Blitz Tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in Chess News & Events |

The Ugra Chess Academy has organized a blitz tournament on 29th March as one of the side events taking place during the FIDE Candidates Tournament.

The 9-round Swiss with 80 participants was held at the beautiful Ugra Athletic Stadium.

The total prize fund was 2000 EUR, with 200 EUR reserved for the winner. There were also special prizes for women, veterans, U18 and U12 juniors.

Blitz Tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk

Local blitz expert Sergey Sychev and Armenian journalist Agassi Inants have shared the first place with 7,5/9 points each. Sychev is declared winner on better tie-break.

Khanty-Mansiysk Mayor Vassily Filipenko awarded the prizes.

Final standings:
1-2. Sergei Sychev and Agassi Inants – 7,5
3-6. Venyamin Sergeev, Evgeny Atarov, Alexey Smelov and Alexander Ilyin – 7,0
7-10. Evgeny Zemerov, Sergey Shutukov, Oleg Korolev and Goran Urosevic – 6,5
11-17. Nasibulin Nariman, Natalia Popova, Alexander Kotkov, Vassily Amursakov, Nikolay Tolstikh, Alexander Lee and Dmitry Chumak – 6,0 etc

Blitz Tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk

Blitz Tournament in Khanty-Mansiysk


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Sigeman & Co Chess Tournament 2014

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in Chess News & Events |

Sigeman Chess

The Limhamn Chess Club is announcing that the 22nd Annual Sigeman Chess Tournament will take place on 15-19th May at the classical Hipp Theater in central Malmo, Sweden.

GM Laurent Fressinet 2709, France
GM Jon Ludvig Hammer 2647, Norway
GM Jan Timman 2626, Holland
GM Nils Grandelius 2600, Sweden
GM Erik Blomqvist 2497, Sweden
IM Axel Smith 2473, Sweden

Last year winner (on tiebreak) was GM Richard Rapport

Tournament website


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Strong Rapid Tournament Takes Off in Riga

Posted by on Mar 30, 2014 in Chess News & Events |

Strong Rapid Tournament Takes Off in Riga

This weekend a (very) strong rapid tournament will be held in Riga, Latvia: the Latvian Railway Open. Besides the leading Latvian grandmasters (including co-organizer Alexey Shirov!), a number of big names from abroad will be present such as Vasilly Ivanchuk, Vladimir Malakhov, Sergei Zhigalko, Viktor Bologan and Loek van Wely.


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Candidates Tournament 2014 with record breaking interest

Posted by on Mar 30, 2014 in Chess News & Events |

Candidates Tournament 2014Candidates Tournament 2013 in London was one of the most successful events of last year. With high interest, good organization, and large media coverage, it became the pillar of the first half of the year and was only surpassed in visitors by the World Championship in Chennai.

Candidates Tournament 2014 is improving last year’s London numbers and registering record breaking levels. The Khanty Mansiysk event increases the unique visitors by 21% up to round 5 and by 25% up to round 10, compared to the same rounds of Candidates 2013. The well updated and active website enhances the pageviews number as well.

The highest numbers of visitors come from Germany, followed by USA, India, Russia, Armenia, France, Netherlands, UK, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Czech Republic, Brazil, and Sweden. Chess fans from a total of 207 countries and territories have visited the official page.

The record breaking interest is a direct result of the global rise in interest in chess, the well updated website, the stable and clear FIDE cycle, the well organized previous editions, and of course the fighting and unpredictable chess games by the participants.

The most interesting part of Candidates 2014 is yet to come, follow the live games at the official website.


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Candidates Round 9: Anand’s Tournament to Lose

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014 in Chess News & Events |

Heading into the 2014 Candidates Tournament, few observers gave Viswanathan Anand much of a chance to win. Sure, he wasn’t discounted entirely, but most figured that it would be Levon Aronian or Vladimir Kramnik (or maybe Topalov, perhaps Karjakin…) who would ultimately emerge as the next challenger to Magnus Carlsen. But with just five rounds left to play, Anand now has an imposing lead on the field, meaning we could be headed for a rematch of last year’s title clash.

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Candidates Tournament R9: Anand in the driving seat

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in Chess News & Events |

In the battle of two former World Champions Viswanathan Anand defeated Veselin Topalov to single out again on the top after his co-leader Levon Aronian lost to Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

Sergey Karjakin scored a second consecutive victory by beating Vladimir Kramnik, while the other two Russians – Dmitry Andreikin and Peter Svidler, split the point.

After nine rounds of play Anand is leading the race with 6 points, a full point ahead of the second placed Aronian.

Kramnik, Karjakin and Mamedyarov are on 4,5 points each. Andreikin and Svidler share the sixth place on 4 points, while Topalov is last with 3,5 points.

Monday is the rest day, the tournament resumes with round 10 on Tuesday.



Dmitry Andreikin – Peter Svidler 1/2-1/2

The match between Dmitry Andreikin and Peter Svidler was a Naidorf Sicilian with the Fischer’s variation 6.h3.

Svidler opted for the traditional e5-Be6 setup, while Andreikin expanded on the kingside with g4. Black made a counter in the center and soon the queens went off.

The position quickly simplified but there were still some resources for both sides.

However, after reaching the required 30 moves the players have agreed to a draw.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov – Levon Aronian 1-0

Levon Aronian introduced another stunning idea when he temporarily sacrificed two pawns in the sharp Gheorghiu Nimzo Indian against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

Black successfully built a strong attack and white was forced to concede an exchange. But then black strayed from the right path and white was given a chance to coordinate the pieces.

A few more mistakes by Aronian and Mamedyarov was already launching a devastating counterattack.

Shortly before the time control white decided to trade down to a winning opposite-colored bishops ending with two extra pawns. Black immediately gave up.

Viswanathan Anand – Veselin Topalov 1-0

Former World Champions Viswanathan Anand and Veselin Topalov also had the h3 Naidorf Sicilian on trial.

Topalov went for a more flexible structure with e6, much similar to the Scheveningen Sicilian.

White allowed the exchange of his strong dark-squared bishop, but he got a quick long castle in return. Black’s reaction was not the best and he soon ended up in a slightly passive French-like structure with the backward pawn on e6.

Black tried to obtain some counterplay against white f4-pawn, but the exchange of both pairs of rooks only helped white to press on black’s weak points.

In the ensuing Q+B endgame white king was also much safer.

After some clever maneuvering white won the pawn and proceeded to convert the advantage.

Sergey Karjakin – Vladimir Kramnik 1-0

Today it was Sergey Karjakin’s turn to use an unexpected move order in the opening to throw Vladimir Kramnik off the balance.

The position after 7.Qb3 strongly resembled some of the Kramnik’s own games with white from the 90′s. Exactly at this moment black erred by capturing the pawn on c4 instead of taking the knight on f3.

Karjakin grabbed the b7-pawn and after a sequence of natural moves obtained clear advantage.

In desperation, black sacrificed another pawn in the hope of setting a blockade on the light-squares. But after some patient build-up, white was able to push the opponent’s pieces back.

Karjakin exchanged everything to reach a winning double-rook endgame with two extra pawns. Kramnik resigned on move 64.

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Candidates Tournament R8: Aronian and Anand draw, maintain lead

Posted by on Mar 23, 2014 in Chess News & Events |

The co-leaders Levon Aronian and Viswanathan Anand shared the point in their round 8 match in the FIDE World Candidates Tournament.

The duo remained in joint lead, but now the possible tie-break at the end of the event would favor Anand (mutual score 1,5-0,5).

Vladimir Kramnik missed a chance to catch the leaders as his opponent Dmitry Andreikin defended very well to deserve half a point.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov sacrificed a knight for attack but Veselin Topalov found the safe route to make a draw in the rook endgame. Sergey Karjakin defeated Peter Svidler in the longest game of the day.

After eight round of play Anand and Aronian are on top with 5 points each, while Kramnik is close behind with 4,5 points. The remaining five players, Mamedyarov, Topalov, Karjakin, Svidler and Andreikin are on 3,5 points each.


Aronian-Anand (all photos by Eteri Kublashvili)

Levon Aronian – Viswanathan Anand 1/2-1/2

Levon Aronian stunned Viswanathan Anand with an enterprising novelty as early as on move 3.

Anand appreciated the strength of Qb3 in various transpositions as it was not easy for him to reach a convenient Catalan or Gruenfeld structure. He finally went for the reversed Benoni even if it included a pawn sacrifice. Black did achieve quick development as compensation.

Aronian said that he convinced himself in the viability of the novel idea, which “he discovered during a nap”. He knew that computers wouldn’t like the pawn grab, but he believed he could “always pull a Petrosian and slowly consolidate”.

As the game progressed Aronian grew unsatisfied with his position and started to fear of another quick loss against Anand. He joked that he wished black had his pawn back on c5, a square which Anand used to transfer the pieces and exert huge pressure on white queenside.

The game was drawn after repetition on move 19.



Veselin Topalov – Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 1/2-1/2

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov defended with the Naidorf Sicilian and Veselin Topalov used the Fischer’s favorite 6.h3 which is back in fashion again.

The play soon transposed into Dragon variation. White castled long and expanded on the kingside but black was quick to generate the counterplay on the other flank.

Mamedyarov said he didn’t like his knight and he didn’t want to stay passive in defence so he decided to sacrifice this piece to open up the b-file.

The temporary sacrifice triggered a forced line that led to an equal rook endgame. Draw signed on move 32.



