Archive for November, 2017

FIDE World Chess Championship Match 2018 in London

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

FIDE and World Chess announced today that the 2018 World Chess Championship Match will take place in London in November 2018.

The world’s most prestigious chess tournament is to be the climax of a season of high-profile activity to extend the sport’s appeal among global audiences – and make 2018 the Year of Chess in the UK.

Taking place from 9-28 November, the 12-game Match will see current World Chess Champion, Norway’s Magnus Carlsen, defend his title against a challenger to be decided at the forthcoming FIDE World Chess Candidates Tournament in March.

The Championship Match will have a prize fund of EUR 1,000,000.


Chess is enjoying increased popularity around the world and is the only game that is pre-downloaded on nearly every new smartphone. Hundreds of millions of games are played over the internet every week, and more people play chess regularly than golf and tennis combined, according to YouGov.

Georgios Makropoulos, FIDE Deputy President, says: “FIDE is very pleased to bring the Match to London. We know that this city loves chess, most major newspapers run regular chess columns, and we hope that the fans will love a chance to see the greatest minds in the world fight to the Championship title live.”

Ilya Merenzon, CEO of World Chess, the commercial rights holder to the FIDE Chess Championship cycle, says: “Chess is now one of the world’s most popular computer games, but it has long-standing traditions, and we believe that London is the perfect setting for the next Championship Match. We are transforming the sport and making it modern and hip, but mindful of millennia-old traditions – and we hope to conduct this transformation as gracefully, as London does.”

The match is supported by PhosAgro, Kaspersky Lab, S.T. Dupont and Isklar.


2018 World Championship To Be Held In London

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

The next World Chess Championship match will be held in London. This was announced at a private party in Kensington, London on Wednesday night where Magnus Carlsen was the special guest.
Held at the Kensington Roof Gardens, the party w…

Source: – Play. Learn. Share.

Russian Championship Superfinals starting

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

The Superfinals of 70th Russian men’s championship and 67th Russian women’s championship will take place on December 2-15 at the State Museum of Political History of Russia (2-4, Kuybysheva St., Saint Petersburg).

The organizers are the Russian Chess Federation, Elena and Gennady Timchenko Charitable Foundation, the State Museum of Political History of Russia, Chess Federation of Saint Petersburg, and Physical Culture, and Sports Committee of Saint Petersburg. The competition is also supported by Renault Russia Company, Federal Grid Company of Unified Energy System (FGC UES), and PhosAgro. Logistics partner of the Russian Chess Federation is Russian Post.

The Opening Ceremony will be held on December 2. The exhibition “USSR – A Great Chess Power” will be represented at the Museum’s atrium. One will manage to see the Soviet chess posters of the 1930s-1960s, rare archival photos and many other interesting items. The exposition will be presented by its author, Deputy Head of the Museum’s Scientific and Exhibitory Department Margarita Samoylova at 6 p.m.

The press conference with the organizers and two participants will be held from 6:30 till 7 p.m. A Chess Schools: Second Academic Level tutorial (author is Vladimir Barsky), issued by the RCF with support of the Timchenko Foundation, will be presented during the press conference.

The Opening Ceremony, which will include drawing of lots, will start at 7:30 p.m.

State Museum of Political History of Russia

President of the Russian Chess Federation, Head Coach of the Russia men’s national chess team Andrey Filatov:

“- Russian Championships Superfinals always carry on an intrigue and are very interesting for amateurs and professionals because not only well-known chess stars take part in them, but also those athletes who have gained the right to participate through a number of qualification events. I am sure that young players will manage to assert themselves. Participation of repeated Russian champions Peter Svidler, Valentina Gunina, and Alisa Galliamova will give a special status to the event. It is wonderful that the tournament will take place in Saint Petersburg, which, by the way, hasn’t hosted the Russian Championship since 1998. I hope that a new member of the Chess in Museums programme – the State Museum of Political History of Russia – will be no less interesting for the spectators than Russian Museum, which hosted Alekhine Memorial in 2013 together with the Louvre.”

