapsed during his final match and died later at the hospital. Later that day, a player from Uzbekistan was found dead in his hotel room. That player has not yet been named. See the article: here.

August 15, 2014

Why Chess Is an Extreme Sport

After two players died at the Olympiad, Guardian writer Stephen Moss wondered if this was a coincidence. He noted that many Soviet players, at least those with poor health habits, died early but that modern players seem to know better. Levon Aronian, for example, now starts out each day with a run and a healthy breakfast. Moss says, "So next time someone suggests a nice, quiet game of chess, or paints it as an intellectual pursuit played by wimps, tell them they’ve got it all wrong: this is a fight to the finish played in the tensest of circumstances by two players who are physically and mentally living on the edge." See his article: here.

August 13, 2014

Olympiad Round 10 Report

With just one round to go, the Chinese team leads the men's section, and the Russians lead the women's section. The American men's team has moved up to a respectable sixth place, and the American women are in fourteenth. The tournament has had many interesting upsets, and even Carlsen has been beaten. Aug. 13 is a rest day, and the final round will be played on Aug. 14. See the tournament site: here.

August 11, 2014

Kasparov Defeated in FIDE Election

Former World Champion Garry Kasparov has been defeated in his bid to become the next FIDE president by a vote of 110 to 61, so incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov retains the position. The campaign got very nasty and even involved Russian embassies around the world pressuring host nations to vote for Ilyumzhinov. Ilyumzhinov, who claims to have been abducted by aliens, has held the FIDE presidency since 1995. See the story: here.

August 9, 2014

Judit Polgar to Retire

Judit Polgar, the world's highest rated female chess player, has announced her retirement from competitive chess at age 38. Polgar made GM at age 15 years and 5 months, beating the previous record held since 1958 by Bobby Fischer, and until 2014, was the only women ever to make it into the FIDE top 100, rising at one point to number 8. (The only other woman to make the list is current world women's champion Hou Yifan.) In tournaments she insisted on playing against the men, rather than only in the women's sections. See a tribute to Polgar: here.

August 8, 2014

Breaking Black

How are the hyper-solid openings for Black faring at the Olympiad? Chess writer Mihail Marin says, not so well. He has annotated three games using the Petroff, Berlin, and Dutch Defenses. Yes, he includes the Leningrad Dutch in his list of "walls." In each of the games, White won. See his ChessBase article: here.

August 6, 2014

Chess Olympiad: Round 4 Report

After four rounds at the world's largest chess event, the 8th-seeded Azerbaijan team is in the lead in the open section. The U.S. is in 28th place, out of 177 teams. In the women's section, the Chinese team is leading, and the U.S. team is 17th out of 136 teams. Round 5 will pit Carlsen and Aronian, the world numbers one and two, against each other. Don't miss the opportunity to follow these exciting games live on Chess24's site: here.

August 4, 2014

Putin's Chess-Master Nemesis

Last Sunday's New York Times Magazine had a fascinating article about the increasingly nasty politics leading up to the Aug. 11 election in Tromsø, Norway, for the FIDE presidency. Garry Kasparov is running against incumbent Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who has held the job since 1995 and is backed by Russian President Putin. Some see the campaign as a proxy war between democracy and tyranny. See the article: here.

July 31, 2014

July Wrap-Up

Unlike with other summer chess events, July continues to be a great month for attendance at ACC chess tournaments. 51 players entered the ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 round, G/45) where Andrew Samuelson and Mahbub Shahalam tied for 1st (4.5) in the Open section followed by David Bennett and one of our summer Illinois friends, Akshay Indusekar (4.0). In the U1700 section, William Saylors came down from Baltimore to win 1st (4.5) followed by ACC member Rishab Anand who picked up nearly 150 rating points with a 2nd place finish (4.0) and Ashley Xing in 3rd (3.5). And in the U1300 section, Ya He and Michael Hu (4.0) tied for 1st followed by Paurav Kananur (3.5) in 3rd place. The ACC Action (3 round, G/30) was another event with a good turnout as we had a 3-way tie in the Open section between Andrew Samuelson and our Illinois contingent, Michael Auger and Akshay Indusekar (2.5). Finally on the ACC Ladder, Edgar Almazan (2.5) won the event for the second time this year.Hi finish a half point ahead of 7 other club members.

July 30, 2014

Olympiad: Two Days to Go

Did you know that Norway is the only country where a national chess champion became prime minister? In just two days, the 41st World Chess Olympiad will begin in Tromsø, Norway, making this the northernmost Olympiad ever. Tromsø is so far north that as recently as July 22, the sun did not set and there was daylight around the clock. Chessbase has a great review of the tournament, including pictures and welcome statements from Norway's prime minister and the mayor of the city. See the article: here.

July 26, 2014

ChessCafe.com Relaunches

After a hiatus of several months for a reorganization and web redesign, ChessCafe.com has relaunched all of its excellent monthly columns. The website also has a shop, book reviews, and the most complete chess news links we've seen. Check out the site: here.

July 24, 2014

Hawkins Leads British Championship

With only two rounds to go, IM Jonathan Hawkins leads a field of 59 players, including seven GMs, but the GMs are cutting into his lead in the recent rounds. The 101st Championship is taking place in Aberystwyth, Wales, from the 19th to the 30th of July, and The Week in Chess is covering the story: here.

July 21, 2014

John Watson on the KID

More books are published on chess than on all other games combined, but how to separate the wheat from the chaff? One good way is to read analysis by respected reviewers. We suggest you regularly visit The Week in Chess site and read John Watson's book reviews there. Watson is a highly regarded chess author in his own right, and we cannot think of anyone else who puts more thought into his reviews. See his latest, this one on recent King's Indian books: here.

July 20, 2014

How Do Grand Masters Improve?

Yes, even grand masters struggle with how to improve. GM Jacob Aagaard recently answered a list of questions about the topic from another GM, who agreed to let Aagaard post the discussion as long as the GM's identity was not revealed. An interesting part of the discussion is how opening preparation is no longer as important among top layers as it once was. See the fascinating four-part Q&A: here.

July 19, 2014

Caruana Wins Dortmund, Breaks 2800

Italian GM Fabiano Caruana has won the Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund, Germany, with a score of 5.5/7. His performance increases his rating to 2801, making him only the seventh player in history to reach 2800. See the story: here.

July 17, 2014

Russian Women's Team Out of Olympiad

In a shocking development, the reigning champion Russian Women's team has apparently failed to meet the entry deadline for this year's Olympiad in Tromsø, Norway. FIDE Vice President Israel Gelfer is blaming Garry Kasparov and wants the Olympiad to be canceled. See the story: here and Kasparov's response: here.

July 16, 2014

Current Top-Level Tournaments

There are three high-level tournaments under way right now. In Dortmund, Germany, GM Fabiano Caruana of Italy is leading the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess-Meeting by a score of 3.5 after 4 rounds. In Biel, Switzerland, GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France is leading the Biel Chess Festival by a score of 2.5 after 4 rounds. And in Bergamo, Italy, GM Wesley So of the Philippines is leading the ACP Golden Classic with a score of 3 after 4 rounds. The Week in Chess is covering all three tournaments: here.

July 15, 2014

The 10,000-Hour Rule

Emmanuel Lasker, the second world champion, famously said in his Manual of Chess that it should only take 200 hours to become a master. Sadly, that seems far short of the mark for most of us. More recently Malcolm Gladwell, in his bestseller Outliers, proposed the 10,000-hour rule: it should only take 10,000 hours to reach the top of any field. Scientists are now testing this rule, and chess is one of the fields they are examining. A recent paper says that in music, sports, and chess, practice only accounts for 20-25 percent of a person's ability. The rest is determined by talent. See the Salon article: here.

July 11, 2014

ACC at the World Open

The 42nd World Open was held in Arlington, VA, from June 30 to July 6. GM Ilya Smirin won the open section with a score of 7/9. Many ACC members took part in the tournament. ACC players with better than a 50% tournament score include: U2400 section Larry Gilden (6), Andrew Samuelson (5.5), and Macon Shibut (5). U2000 section: Vishal Kobla (5.5), Ian Barruel (5.5), and Charles Edelman (5). U1800 section: Josh Hiban (6.5), Alex Eltobgi (6.5), and Matias Paniagua (6). In the DC International pre-Open tournament, Larry Kaufman (5) scored better than 50%. In the World Open Warm-Up, Chris Snell tied for 1st-4th (4) and Jason Carr and Mike Kobily both scored (3) more than 50%. In the World Senior Open, Harry Cohen won sole first place (4.5) and William Marcelino (4) tied for 2nd-4th and Karl Peterson won the U1810 section outright (4.5) while Dennis Burke and Michael Stueben (both 3.5) each scored more than 50%. In the 10-Minute Championship, William Marcelino (3.5) and Srdjan Darmanovic (3) both scored more than 50%. Many ACC players also particpated in the various World Open Blitz tournaments. See full tournament results: here.

July 9, 2014

Mixed Pairs Chess

The International Star Mixed Pair Tournament was recently held in Chengdu, China. Six teams, each made up of a male player and a female player, competed under the rule that the team members had to alternate moves with no communications allowed between them. The team of Yasser Seirawan and Zhu Chen took first place with a score of 3.5/4. See the story: here.

July 7, 2014

Profile of a (New) Prodigy

Kayden Troff, the new U.S. junior champion, learned chess at age 3 and by 16 is now the youngest GM in the Americas and the second youngest in the world. See ChessBase writer James Satrapa's profile: here.

July 5, 2014

Kayden Troff Is U.S. Junior Champ

GM Kayden Troff has won the U.S. Junior Closed Championship with a score of 7/9, beating out nine other players. There were only 12 draws in 45 games, which shows how bloodthirsty the players were. See the story here: here.

July 4, 2014

Deception in Chess

Lasker was supposedly a master at the psychological aspects of chess, but with all the pieces in full view by both players, is it really possible to use deception in the game? GM Nigel Davies thinks there is a possibility for deception if you know your opponent's beliefs and preferences. See his article here: here.

July 3, 2014

5 Qualities Every Chess Star Has

Are you physically fit? Can you bounce back after a demoralizing loss? Do you have what it takes? Chessblog.com offers this list of 5 qualities you must have to be a chess star: here.

July 2, 2014

Health Benefits of Playing Chess

We're always looking for excuses to justify the enormous time we spend on chess, and here's a really good one. The Online Psychology Degree website has published this list of the "7 Surprising Health Benefits of Playing Chess": here.

July 1, 2014

Hou Yifan Wins Lopota

Hou Yifan of China has won the fifth Women's Grand Prix tournament with a dominating score of 9/11, although Humpy Konera of India remains the overall Grand Prix leader. The sixth and final Grand Prix tournament, which will decide the challenger for the Women's World Championship, starts Aug. 24 in Erdenet, Mongolia. Hou Yifan is the current Women's World Champion, as well as the youngest female ever to achieve the GM ranking. See the article: here.

June 29, 2014

June Wrap-Up

This month on the ACC Ladder, Michael Hiban continued his improvement with four straight wins and breaking the 1200 rating level and picking up the $50 monthly Ladder prize! Be sure to give him your own "Congrats" the next time you see him. Newcomer Seth Stauffer was close behind with 3.5/4. Then in the Friday Action tournament (3 round G/30) ACC had its best turnout as 20 players entered. Srdjan Darmanovic and visiting IL player Akshay Indusekar split 1st-2nd. Finally, 42 players entered the Action-Plus tournament (5 round G/45) where Andrew Samuelson won clear 1st with a perfect score followed by Nathan Lohr (4/5) in second in the Open section. In the U1700 section, there was a 3-way tie between Wendell Skidgel, Lawrence Dirks and newcomer Vikraman Boobalan - all had a 4/5 score. And Alice Han picked up nearly 100 ratings points with her performance (3/5). In the U1300 section, Mac Kowalski won for the second month in a row! Michael Hu and Rohan Bhatia finished tied for 2nd/3rd and both picked up a 100 and 70 ratings points, respectively.

June 26, 2014

The 10 Most Amazing Chess Combinations Ever

Yury Markushin writes, "Tactics decide most of the games of chess . . . amazing sacrifices, forced checkmates, and clever pins are what it is all about." With that short introduction, he offers this beautiful collection of the 10 most amazing combinations ever: here.

June 25, 2014

Home Field Advantage?

Is there a home field advantage in chess? After Topalov lost in Bulgaria, Anand in India, and, most recently, Carlsen in Norway, correspondent Barry Martin, the chess columnist for The Spectator, speculated that maybe there's just too much pressure for top players operating on their home turf. See the story: here.

June 24, 2014

The Gambiteer's Guild

In case you haven't noticed, chess is huge on the internet. In our constant search for new websites, we made this recent pleasant discovery: here.

June 22, 2014

Women's Grand Prix: Lopota

Women's chess just keeps getting stronger and stronger. The fifth tournament of the Women's Grand Prix is taking place at Lopota, Georgia. After three rounds, Chinese WGMs Hou Yifan and Ju Wenjun are tied for the lead. The overall winner of the Grand Prix series of tournaments will determine the challenger in the 2015 Women's World Championship. More info: here.

June 20, 2014

Karjakin Wins Norway Tournament With No Name

Magnus Carlsen is beatable after all. Russian GM Sergey Karjakin has won the Norway Tournament. Carlsen came in second. To find out why the tournament had no name, read the New York Times article: here.

June 18, 2014

First Congressional Chess Tournament

The Republicans and Democrats are even fighting it out over chess these days. After the Senate passed a resolution recognizing St. Louis as the U.S. Chess Capital, promoter Rex Sinquefield and Garry Kasparov visited Congress to promote chess education and to hold the first congressional chess tournament between a rotating team of congressmen. The Republicans won. See the story: here.

June 16, 2014

Carlsen Wins Triple Crown

Nepomniachtchi and Nakamura gave him a run for his money, but Magnus Carlsen has won both titles at the World Rapid and Blitz Championship in the United Arab Emirates. Carlsen is now the World Champion, World Rapid Champion, and World Blitz Champion. American Nakamura won five in a row near the end but finished in third place. See the full report: here.

June 11, 2014

Norway Round 7: Too Close to Call

After seven rounds and many surprising results, including a 131-move game between Giri and Karjakin, it is anyone's tournament. Only one point separates all ten players. Carlsen, Kramnik, Caruana, and Karjakin are in a four-way tie for first. The Week in Chess has the story: here.

June 9, 2014

FIDE's Anti-Cheating Proposals

Declaring that "computer-assisted cheating poses a major perceived threat to the integrity and credibility of chess," FIDE's Anti-Cheating Committee has published recommendations to end it. One intriguing recommendation is to provide a game screening tool to help arbiters identify players whose performance is so far above their expected level of play that computer cheating is likely. Read the full set of recommendations: here.

June 8, 2014

Sochi to Host World Championship

After the deadline passed in April, the chess world was stunned to hear that there had been no bids to host the 2015 World Championship. FIDE has just announced that Sochi, Russia, has agreed to be the host. The match will be held from Nov. 7 to 28 on the site of the Winter Olympics. Russian President Putin appeared at the announcement, and it appears that he was personally involved in the negotiations. See the story: here.

June 7, 2014

Kasparov on the FIDE Election and Current Contenders

During the first round of the No Logo Norway Tournament in Stavenger, Garry Kasparov answered questions about the contenders for the World Championship and about his run for FIDE president. Kasparov was very critical of current President Ilyumzhinov, whom he accused of campaigning using FIDE funds. See the first part of the interview: here.

June 5, 2014

Norway Round 3 Report

The world's strongest tournament currently under way is taking place in beautiful Stavenger, Norway. After three rounds, Italian GM Fabiano Caruana is in the lead with a score of 2.5. World Champ Magnus Carlsen is in fourth place! The tournament has ten players, including four of the world's top ten. See pictures of Stavenger and the players: here and the round 3 report here.

June 3, 2014

Stockfish Wins TCEC

Chess engine Stockfish beat out Komodo with a score of 35.5-28.5 in the superfinal of this year's Thoresen Computer Engine Competition, the unofficial world championship for chess engines. The competition started out with 36 chess engines in round 1, but only Stockfish and last year's champ Komodo were left to play the 64-round superfinal. See a fascinating analysis of the final round: here.

June 1, 2014

May Wrap-Up

The biggest news with the club in May was that Larry Kaufman's GM Lecture Series was put on hold for at least a couple of months. It will be switched to Saturdays every other month but as of yet it is unclear when the next lecture will occur though we are aiming for July. On the ACC Ladder, visiting player Jonathan Maxwell ran through the 1800/1900 players to win the prize clear with a score of 4.5/5. The Friday Action tournament (3 round G/30) featured 10 players including newcomer Alex Battey who ran the tables to win clear first after beating fellow Master Larry Gilden. Young Sam Schenk finished in clear second while snagging about 60 rating points. Finally, 44 players entered the Action-Plus tournament (5 round G/45) where Andrew Tichenor beat down the competition including Master Larry Gilden to win the Open section outright followed by a 4-way tie for 2nd. Fast rising Artem Gulish ran the tables winning the U1700 section with a perfect 5 wins and gaining over 125 ratings points! Lawrence Dirks won clear second while picking up over 60 ratings points. Two newcomers won clear first (Maceik Kowalski) and clear second (Justin Kennaugh, picking up 100 ratings points!) in the U1300 section.

May 29, 2014

Popularity of Openings Over Time

Here's our last article with a mathematical theme. We promise (for now)! Computational biologist Randal Olson has analyzed opening choices in tournament games going back to 1850. He looked at White's first and second moves and Black's first and second moves. See his article: here.

May 28, 2014

How Well Do Elo Ratings Predict Tournament Results?

In keeping with our mathematical theme this week, we bring you this fascinating analysis by computational biologist Randal Olson. Olson has looked at how well ratings predict the winner, how many more draws there are at the top levels, and how much of an advantage white has at different rating levels. See his numbers: here.

May 26, 2014

Utilization of Squares by Chess Masters

Seth Kadish of Portland, Oregon, has analyzed the use of squares by 12 top chess masters. We're still not quite sure what to make of it, but check out his charts: here.

May 24, 2014

1.e4 or 1.d4—Which Is Better?

Greek mathematician and physicist Ioannis Halkias adds his two cents to this age-old debate. See why he thinks 1.d4 is better: here.

May 21, 2014

FIDE in a Bit of Bother

Malcolm Pein, the chess correspondent for the Telegraph, reports on FIDE's continuing financial woes. There is still no sponsor for the 2015 World Championship. There is no support for the 2014-15 Grand Prix, either, which acts as a qualifying round for the World Championship cycle. And, finally, the sponsors of the 2014 Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway, have come up £1.5 short and were denied the additional funds when they applied to the Norwegian government. See Pein's story: here.

May 20, 2014

The Archaeology of Chess Positions

It's a motif we all dream of: the knight fork of king and queen. Simple, right? Not so fast. On Chessbase.com, mathematics professor Christian Hesse provides seven positions in which the motif lies ever deeper with each one. Try out your tactical prowess: here.

May 19, 2014

Carlsen v. the Rest of Norway

When you're the World Champion, you're in demand. On May 8, he played a Carlsen v. the rest of Norway match in Oslo. A team of three strong players suggested moves, which were then voted on by the public. The team, which could consult Houdini by ringing a bell, had 5 minutes per move while Carlsen had only one. The result was a draw. See the report: here.

May 18, 2014

Kamsky and Crush Win U.S. Championships

It came down to a 3-way playoff for both the men and the women, but GM Gata Kamsky and GM Irina Krush have retained their titles as the U.S. champions. This is the fifth time for Kamsky and the sixth for Krush. For pictures, the official tournament site can be found: here.

May 14, 2014

Youngest American Girls Master Ever

Eleven-year-old Annie Wang of La Cañada Flintridge, California, has broken Irina Krush's record for the youngest American girl to reach the rank of master (USCF ranking of 2200). Krush made master at the age of 12, and her record has stood for 18 years. Wang started playing at age 5 and has taken lessons from former U.S. Champion Larry Christiansen, who said, "She is like a sponge." See the New York Times story: here.

May 13, 2014

ICCF World Champion

Yes, correspondence chess is alive and well. The International Correspondence Chess Federation 27th World Championship concluded on May 9, and GM Aleksandr Dronov of Russia won the title for the second time. See the story: here.

May 12, 2014

No Fischer Prize Again

In 1964, Bobby Fischer won the U.S. Championship with a perfect 11-0 score. That feat has never been repeated. For this year's U.S. Championship, organizer Rex Sinquefield had set aside $64,000 for any player who repeated Fischer's result, but in round 2, all the games were drawn and the prize was off the table. Sinquefield then transferred the prize to the Women's Championship, which still had two undefeated players after two rounds. But one of those players (Krush) drew in round 3, and the other (Foiser) lost, so there will be no Fischer prize. Maybe next year. See the story: here.

May 11, 2014

Lenderman Leads U.S. Championship After 4 Rounds

After four rounds, GM Alex Lenderman leads with a score of 3.5/4. Reigning champ Gata Kamsky is tied for third place. In the Women's Championship, Anna Zatonskih and Irina Krush are tied for first place with 2.5/3. The U.S. Championship and the U.S. Women's Championship are being played simultaneously in St. Louis, with 12 men and 10 women entered. See the Chessbase fourth round report: here.

May 8, 2014

U.S. Chess Championships

The U.S. Chess Championship and the U.S. Women's Chess Championship will be held simultaneously in St. Louis May 7-20. GM Gata Kamsky and Irina Krush (now a GM) will both be taking part to defend their titles from last year. While you wait for the games to get under way, look over the fascinating bios of all the players on the official site: here.

May 7, 2014

Is Webster Univ. Spending $1 Million to Crush UMBC?

This year, 22 Major League Baseball players will earn more than $20 million each. How do chess players stack up to that? Writer Peter Zhdanov has estimated earnings for what he believes are the top ten highest paid players of 2013. He estimates that Carlsen made $2.2 million in tournament winnings, but endorsements must surely make his total earnings far higher. See the full list: here.

May 6, 2014

No Bids for the 2014 World Championship

FIDE has announced that not a single bid was received by the April 30 deadline to host this year's World Championship between Magnus Carlsen and challenger Vishy Anand. One reason for this surprising turn of events may be that Norway is already hosting two major tournaments in 2014 and may have not have been able to afford another. For some other conjectures, see the Chessbase article: here.

May 2, 2014

Is Webster Univ. Spending $1 Million to Crush UMBC?

We've all heard about the huge amounts of money in college football and basketball, but we always thought chess teams ran on a shoestring. Not so, according to Washington Post reporter Michael Rosenwald, who says that college chess is now under scrutiny after Susan Polgar reportedly asked Texas Tech for $1 million in funding for the chess team, including a $250,000 salary for her and $150,000 for her husband. Texas Tech refused the request. Polgar then took her players to Webster University in St. Louis, a team that now dominates a sport that used to be dominated by local University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Be sure to take the link to the original Webster Journal article which has tons more associated information. See Rosenwald's story: here.

May 1, 2014

April ACC Wrap-up

Another month and another awesome GM Lecture from Larry Kaufman! This month the topic was on "Black's Repertoire in Response to 1.d4" in which GM Larry cycled through all of Black's major responses and how and why each worked or did not based on White's attacking decisions. Though this is the last lecture in this Tuesday evening format every month, we are going to transition to an every other month format and switching to Saturdays instead. Stay tuned for more information! The April Ladder was won outright by young Sai Bonum - who gained 60 ratings points to break the 1600 rating level! Steve Armentrout and Demetrio Aragon finished a half point behind. February's Action tournament (3 round G/30) had fourteen entrants and Srdjan Darmanovic and Dino Obregon tied (2.5/3) followed by 5 who tied for second (2/3). The ACC Action-Plus tournament (5 round G/45) saw a huge drop in participation as we went up against BOTH the Maryland open and the National High School Championships. We went from 60 players in March to 20 in April. Bummer. But the competition was still fierce as both Oladapu Adu and Andy Tichenor fended off all challenges to finish 1st and 2nd in the Open section. Chris Snell and Josh Katz finished tied for 3rd with Josh outperforming many higher rated players while picking up over 125 rating points! In the U1700 section, newcomer Vaughn Bennett ran through the opposition to win clear 1st place followed by Lawrence Dirks (from Charlottesville) in second place.

April 30, 2014

History of the World Championship

We recently told you about writer Paul Lillebo's series of articles about players who should have been considered world champions before William Steinitz. Chessgames.com's fascinating "History of the World Championship" has an even longer list of unofficial world champions going all the way back to Lucena in 1490. See the list: here.

April 29, 2014

Ugandan Chess Star Tours U.S.

Phiona Mutesi, Uganda's most famous chess player, grew up in one of the poorest slums in Africa, a place where you had to sleep in hammocks to keep from drowning and where girls were denied education and are often fed less than boys. She did not even see ice for the first time until she traveled to Siberia for the 2010 Olympiad, and that trip was also her first time in an airplane. She is touring the U.S. to raise money for a chess center in her home village. See the story: here.

April 28, 2014

How to Run a School Chess Club

Who says chess players have no sense of humor? Check out Antony Mann's tips in Kingpin Magazine about how to run a school chess club. But don't contact him for advice! See the article: here.

April 27, 2014

Has Russia Lost Its Hegemony in Chess?

Russia, and its predecessor, the Soviet Union, used to be the only chess superpower. With the sole exception of Bobby Fischer, eight of the nine world champions from 1948 to 2007 were Russians. The Soviets saw their chess dominance as proof of the superiority of communism. But now India and Norway are chess powerhouses, and even in the U.S., chess has become big, especially at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis, which now draws players from around the world. Read the story in the Wall Street Journal: here.

April 24, 2014

Is Carlsen Beatable?

After five rounds—and two straight losses by Carlsen—GM Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan has taken the lead in the Gashimov Memorial with a score of 3.5/4. There are five more rounds to be played. See results and pictures: here.

April 23, 2014

World Champions Before Steinitz: Part 2

The official list of World Chess Champions starts in 1886 with William Steinitz. But writer Paul Lillebo thinks there were at least five players before Steinitz who should have been considered world champions. See his second of two articles on the subject: here.

April 22, 2014

Hou Yifan Wins Khanty-Mansiysk

World Champion WGM Hou Yifan has won Khanty-Mansiysk, the fourth tournament in the Women's Grand Prix. After four tournaments, WGM Anna Muzychuk of Slovenia is the overall leader with 335 points. The winner of the Grand Prix after all six tournaments have been played will play Hou Yifan for the World Championship in 2015. (If Hou Yifan wins, the runner-up will be her challenger.) See the tournament site: here.

April 15, 2014

What's Carlsen Been Up To?

