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TCEC15: the 15th Top Chess Engine Championship

Chessdom - Sun, 06/23/2019 - 03:46

Written by Guy Haworth and Nelson Hernandez
Reading, UK and Maryland, USA

Corresponding author: g.haworth@reading.ac.uk

This is the latest in our series of analytical articles on past TCEC events. The main text can be read below on this webpage, and at the bottom you will find a link to the full layouted article in pdf format, including the important tables, graphs and images.

TCEC is very grateful to the authors for their kind permission to publish these substantial and scholarly analyses of its events!




TCEC Season 15 started on March 5th 2019 with a more liberal Division 4 featuring several engines in their first TCEC season. At the top end, interest would centre on whether the recent entries, ETHEREAL, KOMODO MCTS and LEELA CHESS ZERO would again improve their already impressive performances. Fig. 1 and Table 1 provide the logos and details on the enlarged field of 44 engines.

Fig. 1. Logos for the TCEC 15 engines (CPW, 2019) as in their original divisions.

There were a few nudges to the rules. In the event of network breaks, if both engines were in the 7-man and/or TCEC win (or draw) zone, the game was adjudicated as a win (or draw). Otherwise, TCEC resumed games with extra initialisation time rather than restart them.

The common platform for TCEC15, as for TCEC14, consisted of two computers. One was the established, formidable 44-core server of TCEC11-14 (Intel, 2017) with 64GiB of DDR4 ECC RAM and a Crucial CT250M500 240 GB SSD for the EGTs. The ‘GPU server’, upgraded to a Quad Core i5 3570k with 32GiB DDR3 RAM, sported Nvidia (2018) GeForce RTX 2080 Ti and 2080 GPUs.

Table 1. The TCEC15 engines (CPW, 2019), details, authors and progress.

Initial interest centred on a third non-Shannon engine, this time the hybrid ALLIESTEIN, a cross between Adam Treat’s ALLIE and Mark Jordan’s LEELENSTEIN (Chessdom, 2019) and a pupil of supervised rather than ‘tabula rasa’ learning. Would this combine the best of ‘Shannon AB’ and neural-network approaches in a case of ‘1+1=3’ or would it be a fall between two stools? There were several reasons for believing that ALLIESTEIN would not tarry in Division 4 for too long.
HANNIBAL was recuperating after its crashes in TCEC14 but new to TCEC were some other ‘AB conventional’ engines – CHEESE, BAGATUR, IGEL, JUMBO, MARVIN, MINIC, MONOLITH, RUBICHESS and TOPPLE – a generous addition to the line-up. Given the wide range of estimated ELOs, there was likely to be a higher degree of carnage in Division 4 and so it proved. The division was in fact split into two halves with a play-off for the promotion places between the top two in each half.

Division 4a/b: each half of 1 DRR, 2 RRs, 18 rounds, 90 games @ 30′+5″/m

As for TCEC12-14, each engine played both White and Black from four-ply openings defined by the second author here. The results are as in Tables 2-3: ‘P%’ is the %-score and ‘ELO±’ the change to the engine’s nominal ELO based on its performance. Generic stats are in Tables 11 and 12. In part 4a, CHEESE’s win ‘against the otherwise unchallenged NEMORINO in game 11.2/52 was a clear outlier. RUBICHESS took second by virtue of its 2-0 result against WINTER.
In Act 2 game 12.5/60, SCORPIONN had a 7-man win (dtm = 22m) on move 80 but took 108 moves to get a 6-man EGT result. WASP disconnected against ALLIESTEIN in game 15.4/74, effectively a 1.5-point swing for second place as ‘crashes’ are the first tie-breaker. Unusually, games 29 and 87 ended in mate, and SCORPIO exhibited its ‘resigns’ move in games 5, 28 and 78.

The network crashed in g32, ALLIESTEIN–CHESS22K, on move 49w with CHESS22K’s evaluation at +5.3, a clear case for a continuation rather than a restart, surely the default response. ALLIESTEIN worked through to a 6-man RB-BP ‘mate in 18’ win with some difficulty. It would have been interesting to see it actually achieve this as neither engine was using the 6-man endgame tables (de Man, 2018).

Table 2. The TCEC15 Division 4a cross-table: one DRR phase, 18 rounds, 90 games.

Table 3. The TCEC15 Division 4b cross-table: one DRR phase, 18 rounds, 90 games.

The Division 4 play-off was marred and skewed by two PIRARUCU technical concessions. Throttled back by fiat from 43 threads to 16, this engine then underperformed and missed a likely second-place promotion. This should not obscure the fact that ALLIESTEIN showed new form to win, remarkably beating NEMORINO 4-0 and RUBICHESS 2½ 1½. The only blot on ALLIESTEIN’s escutcheon was its loss as Black to RUBICHESS in game 9.1/17: the power of two queens is not to be underestimated.

Table 4. The TCEC15 Division 4 play-off cross-table: two DRR phases, 12 rounds, 24 games.

Division 3: 2 DRR phases, 14 rounds, 112 games @ 30′+5″/m, 4-ply openings

With LEELA and KOMODOMCTS now in the higher divisions, competition for promotion was bound to be more open and keenly contested. Indeed, each engine lost at least two and won at least three games. There were plenty of wins below the diagonal of the eventual x-table, notably by PEDONE and VAJOLET at the expense of ROFCHADE, games 8/2.2 and 30/8.2.

Game 45, ALLIESTEIN-ARASAN, broke the TCEC shortest-win record in g45/12.1 with a mate in 20 moves (The shortest TCEC-draw was TEXEL-GULL in Season 10, Stage 1. After the mandated 1. b4 d5 2. Bb2 Qd6, play went 3. a3 a5 4. Nf3 axb4 5. Be5 Qb6 6. Bd4 Qd6 7. Be5 Qb6 8. Bd4 Qd6 9. Be5 {3x} ½-½.) (g45/12.1, AS-Ar: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 {as mandated} 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. d4 exd4 5. Nxd4 Bb4 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. Qd4? (7. Bd3) Qe7 8. f3 Bc5 9. Qd3 O-O 10. Bg5 Rb8 11. O-O-O d5 12. exd5 h6 13. Bh4 Ba6 14. Bxf6 Be3+ 15. Kb1?? (15. Rd2) Rxb2+ 16. Ka1 gxf6 17. Qxa6 Rfb8 18. Bd3?? (18. Qa5) Qb4 19. Ne2 Rxa2+ 20. Kxa2 Qb2# 0-1.), too sudden and savage for the TCEC referee to intervene. This was not the first evidence that there are still some bugs to be fixed. ALLIESTEIN was weak on moves 4 and 7 and blundered on 15 and 18 – the m4/m7 mistakes apparently connected to it failing to recognise castling options.

Despite this, ALLIESTEIN stayed in the promotion fight and its chances were conclusively enhanced with the 0-1 result of g100/50.2, ARASAN–ROFCHADE in which ARASAN got tangled up. The final results contained some surprises. No tiebreak rules were needed and ROFCHADE deservedly took first place after being unbeaten by the top half of the table including a unique 4-0 result against TEXEL. In con¬trast, ALLIESTEIN in second lost its matches against ARASAN and TEXEL but was unbeaten by the bottom four engines. The hope was that its known weaknesses had been sorted out. As the under-performing GULL was the reference engine at 3300 in the TCEC ELO scale, all other engines increased their TCEC ELO (GULL’s role is similar to that of the ‘IPK’ International Prototype Kilogram which defined the mass of one kilogram. If it hypothetically lost a gram, everything else would increase in mass by 0.1% even though unchanged. This parallel ceased to be valid on 20th May 2019 when the new definition of the Kilogram became operative (BIPM, 2019).), even NEMORINO which returned to Division 4. Wool (2019) picked out the round 19 game ARASAN–ALLIESTEIN which ARASAN would have ended with position-repetition but which in fact ended in a 6-man EGT-adjudicated draw.

Table 5. The TCEC15 Division 3 cross-table: two DRR phases, 28 rounds, 112 games.

Division 2: 2 DRR phases, 14 rounds, 112 games @ 30′+5″/m, 8-ply openings

A burnished ALLIESTEIN checked in for Division 2 with endgame table support and without the castling-related bug that manifested itself in Division 3: ROFCHADE was also refreshed. A point of interest was whether the newly promoted engines would hang on to their new status.
After RR1, ALLIESTEIN headed the standings with XIPHOS on +3 despite losing the drawn g21/5.1 to ROFCHADE after 109. Ke5?? instead of Ke7. ROFCHADE itself was on -2 and in the drop zone. At the halfway point, the leaders were XIPHOS (+7), ALLIESTEIN (+5) and CHESSBRAINVB (+2), despite the fact that ALLIESTEIN lost to ROFCHADE again. Can an engine play so badly that it plays well?

In the third round robin, there were few upsets. CHESSBRAINVB lost to FRITZ and ceded third place to BOOOT (+2) which had previously had difficulty winning. ALLIESTEIN (+8) and XIPHOS (+11) took their promotion prospects past the 97.6% and 99.9% confidence-levels respectively. NIRVANA was similarly headed for Division 3. In RR4, ROFCHADE escaped the drop in the final cliffhanger at the expense of FRITZ. XIPHOS and ALLIESTEIN gained promotion easily as BOOOT fell away badly. Interestingly, ALLIESTEIN performed better than XIPHOS against the better engines. Would this trend continue in Division 1?

Table 6. The TCEC15 Division 2 cross-table: two DRR phases, 28 rounds, 112 games.

