Archive for January, 2019

Chennai Open: Akash among leaders, Harshavardhan stuns GM Rozum

Monday, January 21st, 2019

Former National Champion International Master G Akash shared the lead with 4.0 points after the fourth round of the 11th Chennai Open International Grandmaster Chess tournament 2019 for Sakthi Group Dr N Mahalingam Trophy at Novotel IBIS OMR Hotel, Chennai here today.

GM Norm holder Akash scored over Grandmaster Ziatdinov Raset of USA. In the top board GM Paichadze Luka of Georgia scored over defending Champion, Grandmaster Laxman R R of India.

Sharing the lead at 4.0 points with Paichadze Luka (Georgia) were Tran Tuan Minh, Nguyen Van Huy (both Vietnam), Lugovskoy Maxim (Russia), Akash G, Karthik Venkataraman, Shyamnikhil P, Harikrishnan A Ra and Girish A Koushik (all India). Half a point behind at 3.5 points were 11 players including GMs Popov Ivan (Russia) and Aleksandrov Aleksej (Belarus) among others.

Top seeded Russian Grandmaster Alexandr Predke shed his second half a point, against Chennai based International Master T U Navin Kanna and remains at 3.0 points.

Top seed GM Alexandr Predke, P Stephen Balasamy, Gen Secy, TNSCA, B Murugavel, Vice President, TNSCA, GM Elect D Gukesh, D V Sundar, Vice President, FIDE, Frederic Friedel, Co-founder, ChessBase, IM Manuel Aaron

Top seed GM Alexandr Predke, P Stephen Balasamy, Gen Secy, TNSCA, B Murugavel, Vice President, TNSCA, GM Elect D Gukesh, D V Sundar, Vice President, FIDE, Frederic Friedel, Co-founder, ChessBase, IM Manuel Aaron

GM Norm holder Akash put it across GM Ziatdinov Raset of USA in a Ruy Lopez game that lasted 46 moves. An early exchange sacrifice showed the Indian’s will to go all out for win. Shattering both sides of the board, Akash kept the Ziatdinov’s king in the centre and finished the game in a flourish giving his rook thereby forcing the queening of his pawn.

Earlier, IM Norm holder G B Harshavardhan (Velammal School, Chennai) scored the biggest win of his career defeating third seeded Russian Grandmaster Rozum Ivan (ELO 2589) in the third round that concluded late yesterday. Rozum side stepped a draw by repetition on the 20th move, but went into an inferior rook ending that Chennai boy fully used to his advantage securing the win after 56 moves. Further, Harsha came up with a steady show today holding International Master N R Vignesh to a draw and is scheduled to meet Grandmaster Stupak Kirill (Belarus) in the next round.

IM Norm holder Harshavardhan G B

IM Norm holder Harshavardhan G B

The third round also witnessed upset wins for Sai Vishwesh C and Senthil Maran K over Grandmasters Deviatkin Andrei and Sundararajan Kidambi respectively. Six rounds remain in this Rupees 15 lakhs (Euros 18460) prize money tournament that concludes on Friday, 25th January, 2019.

Earlier, the inauguration was preceded by a felicitation for the achievement of second youngest Grandmaster title in the history of chess by Chennai boy D Gukesh (DOB 29th May, 2006). Achieving the final GM Norm in the recently concluded Delhi Open, Gukesh, who is our current World Under 12 Champion, made it on his 12th year, 7th month and 17th day. The Velammal School boy fell short of world record holder Russian Sergey Karjakin by 17 days. Karjakin (DOB 12th Jan, 1990) had completed the GM title in 12 years and 7 months in 2002.

Mr S Kailasanathan, CEO, Microsense, GM Elect D Gukesh, International Master Manuel Aaron, Mr D V Sundar, Vice President, FIDE

Mr S Kailasanathan, CEO, Microsense, GM Elect D Gukesh, International Master Manuel Aaron, Mr D V Sundar, Vice President, FIDE

Speaking on the felicitation of GM Elect Gukesh, Mr D V Sundar, Vice President FIDE said, “This boy, Gukesh, is bound to go far, bringing more laurels to himself and the country”.

