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Positional Triumph for Zhao
Peter Parr (30/12/11)
Grandmaster  Zong-Yuan Zhao, the  defending  Champion, out- manoeuvred Justin Ikeda (Australian lightning champion 2010) in the following  game in the second round of the Australian Championship.    Zhao 2564 v  Ikeda 2349     1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 Qc2 Bb7 6 Bg2 Bb4+ 7 Bd2 a5 8 0-0 0-0 9 Bg5 Be7 10 Nc3 d5 11 Ne5 h6 12 Bf4 c6 13 Rad1 dxc4 14 e4 b5 15 a4 b4 16 Ne2 Nbd7 17 Nxc4 Nb6 18 Ne5 Rc8 19 Nd3 Nfd7 20 Nc5 Nxc5 21 dxc5 Nd7 22 Bd6 Ba6 23 Rfe1 Bxd6 24 Rxd6 Qc7 25 Nd4 Ne5 26 f4 Nc4 27 e5 Qa7 28 b3 Nxd6 29 exd6 Rfd8 30 Rd1 Qd7 31 Qe4 Bb7 32 Bf1 Ba8 33 Bd3 g6 34 h4 h5 35 Nf3 Qa7 36 Qe5 f6 37 Qxe6+ Kg7 38 Kg2 Rf8 39 Qe4 f5 40 Qd4+ Kh6 41 Ne5 Qg7 42 Bc4 Rcd8 43 Kh3 Bb7 44 Be6 Rde8 45 d7 Rd8 46 Qc4 Qe7 47 Bf7 1-0
Blacks pieces have no co-ordination or mobility. A fine positional masterpiece by the top seed!   Zhao won on forfeit  in the first round against FM Bill Jordan who mistakenly thought his late entry application had been rejected.  The 30-player title event with 76 entrants in the main supporting tournament for players rated below 2150 are being held in Victoria for the first time in ten years in the spacious Sphinx Entertainment Centre in North Geelong.
IM George Xie,the Australian Open Champion, seeded second, drew a double-edged game against Dragicevic in round one. GM Johansen and FM Illingworth seeded fifth and sixth respectively have started quietly with two draws each. Johansens second draw was against Solomon  (they have played more than 80 times in tournaments) a regular Australian Championship opponent for the last 30 years. Johansen has so far competed in 14 ! Olympiads (1980-2010) and was five times Australian Champion and Solomon 9 Olympiads (1984-2010) and is also a former Australian Champion. They will both need good performances in Geelong as there are a number of  strong young teenagers  who are very eager to replace them in the  Chess Olympiad next year in Istanbul.  
Another  5-time  Olympian (1992-2006) Wohl has won two sharp encounters including a fine positional exchange sacrifice against Tan shattering the structure of his opponents pawns.  J.Tan 2160  v A.Wohl  2404  C 60 Ruy Lopez  1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nge7 4 c3 a6 5 Ba4 g6 6 0-0 Bg7 7 d4 exd4 8 cxd4 b5 9 Bb3 0-0 10 Bf4 d5 11 e5 Bg4 12 Be3 Nf5 13 Qc1 Qd7 14 Nbd2 Nxe3 15 fxe3 Bh6 16 Re1 Na5 17 Bd1 Rae8 18 b3 Re6 19 Qc3 Nb7 20 Rc1 Rc8 21 b4 Nd8 22 Nb3 Rc6 23 Nc5 Qe7 24 Qb3 Be6 25 Nd2 Rb6 26 Bf3 c6 27 Nxe6 fxe6 28 Qc3 Bf8 29 a3 a5 30 bxa5 Ra6 31 Ra1 c5 32 Nb3 c4 33 Nc5 Rxc5! 34 dxc5 Qxc5 35 Bg4 Qc7 36 Rf1 Bg7 37 Qb4 Rxa5 38 a4 h5 39 Bh3 Nc6 40 Qb1 Nxe5 41 Bxe6+ Kh7 42 e4 ? ( a blunder in a lost position) Qb6+  0-1
17-year-old IM James Morris, winner of the recent Australasian Masters  in Melbourne beat FM Khamparia (IND 2414) in an instructive rook and opposite coloured bishop endgame a pawn ahead   note exchanging rooks when a pawn ahead is usually a serious mistake in this type of ending. Five of the top six rated players eligible for the title are from NSW with representatives from  VIC (11), NSW (8),QLD (6),WA,SA and ACT(1) each and Overseas (2). Western Australian 23-year-old student Ihsan Ferozkohi  born in Afghanistan grew up in Germany and is playing in his first major event in Australia.
  Leading scores after round 2 (30 players,11 rounds) :-  GM Z.Zhao (NSW 2564), IM A.Wohl (NSW 2404), IM V.Smirnov (RUS,NSW 2401), IM J.Morris (VIC 2364), IM M.Ly (QLD 2376)   all 2/2,  IM G.Xie (NSW 2440) 1.5.

China 4   Russia 0
Peter Parr     (26/12/11) 
China led by 17-year-old Womens World Champion  Yifan Hou  crushed the reigning Olympic Champions Russia 4-0 in the fifth round of the Womens World Team Championship in Mardin,Turkey. Leading scores after round six (10 teams,9 rounds):- China 12/12 ( 20.5/24 game points ), India 9/12, Georgia and Russia 8. GM Humpy Koneru (IND 2600)  and  Yifan Hou (CHN 2578) are both performing above 2800.There are 195,000 registered players in Turkey and the next Olympiad will be held in Aug/Sep 2012 in Istanbul.
 Thirteen countries competed in the Arab Games  team championship in Doha, Qatar. Egypt won gold with 17/18 match points. GM Amin Bassem 2590 scored 8/8 on board two. Qatar was 2nd on 14 points followed by Morocco 3rd on 13.  GM Baadur  Jobava GEO 2678 won the 747 player (including 69 Grandmasters) European Rapid in Warsaw,Poland.
The Australian Championship and supporting tournaments are being held at The Sphinx Hotel, North Geelong, Victoria from  27 Dec 2011 to 8 Jan 2012. There are 28 players (average age 24,the youngest in the 126- year history of Australian Championships) in the eleven round title event with only 7 aged over 26.   Australias leading grandmaster and defending champion Zong-Yuan Zhao aged 25 will start as clear favourite. IM George Xie aged 26,the Australian Open Champion, who has scored all his grandmasters norms and only needs his rating to reach 2500 for the Grandmaster title is seeded second.
The seven  players with FIDE ratings above 2400  are:- GM Z.Zhao NSW 2564, IM G.Xie NSW 2440, IM A.Khamparia INDIA 2414 (winner of the 2011 Sydney International above six grandmasters but not eligible for the title), IM A.Wohl NSW 2404 (2009 Australian Open Champion), GM D.Johansen VIC 2403 (five times Australian Champion, aged 52, the oldest competitor), IM V.Smirnov RUS 2401 (IM title awarded 2011,resident NSW),FM M.Illingworth NSW 2401 (NSW Champion 2011,GM norm 2011).  
The other leading players are IM S.Solomon QLD 2384 (2008 Australian Champion), IM M.Ly (QLD 2376,Aus Junior Champion 2005),IM J.Morris (VIC 2364) aged 17, Australasian Masters winner 2011, FM J.Ikeda ACT 2349 (2008 Aus Junior Champion), FM B.Cheng VIC 2345 ( aged 14, World Under 12 Champion 2009). Ten-year-old Anton Smirnov seeded 22 is the youngest of the six players under the age of fifteen. There are at present 78 players in the main supporting event.
The Yulgilbar-Think Big Australian Chess Grand Prix (54 events in 2011) was won by IM Stephen Solomon (QLD). FM Max Illingworth (NSW) was second and IM George Xie (NSW) third.  IM James Morris aged 17  won the Australasian Masters in Melbourne.   J.Morris (IM) v E.Levi (FM)  
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 f5 4.Bg2 Nf6 5.e3 d6 6.Nge2 Be7 7.00 00 8.d4 Qe8 9.Nd5 Nxd5 10.cxd5 Nd8 11.Qc2 c5 12.dxc5 dxc5 13.e4 Bd6 14.f4 fxe4 15.Bxe4 Qh5 16.fxe5 Rxf1+ 17.Kxf1 Bxe5 18.Nf4 Bh3+ 19.Kg1 Bxf4 20.Bxf4 Nf7 21.Re1 Rf8 22.Qxc5 g5 23.d6 Qg4 24.Bd2 Qd7 25.Bc3 Re8 26.Qd4 Re5 27.Qf2 Re6 28.Bd5 Rxe1+ 29.Qxe1 Kf8 30.Qf2 Bf5 31.Qd4 Ke8 32.Qg7 Nxd6 33.Qh8+ 1-0 (after 33..Ke7 34 Bf6 mate).  
FM Bobby Cheng,  drew his final round game against Chess Victoria President IM Leonid Sandler but missed his second IM norm by half-a-point.  Leading final scores (10 players,9 rounds):-  IM J.Morris (VIC  2364) 7.5, FM B.Cheng (VIC 2345) 6.5, IM S.Solomon (QLD 2384) 6, IM L.Sandler (VIC 2279) 5.5.    (Extra chess columns will be published in the SMH to cover the Australian Championships).

Kramnik wins London Classic

Peter Parr (19/12/11)

 Former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik won the London Classic by defeating the four English players and drawing his other four games.  Kramnik,V (2800) - Howell,D (2633) [D27] Rd 7  1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 dxc4 4.e3 e6 5.Bxc4 c5 6.00 a6 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.a3 b5 9.Ba2 Bb7 10.Qe2 Qc7 11.Rd1 Rd8 12.d5 exd5 13.Nxd5 Nxd5 14.Bxd5 Be7 15.e4 00 16.g3 Na5 17.Bf4 Qc8 18.a4! b4 19.Rac1 Bc6? 20.Bg5! Bxg5 21.Rxc5! Bf6 22.Rxa5 Bxd5 23.Raxd5 Rxd5 24.Rxd5 Qc1+ 25.Kg2 Bxb2 26.Qxa6 Qc2 27.Rd2 Qb3 28.a5 Bc3 29.Rd5 Qc2 30.Qb7 b3 31.a6 b2 32.Rb5 Qa4 33.a7 h6 34.e5 Kh7 35.Rb3 Qa2 36.h4 Kg8 37.h5 Qa5 38.Qb8 Qa2 39.Rxc3 b1Q 40.Rc8 10

 World Champion Vishy Anand in his last two tournaments in Moscow and London has scored 1 win, 1 loss and 15 draws and will drop down to fourth place on the Jan 2012 World rating list. The top six will be Carlsen (aged 21) 2835,Aronian 2809,Kramnik 2801,Anand 2799,Radjabov 2773,Topalov 2770.      Final scores (9 players, 8 games, traditional scores in brackets):- V.Kramnik (RUS 2800) 16 (6), H.Nakamura (USA 2758) 15 (5.5), M.Carlsen (NOR 2826) 14 (5.5), L.McShane (ENG 2671) 13 (5), V.Anand (IND 2811) 9 (4), L.Aronian (ARM 2802) 9 (4), N.Short (ENG 2698) 6 (2.5), D.Howell (ENG 2633) 4 (2), M.Adams (ENG 2734) 3 (1.5).   Kasparov was the former trainer of Carlsen and Nakamura. The supporting 231 player FIDE Open tournament in London was won by Indian Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta (2640) scoring 8/9. GM Fabiano Caruana (ITA 2727) scored a fabulous 10/11 in the Championship of Italy a full 3.5 points ahead of his closest rival.

 Leading final scores in the World Mind Games in Beijing, China Rapid Play (16 GMs rated 2693-2775) :- Wang Hao (CHN 2736) 5.5/7, V.Gashimov (AZE 2757) 5, G.Kamsky (USA 2732) 4.5 . Top seed V. Ivanchuk (UKR 2775) was last on 2/7.

Lightning :- 1st Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (FRA 2710) 12/15.             

The Womens Rapid Play was won by former Womens World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS 2439) seeded last scoring 6/7, K.Lahno (UKR 2549), N.Dzagnidze (GEO 2516), W.Ju (CHN 2543) 4.5. Lightning :- 1st World Womens Champion Hou Yifan (CHN 11.5/15). Armenian Grandmaster Hrant Melkumyan (2615) won the 367 player,26 round European blitz Championship in Warsaw,Poland. The standard new international blitz(lightning) time control was used again with each player given 3 minutes for a game plus 2 second increments per move. The older 5 minutes per player with no increments led to many disputes in long games.   Leading scores after eight rounds of the European Rapid also in Warsaw (747 ! players,13 rounds) :- A.Korobov (UKR 2660) and S.Sjugirov (RUS 2622) 7.5/8.

 Progress scores in the Australasian Masters in Melbourne (10 players, 9 rounds):- IM J.Morris  (VIC 2364) 6.5/8, IM S.Solomon (QLD 2384) and FM B.Cheng (VIC 2345) 6. Bobby Cheng,the 2009 World Under-12 Champion, needs to win his last round game against IM Leonid Sandler to gain his second IM norm (three are required and a 2400+ rating for the IM Title).  Leading final scores in the Lidums Australian Young Masters in Adelaide :- Y.Lui (QLD 2039) 6.5, J.Muller (QLD 2023), F.Zulfic (SA 2087) 6,  A.Smirnov (NSW 2063) , IM A.Brown (ACT 2225) 5.5, WIM E.Guo (ACT 1990) 5.  Junior Masters :- A.Setiabudi  (ACT 1955)and S.Yu (VIC 1918)  6.5/9.  Australian Girls Masters:- M.Setiabudi (ACT 1704) 8/9, A.Chibnall (ACT 1861) 6.

 Newcastle University no 1 team won the NSW Country Teams Championship (14 teams,6 rounds) half-a-point ahead of Gosford and Central Coast no 1 team (board 1 best scorer FM John Curtis 5.5/6). WIM Heather Richards (ENG) won an exciting last round game against Mike Canfell to secure the title for Newcastle University no 1 team.  The event was played at the Gallipoli Legion Club in Hamilton,Newcastle.  The annual Easts Spring Challenge tournament at Bondi Junction was won convincingly by Womens International Master Biljana Dekic with a perfect score of nine out of nine. Dekic has so far represented Australia with distinction in nine chess Olympiads and is in good current form. 

Close finish in London Classic

Peter Parr (12/12/11)

World no 1 Magnus Carlsen, former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik and Luke McShane share first place in the London Classic with two rounds left to play. The three leaders have each scored three wins and three draws in their first six games with performance ratings above 2900. Hikaru Nakamura has also won three games (three points for a win, one point for a draw in the London Classic) but lost to Carlsen in the following game in the third round.

Carlsen,M (2826) - Nakamura,Hi (2758) [C50]   1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.c3 d6 6.Bb3 a6 7.Nbd2 Ba7 8.Nf1 h6 9.Ng3 00 10.00 Be6 11.h3 Qd7 (11..d5) 12.Be3 Ne7 13.Nh4 Ng6 14.Nhf5 Ne7 15.Nxe7+ Qxe7 16.Bxa7 Rxa7 17.f4 c5 18.Bc2 b5 19.Qd2 Rb7 20.a3 a5 21.Rf2 b4 22.axb4 axb4 23.Raf1 bxc3 24.bxc3 exf4 25.Rxf4 Nh7 26.d4 cxd4 27.cxd4 Qg5 28.Kh2 Nf6 29.Bd1 Rfb8? (Black under-estimated the exchange sacrifice. 29.. Rb1 was better according to Kramnik) 30.h4 Qg6 31.Rxf6 gxf6 32.Qf4 Rb2 33.Bh5 Qg7 34.Bf3 Ra8? (34..Qg6)35.d5 Bc8 36.Nh5 Qf8 37.Nxf6+ Kh8 38.Rc1 Kg7 39.e5 dxe5 40.Nh5+ Kh7 41.Be4+10

World Champion Viswanathan Anand who drew every game in the recent Tal Memorial in Moscow, and World no 3 Levon Aronian have each scored one win, one loss, and four draws so far in London. Last year Carlsen was first with McShane and Anand equal second.

Progress scores (9 players,8 games, traditional scores in brackets): -   M.Carlsen (NOR 2826), V.Kramnik (RUS 2800), L.McShane (ENG 2671) all 12 (4.5/6), H.Nakamura (USA 2758) 11 (4/6), L.Aronian (ARM 2802) and V.Anand (IND 2811) 7 (3/6), N.Short (ENG 2698) 4 (1.5/6), M.Adams (ENG 2734) and D.Howell (ENG 2633) 3  (1.5/7).

Sixteen grandmasters rated between 2693 and 2775 are competing in the World Mind Games rapid-play in Beijing, China. Leading scores after round five :- Wang Hao (CHN 2736) 4, V.Gashimov (AZE 2757), R.Ponomariov (UKR 2723) 3.5, S.Karjakin (RUS 2763), A.Grischuk (RUS 2752), G.Kamsky (USA 2732) 3.   Former Womens World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS 2439) seeded last is in outright first place with 3.5/4 in the sixteen player womens section. World Womens Champion Hou Yifan (CHN 2578) is currently in sixth place with 2.5 points.

First round results of the Australian Masters in Melbourne (10 players,9 rounds) :  FM E.Levi (VIC 2138) 0.5 v M.Ginat (USA 2190) 0.5, IM M.Rujevic (VIC 2302) 0 v IM J.Morris (VIC 2364) 1,  W.Lee (SIN 2248) 1 v FM B.Cheng (VIC 2345) 0, D.Garner (ENG 2149) 0 v FM D.Stojic (VIC 2287) 1, O.Bashar (BAN 2010) 0 v IM S.Solomon (QLD 2384) 1. 