Division 1: 2 DRR phases, 28 rounds, 112 games, tempo 60′+5″/m

Second author ‘Cato’ provided 12-ply openings for this division. The news was that the KOMODOMCTS crash problem was solved and so expectations were that it would promote easily. After seven rounds, KOMODOMCTS led ALLIESTEIN and FIZBO, ALLIESTEIN second courtesy of a default by CHIRON in game 25 when the latter failed to play a single move and crashed after 2.5 minutes: hash-table initiali¬sation may have been the problem. CHIRON has been on the cusp of Divisions 1 and P since it crashed three times in Season 12. KOMODOMCTS and FIZBO did not know that they were less likely to receive a similar gift but CHIRON was then cut back to 32 cores.

ALLIESTEIN (+4) reached half time strongly with 2.5/3 and a key win against FIZBO. KOMODOMCTS (+3) was second after being gifted a win by CHIRON in g46/12.2. With 12 moves to go to a 50-move draw, CHIRON lowered the drawbridge of its own fortress with 138. … f6?? and welcomed its enemy in with red carpet and heralds. As Karsten Müller confirmed, Ke8 was always available to guarantee the draw. LASER (+1) was gapped in third, sound, unbeaten but draw-centric. JONNY and CHIRON looked earmarked for Division 2 with just one win, literally between them.

Round Robin 3 ended with fireworks, nine of twelve games being decisive. ALLIESTEIN’s first win of RR3, a key one in g77/20.1 against XIPHOS, was followed by a network crash against CHIRON at move 70 in g81/21.1. This was posted as a ‘no fault’ loss but continued later and was drawn as expected. Meanwhile, KOMODOMCTS had moved confidently back to first place with three straight wins, the last to previously undefeated LASER. XIPHOS and LASER contested third place but were effectively two points behind ALLIESTEIN because of tiebreaks.
The last quarter started badly for ALLIESTEIN: its first genuine loss in g85/22.1 against ANDSCACS (Wool, 2019), a sharp, tactical Q-RR fight, not its forte. However, its win against KOMODOMCTS in g93/24.1 more than revived its promotion chances, giving it tie-breaking advantage against the other contenders. ALLIESTEIN and XIPHOS met in g105/27.1 for almost all the marbles and drew. As the dust settled and the GPUs cooled, positions 1-5 were decided clearly on points despite the closeness of this division. FIZBO escaped relegation only by virtue of the third ‘number of wins’ tiebreaker at the expense of JONNY which had the better SB score: TCEC follow FIDE’s tie-break priorities here. CHIRON, tailed off last at -10 and with one more albeit ultimately irrelevant crash to its name, now finds itself two divisions below its personal zenith. The two promotion spots went to KOMODOMCTS (+7) and newcomer ALLIESTEIN (+5) with fellow promotee XIPHOS (+3) a creditable third.

Table 7. The TCEC15 Division 1 cross-table: two DRR phases, 28 rounds, 112 games.

Division P, three DRR phases, 42 rounds, 168 games, tempo 90′+5″/m

The heavyweight Division P promised three weeks of the best computer chess to be found anywhere. It featured three non-Shannon (1950) MCTS engines: TCEC14 runner-up ‘LC0’ LEELA CHESS ZERO, returning KOMODOMCTS and serial promotee ALLIESTEIN. The majority of games, those between the tac¬tical minimaxers and the strategic Monegasques, were bound to be a clash of two styles and partic¬ularly interesting. After three rounds, STOCKFISH, LC0 and HOUDINI shared the three wins: the stable¬mates KOMODO and KOMODOMCTS were also unbeaten. In g24/6.4, ALLIESTEIN posted the first win for Black, an apparent draw at m74 but a promising R-BPPP endgame at m80 closed out only after another 90 moves of suspenseful exploration. Round Robin 1 featured just five precious wins and left four engines on +1 with only ETHEREAL ( 1) and FIRE ( 2) in deficit. The three ‘all-MCTS’ games were each drawn in over 112 moves.

After RR2 which sported seven wins, STOCKFISH (+4) and LC0 (+3) opened up on KOMODOMCTS and HOUDINI (+1). KOMODO, a three-time TCEC Champion redefined ‘solid’ on 14 draws from 14, only good enough for 6th: ETHEREAL ( 3) and FIRE (-5) were the principal donors and looked like joint tenants of the basement. ‘MCTS v Shannon’ with 9 of the 12 decisive games stood at +6=21-3. LC0 beat ALLIESTEIN, g39/10.3. All the red ink was below the x-table diagonal.

In round robin 3, STOCKFISH scored wins over the previously unbeaten KOMODO and HOUDINI, and over ETHEREAL and FIRE – a complete take-out of the last four. All others were 1 except ETHEREAL which lost touch with -3. ALLIESTEIN dropped a win against KOMODOMCTS in g19.2 with 36. Re1? instead of 36. Kh4! Both engines were against the clock in the drawn FIRE-ALLIESTEIN g80/20.4 until 189. … Kf5?? was preferred to the essential Kh6. This was the longest TCEC15 win to date and the first win by the underdog.

The fourth round robin resulted in a clear 2-4-2 formation: STOCKFISH and LEELA well out front, FIRE and ETHEREAL detached, and the remaining four on -1. We saw the shortest sequence of played moves in TCEC15: after the provided opening of g107/27.3, ETHEREAL demolished KOMODOMCTS in an ama¬zing 24 moves. The latter never seemed to be on terms with the situation. The MCTS-Shannon match moved on to +9=45-6 with three wins each in RR3-4.

With the Superfinal and demotions essentially if not formally decided, interest in the last third of Division P perhaps focused on the midfield contest. KOMODO rose while KOMODOMCTS fell, crashing against ALLIESTEIN and losing quickly again, this time to STOCKFISH. LEELA beat STOCKFISH to win their head-to-head: what did this say about the Superfinal to come?!

This is an appropriate moment to recommend Assaf Wool’s (2019) coverage of the TCEC games. For this Premier Division, Wool touched on all decisive games and some draws. He particularly focused on game 6 (HOUDINI–ALLIESTEIN, 1-0), g37 (STOCKFISH–KOMODOMCTS, 1-0), another clash of styles, g57 (KOMODO–STOCKFISH, 0-1), g86 (LEELA-KOMODOMCTS, 1-0), g127 (KOMODO-ALLIESTEIN, 1 0) and g161 (LEELA–STOCKFISH, 1-0).

And so the stage is set for a repeat of the TCEC14 Superfinal. LEELA comes through unbeaten with a pos¬itive score against all except HOUDINI. This is a remarkable achievement in a heavyweight division: the average game length of some 80 moves and median of 70 moves indicates that games were on the whole closely contested.

Table 8. The TCEC15 Premier Division cross-table: three DRR phases, 42 rounds, 168 games.

Table 9. The TCEC15 Premier Division figures: head-to-head and round-by-round scores.

The TCEC15 Superfinal match: 100 games, tempo 120″+10′/m

Again, after an intermission for the knockout TCEC Cup 3 (Haworth and Hernandez, 2019a), both STOCKFISH and LEELA CHESS ZERO came to the Superfinal in new versions. LEELA had won the last two TCEC Cup events, and a ‘bonus, no opening book’ match against STOCKFISH at the same Rapid tempo. Probably because of the very close TCEC14 result, a win by the smallest possible margin of one game, and the fact that LEELA was expected to have improved more than STOCKFISH, the six-times TCEC champion was no longer the favourite in the initial straw-poll.

Some evidence that LEELA was stronger in the endgame came to hand before the Superfinal started. The pause after TCEC Cup 3 included a replaying of the TCEC14 superfinal game 65 from the 7-man KNPPKBP position after 73. Kxf3. In the actual Superfinal, LEELA did not latch on to the key winning ideas quickly enough even with the help of the 6-man EGTs: the 50-move rule intervened. In ‘bonus mode’, the endgame was revisited with a later version of LEELA and this time, LEELA secured the win with less than half its previous inaccuracies. Fig. 2 shows the tracks of the two contests, depth in plies plotted against plies played. Optimal play is also shown for comparison.

Fig. 2. TCEC14 game 65 from KNPPKBP position 73b: (a) as played in the Sufi, (b) as replayed, and (c) optimal play.

This Superfinal was even for the first 15 games with one win to each side. STOCKFISH ominously opened its account with a win as Black. The expected close contest was in prospect but games 16-26 saw four wins by LEELA without reply. With hindsight, this was where most of the damage was done. Games 35-45 saw a flurry of decisive games with STOCKFISH pulling one back overall to improve the mood in its fanbase. However, LEELA struck with back-to-back wins in games 61-62: perhaps we will hear why the Trompowsky Attack, also associated with Bill Ruth and Karel Opočenský, seems not to suit STOCKFISH.

Thoughts of a comeback were rather dulled by eighteen draws but then STOCKFISH won again and in spectacular fashion with game 81. After 27. … Rae8, STOCKFISH saw a clear win with 26. h6 which LEELA had equally clearly missed. Sure enough, LEELA had to lose queen for knight in order to create the merest distraction. This was not the first time the new-style ANN engines had failed to find a sharp, tactical needle during a Monte-Carlo Tree-Search. The match was clearly not over. If LEELA could score four in short order, so could STOCKFISH. In fact, this did not happen. LEELA hit back immediately in game 82 and added insult to injury with two more wins in games 88 and 94.

‘The king is dead: long live the Queen’. Table 10 and Fig. 3 provide the core data. The final score of 53½ 46½ was more decisive than expected and it is easy to think that STOCKFISH did not play well.

