Archive for December, 2015

Best of 2015: Best female player

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

The year 2015 is almost over, so we thought it’s time to let you vote for your highlights of this year. To begin with, we want you to vote for the best female player of the year. The following article presents a number of players who currently shape the chess world and whose achievements in 2015 stand out. Who is your player of the year 2015?

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ChessBase Account: MyGames Cloud (part two)

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

While it is absolutely true that one can create a database, enter fresh games, and analyze them, all using the MyGames app, to get the most from all its options such as collectively shared databases across the globe, you need ChessBase 13. However, you don’t need this if all you want is to to share analysis for player preparation as a player with a second or coach.

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CNN: An interview with Magnus conducted by fans

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

You might be inclined to dismiss this as YAIWMC (Yet Another Interview with Magnus Carlsen), but this one particular one mediated (not conducted) by CNN came with a twist. All the questions came from fans through social networks, asking everything: from Carlsen’s eating habits to his ultimate opponent. Some of the answers might surprise you!

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Great Chess Minds Think Alike: Carlsen Wins in Qatar

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

The world chess champion Magnus Carlsen finished the year with a victory at the Qatar Masters Open in Doha on Tuesday. He was leading most of the way, but was caught by the Chinese grandmaster Yu Yangyi in the last round and both ended with 7 points in 9 games. However, Carlsen dominated the playoff, winning both games and the trophy. The Qatar Masters, one of the strongest open tournaments, featured many of the world’s best chess players. Tied for third place with 6,5 points were the Russian grandmasters Vladimir Kramnik, Sergey Karjakin and Sanan Sjugirov, the Chinese GM Ni Hua and the Ukrainian GM Vasyl Ivanchuk. Altogether, 132 chess players took part. Carlsen played more sharply and created a masterpiece that was reminiscent of chess history. The same moves and similar middlegame ideas that occurred in the past suddenly …

Source: GameKnot online chess news

Qatar Masters Open 2015 – Round 9 Video

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

World Champion Magnus Carlsen won the Qatar Masters Chess Open 2015 after defeating the last year winner Yu Yangyi in tie-breaks. Carlsen continued the hot streak after his win in the London Chess Classics.

Replay games with analysis

Vijay Kumar presents the round 9 video including interviews with Magnus Carlsen, Sergey Karjakin, Surya Sekhar Ganguly and SP Serthuraman.


Manuel Aaron Is Now 80

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

Manuel Aaron

Manuel Aaron Is Now 80

Manuel Aaron of Chennai (formerly called Madras) is the most celebrated Indian chess player between Sultan Khan and Viswanathan Anand.

He is India’s first International Master and holds the record of winning the Indian National Championship for nine times.

Manuel Aaron, born at Toungoo, Burma (now Myanmar) to Indian Tamil speaking parents in 1935 is a father figure in Indian chess. He has assumed many roles in Indian chess – player, arbiter, journalist, organiser and administrator.

The Government of India honoured him with the Arjuna Award when the award was first instituted. In the Karpov-Kasparov, 1986 Match, he was an Appeals Committee member. He was a member in the FIDE Central Committee for a good period of time.

In his career, he played in only three Olympiads (1960, 1962 and 1964) as the Indian regime at that time did not field teams from 1966 to 1978 (men). His victories over Lajos Portisch (twice) and world champion Max Euwe are noteworthy from his career point of view.

He was a former two-time Honorary Secretary of the All India Chess Federation. He also served as General Secretary of the Tamil Nadu State Chess Association several terms and supported his native Tuticorin District by playing and helping their chess cause.

He is credited with organising the first Grand Master Chess Tournament at Tiruchi (South India) in 1978 and the first Woman Grand Master Tournament in Chennai in 1987.

Manuel Aaron joined Indian Bank in 1960 as officer and retired in 1995 as Deputy Chief Officer. He did coaching stints in Sharjah, UAE for three years.

He edits Chess Mate, a monthly chess magazine, founded by him in 1983 and contributes for AICF Chronicle. He has written on chess for many newspapers in India.

Among the books, the latest is Indian Chess History (published in 2014) which he wrote together with Vijay D Pandit. His books, Begin Chess published in 2003 and Chess Laws with Basics in 1985 has seen multiple reprints. He also wrote a book on the Karpov v Kasparov 1986 match and the 1986 Dubai Chess Olympiad.

Tamil Chess, a book when he was in TNSCA listed the achievements of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Manuel Aaron was the founder President of the Tal Chess Club in Chennai in 1972. It functioned inside the Soviet Cultural Centre. Viswanathan Anand attended the chess lectures of Manuel Aaron in his younger days at that club.

Since 1993 Manuel Aaron runs the popular Aaron Chess Academy.

Source: World Chess Federation – FIDE

Wang Hao wins 2015 Al Ain Classic with round to spare

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

GM Wang Hao of China hurdled the challenge from GM Abhijeet Gupta of India in the penultimate round to win the championship with one round to spare in the 4th Al Ain Chess Classic at the Hili Reyhaan Rotana Hotel in Al Ain, UAE.

Wang scored an impressive 7.5 points in 8 rounds, out of reach of the second runners with 6 points. He thus clinched the trophy and the first prize of $13,000.

