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FIDE WCCM Game 7 review: Preparation and Frustration

FIDE - Mon, 11/19/2018 - 02:00


Preparation and Frustration

The seventh game of the world championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana was drawn in 40 moves.


Carlsen had the white pieces and repeated the Bf4 Queen's Gambit Declined from game 2, but was surprised by an unusual early retreat of the queen by Caruana. Fearing preparation, the world champion did not want to risk too much, played solidly, and the challenger had little difficulty in equalising the position.

Carlsen-Caruana, position after 10...Qa5-d8

A few moves before, Caruana had played the queen out to a5, which is the standard theoretical continuation. But returning to the starting square after a couple of moves is unexpected and unusual. The justification is that White's knight move to d2 is also a retreat, and must also redeploy.


If White is to exploit this unusual idea then Rd1 or even castling queenside should be tried. The way that Carlsen played, he felt he had only one real opportunity to unbalance the position and play for a win.



Carlsen-Caruana, position after 14...Ne5

Here the world champion castled, collected the pawn on c4 – and the position drifted towards equality.

'Castling is essentially an admission that the position is equal', the world champion admitted.


Instead, after the game, both players mentioned that they had been considering 15 Nce4 Bd7 16 Qc3 Nxe4 17 Nxe4 f6 18 Qxe5 fxg5 with a very unbalanced position. Carlsen felt that the two bishops should give Black adequate play, and his judgement was probably correct. There is also the computer suggestion 18...Bc6 which gives dangerous counterplay.

Carlsen-Caruana, position after 22 Qxd1
Carlsen's unwillingness to unbalance the position allowed Caruana easy development and the opportunity to exchange pieces. In such a dry position, and with the players demonstrating excellent technique, a draw was the inevitable outcome.

Carlsen-Caruana, position after 40 Kf2

Caruana declared his intention to retreat the bishop to a6 which would repeat the position for the third time. Draw.

This was a game with tense moments, but the balance was never significantly disturbed.


The challenger commented on the series of seven draws:

'After the first game, the games have been pretty tight, we haven't really given many chances to one another, and there haven't been huge mistakes or anything, so it's kind of natural that a lot of the games will end peacefully.' Fabiano Caruana

The world champion was obviously frustrated with the course of the game:

'After the last game I feel like I got away with murder so in that sense it's easier to be calm about a draw today. I'm not loving it but I'm not in any sort of panic mode either....I'm not at all thrilled about my play today but life goes on.' - Magnus Carlsen

Fabiano Caruana has come through two consecutive games with the black pieces with ease. For the final five games he has three whites compared to Carlsen's two. Advantage to the challenger?

(Daniel King)

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Game 6: Long, strong, miraculous.

The World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana remains deadlocked with six draws in six games. The lack of decisive results is not through want of trying. The sixth game went to 80 moves and lasted six and a half hours before the players agreed a draw, having eliminated most of the pieces from the board.


Magnus Carlsen opened with 1e4 (switching from 1 d4 and 1 c4 that we saw in his previous games with the white pieces) and Fabiano played his trusty Petroff. The World Champion played a tricky side line, but the challenger also knew the line well and an equal endgame arose.

Carlsen-Caruana, position after 21...c5


With his last move, striking against the centre, it was quite clear that the challenger had no difficulties, and at this moment the world champion should have thought about steering the game towards a draw. But Carlsen said that with White 'You always feel like you have more room for error', and he carried out what he described as the classic positional manoeuvre, bringing the bishop round to b3 starting with 22 Bc2.

This was too slow, allowing Caruana to build an attack on the queenside.

Carlsen-Caruana, position after 29...Nc4


The position was still tenable for the world champion, but after a further series of inaccuracies, he had to give up a piece in the hope that challenger had too few pawns to force a win.

Carlsen-Caruana, position after 48 g4

Although White has three pawns for the piece, it is impossible to hold onto them, and the only chance for a draw lay in constructing a fortress on the kingside.

Carlsen-Caruana, position after 68 Bc4

While the players were spinning their pieces around in circles to no great effect, the Norwegian super computer Sesse announced a mate in 30 moves on a couple of occasions. Here for example, 68...Bh4 is apparently a winning move – but this is way beyond human comprehension, certainly when playing against the clock and after so many hours play.


Caruana couldn't break down Carlsen's position, and after 80 moves a draw was agreed.

After the game, both players were amazed to learn of the miraculous winning chance. Caruana took it in his stride: 'Near the end, I thought it was a fortress...it was a bit of an accidental.


We are now half-way through the match: 12 classical games are scheduled, and it is still too close to call.

(Daniel King)

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Game 5: Thrust and Parry


The fifth game of the World Championship match had an exciting start, but burnt out to a draw after 34 moves.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales made the ceremonial opening move for Fabiano Caruana, and the American challenger used encyclopaedic opening knowledge to offer a gambit pawn to Magnus Carlsen in a rare line of the Rossolimo variation of the Sicilian. The world champion took his time at first, clearly adjusting to the unusual circumstances, but the confident way in which he dealt with this attempted opening ambush leads one to suspect that he was merely recollecting analysis.

Caruana-Carlsen (position after 6 b4)


That's the little explosion that Caruana had prepared. In fact the idea is quite old (curiously, the assistant arbiter at the match, Nana Alexandria, had played this in the Soviet women's championship in 1969) and Carlsen himself had faced the gambit when still a teenager in 2005. Then he had played 6...cxb4. Today he went for the more unusual 6...Nxb4, suggesting that he too had researched this line.

Caruana-Carlsen (position after 10 Bxa1)

Back in 1969, Alexandria's opponent had taken on b4, allowing the e5 pawn to be captured. Carlsen's response, 10...d6, was stronger, holding his centre together. Caruana rejected a line that would have given him a symbolic structural advantage and tested his opponent with a new move.

Caruana-Carlsen (position after 12 Qe2)


The position is tricky, but Carlsen deftly handled the complications with 12...b4 13 Qc4 Qa5 14 exd6 Be6!

Caruana-Carlsen (position after 14...Be6)

Caruana had to go into the endgame with 15 Qc7, and that spelled the end of White's initiative.

Caruana-Carlsen (position after 21...Rd8)

Although the challenger has an extra pawn, in fact he has to be careful as Carlsen threatens the pawns on b4 and d3. However, an accurately calculated sequence of checks liquidated pieces, activated his rook and removed any thoughts of Carlsen trying to win the game.

Caruana-Carlsen (position after 29 Kf1)

White's rook on the seventh rank ties down the knight and guarantees the draw. Carlsen took no chances, withdrawing his king from a slightly vulnerable position, but in the process returning the extra pawn.

Caruana-Carlsen (position after 34 g4+)

Here Caruana offered a draw, and there was no reason for Carlsen to decline.


Afterwards the challenger said that, 'This line is really interesting and if Black is cooperative it can also get very exciting, but Magnus knew the line quite well and I think played in a very logical way'. While admitting that the endgame wasn't much fun, 'I never thought I was worse'.

Carlsen thought that only he could be better in the endgame, but couldn't find a way to push for a win. 'If there is a way at all to play for the advantage, the path is very narrow.'

After five games – five draws. It's still all square in the match. Carlsen now plays with two white's over the next two games which gives him a chance to put pressure on the challenger.

(Daniel King)


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Game 4: Correct on the board, but a blunder off

The fourth game of the world chess championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabio Caruana was drawn in 34 moves. The challenger played with the black pieces and had little difficulty in neutralising the world champion's initiative - which was a source of frustration to Carlsen: 'It was a bit disappointing, I thought I was clearly better after the opening'.


The challenger, Caruana, certainly seemed happier with his play after the game. 'I never really felt that my position was in much danger.'

Carlsen opened with 1 c4 – a different first move to his previous game with the white pieces and the game went into a kind of reversed Sicilian.

(position after 6...Bc5)

Bringing out the bishop is the fashionable way of playing the position (6...Nb6 is the standard move) and Caruana has some experience of this line with both colours.

Perhaps the most important moment of the game came after 14 moves when Carlsen had to make a big strategic decision.

(position after 14...c6)

The logical continuation of White's play is to push forward with the minority pawn attack, 15 b5, but the world champion was dissatisfied with this option: 'I spent a lot of time here...but it didn't seem to work very well.'

Then again, he also wasn't entirely happy with his move 15 Re1, allowing Caruana to play 15...Bd7 preventing White's pawn break.

Carlsen admitted, 'When I'm allowing ...Bd7 it's half a draw offer. After that the position is very dry and very equal.'

Piece exchanges quickly led into an endgame in which neither side managed to break into the other's position.

'I felt the ending was more or less balanced from the beginning' (Caruana).

(position after 34 Rbc1)

Here Carlsen offered a draw which was accepted by Caruana. Black could take the pawn on b4 and the position would liquidate into a drawn rook and pawn endgame.

Perhaps the most startling news of the day was that St Louis Chess Club, a supporter of Fabiano Caruana, had posted a video of the challenger's training camp showing a computer screen with opening lines under consideration. Although the video was quickly removed, the information was already in the public domain.

After the game, Fabiano Caruana declined to comment on the matter. It remains to be seen whether the incident proves to be a distraction or just an embarrassment.

Four games played, and four draws made. Wednesday is a rest day. Game 5 will be played on Thursday 15th November at 15.00 in London.


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Game 3: A Missed Opportunity and Sturdy Defence

The third game of the world championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana ended in a draw after 49 moves. At first glance this seemed like a pacific affair, but there was plenty going on beneath the surface and in the press conference neither player was particularly satisfied with their play.


Against the challenger's 1 e4, Carlsen repeated the opening of the first day, a Sicilian, and once again the Rossolimo variation appeared on the board. Fabiano Caruana was the first to deviate from game 1, castling on the sixth move rather than playing 6 h3.

(position after 6 0-0)
Magnus appeared unphased and continued quickly with the subtle 6...Qc7, not committing his kingside pieces. The first really big decision came at move 9 when Carlsen offered a pawn.

(position after 9...0-0)
Perhaps concerned about a quick kingside initiative, Caruana declined the pawn sacrifice and continued to develop steadily. In stark contrast to game 1, play was concentrated on the queenside, well away from the players' kings. This was turning into a heavy-weight strategic struggle.

In order to speed up his development and coordinate his pieces, Carlsen decided to simplify the position, exchanging pieces and pawns. With hindsight this might not have been the best decision, although Caruana had just one moment to exploit the shortcomings in Black's position.

(position after 14...Rxa5)
Here, the challenger could have played 15 Rxa5 Qxa5 16 Bd2 Qc7 17 Qa1, and White's control of files on the queenside and his compact pawn structure would give him a pleasant basis on which to conduct the middlegame.
Instead, he played 15 Bd2, overlooking that the rook could simply return,15...Raa8, and Black keeps control over the files on the queenside. 'It was a bit of a blackout', admitted Caruana after the game.
The challenger appreciated that he had no advantage and decided to exchange pieces bringing the game closer to a draw. But he had under-estimated Carlsen's position.

(position after 37 Kd1)
Carlsen was pressing all over the board, using his slight space advantage – as we have seem him do on so many occasions in the past.

Caruana showed his best qualities at this moment, not panicking, but trusting in the solidity of his position, and he expertly steered the game towards a draw by exchanging pawns and then giving up his knight to reach a theoretically drawn position.

(position after 49 exf5)
White's king steps into the corner on h1, and it is impossible to drive it away.

When asked after the game whether he was satisified with the outcome of the opening, Carlsen laconically replied 'Nope', and went on to describe how the position would have been unpleasant to play if Caruana had found the right continuation.

After three games the match score is still even, game 4 takes place on Tuesday at 15.00 in London.
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Game 2 of the World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana was drawn in 49 moves.

Carlsen started the game solidly by playing 1 d4. A Queen's Gambit Declined appeared on the board with the World Champion trying out the complex Bf4 variation. Fabiano Caruana played an unusual line and was clearly more familiar with the opening as Carlsen consumed valuable time at the board. After Carlsen's 17th move Caruana still had 1 hour and 32 minutes on the clock while Carlsen had just 39 minutes. At that point the World Champion decided to compromise, allowing exchanges that left a simpler and drier position on the board. Although Carlsen had the slightly inferior position, he held the ensuing endgame comfortably.


The first surprise came for Carlsen with 10...Rd8.


Caruana explained afterwards that this is an old move that has fallen out of fashion: 'I was kind of excited to try this out'.
Magnus admitted in the press conference that his main thought on seeing this move was 'Oh s**t!'
The critical response is 11 Nd2, but fearing some deep preparation, Carlsen preferred unpretentious development with 11 Be2. His position was quite playable, but he underestimated a couple of Caruana's moves, fell behind on the clock, and that influenced his decision when it came to the critical juncture at move 17.


Here Carlsen had the chance to make a temporary piece sacrifice with 17 Nxf7, leading to highly complex positions. But given that Caruana was probably still following a prepared line, the World Champion decided to err on the side of caution.
'I thought at this point there was way better equity in playing it safe and trying to secure a draw' - Carlsen.
Caruana confirmed that he was still in his opening preparation: 'I knew this position was okay for Black...'
After Carlsen's safe move, pieces were exchanged, ultimately leading to a rook and pawn endgame where Caruana had an extra pawn, but no real winning chances and a draw was quickly agreed after three hours play.
After two games the match score remains level. The third game takes place on Monday at 15.00 in London.

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Carlsen – Caruana 2018 game 7 LIVE!

Chessdom - Sun, 11/18/2018 - 16:21

Replay: Caruana – Carlsen game 1 / Carlsen – Caruana game 2 / Caruana – Carlsen game 3 / Carlsen – Caruana game 4 / Caruana – Carlsen game 5 / Carlsen – Caruana game 6

Hello everyone and welcome to the live coverage of the 2018 World Chess Championship match between the reigning champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and the challenger Fabiano Caruana (USA). In this live blog + live games from WCC 2018 we will be covering the event Carlsen – Caruana with the latest news, developments, interviews, and in-game details.

The most important feature here will be the lines of analysis by Lc0 – the open Neural Network, and the TCEC champion Stockfish running on a Super Computer of 128 cores.

 

Refresh the page to get the latest updates

 

Current move eval: Move 39: Lc0 +0.00 , SF[128] +0.00

Update 19:30

After massive exchanges we reach the 7th draw of the match and 12th consecutive for Magnus Carlsen. Caruana has survived the two whites of Carlsen. The question now is can he use his white advantage tomorrow.

Update 18:00

Only one piece remains undeveloped in Caruana’s camp, the light squared bishop. Lc0 suggestion for development

15. .. Bd7 16. Bf4 Ng6 17. Bg3 Bc6 18. Nxc4 Bc7 19. Rac1 b5 20. Nd2 Bxg3 21. hxg3 Rac8 22. Qb3 Rfd8 23. Rfd1 a6 24. Qb4 Qxb4 25. axb4 Nd5 26. Na2 Nb6 27. Nc3 Nd5 28. Na2 Nb6 29. Nc3 Nd5

SF 128 prefers intermediate move

15. .. h6 16. Bh4 and then …Bd7 17. Bg3 Qc5 18. Bxe5 Qxe5 19. Nxc4 Qc7 20. b4 Rac8 21. Qb2 Rfd8 22. Rac1 a6 23. h3 Be8 24. Nxb6 Qxb6 25. Rc2 Rc7 26. Rfc1 Rdc8 27. Nb1 Qd6 28. Rxc7 Rxc7 29. Bf3 Bc6 30. Qd2 Qf8 31. Bxc6 Qc8 32. Rc3 Rxc6 33. Qc2 Rxc3 34. Qxc3 Qd8 35. Nd2 Nd5 36. Qc5 Nf6

Update 17:00

Both engines Lc0 and SF128 claim black has equalized. However, the position is not dry at all, and this is clearly seen by the early deviations in the possible lines:

Lc0 line 1: 13. .. dxc4 14. Nd2 Ne5 15. Nce4 Bd7 16. Qc3 Nxe4 17. Nxe4 f6 18. Qxe5 Bc6 19. Bxc4 Rae8 20. Bd3 Rd8 21. Bc4 Rde8 22. Bd3 Rd8 23. Bc4 Rde8

Lc0 line 2: 13. .. h6 14. Bh4 dxc4 15. Nd2 Ne5 16. O-O Bd7 17. Nce4 Bc6 18. Nxf6+ gxf6 19. Qc3 Bc7 20. Nxc4 Ng6 21. Bxf6 Qc5 22. Ne5 Qxc3

SF128 : 13. .. dxc4 14. Nd2 Ne5 15. O-O h6 16. Bh4 Bd7 17. Nce4 Ng6 18. Bxf6 gxf6 19. Qc3 Bd8 20. Ng3 f5 21. Nh5 e5 22. Nxc4 b5 23. Na5 Rc8 24. Qd2 Be6 25. Rac1 Rxc1 26. Rxc1 f4 27. Nc6 Qg5 28. g3 fxe3 29. Qxe3 Qxe3 30. fxe3 Bc7 31. e4 a6 32. Kg2

Lc0′s second line with 13…h6 is perfectly fine to resolve the immediate threat. The question is how deep Caruana’s preparation in this position goes.

Update 16:45

Now Carlsen has lot’s of moves to choose from: Bg3, Rd1, Bg5, O-O, h3, Na4, h4, all of them valid for white. Black’s main reply to all of them is dxc4

Update 16:35

Carlsen goes for the second line of Lc0, a one that can lead to more complications along the way. Caruana’s reaction here will be important

Update 16:30

Lc0 recommends two approaches, each with eval +0.23 here. One is 12. Rd1, the other 12. Be2

Lc0 line 1: 12. Rd1 Qe7 13. Be2 dxc4 14. Bxc4 Bc7 15. Bxc7 Qxc7 16. Nb5 Qb6 17. Be2 a6 18. Nd6 Nd5 19. Rc1 Rd8 20. Nc4 Qc7 21. O-O Bd7 22. Nca5 Qb6 23. Nxc6 Bxc6 24. Nd4 Rac8 25. b4 h6 26. Bf3 Bd7 27. Qb2 a5 28. Bxd5 exd5 29. h3 Rc4 30. Rb1 axb4

Lc0 line 2: 12. Be2 dxc4 13. Bxc4 Bd7 14. Rd1 Ne7 15. Qe2 Rc8 16. O-O a6 17. Nd2 Ned5 18. Be5 Bc7 19. Bd4 Bc6 20. Nxd5 Nxd5 21. Nf3 Qe7 22. Ne5 Bxe5 23. Bxe5 Qg5 24. f4 Qg6

Update 16:10 CET

Magnus Carlsen deviates, instead of 10. Rd1 (the main line) now he deviates 10. Nd2. Caruana goes for immediate Qd8

Lc0 +0.50: 11. Nf3 Qa5 12. Rd1 Be7 13. Be2 Ne4 14. cxd5 Nxc3 15. bxc3 exd5 16. O-O Bf6 17. c4 Be6 18. Bg5 dxc4 19. Bxf6 gxf6 20. Bxc4 Qc5 21. Rc1 Qxa3 22. Qe4 Qe7 23. Bb5 a5 24. Bxc6 bxc6 25. Nd4 a4

SF128 +0.33: 11. Nf3 Qa5 12. Rd1 Be7 13. Be2 Ne4 14. cxd5 Nxc3 15. bxc3 exd5 16. O-O h6 17. a4 Rd8 18. Rb1 Bd6 19. Bxd6 Rxd6 20. Rfc1 Rb8 21. h3 Qc7 22. Bd3 Qe7 23. Nd4 Bd7 24. Qa2 Ne5 25. Bf1 Nc6 26. a5 Nxd4 27. cxd4 Bf5 28. Rb5 Be4 29. Rbc5 Rc6 30. a6 Rxc5 31. Rxc5 bxa6 32. Qxa6 Rb6 33. Qa1 Rb8

Update 16:03 CET

The game is on, following game 2 opening 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Be7 * , replay the key moments of game 2 here

Update 15:30 CET

Game 6 of the World Chess Championship was Carlsen’s 11th consecutive draw. Besides the 6 games at the WCC, he also drew his last five games of the European Club Cup. In quite a few of these games, Carlsen was against the ropes.

In this World Championship match he is not in a must-win situation. Six more consecutive draws will lead him to a tiebreak, where he has proven superior in faster time controls. Caruana, on the other hand, is gaining confidence with every game and may already be hungry for a win.

Update 15:15 CET

Caruana is cruising safely so far with the black pieces thanks to solid home preparation. If Carlsen wants to take this match, he might need to go for slightly riskier openings. The early queen exchange that looked like fireworks was really just a few moves excitement that allows black to equalize early on.

Will we see 1. d4 today or another repeat of a theoretical battle?

Update 15:00 CET

One hour is left to the start of game 7 of the World Chess Championship match between Fabiano Caruana and Magnus Carlsen. This is the first game after the halftime of the match. With the score equal 3-3 Magnus Carlsen will have the white pieces for a second consecutive game.

Watch live video from TCEC_Chess_TV on www.twitch.tv

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WWCC in Khanty-Mansiysk, Semi-final, TB: Kateryna Lagno advances to the Final

FIDE - Sat, 11/17/2018 - 02:00



Kateryna Lagno advances to the Final

The tie-break between Kateryna Lagno and Mariya Muzychuk took place on November 17 in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Lagno played White in the first game. In the Open Variation of the Ruy Lopez Muzychuk improved her play compared to the previous game, and White did not get anything real out of the opening. Lagno went for the most principled continuation, trading an exchange for two pawns, but after the queens went off the board, it was White who needed to play accurately to hold the balance. However, Mariya returned the material, transposing to the opposite-colored bishop ending, which turned out difficult for Black. In the time trouble Muzychuk was unable to defend precisely. Lagno won two pawns and then stretched Black's defense to break through her blockade. Muzychuk resigned on move 62.

 
White went for the Anti-Berlin setup in the second game. Both players castled queenside. Black's position in the middlegame looked more pleasant, as the white bishop was out of play. Black developed a strong attack against the king, utilizing remote positions of White's pieces. The monarch was forced to run, losing a lot of material along the way. Muzychuk gave up having made her 28th move.


Kateryna won the match 3-1 to qualify for the Final of the Women's World Championship.


Therefore, the fate of the chess crown will be decided in the final match between Ju Wenjun (China) and Kateryna Lagno (Russia). The Chinese player will start with the white pieces.
November 18 is a rest day.

The final match consists of four games with classical time control. If the score after four games is 2-2, a tie-break will ensue on the November 23.

Official website

Ju Wenjun advances to Final, Kateryna Lagno and Mariya Muzychuk to play tie-break

The return games of the Semi-final were played on November 16 in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Ju Wenjun had White against Alexandra Kosteniuk and obtained a stable advantage after the opening. In a Hedgehog position White maneuvered slowly, refraining from any breakthroughs almost until the control move, and even then did not follow it up with more energetic action. Black carried out her break on the queenside, which simplified the position considerably. In the subsequent game, the World Champion did not give her opponent a fighting chance, and the game was drawn in a rook ending.


Ju Wenjun won her match 1.5-0.5 and advanced to the Final.
 
