Archive for December, 2011

Reggio Emilia LIVE!

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

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Chess daily news from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

Donostia LIVE!

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

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Chess daily news from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

Carlsen starts new year with 30 points lead

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Rank Name Title Country Rating Games B-Year
1 Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2835 17 1990
2 Aronian, Levon g ARM 2805 25 1982
3 Kramnik, Vladimir g RUS 2801 17 1975
4 Anand, Viswanathan g IND 2799 17 1969
5 Radjabov, Teimour g AZE 2773 9 1987
6 Topalov, Veselin g BUL 2770 9 1975
7 Karjakin, Sergey g RUS 2769 16 1990
8 Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2766 16 1969
9 Morozevich, Alexander g RUS 2763 6 1977
10 Gashimov, Vugar g AZE 2761 9 1986
11 Grischuk, Alexander g RUS 2761 8 1983
12 Nakamura, Hikaru g USA 2759 17 1987
13 Svidler, Peter g RUS 2749 17 1976
14 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar g AZE 2747 9 1985
15 Tomashevsky, Evgeny g RUS 2740 0 1987
16 Gelfand, Boris g ISR 2739 9 1968
17 Caruana, Fabiano g ITA 2736 19 1992
18 Nepomniachtchi, Ian g RUS 2735 16 1990
19 Wang, Hao g CHN 2733 6 1989
20 Kamsky, Gata g USA 2732 0 1974
21 Dominguez Perez, Leinier g CUB 2730 6 1983
22 Jakovenko, Dmitry g RUS 2729 0 1983
23 Ponomariov, Ruslan g UKR 2727 13 1983
24 Vitiugov, Nikita g RUS 2726 1 1987
25 Adams, Michael g ENG 2724 17 1971
26 Leko, Peter g HUN 2720 9 1979
27 Almasi, Zoltan g HUN 2717 8 1976
28 Giri, Anish g NED 2714 15 1994
29 Le, Quang Liem g VIE 2714 0 1991
30 Navara, David g CZE 2712 8 1985
31 Shirov, Alexei g LAT 2710 13 1972
32 Polgar, Judit g HUN 2710 0 1976
33 Riazantsev, Alexander g RUS 2710 0 1985
34 Wojtaszek, Radoslaw g POL 2706 8 1987
35 Moiseenko, Alexander g UKR 2706 7 1980
36 Vallejo Pons, Francisco g ESP 2705 15 1982
37 Malakhov, Vladimir g RUS 2705 0 1980
38 Jobava, Baadur g GEO 2704 23 1983
39 Bacrot, Etienne g FRA 2704 14 1983
40 Laznicka, Viktor g CZE 2704 8 1988
41 Sutovsky, Emil g ISR 2703 8 1977
42 Naiditsch, Arkadij g GER 2702 14 1985
43 Movsesian, Sergei g ARM 2700 9 1978
44 Sasikiran, Krishnan g IND 2700 9 1981
Top women

Rank Name Title Country Rating Games B-Year
1 Polgar, Judit g HUN 2710 0 1976
2 Hou, Yifan g CHN 2605 20 1994
3 Koneru, Humpy g IND 2589 16 1987
4 Muzychuk, Anna m SLO 2580 9 1990
5 Lahno, Kateryna g UKR 2557 7 1989
6 Ju, Wenjun wg CHN 2552 15 1991
7 Zhao, Xue g CHN 2551 15 1985
8 Kosintseva, Nadezhda g RUS 2537 17 1985
9 Dzagnidze, Nana g GEO 2535 16 1987
10 Stefanova, Antoaneta g BUL 2523 7 1979
11 Harika, Dronavalli g IND 2516 8 1991
12 Kosintseva, Tatiana g RUS 2513 16 1986
13 Sebag, Marie g FRA 2512 0 1986
14 Gunina, Valentina m RUS 2510 15 1989
15 Zatonskih, Anna m USA 2506 0 1978
16 Cmilyte, Viktorija g LTU 2503 0 1983
17 Chiburdanidze, Maia g GEO 2500 0 1961
Chess daily news from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

