Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Harikrishna crushes David Navara

Reggio Emilia (Italy), (PTI): Grandmaster P Harikrishna got the better of David Navara's defence and tamed the Czech to leapfrog to the lead after the fourth round of the 50th Reggio Emilia Chess tournament here.

After his first round loss against Zoltan Almasi of Hungary, this was Harikrishna's second victory in the 10-player round robin event and the Indian now leads the tables along with Konstantin Landa of Russia, Vugar Gashimov of Azerbaijan and Almasi with 2.5 points each.

Dutch Grandmaster, Sergei Tiviakov, came back strongly in the event, making good use of the clock against Michele Godena of Italy to jump to joint fourth spot on two points along side Viktor Korchnoi of Switzerland, Chinese Ni Hua and Mihail Marin of Romania.

Languishing at the bottom are Godena and Navara, both of whom have just one point each with five rounds still remaining in this category-16 tournament.

In other fourth round games, Ni Hua held Viktor Korchnoi, Landa played out a draw with Almasi while Mihail Marin and Gashimov too signed truce.

In the fourth round, Harikrishna displayed originality once again and outwitted Navara.

Chess - Judit Polgar tops women's world rankings for 30th time

Budapest, January 2 (MTI) - Hungarian grandmaster Judit Polgar continues to lead the women's world rankings, finishing at the top of the International Chess Federation (FIDE) list for the 30th time.

With 2707 Elo points, Polgar is placed 22nd in the men's global rankings. She is the first woman to surpass the 2,700-point mark, the lower limit for the category of men's super grandmasters.

Polgar has been the world's top female chess player since 1988.

Born in 1976, Judit is the youngest of the three chess-playing sisters, the Polgar sisters.

At the age of 13 she became the youngest ever international grandmaster in the world, breaking Bobby Fischer's record.

Along with her sisters Zsuzsa and Zsofia, and Ildiko Madl, she was a member of the Hungarian team that triumphed in the chess Olympics in Thessalonika in 1988, the first non-Soviet team to win the title. Hungary repeated that feat two years later in Novi Sad.

Chess Book: From London to Elista by Evgeny Bareev and Ilya Levitov

The reviewer knew he was going to like this book when reading the following in the foreword: “the genuine World Champion, acknowledged by everyone, is the one who takes the title from the previous king in a one-on-one duel. Why is that? Because it just can’t be any other way in this game.” Exactly: no more needs to be said on the subject. The book is the behind-the scenes tale of Kramnik’s three world title matches as told by one of his chief seconds and supporters, Evgeny Bareev and PR man Ilya Levitov. Bareev tells the story in response to questions from Levitov in a sort of Socratic dialogue. Bareev, of course, has a reputation for dry humour and it is beautifully exemplified here, with extracts from the diary which Bareev kept during the course of Kramnik’s 2000 match victory over Kasparov. The first 170 pages of the book are on the London 2000 match and they are absolutely riveting. The candour with which Bareev (and others such as Lautier) tell the story, interspersed with annotations of all the games, is very engaging.

From the reviewer’s personal memory, the Kramnik camp in 2000 seemed very friendly and approachable in stark contrast to the Kasparov camp, but it is clear from the text that they were undergoing the tortures of the damned in private; not because of any animosity between the members of the team but because of the sheer weight of their workload as they sought to patch up the Berlin Wall as the world’s greatest ever player tried to smash it down. The end of the match was more a relief than a triumph – but with Kasparov defeated, they can now look back on that achievement as one of the greatest in chess history. There have been books before on all the sensational nonsense that goes on behind the scenes at various matches but it is rare for anybody to have taken the lid off the day-to-day work that seconds do and still rarer for them to have made it so interesting. It’s a bit like reading the military memoirs of Wellington’s staff as they describe how they helped their commander defeat Napoleon at Waterloo. But with more jokes.
The book could have ended happily at that point for this reviewer and be hailed as a masterpiece, but it continues with the 2004 Leko match. This was far from a triumph for Kramnik, as his health and form had subsided since the heady days of 2000. But the book is still very revealing as it tells how Kramnik’s seconds struggled to help the anxious shadow of the 2000 man to retain his crown.