This of course is not the case: LEELA just played better, some 27 ELO ahead in Implied Performance terms. Table 11 shows that games were a superhuman 89 moves long on average, not the 99 moves of their TCEC14 contest but the incremental time was less and the games were 20 shorter. Energy drinks please, not for the players but for the audience. Clearly, TCEC Superfinals are increasingly attracting top players to TCEC and we will hear more of these games. ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019b-u), known to his parents and now to others as CM Tryfon Gavriel, continues to provide richly informative video-commentaries. ‘Kingscrusher’’s (2019a) interview with Game Changer’s Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan (2019) is also relevant to LEELA’s play. Wool (2019) and ‘GM TheChessPuzzler’ (2019) are also making extended and valuable contributions. Long may these continue.

Demis Hassabis’ (2019) tweet “Great to see learning systems come out on top. Huge congrats to the @LeelaChessZero team and community!” was typically enthusiastic and encouraging.

Table 10. The TCEC 15 Superfinal match of 100 games: the decisive games, Black wins underlined.

Fig. 3. The TCEC15 Superfinal: the incidence of decisive results and LEELA CHESS ZERO’s lead.


Table 11. Generic statistics for each phase of TCEC15: results, terminations and average game-length.



After fifteen seasons of TCEC, it is worth reflecting that league tables tend to emphasise the ranking of chess engines rather than their relative differences, and certainly rather than their absolute prowess. Also, given the nearly non-stop nature of TCEC events, it is easy to forget that hours of top-level chess are passing before us in all the divisions – and inevitably, without getting the attention and analysis that they deserve, despite the hints on the TCEC and Chessbomb (2019) sites and Sadler’s (2019) perspective. Any of the TCEC15 engines would give a Grandmaster a serious game and most would perhaps have to be handicapped by a Blitz or even Armageddon tempo. Even so, there is evidence here that if there is some ‘ceiling’ asymptote to quality of play, it is still some way off. The admirable Emil Vlasák (2019) has, for example, clearly demonstrated that LEELA would not be at all competitive in a Computer-solv¬ing Champion¬ship as it struggles to find study-like wins.

Congratulations to TCEC’s new champion, LEELA CHESS ZERO, and to all who have assisted in her conception and evolution. STOCKFISH, champion for TCEC seasons 6, 9 and 11-14, continues to domi¬nate the rest of the field and we can expect to see hostilities renewed. Perhaps LEELA’s vulnerability to tactical shots will be exposed further. ‘Kudos’ to all other participants and to the core TCEC team who make all this happen.

Will further engines of the ‘new genre’ join the fray, and will hybrid engines appear, incorporating the best of the ‘minimax’ and MCTS perspectives? Will TCEC be able to combine the strengths of their two servers in one platform in order to facilitate this? Will computer-based tools emerge to help us understand the subtleties of the games we are witnessing? We shall see.

All TCEC15 games, many with additional annotation and play-outs, are available in pgn form together with data beyond that of Tables 11-12 (Haworth and Hernandez, 2019b).

Table 12. The shortest and longest 1-0, drawn and 0-1 games in each phase of TCEC15.
Game indication: ‘c7/4.1’ for example means division 4c, pgn game 7, round 4, game 1.

  • BIPM (2019). https://preview.tinyurl.com/y3thmdyk. ‘New SI’ implementation day, 2019-05-20.
  • CPW (2019). https://tinyurl.com/icga046. The Chess Programming Wiki website, including biog¬raphies of engines, authors and developers.
  • Chessbomb (2019). https://www.chessbomb.com/arena/-/2019-tcec-s15. TCEC15 coverage.
  • Chessdom (2019). https://tinyurl.com/icga058. Chessdom interview with the ALLIESTEIN team.
  • de Man, R. (2018). http://tablebase.sesse.net/syzygy/. Site providing sub-8-man DTZ50 EGTs.
  • ‘GM Thechesspuzzler’ (2019). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-gcp001. TCEC15 Superfinal commentaries.
  • Hassabis, D. (2019). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-dm001. DH’s twittered congratulations to team LEELA.
  • Haworth, G. McC. and Hernandez, N. (2019a). http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/83157/. TCEC Cup 3. The third TCEC knockout Cup. Submitted to the ICGA Journal.
  • Haworth, G. McC. and Hernandez, N. (2019b). http://centaur.reading.ac.uk/83156/. This note plus annotated statistics and pgn files. Submitted to the ICGA Journal.
  • Intel (2017). https://tinyurl.com/icga042. Intel’s specification of the XEON® E5-2699V4 processor.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019a). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc003. Interview about the book Game Changer.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019b). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc004. TCEC15 Superfinal videos.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019c). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc005. Sufi g08: notable, fighting draw.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019d). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc006. Sufi g10: Benoni novelty 12. Be2.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019e). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc007. Sufi g12: LC0 blunder with 67.Kf3.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019f). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc008. Sufi g16: LC0 accumulates advantages.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019g). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc009. Sufi g18: LC0 Bayonet attack, ~m40.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019h). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc010. Sufi g24: LC0 channels Karpov to win.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019i). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc011. Sufi g26: LC0 wins RB-NN endgame.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019j). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc012. Sufi g36: ‘best game so far’ epithet.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019k). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc013. Sufi g38: ST loses with doubled pawns.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019l). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc014. Sufi g39: tactically-rich STOCKFISH win.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019m). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc015. Sufi g40: LC0’s positional play wins.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019n). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc016. Sufi g43: LC0 resistance collapses ~m78.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019o). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc017. Sufi g45: ST seals win with 87. f4. 8-5.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019p). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc018. Sufi g61: LC0’s three-passed-pawn win.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019q). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc019. Sufi g62: ‘double’ win, more passers.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019r). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc020. Sufi g81: LC0 loses Queen to tactics.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019s). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc021. Sufi g82: LC0 sees advantage, ~m19
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019t). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc022. Sufi g86: LC0 wins, outside passer.
  • ‘Kingscrusher’ (2019u). https://tinyurl.com/tcec-kc023. Sufi g87: STOCKFISH’s last win.
  • Nvidia (2018). https://www.nvidia.com/en-gb/geforce/graphics-cards/rtx-2080-ti/ GEFORCE GTX 2080 TI GPU specification and benchmark performance data.
  • Sadler, M. (2019). The TCEC15 Computer Chess Superfinal: a perspective. Submitted to the ICGA Journal.
  • Sadler, M. and Regan, N. (2019). Game Changer: AlphaZero’s Groundbreaking Chess Strategies and the Promise of AI. New in Chess. ISBN 978-90-5691-818-7.
  • Shannon, C. E. (1950). Programming a Computer for Playing Chess. The London, Edinburgh and Dublin Philosophical Magazine, 41(314), 256-275. https://doi.org/10.1080/14786445008521796.
  • Vlasák, E. (2019). LEELA CHESS ZERO. EG, Vol. 25(216), 106-8.
  • Wool, A. (2019) http://mytcecexperience.blogspot.co.uk/. AW’s ‘TCEC Experience’ blog.
Full article

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published June 22, 2019

Categories: Ενημέρωση

Public review of the bidding procedure for chess clocks extended through a week-end

FIDE - Sat, 06/22/2019 - 09:46

Due to the requests received and in order to maintain a level playing field for everyone, FIDE is pleased to extend the deadline to send comments on the bidding procedure for chess clocks until 09:00 UTC on Monday, June 24, 2019.
Categories: Ενημέρωση

Alexandra Goryachkina wins the Women Candidates Chess 2019

Chessdom - Wed, 06/19/2019 - 01:37

The Russian chess player Aleksandra Goryachkina won the Women Candidates Chess 2019 with two rounds to spare. The youngest participant of the tournament finished with 9.5 points out of 14 and secured the right to play the Women’s World Championship Match against the Women`s World Champion Ju Wenjun (China). The prize fund of the coming championship match is 500,000 Euro, which is 150% higher than in the previous match.

Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine) is second with 8 points. Katerina Lagno (Russia) and Tan Zhongyi (China) shared 3-4 places with 7 points.

Final standings:

1. Aleksandra Goryachkina (Russia) – 9.5, 2. Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine) – 8, 3-4. Kateryna Lagno (Russia), Тan Zhongyi (China) – 7, 5-6. Nana Dzagnidze (Georgia), Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine) – 6.5, 7. Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia) – 6, 8. Valentina Gunina (Russia) – 5.5.

The closing ceremony took place in the Nogai Hotel, the tournament venue, on June 18.

In the beginning of the ceremony, a special prize for the most beautiful game of the tournament, provided by the Russian Chess Federation and AB InBev Efes company, was awarded. The jury consisted of chairman Maxim Notkin, editor-in-chief of the 64-Chess Review, the tournament commentators GMs Sergey Shipov and Evgeny Miroshnichenko, and the Head of the Appeals Committee Jeroen van den Berg. A shortlist of four games was formed.

The beauty prize was awarded to Mariya Muzychuk for the game Muzychuk-Goryachkina, played in the last round, by Natalia Rostova, the Deputy Director of the local branch of the AB InBev Efes, and Maxim Notkin.

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, RCF Executive Director Mark Glukhovsky, and Minister of sport of the Republic of Tatarstan Vladimir Leonov delivered speeches. The Chief Arbiter of the tournament, IA Hal Bond (Canada) announced the competition results. After his announcement, the players received their prizes from the honored guests.

Total prize fund of the FIDE Women`s Candidates is €200,000.

The organizers are FIDE, Russian Chess Federation, Government of the Republic of Tatarstan, Ministry of Sports of the Republic of Tatarstan, and city administration of Kazan.

The tournament is sponsored by PJSC PhosAgro and Russian Railways.

