Monday, January 26, 2015

Legendary GM Olafsson turns 80

GM Rafael Leitao tops Brazilian Individual Championship 2015

The Final Stage of the 81st Brazilian Individual Men’s Chess Championship 2015 took place from 17th to 25th January 2015 in Joao Pessoa, the easternmost city in the Americas and the capital of the state of Paraíba in Brazil.

The event was a 12-player round-robin tournament with an average Elo rating 2356 and tempo of play 90′ + 30″.

GM Rafael Leitao topped the event scoring 9,5/11 and leaving the runner-up, GM Felipe De Cresce El Debs, half a point behind.

GM Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian remained third with 7,5 points.

Leitao lift the trophy for eighth time after winning the Brazilian Individual Chess Championships 1996, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2011, 2013 and 2014. You can see the full standings and replay the games below.

Official website

Final standings:

1 GM Leitao Rafael BRA 2636 9,5
2 GM El Debs Felipe De Cresce BRA 2512 9
3 GM Mekhitarian Krikor Sevag BRA 2565 7,5
4 FM Mendonca Mateus Nakajo BRA 2426 7
5 FM Rodrigues Edgar BRA 2338 6
6 FM Umetsubo Cesar Hidemitsu BRA 2311 5,5
7 FM Cavalcanti Francisco De Assis BRA 2151 5
8 IM Macedo Maximo Iack BRA 2323 5
9 FM Reis Paulo F. Jatoba De Olivei BRA 2387 5
10 FM Brito Luismar BRA 2254 3,5
11 FM Andrade Roberto Luiz Costa BRA 2216 3
12 Fiaes Mario Henrique Andrade BRA 2151 0

European Women’s Individual & Rapid Championships 2015

The government of Georgia, government of Adjarian Autonomous Republic and Georgian Chess Federation under the auspices of European Chess Union organize the 16th European Individual Women’s Chess Championships for 2015.

The championship will be held in Chakvi, Adjara (13 km from Batumi) in Georgia, from May 18 (day of arrival) until May 31 (day of departure) 2015.

The official venue of the tournament will be the hall in 5***** hotel “Oazis Palace Chakvi”.

The championship will be played as an 11-round Swiss tournament in accordance with the ECU Tournament Rules and FIDE Rules of Chess.

The time control will be 90 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game + 30 seconds increment per move, starting from move one.

The 16th European Individual Women’s Chess Championships is a qualification event for the next World Women Championship. According to FIDE regulations and the decision of the ECU Board, 14 players will qualify.

The first prize is 11.000 EUR, and the total prize fund is 60.000 EUR.

The registration deadline is 1st April 2015.

Maia Chiburdanidze Cup 2015

The government of Georgia, Georgian Chess Federation, Kutaisi City Hall and Imeretian Chess Federation under the auspices of the European Chess Union organize the European Individual Women’s Rapid Chess Championship – Maia Chiburdanidze’s Cup 2015.

The tournament will be held in Kutaisi, Georgia, from May 31 (day of arrival) until June 3 (day of departure) 2015. The tournament hall will be in Hotel “Bagrati”.

All players will have free transportation from Chakvi to Kutaisi (120km) by special comfortable mini buses. Players will ELO 2500+ will be provided with full board accommodation in hotel “Bagrati” from May 31st to June 3rd.

The Championship will be played as an 11-round Swiss tournament with the rate of play 15 min + 10 seconds increment per move.

The first prize is 2000 EUR, and the total prize fund is 10.000 EUR.

For more information you can contact Mr. Akaki Iashvili
Mobile: (+995) 577 414121

Official invitations can be downloaded from the ECU website

Gibraltar Chess Festival got underway

The 2015 Tradewise Chess Festival got underway with a simultaneous display given by IM Jovanka Houska (England) and IM Salome Melia (Georgia) on 25 January to welcome the first arrivals at the Caleta Hotel.

Photos of the simuls may be accessed here:

The Tradewise Gibraltar Challengers and Amateur tournaments began on 26 January, with sponsors Coca Cola making the ceremonial opening move on the top board. A selection of photos here:

The formal opening of the tournament takes place at 2030 CET tonight (26 January), with round one of the 2015 Tradewise Gibraltar Masters starting at 1500 CET on Tuesday 27 January.