Mr Frederic Friedel, Co-founder, ChessBase added, “Gukesh shows profound understanding for chess and I see the rising of another Magnus Carlsen in him”.

Mr S Kailasanathan, CEO of Microsense – official sponsor of Gukesh – added, “We could see the talent in Gukesh and were too happy to be of support to him during his great achievement”. M/s Microsense gave a cash award of Rs. 100000 (Rupees one lakh only) to the young achiever.

A cash award of Rs 30000 (Rupees thirty thousand only) was awarded to Master Gukesh on behalf of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association. Also present in the dais were, International Master Manuel Aaron, the Chief Guest, Shri P Stephen Balasamy, Gen. Secretary, TNSCA, Shri B Murugavel, Organising Secretary, Shri Rohan, General Manager, Novotel IBIS OMR Hotel, Shri V Hariharan, former Secretary AICF & TNSCA.

Manik Mikulas (Slovakia) playing Aleksandrov Aleksej (Belarus)

Manik Mikulas (Slovakia) playing Aleksandrov Aleksej (Belarus)

World Under 12 Girls Champion Savitha Shri B

World Under 12 Girls Champion Savitha Shri B

Round 4 results (Indians unless specified) : Paichadze Luka (Geo) 4 bt Laxman R R (3), Manik Mikulas (Svk) 3.5 drew with Aleksandrov Aleksej (Blr) 3.5, Girish A Koushik (4) bt Deepan Chakkravarthy J (3), Stupak Kirill (Blr) 3.5 drew with Muthaiah A L (3.5), Rathanakaran K (3) lost to Tran Tuan Minh (Vie) 4, Tran Minh Thang (Vie) 3 lost to Karthik Venkataraman (4), Vignesh N R (3.5) drew with Harshavardhan G B (3.5), Akash G (4) bt Ziatdinov Raset (USA) 3, Sai Vishwesh C (3) lost to Nguyen Van Huy (Vie) 4

Round 3 results (Indians unless specified) : Pantsulaia Levan (Geo) 2 lost to Tran Minh Thang (Vie) 3, Harshavardhan G B (3) bt Rozum Ivan (Rus) 2, Popov Ivan (Rus) 2.5 drew with Saravanan V (2.5), Srihari L R (2) lost to Paichadze Luka (Geo) 3, Aleksandrov Aleksej (Blr) 3 bt Ameir Moheb (Egy) 2, Ziatdinov Raset (USA) 3 bt Erigaisi Arjun (2), Deepan Chakkravarthy J (3) bt Konguvel Ponnuswamy (2), Suvrajit Saha (2) lost to Stupak Kirill (Blr) 3

Round 2 Results (Indians unless specified) : Saranya J (1) lost to Pantsulaia Levan (Geo) 2, Rozum Ivan (Rus) 2 bt Rajarishi Karthi (1), Rathneesh R (1) lost to Popov Ivan (Rus) 2, Paichadze Luka (Geo) 2 bt Shiva Pavan Teja Sharma U (1), Bala Kannamma P (1) lost to Aleksandrov Aleksej (Blr) 2, Erigaisi Arjun (2) bt Md. Abzid Rahman (Bdesh) 1, Dahale Atul (1) lost to Deepan Chakkravarthy J (2).

Round 1 Results (Indians unless specified) Sathish Chandra G drew with Predke Alexandr (Rus), Pantsulaia Levan (Geo) bt Adireddy Tarun, Dharani Kumar M S lost to Rozum Ivan (Rus), Popov Ivan (Rus) bt Adarsh Tripathi, Evrin Selvam lost to Paichadze Luka (Geo), Aleksandro Aleksej (Blr) bt Aakash G, Badri Narayan B lost to Erigaisi Arjun, Deepan Chakkravarthy J bt Niharika Ch, Divyan T lost to Stupak Kirill (Blr), Tran Tuan Minh (Vie) bt Tejes Suresh Kumar, Giri Abhishek lost to Megaranto Susanto (Ina), Karthik Venkataraman bt Chirag Mudraje.

