Archive for February, 2014

Mediterranean Flower 2014

Friday, February 28th, 2014


The 14th International Chess Festival Mediterranean Flower will take place from 2nd to 8th March at the Chess Club Rijeka in Rijeka, Croatia. The 10-players round robin event is organized by the Chess Club Draga.

The last year winner IM Eva Repkova had to cancel the participation for personal reasons, but the organizers have securred the presence of Romanian reigning champion IM Cristina-Adela Foisor.

Participants:

IM Foisor Cristina-Adela ROU 2367, WGM Nikolova Adriana BUL 2293, WGM Videnova Iva BUL 2264, WGM Medic Mirjana CRO 2227, WFM Purgar Ivona CRO 2111, WIM Berke Ana CRO 2097, WFM Novak Ksenija SLO 2082, Jacimovic Sara BIH 2017, Ljikar Tamara CRO 1887, Kukic Lora CRO 1882

Official website / Live games

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

FIDE President visits El Salvador

Friday, February 28th, 2014


On February 27, making a working tour around the countries of Central America, the FIDE President arrived to El Salvador. At the airport he was met by the FIDE Zonal President Mr. Erick Hernandez, President of El Salvador CF Mr. Efrain Alexis Segura Valenzuela and Vice President Mr. Alvaro Huezo.

The working programme in San Salvador started with visiting the Salvadoran Institute of Sport (INDES). In most countries of American continent, this Institute fulfills the functions of Ministry of Sports. At the meeting, the INDES President Mr. Jaime Alberto Rodrigez Jimenez was accompanied by the officials of Physical Training Department of Ministry of Education. President Ilyumzhinov told about FIDE, its main programmes, in particular, CiS programme, cooperation between FIDE and El Salvador Chess Federation. The Ministry of Education is actively working with the national chess federation. Last year the Ministry spent $29 000 for 5285 chess sets which were allocated in 430 schools of the country. The Ministry has taken an active part in this project for 5 years already. The main problem is lack of professional specialists that is why at the present stage the teachers of Mathematics are recruited. The Ministry representatives showed interest to the suggestion of giving the opportunity for students to study chess in the Russian universities. At the meeting also present were FIDE Continental President for Americas Mr. Jorge Vega, FIDE President’s Assistant Mr. Berik Balgabaev and officials of El Salvador CF.

Then FIDE President participated in the press conference, answered numerous questions. It is worth mentioning that the journalists were well prepared asking the questions related not only to chess but also to the business projects, political activity, and actively discussed the foreign policy activity.


After the press conference, FIDE President played blitz with Mr. Efrain Segura.

Later the FIDE delegation met with President of NOC Mr. Eduardo Palomo Pakas. Mr. Pakas is a member of IOC in Summer Olympic Games programme. He is well aware what circumstances the sports federations face when aspiring for their discipline to be included in the Summer Olympic Games programme. President of Salvadoran NOC promised to support FIDE in its endeavor on becoming a part of Olympic family and expressed the readiness to include chess in the programme of Central American games.


After NOC FIDE President visited the office of El Salvador Chess Federation where the tournament was taking place.


Playing blitz with 16 year old champion of El Salvador

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

Smerdon leads Batavia after 6

Friday, February 28th, 2014

http://batavia1920.nl/chess/results-standings/

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

The Big Gender Question

Friday, February 28th, 2014


Where are the Queens in Chess?

Recently the Imperial College chess team arrived back from BUCA. After multiple rounds, Imperial managed to dominate the entire tournament. It was a great weekend of fun and exciting chess games.

Maximilian Eggl
Friday February 28, 2014

Recently the Imperial College chess team arrived back from BUCA. After multiple rounds, Imperial managed to dominate the entire tournament. It was a great weekend of fun and exciting chess games. However, throughout the event, one thing particularly struck me. Of a group of more than a 70 people, I could have counted the number of women at this entire event on two hands, maybe even one. Yet on average, men and women are distributed fairly evenly throughout the globe. The ratio of the two genders is close to 1:1. Why was it something like 15 to one at this tournament? After I got home I did my own research into this and found some really astounding facts: no woman has ever been world champion; there are only 30 women who are full Grandmasters (when there are actually 1,192 GMs); and and and. The list goes on and on. Women are woefully underrepresented in this famous game. Why is chess considered such a mans sport?