he final 95 pages or so of the match are on the notorious match with Topalov in Elista in 2006. This time Bareev was looking at it from the outside as he was no longer one of Kramnik’s seconds. Though still entertaining and worth reading, it is less definitive and riveting than what goes before. It is not long before Topalov’s manager Silvio Danailov gets it in the neck: “Externally Danailov resembles a character from a Balkan film – the noisy Mafioso in garish clothes with a loud voice and bad manners,,, in life this scandalous man has become practically the most famous chess manager... and you can be certain that nothing and no-one will stop him from striving for the big money and power.” Topalov by contrast is judged to be “a shadow following his mentor” who has changed from being a pleasant and sociable teenager into somebody who is more hardened and cynical. However, though he’s prepared to be fairly harsh on Danailov (without giving much by way of examples), Bareev is initially fairer towards Topalov himself, batting aside any accusations of cheating that have been levelled against him. Later, however, Topalov is roundly damned for what is seen as his craven behaviour during the ‘toiletgate’ saga: “trusting Danailov with control over his whole life... Topalov destroyed himself as a personality,” says Levitov, to which Bareev adds in italics “there was never any personality”.

Overall this is an extremely good, if somewhat uneven, book. The dialogue format adds to the humour but is rather overdone. It is sometimes not easy to work out which of the two co-authors is talking. Perhaps it could have been better edited and is a bit longer than it needed to be. But it emphasises, as few books have done before, just how much hard work goes into opening preparation during world championship matches, and makes one realise that modern matchplay chess is actually team chess in which everyone participates but only one person moves the pieces on the board. After reading this, the book I want to read next is Yuri Dokhoian on Garry Kasparov. Review by John Saunders.

Courtesy @

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Best Chess Player 2007

Hi readers,
As we r celebrating new year, letz decide who is the best chess player of 2007??

Canany 1 comment on these categories???

1.Best Chess Player (Men Section)
2.Best Chess Player (Female section)
3.Best Chess Player (Junior Section)
4.Best Chess Player (Gils Section)

KINDLY GIVE ME UR COMMENTS........Thanq readers....

Viswanathan Anand was voted DNA sportsperson of 2007

A day after Viswanathan Anand was voted DNA sportsperson of 2007, the world chess champion says he wants to win the honour in 2008 again. Here is a tete-e-tete:

Q:You have been chosen DNA sportsperson ahead of players like MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Sania Mirza, Jeev Milkha Singh, Narain Karthikeyan...
A:It feels very nice to win a poll where people support you. I would like to thank your readers and wish them all the best in 2008.

Q:What is your chosen moment of Indian sport in 2007?
A:Winning Mexico.

Q:How do you look forward to 2008?
A:It will be a tough year. Some tournaments in the first half and the match with Vladimir Kramnik in the second half.

Q:It will be yet another World championship year. Your thoughts?
A:Yes. I will first concentrate on my events till March and then start work on Kramnik.

Q:Finally, any thing you think you need to conquer?
A:To win DNA sportsperson of the year in 2008 by winning in October would be nice.

chess puzzle

Our chess puzzle this week sees Alexei Shirov on the wrong end of a super move. It's from Lukin - Shirov, Daugavpils 1989. White can gain a clear advantage by 1 hg, but instead Lukin played an even stronger move that forces a much greater advantage, can you spot it?

Sunday Fun : chess puzzle

White to move and win.....

Chess puzzle video

Move to host five-nation chess tournament in Kolkata

Kolkata, Dec 31 (IANS): Dibyendu Barua Chess Academy and Kolkata Municipal Corporation could jointly hold the first four-continent Mayor's Invitational Chess Tournament in 2008.

Announcing this here Monday, Mayor Bikash Bhattacharya said, "A five-member team consisting of Grandmasters Dibyendu Barua, Surya Sekhar Ganguly, Sandipan Chanda, Atananu Lahiri and Saptarshi Roychowdhury has just won the Warsaw Invitational Mayor's Trophy, a meet held from Dec 11-13."

"This gave Dibyendu Barua the idea to hold the tournament here also that will feature the three teams that participated in Warsaw. He came to me with the idea and I found it interesting. He also presented the Corporation with the trophy they won," he said.

The teams are from Warsaw (Poland), Buenos Aries (Argentina) and Kolkata. In addition Barua would like to get two teams from Australia and Africa making it a five-nation affair.