The Australian Schools Teams Championships, held in the Great Hall at Knox Grammar School, Sydney was a triumph for Victorian schools, which won three of the four divisions. The venue proved ideal for the event with a gallery which allowed spectators to view the games from above without intruding into the actual playing area. The Championships (for teams of four players) were the culmination of schools chess for the year, being contested by the winners of each states schools teams competitions.

Leading final scores:  Secondary Open -  Scotch College (VIC) 17/20 , Brisbane Grammar (QLD) 12, Knox Grammar (NSW) and Sydney Boys High(NSW) 10.5; Secondary  Girls Somerville House (QLD) 15/16 , Alfred Deakin High (ACT) 10, MacRobertson Girls High (VIC) 6 ;  Primary Open-  Deepdene Primary (VIC) 20/20, Magill Primary (SA) 12.5, Kings Christian College (QLD) 9.5.    Primary Girls Mount View Primary (VIC) 20.5/24 , Somerset College (QLD) 11, Abbotsleigh (NSW) 10

Carlsen leads London Classic

by Peter Parr (5/12/11)

 The four highest rated players in the World  - Magnus Carlsen (NOR 2826),World Champion Viswanathan Anand (IND 2811), Levon Aronian (ARM 2802) and ex-World Champion Vladimir Kramnik (RUS 2800) are playing in the London Classic  in England.  World no 1 Magnus Carlsen, aged 21, has taken the sole lead by winning the following game in the first round on Saturday evening.

    M.Carlsen  (NOR 2826)  v  D.Howell (ENG 2633)   Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defence C65 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nf6 4 d3 Bc5 5 c3 0-0 6 0-0 Re8 7 Bg5 h6 8 Bh4 Bf8 9 Nbd2 d6 10 d4 exd4 11 Nxd4 Bd7 12 Nxc6 (white has a positional advantage)  bxc6 13 Bd3 Be7 14 f4 Qb8 15 Bxf6 Bxf6 16 e5 dxe5 17 Ne4 Qxb2 (black has only 26 mins left for 23 moves) 18 f5? (Qh5 was better)  Red8 19 Bc4 Be8 20 Qh5 Rd6 21 Rab1 Qc2 22 Qg4 Kf8 23 h3 Rad8 24 Kh2 Qa4 25 Rb4 Qa3 26 Rb7 R6d7 27 Qf3 Qa4 28 Qe2 Re7 ? 29 Nxf6 gxf6 30 Qe3 Red7 31 Qc5+ Rd6 32 Rxc7 Qc2 33 Rc8 R8d7 34 Be6 Ke7 35 Bxd7 Bxd7 36 Rh8 Qd3 37 Rf3? Qd5 38 Qxa7 e4 39 Qb8 Qe5+ 40 Rg3 1-0 Howell with only 3 seconds left resigned thinking he could not avoid checkmate. After 40..Qxf5! white is still better but there is plenty of play left in the position.

The other results were :- M.Adams (ENG 2734) 0.5 v V.Anand (IND 2811) 0.5, L.Aronian (ARM 2802) 0.5 v L.McShane (ENG 2671) 0.5, V.Kramnik (RUS 2800)0.5 v H.Nakamura (USA 2758) 0.5, N.Short(ENG 2698) bye.

    For the December 2011 Australian rating period there were  133 tournaments rated 93 classic  (6382 games) and 40 rapid (3778 games).    Top 10 :- GM Z.Zhao (NSW 2574), GM D.Smerdon (ACT  2533) , IM G.Xie (NSW 2474), FM M.Illingworth (NSW  2434, best under 20), GM D.Johansen (VIC  2419 ), T.Tao (SA 2411), IM I.Goldenberg (VIC 2402),  IM V.Smirnov (NSW 2399),FM J.Ikeda (ACT 2398), IM S. Solomon (QLD  2387). Over 80 P.Viner (NSW 1941)  Over 70:- FM A.Flatow (NSW 2172)  Over 60 :- IM M.Rujevic (VIC  2299)  

      U18,U16,U14 :- FM B.Cheng (VIC 2363)  U12 & U10 A.Smirnov (NSW  2132)  Women :- WIM A.Caoili (QLD 2210),  IM I.Berezina-Feldman (NSW 2087), WIM E.Guo (ACT 2087),WIM B.Dekic (NSW 2015), WFM S.Oliver (ACT 1916).  Most active player 10-year-old Anton Smirnov with 51 games.

 The AGM of the NSW Chess Association at Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club re - elected the following executive : President Bill Gletsos ; Vice-President Shane Burgess ; Secretary Tom Accola ; Treasurer Norm Greenwood.

Leading final scores in the NSW State Lightning Championship (5 mins each, 30 players, 11 rounds) :-   Blair Mandla 10 (ten wins, and one loss to the runner-up), Stanislav Berezovski 9, IM George Xie (Top seed) 8.5.  The NSW Country Teams Championship will be held at Gallipoli Legion Club,Hamilton (Newcastle) 10-11 Dec.

 Seventy-two players have so far entered The Australian Championship and supporting tournaments to be held at The Sphinx Entertainment Centre, North Geelong, Victoria from 27 Dec 2011 to 8 Jan 2012. Early entries for the title event include GM Z.  Zhao (NSW 2564), the defending champion, IM G.Xie (NSW 2440), GM D.Johansen (VIC 2403), FM M.Illingworth (NSW 2401).       The Australian Junior Championships at Melbourne Chess Club 14-22 Jan 2012 has so far attracted a record entry of over 200 players. 

 The Queenstown, New Zealand  Chess Classic has 110 early entries. The top ten seeds are :-  GM Li Chao (CHN 2700),GM G.Jones (ENG 2635),GM S.Ganguly (IND 2625), GM E.Rozentalis (LTU 2586), GM Zhao Jun (CHN 2582), GM S.Hansen (DEN 2566), GM D.Bojkov (BUL 2553), GM Zhao Xue (CHN 2539), GM K.Bischoff (GER 2537), IM G.Xie (AUS 2440) . 

Carlsen wins Tal Memorial

by Peter Parr (28/11/11)

 World no 1 Magnus Carlsen won the Tal Memorial in Moscow on count-back (more games with black) from World no 3 Levon Aronian. Carlsen who will be 21 on Wednesday,and 21-year olds Karjakin and Nepomniachtchi between them scored 4 wins,23 draws and no losses. World Champion Viswanathan Anand drew all nine games.The event was however hard fought with many interesting games.  Nakamura,Hi (2758) - Ivanchuk,V (2775) [D83] Rd 7   1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bf4 Bg7 5.e3 00 6.Rc1 dxc4 7.Bxc4 Nbd7 8.Nb5?! c6 9.Bc7 Qe8 10.Nc3 e5 11.dxe5 Nxe5 12.Be2 Bf5 13.Nf3 Nxf3+ 14.Bxf3 Rc8 15.Bg3 Ne4 16.Bxe4 Bxe4 17.00 Rd8 18.Qa4 Bd3 19.Rfd1 b5 20.Qa5 Rd7 21.Rd2 Qe7 22.Rcd1 Rfd8 23.a3 h5 24.h3 h4 25.Bh2 Kh7 26.Bc7 Rxc7 27.Rxd3 Rxd3 28.Rxd3 Bf6 29.Rd2 (Qb4 was stronger) Rd7 30.Rc2 Qe6 31.Qb4 a5 32.Qf4 Kg7 33.Rc1 a4 34.Qb4 Rd3 35.Rc2?(Kf1 was the only move) Qb3! 36.Qxb3 axb3 37.Rc1 Bxc3 38.bxc3 c5 39.Kf1 c4 40.Ke2 Rxc3! 01  

 Final scores (10 players, 2776 average rating, 9 rounds):- M.Carlsen (NOR 2826) ,L.Aronian (ARM 2802) 5.5, V.Ivanchuk (UKR 2775), S.Karjakin (RUS 2763), I.Nepomniachtchi (RUS 2730) 5, P.Svidler (RUS 2755), V.Anand (IND 2811) 4.5, V.Kramnik (RUS 2800), B.Gelfand (ISR 2744) 3.5, H.Nakamura (USA 2758) 3.

 The 12-game World Championship Match between Anand and Gelfand will be played 10-31 May 2012 for a prize fund of $ 2.55 million in Moscow.  Hou Yifan (CHN 2578, aged 17),retained her title by defeating  challenger Humpy Koneru (IND 2600) 5.5 -2.5  in the Womens World Championship Match in Tirana,Albania.   IM Vladimir Okhotnik (FRA 2427),the 1979 Ukraine Champion, won the  World Seniors Championship (241 players from 45 countries) in Opatija,Croatia above 14 grandmasters with a score of 9/11.  Results of the three Australians were:-   IM M.Rujevic (2302) 6 , L.Benson (2007) 5.5, S.Krstic (1994) 5.      Women (40 players) first WIM Galina Strutinskaya (RUS 2277) 8.5/11.

 The World Youth Championships in Caldas Novas, Brazil ended on Saturday evening with 1120 players from 80 countries.  GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (ARM 2556) won the Open under -18 division with 8/9.  Final scores of the seven Australians were :- U 8 open K.Willathgamuwa 6  , U 10 open R.Willathgamuwa (1687) 4.5  , U 12 open K.Zelesco (1976) 5  , U14 open J.Tan (2160) 5.5,  U 16 girls A.Kanagarajah (1617) 4,  U 18 girls S.Yu (1918) 5  and M.Webb-Liddle (1489) 3 . The team coach was GM Ian Rogers of Sydney.    

 Norths outrated  St.George on 47 of the 51 boards   in the second leg of the big board match and won 31-20 last Tuesday evening. Results of the top two boards IM G.Xie (St George 2460) 0 v FM M.Illingworth (Norths 2442) 1, IM V.Smirnov (Norths 2410) 0 v FM T.Reilly (St George 2354) 1.  Norths won  14.5-5.5  on the top 20 boards.    Norths retained the John Kellner/Terrey Shaw Trophy with an overall score of 48.5-44.5.  Leading final scores in the St George Swiss (53 players,9 rounds):-  A.Huynh (2020) 7.5,  P.Chen and Dr C.Zworestine (1984) 7.  The seven-round Summer Open at St George commences tomorrow evening 29th November.  Tom Thomas a regular  competitor in NSW events passed away last Monday.

 The Vikings Tuggeranong Chess Club ACT GP  weekender (56 players, 7 rounds) was won by  Fide Master Justin Ikeda (ACT 2372) on 6 points ($ 1000) followed by International Masters G.Xie (NSW 2460),V.Smirnov(NSW 2410) and A.Brown (ACT 2201) on 5.5 . In round 6 Ikeda only had a few seconds left against the top seed Xie who had a strong attack. Ikeda defended well and turned the tables and won after catching Xie in a mating net.

 The Australian Schools Teams Championships will be held at Knox Grammar School in Wahroonga next weekend. NSW will be represented by Knox Grammar (Secondary Open Division),Hornsby Girls High (Secondary Girls),Sydney Grammar Preparatory St Ives (Primary Open) and Abbotsleigh (Primary Girls).

Four leaders in Tal Memorial

by Peter Parr (21/11/11)

Four players share first place with one win each and three draws after four rounds of the Tal Memorial tournament in Moscow. The event with an average rating of 2776 is the first time that the top four  players in the World have all been  rated 2800 and above.  World no 1 Magnus Carlsen defeated the official 2012 World Title Challenger Boris Gelfand in a sparkling attacking game from both contestants.

M.Carlsen 2826 v B.Gelfand 2744  D12   1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 e3 Bf5 5 Nc3 e6 6 Nh4 Bg6 7 Nxg6 hxg6 8 Bd3 ( 8 Bd2 is more usual) Nbd7 9 0-0 Bd6 10 h3 dxc4 11 Bxc4 Nb6 12 Bb3 e5 13 Qc2! Qe7 14 Bd2 0-0-0 (castling on opposite sides leads to sharp play) 15 d5 e4 16 dxc6 Qe5 17 f4 exf3 18 Rxf3 Ng4!? 19 cxb7+ Kb8 20 hxg4 Rh1+ 21 Kf2 Rxa1 22 Ne2 Bc5 23 Bc3 Qe7 24 g5 Rdd1 25 Ng3 Bd6 26 Qe2 Rg1 (26.. Bxg3+ with a probable draw) 27 Qd3 (better was 27 Qb5! but the analysis is very complex) Bc7 28 Ne4 Raf1+ 29 Ke2 Rxf3 30 gxf3 (white is now winning) f5 31 gxf6 32 Bxf6 Qh7 33 Qb5 Rg2+ 34 Kd3 Qd7+ 35 Qxd7 Nxd7 36 Bd5 Be5? 37 f4 Bc7 38 Bc6 1-0 (wins the knight).

World Champion Viswanathan  Anand has drawn all four games.  Progress scores after round 4 :- (10 players, 9 rounds)   M.Carlsen (NOR 2826), L.Aronian (ARM 2802), S.Karjakin (RUS 2763), I.Nepomniachtchi (RUS 2730) all  2.5, V.Anand (IND 2811),V.Ivanchuk (UKR 2775), P.Svidler (RUS 2755) 2, V.Kramnik (RUS 2800), H.Nakamura (USA 2758) 1.5, B.Gelfand (ISR 2744) 1.

Hou Yifan (CHN 2578), the defending champion, defeated challenger Humpy Koneru (IND 2600) in the third and only decisive game so far in  the Womens World Championship Match in Tirana, Albania and leads 2.5-1.5 with six games left to play. The prize fund is over AUS $ 270,000 with 60% to the winner,40% to the loser.

Six players including five grandmasters have taken the early lead with 4.5/5 in  the 21st World Seniors Championship (241 players from 45 countries) in Opatija, Croatia.  Results of the three Australians are :-  IM M.Rujevic (2302) 3  , S.Krstic  (1994) and L.Benson (2007) 2.5.   Women (40 players) WGM L.Saunina (RUS 2274) 4.5/5, former World Champion GM N.Gaprindashvili (GEO 2360) 4.

The World Youth Championships in 12 divisions has commenced in Caldas Novas, Brazil with 1120 players (174 titled) from 80 countries.  The top seeds in the under 18 open division  Grandmasters  S.Ter-Sahakyan (ARM 2556),V.Fedoseev (RUS 2523) and A.Salem (UAE 2511) won their first two games.  Progress scores of the seven Australians are :- U 8 open K.Willathgamuwa  2/2, U 10 open R.Willathgamuwa (1687) 1  ,U 12 open K.Zelesco (1976) 2 , U 14 open- J.Tan (2160) 2, U 16 girls A.Kanagarajah (1617) 0, U 18 girls S.Yu (1918) 1  and M.Webb-Liddle (1489) 0. The team coach is Grandmaster Ian Rogers of Sydney.

IM Andrew Brown (ACT 2201) leads the 56 player  Grand Prix weekender in Tuggeranong, Canberra with 4/4 followed by FM J.Ikeda (ACT 2372), IM G.Xie (NSW 2460) and B.Mandla (NSW 2151) on 3.5.

The 2nd leg of the hard fought  Big Board Match between two of Australias strongest chess clubs Norths and St George will be played tomorrow evening 22 Nov at Norths. St George won the first leg 24.5 17.5.

The NSW State Lightning Championship will be held on Saturday 26 November commencing at 11am at Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club. The event will be followed by the AGM of the New South Wales Chess Association starting at 2.30pm.

Ten-year-old Smirnov wins ahead of champ Canfell

by Peter Parr (14/11/11)

Ten-year-old Anton Smirnov has sensationally won the Ford Memorial tournament at Norths ahead of seven-time NSW Champion Greg Canfell. The field included players aged from 10 to 86.  Smirnov,one of the worlds highest rated players born in the 21st century had started as 4th seed. His father is International Master Vladimir Smirnov and his progress in the next few years will be keenly watched. The only comparable player of similar age ever in Australia is Bobby Cheng of Melbourne the former World Under - 12 Champion.  Leading final scores (71 players,9 rounds) A.Smirnov (2024) 8 6 wins,1 forfeit win,2 draws, FM G.Canfell (2333) 7.5 7 wins,1 draw,1 loss) ,O.Wang (1941) and J.Kuan (1752) 7,M.Morris (2110), G.Pfefferle (1982) 6.5.

The European Team Championship in Halkidiki, Greece was surprisingly won by the tenth seeds Germany led by Arkadij Naiditsch (2712) who scored 5/8 perf 2794 and Georg Meier(2659) scoring 5.5/9 perf 2758. Germany defeated the third,fourth and fifth seeds Azerbaijan (defending champions),Armenia and Hungary each 2.5-1.5 and crushed Olympic Champions 2nd seeded Ukraine 3.5-0.5. Germanys only loss was 1-3 against Bulgaria who led with 9/10. Former World Champion Topalov (BUL) said in an interview when Bulgaria  was leading that something always goes wrong with us at the end. He was right. Hungary 4 Bulgaria 0 in the last round.  The five players all undefeated who  performed above 2800 were S.Mamedyarov (AZE) 2866,M.Adams(ENG) 2841,A.Grischuk (RUS) 2837,L.Aronian(ARM) 2833 and Z.Almasi(HUN) 2809.