John Saunders


PRESS OFFICE - 2015 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival
Alice Mascarenhas, John Saunders and Leontxo Garcia, Tradewise Press Chess Officers

Sunday chess tactic

White to move. Can white save this game? How should white proceed?

q2b3r/1b3pk1/2np1N2/4pPPQ/4P3/rP6/1BP5/1K1B2R1 w - - 0 1

Carlsen wins Tata A, Wei Yi wins Tata B

GM Kiril Georgiev collects another trophy in Skopje

GM Kiril Georgiev collects another trophy in Skopje

Bulgarian champion GM Kiril Georgiev won the Karposh Rapid Tournament that was held on 24th January at restaurant “Granit” in Skopje, FYROM.

The 9-round Swiss tournament with the time control 15′+5” gathered 107 players. The event was organized by the Municipality Karpos and Chess Club Gambit Aseko-SEE. The total prize fund was 1250 EUR.

Georgiev completed the race with 8,0/9 points, leaving his compatriot GM Petar Drenchev half a point behind.

Georgiev continued a row of fantastic results in Skopje, having earlier won the very strong Karpos Open, Alkaloid Blitz Open and Alkaloid Rapid Open.

Final standings (top seeds):

1. GM Georgiev Kiril BUL 2629 – 8
2. GM Drenchev Petar BUL 2489 – 7.5
3. IM Zlatanovic Boroljub SRB 2409 – 7
4. Saraci Nderim FID 2107 – 7
5. GM Jacimovic Dragoljub MKD 2394 – 7
6. Danov Lyubomir BUL 2237 – 7
7. GM Miljkovic Miroslav D SRB 2467 – 6.5
8. IM Stojanovski Dejan MKD 2453 – 6.5
9. FM Trajkoski Slave MKD 2279 – 6.5
10. IM Sadiku Bedri FID 2226 – 6.5
11. GM Bogdanovski Vlatko MKD 2419 – 6
12. IM Pancevski Filip MKD 2491 – 6
13. FM Andonovski Ljubisa MKD 2333 – 6
14. IM Nikolov Sasho BUL 2391 – 6
15. IM Novoselski Zoran SRB 2448 – 6

SPICE set to move to new home in early February

WU uses Luhr Library four years after purchase
By Macy Salama

Webster University purchased Luhr Library from Eden Theological Seminary over four years ago, but it was used until Jan. 15 during the 2015 spring convocation.

“We hoped and expected to use this building much sooner than today,” Provost Julian Schuster said during the convocation.

Webster University’s Director of Public Relations Patrick Giblin said Luhr Library remained unoccupied since Webster purchased it in 2010, due to the university going through the city’s approval process.

The library’s main floor will be used for tournament and practice space for Webster University’s chess program, Susan Polgar Institution for Chess Excellence (SPICE). The second floor will be used as new space for information technology center (IT).

The renovations of the Luhr library included removing old shelving, replacing carpet and adding new furniture to the main and second floor. But some of the key characteristics of the building remain intact. The signature details include structures in the shapes of trees, spaced for support throughout the building, symbolizing the tree of knowledge, and the ceiling’s layered with mahogany wood.


King's Indian for Black - IM David Vigorito ... and more

The Sicilian Najdorf Defense

Posted on January 23,2015 By GM Levan Aroshidze in Strategy & Game Review, Chess Openings, General Chess Articles, Beginner's Corner. The Sicilian Defense is the biggest and most complex setup of all chess openings. It is a semi-open playing system, in which Black tries to avoid the classic playing manner for equalizing the game and immediately starts an uncompromising fight for initiative. From the first moves, we get unbalanced pawn structures and very dynamic positions. The Sicilian Defense is separated into numerous sub-variations like the Najdorf, Dragon, Taimanov, Paulsen[...]

King's Indian for Black - IM David Vigorito

Posted on January 22,2015 By OnlineChessLessons.NET Contributor in Strategy & Game Review, Chess Openings, All Articles w/ Videos, General Chess Articles. Tune in to the King's Indian Defense! In this DVD David examines The King's Indian for Black, Saemisch variation. He gives a basic overview of all Black's 6th moves choices, the Saemisch c5 Pawn Gambit, then emphasis is given to Black setups of 8...c6 and 9..a6. The featured game sees a king side castling versus a queen side-king side castle middlegame. David promotes methods for Black and gives a tough test for some of the latest recommendation[...]