Barua told IANS that his team won all their matches there and came back with Mayor's Trophy, a crystal cup exquisitely designed with a brass brocade of a mermaid. "We approached the Kolkata Municipal Corporation if a similar project could be organized here. Mayor Bhattacharya has been very responsive."

Bhattacharya said: "A proposal has been given to us. We will talk with the sports department on the matter and hopefully we will do something."

Barua said the cost for holding the invitational tournament would be around Rs 20 lakhs and so he needed government help. He sounded very positive with the kind of help promised by the Mayor.

Ganguly said: "The idea is to invite Melbourne or Sydney and Cairo if the tournament come through."

Courtesy @

Asian team chess meet from Wednesday

Sasikiran and Neelotpal Das will head the India-A and India-B men’s teams respectively for the 15th Asian Team Chess Championship-2007 to be held at Swarnabharati Indoor Stadium from Jan 2 to 10.

Dronavalli Harika and Swati Ghate will lead the Indian-A and India-B women’s teams respectively.

While 15 teams from seven countries are taking part in the event, Wang Yue from China holds the highest rating with 2,703. The winners of the men’s championship will qualify for the the World Team Chess Championship conducted by the World Chess Federation. The event will be organised by East Coast Chess Association, All Vizag District Chess Association and Andhra Pradesh Chess Association. State Bank of India, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant and Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation are the sponsors.

The video footage and images of these tournaments can be watched over the websites: or

Hastings Congress chess: Deep Sen Guptha lies joint second

Hastings, Jan 1 - Saptarishi Roy Chowdhury and S. Satyapragyan scored facile wins, while Deep Sengupta played out a draw in the fourth round of the Hastings Congress chess tournament in this town in Britain.Deep drew with Farhad Tahirov of Azerbaijan Monday and moved to three points, which places him in the joint second place with 20 others.Mark Hebden of England's fourth round victory over compatriot Simon Williams made him the sole leader with 3.5 points.Saptarishi beat Vincent Heinis of France and Satyapragyan defeated Bernard Cafferty of England. Both are tied at 26th place with 2.5 points

Reggio Emilia chess: Hari Krishna settles for third round draw

Reggio Emilia (Italy), Jan 1 - Indian Grandmaster Pentala Harikrishna settled down with a steady draw against Chinese counterpart Ni Hua in the third round of the 50th edition of Reggio Emilia International Chess tournament here.Harikrishna, rated 2668, played a 30-move draw Monday with Ni Hua (2641) to take his tally to 1.5 points from three games.Harikrishna, who had lost the opening game to top seed Hungarian Zoltan Almasi (2691), is half a point behind the leading trio of Almasi, Landa Konstantin of Russia and Azerbaijani Grandmaster Vugar Gashimov (2664).In the other matches, Almasi drew with Sergei Tiviakov of Netherlands, while Viktor Korchnoi of Switzerland drew with Italian Michele Godena, Landa drew with Mihail Marin of Romania and in the only decision of the day David Navarra of Czech Republic beat Vugar Gashimov.

Chess Puzzles : White to Play and Mate in two

Hi readers. Here is the another puzzlefor you....
White to play and mate in two....Nice to watch black pawn proceeded to a2....;)

Give me ur comments.....

Chess Puzzles : White to Play and Mate

Happy New Year Reader....Here is a simple puzzle.... Try to solve it.... Give us ur comments...

Position : White: Nh5,Kf2 Black:Kh2,Ph3

Chess: Crafty Kamsky

GKamsky vs. Shirov

ata Kamsky won the FIDE 2007 World Cup in December. This earned him the right to compete against Vesslin Topalov, Vladimir Kramnik, and Vishy Anand for the next world chess championship.

Kamsky emigrated to the United States from Russia as a teenager with his family. He was already a chess prodigy. In the mid-90s he was ranked third in the world and was a candidate for the world championship. Unexpectedly, he retired from professional chess and attended law school and then medical school. A few years ago he returned to professional chess.

In the World Cup finals Kamsky faced Alexi Shirov. This week’s position is the final position of game 2, which was the decisive match game. Kamsky, who is white, has just moved his knight from g5 to f7, checking black. Here, Shirov resigned. Please try and find out why before the reading the answer.

In chess notation, the board is a grid: the vertical columns are numbered “1” through “8;” the horizontal rows, “a” through “h.” Each square on the board is identified by a specific letter and number. For example, if the black rook at f6 were to move to c6 the notation would be rc6 (r=rook, q=queen, b=bishop, n=knight, x=takes, etc.).

Black must either capture the knight at f7 or move its king to h7. If the king moves to h7, white's rook at d8 captures the knight with the support of the rook at g1. White now threatens to move its g1 rook to g7, mating black. Black can only stop mate by losing several pieces, and hence the game.

Alternatively, black can take the knight with either its rook or bishop. Taking the knight with the rook results in mate after the d8 rook captures black's knight at g8 with check. After kh7, white plays nxf7, allowing the rooks to mate.

Black’s best move is taking the knight with its bishop. After bxf7, white’s remaining knight takes the bishop, checking black again. Black's rook then captures the knight. White’s rook at g1 now captures the black knight at g8, forcing the black king to retreat to h7.

From here, white’s advanced pawns work in tandem with the rooks to win. White's rook at g8 checks the king from h8, pushing the king over to g7. White’s d8 rook strikes by checking from g8. This pushes the king onto f6.

White continues checking black by advancing the e4 pawn to e5. After the king retreats to e7, white’s g8 rook slides over and checks black from e8. Once again the black king is forced to a specific square, namely d7. This sets up the final blow. The e5 pawn checks black from e6 and forks the king and rook.

Kamsky crafted a long, forced winning line. Such craftsmanship along with his victory at the World Cup show that Kamsky has regained his world championship form.

Courtesy @

Monday, December 31, 2007

Many chess events in 2008

Happy New Year to all chess fans around the world! The team of wishes you all the best in 2008, lot's of health, happiness, and wishes that come true. We also wish all active players reading Chessdom to rise their ELO with at least 100 points in 2008 :)

It may be New Year's Eve, but chess events are going all around the world. Besides, many tournaments start as soon as January 2nd. Here is a quick report on ongoing events and a preview of the first chess tournaments in 2008.

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Francisco Vallejo Pons wins Ciudad de Pamplona

Francisco Vallejo Pons routinely drew with white against Wang Yue in the last round to claim clear first place at the Internacional Ciudad de Pamplona. Two wins at the start were good enough to keep him on the poll position. Combative Baadur Jobava and solid Wang Yue are tied on the 2nd place with four points each.

More info and replayable games

Morozevich wins the Russian Championship

Alexander Morozevich won the Russian Championship with 8,0/11, a full point ahead of the second Alexander Grischuk. Third place is for Tomashevsky with 6,5. Places 4-8 are shared by Inarkiev, Dreev, Jakovenko, Vitiugov, and Sakaev with 5,5/11. Svidler completed his fantastic end of 2008 with a poor score of 5,0/11 to take the ninth place. Amonatov is with 4,5,Rychagov is with 4, and Timofeev with 3,5.

In the women section there was a four way tie between Tairova, Korbut, T. Kosintseva, and Ovod with 7,0/11.

Hastings Chess Congress 2008

Three rounds have been played of the Hastings Chess Festival 2008. In the Masters tournament there are 13 players with 2,5/3 on top. These are Bindrich, Chatalbashev, Haslinger, V. Georgiev, Neverov, Flear, Hebden, Williams, Gormally, Conquest, Tahirov, Sengupta, and Pert. Many surprises with rating down to 1900 follow with 2,0/3. Most of the upsets happened in round 1, where the underdogs surprised all the top boards.

Hastings Chess round 1 report

Hastings Chess preview

Chess festival Groningen

Greek chess players conquered the Groningen chess festival. GM Stelios Halkias finished on top with 6,5, same points as his countrymate GM Mastrovasilis, but better tiebreak. Third, fourth, and fifth places are for GM Ernst and GM Adly with 6,5 points. Sixth place is for another Greek player, GM Banikas with 6,0.