Let us first get all the rubbish out of the way: it does not require any dexterity, strength or speed – only your own brain power. Men and women are not different in any way if we just measure them by their intelligence. Therefore, there should be no reason why as many women as men shouldn’t compete at all levels.

Throughout the early stages of chess, e.g. the middle ages, chess was played by women and men alike. However, somewhat inexplicably, as time progressed this ancient game was more and more dominated by men. Furthermore in the 19th and 20th centuries, roughly 5% of tournament players have been of the fairer sex. In addition, and this is what I find the strangest, FIDE (the world chess organisation) introduced specific woman’s titles. So, for example, you have a normal GM, which is highest attainable title in chess, and then you have a Woman Grandmaster. Not only do we have a distinct title, but to add insult to injury, the requirements for attaining one are much easier. It is as if FIDE is saying that, yes women can be GMs, but they need to be separate and mean less than a normal GM.

This attitude that men and women need to be judged differently in this sport is the crux of the problem. Yes, I agree that in some sports it makes sense to have different competitions, ranking etc. but why in chess?

Another aspect that I believe hinders women into getting chess as much as men is the the general perception of chess players. Since chess is the ultimate logical sport, men are seen as the best gender as they are, oh, so much more logical, just like in the STEM subjects. I mean honestly, if I asked you on the fly right now, to name five women who were a great chess players, you would stumble a bit (hopefully you could name five chess players though!). This ‘public opinion’ has also lead to less encouragement by parents, sponsors and clubs to try and get women to actually try playing chess.

As an avid chess player, I think it is quite sad that such a significant part of the population does not get as much support to try playing chess. The wealth of talent that probably goes wasted is a crime. I believe that there isn’t a more equal game, where two human beings, independent of gender, age or origin can play a fair game, so why not let all have a go at it?

Source: http://felixonline.co.uk

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

SPNO – Only a few days left to guarantee Chess Rate

Friday, February 28th, 2014


SPNO 2014 in New Orleans

Venue: Hilton Garden Inn, 1001 South Peters Street, New Orleans, LA 70130.
6 Round Swiss G/45 d5 USCF Rated
Up to 8 sections: grades K- 2, 3-5, 6-8 & 9-12, separate for Girls & Boys (T.D. may combine any sec.w/ < 10players)

Side events:

3 hour chess camp (max.30)
GM Susan Polgar Simul (limited to first 20 entries)
Blitz Championship,G/5 d0, K-6 and 7-12
Bughouse
Puzzle Solving Championship
“Breakfast with Susan”

Schedule:

Rounds: Saturday:, 3/22: 10-12-2, Sunday 3/23: 10-12-2:15;
Side events: Friday 3/21 – Camp 2-5 p.m.; Puzzles, 6 p.m., Bughouse 7 p.m.;
Saturday. 3/22 – Simul 4 p.m., Blitz 7 p.m.;
Sun 3/23 – Breakfast 8:30 a.m.
Awards ceremonies: side event awards before rounds 4&5; main event awards 4p.m.

Prizes:

Over $100,000 in Webster U. Scholarships, tablet computers & chess prizes;
Trophies to at least top 5 each section (more possible in large sections; top 20% based on pre-registered as of 2/21) 

Side event awards: Blitz – top 3 boys & top 3 girls each section; Bughouse – top 3 teams.
Puzzles-top 3 in rating groups: Under 800,Under 1500 & Open.
All players receive commemorative medals.
Team awards: Top 2 school or club teams each section of main event & blitz (Student may rep. only 1 team; commit by round 2).

Entry fees:

All sections of G/45 Main Event: $45 by 1/31/14; then $55 by 3/20/14; $65 on site.
Camp – $40 by 1/31/14; then $50. Puzzles $10 by 1/31/14; then$15.
Bughouse – $20/team by1/31/14; then$30.
Blitz – $15 by 1/31/14; then $20.
Simul – $25;
“Breakfast with Susan” $35 adults; $15 children under 12.

