Grand master Levon Aronian of Armenia drew his final game to win the Corus tournament Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands, on tiebreak over Magnus Carlsen of Norway.
Earlier, Carlsen missed some chances in his Round 4 matchup with Levon Aronian and the game ended in a draw.
In the final 13th round Aronian played in a draw with Hungary’s Judit Polgar and shared the top position with Carlsen with 8 points.
It should be noted that Armenian chess players will participate in Moscow Open 2008 festival. The men team will include Vladimir Hakobian, Zaven Andriasian, Karen Asrian, Yuri Hambartsumian, David Kalashian and Hrant Melkumyan.
Bulgaria’s top chess player Vesselin Topalov triumphed over Vladimir Kramnik in the prestigious chess tournament in Wijk Aan Zee, The Netherlands.
Topalov started with the white pieces against the Russian player, who admitted defeat in the 45th move, facing an inevitable mate.
Expectedly, the players did not shake hands before the game, due to their strained relations since the game in Elista in 2006, when Topalov lost the title of a world chess champion to Kramnik.
On Thursday, Topalov plays against the Azebeijani Teimur Radjabov.
Chess legend Bobby Fischer, the troubled high school dropout whose fabled 1972 victory over Soviet world champion Boris Spassky made him a Cold War hero, has died at the age of 64 at his home in Iceland.
“I can confirm that he died yesterday in his home due to an illness,” close friend Gardar Sverrisson told AFP. Fischer was reportedly hospitalised for a period last year.
Einar Einarsson, the chairman of a support group which had lobbied for Fischer to be granted Icelandic citizenship, said the cause of death was kidney failure.
“He was not a man who wanted to seek medical attention. He didn’t believe in Western medicine,” Einarsson told AFP.
US-born Fischer, who made world headlines when he defeated Spassky in their Cold War showdown in Reykjavik, took Icelandic citizenship in 2005 to avoid being deported to the United States.
He was wanted for breaking international sanctions by playing a chess match in Yugoslavia in 1992.
“Fischer could be called a pioneer of professional chess, some would say even the founder of professional chess,” former world champion Garry Kasparov told journalists in Moscow Friday, lamenting that he had never met his childhood hero.
Considered by some as the greatest chess player of all time, Fischer’s particular genius was a troubled one that saw his life run steadily downhill since his moment of glory at age 29.
He was said to have an IQ higher than Albert Einstein’s and once thought his gift would win him undying fortune. He would make extravagant demands over matches in a way more commonly seen in boxing.
But while the theatrics made him a celebrity — and are credited with helping him unnerve his opponents — he also succeeded in alienating himself from all but a small band of friends and chess enthusiasts.
Despite having a Jewish mother, Fischer was an outspoken anti-Semite, using broadcasts at far-flung radio stations to accuse Jews of everything from his legal woes to an alleged conspiracy to kill off elephants.
His anti-US rhetoric became equally inflammatory over the years.
“I think it’s … a great loss for chess that Fischer never tried to re-enter the world of chess and that the last 30 years of his life were marked by very odd, somehow politically unacceptable statements rather than a chess contribution,” Kasparov said.
In the 1972 “match of the century” in Iceland, Fischer, throwing regular tantrums over the position of cameras and the audience, relied on his own wit to end 24 years of Soviet chess supremacy by dethroning Spassky, who had by his side an army of Russian master strategists.
While watching that match, Kasparov said he had been most impressed by Fischer’s “dedication” to the game of chess and his ability to sacrifice all his energy to win.
“He combined great quality of his moves with elements of psychological warfare and it proved to be an absolutely irresistible force,” he added.
Serbian chess master Svetozar Gligoric, a long-time friend of Fischer’s, agreed: “He fiercely defended his positions and was prepared to make any sacrifice,” he told AFP.
Fischer, whose chess education had consisted of locking himself in a room for days on end facing off against himself, refused to play again after his triumph and was stripped of his title in 1975.
His paranoia was reinforced in 1981 when his scruffy appearance made him a mistaken suspect in a California bank robbery. In another of his interviews on Filipino radio, Fischer accused the media of trying to “poison the public against me.”
“They constantly use the words eccentric, eccentric, eccentric, weird,” Fischer said. “I am boring. I am boring!”
He returned to chess in 1992 with a rematch against Spassky in Yugoslavia, then in the throes of the Balkan wars. At a press conference he spat on a US government notice warning him he was breaking sanctions and proceeded to defeat Spassky once again, winning more than three million dollars on which he boasted he would never pay tax.
He was back in the media spotlight on September 11, 2001 when he rang up a Filipino radio station to hail the “wonderful news” of the terrorist attacks on the United States and launch a profanity-laden anti-Jewish tirade.
On July 13, 2004, Fischer was taken into custody at Tokyo’s Narita airport for travelling on a passport which Washington said had been revoked.
With Japan deliberating for months on whether to send him to the United States, Iceland came to his rescue, granting him citizenship in tribute to his role in making the small island — and the game of chess — famous in 1972.
“He was quite happy to be in Iceland, but perhaps he felt a little bit trapped … since he could not travel. The US government was always after him,” Einarsson said Friday.
Fischer’s girlfriend, the head of the Japan Chess Association Miyoko Watai, visited him frequently in Iceland, Einarsson said, adding that she was expected to arrive back in the Nordic country this weekend.
Spassky continued to support Fischer despite the controversy. In an open letter, he wrote he was ready to share a jail cell with him if Fischer was extradited to the United States.
“Just let us play chess,” said the twice-defeated Spassky.