January FIDE rating list

The January FIDE rating list has been released. Vladimir Kramnik is on top with 2799, the same points as the second Viswanathan Anand. However, Kramnik has played more games and this brings him the first place. Third is Veselin Topalov with 2780. Morozevich, Svidler, Mamedyarov, Shirov, Leko, Ivanchuk and Aronian complete the top 10. You can see all standings (men, women, juniors, and girls) at the FIDE rating report

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January 2008 Chess Calendar

January 2008 is a month full of interesting chess events. Top picks for sure are Corus Chess Wijk aan Zee 2008 and Gibtelecom Chess festival. However many chess events start as soon as January 2 and will be full of quality chess players and interesting games

Australian Chess Championship 2008

The Australian Chess Championship will take place from the 2nd January 2008 to 11th January 2008. Entriesuntil now include GM Dejan Antic, IM Stephen Solomon, GM Darryl Johansen, IM George Xie, IM Gary Lane, FM Igor Goldenberg, IM Herman Van Riemsdijk, FM Igor Bjelobrk, FM Greg Canfell, FM Jesse Noel Sales, FM Douglas Hamilton, Tomek Rej, Vincent Suttor, etc.

Alongside the Australian Championship will be a number of other chess tournaments. These are the Australian Major (Under 2100), Australian Minor (Under 1600) and Australian Lightning Championship.

The Australian Championship, Major and Minor tournaments are all to be 11 rounds, with time control 90 minutes plus 30 seconds a move from the start.

Official website

25 Open Untergrombach

The 25th Open Untergrombach chess tournament will take place January 2-6 2008 in Germany. It will be a 7 round Swiss system with solid international field. The prize of the open is 3500 eur.

Official website

Memorial Salvatore Nobile

Accademia Scacchistica features several events in January 2008. They start with Memorial Salvatore Nobile with a nice prize of 18 bottles of top notch Italian wine for the winner. It is a 7 rounds event fron January 10 to January 21. Besides, the club organizes two blitz tournaments, on January 5th and January 19th.

Official website

Prague Open 2008

The Prague Open 2008 will take place 11.-18.1. 2008 in Prague, Czech Republic. It is a part of the Czech tour series and is a Swiss system of 9 rounds, 2 x 1,5h + 30s/move. Until now 100+ players have registered. Top rated is IM Nikolay Ninov (ELO 2518), followed by IM Vigen Mirumian, GM Evgeni Sveshnikov, GM Viesturs Meijers, IM Spas Kozhuharov, GM Mikhail Ivanov, IM Peter Vavrak, GM Eduard Meduna, etc.

Official website

Courtesy @

UT Dallas Keeps Grip on Pan-American Chess Title

The UT Dallas “A” team reeled off five consecutive match victories, hesitating only in the final round when it played to a draw, to clinch first place in the 2007 Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship.

The victory in Miami Sunday, after six rounds of play over four days, means UT Dallas will keep the title it won in last year's competition.

Known as the “World Series of College Chess,” the Pan American championship is the most prestigious tournament of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

UT Dallas chess coach Rade Milovanovic said the turning point was the fifth-round match between the A teams of UT Dallas and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). The two teams – with two grandmasters each – were the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the tournament.

Salvijus Bercys
Salvijus Bercys

“The match was even until our board 4, freshman Salvijus Bercys, finally won, and that gave us a victory of 2.5-1.5,” Milovanovic said.

“Sal was winning, but his clock got down to 18 seconds at one point,” said Jim Stallings, director of the UT Dallas chess program. “The entire championship was riding on one last play. You scored and won the game; or you lost everything.”

“The time scramble had a large crowd silently frozen as they watched,” Stallings said.

UTD’s B team racked up scores of 4.5-1.5 to finish in a three-way tie for second place with teams from UMBC and New York University.

The tournament, held this year at the Miami Dade College campus, is more than 60 years old. About 150 players on 28 teams from colleges in the U.S., Canada and the West Indies took part in the event.

UT Dallas' "C" team
Wearing UT Dallas' green competition shirts, the all-woman "C" team won the tournament's Division IV title.

Stallings praised UT Dallas' new “C” team, which won the all-female award and the Division IV title. “The C team’s performance, matching veteran teams such as Stanford and Dartmouth, was outstanding and reflects a great deal of hard work in preparing,” he said.

This is the sixth time UT Dallas has won or tied for first in the Pan-American Intercollegiate Chess Team Championship. UT Dallas, UMBC, NYU and Miami Dade now qualify to play in the Final Four in April.

UT Dallas and UMBC have emerged as the two best college chess teams in the nation. One or the other has won the Pan Am eight years in a row.

In the Final Four of Chess, another major annual college chess competition, no team other than UT Dallas and UMBC has won the event in its six-year history.