The former Chinese national champion crushed the Gruenfeld Defense of Gupta, the 2013 Al Ain Classic champion, in 41 moves. Wang controlled the center and Gupta had to exchange two Bishops for a Rook in order to free his position but lost in the endgame.

“This is my second time in Al Ain and my fifth tournament in the UAE. The organization is good and it is very nice weather here in December. Now in Beijing it is really cold,” Wang said after the round.

Live games with analysis

Wang Hao - Abhijeet Gupta

Tournament Director Tarek Al Taher and Hili Rayhaan Rotana Hotel General Manager Amro Adel start the clock

Fighting for the rest of the total prize fund of $57,000 are four players in second slot and 18 players a half point behind them.

Tied with 6 points each are former world championship finalist Alexei Shirov of Latvia, Arman Pashikian of Armenia, top seed Yuriy Kryvoruchko and Mykhaylo Oleksiyenko, both of Ukraine.

Shirov and Kryvoruchko drew in 26 moves of a Ruy Lopez, the minimum number of moves required before a draw can be agreed. Pashikian, 28, former Armenian national champion, drew with Alexander Arehchenko of Ukraine in a marathon 72 moves of a Gruenfeld Defense. Oleksienko used the Sicilian Defense to beat Walter Arencibia of Cuba in 41 moves.

Tied at 5.5 points each are Gupta, Areshchenko, GMs Vladimir Onischuk, Yuriy Kuzubov, Zahar Efimenko and Martyn Kravtsiv of Ukraine, Levan Pantsulaia and Mikheil Mchedlishvili of Georgia, Hovhannes Gabuzyan, Robert Hovhannisyan and Zaven Andriasian of Armenia, Ahmed Adly of Egypt, Alexander Motylev, Alexander Rakhmanov and Sergey Volkov of Russia, Sergei Zhigalko and Sergei Azarov of Belarus and Viorel Iordachescu of Moldova. A record 56 GMs and 5 WGMs are among the 127-man field from 33 countries.

An Al Ain Amateur tournament is being held concurrently for players rated below 2000 with 72 players from 15 countries competing for $7,000 in cash prizes. Anisweud Sasikumar, 15, of India leads the Amateur event alone with 7.5 points followed within striking distance by compatriot Saji Adarsh with 6.5 points. Tied at 6 points each are local bets FM Marshool Hamdan and Marshool Mohamed of the UAE, Raffi Ghazaryan of Armenia and Ahmad Saeed Bondok of Egypt.

Visit the official site for live games and photo gallery.


FM Nguyen Anh Khoi and WGM Nguyen Thi Mai Hung win JAPFA 3rd ASEAN Championships 2015

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

It proved to be a most dramatic last round in the Open category of the JAPFA 3rd ASEAN Championships 2015.

Leader IM Jan Emmanuel Garcia had a half point lead and was paired with fellow countryman IM Paola Bersamina and despite their team leader and coach GM Jayson’s Gonzales assurance they would play the game fairly, most participants still saw the result as a forgone conclusion.

Garcia and Bersamina however drew their game, a result while opened the door for 13-year old FM Nguyen And Khoi and his coach, veteran GM Dao Thien Hai.

It was no surprise for Dao to win, even with the black pieces, against a determined by relatively inexperienced Yoseph Theofilus Taher who was not only the only untitled player but also the lowest rated.

Open Winners

But in a shock upset, Anh Khoi defeated GM Susanto Megaranto who till then had made 10 successive draws!

So three players tied for first place with 7/11 and after tie-breaks, it was Anh Khoi first, Dao second and Garcia third. In fourth, one point behind, also on tie-break over Bersamina was 16 year old Yeoh Li Tan who despite battled serious illness in the last few days came through with his first IM norm.

Despite his loss to Dao, Yoseph too was a happy young player as he also made an IM norm.

A little question mark as per the regulations did not spoilt the day for Anh Khoi who also made his first IM norm as normally he would be awarded the IM title outright together with a 9 game GM norm but this matter is now for the organisers, Vietnam Chess Federation and FIDE to clarify.

Womens Winners

In the Women’s category, WGM Nguyen Thi Mai Hung on 8.5/10 held a one point lead going into the last round and only needed a draw.

On her offer, WCM Nur Nabila Azman Hisham was more than happy to accept and than meant WIM Janelle Mae Frayna has nothing to play for either but to keep second place a point behind with 8/11 while WFM Shania Mae Mendoza took third place with her final WIM norm and the title with 7.5/11.

The closing ceremony again saw GM Utut Adianto as the guest of honour.

News and photos by Peter Long

Both Champions Front

Adianto Keynote Closeup



Adianto and Media


ChessBase Chrismas Puzzles 2015 (6)

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

This year was the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Musing over the Napoleonic invasion of Russia, three years before, Pal Benko found a well-known chess problem that reflects the retreat of the French forces and the attacks by Cossack Hussards. It was composed by Alexander Petrov in 1824, but is somewhat flawed. Our problemist friend could not resist improving on it.

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The strategical opening exchange sacrifice

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

Opening theory evolves at a startling rate, and most instruction deals with concrete variations and lines to wield the openings in battle over the board. However, in this series of lectures, the erudite GM Adrian Mikhalchishin discusses the evolution of the exchange sacrifice in opening theory and its many manifestations. A fascinating and entertaining course.

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