Mamedyarov,S (2733) - Brunello,S (2575) [D10] Rd 1  1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 dxc4 4.e3 b5 5.a4 b4 6.Nce2 Qd5 7.Ng3 Nf6 8.Be2 e5 9.Nf3 Nbd7 10.00 Bd6 11.Nd2 c3 12.bxc3 bxc3 13.e4 Qe6 14.Nf5 00 15.Bc4 Nd5 16.Nf3 N7b6 17.Bb3 Ba6 18.Re1 Bc7 19.dxe5 10

Yilmaz,M (2515) - Lupulescu,C (2657) [D37] Rd 2  1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e3 a6 6.a4 b6 7.Bxc4 Bb7 8.00 Bb4 9.Qe2 Qe7 10.Bd3 c5 11.e4 cxd4 12.Nxd4 Nfd7 13.Rd1 Ne5 14.Bc2 Nbc6 15.Nxc6 Nxc6 16.e5 Qc5 17.Be4 Rc8 18.Bf4 g6 19.Bh6 Qa5 20.Qd2 10

Gashimov,Vugar (2757) - Cheparinov,Ivan (2650) [B23] (Rd 7)  1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 Nc6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.Bc4 Na5 7.Be2 Bg7 8.00 Nf6 9.Qe1 00 10.Qh4 Nc6 11.d3 Nd4 12.Nxd4 cxd4 13.Nb1 Rc8 14.Bd1 Rc5 15.Nd2 Qc7 16.Nf3 Rxc2 17.Bxc2 Qxc2 18.Ne1 Qd1 19.b3 Ng4 20.Qxe7 Bc6 21.h3 Re8 22.Qxd6 Bf8 23.Qxd4 Rxe4 24.Bb2 Rxd4 25.Rxd1 Bc5 26.Bxd4 Bxd4+ 27.Kh1 Ne3 28.Nf3 Bxf3 29.gxf3 Kg7 30.Rfe1 Nxd1 31.Rxd1 Bc5 32.Rc1 b6 33.Rc4 Kf6 34.b4 Bd6 35.b5 Ke6 36.Kg2 Kd5 37.Kf1 f5 38.Ke2 10

Leading final scores (38 teams,9 rounds,):- Germany 15,Azerbaijan 14,Hungary,Armenia,Russia 13,Netherlands,Bulgaria 12. The other three teams seeded in the top ten were Ukraine, seeded 2 were 15th on 10 points, France seeded 6 were 19th on 9 points and England seeded 8 were 22nd on 8 points.

Women :- Russia 17,Poland,Georgia 14,Ukraine,France 12. Russia won eight of the nine matches and drew 2-2 with Poland to easily win the event. Former World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk  on board four was the best Russian performer scoring 5.5/7. The most outstanding result was achieved by Anna Muzychuk the top board of Slovenia who scored 8.5/9 for a 2782 rating performance.

 The ten game  World Womens Championship Match is being held in Tirana, Albania 14-30 November. Hou Yifan (CHN 2578) aged 17 who won the World Title at the age of 16 in 2010 will play the Challenger Humpy Koneru (IND 2600). Judit Polgar(HUN 2710),the strongest female player ever does not compete in any events for women only.

 The 21st World Seniors Championship in Opatija, Croatia 15-27 Nov has attracted 210 players including sixteen grandmasters. Australia has three entrants IM M.Rujevic (2302),L.Benson (2007) and S.Krstic (1994). Women The top seed and clear favourite is former World Champion Nona Gaprindashvili (GEO 2360).

Xie wins Melbourne Chess Cup

Peter Parr (7/11/11)

International Master George Xie of Sydney finished first in the World Rated Melbourne Cup  Grand Prix weekend tournament  by winning his last six games after drawing with FIDE Master Bobby Cheng in round three. Xie will gain valuable rating points from the event. He has scored all his Grandmaster norms and needs only to increase his rating to 2500 to earn the Grandmaster Title.  NSW Champion FM Max Illingworth took the sole lead in round 4 by defeating IM Stephen Solomon. Cheng beat Illingworth in the endgame in round 5 while top seed George Xie outplayed Solomon. Xie became the sole leader by defeating Illingworth in round 6 while Cheng took a half-point bye. Xie beat young International Masters Andrew Brown and James Morris and won his last round game against Justin Tan.  Leading final scores  (43 players, 9 rounds) :- IM G.Xie (NSW 2440) 8.5, FM B.Cheng (VIC 2346) 7.5, IM J.Morris (VIC 2327), IM S.Solomon (QLD  2384), IM A.Brown (ACT 2216),IM M.Rujevic (VIC 2308), D.Garner (OS 2122) and J.Tan (VIC 2154) 6. The event ably directed by Kerry Stead was held at the Melbourne Chess Club which has been open daily since 1866.

Tom Accola has been awarded life membership of the Harbord Diggers Chess Club in recognition of his services to the club over many years. Accola is also the hard-working unpaid Secretary of both the Australian Chess Federation and the NSW Chess Association.

Leading scores in the European Team Championship in Halkidiki,Greece after round three :- (38 teams,9 rounds)  -  Azerbaijan,Spain 6/6, Ukraine,Russia,France,Germany and Bulgaria 5. Russia,the clear favorites,drew all four games against 9th seeded Netherlands in round three. Russian Champion  Svidler had escaped with a draw in round 1 against Bologan of Moldova who offered a draw when short of time  in a winning position. Women (28 teams,9 rounds) :- Russia,Ukraine and Georgia 6/6,Armenia 5.

World Champion Anand won the Corsican Masters Knockout tournament defeating Mamedyarov 2-0 in the final match.  Anand,Viswanathan (2817) - Mamedyarov,Shakhriyar (2746) [D70]   1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 (as in Portisch Parsonage, Adelaide 1971) d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3 00 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.000 Qd6 10.Kb1 Rd8 11.Nb5 Qd7 12.d5 Ne5? 13.Qc2 c6 14.Nxa7 Rxa7 15.Bxb6 Ra8 16.Ne2 Re8 17.Nc3 Qd6 18.Be3 Bd7 19.dxc6 Qxc6 20.Bb5 Qe6 21.Bxd7 Nxd7 22.Qb3 Qxb3 23.axb3 Ne5 24.Nd5 Rac8 25.Rd2 e6 26.Nb6 Rcd8 27.Rhd1 Rxd2 28.Rxd2 f5 29.Nc4 fxe4 ?! 30.fxe4 (better was Nd6) Rf8 31.h3 Rf1+ 32.Kc2 Nc6 33.Rd1 Rf7 34.Rd6 Re7 35.Bc5 Rf7 36.Rxe6 Bd4? 37.Rxc6 Rf2+ 38.Kd3 bxc6 39.Bxd4 Rxg2 40.Ne5 Rg3+ 41.Kc4 Rxh3 42.Nxc6 h5 43.b4 10 (the b pawn queens)

Russia won the World Youth Under-16 Olympiad in Kocaeli,Turkey scoring 30 /40 ahead of Armenia 28.5,Iran and Azerbaijan 27.5, India 25.   

The top ten  players on the November World Rating List are :-  M.Carlsen  NOR 2826,V.Anand IND 2811,L.Aronian ARM 2802,V.Kramnik RUS 2800,T.Radjabov AZE 2781,V.Ivanchuk UKR 2775,V.Topalov BUL 2768,S.Karjakin RUS 2763,,A.Morozevich RUS 2762,H.Nakamura USA,trained by Kasparov, 2758.  Women :- J.Polgar HUN 2710,H.Koneru IND 2600,Y.Hou CHN 2578.  Australians:- GM Z.Zhao 2564 (World active ranking 375),GM D.Smerdon 2513(World 711),IM G.Xie 2440 (World 1460),IM A.Wohl 2404 (World 2096),GM D.Johansen 2403,FM M.Illingworth 2401,IM M.Chapman 2394,IM I.Goldenberg 2385,IM S.Solomon 2384,IM M.Ly 2376. Women :- WIM A.Caoili 2260,IM I.Berezina-Feldman 2190,T.Nguyen 2118,WIM B.Dekic 2111,WIM E.Guo 1990. Country rank (average of top 10):-  Russia  2747, Ukraine 2695, France 2659, China 2658, Hungary 2657.  Australia 2426 is ranked 57,New Zealand 2305 is ranked 78  out of 145  countries with a total of 138,083 rated players.   

175 Countries in FIDE

Peter Parr (31/10/11)

 The  82nd World Chess Federation (FIDE) Congress was held last week in Krakow, Poland.  Three new member countries -  Comoros Islands, Guam and Swaziland were elected to bring the total membership of the World Chess Federation to 175 Countries . Sponsorship of one million dollars per year for the next three years for various Chess in Schools Projects was confirmed. Chess is already a subject at school in many countries and the goal of FIDE is this practice to  increase worldwide.  The World Cities 2012 and World Youth 2013 were awarded to Al Ain, U.A.E.    The contract for the 2014 Chess Olympiad in Tromso, Norway was signed.

 The Vietnamese grandmaster Le Quang Liem defeated Leinier Dominguez of Cuba (2710) in the last round to win the 5th  Spice Cup (average rating 2656) in Lubbock, Texas, USA. Meier and Dominguez tied for second place.

Meier,Geo (2648) - Le Quang Liem (2717) [D11] Rd 2   1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.e3 e6 5.b3 c5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Bb2 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Be7 9.Nd2 00 10.Rc1 Bd7 11.Bc4 Nb6 12.Bd3 Nc6 13.Qh5 f5 14.N2f3 Bf6 15.00 Nb4 16.Bb1 g6 17.Qh6 e5 18.Ne2 Qe7 19.Rfd1 Rad8 20.h4 Bb5 21.Nc3 e4 22.Ng5 Bd3 23.Na4 N6d5 24.Nh3 Bxb1 25.Rxb1 Bxh4 26.Nc5 Bf6 27.Bxf6 Nxf6 28.a3 Nbd5 29.b4 Nc3 30.Rxd8 Rxd8 31.Rf1 b6 32.Nb3 Ng4 33.Qg5 Qxg5 34.Nxg5 Ne2+ 35.Kh1 01 (35..Rd1! wins)

 Leading scores in the World Youth Under - 16 Olympiad in Kocaeli,Turkey after round 8 :-  Armenia 23.5/32,Russia 23, Azerbaijan and Iran 21.    The European Team Championship will be held in Halkidiki, Greece 4-12 Nov. A total of  more than 150 grandmasters from 38 Countries  in the Open division and 28 Countries in the Womens division are competing in the nine round  events. The top seeds in the Open are Russia (Svidler, Karjakin, Grischuk, Morozevich and Nepomniachtchi ),followed by Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Armenia.  Women Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia.

 Meanwhile in Sydney FIDE Master Greg Canfell, seven-time NSW State Champion has won another trophy the Parramatta Spring Cup. Canfell won eight games and conceded only one draw to the top seed IM Dr Vladimir Smirnov (2397). Canfell finished 2.5 points ahead of his closest rival winning the Cup with several rounds to spare. Canfell gained 24 rating points from the event and needs only to reach 2400 to complete the requirements for his International Master Title. Leading final scores: -  FM G.Canfell (2333) 8.5, E.Puzon (1995) 6, A.Smirnov (2024), A.Pan (2021) 5.5, FM T.Rej (2290), A.Ayvazyan (2199), N.Kordahi (1922) 5.   Leading scores at Norths (71 players, 9 rounds):-  A.Smirnov (2024) 6/6, FM G.Canfell (2333) 6.5/8 , G.Charles(2205),O.Wang (1941) 6/8.

 Progress scores after round 3 of the Melbourne Cup Grand Prix weekender (43 players,9 rounds) : - IM S.Solomon(QLD 2384) and FM M.Illingworth (NSW 2357) 3, IM G.Xie (NSW 2440),FM B.Cheng(VIC 2346),IM M.Rujevic (VIC 2308) and H.Selnes(QLD 1892) 2.5.  Bobby Cheng missed a forced win against the top seed George Xie in the following third round game : -   Xie (2440) v Cheng (2346)  A06 Reti     1 Nf3 d5 2 e3 Nf6 3 c4 c6 4 Nc3 e6 5 d4 Nbd7 6 Qc2 b6 7 Be2 Bb7 8 0-0 Be7 9 Rd1 0-0 10 e4 dxe4 11 Nxe4 Nxe4 12 Qxe4 Qc7 13 Bd3 Nf6 14 Qh4 c5 15 Bf4 Qc8 16 Ne5 cxd4 17 Bxh7+ Nxh7 18 Qxe7 f6 19 Rxd4 fxe5 20 Rd7 Qxd7 21 Qxd7 Rf7 22 Qxe6 exf4 23 f3 Nf8 24 Qd6 Re8 25 Qd2 Re3 26 Rd1 Rfe7 27 h4 Ng6 28 Qd6 R3e6 29 Qb8+ Kh7 30 h5 Ne5 31 Rd8 Nf7 32 Rd4 Bxf3! 33 Qxf4 Bxh5 34 Qh4 g6 35 g4 Re4? (35..g5!! trapping the queen wins for black) 36 Qf6 Re1+ 37 Kg2 R7e2+ 38 Kh3 Re3+ 39 Kg2 R3e2+ 40 Kh3 Re3+ 41 Kg2  draw. The other leading results for round three were :- IM J.Morris (2327) 0 v IM S.Solomon(QLD 2384)1 and FM M.Illingworth (NSW Champion 2357) 1 v IM A.Brown (ACT 2216).    

Morozevich  Wins The Cup

Peter Parr (24/10/11)

 Alexander Morozevich won the Governors Cup with an impressive 2917 performance rating in Saratov, Russia. Morozevich of Moscow started with 6/7 and finished with 6 wins and 5 draws to finish well ahead in a very strong field. Morozevich is an aggressive player and this result will place him as World no 9 on the November 2011 World Rating List. Morozevichs  first outstanding result was his 9.5/10 score at the age of 17 in the Lloyds Bank Tournament in London 1994. He was World no 2 in July 2008.  Leading final scores :- ( 12 players, 2707 average rating, 11 rounds) A.Morozevich (RUS 2737) 8.5 :  former European Champion E.Tomashevsky (RUS 2710) 7 : P.Leko (HUN 2728) 6.5 all undefeated, E.Alekseev (RUS 2662) 6, A.Shirov (ESP 2713,11 draws!) 5.5.

 Morozevich,A (2737) - Eljanov,P (2683) [C45] (5)  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.Bd3 d6 7.Nc3 Ne7 8.00 00 9.Na4 Bd4 10.c3 Bb6 11.Bg5 f6 12.Bh4 Be6 13.Qc2 Qd7 14.Rad1 Ng6 15.Bg3 Qf7 16.b3 Rae8 17.c4 c5 18.f4 Ne7 19.e5! f5 20.exd6 cxd6 21.Be2 d5 22.Bf2 Rc8 23.Nb2 d4 24.Nd3 Ng6 25.Bf3 Qf6 26.Rfe1 Rfe8 27.g3 a5 28.Re2 Bd7 29.Rde1 Rxe2 30.Qxe2 Bc6? 31.Bd5+ Bxd5 32.cxd5 a4 33.Ne5 Ba5 34.Qc4! Qd6 35.Re2 axb3 36.axb3 Ne7 37.Qb5 Bb4 38.Nc4! Qd8 39.d6 Nc6 40.Ne5 Nxe5 41.fxe5 10

Former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik won the 15th Unive Crown Group 4-player tournament in Hoogeveen (NED) scoring 3 wins with white and 3 draws with black. Final scores:- V.Kramnik (RUS 2791) 4.5/6, A.Giri (NED 2722) 3, M.Vachier-Lagrave (FRA 2715) 2.5, J.Polgar (HUN 2701) 2.   Kramnik,V (2791) - Giri,A (2722) [E97] (1)  1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 00 6.Be2 e5 7.00 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.g3 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.Bf3 c6 13.Ba3 (a new move) cxd5 14.exd5 e4 15.Be2 Ne8 16.Rc1 h6 17.Ne6 Bxe6 18.dxe6 Nc7 19.b5 Be5 20.Qb3 Kg7? 21.Rfd1 Nxe6 22.c5 Nd4 23.Rxd4 (Kramnik is winning after this exchange sacrifice) Bxd4 24.cxd6 Ng8 25.Nd5 Kh8 26.Rc7 Be5 27.Bb2 Qxd6 28.Rxb7 g5 29.b6 a5 30.Bh5 Rab8 31.Ra7 Bxb2 32.Qxb2+ Nf6 33.Bf7 Kg7 34.Rd7 ! Qc6 35.Be6+ 10

Zhao Xue dominated the FIDE Womens Grand Prix tournament in Nalchik, Russia starting with 9.5/10 (performance 3016!).  Ju Wenjun finished second defeating Zhao Xue (final performance 2816) in the last round. The three former Womens World Champions -  Zhu Chen (QTR), A.Stefanova (BUL) and A.Kosteniuk (RUS) each scored less than 50%. Leading final scores (12 players, 2507 average rating, 11 rounds) -  Zhao Xue (CHN 2497,aged 26 ) 9.5,  Ju Wenjun (CHN 2536) 7, E.Kovalevskaya (RUS 2421) and V.Cmilyte (LTU 2525) 6.

Dr Vladimir Smirnov (RUS 2400) has been awarded the International Master Title by the World Chess Federation. Smirnov scored his 3 IM norms in the Australian Masters (Melbourne 2008),Australian Championship (Sydney 2010) and Australian Open (Sydney 2011). Smirnovs rating has steadily increased over his last ten years in Sydney from 2227 in April 2001.  Smirnov would have to transfer Federation to be eligible to represent Australia in FIDE events.

Jonathan Adams won the following brevity in the Parramatta Spring Tournament last week against Shane Dibley (Correspondence IM 2009).  Dibley was awarded the prize for the most brilliant game in the Australian Open in Sydney earlier this year.     S.Dibley v J.Adams   1 d4 f5  2 c4 Nf6  3 Bg5 Ne4  4 Bf4 e5  5 dxe5 Bb4+  6 Nd2 g5  7 f3? (the losing move correct is 7 a3) 7..gxf4  8 fxe4 Qh4+  9 g3 fxg3  10 Nf3 g2+ !   0-1.   The 9-round Melbourne Cup Grand Prix weekender 28 Oct 1 Nov has so far attracted IM G.Xie (NSW 2440), IM S.Solomon (QLD 2384), FM M.Illingworth (NSW 2357), IM M.Rujevic (VIC 2308) and  IM A.Brown ( ACT 2216).            