R R Vasudevan
Press Officer
Chennai Open 2019


Chessbrahs, Arch Bishops Clash In Monday, Tuesday PRO Chess

Monday, January 21st, 2019

This week's PRO Chess League dodges, ducks, dips, dives and dodges as it moves to Monday and Tuesday to accommodate many player conflicts with Tata Steel and Gibraltar. The Eastern and Central Divisions play on Monday beginning at 10 a.m. PT while…

Source: – Play. Learn. Share.

2019 Grand Prix Series

Monday, January 21st, 2019

official logo

FIDE is pleased to announce the 2019 Grand Prix Series, the qualifier for the 2020 Candidates Tournament. It will be held in cooperation with World Chess in a new format aimed at improving its appeal for spectators and players alike.

Each of the top 20 players qualified by rating will take part in 3 out of 4 knock-out tournaments. Each Grand Prix leg will feature 16 participants, including one wild card nominee by the organizers for each event (there will be 4 wild cards, one for each Grand Prix).

Prize fund for each event will be EUR130,000, and FIDE establishes additional EUR280,000 Prize Fund to be awarded based on the best cumulative score in the entire Series. FIDE and World Chess are also developing new organizational guidelines that will ensure smooth organization of the Series.

Two winners will qualify for the 2020 Candidates Tournament.

Dates of the Series are being finalized and will be announced by January 28, 2019, mindful of the other top chess events. Cities for the Series will be announced by February 04, 2019.

Source: World Chess Federation – FIDE

Anand, Carlsen Lead Tata Steel Chess After Great Wins

Monday, January 21st, 2019

The Tata Steel Chess Tournament is down to two leaders as both Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen won excellent games in round eight. 
Vladimir Kramnik's suffering continued as he lost to Jan-Krzysztof Duda whereas Vladimir Fedoseev d…

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Anand Joins Leaders On Tata Steel Chess’s Ladies Day

Sunday, January 20th, 2019

No less than five players are sharing the lead at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament after seven rounds. On Saturday Anish Giri, Ding Liren, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Magnus Carlsen were joined by Vishy Anand, who beat Vladimir …

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Chess : Magnus Carlsen halves 21 games in a row to set unwelcome record

Saturday, January 19th, 2019

It will be a sore statistic with Magnus Carlsen for years to come. The world chess champion has just emerged from a run of 21 consecutive draws which threatened to derail his achievement of staying No 1 in the global rankings since July 2011. Carlsen halved his final five rounds at the European Club Cup in October, famously drew all 12 classical games in his world title match with Fabiano Caruana in November, then this week halved his first four rounds at Tata Steel Wijk aan Zee, where the international tournament continues this weekend. There are ironies associated with this unwelcome record for top chess. The runner-up drawing specialist, with 20 in a row, is Anish Giri, the pacific world No 5, whose tweets are often jibes at the chess champion. Worse, 21 is one more than Bobby Fischer’s famous 20-game series in 1970-71 which brought the US legend to …

Source: GameKnot online chess news

Carlsen, Giri Join Leaders At Tata Steel Chess

Saturday, January 19th, 2019

In a most entertaining sixth round it was again "double Dutch" at the Tata Steel Chess Tournament with wins for both Anish Giri and Jorden van Foreest. Giri joined Ding Liren and Ian Nepomniachtchi in the lead and so did Magnus…

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TCEC Cup 2 brackets and rules

Saturday, January 19th, 2019

The second edition of TCEC Cup, the minor trophy of the Top Chess Engine Championship, is going to start this January 21st. It will be a knockout competition involving the 32 world’s best chess engines. See the announcement article here.

TCEC Cup 2 consists of a total of 32 matches divided into sixteenth-final (aka round of 32), eighth-final, quarter-final, semi-final and final. For an engine to reach the TCEC Cup gold medal it must win a total of five matches. Both participants that lose the semi final will be awarded a bronze medal.