Interview with Morozevich in Reggio Emilia ! Part 1

Saturday, December 31st, 2011


Dario: Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to me and our blog Scacchierando, an Italian chess blog run by amateurs, and it is a real honour to be able to interview you, as we consider you to be not only one of the best players in the world in the last decade, but also a true artist. Last year I I expressed the great esteem I had for you with the organisers, and told them that your presence here would have been great value for the tournament and its history. But enough praising, and let’s get down to the interview. How many times have you been able to visit our country during your career ?

Morozevich Alexander: This is not the first time I come to Italy, as, apart from being here in Reggio Emilia for the second year running, I came here during the nineties for a few days, I think four if I remember correctly, for some Military Championships.

D: In an interview you did a few months ago you said, in a slightly deceived tone, that you were amazed that none of your games had been included in best games collections, like, for example, John Nunn’s 125 . How do you explain this ?

M: Actually, I was joking during that interview. What I can say is that reality is in stark contrast with what I hear; if you take any book on tactics , collections of games, diagrams or studies, my name is never mentioned, even if I’m considered to be one of the strongest attacking players of the last 15 years, and I have to ask myself how that is possible ! ( Moro seems to consider this quite seriously, in spite of the joke : - )

D: In that same interview you said that in 2010, during a period when you had stopped playing for a few months, you were asking yourself if your career was maybe ending, I’d like to state emphatically that if someone like Korchnoi still plays as an 80 year old and can beat champions like Caruana, maybe it would be wise to carry on, for the sake of your fans !

M: I can’t really say in what stage of my career I am presently. Korchnoi is playing as an octogenarian but he can’t be held up as a reference, as the standard is to be at one’s peak up until 40-45 years, as in the case of Kasparov and Anand. I guess we can say that I am halfway through my career and going on to the second part and its conclusion. Furthermore my playing style is quite quite taxing and requires great energy therefore I will carry on playing for as long as I’m strong enough to do so.

D: We mentioned before that your games don’t seem to find their way in best games collections. You have published a book on the Chigorin Defence. Would you like to write again in the future ?

M: Yes, I did write a book on the Chigorin, but it was a joint effort with an International Master. In the future I would like to write a book on my best games, that will require time therefore I don’t know when I’ll be able to actually do it as I’m going to have to devote a great effort and attention, maybe in 10 years or so.

D: You have recently concluded your experience as a trainer with Quatar, and especially with Zhu Chen. You’ve said that in these years you have understood how the Chinese play chess and how they approach the game. What do you mean by that, exactly ?

M: My experience with Zhu Chen has been very instructive for me. The Chinese play and learn chess in a different way for a very simple reason : they have a different culture, which makes them unique. Every culture has a different approach. Working with the Chinese I can say that in the end I haven’t modified my style, which is what it’s always been, by I think that I have come out of the experience quite enriched.

Chess daily news from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

Diciembre porte?o en blanco y negro

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Noticias ChessBase

?Ajedrez sin fin de a?o!

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Noticias ChessBase

January 2012 FIDE Rating List

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

FIDE publishes January 2012 FIDE Rating List. The list of top players is published at dedicated page of FIDE ratings website. All players can check new ratings at the main page of FIDE ratings website or download TXT version from downloads page.

Source: World Chess Federation – FIDE

My Texas Adventures

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

My Texas Adventures
by FM Hans Jun

I have been following Susan Polgar’s Daily News blog with interest for quite some time and have been intensely curious as to what has been going on at Texas Tech (specifically SPICE or Susan Polgars Institute for Chess Excellence) in Lubbock, Texas. In her current SPICE tournament (she has been running high quality international tournaments since 2007) she added a new section – FIDE Open Rated – and I decided it was time for me to travel down and see things first-hand.