FEU Team A, Nava, Palomo sweep Asean varsity chess

MANILA, Philippines -- FIDE Master Roderick Nava and Jenny Rose Palomo swept the individual titles while leading Far Eastern University Team A to the championship in the recent 12th Rakan Muda GACC (Grand Asean Chess Challenge) World Inter-Varsity Chess Championships at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur.

Final standings:
27.5 points -- FEU Team A (RP); 25.5 -- National Univ. of Singapore (SIN), FEU Team B (RP); 24.0 -- Univ. of Colombo Team A (SRI); 23.0 -- Univ. of Malaya, Team A (MAL); 22.5 -- PTVA (IND); 22.0 -- Nanyang Tech. Univ. Team A (SIN); 21.5 -- Azad Islamic Univ. (IRN); 20.0 -- Univ. of Malaya, Team B (MAL), Univ. Pendidikan Sultan Idris Team A (MAL), Univ. Islam Antarabangsa Team A (MAL).

Nava, a member of the national training pool, split the point with International Master Shojaat Gharehgardeh of Iran’s Azad Islamic University to top the men’s division.

Palomo settled for a draw with compatriot Ronna Reigner Senora of FEU Team B to rule the women’s side.

Nava and Palomo wound up with seven wins, a loss and a draw each for 7.5 points. They won 1,000 ringgit (P12,000) and a gold medal each.

FEU Team A, which also had Luffe Magdalaga and John Ranel Morazo, amassed 27.5 combined points to pocket the team title and the top purse of 2,000 ringgit.

Nava’s only loss was dealt by fellow FIDE Master Hong Nguyen Ly of Singapore in the fourth round while Palomo bowed to Dawn Hui Sau Mun of NTA in the opening round.

Courtesy @

chess Technique

Look at this video for chess tchnique

Chess improvement v Chess enjoyment

Are chess improvement and chess enjoyment mutually exclusive? Improving one's ability at any game of skill takes dedication, study, practice and application. Where's the fun in that? I'm half joking here of course - I recognize that if I enjoy chess (which I do) then learning to play it better should also be enjoyable and motivation shouldn't be a problem.

So why is it a problem?

I believe that improving your chess ability requires much harder work than most patzers (myself included) realise, and are prepared to undertake. I don't think I'm lazy (not more than average, anyway) and I'm prepared to work hard at something if I feel it is worthwhile. The question is - is studying chess worthwhile? It is after all just a game - a beautiful, beguiling, compelling frustrating, uplifting game. Life is short and chess study takes a lot of time.

If the aim of life is to be happy, is there really any point in spending so much time on a game which can produce as much frustration and disappointment as happiness?

It may sound like I'm writing this on the back of a bad loss, but I'm on a winning streak at the moment (I'm playing correspondence games at No, this post has been prompted by the impending new year and thoughts of resolutions.

I've decided not to make any resolutions, about chess or anything else. I will continue to try to balance enjoyment and study of chess in my leisure time and hope to end 2008 understanding chess a bit better than I do now.

My blogging friend Dan Scoones has suggested I finish reading 'The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played' by Chernev (one of the many books I haven't finished). So that's what I'm going to do - and continue playing as much as possible - given the time available!

Courtesy @

Chess And BOXING

Look and enjoy the video :

Maker of the best moves

Winning the World championship in Mexico ahead of Russia's Vladimir Kramnik has been a crowning glory in chess wizard V Anand's career. But that's not the only qualification for being Times Sport's Sportsperson of the Year.

It has been a stunning year for the 38-year-old. After an utterly forgettable Olympiad last year, Anand has bounced back in superb fashion. He began by winning the Wimbledon of chess - Linares. The Super GM event is not known for strawberry and cream but for the creamy layer of players it provides on the chess board. That performance took Anand to World No 1 for the first time in his career.

This was followed by superb wins over former World champion Veselin Topalov and the ever-improving Levon Aronian in Leon and Mainz, respectively. And then an unbeaten run in Mexico which gave him the undisputed World title.

Along the way, he didn't forget the contributions made by National champion Surya Shekhar Ganguly, Sandipan Chanda and V Saravanan in his preparation. That adds to his greatness because he understands unsung heroes and significance of small contributions.

With the advent of internet, chess is now a game for youngsters. So, what makes Anand tick after all these years - nearly two decades at top-level competition? It's his adaptability to various formats, his feel for the game, the great mix of a genius and hard worker in him and his endeavour to enjoy the struggle and ambition of finding ideas to succeed.