Do Not Play on Auto-Pilot in the Opening!

Posted on January 21,2015 By FM Dalton Perrine in Chess Openings, General Chess Articles, Beginner's Corner. The opening is an important part of chess. If you are able to play a strong opening then you can expect to have a good position going into the middlegame. Sometimes though, players get in the habit of memorizing a lot of opening moves and do not learn the reason behind what they are doing. They do not realize that they may be missing chances that their opponents give them when their opponent makes a move that is different from those the player me[...]

Use "IMPLODeS" to Make Plans in Chess

Posted on January 20,2015 By FM Dalton Perrine in General Chess Articles, Beginner's Corner. When we find ourselves in a position where there are no tactical shots, no forcing moves that work and no combinations to consider, what should our thought process be? Well, at that point we should be looking to make a plan. Having a plan in chess is essential to playing a strong game. If we do not have a reason behind the moves we make on the board, then we need to seriously evaluate ourselves and figure out why this is the case. But what can he[...] is a producer of thousands of free chess articles and free chess videos by FIDE chess masters. They recently released the renowned Empire Chess series that has been taking the chess world by storm. Please consider checking out their chess blog and chess shop with tons of free updated previews.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Land of the Sky XXVIII in North Carolina

Land of the Sky XXVIII in North Carolina

Land of the Sky XXVIII open chess tournament was held from 23-25th January at the Crowne Plaza Resort Asheville, One Resort Dr., in Asheville, North Carolina, USA.

The event had four sections: Open (FIDE rated), Asheville (FIDE rated, Under 2200), Buncombe (Under 1700) and U12 (U1200). The playing format was 5-round Swiss with time control 40/120, SD/30, d5.

The main section had 32 participants. Grandmasters Elshan Moradiabadi and Alexander Ivanov shared the first place to win $1200 each.

The projected prize fund was $14,000 based on 225 entries, with $9,000 guaranteed.

Open section final standings:

9-12. DAMIR STUDEN GA 2361, DOMINIQUE MYERS NC 2219, TIANQI WANG NC 2207 and ARTHUR GUO GA 1996 – 3,0 etc

FIDE World Women’s Team Championship 2015

The Chinese Chess Federation and FIDE are inviting the qualifying federations to participate in the World Women’s Team Championship from 18-29th April, 2015, in Chengdu, China.

Each team will consist of 5 athletes (4 players + 1 reserve) and one coach/captain of the team for a total of 6 persons. Full board accommodation in a single room for the 6 persons mentioned above will be offered by the Organizing committee from 18th April to 29th April.

The championship will be played in round robin system with 9 rounds. Each team will play against with all other teams. Colors and starting numbers will be drawn at opening ceremony or technical meeting.

The time control: 90 minutes for 40 moves, 30 minutes to the end, and 30 seconds increment per move starting from move 1.

According to FIDE regulations, the following federations are entitled to send a team:

1. Ukraine
2. Russia
3. China
4. Georgia
5. Armenia
6. Kazakhstan
7. Poland
8. USA
9. Egypt
10. (A team to be nominated by the FIDE President)

All players are obliged to participate in opening and closing ceremony. The tournament will be played according to zero tolerance rules. Drawing offer will not be made for the first 30 moves.

Concurrently with the Championship, Chengdu will host FIDE Presidential Board.

Contact of Chinese Chess Association
Contact person: Cindy Li
Email address:
phone: (86)15811047899

Tata Steel Final Round Results

Final round results

So, Wesley vs Van Wely, Loek [1-0]
Wojtaszek, Radoslaw vs Giri, Anish [1/2]
Carlsen, Magnus vs Saric, Ivan [1/2]
Aronian, Levon vs Ding, Liren [0-1]
Caruana, Fabiano vs Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime [0-1]
Jobava, Baadur vs Radjabov, Teimour [1-0]
Hou, Yifan vs Ivanchuk, Vasil [1/2]

Challengers Section

Saleh, Salem vs Wei, Yi [1/2]
Potkin, Vladimir vs Michiels, Bart [1/2]
Gunina, Valentina vs Van Kampen, Robin[0-1]
Sevian, Samuel vs Timman, Jan [1-0]
Klein, David vs Navara, David [0-1]
l' Ami, Erwin vs Dale, Ari [1-0]
Haast, Anne vs Shankland, Sam [0-1]

Professions among chess greats

By Frank 'Boy' Pestaño
Thursday, January 22, 2015

Most GMs do not rely on chess alone to support themselves and their families although there are some exceptions. That is the reason why the parents of Wesley So do not approve his decision to quit school at Webster University, where he is a scholar and already on third year taking up business administration, to devote full time to chess.