Here are the brackets of the upcoming TCEC Cup 2:

Official brackets for TCEC Cup 2

Official brackets for TCEC Cup 2

Rules for TCEC Cup 2


The TCEC Cup 2 is a knockout format played in TCEC, including all qualifying participants, seeded according to their respective final results in this season’s divisions. The 32 qualifying engines consist of the participants of Premier, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Division, plus the top 9 engines in 4th Division: because Deus X dropped out due to the uniqueness rule, the top 9 engines from Div4 are in the Cup this time (also three engines advanced from Div4 to Div3 this Season 14).

TCEC Cup knockout matches format

The TCEC Cup 2 will take place right after the Premier Division and before the Superfinal, starting on 21 January 2019. It will be a knockout championship with the 32 participants divided into brackets. Each participant will be seeded according to its final standing in the TCEC league event with the #1 seed meeting the #32 seed, #2 meeting #31, etc.

The TCEC Cup 2 will consist of a total of 32 matches divided into sixteenth-finals, eighth-finals, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final. For an engine to win the TCEC Cup gold medal it must win a total of five matches. The two losing semifinalists will play a match for 3rd and 4th place (`small final’).

Three openings books

All matches are played with a book exit from one of the three books in use: A, B or C. No bookless games will be played in the TCEC Cup.
Alternating match games will begin from a randomly selected starting position contained within an opening book created by Nelson Hernandez (aka Cato the Younger) with a large number of unique starting positions derived from human games. Engines will play both sides of each position selected. Openings chosen will roughly approximate human games in terms of their frequency. A new opening should thus occur every other game, then the reverse game is played, so two games in a row from the same starting book position. Because each engine will thus play both sides of every opening, fairness is guaranteed.

Two such books created by Nelson Hernandez will be used, one consisting of 2 move positions exclusively for the first round (sixteenth finals) hereafter referred to as BOOK A, and one consisting of 6 move positions (used from the eighth finals to the finals) hereafter referred to as BOOK B.
Furthermore a third book will be used in case tiebreaks do not lead to a decisive result within 16 games. This is an opening positions compilation by Nelson Hernandez with unique positions from the former Superfinal books TCEC Season 9-13, created by Jeroen Noomen for a higher level of decisiveness, hereafter referred to as BOOK C.

All three books will be used randomized.

Matches and tiebreaks

Each of the matches will at least consist of 4 pairs of games (8 games, every second with reversed colors and the same opening). These 8 games will always be played out in full, even if a decisive match result is reached before the full 8 games have been played.
In case of an equal score after these 8 games, tiebreakers will be played out at the end of the Cup round. First the 4 pairs of games will be played out for a round, before playing out the tiebreakers therefore.

Tiebreakers will be played according to the following rules:

  1. If a match is tied after its scheduled regular 8 games, pairs using the same book exit for both sides will be played until a decisive pair occurs. The book exits will be from the randomized book used in that phase of the CUP (A or B), up to a maximum of 4 pairs of games.
  2. If after playing in this way, no winner ensues, more pairs of games will be played, after each of which a match winner may ensue. From this point on, so from game 17 onwards, BOOK C will be used (the Superfinal book) with each playing both sides of the openings, for a maximum of 8 pairs of games, so a maximum of a further 16 games to decide a winner, with a new book.
  3. If even after these 32 games, a match is still drawn, further pairs of games will be played with BOOK C to determine a winner, but the time control (TC) will be shorter with each pair of games, according to the following steps (always indicated as minutes base time + seconds increment per move completed, so e.g. 30+5 means 30 minutes base time per game plus an increment of 5 seconds per move completed): 16+4, 8+3, 4+2, 2+1, 1+1. If even after this sequence of pairs of games with shorter TC the match is tied, the increment will remain at 1 second, but the base time will then become even shorter than one minute, in the following manner: 32s+1, 16s+1, 8s+1, 4s+1, 2s+1 and finally 1s+1 will be played until a decisive pair is reached.