We have made a major update in our database. With these 170,000 new games our online database has all major chess games of 2007. Now our database has more than 3,500,000 games and growing!
Viswanathan Anand is a frequent winner at the Corus Grandmasters chess tournament. While the world champion battles to add to his huge kitty, India’s growing strength in the game will be visible when three other Indians figure in the other groups this year.
Former world junior champion Pentala Harikrishna takes on Nigel Short in group B, while the world’s second ranked woman player Koneru Humpy is also playing in the same group, where she meets local Dutch player Jan Smeets.
In Group C, Parimarjan Negi, who played here in the same section last year, is back. The 14-year-old will meet Pontus Carlsson of Sweden in the first round.
It’s a now familiar tale. The annual Hastings Masters ended in a tie on 7.5/10 among three ex-Soviet grandmasters, with a rash of short draws in the final rounds. The leading English GMs Glenn Flear, Gawain Jones and Nick Pert were half a point behind.
The British championship and many international opens now insist on a sole winner, allocating part of the prize fund to a speed tie-break. Hastings should follow suit and, if that means blitz games at midnight or during the following day’s prize ceremony, so be it. The damage to the event’s reputation from unsplit, tacitly arranged multiple first-place ties is palpable.
For most of the event it looked as if Simon Williams, England’s most creative player, would be the tournament hero as he took or shared the lead. But after securing his overdue GM title in round eight he nosedived in the final two rounds and the game below is another case of Black taking the b2 pawn with the queen and living to regret it.
N Pert v S Williams
1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 c5 3 d5 b5 4 Bg5 Qb6 5 a4 bxa4 6 Nc3 Qxb2 7 Bd2 Qb6 8 e4 d6 9 e5 dxe5 10 Nxe5 e6 11 Qf3 Qc7 12 Bb5+ Kd8 13 Nc4 Bd6 14 Bg5 Rf8 15 O-O-O Bb7 16 Ne4 Bxd5 17 Ncxd6 Qxd6 18 Rxd5 Qxd5 19 Rd1 Kc7 20 Rxd5 Nxd5 21 Qg3+ Kb7 22 Qd6 1-0
Lower down the tournament table the significant performance was by Yang-Fan Zhou. The fast-improving 13-year-old from Whitgift, Croydon, who had showed promise last year in the British championship and the world U-14, scored 5/10 against opposition including four IMs, played far above his modest rating, won a couple of nice attacks and looked a potential master.
Yang-Fan Zhou v D Ledger
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Nxd4 Bc5 5 Nb3 Bb6 6 Nc3 Qf6 7 Qe2 Nge7 8 Be3 O-O 9 O-O-O d6 10 Kb1 Bd7 11 h3 Rfe8 12 g4 Bxe3 13 Qxe3 a6 14 g5 Qg6 15 h4 f5 16 h5 Qf7 17 g6 hxg6 18 hxg6 Nxg6 19 Qh3 fxe4 20 Qh7+ Kf8 21 Bc4 Be6 22 Bd5 Nce7 23 Bxe4 Bf5 24 Nd4 Bxe4 25 Nxe4 Nf5 26 Ng5 Qf6 27 Qh5 Ke7 28 Nh7 1-0
From December 29th, 2007, to January 6th, 2008, took place the 50th Torneo di Capodanno in Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Grandmaster P Harikrishna took unwarranted risk but finally drew with Romanian GM Mihail Marin in the sixth round of the 50th Reggio Emilia International Chess tournament here.
With three draws, two win and a loss against Zoltan Almasi of Hungary, Harikrishna took his tally to 3.5 points out of a possible 6 and remained in joint second spot.
The lead positions remained unchanged as all the five games of round six ended in draws for the first time in this category-16 round robin event.
As a result, Almasi remained at the helm with 4 points in his kitty and half a point adrift of nearest rivals Konstantin Landa of Russia, Ni Hua of China, Vugar Gashimov of Azerbaijan and Harikrishna. The sixth spot is jointly held by Swiss veteran Viktor Korchnoi, David Navara of Czech Republic, Sergei Tiviakov of Holland and Marin who all have 2.5 points apiece while Michele Godena of Italy is at the bottom of the tables on 2 points.
Harikrishna was quite surprised by the peaceful intentions of Marin when the latter went for the exchange variation in the Slav defense as white which largely has a drawing reputation. Initially, the Hyderabad based was not much deterred and went for complications in trying to keep the position alive in the middle game.
Marin, on the other hand, maintained his cool and played correct moves to keep the balance intact and when Harikrishna pressed harder, the Romanian stood better. In the end, Harikrishna had to find the equaliser by way of exchanges that led to an equal endgame where draw was a just result. The game lasted 33 moves.
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.
International Master Enrique Sevillano landed second to US Grandmaster Alex Yermolinsky in the American Open held in Los Angeles recently.Sevillano, the former Asian junior champion who is now based in California, seized second on tiebreak over four others, including American GM Melikset Khachiyan.
They finished with 5.5 points each, trailing Yermolinsky, the US Open champion in 1993 and 1996, who posted 6.0 points from five wins and two draws.
Also with 5.5 points were former world junior champion IM Vinay Bhat, John Daniel Bryant and Eugene Yanayt.
Tied for seventh to eighth with 5.0 points each were Fide Master Alexander Kretchetiv, FM Eobby Adamson and Eric Hansen.
FIDE Master Harutyun Akopyan and Malcolm Tredennick tied for 10th and 11th with 4.5 points each.
Sevillano left the Philippines in 1993, one year after representing the country in the Manila Chess OIympiad.