Those who are engineers are world champion Mikhael Botvinnik, who has a doctorate degree in Electrical Engineering; like myself, Edmar Mednis, who played a simul among Cepca members in 1996, is a chemical engineer; Alex Yermolisnky is also a chemical engineer, while Alexander Kotov and Edward Lasker are mechanical engineers.

Cepca engineers are Jerry Maratas, Marvynne Gurdiana, Jimmy Ty, Loy Miñoza, Bombi Aznar, my brother Danny, Jeffrey Solis, Jun Olis, Butchie Abaya, Pablito Argamosa, Ben Dimaano, Bob Inocian, John Velarde, Ronald Galindo, Maggie Dionson and Ogie Reyes.

Among the GMs, the accountants were Henry Bird and Samuel Rehevsky, while in Cepca, the CPAs are Felxberto Balbona, Carlo Maraat, Sonny Sollano, Jun Ortiz.

Among the Pinoy players, the lawyers Rosendo Balinas and Samuel Estimo. Another lawyer who is considered the greatest player of all time is Paul Morphy, who reportedly memorized the Louisiana Code. Fridrik Olaffson, Savielly Tartakower, Josef Noa, who became a judge, Sidney Bernstein, and Michael Wilder were all successful lawyers.

Cepca lawyers are Alex Tolentino, Sisinio and his brother Andales, Manuel Iway, Damaso Uy, Migs Enriquez, former mayor Alvin Garcia and of course Mayor Mike Rama.

William Lombardy was a priest and Ruy Lopez, who is famous for the opening that bears his name, was a monk.

Karl Burger, Helmut Pfleger and Siegbert Tarrasch are both doctors and Vincenzo Castaldi is a dentist. Kevitz is a pharmacist. Darcy Tabotabo is an eye specialist. El Labunog is a Med Tech.

Those who have unique occupations are Max Harmonist, who is a ballet dancer, Robert Huebner, who is classified as a papyrologist, and Reuben Fine a psychoanalyst.

Professors were Max Euwe, who at one time was boxing heavyweight champion in Europe, and Robert Byrne, John Nunn and William Formanek, who are all mathematicians.


Sevilla Open 2015

Sevilla Open 2015

The 40th International Open Ciudad de Sevilla is set to take place from 25th January to 1st February at the Hotel Al-Andalus Palace in Seville, Spain.

The tournament is organized by the Federacion Sevillana de Ajedrez with support from Diputación de Sevilla, Turismo y Comercio Junta de Andalucía and Educación Cultura y Deporte Junta de Andalucía.

The playing format is 9-round Swiss. 217 participants from 17 countries are registered, including 8 Grandmasters and 7 International Masters.

Last year winner was Russian Grandmaster Maxim Turov.

Tournament website

Participants (top seeds):

1 GM STOPA Jacek POL 2531
3 GM ORAL Tomas CZE 2498
5 GM LALIC Bogdan CRO 2482
7 GM GALEGO Luis POR 2461
8 IM KRYSA Leandro ARG 2457
10 GM STAROSTITS Ilmars LAT 2441

Opening Simul by Melia & Houska in Gibraltar

Salome Melia and Jovanka Houska to give opening simuls in Gibraltar

The 2015 Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival starts its annual adventure when two of participants, International Masters Salome Melia and Jovanka Houska, offer two simultaneous displays for early arrivals.

The simuls will begin around 8pm on Sunday in the main restaurant. The games will provide an ideal warm-up for Amateur and Challenger participants, whose events begin the following morning.

Salome and Jovanka are very kind and will be not too hard on their opponents. But, there will be photos and a PGN of games to follow so smile and move your pieces carefully!

Live games with analysis

The Day’s Play Chess is a daily news TV show highlighting the Tradewise Gibraltar Open Chess Tournament 2015. Presented by Tania Sachdev. Special Guest Stuart Conquest. Teaser from the YouTube channel: