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February 2008

Mediterranean Flower: the first forecoming event in 365Chess.com

Posted by 365Chess.com on February 29, 2008 in Uncategorized

Next March 1st will start a new edition of the Mediterranean Flower tournament. This is a women’s round robin event, held in Rijeka, Croatia.

This is the first forecoming event we could follow with 365Chess.com. Games will be updated in the tournament page as they are finished. Enjoy it!

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Bulgaria Chess King Draws with World Champion

Posted by 365Chess.com on February 25, 2008 in Uncategorized

Bulgaria’s top chess player Veselin Topolov played to a draw the world champion Viswanathan Anand Saturday in the chess tournament Morelia-Linares in Mexico.

Topalov and Anand met in the sixth round of the competitive international tournament. The world champion did not allow the Bulgarian to take advantage of his playing with the white pieces.

Thus, Anand remained the leader in the temporary rankings with four points, whereas Topalov, who is former world champion, shares the third place with three points.

On Sunday, the last day of the tournament, Topalov will play the Hungarian Peter Leko. After that the chess masters will fly to Spain for a new tournament starting February 29.

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Morelia-Linares

Posted by 365Chess.com on February 19, 2008 in Uncategorized

For the third time the first half of the Linares tournament takes place in the Mexican city of Morelia. The first seven rounds are played on Mexican soil from February 15 to 23, after which the event crosses the ocean and the last seven rounds are played in Linares from February 28 till March 7 (last round).

A star-studded field (category 21) has been invited for this 25th Torneo Ciudad de Linares: Anand, Topalov, Shirov, Leko, Ivanchuk, Aronian, Radjabov and Carlsen.

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Gligoric: a grand old master

Posted by 365Chess.com on February 10, 2008 in Uncategorized

Svetozar Gligoric the Yugoslav Grandmaster and former world title Candidate recently celebrated his 85th birthday and in his honour an 85 player Rapid Chess tournament was held in his home town of Pancevo.

For many years Gligoric was one of the strongest players outside of the USSR and his success contributed to the huge popularity of chess in Yugoslavia which persists today in the seven new countries that emerged after the collapse of Communism. His record in Chess Olympiads includes twelve medals of all hues and he won the Yugoslav championship eleven times.

Gligoric reached the Candidates Matches many times but could never overcome the hurdle of the Soviet chess machine. Doubtless he was hampered by a lack of strong contemporaries and trainers in Yugoslavia.

I can strongly recommend his autobiography ‘I Play Against Pieces’ published by Batsford/Anova in which he suggests that his career peaked in the late 1950s when he scored 6/8 in the USSR-Yugoslavia match, shared first with Sammy Reshevsky at Dallas in 1957 and scored 12/15 on the top board at the 1958 Chess Olympiad in Munich. His score at the Olympiad bettered that of Mikhail Botvinnik and later that year he finished in second place at the Portoroz Interzonal half a point behind Mikhail Tal.

Gligoric was a regular visitor to Hastings and won the Premier five times. He was one of the first players to master the King’s Indian Defence and, as he writes, the Mar del Plata Variation could just as well have been named after him.

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Negi, the wonder kid of Indian chess

Posted by 365Chess.com on February 8, 2008 in Uncategorized

In the final round of the Corus Chess Festival which concluded recently, it was another Indian, less than half of Anand’s age who garnered as much attention if not more…

It is difficult to imagine any other Indian chess player hogging the limelight when Viswanathan Anand is in action at the same time. However, in the final round of the Corus Chess Festival which concluded recently, it was another Indian, less than half of Anand’s age who garnered as much attention if not more.

Parimarjan Negi all of 14-years was matching paces with Anand (In Grandmaster Group ‘A’) and also fighting for the title in the Grandmaster Group ‘C’. It was indeed a wonderful sight for Indian chess to witness two players simultaneously fighting it out for titles under one roof in a prestigious event. Paimarjan could not win the game and the title but won every heart for his gutsy show which had him sharing the second spot.

Parimarjan was not the favourite nor the fancied as his rating placed him in the middle of the 14-player pack and a disastrous 0/2 start also did not help his cause.  However, a string of victorious swelled the points tally, boosted the morale and most importantly brought back the smile to the cherubic face. The youngster had had two poor performances in the Commonwealth and the Asian Junior championships which were supposed to be practice events for Corus and there were many who wondered whether mentally he would be able to shrug off these results and move on with hardly any time to recover. But then talent triumphs under adverse circumstances and ‘Batu’, as he is known in the chess circuit, was once again beating the ‘best in the business’.

