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The Week in Chess


  • Riga Technical University Open 2014 – Games and Results
    The Riga Technical University Open takes place Fri 15th Aug 2014 – Sun 24th Aug 2014. Alexei Shirov and Richard Rapport are the top seeds. Games and results.
  • 21st Abu Dhabi Masters 2014 – Games and Results
    The 21st Abu Dhabi Masters takes place Wed 20th Aug 2014 – Thu 28th Aug 2014. Wang Hao is the top seed. Games and results.
  • 89th French Chess Championships 2014 – Games and Results
    The 89th French Chess Championships takes place Sun 17th Aug 2014 – Thu 28th Aug 2014. Etienne Bacrot and Laurent Fressinet are the top seeds. Games and results.
  • 41st Olympiad Tromso 2014 – Games and Results
    The 41st Olympiad took place in Tromso, Norway 1st August (Opening Ceremony) to 14th August 2014.

    China took their first open title with a convincing performance where they lost just one game in the 11 rounds scoring 8 match wins and 3 draws for 19 points. Their new star Yu Yangyi scored 9.5/11. Four teams tied on 17 points with Hungary taking Silver in Judit Polgar’s final event as a professional and India taking a shock bronze medal after a huge 3.5-0.5 win against Uzbekistan. This denied top seeds Russia even the vague compensation of a medal for an inconsistent performance. Azerbaijan also scored 17 points.

    Veselin Topalov took board 1 gold ahead of Michael Adams and Anish Giri. On board 2 Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son of Vietname took gold above Csaba Balogh who did an amazing job for Hungary, he was supposed to be solid but did much better than that. Board 3 was won by Yu Yangyi in a key performance for the winners. Board 4 was won by Nikola Sedlak of Serbia and Board 5 by Sam Shankland of the USA.

    The women’s Olympiad was won by Russia. New recruit Kateryna Lagno (who the Russian’s delayed registering their final team for) had a solid result on top board but scored the key win against Hou Yifan in the decisive match against China. It was Valentina Gunina 8/10 and Alexandra Kosteniuk 7.5/9 who were the core of the side supported by Olga Girya and Natalija Pogonina. Sergei Rublevsky’s tough captaincy which led to the Kosintseva sisters quitting seems fully justified. China looked set for gold but they lost the key round 7 clash with Russia. Ukraine took bronze after a slow start.

    Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was reelected as FIDE President in what can only described as a crushing victory against Garry Kasparov 110 votes to 61.

  • Judit Polgar to retire from professional chess – Polgar Retirement
    Judit Polgar is to retire as a professional chess player at the end of the Olympiad. The surprise announcement was made in a brief interview with The Times. Polgar herself was unavailable for comment as she was in preparation for the final round of the Olympiad with her Hungarian team which lies in second place and has a chance for gold in the final round. Polgar has so far contributed as score of 4.5/6 on board 5. It is unclear whether she will play in the final round.

    No doubt there will be plenty of interviews after the round finishes. With her retirement she brings to an end an ”educational experiment” which saw Judit and her three sisters all become exceptional players in a generally male dominated game.

    Judit Polgar reached a career high of 2735 and world number #8 in 2005. At that point her highly tactical style had matured into a stronger all round game. Shortly afterwards Polgar took some time off to raise her family and although her initial return was promising she is quoted as saying her concentration at the board is in decline. Recently her focus has switched to writing books on her career and the Judit Polgar Chess Foundation.

    Earlier in the Olympiad Judit Polgar was asked about the possibility of a match against Hou Yifan at a point I guess she already knew she would retire, she was non-committal without ruling it out. With the right money I guess it still wouldn’t be out of the question but would really have to be this year. Hou defeated Polgar in their only game together in Gilbraltar 2012 and it was already clear it was only a matter of time before Hou became the women’s number one. Now the baton has definitely passed to her.

    There will be time enough to celebrate the career of the greatest ever women’s player. It seems to me Judit Polgar didn’t see playing was about women competing on an equal basis but that gender shouldn’t make a difference at all.

  • Carlsen appears but only draws in Olympiad round 2 – 2
    The 41st FIDE Chess Olympiad in Tromso is as yet in the early stages but already there are signs it will be very hard going for the leading players as everyone seems so very well prepared.

    Magnus Carlsen made his first appearance with black against Tomi Nyback. Carlsen more or less equalised out of the opening but there was nothing more and he and his Norwegian first team colleagues all drew. Carlsen in fact lost to Nyback in their last game together in the Olympiad Dresden 2008 and seems never to have beaten him. The Norwegian second team also drew their match but this time against the might of Ukraine. Vassily Ivanchuk tried very hard to sharpen things against Frode Urkedal completely overdid it and went down to a horrible loss.

    In such a huge event there will inevitably be a huge amount of interesting games. I’ve been working on my own version of the games and checks. To be honest the FIDE team have done an excellent job so far and I don’t expect the official version to have too many problems. I’ve slightly changed the way the round numbers appear and hopefully produced a good checking system for incorrect results. Now I can start to follow the games a bit more.

    Judit Polgar is on board four and her job is to score heavily for Hungary. She certainly played a very interesting game in winning today which caught my eye.

    There were three individual defaults due to the zero tolerance rule in round 2 including one of an 11 year old and one of veteran Alexander Beliavsky. At least one team fell foul of the rule too.

    Olympiad Open Round 3 Monday: ARM-FRA, USA-NED, NOR-MNE, GER-ENG, POL-CUB, ITA-IND, TUR-GEO, ISL-SRB, SUI-VIE, MKD-RUS, HUN-CHN, AZE-CRO, BLR-ISR, CZE-IRI, BUL-ESP etc

  • 101st British Chess Championships 2014 – Games and Results
    The 101st British Chess Championships took place in Aberystwyth 19th to 30th July 2014. Jonathan Hawkins and David Howell shared the title scoring 8.5/11. There was no tie-break scheduled this year. I imagine the proximity to the Olympiad factored into the decision, probably to reduce the length of the event by a day.
  • 51st Canadian Open Championship 2014 – Games and Results
    The 51st Canadian Open Championship took place 19th to 26th July 2014. Sergei Tiviakov won in an Armageddon tie-break to edge out Robin Van Kampen and Ehsan Ghaem Maghami on tie-break after all scored 6.5/9. The Armageddon was just for the trophy – the money was split evenly. It is possible these tie-break games will become available as they were videod. Tiviakov got a bye in the first round (best tie-break) beating Ehsan Ghaem Maghami who beat Van Kampen in the first round. Games and videos available below.
  • Politiken Cup 2014 – Games and Results
    The Politiken Cup took place in Helsingor, Denmark Mon 21st to Tue 29th July 2014,. Bu Xiangzhi won with 9/10 a point clear of Gawain Jones, Maxim Matlakov, Maxim Rodshtein and Parimarjan Negi. Games and final standings here.
  • 37th Taminco Open 2014 – Games and Results
    The 37th Taminco Open took place 19th to 23rd July 2014. Attila Czebe won with 8/9.
  • 47th Biel Chess Festival 2014 – Games and Results
    The 47th Biel Chess Festival took place 14th to 25th July 2014. The main GM tournament was the Hans Suri Memorial. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave survived a late wobble to win the event with 6/10 half a point clear of Radoslaw Wojtaszek.
  • 2nd Gideon Japhet Memorial 2014 – Games and Results
    The 2nd Gideon Japhet Memorial took place in Jerusalem 16th to 24th July 2014. There was an international open won by Alexandr Kaspi with 7/9. Peter Svidler beat Boris Gelfand 5-3 in an 8 game rapid match. Games and Results.
  • Lake Sevan 2014 – Games and Results
    The Lake Sevan tournament takes place Sun 27th July to Mon 4th Aug 2014.
  • Russia state Olympiad exclusion of their women’s team unlawful – Russian Women’s Team
    The Russian Chess Federation (RCF) has set out their position that the exclusion of their women’s team is unlawful. The Tromso Chess Organisers had set out their reasons for exclusion in a letter to FIDE published on the official website. The reason given was that Russia had failed to register their team list on June 1st according to FIDE regulation 3.71 (read full regulations). Their letter mentions the costs of allowing late registered teams to play and that seems to have been their motivation for taking the action. Russia state that the penalty missing the June 1st (two month) deadline carries at most a small fine as set out in 3.7.2. The difference in interpretation really comes down to how you view the word ”must” in the regulation but there is no clear penalty mentioned. Russia further state that this deadline has proved unimportant in the past and hasn’t resulted in exclusion.