Kateryna Lagno and Mariya Muzychuk discussed the Open Variation of the Ruy Lopez. Lagno sacrificed a pawn, which seemed to have taken Muzychuk by surprise, as the Ukrainian began to spend a lot of time on her moves. Later White regained material under favorable circumstances, and obtained a pleasant ending with rooks and a bishop. However, the opposite-colored bishops helped Black to hold a draw.

This match will be played out on tie-break tomorrow. Lagno plays White in the first game.


The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Official website

Ju Wenjun begins Semi-final with a win

  The Semi-final of the Women's World Championship started in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 15.

The defending World Champion Ju Wenjun had Black against Alexandra Kosteniuk. The players went for the French defense. After the opening, White's position looked promising, as she enjoyed a spatial advantage. However, Black regrouped nicely and won White's overextended a-pawn. Alexandra did not find the best move at the critical moment, and her position deteriorated quickly. However, then the Chinese missed the strongest continuation, which could give her a decisive edge. Further simplifications followed, but the extra pawn remained and eventually proclaimed itself. Ju Wenjun celebrated victory.


Mariya Muzychuk made a draw with Kateryna Lagno. In the Berlin Variation of the Ruy Lopez neither side could claim any advantage. A draw on the move 23 became a logical conclusion of the game.



The return games will be played on November 16. If the matches are drawn after two games, the tie-break will ensue on the next day.

Official website


Alexandra Kosteniuk and Mariya Muzychuk advance to Semi-final of Women’s World Championship

The Quarterfinals of the Women's World Championship were concluded on November 14 with two tie-breaks: Alexandra Kosteniuk defeated Anna Muzychuk, and Zhansaya Abdumalik lost to Mariya Muzychuk.

Kosteniuk played the first game with White and obtained a promising position after the opening. Then Black managed to activate her pieces and got a strong counterplay. However, being under heavy time pressure, Muzychuk made several mistakes, giving Kosteniuk a decisive advantage.


Muzychuk started the second game with 1.f4 and got an overwhelming advantage already in the opening. However, with very tenacious defense Alexandra managed to hold a difficult endgame. Looking for possible winning chances, Muzychuk avoided a number of drawing lines, and Black even got an edge. In the end Kosteniuk secured a draw from the position of strength and advanced to the Semi-final with the overall 1.5-0.5 win.


Mariya Muzychuk started the tie-break with a Black victory: Abdumalik failed to convince in the opening and then was gradually outplayed in the endgame. In the return game Abdumalik managed to create a complicated battle. Muzychuk sacrificed a piece, but her compensation proved insufficient. With some adventures in the mutual time trouble Abdumalik converted an extra piece, and the players proceeded to "10+10" stage.

 
The first 10-minute game was highly dramatic. Zhansaya Abdumalik was defending for the entire game and was very close to a draw. In the endgame R+N vs R she had the right to claim a draw according to the 50-move rule, despite being mated in two moves. However, instead of claiming a draw, Abdumalik resigned.


However, Zhansaya demonstrated her fighting spirit and came back in the second game. The match continued by two more blitz games with faster time control.

Mariya Muzychuk won the first 5+3 blitz as White, then got a much better position as Black and forced a draw by perpetual, thus advancing to the next stage.


Semi-final pairings:

Alexandra Kosteniuk - Ju Wenjun
Mariya Muzychuk - Kateryna Lagno

All players who had advanced to the Semi-final except for the future champion automatically qualified for the 2019 Women's Candidates Tournament.

Official website



Ju Wenjun and Kateryna Lagno become the first semi-finalists of Women’s World Championship


The return games of the Quarterfinals were played on November 13 in the Ugra Chess Academy.

Lei Tingjie and Kateryna Lagno entered a complex Ruy Lopez position. According to the Russian, Lei surprised her in the opening, however, Black managed to obtain a harmonious position. The Chinese made a mistake in a time trouble, and was forced to part with material. Lagno gradually overcame the resistance, won the second game as well and advanced to the semi-final.



Ju Wenjun won as Black against Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova. The World Champion found the strongest continuation in the position with opposite side castling, after which White had to give up a pawn. Later White made another mistake and lost even more material, however, in a clearly winning position Ju Wenjun made a mistake herself, giving White significant drawing chances. Still, Tokhirjonova's defense of the resulting endgame was not precise, and Black eventually won this dramatic game. Ju Wenjun also proceeded to the semi-final.



Mariya Muzychuk once again showed her incredible fighting spirit, winning as Black against Zhansaya Abdumalik to equalize the match score. After the opening Muzychuk sacrificed an exchange for a pawn. The bishop pair gave Black sufficient compensation, and Muzychuk gradually outplayed her opponent in the middlegame. Abdumalik had to return the material with interest, but there was no way out for White. This match will continue on tie-break tomorrow.



Anna Muzychuk and Alexandra Kosteniuk made a second draw and will also play the tie-break.



The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Tie-break pairings:

A. Kosteniuk - A. Muzychuk

Z. Abdumalik - M. Muzychuk

All players in the Semifinal except the future champion qualify for the 2019 Women's Candidates Tournament

Official website





Round 4: Kateryna Lagno and Zhansaya Abdumalik begin with victories

The Quarterfinals of the Women's World Chess Championship started in Khanty-Mansiysk on November 12.

Kateryna Lagno celebrated a convincing victory over Lei Tingjie. The Chinese player went for a very passive opening setup as Black. White gradually developed her advantage and kept pushing even after the exchange of queens, utilizing her strong bishop pair. After white rooks broke to the 7th rank, Black's position became totally lost.



Former World Champion Mariya Muzychuk, playing White, lost to the 18-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik. The Ukrainian sacrificed a pawn for the initiative and soon regained the material with interest. However, holding onto the extra pawn was difficult because of the insecure position of her king. Abdumalik utilized a first clear inaccuracy of her opponent, delivering a nice tactical shot. Muzychuk lost a piece and resigned on the 57th move.



A. Kosteniuk-A. Muzychuk ended in a draw. In the Sveshnikov/Chelyabinsk variation of the Sicilian, Black sacrificed a pawn, obtaining sufficient counterplay in return. A draw was agreed after series of exchanges.



Another rising star of the championship, Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova successfully held as Black against Ju Wenjun. The World Champion had an advantage after the opening, but it somehow evaporated in the middlegame. The resulting rook ending with an extra pawn to White was drawn, and the players signed a peace treaty soon after the control move.



The second games of the round will be played on November 13, the tie-breaks will follow on the next day.

It is to be recalled that all the semifinalists except the future champion will qualify for the upcoming 2019 Women’s Candidates Tournament.

Pairings and results https://ugra2018.fide.com/pairings/
Photos https://ugra2018.fide.com/2018/11/12/photo-round-4-game-1/
Videos https://ugra2018.fide.com/category/video-en/


Round 3 of the Women’s World Championship is over

The tie-break of the Women's World Championship was played on November 11 in Khanty-Mansiysk.

The 19-year-old Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova surprisingly defeated the higher rated Valentina Gunina. Tokhirjonova won both rapid games in sharp tactical struggle, which is usually considered Gunina's territory.



Lei Tingjie was stronger than Alisa Galliamova in both 25-minute games and advanced to the Quarterfinal.



Anna Muzychuk and Antoaneta Stefanova drew their first game. In the second game Muzychuk played Black and celebrated a victory, joining her sister at the next stage.



Zhansaya Abdumalik convincingly defeated Jolanta Zawadzka in the first game, and secured a draw from the position of strength in the second game. The player from Kazakhstan is also in the Quarterfinal.



Alexandra Kosteniuk outplayed Harika Dronavalli in the first rapid game, but did not manage to hold a slightly worse endgame in the second one. In 10+10 blitz games the Russian was stronger in the first game and confidently drew the second one, thus advancing to the 4th round.



Natalija Pogonina and Kateryna Lagno produced the first Armageddon at the Championship. They made two draws in rapid chess and moved on to blitz. Long blitz games brought another two draws. In 5+3 games the players exchanged blows: Natalija lost the first game, but showed her famous fighting spirit and came back in the second one. In the “sudden death” game Kateryna Lagno took White and managed to outplay her opponent in the endgame.



Quarterfinal pairings:

Ju Wenjun - Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova
Mariya Muzychuk - Zhansaya Abdumalik
Kateryna Lagno - Lei Tingjie
Alexandra Kosteniuk - Anna Muzychuk

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 

Two quarterfinalists are determined, six tie-breaks are ahead

The return games of the third round of the Women's World Championship were played on November 10.

The reigning World Champion Ju Wenjun was first to advance to the Quarterfinals, drawing the second game with her 22-year-old compatriot Zhai Mo and thus securing the overall match win.



Former World Champion Mariya Muzychuk eliminated the most sensational player of the first two rounds, the 18-year-old Mobina Alinasab. In the second game of the match the Ukrainian got an advantage after the opening, gradually improved her position and won a good fighting game, winning the match 1.5 to 0.5.



Valentina Gunina managed to level the score against Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova, and the outcome of the match will be decided on the tie-break tomorrow. According to the Russian, this will be her first tie-break ever.



The 18-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik, who plays her first World Championship, also succeeded in coming back in her match against Jolanta Zawadzka. The fight will be continued on the tie-break.



After a lengthy struggle Antoaneta Stefanova squeezed a victory over Anna Muzychuk, thus tying the match score and advancing to the tie-breaks.



The classical part of the matches Harika-Kosteniuk, Lagno-Pogonina, and Galliamova-Lei Tingjie ended in draws, rapid and possibly blitz games to follow tomorrow.



The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Tie-break pairings:

Muzychuk Anna - Stefanova Antoaneta
Pogonina Natalija - Lagno Kateryna
Tokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim - Gunina Valentina
Galliamova Alisa - Lei Tingjie
Kosteniuk Alexandra - Harika Dronavalli
Abdumalik Zhansaya - Zawadzka Jolanta

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 


Round 3 begins in Khanty-Mansiysk

The first games of the Round 3 of the Women's World Championship were played in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 9.

Antoaneta Stefanova suffered an opening disaster against Anna Muzychuk. According to the Ukrainian, facing the Petroff defense was rather surprising. “I am not sure whether Antoaneta ever played this opening before, and she clearly was not ready for the variation I chose. Her 9th move was inaccurate and allowed me to seize space and obtain a good game”, said Anna afterwards.

Already around the move 15 Black was in a serious trouble, and White successfully utilized advantages of her position. The former World Champion resigned on the move 26, unable to defend against mating threats.



Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova produced a mild sensation beating Valentina Gunina. Their game was double-edged, but in the mutual time trouble the Russian probably overestimated her chances, refusing a number of drawing options, made a fatal mistake and lost very quickly.



Jolanta Zawadzka surprised Zhansaya Abdumalik in the opening and got a promising position as White. The grandmaster from Poland produced a quality strategic game, won an exchange and eventually celebrated a win.



Ju Wenjun had Black against Zhai Mo. The younger Chinese player miscalculated a combination in the middlegame, lost an exchange, and was unable to survive.

Mobina Alinasab obtained a serious advantage after the opening against Mariya Muzychuk, and methodically applied pressure against Black's position. The game transposed to a queen ending with an extra pawn to White, however, when Alinasab was on a brink of a victory, she committed a big mistake, allowing Black to survive with a rather miraculous perpetual check.



Alexandra Kosteniuk held as Black against Harika Dronavalli, defending a difficult endgame without a pawn. The games Galliamova-Lei Tingjie and Pogonina-Lagno also ended peacefully.



The second games of the round will be played on Saturday, November 10. The tied matches will proceed to the tie-breaks on November 11.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 


16 players continue fighting for the chess crown

The tie-breaks of the second round of the World Women's Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk were played on November 8. Once again all matches except one were decided in rapid chess.

The Russians Kateryna Lagno and Alexandra Kosteniuk won their matches against Hoang Thanh Trang and Ni Shiqun respectively with the same score – 2-0.

Zhansaya Abdumalik also won both games against Zhao Xue; in the second game the Chinese player lost on time in a drawn position, but it did not affect the outcome of the match.

Antoaneta Stefanova defeated Dinara Saduakassova in the first game, and secured the match win with a draw from the position of strength in the second game.



Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova defeated the former World Champion Tan Zhongyi in the first game and held the balance in the second game.

Harika Dronavalli missed a victory in the first game with Bela Khotenashvili, but showed strong character, winning the second game and a match.



The match between Mariya Muzychuk and Ekaterina Atalik was quite dramatic. Atalik probably missed some chances in the first game, which ended in a draw, and suffered an opening disaster in the second game. Muzychuk won and advanced to the third round.

Natalija Pogonina succesfully defended two difficult positions against Zhu Jiner in rapid chess, and then crushed the opponent in the first 10-minute game. In the second game the Chinese fought desperately, but was unable to get realistic winning chances, and eventually lost.



Round 3 matches:

Zhai Mo - Ju Wenjun
Jolanta Zawadzka – Zhansaya Abdumalik
Natalija Pogonina – Kateryna Lagno
Anna Muzychuk – Antoaneta Stefanova
Harika Dronavalli – Alexandra Kosteniuk
Alisa Galliamova - Lei Tingjie
Mobina Alinasab - Mariya Muzychuk
Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova – Valentina Gunina

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 



Favorites keep leaving Khanty-Mansiysk

The second games of the second round of the Women’s World Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk were played on November 7.

Having defeated Anastasia Bodnaruk in both games, Anna Muzychuk became the first qualifier to the third round.

Mobina Alinasab continues to surprise chess fans: although her position after the opening looked rather suspicious, the Iranian outplayed Monika Socko in the middlegame and won the match 2-0.



However, the main surprise of the round occurred in the match between Humpy Koneru and Jolanta Zawadzka – the grandmaster from Poland, playing Black, defeated the rating favorite and advanced to the third round.



Lei Tingjie was stronger than Nana Dzagnidze in the second game of their match and also moved on to the third round.

Aleksandra Goryachkina failed to strike back in the Russian derby against Alisa Galliamova. The more experienced Galliamova had the initiative throughout the game and won convincingly.



Ju Wenjun successfully defended a difficult position against Irina Krush and secured the overall victory – 1.5 to 0.5.

Valentina Gunina won a complicated game as Black against Anna Ushenina, and advanced to the next stage, winning her match 1.5 to 0.5.



Zhai Mo won both games against Nino Batsiashvili and joined a group of her compatriots in the third round.

Ekaterina Atalik was close to defeating Mariya Muzychuk for the second time in a row, however, she made a mistake in a very sharp position and lost. This match will be continued tomorrow on the tie-break.

Natalija Pogonina also managed to level the score against Zhu Jiner. The winner of their match will also be determined in speed chess.



The following matches featured two draws and will be decided on the tie-break: Lagno-Hoang Thanh Trang, Khotenashvili-Harika, Tokhirjonova-Tan Zhongyi, Abdumalik-Zhao Xue, Stefanova-Saduakassova, and Kosteniuk-Ni Shiqun.



The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Tie-break pairings:

Hoang Thanh Trang - Lagno Kateryna
Kosteniuk Alexandra - Ni Shiqun
Muzychuk Mariya - Atalik Ekaterina
Tokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim - Tan Zhongyi
Harika Dronavalli - Khotenashvili Bela
Saduakassova Dinara - Stefanova Antoaneta
Zhu Jiner - Pogonina Natalija
Zhao Xue - Abdumalik Zhansaya

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 

Women's World Championship, Round 2: Surprises keep coming

The first games of the second round of the Women's World Championship were played in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 6.

The 15-year-old Zhu Jiner continues to surprise chess fans. The Chinese started the second round with a convincing victory over the Russian champion Natalija Pogonina.

Mobina Alinasab produced another upset, winning as Black against Monika Socko. The Iranian outplayed her experienced opponent in the opening and developed her advantage in the middlegame. Socko's position was already precarious when she blundered a knight and resigned immediately.



The World Champion Ju Wenjun played a textbook game against Irina Krush, flawlessly converting a spatial advantage in a rook ending into a win.



Nino Batsiashvili had a promising position against Zhai Mo, however, she chose a wrong moment for a central break, and lost two pawns. The Chinese converted the material advantage confidently.

Anastasia Bodnaruk had White against Anna Muzychuk. In the opening the Russian sacrificed an exchange, however, the compensation proved insufficient, and the Ukrainian gradually overplayed her opponent.



Alisa Galliamova showed deep opening preparation against Aleksandra Goryachkina and obtained a very promising position. With series of timely executed tactical blows White won a piece and then the game.

Ekaterina Atalik outsmarted Mariya Muzychuk in a complicated minor piece ending. The former World Champion from Ukraine had to give up a piece for Black's passed pawn. During the concluding stage of the game Ekaterina showed her skill in checkmating with a knight and bishop.



The following games were drawn: Abdumalik-Zhao Xue, Zawadzka-Koneru, Dzagnidze-Lei Tingjie, Gunina-Ushenina, Kosteniuk-Ni Shiqun, Tokhirdjonova-Tan Zhongyi, Stefanova-Saduakassova, Khotenashvili-Harika, and Lagno-Hoang Thanh Trang.

 

The return games will be played on November 7.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 

 

Round 1 of Women’s World Championship Completed in Khanty-Mansiysk

There were 11 tie-breaks on November 5: Lei Tingjie-Gara, Sadaukassova-Matnadze, Krush-Gaponenko, Zhukova-Ni Shiqun, Atalik-Cori, Foisor-Stefanova, Harika-Khukhashvili, Vera Gutierrez-Bodnaruk, Padmini-Abdumalik, Nakhbayeva-Galliamova, and Hoang Thanh Trang-Danielian.

Only one match out of 11 was not decided in rapid chess.

Dinara Saduakassova defeated Ana Matnadze with the perfect 2-0 score. Lei Tingjie won against Anita Gara in a similarly convincing way. Inna Gaponenko lost the first game to Irina Krush, and was unable to come back in the second one, thus losing the rapid match 0-2.



Antoaneta Stefanova also won 2-0 against Sabina-Francesca Foisor. Deysi Cori was unable to hold Ekaterina Atalik: the Turkish player won 2-0.

Anastasia Bodnaruk defeated Sabrina Vega Gutierrez in the first rapid game. The Russian had winning chances in the second game as well, but it ended in a draw, which allowed Bodnaruk to advance to the next round.



Harika Dronavalli and Sopiko Khukhashvili ended their first game peacefully. The second game started calmly, but the endgame was head-spinning and full of mutual errors. After the dust has settled, the Indian took the upper hand and advanced to the second round.



Zhansaya Abdumalik and Rout Padmini drew their first game, but in the second one the player from Kazakhstan was stronger and proceeded to the next stage.

Hoang Thanh Trang started her tie-break against Elina Danielian with a win, and solidified her success with a draw in the second game.

Guliskhan Nakhbayeva dramatically lost to Alisa Galliamova in the first rapid game, and did not manage to equalize in the second one. A repeated Russian champion moves on to the next stage.



Only Natalia Zhukova and Ni Shiqun made two draws in rapid games, and their match advanced to slow blitz games (10+10). The struggle in the first game was very tense, but the Chinese player managed to equalize, then to seize the initiative, and eventually won the game. In the second game she held a draw from the position of strength and won the match.



Round 2 pairings:

Ju Wenjun – Krush, Zawadzka – Koneru, Lagno – Hoang Thanh Trang, Bodnaruk – A. Muzychuk, Kosteniuk – Ni Shiqun, Galliamova – Goryachkina, M. Muzychuk – Atalik, Tokhirjonova – Tan Zhongyi, Gunina – Ushenina, Socko – Alinasab, Dzagnidze – Lei Tingjie, Khotenashvili – Harika, Stefanova – Saduakassova, Zhu Jiner – Pogonina, Abdumalik – Zhao Xue, Zhai Mo – Batsiashvili.

 
Official website ugra2018.fide.com 

21 players advance to the second round of Women’s World Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk

The second games of the first round of the Women's World Championship were played in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 4.

The following players advanced to the 2nd round with the perfect score: Ju Wenjun, Anna and Mariya Muzychuk, Kateryna Lagno, Humpy Koneru, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Nana Dzagnidze, Nino Batsiashvili, Zhao Xue, Zhai Mo, and Zhu Jiner. The last two players defeated the higher rated Olga Girya and Lela Javakhishvili respectively.



Valentina Gunina, Tan Zhongyi, Monika Socko, Jolanta Zawadzka, Aleksandra Goryachkina, Natalija Pogonina, Anna Ushenina, and Bela Khotenashvili won their matches 1.5 to 0.5. Alina Kashlinskaya did not manage to come back after the defeat yesterday, and Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova also advanced to the next round with a draw in their second game. Mobina Alinasab caused the biggest upset of the championship so far, holding to a draw against Elisabeth Paehtz and thus advancing to the second round.



The rest of the players will face the tie-breaks on November 5:

Lei Tingjie-Gara, Saduakassova-Matnadze, Krush-Gaponenko, Zhukova-Ni Shiqun, Atalik-Cori, Foisor-Stefanova, Harika-Khukhashvili, Vera Gutierrez-Bodnaruk, Padmini-Abdumalik, Nakhbayeva-Galliamova, and Hoang Thanh Trang-Danielian.



The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com  


First games of Women's World Championship played in Khanty-Mansiysk

Prior to the start of the first round, the official flag of FIDE was raised in front of the Ugra Chess Academy. This very flag was presented to Ugra Chess Federation President Vassily Filipenko during the closing ceremony of the Chess Olympiad in Batumi. As Khanty-Mansiysk will host the next Chess Olympiad in 2020, for the next two years the flag of FIDE will remain in the capital of Ugra.



Varvara Tsaregorodtseva, the 9-year-old student of the Ugra Chess Academy, U9 champion of Ugra among girls, made a symbolic first move in the game between Zhai Mo from China and the Ugra representative Olga Girya. The result of this game, however, was disappointing for local fans, as Olga Girya lost in sharp struggle.



Most rating favorites won their games, however, there was a couple of upsets. Elisabeth Pazhtz lost as White to Mobina Alinasab, a player rated significantly lower than the German. Maili-Jade Ouellet made a draw with Aleksandra Goryachkina.



A number of decisive games among closely rated players was quite high. Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova defeated Alina Kashlinskaya, Anna Ushenina won against Lilit Mkrtchian, Ni Shiqun lost to Natalia Zhukova, Monika Socko proved stronger than Yuliya Shvayger, and Lela Javakhishvili lost to Zhu Jineer.



The following games ended in a draw: Krush-Gaponenko, Vega Gutierrez-Bodnaruk, Foisor-Stefanova, Saduakassova-Matnadze, Harika-Khukhashvili, Vo Thi Kim Phung-Khotenashvili, Guseva-Zawadzka, Padmini-Abdumalik, Atalik-Cori, Hoang Thanh Trang-Danielian, Nakhbayeva-Galliamova, and Lei Tingjie-Gara.



The second games of the first round are played on Sunday, November 4. Any match that ends 1- 1 will proceed to a tie-break on the next day.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 


FIDE Women’s World Championship Officially Opened in Khanty-Mansiysk

On November 2, the FIDE Women's World Championships started in Khanty-Mansiysk. The Opening Ceremony of the event was held in the Concert and theater center “Ugra-Classic”.