Carlsen Wins Masters

Peter Parr  (17/10/11)

 Magnus Carlsen the worlds top rated player has won the Grand Slam Final held in Sao Paulo,Brazil and Bilbao,Spain. Vassily Ivanchuk was the clear leader at the half-way stage but was robbed at gunpoint as he was leaving Brazil. His lap-top computer was not taken and he maintained the lead until he lost to Carlsen in the following game in the pen-ultimate round.  Carlsen scored 3 wins (2 against Ivanchuk) 6 draws and 1 loss ( traditional score 6/10 compared to Ivanchuk 4 wins,3 draws, 3 losses total 5.5/10).  The scoring system used with 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw left both players on 15 points. The Title was decided by blitz games which was won by Carlsen 1.5 0.5.  World Champion and World no 2 Viswanathan Anand and World no 3 Levon Aronian both lost rating points with a 50% score.

 Carlsen,M (2823) - Ivanchuk,V (2765) [E21] Rd 9  1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 b6 5.Qc2 Bb7 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.Qxc3 Ne4 8.Qc2 f5 9.g3 Nf6 10.Bh3 00 11.00 a5 12.Rd1 Qe8 13.d5! Na6 14.Bf4 exd5 15.Bxf5 dxc4?! 16.Ng5 Qh5 17.Rxd7 Kh8 (if .. 17 Nxd7? 18 Bxh7+ Kh8 19 Bg6 wins the queen) 18.Re7?! (better was 18 Rad1) Nd5 19.Bg4 Qg6 20.Nf7+ Kg8 21.Bf5 Qxf5 (white is now much better) 22.Qxf5 Nxe7 23.Nh6+ gxh6 24.Qg4+ Ng6 25.Bxh6 Rf7 26.Rd1 Re8 27.h4 Nc5 28.h5 Bc8 29.Qxc4 Ne5 30.Qh4 Nc6? (time trouble)  31.Rd5! Ne6 32.Qc4 Ncd8 33.Qg4+ Ng7 34.Qxc8 10   Final scores (6 players,2780 average rating,10 rounds); M.Carlsen(NOR 2823) 15 (6/10), V.Ivanchuk (UKR 2765) 15 (5.5/10), H.Nakamura (USA 2753) , L.Aronian (ARM 2807), V.Anand (IND 2817) 12  (5/10), F.Vallejo Pons (ESP 2716) 10 (3.5/10). 

 The Karpov International in Poikovsky,Russia (10 players,2703 average rating, 9 rounds) was disappointing with only 11 decisive games out of 45 . Three players scored over 50% with two wins each -  E.Bacrot (FRA 2705) and S.Karjakin (RUS 2772) 5.5 , F.Caruana (ITA 2712) 5.   Progress scores after round 7 in the Governors Cup in Saratov, Russia (12 players,2707 average rating, 11 rounds) A.Morozevich (RUS 2737) 6, P.Leko (HUN 2728) and E.Tomashevsky (RUS 2710) 4. Alexander Morozevich with an astonishing 3010 rating performance so far has won five of his seven games. Five of the other eleven players have won one game each and all the other games so far have been drawn.

 Moiseenko,A1 (2726) - Morozevich,A (2737) [E81] Rd 3  1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 00 6.Be3 c5 7.Nge2 Qa5 8.Nc1 cxd4 9.Nb3 Qe5 10.Bxd4 Qf4 11.g3 Qg5 12.Qe2 Nc6 13.Be3 Qh5 14.Bg2 Nd7 15.Nd5 e6 16.Nf4 Qe5 17.Nd3 Qf6 18.h4 Qe7 19.h5 a5 20.hxg6 fxg6 21.a4 d5 22.cxd5 exd5 23.exd5 Nb4 24.Rh4 Nc2+ 25.Qxc2 Qxe3+ 26.Qe2 Qg5 27.Kf1 Nf6 28.Nbc5 Qxg3 29.Qf2 Qd6 30.Rd1 Ng4 31.Qe2 Qg3 32.Rxg4 Bxg4 33.Ne4 Rxf3+ 34.Bxf3 Bh3+ 35.Bg2 Rf8+ 36.Kg1 Bd4+ 37.Kh1 Bxg2+ 38.Qxg2 Qh4+ 39.Qh2 Qxe4+ 40.Qg2 Rf3 01

The World Amateur Championship held in Antalya,Turkey was won by 14-year-old Sumiya Bilguun of Mongolia.  70-year-old  Nona Gaprindashvili of Georgia,the Womens World Champion 1962-1978 won her own Jubilee Womens Rapid tournament in Moscow last week scoring an undefeated 6/8.  Zhao Xue (CHN 2497) has scored 6/6 in the FIDE Womens Grand Prix tournament in Nalchik,Russia. WGM Ju Wenjun (CHN 2536) and former World Womens Champion Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL 2528) are in joint second place on 4 points.

 Norths defeated Harbord Diggers 11.5-8.5 in the second leg of the Little Board Match leaving the overall result Norths 23 Harbord Diggers 12. Michael Morris(Harbord Diggers ) defeated Peter Abbott (Norths) on top board.

Anton Smirnov aged 10 beat  top seed FIDE Master Greg Canfell in the Ford Memorial at Norths. Smirnov,the son of FIDE Master Dr Vladimir Smirnov, is the sole leader in the 71-player open event for adults and juniors with 5/5.

The NSW Junior Leagues City of Sydney Junior Championships have produced ties in each division and play-offs will be held for the titles.  Under 18- Anton Smirnov, Joshua Lau, Sean Gu and Pasan Perera each 5/7 with 4 wins,2 draws,1 loss each.  Under 15- Andrew Antony and Clarise Koh  6.5/8     Under 12- Rishi Dutta and Kashish Christian 10/11.

Ivanchuk leads Grand Slam

Peter Parr (10/10/11)

 Vassily Ivanchuk was robbed at gunpoint at his hotel after brilliantly winning the first leg of the Grand Slam Final in Sao Paulo,Brazil.  Ivanchuk extended his lead by winning the following game in the first round of the second leg  in Bilbao,Spain.  The faster rate of play in the Grand Slam  promotes more decisive games. Ivanchuk outplays Nakamura who is noted for his expertise in time trouble.

 V.Ivanchuk (UKR 2765) v H.Nakamura (USA 2753) Rd 6   B43  1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 a6 5 Nc3 Qc7 6 Bd3 Nf6 7 f4 Bb4 8 Nb3 (usual is 0-0) Bxc3+ 9 bxc3 d6 10 Ba3 0-0 11 Qd2 Rd8 12 0-0 Nc6 13 Rf3 b5 14 Rg3 Kh8 15 Rf1 Bb7 16 f5 Rg8 17 Qg5 e5?!  18 Qh4 Ne7 ? ( both players were running short of time and black makes a mistake in the complications. 18..Nb8 was best) 19 Rh3!? (white has a strong king-side attack) d5 20 Nc5  dxe4 21 Bxe4 Bd5 22 g4! h6 23 g5 Nh7 24 f6 Ng6 25 fxg7+ (a good move but even better was 25 Qg4!) Rxg7 26 Qxh6 Rd8 27 Bxg6 fxg6 28 Rf6 Qc8 29 Rh4 Bf7? (29.. Bg8!) 30 Nd3 Kg8 31 Bd6! e4 32 Be5 Rd5 33 Rc6 Qf8 34 Bxg7 (34 Rc8!) Qxg7 35 Rxe4 Rxg5+ 36 Qxg5! Nxg5 37 Rc8+ Be8 38 Rcxe8+ Kh7 39 Rh4+   1-0. 

 Ivanchuk was defeated by Vallejo Pons in round seven and drew against World Champion Viswanathan Anand in round eight. World Number 1 Magnus Carlsen moved into a challenging position beating Francisco Vallejo Pons in the eighth round.  Ivanchuk is black against Carlsen tonight and white versus World no 3 Aronian in the final round on Tuesday.

 Progress scores after round eight (6 players, 2780 average rating, 10 rounds, 3 points for a win, one point for a draw);  V.Ivanchuk (UKR 2765)   14 (5/8) performance rating 2870, M.Carlsen (NOR 2823) and H.Nakamura (USA 2753) each 11 (4.5/8), V.Anand (IND 2817) 9 (4/8), L.Aronian (ARM 2807) 8 (3.5/8), F.Vallejo Pons (ESP 2716) 7 (2.5/8).

 Progress scores in the Karpov International in  Poikovsky,Russia (10 players,2703 average rating,9 rounds) S.Karjakin (RUS 2772),E.Bacrot (FRA 2705),Z.Efimenko (UKR 2703) all 3/5. The Qinhuangdao Open in China (78 players,9 rounds) resulted in a tie for first place between grandmasters Weiqi  Zhou (CHN 2598),Jianchao  Zhou (CHN 2628) and Ngoc Nguyen (VIE 2644) all on 7 points.     International Master Andrew Brown (2216) of Canberra scored 2/9 (perf rating 2194) in the Caissa Grandmaster  tournament (average rating 2394) in Kecskemet, Hungary.

 The  ACF Grand Prix weekender organised by the NSWCA  at Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club was won by NSW State Champion Max Illingworth who recently won a Grandmaster tournament in Budapest. Illingworth won six games and drew with Jason Hu (NSW 2115) in round 3.  Justin Ikeda took the early lead with 5/5 after defeating IM George Xie but Ikeda lost to Illingworth in round 6.  Leading final scores (84 players, 7 rounds) -  FM M.Illingworth (NSW 2442) 6.5, IM G.Xie (NSW 2460) and FM J.Ikeda (ACT 2372) 6, FM I.Bjelobrk (NSW 2280),IM A.Brown (ACT) 2201,IM S.Solomon (QLD 2420)  each 5.5.

 Progress scores in the ACF Yulgilbar Think Big Grand Prix after 44 of the 54 events IM S.Solomon (QLD) 111.86, FM M.Illingworth (NSW) 93.43, IM G.Xie (NSW) 64.42.   Leading scores  in the Ford Memorial at Norths (71  players, 9 rounds); A.Smirnov (2024) and D.Webster (1932) 4/4, FM G.Canfell (2333) 4.5/5 .   A lightning tournament will be held tonight at Easts, Bondi Junction and the Easts Spring Challenge Tournament over nine rounds commences next Monday evening 17th October.

Ivanchuk Wins in Brazil 

Peter Parr (3/10/11)

 Vassily Ivanchuk has won the first leg of the six player Grand Slam Final in Sao Paulo,Brazil. He scored three consecutive wins but lost to World no 1 Magnus Carlsen in the final round. Hikaru Nakamura had a solid result remaining undefeated. World Champion Viswanathan Anand and World no 1 Magnus Carlsen were jointly at the bottom of the score table after three rounds.

 The only three players in the world rated above 2800 have each scored one win,three draws,and one loss in Sao Paulo. The second leg will be played in Bilbao,Spain 6-11 October. Progress scores after round five (6 players,2780 average rating, 10 rounds, 3 points for a win, 1 for a draw) ; V.Ivanchuk (UKR 2765) 10 (3.5/5), H.Nakamura (USA 2753) 7 (3/5), M.Carlsen (NOR 2823),V.Anand (IND 2817), L.Aronian (ARM 2807) all 6 ( 2.5/5), F.Vallejo Pons (ESP 2716) 3 (1/5).

 The 27th  European Club Championship with 65 teams including 24 players rated above 2700 was held in Rogaska Slatina, Slovenia. World Title Challenger 2012 Boris Gelfand sacrificed his queen for two minor pieces and three pawns in the following entertaining game. The decisive factor in the sacrifice is the much better co-ordination of the pieces combined with a strong centre giving white a decisive advantage.

 Gelfand,Boris (2746) - Jobava,Baadur (2712) [E10] rd 3 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 g6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Bf4 d6 8.Qa4+ Bd7 9.Qb3 b5 10.Bxd6 Qb6 11.Be5 00 12.e3 c4 13.Qd1 Na6 14.a4 Nb4 15.axb5 Bf5 16.Bxc4 Rfc8 17.b3 Ng4 18.Bxg7 Nc2+ 19.Qxc2 Bxc2 20.Bd4 Qd8 21.00 Qe7 22.Rfc1 Bf5 23.e4 Bd7 24.h3 Nf6 25.d6 Qd8 26.e5 Nh5 27.Nd5 Kf8 28.Be3 Ng7 29.Bg5 10

  OSG Baden Baden (GER) led after five rounds but a hard fought match against St Petersburg in round six resulted in draws on all six boards with the top four players in each team rated above 2700. Saint Petersburg beat Mika (Armenia) 3.5-2.5 in the final round leaving four of their seven players scoring above 78% .    OSG Baden Baden lost 2-4(no draws) against the top seeds Socar (Azerbaijan).  Teimour Radjabov (AZE 2752)on top board and E.Sarfali on bottom board each scored 4.5/5. Leading final match scores;  Saint Petersburg (seeded 4) 13/14, Socar (seeded 1) 12, G-Team Novy Bor 11 (third on countback, GM M. Bartel 6.5/7).  The top  three teams each scored 31.5 game points . Australian Olympian  WFM Vaness Reid (NSW) representing Nidum  CC,Wales scored 2.5/6.  

 The Canterbury Open with rating divisions will be held over seven consecutive Monday evenings starting on 10 October at Lakemba Services Memorial Club.  Fourteen-year-old Mirakla Mithran has won the NSW Girls Championship,half a point ahead of the 2010 champion,Shirley Gu. Eleven-year-old Kashish Christian has retained her Under 12 title, her third consecutive win of this event. Leading final scores Under 18: Mirakla Mithran 8.5/9,Shirley Gu 8,Clarise Koh 7.5; Under 12: Kashish Christian 8/9,Fiona Shen,Alysha Chin,Ming-Yee Sun,Sarah Chang 6 each.

 Fourteen-year-old Leo Jiang has won the NSW Junior Leagues Spring One-Day Tournament with a clean score,a point ahead of 10-year-old Anton Smirnov,who then won the Spring Two-Day Tournament,also with a clean score. Leading final scores Spring One-Day (164 players,9 rounds): Leo Jiang 9,Anton Smirnov 8,Kinto Wan 7.5; Spring Two-Day (126 players,11 rounds): Anton Smirnov 11,Eric Xu 9,Morgan Chang,Cedric Koh,Nicholas Brown,John Badger,Kevin Willathgamuwa 8 each.

 The City of Sydney Junior Championships will be held on Wednesday to Friday in three divisions (Under 18,15 and 12)- for details see www.nswjcl.org.au or phone Richard Gastineau-Hills 9412 4579. 

Svidler Wins World Cup

Peter Parr (26/9/11)

Peter Svidler,six times Russian Champion, has won the World Cup by defeating Alexander Grischuk 2.5-1.5 in the final. Svidler ,who won $ 100,000 dollars, was very impressive with the black pieces scoring six wins and four draws and no losses in the seven knock-out matches. Vassily  Ivanchuk beat former  World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov 2.5-1.5 in a play-off match for third place.  Svidler, Grischuk and Ivanchuk have qualified for the World Championship Candidates matches at the end of 2012.

Moscow were higher rated on all  10 boards in their two matches last week against St. Petersburg .The following games were played  on top board.  Morozevich,Alexander (2737) - Vitiugov,Nikita (2726) [C19] 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 cxd4 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 Qc7 10.Rb1 Qxe5+ 11.Ne2 dxc3 12.h4 d4 13.h5 Nbc6 14.h6 f5 15.Bf4 Qf6 16.Ng3 Qh8 17.Qxh8 Rxh8 18.Bg5 Kf7 19.Be2 e5 20.f4 exf4 21.Nh5 Kg6 22.Bxf4 Nd5 23.Kf2 Ne3 24.Rb5 b6 25.g4 Ba6 26.Rxf5 Nxf5 27.gxf5+ Kxf5 28.Bxa6 Ne5 29.Kg3 Rag8+ 30.Ng7+ Kf6 31.Rh5 Nd7 32.Bg5+ Kf7 33.Bc4+ Kg6 34.Bd3+ Kf7 35.Rh4 10

Vitiugov (2726) - Morozevich (2737) [D4] 1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 c6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Be7 11.exf6 Bxf6 12.Be3 Bb7 13.Be2 Na6 14.a4 Nb4 15.00 a6 16.Ne4 Be7 17.b3 cxb3 18.Qxb3 Qd5 19.Qb1 f5 20.Nd2 Qd6 21.Nf3 Nd5 22.Bd2 Bf6 23.Re1 Kf7 24.Qd3 Rag8 25.g3 f4 26.Bf1 fxg3 27.hxg3 c5 28.Bg2 c4 29.Qe4 Bc6 30.axb5 Bxb5 31.Ne5+ Bxe5 32.dxe5 Qc7 33.Ra3 Rg7 34.Qd4 Rd8 35.Ba5 Qe7 36.Rf3+ Ke8 37.Bxd8 Qxd8 38.Bh3 Re7 39.Qh4 Kd7 40.Rd1 Qa8 41.Rf6 Kc7 42.Rxe6 Rxe6 43.Bxe6 Nc3 44.Qe7+ Kb6 45.Qd6+ Ka5 46.Qd2 Qf3 47.Ra1+ 10.  The first match however resulted in a 5-5 tie.  The overall score was 8.5-8.5 after 17 games were finished but Moscow won the last three  games leaving the final score Moscow  11.5   St Petersburg  8.5.

The Womens FIDE Grand Prix in Shenzhen, China was dominated by the five Chinese players who  finished in the top six places. Leading final scores:- GM Y.Hou (World Champion CHN 2578) 8/11, IM A.Muzychuk (SLO 2545) 7, WGM W.Ju (CHN 2536) and  WGM Z.Tan (CHN 2429 ) 6.5, GM X.Zhao (CHN 2497) and WGM L.Ruan (CHN 2477) 6. The Womens World Championship Match between Hou Yifan and Humpy Koneru (IND) is scheduled to take place Nov 14th- Nov 30th 2011  In Tirana, Albania.