An achievement in the game of chess, which will remain a non-spectator sport, should get a bit more weightage for a variety of reasons.

First of all, in an individual sport there is no place to hide. Moreover, a great performance is not possible in a losing cause. Then, the luck element is at its minimum. In all super tournaments, chess players get equal number of blacks and whites. So advantage of the toss is thrown out of the window. Weather, playing surface, umpiring decisions don't influence the game of chess.

One mistake costs you a game in this 64-square sport. The chance to regroup and comeback is minimum because one game is one process (not a series of the same process like tennis, cricket or other sports).

In other words, no bluff (positive body language and aura) will give you results in chess as this is a complete knowledge sport where the emphasis is more on chess pieces than physical action of the players. The intent and results in other sports can vary. Being a square-specific sport, intent matches with results for almost 100 per cent.

The most demanding aspect of other sports is that you have to take the decision in split second (for example, whether to race the car in the same gear, whether to make bowling changes). The classical variety of chess (three and a half hours per player) don't force you to take split decisions. Rather it encourages you to give off your best. A player can take his own good time, study the position deeply, before making his move.

Anand has found the best possible moves for the large part of year. And that makes him, simply put, a cut above the rest.

The next year would start with a bit of bad news for Anand. For, Kramnik is likely to grab the World No 1 spot in the latest rankings on New Year's Day. But Anand will get plenty of chances to set the record straight when he meets the Russian at Wijk aan Zee and the World Championship return match in Bonn, Germany, this November.

And if Anand manages to retain his title, it would need a miracle to stop him from becoming Times Sport's Sportsperson of the Year for the second year in a row.

Courtesy - @

Sunday, December 30, 2007

INDIA - Year End Chess 2007 profile

Mixed bag For Indian Chess

Even as Viswanathan Anand continued to strive harder to take his game to the next level, most of the other Indian names did not have a great year.

Twenty years ago, a teenager by the name of Viswanathan Anand redefined excellence for Indian chess players. He combined speed with skill, imaginative ideas with intuition and reeled off results that did not go unnoticed by some of the best brains in the game. With the passage of time, his phenomenally consistent performances put him among the elite of this cerebral sport. His tireless work paid off this year and realised two of his long cherished goals. He captured the Wo rld number spot in April and went on to regain the World title, which he won in 2000.

Seldom has an individual made such a lasting impact on the future of any sporting discipline in India. His talent apart, what caught the nation’s imagination was his pleasing ways. His smile, wit and the ability to simplify the complexities of the game made him an instant hit. From becoming the World junior champion in August 1987 to becoming the game’s latest World Champion in September 2007, Anand has contributed more than any other Indian sportsperson for his or her chosen discipline.

He became the country’s first Grandmaster in December 1987 and since then only 16 more have joined the list, including two in the last two months. Interestingly, the last three Grandmasters — Parimarjan Negi, G. N. Gopal and Abhijeet Gupta — were born after Anand founded the country’s ‘GM Club’.

“I don’t want to leave behind some kind of legacy. I don’t think about it. I still have some more chess left in me,” is the reply from Anand when one touches the subject of his contribution to Indian chess or how he would like to be remembered. Indeed, Anand has kept his sights firmly on his goals and achieved them like few others in the world of sports. Delightfully, he has not finished yet.

Anand did have a glorious year during which he added the prestigious Moralia-Linares title in March and the rapid title in Monaco. He went on to retain rapid titles at Leon and Mainz. He has won the Chess Classic title 10 times including all the seven occasions since the event moved from Frankfurt to Mainz. In November, Anand braved indifferent health to finish runner-up to champion Vassily Ivanchuk in the World blitz championship in Moscow. Interestingly, Ivanchuk was considered the favourite when Anand won the world junior title in 1987. What more, Anand and Ivanchuk finished the year 2007 as the top two ranked players in the game. Surely, the duo, along with World Cup champion Gata Kamsky, showed that experience still was a handy weapon against the exuberance of youth.

