Archive for June, 2014

Hou Yifan wins Lopota FIDE Women’s Grand Prix with a round to spare

Monday, June 30th, 2014

The 5th tournament of the FIDE Women’s Grand-Prix 2013-2014 is taking place from 18th June to 2nd July in Lopota, Georgia.

Twelve players compete in the round robin tournament. The event is organized by the Georgian Ministry of Sport and Youth, FIDE and Georgian Chess Federation, and sponsored by SOCAR.

The 10th round ended earlier than usual and many of the participants do not hide that their reserves of energy are close to the bottom, despite the pleasant geographical location and exquisite Georgian cuisine.

Hou Yifan’s relatively short, but nevertheless entertaining, draw with Kosteniuk ensured the World Champion’s clear tournament win with one round to go.

Hou Yifan

Hou Yifan

By winning against Muzychuk, Ju Wenjun steps a bit closer to the already unreachable leader and trails now by 1,5 points.

After the unfortunate result of her yesterday’s hyper-ambitious approach, Dzagnidze played a safe and relatively eventless draw against Dronavalli.

This allowed Danielian (who won with Black against Zhao Xue), to free herself of the tie with the Georgian and occupy the clear third position.

Koneru’s win against Muminova is a good example of how strong the Indian is, to fully recover after yesterday’s shock, while Stefanova’s draw with Khotenashvili preserves the Bulgarian’s overall good performance.

Games with analysis

Round 10 results:
GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2488 – GM Khotenashvili Bela 2518 ? – ?
GM Koneru Humpy 2613 – WGM Muminova Nafisa 2332 1 – 0
GM Zhao Xue 2538 – GM Danielian Elina 2460 0 – 1
GM Hou Yifan 2629 – GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2532 ? – ?
WGM Ju Wenjun 2532 – GM Muzychuk Anna 2561 1 – 0
GM Dzagnidze Nana 2541 – GM Dronavalli Harika 2503 ? – ?

Round 10 standings:
1. GM Hou Yifan 2629 CHN – 8?
2. WGM Ju Wenjun 2532 CHN – 7
3. GM Danielian Elina 2460 ARM – 6?
4. GM Dzagnidze Nana 2541 GEO – 6
5-7. GM Koneru Humpy 2613 IND, GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2488 BUL and GM Dronavalli Harika 2503 IND – 5?
8. GM Muzychuk Anna 2561 UKR – 5
9. GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2532 RUS – 4?
10. GM Zhao Xue 2538 CHN – 2?
11. GM Khotenashvili Bela 2518 GEO – 2
12. WGM Muminova Nafisa 2332 UZB – 1?

Round 11 pairings:
GM Dronavalli Harika 2503 – GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2488
GM Muzychuk Anna 2561 – GM Dzagnidze Nana 2541
GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2532 – WGM Ju Wenjun 2532
GM Danielian Elina 2460 – GM Hou Yifan 2629
WGM Muminova Nafisa 2332 – GM Zhao Xue 2538
GM Khotenashvili Bela 2518 – GM Koneru Humpy 2613

Official website


Genius theory questioned

Monday, June 30th, 2014

10,000 hours to genius theory questioned
30 June 2014 | By Jane Bainbridge

US — The concept that performers can reach elite status through 10,000 hours of practice rather than innate talent, championed by Swedish psychologist K. Anders Ericsson, is challenged in a new study.

The research was led by David Hambrick and looked at studies of chess players that provided information on people’s highest ability level achieved along with their history of practice. They found that between 2005 and 2012 six studies had been done, involving more than 1000 players internationally in total.

On average, the amount of deliberate practice accounted for 34% of variance in chess ability, which although an impressive proportion, was insufficient to explain why some players achieved greatness and others didn’t. And there was a huge range in the deliberate practice completed by players of different standards. One study, looking purely at grandmasters found the range of practice they’d invested was between 832 and 24,284 hours. Looking at players who achieved only intermediate level, 13% of them had completed more practice than the average amount invested by the grandmasters.

Hambrick and his team did a similar analysis of past studies looking at elite musicians, the majority of which were pianists. Based on eight past papers, they found deliberate practice accounted for 30% of the variance in music performance, as measured by formal tests, expert ratings and rankings. Once again the evidence pointed to a wide variation in the amount of practice completed by different musicians.

“We found that deliberate practice does not account for all, nearly all, or even most variance in [elite music or chess] performance,” wrote the researchers. It appears that some people failed to achieve the highest level, even after completing more than 10,000 hours of practice while others achieved this level with more modest practice levels.

The researchers said that another critical factor to success was the age at which people began; this remained a predictive factor even after subtracting the influence of practice. “There may be a critical period for acquiring complex skills,” the researchers said.

Other relevant factors include intelligence and working memory capacity; personality and genes.


Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

Yemelin strikes again, wins Ellivuori International

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Yemelin strikes again, wins Ellivuori International

The Ellivuori International Chess Tournament was held from 23rd to 29th June, 2014, at the Ellivuori Hotel in Ellivuori, a town in the heart of pure nature, in the western part of Finland.

GM Vasily Yemelin led the tournament by one point after the seventh round and maintained his advantage till the end. Collecting 6,5/9 points, he emerged clear winner and grabbed the first prize of 1200 €.

Yemelin continues his victorious string after winning the trophy in the 5th ShakkiNet Tournament 2014 two weeks ago.

The other Grandmasters in Ellivuori – local GM Tomi Nyback and Latvian GM Arturs Neiksans, shared second place on 6 points each. However, Nyback took the silver on superior tie-break score.

The Finnish FM Henri Pohjala had a great tournament, fulfilling his first IM norm. He finished fourth with 5,5 points.

Tournament website/ Replay the games with analysis

Final standings:

1 GM Yemelin Vasily RUS 2556 – 6,5
2 GM Nyb?ck Tomi FIN 2594 Aatos – 6
3 GM Neiksans Arturs LAT 2571 – 6
4 FM Pohjala Henri FIN 2361 TamSh – 5,5
5 IM Kantans Toms LAT 2467 – 5,5
6 IM Skytte Rasmus DEN 2436 – 5
7 IM Kjartansson Gudmundur ISL 2434 – 3,5
8 IM Agopov Mikael FIN 2431 Velhot – 3
9 FM K?ykk? Pekka FIN 2307 TamSh – 2,5
10 IM Nyysti Sampsa FIN 2359 Velhot – 1,5

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

48th Ilmar Raud Memorial 2014

Monday, June 30th, 2014

The 48th edition of the Ilmar Raud Memorial is taking place from 30th June to 6th July 2014 at the Viljandi Sports Center in Viljandi, a town in southern Estonia.

The event is played in memorial of Ilmar Raud, member of the Estonian team that scored bronze at the Chess Olympiad in Buenos Aires.

The playing format is 9 round Swiss format and the results will be submitted for FIDE and Estonian Elo ratings.

Each player will have 1 hour and 30 minutes for the first 40 moves and 15 minutes for the rest of the game + 30 additional seconds after each move.

The main prizes are as following: 1.500 €/1.000 €/ 700 €/ 400 €/ 250 €/ 150 €/ 100 €/ 70 €. The organizers provide many special prizes, as well as two surprise prizes.

A total of 59 players from 6 different countries, including 7 GMs, 5 IMs, 1 WIM and 5 FMs will take part in the tournament.

Top seed is Estonian champion GM Kaido Kulaots.

Official website / Live games with analysis

Starting list of participants (top seeds):

1 GM Kulaots Kaido EST 2572
2 GM Aleksandrov Aleksej BLR 2554
3 GM Kovalev Vladislav BLR 2554
4 GM Ehlvest Jaan USA 2552
5 GM Maiorov Nikita BLR 2520
6 GM Volodin Aleksandr EST 2490
7 IM Kantans Toms LAT 2467
8 IM Smirnov Artem RUS 2463
9 FM Meskovs Nikita LAT 2451
10 GM Shvyrjov Igor EST 2450

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

SPICE Cup Open 2014

Monday, June 30th, 2014

The 2014 SPICE Cup Open is scheduled to take place from 21st to 26th October at the Crowne Plaza Clayton Hotel in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.

The 9-round Swiss open is sponsored by Webster University and the Susan Polgar Foundation.

The event offers the prize fund of $13,000 guaranteed (up from $11,000 last year) and the possibility to earn FIDE title norms.

Last year winners were Alexander Ipatov and Kayden Troff.