The European Club Cup in Slovenia this week has a record 65 teams including 24 players rated over 2700.  Socar (average rating 2718) are favourites with Radjabov (AZE 2752),Grischuk (RUS 2757) and Mamedyarov (AZE 2746) on the top three boards. Australian Olympian  WFM Vaness Reid (NSW) is representing  the Nidum,Wales team.  The first leg of the Grand Slam Final has just started in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The top three rated players in the World - Carlsen, Anand and Aronian are joined by Ivanchuk,Nakamura and Vallejo Pons. The second leg 6-11 October will be held in Bilbao (ESP). 

The Nell Van de Graaff Classic weekender in Mudgeeraba QLD was won by GM Roland Schmaltz (GER 2565) who won the event scoring 6/6. He beat his two main rivals IM S.Solomon (2420) and IM G.Xie (2460) in the last two rounds. FM Gene Nakauchi  (2109) had an excellent result beating IM  Ly (2397), drawing with IM Xie (2460) and defeating IM Solomon (2420)  in the last round to finish outright second on 5.5/6.

Leading scores in the Ford Memorial (71 players,9 rounds) at Norths, Cammeray :- Y.Chen 2068,A.Smirnov 2024,O.Wang 1941 and D.Webster 1932 all 3/3.  The Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club Open  Grand Prix Weekend Tournament will be held 1-3 October. The event will be held over seven rounds with a prize fund of $3200 based on 70 entrants with 7 open prizes and rating division prizes for players rated below 1400,1600 and 1800.  

Illingworth Wins in Budapest

Peter Parr  (19/9/11)

NSW Champion Max Illingworth, aged 18, won the First Saturday Grandmaster tournament in Budapest, Hungary. The result was a 2638 performance rating giving Illingworth his first GM norm. He needs two similar 2600+ results and a rating of 2500+ to fulfil his dream of becoming an international grandmaster.  Illingworth had to win the following game in the last round to earn his GM norm.

IM Rodriguez,Lopez Rafael ( ESP 2313) FM Illingworth,Max (AUS 2357) [C96]  (9)  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.00 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 00 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 d5 11.exd5 e4 12.Ng5 Nxd5 13.Nxe4 f5 14.Ng3 f4 15.Ne4 f3 16.d4 fxg2 17.Kxg2 Qd7 18.Qg4 Qc6 19.Qg3 Bd6 20.Qh4 Bf5 21.Kg1 Rae8 22.Nbd2 Nf4 23.Re3 Ng6 24.Qh5 Bf4 25.d5 Qxd5 01  Illingworth is planning to study economics at Sydney University.

  Leading final scores (10 players, 2412 average rating, 9 rounds) :-  FM M.Illingworth (AUS 2357) winner on countback and top seed  GM L.Vajda (ROU 2557) 7: GM A.Czebe (HUN 2513) 6: FM A.Hagen (DEN 2454) 5: IM M.Mulyar (USA 2421) 4.5.  Illingworth had played in a similar GM event in Budapest one month earlier and tied for last with 2.5/9 (GM Vajda 2557 was 1st equal) scoring no wins,4 losses and 5 draws one month later 1st= with 5 wins,4 draws and no losses!

The 128 player World Cup   Knockout Match tournament (2 game matches, tie-breaks decided by fast games) has reached the final match in Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia, Russia. Peter Svidler (RUS 2739) beat former World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR 2764) 1.5- 0.5 and Alexander Grischuk (RUS 2746) beat Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR 2768) 3.5-2.5 in semi-final matches.

Grischuk emerged from the opening with a clear advantage against  his compatriot Svidler in the first game of the final but became short of time and lost. The second game with Svidler playing white was drawn in 16 moves after 14 moves of opening theory.  Svidler,six times Russian Champion, leads 1.5-0.5 with two games to play in the final.  Ivanchuk leads 1.5-0.5 in his four game match against Ponomariov to decide the third player from the World Cup to advance to the World Championship 2012 Candidates Tournament.

Radjabov,Teimour (2744) - Ivanchuk,Vassily (2768) [A37]  (5.2)  1.Nf3 c5 2.g3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.Nc3 e6 6.d3 Nge7 7.h4 h6 8.Bd2 b6 9.h5 g5 10.Nxg5!?  hxg5 11.Bxg5 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 Bb7 13.Qd2 Qc7 14.Bf6 000 15.000 Rhg8 16.Bxc6 dxc6? 17.h6 Rg6 18.h7 Rxf6 19.h8Q Rxh8 20.Rxh8+ Kd7 21.d4 Qd6? 22.Qg5 Rf5 23.Qh4 cxd4 24.Rxd4 Rd5 25.cxd5 Qa3+ 26.Kb1 cxd5 27.Rh7 Qxc3 28.Rxf7 10

Leading scores in the FIDE Grand Prix for Women in Shenzhen,China (12 players,11 rounds) :-  GM Y.Hou  ( World Champion, CHN 2578) 7/9, IM A.Muzychuk (SLO 2545) 6, WGM W.Ju (CHN 2536) and GM X.Zhao (CHN 2497) 5.5.  

The New Caledonia International in Noumea (10 players, 9 rounds) was won by FM Lee Jones (AUS 2112) on 7/9. Sylvain Giraud, a French player who arrived in Noumea earlier this year, was in the lead but lost to IA Gary Bekker (AUS 1807) in the last game to finish in the final round.  Giraud (FRA 2043) was 2nd on 6.5 and Rene Petre (FRA  unrated) 3rd on 5.5 points.

IM George XIe (2460) won the Gosford Open Grand Prix weekender (32 players, 7 rounds) scoring 6.5/7 followed by Anton Smirnov (2104)and his father FM Vladimir Smirnov on 5.5 points.  Alex Mehan (1703) and Trent Parker (1601) tied for the title of NSW Country Champion by finishing equal 4th  on 5 points. Leading scores after 41 of the 54 Yulgilbar-Think Big Chess Grand Prix 2011 events :- IM S.Solomon (QLD 2315) 111.86, FM M.Illingworth (NSW 2284) 68.43, GM Z.Zhao (NSW 2579) 52.61, IM G.Xie (NSW 2463) 44.42.  WIM E.Guo (ACT 1856) leads the women and girls divisions and FM B.Cheung (VIC 2207) is the leader in the junior division.

Ponomariov v Svidler

Peter Parr (12/9/11)

 Former World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR 2758) meets six- times Russian Champion Peter Svidler (RUS 2740) in a World Cup semi-final match 12-14 Sep in Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia, Russia.  Svidler defeated Judith Polgar (HUN 2701) 1.5-0.5 and Ponomariov beat Vugar Gashimov (AZE 2756) in quarter-final encounters.  Play-offs  are needed for the other two quarter-final matches with the scores at 1 point each -  T.Radjabov (AZE 2752) v V.Ivanchuk (UKR 2765)  and A.Grischuk (RUS 2757) v  D.Navara (CZE 2705).

 Svidler had earlier beaten US Champion Gata Kamsky (2741)2-0 in round 3 and Polgar eliminated the top seed Sergey Karjakin (RUS 2788).  Eighteen-year-old Yaroslav Zherebukh (UKR 2590) seeded 94  knocked out third seed Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE 2765). Polgar lost the first game in round 4 against Cuban Leinier Dominguez Perez (CUB 2719), the 2008 World Blitz champion but won the return game. The rapid play-off was also drawn 1-1 and Polgar won the blitz (5 minute) play-off match.

 Gashimov,Vugar (2760) - Azarov,Sergei (2648) [C63]  (2.1)  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.d3 fxe4 5.dxe4 Nf6 6.Be3 (unusual) Bb4+ 7.c3 Be7 8.Bxc6 bxc6? (better is 8.. dxc6)  9.Nxe5 Ba6 10.Nd2 Rb8 11.Qa4 Qc8 12.000 00 13.Bg5 Kh8 14.c4 c5 15.h4 Rb6 16.h5 d6 17.Ng6+(a decisive piece sacrifice) hxg6 18.hxg6+ Kg8 19.Qa3 Qg4 20.f4 Rfb8 21.Rh4 Qe6 22.Rdh1 Kf8 23.f5 10

 Sutovsky,Emil (2700) - Ivanchuk,Vassily (2768) [B09]  (3.2)   1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.f4 Nf6 5.Nf3 00 6.e5 Nfd7 7.h4 c5 8.h5 cxd4 9.hxg6 dxc3 10.gxf7+ Rxf7 11.Bc4 e6 12.Ng5 cxb2 13.Bxb2 Qa5+ 14.Ke2 Nf8 15.Nxf7 Kxf7 16.f5 (looks good but black is ok) Bxe5 17.Rh5 Ke8 18.fxe6 Bxe6 (18.. Qb4 is very strong) 19.Bxe6 Qb5+ 20.Qd3 Qxb2 21.Qf5 Qb5+ 22.c4 Qb2+ 23.Kf3 Nc6 24.Qf7+ Kd8 25.Qxf8+ Kc7 26.Rxh7+ Kb6 27.Qxa8 Nd4+ 28.Kg4 Qxg2+ 29.Kh5 Qh2+ 30.Kg6 Qc2+ 31.Kh6 Bf4+ 32.Kg7 Nxe6+ 33.Kf6 Qxh7 34.Kxe6 Qg6+ 35.Ke7 Bg5+ 36.Kf8 Qf6+ 01

 Three players Y.Hou (Womens World Champion CHN 2578), X.Zhao  (CHN 2497) and A.Muzychuk (SLO 2545) share the lead with 3/4  in the FIDE Womens Grand Prix in Shenzhen,China.  NSW State Champion  Max Illingworth aged 18, has scored 5/7 in the First Saturday Grandmaster Tournament in Budapest, Hungary.  He defeated Grandmasters  Z.Varga (HUN 2474), A. Czebe (HUN 2513) and L. Vajda  (ROU 2557) and drew his other four games.

 FM Illingworth needs to win his last two rounds to score a grandmaster (2600+performance) norm.  Three norms are required for the GM title.  He has already scored an International Master result in the event.   The NSW Chess Association inter-club grade match presentation night and lightning competition will be held on Wednesday evening at Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club. The best overall score from the 167 grade match players was a perfect 8/8 by Correspondence IM Shane Dibley of Norths Grizzlies.

 The memorial service celebrating the life of The Hon. John Spencer Purdy was attended by  over 350 people from Johns family, colleagues and friends. The Hon. Justice David Collier gave a welcome address. Malcolm Broun OAM,QC (Australian Junior Champion 1953) had been a close friend since meeting John in an Under 14 chess tournament in 1948 and remembered his humanity,his life,and legal career over a lengthy period.  Evelyn Koshnitsky AM,BEM aged 96,the worlds oldest International  Chess Arbiter, who was at the service was chief arbiter at the Australian Junior Championship won by Purdy 60 years ago.

 Grandmaster Ian Rogers gave a tribute reflecting on Johns chess achievements including twice winning the Australian Championship.  The name of Purdy (his father Cecil Purdy was the First World Correspondence Chess Champion) will live forever in the history of Australian Chess. 

Anand wins Rapid

Peter Parr (5/9/11)

 World Champion Viswanathan Anand won the Botvinnik Memorial Rapid Play tournament in Moscow. Final scores:- V.Anand(IND 2817) 4.5/6,L.Aronian(ARM 2807) and V.Kramnik(RUS 2791) 3, World no 1 M.Carlsen (NOR 2823) 1.5.   The top eleven seeds in the 128 player World Cup in Siberia all won their first two knock-out matches. Australian Champion GM Zhong Zhao 2570 seeded 101 lost  his first round match 0-2  to Russian GM Evgeny Tomashevsky 2707 seeded 28.  

IM Andrew Brown (AUS 2202) scored 4/9 with a 2278 performance rating in Haarlem (NED).  GM Vitaly Kunin (GER 2562) won in Salzburg, Austria (62 players) scoring 9/9. IM Aleks Wohl (AUS 2405) lost to Kunin in  round 9 and finished in 5th place  on 6 points.   NSW Champion FM Max Illingworth scored 4/9 in the GM tournament in Kecskemet, Hungary and is now playing in  Budapest.

 Leading players on the September World Rating List :- M.Carlsen (NOR 2823), V.Anand (IND 2817), L.Aronian (ARM 2807), V.Kramnik (RUS 2791), S.Karjakin (RUS 2772), V.Topalov (BUL 2768), V.Ivanchuk (UKR 2765), R.Ponomariov (UKR 2758)     Women:-  J. Polgar (HUN  2701), H.Koneru (IND 2600),  Y. Hou (CHN 2578).     Australians:- GM Z.Zhao  2570(=) World active ranking 346, GM D.Smerdon 2513(-7) World 704, IM G.Xie 2440(-13) World  1458 , IM A.Wohl  2408(+3) World 2024,GM D.Johansen 2408 (=) , IM M.Chapman 2394(=)  , IM I.Goldenberg 2385(-3),   IM S.Solomon   2384(=) .  Women:- WIM A.Caoili  2260, IM I.Berezina-Feldman 2190,  T.Nguyen 2118, WIM B.Dekic 2111,WIM E.Guo 1998.    

Country rank (average of top 10):- Russia  2738 ,Ukraine 2697,  China 2661,France 2659,Hungary 2655.   Australia  2425  is ranked 57  out of 146 countries. 

For the September 2011 Australian rating period there were  116  tournaments rated - 85 classic (6733 games) and   31 rapid(3295 games)   Top 8 :-  GM Z.Zhao (NSW 2574), GM D.Smerdon (ACT 2533), T.Tao (SA 2468), IM G.Xie (NSW 2460), FM M.Illingworth (NSW 2442,best under 20), IM S.Solomon (QLD 2420), GM D.Johansen (VIC 2419), FM V.Smirnov (NSW 2410).   Over 80-P.Viner  (NSW 1971), over 70-  FM A.Flatow  (NSW 2134), over 60- IM M.Rujevic  (VIC 2293).  U18, U16 & U14  FM B.Cheng (VIC 2354),U 12 & U10- A. Smirnov (NSW 2104).   Women :- WIM A.Caoili  (QLD  2210), IM I.Berezina-Feldman (NSW 2087), WIM B.Dekic (NSW 2048),WIM  E.Guo (ACT 2027).        

Victorian Championship - FM B.Cheng 8/11, GM D.Johansen 7.5, FM D.Stojic ,IM L.Sandler and IM J.Morris 7. St George  Weekender 45 players,  FM G.Canfell (2352) 6/7, P.Chen (2134), A.Smirnov (1991) and IM G.Xie 5.5  The next ACF Grand Prix weekender 10-11 Sep will be held at Central Coast Leagues Club, Gosford. Fifteen-year-old Bernard Chau has retained his title of NSW Junior Champion by winning a playoff with Harry Ruan and Pasan Perera, with whom he had tied in the recent championship. Playoff scores: Chau 2, Ruan and Perera 0.5 each.

The following  quick victory was by twice Australian Champion and former ACF President John Purdy who died last week aged 75. His  sharp tactical style of play was similar to his grandfathers Spencer Crakanthorp who also won 2 Australian Championships. Johns father  IM Cecil Purdy was an excellent positional player,4 times Australian Champion and 1st World Correspondence Champion. Johns great grandfather Lawrence Spencer Crakanthorp (1857-1929) started it all and was world no 188 in the historical world rating list of 1902.   Purdy,John  - IM Steiner,Lajos J [A47] AUS ch 1954  1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 b6 3.e3 Bb7 4.Bd3 e6 5.00 Be7 6.Nbd2 c5 7.b3 Nc6 8.a3 cxd4 9.exd4 Nd5 10.g3 Nc3 11.Qe1 Bf6 12.Nc4 Nxd4 13.Nxd4 Bxd4 14.Nd6+ Ke7 15.Nf5+ 10. Steiner was 4 times Australian champion. John was much liked and respected by the chess world and the legal profession.    The  memorial service for the Hon. John Spencer Purdy will be held at 2.30pm on Friday 9 September in the Camellia Chapel of the Macquarie Park Crematorium,Plassey Road,North Ryde.

World Cup started in Siberia.

Peter Parr (29/8/11)

 The 128-player World Cup knock-out Match tournament  started last night in the Ugorian  Chess Academy (a unique three level building of 2845 sq.m), Khanty-Mansiysk, Siberia, Russia. Australian Champion Grandmaster Zong-Yuan Zhao (2570,seed 101) plays a two-game match yesterday and today against Russian GM Evgeny Tomashevsky (2707,seed 28). Matches drawn 1-1 will be decided by rapid-play games on Tuesday.

The top four players in the world Magnus Carlsen (NOR), World Champion Viswanathan Anand (IND), Levon Aronian (ARM) and Vladimir Kramnik(RUS) are playing in the  double-round rapid-play Botvinnik Centenary Memorial  in Moscow 2-3 September.   The lowly rated 42-year-old Sergey Klimentiev was beating players  more than 500 rating points above him in the Botvinnik Open. The organisers confiscated his briefcase and pen due to alleged cheating with computer assistance after which he finished in 98th place.  Botvinnik Seniors -   V.Korchnoi (SUI 2553,aged 80 and the 2011 Champion of Switzerland) 7/9,E.Vasiukov (RUS 2455) 6, L.Portisch (HUN 2523) 5. GM Mark Taimanov now aged 85 who tied for first with Botvinnik in the Soviet Championship in Moscow 1952  also played in the event.

 Botvinnik was born on 17 Aug 1911 near St Petersburgh and was World Champion between 1948 1957,1958-1960 and 1961-1963). He died in 1995. Here are some games from his early Soviet Championship victories.