Even as Anand continued to strive harder to take his game to the next level, most of the other Indian names did not have a great year. K. Sasikiran had his moments in the premier Mtel Masters where he let go of a golden opportunity to win the title ahead of the eventual winner, the 2005 World Champion, Veselin Topalov. Again, in the World Cup in Khanty Mansiysk, in Russia, Sasikiran moved to the last-16 stage. He did pick up three gold medals from the Asian Indoor Games where the Indians gave an impressive performance.

Surya Shekhar Ganguly won the Asian zonal title where the Indian entries formed a major part of the field. Otherwise, it wasn’t a happy year for Ganguly who again failed to breach the 2600-point mark. For P. Hari Krishna, it was a forgettable year during which he could take heart from his third place finish in the Montreal International. Even the Arjuna Award did not please him much since it came a wee bit late considering his consistent showings in the past years. His Andhra-mate K. Humpy did well to win two back-to-back events in the middle of the year and went on to cross the 2600-point mark in ratings. She also added an individual blitz gold from Macau.

Another Andhra girl, D. Harika won the Asian zonal title, collected five medals, including two gold, in Macau and went on to retain her Commonwealth title. R. B. Ramesh became the Commonwealth champion as the Indians expectedly dominated the event in New Delhi. Earlier in the year, S. Vijayalakshmi attained her third and final GM norm on way to the Curto Open title.

One of the finest moments for Indian chess this year came when National champion Tania Sachdev won the Asian ladies title in Teheran. Since she had picked up a GM norm earlier in the year, she was eligible to become an International Master from the 20-game IM norm that came her way on winning the Asian title. What more, she returned from Macau and retained her National title before picking up the silver medal for the ladies in the Commonwealth championship.

Among the men, Abhijit Kunte came third in the Asian championship while Gopal finished in the top-10 to qualify for the World Cup. Gopal gave an excellent account of himself by holding the former World champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov four times before surrendering in the blitz games in the World Cup opener.

Usually, the Indian age-group challenge is considered a formidable one at the World and Asian levels. The trend continued this year but not in the same way as last year. Ivana Furtado retained her World under-8 title but the Indians failed to hold on to four other world titles won in 2006. B. Adhiban won the Asian under-16 title to become the nation’s youngest International Master in July. The Indian boys claimed the World Youth (under-16) Olympiad in Singapore where leading nations like Russia, Armenia, Ukraine and China were missing from the line-up. In the Asian youth championship, India won 10 medals including five titles. The winners were Ivana Furtado (girls’ under-8), G. V. Revanth Reddy (boys’ under-8), Shardul Gagare (boys’ under-10), B. Pratyusha (girls’ under-10) and Priyanka Kumari (girls’ under-12).

Looking back, Anand and Ivana ended the year as world champions at the highest and the youngest levels of the game. The number of GMs increased but most members of this select group failed to show much motivation to move to the next level. The youngsters looked good but unless there is organised coaching in place in the country, they will not be able to reach their goals. With Anand atop the world rankings, it remains to be seen how the All India Chess Federation manages to bring in the much needed corporate patronage for the game in the country. Sadly, the Indians got only two norm-making opportunities this year in New Delhi. The need of the hour is to provide systematic and quality training for the talented youngsters besides many more opportunities at home to attain norms leading to the GM, IM, Woman GM and Woman IM titles.

Most chess champions in India remain products of the sacrifices made by their parents and individual coaches. Sadly, in that respect, not much has changed since Anand put India on the world chess map 20 years ago.

Courtesy Hindu @

FIDE RATINGS: Kramnik, Anand Tie for Top Spot in Jan 2008

Former world champion Vladimir Kramnik caught up with World Champion Viswanathan Anand to tie for the top position both with ratings of 2799 in the January 2008 FIDE Rating List. In the juniors, Magnus Carlsen edged out Sergey Karjakin for the top spot.

See calculations of Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand, and of Magnus Carlsen and Sergey Karjakin.

The tie between Anand and Kramnik is a precursor to their exciting World Championship Match this October in Bonn, Germany.

Another interesting points in FIDE rating list jan 2008 are

  • Alexei Shirov gained 16 points to move from 10th to 7th;
  • Magnus Carlsen gained 19 points to move from 16 to place 13;
  • Sergey Karjakin gained 38 points to move from 24 to 14;
  • Gata Kamsky gained 12 to move from 17 to 15;
  • Ivan Cheparinov gained 43 (!) to move from place 42 to place 19.
Fide rankings :

Courtesy: Fide Article @