Guests and participants had a chance to enjoy fairy-tale organ melodies performed by Elena Kozemirenko before the official part of the ceremony.

The first part of the ceremony started with the presentation of 28 participating countries.

In the official part of the ceremony, Chief Federal Inspector of Ugra Dmitry Kuzmenko and FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich greeted players and guests.



Dmitry Kuzmenko read out a greeting letter from the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

Arkady Dvorkovich greeted everyone in Khanty-Mansiysk and thanked the Government of Ugra and its Governor Natalya Komarova in person, organizers, the Ugra Chess Federation, and all the people involved for hosting this event on the highest level. He also reminded the players that the format of the Women’s World Championship cycle would be changed.



“I will make sure that in the future the Women's World Championship cycle will be a standard one, and three semi-finalists except for the winner will qualify for the Candidates Tournament which will determine the challenger for the next World Championship Match with higher prizes and better conditions. I would like to reassure you that we will pay more attention to the women's chess in the future. So everyone could enjoy chess in all its beauty as it is art, sport, and science”, says Arkady Dvorkovich.

After his speech, FIDE President declared the Championship open.



Before the start of the entertaining part of the ceremony the drawing of lots was carried out. The Championship’s Chief Arbiter Igor Bolotinsky invited the top seed of the Women's World Championship, the reigning world champion Ju Wenjun of China, who picked a black pawn. It means that the players with odd starting numbers will start the first game of the first round with the black pieces.

The procedure of drawing lots was followed by bright and spectacular performances of singers and musicians.

After the Opening Ceremony, a short press briefing with Governor of Ugra Natalya Komarova and FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich was organized.

The first round of Championship starts on November 3 in the Ugra Chess Academy.

There shall be five rounds of matches, comprising two games per round, with the winners progressing to the next round. The 6th (final) round shall be played over four games. If the score is equal after regular games of each match, tie-break games shall be played.

Schedule: November 2 - Players Meeting / Opening Ceremony, November 3-5 - Round 1, November 6-8 - Round 2, November 9-11 - Round 3, November 12-14 - Round 4 (Quarterfinals), November 15-17 - Round 5 (Semi-final), November 18 - Free day, November 19-23 - Round 6 (Final), November 23 - Closing Ceremony.

Prize fund is USD 450,000.

Official website







Round 4: Kateryna Lagno and Zhansaya Abdumalik begin with victories

Categories: Ενημέρωση

FIDE WCCM Game 6 review: Long, strong, miraculous.

FIDE - Sat, 11/17/2018 - 02:00


Game 6: Long, strong, miraculous.

The World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana remains deadlocked with six draws in six games. The lack of decisive results is not through want of trying. The sixth game went to 80 moves and lasted six and a half hours before the players agreed a draw, having eliminated most of the pieces from the board.


Magnus Carlsen opened with 1e4 (switching from 1 d4 and 1 c4 that we saw in his previous games with the white pieces) and Fabiano played his trusty Petroff. The World Champion played a tricky side line, but the challenger also knew the line well and an equal endgame arose.


Carlsen-Caruana, position after 21...c5

With his last move, striking against the centre, it was quite clear that the challenger had no difficulties, and at this moment the world champion should have thought about steering the game towards a draw. But Carlsen said that with White 'You always feel like you have more room for error', and he carried out what he described as the classic positional manoeuvre, bringing the bishop round to b3 starting with 22 Bc2.

This was too slow, allowing Caruana to build an attack on the queenside.


Carlsen-Caruana, position after 29...Nc4

The position was still tenable for the world champion, but after a further series of inaccuracies, he had to give up a piece in the hope that challenger had too few pawns to force a win.


Carlsen-Caruana, position after 48 g4

Although White has three pawns for the piece, it is impossible to hold onto them, and the only chance for a draw lay in constructing a fortress on the kingside.


Carlsen-Caruana, position after 68 Bc4

While the players were spinning their pieces around in circles to no great effect, the Norwegian super computer Sesse announced a mate in 30 moves on a couple of occasions. Here for example, 68...Bh4 is apparently a winning move – but this is way beyond human comprehension, certainly when playing against the clock and after so many hours play.


Caruana couldn't break down Carlsen's position, and after 80 moves a draw was agreed.

After the game, both players were amazed to learn of the miraculous winning chance. Caruana took it in his stride: 'Near the end, I thought it was a fortress...it was a bit of an accidental.


We are now half-way through the match: 12 classical games are scheduled, and it is still too close to call.

(Daniel King)

PHOTO GALLERY

OFFICIAL WEBSITE



Game 5: Thrust and Parry


The fifth game of the World Championship match had an exciting start, but burnt out to a draw after 34 moves.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales made the ceremonial opening move for Fabiano Caruana, and the American challenger used encyclopaedic opening knowledge to offer a gambit pawn to Magnus Carlsen in a rare line of the Rossolimo variation of the Sicilian. The world champion took his time at first, clearly adjusting to the unusual circumstances, but the confident way in which he dealt with this attempted opening ambush leads one to suspect that he was merely recollecting analysis.


Caruana-Carlsen (position after 6 b4)


That's the little explosion that Caruana had prepared. In fact the idea is quite old (curiously, the assistant arbiter at the match, Nana Alexandria, had played this in the Soviet women's championship in 1969) and Carlsen himself had faced the gambit when still a teenager in 2005. Then he had played 6...cxb4. Today he went for the more unusual 6...Nxb4, suggesting that he too had researched this line.


Caruana-Carlsen (position after 10 Bxa1)

Back in 1969, Alexandria's opponent had taken on b4, allowing the e5 pawn to be captured. Carlsen's response, 10...d6, was stronger, holding his centre together. Caruana rejected a line that would have given him a symbolic structural advantage and tested his opponent with a new move.


Caruana-Carlsen (position after 12 Qe2)

The position is tricky, but Carlsen deftly handled the complications with 12...b4 13 Qc4 Qa5 14 exd6 Be6!


Caruana-Carlsen (position after 14...Be6)

Caruana had to go into the endgame with 15 Qc7, and that spelled the end of White's initiative.


Caruana-Carlsen (position after 21...Rd8)

Although the challenger has an extra pawn, in fact he has to be careful as Carlsen threatens the pawns on b4 and d3. However, an accurately calculated sequence of checks liquidated pieces, activated his rook and removed any thoughts of Carlsen trying to win the game.


Caruana-Carlsen (position after 29 Kf1)

White's rook on the seventh rank ties down the knight and guarantees the draw. Carlsen took no chances, withdrawing his king from a slightly vulnerable position, but in the process returning the extra pawn.


Caruana-Carlsen (position after 34 g4+)

Here Caruana offered a draw, and there was no reason for Carlsen to decline.


Afterwards the challenger said that, 'This line is really interesting and if Black is cooperative it can also get very exciting, but Magnus knew the line quite well and I think played in a very logical way'. While admitting that the endgame wasn't much fun, 'I never thought I was worse'.

Carlsen thought that only he could be better in the endgame, but couldn't find a way to push for a win. 'If there is a way at all to play for the advantage, the path is very narrow.'

After five games – five draws. It's still all square in the match. Carlsen now plays with two white's over the next two games which gives him a chance to put pressure on the challenger.

(Daniel King)


PHOTO GALLERY

OFFICIAL WEBSITE



Game 4: Correct on the board, but a blunder off

The fourth game of the world chess championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabio Caruana was drawn in 34 moves. The challenger played with the black pieces and had little difficulty in neutralising the world champion's initiative - which was a source of frustration to Carlsen: 'It was a bit disappointing, I thought I was clearly better after the opening'.


The challenger, Caruana, certainly seemed happier with his play after the game. 'I never really felt that my position was in much danger.'

Carlsen opened with 1 c4 – a different first move to his previous game with the white pieces and the game went into a kind of reversed Sicilian.

(position after 6...Bc5)

Bringing out the bishop is the fashionable way of playing the position (6...Nb6 is the standard move) and Caruana has some experience of this line with both colours.

Perhaps the most important moment of the game came after 14 moves when Carlsen had to make a big strategic decision.

(position after 14...c6)

The logical continuation of White's play is to push forward with the minority pawn attack, 15 b5, but the world champion was dissatisfied with this option: 'I spent a lot of time here...but it didn't seem to work very well.'

Then again, he also wasn't entirely happy with his move 15 Re1, allowing Caruana to play 15...Bd7 preventing White's pawn break.

Carlsen admitted, 'When I'm allowing ...Bd7 it's half a draw offer. After that the position is very dry and very equal.'

Piece exchanges quickly led into an endgame in which neither side managed to break into the other's position.

'I felt the ending was more or less balanced from the beginning' (Caruana).

(position after 34 Rbc1)

Here Carlsen offered a draw which was accepted by Caruana. Black could take the pawn on b4 and the position would liquidate into a drawn rook and pawn endgame.

Perhaps the most startling news of the day was that St Louis Chess Club, a supporter of Fabiano Caruana, had posted a video of the challenger's training camp showing a computer screen with opening lines under consideration. Although the video was quickly removed, the information was already in the public domain.

After the game, Fabiano Caruana declined to comment on the matter. It remains to be seen whether the incident proves to be a distraction or just an embarrassment.

Four games played, and four draws made. Wednesday is a rest day. Game 5 will be played on Thursday 15th November at 15.00 in London.


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Game 3: A Missed Opportunity and Sturdy Defence

The third game of the world championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana ended in a draw after 49 moves. At first glance this seemed like a pacific affair, but there was plenty going on beneath the surface and in the press conference neither player was particularly satisfied with their play.


Against the challenger's 1 e4, Carlsen repeated the opening of the first day, a Sicilian, and once again the Rossolimo variation appeared on the board. Fabiano Caruana was the first to deviate from game 1, castling on the sixth move rather than playing 6 h3.

(position after 6 0-0)
Magnus appeared unphased and continued quickly with the subtle 6...Qc7, not committing his kingside pieces. The first really big decision came at move 9 when Carlsen offered a pawn.

(position after 9...0-0)
Perhaps concerned about a quick kingside initiative, Caruana declined the pawn sacrifice and continued to develop steadily. In stark contrast to game 1, play was concentrated on the queenside, well away from the players' kings. This was turning into a heavy-weight strategic struggle.

In order to speed up his development and coordinate his pieces, Carlsen decided to simplify the position, exchanging pieces and pawns. With hindsight this might not have been the best decision, although Caruana had just one moment to exploit the shortcomings in Black's position.

(position after 14...Rxa5)
Here, the challenger could have played 15 Rxa5 Qxa5 16 Bd2 Qc7 17 Qa1, and White's control of files on the queenside and his compact pawn structure would give him a pleasant basis on which to conduct the middlegame.
Instead, he played 15 Bd2, overlooking that the rook could simply return,15...Raa8, and Black keeps control over the files on the queenside. 'It was a bit of a blackout', admitted Caruana after the game.
The challenger appreciated that he had no advantage and decided to exchange pieces bringing the game closer to a draw. But he had under-estimated Carlsen's position.

(position after 37 Kd1)
Carlsen was pressing all over the board, using his slight space advantage – as we have seem him do on so many occasions in the past.

Caruana showed his best qualities at this moment, not panicking, but trusting in the solidity of his position, and he expertly steered the game towards a draw by exchanging pawns and then giving up his knight to reach a theoretically drawn position.

(position after 49 exf5)
White's king steps into the corner on h1, and it is impossible to drive it away.

When asked after the game whether he was satisified with the outcome of the opening, Carlsen laconically replied 'Nope', and went on to describe how the position would have been unpleasant to play if Caruana had found the right continuation.

After three games the match score is still even, game 4 takes place on Tuesday at 15.00 in London.
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Game 2 of the World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana was drawn in 49 moves.

Carlsen started the game solidly by playing 1 d4. A Queen's Gambit Declined appeared on the board with the World Champion trying out the complex Bf4 variation. Fabiano Caruana played an unusual line and was clearly more familiar with the opening as Carlsen consumed valuable time at the board. After Carlsen's 17th move Caruana still had 1 hour and 32 minutes on the clock while Carlsen had just 39 minutes. At that point the World Champion decided to compromise, allowing exchanges that left a simpler and drier position on the board. Although Carlsen had the slightly inferior position, he held the ensuing endgame comfortably.


The first surprise came for Carlsen with 10...Rd8.


Caruana explained afterwards that this is an old move that has fallen out of fashion: 'I was kind of excited to try this out'.
Magnus admitted in the press conference that his main thought on seeing this move was 'Oh s**t!'
The critical response is 11 Nd2, but fearing some deep preparation, Carlsen preferred unpretentious development with 11 Be2. His position was quite playable, but he underestimated a couple of Caruana's moves, fell behind on the clock, and that influenced his decision when it came to the critical juncture at move 17.


Here Carlsen had the chance to make a temporary piece sacrifice with 17 Nxf7, leading to highly complex positions. But given that Caruana was probably still following a prepared line, the World Champion decided to err on the side of caution.
'I thought at this point there was way better equity in playing it safe and trying to secure a draw' - Carlsen.
Caruana confirmed that he was still in his opening preparation: 'I knew this position was okay for Black...'
After Carlsen's safe move, pieces were exchanged, ultimately leading to a rook and pawn endgame where Caruana had an extra pawn, but no real winning chances and a draw was quickly agreed after three hours play.
After two games the match score remains level. The third game takes place on Monday at 15.00 in London.

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Carlsen – Caruana 2018 game 6 LIVE!

Chessdom - Fri, 11/16/2018 - 16:32

Hello everyone and welcome to the live coverage of the 2018 World Chess Championship match between the reigning champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and the challenger Fabiano Caruana (USA). In this live blog + live games from WCC 2018 we will be covering the event Carlsen – Caruana with the latest news, developments, interviews, and in-game details.

The most important feature here will be the lines of analysis by Lc0 – the open Neural Network, and the TCEC champion Stockfish running on a Super Computer of 128 cores.

 

Refresh the page to get the latest updates

 

Current move eval: Move 80: Lc0 0.00 , SF[128] 0.00

Update 22:31

A draw agreed. Caruana played a fantastic game, with computer precision. Carlsen has a lot to think about, not being able to take advantage with white for several games is not a good sign for him. Caruana on the other hand should be very happy with his performance, despite the missed opportunities.

Update 22:15

Another bullet dogged by Carlsen, at move 68 it was a mate. A computer one, but still a mate. 68. Bc4 Bh4 69. Bd5 Ne2 70. Bf3 Ng1 71. Bg4 Kg8 72. Kh6 Bg3 73. Kg6 Be5 74. Kh6 Bf4+ 75. Kg6 Bg5 76. h6 Kh8 77. h7 Bh4 78. Kh6 Be1 79. Kg6 Bc3 80. Kh6 Bd2+ 81. Kg6 Bg5 82. Bh5 Nh3 83. Bg4 Nf4+ 84. Kf7 Kxh7 85. Bd1 Kh6 86. Kf8 Nd5 87. Kg8 Ne7+ 88. Kh8 Nxf5 89. Kg8 Ne3 90. Kf7 Nxd1 91. Ke6 f5 92. Kd5 f4 93. Kc4 f3 94. Kb3 f2 95. Ka2 f1=Q 96. Ka1 Qe2 97. Kb1 Qb2#

Update 20:45

SF Dev -1.03 51. b4 Bxb4 52. Kf3 Na4 53. Ke3 Ba3 54. Bb3 Nc5 55. Bd1 Ke7 56. Kd4 Kd6 57. h5 Nd7 58. Be2 Bb2+ 59. Kd3 Bc1 60. g6 Ba3 61. Kc2 Ke7 62. Bb5 Nf6 63. Be2 Bb4 64. a4 Be1 65. Bc4 Nxh5 66. gxf7 Nf6

Lc0 -2.8 51. b4 Bxb4 52. Kf3 f6 53. Ke3 Bc5+ 54. Kf4 Ke7 55. Kg4 Bf2 56. Bb3 Nb5 57. a4 Nd4 58. Bd5 Be1 59. Be4 Nb3 60. Bc6 Nc5 61. Bb5 Nb7 62. Bc4 Nd6 63. Be6 Ne4 64. Bc4 Nc5 65. Bb5 Kf7 66. Kh5 Bd2 67. Kg4 Ne4 68. Bc6 Nd6 69. Bd5+ Ke7

Update 20:30

The real drama kicks in now! Carlsen sacrifices a piece, blasting Lc0 to -2.8. Deep analysis by SF128 is still at -0.18, showing a draw.

Lc0: 48. g4 Ba3 49. g5 Nc3 50. Bc4 Kf8 51. b4 Bxb4 52. Kf3 f6 53. Ke3 Ke7 54. g6 Bc5+ 55. Kd3 Nd1 56. Ke4 Nc3+ 57. Kd3 Nd1 58. Ke4 Ba3 59. h5 Bc1 60. Bb3 Nc3+ 61. Kd3 Nb5 62. a4 Nc7 63. Bc4 Kd6 64. Kd4 Kc6 65. Bd3 Kb6 66. a5+ Kxa5 67. Kc5 Bh6 68. Kc6 Na6 69. Bxa6 Kxa6 70. Kd7 Kb5 71. Ke7 Kc5 72. Ke6

Update 19:30

Just before the time control at move 39, the engines have their clear verdict. SF128 shows -0.5, indicating permanent advantage for black. Lc0 now goes above -1.00 showing that it is not only advantage, but an easier position to play in.

SF128: 39. .. Nxa2 40. Bxh5 Bb2 41. Ba7 Nc3 42. Bb6 Nb5 43. Nc2 Nd6 44. Ne3 Nc8 45. Bc7 Bxd4 46. Bf3 Ne7 47. g4 Bf6 48. Ng2 b5 49. h5 d4 50. Nf4 Kh7 51. Kg2 Bg5 52. Nd3 Nd5 53. Bb6 Ne3+ 54. Kf2 Bxf3 55. Kxf3 Nf1 56. b4 Be3 57. Ke4 Nh2 58. Bxd4 Bxd4 59. Kxd4 Nxg4 60. Nc5 Kh6 61. Nxa6 Kxh5 62. Nc7 Nh6 63. f6
Eval

Lc0: 39. .. Bb2 40. Ba7 Nxa2 41. Bxh5 Nc3 42. Bb6 Nb5 43. Nc2 Nd6 44. Kf3 Bd7 45. Bg4 Bxf5 46. Bxf5 Nxf5 47. Kf4 g6 48. h5 Bc1+ 49. Ke5 Nxg3 50. hxg6 fxg6 51. Ne1 Kf7 52. Kxd5 Ne2 53. Kd6 Bf4+ 54. Kd7 Nc1 55. d5 Nxb3 56. Nd3 Bg5 57. Ne5+ Kf6 58. Nc4 Nd2 59. Bd8+ Kf5 60. Nd6+ Kf4 61. Bxg5+ Kxg5 62. Nxb7 Nc4 63. Kc6 Kf4 64. d6 Nxd6 65. Nxd6 g5 66. Kd5 g4 67. Ne4 a5 68. Kd4 a4

Besides the risky retreat giving up space advantage, Carlsen’s 38. f5 seems to be inaccuracy handing the advantage to black.

Update 18:45

After 30. b3, the passive play of Carlsen starts to show minor advantages for black

SF128: -0.25 30. .. Na3 31. Rxc8 Rxc8 32. Rc1 Rxc1 33. Bxc1 Nb5 34. Nf4 Nc3 35. Bc2 Nxa2 36. Bb2 Bd2 37. Nxh5 Nb4 38. Ke2 Bh6 39. Bb1 f5 40. Ba3 Nc6 41. Kd3 Bf7 42. Nf4 Bxf4 43. gxf4 Be6 44. Kc3 Kf7 45. Bc2 Bd7 46. Bd6 a6 47. Bd3 Kf6 48. Bc2 Kg6 49. Bf8 Kh7 50. Bd6 Bc8 51. Bf8 Kh6 52. Bd3 Bd7 53. Bb1 Kh7 54. Bc2 Kg6 55. Bd3 Be6 56. Bc2 b5 57. Bd3 Bd7 58. h5+ Kf6 59. b4

Lc0: -0.6 30. .. Na3 31. Bg5 Re8 32. Rxc8 Rxc8 33. Be3 a5 34. Nf4 Nb5 35. Nxh5 Nc3 36. Bc2 Ba3 37. Nf4 Bb2 38. Re1 Nxa2 39. Bb1 Nb4 40. Re2 Bc3 41. Nxe6 fxe6 42. Kg2 b5 43. h5 Ra8 44. Bc1 Nc6 45. Rxe6 Nxd4 46. Rd6 Nxb3 47. Be3 a4 48. Rxd5 b4 49. g4 Kh8 50. Rd7 a3 51. Be4 Rb8 52. Ra7 Nd2 53. Bd5 b3 54. Rxa3 b2 55. Ba2

Update 18:00

Strange play by Carlsen. After retreating the bishop to c2, now the knight goes to g2. This gives all initiative to black

Update 17:03

Equal material and symmetric position, difficult time for commentators to find excitement in this. Carlsen seems in no hurry to score a full point, Caruana is also happy with the equality in the match so far.

Update 16:55

Carlsen goes for 15. d3, and Caruana quickly replies 15… d5. Both are still developing their pieces and stabilizing the position, after the early queen exchange. SF128 stays at around +0.2 evaluation, Lc0 also suggests ease of play for for sides with +0.15

Update 16:30

Probably not the best 14th move by Caruana, the evaluation of SF128 is +0.33, although the continuation is still drawish after 15. Kf2 a5 16. h4 d5 17. Nc2 a4 18. Bd3 Bd6 19. Re1 g6 20. Rb1 Kd8

Full SF128 line 15. Kf2 a5 16. h4 d5 17. Nc2 a4 18. Bd3 Bd6 19. Re1 g6 20. Rb1 Kd8 21. Ne2 Bd7 22. b3 Re8 23. Bh6 c5 24. dxc5 Nxc5 25. Nb4 axb3 26. axb3 Ra2 27. Be3 Nxd3+ 28. Nxd3 Kc7 29. Rb2 Rxb2 30. Nxb2 Nc8 31. Nd3 Ne7 32. Bf4 Bb5 33. Bxd6+ Kxd6 34. Ne5 Kxe5 35. Nd4+ Kf6 36. Nxb5 Rd8 37. g3 Nf5

Lc0 suggests 15. h4 h5 16. Nc4 Nxc4 17. Bxc4 d5 18. Bd3 Bd6 19. g3 Kf8 20. Kf2 g6 21. Nxe6+ Bxe6 22. Bf4 Ke7 23. Bxd6+ Kxd6 24. Ke3 a5 25. Kf4 b6 26. a3 c5 27. Rhe1 c4 28. Bc2 b5 29. Kg5 f6+ 30. Kf4 Rag8 31. Ke3 g5 32. Kf2 Rg7 33. Rh1 g4 with eval +0.16

Update 16:10

Carlsen plays the line by Lc0 and queens are exchanged. The speed at which they are playing suggests this is all preparation.

Update 16:05

6… Nc6 is novelty at top level chess for humans. An early one! Interesting line here is suggested by Lc0 7. Nd5 Nd4 8. Nxe7 Nxe2 9. Nd5 Nd4 10. Na3 Ne6 11. f3 N4c5 12. d4 Nd7

Full Lc0 line: 7. Nd5 Nd4 8. Nxe7 Nxe2 9. Nd5 Nd4 10. Na3 Ne6 11. f3 N4c5 12. d4 Nd7 13. c3 c6 14. Nf4 Nb6 15. Kf2 Nxf4 16. Bxf4 Be6 17. c4 g6 18. b3 Bg7 19. Nc2 Bf5 20. Ne3 Bxd4 21. Rd1 Bc5 22. g4 Be6 23. Bxd6 Nd7 24. Bxc5 Nxc5 25. Bd3 Nxd3+ 26. Rxd3 Rd8 27. Rxd8+ Kxd8 28. Ng2 h5 29. Nf4 Bd7 30. g5 Re8 31. h4 Bf5 32. Ne2 Kc7 33. Rd1 a5 34. Nc3

Update 16:03

Today we have Petroff on the board, the main weapon of Fabiano Caruana. They played the same opening this summer at the Sinquefield Cup, replay the game here. A long positional fight ahead

Update 15:30

So far with Carlsen on the white side we saw English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto in game 2 and Queen’s Gambit Declined in game 4. Carlsen always downplays his opening preparation. The fact is he is extremely well prepared and will look today for an opening advantage early on.

Update 15:00

Welcome to the live coverage of the Carlsen – Caruana match. Five draws so far, but all is going to change soon. The day of the two consecutive white’s has come. As per the rules, whoever started the match with black will have two consecutive whites in games 5 and 6 and will finish the match with black too. Carlsen’s team certainly have prepared for this a sharper, more interesting and more surprising line. Is Caruana ready to counter the home preparation of Carlsen? So far the American has been extremely solid with the black pieces, one would say he is more comfortable than playing white.

More: Caruana – Carlsen game 1 / Carlsen – Caruana game 2 / Caruana – Carlsen game 3 / Carlsen – Caruana game 4 / Caruana – Carlsen game 5

Watch live video from TCEC_Chess_TV on www.twitch.tv

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List of Decisions of Q4 2018 Presidential Board

FIDE - Fri, 11/16/2018 - 11:17



2018 4th quarter
Presidential Board
8-10 November 2018
London, UK


LIST OF Q4 2018 PRESIDENTIAL BOARD DECISIONS

Q4PB-2018/01 To approve the opening of a FIDE office in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Q4PB-2018/02 To approve the 2019 FIDE budget and to grant the President and the Treasurer the right to re-allocate budget expenses by joint decisions.

Q4PB-2018/03 To request the next GA to amend Financial Regulations regarding the reduction of fees charged by FIDE, as proposed by the President.

Q4PB-2018/04 To allow the FIDE President to sign any documents which financially engage FIDE for any amount of under 50,000 Euros.

Q4PB-2018/05 To approve the proposal to perform detailed repeat audits for four (4) years and to upgrade FIDE accounting practices in compliance with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Q4PB-2018/06 To research the purchase of liability insurance for FIDE Directors and Officers (D&O) and report to the next PB.

Q4PB-2018/07 To approve an amendment that allows to appoint Ashot Vardapetyan the FIDE Supervisor for the 2018 World Championship Match.

Q4PB-2018/08 To confirm that the FIDE President has an absolute authority to hire and dismiss FIDE employees who are not FIDE officials.

Q4PB-2018/09 To appoint Arkady Dvorkovich and Emil Sutovsky as new members of the FIDE-World Chess Interface.

Q4PB-2018/10 To approve Willy Iclicki as a new Legal Representative in order to represent FIDE with a Greek bank and the Greek authorities.

Q4PB-2018/11 To approve that FIDE will only claim a 250 Euro notification fee and will waive a transfer fee in the transfer of A. Shirov to the Spanish federation.

Q4PB-2018/12 To approve the exclusion of K. Uladzislau from the rating list under Belarus, with a stipulation that he can apply to become a member of any other federation.

Q4PB-2018/13 To approve the model Agreement concerning the Assistance provided by FIDE for the Development of Chess.

Q4PB-2018/14 To approve a system wherein members of the Presidential Board and other FIDE employees as appointed by the President would monitor the implementation of Agreements signed with specific groups of countries.

Q4PB-2018/15 To review a procedure regarding the approval of new FIDE membership, and to request that all federations submit their statutes to FIDE.

Q4PB-2018/16 To approve amendments regarding future Presidential Board meetings, including the President’s right to define a meeting schedule, rules for submitting proposals to PB, a possibility to hold meetings by means of tele- and video conferencing, and to take decisions by remote voting.

Q4PB-2018/17 To approve а request from the Portuguese-speaking Federations Association тo become an affiliated member of FIDE and to recommend to the GA to approve the request.

Q4PB-2018/19 То confirm that any member of the FIDE commissions can be appointed only upon an approval by the FIDE President.

Q4PB-2018/19 To give the FIDE President the authority to dismiss any commission member. Such dismissal shall be done in consultation with a Commission Chairman or Continental President if a member was appointed in the same way.

Q4PB-2018/20 To refer to the General Assembly a proposal that all members of elected commissions (CON, ETH, VER) shall obtain endorsements from their national federations.

Q4PB-2018/21 To approve the decision which requires the FIDE President to establish a paid task force for review of all FIDE regulations that would work on a permanent basis to check completeness and consistency of all FIDE docs.

Q4PB-2018/22 To create the Global Strategy Commission and to acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Mr. Emil Sutovsky as chairman.

Q4PB-2018/23 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Ozgur Solakoglu as chairman of Events Commission.

Q4PB-2018/24 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Smbat Lputian as chairman of Chess in Education Commission.

Q4PB-2018/25 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Eva Repkova as chairwoman of Women’s Chess Commission.

Q4PB-2018/26 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Thomas Luther as chairman of Disabled Commission.

Q4PB-2018/27 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Mahdi Abdulrahim as the chairman of Rule Commission.

Q4PB-2018/28 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Maciej Cybulski as chairman of System of Pairings and Programs.

Q4PB-2018/29 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Nick Faulks as chairman of Qualification Commission.

Q4PB-2018/30 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Bharat Singh as chairman of Technical Commission.

Q4PB-2018/31 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Ilya Gorodetsky as chairman of Online Commission.

Q4PB-2018/32 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Jacob Aagard as chairman of Trainers’ Commission.

Q4PB-2018/33 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Marape Marape as chairman of Medical Commission.

Q4PB-2018/34 To approve the creation of Honorary Commission Chairman positions and to acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Takis Nikolopoulos, Adrian Mikhalchishin, Werner Stubenvoll and Ashot Vardapetyan as Honorary Chairman of ARB, TRG, QC and RC, respectively.

Q4PB-2018/35 To confirm the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Victor Bologan as the FIDE Executive Director.

Q4PB-2018/36 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Emil Sutovsky as the FIDE Director General.

Q4PB-2018/37 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Willy Iclicki as the FIDE Chief Operating Officer.

Q4PB-2018/38 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Mohd Al-Mudahka as the FIDE International Director.

Q4PB-2018/39 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Berik Balgabaev as the Advisor to the FIDE President.

Q4PB-2018/40 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to appoint Aleksandr Martynov as the Legal Advisor.

Q4PB-2018/41 To acknowledge the FIDE President’s decision to create the FIDE Management Board that would combine all key members of the Executive. The list of MB members appointed by the President is attached.

Q4PB-2018/42 To approve the title recommendations by the following commissions: QC, ARB, CIS, TEC and EVE.

Q4PB-2018/43 To confirm the President’s authority to make a final decision about the four wildcards to be given at the next FIDE World Chess Cup.

Q4PB-2018/44 To approve the increase in the minimal prize fund in Women’s World Championship Match from 300,000 to 500,000 Euros.

Q4PB-2018/45 To approve the new regulations for the 2019 Women’s Candidates tournament including a decision to have no wildcards.

Q4PB-2018/46 To improve the FIDE Calendar in order to avoid clashes between tournaments.

Q4PB-2018/47 To confirm the President’s authority to appoint members of the Presidential Board and any other FIDE employees at his sole discretion as FIDE supervisors to monitor and report on all aspects of the FIDE Calendar tournaments.

Q4PB-2018/48 To postpone the decision regarding the Ivory Coast Chess Federation’s dispute until the decision of local court is received.

Q4PB-2018/49 To acknowledge the President’s report on the status of the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Championship 2018 and FIDE Women’s World Rapid and Blitz Championship 2018.

Q4PB-2018/50 To settle the CAS case between Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and FIDE as soon as possible.

Q4PB-2018/51 To appoint Mohd Al-Mudahka and Emil Sutovsky as the FIDE representatives for IMSA.

Q4PB-2018/52 To appoint Willy Iclicki as the FIDE Liaison to the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Q4PB-2018/53 To introduce and execute a non-disclosure agreement for PB members, Executive Directors and other FIDE staff.

Q4PB-2018/54 To maintain the FIDE Office in Moscow in perpetuity while attempting to minimize FIDE expenses.

Q4PB-2018/55 To investigate the reports of organizers’ shortcomings at the 2018 World Cadets Chess Championships in Spain and to review the decision to award the 2019 World Youth Rapid and Blitz U14/U16/U18 Championships to Spain once such investigation is completed.

Q4PB-2018/56 To approve the use of a specific expense reimbursement claim form in order to help the Treasurer, the accountants, and the office.

Please download the Executive order.

Please download the Statute of the Management Board.


Categories: Ενημέρωση

UTD Fall FIDE Open 2018 LIVE!

Chessdom - Fri, 11/16/2018 - 06:40

The UTD Fall FIDE Open 2018 is going to take place November 16 – 21. A total of 36 players from 14 countries will participate. Top seeded are GM Anton Kovalyov, GM Timur Gareyev, GM Li Ruifeng, GM Razvan Preotu, GM Ori Kobo, GM Gil Popilski, GM Danny Raznikov, etc.

The event will be a round robin of 9 rounds, with time control 90 min. +30 seconds increment from move 1

Live games with analysis daily on Chessdom.com with the TCEC champions Stockfish, Komodo, and Houdini.

Official website of the tournament

Categories: Ενημέρωση

FIDE WCCM Game 5 review: Thrust and Parry

FIDE - Fri, 11/16/2018 - 02:00


Game 5: Thrust and Parry


The fifth game of the World Championship match had an exciting start, but burnt out to a draw after 34 moves.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales made the ceremonial opening move for Fabiano Caruana, and the American challenger used encyclopaedic opening knowledge to offer a gambit pawn to Magnus Carlsen in a rare line of the Rossolimo variation of the Sicilian. The world champion took his time at first, clearly adjusting to the unusual circumstances, but the confident way in which he dealt with this attempted opening ambush leads one to suspect that he was merely recollecting analysis.


Caruana-Carlsen (position after 6 b4)


That's the little explosion that Caruana had prepared. In fact the idea is quite old (curiously, the assistant arbiter at the match, Nana Alexandria, had played this in the Soviet women's championship in 1969) and Carlsen himself had faced the gambit when still a teenager in 2005. Then he had played 6...cxb4. Today he went for the more unusual 6...Nxb4, suggesting that he too had researched this line.


Caruana-Carlsen (position after 10 Bxa1)

Back in 1969, Alexandria's opponent had taken on b4, allowing the e5 pawn to be captured. Carlsen's response, 10...d6, was stronger, holding his centre together. Caruana rejected a line that would have given him a symbolic structural advantage and tested his opponent with a new move.


Caruana-Carlsen (position after 12 Qe2)

The position is tricky, but Carlsen deftly handled the complications with 12...b4 13 Qc4 Qa5 14 exd6 Be6!


Caruana-Carlsen (position after 14...Be6)

Caruana had to go into the endgame with 15 Qc7, and that spelled the end of White's initiative.


Caruana-Carlsen (position after 21...Rd8)

Although the challenger has an extra pawn, in fact he has to be careful as Carlsen threatens the pawns on b4 and d3. However, an accurately calculated sequence of checks liquidated pieces, activated his rook and removed any thoughts of Carlsen trying to win the game.


Caruana-Carlsen (position after 29 Kf1)

White's rook on the seventh rank ties down the knight and guarantees the draw. Carlsen took no chances, withdrawing his king from a slightly vulnerable position, but in the process returning the extra pawn.


Caruana-Carlsen (position after 34 g4+)

Here Caruana offered a draw, and there was no reason for Carlsen to decline.


Afterwards the challenger said that, 'This line is really interesting and if Black is cooperative it can also get very exciting, but Magnus knew the line quite well and I think played in a very logical way'. While admitting that the endgame wasn't much fun, 'I never thought I was worse'.

Carlsen thought that only he could be better in the endgame, but couldn't find a way to push for a win. 'If there is a way at all to play for the advantage, the path is very narrow.'

After five games – five draws. It's still all square in the match. Carlsen now plays with two white's over the next two games which gives him a chance to put pressure on the challenger.

(Daniel King)


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Game 4: Correct on the board, but a blunder off

The fourth game of the world chess championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabio Caruana was drawn in 34 moves. The challenger played with the black pieces and had little difficulty in neutralising the world champion's initiative - which was a source of frustration to Carlsen: 'It was a bit disappointing, I thought I was clearly better after the opening'.


The challenger, Caruana, certainly seemed happier with his play after the game. 'I never really felt that my position was in much danger.'

Carlsen opened with 1 c4 – a different first move to his previous game with the white pieces and the game went into a kind of reversed Sicilian.

(position after 6...Bc5)

Bringing out the bishop is the fashionable way of playing the position (6...Nb6 is the standard move) and Caruana has some experience of this line with both colours.

Perhaps the most important moment of the game came after 14 moves when Carlsen had to make a big strategic decision.

(position after 14...c6)

The logical continuation of White's play is to push forward with the minority pawn attack, 15 b5, but the world champion was dissatisfied with this option: 'I spent a lot of time here...but it didn't seem to work very well.'

Then again, he also wasn't entirely happy with his move 15 Re1, allowing Caruana to play 15...Bd7 preventing White's pawn break.

Carlsen admitted, 'When I'm allowing ...Bd7 it's half a draw offer. After that the position is very dry and very equal.'

Piece exchanges quickly led into an endgame in which neither side managed to break into the other's position.

'I felt the ending was more or less balanced from the beginning' (Caruana).

(position after 34 Rbc1)

Here Carlsen offered a draw which was accepted by Caruana. Black could take the pawn on b4 and the position would liquidate into a drawn rook and pawn endgame.

Perhaps the most startling news of the day was that St Louis Chess Club, a supporter of Fabiano Caruana, had posted a video of the challenger's training camp showing a computer screen with opening lines under consideration. Although the video was quickly removed, the information was already in the public domain.

After the game, Fabiano Caruana declined to comment on the matter. It remains to be seen whether the incident proves to be a distraction or just an embarrassment.

Four games played, and four draws made. Wednesday is a rest day. Game 5 will be played on Thursday 15th November at 15.00 in London.


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Game 3: A Missed Opportunity and Sturdy Defence

The third game of the world championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana ended in a draw after 49 moves. At first glance this seemed like a pacific affair, but there was plenty going on beneath the surface and in the press conference neither player was particularly satisfied with their play.


Against the challenger's 1 e4, Carlsen repeated the opening of the first day, a Sicilian, and once again the Rossolimo variation appeared on the board. Fabiano Caruana was the first to deviate from game 1, castling on the sixth move rather than playing 6 h3.

(position after 6 0-0)
Magnus appeared unphased and continued quickly with the subtle 6...Qc7, not committing his kingside pieces. The first really big decision came at move 9 when Carlsen offered a pawn.

(position after 9...0-0)
Perhaps concerned about a quick kingside initiative, Caruana declined the pawn sacrifice and continued to develop steadily. In stark contrast to game 1, play was concentrated on the queenside, well away from the players' kings. This was turning into a heavy-weight strategic struggle.

In order to speed up his development and coordinate his pieces, Carlsen decided to simplify the position, exchanging pieces and pawns. With hindsight this might not have been the best decision, although Caruana had just one moment to exploit the shortcomings in Black's position.

(position after 14...Rxa5)
Here, the challenger could have played 15 Rxa5 Qxa5 16 Bd2 Qc7 17 Qa1, and White's control of files on the queenside and his compact pawn structure would give him a pleasant basis on which to conduct the middlegame.
Instead, he played 15 Bd2, overlooking that the rook could simply return,15...Raa8, and Black keeps control over the files on the queenside. 'It was a bit of a blackout', admitted Caruana after the game.
The challenger appreciated that he had no advantage and decided to exchange pieces bringing the game closer to a draw. But he had under-estimated Carlsen's position.

(position after 37 Kd1)
Carlsen was pressing all over the board, using his slight space advantage – as we have seem him do on so many occasions in the past.

Caruana showed his best qualities at this moment, not panicking, but trusting in the solidity of his position, and he expertly steered the game towards a draw by exchanging pawns and then giving up his knight to reach a theoretically drawn position.

(position after 49 exf5)
White's king steps into the corner on h1, and it is impossible to drive it away.

When asked after the game whether he was satisified with the outcome of the opening, Carlsen laconically replied 'Nope', and went on to describe how the position would have been unpleasant to play if Caruana had found the right continuation.

After three games the match score is still even, game 4 takes place on Tuesday at 15.00 in London.
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Game 2 of the World Chess Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana was drawn in 49 moves.

Carlsen started the game solidly by playing 1 d4. A Queen's Gambit Declined appeared on the board with the World Champion trying out the complex Bf4 variation. Fabiano Caruana played an unusual line and was clearly more familiar with the opening as Carlsen consumed valuable time at the board. After Carlsen's 17th move Caruana still had 1 hour and 32 minutes on the clock while Carlsen had just 39 minutes. At that point the World Champion decided to compromise, allowing exchanges that left a simpler and drier position on the board. Although Carlsen had the slightly inferior position, he held the ensuing endgame comfortably.


The first surprise came for Carlsen with 10...Rd8.


Caruana explained afterwards that this is an old move that has fallen out of fashion: 'I was kind of excited to try this out'.
Magnus admitted in the press conference that his main thought on seeing this move was 'Oh s**t!'
The critical response is 11 Nd2, but fearing some deep preparation, Carlsen preferred unpretentious development with 11 Be2. His position was quite playable, but he underestimated a couple of Caruana's moves, fell behind on the clock, and that influenced his decision when it came to the critical juncture at move 17.


Here Carlsen had the chance to make a temporary piece sacrifice with 17 Nxf7, leading to highly complex positions. But given that Caruana was probably still following a prepared line, the World Champion decided to err on the side of caution.
'I thought at this point there was way better equity in playing it safe and trying to secure a draw' - Carlsen.
Caruana confirmed that he was still in his opening preparation: 'I knew this position was okay for Black...'
After Carlsen's safe move, pieces were exchanged, ultimately leading to a rook and pawn endgame where Caruana had an extra pawn, but no real winning chances and a draw was quickly agreed after three hours play.
After two games the match score remains level. The third game takes place on Monday at 15.00 in London.

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WWCC in Khanty-Mansiysk, Semi-final, Game 2: Ju Wenjun advances to Final

FIDE - Fri, 11/16/2018 - 02:00



Ju Wenjun advances to Final, Kateryna Lagno and Mariya Muzychuk to play tie-break

The return games of the Semi-final were played on November 16 in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Ju Wenjun had White against Alexandra Kosteniuk and obtained a stable advantage after the opening. In a Hedgehog position White maneuvered slowly, refraining from any breakthroughs almost until the control move, and even then did not follow it up with more energetic action. Black carried out her break on the queenside, which simplified the position considerably. In the subsequent game, the World Champion did not give her opponent a fighting chance, and the game was drawn in a rook ending.


Ju Wenjun won her match 1.5-0.5 and advanced to the Final.
 
Kateryna Lagno and Mariya Muzychuk discussed the Open Variation of the Ruy Lopez. Lagno sacrificed a pawn, which seemed to have taken Muzychuk by surprise, as the Ukrainian began to spend a lot of time on her moves. Later White regained material under favorable circumstances, and obtained a pleasant ending with rooks and a bishop. However, the opposite-colored bishops helped Black to hold a draw.

This match will be played out on tie-break tomorrow. Lagno plays White in the first game.


The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Official website

Ju Wenjun begins Semi-final with a win

  The Semi-final of the Women's World Championship started in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 15.

The defending World Champion Ju Wenjun had Black against Alexandra Kosteniuk. The players went for the French defense. After the opening, White's position looked promising, as she enjoyed a spatial advantage. However, Black regrouped nicely and won White's overextended a-pawn. Alexandra did not find the best move at the critical moment, and her position deteriorated quickly. However, then the Chinese missed the strongest continuation, which could give her a decisive edge. Further simplifications followed, but the extra pawn remained and eventually proclaimed itself. Ju Wenjun celebrated victory.


Mariya Muzychuk made a draw with Kateryna Lagno. In the Berlin Variation of the Ruy Lopez neither side could claim any advantage. A draw on the move 23 became a logical conclusion of the game.



The return games will be played on November 16. If the matches are drawn after two games, the tie-break will ensue on the next day.

Official website


Alexandra Kosteniuk and Mariya Muzychuk advance to Semi-final of Women’s World Championship

The Quarterfinals of the Women's World Championship were concluded on November 14 with two tie-breaks: Alexandra Kosteniuk defeated Anna Muzychuk, and Zhansaya Abdumalik lost to Mariya Muzychuk.

Kosteniuk played the first game with White and obtained a promising position after the opening. Then Black managed to activate her pieces and got a strong counterplay. However, being under heavy time pressure, Muzychuk made several mistakes, giving Kosteniuk a decisive advantage.


Muzychuk started the second game with 1.f4 and got an overwhelming advantage already in the opening. However, with very tenacious defense Alexandra managed to hold a difficult endgame. Looking for possible winning chances, Muzychuk avoided a number of drawing lines, and Black even got an edge. In the end Kosteniuk secured a draw from the position of strength and advanced to the Semi-final with the overall 1.5-0.5 win.


Mariya Muzychuk started the tie-break with a Black victory: Abdumalik failed to convince in the opening and then was gradually outplayed in the endgame. In the return game Abdumalik managed to create a complicated battle. Muzychuk sacrificed a piece, but her compensation proved insufficient. With some adventures in the mutual time trouble Abdumalik converted an extra piece, and the players proceeded to "10+10" stage.

 
The first 10-minute game was highly dramatic. Zhansaya Abdumalik was defending for the entire game and was very close to a draw. In the endgame R+N vs R she had the right to claim a draw according to the 50-move rule, despite being mated in two moves. However, instead of claiming a draw, Abdumalik resigned.


However, Zhansaya demonstrated her fighting spirit and came back in the second game. The match continued by two more blitz games with faster time control.

Mariya Muzychuk won the first 5+3 blitz as White, then got a much better position as Black and forced a draw by perpetual, thus advancing to the next stage.


Semi-final pairings:

Alexandra Kosteniuk - Ju Wenjun
Mariya Muzychuk - Kateryna Lagno

All players who had advanced to the Semi-final except for the future champion automatically qualified for the 2019 Women's Candidates Tournament.

Official website



Ju Wenjun and Kateryna Lagno become the first semi-finalists of Women’s World Championship


The return games of the Quarterfinals were played on November 13 in the Ugra Chess Academy.

Lei Tingjie and Kateryna Lagno entered a complex Ruy Lopez position. According to the Russian, Lei surprised her in the opening, however, Black managed to obtain a harmonious position. The Chinese made a mistake in a time trouble, and was forced to part with material. Lagno gradually overcame the resistance, won the second game as well and advanced to the semi-final.



Ju Wenjun won as Black against Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova. The World Champion found the strongest continuation in the position with opposite side castling, after which White had to give up a pawn. Later White made another mistake and lost even more material, however, in a clearly winning position Ju Wenjun made a mistake herself, giving White significant drawing chances. Still, Tokhirjonova's defense of the resulting endgame was not precise, and Black eventually won this dramatic game. Ju Wenjun also proceeded to the semi-final.



Mariya Muzychuk once again showed her incredible fighting spirit, winning as Black against Zhansaya Abdumalik to equalize the match score. After the opening Muzychuk sacrificed an exchange for a pawn. The bishop pair gave Black sufficient compensation, and Muzychuk gradually outplayed her opponent in the middlegame. Abdumalik had to return the material with interest, but there was no way out for White. This match will continue on tie-break tomorrow.



Anna Muzychuk and Alexandra Kosteniuk made a second draw and will also play the tie-break.



The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Tie-break pairings:

A. Kosteniuk - A. Muzychuk

Z. Abdumalik - M. Muzychuk

All players in the Semifinal except the future champion qualify for the 2019 Women's Candidates Tournament

Official website





Round 4: Kateryna Lagno and Zhansaya Abdumalik begin with victories

The Quarterfinals of the Women's World Chess Championship started in Khanty-Mansiysk on November 12.

Kateryna Lagno celebrated a convincing victory over Lei Tingjie. The Chinese player went for a very passive opening setup as Black. White gradually developed her advantage and kept pushing even after the exchange of queens, utilizing her strong bishop pair. After white rooks broke to the 7th rank, Black's position became totally lost.



Former World Champion Mariya Muzychuk, playing White, lost to the 18-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik. The Ukrainian sacrificed a pawn for the initiative and soon regained the material with interest. However, holding onto the extra pawn was difficult because of the insecure position of her king. Abdumalik utilized a first clear inaccuracy of her opponent, delivering a nice tactical shot. Muzychuk lost a piece and resigned on the 57th move.



A. Kosteniuk-A. Muzychuk ended in a draw. In the Sveshnikov/Chelyabinsk variation of the Sicilian, Black sacrificed a pawn, obtaining sufficient counterplay in return. A draw was agreed after series of exchanges.



Another rising star of the championship, Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova successfully held as Black against Ju Wenjun. The World Champion had an advantage after the opening, but it somehow evaporated in the middlegame. The resulting rook ending with an extra pawn to White was drawn, and the players signed a peace treaty soon after the control move.



The second games of the round will be played on November 13, the tie-breaks will follow on the next day.

It is to be recalled that all the semifinalists except the future champion will qualify for the upcoming 2019 Women’s Candidates Tournament.

Pairings and results https://ugra2018.fide.com/pairings/
Photos https://ugra2018.fide.com/2018/11/12/photo-round-4-game-1/
Videos https://ugra2018.fide.com/category/video-en/


Round 3 of the Women’s World Championship is over

The tie-break of the Women's World Championship was played on November 11 in Khanty-Mansiysk.

The 19-year-old Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova surprisingly defeated the higher rated Valentina Gunina. Tokhirjonova won both rapid games in sharp tactical struggle, which is usually considered Gunina's territory.



Lei Tingjie was stronger than Alisa Galliamova in both 25-minute games and advanced to the Quarterfinal.



Anna Muzychuk and Antoaneta Stefanova drew their first game. In the second game Muzychuk played Black and celebrated a victory, joining her sister at the next stage.



Zhansaya Abdumalik convincingly defeated Jolanta Zawadzka in the first game, and secured a draw from the position of strength in the second game. The player from Kazakhstan is also in the Quarterfinal.



Alexandra Kosteniuk outplayed Harika Dronavalli in the first rapid game, but did not manage to hold a slightly worse endgame in the second one. In 10+10 blitz games the Russian was stronger in the first game and confidently drew the second one, thus advancing to the 4th round.



Natalija Pogonina and Kateryna Lagno produced the first Armageddon at the Championship. They made two draws in rapid chess and moved on to blitz. Long blitz games brought another two draws. In 5+3 games the players exchanged blows: Natalija lost the first game, but showed her famous fighting spirit and came back in the second one. In the “sudden death” game Kateryna Lagno took White and managed to outplay her opponent in the endgame.



Quarterfinal pairings:

Ju Wenjun - Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova
Mariya Muzychuk - Zhansaya Abdumalik
Kateryna Lagno - Lei Tingjie
Alexandra Kosteniuk - Anna Muzychuk

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 

Two quarterfinalists are determined, six tie-breaks are ahead

The return games of the third round of the Women's World Championship were played on November 10.

The reigning World Champion Ju Wenjun was first to advance to the Quarterfinals, drawing the second game with her 22-year-old compatriot Zhai Mo and thus securing the overall match win.



Former World Champion Mariya Muzychuk eliminated the most sensational player of the first two rounds, the 18-year-old Mobina Alinasab. In the second game of the match the Ukrainian got an advantage after the opening, gradually improved her position and won a good fighting game, winning the match 1.5 to 0.5.



Valentina Gunina managed to level the score against Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova, and the outcome of the match will be decided on the tie-break tomorrow. According to the Russian, this will be her first tie-break ever.



The 18-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik, who plays her first World Championship, also succeeded in coming back in her match against Jolanta Zawadzka. The fight will be continued on the tie-break.



After a lengthy struggle Antoaneta Stefanova squeezed a victory over Anna Muzychuk, thus tying the match score and advancing to the tie-breaks.



The classical part of the matches Harika-Kosteniuk, Lagno-Pogonina, and Galliamova-Lei Tingjie ended in draws, rapid and possibly blitz games to follow tomorrow.



The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Tie-break pairings:

Muzychuk Anna - Stefanova Antoaneta
Pogonina Natalija - Lagno Kateryna
Tokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim - Gunina Valentina
Galliamova Alisa - Lei Tingjie
Kosteniuk Alexandra - Harika Dronavalli
Abdumalik Zhansaya - Zawadzka Jolanta

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 


Round 3 begins in Khanty-Mansiysk

The first games of the Round 3 of the Women's World Championship were played in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 9.

Antoaneta Stefanova suffered an opening disaster against Anna Muzychuk. According to the Ukrainian, facing the Petroff defense was rather surprising. “I am not sure whether Antoaneta ever played this opening before, and she clearly was not ready for the variation I chose. Her 9th move was inaccurate and allowed me to seize space and obtain a good game”, said Anna afterwards.

Already around the move 15 Black was in a serious trouble, and White successfully utilized advantages of her position. The former World Champion resigned on the move 26, unable to defend against mating threats.



Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova produced a mild sensation beating Valentina Gunina. Their game was double-edged, but in the mutual time trouble the Russian probably overestimated her chances, refusing a number of drawing options, made a fatal mistake and lost very quickly.



Jolanta Zawadzka surprised Zhansaya Abdumalik in the opening and got a promising position as White. The grandmaster from Poland produced a quality strategic game, won an exchange and eventually celebrated a win.



Ju Wenjun had Black against Zhai Mo. The younger Chinese player miscalculated a combination in the middlegame, lost an exchange, and was unable to survive.

Mobina Alinasab obtained a serious advantage after the opening against Mariya Muzychuk, and methodically applied pressure against Black's position. The game transposed to a queen ending with an extra pawn to White, however, when Alinasab was on a brink of a victory, she committed a big mistake, allowing Black to survive with a rather miraculous perpetual check.



Alexandra Kosteniuk held as Black against Harika Dronavalli, defending a difficult endgame without a pawn. The games Galliamova-Lei Tingjie and Pogonina-Lagno also ended peacefully.



The second games of the round will be played on Saturday, November 10. The tied matches will proceed to the tie-breaks on November 11.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 


16 players continue fighting for the chess crown

The tie-breaks of the second round of the World Women's Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk were played on November 8. Once again all matches except one were decided in rapid chess.

The Russians Kateryna Lagno and Alexandra Kosteniuk won their matches against Hoang Thanh Trang and Ni Shiqun respectively with the same score – 2-0.

Zhansaya Abdumalik also won both games against Zhao Xue; in the second game the Chinese player lost on time in a drawn position, but it did not affect the outcome of the match.

Antoaneta Stefanova defeated Dinara Saduakassova in the first game, and secured the match win with a draw from the position of strength in the second game.



Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova defeated the former World Champion Tan Zhongyi in the first game and held the balance in the second game.

Harika Dronavalli missed a victory in the first game with Bela Khotenashvili, but showed strong character, winning the second game and a match.



The match between Mariya Muzychuk and Ekaterina Atalik was quite dramatic. Atalik probably missed some chances in the first game, which ended in a draw, and suffered an opening disaster in the second game. Muzychuk won and advanced to the third round.

Natalija Pogonina succesfully defended two difficult positions against Zhu Jiner in rapid chess, and then crushed the opponent in the first 10-minute game. In the second game the Chinese fought desperately, but was unable to get realistic winning chances, and eventually lost.



Round 3 matches:

Zhai Mo - Ju Wenjun
Jolanta Zawadzka – Zhansaya Abdumalik
Natalija Pogonina – Kateryna Lagno
Anna Muzychuk – Antoaneta Stefanova
Harika Dronavalli – Alexandra Kosteniuk
Alisa Galliamova - Lei Tingjie
Mobina Alinasab - Mariya Muzychuk
Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova – Valentina Gunina

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 



Favorites keep leaving Khanty-Mansiysk

The second games of the second round of the Women’s World Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk were played on November 7.

Having defeated Anastasia Bodnaruk in both games, Anna Muzychuk became the first qualifier to the third round.

Mobina Alinasab continues to surprise chess fans: although her position after the opening looked rather suspicious, the Iranian outplayed Monika Socko in the middlegame and won the match 2-0.



However, the main surprise of the round occurred in the match between Humpy Koneru and Jolanta Zawadzka – the grandmaster from Poland, playing Black, defeated the rating favorite and advanced to the third round.



Lei Tingjie was stronger than Nana Dzagnidze in the second game of their match and also moved on to the third round.

Aleksandra Goryachkina failed to strike back in the Russian derby against Alisa Galliamova. The more experienced Galliamova had the initiative throughout the game and won convincingly.



Ju Wenjun successfully defended a difficult position against Irina Krush and secured the overall victory – 1.5 to 0.5.

Valentina Gunina won a complicated game as Black against Anna Ushenina, and advanced to the next stage, winning her match 1.5 to 0.5.



Zhai Mo won both games against Nino Batsiashvili and joined a group of her compatriots in the third round.

Ekaterina Atalik was close to defeating Mariya Muzychuk for the second time in a row, however, she made a mistake in a very sharp position and lost. This match will be continued tomorrow on the tie-break.

Natalija Pogonina also managed to level the score against Zhu Jiner. The winner of their match will also be determined in speed chess.



The following matches featured two draws and will be decided on the tie-break: Lagno-Hoang Thanh Trang, Khotenashvili-Harika, Tokhirjonova-Tan Zhongyi, Abdumalik-Zhao Xue, Stefanova-Saduakassova, and Kosteniuk-Ni Shiqun.



The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Tie-break pairings:

Hoang Thanh Trang - Lagno Kateryna
Kosteniuk Alexandra - Ni Shiqun
Muzychuk Mariya - Atalik Ekaterina
Tokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim - Tan Zhongyi
Harika Dronavalli - Khotenashvili Bela
Saduakassova Dinara - Stefanova Antoaneta
Zhu Jiner - Pogonina Natalija
Zhao Xue - Abdumalik Zhansaya

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 

Women's World Championship, Round 2: Surprises keep coming

The first games of the second round of the Women's World Championship were played in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 6.

The 15-year-old Zhu Jiner continues to surprise chess fans. The Chinese started the second round with a convincing victory over the Russian champion Natalija Pogonina.

Mobina Alinasab produced another upset, winning as Black against Monika Socko. The Iranian outplayed her experienced opponent in the opening and developed her advantage in the middlegame. Socko's position was already precarious when she blundered a knight and resigned immediately.



The World Champion Ju Wenjun played a textbook game against Irina Krush, flawlessly converting a spatial advantage in a rook ending into a win.



Nino Batsiashvili had a promising position against Zhai Mo, however, she chose a wrong moment for a central break, and lost two pawns. The Chinese converted the material advantage confidently.

Anastasia Bodnaruk had White against Anna Muzychuk. In the opening the Russian sacrificed an exchange, however, the compensation proved insufficient, and the Ukrainian gradually overplayed her opponent.



Alisa Galliamova showed deep opening preparation against Aleksandra Goryachkina and obtained a very promising position. With series of timely executed tactical blows White won a piece and then the game.

Ekaterina Atalik outsmarted Mariya Muzychuk in a complicated minor piece ending. The former World Champion from Ukraine had to give up a piece for Black's passed pawn. During the concluding stage of the game Ekaterina showed her skill in checkmating with a knight and bishop.



The following games were drawn: Abdumalik-Zhao Xue, Zawadzka-Koneru, Dzagnidze-Lei Tingjie, Gunina-Ushenina, Kosteniuk-Ni Shiqun, Tokhirdjonova-Tan Zhongyi, Stefanova-Saduakassova, Khotenashvili-Harika, and Lagno-Hoang Thanh Trang.

 

The return games will be played on November 7.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 

 

Round 1 of Women’s World Championship Completed in Khanty-Mansiysk

There were 11 tie-breaks on November 5: Lei Tingjie-Gara, Sadaukassova-Matnadze, Krush-Gaponenko, Zhukova-Ni Shiqun, Atalik-Cori, Foisor-Stefanova, Harika-Khukhashvili, Vera Gutierrez-Bodnaruk, Padmini-Abdumalik, Nakhbayeva-Galliamova, and Hoang Thanh Trang-Danielian.

Only one match out of 11 was not decided in rapid chess.

Dinara Saduakassova defeated Ana Matnadze with the perfect 2-0 score. Lei Tingjie won against Anita Gara in a similarly convincing way. Inna Gaponenko lost the first game to Irina Krush, and was unable to come back in the second one, thus losing the rapid match 0-2.



Antoaneta Stefanova also won 2-0 against Sabina-Francesca Foisor. Deysi Cori was unable to hold Ekaterina Atalik: the Turkish player won 2-0.

Anastasia Bodnaruk defeated Sabrina Vega Gutierrez in the first rapid game. The Russian had winning chances in the second game as well, but it ended in a draw, which allowed Bodnaruk to advance to the next round.



Harika Dronavalli and Sopiko Khukhashvili ended their first game peacefully. The second game started calmly, but the endgame was head-spinning and full of mutual errors. After the dust has settled, the Indian took the upper hand and advanced to the second round.



Zhansaya Abdumalik and Rout Padmini drew their first game, but in the second one the player from Kazakhstan was stronger and proceeded to the next stage.

Hoang Thanh Trang started her tie-break against Elina Danielian with a win, and solidified her success with a draw in the second game.

Guliskhan Nakhbayeva dramatically lost to Alisa Galliamova in the first rapid game, and did not manage to equalize in the second one. A repeated Russian champion moves on to the next stage.



Only Natalia Zhukova and Ni Shiqun made two draws in rapid games, and their match advanced to slow blitz games (10+10). The struggle in the first game was very tense, but the Chinese player managed to equalize, then to seize the initiative, and eventually won the game. In the second game she held a draw from the position of strength and won the match.



Round 2 pairings:

Ju Wenjun – Krush, Zawadzka – Koneru, Lagno – Hoang Thanh Trang, Bodnaruk – A. Muzychuk, Kosteniuk – Ni Shiqun, Galliamova – Goryachkina, M. Muzychuk – Atalik, Tokhirjonova – Tan Zhongyi, Gunina – Ushenina, Socko – Alinasab, Dzagnidze – Lei Tingjie, Khotenashvili – Harika, Stefanova – Saduakassova, Zhu Jiner – Pogonina, Abdumalik – Zhao Xue, Zhai Mo – Batsiashvili.

 
Official website ugra2018.fide.com 

21 players advance to the second round of Women’s World Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk

The second games of the first round of the Women's World Championship were played in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 4.

The following players advanced to the 2nd round with the perfect score: Ju Wenjun, Anna and Mariya Muzychuk, Kateryna Lagno, Humpy Koneru, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Nana Dzagnidze, Nino Batsiashvili, Zhao Xue, Zhai Mo, and Zhu Jiner. The last two players defeated the higher rated Olga Girya and Lela Javakhishvili respectively.



Valentina Gunina, Tan Zhongyi, Monika Socko, Jolanta Zawadzka, Aleksandra Goryachkina, Natalija Pogonina, Anna Ushenina, and Bela Khotenashvili won their matches 1.5 to 0.5. Alina Kashlinskaya did not manage to come back after the defeat yesterday, and Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova also advanced to the next round with a draw in their second game. Mobina Alinasab caused the biggest upset of the championship so far, holding to a draw against Elisabeth Paehtz and thus advancing to the second round.



The rest of the players will face the tie-breaks on November 5:

Lei Tingjie-Gara, Saduakassova-Matnadze, Krush-Gaponenko, Zhukova-Ni Shiqun, Atalik-Cori, Foisor-Stefanova, Harika-Khukhashvili, Vera Gutierrez-Bodnaruk, Padmini-Abdumalik, Nakhbayeva-Galliamova, and Hoang Thanh Trang-Danielian.



The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com  


First games of Women's World Championship played in Khanty-Mansiysk

Prior to the start of the first round, the official flag of FIDE was raised in front of the Ugra Chess Academy. This very flag was presented to Ugra Chess Federation President Vassily Filipenko during the closing ceremony of the Chess Olympiad in Batumi. As Khanty-Mansiysk will host the next Chess Olympiad in 2020, for the next two years the flag of FIDE will remain in the capital of Ugra.



Varvara Tsaregorodtseva, the 9-year-old student of the Ugra Chess Academy, U9 champion of Ugra among girls, made a symbolic first move in the game between Zhai Mo from China and the Ugra representative Olga Girya. The result of this game, however, was disappointing for local fans, as Olga Girya lost in sharp struggle.



Most rating favorites won their games, however, there was a couple of upsets. Elisabeth Pazhtz lost as White to Mobina Alinasab, a player rated significantly lower than the German. Maili-Jade Ouellet made a draw with Aleksandra Goryachkina.



A number of decisive games among closely rated players was quite high. Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova defeated Alina Kashlinskaya, Anna Ushenina won against Lilit Mkrtchian, Ni Shiqun lost to Natalia Zhukova, Monika Socko proved stronger than Yuliya Shvayger, and Lela Javakhishvili lost to Zhu Jineer.



The following games ended in a draw: Krush-Gaponenko, Vega Gutierrez-Bodnaruk, Foisor-Stefanova, Saduakassova-Matnadze, Harika-Khukhashvili, Vo Thi Kim Phung-Khotenashvili, Guseva-Zawadzka, Padmini-Abdumalik, Atalik-Cori, Hoang Thanh Trang-Danielian, Nakhbayeva-Galliamova, and Lei Tingjie-Gara.



The second games of the first round are played on Sunday, November 4. Any match that ends 1- 1 will proceed to a tie-break on the next day.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 


FIDE Women’s World Championship Officially Opened in Khanty-Mansiysk

On November 2, the FIDE Women's World Championships started in Khanty-Mansiysk. The Opening Ceremony of the event was held in the Concert and theater center “Ugra-Classic”.

Guests and participants had a chance to enjoy fairy-tale organ melodies performed by Elena Kozemirenko before the official part of the ceremony.

The first part of the ceremony started with the presentation of 28 participating countries.

In the official part of the ceremony, Chief Federal Inspector of Ugra Dmitry Kuzmenko and FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich greeted players and guests.



Dmitry Kuzmenko read out a greeting letter from the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

Arkady Dvorkovich greeted everyone in Khanty-Mansiysk and thanked the Government of Ugra and its Governor Natalya Komarova in person, organizers, the Ugra Chess Federation, and all the people involved for hosting this event on the highest level. He also reminded the players that the format of the Women’s World Championship cycle would be changed.



“I will make sure that in the future the Women's World Championship cycle will be a standard one, and three semi-finalists except for the winner will qualify for the Candidates Tournament which will determine the challenger for the next World Championship Match with higher prizes and better conditions. I would like to reassure you that we will pay more attention to the women's chess in the future. So everyone could enjoy chess in all its beauty as it is art, sport, and science”, says Arkady Dvorkovich.

After his speech, FIDE President declared the Championship open.



Before the start of the entertaining part of the ceremony the drawing of lots was carried out. The Championship’s Chief Arbiter Igor Bolotinsky invited the top seed of the Women's World Championship, the reigning world champion Ju Wenjun of China, who picked a black pawn. It means that the players with odd starting numbers will start the first game of the first round with the black pieces.

The procedure of drawing lots was followed by bright and spectacular performances of singers and musicians.

After the Opening Ceremony, a short press briefing with Governor of Ugra Natalya Komarova and FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich was organized.

The first round of Championship starts on November 3 in the Ugra Chess Academy.

There shall be five rounds of matches, comprising two games per round, with the winners progressing to the next round. The 6th (final) round shall be played over four games. If the score is equal after regular games of each match, tie-break games shall be played.

Schedule: November 2 - Players Meeting / Opening Ceremony, November 3-5 - Round 1, November 6-8 - Round 2, November 9-11 - Round 3, November 12-14 - Round 4 (Quarterfinals), November 15-17 - Round 5 (Semi-final), November 18 - Free day, November 19-23 - Round 6 (Final), November 23 - Closing Ceremony.

Prize fund is USD 450,000.

Official website







Round 4: Kateryna Lagno and Zhansaya Abdumalik begin with victories

Categories: Ενημέρωση

Bidding procedure for the FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament 2019

FIDE - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 16:44


BIDDING PROCEDURE FOR THE FIDE WOMEN’S CANDIDATES TOURNAMENT 2019

1. FIDE is opening a bidding procedure for the FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament 2019

2. Each bid shall contain the following particulars as minimum:

a) Proposed exact place and dates of the event. b) Proposed tournament venue. c) Proposed prize fund for the players (minimum 200,000 euros should be offered net of any applicable local taxes). d) The contribution to FIDE (net of any applicable local taxes and not less than 20% of the prize fund in addition to the prize fund). e) Commitment to cover all financial obligations to FIDE, including all the stipends. f) Commitment to cover all organizational costs, in accordance with the regulations of the event. g) Category of official hotel (minimum 4 stars), and its name, with special room rates including meals. h) A statement that the applicant accepts the regulations of the event without any reservations. i) An invitation for at least two members of the GSC to inspect the proposed venue and examine the other conditions, with all travel and hotel expenses paid by the bidder. j) The applicant's name, signatures and authentication k) Letters of support from the national federation and relevant local authorities.