This Sunday World Champion Magnus Carlsen will be playing in the Gashimov Memorial in Azerbaijan, his first tournament since winning the Zurich Challenge in February. Carlsen has been on the road giving interviews and simuls. At a recent simul with students and teachers at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, he scored 10 wins and 3 draws. In recent interviews, he has been stressing the importance for chess players of keeping physically fit. See the story: here.

April 13, 2014

Turmoil for Ukrainian Chess

The crisis in Ukraine is taking a toll on the chess scene there. A major tournament to have included top players such as Anand, Karjakin, and Topalov has been canceled. The Lviv Chess Federation has declared Anatoly Karpov and some other Russian players persona non grata for supporting the annexation of Crimea. See ChessVibes's coverage: here.

April 12, 2014

Take Notice: Aravindh Chithambaram

You'll be hearing more of Aravindh Chithambaram, a 14-year-old Indian player who beat a field of GMs at the Chennai GM Open, which was held concurrently with the World Championship. Chithambaram, already a 2335-rated IM at the time, gained 80 points and a performance rating of 2728 from that result. In only five months, he has earned five IM norms, two GM norms, and 100 rating points. He is expected to get his third and final GM norm within six months. See his story: here.

April 10, 2014

It's the Women's Turn

Round 4 of the Women's Grand Prix is taking place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, the same site as the recently concluded Candidates Tournament. The tournament is a 12-player round robin, and first prize is 10,000 euros. In round 1, the players with the white pieces won five of the six games. See the round 1 report: here.

April 9, 2014

Chessvibes Video: Anand Is Back in the Game

Fresh from his undefeated win at the Candidates, Vishy Anand has returned home to India and is giving interviews to all comers. He says, "I really needed this result, for my morale, for my motivation." But don't ask him about his strategy for his rematch against Carlsen. On that subject, he says only, "So I have some idea what I think will work this time ... but I am not going to start discussing the details obviously. I want to keep them close to my chest." ChessVibes has excepts from his interviews: here.

April 8, 2014

College Chess Final Four

Basketball is not the only sport with a Final Four. This year's President's Cup, informally known as the College Chess Final Four, took place at the New York Athletic Club April 5-6. Webster University won the three-round tournament, followed by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Texas Tech, and the University of Illinois, in that order. The Week in Chess has the coverage: here.

April 7, 2014

World Champions Before Steinitz

William Steinitz is considered to be the first world chess champion, crowned in 1886 after winning his match against Johannes Zuckertort. Yet chess has been around since the sixth century. Surely there were players before Steinitz who deserved to be considered world champions. Writer Paul Lillebo thinks so, and he has come up with five, starting with Philildor. See the first of two articles on the subject: here.

April 6, 2014

Beautiful Chess Photos

Beautiful chess photos? Are you kidding me? No, we're not. Take a look at the photographs taken by Kirill Merkuriev of the local scenes, as well as the players, from the recent Candidates Tournament in Russia on the ChessBase site: here.

April 5, 2014

In Memoriam - Bill Mason (Wash. Post Obit.)

Bill R. Mason of Bethesda, MD, left this earth March 16, 2014, two days shy of his 50th birthday. He brightened our lives with his wonderful humor, decency, authenticity and generous spirit. Beloved by all who knew him, Bill is survived by his wife, Sonha; his two sons John and Brian; his mother, Carol Downs; his stepfather, Stuart Downs; his father, Robert G. Mason; his sister, Peggy (Jan) Smith; his stepsister, Taylor (Ray) Plunkett; his stepbrother, Steve (Cassi) Downs; his nephews, Peter, Raymond, Anthony, Preston and niece, Madison. Bill was a joyful father, kindhearted and loving husband, thoughtful son, loyal friend - just a great guy. He was an avid chess player, an undergraduate at Duke University, graduate of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia and Ft. Hunt High School in Alexandria, VA. For the past several years Bill worked in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Prior to that, he worked for the U.S. Department of Treasury. A memorial service will be held Sunday, April 13 at 11:30 a.m. in the Atrium, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Court, Vienna, VA 22182. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to his hospice: here or to Bill's son, Brian's 529 education account at: here. See more at: here.

April 3, 2014

Study Master Games!

To improve, experts admonish us to study games by the masters. Well, here's your chance. The recently concluded Candidates Tournament gave us 56 games played at the highest level by the world's best players all vying to be the next World Champion. The Queen's Gambit was the most frequently played opening (13 games). Play over the games: here.

April 2, 2014

For Beginners: En Passant

Beginners are often confused by the en passant rule. Mark Donlan clears everything up, as wells as tells us why the rule came about, in his ChessCafe article: here.

April 1, 2014

Nigel Davies: Advice for Vishy

GM Nigel Davies thinks Vishy Anand has a chance against Carlsen in the next World Championship, but only if Anand does things quite differently next time. Davies says, "To exploit [Carlsen's weakness in the opening], Anand needs to shift the emphasis to this part of the game, choosing the sharpest lines and avoiding premature simplification (just to be 100% clear, that means avoiding the Berlin endgames)." See Davies's other suggestions: here.

March 30, 2014

Anand Wins the Candidates

The 2014 World Championship will be a rematch between Magnus Carlsen and Vishy Anand. Anand has won the Candidates Tournament with a score of 8.5/14. Sergey Karjaken came in second with 7.5/14. See ChessBase's final report: here.

March 28, 2014

Anand Proved Them Wrong

After Magnus Carlsen crushed Vishy Anand in the last World Championship, the critics were rough on Anand, and some said he was done. But GM Lubomir Kavalek writes in the Huffington Post that Anand's decisive win with zero losses in the 2014 Candidates has proven them wrong. See his article: here.

March 25, 2014

Komodo and Stockfish Lead TCEC

While the world's top human players fight it out at the Candidates Tournament, the world's best chess engines are fighting it out at TCEC (Thoresen Chess Engines Competition), the de facto world championship for chess programs. After five rounds Komodo and Stockfish are tied for the lead with scores of 4/5. The Arlington Chess Club's own GM Larry Kaufman is one of the developers of Komodo, so we may be a little biased. Watch the competition: here.

March 22, 2014

Carlsen's Q&A with Fans

"How many beers would you need to drink for a master to be able to beat you?" That's what one fan asked in a recent online Q&A with World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Another fan asked him to respond to criticism that his style of play is dry, to which Carlsen replied, "I don't think making few mistakes and playing very accurately for a long time should be a negative." He said that he usually considered one to three variations during games and looks out 15-20 moves if necessary. How did he answer the beer question? You'll have to see for yourself: here.

March 19, 2014

Candidates Round 9

It is starting to look like the next World Championship will be a rematch between Anand and Carlsen. After nine rounds, Anand leads the pack with a score of 6/9. Aronian is in second place with 5/9, but some expert commentators are saying that it will be very hard to catch Anand with only five rounds to go. See ChessBase's article on the latest round: here.

March 16, 2014

Melekhina on Chess & Law School

FM Alisa Melekhina wrote a comprehensive article for USCF in which she her life and career in chess. Its a very intriguing read for most of us but could be a must read for any up-coming scholastic player rated 1800 or above and with ambition to become a Master or a GM. In her own words" "I want to use this introspective article to candidly trace how my work ethic has informed my decisions about goals in life, dispel misconceptions about law school, discuss its role with chess in my life and future goals, and suggest overlapping skill-sets. I am including several games that I see as exemplary of my chess level throughout critical stages in my career outside of chess." The full article can be found: here.

March 14, 2014

Teaching Chess to Children

When should children start playing adults? Whey should they be taught endgames? Those questions and more are addressed in Richard James's article "Steps Revisited" on the Chess Improver website. James compares the teaching of chess in the UK (and U.S.) with the Dutch Steps method. James disagrees with the Dutch practice of not allowing children to play adults before they are 15. To find out why, see the article: here.

March 11, 2014

Reykjavik Open

The Candidates Tournament is now the most important tournament under way, but three other very strong tournaments are still ongoing or have recently concluded, the latest of which was the Reykjavik Open in Iceland. Despite a draw against a 2000 player in round 1, China's GM Li Chao (rated 2700) finished the tournament in first place with a score of 8.5/10. See ChessBase's final report: here.

March 7, 2014

Candidates 2014: Anand Leads After Four

Anand critics will be surprised but not us. The 2014 Candidates Tournament is taking place in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, from March 13 to March 30. After four rounds, former World Champion Vishy Anand has taken the lead with two wins and two draws. The winner of the tournament will take on Magnus Carlsen in the next World Championship Match later this year. See the official tournament site: here.

March 4, 2014

European Individual Championship

The 15th European Individual Championship has gotten under way in Yerevan, Armenia, with 259 players entered, including 120 GMs. The tournament rules forbid draws before 40 moves have been played. Rules like this one against "GM draws," with the idea of making games more exciting, are becoming more and more popular. The Week in Chess is covering the tournament: here.

March 3, 2014

Nakamura: Ask Me Anything

Hikaru Nakamura, America's top player, took part in a recent Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything), in which fans were allowed to ask him questions on any topic. When one fan asked him what his most amusing chess story was, Nakamura replied "I remember a game from a tournament quite a few years back, where someone got up [and] went to the restroom then came back only to see someone else sitting in their spot having played 3-4 moves. Suffice to say it was a very confusing situation!" See the rest of the Q&A: here.

March 2, 2014

John Nunn Wins Problem Solving Championship

For the seventh time, GM John Nunn has won the British Chess Problem Solving Championship, which was held this year at Eton College. Take a look at some of the problems on the ChessBase site. Warning: these problems are hard! See the ChessBase article: here.

March 1, 2014

February ACC Wrap-up

Another month and another awesomne GM Lecture from Larry Kaufman. This month the topic was on "Open/Closed Files & Weak/Strong Squares and attendees raved again about Larry's lecture! The January Ladder ended in a 5-way tie (3/5) between Ghezai Menelik and Sai Bonum - both gained 50-75 ratings points. Other players who also earned huge ratings increases including Mike Hiban and Andrew Wagner. February's Action Plus (3 round G/30) had ten entrants and was won by Andrew Rea (3/3) with second secured by Andrew Huang (2.5). The ACC Action-Plus tourneament (5 round G/45) saw over 30 players compete in two sections. The Open section saw Andrew Samuelson and Srdjan Darmanovic tie for first (4.5/5) while West Virginia's own Chris Que won sole third place (3.5) as the tough competition saw every snagging a point or two from each other. In the U1700 section, Rachel Naidich had another awesome performance as she gained over 150 ratings points as she won first place (4/5). Bradley Guo and Sathya Gnanakumar tied for 2nd/3rd (3.5). Amy Luo and Kevin Davis tied for the U1300 prizes (3/5).

February 28, 2014

2014 Candidates Preview #1

The 2014 Candidates Tournament to decide the challenger for the next World Championship takes place from Mar. 11 to Apr. 1 in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia. With two weeks to go, Chessdom is publishing a series of articles about the eight candidates. It's much more fun to follow big tournaments like this when you know the players. See the first one, on Vishy Anand,: here.

February 26, 2014

Learn Endgames!

We've said this before, and we'll say it again: to improve in chess, you must learn endgames. Here's your chance to get five high-quality lessons for free from endgame guru GM Karsten Müller, who has published his analysis in ChessBase Magazine of five instructive endgames from the Tata Steel Tournament. See his article: here.

February 24, 2014

Garry Kasparov's Next Move

In an interview in Smithsonian Magazine, Garry Kasparov does not hold back. He calls President Putin "evil" and says, "I always say that Hitler used tanks, Putin’s using banks." He thinks the West should have pressed its advantage after the fall of the Soviet Union. On Magnus Carlsen, he says that Carlsen, who has Karpov's precision and Fischer's determination, is so strong that nobody will beat him "for the next five years, at least." He also talks about the FIDE elections and what it would take to beat a chess computer. See the article: here.

February 21, 2014

The Elementary Mate with King and Rook

For those of you without lots of money to buy chess books, there are many good learning websites out there. For example, Nigel Davies has one called "The Chess Improver." The current issue has a great lesson for beginners on how to mate with K+R against K. See it: here.

February 19, 2014

The Einstellung Effect

You may have never heard of the Einstellung effect, but trust us, it affects your chess game. The Einstellung effect is the tendency of the brain, once it finds a good solution, to stop looking for a better one. Scientific American reports on how psychologists are using chess to study the effect. See the article: here.

February 15, 2014

Carlsen: How Does He Do It? Part 2

In part 2 of a ChessBase series on Carlsen, Frederic Friedel relates how, at age 13, Magnus Carlsen beat Karpov and drew against Kasparov, and he includes observations by both players. But don't skip the best part of the article ... the readers' comments at the end. Two readers, remarking on the charge that Carlsen's play is boring because he plays on in drawish positions, say that this is good for chess. Carlsen is showing us that we should play on because one player will eventually make a mistake. This perseverance is part of the game. See the article: here.

February 11, 2014

Working with Chess Engines

GM Rafael Leitao offers two methods on Chess.com about how to use chess engines to help build your opening repertoire. But you will lose your creativity and will not improve, he warns, if all you do is memorize moves suggested by the computer. The computer can help, but independent thinking is the hard work that will actually improve your game. See his article: here.

February 10, 2014

Chess Work Ethic

How much time do you spend on chess? Half an hour? Two hours? If so, you're not going to become the World Champion. The Chess Coaching Website has a fascinating article on former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik's tough chess regimen. Kramnik spends ten hours a day on chess, including physical and psychological preparation, and looks at 10,000 games a month for new ideas. See the full article: here.

February 9, 2014

Carlsen: How Does He Do It?

Magnus Carlsen is known for playing on relentlessly in dead-drawn endgames until his opponent makes a mistake. One commentator, now embarrassed by his remarks, said right after the recent World Championship that this style was like a computer's, "bloodless and soulless," and that Carlsen had won simply because he was the better athlete, not the better chess player. But others who speculate about what makes Carlsen so good disagree. In part 1 of a series, Chessbase Editor-in-Chief Frederic Friedel summarizes their theories up to now. See the article: here.

February 7, 2014

Gibraltar GM Masterclass Lectures

Last year, the Association of Chess Professionals voted the Gibraltar Chess Festival the best open tournament of the year. This year's tournament includes 26 GMs over 2600 and some of the strongest women players in the world. While we await the final results, treat yourself to this series of four "masterclass" lectures that were given there by GMs: here.

February 5, 2014

Zurich 2014: Caruana Wins Rapids, Carlsen Wins Overall

World Champ Carlsen scored only 2/5 in the rapids portion of the tournament but had a big enough lead from the classical portion to end up as the overall winner. GM Caruana of Italy won the rapids with 4/5. American GM Nakamura, opening his rapid games as White with 1.b3, took second place in the rapids with 3.5/5. This was the highest-rated tournament in history, so take the time to study the games. See ChessBase's final report: here.

February 4, 2014

Chess Puzzles (Very Hard)

Has chess gotten too easy for you? Here's a challenge. John Nunn selected seven entries for a Chrismas chess puzzle contest promoted by ChessBase, which will announce the winner at the end of the Zurich Chess Challenge. In a Feb. 4 article, Nunn provides the solutions to puzzles 5-7 (there is a link to the solutions for puzzles 1-4 as well). See the article: here.

February 3, 2014

The Kalashnikov Sicilian

ChessCafe publishes a great set of monthly columns that you ought to be taking advantage of. For example, Abby Marshall (VA native) writes the "Openings Explained" column, and this month she explains the Kalashnikov Sicilian, which is very common at club level. She gives ideas for both sides, a list of practitioners, and suggestions for further reading. See her column: here.

February 2, 2014

Zurich 2014: Carlsen Wins Classical Portion

World Champion Magnus Carlsen has won the classical portion of the Zurich Chess Challenge with a score of 8/10 (a win counts as 2 points). The rest of the pack is Aronian, Caruana, Anand and Nakamura (tied), and Gelfand, in that order. The tournament concludes on Feb. 4 with a rapid round robin, all five rounds to be played in one day. See The Week in Chess's coverage: here.

February 1, 2014

January ACC Wrap-up

Do you know what you missed last month? GM Kaufman's excellent (!!) lecture on pawn structures. Everyone who attended came away raving about the lecture. This month's lecture on February 25th will be on "Open/Closed Files & Weak/Strong Squares - do not miss this one! The January Ladder went for 5 weeks and had 68 players competing for the $50 prize. It ended in a 5-way tie (3/5) between S. Armentrout, I. Chiu, R. Stolbach, R. Aguirre and M. Hiban. Our monthly Action tournament (3 round G/30) was attended by 16 players with William Marcelino winning with a perfect score (3/3) - he tied with a perfect score last month too. Second place was taken by Isaac Chieu (2.5/3). In the Action-Plus (5 round G/45) tournament a week earlier, 42 players competed in 2 sections - one of which had class prizes. The Open section had a 3-way tie for 1st-3rd place (4/5) by Andrew Samuelson, Justin Lohr and Micah Herzig. In the U1700 section, newcomers (to ACC) Nassim Ganoun (gaining nearly 90 points) and Divij Rajesh (gaining 130 ratings points - wow!) tied for 1st-2nd (4/5) followed by a 5-way tie a half point behind them (3.5). In the U1300 class prizes, Gideon Lohr won the 1st place prize (and picked up over 60 ratings points!) while Rachel Naidich tied with David Li a half point behind. Another player with a great performance was Max Lee who grabbed 75 points with his performance!

January 31, 2014

Bill Gates Checkmated by Carlsen in 79 Seconds

During a trip to London, World Champion Magnus Carlsen agreed to play Bill Gates in a blitz game. Carlsen won in only 79 seconds. After the game, Gates said, "Wow, that was fast." See the article and game: here.

January 28, 2014

Tata Steel Final Results

Despite a blunder under time pressure that led to a loss in the last round, GM Levon Aronian won the Tata Steel Tournament with a score of 8/11. Nakamura finished in ninth place. The tournament ended on Jan. 26, giving both players only three days before the start of the Zurich Chess Challenge. The Week in Chess has the final report: here.

January 25, 2014

Zurich 2014

Zurich 1953 is perhaps the most famous tournament in history, thanks to an outstanding tournament book by GM David Bronstein. Sixty-one years later, six of the world's top ten players, including World Champion Carlsen, have gathered in the same place to play in the Zurich Chess Challenge from Jan. 29 to Feb. 4. Their FIDE ratings average 2801, making this the strongest tournament in history. ChessBase introduction: here.

Official tournament site: here.

January 22, 2014

ChessBase Online Database Now Available for Free

ChessBase has released an invaluable resource for free on the internet: its database of 6.5 million games. It includes a search tool, player pictures, move statistics, and the Let's Check feature. The database used to be restricted to ChessBase purchasers. Database: here Tutorial: here.

January 21, 2014

Anand Will Play in the 2014 Candidates Tournament

The date, location, format, and players are now set for the 2014 Candidates Tournament. The tournament will be held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia, from Mar. 11 to Apr. 1. The big news is that former World Champion Vishy Anand will play after all. He had been vacillating but did manage to get his entry in just before the Jan. 20 deadline. The Candidates Tournament is important because it determines the challenger for the next World Championship. ChessBase.com has the list of players and tournament rules: here.

January 18, 2014

Tata Steel Standings

After 8 rounds in the strongest tournament currently under way, GM Aronian leads with a score of 6/8 with three games to go. GM Nakamura, the only American in the top section, has 3/8. Chessgames.com has the standings, readers' comments, lists of openings played, and probably the easiest-to-use tools for viewing all the games: here.

January 17, 2014

ChessCafe's Book of the Year

ChessCafe's readers have selected "Pump Up Your Rating" by Axel Smith as the chess book of 2013. See the story: here.

January 15, 2014

Tata Steel Chess 2014

The annual Tata Steel Tournament in the Netherlands is one of the very strongest in the world. Five of the top ten players in the world, including Nakamura and Aronian, are taking part in this year's, the 76th. After three rounds, six players are tied for first with 2.0 points each. See the tournament site: here.

January 13, 2014

Chess on the Eve of War

On the eve of World War I, the best players on Earth converged on St. Petersburg to play in a tournament sponsored by the city's Chess Society. World Champion Lasker was there, as well as Capablanca, Blackburne, Alekhine, and Marshall. A hundred years later, the St. Petersburg Chess Society is now Firuza Seidova's flat, and reporter Steve Rosenberg pays her a visit in this BBC News Magazine article: here.

January 11, 2014

The Week in Chess Publishes Its 1000th Issue

In 20 years, Mark Crowther, the editor of The Week in Chess, missed just one issue. That was in 1996 when he played in the Donner Memorial Tournament but didn't have a laptop with him. The Week in Chess has just reached a big milestone: its 1000th issue. And in it, Mark tells the fascinating story, full of chess history, of how he started the website back in 1994 even though he knew very little about the internet. Mark's article includes a link to the very first issue. See the full article here: here.

January 8, 2014

ChessCafe's Chess Book of the Year Finalists

Round 1 of ChessCafe's annual poll for the best chess book of the year has narrowed the competition down to three: "Aron Nimzowitsch: 1928-1935" by Rudolf Reinhardt, "The King's Gambit" by John Shaw, and "Pump Up Your Rating" by Axel Smith. The winner will be announced Jan. 22. See the nominees: here.

January 7, 2014

1.e4 -- Best by Test?

In his My 60 Memorable Games, Bobby Fischer famously said that 1.e4 is "best by test." Ph.D. student Matthew Wilson has published several fascinating articles on ChessBase.com that apply rigorous statistical methods to chess, and this time he takes on the age-old question of, which is better, 1.e4 or 1.d4? 1.d4 scores slightly better in every database, but is that because it's really stronger, or is there something else going on? To find out, see his article: here And Part 2 can be found: here.

January 6, 2014

Carlsen's Endgame Technique

Apparently, World Champion Magnus Carlsen does not subscribe to the old saying, "all rook endings are drawn." In an article on Chess.com, FM Alec Getz analyzes a recent endgame to show how Carlsen created small advantages to convert what looked like a typically drawn rook endgame into a win. And to see how deep Carlsen's chess knowledge is, during the press conference after the game, Carlsen noted that he had used his knowledge of a similar position that came up in a 1936 Capablanca game! Part one of the article is: here, Part two is: here.

January 3, 2014

Nakamura Makes the Top Three

GM Hikaru Nakamura has become only the second American in history to reach the top three players in the world as measured by FIDE rating (the first was Bobby Fischer), and Nakamura has an even higher rating (2789) than Fischer had. ChessBase News has lists of the top players in the world, as well as statistics on FIDE's 170,932 players: here.

December 31, 2013

Karpov-Timman Rematch

Anatoly Karpov and Jan Timman completed a four-game match on Dec. 29 in Groningen, the Netherlands, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of their World Championship Match of 1993. The first three games were draws. The night before the fourth game, however, Timman fell and broke his hand. He spent the morning of the final game in the h ospital but decided to play the game anyway, which he lost, giving the match to Karpov. Both players are now 62 but still formidable. Chessgames.com has all four games: here.

December 30, 2013

World Youth Championship

India has demonstrated its chess prowess once again, this time by winning 21 medals, the most of any country, at the World Youth Championship. The tournament included a visit by Garry Kasparov to cheer on the players. It was held in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, from Dec. 17 to Dec. 29. See the official tournament site: here.

December 29, 2013

What Makes Carlsen So Nettlesome?

Jonathan Rowson, Scotland's top GM and the director of the Social Brain Centre in London, has analyzed World Champion Magnus Carlsen's playing style to determine why he's the best player in the world. Rowson attributes it to "nettlesomeness." He says, "Carlsen’s nettlesomeness lies in the difference between playing consistently accurate moves, and playing consistently accurate moves that also maximize the chances of inaccuracies from the opponent." See the article: here.

December 27, 2013

December Wrap-up

This year's ACC Holiday Party was a great success as over 60 members and guests showed up. Food and drink (non-alcoholic) were in abundance. There were Ladder games as well as the monthly Action tournament, plus chess puzzles and blitz games. Due to the way the holidays fell this year and with the Eastern Open schedule, we only had 3 weeks for the Ladder and it ended in a tie between Sai Bonam and Michael Hiban - "congrats!" to both players! The Action tournament (3 round G/30) saw our best-ever turn-out as twenty players competed. Andrew Samuelson and William Marcelino both had perfect scores (3/3) to tie for 1st while Srdjan Darmanovic took 3rd (2.5). In the Action-Plus (5 round G/45) tournament a week earlier, 43 players competed in 3 sections. Eugene Meyer swept the Open for first place (5/5) with Andrew Samuelson and Trung Nguyen tying for 2nd/3rd (4/5). In the U1700 section, our regular visitor from New Hampshire, Tom Laaman also swept his section (5/5) to snag sole 1st place while gaining 80 ratings points - "Awesome!" There was a 3-way tie for 2nd-4th a point-and-a-half behind Tom (3.5/5). In the U1300, newcomer (to ACC) Rachel Naidich took sole 1st (4.5/5) while gaining 75 ratings points - "congrats" due here as well! Mark Thomas took sole 2nd (4/5) and Sai Bonam got sole 3rd (3.4/5). Finally, one unfortunate note to the month was that we had to cancel this month's GM Lecture as Mr. Kaufman was a little under the weather - but he will be back in January for his next lecture: Evaluating Pawn Structures. Don't miss it!

December 23, 2013

End-of-Year Chess Calendar

While we will not be posting as many articles as usual over the holidays that does not mean that there is no chess going on. The Week in Chess has a calendar of the major chess tournaments for the rest of December and early January: here.

December 22, 2013

Q&A with Larry Kaufman

In the December Quality Chess Blog, GM Larry Kaufman answers questions posed by readers about computer chess. In comparing the best chess engines, Kaufman says, "Komodo is best at evaluating middlegame positions accurately once the tactics are resolved. Stockfish seems to be best in the endgame and in seeing very deep tactics. Houdini is the best at blitz and at seeing tactics quickly. Rybka is just obsolete; I like to think of Komodo as its spiritual descendant . . . Fritz is just too far below these top engines to be useful." He also has some fascinating observations about what he learned from programming chess engines, for example, that "having fewer pawn islands is a much smaller edge than I thought." Don't miss this article: here.

December 21, 2013

John Watson on Chess E-Books

In the Week in Chess, John Watson talks about the newer e-book formats for chess books that have become popular over the last decade. Watson likes them because e-books can contain external links and can allow readers to click through the moves, add variations, and export games into PGN or ChessBase format. Also, he says, more sophisticated electronic formats can help stop piracy by preventing readers from posting the PDF online. See Watson's article: here.

December 20, 2013

Nakamura Wins London

GM Hikaru Nakamura won the rapid London Chess Classic Super 16 without a single loss. Nakamura is now rated third in the world in the January 2014 FIDE rating list. He seems unbeatable at faster time controls. See coverage: here and here.