Line-up, men:

Peter Svidler, Vladimir Fedoseev, Maxim Matlakov, Nikita Vitiugov, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Ernesto Inarkiev, Vladimir Malakhov, Daniil Dubov, Alexander Riazantsev, Sanan Sjugirov, Sergey Volkov, and Evgeny Romanov.

Line-up, women:

Valentina Gunina, Olga Girya, Aleksandra Goryachkina, Natalija Pogonina, Alina Kashlinskaya, Alisa Galliamova, Anastasia Bodnaruk, Marina Nechaeva, Ekaterina Kovalevskaya, Polina Shuvalova, Evgenija Ovod, and Oksana Gritsayeva.

Total prize fund is 9,000,000 roubles.

Besides, the winners of men’s and women’s tournaments will also receive a special prize – a four-wheel-drive crossover Renault Kaptur. On May 31, 2016, Renault Russia company signed a partnership deal with the RCF. The papers were signed by Andrey Pankov, General Director of Renault Russia, and RCF President, Head Coach of the Russia men’s national chess team Andrey Filatov. According to the deal, Renault Kaptur became an official car of the Russian Chess Federation.

The tournaments are round-robin events with 11 rounds. Time control: 90 minutes for 40 moves + 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30 seconds increment for every move played starting from the move one. Chief arbiter is IA Igor Bolotinsky (Saint Petersburg).

Schedule: Opening ceremony: December 2. Playing days: December 3-7 and 9-14, rest day – December 8. Rounds start at 3 p.m., the last round begins at 1 p.m. Closing ceremony will start in 40 minutes after the end of the last game.

The tournament is a part of the Chess in Museums program, carried out by the RCF together with Timchenko Foundation since 2012. During this period, a number of high-level chess competitions were organized in museums: World Chess Championship 2012 took place in the Tretyakov Gallery, Alekhine Memorial – in Louvre (Paris) and Russian Museum (St. Petersburg), Russian Superfinals – in Rukavishnikov Estate (Nizhny Novgorod), State Art Museum of Tatarstan (Kazan), and the Novosibirsk State Museum of Local History, all-Russian Higher League competition – in Fort #5 (Kaliningrad), and the 10th Tal Memorial – in the Museum of Russian Impressionism.

On December 8, the participants will give simuls to young chess players. All chess events running under Chess in Museums project feature a special social program for a rest day, which primarily aims at children. Master-classes and simultaneous displays give chess fans a chance to meet their heroes in person, test their own chess ability, and sometimes even defeat a renowned grandmaster.

Press accreditation: Press officer of the Russian Chess Federation Eteri Kublashvili, e-mail


In memory of Mark Taimanov – video with a famous combination against Karpov

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

A year after Mark Taimanov’s passing – here is a tribute to his tactical vision!

Source: chessblogger

American Continental Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

The American Continental Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship for 2017 will take place in Medellin, Colombia, from 14th-16th December.

The event is organized by Colombian Chess Federation with support of the Chess League of Antioquia. The playing venue is Atanasio Girardot Sports Complex.

The Championship is open to all chess players who represent the Federation listed as the member of the American continent in FIDE, regardless on the title and FIDE rating.

The Presidents of each Zone of America will have the right to choose two players who will represent their Zone on the Championship. These players will be free of charge for Accommodation and entry fee.

Atanasio Girardot Sports Complex

The registration should be done online and registration deadline is 12th of December. Before the deadline date, all the participants shall register for the event by sending an e-mail to the following addresses: or

The registration shall include the following information: Complete name and surname, Country, ID number, FIDE ID, Picture of small resolution, Date of birth, FIDE title.

American Continental Rapid Chess Championship will be played on 14th and 15th December while the Blitz Championship will take place on 16th of December.

The total prize fund for both events is 5.000 USD (3.000 USD for Rapid and 2.000 USD for Blitz Championship).

Rapid Chess Championship will be played in 11 rounds according to the Swiss system, with time control of 15 minutes for the whole game with an increment of 10 seconds per move, starting from the move one. The time control for the Blitz competition will be 3 minutes for the whole game with an increment of 2 seconds per move, starting from the move one.

For any questions or information, Tournament office can be contacted:

Norbey Rodr?guez –
Phone: +57- 3156703900
Phone: 574-4340004 ?
E-mail: oficiales: and

Official Regulations for the Championship can be downloaded here.