Vladimir Kramnik – Dmitry Andreikin 1/2-1/2

Dmitry Andreikin used his trusted Chebanenko Slav defence to which Vladimir Kramnik responded with a fianchetto setup.

White created some pressure as his bishops cross-fired all over the board, but he probably over-estimated the position resulting after the pawn sacrifice.

Black did experience problems with coordination while white dominated on the c-file and on the 7th rank.

At some point black was even two pawns up but white had strong pressure on the central pawns. After the massive exchanges white got the material back and a drawn endgame was reached.



Peter Svidler – Sergey Karjakin 0-1

Peter Svidler used a clever-move order to transpose from Reti to King’s Indian Attack, an opening which certainly wasn’t high on the priority list in Sergey Karjakin’s preparation.

Nevertheless, the young Russian played very well to extinguish white’s initiative on the kingisde.

Much of the middlegame was black’s effort to exchange some pieces and stabilize the extra pawn.

White attempted to set a fortress, but black broke through with 40…f4+ just before the time control. Faced with tough defence white was slowly losing the ground.

Karjakin converted the advantage in the 7th hour of play.

Official website

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Candidates Tournament R7: Aronian joins Anand on top

Posted by on Mar 22, 2014 in Chess News & Events |

Levon Aronian defeated Sergey Karjakin in round 7 of FIDE World Candidates Tournament to join Viswanathan Anand on the top of the crosstable.

Anand had some advantage with black against Peter Svidler but he couldn’t achieve more than a draw.

Vladimir Kramnik surged ahead by winning a wild game against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Dmitry Andreikin escaped from the bottom by punishing Veselin Topalov’s over-ambitious play.

After seven rounds Aronian and Anand are leading with 4,5 points each. Kramnik is half a point behind and Svidler remained on 50% score. Topalov, Andreikin and Mamedyarov are on 3 points each, while Karjakin is last with 2,5 points.



Dmitry Andreikin – Veselin Topalov 1-0

Veselin Topalov was not amazed by Dmitry Andreikin’s opening choice, since the Russian repeated the line he used to beat Kramnik last year in Dortmund.

Already on the 7th move white introduced a novelty, but his plan was kind of slow and black threatened to take the initiative after a quick castle and pawn sacrifice.

But Topalov chose a wrong path and instead of recapturing the c-pawn he went for the kingside expansion. The tactical problem is that 18…g4 wouldn’t work because of the powerful influence of white heavy pieces on the open files.

White first secured the advanced c6-pawn and then evacuated the king to safety on a1. Black was running out of options as his pieces couldn’t get to the good squares.

Andreikin besieged the weak d5-pawn and black position immediately fell apart.

Peter Svidler – Viswanathan Anand 1/2-1/2

Another Berlin Ruy Lopez in the game of former World Champion Viswanathan Anand proves that he has plenty of preparation left from the match in Chennai.

Anand employed a novel idea 11…exd4 with d5 and Nh5, which worked exceptionally well in combination with the strike against white center.

Peter Svidler spent 40 minutes to make 15.Bc2 and his position looked depressing, but then suddenly Anand pulled a break and allowed white to somewhat stabilize the game.

Anand started over again by giving the queen for rook, bishop and better pawn structure. But Svidler found the straightforward plan of eliminating all the pawns on the queenside, after which Anand agreed to a draw.

Sergey Karjakin – Levon Aronian 0-1

Levon Aronian also played the Berlin Ruy Lopez against Sergey Karjakin. After white was forced to capture on c6, the game started resembling the Delayed Exchange Variation.

White had difficulties in getting his pawn majority going, while black slowly probed opponent’s structure on the other flank. Despite the apparent simplicity on the board, Karjakin was spending lots of time and his position slowly deteriorated.

Few moves before the time control white conceded two pieces for a rook and some pressure on the back rank. He did win the bishop back, but then black captured a handful of pawns while constantly threatening the white king.

Karjakin tried to seek the escape by exchanging the queens but black pawns were too fast and the game was concluded in Aronian’s favor on move 53.

Vladimir Kramnik – Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 1-0

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov remained loyal to the Ragozin Queen’s Gambit defence despite the earlier loss against Aronian. He attempted to surprise the opponent with unknown 14…b5, but Vladimir Kramnik navigated quickly through the opening, most likely thanks to the home analysis.

White emerged with a small but healthy advantage and Kramnik proceeded to perform his traditional positional squeeze.

At some point Kramnik rushed with the central break e3-e4 and Mamedyarov got the chance to unbalance the position by grabbing a piece and allowing two advanced pawns.

White pawns were looming near promotion but somehow he just couldn’t find the way to queen them.

Nevertheless, the position was immensely complicated and black had to find a sequence of computer-like moves to reach a better rook endgame. Mamedyarov’s hand slipped in the decisive moment when he allowed promotion with check instead of creating checkmating net around white king.

Kramnik easily converted the huge advantage.

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