Shopping around online I discovered that Greyhound had a 15 day Discovery pass (travel anywhere unlimited in North America during 15 days) for about $350. and as I had planned to go to Lubbock, Texas and after to the Grand Canyon and total flights would cost me over $1000 I decided on the bus deal without considering repercussions. The bus trip took me thru Detroit, Cincinnati, Louisville, Nashville, Memphis and on to Dallas and finally an all night run across Texas from Dallas to Lubbock, more than 52 hours in total.

The difference between Canadian Greyhound and American Greyhound is ominous. On boarding in Detroit the driver made a short speech: Besides alcohol, drugs, profane language, and smoking being prohibited – loud conversations both on and off cellphones were prohibited. The driver would give one warning then on next offense he would pull the bus over and the offender would be escorted off the bus by the state troopers. I actually saw a graphic example of that in Arkansas and my exposure to the grass roots of America (its average Greyhound travelers) thru those cities was to say the least not pleasant.

One eye opening adventure occurred on the all nighter out of Dallas. Shortly before the bus pulled out a real character got on the bus. Dressed in a classy white leather Stetson and with a form fitting Levi shirt and jeans and alligator boots, he was a “real” Texan cowboy. A little worse for drink he still managed an incredible amount of charm and tipping his hat and murmuring compliments to every lady on the bus he swaggered to the rear.

I managed a short nap and awoke later to a curious sight. At the rear of the bus a group of five interesting characters had managed to find their own entertainment. They had upended what looked like an old metal ashtray and placed a cafeteria style plastic tray on top. The cards were flying and a poker game was in progress. The cowboy, an older gentleman in a much worn suit who looked like a used car saleman, an aging hippy with a beard, a young gangly student, and a really old gentleman with very few teeth in his smile were what I saw when I went back for a closer look – and all 5 were smoking! (one of them a cigar).

The cowboy invited me to join them – said he liked my flavor (whatever that means). I went back to my seat to get my camera and when I came back the cowboy said “you can take a picture but then I’ll have to kill you”. The things that go on thru a Texan night. They played until about an hour before the bus arrived in Lubbock.

My first sight of Lubbock was pleasantly interesting – the bus terminal was a modern terminal designed with wings in four directions and made from beautiful brownish pink brick in the Spanish style. Although it was only 6:30am and still quite dark I new the mood of my journey had changed when I was greeted by Cat Stevens “Its a wide World” followed by two Stevie Nicks classics and two Buddy Holly tunes on the PA system. – To be continued

Part 2. Lubbock is an interesting, divided city. Several years ago a tornado wiped out the entire north east end of the city. After the rubble was eventually cleared what ended up being rebuilt on the land was city, state, federal, and educational buildings only so the result was the odd building as well as very large parking lots and many empty lots spread over a section of at least two square miles.

As a result of the tornado almost the entire residential and business district was relocated to the west end past the area where Texas Tech University is. In effect you have a divided city – the east end shuts down after 5pm and in effect becomes a ghost town and the vibrant west end.

My lucky booking on the internet was a very cheap motel on Avenue Q which is the divider of the east and west end. It turned out to entirely suit my purposes as it had a Wal-Mart 100 yards away and a Denny’s across the street. My initial walk from the bus station (about one mile) was thru the ghost town as it was before anything opened at 8 am.

The walk to Texas Tech (where the SPICE tournament was being held) westwards was much more pleasant. It was a little over a mile thru student housing and then the university grounds.

The FIDE Open which I was playing in started at 5pm that day first round, with 3 rounds the next day and 2 on the following. The only grandmaster tournament in progress when I arrived was the SPICE A section with GMs Dominguez, Le Quang Liem, Feller, Shulman, Meier, and Robson – a double round robin of 2600 and 2700 GMs. (two other sections of mainly GMs and IMs had already finished).

I tried to ask for a first round bye due to tiredness but Susan Polgar herself with great charm and persuasiveness talked me out of it. Meeting Paul Truong and Dr. Hal Karlsson for the first time gave me a burst of energy as they are excellent hosts, great conversationalists, and lots of fun to be around. (Paul is Susan’s “silent”partner and husband and website guru and Dr. Karlsson is the originator of SPICE).