December 14, 2013

Millionaire Chess Open

If you're like most players, you get excited when you win $50-100 at the local tournament, so $1 million got our attention. GM Maurice Ashley is organizing the Millionaire Chess Open, which will have a guaranteed prize fund of $1 million, the largest ever for an open tournament. It will be held at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Oct. 9-13, 2014. To sign up, see the tournament website: here.

December 11, 2013

Russia Wins World Team Championship

The Russian team has won the 2013 World Team Championship with seven wins, one draw, and one loss. China came in second, and the U.S. team finished fourth, out of a total of ten teams. The U.S. team consisted of Hikaru Nakamura, Gata Kamsky, Alexander Onischuk, Varuzhan Akobian, and Ray Robson. See Chessdom.com's final report and play over the games: here.

December 10, 2013

Ten Reasons Why Carlsen Won

Chess writer Yury Markushin carefully studied all the interviews with Carlsen or Anand since the World Championship Match and has come up with what he believes are the ten reasons Carlsen won. Reason #9, for example, is "Anand was not able to use his full preparation for the match, since Carlsen did not allow complex positions to arise." See the other nine reasons: here.

December 9, 2013

Nelson Mandela Used Chess to Cope in Prison

Reporter David Sands has discovered a chess angle to the story of Nelson Mandela. In the Dec. 10 Washington Times, he writes that Mandela used chess, with sets made of soap and driftwood, as a way to cope during his years in prison. Other prisoners recalled Mandela as "a fierce competitor who, fittingly, played deliberately and favored a strategy of attrition to wear down opponents." See the full article: here.

December 8, 2013

How to Handle Opposite-Colored Bishop Endgames

If you want to improve in chess, eventually you will have to get around to mastering endgames. GM Karsten Muller, a well-known endgame expert, writes the "Endgame Corner" column at ChessCafe, and this month, he analyzes a game of GM Hikaru Nakamura's that shows the proper strategy in endgames with opposite-colored bishops. See the article: here.

December 4, 2013

World Team Championship

With the World Championship is over, the chess world can focus on other major tournaments. The World Team Championship is underway in Antalya, Turkey. To discourage draws, teams get two points for a win, one for a draw, and zero for a loss, and draw offers are not allowed before 30 moves have been played. After five rounds, Ukraine leads the pack of ten teams. The U.S. beat the top-seeded Russian team in an exciting round 2 but has since fallen back to seventh place. See the round 5 results: here.

December 3, 2013

Anand Speaks Out

Vishy Anand speaks out in an extremely candid interview with CNN-IBN, the first he's done since the World Championship Match. He says that he was hurt by the loss, that he needs a rest, but that he has no intention of retiring. On the charge that he did not play aggressively enough, he says, "Well, this is the one criticism that I feel really misses the mark, because I was of course delighted to get any aggressive position. But people have to understand that the one thing Magnus Carlsen specializes in is getting the position he likes, which is the driest dust, if you like slightly boring, technical positions. And he's very good at it." Watch the full interview: here.

December 2, 2013

Hero's Homecoming for Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen returned home to Norway on his 23rd birthday to a hero's welcome complete with a water cannon salute at the airport, flowers, and huge crowds, but he seemed happiest when he got to make the ceremonial opening kick for his favorite soccer team, Real Madrid. Of note: during the many interviews, Carlsen said that he was not interested in playing a match with the strongest chess computer program. See ChessBase's coverage: here.

December 1, 2013

November Wrap-Up

First off, the December GM Lecture by Larry Kaufman is going to be on Evaluating Pawn Structures - don't miss any more of these great lectures! So, big surprise (not), low-on-the-ladder-hot-stuff Josh Hiban continued his run through the competition and racked up over 150 ratings points by winning the ACC Ladder competition this month finsihing a half point ahead of three other ACC members in a field of nearly 60 players - "yowza!" ... and "Congrats!" to Josh for winning the Ladder for the second time this year - NOT an easy task! Separately, in the ACC Action (G/30 - 3 rounds), Ian Schoch won clear first in a relatively light field (there was no one closer to him than about 200 ratings points) even though 16 players crossed sword that evening. Ken Chieu and Andrew Tichenor tied for second a half point behind and Charles Willis won the U1800 prize. Then, in the ACC Action-Plus (G/45 - 5 rounds), Aaron Kahn won clear first (4.5) in the Open section followed by Larry Gilden and young Camden Wiseman in a tie for 2nd/3rd a half point behind - Camden picked up nearly 140 ratings points! In the U1700, Dennis Burke ran through the field finishing a point and a half ahead of the field (5/5) and picking up nearly 125 ratings points - no more hoodwinking the U1700 section for Dennis! Vishal Menon and Sam Schenk finished tied for 2nd/3rd. Finally, in the U1300 section, unrated newcomer Utsav Srivastava finished a half point ahead of second place Saigautum Bonam.

November 30, 2013

USCF Board Report (Mike Atkins)

The USCF Executive Board met at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky over the weekend of Nov 15-17. While the weather looked pretty ominous outside, we were fortunate to avoid the tornadoes that hit surrounding states. We created a new committee during the meeting, the USCF FIDE Events Committee. This committee will function like Rules and TDCC except dealing with FIDE rated events in the USCF. It will sanction arbiters who make serious mistakes or deliberately violate FIDE rules, create practice tests for USCF TDs wanting to take the FA exam, interpret FIDE rule problems in USCF events and apply the USCF Uniform Code of Discipline for Arbiters. This committee is needed as FIDE expects us to police our own events and doing this keeps FIDE out of our events by fixing problems they would deal with. Separately, the board will be implementing a trial for a non-member per/game participation fee for USCF events as an experiment in several states. It is hoped that this will continue to grow chess by allowing these non-members to play chess and hopefully become regular members. This was Jean Hoffman, the new Executive Director’s first meeting and it appears the USCF has chosen well.

November 29, 2013

Don Dailey, 1956-2013

Don Dailey, the author of the Komodo chess engine, has died from leukemia at age 57 in Roanoke, Virginia. See Larry Kaufman's remembrance: here.

November 28, 2013

How to Get Good at Chess, Fast

How to get better? Isn't that the question we all obsess over? Here is one player's path that took him from 1100 to 1950, see: here.

November 27, 2013

Kasparov Speaks Outs on the New World Champion

In Time Magazine Kasparov writes, "Carlsen’s greatest chess strength is his remarkable intuitive grasp of simplified positions and his tremendous accuracy in them. I coached Carlsen for a year, in 2009, and I was amazed at how quickly he could correctly evaluate a position 'cold,' seemingly without any calculation at all." See what else Kasparov says about this generational shift in the game in the full article: here.

November 26, 2013

The Role of Computers in Chess

When Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov in 1997, some people declared that computers had killed the game. But chess is still alive and well among us human players, and there is evidence that computers are actually making human players better. The Wall Street Journal has published a fascinating article showing how players now use computers as partners to help them improve. For example, computers have shown that some moves humans would be reluctant to make--because they violate general principles--are actually fully playable. Thus, computers are pushing human players, Carlsen is a prime example, to try new ideas. See the full article: here.

November 25, 2013 **SPECIAL**

World Championship Postmortem

The World Championship Match between defending champion Viswanathan Anand of India and challenger Magnus Carlsen of Norway just ended Friday, Nov. 22, in Chennai, India, with Magnus Carlsen dominating the former champ and winning by securing a final draw for a final score of 6.5-3.5. Following is a collection of articles from around the web with outcomes from the recent match:

The official Championship website: Chennai,

The final press conference: Part 1 and Part 2,

Photo gallery: Chennai,

Chessgames.com has a nice interface for playing over all the games over here, complete with readers' annotations: Chessgames.com,

Chessbase article comparing Carlsen with the other fifteen world champions: Chessbase.

Headlines from around the world: Chennai,

Polgar's first interview with the new champ: Polger.

November 22, 2013

Computer Chess: TCEC Superfinal

The superfinal between chess engines Stockfish and Komodo begins Nov. 22 at the TCEC computer chess tournament. Stockfish won the final qualifying round, giving it an overall score of 20.5/30. Komodo qualified in second place with a score of 18/30, having won the previous two rounds. Rounding out the top six were Houdini, Bouquet, Naum, and Gull, in that order. Watch the games live at the tournament site: here.

November 20, 2013

Are 12 Games Enough?

Some players have criticized the current format for the World Championship Match, arguing that 12 games is not enough to guarantee that the better player wins. In a ChessBase article, Michael von Keitz examines all 43 matches since the first in 1886 and asks the question, would the result have been different if the match had ended at 12 games? He found that only four of those matches would have ended with a different winner. For example, in 1892, Chigorin was ahead after 12 games and so would have been the world's second world champion. But he tired and eventually lost to Steinitz. See von Keitz's article: Here,

Plus other recent articles on Championship and Candidates formats:

-- Debate on Championship Format: IndiaTimes,

-- How New Format Alters Candidates Tournament: New York Times,

-- Previous Candidates Tournament: ChessVibes.

November 9-22, 2013 **SPECIAL** - Updated After Each Round

One-Stop Round By Round: 2013 World Championship

The World Championship Match between defending champion Viswanathan Anand of India and challenger Magnus Carlsen of Norway began Nov. 9, in Chennai, India. There will be 12 games, with the winner being the first to score 6.5 points. Games will begin each day at 3:00 p.m. India time, with six rest days added in. Below, we are providing round by round one-stop coverage of the World Championship from the official site and all of the major chess news websites:

Essential Links:

-- The official Championship website: Chennai,

-- Schedule: Here,

-- Rules and regulations for the match: Rules.


Game 10: Carlsen Is New Champ With Final Draw

Wash Post,
BBC World,
Chessbase,
Chessdom,
ChessVibes,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 9: Anand Blunder Gives Carlsen Decisive Lead

Press Conference: Chennai,
Chessbase,
Chessdom,
ChessVibes,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 8: Another Berlin Defense Draw, By Anand

Press Conference: Chennai,
Chessbase,
Chessdom,
ChessVibes,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 7: Another Carlsen Berlin Defense, Another Draw

Press Conference: Chennai,
Chessbase,
Chessdom,
ChessVibes,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 6: Carlsen Makes It Two Straight Wins!

Press Conference: Chennai,
Chessbase,
Chessdom,
ChessVibes,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 5: Carlsen Draws First Blood!

Chessbase,
Chessdom,
ChessVibes,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 4: Carlsen's Berlin Defense Leads to Another Draw

Chessbase,
Chessdom,
ChessVibes,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 3: Finally ... Excitement, But Another Draw

Press Conference: YouTube,
Chessbase,
Chessdom,
ChessVibes,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 2: Another Draw

Press Conference: Chessdom,
Chessbase,
Chessdom,
ChessVibes,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

Game 1: Super-quick Draw

Press Conference: Chessdom,
Chessbase,
Chessdom,
ChessVibes,
TWIC,
Chess.com.

November 7, 2013 **SPECIAL**

World Championship Preview

The World Championship Match between defending champion Viswanathan Anand of India and challenger Magnus Carlsen of Norway begins Saturday, Nov. 9, in Chennai, India. Both players were there on Nov. 7 for the opening ceremony and drawing of lots. Carlsen will have the white pieces in game 1. There will be 12 games, with the winner being the first to score 6.5 points. Games will begin each day at 3:00 p.m. India time, with six rest days added in. All the experts are predicting a very exciting tournament, but who will win? Anand is 43 and has experience on his side, having won the championship five times. But Carlsen, who is 22, has youth and the highest rating in history (2870). We will be providing daily coverage here, but for now, here are some good links to get you started:

The official Championship website: Chennai,

Carlsen's chess history: Chessdom,

Anand's chess history: Chessdom,

Seconds Preview: Chessdom,

Chennai Preview: Chessdom.

Carlsen Background Video: video,

Chessbase's Guide to the Match: Chessbase,

GM Opinions of Anand-Carlsen: Chessbase.

November 5, 2013

Kasparov's Prediction for the World Chess Championship

In a "Business Insider" article that draws parallels to Harry Potter, Garry Kasparov predicts Carlsen will win, and he says that will be good for chess by bringing in new young players, not to mention sponsors. But Kasparov also has the deepest respect for Anand and says this will be no walkover for Carlsen. We have always been impressed by Kasparov's writing, with its wit, grace, and insight, and this article is no exception. See the full article: Chessbase.

November 3, 2013

World View of Top Chess Player Stats

Following up on an article about which is the largest chess nation, Chessbase has now published an array of stats and maps about the depth and strength of chess in countries around the world. See the full Chessbase article: Chessbase.

October 29, 2013

Youngest Super GM Ever

They're getting younger and younger! Chinese GM Wei Yi has reached the 2600+ level at the age of 14 years, 4 months, and 30 days, a new record. Chess writer James Satrapa has tracked Wei's rapid progress, including his first win against an FM at the age of eight. Satrapa's article includes a chart showing the youngest GMs in history. Thirty-five players have now beaten Bobby Fischer's record. Fischer made GM in 1958 at 15 years, 6 months, and 1 day. See the ChessBase article: Here.

October 28, 2013

Still Winning at 62

Former World Champion Anatoly Karpov is leading the pack at the Karpov Trophy Rapid Tournament in Cap d'Agde, France, after eight rounds. The time control is 25 minutes + 10 seconds per move. Karpov doesn't play much competitive chess these days, but it's nice to see he's still got his stuff. Chessvibes is following the tournament with pictures and games: Here.

October 27, 2013

Which Is the Biggest Chess Nation?

Think Russia has the most FIDE-rated chess players? Wrong. For the last ten years, that distinction has gone to France, which has 35,200 players. But India has now reached the same number, up from just one 40 years ago. Just as in the U.S. in 1972, when chess rolls here surged to their highest level ever because of the Bobby Fischer craze, World Champion Vishy Anand is now generating the same chess fervor in his home country of India. India is expected to take the lead in November, when the World Championship begins in Chennai. To read the ChessBase article about this, click: Here.

October 26, 2013

October Wrap-Up

The ACC Ladder is consistently seeing over 50 players engage in the battle over a checkered board of 64 squares - at a 30/90, SD/60, d5 time control. William Perkey won (3/4) the Ladder Prize ($50) for the second time in three months finishing a half point ahead of three other Ladder competitors. In ACC's *new* GM Lecture Series with local GM and notable teacher Larry Kaufman was attended by 12 people who listened to Larry discuss the evaluation of chess positions and an in depth discussion of piece and position values in that evaluation. Next month's lecture on November 12 will take this discussion further as Larry discusses material compensation in sacrifices. One 1900 level player stated "this lecture has given me renewed expectations that I can still improve!" Hope to see you at the next lecture! Then in the October version of the Friday Action (3 round G/30, d5 tourney), 14 players crossed swords as Ian Schoch ran the board to secure sole first place while Isaac Chiu (1600) secured sole second place with a win over a 2200 and an 1800 and a draw versus a 1900 - and he picked up about 100 rating points! "Wow!" Finally, on a Saturday featuring a number of tournaments throughout the metropolitan area, some 36 players turned out for the ACC 5 round Action-Plus tournament (G/45, d5). Andrew Samuelson and Justin Lohr tied for first (4/5) in the Open section followed by Aaron Kahn and Trung Nguyen (3.5). Joshua Gong won all 5 games in the U1700 to win 1st place and he was followe by Isaac Chiu and Vishal Menon tied for second with 3.5. Young Gideon Lohr had an excellant performance picking up the U1300 place prize and nearly 170 rating points! Awesome performance!

October 25, 2013

How Do Chess Engines "Think?"

Chess engines, the strongest of which are now rated above 3000, have come a very long way from the first crude ones that we could sometimes beat! Franklin Chen has analyzed--from the human perspective--a recent game between Komodo and Gull during the TCEC Tournament to show how today's best chess programs will freely make weakening moves to obtain other compensations. Komodo is rated 3086, and Gull, 3063. See the moves and his analysis: Here.

October 23, 2013

Underpromotion to a Bishop?!

It's sometimes necessary to promote a pawn to a rook, because promoting to a queen would mean stalemate, but have you ever heard of promoting to a bishop? In an attempt to find the most unusual move, David Smerdon has composed a chess problem in which promoting to a bishop is the only way for White to draw (all other moves lose). See the composition on Smerdon's chess blog: Here.

October 20, 2013

Details for World Championship Match

The World Championship between champion Vishy Anand and challenger Magnus Carlsen, is set to take place at the Hyatt Regency in Chennai, India, with game 1 on Nov. 9. We will be reporting frequently on it after it begins, but for now it is useful to look over the match details. Arctic Securities, a Norwegian investment bank and the sponsor for Magnus Carlsen, has published the schedule, time controls, and tie-break procedures: Here.

October 17, 2013

What Is the Value of a Tempo?

At the start of a game, would you rather be given two moves or an extra pawn? Dan Heisman answers this question and more in this month's "Novice Nook" column, which he writes for ChessCafe.com. Heisman covers the topic of tempo, and he shows positions in which an extra tempo gives a winning advantage, a losing disadvantage, or even no advantage at all. (The answer to our lead-in question: it's much better to have the extra pawn.) Check out his column: Here.

October 15, 2013

Rare Video of Bobby Fischer

Watching the political rants of Bobby Fischer's later years can be painful, but not so when he was younger and talking about chess. ChessBase has published a rare interview with Fischer conducted in Serbo-Croation in which he analyzes a game of Morphy's. The interview is hard to follow because the interviewer constantly interrupts Fischer, but ChessBase did the work of transcribing the whole interview and providing a board so you can play along. See the interview: Here.

October 13, 2013

Svidler Wins Russian Chess Championship

GM Peter Svidler has won the Russian Championship for the seventh time, surpassing the record of former World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik, who won it six times. Svidler and GM Ian Nepomniachtch each had a score of 6.5/9 after the last round, but Svidler won the rapid tie-break to take the title. GM Valentina Gunina won the Women's Championship with a score of 7/9, with no tie-break needed. The Week in Chess has games and analysis: Here.

October 10, 2013

Study GM Games!

To improve, we club players need to put in the effort to study GM games, preferably with analysis by the players themselves, or at least by other GMs. Top-level games need not be completely baffling. They can be understood by careful study. As an example of a top-level game, ChessBase has analysis by American GM Joshua Friedel of a Svidler-Andreikin game at the Russian Championship now under way. Both Russian players are rated over 2700. So set up your board and spend an hour going over the game, which you can find here: Here.

October 8, 2013

Alleged European Cheater Quits Chess

According to ChessVibes, alleged cheater Borislav Ivanov has decided to quit chess. Ivanov, a Bulgarian FM, regularly beats GMs rated hundreds of points higher than him, and he has been frequently accused of cheating, although this has not been proven. In December, Ivanov was accused of cheating and was strip searched at the Zadar Open. Although he was rated only 2227, he had scored 6/9, beating four GMs. The Bulgarian chess federation gave him a four-month suspension (without proof) this May, and some GMs have refused to play him. Apparently the last straw for Ivanov was a tournament earlier this month in which he refused to remove his shoes during a strip search, which resulted in a forfeit against GM Maxim Dlugy. See Ivanov's statement: Here.

October 5, 2013

Kasparov To Run for FIDE President

On Oct. 8, former world champion Garry Kasparov held a news conference in Estonia to announce that he is running for FIDE president. Kasparov is promising more transparency, an emphasis on chess education, smaller membership fees, more online services, and stronger anti-cheating rules, among other things. He also announced his five-person ticket, which includes American Rex Sinquefield. See Kasparov's official campaign website here: Here.

October 3, 2013

September Wrap-Up

Here we go in summing up ACC tournaments for another month - why aren't you competing in these events and trying to win some ratings points and cash? This month William Sarrano swept his opponents to run away with the Ladder prize 4/4. His nearest competitors were Mike Kobily and James K. Williams both a full point behind him. In ths month's Action tournament, a familar name, Andrew Samuelson, dodged some stiff competition to win the tournament outright 3/3. Newcomer David Steinberg snagged sole second place (2.5) followed by a 5-way tie for third. The ACC Action-Plus tournament (G/45) saw another sizeable turn-out as 47 players played in 3 sections. In the Open, Elmir Huseynov and Andrew Samuelson were perfect except for a tie against each other finishing tied for first at 4.5/5.0. Daniel Gong and Justin Paul tied for third (3.5). In the U1700 section, Josh Gong won the section outright (4/5) followe by 3 players tied for 2nd. In the U1300 section, Anjali Pattanaik so solidly ran away with the section that she had won the section by the 4th round and took a zero-point bye for the final round to win the section. Joe Clancy had another solid tournament and finished in sole second place.

September 30, 2013

Yangyi Yu and Aleksandra Goryachkina Win World Juniors

The 2013 Junior Chess Championship in Kocaeli, Turkey, ended on September 26 with GM Yangyi Yu of China as the winner of the open section and WGM Aleksandra Goryachkina of Russia as the winner of the girls section. The FIDE Junior Championship is for boys and girls under 20. This year's tournament had some real-world excitement when it had to be moved with just one week to go from the original location in Hatay, Turkey. Several national federations were starting to pull out because Hatay was too close to the fighting in Syria. The Week in Chess has the full results and games: Here.

September 28, 2013

Chess Engines: Hiarcs Leads TCEC

After five rounds, Hiarcs 14 is leading TCEC (Thoresen Chess Engines Competition) with a score of 4/5. Komodo, which was developed by Don Dailey and our own club's GM Larry Kaufman, had a surprise win in this round over Houdini 3, last year's champion. Komodo is tied for third place with three other engines, and Houdini is tied for fourth with two other engines. Chessdom is covering the tournament here: Here.

September 26, 2013

Sinquefield Cup Endgame Lessons

We typical club players often have trouble coming up with a plan in endgames, and we marvel at the skill of GMs who can find the way to win even the most complex ones. So it's worthwhile to work through the latest ChessBase column by endgame expert GM Karsten Müller, in which he analyses four instructive endgames from the recent Sinquefield Cup. In the game Nakamura-Kamsky, for example, he shows how Nakamura turned what could have been a drawish rook ending into a win. See the four lessons: Here.

September 25, 2013

Strict Anti-Cheating Rules Coming?

The following language is proposed (but not yet agreed on) for the new FIDE Laws of Chess to take effect on July 1, 2014: "A player is forbidden to have a mobile phone and/or other electronic means of communication in the playing venue. If it is evident that a player brought such a device into the playing venue, he shall lose the game. The opponent shall win. "The rules of a competition may specify a different, less severe, penalty. "The arbiter may require the player to allow his clothes, bags or other items to be inspected, as in airport screening in private . . ." Keep in mind that these rules will apply only to FIDE tournaments, but you can expect them to trickle down to local USCF tournaments as well. Geurt Gijssen, who writes the "Arbiter's Notebook" column on Chesscafe.com, has more information: Here.

September 23, 2013

Paris Grand Prix Update

How much of an advantage does White have in chess? At the Paris Grand Prix, it took until round four before there was a Black win. After four rounds, GMs Ivanchuk (Ukraine) and Gelfand (Israel) are tied for first with 3 points each. The Paris tournament is the sixth and final Grand Prix, which is important because the top two overall Grand Prix winners automatically qualify for the next World Championship cycle. Chessgames.com has a nice presentation of the tournament results that makes it easy to view games by player. To see the site, click: Here.

September 21, 2013

And Here Is the Anand Interview

To prepare its readers for the World Championship Match in November, ChessBase has published two exclusive interviews, the first with challenger Magnus Carlsen, and now one with the current champion, Vishy Anand. In this second interview, Anand talks about his preparation regimen. He says, "During training I generally work out for an hour or two in the morning, then work for eight to nine hours, with breaks for lunch and dinner." Anand also talks about his hobby, astronomy, and about how the opening, middle game, and endgame are starting to blur today. See the full 23-minute interview here: Here.

September 20, 2013

Carlsen Is Interviewed about the World Championship Match

To prepare its readers for the World Championship Match in November, ChessBase is publishing two exclusive interviews, one each with the current champion, Vishy Anand, and the challenger, Magnus Carlsen. In his interview, Carlsen gives some fascinating answers about his preparation. When asked how important memory is in chess, he replies, "I think it is easy to forget your own analysis, especially if it's done with a computer and it doesn't make perfect sense to you, and you are just memorizing it." He is preparing some opening surprises but he says, "I think that Anand and others are so strong in the opening that it might not make sense for me with my skillset to try and beat him in the opening." See the full 11-minute interview: Here.

September 18, 2013

Hou Yifan Is Women's World Champion

Hou Yifan of China crushed Anna Ushenina of Ukraine 5.5-1.5 to win the Women's World Chess Championship Match in Taizhou, China. The match had been scheduled to go ten rounds, with the winner being the first player to reach 5.5 points. Yifan won in only seven rounds with four wins, including all her games as Black. Ushenina did not win a single game. See The Week in Chess's report: Here.

September 16, 2013

Sinquefield Cup: Carlsen Wins

Magnus Carlsen has won the first Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis with a score of 4.5/6. Nakamura finished second (3.5), Aronian third (2.5), and Kamsky fourth (1.5). There was a surprise in the final game: Aronian offered a draw, but Carlsen declined it even though it would have guaranteed him first place. Carlsen went on to win the game. The tournament site has GM analysis of the final round: Here.

September 11, 2013

Sinquefield Cup: Strongest Tournament Ever on U.S. Soil?

St. Louis's Chess Club and Scholastic Center is hosting the Sinquefield Cup between the two highest-rated players in the world, Magnus Carlsen (rated 2862) and Levon Aronian (2802), and the top two American players, Hikara Nakamura (2774) and Gata Kamsky (2741). The tournament is a six-round double round robin, which means each player plays every other player twice, once with each color. After two rounds, Nakamura leads with a perfect score of 2.0. The tournament website is calling this the strongest tournament in U.S. history. Check out the tournament website here: Here.

September 10, 2013

Women's World Championship Is Under Way in China

The Women's World Championship has begun in Taizhou, China, and challenger GM Hou Yifan has defeated reigning champion GM Anna Ushenina in game one, a Nimzo-Indian Defense. The winner will be the first player to reach 5.5 points in the ten-game match and will take home 60 percent of the prize fund of 200,000 Euros. The loser will get 40 percent. GM Ushenina is rated 2500, is 28 years old, and is from Ukraine. GM Yifan is rated 2609, is 19, and is from China. Chessbase has pictures and the game one moves her: Here.

September 9, 2013

World Cup Opening Report, Part 2

We did some more statistics on the recently completed World Cup in Norway. Of the 432 games, White won 131, Black won 83, and there were 218 draws. This gives a score from White's point of view of 55.6 percent [score = (White wins + draws/2)/total number of games]. The following chart shows the stats by first move played. For example, the first line means 181 games (41.9 percent of the total) opened with 1.d4, and in those 181 games, White scored 60.4 percent. One interesting aspect of the chart is that 1.d4 scored so much better than 1.e4.