FIDE Arbiters’ Seminar in Seoul, South Korea – Results

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

From 11 to 12 November 2017 a FIDE Arbiters’ Seminar was organized in Seoul, South Korea, by the Korean Chess Federation, in cooperation with the Asian Chess Federation and under auspices of FIDE.

The lecturer was IA Casto Abundo (PHI), FIDE Lecturer.

The venue of the Seminar was the University of Seoul. The lectures were in English language.

Thirty eight (38) people from South Korea participated in the Seminar and all of them participated in the examination test that was held after the end of the lectures.

Seoul group

The following succeeded in the test and will be awarded a norm for the FIDE Arbiter title and after the approval of the FIDE Presidential Board:

13201034 Ahn, Sungmin KOR M
13201727 Kang, Taehyung KOR M
13207539 Kim, Yunseo KOR M
13208853 Chung, Changwook KOR M
13201379 Choi, Ian KOR M
13209469 Yoon, Renee KOR F
13205200 Kim, Changhyung KOR M
13207245 Kim, Hannah KOR F
13200852 Byun Sungwon KOR F
13207873 Suh, Ethan Hojun KOR M
13206192 Lee, Jiyoon KOR F
13203207 Kim, Derek minwoo KOR M
13205102 Cho, Sungyun KOR M
13207920 Choi, Hojoon Jayden KOR M
13202847 Choe, Hyungjin KOR M
13203193 Maximilian Huh KOR M
13204343 Cho, Jaehan KOR M
13209493 Choi, Brandon KOR M
13202316 Kim, Yubin KOR F
13202308 Shin, Hyunggyu KOR M
13207989 Kim, Jaesung KOR M
13207229 Chung, Minche KOR M
13202073 Ju, Jessica KOR F
13203746 No, Jihyun KOR F
13207903 Kim, Herrie KOR F
13202650 Song, Gihoon KOR M
13207210 Yoon, Chanyoung KOR M
13204467 Kim, Doyeon KOR M
13207890 Kim, jaeyun KOR M

IA Takis Nikolopoulos
FIDE Arbiters’ Commission

Seoul lecture


56th CCA Internet based FIDE Arbiters’ Seminar

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

Official FIDE logoThe Confederation for Chess of America is going to organize an Internet based FIDE Arbiters’ Seminar, from 12 to 17 December 2017, under the auspices of FIDE.

The Lecturer will be IA Santiago Garcia Ramos (MEX), FIDE Lecturer. The technical Organizer will be IA Jorge Vega Fernandez (GUA).

The lectures will be in Spanish language.

The Seminar will give FIDE Arbiter norms, according to the Regulations for the titles of the Arbiters.

For more detailed information please contact:
IA Santiago Garcia Ramos:,
IA Jorge Vega Fernandez:

IA Takis Nikolopoulos
FIDE Arbiters’ Commission


Ivanchuk, Muzychuk Steal Show At Kings Tournament

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

This year’s Kings Tournament in Medias, Romania saw a double Ukrainian success as Vassily Ivanchuk and Anna Muzychuk dominated their groups in both the rapid and blitz sections.
A decade ago Romania added an interesting tournament to the interna…

Source: – Play. Learn. Share.

Israeli players hopeful to participate in World Rapid and Blitz Championships in Saudi Arabia

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017


The World Chess Federation (FIDE) is undertaking a huge effort to include Israeli players in the King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Championships that take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between 26th and 30th December 2017.

Seven Israeli players hoping to attend the event have submitted visa requests, FIDE Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos told Reuters.

Should their visas be granted, it would mark the first time Saudi Arabia has publicly hosted Israelis.

“We have sent their documents to the organizers and the visa status is currently pending,” Makropoulos said. “The same applies for many other chess players who are waiting for their visa invitation letters. We are making a huge effort to ensure that all players get their visas.”

If the development is positive, this would be another historic breakthrough in regard to King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Championships. Earlier, FIDE has announced that female participants will not have to wear hijab or abaya during the games, a first for any sporting event in Saudi Arabia.