Botvinnik - Alatortsev [E85] Moscow 1931    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nc3 00 6.Be3 e5 7.Nge2 Nc6 8.Qd2 Nd7 9.d5 Ne7 10.g3 f5 11.Bg2 fxe4?! 12.fxe4 Nf6 13.h3 b6 14.b3 Kh8 15.g4! Neg8 16.Ng3 Bd7 17.000 h6? 18.g5 hxg5 19.h4 Bg4? 20.hxg5+ Nh5 21.Nce2 Ne7 22.Rh4 Qd7 23.Rdh1 Kg8 24.Rxg4! Qxg4 25.Bh3 Qf3 26.Rf1 Nxg3 27.Be6+ 10   Botvinnik - Sorokin [E35]  Leningrad 1933   1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 d5 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 Qd6 7.e3 Ne4 8.Bf4 Qg6 9.Qb3 c5 10.f3 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Ba5 12.Bxb8 10

  Sydney expert Ilija Ilic who scored 4/9 in the Vienna Open was one of 776 players from 45 countries participating in the magnificent historic Vienna Town Hall,Austria.  Leading final scores in the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur (98 players,9 rounds) GM S.Li (CHN 2520) 7.5,IM S.Lu(CHN 2526) and GM Y.Wen(CHN 2558) 7. The best performance from the 10 Australians was by IM James Morris of Melbourne who scored well against a strong field. Leading Australian scores : - IM G.Lane(2369) and FM B.Cheng(2323) 5.5, IM J.Morris(2300),FM J.Ikeda(2349) and FM C.Wallis (2287) 5. Seniors Tournament FM B.Jones(AUS 2053) 5.5/9.  GM Vitaly Kunin (GER 2562) has 8/8 and IM Aleks Wohl(AUS 2405)  is in joint second  place with 6 /8 in Salzburg,Austria. The NSW Champion Max Illingworth has scored 3.5/8 so far in the 9-round Grandmaster Tournament in Kecskemet,Hungary.

 Six teams competed in the 10-round NSWCA  Teams Lightning at Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club.The winning team was Zapa (Australian Champion GM Z. Zhao, A.Smirnov,P.Chen,A.Pan) on 33.5/40 with Deep Blue Brothers second on 30.5. The team Hyde Park Rangers won the U2000 prize with 19 points and Rooty Hill the U1800 prize scoring 18 points.  FM Greg Canfell,7-time NSW Champion conceded a quick draw in the final round to win  the Best in the West  Australian Grand Prix weekender in Melbourne.    

 Australian Master and retired Judge  John Purdy (25 Sep 1935- 27 Aug 2011) died suddenly in Taree on Saturday morning. John and his wife Felicity were planning to attend the funeral of Johns best man at his wedding in 1958 on Saturday in Kempsey. John was Australian Junior Champion 1951 and Australian Champion in  1955 and 1963. His grandfather Spencer Crakanthorp and father Cecil Purdy were also both multiple  Australian Champions. Cecil was the first World Correspondence Champion in 1953. John Purdy will be greatly missed by his family and the chess community. I first met John at the British Championships in Aberystwyth, Wales in 1955. A further obituary  will appear next Monday.        

Svidler wins sixth  Russian Title.

Peter Parr (22/8/11)

 Peter Svidler has won the Russian Championship   for the sixth time. The eight player event was held in the Botvinnik Central Chess Club, Moscow.   Svidler,P (2739) - Galkin,A (2598) [B12] Rd 4  1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.h4 h5 5.c4 e6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Nge2 Nh6  (7..dxc4 8 Ng3 Bg6 is an alternative variation) 8.Ng3 g6 9.Bf4 Kf8 10.Qd2 Kg7 11.Bg5 a6 12.Be2 Nd7 13.00 dxc4 (best) 14.Bxc4 Bxg5 15.hxg5 Ng8 16.Nge4 Bxe4 17.Nxe4 Ne7 18.Rad1 Nf5 19.Nf6 Qe7 20.Qa5 Rhd8 21.Rfe1 Nf8 22.Qb6 Rac8 23.Bb3 Nh7 24.f4 Qc7 25.Qc5 Nxf6 26.gxf6+ Kh7 27.Kh2 Nh6 28.Rd2 Rd7 29.Bd1! Qd8 30.Bf3 Qf8 31.Qc3 Rcd8 32.Red1 Kg8 33.Kg1 Kh7 34.b4 Kg8 35.a3 Kh7 36.Rd3 Kg8 37.Bxh5! Nf5? (Black is now much worse)  38.Bg4 Qh6 39.Bxf5 exf5 40.Rf1 Qh4 41.Rh3 Qg4 42.e6! fxe6 43.Qe1! 10 (the duel threats of 44 Qxe6+ and 44 Rh4 cannot be met).

 Final scores 8 players, 7 rounds P.Svidler (2739) 5: A.Morozevich (2694) 4.5: S.Karjakin (2788), A.Grischuk (2746), V.Kramnik (2789) 4: I.Nepomniachtchi (2711) 3, A.Galkin (2598) 2: A.Timofeev (2665) 1.5.    Last Wednesday was the 100th anniversary  of the Patriarch and founder of the Soviet Chess School Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-1995),three-times World Champion. Botvinnik decisively won the Absolute Championship of the USSR in 1941 in addition to winning 6 Soviet Championships in 1931,1933,1939,1944,1945, and 1952.

 Dariusz Swiercz has won the World Junior Championship in Chennai, India. He scored 5.5 in the last six rounds drawing only with Robert Hovhannisyan and winning his other five games.  Hovhannisyan after 7 consecutive wins led the event with 8/9 but drew 3 of his last 4 games finishing in a tie for first place but losing the title on a very close count-back. Swiercz tied for first place in the City of Sydney Championship in 2007 at the age of 12, became a grandmaster at the age of 14 and World Junior Champion (Under 20) at the age of seventeen.

 Leading final scores (126 players, 18 GMs, 13 rounds):-  GM D.Swiercz (POL 2553) and GM R.Hovhannisyan (ARM 2556) both undefeated 10.5, IM S.Grover (IND 2496) 9.5.  The 3 Australians were:- FM J.Ikeda (AUS 2349) 7, FM M.Ly (AUS 2369) 6.5, F.Zulfic (AUS 2098) 4.  World Girls (69 players, 13 rounds):- WGM D.Cori (PER 2376) 11, WGM O.Girya (RUS 2371) 10.5, WGM N.Paikidze (GEO 2416) 9.5.   E.Guo (AUS 2029)  5.5/13 and S.Narenthran (AUS 1693) 4 points.

 NSW State Champion Max Illingworth scored 2.5/9 in the GM Tournament in Budapest, Hungary.  The event was jointly won by GM L.Vajda (ROU 2504) and IM J.Szabolcsi (HUN 2357). Illingworth is now in Kekscemet, Hungary. IM Andrew Brown(AUS 2202) scored 3/9 in an IM event in  Summerscale, England.

 Ten Australians are competing in the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur ( 98 players from 22 countries including 10 GMs).  GM Shilong Li (CHN 2520) is in first place with 5/5.  Leading Australian scores :- IM G.Lane (2369) 3.5, IM J.Morris (2300,performance over 2500), FM J.Ikeda (2349), J.Tan (2161) 3, FM B.Cheng (2323), FM C.Wallis (2287) 2.5.   FM B.Jones (AUS 2053) has 3.5/5 in the  Seniors.  Sydney expert  Ilija  Ilic (AUS 2042) has scored 3.5/8 in the 391 player International Open in his daughters home city of Vienna, Austria.

 The  9-round World Rated Ford Memorial starts tomorrow evening Tue 23 August at Norths, Cammeray.  The next ACF Grand Prix event organised by The NSW Chess Association will be the seven round Open  at St George Leagues Club, Kogarah next weekend 27-28 August with eight major prizes and numerous rating prizes.   Australian and Oceania Champion GM Zong - Yuan Zhao leaves Sydney this week to participate in the 128 player  World Cup knockout starting next Sunday in Khanty - Mansiysk, Siberia, Russia.    

World Title Match in Moscow

Peter Parr (15/8/11)

 The twelve game World Championship Match between Viswanathan Anand (IND title-holder) and Boris Gelfand (ISR) will be held in Moscow,Russia  in May 2012 with a prize fund of 2,550,000 US Dollars. The Womens World Title Match between Hou Yifan (CHN) the title-holder and Humpy Koneru (IND) will be held in Tirana, Albania in November 2011 for a 200,000 Euros prize fund.

   The  64th  Russian Championship in Moscow (8 players, 2715  average rating, 7 rounds) is the shortest in history, but very strong. Peter Svidler (2739) already five times Russian Champion leads with 4/5 ahead of A.Morozevich (2694) 3, S.Karjakin (2788), A.Grischuk ( 2746), I.Nepomniachtchi ( 2711) and V.Kramnik ( 2781) on 2.5.

 Svidler,Peter (2739) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2781) [A07]  1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 c6 4.d3 Bg4 5.Nbd2 Nbd7 6.h3 Bh5 7.g4 Bg6 8.Nh4 e6 9.e3 Bd6 10.Qe2 Qc7 11.00 000 12.Rb1 (N) Qa5?! 13.a3 Bb8 14.f4 e5? 15.f5 e4 16.dxe4 Qc7 17.Rf4 Rde8 18.fxg6 hxg6 19.Nhf3 Qb6 20.e5 Nxe5 21.Nxe5 Bxe5 22.Rf3 Nh7 23.c4? (h4!) Ng5 24.cxd5 cxd5 25.Nf1 Kb8 26.b4 d4 27.Bd2 Re7 28.Rc1 dxe3 29.Bxe3 Bd4 30.Rg3 Bxe3+ 31.Nxe3 Rhe8 32.Rc3 a6 33.Qf2 f6 34.Nc2 Qxf2+ 35.Kxf2 Re2+ 36.Kf1 Rd2 37.Rgd3 Ree2 38.Rxd2 Rxd2 39.Ne3 Ne6 40.Nc4 Rd1+ 41.Kf2 Nf4 42.Bf3 Ra1 43.h4 g5 44.h5 10

 Kramnik,V (2781) - Timofeev,Arty (2665) [A35]  1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nc7 7.00 e5 8.a3 Be7 9.b4 00 10.bxc5 Bxc5 11.Bb2 Re8 12.Rc1 Bf8 13.Ne4 Rb8 14.d3 Nb5 15.Nfg5 Nc7 16.Qb3 Be6 17.Nxe6 Nxe6 18.e3 Qa5 19.Rc4 Red8 20.Rfc1 Qb6 21.Qc2 Na5 22.Rc3 Rd7 23.Nd2 Rbd8 24.Nf3 Rd5 25.Ba1 Qa6 26.Rb1 Nc6 27.Bf1 Bxa3 28.d4 Qa5 29.Rxb7 Bc5 30.Rxc5 Rxc5 31.dxc5 Qxa1 32.Qf5 Rf8 33.Rxf7 Rxf7 34.Qxe6 e4 35.Qxe4 10

 Progress scores in the World Junior Championship in Chennai, India (126 players from 45 countries including 18 GMs, 13 rounds) after  round 11  :- GM R.Hovhannisyan (ARM 2556) 9, GM S.Ter-Sahakyan (ARM 2558) and GM D.Swiercz (POL 2553) 8.5 .       FM Junta Ikeda (AUS 2349) lost to Hovhannisyan in round 4 and had 3.5 points after 8 rounds. Ikeda won the next three games and is in 36th place on 6.5/11. He defeated GM Jorge Cori (PER 2514) in round 11.

 Cori was an adult FIDE Master at the age of 9 and in 2009 at the age of 14 years and 2 months became a Grandmaster the tenth youngest ever GM. The top seed GM Maxim Matlakov (RUS 2632) is equal with Ikeda on 6.5 points. FM Moulthun Ly (AUS 2369) has 5.5/11 and Fedja Zulfic (AUS 2098) 3.5/11.  WGM Deysi Cori (PER 2376) the sister of Jorge is in the joint lead with WGM O.Girya (RUS 2371) on 9.5/11 in the World Girls Championship (69 players from 30 countries). WIM Emma Guo (AUS 2029) has 4.5  and Savithri Narenthran (AUS 1693) 3 points.   

The  Malaysian Open and supporting events which has attracted a number of Australian players start in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday. The top seeds in the main event are :- GM Z.Zhang (SIN 2594), GM R.Antonio (PHI 2565) and GM Y.Wen (CHN 2558).   NSW State Champion 18-year-old Max Illingworth of Dee Why, Sydney has scored 2.5 /8 in the strong 9 round Grandmaster Tournament in Budapest, Hungary.

Forthcoming events in NSW include the nine round  World Rated  Parramatta RSL Spring Cup 18 Aug 13 Oct and the  eleven round NSWCA Teams lightning at Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club next Sunday  21 August.        

The Oceania Seniors (over 60) Championship at Box Hill Chess Club in Melbourne was won in fine style by IM Mirko Rujevic (VIC 2306) who conceded only two draws in the last two rounds. Leading final scores (30 players,7 rounds) :- Rujevic 6/7, B.Kerr (SA 1946) 5.5, FM B.Jones (NSW 2069) 5.  Best over 70 - R.Voon (VIC 1921) 4.5,  Over 80 - P.Viner (NSW 2057) 4.5.  The FIDE arbiters  seminar, the first ever held in Australia was organised during the event.

World Junior in Chennai

 Peter Parr (SMH 8/8/11)

     The 50th World Junior Championship with 126 players (35 rated above 2400) from 45 countries including 18 grandmasters is in progress in Chennai, India. The top seeds are GM Maxim Matlakov RUS 2632   and GM Sanan Sjugirov RUS 2629. The early leaders  after five  of the thirteen rounds  are IM A.Rombaldoni (ITA 2459) 5, IM K.Piorun (POL 2514) 4.5.

 Australia has three representatives who are all performing above their rating -  FM M.Ly (AUS 2369) and FM J.Ikeda (AUS 2349) have 3 points  and F.Zulfic (AUS 2098) has 2/5 . O.Girya (RUS 2371) leads the 69 player World Girls on 5/5. There are 34 titled players from 30 countries.  S.Narenthran ( AUS 1693) is on 2 points and  WIM E. Guo (AUS 2029) has 1.5 points.

 Grant  Berriman of Canberra played in the inaugural  World Junior Championship in Birmingham, England 1951 and we have sent players on a regular basis to the 50 Championships held so far. Four famous World Junior Champions Spassky 1955,Karpov 1969,Kasparov 1980 and Anand 1987 later became World Champions.  World no 3 Levon Aronian (ARM) won the World Junior in 2002 and was a visitor to the ANU Open last week in Canberra. Aronian arrived from Ningbo,China where he led Armenia to victory in the World Teams Championship.

 The 98th British Championship in Sheffield was a hard fought contest between Englands two leading grandmasters who tied for first place each scoring six wins and five draws in the eleven round contest. The play-off match for the title on Saturday afternoon   was won by the defending champion and top seed Michael Adams 1.5 Nigel Short 0.5.                

Leading final scores (89 players,11 rounds) GM M.Adams (2715) and GM N.Short (2687) 8.5, GM G.Jones (2606) and IM J.Hawkins (2457) 8,GM D.Howell (2625),GM N.Pert (2555) and GM D.Gormally (2519) 7.5. The Championship also hosted events for seniors, five rating division tournaments, all age divisions for British Junior titles as well as weekenders and rapid-play.

 Jones,G (2606) - Bates,Ri (2373) [B20]  1.e4 c5 2.d3 Nc6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Be2 (Larsen  played this move against Fischer in 1971)d6 6.00 Bg4 7.Qe1 c4? 8.dxc4 Qb6+ 9.Kh1 Bxb2 10.Bxb2 Qxb2 11.Nc3 Bxf3 (too risky. Black is behind in development) 12.Bxf3 Qb4 13.Rb1 Qxc4 14.Rxb7 Nd4 15.Nd5 Rc8 16.Rxa7 Nxc2 17.Qb1 Qc5 18.Qb7 Qc6 19.Nc7+ Kd7 20.Qxc6+ Kxc6 21.e5+ Kb6 22.Rb1+! Kxa7 23.Rb7# mate 10 

The ANU Open Grand Prix weekender  in Canberra was easily won by the top seed  and Australian Champion GM Z.Zhao who conceded only two draws in the last two rounds.   Arthur Huynh  2020 - GM Zong Yuan Zhao 2607 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.Qa4+ c6 6.Qxc4 b5 7.Qd3 Nbd7 8.g3 a6 9.Bg2 Bb7 10.e4 b4 11.Ne2 c5 12.Nd2 Ne5 13.Qb1 cxd4 14.00 d3 15.Nf4 g5 16.Nh3 g4 17.Nf4 h5 18.b3 Bc5 19.Bb2 Bd4 20.Rc1 h4 21.a3 hxg3 22.hxg3 Qb6 23.Bxd4 Qxd4 24.Re1 Rc8 25.axb4 Rc2 26.Ra2 Rxd2! 27.Rxd2 Nxe4 28.Qb2 Nxd2 29.Qxd4 Nef3+!  0-1

 Leading final scores (46 players,7 rounds) GM Z.Zhao (NSW 2607)  6, IM G.Xie (NSW 2512), B.Mandla (NSW 2123), FM V.Smirnov (NSW 2386) 5.5 . There were 35 competitors in the supporting under 1600 rated event.

 NSWCA inter-club grade matches leading scores:- Under 1600 Ryde-Eastwood 25/36, Norths Grizzlies 21.5.  Under 1400 St George 24.5, Ryde-Eastwood 20.    IM Mirko Rujevic, the top seed, has taken the early lead by winning his first three games  in the 30 player, 7 rounds Oceania Seniors Championship (over 60) at Box Hill Chess Club in Melbourne.   