Time control

Time control will be 30 mins + 5 secs increment per move for the normal games in a match, as well as for the tiebreakers up to and including game 32. If an engine loses on time, that result will not be changed nor the game replayed. If the TCEC game server locks up at any time during a game (BSOD, freeze etc), that game will be restarted unless the last position was a 6-man or less tablebase position, then it will be manually adjudicated. Whether a game is immediately restarted or played rather at the end of the round will be decided by the responsible TCEC staff.
As described in the section on tiebreaks, time control will change as of game 33 in tiebreakers.

Game adjudication

A game can be drawn by the normal 3-fold repetition rule or the 50-move rule. However, a game can also be drawn at move 35 or later if the eval from both playing engines are within +0.08 to -0.08 pawns for the last 5 moves, or 10 plies. If there is a pawn advance, or a capture of any kind, this special draw rule will reset and start over. In the website this rule is shown as “TCEC draw rule” with a number indicating how many plies there are left until it kicks in. It will adjudicate as won for one side if both playing engines have an eval of at least 10.0 pawns (or -10.00 in case of a black win) for 4 consecutive moves, or 8 plies – this rule is in effect as soon as the game starts. In the website this rule is shown as “TCEC win rule” with a number indicating how many plies there are left until it kicks in. Cutechess will also adjudicate 6-men or less endgame positions automatically with Syzygy tablebases.

Critical Engine Bugs

In the case of a serious, play-limiting bug (like crashing or interface communication problems, not including losses on time) not discovered during the pre-Cup testing, the engine might have the number of cores reduced, have the hash size reduced or have the tablebase access disabled – these changes will then remain for the rest of the Cup.

Engine Updates

Under no circumstances are updates to engines allowed once the Cup competition has started.

Engine Ratings

Because the TCEC Cup works with a different time control, TCEC ratings are not affected by the engines’ results in the Cup. A separate rating list may in time be created for this event and time control.

TD clause

In situations not covered by the rules, the tournament director decides.

TCEC Hardware

GPUs: (2): 1 x 2080 ti + 1 x 2080, CPU: Quad Core i5 3570k, RAM: 16gb DDR3-2133, SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256gb, Battery backup: CP1350PFCLCD PFC Sinewave UPS System, Temperature: testing showed <=73C

CPUs: 44 Cores -> 2 x Intel Xeon E5 2699 v4 @ 2.8 GHz Motherboard: Supermicro X10DRL-i RAM: 64 GB DDR4 ECC SSD: Crucial CT250M500 240 GB Chassis: Supermicro OS: Windows Server 2012 R2

SSD: 20GB + 165GB for TB

TCEC Cup starts 21 January 2019

TCEC Cup starts 21 January 2019


Saric Still Perfect In PRO Chess Week Two

Saturday, January 19th, 2019

After two weeks, only one player, GM Ivan Saric, has a perfect 8/8 score in the PRO Chess League. His dominant performance (as well as GM Eric Hansen's) have made the Montreal Chessbrahs look like one of the teams to beat early in the PRO Chess Le…

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On Chess : Tata Steel Chess Returns With Youngest Field Ever

Friday, January 18th, 2019

The Wimbledon of chess commenced again this January and will last through Jan. 30, in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands. Tata Steel, as it is currently known, has been a mainstay among top international chess events for the past 81 years. Located on the North Sea, Wijk aan Zee is a seaside resort town in the summer, and chess haven in the winter. The first super-tournament usually sets the tone for the whole year; Therefore, it’s very important for the world’s best chess players to start off with a bang. Currently, the tournament has two young and ambitious leaders: Russian grandmaster Ian Nepomniachtchi, and the strongest Chinese player, Ding Liren. Both chess players travelled to Wijk aan Zee in the hopes of winning their first super-tournament. On the other hand, this year’s Tata Steel Masters will be the toughest yet, with many old and new faces participating in …

Source: GameKnot online chess news