3. A bid is considered valid if it is accompanied with a non-refundable Bid Fee of 1,000 euros payable to FIDE.

4. With effect from 1st January 2013, a bid for any FIDE Competitions onwards shall include the name of a FIDE licensed International Organizer.

5. All bids should be submitted by the due date in sealed envelope or scanned documents to the FIDE Secretariat, postal address: 9 Syggrou Avenue, 11743 Athens - Greece / Fax: (+30) 2109212859 / Email: office@fide.com by 15th December 2018, 16:00 local time (UTC/GMT + 2 hours).
Categories: Ενημέρωση

Caruana – Carlsen 2018 game 5 LIVE!

Chessdom - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 16:05

Hello everyone and welcome to the live coverage of the 2018 World Chess Championship match between the reigning champion Magnus Carlsen (Norway) and the challenger Fabiano Caruana (USA). In this live blog + live games from WCC 2018 we will be covering the event Carlsen – Caruana with the latest news, developments, interviews, and in-game details.

The most important feature here will be the lines of analysis by Lc0 – the open Neural Network, and the TCEC champion Stockfish running on a Super Computer of 128 cores.

 

Refresh the page to get the latest updates

 

Current move eval: Move 33: Lc0 0.00 , SF[128] 0.00

Update 19:00 CET

As expected, a handshake comes on move 33. An interesting opening by Caruana that was a surprise, but certainly did not lead to any advantage. The next two games Carlsen will have the white pieces.

Update 18:30 CET

Precise play by both players, we are heading to a forced line that can bring another draw around move 30 or 35.

Update 16:55 CET

Slight inaccuracy by Caruana! He blasted 17. c3 on the board, but engines suggest 0.3 to 0.4 eval drop

SF 128 -0.1 17. .. Kd7 18. cxb4 Ra8 19. Bc3 Kxc7 20. Ng5 Bf8 21. Nxe6+ fxe6 22. b5 Nd4 23. d3 Bc5 24. Nd2 Ra2 25. Kf1 Rc2 26. Bxd4 Bxd4 27. Re2 Rb2 28. Nf3 Rb1+ 29. Re1 Rxb5 30. Ng5 Kd6 31. Nxh7 Rb2 32. Re2 Rb1+ 33. Re1 Rxe1+ 34. Kxe1 b5 35. Ng5 b4 36. Kd1

Lc0 -0.47 17. .. Kd7 18. cxb4 Ra8 19. Bc3 Kxc7 20. Ng5 Bf8 21. Nxe6+ fxe6 22. Rc1 Kb6 23. Kf1 Bxb4 24. Ke2 Bc5 25. Bb2 Nd4+ 26. Kd1 g5 27. d3 Ra2 28. Nd2 Nc6 29. Nc4+ Kb5 30. Ra1 Rxa1+ 31. Bxa1 Bxf2 32. Nd6+ Kb4 33. Nxb7 Bd4 34. Bxd4 exd4 35. Kd2 g4 36. Nd6 Ne5 37. Ne8 Nd7 38. Ng7 e5 39. Nf5 Kb3

Note that the second best move is a mistake leading to +1.1 after a capture on 17. .. bxc3 and then 18. Nxc3 Kd7 19. Nd5 Kd6 20. Rb1 Bxd5 21. exd5 Kxd5 22. Rxb7 Rc8 23. Ng5 f6 24. Nxh7 Ke6 25. f4 exf4 26. Ng5+

Update 16:45 CET

15. Qc7 Qxc7 is the only option for white as 15. Qd3 Nc6 16. Bb2 O-O 17. c3 Qa2 18. Qc2 Rc8 19. d3 Nd4 20. Nxd4 exd4 21. c4 b5 22. c5 b3 23. Qc1 Be5 24. Na3 Bxd6 25. Bxd4 Bxc5 26. Bxc5 b2 27. Qc3 Qb3 would mean -1.12 according to Lc0 eval

A line by the 128 cores Stockfish super computer

15. Qc7 Qxc7 16. dxc7 Nc6 17. Rd1 Kd7 18. d4 b3 19. Nxe5+ Kxc7 20. cxb3 Ra8 21. Nd2 Nxe5 22. dxe5 Bh6 23. Bd4 b5 24. g3 Bxd2 25. Rxd2 Bxb3 26. Rb2 Bd1 27. Rxb5 Bf3 28. Kf1 Ra3 29. Rc5+ Kd8 30. Rc6 Ke8 31. Rd6 Rd3 32. Be3 Rxd6 33. exd6 Bxe4 34. Bc5 Kd7 35. Ke2 Ke6 36. Ke3 Bc6 37. Kd4 g5 38. f4 g4 39. Bb4 f5 40. Kc4 h5 41. Ba3 Bf3

Update 16:32 CET

First moment when Carlsen takes time to think. The speed at which they were moving so far suggest that they are in preparation. The line is indeed sharp, but looking at the top lines of Lc0 things can quickly converge to a draw.

Lc0: 13. .. Qa5 14. cxd6 Be6 15. Qc7 Qxc7 16. dxc7 Nc6 17. Rd1 Kd7 18. d4 Ba2 19. d5 Nd4 20. Nxd4 exd4 21. Nd2 Rc8 22. Nf3 Rxc7 23. Bxd4 Bf8 24. Ne1 Rc4 25. Kf1 b3 26. cxb3 Bxb3 27. Rb1 Rb4 28. Kg1 Rxd4 29. Rxb3 Rxe4 30. Rxb7+ Kd6 31. Kf1 Be7 32. Nd3 Kxd5 33. g3 Ke6 34. Nf4+ Kd6 35. Kg2 Re5 36. h4 Rf5 37. Nh3 h6 38. Ra7 Bd8 39. Ra3 Ra5 40. Rb3

Update 16:26 CET

Polschikov-Anoshkin 2007 0-1 last game in book after 10 …d6 11.bxc5

Update 16:15 CET

The main question now, is 6. b4 a direct draw offer in the opening, or Caruana has something cooked?

Update 16:03 CET

1. e4 c5, Sicilian, but there comes the bombastic move by Caruana, after 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. O-O Bg7 5. Re1 e5 he plays 6. b4!?

Lc0 says take with the pawn 6. .. Nxb4 7. Bb2 Nc6 8. Bxc6 dxc6 9. Nxe5 Nf6 10. Nf3 O-O 11. a4 Re8 12. d3 c4 13. h3 cxd3 14. cxd3 b6 15. Qc2 c5 16. Na3 Nh5 17. Bxg7 Nxg7 18. Rad1 Ne6 19. d4 Ng5 20. Nxg5 Qxg5 21. d5 Bxh3 22. f3 Bd7 23. Nc4 Qf4 24. e5 Bf5 +0.28

SF128 says take with the knight 6. .. Nxb4 7. Bb2 +0.18

In any case a rare move that does not lead to direct advantage, rather to a surprise at the opening.

Update 15:45 CET

Today is an eventful day in the world of chess. Besides the game Caruana – Carlsen, we have the semi finals of the Women World Championship, an interesting interview with GM Alexander Morozevich, and the end of the first round robin of Div 4 of the Top Chess Engine Championship

Update 15:15 CET

There is always the possibility that Caruana tries something different with 1. d4 for example, as this is his last game with white before having twice in a row the black pieces, starting tomorrow. A third option of course is to enter in a theoretical dispute in the English opening that Carlsen employed the other day. To learn more about the English opening see GM Boris Avrikh on Caruana’s approach to 1. c5 e5 here

Update 15:00 CET

Game 5 start in about 1 hour. In the previous two games where Caruana had white we saw Sicilian Rossolimo. Game 1 saw 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d3 Bg7 6. h3 Nf6 7. Nc3 Nd7 8. Be3 e5 and then 9. O-O. Here Lc0′s suggestion was 9. Qd2 and SF128 suggestion was 9. Qc1. In game 3 they deviated earlier as Caruana went 6. O-O instead of 6. h3.

More: Caruana – Carlsen game 1 / Carlsen – Caruana game 2 / Caruana – Carlsen game 3 / Carlsen – Caruana game 4

Watch live video from TCEC_Chess_TV on www.twitch.tv

Categories: Ενημέρωση

Rules for the FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament 2019

FIDE - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 15:07



FIDE is announcing the Rules for the FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament 2019.

The Rules for the FIDE Women’s Candidates Tournament 2019 can be downloaded here (.pdf).







Categories: Ενημέρωση

Interview with Alexander Morozevich

Chessdom - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 12:54

It is not the first time for one of the strongest chess players of his generation to work as a commentator at a major event, and he always approaches this job creatively. Here is the interview by the official website of the Women World Championship with GM Alexander Morozevich.

More: Live games / Quarterfinal tiebreaks

– How do you find the World Women’s Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk?

– Quite bleak. November is a fairly cold month in Khanty-Mansiysk. One has to be very careful about the clothing and amount of time spent outside. This is especially important for such a heat-loving plants as yours truly. Some of the participants from the warmer countries are probably uncomfortable here, too. Like it or not, but it brings certain restraints and influences the results.

– Do you like the format of the tournament? Considering this is the last knock-our World Championship…

– This format is exceptionally hard for the participants, however, one cannot invent anything more exciting and attractive for the fans. In my opinion, a knock-out cannot be boring. There is a lot of fight with many decisive games, lack of short draws, and something exciting happens in every round.

The only thing that depresses me is a very small number of spectators. Apart from several officials, fathers, mothers, and other team members, there are very few onlookers. And we are not talking about some open – this is a World Championship! I got used to having no live feedback from my English streams, and this is understandable – all the viewers are on the net. However, I’d like to see more interaction with the Russian commentators.

– Do you have any suggestions?

– I don’t, but I am not an organizer. It is obvious, however, that FIDE needs to do something about it. In my opinion, women’s chess can and must draw more interest than men’s chess. I don’t think the London match between Carlsen and Caruana succeeded in creating much hype, either.

– What would you like to see at the chess events?

– Generally I want to bring excitement back to chess. People must enjoy coming to tournaments. Tournaments can be a good fun, training, or basis for communication, a social circuit of sorts. There is a number of ways to deal with it.

– Back to our tournament – was there anything that surprised you?

– To be honest, I had stopped following women’s chess for quite a while, and wouldn’t know much about the favorites before the championship. As the tournament went on, I caught up with the situation. The games, like in any other women’s tournament, are nerve-wrecking and inconsistent. The same player can play both excellently and horribly.

– A few words about the balance of power.

– The upper part of the table seems stronger than the lower part. The latter has an unquestionable favorite – Kateryna Lagno. She plays much better than anyone else; she is possibly in a good form. I will be surprised not to see her in the final. The situation in the upper part is not as obvious. There is Ju Wenun, Kosteniuk, Anna Muzychuk – each of these players deserves to be in the final.

– Have you discovered any new names?

– Yes, there are some. Judging by purely chess content, I can note the Iranian Mobina Alinasab, who was virtually unknown before the tournament. I liked the girl from Uzbekistan, Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova – although it seems everyone else already knew and respected her. I think she has very high potential; she plays solid and powerful chess. It is necessary to mention Zhansaya Abdumalik, whose achievements had reached even my ears. She can achieve a lot in women’s chess, however, if one doesn’t have 2600 by the age of 19, the prospects in men’s chess are nebulous.

– It sounds a little harsh…

– No, I really liked some of her games. For instance, in the middlegame of the first Quarterfinal game against Mariya Muzychuk she played series of moves that a strong grandmaster could be proud of. However, as if often happens with girls, her play is inconsistent. I wish her to keep improving!

– Do you think the champion can defend her title? It seems she almost meets no resistance…

– That’s it – they aren’t even trying to fight her. Ju Wenjun plays the way she likes, obtains positions she enjoys, she always feels at home. I think she understands very well which strategy can bring her success. This is why her victories look so easy.

– Who can stop her and how?

– I am not sure about who, but I more or less know how. One must play hard against her, take risks, move forward, use bluff…

– You are saying that women’s chess is more attractive than men’s chess. Do you enjoy commenting women’s games?

– As I said, this is a strange job. You have to talk to yourself for five hours straight every day. Perhaps I’ll need a therapist after the championship. I am greatly missing feedback of any sort. Very few spectators come up with questions. I tried to ask them several times, but my own echo was the only response.

Categories: Ενημέρωση

List of titles approved by the 2018 4th quarter PB in London, UK

FIDE - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 12:45


FIDE publishes the list of titles approved by the 2018 4th quarter Presidential Board in London, UK November 8 - 9.

GM FED Cori Quispe, Kevin Joel PER Gonzalez Perez, Arian FID     WGM   Uuriintuya, Uurtsaikh MGL     IM   Pasko, Llambi ALB Szotkowski, Jakub CZE Engel, Luis GER     WIM   Bayarmaa, Bayarjargal MGL     IA   Duran, Juan ARG Wang, Xinyue CHN Lemoine, Thomas FRA Japaridze, Davit GEO Nikoladze, Sopio GEO Karimi Alavijeh, Mozhgan IRI Seyed Tarrah, Sona IRI Oliyo, Ilaria ITA Yildirim, Cuneyt Kamil TUR Jimenez Puerta, Orlando Emisael VEN     FA   Leka, Bernard ALB Yang, Hanxiong CHN Howell, Chris I ENG Wickenfeld, Stefan GER Brigati, Alessandro ITA Bauyrzahn, Kaussar KAZ Ishaq, Alanoud KSA Shemshiji, Agim MKD Cunanan, Marlon PHI Kusarankul, Wasinee THA Yagoubi, Hassen TUN Percin, Yadigar TUR     IO   Chanturia, Giorgi GEO Giorgadze, Giorgi GEO Mikadze, Zurab GEO Wilkinson, Ian GEO Lindo, Terence JAM     CONDITIONAL ON RATING   GM   Egglestone, David ENG Notkevich, Benjamin Arvola NOR     IM   Tiba, Vladyslav UKR Yu, Jennifer USA     CONDITIONAL ON INFO   IA   Gjergii, Rozanna ALB     FA   Ayyildiz, Bugra TUR Gunay, Bedrettin TUR

Download the LIST of FA TITLES from Seminars approved by the PB.
Categories: Ενημέρωση

WWCC in Khanty-Mansiysk, Semi-final, Game 1: Ju Wenjun begins with a win

FIDE - Thu, 11/15/2018 - 02:00


Ju Wenjun begins Semi-final with a win

The Semi-final of the Women's World Championship started in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 15.

The defending World Champion Ju Wenjun had Black against Alexandra Kosteniuk. The players went for the French defense. After the opening, White's position looked promising, as she enjoyed a spatial advantage. However, Black regrouped nicely and won White's overextended a-pawn. Alexandra did not find the best move at the critical moment, and her position deteriorated quickly. However, then the Chinese missed the strongest continuation, which could give her a decisive edge. Further simplifications followed, but the extra pawn remained and eventually proclaimed itself. Ju Wenjun celebrated victory.


Mariya Muzychuk made a draw with Kateryna Lagno. In the Berlin Variation of the Ruy Lopez neither side could claim any advantage. A draw on the move 23 became a logical conclusion of the game.



The return games will be played on November 16. If the matches are drawn after two games, the tie-break will ensue on the next day.

Official website



Alexandra Kosteniuk and Mariya Muzychuk advance to Semi-final of Women’s World Championship

The Quarterfinals of the Women's World Championship were concluded on November 14 with two tie-breaks: Alexandra Kosteniuk defeated Anna Muzychuk, and Zhansaya Abdumalik lost to Mariya Muzychuk.

Kosteniuk played the first game with White and obtained a promising position after the opening. Then Black managed to activate her pieces and got a strong counterplay. However, being under heavy time pressure, Muzychuk made several mistakes, giving Kosteniuk a decisive advantage.


Muzychuk started the second game with 1.f4 and got an overwhelming advantage already in the opening. However, with very tenacious defense Alexandra managed to hold a difficult endgame. Looking for possible winning chances, Muzychuk avoided a number of drawing lines, and Black even got an edge. In the end Kosteniuk secured a draw from the position of strength and advanced to the Semi-final with the overall 1.5-0.5 win.


Mariya Muzychuk started the tie-break with a Black victory: Abdumalik failed to convince in the opening and then was gradually outplayed in the endgame. In the return game Abdumalik managed to create a complicated battle. Muzychuk sacrificed a piece, but her compensation proved insufficient. With some adventures in the mutual time trouble Abdumalik converted an extra piece, and the players proceeded to "10+10" stage.

 
The first 10-minute game was highly dramatic. Zhansaya Abdumalik was defending for the entire game and was very close to a draw. In the endgame R+N vs R she had the right to claim a draw according to the 50-move rule, despite being mated in two moves. However, instead of claiming a draw, Abdumalik resigned.


However, Zhansaya demonstrated her fighting spirit and came back in the second game. The match continued by two more blitz games with faster time control.

Mariya Muzychuk won the first 5+3 blitz as White, then got a much better position as Black and forced a draw by perpetual, thus advancing to the next stage.


Semi-final pairings:

Alexandra Kosteniuk - Ju Wenjun
Mariya Muzychuk - Kateryna Lagno

All players who had advanced to the Semi-final except for the future champion automatically qualified for the 2019 Women's Candidates Tournament.

Official website



Ju Wenjun and Kateryna Lagno become the first semi-finalists of Women’s World Championship


The return games of the Quarterfinals were played on November 13 in the Ugra Chess Academy.

Lei Tingjie and Kateryna Lagno entered a complex Ruy Lopez position. According to the Russian, Lei surprised her in the opening, however, Black managed to obtain a harmonious position. The Chinese made a mistake in a time trouble, and was forced to part with material. Lagno gradually overcame the resistance, won the second game as well and advanced to the semi-final.



Ju Wenjun won as Black against Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova. The World Champion found the strongest continuation in the position with opposite side castling, after which White had to give up a pawn. Later White made another mistake and lost even more material, however, in a clearly winning position Ju Wenjun made a mistake herself, giving White significant drawing chances. Still, Tokhirjonova's defense of the resulting endgame was not precise, and Black eventually won this dramatic game. Ju Wenjun also proceeded to the semi-final.



Mariya Muzychuk once again showed her incredible fighting spirit, winning as Black against Zhansaya Abdumalik to equalize the match score. After the opening Muzychuk sacrificed an exchange for a pawn. The bishop pair gave Black sufficient compensation, and Muzychuk gradually outplayed her opponent in the middlegame. Abdumalik had to return the material with interest, but there was no way out for White. This match will continue on tie-break tomorrow.



Anna Muzychuk and Alexandra Kosteniuk made a second draw and will also play the tie-break.



The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Tie-break pairings:

A. Kosteniuk - A. Muzychuk

Z. Abdumalik - M. Muzychuk

All players in the Semifinal except the future champion qualify for the 2019 Women's Candidates Tournament

Official website





Round 4: Kateryna Lagno and Zhansaya Abdumalik begin with victories

The Quarterfinals of the Women's World Chess Championship started in Khanty-Mansiysk on November 12.

Kateryna Lagno celebrated a convincing victory over Lei Tingjie. The Chinese player went for a very passive opening setup as Black. White gradually developed her advantage and kept pushing even after the exchange of queens, utilizing her strong bishop pair. After white rooks broke to the 7th rank, Black's position became totally lost.



Former World Champion Mariya Muzychuk, playing White, lost to the 18-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik. The Ukrainian sacrificed a pawn for the initiative and soon regained the material with interest. However, holding onto the extra pawn was difficult because of the insecure position of her king. Abdumalik utilized a first clear inaccuracy of her opponent, delivering a nice tactical shot. Muzychuk lost a piece and resigned on the 57th move.



A. Kosteniuk-A. Muzychuk ended in a draw. In the Sveshnikov/Chelyabinsk variation of the Sicilian, Black sacrificed a pawn, obtaining sufficient counterplay in return. A draw was agreed after series of exchanges.



Another rising star of the championship, Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova successfully held as Black against Ju Wenjun. The World Champion had an advantage after the opening, but it somehow evaporated in the middlegame. The resulting rook ending with an extra pawn to White was drawn, and the players signed a peace treaty soon after the control move.



The second games of the round will be played on November 13, the tie-breaks will follow on the next day.

It is to be recalled that all the semifinalists except the future champion will qualify for the upcoming 2019 Women’s Candidates Tournament.

Pairings and results https://ugra2018.fide.com/pairings/
Photos https://ugra2018.fide.com/2018/11/12/photo-round-4-game-1/
Videos https://ugra2018.fide.com/category/video-en/


Round 3 of the Women’s World Championship is over

The tie-break of the Women's World Championship was played on November 11 in Khanty-Mansiysk.

The 19-year-old Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova surprisingly defeated the higher rated Valentina Gunina. Tokhirjonova won both rapid games in sharp tactical struggle, which is usually considered Gunina's territory.



Lei Tingjie was stronger than Alisa Galliamova in both 25-minute games and advanced to the Quarterfinal.



Anna Muzychuk and Antoaneta Stefanova drew their first game. In the second game Muzychuk played Black and celebrated a victory, joining her sister at the next stage.



Zhansaya Abdumalik convincingly defeated Jolanta Zawadzka in the first game, and secured a draw from the position of strength in the second game. The player from Kazakhstan is also in the Quarterfinal.



Alexandra Kosteniuk outplayed Harika Dronavalli in the first rapid game, but did not manage to hold a slightly worse endgame in the second one. In 10+10 blitz games the Russian was stronger in the first game and confidently drew the second one, thus advancing to the 4th round.



Natalija Pogonina and Kateryna Lagno produced the first Armageddon at the Championship. They made two draws in rapid chess and moved on to blitz. Long blitz games brought another two draws. In 5+3 games the players exchanged blows: Natalija lost the first game, but showed her famous fighting spirit and came back in the second one. In the “sudden death” game Kateryna Lagno took White and managed to outplay her opponent in the endgame.



Quarterfinal pairings:

Ju Wenjun - Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova
Mariya Muzychuk - Zhansaya Abdumalik
Kateryna Lagno - Lei Tingjie
Alexandra Kosteniuk - Anna Muzychuk

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 

Two quarterfinalists are determined, six tie-breaks are ahead

The return games of the third round of the Women's World Championship were played on November 10.

The reigning World Champion Ju Wenjun was first to advance to the Quarterfinals, drawing the second game with her 22-year-old compatriot Zhai Mo and thus securing the overall match win.



Former World Champion Mariya Muzychuk eliminated the most sensational player of the first two rounds, the 18-year-old Mobina Alinasab. In the second game of the match the Ukrainian got an advantage after the opening, gradually improved her position and won a good fighting game, winning the match 1.5 to 0.5.