However, as Murphys Law would have it my first round game turned into a marathon where I absolutely refused to win (the longest game of the round), ran out of energy, and somehow swindled a miraculous draw. To be continued

Part 3 All of the GM’s were friendly, although to me the most so was Sebastian Feller and he and Le Quang Liem were the only ones to discuss positions with me blindfold although I must admit they lost me in their analysis. I sat in on quite a few analysis sessions and every question that I ventured was answered, some to my chagrin.

I thought Lenier Dominguez was going to win the tournament but as fate had it he and Le Quang Liem had to play each other in the last round and Liem won the game and the tournament with a nice tactical finish (Q and B on the long diagonal lined up against the black king – but you’ll have to look it up because I dont have the game handy)

Le Quang Liem was there with his mother and she was very nervous about his games to the point where when I went up to look at the position the first few times she would follow me up and stare at me but after talking to her I found out she was a very nice lady.

Georg Meier is a very interesting young grandmaster from Germany. Turns out he is studying at Texas Tech. When I tried to find out his background I was amazed to discover he is from the same region as my grandmother – a small town in Germany – but even small towns there seem to have at least one strong ex-Soviet trainer and a good chess club and also amazing is that he had never played in a German Championship.

Sebastien Feller would go around at the beginning of the day and shake everybody’s hands. At first I thought he was campaigning for a FIDE position but it quickly became apparent that he was just a very nice outgoing young guy.

Yury Shulman was very modest and down to earth. When I asked him during the analysis of the last round game what went wrong he said it started in round two and had continued ever since.

Ray Robson was very serious about his games but whenever he got the chance he liked to have fun and his favorite person to have fun with was Tommy Polgar. I managed a few leads about blindfold chess and it resulted in him playing a member of the Texas Tech Knight Raiders a blindfold 3 minute game. Several things about that wowed me! First of all he rattled moves off in the opening past move 15 and at move 25 according to him he was still in theory. He found the crispest moves to finish and used less than a minute 30 for the whole game. The game can be found on youtube.

Andre Diamant had played in another section (C) but showed up with his young son for the birthday party (also farewell party) They were a hit. Andre forever with the jokes and witty anecdotes.

Denes Boros played in the B section but also showed up for the farewell party. He is Hungarian, a real character, and studies at Texas Tech. I first met him when he was playing speed chess with Ray Robson. To me Ray is an awesome speed player but Denes demolished him in more than one game I was watching but to be fair to Ray the overall score was apparently equal. I had a chance for an in depth conversation with him – somehow the conversation turned to music and we compared notes on Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, and the Doors – it was surreal. (he’s about 20 – I’m in my 50′s) To be continued

The weather in Lubbock kept getting better each day – warmer by 5 degrees at least – the last day it went over 90 (almost 35 C) and dry heat – the best kind -none of our summer humidity.

It was a real pleasure to walk back and forth to campus.

I discovered the outdoor chess tables on my third day.

In terms of location, design, looks, and even cleanliness they are far superior to the ones here at Kitchener City Hall. They are located right beside the university library and strategically set so that they are in the shade by mid afternoon.

The tables themselves are together by twos with benches (so bughouse can be played) which is far better for social chess and communication. One table at the end has no benches – the wheelchair designate. Altogether there are seven.

Each bench has a gold plated plaque with famous chess sayings – example: Bobby Fischer “chess is life”, Johann Goethe “chess is the touchstone of the intellect”, Susan Polgar ” win with grace, lose with dignity” etc. Only thing is they were underutilized.

The entire time I was there no one played on them with the exception when I talked a passerby into playing there. I mentioned that they needed a chess coordinator and I hope they realize and follow thru.

On the second day of play in my tournament I blundered away two out of three of my games (although in one my opponent returned the favor) so I finally could fully relax and enjoy more of my surroundings.