MoveFrequencyScore
d418160.4
e416951.1
Nf34452.2
c43454.4
g3350.0
b31100.0

September 7, 2013

Openings Played at the 2013 World Cup

Like suits, openings fall in and out of fashion. To see what GMs are playing these days, we compiled statistics from the recently completed World Cup in Tromso, Norway. Out of a total of 432 games, the most frequently played opening was the Sicilian Defense (63 games). The English came in second (40 games). Here is a table listing all openings played (a total of 432 games), from most frequently played to least:

Opening# Games
Sicilian63
English40
Spanish33
QGD/Slav32
QGD28
Gruenfeld25
Nimzo-Ind24
Caro-Kann22
King's-Ind21
French20
QPawn Game18
Reti16
Queen's Ind14
Scotch13
QGD Semi-Slav10
Four Knights8
Dutch7
Benoni5
Petrov5
Bogo-Indian4
Catalan4
Giuoco Piano 4
13 Others1-3 ea.

The PGN for all games can be downloaded here:Here.

Look for the "All games of the World Cup in PGN" link near the bottom.

September 6, 2013

Final Grand Prix to Be Held in Paris

The location for the sixth and final FIDE Grand Prix tournament location has been chosen. It will be held in a church in Paris from September 21 to October 5. WGM Alina l'Ami writes about the tournament on Chessbase, but the real reason we point out her article is that she gives the best simple explanation we've seen in a while of how the World Championship cycle works. See her Chessbase article: Here.

September 5, 2013

Kramnik Wins World Cup

Vladimir Kramnik defeated Dmitri Andreikin in the final to win the World Cup. This means both players qualify for the next Candidates Tournament, which will decide the challenger to the World Championship. The final World Cup game was a draw in an English Opening, giving Kramnik a score of 2.5/4 for the round, meaning no tiebreak games were necessary. Chessbase has an interesting post-mortem interview with both players as well as GM analysis: Here.

September 4, 2013

How to Avoid Time Trouble

GM Jacob Aagaard has published his theory on avoiding time trouble on his excellent Quality Chess Blog. Aagaard believes our time pressure problems are caused by a philosophical problem, one he calls "the illusion of control." We think we can completely control a chess game, so we look for certainty and take too long to make decisions. Instead, Aagaard says we should trust our feelings on most moves in a game and save time for the few critical positions where exact calculation really is required. See his article: Here.

September 3, 2013

VA Closed

This is a great tournament, run by the experienced NTD Mike Hoffpauir who runs the event in two sections (Open and U1800) for 6 rounds over 3 days - plus a Blitz tournament the night before and the Virginia Chess Federation's (VCF) business meeting the morning of the opening round. This year, ACC's own President, Adam Chrisney, previously a VCF board member, was elected to be the new VCF President for 2013-2014. He will continue to fulfill the duties of both positions. Separately, Todd Hammer provided another great offering of new and used books plus a decent amount of equipment. The hotel facilities are great including a small but comfortable lounge area and breakfast buffet with table service in the lobby (not free). Out the back of the lobby and tournament areas is a nice manicured garden area with a nice sized pond - great for hanging out between and after rounds and opens into the small strip mall (eateries) that are next to the hotel. This year, NM Daniel Miller won his 5th(!) VA State Champion title (5/6). ACC members repesented the club very well as Andrew Smauelson finished tied for 2nd (4.5/6), Geoff McKenna finished a half point behind (4/6) and Macon Shibut, Andrew Rea and Adam Chrisney finished 3.5/6 (Adam picked up 65+ ratings points). In the Amateur section (U1800), Karl Peterson finished tied for 2nd (4.5/6) and Todd Hammer finished with 3.5/6. "Congrats!" to all of these members and to all the other ACC players who competed this weekend!

August 27, 2013

nTCEC Season 2 Begins

The second season of nTCEC (New Thoresen's Chess Engine Competition) has begun. There are 36 engines entered, and they keep on getting stronger and stronger. The top 25 entries are rated over 2700, with the top one, Houdini 3, rated at 3156. ACC's own GM Larry Kaufman is one of the developers of the fourth-highest-rated engine, Komodo 1063, which is coming in at Elo 3084. During nTCEC, all games run automatically one after another with no human interaction on identical hardware until the tournament is over. Houdini defeated Stockfish in the season 1 superfinal to become the reigning champion. Chessdom is carrying the games live: Here.

August 26, 2013

Atlantic Open

Nearly 280 players competed in the recent Atlantic Open at the Westin Hotel in downtown Washington, DC, on “M” near 15th Street. A good venue for large tournaments and run by NTD Steve Immitt and the Continental Chess Association which will be back at the Hyatt in Crystal City, VA, sponsoring the Continental Class Championships in early October. GM Alex Lenderman, a frequent competitor in DC area events, finished a half point ahead of the pack in the Open section (4.5/5). ACC member Andrew Samuelson finished tied for 2nd-3rd (4.0) and ACC members GM Larry Kaufman and IM Oladapu Adu finished tied for 4th-8th (3.5). Paul Yavari finished tied for 1st (4/5) in the U2000 section. "Congrats!" to all of these ACC players and to all the others who fought a good fight this weekend!

August 25, 2013

World Cup Update: And Then There Were Four

After five rounds of the World Cup in Tromso, Norway, only four of the starting 128 players remain in the ring: Andreikin, Tomashevsky, and Kramnik of Russia and Vachier-Lagrave of France. Both Americans have been eliminated, Nakamura in round 4 and Kamsky in round 5. Round 6 started today (August 26) with two quick draws in under 17 moves in both games, rekindling the old debate about whether short draws should be permitted. Magnus Carlsen tweeted "Games drawn after 14&16 moves in #chessworldcup. Easy to understand players, who need rest, hard to understand that the rules allow them to." See The Week in Chess coverage: Here.

August 24, 2013

How Accurate Are Ratings?

Statistician Jeff Sonas worked with FIDE for years to determine how accurate its Elo rating system is at predicting actual results. Now he is publishing his findings on ChessBase. Sonas has found, for example, that players with a 200-point advantage over their opponents are scoring only 72%, whereas Elo predicts that they should score 76%. This is very important for rating points. Sonas says that the rating system is working better for masters than lower-rated players. If you have some familiarity with statistics, you will enjoy this series of articles. ChessBase has part 1: Here.

August 20, 2013

World Cup Update: And Then There Were 16

After three rounds of the World Cup in Tromso, Norway, only 16 of the starting 128 players remain in the ring. The tournament has a knockout format that eliminates half of the players in each round, resulting in fierce competition and some big upsets. World number 2 Levon Aronian and number 4 Alexander Grischuk were knocked out in round 3. The two highest-rated Americans, Gata Kamsky and Hikaru Nakamura, are still in. For pictures, games, and round 4 pairings, see the tournament website: Here.

August 19, 2013

The Element of Surprise in Chess

GM Jacob Aagaard has published a fascinating two-part article about the element of surprise on his Quality Chess Blog. Aagaard recommends spending half your time on your usual repertoire and the other half trying something new, either new sidelines or entirely different openings. In that way, you are "a moving target" to your opponents. See the full article: Here.

August 18, 2013

Are Masters' Brains Different from Amateurs'?

A study by Japanese scientists used MRI scans to compare the brain activity of experts and amateurs in the game of shogi, a Japanese version of chess. When told to take their time over the next move, experts showed more activity than did amateurs in the precuneus area of the parietal lobe, which is used for visualization and episodic memory. But when told to quickly make a move, experts showed more activity in the caudate nucleus, which is used for goal-directed activity. The scientists theorize that experts are more intuitive at choosing moves because their years of training have perfected the circuit between the two brain regions. See the full 2011 article: Here.

August 15, 2013

Video - Chess Olympiad Norway 2014

Tromso, Norway, the site of this year's exciting FIDE World Cup, will also host the 2014 Chess Olympiad. For next year's Olympiad, Norway expects 1500 players and guests from 160 countries and hopes for 100,000,000 people to follow the tournament online. In a promotional video for the event, you can hear a statement by Magnus Carlsen, see more of the beautiful setting complete with Northern Lights, and learn the proper pronunciation of "Tromso." Check out this promo on Youtube: Here.

August 14, 2013

Opening Advice

Chess.com's user "NFork" (in the real world, FM Jari Jarvenpaa of Finland) has posted this thoughtful essay on choosing "beneficial" openings, ones that actually help you improve. He says it's a waste of time to memorize Kramnik's opening repertoire when there is no chance you're going to play like Kramnik. He says that if you are under 1800, you don't need to know many openings, and he recommends mostly those without a lot of theory. That is why, for example, he switched from the Gruenfeld to the QGA. He thinks you should steer away from gambits, which cause you to focus too much on the tactical possibilities. When you start to play higher-rated opponents, they will know how to defend against gambits, and you will just end up in the middle game a pawn down. Keep in mind that the author is not a native English speaker, so be forgiving of all the grammatical mistakes. See the full Chess.com article: Here.

August 12, 2013

David Howell Wins British Chess Championship

With a final score of 9.5/11 and a tournament performance of 2768, David Howell is the new British Chess Champion. The tournament venue, Torquay, England, has been good luck for Howell, 22, because he also won the last championship played there, in 2009. The official website has the final results here, but we were unable to download the games there (they were blank). Try the Chessbase site here instead to get the games in PGN. Official website is: Here, and the Chessbase links are: Here.

August 11, 2013

FIDE World Cup Under Way

The FIDE World Cup has begun in Tromso, Norway. This is one to watch. Not only is the setting beautiful--Tromso is 400 km above the Arctic Circle--but the tournament has a ferociously competitive knockout format, including an interesting tiebreak scheme. There are 128 players from 95 countries, half of whom get knocked out in each round. The final tiebreak is an "Armageddon game," played with 5 minutes for White and 4 for Black, and Black wins on a draw. The World Cup is important not only for the very strong field but also because the winner and runner-up qualify for the Candidates Tournament for the World Championship cycle. Chessbase has pictures: Here, and the official tournament site has pairings: Here.

August 9, 2013

Karpov on the Upcoming World Championship

MSN's Norwegian website has an interesting interview with Anatoly Karpov about the coming match in India between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand. (The ads are in Norwegian but the interview is in English.) Karpov says that climate and food will be disadvantages for Carlsen but that Carlsen has good chances. Karpov says that World Championship matches today are less grueling than in his time because they last only 20 days on average versus 70 in his day, but because they are shorter today, each day is correspondingly more important and therefore more stressful. His advice for Carlsen is to correctly estimate his strengths and weaknesses. See the full New York Post article: Here.

August 7, 2013

GM Josh Friedel Wins the U.S. Open

GM Josh Friedel has won this year's U.S. Open in Madison, Wisconsin, in a playoff game against IM Mackenzie Molner. The regular nine rounds had ended in a three-way tie between Friedel, Molner, and GM Julio Sadorra, each with 8 points, so it took the playoff game to decide the clear winner. Friedel is from Wisconsin, so the result was no doubt popular with the spectators. The win guarantees him a spot in next year's U.S. Championship. For more detail from the New York Post article, go: Here.

August 6, 2013

British Championships: Update after 8 Rounds

After eight rounds, GM David Howell leads with an amazing +6-0=2 score. GMs Lalic, Jones, and Gordon are tied for second with six points each. Because this is the 100th anniversary of this tournament, it is an especially big one, with 26 events and a record-breaking number of over 1000 players entered, with 106 players in the championship section. There are also many special events, such as a problem-solving contest, an attempt to set the world record for number of bullet chess games played in a hour, and even a cricket match. For the tournament site, go: Here.

August 5, 2013

Potomac Open

Nearly 180 players competed in the recent Potomac Open in Rockville, MD, which was won outright by Akshat Chandra with a perfect 5.0 score and, in so doing, securing the elusive prize associatedd with that score - $1500 - for this tournament is one of those run by TD Mike Regan that guaranteed prizes based on a player's tournament score, not how one finished vis-a-vis other players as in most "swiss" tournaments. In the Open section, 5 pts yielded $1500, 4.5 yielded $700, 4.0 = $350 and 3.5 = $150. Lower sections had slightly lower prizes for each score. Chandra was a clear 1.5 points ahead of the rest of the field as some 4 competitors tied for second at 3.5 including local GM Lawrence Kaufman. Some 20 ACC members competed in this tournament and a number of them did well. Bill Carroll finished tied for 2nd in the U1900 section while young Greg Revesz won sole 1st in the U1500 section (4.5) and Andrew Mao tied for 3rd (3.5). Josh Hiban won clear 2nd in the U1300 section (4.0). "Congrats!" to all of our players!

August 2, 2013

July Wrap-Up

This month participation in ACC's event swent way, WAY up! On the ladder, we are regularly having 35-40 players competing (up from 20-24). This month, William Perkey won sole 1st place on the ladder with a score of 3/4. In the monthly ACC Action-Plus, nearly 60 players competed in three sections (up from an average of 30-35). The Open section was won by Andrew Samuelson (again! - can anyone beat this ?!) with a 4.5 score and followed by a 2-way tie for 2nd (4.0) between Oladapu Adu (welcome back!) and Mahbub Shahalam. Jason Carr and Valentino Burke both gained over 50 ratings point for the event. The U1700 section was won jointly by Andrew Mao and Greg Revesz (4.5) - both also gained over 100 ratings points, while Tristan Ma and Seva Zhuravsky gained over 50 points, Kevin Davis about 75 points, Jerry Li and Yevgeny Dodzin over 100 points - congrats to all! The U1300 section was won by newcomer Ben Lyons who posted a perfect 5.0 score. Second was taken by Ashley Xing (4.0) who's only loss was to Ben. Both Ben and Ashley as well as Joe Clancy each gained over 100 ratings points! With everyone gaining so many points, conversely, many had to yield those points - names will not be discussed - but we hope they get licks in during a later event.

July 29, 2013

Is Chess a Poor Professional Choice?

Andy Soltis tells a funny story in the New York Post about how a Russian GM came to realize he was in the wrong profession. In 2007, GM Andrei Deviatkin was surprised by a novelty by his opponent on move 8 of the c3 Sicilian, and he went on to lose. Analyzing the game later, he discovered that the new move was Rybka's first recommendation. Deviatkin now believes that computers have changed the game so much that far too much opening preparation is required to reach the highest ranks. He says, "Honestly speaking, when I see the position after 1 e4 c5, I want to resign." See New York Post article: Here.

July 28, 2013

Caruana Breaks the 2800 Barrier

Italy's rising star Fabiano Caruana has reached the lofty 2800+ heights in the FIDE live listings. He is now ranked third in the world behind Magnus Carlsen (2862) and Levon Aronian (2813). If Caruana wins the sixth and final Grand Prix, he would qualify for next year's Candidates Match, so we could be seeing a future World Champion. Hikaru Nakamura is the only American in the top ten. Chessdom.com has the story: Here.

July 23, 2013

British Chess Championships

The 100th British Chess Championships start July 28 and run through August 10 in Torquay, England. This tournament will be more fun to follow than most because many favorite (or should we say "favourite") chess authors will be playing, such as John Emms, Chris Ward, and Glenn Flear. It will be interesting to see if they practice what they preach! The tournament website will host live games and live commentary. See website: Here.

July 19, 2013

Nigel Davies on Suitable Chess Role Models

Nigel Davies says he was inspired to write his latest "Chess Improver" column because he realized he was setting a bad example for his son by playing unusual flank openings such as 1.g3. Instead, he suggests choosing a role model with a more classical style, but he warns not to go back too far and pick someone who played archaic openings. For players under 1800, he recommends considering the top 50 players from the era 1920-70 and choosing one who did not play gambits or openings with a K-side fianchetto. For players under 1500, he recommends choosing a role model who played 1.e4 as white, and as black, met 1.e4 with 1...e5 and 1.d4 with 1...d5. Davies' blog column can be found: Here.

July 16, 2013

Mamedyarov Wins Beijing Grand Prix

After a draw in the final round, GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (from Azerbaijan) took first place in Beijing, the fifth tournament out of six in the FIDE Grand Prix. His tournament performance was at the 2847 level. Gata Kamsky, the only American in the tournament, took last place out of 12. There will be one final Grand Prix tournament, possibly in Paris in September. Veselin Topalov (Bulgaria) is the current leader in the Grand Prix. ChessBase has pictures, games, and interviews: Here.

July 12, 2013

Beijing Grand Prix

The fifth in a series of six FIDE Grand Prix tournaments is under way in Beijing. Alexander Grischuk (Russia) and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) are tied for first after eight rounds. The Grand Prix series is important because it is now part of the World Championship qualifying cycle: the overall winner and runner-up make it into the 2014 Candidates Tournament. Players invited to take part must each agree to play in four of them. No, ACC members, you don't get to enter! The Week in Chess has the games here: TWIC.

July 9, 2013

On Cheating in Chess

David Levy has published a proposal on ChessBase to stop what he calls the "horrible disease" of cheating. He proposes adding five new rules mandating airport-like security checks to the FIDE rulebook. If a player refuses to be searched, he or she is banned from FIDE tournaments for one year. Don't skip the readers' comments. One reader from Israel recommends jail time, just as for all other types of fraud. Two other readers take ChessBase itself to task for compounding the problem by releasing a version of ChessBase for Android phones. Quite some interesting thoughts. Watch Interview Here: ChessBase Video.

July 8, 2013

"Meet Me in St. Louis"

Ever wonder why St. Louis has become the chess capital of the U.S.? The answer is Rex Sinquefield. Learn about Mr. Sinquefield in Dylan Loeb McLain's recent article in the New York Times. St. Louis now hosts the U.S. Championship, the U.S. Women's Championship, and the U.S. Junior Championship. The city now has two powerhouse college teams run by Susan Polgar and Yasser Seirawan. And the World Chess Hall of Fame and Museum moved there from Florida two years ago. Read full article here: NYT Article.

July 2, 2013

Anand on Psychology

ChessCafe has posted a 2007 interview with Viswanathan Anand on Indian TV. Ordinarily an interview that old would not be newsworthy, but this one is relevant to the upcoming World Championship Match in November between Anand and Magnus Carlsen. In the interview, Anand tells several stories about how players tried to intimidate their opponents in World Championship Matches. For example, in his match with Kasparov, Kasparov would slam the door when he left. That bothered Anand, but he didn't protest at the time. But he said Karpov would never have put up with it. Anand also talks about how he dealt with an opponent who would constantly swing a key chain around his finger. These non-chess-specific tactics are the type of poor sportsmanship every tournament player encounters at one point or another if they play long enough.
Watch Interview: ChessCafe Video.

June 30, 2013

June Wrap-Up (In Memoriam)

First, it is our sad duty to relate that club member, Michael S. Hirsch, passed away this month. Mike was one of those players who loved to talk and explore positions with his opponent mid-game. Something most did not know, Mike was an avid collector of antique maps, amongst other things. Mike was also a member of the Monday senior's club in Arlington. He will be missed by a number of members. Regarding club results for the month, the ACC Ladder saw a 3-way tie between new members Tim Vanderplas and Richard Veneracion as well as our President, Adam Chrisney. In the monthly ACC Action-Plus, the Open section was won by Andrew Samuelson (4.5) with Justin Lohr (4.0) securing sole second place followed by a 3-way tie for 3rd (3.5). The U1700 section was won by Artem Gulish (4.0) followed by a tie for second/third between Revanth Vejju and Charles Alston III. Newcomer Joe Clancy won the top U1300 prize (3.0). Finally, in the monthly ACC Friday Action, 16 players competed with Shawn Hoshall and Andrew Samuelson splitting the top two prizes. Helen Tran and newcomer Quito Swan had excellent results against players 300-400 rating points higher.

June 28, 2013

What's the Longest Game You've Ever Played?

Think you have the endurance to play a 210-move game? That's what happened in the fifth round of the 2013 Ukrainian Championship between four-time national champ GM Valeriy Neverov, 51, and IM Stanislav Bogdanovich, 20. Neverov, playing White, was a pawn down yet successfully conducted a R+N v. R+N endgame for 124 moves, then R v. R+N for another 34 moves, then blundered on move 206 and resigned four moves later. Reviewing the game, you'll discover why endgame knowledge is so crucial.
See the game here: ChessBase.com.

June 26, 2013

How Do You Pronounce "Alekhine," "Giuoco Piano," "Fianchetto"?

We don't know about you, but we have no idea how to say "Znosko-Borovsky." And we're not so sure about "zugzwang" either. We all still hear a lot of mispronunciations of chess terms, so we like to point out Bill Wall's informative "Pronounce That Chess Word" webpage at Chess.com. It's a useful page to bookmark.
See: Chess.com Article.

June 21, 2013

World Open in Arlington, VA

Next week in Arlington, Va., the World Open begins on June 27 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Arlington, running through July 7. The tournament begins with the D.C. International and includes the 9 round World Open tournament. There will also be smaller tournaments held in between the main games, including an event for female players, a Senior's event for those over age 50, and a Scholastic event for those under 13.
See: Full WTOP Article.

June 19, 2013

Women's Grand Prix

We have been reporting here on the men's Grand Prix tournaments, but there is a very strong women's Grand Prix under way as well. The second tournament in the series is taking place in Dilijan, Armenia, from 16 to 28 June. It has nine GMs, 2 WGMs, and one IM taking part, making it one of the strongest women's events ever. After four rounds, India's top female player, Koneru Humpy, is tied for first place with Anna Muzychuk (Slovenia) and Nana Dzagnidze (Georgia). The overall winners of the Grand Prix will determine the participants in the Women's World Championship in 2015.
ChessBase.com has pictures, standings, and analysis ... Here.

June 16, 2013

Tal Memorial Tournament

The very strong Tal Memorial is under way in Moscow, and it is important to watch because both World Champion Viswanathan Anand and his challenger, Magnus Carlsen, are taking part. In all, ten players, all over 2700, are participating, including American Nikaru Nakamura, and he is among the four players tied for first place after three rounds. In the latest round, Carlsen lost to Italian Fabiano Caruana, and that result moves Caruana to the number three spot in the FIDE rankings. (Anand won his game.) Interestingly, in an interview after round one, Carlsen admitted that he hadn't yet started his opening preparation for the World Championship Match, which starts November 6.
Find the Carlsen Interview: Here,

Follow the Tal tournament on the: TWIC website.

June 13, 2013

PGN Explained

Many of us now download chess games from the Internet and store our own games in databases. The most common format for storing games is Portable Game Notation (PGN). Because it's sometimes necessary to repair these data files by hand, it's very handy for us chess players to understand PGN. For example, because all piece moves must start with a capital letter, castling must be written with letter O's, not digit zeros. Also, PGN has seven mandatory tag pairs, and they must be written in this order: Event, Site, Date, Round, White, Black, and Result. Mark Donlan has written a nice explanation of PGN on ChessCafe.com.
See ChessCafe Explanation Here.

June 10, 2013

VA Senior Open 2013

In one section and over four rounds, some 34 players entered the 2013 VA Senior Open held in Alexandria, VA, over the June 8-9 weekend. The field was very strong as nearly two thirds (19) of the players had ratings over 1800. All were over age 50. When the dust settled, 3 players were tied for 1st at 3.5/4.0, including Larry Gilden, William Marcelino and Harry Cohen. Marcelino also won the Top Virginian award and Gilden also won the Top Age 70+ trophy. Leif Karell (3.0) won the Top Age 60-69 trophy. Goran Zalar and Raymond Duschene tied for the U2000 award, Joe Faries and Glenn Shelton won the U1700 award (and increased their ratings by 65-70 points!), and Lloyd McLaughlin won the U1400 prize.

June 7, 2013

What Openings Are the GMs Playing?

What openings are the top GMs playing these days? It is far too small a sample, and highly dependent on the particular players who took part, but let us try to answer that by looking at the recent Candidates Tournament in London. Eight players played 56 games. Of those, white scored 54.5% (+15 =31 -10). Thirty-five games (63%) opened with 1. d4. Following is the full table of first moves:
Move# Games% Games
1. e41323%
1. d43563%
1. Nf3611%
1. c424%
The most common opening played was the Gruenfeld (10 games). Here's the full table of openings played:
Opening# Games% Games
Gruenfeld1018%
QGD713%
Spanish611%
Nimzo-Ind59%
Sicilian59%
Catalan47%
KID47%
English35%
Bogo-Ind24%
Other1 ea.2% ea.
"Other" = one game each of Dutch, Trompowsky, QGA, Reti, Queen's Indian, Scotch, Budapest, Slav, French, and Pirc. For a PGN-file (download) of all games, go: here.

And so, what does this tell you about how to choose your own opening repertoire? Absolutely nothing.

June 6, 2013

Kasparov Refuses to Return to Russia

Fearing arrest, Garry Kasparov has said that he will not be returning to Russia. He made the announcement while in Geneva to receive a human rights award. Kasparov said, "Right now, I have serious doubts that if I return to Moscow I may not be able to travel back. So for the time being I refrain from returning to Russia." There is a crackdown against protesters underway now in Russia, and Kasparov has been critical of Russian President Putin. He was arrested last year in Moscow for taking part in a protest during the trial of the protest punk band Pussy Riot.
Chessbase Article.

June 4, 2013

Kamsky Ties for Second in Thessaloniki

The Thessaloniki Grand Prix Tournament ended on 3 June, with American Gata Kamsky finishing tied for second place out of twelve players. He had been leading going into the final round but blundered under time pressure on move 35 and resigned two moves later in a Ruy Lopez against Italian player Fabiano Caruana. American Hikaru Nakamura came in seventh. Kamsky and Nakamura, the only two Americans rated above 2700, routinely play in these super GM events. The Grand Prix Series of six tournaments is important because the overall winner and second-place finisher will qualify for the 2014 Candidates Tournament, which in turn determines the challenger for the World Championship Match. GM analysis from ChessBase can be found in the following link.
ChessBase article/pics.

June 3, 2013

World Championship Preview?

The Tal Memorial 2013 Tournament, to be held 12-24 June in Moscow, will give us another chance to see Magnus Carlsen go up against Viswanathan Anand before their world championship match in Chennai, India, in November. The Tal Memorial is a prestigious tournament with an extremely strong field of ten players, including the only American in the FIDE top ten, Hikaru Nakamura (rated 2784). Chessdom.com has the full list of players - see below. Don't miss this opportunity to root for Nakamura but also to follow the Anand-Carlsen games. Will those two reveal any hints of their secret preparations for the world championship match now just five months away?
Chessdom - player list.

June 2, 2013

Rules Question - When Is a Game Result Final?

