Archive for the ‘Chess’ Category

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 …

Source: – Play. Learn. Share.

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

Understanding Before Moving 2: Queen’s Gambit Structures

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Understanding Before Moving 2: Queen’s Gambit Structures

by Herman Grooten

Club players love to study openings as so much material is available. However, it has often been shown that results do not match the amount of study invested, as in practice it is much harder to navigate your way around an opening when the opponent deviates from theory. This is why Herman treats the study of openings in a completely different way. He focuses on increasing insight. 

In this book he discuses the backgrounds of openings, provides guidelines and explains in an instructive and accessible way the basic principles of a position. This book, the second in its series, provides an overview of the positions and corresponding plans arising from the Queen’s Gambit. The method is based on the column ‘Understanding Before Moving’ in the chess magazine of the Royal Dutch Chess Federation; readers who follow it may hope to significantly increase their skill.

ISBN: 9789492510426, Paperback, 240 pages, Thinker Publishing

The post Understanding Before Moving 2: Queen’s Gambit Structures appeared first on

Source: The Week in Chess

Ding Liren Catches Nepomniachtchi As Tata Steel Chess Visits Alkmaar

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Ding Liren&nbsp;defeated Sam Shankland and joined Ian Nepomniachtchi in the lead in round five of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament, which visited Alkmaar for one day.&nbsp;Magnus Carlsen was among the winners and thus made an end to his&nbsp;drawin…

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New FIDE: first 100 days

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

official logo


• Smooth organization of major FIDE events, including both World Classical Championships (London and Khanty-Mansiysk)

• Successful relocation and organization of King Salman World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships 2018 in a close partnership with the Saudi Chess Federation and the Russian Chess Federation. New standard of organization and specially devised programs attracted thousands of live spectators to the venue.

• Restructuring and massive increase in the prize fund of the Women’s World Chess Championship Cycle. Introduction of Women Candidates Tournament and relaunch of Women Grand Prix series.

• Introduction of FIDE GrandSwiss as a new qualification path for the Candidates Tournament in 2020.

Support of continental and national federations

• Allocation of a record 3 million Euro to the development fund.

• Development of a clear KPIs system to evaluate the efficiency of use of allocated funds.

• Agreements signed between FIDE and number of national federations to provide an assistance from the development fund aimed at achieving relevant KPIs.

• Agreements between FIDE and continental federations to be signed during the Q1 2019.

Budget 2019

• The Budget was significantly increased and restructured. The budgeted income of about EUR 6.5 million in 2019 will be the highest ever in the FIDE history. Expenses are planned at EUR 5.5 million, which is almost three times higher than in the preceding years – with the Development fund getting the sharpest increase. EUR 925,000 will be set aside as a reserve fund, which will make FIDE financial situation significantly more sustainable.

• Previously, FIDE spent about 85% of its income on its own office. In the current budget this number is reduced to 35% and will be kept around that level in the future. At the same time, fees charged by FIDE will be cut up to 40% in average – thus reducing the burden on the players and national federations. FIDE is going to support the federations, and not the other way around as it used to be.

Immediate transition matters

• Successful management transition with no interruption in activities.

• Upgrading internal compliance and AML processes allowed FIDE to re-establish its credibility and to open accounts in major European banks.

• Finalizing preparations to relocate the main FIDE office from Athens to Lausanne to be completed in Q1 2019.

Improvement of FIDE governance

• Management Board created with the regular weekly meetings

• Institutional procedures are implemented, with an aim to ensure FIDE governnce according to the best organizational standards.

• A team of professionals has been setup to conduct a fundamental revision of the FIDE Handbook in 2019 in order to prepare the amendments towards the 2019 FIDE General Assembly.

• FIDE non-elected commissions were restructured in order to attract the best experts and to make the commissions more efficient; Chairs and members of the commissions have been appointed. Presidential Board members are appointed to overview the work of respective commissions.

• More transparency in the nominations for the official tournaments will be delivered under the guidance of the relevant commissions.

• Task force for review of all FIDE regulations has been established.

Promotion of chess in media and interacting with the chess community

• Considerable increase of FIDE activity in social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

• Task force has been created to drastically improve the FIDE website. FIDE strengthens and expands its public relations department – appointments are to be finalized in Q1.

• Talks about the global cooperation between FIDE and major existing chess platforms have started.

• A proper cooperation with mainstream media – East and West to be estab-lished soon – in this regards FIDE already held discussion with several global media houses.

• Polls about World Cup and World Championship Match format have been conducted – with about 200 players having expressed their opinion.

• Thousands of inquiries sent to the FIDE office and management were answered timely and candidly – ensuring proper transparent communication between FIDE and chess people around the globe.

100 days is obviously a rather short period of time. But we are committed to our promise to bring the change and make the chess world a better place – and we will keep working hard to serve the global chess community.


Source: World Chess Federation – FIDE

Tata Steel Chess R4: Carlsen Beats Giri’s Drawing Streak

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Anish Giri and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi were the only winners in the fourth round of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee.&nbsp;With his fourth straight draw, Magnus Carlsen has now drawn 21 straight classical games, one more than Giri's …

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