Official website: https://fwct2019.com/en/

Final table: https://fwct2019.com/crosstable

Categories: Ενημέρωση

FIDE Women's Candidates Tournament is concluded in Kazan

FIDE - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 15:40

The Russian chess player Aleksandra Goryachkina won the event with two rounds to spare. The youngest participant of the tournament finished with 9.5 points out of 14 and secured the right to play the Women's World Championship Match against the Women`s World Champion Ju Wenjun (China). The prize fund of the coming championship match is 500,000 Euro, which is 150% higher than in the previous match.

Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine) is second with 8 points. Katerina Lagno (Russia) and Tan Zhongyi (China) shared 3-4 places with 7 points.

Final standings:

1. Aleksandra Goryachkina (Russia) - 9.5, 2. Anna Muzychuk (Ukraine) – 8, 3-4. Kateryna Lagno (Russia), Тan Zhongyi (China) – 7, 5-6. Nana Dzagnidze (Georgia), Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine) - 6.5, 7. Alexandra Kosteniuk (Russia) – 6, 8. Valentina Gunina (Russia) - 5.5.

The closing ceremony took place in the Nogai Hotel, the tournament venue, on June 18.

In the beginning of the ceremony, a special prize for the most beautiful game of the tournament, provided by the Russian Chess Federation and AB InBev Efes company, was awarded. The jury consisted of chairman Maxim Notkin, editor-in-chief of the 64-Chess Review, the tournament commentators GMs Sergey Shipov and Evgeny Miroshnichenko, and the Head of the Appeals Committee Jeroen van den Berg. A shortlist of four games was formed.

The beauty prize was awarded to Mariya Muzychuk for the game Muzychuk-Goryachkina, played in the last round, by Natalia Rostova, the Deputy Director of the local branch of the AB InBev Efes, and Maxim Notkin.

FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, RCF Executive Director Mark Glukhovsky, and Minister of sport of the Republic of Tatarstan Vladimir Leonov delivered speeches. The Chief Arbiter of the tournament, IA Hal Bond (Canada) announced the competition results. After his announcement, the players received their prizes from the honored guests.

Total prize fund of the FIDE Women`s Candidates is €200,000.

The organizers are FIDE, Russian Chess Federation, Government of the Republic of Tatarstan, Ministry of Sports of the Republic of Tatarstan, and city administration of Kazan.

The tournament is sponsored by PJSC PhosAgro and Russian Railways.

Official website: https://fwct2019.com/en/

Final table: https://fwct2019.com/crosstable

Categories: Ενημέρωση

Goryachkina loses the final game of the Candidates but still wins by 1.5 point margin

FIDE - Mon, 06/17/2019 - 20:22

Aleksandra Goryachkina lost in the last round of the FIDE Women`s Candidates against Mariya Muzychuk. However, it didn`t influence her tournament situation as she had won the tournament with two rounds to spare. This means that in the next title match, Women`s World Champion Ju Wenjun will face Goryachkina. Anna Muzychuk made a relatively quick draw with Alexandra Kosteniuk and secured the second place in the tournament.
Kateryna Lagno held to a draw against Nana Dzagnidze and tied for the third place with Tan Zhongyi, who defeated Valentina Gunina. 
The final standings: Aleksandra Goryachkina finished in first place with 9,5 points, Anna Muzychuk is in second place with 8 points. Kateryna Lagno and Tan Zhongyi shared third place with 7 points. Nana Dzagnidze and Mariya Muzychuk shared fifth place with 6,5 points, Alexandra Kosteniuk ended the tournament in seventh place with 6 points. Valentina Gunina is in eighth place with 5,5 points.  The day started quietly with a draw between Anna Muzychuk and Alexandra Kosteniuk. Playing White Anna Muzychuk chose the Four Knights Defence, which usually leads to quiet positional play. Alexandra Kosteniuk had two extra knights on her ears in today's game. "That did not help me," smiled Alexandra in a post-game interview. After numerous exchanges the game was quickly transferred into the ending with an extra pawn for White but Black had enough compensation to keep the balance.

"In this tournament, only the first place really matters, but on the other hand when you start with -2, you can just dream of becoming 2nd in the end," said the runner-up Anna Muzychuk after the end of the tournament.

Interview with Alexandra Kosteniuk


Interview with Anna Muzychuk


The Indian setup with double fianchetto for White appeared in the game Dzagnidze-Lagno. According to Nana, she could have created more troubles for Black, as in the game Kateryna managed to equalize and was never in real danger. After 43 moves the players signed the peace.

Aleksandra Goryachkina chose her main weapon Caro-Kann against Mariya Muzychuk. The Ukrainian player was well prepared in the opening and managed to increase her initiative taking advantage of her opponent who could not finish the development of the King`s side. Aleksandra had to defend her position but with a couple of tactical blows Mariya got a decisive advantage and converted it later into a full point.

Interview with the winner Aleksandra Goryachkina (in Russian)


The Italian Game appeared in the encounter between Tan Zhongyi and Valentina Gunina. After the opening battle neither player manage to get an advantage in the middle game and it was transferred into the equal ending. Valentina started to play imprecisely and gave a chance to her opponent to create dangerous threats against the black king. In the end Tan Zhongyi could have finished the game in couple of moves but chose to go into the winning rook ending.

Official website: https://fwct2019.com/en/

Final table: https://fwct2019.com/crosstable

Report by Anastasiya Karlovich


Categories: Ενημέρωση

The fight for the second place continues in the Women's Candidates

FIDE - Sun, 06/16/2019 - 21:52

Aleksandra Goryachkina, who became the winner of the Women`s Candidates with two rounds to spare, made a quick draw against Nana Dzagnidze in the thirteenth round. The fight for the second place continues and Anna Muzychuk increased her lead to one point by defeating Valentina Gunina. Her nearest pursuer Kateryna Lagno held to a draw against Tan Zhongyi. Alexandra Kosteniuk, who lost the two previous games, managed to pull herself together and outplayed Mariya Muzychuk.   After 13 rounds Aleksandra Goryachkina leads with 9,5 points, Anna Muzychuk is in the second place with 7,5 points. Kateryna Lagno is in the third place one point behind of Anna. Nana Dzagnidze and Tan Zhongyi share the fourth place with 6 points. Mariya Muzychuk, Valentina Gunina and Alexandra Kosteniuk have 5,5 points.  Aleksandra Goryachkina and Nana Dzagnidze finished their game in less than an hour. According to the winner of tournament, she was not ready for the Benoni Defence today and could not get any advantage with White. "It was not my best game, maybe I should not have celebrated yesterday,"- commented Aleksandra after her draw with Nana Dzagnidze. "People wrote to me, two rounds to go, don't get relaxed. But it's not easy to find motivation when the goal is reached,” added the finalist of the Women`s World Championship Match.
Kateryna Lagno spent a lot of time in the opening trying to get some playable position in the symmetrical structure, which appeared after the Berlin Defence. According to Katerina, she was a bit optimistic to play 23.b4 and after 23…Qh4 thought her position was already dangerous. Tan Zhongyi could have put more pressure on her opponent closer to the first time control but with 50 minutes on her clock and with a better position, she didn’t play precisely, and the advantage slipped away.
It seems the outcome of the game Gunina-Muzychuk was decided after the fight in the opening. A sharp line with 4.Ng5 of the Two Knights Defence was played in the encounter and, as Anna explained in the post-game interview, she was expecting this variation. It`s not clear what exactly Gunina was opting for as after the Queen`s exchange, Black got two pieces vs rook and pawn. Valentina missed an opportunity to open files for her rooks after possible 15.h5 and could not manage to get extra space for her pieces later in the game. Despite the fact, the game lasted more than 5 hours, the outcome was never in doubt.
The Alapin Variantion of the Sicilian Defence appeared in the game between Alexandra Kosteniuk and Mariya Muzychuk. One of the critical moments happened just before the first time control when both players had to make their decisions playing in the time trouble.

White decided to “forget” about the rook, hoping to create a dangerous attack on the Black`s King. After 34.Qd7 Qd1 35.Kh2 Mariya didn’t find the maneuver 36…Qh5 and Qe8.

Two moves later Mariya blundered a tactical blow 38.Nc5!, which finished the game.

Monday, June 17th, at 15:00 local time, the last round will be played with the following pairings:

Anna Muzychuk - Alexandra Kosteniuk

Mariya Muzychuk - Aleksandra Goryachkina

Nana Dzagnidze - Kateryna Lagno

Tan Zhongyi - Valentina Gunina

Anna Muzychuk needs to make a draw against Alexandra Kosteniuk to win the silver medal in the Candidates tournament. The prize fund in the tournament is 200,000 Euro. 1st place: 50,000, 2nd place: 40,000, 3rd place: 30,000, 4th place: 25,000, 5th place: 20,000, 6th place: 15,000, 7th place: 12,000, 8th place: 8,000. According to the Regulations, all prize money is divided equally between the players with the same score in the tournament.

Report by Anastasiya Karlovich

Official website: https://fwct2019.com/en/


Categories: Ενημέρωση

FIDE announces the recipients of the support programme for veterans

FIDE - Sun, 06/16/2019 - 17:28

Further to the decision of the Presidential Board in March, a commission was appointed to administrate the funds assigned to the support programme for veterans.

After reviewing the applications this commission, presided by FIDE Director General Emil Sutovsky, has decided to provide financial support for 2019 to the following eight distinguished veterans:

WGM Elena Fatalibekova (Russia)
GM Henrique Mecking (Brazil)
GM Oleg Romanishin (Ukraine)
GM Vladimir Okhotnik (France)
IM Jose Luis Vilela (Cuba)
IM Aly Ahmed Yasseen (Egypt)
IM Raimundo Garcia (Argentina)
IM Sergey Salov (Germany)

The support programme, for a total of 20,000 Euro, will be reviewed on an annual basis.