SPICE Cup Open 2014

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

Limited to first 50 entries (Free entry to all players FIDE > 2300)
Limited FREE hotel accommodation (double occupancy) at the Crowne Plaza available to foreign Grandmasters.

Entry fees:
Free entry to all GMs, IMs, WGMs and all FIDE rated players over 2300 (must complete all 9 rounds), if registered by September 30, 2014. $50 later or on site.
$150 to FIDE 2200-2299, $200 to FIDE U-2200 if received by September 30, 2014. Additional $50 later or on site.

Crowne Plaza Clayton Hotel 7750 Carondelet Ave, St Louis, MO 63105 (FREE shuttle from the Lambert–St. Louis International Airport) $109/night, FREE Breakfast/Internet.
For reservations guests can call directly to 314-726-5400 or 1-800-439-5719
Group Name is SPICE Cup or on line at Crown Plaza Hotel.
Group Code is SPZ

Send entries to:
Webster University – SPICE
470 E. Lockwood Ave
St. Louis, MO 63119

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


Late Surge Earns Troff Junior Closed Championship

Monday, June 30th, 2014

GM Kayden Troff, the 16-year-old phenom out of Utah, has won the 2014 U.S. Junior Closed Championship in clear first with an impressive 7/9 score, grabbing the national championship for players under 21 by finishing 1.5 points ahead of the field.

For his efforts, Troff has won the top prize of $3,000, as well as an invitation to the 2015 U.S. Championship.

Article by Brian Jerauld

“I’m really excited,” Troff said. “This moment has come and gone a few times, where I’ve been excited before and missed. I have just always seemed to struggle in this tournament specifically — for it to be official and done, it’s a pretty good feeling.”

Replay games with analysis

GM Kayden Troff

GM Kayden Troff

In his fourth appearance in the Junior Closed, Troff entered as the tournament’s top seed and only grandmaster, ultimately tallying six wins across the 10-player, round-robin event. That is twice the amount of victories Troff has recorded in preceding Junior Championships, his previous-best score coming last year at 4.5/9.

And despite the strong finish, Troff’s new title was anything but certain until the end — especially after his fifth-round loss to FM Michael Bodek knocked him down into a tie for third place entering the rest day.

“My loss to Michael was a tough moment to get through; it just changed everything,” Troff said. “Everything was going quite well for me before that, and it was just this sudden shift of momentum. Trying to come back from that was probably my hardest moment.”

Troff apparently found zen on the rest day, however, returning to win out the rest of the tournament in convincing fashion. To get back to the top, Troff was forced to go right through it: Both his sixth- and seventh-round opponents, IMs Luke Harmon-Vellotti and Jeffrey Xiong, were tournament leaders at the time. And though a late surge by Bodek brought him within a half-point, Troff handled his own fate just fine by taking down FM Josh Colas and then the feisty NM Matt Larson in the final two rounds. Troff’s impressive score comes out of an extremely hard-fought Junior Closed Championship that featured 33 decisions across 45 games — and most of the draws were bitter fights to the end.

“I think this tournament makes a good statement on where the U.S. is headed in chess,” Troff said. “All these good players who all play so well, I have so much respect for them. Even Matt Larson, even though he was the lowest-rated by quite a bit, showed his guns and brought it to this tournament.

“Going in, even though people might have thought I was supposed to win this, once the tournament started I have to admit I was a little scared. Everyone was fighting, and even the draws were long and hard fought.”

Winning the national crown caps off an impressive month for Troff, who just earned his new grandmaster title at the Chicago Open and continues to grow as one of America’s ambassadors of chess. The 16-year-old is a promising member of the Young Stars – Team USA program partnership with the Kasparov Chess Foundation, which provides coaching and other support, and is partly responsible for padding more than 200 points to his rating over the last two years. Days before arriving in St. Louis for the Junior Closed, Troff and the Young Stars visited Washington D.C. for the second time to help promote the educational benefits of chess to Congress.

“This has all been so exciting; I’m grateful for it all,” Troff said. “Okay, I’m one of the top players in the country now, yet before all this started I was just some kid from Utah who was pretty good at chess. But I still feel that way: Just some kid from Utah who is pretty good at chess. I just want to work hard and keep it going; all of these opportunities and things that are happening around me, I can only be grateful.”