Magnus Carlsen (Norway), the highest-rated chess player in the world and World Champion in classical chess, as well as the incumbent World Rapid and Blitz Champions — Sergey Karjakin (Russia) and Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), along with over 180 top grandmasters have confirmed their participation in Riyadh.

The four events offer a record total prize fund of US$2,000,000 with the Open events having individual prize funds of US$750,000 each and the women event having a prize fund of US$ 250,000 each.


Houdini with a six point lead near the halfway point of TCEC

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Official Superfinal poster by Santiago Mendez

Official Superfinal poster by Santiago Mendez

The Superfinal of the Top Chess Engine Championship is near the halfway point. It is the second Superfinal in a row for Houdini and, while last year it was suffering at this point of the competition, this year Houdini shows great advances. Houdini has a comfortable six-point lead over Komodo after 45 games played, scoring seven wins, thirty seven draws and conceding only one loss.

TCEC live with analysis / Replay all the games / Video conference with the authors / Twitch TV channel

Eight decisive games in the Superfinal so far closely matches expectations. The diverse and interesting openings by Jeroen Noomen have added excitement into the high-level match. Engines play each opening with both colors and it is up to them to prove that a win can be achieved. So far neither Komodo nor Houdini have managed to score a win with black.

Here are the eight decisive games for replay with analysis:

Houdini – Komodo, Sicilian: Taimanov, 6.Be3 a6 7.Qd2 1-0
Houdini – Komodo, King’s Indian: Fianchetto, Classical, 9.h3 Qb6 10.c5 1-0
Houdini – Komodo, French: Advance, Euwe, 6.a3 1-0
Houdini – Komodo, Budapest: 3…Ng4 4.e3 1-0
Houdini – Komodo, Philidor: Improved Hanham, 7.Re1 1-0
Komodo – Houdini, Spanish: Modern Steinitz, Rubinstein Variation 1-0
Houdini – Komodo, Spanish: Modern Steinitz, Rubinstein Variation 1-0
Houdini – Komodo, Colle: 3…e6 4.Bd3 c5 1-0

Komodo Team Reports Compiler Glitch – Version Update Rejected

As per the rules, before the start of the Superfinal both participants had the chance to update their engines. Houdini preferred not to take any risks and used the same version that played Stage 1 and Stage 2 of TCEC. Komodo submitted a new development version, upgrading from Komodo 1959.00 to Komodo 1970.00. At the beginning of the Superfinal many noticed that Komodo’s speed (in nodes per second) was lower than previously seen. Tournament director Anton Mihailov, with the help of the server administrator Martin Thoresen, double- and triple-checked that the engine was installed correctly. The details were sent to the Komodo team and everyone agreed there was no problem during the Superfinal setup.

On November 25 the Komodo team, Mark Lefler and GM Larry Kaufman, noted they believed the source of the nodes per second problem had been discovered. Here is their full explanation, a request to update Komodo, and the resolution of that question.

Statement by team Komodo

During Game 1 of the Superfinal Anton Mihailov, TCEC’s tournament director, emailed us noting significantly lower nodes per second from the version of Komodo we had used in Stage 2, 1959.00. Anton checked TCEC’s server for correct settings and found nothing amiss there.

We began our investigation by making Windows versions of many of the promotions between version 1959.00 and 1970.00 (the Superfinal version), using 23 threads on a 24 core machine. In this testing we found a roughly 8% drop in speed when running 1960.00 versus 1959.00, and similar speed drops in all the versions tested up through 1970.00. We examined the code change between 1959.00 and 1960.00 which was a minor addition to some backward pawn score (two or three lines of code).
Finding nothing in the code that could explain a significant slowdown, we recompiled the source code turning off PGO (profile-guided optimization). This did not help. Then we recompiled turning off LTO (Link Time Optimization). This resulted in restoration of the lost speed. The compiler we used throughout was MinGW 4.7.3.

It is not completely clear what exactly happened between Stage 2 version 1959.00 and 1960.00. There was no evidence of this speed reduction in 1959.00 or Komodo 11.2.2, our latest public release. We speculate that the speed reduction happens once some size of compiled code is exceeded.