Though the title eluded him, the power packed performance was enough to garner a few precious ELO points and prove that the second youngest Grandmaster in the history of the game is undoubtedly the future face of chess.

Child prodigy

Parimarjan was born in February 1993 to non chess playing parents Paridhi and J B Singh and learnt the basics of the game from his father’s friend DR Vinayaka Rao when he was barely five years old. It quickly became apparent that he was one whom Caissa decided to bestow her special favours when he became the world’s youngest International Master in 2005. Interestingly, all his norms were made overseas in tough tournaments. The medals in Age Categories continued to pour but becoming the second youngest GM at the tender age of 13 years, four months and 22 days made the world look on in astonishment at him. He even beat wonder kid Magnus Carlsen’s record as the youngest GM by a few days.

Parimarjan’s strength is his tactical ability and his understanding of the ending which many Indian stars consider phenomenal. In fact top Bangladeshi GM, Ziaur Rahman was all admiration for him in 2006 despite losing at the Parsvanath International tournament. “He is very impressive. I cannot believe that I was defending that endgame against a 12-year-old,” Rahman said. Anand after Corus 2008 was all praise for this youngster saying “It is just amazing the way he fought back.”

A class nine student of Amity International School, Delhi, Parimarjan practices five to six hours everyday and despite missing school for most part of the year he is a topper and also totally tuned in to academics. A voracious reader, he makes it a point to visit all the leading book stores of all the cities where he participates in tournaments. His parents, school and sponsors Tata Group and Air India have backed him to the hilt. His coaches G B Joshi, Ruslan Sherbakov, Evgeny Vladimirov and Vishal Sareen predict a rosy future for him. At this point comparisons with Anand are natural as he is fitting perfectly in the footsteps of the player whom he idolizes.

However, former world championship challenger Nigel Short who had a short coaching stint with him cautioned.

“Parimarjan is very talented but don’t make the mistake of comparing him with Anand for he is a genius while Parimarjan is still an unfinished product.”

True. But then the signs are unmistakable. Another Indian chess great is in the making!

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It’s Your Move

Posted by 365Chess.com on February 1, 2008 in Uncategorized

Moscow is widely regarded as the chess capital of the world. Take note then of the Moscow Open 2008, also known as the 4th International Moscow Chess Festival, which will run February 2-10 at the Russian State Social University.

Building on Russia’s illustrious chess playing legacy, a number of leading lights will converge upon Moscow for the tournament, which is going to feature a record 1,200 players from 30 countries, including over 100 grandmasters. Participants will be broken down into four pools with men playing in pool A and women in pool C. There is also a restricted pool B for unrated players with a FIDE rating of under 2,300 and pool D for children.

In pool A, top contenders include Olympic champion Vladimir Ako­pyan of Armenia, the only player with a FIDE rating of 2,700. A lengthy list of Russian players is led by grandmasters Vladimir Malakhov (2,689), Ernesto Inarkiyev (2,681) and Vadim Zvyagintsev (2,677). Russia’s celebrated chess veteran and former world champion Boris Spassky will head the refereeing team, organizers announced Wednesday.

The standard of play promises to be extremely high and the players will compete for the prize money, which is 3 million rubles (over $122,000) for tournament A, 1 million rubles ($40,500) for tournament B, 700,000 rubles (over $28,000) for tournament C, and 300,000 ($12,100) rubles for tournament D.

The opening ceremony starts at 2 p.m. Saturday in the first building of the Russian State Social University at 4 Vilgelma Pika Street (nearest metro station Botanichesky sad) in northern Moscow. Matches are open to the general public, and access is free but passports are required for admission to University premises. Play starts at 5 p.m. every weekday, but times may be different at weekends. For more information on the playing timetable, visit the tournament’s official website at www.moscowchessopen.ru.

FACT BOX

MORE THAN A GAME

Chess probably reached Russia by 1150, via the Volga trade route form Baghdad.

Neither the Russian name nor the early Russian pieces show any sign of European origin. Western influence did not reach the Russian game until the reign of Peter the Great.

Visitors to Russia were struck by the widespread popularity of chess and the high level of skill displayed.

Soviet and Russian players have dominated the game since the 20th century.

Although no official Russian school of play exists, former world champion Mikhail Botvinnik once said: “What are the inherent qualities of our native school; what differentiates it in principle from the foreign school? In my opinion, it is the social status of the game in our country.” Chess has always been more than just a pastime in Russia.

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