(Related: "FIDE launches a project to support chess veterans")
Categories: Ενημέρωση

Goryachkina wins the Candidates two rounds to spare.

FIDE - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 20:23

Aleksandra Goryachkina made a draw against Tan Zhongyi in the twelfth round of the Women's Candidates tournament, a result that ensures none of her rivals can catch her in the standings. With this draw, the youngest player in the field clinches the victory with two rounds to spare.

Goryachkina, who represents the Russian Chess Federation, gains the right to challenge the Women's World Chess Champion Ju Wenjun of China. The finalists of the FIDE Women's World Championship Match will play for a total prize fund of €500,000, which is 150% bigger than in the previous championship match.

The fight for the second place continues and three games of the 12th round finished with a decisive score. Anna Muzychuk defeated Kateryna Lagno and leapfrogged her opponent in the second place. Nana Dzagnidze, who could not win any game after the fourth round, outplayed Alexandra Kosteniuk. Valentina Gunina won the second game in a row this time against Mariya Muzychuk.

After 12 rounds Goryachkina is in the first place with 9 points, Anna Muzychuk is in second place with 6,5 points. Katerina Lagno is in third place with 6 points. Valentina Gunina, Tan Zhongyi, Maria Muzychuk and Nana Dzagnidze have 5,5 points. Alexandra Kosteniuk has 4,5 points.

Tan Zhongyi had a promising position against Alexandra Goryachkina. It seemed the former Women's World Champion had good chances for the victory after the game was transferred into the ending with two bishops and an extra pawn. However, Aleksandra Goryachkina put up a stubborn defence, trying to use in her favour the weak position of White's King. Tan Zhongyi started to play too risky and had a completely lost position at the moment when Goryachkina decided to offer a draw. "The game was really tough, I got a bad position out of the opening. It was also very complicated later. When I saw a draw by repetition, I just went for it. I could not play anymore, I wanted to survive till the end of the tournament," commented Aleksandra after the game.

The winner also spoke about her approach to the Women's Candidates: "I played all games without thinking of the tournament situation and will do the same in the two remaining games". Nevertheless, the champion was visibly happy with her victory and, with a rest day in sight, she allowed herself to relax a little and have some ice-cream.

A typical hedgehog position appeared in the game Dzagnidze-Kosteniuk. Alexandra was trying to prepare Fischer's plan with Kh8-Rg8-g5, but later on, she switched to another typical breakthrough, d6-d5. This gave Black quite interesting counter chances but Nana Dzagnidze found a very precise way to neutralize all Black's threats and won the game.

Kateryna Lagno bravely played the Yanish Gambit of the Ruy Lopez against Anna Muzychuk, but after the game, she regretted her decision: "I should have played something more solid today. The game started and simply finished. I just blundered 19.Qe4 and could have resigned immediately after this move."

By playing 18...e4 or 18...b5 and 19...e4, Katerina could have avoided Qe4 and the game would have continued.

The longest game of the twelfth round between Valentina Gunina and Mariya Muzychuk finished with a victory of the Russian player. In a very complicated middle game, Valentina managed to sharpen the position and won an exchange, after an inaccuracy of her opponent. Black acted carefully and confidently in the endgame and was able to break the resistance after five hours of play.

Report by Anastasiya Karlovich

Photos: Eteri Kublashvili & Anastasiya Karlovich

Round 12 results:

Mariya Muzychuk — Valentina Gunina | 0 — 1
Nana Dzagnidze — Alexandra Kosteniuk | 1 — 0
Tan Zhongyi — Aleksandra Goryachkina | ½ — ½
Anna Muzychuk — Kateryna Lagno | 1 — 0

Saturday, 15th of June is a free day; the 13th round will be played on 16th of June:

Valentina Gunina — Anna Muzychuk  
Alexandra Kosteniuk — Mariya Muzychuk  
Aleksandra Goryachkina — Nana Dzagnidze  
Kateryna Lagno — Tan Zhongyi  

Categories: Ενημέρωση

3rd FIDE World Cadets Rapid & Blitz Chess Championships 2019

FIDE - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 17:42

The 3rd FIDE World Cadets Rapid & Blitz Chess Championships 2019 will be held in Minsk, Belarus, from 15 August (arrival) to 19 August (departure) 2019. 



REGISTRATION FORM (ENG) (check the example)

REGISTRATION FORM (RUS) (check the example)

The venue is the Minsk Sports Palace

The International Rapid Chess Tournament “Memorial tournament in honour of Viktor Kupreichik” will be held from the 14th of August 2019 (arrival date) to the 18th of August 2019 (departure date) in the Palace of Sports 

Kupreichik Memorial 2019 (ENG)

Kupreichik Memorial 2019 (RUS)

Categories: Ενημέρωση

Public review of the bidding procedure for chess clocks

FIDE - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 10:40

As the current Agreement that designated a “Producer of the Official FIDE Chess Clock” is expiring, FIDE is preparing to open bidding for a new three-year term.

In the spirit of openness, transparency and accountability, we are pleased to publish a working draft of the bidding procedure today and we are cordially inviting everyone in the chess community to review it and to send us your comments and suggestions. Naturally, the chess equipment manufacturers and distributors that are planning to participate in the bidding are most welcome to share their opinions about the proposed procedure.

Kindly send your submissions to the FIDE Secretariat via e-mail at office@fide.com before 14:00 UTC on Friday, June 21, 2019.

FIDE Procurement Department

Working draft of the bidding procedure (pdf)

Categories: Ενημέρωση

Goryachkina, undefeated, maintains her advantage in Kazan

FIDE - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 22:06

Goryachkina, undefeated, maintains her advantage in Kazan

Anna Muzychuk was not able to stop Aleksandra Goryachkina in the eleventh round of the Women's Candidates. The sole leader of the tournament made a comfortable draw and is still 2,5 points ahead of the nearest pursuer. Kateryna Lagno drew against Mariya Muzychuk and remains in the second place. The derby between two former World Women's Champions Tan Zhongyi and Alexandra Kosteniuk ended with a victory of the Chinese player. The Women's Candidates is a roller-coaster for Tan Zhongyi who collected 4 losses, 3 wins and 4 draws so far. After 106 moves and more than 5 hours of play, Valentina Gunina grabbed the victory.

After 11 rounds Goryachkina leads with 8,5 points, Kateryna Lagno is in second place with 6 points, Mariya and Anna Muzychuk share third place with 5,5 points. Tan Zhongyi is in fifth place with 5 points. Valentina Gunina, Alexandra Kosteniuk, and Nana Dzagnidze have 4,5 points.

Round 9 results:

Aleksandra Goryachkina — Anna Muzychuk | ½ — ½
Kateryna Lagno — Mariya Muzychuk | ½ — ½
Tan Zhongyi — Alexandra Kosteniuk | 1 — 0
Valentina Gunina — Nana Dzagnidze | 1 — 0

The Grunfeld Defence with g3 was played in the game Aleksandra Goryachkina vs Anna Muzychuk. It seems neither player wanted to take too many risks and as a result, the game petered out to a balanced position. White managed to get a very solid position with a small edge. The leader of the tournament didn't see any direct way to improve her position significantly and chose to make a comfortable draw. Three rounds to go Goryachkina needs to gain only half a point to become the winner of the tournament.

The Sveshnikov Variation of the Sicilian Defence appeared in Lagno`s practice for the first time and according to Katerina, it went pretty good for her. "It was an interesting game and my opponent defended well. Maybe I could have played better somewhere but after 29.Bh6 it should be just equal," commented the Russian player. Mariya was not sure when her preparation stopped and even though she spent a lot of time in the middle game, she didn't feel Black was at any danger after 23.a5. The players signed the peace after the first time control.

The Nimzovich Defence happened in the game Tan Zhongyi vs Alexandra Kosteniuk. The critical moment appeared after 14.e5.

Alexandra relatively quickly answered 14...g6, which turned out to be a fatal mistake for Black. The Russian player didn't like her position after 14...Nce5 15.Bh7 Kh8 16. Ne5 Ne5 17.Re3 but it looks like Black was doing fine after 17...Nf3! 18.gf f5!

20.Be8! A very strong move, found by Tan Zhongyi. Bishop is untouchable because of 21. Qd7. The position of Black became hopeless and a few moves later Alexandra resigned.

One of the variations of the English Opening, which later on was transferred into Queen's Indian Defence, was played in the game Valentina Gunina against Nana Dzagnidze. The longest game of the round was full of fight as both players were choosing the most principal lines. An exceptionally double-edged struggle continued in a very complex ending, and Dzagnidze was the last to make a mistake.

Friday, June 14th, at 15:00 local time, the twelfth round will be played with the following pairings:

Mariya Muzychuk — Valentina Gunina
Nana Dzagnidze — Alexandra Kosteniuk
Tan Zhongyi — Aleksandra Goryachkina
Anna Muzychuk — Kateryna Lagno

Report: Anastasiya Karlovich

Photo: Eteri Kublashvili & Anastasiya Karlovich

official website: http://fwct2019.fide.com/en/

Categories: Ενημέρωση

Lagno, unable to reduce the gap with Goryachkina

FIDE - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 20:08

Lagno, unable to reduce the gap with Goryachkina

The central game of the tenth round between the leader Aleksandra Goryachkina and the nearest pursuer Kateryna Lagno finished in a draw. The "miracle” didn't happen and Goryachkina keeps a comfortable lead in the Women's Candidates Tournament, with two and a half points over her rival today. In the only decisive game of the round, Alexandra Kosteniuk defeated her teammate Valentina Gunina. Anna Muzychuk played a relatively uneventful draw against Tan Zhongyi, while Mariya Muzychuk got some chances against Nana Dzagnidze but in the end showed the same result as her sister.