Armenia Wins World Teams

Peter Parr (SMH 1/8/11)

 Armenia, seeded fourth, won the World Teams Championship in Ningbo, China undefeated by winning five and drawing four matches. The top three boards were all in excellent form with World no 3 Levon Aronian performing at 2826, Movsesian 2824 and Akopian 2784.  Armenia, unlike the other 7 teams, used their no 5 player only once. China won their last four matches to take the silver medals with  board 1 Wang Hao  2854 result and board 2 Wang Yue  2916 result.

 Russia, the top seeds and defending champions, lost to China, Azerbaijan and India. World no 4 Sergey Karjakin (RUS 2788) scored only 2/6 (4 draws,2 losses) on top board. Other players performing above 2800 were Grischuk (RUS) 2836, Moiseenko (UKR) 2818, Nepomniachti (RUS) 2808, Kamsky (USA) 2807, Radjabov (AZE ) 2806, Leko (HUN 2803).

 Aronian,Levon (ARM 2805) - Sutovsky,Emil (ISR 2700) [D85]  1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.Nc3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 c5 8.Be3 Qa5 9.Nd2 cxd4 10.Nc4 dxe3 11.Nxa5 Bxc3+ 12.Ke2 Bxa5 13.Kxe3 00 14.Bb5! a6 15.Ba4 b5 16.Qd5! Ra7 17.Bb3 Bg4 18.Qg5 Bb6+ 19.Kf4 Be6 20.Bxe6 fxe6+ 21.Kg3 Nc6 22.Kh3 Nd4 23.Rhd1 Rc7 24.Rac1 Rxc1 25.Rxc1 Ne2 26.Qe5 Bd4 27.Qxe6+ Rf7 28.Rc8+ Kg7 29.g3! Ng1+ 30.Kg2 Rxf2+ 31.Kh1 Nf3 32.Qxe7+ Kh6 33.Qf8+ Kh5 34.Rc5+! Ng5 35.Rxg5+ Kxg5 36.Qd8+ Bf6 37.Qd3 Kg4 38.Qe3 10 white wins a piece

 Final scores:- Armenia 14/18, China 13, Ukraine 12, Russia, Hungary and USA 10, Azerbaijan 9, India 7, Israel 5, Egypt 0.  The President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan met the World Champion team at the airport in Yerevan on their return from China. Armenia also won the 2006 and 2008 Chess Olympiads. Leading final scores of the  highest rated womens tournament in history played in Hangzhou, China :- Ju Wenjun (2515) 6.5/9, D.Harika (2513) 5.5, N.Kosintseva (2560), Zhao Xue (2470) 5, World Champion Hou Yifan (2575), ex world champion  Zhu Chen (2485) and M.Sebag (2510) 4.5

 World Number 1 Magnus Carlsen (NOR 2821) gained another two rating points by winning the Biel, Switzerland GM event (6 players, average rating 2709). Alexander Morozevich (RUS 2694) was in second place half-a - point behind Carlsen.  

The 2010 chess Oscar was awarded last week  to Carlsen (1264 points) ahead of World Champion  Anand (India) on 1244 points and Aronian third on 767 points.  Kasparov (RUS) reached the highest rating ever at 2851 and Carlsen has a long way to go to reach that figure.  Former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik has won Dortmund (Germany) for the tenth time. Leading scores  (6 players,2731 av rating,10 rounds) :- V.Kramnik ( RUS 2781) 7/9 - Performance 2933 , Quang Liem Le (VIE 2715) 5 both undefeated, ex World Champion R.Ponomariov (UKR 2764) and A.Giri (NED 2701) 4.5.

 FIDE Master Moulthun Ly (AUS 2369) completed all his requirements for the International Master Title in the Dutch Open played in Dieren,Netherlands. Ly scored 5.5/9 (performance 2459)  and  his opponents included five Grandmasters Timman 2575,Petrov 2534, Deepan 2470, Vovk 2564, and Turov 2630.  Ly gained 30 rating points from the event, FM Junta Ikeda (AUS 2349) gained 9 rating points with 5/9 and IM A.Brown (AUS 2202) also scored 5 points gaining 6 rating points.

 The game between the top two seeds in the FIDE rated  Integra NSW Championship scheduled for the first round on  May 24 was played after the last round and was won by Dr Vladimir Smirnov who defeated George Xie the top seed. Leading final scores :-  FM M.Illingworth (2372) 7/9, FM V.Smirnov (RUS 2405) and FM V.Berezin (UKR 2370) 6.    NSWCA Inter-club grade matches leading scores:- U2150 Harbord Diggers 29/40,Norths and Parramatta Dolphins 21.5. U1600 Ryde-Eastwood 23/32, Norths Grizzlies 19. U1400 St George 22/32,Ryde-Eastwood 18 . The Rooty Hill Open will be held over the next nine Wednesday evenings starting on 3 August.

Illingworth wins NSW Championship

Peter Parr (SMH 25/7/11)

 Eighteen-year-old Max Illingworth has won the NSW State Championship at Norths a full point ahead of his closest rivals. Victor Berezin (Ukraine) the brother of IM Irina Berezina-Feldman defeated the top seed George Xie in the final round. The first round game between the top two seeds  Xie v Smirnov scheduled for May 24 has still not been played 9 weeks later.

 Results of the last round  (10 players, 9 rounds):-  Illingworth 0.5   Rej 0.5,  Berezin 1  Xie 0, Smirnov 1  Canfell 0, Feldman 0  Bird 1, McNamara 0 Stephens 1.    Scores :-  FM M.Illingworth (2372) 7/9, FM V.Berezin (UKR 2370) 6 (both undefeated), IM G.Xie (2457) and FM V.Smirnov (RUS 2405) each 5 points plus one game to play, A.Bird (2185) and FM M.Stephens (2312) 5, FM G.Canfell (2310)and FM T.Rej (2290) 4, IM V.Feldman (2270) 2 , G.McNamara (2174) 1.

   Phillip Viner aged 83 won the Norths Seniors scoring 9/9 ahead of Paul Glissan on 7/9 in second place. Viners father William who died in 1933 was Australian Champion 100 years ago. NSWCA Inter-club grade matches leading scores:- U2150 -Harbord Diggers 26.5/36, Parramatta Dolphins 20.    U1800 - St George Saints 24/36 , Ryde-Eastwood 20.5   U1600 - Ryde-Eastwood 20/28, Norths Grizzlies 17    U1400 - St George 20/28, Harbord Diggers Rooks and Ryde-Eastwood 16. The Canterbury Winter Swiss at Lakemba Services Memorial Club over seven consecutive  Monday evenings commences on  1 August. 

 IM Irina Berezina-Feldman (AUS) defeated IWM Emma Guo (AUS) 2.5-0.5 at Parramatta RSL Club in the Rapid Play-Off match for the title of Oceania Womens Champion and the one qualifying place for the 2012 Womens World Cup.

Australian Champion GM Zhong-Yuan Zhao (2570) aged 25 and world no 339 has been paired against world no 36 Russian GM  Evgeny Tomashevsky (2707) aged 24 in the first round of the World Cup  28-30 August  in Siberia. Tomashevsky is seeded 28  and Zhao 101 in the 128 player 2 game matches knockout event. Tomashevsky was Russian under 18 champion at the age of 13 and won the European Individual Championship in 2009.

 World Teams championship in Ningbo, China.    Ivanchuk,Vassily (UKR 2768) - Leko,Peter (HUN 2717) [C89] Rd 4   1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.00 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 00 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d4 Bd6 13.Re1 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3 15.Qe2 Bg4 16.Qf1 Qh5 17.Nd2 f5 (17.. Rae8 Svidler-Leko 2007) 18.c4? (f3 is better) f4! 19.cxd5 c5 20.Re4 c4 21.Bc2 fxg3 22.hxg3 Bxg3 23.fxg3 Rxf1+ 24.Nxf1 Qh3 25.Re3 Rf8 26.Bd2 Bf3 27.Rxf3 Rxf3 28.Be4 Rxg3+ 29.Nxg3 Qxg3+ 30.Bg2? (better was Kf1) Qd3 31.Be1 Qxd4+ 32.Bf2 Qxb2 33.Rf1 Qd2 34.Bc5 g6 35.Rf8+ Kg7 36.Rf2 Qd1+ 37.Rf1 Qd2 38.Kh2 c3 39.Rf2 Qe1 40.Bd4+ Kh6 41.Bh3 c2 01 (after 42 Rxc2  Qxe4 wins a piece). Match scores after round 6 (10 teams,9 rounds) Armenia 10/12, Russia and Hungary 8, China and Ukraine 7, Azerbaijan and USA 6, Israel 5, India 3, Egypt 0.

 World no 1 Magnus Carlsen (NOR 2821) and Alexander Morozevich (RUS 2694) share the lead with 3.5/5 in  Biel, Switzerland.   V.  Kramnik leads Dortmund, Germany with 2.5/3 with R.Ponomariov (UKR 2764) in second place both are former World Champions.     IM A. Wohl (AUS 2405) scored 5.5/9 in Condom, France.   FM M.Ly (AUS 2369),FM J.Ikeda (AUS 2349) and IM A.Brown (AUS 2202) have each scored 3/5 in the Dutch Open (63 players including 14 Grandmasters). Leading final scores in the  Trundle Masters in Auckland, NZ  (10 players,9 rounds) :-  FM B.Cheng (AUS 2323) 6.5 (IM Norm), GM D.Johansen (AUS 2408) 6, IM I.Goldenberg (AUS 2388) 5.5.  NSW Champion  FM Max Illingworth (AUS 2389 ) scored 3 .5 points.  

Rishi Dutta wins NSW Under 12 Title

By Peter Parr (SMH 18/7/11)

 Ten-year-old Rishi Dutta has won the NSW Under 12 Championship (23 players,10 rounds) scoring an undefeated 8.5 points ahead of Eric Pan 8, Kashish Christian and Brandon Lee 7.  The NSW Junior Under 18 Championship has produced a three-way tie between Bernard Chau (the 2010 champion,aged 15), Harry Ruan (12) and Pasan Perera (the 2010 City of Sydney Junior Champion,aged 14). A play-off will be held for the title. Leading final scores (36 players,10 rounds) Bernard Chau, Harry Ruan, Pasan Perera 7, Andrew Pan 6.5, Jack Ruan, Raymond Han, Kinto Wan 6.

 Results of the eighth round of the Integra NSW State Championship at Norths (10 players,9 rounds) :- FM V.Smirnov (RUS 2405) 0.5   FM M.Illingworth (2372) 0.5  , FM V.Berezin (UKR 2370) 0.5  FM M.Stephens (2312) 0.5  , G.McNamara (2174) 0   IM G.Xie(2457)  1 ,FM T.Rej (2290) 0.5   A.Bird (2185) 0.5,  FM G.Canfell (2310) 1  IM V.Feldman (2270) 0 . Rd 7:-  Berezin 0.5  Smirnov 0.5. There are 4  players above 50%:- Illingworth 7/9, Xie 5/7, Berezin 5/8, Smirnov 4/7

  And 3 players on 50%:-  Canfell, Bird  and Stephens  all on 4/8.   P.Viner leads the Norths Seniors with 8/8  followed by P.Glissan on 6/8.

 The top three seeds took the top three places in the NSW RapidPlay at Parramatta RSL. IM George Xie won his first four games but FM Max Illingworth and IM Gary Lane each dropped half a point. The final three rounds saw three draws between the three leaders and one win each. Leading final scores ( 57 players, 7 rounds):-  Xie 6, Illingworth and  Lane 5.5.   NSWCA Inter-club grade matches leading scores  after 32 games U2150:- Harbord Diggers 24,Parramatta Dolphins 18 U1800 :- St George Saints 22.5, Ryde-Eastwood 18.

 The Easts Winter Challenge tournament over nine Monday evenings starts at Eastern Suburbs Leagues Club on July 25th.  Trevor Tao of Adelaide won the Checkmate weekender in Adelaide  beating Australian Champion GM  Zhao in round 4 to become the sole leader then drew with GM Johansen, beat IM Morris and drew against FM Cheng.   Ron Scott beat Zhao in the last round. Leading final scores  (28 players,7 rounds):-  T.Tao (SA 2399) 6, GM D.Johansen (VIC 2408) 5.5, FM B.Cheng (VIC 2335), R.Scott (NSW 2228), A.Cameron (SA 1960) 5, GM Z.Zhao (NSW 2607), IM A.Brown (ACT 2292), IM M.Chapman (SA 2281) 4.5.

 Former World Title Challenger Viktor Korchnoi now aged 80 was third in the strong Swiss Championship last week. He won a piece on move 15 in the following game from the event.  V.Korchnoi  2553  v  R.Gerber 2381  Rd 3  1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 f3 0-0 6 Nge2 e5 7 Bg5 exd4 8 Nxd4 Nc6 9 Nc2 Be6 10 Be2 Ne5 11 b3 h6 12 Be3 c6 13 0-0 d5 14 Bd4 Qc7 15 f4! Neg4 16 e5 black resigned. Armenian GM Tigran Petrosian won the 444 player  (including 33 grandmasters) 31st Benasque Open in Spain.  IM Aleks Wohl (AUS 2405) is one point behind the leaders with one round to play in the 100 player International Open Chess Festival in Condom,France.

 The George Trundle NZ Masters(10 players,9 rounds)  in Auckland this week has four Australians -  GM Johansen,IM Goldenberg, FM Illingworth and FM Cheng. Eleven-year-old Zhansaya Abdumalik (Kazakhstan) has become the youngest ever Womens International Master at the age of 11 years and 5 months.  The World Teams Championship (10 teams,9 rounds) started last night in Ningbo,China with 9 of the top 10 countries competing. The Biel,Switzerland Masters starring World no 1 Magnus Carlsen (NOR) also started yesterday and Dortmund,Germany with ex world champion Vladimir Kramnik (RUS) commences on Thursday.

Two bids for the 12 game  April/May 2012 World Championship match  between  Champion Viswanathan Anand (India) and Boris Gelfand (Israel) have so far been received.  The Tamil Nadu (India) Government bid is 200 million rupees ($ 4.2 million) for the match to be held in Chennai (Madras) and  a $ 2 million bid from Moscow.          

World Teams in China

Peter Parr (SMH 11/7/11)

 Russia will start as favourites in The World Teams Championship (10 countries,9 rounds) in Ningbo, China 15-26 July.  All five players in the Russian team are rated above 2700 :- S.Karjakin 2788, A.Grischuk 2746, P.Svidler 2739, N.Vitiugov 2733 and I.Nepomniachtchi 2711. The other teams are China (host),Ukraine, Israel and Hungary (from the 2010 Olympiad), Azerbaijan (Europe),India (Asia),USA (Americas), Egypt (Africa) and Armenia (Presidents nomination) France is the only top 10 country not qualified.

Anish Giri (2687) dominated the Dutch Championship (rating performance 2850!) winning the event with 6 wins and 3 draws  finishing a full two points ahead of GM I.Sokolov(2645) in second place on 5.5/9. Giri who turned 17 during the event became a grandmaster at the age of 14. He was born in St Petersburg,Russia to his Russian mother and Nepalese father lived in Japan from 2002 - 2008 when the family moved again to the Netherlands.

Janssen,Ru (2512) - Giri,A (2687) [A07] Rd 8   1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.00 Nf6 5.b3 Ne4 6.c3 00 7.Bb2 c5 8.d3 Nd6 9.Nbd2 Nc6 10.Rb1 e5 11.c4 d4 12.a3 a5 13.e3 dxe3 14.fxe3 Nf5 15.Qe2 Bh6 16.Ne4 Bxe3+ 17.Kh1 Ncd4 18.Nxd4 cxd4 19.g4 Nh4 20.Nf6+ Kg7 21.Bc1 Ra6 22.Bxe3 dxe3 23.g5 Nf5 24.Be4 h6! 25.gxh6+? Kxf6 26.Qxe3 Ke7 27.Qg1 Rh8 28.Rbe1 Nxh6 29.Bd5 Nf5 30.Rxe5+ Kf8 31.Qg2 Rf6 32.Rfe1 Kg7 33.Qb2 Qb6 34.c5 Qxc5 35.Bxf7 Ng3+ 36.Kg2 Rf2+! 01

Leading final scores in The Commonwealth and South African Open held in the City of Ekurhuleni near Johannesburg (389 players, including 55 titled from 15 countries, 11 rounds) :-  winner on countback was GM G.Jones (ENG 2596) 9.5 and GM N.Short (ENG 2682) 9.5, GM D.Smerdon (AUS 2520, 9 wins and 2 losses), IM N.Huschenbeth (GER 2502), GM A.Kunte (IND 2526) 9.  Thomas Feng (AUS 1853) was 51st on 7 points and   Tristan Stevens (AUS 2087) 58th also on 7 points. In the B Section (326 players, 11 rounds) Rowan Willathgamuwa (AUS) scored 8/11 and his brother Kevin Willathgamuwa (AUS) 7.5.

FIDE Masters Moulthun Ly (AUS 2375) and Justin Ikeda (AUS 2315) tied for fourth place in the Philadelphia International (USA).  The World Open also in Philadelphia was won by GM G. Kamsky (USA 2741) who defeated GM M.Adams (ENG 2726) in a play-off for the title after tying for first place with 7/9. Ikeda scored 5 and Ly 4.5 points in the event.    IM Aleks Wohl (AUS 2411) was undefeated in the Vins du Medoc, France International. Wohl beat the top seed GM Rogozenco (ROU 2557) and drew with the winner IM I.Zaragatski (GER 2475) who scored 7/9 in the 105 player tournament. Wohl  tied for second place with 2 GMs and two other IMs finishing with 6.5 and a 2516 performance rating.