Host Hotel: 

Hilton Garden Inn Convention Center, King or 2 Doubles $149/night, (2 night minimum) until sold out or 2/18/14. Limited King suites available w/ $40 upgrade. Free wi-fi, microwave & mini- fridge in every room; business center, fitness center, pool. To reserve call 1-877-782-9444 & request Chess Rate.

http://hiltongardeninn.hilton.com/en/gi/groups/personalized/M/MSYGIGI-CHESS-20140320/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG

Alternative/Overflow hotel (15-20 min. drive from tourney site): Hampton Inn Elmwood, 5150 Mounes St., Harahan, LA 70123, $109/night, tel: 1-504-733-5646.

Email questions to ChessNOLA@yahoo.com.

BE SURE TO MAKE YOUR HOTEL RESERVATION BY SUNDAY, MARCH 2, 2014

IN ORDER TO ASSURE THE CHESS RATE AT THE

HILTON GARDEN INN CONVENTION CENTER
1001 S. PETERS ST.
NEW ORLEANS, LA 7010

YOU MAY CALL EITHER OF THESE PHONE NUMBERS TO RESERVE YOUR ROOM:

877-782-9444 or 504-525-0044,

or simply click on

HILTON GARDEN INN RESERVATIONS

TO RESERVE YOUR ROOM ONLINE!

TO SEE ALL TOURNAMENT DETAILS OR TO REGISTER FOR THE SUSAN POLGAR OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP FOR BOYS & GIRLS IN NEW ORLEANS, ALL SIDE EVENTS AND TEE-SHIRTS, PLEASE CLICK ON

SUSAN POLGAR REGISTRATION

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

Giri tops junior list

Friday, February 28th, 2014

www.fide.com

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

A conversation with Andrew Paulson (part 1)

Friday, February 28th, 2014
Andrew Paulson

Andrew Paulson (photo courtesy of Anastasya Karlovich)

On February 19th, Peter Doggers from Chessvibes.com published an extensive article on the ECF vote of confidence story. In the very detailed report, Doggers brought up an intriguing, little known, story from Andrew Paulson himself. It is an extensive six page report on his Candidacy for Deputy ECU President (download as PDF here), requested by David Openshaw, in which Paulson touches a multitude of topics.

In an attempt to clarify the smoke, Chessdom journalists have contacted Mr. Paulson and he gladly accepted to bring details on each of the topics.

One of the most disturbing points is the allegation that Silvio Danailov has “spent six months in jail for arms dealing (materiel stolen from the Bulgarian army) and as President of the ECU he tried to extract a EUR 50,000 payoff from me [Paulson] in return for having introduced me to the Mayor of Madrid.”

Here is the part 1 of the conversation with Mr. Paulson regarding this revelation, more topics and information will be published on Chessdom in the following weeks.

Chessdom: On several occasions rumors have alluded to Silvio Danailov’s attempt to extort money from you in Madrid. Now we find this in a written form in the mentioned PDF. It sounds quite unbeliavable. Is it true? Why have you been silent on the matter and what is the story behind this?

Andrew: I have been reticent about this because my intentions when I got involved in chess were to remain on good terms with everyone; I am a businessman not a politician. Having negotiated a remarkable contract with FIDE, it made no sense for me to make enemies with anyone, certainly no point in taking sides. I’m very ambivalent about Silvio: we had lovely dinners and lunches in Madrid and I fully enjoyed his company. And, above all, I now understand why he did what he did and forgive him!

Chessdom: But the accusation is public. People are asking about it. Without drawing any conclusions, can you at least tell us the story of what happened? Give us the context to understand the accusations.

Andrew: OK. But I want to make clear that I didn’t judge Silvio harshly at the time. I figured that he was just trying to make some money off of his connections, trying to help me and help himself at the same time. It was not until Kasparov instructed him to sabotage me that I realised that there is nothing innocent in the chess world. As ECU President he shouldn’t have been selling influence with people he only had access to because he was ECU President. What made it worse was that being a willing Kasparov tool he wound up hurting chess.