Valentina Gunina managed to level the score against Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova, and the outcome of the match will be decided on the tie-break tomorrow. According to the Russian, this will be her first tie-break ever.



The 18-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik, who plays her first World Championship, also succeeded in coming back in her match against Jolanta Zawadzka. The fight will be continued on the tie-break.



After a lengthy struggle Antoaneta Stefanova squeezed a victory over Anna Muzychuk, thus tying the match score and advancing to the tie-breaks.



The classical part of the matches Harika-Kosteniuk, Lagno-Pogonina, and Galliamova-Lei Tingjie ended in draws, rapid and possibly blitz games to follow tomorrow.



The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Tie-break pairings:

Muzychuk Anna - Stefanova Antoaneta
Pogonina Natalija - Lagno Kateryna
Tokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim - Gunina Valentina
Galliamova Alisa - Lei Tingjie
Kosteniuk Alexandra - Harika Dronavalli
Abdumalik Zhansaya - Zawadzka Jolanta

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 


Round 3 begins in Khanty-Mansiysk

The first games of the Round 3 of the Women's World Championship were played in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 9.

Antoaneta Stefanova suffered an opening disaster against Anna Muzychuk. According to the Ukrainian, facing the Petroff defense was rather surprising. “I am not sure whether Antoaneta ever played this opening before, and she clearly was not ready for the variation I chose. Her 9th move was inaccurate and allowed me to seize space and obtain a good game”, said Anna afterwards.

Already around the move 15 Black was in a serious trouble, and White successfully utilized advantages of her position. The former World Champion resigned on the move 26, unable to defend against mating threats.



Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova produced a mild sensation beating Valentina Gunina. Their game was double-edged, but in the mutual time trouble the Russian probably overestimated her chances, refusing a number of drawing options, made a fatal mistake and lost very quickly.



Jolanta Zawadzka surprised Zhansaya Abdumalik in the opening and got a promising position as White. The grandmaster from Poland produced a quality strategic game, won an exchange and eventually celebrated a win.



Ju Wenjun had Black against Zhai Mo. The younger Chinese player miscalculated a combination in the middlegame, lost an exchange, and was unable to survive.

Mobina Alinasab obtained a serious advantage after the opening against Mariya Muzychuk, and methodically applied pressure against Black's position. The game transposed to a queen ending with an extra pawn to White, however, when Alinasab was on a brink of a victory, she committed a big mistake, allowing Black to survive with a rather miraculous perpetual check.



Alexandra Kosteniuk held as Black against Harika Dronavalli, defending a difficult endgame without a pawn. The games Galliamova-Lei Tingjie and Pogonina-Lagno also ended peacefully.



The second games of the round will be played on Saturday, November 10. The tied matches will proceed to the tie-breaks on November 11.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 


16 players continue fighting for the chess crown

The tie-breaks of the second round of the World Women's Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk were played on November 8. Once again all matches except one were decided in rapid chess.

The Russians Kateryna Lagno and Alexandra Kosteniuk won their matches against Hoang Thanh Trang and Ni Shiqun respectively with the same score – 2-0.

Zhansaya Abdumalik also won both games against Zhao Xue; in the second game the Chinese player lost on time in a drawn position, but it did not affect the outcome of the match.

Antoaneta Stefanova defeated Dinara Saduakassova in the first game, and secured the match win with a draw from the position of strength in the second game.



Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova defeated the former World Champion Tan Zhongyi in the first game and held the balance in the second game.

Harika Dronavalli missed a victory in the first game with Bela Khotenashvili, but showed strong character, winning the second game and a match.



The match between Mariya Muzychuk and Ekaterina Atalik was quite dramatic. Atalik probably missed some chances in the first game, which ended in a draw, and suffered an opening disaster in the second game. Muzychuk won and advanced to the third round.

Natalija Pogonina succesfully defended two difficult positions against Zhu Jiner in rapid chess, and then crushed the opponent in the first 10-minute game. In the second game the Chinese fought desperately, but was unable to get realistic winning chances, and eventually lost.



Round 3 matches:

Zhai Mo - Ju Wenjun
Jolanta Zawadzka – Zhansaya Abdumalik
Natalija Pogonina – Kateryna Lagno
Anna Muzychuk – Antoaneta Stefanova
Harika Dronavalli – Alexandra Kosteniuk
Alisa Galliamova - Lei Tingjie
Mobina Alinasab - Mariya Muzychuk
Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova – Valentina Gunina

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 



Favorites keep leaving Khanty-Mansiysk

The second games of the second round of the Women’s World Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk were played on November 7.

Having defeated Anastasia Bodnaruk in both games, Anna Muzychuk became the first qualifier to the third round.

Mobina Alinasab continues to surprise chess fans: although her position after the opening looked rather suspicious, the Iranian outplayed Monika Socko in the middlegame and won the match 2-0.



However, the main surprise of the round occurred in the match between Humpy Koneru and Jolanta Zawadzka – the grandmaster from Poland, playing Black, defeated the rating favorite and advanced to the third round.



Lei Tingjie was stronger than Nana Dzagnidze in the second game of their match and also moved on to the third round.

Aleksandra Goryachkina failed to strike back in the Russian derby against Alisa Galliamova. The more experienced Galliamova had the initiative throughout the game and won convincingly.



Ju Wenjun successfully defended a difficult position against Irina Krush and secured the overall victory – 1.5 to 0.5.

Valentina Gunina won a complicated game as Black against Anna Ushenina, and advanced to the next stage, winning her match 1.5 to 0.5.



Zhai Mo won both games against Nino Batsiashvili and joined a group of her compatriots in the third round.

Ekaterina Atalik was close to defeating Mariya Muzychuk for the second time in a row, however, she made a mistake in a very sharp position and lost. This match will be continued tomorrow on the tie-break.

Natalija Pogonina also managed to level the score against Zhu Jiner. The winner of their match will also be determined in speed chess.



The following matches featured two draws and will be decided on the tie-break: Lagno-Hoang Thanh Trang, Khotenashvili-Harika, Tokhirjonova-Tan Zhongyi, Abdumalik-Zhao Xue, Stefanova-Saduakassova, and Kosteniuk-Ni Shiqun.



The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Tie-break pairings:

Hoang Thanh Trang - Lagno Kateryna
Kosteniuk Alexandra - Ni Shiqun
Muzychuk Mariya - Atalik Ekaterina
Tokhirjonova Gulrukhbegim - Tan Zhongyi
Harika Dronavalli - Khotenashvili Bela
Saduakassova Dinara - Stefanova Antoaneta
Zhu Jiner - Pogonina Natalija
Zhao Xue - Abdumalik Zhansaya

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 

Women's World Championship, Round 2: Surprises keep coming

The first games of the second round of the Women's World Championship were played in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 6.

The 15-year-old Zhu Jiner continues to surprise chess fans. The Chinese started the second round with a convincing victory over the Russian champion Natalija Pogonina.

Mobina Alinasab produced another upset, winning as Black against Monika Socko. The Iranian outplayed her experienced opponent in the opening and developed her advantage in the middlegame. Socko's position was already precarious when she blundered a knight and resigned immediately.



The World Champion Ju Wenjun played a textbook game against Irina Krush, flawlessly converting a spatial advantage in a rook ending into a win.



Nino Batsiashvili had a promising position against Zhai Mo, however, she chose a wrong moment for a central break, and lost two pawns. The Chinese converted the material advantage confidently.

Anastasia Bodnaruk had White against Anna Muzychuk. In the opening the Russian sacrificed an exchange, however, the compensation proved insufficient, and the Ukrainian gradually overplayed her opponent.



Alisa Galliamova showed deep opening preparation against Aleksandra Goryachkina and obtained a very promising position. With series of timely executed tactical blows White won a piece and then the game.

Ekaterina Atalik outsmarted Mariya Muzychuk in a complicated minor piece ending. The former World Champion from Ukraine had to give up a piece for Black's passed pawn. During the concluding stage of the game Ekaterina showed her skill in checkmating with a knight and bishop.



The following games were drawn: Abdumalik-Zhao Xue, Zawadzka-Koneru, Dzagnidze-Lei Tingjie, Gunina-Ushenina, Kosteniuk-Ni Shiqun, Tokhirdjonova-Tan Zhongyi, Stefanova-Saduakassova, Khotenashvili-Harika, and Lagno-Hoang Thanh Trang.

 

The return games will be played on November 7.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 

 

Round 1 of Women’s World Championship Completed in Khanty-Mansiysk

There were 11 tie-breaks on November 5: Lei Tingjie-Gara, Sadaukassova-Matnadze, Krush-Gaponenko, Zhukova-Ni Shiqun, Atalik-Cori, Foisor-Stefanova, Harika-Khukhashvili, Vera Gutierrez-Bodnaruk, Padmini-Abdumalik, Nakhbayeva-Galliamova, and Hoang Thanh Trang-Danielian.

Only one match out of 11 was not decided in rapid chess.

Dinara Saduakassova defeated Ana Matnadze with the perfect 2-0 score. Lei Tingjie won against Anita Gara in a similarly convincing way. Inna Gaponenko lost the first game to Irina Krush, and was unable to come back in the second one, thus losing the rapid match 0-2.



Antoaneta Stefanova also won 2-0 against Sabina-Francesca Foisor. Deysi Cori was unable to hold Ekaterina Atalik: the Turkish player won 2-0.

Anastasia Bodnaruk defeated Sabrina Vega Gutierrez in the first rapid game. The Russian had winning chances in the second game as well, but it ended in a draw, which allowed Bodnaruk to advance to the next round.



Harika Dronavalli and Sopiko Khukhashvili ended their first game peacefully. The second game started calmly, but the endgame was head-spinning and full of mutual errors. After the dust has settled, the Indian took the upper hand and advanced to the second round.



Zhansaya Abdumalik and Rout Padmini drew their first game, but in the second one the player from Kazakhstan was stronger and proceeded to the next stage.

Hoang Thanh Trang started her tie-break against Elina Danielian with a win, and solidified her success with a draw in the second game.

Guliskhan Nakhbayeva dramatically lost to Alisa Galliamova in the first rapid game, and did not manage to equalize in the second one. A repeated Russian champion moves on to the next stage.



Only Natalia Zhukova and Ni Shiqun made two draws in rapid games, and their match advanced to slow blitz games (10+10). The struggle in the first game was very tense, but the Chinese player managed to equalize, then to seize the initiative, and eventually won the game. In the second game she held a draw from the position of strength and won the match.



Round 2 pairings:

Ju Wenjun – Krush, Zawadzka – Koneru, Lagno – Hoang Thanh Trang, Bodnaruk – A. Muzychuk, Kosteniuk – Ni Shiqun, Galliamova – Goryachkina, M. Muzychuk – Atalik, Tokhirjonova – Tan Zhongyi, Gunina – Ushenina, Socko – Alinasab, Dzagnidze – Lei Tingjie, Khotenashvili – Harika, Stefanova – Saduakassova, Zhu Jiner – Pogonina, Abdumalik – Zhao Xue, Zhai Mo – Batsiashvili.

 
Official website ugra2018.fide.com 

21 players advance to the second round of Women’s World Championship in Khanty-Mansiysk

The second games of the first round of the Women's World Championship were played in the Ugra Chess Academy on November 4.

The following players advanced to the 2nd round with the perfect score: Ju Wenjun, Anna and Mariya Muzychuk, Kateryna Lagno, Humpy Koneru, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Nana Dzagnidze, Nino Batsiashvili, Zhao Xue, Zhai Mo, and Zhu Jiner. The last two players defeated the higher rated Olga Girya and Lela Javakhishvili respectively.



Valentina Gunina, Tan Zhongyi, Monika Socko, Jolanta Zawadzka, Aleksandra Goryachkina, Natalija Pogonina, Anna Ushenina, and Bela Khotenashvili won their matches 1.5 to 0.5. Alina Kashlinskaya did not manage to come back after the defeat yesterday, and Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova also advanced to the next round with a draw in their second game. Mobina Alinasab caused the biggest upset of the championship so far, holding to a draw against Elisabeth Paehtz and thus advancing to the second round.



The rest of the players will face the tie-breaks on November 5:

Lei Tingjie-Gara, Saduakassova-Matnadze, Krush-Gaponenko, Zhukova-Ni Shiqun, Atalik-Cori, Foisor-Stefanova, Harika-Khukhashvili, Vera Gutierrez-Bodnaruk, Padmini-Abdumalik, Nakhbayeva-Galliamova, and Hoang Thanh Trang-Danielian.



The tie-break will start with two games with rapid time control: 25 minutes plus 10 second per move. If the match is still tied, it will continue with two slow blitz games – 10 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. After that, if the winner is still not determined, two 5+3 blitz games will follow. Finally, those matches that are still tied, will proceed to the Armageddon game.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com  


First games of Women's World Championship played in Khanty-Mansiysk

Prior to the start of the first round, the official flag of FIDE was raised in front of the Ugra Chess Academy. This very flag was presented to Ugra Chess Federation President Vassily Filipenko during the closing ceremony of the Chess Olympiad in Batumi. As Khanty-Mansiysk will host the next Chess Olympiad in 2020, for the next two years the flag of FIDE will remain in the capital of Ugra.



Varvara Tsaregorodtseva, the 9-year-old student of the Ugra Chess Academy, U9 champion of Ugra among girls, made a symbolic first move in the game between Zhai Mo from China and the Ugra representative Olga Girya. The result of this game, however, was disappointing for local fans, as Olga Girya lost in sharp struggle.



Most rating favorites won their games, however, there was a couple of upsets. Elisabeth Pazhtz lost as White to Mobina Alinasab, a player rated significantly lower than the German. Maili-Jade Ouellet made a draw with Aleksandra Goryachkina.



A number of decisive games among closely rated players was quite high. Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova defeated Alina Kashlinskaya, Anna Ushenina won against Lilit Mkrtchian, Ni Shiqun lost to Natalia Zhukova, Monika Socko proved stronger than Yuliya Shvayger, and Lela Javakhishvili lost to Zhu Jineer.



The following games ended in a draw: Krush-Gaponenko, Vega Gutierrez-Bodnaruk, Foisor-Stefanova, Saduakassova-Matnadze, Harika-Khukhashvili, Vo Thi Kim Phung-Khotenashvili, Guseva-Zawadzka, Padmini-Abdumalik, Atalik-Cori, Hoang Thanh Trang-Danielian, Nakhbayeva-Galliamova, and Lei Tingjie-Gara.



The second games of the first round are played on Sunday, November 4. Any match that ends 1- 1 will proceed to a tie-break on the next day.

Official website ugra2018.fide.com 


FIDE Women’s World Championship Officially Opened in Khanty-Mansiysk

On November 2, the FIDE Women's World Championships started in Khanty-Mansiysk. The Opening Ceremony of the event was held in the Concert and theater center “Ugra-Classic”.

Guests and participants had a chance to enjoy fairy-tale organ melodies performed by Elena Kozemirenko before the official part of the ceremony.

The first part of the ceremony started with the presentation of 28 participating countries.

In the official part of the ceremony, Chief Federal Inspector of Ugra Dmitry Kuzmenko and FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich greeted players and guests.



Dmitry Kuzmenko read out a greeting letter from the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

Arkady Dvorkovich greeted everyone in Khanty-Mansiysk and thanked the Government of Ugra and its Governor Natalya Komarova in person, organizers, the Ugra Chess Federation, and all the people involved for hosting this event on the highest level. He also reminded the players that the format of the Women’s World Championship cycle would be changed.



“I will make sure that in the future the Women's World Championship cycle will be a standard one, and three semi-finalists except for the winner will qualify for the Candidates Tournament which will determine the challenger for the next World Championship Match with higher prizes and better conditions. I would like to reassure you that we will pay more attention to the women's chess in the future. So everyone could enjoy chess in all its beauty as it is art, sport, and science”, says Arkady Dvorkovich.

After his speech, FIDE President declared the Championship open.



Before the start of the entertaining part of the ceremony the drawing of lots was carried out. The Championship’s Chief Arbiter Igor Bolotinsky invited the top seed of the Women's World Championship, the reigning world champion Ju Wenjun of China, who picked a black pawn. It means that the players with odd starting numbers will start the first game of the first round with the black pieces.

The procedure of drawing lots was followed by bright and spectacular performances of singers and musicians.

After the Opening Ceremony, a short press briefing with Governor of Ugra Natalya Komarova and FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich was organized.

The first round of Championship starts on November 3 in the Ugra Chess Academy.

There shall be five rounds of matches, comprising two games per round, with the winners progressing to the next round. The 6th (final) round shall be played over four games. If the score is equal after regular games of each match, tie-break games shall be played.

Schedule: November 2 - Players Meeting / Opening Ceremony, November 3-5 - Round 1, November 6-8 - Round 2, November 9-11 - Round 3, November 12-14 - Round 4 (Quarterfinals), November 15-17 - Round 5 (Semi-final), November 18 - Free day, November 19-23 - Round 6 (Final), November 23 - Closing Ceremony.

Prize fund is USD 450,000.

Official website







Round 4: Kateryna Lagno and Zhansaya Abdumalik begin with victories

Categories: Ενημέρωση

Caruana’s approach to 1.c4 e5 Explained in an Opening Database by GM Boris Avrukh

Chessdom - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 19:53

Every chess player has faced the dilemma of how to meet the English opening. Caruana had to face it himself at the World Chess Championship and  GM Boris Avrukh has provided a detailed explanation at Modern Chess opening database here

1.c4 is objectively a weaker move than 1.e4 or 1.d4, but it is by far the trickiest option for White on move 1. With so many transpositions, different setups and move orders, White has plenty of options to turn the game into the desired setup.

That’s why we are pleased to announce this database in which one of the top theoreticians in the world – GM Boris Avrukh, provides you with a complete, aggressive repertoire against 1.c4.

Black has many choices after 1.c4, but the Reversed Sicilian (1…e5) is by far the most principled move.

Hence it is no surprise that GM Avrukh decided to base his repertoire on it.

White has two main branches here: to play 2.g3, or 2.Nc3 3.g3 or to play 2.Nc3 followed by 3.Nf3.

In this database, GM Avrukh deals with the second option.

The main position arises after 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6, the so-called “Four Knights Variation of the English Opening”

In this position, White tried almost everything.

Boris analyzes 4.g3, 4.e3, 4.d3, 4.d4, 4.a3, 4.d4 in detail.

Theoretical Section

Chapter 1

The first chapter is about the move 4.a3.

This move looks dubious, but it not so easy to deal with it.

For example, Kramnik, Topalov, and Ivanchuk have used it with success.

The main line here starts after 4…d5, but Boris was not impressed with this variation and suggested continuing with the second most popular move – 4…g6.

This is the only variation where he recommends to fianchetto the bishop. It makes perfect sense here because White’s 4.a3 looks like a waste of time if the bishop is on g7.

White has two main setups here: 5.e3 or 5.g3, but we meet them in a similar way. Just Bg7, 0-0 and d7-d5 with an excellent play in both cases.

Chapter 2

This chapter deals with 4.d3.

This is not the most challenging line but there is some logic to it.

White wants to play Sicilian with a tempo up.

Black should accept the challenge here and play 4…d5!

The main line arises after the moves 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e3 Be7 7.Be2 0-0 8.0-0 Be6.

So, both sides achieved their outcomes. White reached his desired setup and Black developed his pieces actively and has an advantage in the center.

Boris analyzed this Scheveningen setup in depth and proved that Black has at least equal play.

Chapter 3

In this Chapter, GM Avrukh covers the move 4.e4.

This is a very tricky move after which White’s set-up resembles the Botvinnik variation with the c4 and e4 pawns.

Black should answer this in the most principled way. 4…Bc5 and now White continues with 5.Nxe5 (otherwise Black is simply better, because of the hole on d4) 5…Nxe5 6.d4 Bb4! 7.dxe5 Nxe4

The theory starts here. Boris analyzed 5 different moves.

The main line continues 8.Qd4 Nxc3 9.bxc3 Be7 10.Qg4 and here Boris suggests 10…Kf8 instead of the main move 10…g6.

Boris analyzed this position very deeply and proves that Black’s position is perfectly playable, and White should be careful to maintain the balance.

Chapter 4

In this Chapter, you will learn what to do against 4.d4.

This continuation is quite tricky even though it is not that popular at the very high level.

In this line, Boris reveals some of his novelties and opted for some rare continuations.

For example, in the main line 4…cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bb4 6.Bg5, the author suggests the extremely rare 6…d5!

The chapter is full of new ideas and novelties and Boris proves very convincingly that Black’s position is quite promising.

Chapter 5 and 6 

In this and next chapter

GM Avrukh deals with the most serious sideline 4.e3.

This move became very popular nowadays. With a lot of games on top level, it is hard to call it a sideline. It is just a serious alternative to the 4.g3 move.

After 4.e3, the best move for Black is, of course, 4…Bb4!. In this chapter Boris analyses 5.Nd5 and 5.d4

If after 5.d4 Black is equalizing easily by exchanging and playing 0-0 followed by d5, after 5.Nd5, the game becomes really complex.

Black should accept the challenge and play 5…e4 when White has two equally good continuations 6.Nxb4 and 6.Ng1. As you will see in the analyses both moves have their pros and cons, but the evaluations of the arising positions do not change – Black has adequate counterplay in very complex positions where both sides can play for a win. Boris thoroughly explains the ideas for both sides and armed with this knowledge you can play these positions with confidence.

Chapter 6

In this chapter, you will find the main line after 4.e3 Bb4 – the move 5.Qc2

Now, 5…e4 is not possible and 6.Nd5 becomes a serious threat.

Even though that in most of the games Black allows that and continues with 5…0-0, Boris didn’t like the position after 6.Nd5. Thus he suggests playing the radical 5…Bxc3.

It looks strange to give up your pair of bishops even without waiting for Nd5 or a3, but this move has a logical explanation. With his fifth move, White loses some time and needs a few more moves to finish the development. In the meantime, Black pushes d5 and tries to create some threats whilst White still needs time to finish the development.  The main line goes 6.Qxc3 Qe7 7.a3 d5! 8.d4. Here Black should continue with 8…cxd4 9.Nxd4 Nxd4 10.Qxd4 c5

with enough counterplay for Black.

In Chapters 7-10, the author deals with the main line which arises after 4.g3.

Black has various choices like 4…Bc5, 4…Nd4, 4…d6, 4…g6.

Boris stays loyal to his principle to find new ideas in a less explored territory.

His attention was caught by a new and almost unexplored idea.

The starting position arises after: 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2. In this position for decades the move 6…Nb6 was played almost automatically. This position is very popular at all levels. The theory considers this line as playable. Both sides have various plans and this position is analyzed quite deeply in different sources. That’s why Boris chose another line, which is fresh and quite ambitious – 6…Bc5.

This move was played in some amateur games, but GM Aleksander Grischuk introduced it at the very high level during the Geneva Grand Prix in July 2017.

The game finished with a nice win for the Russian grandmaster. Since that game, GMs such as Caruana, Karjakin, Wang Hao, Inakriev, and Adams tried this move.