    The whole delay in submitting the women’s team was due to problems in the transfer of Kateryna Lagno from the Ukraine to Russian team (unsurprisingly the Ukraine Chess Federation were not in the mood to be helpful in the transfer of their best player to a main rival and registered her for their team, her transfer was completed on 11th July with €20,000 being paid to the Ukraine chess federation as compensation. Interesting article on transferring Federations in other sports). After realising that the transfer would drag on Russians finally submitted an incomplete team on June 16th (they asked for permission to postpone submission on June 4th) a step I’m sure they wish they done before June 1st in retrospect. Below are the two documents they released on 18th July. More background in a chess24 article on the story :

    The regulations in question:

    3.7 Submission of team lists

    3.7.1 Not later than two (PB ’98) months before the start of the tournament, every Federation that has entered must notify the following details to the Administrator:

    (a) name and initials of the Chief of Delegation;

    (b) name and initials of the team captain;

    (c) name of each team member (one first name in full, initials of additional first names, surname);

    (d) FIDE rating of team members (according to the most recent FIDE rating list);

    (e) any information required in connection with visas.

    3.7.2 Late notification of team particulars shall be accepted up to 20 hours before the start of Round 1 (PB ’98), but subject to a late submission fee of 100 euros per name.

    You can also read the RCF’s official legal letter to the organisers in PDF.

    RCF President Andrey Filatov says that legal action is likely to establish a precedent ”to prevent such situations from arising in the future”

    UPDATE 21st July:

    The Olympiad organisers whilst standing by their interpretation of the regulations say teams are ”permitted to register their respective teams, as they would have been on June 1.” Olympiad organisers statement in full.

    Reaction of Russian Chess Federation via VG Sporten newspaper. In Norwegian..

    ”We are of course delighted that Tromso has taken this sensible decision”, Mark Glukhovsky, Chairman of the Russian Chess Federation, told VG.

    ”We have a very good women’s team and it was important for us that they could be allowed to participate.”

    VG – The Russian Chess Federation obtained advice from top lawyers on the case, and in a letter to Tromso in 2014 threatened to sue.

    ”Given the economic problems that Tromso has had, is it better that they use this money to arrange a nice Olympiad than to defend themselves in court, ” says Glukhovsky.

    VG – So now you are happy?

    ”We are of course very pleased that this has resolved itself.”

    VG: The nine countries that are now allowed to participate Russia (women’s national team), Afghanistan, Gabon, Pakistan, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Oman.

  • ACP Golden Classic 2014 – Games and Results
    The ACP Golden Classic took place in Bergamo 12th to 20th July 2014. Players: Wesley So, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Baadur Jobava, Zoltan Almasi, Emil Sutovsky, Daniele Vocaturo and Sabino Brunello. Wesley So continued his recent fine form winning the event with 4.5/6.
  • 42nd Dortmund Sparkassen Chess-Meeting 2014 – Games and Results
    The 42nd Dortmund Sparkassen Chess-Meeting took place 12th to 20th July 2014. Players: Caruana, Kramnik, Adams, Leko, Ponomariov, Naiditsch and Georg Meier. Games and results. Fabiano Caruana dominated the event scoring to 5.5/7. He will move to number 3 in the world and take his rating over 2800. Peter Leko and Georg Meier finished tied for second on 4/7. Vladimir Kramnik’s poor post-Candidates form continued with a horrible 2.5/7 score.
  • Czech Open 2014 – Games and Results
    The Czech Open takes place 10th to 27th July 2014. The Czech Rapid Championship Kraj Open took place 16th to 17th July. Levente Vajda edged out Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Kirill Bryzgalin, Andrey Baryshpolets, Mikhail Mozharov, David Navara, Antonios Pavlidis, Martin Petr and Bogdan Lalic on tie-break after all scored 7/9. The main Czech Open with Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Evgeny E. Vorobiov, Martyn Kravtsiv etc takes place 18th to 27th July 2014.
  • 15th European Individual Women’s Championship 2014 – Games and Results
    The 15th European Individual Women’s Championship took place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria 6th-17th July 2014. Nana Dzagnidze, Mariya Muzychuk, Natalija Pogonina, Valentina, Olga Girya etc. Valentina Gunina took clear first place with 8/11 half a point clear of Tatiana Kosintseva. Games and final standings.
  • MetLife Warsaw Najdorf Chess Festival 2014 – Games and Results
    The MetLife Warsaw Najdorf Chess Festival taes place 14th to 20th July 2014. Players: Alexander Areshchenko, Ivan Cheparinov, Vladimir Fedoseev, Axel Bachmann, Hrant Melkumyan, Aleksandr Shimanov, Markus Ragger Simen Agdestein, Alexander Beliavsky, Tigran L. Petrosian, Michal Krasenkow, Bartosz Socko etc.
  • 9th Nana Aleksandria Cup 2014 – Games and Results
    The 9th Nana Aleksandria Cup takes place in Poti 13th to 20th July 2014.