After ten rounds, Aleksandra Goryachkina leads with 8 points. Kateryna Lagno is in second place with 5,5 points, Mariya and Anna Muzychuk share third place with 5 points. Nana Dzagnidze and Alexandra Kosteniuk share 5th place with 4,5 points. Tan Zhongyi has 4 points, and Valentina Gunina has 3,5.

Kateryna Lagno was well prepared against the Caro Kann Defence and, with White, got a comfortable position against Aleksandra Goryachkina out of the opening. According to the Katerina, she felt she had some chances in today's encounter, but she didn't go for the principal lines. "I could have chosen more critical moves like Ne5 earlier in the game. At the same time, I always try to play according to a position. There were games where players took too many risks, and we all know what was the end", said Kateryna Lagno. After a few accurate exchanges, Aleksandra Goryachkina made a confident draw in the rook ending.

Anna Muzychuk didn't manage to get an edge in the Italian game against Tan Zhongyi. According to Anna, her opponent surprised her with 9...Kh8 and 10...h6, but she could not find the way to improve her position in the middle game and went for numerous exchanges, hoping to create chances in the ending. The position turned to be completely balanced and after 30 moves the game finished in a draw.

"It looks like we have two different tournaments here. One is for Goryachkina and another one for the rest of the players", said Anna Muzychuk after the game. She is going to play against the leader tomorrow, in the eleventh round of the Candidates.

In the Rossolimo Variation of the Sicilian defence, playing White, Mariya Muzychuk went for a pawn sacrifice and got quite a dangerous initiative in return. Nana made the typical decision in positions with opposite colour bishops: she decided to give back the extra material to get some counterplay on the kingside. Mariya opted for a Queens exchange and few moves later the game finished in a draw.

Valentina Gunina was surprised by 4.d4 in Ruy Lopez, prepared by Alexandra Kosteniuk, and had to play out of her book from the early stage in the game. She spent much time choosing the right order of moves and had to made critical choices in the time trouble. The former Women's World Champion developed quite a strong initiative on the kingside. However, her risky decision to castle long could have given good counter chances for Valentina, if she would have played more precisely. Later on, Alexandra consolidated her pieces and converted her advantage with the accurate play.

Alexandra Kosteniuk chose a patriotic dress with the Russian flag today, celebrating the national holiday - the Day of Russia.

Thursday, June 13th, at 15:00 local time, the eleventh round will be played with the following pairings:

Round 10 results:

Kateryna Lagno — Aleksandra Goryachkina | ½ — ½
Alexandra Kosteniuk — Valentina Gunina | 1 — 0
Anna Muzychuk— Tan Zhongyi | ½ — ½
Mariya Muzychuk — Nana Dzagnidze | ½ — ½

Report: Anastasiya Karlovich

Photos: Eteri Kublashvili & Anastasiya Karlovich

Categories: Ενημέρωση

FIDE signs a cooperation agreement with Coca-Cola

FIDE - Wed, 06/12/2019 - 10:17

It is with great satisfaction that we announce today a brand-new cooperation agreement has been signed between FIDE and the Coca-Cola company.

Coca-Cola has a long history of supporting sports, a tradition which dates back nearly a century ago. This company is the longest continuous corporate partner of the IOC (since Amsterdam 1928), and it has helped numerous athletes and Paralympic athletes to achieve their goals.

Working together with world-leading companies for the benefit of chess is one of the main goals for FIDE. This cooperation with Coca-Cola is an honour that presents us with great opportunities to promote our sport. "Chess is not only the most popular of all games, played by millions of people (...). It is also a unique sport that requires a sharp mind, smart strategy and competitive spirit to be the best. These are values that Coca-Cola is proudly committed to supporting", reads their announcement.

The cooperation between FIDE and Coca-Cola will take off this summer with two pilot projects. The first one will be the Open rapid and blitz tournament that will be held in Riga in July (alongside the Grand Prix), which is set to be the strongest event of the kind in 2019. The second competition that will receive the support of Coca-Cola will be the Polish Team Chess Championship - Extraleague in Silesia, Poland, at the end of August. We will work together to ensure that these are merely the first steps of a long-lasting partnership.

Overview: Coca-Cola and sports
Twitter: @CocaCola

Categories: Ενημέρωση

New Website Launched for the Planning and Development Commission

FIDE - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 22:57

New Website Launched for the Planning and Development Commission

The Planning and Development Commission (PDC) has just launched its new dedicated website: https://pdc.fide.com.

The PDC, which was restructured from the previous "Development Commission", was formed shortly after the last elections as an initiative of President Arkady Dvorkovich. Its primary objective is the sustainable development of FIDE through the strengthening of the Federations and the Continental Bodies, "in a responsible and effective manner for the benefit of our communities and the wider global society", as described on its website.

The Commission is led by Sonja Johnson (TTO), as Secretary, with Tshepiso Lopang (BOT), Fidel Gonzalez (VEN), Vladimir Kramnik (RUS) and Viswanathan Anand (IND) as Councillors.

Within a few months, the PDC has quickly become one of the most active Commissions in FIDE, having been assigned a very important responsibility: the management of the Development Fund. The establishment of this fund was promised by FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich during his campaign in 2018, with the aim to support the efforts of Federations and Continents in developing chess across the world.

Please visit the PDC website to obtain additional information on the funding process, the PDC Team and its activities as well as news/reports from federations and continents which highlight how FIDE's support has contributed to the successful execution of their respective plans/events.

Full list of members of the Planning and Development Commission:

Sonja Johnson (Secretary)
Tshepiso Lopang (Councillor)
Fidel Ernesto Gonzalez Chirinos (Councillor)
Vladimir Kramnik (Councillor)
Viswanathan Anand (Councillor)
Israel Shilong (Member)
Hal Bond (Member)
Arkadij Naiditsch (Member)
Shahapol Nakvanich (Member)
Majlinda Pilinci (Member)
Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou (Member)
Erick Hernandez (Member)
Emmanuel Mwaka (Member)
Sainbayar Tserendorj (Member)
Categories: Ενημέρωση

Goryachkina wins again, shows 2804 performance in Kazan

FIDE - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 22:22

In the 9th round of the Women's Candidates tournament in Kazan, the leader Aleksandra Goryachkina won yet one more game, this time against Valentina Gunina. She shows an outstanding performance of 2804 and leads 2,5 points ahead of the field. She is also the only player who has not lost any game so far.

The Muzychuk sisters keep on showing "synchronized swimming" in the tournament – both of them won in the 9th round. Mariya Muzychuk was stronger in the derby between two former Women's World Champions, while Anna Muzychuk defeated Nana Dzagnidze. Kateryna Lagno held her game into a draw against Alexandra Kosteniuk.

After 9 rounds Goryachkina leads with 7,5 points, Kateryna Lagno is in second place with 5 points, Mariya and Anna Muzychuk share third place with 4,5 points. Nana Dzagnidze is in 5th place with 4 points. Valentina Gunina, Alexandra Kosteniuk, and Tan Zhongyi have 3,5.

Round 9 results:

Alexandra Kosteniuk — Kateryna Lagno | ½ — ½
Valentina Gunina  — Aleksandra Goryachkina | 0 — 1
Mariya Muzychuk — Tan Zhongyi | 1 — 0
Nana Dzagnidze — Anna Muzychuk | 0 — 1

Valentina Gunina tried to surprise the leader Aleksandra Goryachkina with a rare line in the Caro-Kan, famously used by Bobby Fischer. Goryachkina, however, was satisfied with exchanges and a low-risk play. Gunina lashed out with 15.b4, missing the long-range transfer of the black Queen from a5 to h4. This annoying check forced Valentina to concede the castling rights and to fall under the attack of the Black pieces. She tried everything on her hands to complicate matters and avoid the defeat, but the extra piece eventually decided the game for Black.

The game between Mariya Muzychuk and Tan Zhongyi started as a quiet Ruy Lopez, but Black's passive Knight retreat to b8 allowed Muzychuk to obtain a better position -which soon turned into a strong attack. The temporary exchange sacrifice and a deep cut by the pawn on g6 decided the fate of the game.

Nana Dzagnidze tried an unusual line of the English opening against Anna Muzychuk. It looked quite good for White until Dzagnidze allowed her center to collapse. She lost track of the game and even blundered an exchange. It took around 40 moves for Muzychuk, but she finally converted the game into a full point.

The sharpest opening was seen in the game between Russian players Alexandra Kosteniuk and Kateryna Lagno. Black sacrificed a pawn and then, surprisingly, castled long. However, Alexandra did not pursue an attack but opted for a Queens exchange to calm the pace and transfer the game into the ending with an extra pawn. Kosteniuk's plan was based on creating a passed pawn on the queenside. Lagno, on the other hand, attempted to maintain an active counterplay with her Rooks and Bishop. It seems Kosteniuk missed a good chance to seize an advantage on several occasions, but to her credit, the position was very complicated with many tactical possibilities for Black. With a stubborn defense, Katerina Lagno was able to hold a draw.

The leader of the tournament Aleksandra Goryachkina will face her nearest rival Katerina Lagno in the 10th round. Despite 2,5 points difference, Katerina Lagno said she still believes in miracles and will keep on fighting.

Tuesday is a rest day. Wednesday, June 12th, at 15:00 local time, the tenth round will be played with the following pairings:

Alexandra Kosteniuk — Valentina Gunina
Kateryna Lagno — Aleksandra Goryachkina
Anna Muzychuk — Tan Zhongyi
Mariya Muzychuk — Nana Dzagnidze

Report by Anastasiya Karlovich

Photos: Eteri Kublashvili & Anastasiya Karlovich

Categories: Ενημέρωση

Statement by FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment

FIDE - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 20:09

Statement by FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment:

"Fiercely competitive and universally established, chess has enchanted athletes and enthusiasts for centuries, regardless of their age, social status, gender, or faith. Chess appeals to the intellect, and it helps us to focus on the things we have in common with other people, rather than the superficial differences between us.