ChessCafe's Geurt Gijssen publishes an interesting rules column each month, and he frequently complains about the continuing differences between FIDE and USCF rules. The USCF is under some pressure to get in line. In his latest column, Mr. Gijssen writes about a tournament dispute in which the FIDE and USCF rules do not differ, but the dispute is interesting nevertheless. If you were the TD, how would you handle it? Here's the situation: A player checks his opponent's king and announces mate, and both players shake hands and record the result. But during analysis in another room, they discover that the check was not a mate. Does the opponent have the right to resume the game, or does the result stand?
ChessCafe Article w/ Answer.

May 29, 2013

May Wrap-Up

This month’s ACC Ladder event saw domination by Josh Hiban over his opponents as he won this month’s event in clear first (3.5) followed by Dennis Franco in sole second place (3.0). Congrats to both though only Josh won the monthly prize. Turnout for ACC’s Saturday Action-Plus (5-rd., G/45) was down this month as only 22 players registered for the event, though most of them were in the top-heavy Open section. Elmir Huseynov won the Open section (4.0) followed by 3 players in close second (3.5) – A. Samuelson, S. Darmanovic, and A. Zheng. The combined U1700/U1300 section was won by Rishab Anand (4.5). ACC's 3-round Friday Action (3 rd. G/30) saw a number of top players fight it out for sole first. When the dust settled, Mahbub Shahalam was in sole first place (3.0) followed by S. Darmanovic and V. Doma tied for second.

May 28, 2013

Video Archive - Anand v. Kasparov

In the following chess video, you will see one of the most exciting chess matches ever played, complemented excellently by commentary from experienced Grandmasters Daniel King and Glenn Flear.
Video (From OnlineChessLessons).

May 27, 2013

Video - US Championships

"And now, for something completely different ...." Attached is a link to a brief video montage of facial expressions from the intense competition at the 2013 US Chess Championship in Saint Louis.
Video (From OnlineChessLessons).

May 25, 2013

A Spanish Dragon Pawn Formation?

In 1901, the name Dragon Variation was developed for the pawn configuration d6, e7, f7, g6, h7 in the Sicilian. In his Huffington Post column GM Lubomir Kavalek describes a mirror constellation/pawn formation that he calls the "Spanish Dragon." He uses an intriguing fight between Karjakin and Carlson in the recent Norway Open to explore this formation in the Spanish (Ruy Lopez) opening.
ChessBase Article.

May 24, 2013

Norwegians Debate Whether Chess Is a Sport (or Not)

As Magnus Carlsen has risen to challenge Anand for the World Chess Championship, the debate in Norwegian newspapers rages red hot over whether chess is a sport or athletics. And to no one's surprise there is no conclusion. Chess writer Rune Vik-Hansen ponders the viability of the different views.
ChessBase Article.

May 23, 2013

Fox Sports Mid-West to Re-Air 2013 US Championships

The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis has announced that on May 25 at 6 p.m. CT, FOX Sports Midwest will air a one-hour recap special covering the recently concluded 2013 U.S. and U.S. Women’s Chess Championships. In addition to the premiere, the special will also air on successive dates and times over the following two weeks or so.
ChessBase Article.

May 21, 2013

Cheating on the Rise?

Chess Magazine's Executive Editor wrote a recent column which explores the rise of cheating in chess. The article follows on a well-publicized incident in Europe recently in which a player became suspicious when his opponent went to the toilet twenty times during his game. The player saw his opponent checking moves with an Android before he dragged him out to expose the cheating. Pein discusses the recent incident and makes some suggestions.
ChessBase Article.

May 21, 2013

Chess Software Comparison

The Kingstowne Chess Club, and noted local chess coach Hryar Sayadian, suggest the following website for those who might be interested in knowing which are the strongest chess software that exist and how they compare. The goal of nTCEC is to provide the viewers with a live broadcast of quality chess, played strictly between computer chess engines created by different programmers.
nTCEC website.

May 20, 2013

Chess v. Alzheimer's

Medical science is still wrestling with the cause and the cure of Alzheimer's Disease, but there is one treatment that seems to work: chess. 14.5 million caregivers in the US provided more than 17.5 billion hours of unpaid care, and the total cost is projected to jump from $203 billion in 2013 to $1.2 trillion by 2050.
ChessBase Article.

May 20, 2013

TWIC Book Reviews

IM John Watson has come out with his latest book reviews for the TWIC website. In number 104, Watson looks at biographies of players both for pleasure and instruction. They include Eminent Victorian Chess Players, My Best Games 1908-1937 by Alekhine, Fischer in Iceland, as well as instructive game compilations of Capablanca and Kramnik.
TWIC Article.

May 15, 2013

Helping Boy Scouts to Obtain the Chess Merit Badge

For scouts to obtain the new Boy Scout chess merit badge, they must demonstrate chess knowledge in several areas. However, many scouts lack a club, school or coach to help them truly understand and appreciate the game, and they make do with whatever resource is available to meet the minimum requirements to obtain the merit badge. For the very small percentage of scouts who do have access to better resources, the path is much easier.

In order to help the others, Roger Claff (Northern VA scout leader) and Peter Snow (ACC member and owner of Snow's Chess Academy) designed a curriculum to help scouts associated with the Arlington Forest United Methodist Church (AFUMC) and others meet the requirements to obtain the new merit badge. The curriculum covers history, etiquette and sportsmanship, game basics (pieces, moves, notation, the difference between the opening, middle game and endgame, etc.), and later, the elements of strategy and chess tactics and demonstrating their knowledge in a tournament and other rated games. With Snow’s and Claff’s guidance, many scouts are meeting their requirements and developing a hunger to play the game.

May 14, 2013

Maryland Open 2013

The 59th Maryland Open was held May 10-12 at the Rockville Hilton, a great venue. A total of 185 players competed in the tournament playing in six sections. This was another of the pricey tournaments ($110 at the door) sponsored by Mike Regan that then guaranteed prizes based on a player's tournament score, not how one finished vis-a-vis other players as in most "swiss" tournaments. The championship section was won by Zviad Izoria who went 5-0 and won $1800. A notable ACC member performance was put in by Andrew Samuelson (3/5). In the U2000 section, ACC-er Sean Senft also secured 3/5, while ACC-ers Greg Revesz and Sam Schenk both secured 3.5/5 in the U1600 section.

May 13, 2013

2013 US Chess Championships

After three unsuccessful attempts, IM Irina Krush finally defended her US Women’s Championship title. Anna Zatonskih finished a half-point behind Krush. For the men’s US Championship, GM Gata Kamsky knocked off GM Alejandro Ramirez in a playoff. Following are various final reports:
ChessBase - Kamsky Wins Playoff,
Kamsky Interview,
TWIC Round-Up,
ChessBase - Krush Wins.

May 12, 2013

Fighting Chess With Anand

Daniel King covers Anand vs Topalov from round 3 of the recent Norway Chess Tournament. The players showed that they were ready to fight by not shying away from playing a sharp Sicilian. In the early middlegame, Anand used the typical kingside expansion while Topalov looked for counter play in the center and queenside. Anand handled the game better and eventually creates an inferior pawn structure for black and an advantage from there, but Topalov did not give up and looked for counter-play to save himself.
YouTube Video.

May 11, 2013

Alekhine and the Art of Chess

"To me, chess is not a game; it is art," Alekhine said. The quote is prominently displayed on the website devoted to the Alekhine Memorial chess tournament that finished this month. The tournament was a tribute to the fourth official world chess champion. Many world-class players took part, including the world champion Vishy Anand.
Huffington Post Article.

May 9, 2013

2013 US Chess Championships

While Irina Krush continues to pull away with a perfect score in the women’s field, GM Gata Kamsky was nicked for a draw by GM Joel Benjamin in the men’s tournament. The US Chess Championships have been taking place in Saint Louis from May 3rd to 13th 2013, with May 8 being a rest day and May 13 reserved for possible tiebreaks. There are separate sections for both the men ($180,000 prize fund) and women ($65,000 prize fund). There will also once again be a $64,000 “Fischer Prize” to go to anyone who runs the table and wins all nine games in the main event. Fischer’s feat was accomplished 50 years ago at the 1963/64 U.S. Championship.
Wash Times Article,
Latest Update from St. Louis,
ChessBase Article.

May 6, 2013

European Individual Championships

The European Individual Championship, this year held in Poland, is the strongest Swiss system tournament in the year, and the numbers say it all: twelve players are rated 2700 or more, 38 of the world’s top 100 players are participating, and over 100 GMs. The top boards are all broadcast live on the official site as well as Playchess.com.
TWIC Article,
ChessBase Article.

May 5, 2013

FIDE Confirms Venue for World Championship Match

After the original announcement was challenged earlier in April, FIDE confirmed that the 2013 World Championship match between current champion Viswanathand Anand and challenger Magnus Carlsen will be held in Chennai, India, starting on November 6, 2013. The links below will take you to the final statement from FIDE and a couple of articles regarding the announcement:
FIDE Press Release,
TWIC Article,
ChessBase Article.

May 4, 2013

International Effort to Address Cheating

The Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) announced on Monday that the World Chess Federation had finally agreed to create a committee to come up with ways to detect and stop cheating. Earlier this year, ACP’s President made very specific suggestions that a joint FIDE-ACP Anti-Cheating Commission be established in order to enable the most efficient working procedure to address such cheating. At the time, ACP referenced an open letter (more of a petition) signed by more than 700 active players from all over the world. NY Times Article.

May 3, 2013

Video (2 parts) - Kasparov Interview

Below are two links to YouTube videos covering a wide-ranging interview with former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov. The interview is from November 2012 in Maribor, Slovenia, just after the World Youth Championships.
Part 1,
Part 2.

May 1, 2013

Topalov Wins ZUG Grand Prix

The return of Veselin Topalov to top level chess competition was announced by his recent clear first place win in the Zug (Switzerland) Grand Prix Chess Tournament. The importance of the news is that the winner and 2nd place finisher of the Grand Prix Series, of which the Zug tournament is a part, will qualify for the next Candidates Tournament to be held in March 2014. The Grand Prix Series is comprised of 18 top players each playing in four of six tournaments held over a 2 year period. Zug was a 12-player round-robin tournament and the 3rd stage of the Series. ChessBase Article.

April 30, 2013

Return of the Blindfold Simul

Wearing a blindfold, Grandmaster Timur Gareev took on 33 opponents this week in a run-up to the US Championship. He secured 29 wins and 4 draws (29-0=4) in a blindfold simultaneous chess exhibition match held in St. Louis. It has been decades since the last large blindfold exhibition was held in the U.S. Notably, the strength of the opposition was low (averaging below 1400). Gareev expects to take on nearly twice as many in his next blindfold exhibition, hopefully later this year.
NY Post Article,
ChessBase Article.

April 29, 2013

Video – Chess Game in Dormroom

We have all reacted this way in similar situations – just not likely to such a degree. See Video.

April 28, 2013

Video – Chess “Rap” Music

After watching this, everyone should realize that chess is clearly a game beloved by all generations and not just “nerds.” See Video.

April 27, 2013

April Wrap-Up

ACC’s Saturday Action-Plus (5-rd., G/45) saw over 30 players competing in 3 sections. In the Open, a number of the top players again got nicked for early points (Huseynov, Vekilov and Tichenor) but Andrew Samuelson limited the damage to a draw and ended in sole first place (4.5) followed closely by Elmir Huseynov (4.0) in second. Trung Nguyen and Srdjan Darmanovic tied for 3rd. In the U1700 section, Andy Zhang and Josh Katz tied (4.0) for first and Andrew Song snagged the sole 3rd place prize - Josh picked up over 75 ratings points! "Congrats!" Due to low turnout, the U1300 section was folded into the U1700 section but two prizes were still awarded to Kevin Davis and Yoseph Mak – both players also picked up a ton of ratings points – another “Congrats!” ACC's 3-round Friday Action (3 rd. G/30) had a slow night as only 8 players showed up but it included two players over 2100. Clearly, they were in the driver’s seat for the cash prizes that night when in the last round they took just 8 moves (YES! only 8) to agree to a draw – they were Andrew Tichenor and Srdjan Darmanovic. Finally, in ACC's Ladder, Rishab Anand won this monthly event by winning clear first (3.0) followed by NINE (!) players tied for second place (2.0)!

April 26, 2013

Endgames From the Alekhine Memorial

There are a couple of big chess tournaments occurring this and next week, the Alekhine Memorial and the Zug Grand Prix, but instead of relating the blow-by-blow from every round, we suggest this piece from ChessBase in which GM Karsten Muller focuses on endgames that occurred in the Alekhine Memorial. There are games from Aronian and Kramnik and others. The players are on a two-day rest period as the tournament moves from Paris to St. Petersburg for the second half of the tournament (this is honoring Alekhine’s two hometowns during his life). Enjoy! ChessBase.

April 25, 2013

Carlsen Interview

This is not a spectacular interview with Magnus Carlsen, the new challenger to World Champion Anand. But it is one that was conducted by local news legend Charlie Rose. One thing that comes across is that Carlsen is young and does not yet have a fully articulate command of his thoughts. Or maybe it's just a language barrier. It takes some time for Rose to draw Carlson into a deeper discussion about chess but there are eventually some tidbits giving one a feel for the World Challenger. Carlie Rose.

April 24, 2013

Early English Fireworks at Alekhine Memorial

At the Alekhine Memorial tournament, England number one player Michael Adams scored his second victory over world champion Vishy Anand in four months at the Alekhine Memorial, being staged at the Louvre in Paris. Then in round two he followed this defeat of the world champion with a victory over Peter Svidler to lead the tournament.
Svidler Game,
Anand Game.

April 23, 2013

New Chess Hall of Fame Inductees

The Washington Times explores the two new inductees to the Chess Hall of Fame to be logged in on May 2. They are GM Gregory Kaidanov and seven-time U.S. women’s champion Mona May Karff. Kaidanov continues to play in area tournaments, including the Eastern Open and the Washington International. Karff made her name over the board of 64 squares during the 1930s and 40s. Washington Times.

April 22, 2013

1st Cherry Blossom Classic Tournament

Local chess player Jonathon Kenny has taken on a new avocation as a sponsor of chess tournaments. He had a very successful first installation of the Cherry Blossom Classic as just over 100 entrants played 6 rounds and in 3 sections (Open, U2000, U1600). NTD Brennan Price helped Jonathan and ran his usual efficient tournament with the assistance of VA Chess Federation (VCF) President Andrew Rea. The tournament also counted for the VCF Cup Series of tournaments. Sean Vibbert won the inaugural tournament's Open section with a perfect 6/6 score. ACC member Andrew Samuelson finsihed with 4/6. Ryan Xu won the U200 section (5/6) with ACC members Peter Snow and Jason Carr scoring 4/6. Evan Ling won the U1600 section (5.5/6).

April 14, 2013

Remembering Robert Byrne

Robert Byrne recently died just days before his 85th birthday, after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. Byrne was known for the great play that he and his brother Donald brought to New York City. Byrne beat Bobby Fischer in the 1965 US Championship which he won in 1972, the year Fischer won the World Championship. The article from ChessBase includes a number of analyzed games and videos as well as some old photos of Byrne.
ChessBase,
Huffington Post,
More From ChessBase.

April 13, 2013

Kasparov Turns 50

Garry Kimovich Kasparov dominated chess for twenty years, until his retirement in 2005. Since then he has devoted his time to politics and writing. Kasparov turned fifty this month, and Chessbase took a nostalgic look at his past 25 years. ChessBase.

April 9, 2013

Crestbook

The Russian-based Crestbook website asked various top players including Gary Kasparov, Alexandra Kosteniuk, and Sergey Shipov to give their opinions on the recent Candidates Tournament in London. As everyone now knows, this was one of the most eagerly anticipated events in modern chess history, and it didn’t disappoint. After Magnus Carlsen emerged victorious by the finest of margins, Crestbook published the following views. Crestbook.

April 8, 2013

Kramnik Interview

The Pogonina website has a post-Candidates Tournament interview with Vladimir Kramnik. The newsd video and the interview are in Russian but the text of the interview is also transcribed. Kramnik discusses the tournament and opines about both Carlsen and Anand. Pogonina.

April 5-7, 2013

Chess Collegiate "Final-Four"

The President's Cup (a.k.a. the Final Four of College Chess) was held April 5-7 and determines the U.S. college team chess champion. This is an annual invitational team championship, open to the top four U.S. schools from the most recent Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship. It is run as a fixed-roster team round-robin tournament, scored by individual (not team) points. The President's Cup usually takes place in the first weekend of April. Following are various articles on the tournament held in Rockville, MD:


Pre-view: WashPost,

Webster Wins Final Four: Chessdom,

Post-Mortem: WashPost,

NPR Interview of Polgar and Ray Robson: NPR.

April 6, 2013

4th Tata "Composition" Tournament

There was a special study composing tournament that was part of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. Chessbase News has provided part four of an article showing the final prize-winning studies with explanations of the solutions. See more.

April 3-6, 2013 **SPECIAL**

Post-Tournament News: 2013 Candidates

With the Championship challengers tournament now over, and in lieu of having a full tournament book a la , following are a collection of interesting or significant post-tournament articles:


2013 Candidates Quality of Play: ChessBase,

2013 Candidates Endgames: ChessBase,

Carlsen Video on 2013 Candidates: ChessVibes,

GMs on 2013 Candidates: ChessVibes,

Anand on Carlsen: ChessBase,

(full interview): IndianExpress,

Anand v. Carslen - Debate on Format: IndiaTimes.

March 15 - April 2, 2013 **SPECIAL**

Round By Round: 2013 Candidates

The most spectacular Championship tournament of recent years is now over and has included dramatic reversals of fortune in the last few rounds. The excitement brought spectators flocking to every chess site, so much so that some sites were overloading! Chess fans were eager to know who would challenge Anand, and following are round-by-round stories of how it all unfolded.

Round 14 - Carlsen Backs Into Championship
ChessBase,
Chessdom,
Chess Vibes,
TWIK,

Chessbase - Player Postmortems.

Round 13 - Neck and Neck
ChessBase,
Chessdom,
Chess Vibes,
TWIK,

Chessbase - Player Postmortems.

Round 12 - Kramnik Overtakes Carlsen
ChessBase,
Chessdom,
Chess Vibes,
TWIK,

Chessbase - Player Postmortems,

Chessbase - Player Chances of Winning.

Round 11 - Kramnik Gaining
ChessBase,
Chessdom,
Chess Vibes,
TWIK,

Chessbase - Player Postmortems,

Chessbase - Player Chances of Winning.

Round 10 - A Bit of Everything
ChessBase,
Chessdom,
Chess Vibes,
TWIK,

Chessbase - Player Postmortems.

Round 9 - Did Kramnik Lose His Chance?
ChessBase,
Chessdom,
Chess Vibes,
TWIK,

Chessbase - Player Postmortems.

Round 8 - Kramnik Creeping Up on Carlson and Aronian
ChessBase,
Chessdom,
Chess Vibes,
TWIK,
Chessbase - Player Postmortems.

Round 7 - Fighting Chess
Chessdom,
Chess Vibes,
ChessBase,
TWIK.

Round 6 - Carlson and Aronian Pulling Away
Chessdom,
Chess Vibes,
ChessBase,
TWIK,
Chessbase - Player Postmortems.

Round 5 - Competition Rages
Chessdom,
Chess Vibes,
ChessBase,
TWIK.

Round 4 - Carlson Catches Aronian
ChessBase,
Chess Vibes,
Chessdom,
TWIK.

Round 3 - Fireworks Abound
ChessBase,
Chess Vibes,
Chessdom,
TWIK.

Round 2 - Radjabov, Aronian Snag Wins
ChessBase,
Chessdom,
Chess Vibes.

Round 1 - Cautious Beginning
ChessBase,
Chess Vibes.

March 24, 2013

How New Format Alters Candidates Tournament

Dylan McLain of the New York Times makes some interesting points in a recent article in support of the changed format for the Candidates Tournament currently under way in London, England. The article discusses the merits and back-story of the previous match system versus that of the current double round robin. New York Times.

March 24, 2013

ACP Letter to FIDE Addresses Cheating

A recent letter from the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) was sent to FIDE in order to highlight its concern that computer-assisted cheating is a major problem in chess. In the letter, ACP’s President made very specific suggestions that they establish a joint FIDE-ACP Anti-Cheating Commission, in order to enable the most efficient working procedure to address such cheating. ACP also referenced another recent open letter (more of a petition) signed by more than 700 active players from all over the world. ACP Letter.

March 22, 2013

Long Interview With Candidates Sponsor

In the attached article, Andrew Paulson, the head of Agon which, with FIDE, is the organizer of the 2013 Candidates Tournament gives a long interview about the tournament and other interesting side issues. Full Interview.

March 22, 2013

New Chess Set Design for 2013 Candidates

In the attached article, Daniel Weil explains how he designed a new chess set which is making its debut at the World Chess Candidates Tournament in London. Full Article.

March 19, 2013

Carlson Video

This brief article links to a video interview with Magnus Carlsen during a rest day at the Candidates Tournament. Carlson, the highest-ranking chess player in the world, spoke to the BBC and outlined the similarities between chess and physical sports. See BBC video.

March 16, 2013

4th Tata "Composition" Tournament

There was a special study composing tournament that was part of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament. Chessbase News has part three of an article showing the prize-winning studies with explanations of the solutions. See more.

March 14, 2013

Computers and Cheating

An article on Chess.com examines the subject of cheaters and their use of computer engines in chess games. The author expresses surprise that many readers are unaware of breadth of the problem. The author explores two main ways cheaters currently consult chess engines during play. One (we are very familiar with in the DC metro area) involves installing a chess engine on a mobile device and checking the chess position during a private moment (i.e. in a bathroom). The other is more involved by having an accomplice use an engine and surreptitiously transmit the information to the player (though a transmitter, hand signals, etc.). Chess.com.

March 12, 2013

Talking Chess?!

And now for something completely different … an interesting new way of broadcasting a chess match is occurring in a tournament finishing up in Tehran, Iran between GM Nigel Short and an Iranian GM. It reminds one of the briefly recurring Millennium Chess Festival held in Virginia Beach up to a few years ago. The players will separately record their thoughts on video every few moves and the live broadcast will be highlighted by these recordings to show how the players are thinking through their game. The live analysis will be broadcast here (in Farsi).

March 11, 2013

Past Candidates Tournaments

One significant change to the upcoming Candidates tournament is that the challengers will compete in a round robin tournament instead of head-to-head matches to determine which earns the right to challenge for the World Championship title. This is the first time this format has been used in just over 50 years. An overview of how the tournament has evolved since 1948 can be found here.

March 10, 2013

New Alekhine Memorial Tournament

The Russian Chess Federation has announced a new super-tournament will be held in late April in the memory of the former World Champion Alexander Alekhine. During the span of the tournament, games will held in the two cities associated with the former champion, Paris and St. Petersburg. Participants will include Anand, Gelfand, Kramnik, Aronian, Svidler and 5 others. See more here.

March 9, 2013

Remembering Bobby on His Birthday

Robert James “Bobby” Fischer is remembered as one of, if not the, greatest chess players of all time … as well as for the many controversial statements and claims he increasingly made later in life. He was born March 9, 1943 and died January 17, 2008. Various retrospective articles have been written about Bobby in the last few days, a selection of which follow:
US Chess Trust – includes interactive replays of his 1972 Championship win over Boris Spassky, pictures and videos,
Chess Base (1) – includes an array of videos plus some games,
Chess Base (2) – this covers the memorial exhibition at the hotel from the 1972 match.

March 8, 2013

Anand Interviewed About Candidates

Just after the end of the Zurich Chess Challenge, current World Champion Viswanathan Anand discussed the upcoming Candidates tournament in a brief interview. The Champion’s comments are pretty “vanilla” but interesting none-the-less. See more here.

March 7, 2013

US Amateur Team – East Tournament

ACC members and players in the DC Chess League played very competitively in the US Amateur Team – East tournament in mid-February. Andrew Smauelson, Geoff MCKenna, Kenneth John and Milo Nekvasil (Team Name: Fine Sax on Brown Flohr) went undefeated securing 4.5/6.0 and earning the award for Best Virginia team. Samuelson went 5-1 on board 1. Best senior team was GM Arthur Bisguier’s team (4.0) and included GM Lawrence Kaufman on board 1 and Dennis Strenswilk. Best Maryland team went to Mome Roth (3.0) and included Leif Karrell, Williams Stokes, Mira Karell, and Helen Karn.

March 6, 2013

Candidates Chess Tournament 2013

The next Candidates tournament will occur March 14 – April 2, 2013 in London, England to determine the finalist who will challenge World Chess Championship Viswanathan Anand in November of this year. The tournament is an 8-player double round robin and will include 4 rest days. The eight players will share a prize fund of €510,000. Anand has been Champion since 2007and he has successfully defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik (Bonn, 2008), Veselin Topalov (Sofia, 2010) and Boris Gelfand (Moscow, 2012). The eight contenders, the schedule and other information can be found through the followings links to informative articles and the Candidates website: Chessdom, Chess Vibes, ChessBase, Official tournament website.

March 5, 2013

The Short Draw Debate

Does it matter if draws are accepted after 10 moves? How about after 15? What, if any, criteria should be applied to draws? An article on the Chess Vibes website explores this age-old debate. The entire article can be found here.

March 2, 2013

New USCF Blitz Rating System

As of March 1, 2013, the USCF has a Blitz rating system! Events that start on or after March 1, 2013, and that have a total time per player of between 5 and 10 minutes are now automatically part of the Blitz rating system. What qualifies as a “Blitz” game is now determined by adding the minutes in the time control plus the seconds of delay/increment for a total time per player. For example, G/3, d/2 qualifies (3+2=5) as does G/10 (10+0=10) or G/9, d/1 (9+1=10). If an event would have previously qualified as a Quick-Rated-Only event but is within the 5 to 10 minute range for Blitz events, it will be a Blitz event.

February 28, 2013

Video – Odd Opponent for Kosteniuk

The video found through the following link contains a short clip of Women's World Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk playing chess with a … robot. There’s not much information accompanying the video but you can see the robot is playing at least two and possibly three other opponents at the same time. See the video.

February 25, 2013

More to Reykjavik Open Than Just Chess

Why aren't you competing in the Reykjavik Open? According to an article on the tournament website, there is much more to this tournament than the chess games. There are a number of side events as well as a soccer match a chess quiz context at a local pub. Now THAT's this editor's kind of side event! Read more about the extra available at this event here.

February 24, 2013

Italy Tops International Correspondence Chess Championship

Apparently, though Italy gave many very early innovations to the game of chess (the fianchetto, the Giuoco Piano, Ponziani’s Opening), for centuries they have had no world class players. Until now. The Washington Times has an article on 73 year old Fabio Finocchiaro who is a correspondence grandmaster who just won the 25th International Correspondence Chess Federation championship. See the whole story here.

February 23, 2013

Interesting Videos From Zurich Chess Challenge

The Zurich Chess Challenge began recently and there are a couple of great videos on Alexandra Kosteniuk's blog-website. In the interviews a number of top competitors talk about their early round games including Anand. more.

February 22, 2013

Youngest GM Record Broken In Reykjavik!

At the Reykjavik Open, 13-year old Chinese player Wei Yi (pictured) qualified to become the youngest (current) Grandmaster in the world! Wei Yi is the 4th youngest to achieve ... the title in history behind only Karjakin, Negi and the current world #1 Magnus Carlsen. more.

February 21, 2013

February Wrap-Up

This month, ACC benefited in attendence by the dearth of other local chess events! ACC's 3-round Friday Action (3 rd. G/30) jumped to 21 attendees and saw Stan Fink and Andrew Rea tie for first with perfect scores (3/3). Enough players attended that U1900 and U1400 prizes were also awarded - the first in over 2 years of these renewed events at the club. The Saturday Action-Plus (5 rd. G/45) also saw a boost in the number of players (nearly 40) in 3 sections. Again, enough players attended that full prizes were awarded in each section! In the Open, a number of the top players got nicked for early points (Vekilov and Tichenor) but Srdgan Darmanovic lkimited the damage to a draw and ended in sole first place (4.5) followed closely by Justin Paul (4.0) in second who upset THREE higher rated opponents to gain 100 rating points as well as his prize. In the U1900 section, Neha Pattanaik and Vishal Menon tied (4.0) for first. In this section Vishal picked up over 100 ratings points as did Andre Song and Sam Schenk! "Congrats!" to each of them! And in the U1300 section, Rohan Vodhi nabbed sole first place and over 150 ratings points! He was followed by 3 players tied for 2nd-4th place including Viraj Boreda who picked up 75 ratings points! Finally, in ACC's Ladder, Ryan Purtell won another session of this monthly event by winning clear first (4.0) followed by Greg Revesz in sole second place (3.0) - both players picked up about 75-80 ratings points! This was a good month for ACC players!!

February 12, 2013

Baltimore Open

ACC members got caught up in ferocious competition just south of Baltimore on February 8-10, 2013. Some fared well and some did not, but a good time was had by all. The tournament featured 117 players competing in 5 sections. The hotel, a Holiday Inn, was under renovation which cut out a significant amount of relaxation space in between rounds. On the other hand, this was one of the player-friendly tournaments run by STD Mike Regan. This was another one of his pricey tournaments ($110 at the door) that then guaranteed prizes based on a player's tournament score, not how one finished vis-a-vis other players as in most "swiss" tournaments. The tournament attracted GM Alex Lenderman and GM Niclas Huschenbeth, who both tied for first place at 4.0 along with local IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat. The event also enticed IM Bryan Smith, who finished a half point back (3.5). In the U1900 section, ACC members Adam Chrisney finished tied for second (4.0) and Saad Al-Hariri continued his recent set of good tournaments with 3.5, but 10 other ACC members did not fare as well, including one intrepid player who lost to a checkmate in 6 moves (sorry, no names to be shared)!

February 11, 2013

New FIDE Player Registration Rules

FIDE, through their 2013 Presidential Board, proposed new rules on the regulation and licensing of players which are to be implemented on July 1, 2013. The FIDE proposal requires that all players be FIDE-registered in order to play in FIDE-rated events. For US players, registration would be through the USCF and would require collection of additional new player information (name, gender, place and year of birth, photo, passport number, FIDE number). Organizers/tournament directors will be penalized 50 Euros (just over $65) for EVERY player accepted to play in FIDE-rated events without such a license and registration.

Practically speaking, this action by FIDE will destroy the ability of US tournament organizers to continue running FIDE-rated tournaments. Such information collection is very burdensome for tournament organizers and directors and the potential penalties are cost-prohibitive. If this proposal is implemented, speculation from leading USCF tournament directors is there will be little to no FIDE-rated events in the US and many other countries. Many see this is a power grab by FIDE over the many strong national chess federations from larger countries and/or countries with very well established federations.

In response, the US joined a protest letter (See copy here) from the Chess Federation of the Netherlands along with those of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Spain, Slovakia, and Switzerland. The letter rejects the new proposed licensing system and states these federations will not introduce such a system and they urge the Board to withdraw the proposal. The Continental Chess Association, which sponsors most of the large US tournaments including the World Open, has stated that it will not participate in the proposed FIDE process and does not expect to be holding FIDE rated tournaments after June 30 (possibly including the World Open). A long discussion was held on the USCF forum (See forum here). Go to: “FIDE’s licensing and Registration of Players” started on January 25th by NTD Mike Atkins - this initial posting contains FIDE’s new proposed rule and a later page-three posting from Bill Goichberg contains his condemnation on behalf of the Continental Chess Association.

Most recently, on February 11, FIDE released a brief statement that licensing would not be pursued but registration would continue. This clearly does nothing to alter the impact of the proposal as the fines would continue to be enforced with new documents on registration to be released “in due course.”

February 7, 2013

Dilbert Cartoon

The Dilbert Cartoon website sponsored by creator Scott Adams since 1995 has a new cartoon focused on the premise that it takes 10,000 hours to master anything. see cartoon.

February 4, 2013

World’s #1 Breaks Own Record (Dylan McClain)

(Summarized from and linked to ‘New York Times’ Website)

In the context of discussing that Magnus Carlsen has beaten up on his competition in January to propel him into beating his own rating record by reaching 2,872, the article examines a couple of games Magnus played in the last month. In his most recent tournaments, he won 42 games, drew 64 and lost … only 4 games. The article covers two games come from the Tata Steel competition that wrapped up in late January. They include a win by Carlson over US Champion Hikaru Nakamura and a win by Pentala Harikrishna over Loek Van Wely which has been described as one of the tournament's best games. To read the full article, go to: New York Times.

February 2, 2013

Chess’ Top Earners for 2012 (Peter Zhdanov)

(Summarized from and linked to ‘Chessbase’ Website)

And now for something completely different ... the premise of this article is that most sports have publicly available information regarding the annual money rankings for players but in chess such financial data is rarely obtainable. Interestingly, the article points out the significant gap between the top two earners (can you guess both?) and all the other top players. Zhdanov claims the list was compiled using public information sources and does not address endorsement deals and non-tournament earnings. The list examines only active top players whose primary income is chess-related. This is one drawback to the article as it would be equally interesting to see what other income sources some of the players have chosen. In this day and age of reality shows, it would be interesting to find out about other work income, income from books, articles, endorsements, speaking fees, etc. as well as other information such as how many tournaments they enter and how much time they devote to study, research, teaching and other chess-related activities. The full article and information can be found on the Chessbase website at: Chessbase.

January 27, 2013

ACC January Wrap-Up

Next month (February) ACC's Action-Plus event is going to add a third section (U1300) including prizes! Be sure to make your students and others aware of this great 1-day event! This month, Andrew Samuelson (4.5) beat back all challengers to secure sole first place and the top prize ($240) in the this month's 5-round ACC Action-Plus(G/45). 20 players entered the 2-section event. Andrew Zheng secured sole second place (4.0) and Stan Fink tied Perry Feng for third (3.0). Elijah Kirtley (5.0) swept his competition to nab sole first place (and the $100 first place prize) in the U1700 section followed by four players tied for second (3.0). In the monthly ACC Action (3-round G/30), Dmitry Vekilov ran through the field to win the top prize. He was followed by A. Samuelson, I. Lee and A. Chrisney who tied for second. Meanwhile, in the monthly Ladder games, Dennis Franco and Edgar Almazan (for the second consecutive month) tied for first place (3.0) followed by Robert Aguirre (2.5) in a field of nearly 60 players.

January 15, 2013

Chesapeake Open

The Chesapeake Open was held January 11-13 at a new site, the Marriot Washingtonian in Gaithersburg, MD. Though pricey ($95-110 entry fees) the high entry fee was counterbalanced by guaranteed, score-based prizes; no matter what the final ranking in the tournament, a player earned a prize based on his total tournament points – i.e. no shared prizes. This enticed over 130 players to play in 6 sections. This Marriott is another good site chosen by organizer and chief tournament director, Mike Regan. As with a number of his recent tournaments, this included sets and boards provided for all players (plus clocks in the Open section), 30 second increment instead of the usual 5 second delay (to reduce end-of-game time scrambles), texting of pairings to player’s cell phones and a free continental breakfast for all players on the final day. All nice details enhancing the player’s tournament experience. The Open section was won by IM Elmir Huseynov 4.5/5 followed by a 3-way tie for second by Jared Defibaugh, Chris Sevilla and Scott Low. ACC members who performed well included Saad Al-Harir and Mike Kobily who tied with one other for first place in the U1800 section. Todd Hammer won the U1600 section 4/5.

January 7, 2013

"Shortest Mates" (Matt Grinberg)

Former ACC member Matt Grinberg (Expert / Candidate Master), who moved to New Mexico in 2010, recently authored an article for ChessCafe.com exploring the shortest possible mates using a queen, rook, bishop, and knight from studies he collected over twenty years ago. Matt started his research in the '70s after reading articles in "Chess Life and Review" and "Evans on Chess." In his article on ChessCafe, Matt says "I selected my favorites from among the ones I found and present them here. Note that the solutions [are] not unique; the move order can be changed and there are some alternate final positions. However, as far as I know, there is no shorter solution for any." You can find the full article with nearly 40 studies at: ChessCafe.

December 31, 2012

Eastern Open

The 39th Annual Eastern Open was held in its usual venue, the Westin Washington DC City Center Hotel, from December 26-30. The tournament started with two pre-tournament events, the Warm-Up Tournament (5-round G/30 Action in two sections) and a 5-round double-swiss Blitz Tournament. In the Warm-Up, FM R. Zimmer won the Open section (3.5/4.0) while ACC member Andrew Tichenor tied for second with tournament organizer, Tom Beckman (3.0). Daniel Gong and Rico Bulaclac tied for 1st in the U1800 section which saw ACC member Navid Bajoghli tied with 5 others for 3rd place. The Blitz tournament was won by IM Elmir Huseynov with Andrew Tichenor again securing second place. In between these early events and the main tournament, FM Allan Savage gave a free lecture on Universal Defenses with the Black Pieces. Finally, nearly 200 players entered the main tournament. The Open section was won by IM Daniel Ludwig (6.5/8.0) followed by GM Larry Kaufman in a four-way tie for second. Darius Pour nearly swept the U2200 section (7.5/8.0) while ACC member Tom Hoopengardner secured a 5.0 score. The U1900 section saw a 3-way tie including ACC member Saad Al-Hariri. ACC Member Tad Mrozek won the U1600 section. The tournament also features Upset Prizes in all sections and ACC President Adam Chrisney won one upset prize in the U2200 section. ACC was well represented by its members, not all of whom were recognized in this article. Congrats to all ACC members who participated!

December 21, 2012

ACC December Wrap-Up

The big event this month was the Holiday Party which over 30 members attended and enjoyed holiday cheer with their chess – see related article. The ladder was competitive this month but one player steered clear of the pack with 3 wins to secure first place over four others at 2/3 (S. Senft, G. Gonzalez, Y. Fantu, R. Purtell). In the monthly ACC Action (G/30), Paul Swaney played in a rare event and swept through two stronger players (A. Tichenor and D. Weissbarth) on his way to winning the top prize outright with 3/3. Four players, S. Darmanovic, D. Weissbarth, K. Belachew, and G. Menelik, tied for second at 2/3. There was no Action-Plus in December but keep an eye for the January event as it will have a new third section (U1300) with prizes to go along with the Open and U1800 sections and $440 in guaranteed prizes.

December 21, 2012

ACC Holiday Party

Over 30 members celebrated the holidays with ACC playing chess. Food, drinks, and holiday sweets were enjoyed by all! Members played rated chess on the Ladder (30/90, G/1) and in the 3-round Action tournament (G/30). There were also a couple of chess puzzle displays changed regularly for the enjoyment between and after games. As in recent years, a good time was had by everyone!

December 10, 2012

Fairfax Open

Ths year's Fairfax Open was literally blown out by the "durecho" back in June. TD Brennan Price promised to resurrect the tournament later in the year and so he did this past week-end. He held it at his favorite venue, the Fairfax Best Western. This year attendence in 3 sections was just over 70 and down from a high last year of just over 100 players. First place in the Open section was won outright by IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (4/4) including wins over FM Allan Savage and our own Andrew Samuelson. ACC was well represented as Macon Shibut and Smauelson tied with one other for 3rd (3/4). Chris Snell, Charles Musselman and David Hulvey scored 2.5/4.0. In the Reserve (U1800) section Akshaj Kadaveru tied for first (3.5/4.0), Mike Kobily tied for second (3.0/4.0) and Todd Hammer secured 2.5/4.0. In the Booster section, Gregory Revesz secured 2.5/4.0. Congratulations to all ACC competitors!

December 2, 2012

ACC November Wrap-Up

Next month ACC's Action-Plus event is going to add a third section (U1300) including prizes. Last month, with more than a little luck, Abraham White ran the board against the competition including a 200 point upset to run away with sole place in the November ACC Action-Plus(5/5). 29 players entered the 2-section, 1-day event. Srdjan Darmanovic secured sole 2nd place 3.5/5.0 followed by a 4-way tie 1/2 point behind him. Elijah Kirtley (4/5) won sole first place in the U1800 section while new member Wendell Skidgel tied for second (3.5/4.0). In the monthly ACC Action, the top two players (Darmanovic and Andrew Tichenor) took a quick draw in the final round only to be over taken by Mahbub Shahlam who, in keeping with a trend for the month, was rated 200 points below the pair. Richard Allen had a notable performance gaining about 60 points in the 3-round tournament! Finally, in the monthly Ladder games, Mike Kobily cleared the field with 3 wins followed by 6 others at 2/3 some of whom helped Mike to the win by eschewing the final Ladder round to play in the 3-round Action.

November 19, 2012

ACC Has *New* Photos!

We have two new batches of photos - one short (DC Chess League) and one very expansive (ACC Simul)! From the tie-breaker match in the Summer Session of the DC Chess League we have two photos showing the Arlington Argyles battling it out with the Ashburn Open in which the Argyles battled to a tie after Andrew Rea finally secured a long-drawn out win. With the tie, the Argyles won the Summer League as they had draw odds. IN ADDITION, there are over twenty photos from ACC's recent simul and lecture with GM Roman Dzindzichashvili. See photos here .

November 10-11, 2012

Northern VA Open

The latest VCF tournament, the 17th Northern Virginia Open, was held at the Dulles Holiday Inn over the November 10th week-end. This 5-round, 2-day tournament had 106 participants from all over the region. NTD Mike Hoffpauir ran yet another great event and had arranged for Todd Hammer Merchandising serving as the book and equipment vendor. The final round saw young Jeevan Karamsetty upset FM Allan Savage to secure sole second place overall (with 4.5/5.0) behind tournament champion Tegshsuren Enkhbat (5/5). 9 players tied for 3rd including ACC's own Andy Samuelson whose only loss was to Enkhbat in the final round. Top "A" Class player was an 8-way tie (3.5) including ACC members Steve Armentrout, Peter Snow and Sean Senft. Jason Carr snagged sole Top "B" Class player. Congratulations to all ACC winners and to all of our other members who competed!

October 29, 2012

ACC October Wrap-Up

A DCCL league match for ACC's Argyles was postponed and rescheduled for the day of an ACC event ... not a great idea. The result was that the ACC Friday Action for the month had its lowest ever turnout ... 6 players. But, as usual a good time was still had by all. Andrew Tichnor swooped in while the usual competition was off fighting for comradery and he won 3 straight games against, for him, light competition. Mahbub Shahalam and Sergey Kotelnikov tied for 2nd. In the monthly Ladder series, Ryan Purtell (3/3) held off Rene Stobach (2.5/3) and 3 others a further full point behind Rene (1.5/3) to take the monthly Ladder prize. The ladder tournament was a game shorter this month as the club was taken over by a very succesfull Simul tournament and lecture given by GM Roman Dzindzichashvili (see related article). Finally, the October ACC Action-Plus tournament was again won by Elmir Huseynov (2400+) who snagged the first place $240 prize. A three-way tie for second place was had by some familiar names - Andrew Tichenor, Mahbub Shahalam and a newcomer to ACC events, Jeffrey Chang - the three of them split the 2nd and 4rd prizes ($120 and $80). Upset of the day went to yours truly who snagged a win over a local 2200 player. In the U1800 section, Maggie Luo and Vedant Balu snagged 1st and 2nd place ($100 and $50 respectively) along with Dennis Franco. For the second straight month, Maggie was the big winner in the U1800 section and picked up nearly 100 rating points. To top off everything, ACC was visited by the President of the Iowa Chess Association who played in the Action-Plus event while in town for the Marine Corps Marathon. Eric asked ACC members to be sure to look him up if they ever make it to that "corn" and "pork" Mecca otherwise known as the fine state of Iowa!

October 19, 2012

ACC Simul w/ GM Roman Dzindzichashvili

Success! Over 40 people crowded into a lecture given by GM Roman Dzindzichashvili immediately followed by 29 of those players battling the GM in a very competitive Simultaneous Chess match. Roman is a two-time US Co-Champion in 1983 & 1989. He is also the designer of the very popular chess training DVD series “Roman’s Lab.” Roman took questions from the crowd before discussing his perspectives from when he was a second to GM Viktor Korchnoi for his match against Karpov in the early 1970s. Many players noted how much they enjoyed the lecture before the Simul games started. While fatigued from recent surgery, out of the 29 games, Roman gave up 7 draws and 1 win. ACC member Yad Fantu won the only win against the GM while draws were secured by Troy Roberts, Chris Sherwin, Vinay Doma, David Hulvey, Charles Musselman, Adam Chrisney, Sa’ad Al-Hariri, and Alan Pruce.

October 9, 2012

Continental Class Championships

Another highly competitive tournament was held by the Continental Chess Association (CCA) at the Hyatt Regency in Crystal City over the Columbus Day weekend. While the Open section featured 9 rounds of play over 5 days, most other section were comprised of 7 rounds over 4 days. 255 players competed in 7 sections. In the “Master Section, 9 GMs competed and saw GMs Sergei Azarov and Sergey Erenburg finished at the top of the standings after nine battling rounds in a thrilling event that saw many lead changes at the top. Both players scored 7/9 to earn $2,250 each but Azarov had the better tie-breaks to take the title and an additional $120 bonus to bring his total to $2,370. ACC players fared pretty well given the tough competition in the CCA events. In the Expert section, William Marcelino tied for 2-4th place with a score of 5/7 and earning $640. Mahbub Shahalam finished 14th (4/7). In the “A” section, former ACC member Patrick Ramsey finished tied for first (5.5/7), Harry Cohen and Tan Nguyen finished 4.5/7. Sa’ad Al-Hariri finished 8th in the “B” section with 4.5/7 and Rob Lazorchak was 4/7.

September 29, 2012

ACC September Wrap-Up

This month two relative new-comers beat the competition to jointly win the ACC ladder tournament with scores of 3/4. “Congrats” to both Yad Fantu and German Gonzalez! In separate news, the Friday action had just 12 players but LOTS of fireworks as Srdjan Darmanovic won the top prize with a score of 2.5/3. He was followed by 5 players at 2/3 including V. Doma, M. Shahalam, P. Swaney, I. Lee and V. Burke. And then there was the *NEW* Saturday ACTION-PLUS tournament in which ACC was overrun with 1800 and 1900 players as nearly 30 competitors played in two sections. Elmir Huseynov (2400+) ran away with the first place prize of $240 and Mahbub Shahalam secured sole second and $120 followed by a four way tie for 3rd. And enough players turned out that the U1800 section also secured cash prizes where Maggie Luo and Daniel Gong tied for first!.

September 24, 2012

Arlington Argyles Win Playoff for DCCL Title (Chrisney/Hoshall)

The 2012 Summer Session of the DC Chess League came down to a sudden death tiebreaker match featuring the Arlington Argyles v. the Ashburn Open at the Arlington club on Friday September 21st. The Argyles and Ashburn finished tied in match points at the end of the summer season. The Argyles had draw odds due to finishing with higher overall board scores. So they would win the season if the match were a draw. The play-off match turned out to be a closely fought match. Paolo Del Mundo on Board 1 snagged an early point for Ashburn after getting really good position with a 4 pawns attack against the Benoni played by Andrew Samuelson. On Board 3, Narciso Victoria (ACC Argyles) slowly built up his Sicilian attack against an offbeat b3 line by Vinay Doma (Ashburn) and finally ground out the point for the Argyles. Then Shawn Hoshall (Ashburn) was up a pawn and had a better position when his opponent, William Marcelino (Argyles) lost on time failing to make the 30th move and losing on the 29th move. So, the match stood at 2-1 while the last game ground on late into the night (early into the morning). Andrew Rea (Argyles) was in a tough endgame vs Raymond Duchesne (Ashburn) and had 4 pawns+kngiht vs 4 pawns+bishop. Rea (current VCF President) played an incredible ending finding hidden moves and eventually secured the win. This left the match finished at 2-2 and based on having the tiebreak advantage the Argyles won the summer championship. "Congrats!" to our Argyles!!

September 23, 2012

ACC Saturday Action-Plus

ACC was overrun with 1800 and 1900 players this past week-end in the Open section as nearly 30 competitors played in the two sections of the ACC Saturday tournament this month. In the Open section, 2400+ player, Elmir Huseynov, ran away with the first place $240 prize, even though he was nicked for a couple of draws on the way to his pay day. Mahbub Shalalam won clear second ($120) while 4 players tied for 3rd place. Enough players turned out that prizes were awarded for the U1800 section where Maggie Luo and Daniel Gong tied for first place followed by another 4-way tie for 3rd place. Maggie picked up nearly 100 rating points while Gang and Andrew Chen also snagged huge ratings gains as well (about 80 and 125 respectively)!

September 20, 2012

ACC Chess Lessons - U1400 Players

ACC and the Snow Chess Academy are teaming up to offer small-class lessons for intermediate level players. Beginning Friday October 12, a total of 8 lessons will be offered every Friday (EXCEPT October 19 and November 23). Lessons will start promptly at 7:15 and finish at 8:00pm, allowing players time to participate in the ACC Friday Ladder and other Friday events as available. Lesson topics will cover Openings (two classes), Strategy & Planning, Middle-game decisions, Positional Play, Endgames and others. Classes will have a minimum of 5 students and a maximum of 12 students. The 8 lessons will cost $120 (just $15 a lesson!!). Classes will be taught by Peter Snow (USCF 1850 rating), CEO of Snow’s Chess Academy, a full-time, professional chess teacher with 13 years of teaching experience and 37 years of USCF tournament experience.For a Flyer Go Here. To Pre-Register Go Here.

September 19, 2012

Auction – 1970 Fischer Notations

Cool notice available through ChessVibes … A number of rare handwritten annotations by Bobby Fischer from the historic 1970 Herceg Novi Blitz tournament currently auctioned at PFC Auction ... more.

September 14, 2012

ACC FIDE Blitz

Whoa! The big guns came out for the Mike Atkins’ second installment of the ACC FIDE blitz. We had 15 players show up ready for battle – all but 4 were rated over 1950 – and two of the others were 1800s! Fireworks abounded!! IM Elmir Guseinov won clear first 9/10. His closest competition were Adam Weissbarth (7/10) followed by GM Larry Kaufman, Andy Samuelson and William Marcellino who were all at 6.5/10. Though this will likely be the last FIDE event Mike runs at ACC (he’s moving back home to retire in Baltimore), ACC plans to regularly run Blitz events in the near future. We’ll start with 6-8 events a year and see how it develops from there – stay tuned!!

September 4, 2012

VA Closed

This is a great tournament. Run by an experienced TD who provides play in two sections (Open and U1800) for 6 rounds over 3 days. Plus a Blitz tournament the night before and the Virginia Chess Federation's business meeting the morning of the opening round. Todd Hammer provided another great offering of new and used books plus a decent amount of equipment. The hotel facilities are great including a small but comfortable lounge area and breakfast buffet with table service in the lobby (not free). Out the back of the lobby and tournament areas is a nice manicured garden area with a nice sized pond - great for hanging out between and after rounds and opens into the small strip mall (eateries) that are next to the hotel. This year, FM James Schuyler repeated as VA State Open Champion. Local chess player Justin Burgess tied for 1st place. Gerard Wasserbauer won the State Amateur Champion title. Local player William Stoots missed out on the Amateur title for the second year in a row, and on tie breaks to boot. Many members of the Arlington Chess Club made the trip south to suburban Richmond- and some fared well! FM Steve Greanias, Geoff McKenna and Andy Samuelson all scored 4.0/6.0 in the Open Section. was in a 4-way tie for 3rd. Todd Hammer had another great showing at the VA Closed tying at 4.5/6.0 with four others. Rob Lazorchak was close behind with 4.0/6.0.

September 1, 2012

ACC August Wrap-Up

The club bought a bunch of new tables recently and members are raving about how nice it is not to have the tables crumbling underneath them during their games! This month, the monthly ladder tournament was hard fought with thte winners just managing 50% scores; it ended in a 3-way tie after 5 weeks – Karl Peterson, Dennis Franco, and Gary Taylor tied 2.5/5.0 This month’s 3-round Friday Action was lightly attended and won by John C. Meyer 3/3. There was a 3-way tie for 2nd by D. Franco, C. Wiseman and S. Kotelnikov. This month was VERY busy with other regional tournaments on the week-ends so there was no Saturday event at ACC (besides, the church BOOKED the space for the one week-end out of the five that was a possibility).

August 27, 2012

Report - 2012 World Chess Olympiad

The opening ceremony of the World Chess Olympiad took place today at the WOW Convention center in Istanbul, Turkey. Representatives from 158 national chess federations are participating which is a new record in the Olympiad history. The national teams will face each other in 11 rounds over nearly two weeks starting on Tuesday August 28th and finishing the final game on September 9th, including two break days. The time control will be 40 moves in 90 minutes, sudden death in 30 minutes with a 30 increment (time added for each move, not per the usual 5 second delay in US tournaments).

As the host of the Olympiad, Turkey gets to sponsor three teams in each category. The US Men’s Team is ranked 6th behind, Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Hungary and includes Nakamura, Kamsky, Onishuk, Akobian and Robson. The US Women’s team is ranked 5th and includes Zatonskih, Krush, Foisor, Goletani, and Ambrahamyan.

Notably, ACC has one participant this year – our own Oladapu Adu is competing as first board for the Nigeria team. “Best Wishes” from ACC to Adu!!

In the Round 1, the US Men will play the Jordanian team, the US Women will play New Zealand and Adu’s Nigerian team faces South Africa. The Olympiad website can be found (here). Chessdom articles can be found (here).

August 26, 2012

Atlantic Open

This past week-end August 24-26, the 44th annual Atlantic Open held every year in downtown Washington, DC at the Westin hotel on “M” near 15th Street. A good venue for large tournaments and run by Steve Immitt and the Continental Chess Association which will be back at the Hyatt in Crystal City, VA sponsoring the Continental Class Championships in early October. Attendance was WAY up from last year with 314 players (over 60 additional players) competing in 6 sections. The Open section was won outright (4.5) by young David Hua. Notable performances by ACC players included GM Larry Kaufman (4.0) in the Open section as well as Saad Al-Hariri, Charles Musselman and Akshaj Kadaveru (all 3.5) in the U1900 section and Robert Aguirre (3.0) in the U1500 section.

August 20, 2012

*NEW* FIDE Blitz Tournament

The ACC continues its new Blitz Tournament series (to be held as often as we can). The first will be one of the new FIDE-rated Blitz events. FIDE started rating Blitz and Rapid tournaments in 2012. The first rating supplement comes out in July. You can secure your own FIDE Blitz rating by playing in ACC's first FIDE Rated Blitz tournament on July 13th at the low cost of $10 (registration is from 7:00-8:30pm.). The fee is low because FIDE charges no rating fees this year, so only USCF rating fees will apply. Time control will be G/4, i2 (1 second increment). USCF Blitz rules will apply, except in a few cases where FIDE rules differ and then we'll use the FIDE rules to make it official.

For example FIDE rules that differ from USCF Blitz rules go here. For a link to the flyer: go here. More information about FIDE's system can be found in a FIDE article: here.

August 19, 2012

Svetozar Gligoric Dies at 89

Considered one of the greatest players of the 20th century but who never won the world championship, Svetozar Gligoric died at the age of 89 in Belgrade, Serbia, on August 14, 2012. Gligoric was one of the most successful players in the 1950s and ’60s, winning dozens of tournaments. He played for Yugoslavia in the biennial Chess Olympiad 15 times, leading the team to the gold medal in 1950, ahead of the powerful Soviets. He was among the finalists to challenge the world champion three times, but never secured that opportunity. Among the champions he beat — all at least twice — were Euwe, Tal, Fischer, Botvinnik, Smyslov and Petrosian. Mr. Gligoric favored ambitious but risky openings. He pioneered and championed systems of moves — some of which are named for him — in many popular openings. His autobiography was published in 2002 – “I Play Against Pieces.” The full official article can be found on the New York Times website – here.

August 14, 2012

Poll - ACC Chess Lessons

The Arlington Chess Club is developing a new feature in order to help its lower rated players improve their competitiveness through small group lessons. As part of this new option, ACC is asking prospective students to weigh-in with their preferences by responding to the attached poll (see link below). Our chess instructor will be Peter Snow of the Snow Chess Academy. Peter is a long-time VA resident, ACC member and member of Morphy’s Mojos of the DC Chess League. He has been teaching chess for nearly 15 years and now employs several other teachers providing private and semi-private lessons, camps, clinics as well as sponsoring scholastic clubs and tournaments. ACC appreciates prospective student input to help us shape our curriculum and administrative functions. With you input, ACC plans on starting lessons in the next few weeks. Thank you! (Take Poll).

August 13, 2012

Report – USCF Board of Delegates Meeting

On August 11-12 in Vancouver, Washington, the USCF Board of Delegates (Delegates and Executive Board) met to consider various agenda items. Held in conjunction with the 2012 US Open, the annual meeting allows for the consideration of rules and organizational changes suggested by various USCF authorities. Notable items include the following:

#12-22 (A and B) (Michael Atkins, VA). USCF will create a separate USCF Blitz Rating System now that FIDE has their system in operation since the beginning of July. The Blitz rating is to be separate from Quick and will cover time controls between 5 and 10 minutes (inclusive of delay – so that G3, d/2 qualifies for the 5 minute threshold). Quick ratings will now start with 11 minute time controls. The new USCF Blitz System is expected to be up and running in early 2013.

#12-35 (Rules Committee). In order to help TDs mitigate instances of cheating and other distracting behavior, score sheets shall now be required to be visible to the TD and opponents throughout the game. The following was included by way of partial explanation: “There was a recent incident [in which] a player was caught cheating by pretending to use an electronic score sheet, but [was] using “Pocket Fritz” instead.”

August 12, 2012

USCF to Streamline Ratings Supplement Process

Likely to happen by November, ratings will no longer appear on Chess Life mailing labels. Printing labels with this information affected the accuracy of the monthly supplements. Previously, rating supplements were generated on the first Friday of every month. This meant that when player’s ratings were updated at the beginning of a given month, they used a player’s rating from the beginning of the previous month. Now, by halting the printing of this info on the labels, ratings will be compiled on the third Friday of every month (using two more weeks of results) and, as such, when ratings are updated at the beginning of a month, they will be accurate to within a couple of weeks of the update.

August 6, 2012

Potomac Open

Another outstanding tournament was held this past week-end by STD Mike Regan at his regular tournament site, the Rockville Hilton. The event was the last of five events Regan held over a ten-day period, including the Washington International (primarily for GMs and Masters) and the Platanov Memorial (6 GM round robin event) – see separate news item. Over 160 players entered this event featuring Mike’s new time control (using “increment” instead of “delay”) and prizes based on a player’s tournament point result (no splitting of prizes – if multiple players earned perfect scores, they each received the full top prize!). Another recent feature of Regan’s events is web broadcasting of the games on the top boards in the Open section – a great service for those who cannot devote a whole week-end to playing the game of kings. The Open/Champion section was won by jointly by GM Mikheil Kekelidze and Justin Sarkar and there were four other lower sections. ACC members with impressive results were Larry Kaufman and Andrew Samuelson with 3.5/5.0 in the Open section and Valentino Burke with 3.5/5.0 in the U1900 section.

July 30, 2012

Washington International - etc.

This was a great week-end for chess in the VA/MD/DC metropolitan area. “Thanks” to Mike Regan and all of the others from the Maryland Chess Association who sponsored and organized the events. First, there was the Washington International which is still underway – featuring 9 rounds over 5 days. Some 55 top-level players entered – mostly GMs, IMs, FMs, non-titled masters as well as a few experts, including Gata Kamsky, Alexander Onischuk, Alexander Shabalov, Mikheil Kekelidze, Josh Friedel, Dean Ippolito, Joel Benjamin and many others. ACC members in the competition included GM Larry Kaufman, Oladapu Adu, Kevin Wang and Stan Fink.

The first two rounds witnessed a large number of upsets. The highest rated to lose was GM Sergi Azarov from Belarus. He lost to local untitled player Jared Defibaugh from Maryland. GM Joel Benjamin was drawn by WIM Iryna Zenyuk. Also, Alex Barnett nicked GM Timur Gelashvili for a draw and Ben Krause beat IM Dean Ippolito. You really missed out on some great chess if you have not stopped by to watch everyone battle. FM Allan Savage was providing some great commentary during most of the rounds. All the games from this tournament were also broadcasted live. The tournament will award $17,000 in guaranteed prizes and runs over 5 days until August 1st at the Hilton in Rockville, MD.

In addition, there were opening and closing ceremonies and a Blitz tournament to open the series of events (which also includes US Cadet Championship and the upcoming Potomac Open this week-end) over a 1-2 week period. The Blitz was won jointly by GM Gata Kamsky and GM Tamaz Gelashvili. To commemorate the events, the US Postal Service provided a temporary postal station at the hotel on the first (and last day) during which they hand-canceled mail with an official chess postmark commemorating the tournament – a great option for mailing or collecting as a souvenir!

Running concurrently with the Washington International is the Platonov Memorial Tournament. This is a six-player round robin tournament (5 rounds over 5 days) dedicated to the memory of GM Igor Platonov. The players attending this tournament are GMs Lev Alburt (USA), Boris Gulko (USA), Gregory Kaidanov (USA), Sam Palatnik (USA), Mikhail Gurevich (Turkey), and Adrian Mihalcisin (Slovenia) (sometimes spelled Mikhalchishin in the USA). The tournament will coincide with the release of the new book, Platonov's Academy, by Lev Alburt and Sam Palatnik, which was being sold during the event. The book reviews the great Odessa instructor’s teaching style and methods.

July 29, 2012

Platanov Memorial

In addition to the Washington International, the associated Blitz, the US Cadet Championship and the upcoming Potomac Open, there was the Platonov Memorial Tournament this week-end. This is a six-player round robin tournament (5 rounds over 5 days) dedicated to the memory of GM Igor Platonov (who was evidently murdered some years back!). The players attending this tournament are GMs Lev Alburt (USA), Boris Gulko (USA), Gregory Kaidanov (USA), Sam Palatnik (USA), Mikhail Gurevich (Turkey), and Adrian Mihalcisin (Slovenia) (sometimes spelled Mikhalchishin in the USA). The tournament will coincide with the release of the new book, Platonov's Academy, by Lev Alburt and Sam Palatnik, which was being sold during the event. The book reviews the great Odessa instructor’s teaching style and methods. These old GMs can still surprise one another as evidenced by the following excerpt from the 2nd round game between Lev Alburt (White) and Boris Gulko (Black). Black to move and he wins. Can you guess Black's next two moves?

1. ... Ng4, 2. h3, Nf2!, 3. Kf2, Bf6, 4. Bf3, Rb2+, 5. Be2, Bd4+, 6. Ke1, Qe5, 6. White resigns. Interestingly, in their post game analysis, the two GMs did not even bother to review this portion of the game - they focused on the opening and early middle game - can you say " 'nough said!" ???

June 29, 2012

ACC July Wrap-Up

This month's Ladder tournament was won jointly by Ghezai Menelik and newcomer Dennis Franco! "Congrats" to both gentlemen! Both finished 1.5 games ahead of the rest of the field with 3.5/4.0. The Friday Action saw some fierce play from Andrew Samuelson and Andrew Tichenor who scored tied in the last ound but otherwise ploughed throught the competition 2.5/3.0. This month was a busy month for chess so there was no Saturday Action. NOTE: this Saturday tournament will be changing slightly in future incarnations - it will now be a G/45 and the top 3 prizes will be guaranteed - $240-120-90 (for the first few events) and we will add a second section if enough players enter as well as 3 prizes for that section ($180-90-60).

July 22, 2012

ACC Has *New* Tables!

ACC picked up new but used tables this week-end. Our old tables were crumbling or partially broken and we finally replaced them with tables from the US Chess Center. We picked up over 20 sturdy 6 foot tables during the Center's recent fire-sale. There are still a few somewhat battered 8-foots left over. As everyone should no know, the US Chess Center is moving at the end of July. The new location will be 418 8th Street, NW in the Penn Quarter of Washington, DC. The Center will be housed in a charter school that has been under reconstruction in recent months.

July 16, 2012

Charlottesville Open

The Charlottesville Open was held the week-end of July 14th and saw 82 players compete in two sections (Open and U1700). Yuri Barnakov (4.5/5) won the Open Section and Caijun Luo won the U1700 (5/5). As with last year, due to higher than expected turn-out the prize fund was increased by over $750!! 4 House of Staunton wooden chess sets were donated by a VCF member and awarded to the top upset and 1st place winner in each section. ACC members performing well included Oladapu Adu (4/5 - and back from Olympiad action in Nigeria!) in the Open. All other ACC members were either at 2.5/5 or lower.

June 30, 2012

Fairfax Open

Everyone has been talking about how great had been the first two installments of this event. And this was turning out to be another great event ... Except ... That ... It ... NEVER ... Happened! The storms in the DC area that knocked out power lines and drinking water also knocked out the tournament hotel as well (and every other venue in the immediate area). Boo! Hiss! Boo! A good time was NOT had by all - particularly TD Brennan Price who was forced to refund everyone's entry fees. Brennan said the event "MAY" get re-scheduled for later in the year, but he was not giving any guarantees. Stay tuned.

June 29, 2012

ACC June Wrap-Up

The monthly ladder tournament was 5 weeks long this month and though he did not play in the final round, this month's Ladder tournament was won by Michael Corallo (3/5) for the second time this year! "Congrats Michael!" David Slack, Mike Kobily and Andrew Gripp were a close second (each with a score of 2.5/5.0). Aaron Kahn, Andrew Samuelson, and Trung Nguyen tied with 2/3 to split the prize money. The 5-round Saturday Action saw Andrew Samuelson beat all comers to win the top prize (5/5). Pete Kurucz and Camden Wiseman tied for second (4/5). Jim Berrigan visiting for the second time this year had another great performance picking up over 60 rating points! Both Yuyang Wang and Isaac Karachunsky also had excellant tournaments battling from the bottom of the rankings yet picking up about 70 and 80 points respectively! NOTE: this Saturday tournament will be changing slightly in future incarnations - it will now be a G/45 and the top 3 prizes will be guaranteed - $240-120-90 (for the first few events) and we will add a second section if enough players enter as well as 3 prizes for that section ($180-90-60).

June 12, 2012

*NEW* FIDE Blitz Tournament

The ACC is starting a new FIDE Blitz Tournament event. FIDE started rating Blitz and Rapid tournaments in 2012. The first rating supplement comes out in July. You can secure your own FIDE Blitz by playing in ACC's first FIDE Rated Blitz tournament on July 13th at the low cost of $10 (registration is from 7:00-8:30pm.). The fee is low because FIDE charges no rating fees this year, so only USCF rating fees will apply. Time control will be G/5, d1 (or i1 ... 1 second increment). USCF Blitz rules will apply, except in a few cases where FIDE rules differ and then we'll use the FIDE rules to make it official. Sample Rules Include: (1) The flag has “fallen” when a player makes a valid claim to that effect. Arbiters refrain from signaling flag falls unless both flags have fallen. To claim a win on time, the claimant must stop both clocks and notify the arbiter. For the claim to be successful the claimant’s flag must remain up and his opponent’s flag down after the clocks have been stopped. If both flags have fallen, the arbiter shall declare the game drawn. (2) Before play begins, both players should inspect the position of the pieces and the setting of the clock, since once each side has completed 3 moves (FIDE RULE) the position on the board and the time on the clock remain as set. (3) In case of reverse king and queen placement, castling with this king is not allowed. (4) An illegal move is completed once the opponent’s clock has been started. The opponent is entitled to claim a win before he has made his own move. However, if the opponent cannot checkmate the player’s king by any possible series of legal moves, then the claimant is entitled to claim a draw before he has made his own move. Once the opponent has made his own move, an illegal move cannot be corrected unless mutually agreed without intervention of an arbiter.

For a link to the flyer: go here. More information about FIDE's system can be found in a FIDE article: here.

June 11, 2012

VA Senior Open 2012

This year the VA Senior Open for 2012 saw 33 players battle through 4 rounds to see the 2012 winner channel his inner “iceman” to beat back all challengers and walk away with the title in clear first (4.0/4). 2012 champ, Geoff McKenna, faced Neal Goldberg in the final round after last year’s winner, William Marcelino, got nicked for a draw by Keith Carson. Keith won Top Player Age 60-69 for the second year in a row (3.0). In their game, McKenna and Goldberg squared off in the middle game with their heavy pieces protecting and attacking different weak pawns in each other’s camp until McKenna was able to activate his lone knight before Goldberg could do the same with his and it eventually lead to a win. Hopefully this game will be in the VA Chess Federation newsletter soon. Marcelino won clear second (3.5/4.0) and four players tied for 3rd and the U200 prize (3.0). The U1700 prize was won jointly (2.5) by Michael Hirsch and Noel Lacsamana – Hirsch (a 1650) lost his final round game on board 2 to Marcelino. The U1400 prize was won by Patty Meade (1300) who played lights out and beat a 1800 and drew another. The remaining prize was won by Seymour Samet who won the Top Player Age 70+ prize. Both Hirsch and Meade picked up nearly 100 rating points.

June 5, 2012

*NEW* Scholastic Ladder

The ACC is starting a new Scholastic Ladder to be run on Fridays solely for the benefit of area youth. The Scholastic ladder provides area youth a regular time and place to play two USCF rated games (G/30, d/5) every Friday against other youth players with a similar rating. The ladder operates like a tennis ladder – members are listed by rating (or age if they don’t have a rating yet) and they sign-in any Friday they show up. Players face the same opponent twice each Friday, once as White, once as Black. There is no waiting for the second round to be paired. Players start their second game as soon as the first is finished. Results are submitted at the end of every month. Players MUST be USCF members because the games are submitted to the USCF for rating. ACC can register new USCF members on site. Parents / players must arrive by 7:00pm their first night to allow time for new member registration. Games start at 7:30pm sharp! ACC opens every Friday at 7:00pm. The Scholastic Ladder will be held at the regular ACC club meeting space (the Arlington Forest United Methodist Church, 4701 Arlington Boulevard) on Friday evenings. Parents Note: there will also be Adults playing chess on Fridays but they will be in events separate from the kids. Adults will be playing in the Main Ladder or a 3-round Action Tournament (held 1/month) or in DC Chess League games (held every 3-4 weeks). Location: Arlington Forest United Methodist Church located at 4701 Arlington Blvd. This is at the intersection with N. Henderson Road. Enter through basement door off N. Henderson Road. See Pre-Registration page for more details.

May 30, 2012

ACC May Wrap-Up

The monthly ladder tournament was won by Gary Rinehart for his last time before moving to Baltimore for the near-term - "Bon Voyage" Gary! And best of luck! Gary won clear first on the ladder followed by Aditya Srikanth and relatively new member Andrew Gripp, both a half point behind for the month. The monthly 3-round Friday Action was won convincingly by Andrew Samuelson. Daniel Wiessbarth (lost to Andy in the final round), Bora Yagiz, Ghezai Menelik and Valentino Burke all tied for second with 2.0 scores. The 5-round Saturday Action saw David McNeil streak to a clear first (4.5/5) while Abraham White (4.0) won clear second and Andrew Mao (3.5) won clear clear 3rd. Finally, the monthly ACC Scholastic had another poor tournout and the club has decided to suspend these events in the near-term. The May event was won by newcomer, Sam Schenk, with a 4.0/4 tournament record! Danny Pham won clear second and Andrew Song clear third! The club has decided to replace this Saturday tournament with a new Friday Scholastic Ladder - see related article.

May 6, 2012

ACC Apr. Wrap-Up

Wow! Another Battle-Royale was had in an ACC event as 18 mostly Experts and A-players battled each other for 5 rounds until John C. Meyer roared from behind to win first place outright (4/5). Notable performances were put in by Jason Carr and James Berrigan who each picked up a ton of points (about 80 and 100 respectively) – goes to show what can be earned in these events. The ACC Friday Action was also stocked with Experts and A-players battling it out for bragging rights. David McNeil topped all others including Vinay Doma in the last round for sole first place! Everyone else traded losses along the way. ACC’s weekly Ladder was won outright by Mike Kobily (3.0) who entered the final week tied with 5 other members who all either lost or drew their final games. Jerome Lindsay came in second (2.5). Finally, the monthly ACC Scholastic K-12 section was won outright by the little-man Jay Lalwani (4/4)!! And Bennet Jackins also recorded a perfect record (4/4) to take the K-6 section!! The tournament was notable for the all of the new players from the Manassas area – most playing in their first event.

April 30, 2012

MD Open

As with many recent big tournaments sponsored by the Maryland Chess Association, the Maryland Open returned to the Rockville Hilton this year. The event is noted for many refinements offered by NTD and organizer Mike Regan including providing boards and sets for all players and clocks for the top section. In addition, Mike uses a 30-second increment instead of the standard 5-second delay to avoid some of the clock- pounding time scrambles often seen in tournament chess. This author can personally attest to the usefulness of this time control as my second round U2000 opponent and I took full advantage of it in our game. Mike also provides continental breakfast to all players on Sunday morning, "gratis" - a nice feature as the first round that day starts at 9am. Though this year, Rockville had some town marathon running down Rockville Pike and it caused severe delays for some tournament commuters as they ran down the center of Rockville Pike for miles, and miles - only easily circumventable to those who know Rockville well. Regan also added a fourth section this year making it "Open, Under 2000, Under 1600, and Under 1200" as well as increasing the prize fund to a total of $7250. This year, he also broadcasted the top two games live both in the skittles room and at mdchess.com. Todd Hammer provided a wonderful selection of books and equipment to peruse in between rounds. As for ACC member performances, GM Larry Kaufman won the MD Open on tie-breaks with a 4/5 score over FM Shelby Getz, Tegshsuren Enkhbat and Jared Defibaugh - though they all technically lost to non-Maryland resident GM Tamaz Gelashvili who won sole first place overall (4.5/5.0). IM Oladapu Adu and Kevin Wang etched 3.5 scores while Andy Samuelson got a 3.0. In the U2000 section, your author scored 3.5 to tie for 5th and split the U1800 prize. For an event that has seen its down times in recent years (when held at local community colleges), this has turned into a great local event! Another "well done" to Mike Regan.

April 17, 2012

Kingstowne Chessfest

The Kingstowne Chessfest (which is held near Springfield, VA) was host to nearly 60 players in 4 sections. This was the 10th straight year that Senior TD Don Millican has run this event for the Kingstowne Chess Club. This is a good two-day event with plenty of prizes in various sections (Open prizes are guaranteed) but it has become sparsely attended in recent years for some reason. Amongst ACC club players in attendance, Oladapu Adu topped Yuri Barnakov in Round 3 and drew Tegshsuren Enkhbat in the final round to win the Open section. Adam Chrisney in the Amateur section (U1800) lost in the final round yielding that title to Caijun Luo after failing the follow-through on a h7 sack. And Revanth Vejju won clear second in the Booster section (U1600). ACC's best effort was recorded by Evan Tait who ran the board with 6 wins to outright win the Novice section (U1200) gaining a total of 300 rating points!! Congrats Evan!!

April 2, 2012

ACC Mar. Wrap-Up

We had another respectable showing for ACC’s second-only Scholastic tournament. Just over 20 players attended spread out in two sections. Eric Passmore and Cliff Lin lead the K-12 section with scores of 3/4 with Seva Zhuravskiy and Andrew Mao scoring 2.5/4 to nab ACC performance medals. The K-6 Section saw Isaac Karachunsky sweep his opponents to a perfect 4-0 score followed by Yevgeny Dodzin, Kevin Le and Sundeep Ruprai all scoring 3/4. Five more kids secured ACC performance medals by winning at least half of their games in this section! ACC’s Friday Action saw more tumultuous play as Andrew Tichenor ran the board to win clear first 3-0 followed by Andrew Samuelson and Vinay Doma who tied in their last round game to follow Tichenor at 2.5/3. Notable performances were put in by Valentino Burke and Paul Psarakis to help each gain over 50 ratings points and break the 1800 level and become “A” players! The 5-round Saturday Action saw its usual fierce action as all the top players traded losses. The event was split by Andrew Samuelson and Andrew Tichenor each with scores of 4/5 followed by tough young Andrew Zheng who had a 3.5/5 record and was kept out of the tie for first place by drawing “yours truly” in the final round. Meanwhile, the weekly Friday Ladder prize was split by Michael Corallo and newcomer Stephen Schlager who each won 4 games to tie for first place. We’re going to have to give Stephen some stronger challenges. They were followed by the ever-improving Rahil Shah – as noted before, watch out for this little guy in near-term tournaments!

March 17, 2012

VA Open

The Virginia Open for 2012 was held at the Double Tree Hotel – Dulles Airport which has quickly become a favorite venue for chess tournaments in Virginia. The event featured 155 players in two sections. One plus about being held in this section of the DC metro area is that it draws in more players from the Route 7 corridor who might not attend events held over along 1-95. Local book-seller Todd Hammer has added some hardware to his usual wares and provided a great offering of books, DVDs, chess sets and clocks for everyone’s perusal. Tegshsuren Enkhbat won the Open section and Clark Smiley secured the Amateur section, both with 5-0 scores. ACC members again represented the club well including Andrew Samuelson who joined Larry Kaufman, Macon Shibut and local phenom Jeevan Karamsetty in a tie for second place at 4-1. Andrew Rea secured a 3.5 score. In the Amateur, Adam Chrisney secured 4-1 while James Williams was one of sixteen players with a 3.5 score.

February 28, 2012

ACC Feb. Wrap-Up

Can you say "Whoa!" From record turnout to ... "poof" ... almost crickets! After by far our largest turnout in over two years to a record low ... 6 players turned up for the February Friday Action. Bummer. But we still had 50% of our players over 2000. Majur Juac beat all comers by knocking off both Andrew Samuelson and Michael Carollo, who both split the second place prize. The ACC Ladder saw Rahil Shah continue his domination from last month with a sole, first place finish. And he continued that rapid growth of his rating - watch out for this little guy in near-term tournaments, like the VA Open, chess fans! That was it for ACC events this month. Too many other large events this month so there was no Scholastic nor a Saturday Action, both return in March (on the 17th and 24th, respectively)!

February 17, 2012

U.S. Amateur Team - East

The New Jersey State Chess Federation has sponsored the U.S. Amateur Team – East chess tournament in recent years and really continues to do a great job. The tournament features teams of four players playing other teams in 6 rounds of chess over 3 days in Parsippany, New Jersey. Even though this is an “Amateur” team competition, at least eight GMs—Art Bisguier, Alex Fishbein, Robert Hess, Sergey Kudrin, Gennady Sagalchik, Magesh Chandran Panchanathan, Leonid Yudasin, Joel Benjamin—and IM/WGM Irina Krush were among the competitors. But, 2200 is the magic number, as it is the average rating by which the four highest rated team members cannot exceed. This year saw a record turnout of 279 teams comprising 1,186 players (many teams use alternates). Strikingly, this turnout had nothing to do with cash prizes. This event is notable for the fun, camaraderie and even zaniness the team atmosphere brings to the event – one that is rarely seen at the usual competitive week-end events we all attend. Also, win or lose, results affect the other team members greatly, so a high-level of chess is usually seen throughout the tournament. There’s also a big bughouse event on the second night. Prizes for the tournament are trophies and chess clocks given to the top-three teams as well as top sectionals (U2100, U200, etc.), best state, military, college, junior, and senior teams as well as upset prizes and the best individual performers on each board, amongst other prizes. One other fun concept is that at the beginning of each round, organizer Steve Doyle hands out book and clock prizes simply for being the first to run up to him with A Virginia library card or a one dollar bill printed before a certain date or for wearing a certain team jersey. Another added feature is the fierce competition for Best Team Name and Best Gimmick which is voted upon by the participants. Usually there is a “theme” for the year for the naming of teams but more frequently the most popular names are those referring to pop culture, puns, political, etc. This year’s theme was Fischer v. Spassky since it was the 40th anniversary. Examples include: Forking with Tebow’s Knight; What Ragozin Around; We Occupy the 7th Rank; and, Obama: No Change Variation. Best Team Name this year went to: Team Romney: We Play Both Sides of the Board. Best Gimmick went to the t-shirted uniforms of: Occupy D4. This year’s Top Virginia team performance went to Release the Kracken (5.0).