Bodek (5.5/7) finished in a tie for second with Troff’s fellow Young Star IM Sam Sevian, who scored 4.5 in his last five rounds after suffering three losses in his first four. Xiong (5/7), another Team Stars member, finished in clear fourth after the leading the tournament in its entirety, until Troff knocked him down in round 7.

Final standings:
1. GM Troff Kayden 2494 – 7.0
2-3. IM Sevian Samuel 2442 and FM Bodek Michael 2389 – 5.5
4. IM Xiong Jeffrey 2437 – 5.0
5. IM Harmon-Vellotti Luke 2412 – 4.5
6. IM Ostrovskiy Aleksandr 2423 – 4.0
7-9. FM Shen Arthur 2331, FM Williams Justus 2278 and NM Larson Matthew 2160 – 3.5
10. NM Colas Joshua 2247 – 3.0

Official website


2014 Dutch Championship

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Dutch Individual Chess Championships for men and women are scheduled to take place from 6th to 13th July 2014 at the Manor Hotel in Amsterdam, the capital and most populous city in the Netherlands.

Both tournaments will be played in 8 player round-robin format.

Men Section has the strong participation of 8 GMs, including the last-year’s winner GM Dmitri Reinderman.

Top seed is GM Sergei Tiviakov, while GM Zhaoqin Peng is the highest rated participant among women.

Follow the event live at 13:oo CET.

Official website / Men Section LIVE / Women Section LIVE

Men Section starting list:

1. GM Tiviakov, Sergei 2656
2. GM Van Wely, Loek 2654
3. GM L’Ami, Erwin 2647
4. GM Van Kampen, Robin 2631
5. GM Reinderman, Dimitri 2617
6. GM Bok, Benjamin 2591
7. GM Spoelman, Wouter 2571
8. GM Ernst, Sipke 2567

Women Section starting list:

1. GM Peng, Zhaoqin 2402
2. WGM Muhren, Bianca 2296
3. WIM Haast, Anne 2296
4. IM Lanchava, Tea 2286
5. WGM Paulet, Iozefina 2227
6. WIM Padurariu, Smaranda 2205
7. Hortensius, Lisa 2162
8. WFM Kazarian, Anna-Maja 2025

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

Chess is many things

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Chess by Stephen Dann
June 29, 2014

Why is chess considered by some to be a major sport, even among teenagers? An example showing this is close to home — Sam Sevian, 13, of Southbridge, and his performance in the 10-player U.S. Junior Closed, ending today in St. Louis.

According to the major stories by chess journalists, summarized Thursday (after a Wednesday rest day) at, Sam Sevian, the second seed, was considered to be one of the favorites to take this title. But he suffered three losses in the first five rounds, mostly due to “poor focus.” But, because he won two games against top players (and was the only player to have no draws), he still had a chance with just four games to be one of the leaders, being just 1.5 points off the place going into Thursday competition as this is being written.

Chess is a live, mental and somewhat physical game of concentration that is unique as well as challenging to teens and pre-teens. These kids are today coached by top theorists as well as self-taught, many times home-schooled, from a very early age.

Can a computer play football? There are all kinds of games, but only in chess can a human outwit a computer using general strategic and tactical knowledge. But officiating in chess has also become a great challenge, as humans determine what is ethical in a sport, not computers themselves.

STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in workforce development is being guided by activities such as chess, not physical sports.

After 45 years as a chess journalist, this writer now believes that he sees the issues of sports politics in a more focused way. We advocate that chess be seriously considered as a national sport, hobby and educational pursuit in the U.S. to promote both the elite professional and the amateur competitions. If you go to national chess sites, you’ll see where volunteers promote the game, not vested business interests by and large.

In coming weeks this writer may be taking his very first “vacation” to reassess his lifestyle. We thank everyone for their support, including our 1,430 connections on May all your moves be the right moves for you, your family, and your country.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information

85th FIDE Congress: General Assembly Agenda and Annexes

Monday, June 30th, 2014

official logo

FIDE is publishing the Agenda and Annexes for the General Assembly scheduled from 11th August to 14th August in Tromso, Norway.

Download the AGENDA.