It is part of FIDE's core mission to endorse this cherished diversity across all levels of engagement, from early learning to world-class players. FIDE's renewed policies are rooted in our firm commitment to women empowerment and gender equity. We believe that sport equate fairness, and equality of opportunity requires the recognition and understanding of social context.

It is also our responsibility to address and dismantle any barriers that girls or women face at engaging in this sport. FIDE can only fulfill its global mission if we can inspire young girls and pave their way to immerse in the game, foster their talent and provide every opportunity for them to compete at the very top level.

With the aim to increase women's participation in the professional game, FIDE maintains a female track in all professional series and an open track for all athletes. It is one of our goals to establish specific corporate partnerships to help female athletes reach their full potential and be rewarded accordingly. Finally, FIDE aims to increase women's participation in executive roles within our organization, as well as to promote female leaders as our international partners and ambassadors of the game."

Arkady Dvorkovich
Geneva, June 10th, 2019

Categories: Ενημέρωση

List of players qualified for the FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss

FIDE - Mon, 06/10/2019 - 10:30

Below you will find the list of players qualified for the FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss Tournament 2019 as of June 1st.

The lists of players qualified from the African, American and Asian Continental Championships will be published as soon as the respective events are over.

(More info about the FIDE Grand Swiss on this recent press release)

Name Avg July 18 - June 19 Total Games Carlsen, Magnus 2844.8333 76 Caruana, Fabiano 2825.0000 66 Ding, Liren 2807.2500 71 Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 2801.7500 68 Giri, Anish 2785.4167 71 Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 2778.6667 92 Anand, Viswanathan 2772.5000 69 Grischuk, Alexander 2770.2500 46 Kramnik, Vladimir 2768.7500 37 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2767.0000 64 So, Wesley 2767.0000 62 Aronian, Levon 2766.3333 64 Yu, Yangyi 2758.0833 90 Nakamura, Hikaru 2756.4167 67 Karjakin, Sergey 2756.1667 53 Radjabov, Teimour 2755.0833 34 Svidler, Peter 2742.7500 41 Topalov, Veselin 2741.1667 13 Navara, David 2736.7500 108 Duda, Jan-Krzysztof 2734.6667 59 Wei, Yi 2734.0000 68 Harikrishna, Pentala 2731.3333 87 Jakovenko, Dmitry 2729.5000 78 Wojtaszek, Radoslaw 2728.8333 72 Rapport, Richard 2728.7500 68 Shankland, Sam 2724.3333 72 Vitiugov, Nikita 2724.0000 85 Bu, Xiangzhi 2722.8333 51 Wang, Hao 2721.8333 105 Artemiev, Vladislav 2721.1667 81 Andreikin, Dmitry 2719.1667 64 Le, Quang Liem 2713.4167 102 Naiditsch, Arkadij 2713.0833 134 Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi 2708.8333 89 Fedoseev, Vladimir 2707.5833 94 Li, Chao b 2703.6667 48 Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2703.5000 36 Adams, Michael 2703.3333 70 Ivanchuk, Vassily 2703.3333 59 Amin, Bassem 2700.3333 89 Vallejo Pons, Francisco 2699.2500 58 Dubov, Daniil 2699.0833 44 Cheparinov, Ivan 2696.4167 100 Matlakov, Maxim 2693.4167 63 Kryvoruchko, Yuriy 2692.6667 63 Howell, David W L 2691.9167 83 Sadler, Matthew D 2691.5000 7 Saric, Ivan 2690.8333 124 Inarkiev, Ernesto 2690.1667 90 Mamedov, Rauf 2689.7500 62 Almasi, Zoltan 2689.6667 39 Ragger, Markus 2687.8333 98 Sargissian, Gabriel 2686.5000 28 Korobov, Anton 2685.7500 100 Jones, Gawain C B 2685.4167 103 Bacrot, Etienne 2684.0833 94 Wang, Yue 2683.5000 28 Nabaty, Tamir 2683.4167 54 Adhiban, B. 2682.8333 77 Eljanov, Pavel 2682.7500 84 Gelfand, Boris 2681.4167 61 Cori, Jorge 2679.4167 34 Rodshtein, Maxim 2678.5833 94 Ni, Hua 2677.5833 35 Kovalev, Vladislav 2677.1667 98 Grandelius, Nils 2676.0833 97 Leko, Peter 2676.0833 47 Demchenko, Anton 2673.7500 73 Ponomariov, Ruslan 2673.2500 48 Sasikiran, Krishnan 2673.1667 64 McShane, Luke J 2671.2500 50 Berkes, Ferenc 2670.8333 68 Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2670.5833 95 Kamsky, Gata 2668.7500 43 Robson, Ray 2668.5000 51 Maghsoodloo, Parham 2667.1667 132 Xiong, Jeffery 2667.0000 125 Laznicka, Viktor 2666.6667 71 Najer, Evgeniy 2666.6667 31 Malakhov, Vladimir 2665.1667 80 Sjugirov, Sanan 2663.1667 67 Salem, A.R. Saleh 2662.5000 37 Melkumyan, Hrant 2661.9167 82 Guseinov, Gadir 2661.2500 59 Bruzon Batista, Lazaro 2660.0833 62 Hou, Yifan 2660.0833 7 Safarli, Eltaj 2659.7500 121 Areshchenko, Alexander 2659.3333 13 Kasimdzhanov, Rustam 2659.1667 29 Dreev, Aleksey 2658.7500 63 Swiercz, Dariusz 2658.5000 88 Kuzubov, Yuriy 2655.1667 129 Rausis, Igors 2654.5833 78 Motylev, Alexander 2653.2500 34 Mareco, Sandro 2652.3333 118 Hammer, Jon Ludvig 2651.8333 47 Anton Guijarro, David 2651.1667 83 Akopian, Vladimir 2650.8333 9 Kovalenko, Igor 2650.5833 89 Sethuraman, S.P. 2650.0000 105 Reserves Lenic, Luka 2650.0000 21 Ipatov, Alexander 2649.5000 15 Riazantsev, Alexander 2649.3333 20 Shirov, Alexei 2648.3333 92 Onischuk, Alexander 2647.5000 7 Fressinet, Laurent 2646.4167 68 Sevian, Samuel 2646.1667 104 Moiseenko, Alexander 2645.6667 50 Short, Nigel D 2645.1667 41 Edouard, Romain 2644.0833 113 L'Ami, Erwin 2642.3333 69 Parligras, Mircea-Emilian 2642.0000 75 Granda Zuniga, Julio E 2641.3333 53 Zvjaginsev, Vadim 2641.1667 64 Bauer, Christian 2640.8333 116 Gustafsson, Jan 2640.6667 18 Kravtsiv, Martyn 2640.5000 83 Papaioannou, Ioannis 2639.0833 20 Bok, Benjamin 2638.6667 49 Alekseenko, Kirill 2638.0000 90

Other qualification paths

Women’s World Champion as of June 1st 2019 – Ju, Wenjun.

Junior U20 World Champion as of June 1st 2019 – Puranik, Abhimanyu*
*Replaces Parham Maghsoodloo qualified by Average Rating

World Senior 50+ Champion as of June 1st 2019 – Movsziszian, Karen.

World Senior 65+ Champion as of June 1st 2019 – Jansa, Vlastimil

Qualifier from the ACP Tour based on standings as of June 1st 2019 – Chigaev, Maksim

Continental Championships 2019

1 Piorun, Kacper
2 Movsesian, Sergei
3 Huschenbeth, Niclas
4 Oparin, Grigoriy
5 Christiansen Johan-Sebastian
Categories: Ενημέρωση

Goryachkina dominates the Kazan Women's Candidates

FIDE - Sun, 06/09/2019 - 19:55

Goryachkina dominates the Kazan Women's Candidates

On Sunday the second half of the FIDE Women's Candidates Tournament started in Kazan, which means the players will face the same opponents with reversed colours. Aleksandra Goryachkina defeated her teammate Alexandra Kosteniuk to increase her tournament lead to 2 points. The youngest participant in the Candidates scored an impressive +5 and shows a 2786 performance. Kateryna Lagno made a draw against Valentina Gunina and remained in the second place. Tan Zhongyi, who lost three games in a row, struck back in the game against Nana Dzagnidze. Anna and Maria Muzychuk drew their second clash in the tournament.

After eight rounds Goryachkina has 6,5 points, Kateryna Lagno is on the second place with 4,5 points, Nana Dzagnidze is on the third with 4 points. Tan Zhongyi, Valentina Gunina and the Muzychuk sisters have 3, 5 points, and Alexandra Kosteniuk has 3 points.

In the Vienna Variation of the Queens Gambit, Aleksandra Goryachkina got a comfortable position against Aleksandra Kosteniuk. It seems the former Women's World Champion lost track of the game after Goryachkina went for a principal line 26.e5. "Even though my position was unpleasant, I think I had some chances, but I just couldn't do anything", said Alexandra Kosteniuk after the game. The leader of the tournament increased her initiative move after move and grabbed yet one more victory in this Candidates.

Valentina Gunina chose a rare line in Ruy Lopez and even though she was had prepared it, she got confused and was not sure how to follow after 7.a4. Nevertheless, both players seemed satisfied with their position and play in the middlegame. Katerina Lagno went for numerous exchanges and the situation remained balanced also in the endgame, and just before the first time control the draw was agreed. "Yesterday's game against Nana was really tough and long, so I decided to play safe today", explained Kateryna regarding her approach for the game against Valentina.