Chessdom: Please start at the beginning. I don’t understand what you are talking about so far…

Andrew: It all started at breakfast on February 5th, 2012, in Al Ain, U.A.E., the morning after the FIDE/AGON Agreement had been approved unanimously by the Presidential Board. The FIDE people who were hosting me told me that Danailov was a ‘pain in the ass,’ mounting costly, frivolous lawsuits while doing nothing good for chess. I, therefore, decided to become friends with him! My opening conversational gambit over eggs was to ask whether Barcelona or Madrid would be a better choice for a Grand Prix in 2013. He lives outside of Madrid and confirmed that it would be much better and suggested that we meet when I next visited. He was not warm (he is dour), but it was a beginning.

Chessdom: So you met in Madrid?

Andrew: On April 18th, Silvio invited me to dinner in Madrid at the expensive, cooly refined two-star Michelin restaurant El Club Allard. We had a good time; at one point we simultaneously started gagging on the same avant-garde acrid smoking truffle, but both laughed through the coughing imagining the Danailov/Paulson headline in ChessDom announcing our deaths: ‘CHOKEMATE!’

Chessdom: This sounds like the beginning of a great friendship. Was this when you asked him call Kasparov and offer him a place in the Grand Prix Series?

Andrew: Yes. That offer was not entirely serious; what I wanted was to engage with Garry and get him to come and do some commentary, which he agreed to do, ‘depending on the financial conditions.’ Anyway, back to Danailov: I agreed to hold the Grand Prix in Madrid and he offered to try to arrange a meeting with the Mayor whose support he said would be useful. Two months later, Danailov sent me an urgent email and I returned on June 26th to meet with the Mayor. It was all very mysterious; I was whisked in to her office, talked about chess and was whisked out. I assume it was the Mayor! It was a very odd meeting: Silvio didn’t talk much (he’d never met the Mayor before) but made sure that he was the intermediary for further communications.

Chessdom: Did the Mayor make any promises? Or did Silvio, or did you?

Andrew: Well, the Mayor was wonderful, sparkling, intelligent, excited and said that she fully supported chess and would help in any way she could. Danailov led me off to a nearby hotel where he demanded ?50,000 for introducing me to the Mayor and promised to get us a splendid venue for free for the Grand Prix. I didn’t consider whether it was ethical for him to make this offer to me, but my first impression was that it seemed acceptable for me to consider accepting it: if we paid Danailov a ?50,000 fee to lobby for our Madrid event, we could save ?200,000 in venue costs. So as to gain time to consult my lawyers, I said that this was reasonable and would depend on the venue and the terms (what is ‘free’, for example) and he should get back to me with some concrete details. The Mayor was so genuinely interested, it seemed to me that I didn’t really need Danailov; but if I didn’t pay the ?50,000 I would no longer have access to the Mayor!

Chessdom: So what did your lawyers say?

Andrew: We never got there because Silvio never gave me any details. Kasparov ordered him to pull the plug. On July 12th, Stephen Moss wrote an article about me in The Guardian that triggered Kasparov’s rage. He decided that he had to put me ‘in my place,’ so he started rallying his ‘assets.’ During the course of the following weekend he spent many hours on the phone haranguing two of them. The first was a major chess journalist whom he tried to convince to write an article denouncing me; the journalist resisted.

Chessdom: Who was the journalist?

Andrew: Of course, I can’t tell you that.

Chessdom: What was Kasparov angry about?

Andrew: Well, two things. Malcolm Pein thinks that the very first time Kasparov heard about me (the AGON contract), his strategic genius kicked in and told him that I was the small, fleeting detail at the beginning of the movie that was going to come back to bite him in the end. The trigger cocked. The Guardian journalist had recounted that I had asked Kasparov to play in the Grand Prix; I was poking him. The trigger pulled.

Chessdom: Who was the second person Kasparov called?