List of Annexes

1. Accounts for 2013.
2. Commented accounts.
3. Proposal of the Bahrain Chess Federation on online payment facility.
4. Fees paid to PB members and Continental Presidents.
5. Report of the Permanent Fund Administrator Mr. L. Brunner.
6. Verification Commission’s report.
7. Proposed amendment of FIDE Statutes concerning dispute resolutions.
8. Agenda for the Qualification Commission’s meeting.
9. Summaries of the over-the-board title applications.
10. Agenda with Annexes for the Arbiters Commission’s meeting.
11. Summaries of the arbiters’ title applications.
12. Proposal on the Disciplinary Regulations for Arbiters.
13. Trainers Commission’s report.
14. Summaries of trainers’ title applications.
15. Proposal of the English Chess Federation regarding FIDE Academy Regulations.
16. Protest of the USCF in respect of the approval of the following FIDE Academies – Northshore, Marshall and SPICE.
17. Agenda with Annexes for the Technical Commission’s meeting.
18. Rules and Tournament Regulations Commission’s report.
19. Draft Laws of Chess.
20. Proposal of Mr. C. Abundo.
21. Agenda for the Swiss Pairings Programmes Committee’s meeting.
22. Agenda for the Development Commission’s meeting.
23. Minutes from Development’s Commission Core Team Meeting, Botswana 2014.
24. Chess in Schools Commission’s report.
25. Women’s Chess Commission’s report.
26. Proposed regulations for FIDE Online Women’s World Blitz Championship 2014.
27. Social Action Commission’s report.
28. Social Projects Commission’s report to follow.
29. Chess for Disabled Committee’s report.
30. Agenda for the Medical Commission’s meeting.
31. Ethics Commission’s report.
32. Agenda for the Events Commission’s meeting.
33. Summary of the International Organizers titles.
34. Proposed Anti-Cheating Regulations and comments to follow.
35. FOC proposal and Annexes to follow.
36. Bid from the South African Chess Federation for the World Cup 2017.
37. Bid from the Georgian Chess Federation for the World Cup 2017.
38. Report of the Chief Arbiter for the FIDE Candidates’ Matches 2014.
39. Report of the Chief Arbiter for the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championship 2014.
40. Report of the Chief Arbiter for the FIDE Women’s World Rapid and Blitz Championship 2014.
41. Bid from Georgian Chess Federation for the World Chess Olympiad 2018.
42. Bid from South African Chess Federation for the World Chess Olympiad 2018.
43. Report of Mr. D. Jarrett on the inspections to proposed venues for World Senior Championship 2015.
44. Bid from Italian Chess Federation for the World Senior Championship 2016.
45. Bid from Czech Republic Chess Federation for the World Senior Championship 2016.
46. Report of the Chief Arbiter for the World Amateur Championship 2014.
47. Report of the FIDE Technical Delegate’s report for the World Amateur Championship 2014.
48. Bid from the Greek Chess Federation for World Schools Individual Championship 2016.
49. Bid from the Romanian Chess Federation for World Schools Individual Championship 2016.
50. Bid from the Tunisian Chess Federation for World Schools Individual Championship 2016.
51. Proposal of the Montenegro Chess Federation in respect of the European Youth Chess Championship, Budva 2013.
52. Proposal of the Ukrainian Chess Federation.

Source: World Chess Federation – FIDE


Monday, June 30th, 2014

Shelby Lyman on Chess: Unconquerable

A chess game can be a brutal, relentless struggle, But the possibility of a draw has always offered hope for relief.

That is unless the opponent happened to be Bobby Fischer, who would rarely make peace while a shred of fight was left in the position before him.

Resistance often crumbled under the implacable pressure.

A game, at the age of 13, foreshadowed what was in store for future opponents. In a seemingly lifeless position at the Manhattan Chess Club, Fischer’s opponent, Joe Tamargo, suggested halving the point.

“Are you kidding?” Fischer screeched.

Flustered by Fischer’s response, Tamargo blundered on the next move. A “certain” draw had become a painful loss.

A similar scenario prevailed more than a decade later against the formidable Soviet grandmaster Efim Geller at an Interzonal tournament in Palma de Mallorca.

Geller, thinking Fischer was in a non-combative mood, suggested a draw after only seven moves. Fischer started laughing. Geller turned red and began to play poorly. In a few moves, Fischer was a pawn ahead.

To his final breath, Bobby Fischer never ceased to struggle.

According to the attending physician at his deathbed in 2008, no one in his experience had fought harder against the inevitable than Fischer.


Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar

Source: Susan Polgar Chess Daily News and Information