It seems not only Katerina Lagno felt tired after her encounter in the round seven. Nana Dzagnidze claimed the same in today's post-game interview. Against Tan Zhongyi, she went for a position with Rook and Bishop vs Queen, trying to prove she had enough of compensation, but a few moves later blundered a simple tactic, which led to a completely lost position. "I missed the 30.Rg6 and 31.Qc4 idea; I saw this line on the previous move, and then I absolutely forgot about it. I could have played 28...a5 instead of 28...Rb1 and the game would have continued after that".

Round 8 results:

Alexandra Goryachkina — Alexandra Kosteniuk | 1 — 0
Tan Zhongyi — Nana Dzagnidze | 1 — 0
Anna Muzychuk — Mariya Muzychuk | ½ — ½
Kateryna Lagno —  Valentina Gunina | ½ — ½

The Russian commentator GM Sergey Shipov was joined by the member of the Appeals Committee and WGM  Eva Repkova. She is also a Chairperson of the FIDE Women's Commission (WOM).

The Director of Tata Steel Chess Tournament, Jeroen Van Den Berg, is in Kazan as the FIDE Technical Advisor and the Chairman of the Appeals Committee. Jeroen gave an interview to the official broadcast, where he spoke about the organization of the tournament, the street music in Kazan, women's tournaments and other topics.

The ninth round would be played on Monday, June 10th at 15:00 local time, with the following pairings:

Alexandra Kosteniuk — Kateryna Lagno  
Valentina Gunina — Aleksandra Goryachkina
Mariya Muzychuk — Tan Zhongyi  
Nana Dzagnidze — Anna Muzychuk

Official website: http://fwct2019.com

(Photos: Eteri Kublashvili & Anastasya Karlovich)
Categories: Ενημέρωση

Goryachkina maintains 1,5 point lead

FIDE - Sat, 06/08/2019 - 22:03

In the seventh round, the leader of the tournament Aleksandra Goryachkina held a draw against Mariya Muzychuk to take her score to 5,5/7. Thus, she maintained her 1,5 point lead over her nearest pursuers Kateryna Lagno and Nana Dzagnidze, who played the longest game of the day and eventually finished in a draw. Anna Muzychuk missed good winning chances against Alexandra Kosteniuk. Valentina Gunina, who has up and down tournament so far, defeated Tan Zhongyi, for whom it was the third consecutive loss in the Candidates. It turned out to be the only decisive game in the seventh round.

After seven rounds, half-way through the tournament, Goryachkina has 5,5 points. Dzagnidze and Lagno share second with 4/7. The Muzychuk sisters, Gunina, and Kosteniuk have 3 points, and Tan Zhongyi has 2,5 points.

Alexandra Kosteniuk ½
Anna Muzychuk ½

Aleksandra Goryachkina ½
Mariya Muzychuk ½

Kateryna Lagno ½
Nana Dzagnidze ½

Valentina Gunina 1
Tan Zhongyi 0

A theoretical battle Kosteniuk-Muzychuk ended up with Alexandra`s exchange sacrifice, which led to a very complex position. According to Anna Muzychuk, she didn`t know 19.Ba4 and had problems finding the moves. The Ukrainian didn`t like her position after 23.d6 and kept on spending much more time than her opponent. However, suddenly, Alexandra lost the track of the game and was already in a trouble when she decided to sharpen the position by playing 28.Nd5.

“When I played 28.Nd5 it was the last chance to complicate the position but I think I was losing after 28…Qf2. I was hoping for 28…Nd6 to happen as 29.Ne7 is a nice trick. Otherwise I was very unhappy about my play,” commented Alexandra after the game. The game finished in a draw after the first time control.

Kateryna Lagno went for a complex position against Nana Dzagnidze in the Alapin Variation of the Sicilian. The Georgian player mobilized her pieces and sacrificed a pawn to get full control on the queenside and in the center. Kateryina Lagno found an interesting opportunity to create counter-play on the kingside, which balanced her chances in the game. After more than five hours of play the game ended up in a draw.

The half of the tournament is over and the eighth round will be played on June 9th, at 15:00 local time, with the following pairings:
Kateryna Lagno — Valentina Gunina
Aleksandra Goryachkina — Alexandra Kosteniuk
Tan Zhongyi — Nana Dzagnidze
Anna Muzychuk — Mariya Muzychuk

Nana Dzagnidze: "An important point is to save energy for the last rounds." Lagno: "So that's why today we played for more than five hours. Exactly your strategy!"

Mariya Muzychuk made an attempt to break Goryachkina`s series of victories. After numerous exchanges the game transposed into a rook and knight vs rook and bishop ending. Mariya won a pawn on the way and had good practical chances to defeat her opponent. However, Aleksandra was defending well and found the way to save the game.

Valentina Gunina got pleasant advantage right after the opening and had an upper hand during the whole game. When the players reached a rook and bishop vs rook and knight ending, she proved the bishop’s superiority over the knight with convincing play. Valentina created killing threats to the Black`s king, and the ex-World Champion resigned on the 49th move.

Categories: Ενημέρωση

42 χρόνια “Ίκαρος”

Skakistiko - Sat, 06/08/2019 - 14:50

Κείμενο: Κοσμάς Κέφαλος

Αν ένας άνθρωπος μπορούσε να βαδίζει ασταμάτητα επί 42 χρόνια θα είχε διανύσει δύο εκατομμύρια χιλιόμετρα.
Αν η γη ήταν ένα μονοπάτι θα είχε κάνει τον γύρο 50 φορές (εντάξει, ο γατόπαρδος θα είχε κάνει πεντακόσιους γύρους και το τσιτάχ πάνω από χίλιους). Το περιστέρι θα πετούσε χίλιες τριακόσιες φορές και, θεωρητικά, το πεινασμένο γεράκι – πετρίτης τρεισήμισι χιλιάδες. Ο μυθικός Ίκαρος θα είχε κάνει πετώντας πάνω από εκατό γύρους.
Αν ήταν αυτοκινητόδρομος, χωρίς φανάρια, το πιο γρήγορο αυτοκίνητο της δεκαετίας του ΄70 θα είχε κάνει τον γύρο της γης δυόμισι χιλιάδες φορές (τα σημερινά μοντέλα, τουλάχιστον χίλιους παραπάνω).
Αν ο σκακιστής έπαιζε ασταμάτητα επί 42 χρόνια θα είχε ενενήντα χιλιάδες παρτίδες κλασικού χρόνου σκέψης ή ένα εκατομμύριο ράπιντ ή πάνω από δύο εκατομμύρια μπλιτς.
Στην Ικαρία, όπου θα οργανωθεί από 9 μέχρι 17 Ιουλίου το 42ο Διεθνές Τουρνουά «Ίκαρος ΄19» – Ανοιχτό Πρωτάθλημα Αιγαίου, οι ταχύτητες είναι άγνωστες, τα ρεκόρ αδιάφορα, η εκτός σκακιέρας αντιπαλότητα απευκταία.
Όπως λένε οι τακτικοί επισκέπτες, «στην Ικαρία δεν έχει αλλάξει τίποτα», ίσως επειδή οι αλλαγές είναι αργές, ίσως επειδή έτσι θέλουν να πιστεύουν.
Το καλό κλίμα των αγώνων, οι χαλαροί ρυθμοί του νησιού, οι ποικίλες παράλληλες εκδηλώσεις και η φιλόξενη διάθεση των ντόπιων αποτελούν τους κύριους πόλους έλξης των όλο και περισσότερων σκακιστών και σκακιστριών!
Περιμένουμε και φέτος τριψήφιο αριθμό παικτών, από μεγάλους μετρ μέχρι αρχάριους, και με ευρύτατο φάσμα ηλικιών. Περιμένουμε με ενδιαφέρον όσους έλθουν για πρώτη φορά και με πολύ αγάπη όσους μας τιμούν επί δεκαετίες!
Από τις πρώτες συμμετοχές που έχουν αναρτηθεί στο http://chess-results.com/tnr445578.aspx?lan=1,
επικεφαλής στη λίστα των ΕΛΟ είναι οι γκραν μετρ Προχάσκα (Ουγγαρία, 2598), Χαριτόνοβ (Ρωσία, 2547), Ριτσαγκόβ (Ρωσία, 2520) και ο κορυφαίος λύτης σκακιστικών προβλημάτων Μούρτζια (Πολωνία, διεθνής μετρ, 2412).
Όπως φαίνεται στην αναλυτική προκήρυξη (http://www.ikaroschess.gr/ ) το κόστος του πακέτου είναι συμπιεσμένο, αποφύγαμε τους διπλούς γύρους (το β΄ γκρουπ έχει και ελεύθερες ημέρες!) και εξασφαλίσαμε από τις χορηγούς ναυτιλιακές εταιρείες Blue Star Ferries και Hellenic Seaways έκπτωση 40% στα εισιτήρια και στο ναύλο των οχημάτων των σκακιστών από Πειραιά, Καβάλα και Κυκλάδες και 30% από Μυτιλήνη, Χίο και Σάμο.
Ανάλογες εκπτώσεις προβλέπονται και για τους παίκτες από τα Δωδεκάνησα, με την Dodekanisos Seaways.
Ουσιαστική και ιδιαίτερα αποτελεσματική είναι για μια ακόμα χρονιά η στήριξη από την Δήμο Ικαρίας.
Πληροφορίες και δηλώσεις συμμετοχής: 6978-197617, ikaroschess2019@gmail.com.
Καλώς να έλθετε!

Categories: Ενημέρωση


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