At the end of 2017, we can say that this is the most topical like in the English opening and you can expect hundreds of new games in this line. Of course, Modern Chess will keep you updated about the newest trends in this line, but for now White failed to prove an advantage here.

GM Avrukh’s analyses are quite rich of new moves and ideas and most importantly he manages to explain all important strategical and tactical ideas.

In Chapter 7, Boris shows us that all the tricks like 7.Nxe5 or 7.0-0 0-0 8.Nxe5 are not working for White. Continue reading the full article here

Categories: Ενημέρωση

Alexandra Kosteniuk and Mariya Muzychuk advance to the Semi-final

Chessdom - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 19:47

The Quarterfinals of the Women’s World Championship were concluded on November 14 with two tie-breaks: Alexandra Kosteniuk defeated Anna Muzychuk, and Zhansaya Abdumalik lost to Mariya Muzychuk.

Kosteniuk played the first game with White and obtained a promising position after the opening. Then Black managed to activate her pieces and got a strong counterplay. However, being under heavy time pressure, Muzychuk made several mistakes, giving Kosteniuk a decisive advantage.

Muzychuk started the second game with 1.f4 and got an overwhelming advantage already in the opening. However, with very tenacious defense Alexandra managed to hold a difficult endgame. Looking for possible winning chances, Muzychuk avoided a number of drawing lines, and Black even got an edge. In the end Kosteniuk secured a draw from the position of strength and advanced to the Semi-final with the overall 1.5-0.5 win.

Mariya Muzychuk started the tie-break with a Black victory: Abdumalik failed to convince in the opening and then was gradually outplayed in the endgame. In the return game Abdumalik managed to create a complicated battle. Muzychuk sacrificed a piece, but her compensation proved insufficient. With some adventures in the mutual time trouble Abdumalik converted an extra piece, and the players proceeded to “10+10” stage.

The first 10-minute game was highly dramatic. Zhansaya Abdumalik was defending for the entire game and was very close to a draw. In the endgame R+N vs R she had the right to claim a draw according to the 50-move rule, despite being mated in two moves. However, instead of claiming a draw, Abdumalik resigned.

However, Zhansaya demonstrated her fighting spirit and came back in the second game. The match continued by two more blitz games with faster time control.

Mariya Muzychuk won the first 5+3 blitz as White, then got a much better position as Black and forced a draw by perpetual, thus advancing to the next stage.

 

Semi-final pairings:

 

Alexandra Kosteniuk-Ju Wenjun

Mariya Muzychuk-Kateryna Lagno

 

All players who had advanced to the Semi-final except for the future champion automatically qualified for the 2019 Women’s Candidates Tournament.

Categories: Ενημέρωση

2018 4th quarter Presidential Board Meeting

FIDE - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 15:55


2018 4th quarter Presidential Board meeting was held in London November 8-9.

The FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich reported to the board on how he started his mandate by visiting differents tournaments. The President announced that new FIDE bank account will be opened in Switzerland. The FIDE headquarters will be established in Lausanne.

Faithful to the compaign promises of bringing FIDE to new standard and level, a budget for 2019 of 5.546.000 Euros was presented and adopted with 3.000.000 Euros allocated to the development.

On administrative matters, GM Victor Bologan has been appointed Executive Director. A Management Board has been set up with Mr. Emil Sutovsky as Director General, Mr. Willy Iclicki as Chief Operational Officer, Mr. Igor Kogan as Deputy Chairman, Mr. Mohd Al-Mudahka as International Director, Mr. Alexander Martynov as Lawyer, Mr. Vadim Tsypin as Secretary.

The Presidential Board approved the restructuration of the non-elected commissions which will be eighteen with a maximum of ten members per commission and the appointment of most of the chairmen. Titles from the Arbiters, Trainers and Events commissions were approved.

The Presidential Board approved the regulations and modalities of FIDE development assistance to national federations and pilot agreements have been signed between FIDE and four federations, one from each continent: Trinidad and Tobago, San Marino, Mongolia and Eswatini.

Reports of the 2018 Chess Olympiad and of the four continents were presented to the Presidential Board.


Photos by Fiona Steil-Antoni
Categories: Ενημέρωση

The 28th World Senior Championship 2018

FIDE - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 15:20


The 28th World Senior Championship will take place in Bled, Slovenia from November 17 (arrivals) through November 30, 2018 (departures). The tournament venue will be the Congress Centre in Grand Hotel Toplice Bled 5*****. Bled is a place which is well-known to all chess fans since the city hosted the 35th World Chess Olympiad in 2002. At present, 340 players from 59 different countries and all continents are registered. There are 33 Grandmasters and Women Grandmasters among them.

The tournament will be played as a 11-round Swiss. The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with a 30-second increment per move starting from move one.

Schedule


The total prize fund is 18.000 EUR



Official website























Categories: Ενημέρωση

FIDE WCCM Game 6: The World Champion Escapes.

FIDE - Wed, 11/14/2018 - 02:00



FIDE WCCM Game 6: The World Champion Escapes.

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12    Score     Carlsen  ½ ½ ½ ½  ½  ½              3  Caruana  ½ ½  ½   ½ ½   ½             3
Magnus Carlsen, the World Champion, was on the ropes in Game 6 of the title match in London. But in a long endgame, Fabiano Caruana, the challenger, could find no way to break down Carlsen’s defenses and he was finally able to escape with a draw.


The result left the match tied the halfway point at three points apiece; all six games in the contest have ended in draws.

The best-of-12 game match has a prize fund of a million euros (about $1.1 million), with 60 percent for the winner. Each win is worth a point and each draw a half point. The first player to reach 6.5 points is declared the winner. (If the match should be tied after 12 games, the players will proceed to a series of tie-breakers and the winner of the match would receive 55 percent of the prize fund).


In Game 6, Carlsen, who is from Norway, had White and started with 1 e4. It was Carlsen’s third game with White and, in all three games, he has chosen a different opening move. Caruana, who is American, replied 1 … e5 and after Carlsen continued 2 Nf3, Caruana chose the Petroff, or Russian, Defense. That was not a surprise as Caruana had employed the defense with great success when he won the Candidates tournament in Berlin earlier this year to qualify for the title match. 


The game continued down an obscure branch of the Petroff that Carlsen had doubtless studied carefully. Caruana demonstrated he also was well prepared as he navigated some of the intricacies with no problem.

After 15 moves, the position was symmetrical and the game seemed headed for a draw, which also was no surprise, as the Petroff has long had a reputation of being drawish. The game continued, however, partly because there is a rule in the match that games must be at least 30 moves, and also because neither player had any interest in agreeing to an early peace.

On Move 22, Carlsen made what turned out to be a small, but subtle error by positioning his light-squared bishop on a file that could be opened. Caruana was able to gain time to develop his rooks by attacking the bishop and that allowed him to take over the initiative.

Carlsen was in no immediate danger, but Caruana had nagging pressure against White’s position. By Move 34, the players had reached an endgame in which each had his bishop pair and a knight and a set of six pawns.

Just after the first time control at Move 40, Carlsen made another small error and was forced to trade one of his remaining pieces for three of Caruana’s pawns. Nominally, that is about an even trade, but, at the tail end of the sequence, Caruana was able to win another of Carlsen’s pawns.

Carlsen was clearly in trouble, but Caruana only had two pawns left and if Carlsen could trade them, the game would be a draw. The exchange of one pawn was impossible to prevent, but Carlsen could not easily get to the second. Computer evaluations showed a clear edge for Caruana.

Computers do not understand endgames very well, however. And Carlsen is one of the greatest endgame virtuoso’s in history. He found a plan that involved sacrificing his last queenside pawn to allow his king to infiltrate Caruana’s king side. Though Carlsen’s king now had almost no room to maneuver, it could support the advance of his h pawn if Caruana tried to go after Carlsen’s f pawn to clear the path for his own remaining f pawn.

For nearly 20 moves, Caruana tried to outflank Carlsen, but it was not possible. Carlsen had built a fortress. The game was drawn on Move 80, after six-and-a-half hours of play. A curious facet of the match is that Black has had equal chances or an edge in every one of the games; neither player’s strategy with White has been effective.


FIDE World Chess Championship Match 2018 is also supported by PhosAgro, a leading chemical company as the Official Strategic Partner; Kaspersky Lab as the Official Cybersecurity Partner; PRYTEK as Technology Transfer Partner; S.T. Dupont as Official Writing Instrument; Isklar as the official mineral water of the Championship Match; Unibet as the Official Betting Partner.


Game 7 is on Sunday at 3 PM local, or GMT, time.

Caruana will once again have Black. The way that the match has unfolded, that may be an advantage.

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Game 4: The Defense Holds Again

Game 4 of the World Championship on Tuesday ended as the first three had – with a draw. It was also the shortest game of the match, lasting 34 moves and three hours.


As in Game 3, neither player made any obvious or big error. Indeed, Magnus Carlsen, the Norwegian World Champion, who had White, chose the English (1 c4), an opening that generally does not put much pressure on Black. After Fabiano Caruana, the American challenger, replied with 1 … e5 (essentially the Sicilian Defense with colors reversed), he had little trouble developing his pieces or establishing equal chances.

By Move 20, the queens, both sets of knights and the light-squared bishops had all been exchanged and though there was some imbalance in the pawn structure, neither player had particularly good prospects for a breakthrough. They agreed to a draw soon after.

The match now is tied at two points apiece.


The match is best-of-12 games with a prize fund of a million euros (about $1.1 million), with 60 percent for the winner. Each win is worth a point and each draw a half point. The first player to reach 6.5 points will be the winner. (If the match should be tied after 12 games, the players will proceed to a series of tie-breaker games.)

The match is organized under the auspices of the World Chess Federation, or FIDE, the game’s governing body, and World Chess, the official organizer of the World Championship cycle.

The venue for the event is in central London at the College in Holborn, an historic, Victorian-style building. Fans can watch online at Worldchess.com, the official site of the championship.

The match’s sponsors include PhosAgro, a giant Russian-based international fertilizer company; Kaspersky Lab, one of the world’s top information security companies; S.T. Depont, a leading French luxury goods manufacturer; Prytek, a Russian venture capital company specializing in technology and financial services; and Unibet, an online gambling operator that is in more than 100 countries.

After a great deal of excitement in Game 1, which lasted 115 moves and which Caruana nearly lost, the match has settled down, with neither player having any significant winning chances in the last three games.


That is not really a surprise.

The players in World Championship matches are always incredibly well prepared and they are also reluctant to take big risks because falling behind in such a match is very dangerous.

Carlsen and Caruana are also fairly evenly matched, judging both by their rankings, Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, and the difference in their ratings – three points, which is only a whisker.

As the match progresses, the tension will mount. Normally, that would favor the champion, who not only has more match experience, but also would have an advantage in the tie-breakers, as they are played at faster time controls, at which he excels and at which Caruana is not nearly as proficient.


However, in the 2016 title match against Sergey Karjakin of Russia, it was Carlsen who cracked first as he lost his patience and overpressed in Game 8, eventually losing. He had to fight back in Game 10 to tie the match before prevailing in the tie-breakers. Has Carlsen learned from that experience? Time will tell.

Wednesday is a rest day. The match resumes with Game 5 on Thursday at 3 PM local, or GMT, time.

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Game 3: An error-free day.

After three games of the World Championship, neither player has made a dent in the other’s armor. All the games have ended in draws.


On Monday, in Game 3, Fabiano Caruana, the American challenger, had White for the second time in the match and, for the second time, he opened with 1 e4. As he had in Game 1, Magnus Carlsen, the World Champion from Norway, replied with the Sicilian Defense (1 … c5) and Caruana again replied with the Rossolimo Variation (3 Bb5). The players repeated the same first five moves before Carlsen deviated first by moving his queen instead of his king knight.
The change was subtle and did not result in any major shift in the dynamic balance of the position. Indeed, unlike in the first game, when Caruana got into trouble, in this game he was never in any real danger. But neither was Carlsen. As the game proceeded and pieces and pawns were gradually exchanged, chances remained equal as neither player made any mistake.

In the end, Caruana sacrificed his remaining piece, a knight, to eliminate the last pawn that Carlsen had any chance to promote to a queen. With no winning chances for either side, the players agreed to a draw after 49 moves.
The match now is tied at 1.5 points apiece.
The match is best-of-12 games with a prize fund of a million euros (about $1.1 million), with 60 percent for the winner. Each win is worth a point and each draw a half point. The first player to reach 6.5 points will be the winner. (If the match should be tied after 12 games, the players will proceed to a series of tie-breaker games.)


The match is organized under the auspices of the World Chess Federation, or FIDE, the game’s governing body, and World Chess, the official organizer of the World Championship cycle.

The venue for the event is in central London at the College in Holborn, an historic, Victorian-style building. Fans can watch online at Worldchess.com, the official site of the championship.

The match’s sponsors include PhosAgro, a giant Russian-based international fertilizer company; Kaspersky Lab, one of the world’s top information security companies; S.T. Depont, a leading French luxury goods manufacturer; Prytek, a Russian venture capital company specializing in technology and financial services; and Unibet, an online gambling operator that is in more than 100 countries.

Though the match is only three games old, one theme has already emerged: Black is having no trouble equalizing out of the opening. (Indeed, the player with Black has, if anything, had an advantage in each game.)

In this respect, Caruana may already be a bit worried about his match strategy as he has avoided mixing things up with Carlsen on the White side of a Sicilian Defense by playing 3 d4, the most popular third move. Though the Rossolimo Variation (3 Bb5) certainly holds dangers for Black, it may be necessary for Caruana to enter the myriad complications of the main lines of the Sicilian after 3 d4 if he hopes to crack Carlsen’s defense.

Or Caruana may have to resort to a different first move altogether, such as 1 d4. His opening choice in Game 5, when he again has White will be very interesting.



In the meantime, there is Game 4, which is Tuesday at 3 PM local, or GMT, time.

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Game 2: A Fair Result

Two games into the World Championship and neither player in the title match has managed to score a win, but both have now been under pressure.

Saturday, in Game 2, Fabiano Caruana, the American challenger, who had Black, emerged from the opening with a small but distinct advantage because the pawns of Magnus Carlsen, the Norwegian World Champion, were far advanced and difficult to defend. But Carlsen was able to force an endgame in which each player only had a rook and all the remaining pawns were on one side of the board, making Carlsen’s defensive task much easier.



After the first time control and 49 moves, the players agreed to the draw.

The match is tied at a point apiece.

The best-of-12 game match has a prize fund of a million euros (about $1.1 million), with 60 percent for the winner. Each win is worth a point and each draw a half point. The first player to reach 6.5 points is declared the winner. (If the match should be tied after 12 games, the players will proceed to a series of tie-breakers and the winner of the match would receive 55 percent of the prize fund.)

The match is organized under the auspices of the World Chess Federation, or FIDE, the game’s governing body, and World Chess, the official organizer of the World Championship cycle.

The venue for the event is in central London at The College in Holborn, an historic, Victorian-style building. Fans can watch online at Worldchess.com, the official site of the championship.

The match’s sponsors include PhosAgro, a giant, Russian-based international fertilizer company; Kaspersky Lab, one of the world’s top information security companies; S.T. Dupont, a leading French luxury goods manufacturer; Prytek, a Russian venture capital company specializing in technology and financial services; and Unibet, an online gambling operator that operates in more than 100 countries.



The opening in Game 2 was a Queen’s Gambit Declined, with Carlsen choosing to play 5 Bf4 rather than the slightly more traditional 5 Bg5. It is an opening that he has used before and with great success, so it could not have been a surprise to Caruana.

Indeed, with 6 … c5, Caruana attacked Carlsen’s center. This is a known and sharp line , but Caruana proved better prepared with Carlsen consuming much time in solving new problems. Caruana soon established an edge by breaking up Carlsen’s queen side pawns.

A series of exchanges followed that saddled Carlsen with broken pawns on the kingside and a far advanced, but weak d pawn that would inevitably fall. But the reduced material, and Carlsen’s lead in development, allowed him to avoid real trouble.



Though Caruana had an extra pawn, he agreed to a draw after 49 moves. He probably saw no reason to try to repeat the 115-move marathon of Game 1, when Carlsen had an extra pawn and tried to squeeze out a victory in a position that offered no real hope for success.

There is a rest day on Sunday before the match resumes with Game 3 on Monday at 3 PM local, or GMT, time.

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Game 1: A Near Miss for Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen, the World Champion, nearly got the perfect result – a win – on Friday in Game 1 of his title match against Fabiano Caruana. But at several critical moments, Carlsen missed his best moves, allowing Caruana to eke out a draw.

Though the result was a disappointment for Carlsen, it was anything but that for fans. The game stretched 115 moves and nearly six hours before the players split the point.



Carlsen, 27, who is from Norway, is making his third title defense, having captured the crown in 2013, when he beat Viswanathan Anand of India. Caruana, 26, who is American, is playing his first match for the title. Carlsen is ranked No. 1 in the world, while Caruana is No. 2. It is the first time since 1990, when Garry Kasparov faced Anatoly Karpov, that Nos. 1 and 2 have faced off for the undisputed title. The match, which is being held in central London at The College in Holborn, an historic, Victorian-style building, is organized under the auspices of the World Chess Federation, or FIDE, the game’s governing body, and World Chess, the official organizer of the World Championship cycle.

The match is being televised on Worldchess.com, the official site of the championship.

The best-of-12 game match has a prize fund of a million euros (about $1.1 million), with 60 percent for the winner. Each win is worth a point and each draw a half point. The first player to reach 6.5 points is declared the winner. (If the match should be tied after 12 games, the players will proceed to a series of tie-breakers and the winner of the match would receive 55 percent of the prize fund.)

The match’s sponsors include PhosAgro, a giant, Russian-based international fertilizer company; Kaspersky Lab, one of the world’s top information security companies; S.T. Dupont, a leading French luxury goods manufacturer; Prytek, a Russian venture capital company specializing in technology and financial services; and Unibet, an online gambling operator that operates in more than 100 countries.

The match has received worldwide media exposure, with articles in The Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and ESPN, among others.

Carlsen and Caruana are well acquainted, having played each other at classical, or slow, time controls almost three dozen times. They know each other’s style; they have no secrets. But, in World Championship matches, where the pressure is at the highest level, every small edge counts, and so anything a player can do to surprise his opponent is significant. Other than playing psychological games, or resorting to gamesmanship, which neither Carlsen or Caruana is known to do, the only real way to surprise the opponent is with opening strategy and opening choices.



In Round 1, the edge almost certainly went to Carlsen. Against 1 e4 by Caruana, who had White, Carlsen chose the Sicilian Defense, perhaps the most double-edged reply. It has not been a standard part of Carlsen's repertoire for some time and is a provocative choice in such a high-stakes match.

(The opening choice may also indicate that Carlsen prepared for the match with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France, a noted Sicilian expert, who is a month older than Carlsen. The members of each player’s team of seconds is usually a well-guarded secret because it can tip the opponent off about the pre-match preparation.)

After Carlsen played 2… Nc6, perhaps indicating perhaps that he wanted to enter the Sveshnikov Variation, Caruana countered with 3 Bb5 -- the Rossolimo Variation, which Anand used against Boris Gelfand during their 2012 title match. Caruana’s opening choice was possibly meant to avoid the maze of complications of the Sveshnikov, but it backfired as Carlsen gradually took control.

As the first time-control approached on Move 40, Caruana's time was dwindling rapidly and his position was under pressure as Carlsen managed to open up the file in front of Caruana’s king. Caruana decided that his best chance lay in a flight of his king to the other side of the board, but, according to the various computer engines analyzing the position, that was a mistake. Carlsen could have then swung his queen to the other side of the board and picked off one or two of Caruana’s pawns. In the endgame, his queenside pawns, supported by his dark-square bishop, would have been dangerous, if not lethal. The computers evaluated Carlsen having a strategic advantage of the equivalent of about two pawns – more than enough to be decisive at this level of competition.



But Carlsen did not see the strategy and continued to concentrate on the kingside. On his 40th move, he made a fateful decision – he exchanged his dangerous passed f pawn for Caruana’s c pawn. Though Carlsen retained an advantage, it was now minimal.

After the further exchange of Caruana’s knight for Carlsen’s bishop, as well as a pair of pawns, the players ended up in a rook-and-pawn endgame where Carlsen’s chances to win were insufficient, despite having an extra pawn. Carlsen, as is his habit, continued to press for another 60 moves before he agreed to a draw. It was one of the longest games in World Championship history, eclipsed by one of 124 moves in 1978 between Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi, and another of 122 moves between Carlsen and Anand in 2014.

Game 2 is Saturday and starts at 3 PM local, or GMT, time.

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12    Score     Carlsen  ½                       0.5  Caruana  ½                       0.5


Photos are available in the Gallery

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Opening Ceremony of FIDE World Chess Championship Match 2018

The official opening ceremony of the FIDE World Chess Championship Match 2018 was held on November 8th at a prestigious red-carpet event at the iconic Victoria & Albert Museum in London, UK.





Guests from all over the world, including Woody Harrelson, Hou Yifan, Judit Polgar descended onto London for the glittering evening, hosted by British television presenter, George Lamb. Entertainment included a modern contemporary dance between two men featuring the unity and struggle of two strong characters, like in the game of chess, and a breath-taking performance by the talented Stephen Ridley – a young charismatic pianist, composer and singer.



The highlight of the evening was the introduction of the competitors, Magnus Carlsen of Norway and Fabiano Caruana of USA. The Chief Arbiter of the Match Stepahne Escafre conducted the ceremony of the drawing of lots. Magnus Carlsen will have the black pieces in the first game. The first move of the World Chess Championship match will be played on November 9th, at 3 pm local time.





President of FIDE, Arkady Dvorkovich, CEO of World Chess, Ilya Merenzon, as well as Vice President and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Chess Federation, CEO of PhosAgro, Andrey Guryev, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab, Aldo del Bo, CEO of S.T. Dupont, Alain Crevet joined the players on the stage.

Taking place from 9-28 November, the world’s most esteemed chess tournament consists of a 12-game Match, avidly followed and analysed by a global audience of hundreds of millions of chess fans, which will see current World Chess Champion, Norway’s Magnus Carlsen, defend his title against US challenger, Fabiano Carlsen. No player born in the United States has won or even competed for a World Championship since Bobby Fischer in 1972, so all eyes will be on the two players. Those following the games online will also be catered for; they will be able to watch the moves for free on worldchess.com/london, the official broadcasting platform. They can also sign up for a $20 premium account, giving fans access to multi-camera views, commentary, behind-the-scenes footage, the opportunity to ask questions during press conferences and more.



The last World Championship match, held in New York, in 2016, enjoyed record-breaking coverage with the total audience for the whole event topping 1.5 billion people.

Leading partners supporting the Championship Match 2018 include:

PhosAgro, a leading chemical company as the Official Strategic Partner
Kaspersky Lab as World Chess and FIDE’s Official Cybersecurity Partner
PRYTEK as Technology Transfer Partner
S.T. Dupont as Official Writing Instrument
Isklar as the official mineral water of the Championship Match
Unibet as the Official Betting Partner
Beluga as the Official VIP Partner

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