January 27, 2012

ACC Jan. Wrap-Up

RECORD NUMBERS !! The January Friday Action grew by 50% as we saw 22 players enter the event! Happy, Happy! Joy, Joy !! (That's for any of you old Ren & Stimpy cartoon fans out there). We had 3 perfect scores as Kevin Wang, Andrew Samuelson and Majur Juac sliced through the competition with 3-0 records. On the ACC Ladder, A.R. Chrisney, Andrew Mao and Rahil Shah dominated with 3-0 scores. "Congrats" to both Andrew and Rahil who are beating all of their opponents and quickly raising their ratings! This month the new scholastic tournament had to be cancelled so no "news" on that front however this month's Saturday Action was held the morning after a very icy/stormy evening but we still had 14 intrepid players make it out (frankly, the roads were nearly perfect so "Boo!" on all of you who skipped the event). Oladapu Adu and Kevin Wang were each nicked along the way but held true to the end to record tie scores of 4-1 out of 5 games. As a matter of fact, all of the top boards were nicking each other with wins and draws so the outcome wasn't clear until the very last games were played. Thanks to all of you Masters and Experts for such a fine display of fighting chess!!

January 9, 2012

Chesapeake Open

Held in Rockville, MD, this event is located in the spacious Rockville Hilton which has quickly become one of the go-to facilities for TD Mike Regan. This event is unique for a couple of features - one being that the prizes are based on a player's tournament score (i.e., prizes are NOT subject to being divided in case of ties), if you earned 3.5 to 5.0 tournament points, you earned a prize outright. The other nice feature are all of the amenities that Regan provided gratis - such as providing all boards and sets as well as clocks for the top sections. In addition, a continental breakfast was provided to all players on the last morning. The final cool feature was that Regan (as noted in a recent Chess Life article) actually will TEXT players their pairings if they provide a cell phone number so that you don;t have to scrum for your table and pairing at the beginning of each round! Nice little tournament feature! As far as results ACC members did well as, in the Open section, Kevin Wang took clear second with 4.0/5.0 and Oladapu Adu tied for 3rd with 3.5. Rob Lazorchak tied for first in the U1800 section. Each of these players received their full prize even if they tied for a given place in their individual sections. This meant that a lot last round games had players fighting to the bitter end to secure a prize. Not all, like this author, were successful (I blundered a mate-in-two - OUCH!).

December 30, 2011

Eastern Open

The Eastern Open is held at the Westin Hotel just off 14th street’s Thomas Circle in Washington, D.C. at the end of every year between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. This year GM Gregory Kaidanov and GM Alexander Ivanov ruled the roost at the 39th Eastern Open. Kaidenov beat Ivanov and others to take the main prize while Ivanov swept through the blitz and the warm-up tournament. See the USCF website for Kaidanov’s take on his 5th round win over Ivanov.

In recent years, the new organizer (Tom Beckman) has changed and added to the original format so that while there are fewer sections than a few years ago (having dropped the lowest U1300 section), the tournament also features additional special prizes including for the four largest upsets in each round, for the best played game, best “brilliancy” and best opening innovation.

ACC-ers who accomplished significant performances included yours truly earning 3.0/4.0 tied for 4th (and just out of the money) in the U1800 section of the Warm-Up tournament and also in a 4-way tie for 3rd in the Blitz (where he also picked up $50 and over 130 ratings points). In the main tournament, Sa’ad Al’Hariri finished in a 7-way tie for 3rd place in the U1900 section. That was it – where were all the ACC players? I don’t know, but they missed a good tournament.

December 24, 2011

ACC Dec. Wrap-Up

In the December Friday Action, 14 players entered the event. Kevin Wang sliced through the competition with a 3-0 win by knocking off Joe Chen and Dino Obregon before polishing off Srdjan Darmanovic. This set up a four way tie for second amongst Darmanovic, Obregon, Majur Juac, and a surgent Karl Peterson. The event was notable for the actions of one high-level player who BAILED in the face of stiff competition rather than rise to meet the cchallenge! What's THAT all about ?! On the ACC Ladder, Gary rinehart charged from behind to secure 1st place all alone for the month at 2.5/4.0 for his SECOND outright ladder win of the year! Go to the "tournament" page to see the results for each month of the year. And the end of the year saw Rene Stolbach (19.5) capture the yearly Ladder contest followed by Aguirre (18.0), Rinehart (17.0), Menelik (15.5), Slack (15.5), Ehle (14.5), Hashim (14.0), Chrisney (12.5), Wilson (12.0), Muehl (11.5), Saunders (11.0), and Kousen (10.0).

December 23, 2011

ACC Holiday Party

Ladder games! An Action event! Puzzles, food, sodas, and chess! Over 30 club members showed up to have fun celebrating the holidays playing chess. A good time was had by all! Where were you? ACC's Ladder runs every Friday nearly every week of the year. Every month is run like a tournament with the player with the best record winning a $50 prize. To close out the year, Gary Rinehart came from behind to win the month with a score of 2.5/4.0. - his second monthly win of the year! We also had 14 players enter the Action event allowing us to award 3 top prizes plus an U1800 prize (see related article for results). Also, a few photos were added to the club photo section. It was a great end to the year!

December 17, 2011

ACC / ODC Scholastic #1 (A.R. Chrisney)

ACC and the Old Dominion Chess sponsored their first SCHOLASTIC event on Saturday December 17th and the club surpassed expectations by securing nearly 30 entries for its first-ever event divided into three sections! A number of parents commented on how great the location, time and set up were for the kids. Trophies were awarded to the top 3 players in each section and performance medals were awarded to everyone else who won at least half of their games.

The attached photo shows the winners of the top section and you can check the club photos page for pictures of all players winning trophies or medals in each section. The top section (K-12) was won by Camden Wiseman with Alex Song and Helen Tran securing 2nd and 3rd place. The middle section (K-6) was won by Ben Guo followed closely by Adityasai Koneru and Abhishek Allamsetty. The junior section (K-3) was won by Anoop Nallangulagari with Luke Jackins, Anusha Allamsetty and Siddartha Krishnan also winning trophies.

December 10, 2011

ACC Action Championship 2011 (A.R. Chrisney)

After running a bunch of Action events over the last year and a half, ACC sponsored it first Action Championship in many a year. Fifteen players crossed swords over a board of 64 squares to vie for the right to claim superiority over all in our domain. Andrew Samuelson upheld the honor of the club by defeating his top four opponents, including snagging a win from top-rated IM Oladapu Adu who won clear second by following up his lone loss to Andrew with a couple of his own wins. The U1800 prize was split by the Nguyen brothers, Trung and Tan. Eighty percent of the entry fees were returned as part of the prize fund. Next year, ACC will be running the usual Friday night Action tournaments once every month (see the “Tournament” page for dates) as well as continuing ACC’s expansion into week-end events, including 4-5 round Action events, Quads, and new Scholastic events!

November 19, 2011

ACC Nov. Wrap-Up

In the November Friday Action, 14 players entered this event. Majur Juac devastated the competition with a 3-0 win by knocking off John Meyer, Andrew Samuelson and one other. Andrew Tichenor captured clear second (2.5) and Paul Psarakis won the U1800 prize. Given the short month (just 3 Fridays as ACC was closed for Thanksgiving), there was bound to be a tie for ACC’s monthly ladder prize, but it was a little ridiculous when FIVE members tied at 2.0 - Hashim, J.K. Williams, Dvorak, Eclar and T.P. Moore!! And with 1 month to go, the yearly ladder prize standings saw some additional jostling but no big changes ... the likely winner will be one of the top two ... Rene Stolbach (19.0) is still the leader followed closely by Aguirre (18.0). The rest of the leaders are: Menelik (15.5), Rinehart (14.5), Slack (14.0), Ehle (14.0), Hashim (14.0), Muehl (11.5), Saunders (11.0), Chrisney (10.5), Kousen (10.0) and Wilson (10.0).

November 16, 2011

In Memoriam-Michael Thomas (Mike Atkins)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of one of our long-time leaders of the local DC area chess community, Michael Thomas. Michael passed away on Saturday, November 12, after a sudden illness. A memorial service to commemorate Michael will be held on November 19, at 2pm at the Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, located at 440 Powder Mill Road, Beltsville, MD, 20704 (http://www.borgwardtfurneralhome.com/directions.html).

Following the service, guests are welcomed to join Michael's family at the home of John Veasey, Michael's brother-in-law. John's address is 12486 Lime Kiln Road, Fulton, MD, 20759. All are welcomed to celebrate Michael's life.

November 10, 2011

Northern VA Open (Mike Atkins)

110 players (30 less than last year – due to weather?) came to Sterling for the 16th Annual Northern Virginia Open tournament at DoubleTree hotel, which will also be the site of the 2012 Virginia Open next March. The hotel again provided special chess-player meal deal of sandwich, fries and drink for $5.

IM Tegshuren Enkhbat won the 16th Annual Northern Virginia Open with a perfect 5-0 score. GM Larry Kaufman finished clear second with 4.5. After 3 rounds there were 8 players with perfect scores. GM Kaufman was held to a draw by Larry Larkins (whose lifetime record is 1 win and 2 draws against Kaufman), leaving GM Alex Onischuk, IM Enkhbat and 2-time Virginia Champ Andy Samuelson tied with 4-0 scores. Samuelson played Kaufman and lost and then, in a big upset, Enkhbat won on time versus Onischuck. He had been down a pawn for quite some time, but in a Queen and Rook ending found complications that created extra think time and an eventual time forfeit for Onischuk. His instructive ending versus Denis Strenzwilk will appear in the games list.

ACC players that fared well were Samuelson and Steve Armentrout at 4/5. Tanmay Khattar scored 3.5 off 3 wins and a bye. Other notable performances were Stephen Miller and Karl Peterson with 3 pts. The tournament also awarded a number of $25-$50 upset prizes secured by various up-and-coming scholastic players.

November 4, 2011

ACC Represents at the VCF Cup! (Andrew Rea)

*Belated Report* The VCF Cup, a statewide chess series that made its debut this year, has had its final results posted to www.vachess.org , and there is very much an Arlington Chess Club presence prominent in the standings! 3 of the top 7 players are members of the Argyles, namely, Andy Rea (Top Expert), IM Oladapu Adu (3rd overall), and Andy Samuelson ( 7th overall despite playing in only two of the six events!) Add recent Virginia Senior Champion Bill Marcelino to the lineup and we can see the Argyles are tournament tough! Meanwhile Adam Chrisney chased hard to land second ‘B’, and we have other members just on the outside, for example, Karl Peterson- not for lack of trying! The series clearly gained momentum towards the end, a grand finale of 100+ players at the Fairfax Open at the end of July. Congratulations to Larry Larkins on his well deserved victory, but he can expect plenty of competition as he defends his crown!

October 30, 2011

ACC Oct. Wrap-Up

In the September Friday Action, 12 players entered this event. Kevin Wang bowled through the competition to a 3-0 win by knocking off Andrew Samuelson, Andrew Tichenor and one other. There was a four-way tie for second place and the U1800 was a three-way split. ACC’s FIRST EVER Saturday event (or at least in many a year) saw 11 intrepid souls brave the freak snowstorm for a 5-round battle over the board of 64 squares. Andy Samuelson had to beat John Meyer to secure a two-way tie after dropping a game to B-player, Kerry Hubers, in an early round. The U1900 prize (top-heavy entries) was split by Hubers, Paul Psarakis and John Sprague. ACC gives a big “thanks” to Sprague and Dennis Burke for traveling all the way from the Baltimore area in the lousy weather!! In ACC’s monthly ladder prize, Thomas P. Moore lost out by a full point to Gary Rinehart who has continued to win a ton of games since returning to the club and finally captured the monthly prize after months of losing by either a ½ or a full point!! And with 2 months to go, the yearly ladder prize standings saw little change in the last month except that Rinehart is making a late dash … Rene Stolbach (17.5) is still the leader followed closely by Aguirre (17.0). The rest of the leaders are: Menelik (15.5), Rinehart (13.5), Slack (13.0), Ehle (13.0), Hashim (12.0), Saunders (11.0), Chrisney (10.5), Kousen (10.0) and Muehl (10.0).

October 20, 2011

USCF Time Delay Rules Changes

The USCF Board of Delegates passed a number of motions that will be implemented in January of 2012, if not sooner. The most significant of these rules changes as far as TDs and organizers are concerned are probably the ones dealing with allowable time controls. In order for organizers to be able to continue to run tournaments at time-limited venues and have those events dual rated, the new time control rules will take into account both the total time per player and the number of seconds of delay or increment used in order to determine which rating system(s) that event should be rated under. TDs will also be required to report time control information, including the delay or increment setting used, when submitting rating reports.

As before, there must be at least 5 minutes of time on a player's clock at the start of the game in order for the section to be USCF ratable. Also, sections which do not have a sudden death final time control will continue to be regular rated only.

If the total time per player (in minutes) plus the amount of delay or increment (in seconds) is at least 30 and no more than 65, that section will be dual rated. If the total time per player (in minutes) plus the amount of delay or increment (in seconds) is greater than 65, that section will be regular rated only. If the total time per player (in minutes) plus the amount of delay or increment (in seconds) is at least 5 and no more than 29, that section will be quick rated only.

For example, a section which has a time control of Game/25 with 5 seconds of delay or increment will be dual rated, because 25 + 5 is 30. However, a section which has a time control of Game/26 with 3 seconds of delay or increment will be quick rated only, because 26 + 3 is only 29.

If a player does not have a delay-capable clock, then the time on the clock is set to the same amount of time that a delay-capable clock would be set to. In other words, if the event is Game/25 with 5 seconds of delay or increment, an analog clock would be set to 25 minutes, not 30 minutes!

Any deviation from these rules must be included in all pre-tournament publicity for that event, including the TLA. TLAs for 2012 events will need to specify what increment or delay setting they are using in order to make it clear to players exactly what the time control is.

October 18, 2011

VA Closed (Andrew Rea)

*Belated Report* ARLINGTON CHESS CLUB Scores at the VIRGINIA CLOSED! On Labor Day Weekend, the traditional date for the Virginia Closed Championship, many members of the Arlington Chess Club made the trip south to suburban Richmond- and some fared well! In the Open Section, NM Andy Samuelson was in contention for his third title- but ran into a roadblock in Round 3, losing to FM Macon Shibut. Andy S. finished at 4-2, outside of the prize money for the Open Section, unlike Argyle teammate Andy Rea, who also scored a 4-2 mark. Andy R. was eligible for a share of Top Expert prize, compensation for losing to FM Shibut in Rd5, which followed a Rd2 defeat to FM James Schuyler. Tough sledding, as it was Schuyler winning the championship on tiebreak ahead of… Shibut, both at 5-1! James Guill and Peter Snow also played up in the Open Section, and their 3-3 results reflect well on their efforts, as both players were in the second half of the group.

Meanwhile the Reserve Section saw a classic drama in the final round! One player at 5-0, thus no problem with a draw in the last round- except that his opponent is at 4.5-0.5, thus very much playing to win (and as Black)! In truth, William Stoots was playing for more than a draw despite his 5-0 mark. That is the best way to play in that situation, play to win, and settle for draw if the win is not attainable. The pressure was very much on Adam Chrisney, who chose to fight and not accept second! Surely the battle of Chrisney vs. Stoots had some blemishes, but when the smoke cleared, Adam prevailed with a hard earned victory, thus winning the Reserve Section!

Adam’s win also helped Saad Al-Hariri’s cause, as Saad also won five games! Alas there was the solitary loss in Round 4, but just like Adam, Saad finished strong! At least one other member finished with a plus result, Todd Hammer scoring 4-2. Once again, the Arlington Chess Club proves to be a force to be reckoned with!

October 15, 2011

USCF Dues Changes!!

Not sure this really qualifies as “news” because the changes aren’t all that much, but here goes. The USCF Board of Delegates passed a number of motions that will be implemented in January of 2012, if not sooner. Most dues rates were revised slightly ($1-3), ... in the grand scheme of things, no need to rush out and sign up for 3 more years. In addition, the USCF will start offering a three month trial membership soon. Three month trial memberships will be $15 for those over age 24, with three issues of Chess Life, $10 for those under age 25, with three issues of Chess Life, and $8 for those under age 13, with two issues of Chess Life for Kids.

October 11, 2011

Continental Class Championships

Top Prize in the Continental Class Championships (Columbus Day weekend) was split amongst three players including two GMs. Top honors went to GMs Alejandro Ramirez (TX), Sergey Kudrin (CT), and local IM Tegshsuren Enkhbat (MD) and each won approximately $2000 scoring 6.5/9 points in the five-day tournament held at the Crystal City Hyatt. Notable ACC member performances included Larry Kaufman (5.5) and John Meyer (5.0) in the master section, Harry Cohen (6.0 – and NO losses!), William Marcellino (5.5) in the expert section, and young Sean Senft tied for second in the Class “B” section (5.5/7). Mike Atkins ran a small blitz tournament as well. The hotel has proved to be a good site for these larger tournaments with large spaces for skittles, lots of area eateries and restaurants within walking distance and a book vendor. However, for some reason attendance has been down. Could be the entry fee ($200), could be parking (limited hotel space and almost no street spots forcing players into lots – but the hotel has a shuttle to the Metro). Separately, there is BIG CHESS NEWS for the DC metropolitan area as officials with the Continental Chess Association announced a big change for the WORLD OPEN, they firmed up a deal over the weekend to use the hotel as the site for the World Open in 2012, 2013 and 2014. The tournament will likely return to its typical venue of Philadelphia in 2015.

September 30, 2011

ACC SEPTMEBER Wrap-Up

In the September Friday Action, 11 players entered this event. Majur Juac continued his impressive climb up the rating roles knocking off Andrew Samuelson and two others. One notable player WIMPED OUT at the last minute when he estimated his chances of securing a prize were limited – how does one KNOW that without playing ?!? “Bwaaaaak, bwak, bwak …” (FYI – those are supposedly the sounds a chicken makes). There was a four-way tie for second place but only two stayed to pick up their prize so they essentially doubled their winnings (!!) after the other two split early. The U1800 was split four ways. ACC’s monthly ladder prize was split by Murtuza Hashim and John Muehl, both with 3.5/4. This is the second straight month that Murtuza has taken the top prize – can anyone beat this guy? With 3 months to go, the yearly ladder prize standings have quickly become interesting. Back in June, Robert Aguirre had a 3.5 point lead but now the leader is Rene Stolbach (16.5) followed closely by Aguirre (16.0). The rest of the leaders are: Menelik (14.5), Ehle (12.0), Slack (11.5), Saunders (11.0), Hashim (10.5), Chrisney (10.5), Kousen (10.0) and Muehl (10.0).

September 25, 2011

Onischuk Simul & Lecture

ACC hosted a simul with #3 US player Alexander Onischuk last Friday. First, he gave a lecture on a very intersting game between Gata Kamsy and Peter Svidler from the 2011 Candidates matches.

After 25. Nc6 Qh4 26. Nxb8 ...(?), can you find the shocking move in this position (Black to move)?

In this game, USA’s last hope for a contender in the FIDE World Chess Cup was demolished by Peter Svidler in 28 moves. Svidler chose an extremely active variation as black against Kamsky’s Ruy Lopez, and was rewarded for his aggression. It seemed as if Kamsky had generated good chances of a kingside attack with 17. e5 and 18. Bb1, however Svidler’s lack of time consumption indicated Kamsky was in trouble early on. Svidler sacrificed the h6 pawn to achieve a lasting initiative due to the perfect coordination of his pieces. Kamsky’s center and the rest of his position quickly disintegrated as all of Svidler’s pieces worked together in the attack. Svidler dropped an absolute bomb with 26. …Re2!! -- exposing the sheer control of his bishops over white’s kingside (if 27. Qxe2 Qg3! wins). Kamsky played on a few more moves however was forced to resign after 28. …Rxf1+!

Here's the game in full: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. a4 Rb8 8. axb5 axb5 9. c3 d6 10. d4 Bb6 11. Be3 O-O 12. Nbd2 h6 13. h3 Re8 14. Qc2 exd4 15. cxd4 Na5 16. Ba2 Bb7 17. e5 Nd5 18. Bb1 g6 19. Bxh6 Nc6 20. exd6 Qxd6 21. Ne4 Qb4 22. Ba2 Nxd4 23. Nf6+ Kh8 24. Nxd4 Nxf6 25. Nc6 Qh4 26. Nxb8 Re2!! 27. Qc3 ( 27. Qxe2 Qg3 ) 27... Rxf2 28. Nc6 Rxf1+.

Afterwards, Onischuk took on 25 of us in a simultaneous match. ACC's DCCL team, the Arlington Argyles stole the show by snagging the only 4 draws from this great player ... they included Andy Rea, William Marcelino, Narcisco Victoria and David Slack. Congrats guys!

August 29, 2011

ACC's New Website (A.R. Chrisney)

The new website is supposed to be up and running NEXT MONTH (September) !! ACC is looking for news content from members. Please send us your submissions !!

We are looking for articles such as annotated games (please, no dissertations), book reviews, and others contributions. Go to a tournament? Give us a quick report on who won each section and notable ACC member performances. Even give us a review of the tournament itself (see "ACC Forum webpage - Reviews" for structure). We want contributions for anything you think members would appreciate. For more details, see Adam Chrisney on Fridays before rated games start (also try: chrisney2@gmail.com).

August 28, 2011

Atlantic Open

”Major Upset” is the news of this tournament! And it was not just for a single game! Rising local star, Eric Most (2100+ rated Expert), won four straight game in the Open section including wins over GM Larry Kaufman and then GM Alex Shabalov before settling for a final round draw to share first place in the Open section with IM Yury Lapshin. See USCF website for the record of his two wins over the GMs. The event was also notable for enduring Hurricane Irene through Saturday’s games. ACC Members GM Laurence Kaufman and Andrew Samuelson finished with 3.5/ 5 in the Open Section. Tom Beckman secured 3.5/5 in the U2100 section.

August 27, 2011

ACC AUGUST Wrap-Up

In the monthly ACC Action, 10 players entered this latest event. Daniel Weissbarth fended off all comers to win clear first place. Second was taken by Sean Senft with a very strong showing of 2.5/3. The ACC Ladder was won by Hashim Murtuza 3.5/5.

August 7, 2011

Potomac Open

Another BIG turnout for Mike Regan at one of his events in Rockville, MD. This time it was the Potomac Open notable for using a 30 second increment instead of the usual time delay to cut down on time scrambles as well as prizes based on your score, not on your final placement. This meant that regardless of how many others performed, if you earned 3.5/5 or better you were guaranteed a prize that was not going to be split with other players. In addition, these events have become notable for boards/sets being provided for all players and for clocks being provided in the Open section - all we had to do was show up! Also, a free Continental breakfast was provided to all players on Sunday morning! This hotel (Rockville Hilton) is made for large events and has easily handled many recent events. Book vender was on site as Todd Hammer and his wife set up their burgeoning new business. Mikheil Kekelidze (2549) won clear 1st in the Open section (4.5/5), Kevin Zhou won clear 1st (5/5) in the U1900 section, Shicheng Zhao won clear 1st in the U1700 section, Jnanadeep Dandu won clear 1st (4.5/5) in the U1400 section and Charles Shi won clear 1st (4.5/5) in the U1100 section. Notable ACC member performances included Andrew Samuealson in the Open Section and Sean Senft in the U1700 section (both had 3.5/5).

July 30, 2011

ACC JULY Wrap-Up

In the monthly ACC Action, 14 players entered this latest event. Andrew Tichenor offered a cheap quick draw to Daniel Weissbarth and waited for the outcome of the last game in the last round. Everyone was surprised to see Kevin Wang come back in that game to win clear first in the tournament! Jason Carr topped a fabulous summer by winning the U1700 section - Jason picked up 250 points in a couple of months of games at ACC events! Jason was able to play in the Action because he had already secured the monthly ACC Ladder prize ($50) with 4 wins (there were 5 weeks to the month but he already had clear first). Hashim Murtuza was a close second with 3.5.

July 29, 2011

Fairfax Open

This tournament has quickly become popular in its second ever event at the Best Western facility in Fairfax! So many players turned out that the Open section had to be moved to the nearby Marriott Renaissance Inn with its fabulous skittles lounge! GM Alexander Onischuk (top 2 pr 3 players in the US! And a VA resident) played in this event! Onischuk and Tegshsuren Enkhbat tied for 1st (3.5/4) in the Open Section . Andrew Samuelson nabbed a draw from Onischuk (se realted article)! Valentino Burke won clear first (4-0) in the Amateur section and Eric Indiongro and Vadim Barnakov tied for 1st (4-0) in the Booster section. Notable ACC player performances were put in by Oladapu Adu and Andrew Samuelson (3/4).

July 16, 2011

Charlottesville Open

IM Oladapu Adu and Steven Grenias tied for 1st place (4.5/5) in the Open section with Adu winning on tie-breaks. There was an 8-way tie for third place (3.5/5). The U1700 section also saw a tie for 1st place between Akshita Gorti and William Stoots. Notable ACC player performances were put in by James Guill and Peter Snow who both secured 3.5/5 in the Open section. This hotel was much better than the old Best Western that had been used in recent years. This author saved half an hour by cutting across from I95 South near Fredericksburg; the route brought me right by the front of the hotel and took me through VERY scenic Civil War Battlefields (Wilderness & Chancellorsville).

July 8, 2011

World Open

Gata Kamsy edged out Michael Adams in an Armageddon tie-breaker at 7/9 to win the overall event. Notable ACC member results include Oladapu Ado tying for 3-5 in the U2400 section with a 7/9 result. Ian Schoch won 5.5/9 in the same section. Majur Juac garnered 6.5/9 in the U2200 to tie for 8-14th.

July 2, 2011

ACC JUNE Wrap-Up

In the monthly ACC Action, 10 players entered this event. Two of the top players took a quick draw in the final round only to be joined in a three-way tie by (1500) Navid Bajoghli who drew a 1700 and beat a 1800 to claim part of the top prize!! Karl Peterson won the ACC monthly ladder prize with a 3/4 result (when only playing three games). At mid-year, the yearly ladder prize standings have Aguirre leading the pack (12.5) followed by Stobach (9.0), Menelik (8.5) and Chrisney, Slack, Saunders in a bunch (8.0).