It is important to point out that the approximately 8% speed reduction we noted on our best hardware (24 cores) is apparently as high as 23% on TCEC’s 44-core machine based on Komodo’s relative nodes per second vs. Houdini in Stage 2. A difference of this magnitude is what Anton noted in his original email signalling that there might be a problem.

In summary, there is indeed a slowdown in the version now running in TCEC, which appears to be due to a compiler bug. We believe that the compiler bug is more significant than any program changes since 11.2.2.

We accept full responsibility for not discovering the problem before the start of the final. Although the bug has probably cost us some points it probably does not fully explain the current five point score deficit.

We do not claim to be entitled to a program substitution at this point. Although the bug was not “our” bug, we could in theory have rented a 44-core machine for a test, or caught the much smaller slowdown on our own hardware. But I would point out that when Stockfish made a substitution last season it was due to their own bug, not a compiler bug. But this is a new season with new rules.

However, if TCEC offers to allow us to use a recompiled (with LTO off) 1970.00, or the Stage 2 compile of 1959.00, or even version 1937.00 of Stage 1 (in that order of preference) for remaining games (presumably after consulting with Houdini developer Robert Houdart) we would be happy with that substitution. If Robert wants to submit a better compile of the same version at the same time for any reason that would be fair. I think we may be too far behind to change the final match result but perhaps we could be competitive in the remaining games. If you want to wait for an even number of games or even for the halfway point in the match to allow a change that would also be fine.

Regardless of the decision, I think the viewing public is entitled to know the reason for the slowdown. It’s obvious that there is a significant slowdown and we cannot deny knowing the reason for it. I don’t think it hurts TCEC in any way to provide an explanation of an obvious problem. We’re certainly not blaming anyone other than the authors of the compiler.

Larry Kaufman and Mark Lefler, authors of Komodo

The rules of TCEC state that no engine update is possible during a stage except if an engine is behaving in a manner suggestive of critical bugs. Tournament director Anton Mihailov explained the rules and the procedure following Komodo’s request, “a critical bug is a situation where an engine is unstable in a high percentage of the games, is crashing, or is unable to produce sensible chess. Komodo’s case is far from that and, despite the lower speed, it presents very strong chess games. Thus, per the rules, Komodo cannot be updated.” However, there was a precedent during Season 8 wherein Stockfish was updated during the stage due to a bug that was not considered critical. This precedent has since become an unwritten rule of TCEC and Anton Mihailov recaps the case, “the only way an engine can get updated in the middle of a stage without presenting a critical bug is if and only if 100% of the participants in a given stage agree for another engine to use another version.”

Thus Komodo’s request was forwarded to the other participant in the Superfinal, Robert Houdart, the author of Houdini. His response:

Houdini replies to Komodo’s request

After due consideration, I cannot agree with the substitution of Komodo.

My reasons are the following:

1) About half the match has already been played – 46 games out of 100; it’s a bit too late to substitute an engine for any other reason than a critical bug.
In the current case the engine doesn’t have any critical issues; it’s just a bit slower than expected.

2) There is no precedent in TCEC for allowing an update of an engine halfway in a stage, only because there appears to be an issue which slightly reduces its strength.
I estimate that the reported 23% speed drop is equivalent to about 9 Elo at the TCEC superfinal time control and number of cores (assuming that a doubling of the speed creates about 30 Elo, which is a reasonable estimate). One could argue that this is “much ado about nothing”…

3) Houdini has been playing the whole TCEC Season 10 with the release version of Houdini 6 (in essence a version which is now 2? months old). This is a deliberate choice; it assures that TCEC receives a high-quality, well tested build. With that in mind, it doesn’t make sense to allow other engines the luxury of correcting non-critical bugs in the middle of a TCEC stage.

Robert Houdart, Houdini Chess Engine

As per the rules and the precedent set in Season 8, tournament director Anton Mihailov has therefore ruled that Komodo will continue playing the rest of the Superfinal with the current version and no update will be allowed. He further noted, “during the ten season history of TCEC, the competition has developed one of the most comprehensive rule sets in the computer chess world. However, right after Season 10, wording of some rules will be made clearer and more detailed. As the TCEC championship grows bigger and evolves, so will the rules set.”