Andrew: That same weekend Kasparov was on the phone bullying Danailov to back out of our arrangement: the last thing he wanted was having one of his ‘assets’ helping me. Danailov obeyed and wrote an email to me on July 20th: “Right, we have an agreement and everything is clear. In that case, please made the first payment according to the agreement on the account attached till August 1th [sic] to keep going.” I was still waiting for details and he surprises me with a payment deadline eight days thence! On July 24th, I responded: “As to payment, we can agree on the amount, ?50,000, but not on the timing…” He answered on July 29th demanding with details: “You will be shown the three venues on August 8th, only in case you fulfill [sic] your part of the agreement [paying the money] before August 1th [sic]. This is my last offer, you can take it or leave it.”

Chessdom: So, you mean that under orders from Kasparov, Danailov pulled out of a deal that could have made him ?50,000.

Andrew: Well, he would have had to make a payoff to someone in the Mayor’s office, I suppose, so it wasn’t all profit. For me, the worst part was that Danailov made it impossible for me to hold the Grand Prix in Madrid, he poisoned the well. I still regret this as Silvio is not a bad guy; he’s just from a different time and place and he’s just trying to fit in and make his way.

End of part 1. To be continued…..

In the following days Chessdom will contact Silvio Danailov for an interview on the topic.

Chessdom

Carlsen breaks rating record again, Aronian breaks personal record

Friday, February 28th, 2014


www.fide.com

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

Garry Kasparov granted Croatian citizenship

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov has been granted Croatian citizenship, The Guardian reported today.

Chessdom reported about Kasparov’s request at the beginning of February and cited Slobodna Dalmacija claim that the petition will be accepted.

Garry Kasparov is often spending his holidays in sea resort Makarska, where he owns a house and where he had training session with Magnus Carlsen.

In January Kasparov visited Croatian President Ivo Josipovic and they played a game of chess. Josipovic wrote on his facebook page that he resisted for 33 moves.

Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov

Chessdom

Trip to El Salvador

Friday, February 28th, 2014

top

On February 27, making a working tour around the countries of Central America, the FIDE President arrived to El Salvador. At the airport he was met by the FIDE Zonal President Mr. Erick Hernandez, President of El Salvador CF Mr. Efrain Alexis Segura Valenzuela and Vice President Mr. Alvaro Huezo.

     3

The working programme in San Salvador started with visiting the Salvadoran Institute of Sport (INDES). In most countries of American continent, this Institute fulfills the functions of Ministry of Sports. At the meeting, the INDES President Mr. Jaime Alberto Rodrigez Jimenez was accompanied by the officials of Physical Training Department of Ministry of Education. President Ilyumzhinov told about FIDE, its main programmes, in particular, CiS programme, cooperation between FIDE and El Salvador Chess Federation. The Ministry of Education is actively working with the national chess federation. Last year the Ministry spent $29 000 for 5285 chess sets which were allocated in 430 schools of the country. The Ministry has taken an active part in this project for 5 years already. The main problem is lack of professional specialists that is why at the present stage the teachers of Mathematics are recruited. The Ministry representatives showed interest to the suggestion of giving the opportunity for students to study chess in the Russian universities. At the meeting also present were FIDE Continental President for Americas Mr. Jorge Vega, FIDE President’s Assistant Mr. Berik Balgabaev and officials of El Salvador CF.

     1

     5

Then FIDE President participated in the press conference, answered numerous questions. It is worth mentioning that the journalists were well prepared asking the questions related not only to chess but also to the business projects, political activity, and actively discussed the foreign policy activity.

     4

     2
After the press conference, FIDE President played blitz with Mr. Efrain Segura.

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Later the FIDE delegation met with President of NOC Mr. Eduardo Palomo Pakas. Mr. Pakas is a member of IOC in Summer Olympic Games programme. He is well aware what circumstances the sports federations face when aspiring for their discipline to be included in the Summer Olympic Games programme. President of Salvadoran NOC promised to support FIDE in its endeavor on becoming a part of Olympic family and expressed the readiness to include chess in the programme of Central American games.

7

     4 2
After NOC FIDE President visited the office of El Salvador Chess Federation where the tournament was taking place.

     3 2
Playing blitz with 16 year old champion of El Salvador

Source: World Chess Federation – FIDE

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