On the Sunday morning after a glorious walk to the tournament I discovered that there was no coffee on site -trauma. Nothing was open and the coffee on site was just in the process of being set up.

I sat down to play and Susan Polgar noticed something was wrong (although I hadn’t said anything). She came up to me and asked me if she could get me coffee and then went on a coffee run. She came back with the best coffee I had on my entire trip – where else would a world champion get coffee for an ordinary joe?? -wow – to say the least that floored me.

In the tournament itself I played the 3 best youth stars.

Jeffrey Xiong is the top 10 yr old in the US. The last published rating I could find was 2288 but by the time we played it was going north of 2350.

In the analysis room on the second day I saw him on a laptop. When I went over to look he was whipping thru database games at about 4 or 5 moves per second.

I asked him what he was looking for. After a few more questions it became clear that not only was he identifying opening ideas but also tactical keys and positional technique during the course of each game.

In my game he saw a lot more than I did.

His father was also very friendly. He mentioned that he would be happy to bring Jeffery to a tournament in Canada.

I am sure I can work something out.

I really enjoyed spending a lot of time in conversation with Dr. Hal Karlsson and Paul Truong.
With Dr. Karlsson there was a new idea(s) with every conversation. He was always looking to fine tune or add to the chess tournaments or the chess program.

Paul was a virtual fountain of information on the international chess scene and because he was basically tied to the computer and his cameras I got to pump him with at least a thousand questions. Paul was always happy to answer and I got him excited on more than one occasion on past events or current situations.

A couple of times he gave me a ride back to my motel and it was thanks to him that I received a gift basket and many other souvenirs of my stay in Lubbock and Texas Tech.

I even stayed an extra day for more conversation and to see the end of the Spice Cup A tournament (with the thrilling finale between Le Quang Liem and Lenier Dominguez) and Susan personally invited me to the farewell dinner (and birthday party of Ray Robson) at the Texas Land and Cattle Roadhouse.

The bacon wrapped sirloin was Texas sized and sitting across from Le Quang Liem and his mother and beside Jerry (an employee of Texas Tech and a 500 pound ex football Hispanic American with a razor wit and constantly telling stories of his youth growing up in Munich in southern Germany, interspersed with witticisms form Paul Truong) was memorable.

Also on the final day in the morning I went to see the Buddy Holly museum. Definitely not to be missed. Every little detail of his life is there.

Even tho he died at 21, not only was he a music legend but a great improviser who invented or perfected many musical ideas.

Especially the video has to be seen. It is a mini documentary (about half an hour) very tightly scripted.

About 5 minutes in you see Paul McCartney sitting in a chair with a guitar. Paul is very down to earth and leads with: “I guess I was about 16 and me and John sagged off from school one day to go to the Paladium to see Buddy. We sat up front to watch his chord work and we couldnt get over it. How does he do it? How does he do it?” – then Paul on the guitar breaks into Peggy Sue and then in the exact same rhythm Twist and Shout – and then typical Paul – but of course Buddy did it much better.

Also seeing the Stones tell about their first song in public being a Buddy Holly tune and Elton John’s famous glasses -an idea he got from Buddy.

In the museum showcases endless examples of Buddy’s creativity and highlights of his career. Buddy, on top of his musical prowess, was an expert craftsman and wood and leather carver, carving his own belts and guitar straps and even making his own furniture.

Every Buddy Holly song ever recorded is there and is played non stop around the clock, as well as other hits of other stars at the time.

Definitely not to be missed the day the music died.

More to come later…

Chess daily news from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

Find the best continuation

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

White to move. How should White proceed?

1kr5/2p5/1pQp3p/r2P2p1/2R2p2/1KR4P/1PP3P1/4qn2 w – - 0 1

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Chess daily news from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

Reggio Emilia videos: Interview with Sopiko Guramishvili

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Interview with Sopiko Guramishvili

Chess daily news from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information