Results of the seventh round of the Integra NSW State Championship at Norths (10 players,9 rounds):- FM M.Illingworth (2372) 1 G. McNamara (2174) 0, FM V. Berezin (UKR 2370) (Postponed) FM V. Smirnov (RUS 2405), IM V. Feldman (2270)  0.5  FM M. Stephens (2312) 0.5, A.Bird (2185) 0 FM G. Canfell (2310) 1, IM G. Xie (2457) 1 FM T. Rej (2290) 0.   There are  4 players above 50%:- Illingworth  6.5/8, Berezin and Xie 4/6, Smirnov 3/5  and 2 players on 50%:- Bird and Stephens 3.5/7.  P.Viner leads the Norths Seniors with 6/6 followed by P.Glissan on 4/5

NSWCA Inter-club grade matches leading scores after  7 rounds  (28 games):- U 2150 :- Harbord Diggers 21.5, Parramatta Dolphins 17.  U 1800:- St George Saints 19, Ryde-Eastwood 17. U 1600:- Ryde-Eastwood 17/24, Norths Grizzlies 14/24.  U 1400 :- St George 17/24, Harbord Diggers Rooks 15/24.

Cedric Koh aged 12 finished first in both of the NSW Junior Leagues Winter tournaments.  Leading final scores One-Day (179 players,8 rounds) Paul Russell,Cedric Koh,Jackie Wu 7 each. Winter Two-Day (153 players,12 rounds):- Cedric Koh 11.5,Methew Yan 10,Shirley Gu 9.5.  The NSW Junior Championships take place this week the under 18 division started yesterday and the Under 12 starts on Wednesday. For details see www.nswjcl.org.au or contact Richard Gastineau-Hills,phone 9412 4579.

Morozevich wins in Russia

Peter Parr (SMH 4/7/11)

 Alexander Morozevich after a lengthy break from chess has won The Higher League of the 64th Russian Championship in Taganrog (62 players including 46 GMs and 26 players rated above 2600).   Morozevich,A (2694) - Khismatullin,D (2656) [E33] (7)  1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 Nc6 5.Nf3 d6 6.Bd2 Qe7 7.a3 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 e5 9.d5 Nb8 10.e3 00 11.Nd2 c6 12.dxc6 Nxc6 13.Bd3 b6 14.Ne4 h6 15.Nxf6+ Qxf6 16.00 Bb7 17.f4 Qe7 18.b4 Rac8 19.Rad1 Nb8 20.fxe5 dxe5 21.Qf2 Nd7 22.Qf5 g6 23.Qh3 h5 24.Qg3 Rcd8 25.Bc2 Kh7 26.Rd2 h4 27.Qh3 Bc8 28.g3 Kg7 29.Qxh4 Qxh4 30.gxh4 Rde8 31.h5 g5 32.Bf5 Nf6 33.Bxc8 Ne4 34.Bf5 Nxc3 35.Rc2 10

 Russian Billionaire Andrei Filatov has made a bid of two million dollars to sponsor the Anand-Gelfand World Championship Match in Moscow 2012.  Top ten players on the July World rating list (total 132726 players with 217 active above 2600) M.Carlsen NOR 2821, V.Anand IND 2817,  L.Aronian ARM 2805, S.Karjakin RUS 2788, V.Kramnik RUS 2781, V.Ivanchuk UKR 2768,   R.Ponomariov 2768, V.Topalov BUL 2768,  H.Nakamura USA 2766, S.Mamedyarov AZE 2765.   Women J.Polgar HUN 2699, H.Koneru IND 2614, Y.Hou CHN 2575, N.Kosintseva RUS 2560, T.Kosintseva RUS 2557.

 Leading Australians GM Z.Zhao 2570 (world no 339) , GM D.Smerdon 2520 (world no 657), IM G.Xie 2453 (world no 1285), GM D.Johansen 2408 (world no 2037), IM A.Wohl 2405, IM M.Chapman 2394,FM M.Illingworth 2389, IM I.Goldenberg 2388, IM S.Solomon 2384, IM G.Lane 2369, FM M.Ly 2369.     Women WM A.Caoili 2260, IM I.Berezina 2190, T.Nguyen 2118, WM B.Dekic 2111, WM E.Guo 2029.   Country rank by average rating of the top ten active players Russia 2734, Ukraine 2696, China 2659,  Armenia 2654, France 2652, India 2645.    Australia 2430 is ranked 57 out of 143 countries.

 Gold Coast Open GP results (39 players) :-  IM S.Solomon (QLD) 6.5/7, GM D.Johansen (VIC), FM M.Illingworth (NSW) and IM J.Morris (VIC) 5.5.   Results of the sixth round of the Integra NSW State Championship at Norths (10 players,9 rounds):- IM V.Feldman (2270) 0 FM M.Illingworth (2372) 1 , A.Bird (2185) 0.5  FM V.Smirnov (RUS 2405) 0.5,  IM G.Xie (2457) 1  FM M.Stephens (2312) 0 , FM V.Berezin (UKR 2370) 1  G.McNamara (2174) 0 ,FM T.Rej (2290)  0.5 FM G.Canfell (2310) 0.5. There are five players above 50% :- Illingworth  5.5/7, Berezin 4/6,  Xie and Smirnov  3/5, Bird  3.5/6   and two players on 50% :-  Rej 3.5/7 and Stephens 3/6.

NSWCA Inter-club grade matches leading scores after 6 rounds (24 games):- Under 2150 - Harbord Diggers 19, Parramatta Dolphins 13.5   U1800- St George Saints 15.5, Ryde-Eastwood 14.5    Under 1600:- Ryde-Eastwood 17, Norths Grizzlies 12.5/20     U1400- St George 17, Harbord Diggers Rooks and Ryde-Eastwood 12/20.   The NSW Rapid Play Championship (20 mins plus 10 secs per move) will be held over 7 rounds on Sunday 10th July at Parramatta RSL.  The Canterbury Winter Rapid Play tournament held at Lakemba Services Memorial Club over 3 consecutive Mondays evenings commences on 11th July.

Knox Grammar led by NSW Junior Champion Bernard Chau clinched victory by half a point thereby winning the Terrey Shaw Shield for the third time in four years. Leading final scores Open Division (14 teams) :- Knox Grammar 16,Sydney Boys High 15.5,Scots College 15. Junior Division for years 7-9 (21 teams) :- Baulkham Hills High 17,James Ruse High 14.5. The NSW Junior League is conducting a one-day tournament this Wednesday and a two-day tournament on Thursday and Friday these events are suitable for players of all standards. The NSW Junior Championships will be held the following week and GM Ian Rogers will be present for post-game analysis with the players. For details see www.nswjcl.org.au or contact Richard Gastineau-Hills,phone 9412 4579.

Carlsen is King

Peter Parr (SMH 27/6/11)

Magnus Carlsen won the Kings Tournament on countback from Sergey Karjakin in Bazna,Romania. Carlsen regained his World no 1 ranking by gaining six rating points and overtaking World Champion Viswanathan Anand. Carlsen (Grandmaster at the age of 13) and Karjakin (the youngest GM ever at the age of 12) each won three games and drew seven in Bazna.

Ivanchuk,V (2776) - Karjakin,Sergey (2776) [C53]  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 00 6.00 d6 7.h3 Ne7 8.Re1 Ng6 9.Nbd2 c6 10.Nf1 d5 11.exd5 Nxd5 12.Ng3 h6 13.Bb3 (13 Nh5!?) Re8 14.Bd2 Bb6 15.Qc2 Be6 16.Rad1 Bxh3 !! (now white is in trouble as after 17 gxh3 Qf6 18 Kg2 Nh4+ wins) 17.c4 Ndf4 18.c5 Nxg2 19.cxb6 Qf6 ! 20.Nh2 Nxe1 21.Rxe1 axb6 22.Bc3 Be6 23.Re3 Nf4 24.Rf3 Qh4 25.Bd2 Bg4 26.Qc4 Be6 27.Qc2 Bxb3 28.Qxb3 Re6 29.a3 Rae8 30.Qb4 Rf6 31.Qe4 Ree6 (black has a decisive advantage) 32.Ne2 Nxe2+ 33.Qxe2 Rxf3 34.Qxf3 Rg6+ 35.Kh1 Rf6 36.Qg3 Qxg3 37.fxg3 Rd6 01

Final scores (6 players,10 rounds) :- M.Carlsen (NOR 2815), S.Karjakin (RUS 2776) 6.5, T.Radjabov (AZE 2744), H.Nakamura (USA 2774) 4.5, L.Nisipeanu (ROU 2659), V.Ivanchuk (UKR 2776) 4. The top four players on the July 2011 World Rating List will be M.Carlsen NOR 2821 age 20, World Champion V.Anand IND 2817 age 41, L.Aronian ARM 2805 age 28, S.Karjakin RUS 2788 age 21.

The strongest ever Ukraine Championship held in Kiev (12 grandmasters,2650 average rating,11 rounds) was won by former World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov 2754 scoring 8.5 (6 wins,5 draws) with a 2852 performance rating. Pavel Eljanov 2712 was second on 7.5 points. 27 year-old Ponomariov played aggressive and fighting chess in every game. He only needed a draw with the black pieces to win the event in the final round but played on to win the game. Ukraine are the current Olympic Champions.

Alexander Morozevich 2694 leads with 7.5/10 (performance 2811) in The Higher League of the Russian Championship in Taganrog  (11 rounds, 62 players including 46 GMs and 26 players rated above 2600).

The Commonwealth and South African Open is a 447 player,11 round swiss tournament with a 352 player supporting event which started yesterday in the City of Ekurhuleni near Johannesburg. The top six grandmasters competing are N.Short (ENG 2682), A.Gupta (IND 2604), G.Jones (ENG 2596), P.Lafuente (ARG 2555), A.Kunte (IND 2526) and D.Smerdon (AUS 2520). GM David Smerdon and Tristan Stevens (2087) both of Canberra arrived in South Africa from Santiago (Chile).

Results of the fifth round of the  Integra NSW State Championship at Norths (10 players, 9 rounds) :- IM G. Xie (2457)  0 FM  M. Illingworth (2372) 1, FM T. Rej (2290) 0.5  FM V. Smirnov (RUS 2405) 0.5 , A. Bird (2185) 0.5  FM V. Berezin (UKR 2370) 0.5 , FM G.  Canfell  (2310) 0  FM M.Stephens (2312) 1, IM V. Feldman (2270) 0  G. McNamara (2174) 1.  Rd 2 :-  Berezin 1 Canfell 0 .  There are  five players above 50% :- Illingworth  4.5/6, Smirnov 2.5/4, Bird , Stephens, and Berezin 3/5  and  2 players on 50%:-  Rej 3/6,  Xie  2/4.  Eighteen-year-old Max Illingworth is in a very strong position with three wins,three draws and three games to play. He defeated the top seed  Australian Open Champion IM George Xie in round 5. Illingworth will soon be travelling overseas as he is very determined to gain a grandmaster title.

NSWCA Inter-club grade matches leading scores after five rounds (20 games):- Under 2150 Harbord Diggers  16.5, Norths 11.  U1800 Ryde-Eastwood 14, St George Saints 12.   U1600 Ryde-Eastwood 14.5, Norths Grizzlies 11.   U1400 -

 St George 13, Harbord Diggers Rooks 10.5.   Leslie Kovacs, Norths Chess Club Oldest Player and regular strong competitor for many years has died just two weeks before his 88th birthday.

Ikeda Wins NSW Open

Peter Parr (SMH 20/6/11)

 Junta Ikeda of Canberra won (on countback from Max Illingworth) the Integra NSW Open ( Total Prize fund $10,000) Grand Prix weekend tournament at Parramatta RSL. These two players each won five games, drew with the top seed Australian Champion Grandmaster Zong-Yuan Zhao, and drew with each other. Zhao also drew with second seed George Xie.

 Leading final scores (75 players, 7 rounds) :- FM J.Ikeda (2315) and FM M.Illingworth (2372) 6, GM Z.Zhao (2579),IM G.Lane (2366), IM G.Xie (2457) and A.Ayvazyan (2204) 5.5.    The under 1600 rated supporting event ( 66 players, 7 rounds) resulted in a tie between A.Villanueva (1487) and M.Buza (1547) on  6 points.

 Integra NSW State Championship at Norths round four results (10 players, 9 rounds) :-  FM M.Illingworth (2372) 0.5  V.Berezin (UKR 2370) 0.5 , FM G.Canfell (2310) 0  IM  G.Xie (2457) 1, FM  M.Stephens (2312) 0.5  A.Bird (2185) 0.5, FM V.Smirnov (RUS 2405) 1 IM V.Feldman (2270) 0, G.McNamara (2174) 0  FM T.Rej (2290) 1.  Rd 1:- V.Berezin 0.5  V.Feldman 0.5.  There are players 4 above 50% :-Illingworth 3.5/5, Xie and Smirnov 2/3, Bird 2.5/4 and 4 players on 50%:-  Rej 2.5/5, Stephens 2/4, Canfell and Berezin 1.5/3. 

 NSWCA Inter-club grade matches leading scores after four rounds (16 games):- Under 2150 - Harbord Diggers 14, Norths 10. U1800 Ryde-Eastwood 10.5, St.George Saints 9.5. U1600 Ryde-Eastwood 12.5, Norths Grizzlies 11.  U1400 Harbord Diggers Rooks 10.5, St George 10.

 The annual Secondary Schools One-Day Teams Tournament for the Terrey Shaw Shield will be held on Sunday 26th June. The event commemorates International Master Terrey Shaw, a Sydney barrister who represented Australia with distinction in nine consecutive Chess Olympiads and who died in 1997. The tournament is sponsored by Terrey Shaws former colleagues in the legal profession and in the chess community. For details see the NSW Junior Leagues website www.nswjcl.org.au or phone Richard Gastineau-Hills, 9412 4579.

 The Victorian Open GP  weekender in Melbourne (84 players, 7 rounds) was won by FM E.Teichmann (2314) and D.Dragicevic ( 2234) each scoring 6 points. The next event in the ACF  Yulgilbar-Think Big Grand Prix is the 7 round Gold Coast Open 25-26 June in Mudgeeraba,Queensland.  Early entries include GM D.Johansen (VIC), FM M.Illingworth (NSW), IM A.Brown (ACT) and FM G.Nakauchi (QLD).   

 Magnus Carlsen has retaken the sole lead with three wins and four draws (performance rating 2913) in The Kings Tournament in Bazna, Romania. Carlsen keeps the initiative in the following Queens Gambit Accepted and Nisipeanu was unable to find any counter-play.    

 Carlsen,M (2815) - Nisipeanu,LD (2659) [D27]   1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e3 Nf6 4.Bxc4 e6 5.Nf3 c5 6.00 a6 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Be2 Ke7 10.Nbd2 Bd7 11.Nb3 Bd6?! (..Bb6 is correct) 12.Na5! (white stands better) Ra7 13.Nc4 Bb5 14.b3! Rd8 15.Bb2 Bxc4 16.Bxc4 Nc6 17.Rfd1 Raa8 18.h3! g6? (h5 was more active) 19.g4 h6 20.Bf1 Rac8 21.Rac1 Nd5 22.h4 Ke8 23.g5 hxg5 24.hxg5 (opening the h5 file increases the advantage for white) Be7 25.Kg2 Nb6 26.Bd3 Nb4 27.Be4 (Carlsen has a winning position) Nxa2 28.Rxd8+ Kxd8 29.Rh1 Nd5 30.Ne5 f5 31.Bxd5 10 (after 31.. exd5 32 Rh8+ Kc7 33 Rh7 Kd8 34 Bd4 wins material)

 Progress scores after seven rounds (6 players, 10 rounds):-  M.Carlsen (NOR 2815) 5, S.Karjakin (RUS 2776) 4.5, H.Nakamura (USA 2774) 3.5, T.Radjabov (AZE 2744) 3, V.Ivanchuk (UKR 2776) and L.Nisipeanu (ROU 2659) 2.5.

Wins for Carlsen and Ivanchuk

Peter Parr (SMH 13/6/11)

 Magnus Carlsen and Vassily Ivanchuk won their first round games on Saturday evening at the Kings Tournament in Bazna,Romania  (6 players, 2758 average rating ,10 rounds).  Carlsen won the event last year a full two points ahead of Radjabov and Gelfand.   

 M.Carlsen (NOR 2815) v H.Nakamura (USA 2774)  D31 Semi-Slav 1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 Be7 4 cxd5 exd5 5 Bf4 c6 6 Qc2 Bg4 7 e3 Bh5 8 Bd3 Bg6 9 Bxg6 hxg6 10 0-0-0 (N) Nf6 11 f3 Nbd7 12 Nge2 b5? 13 e4 b4 14 Na4 dxe4 15 fxe4 Qa5 16 Kb1 0-0 17 h4 Rfe8 18 e5 Nd5 19 h5 g5 20 h6 g6 21 Bc1 N7b6 22 Nc5 Bxc5 23 dxc5 b3 24 Qxb3 Qxc5 25 Nd4 Rxe5 26 Nf3 Re2 27 Nxg5 Qe7 28 Qd3 Rf8 29 Rdf1 f5 30 g4 Na4 31 Qd4 Qe5 32 Qxe5 Rxe5 33 gxf5 gxf5 34 Nf3 Re7 35 Rfg1+ Kh7 36 Rg7+ Kh8 37 Rhg1 Rfe8 38 Nh4 Rxg7 1-0. (After 39 Rxg7 Re6 40 Ng6+ wins). Carlsen gained 4 rating points for this win making him World no 1 on the daily live rating list.

 V.Ivanchuk (UKR 2776) v T.Radjabov (AZE 2744)  E73  Kings Indian,Averbakh 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 Be2 0-0 6 Bg5 Na6 7 f4 c6 8 Qd2 Nc7 9 Bf3 Ne6 10 Bh4 c5 11 dxc5 Nxc5 12 Rd1 Be6 13 b3 a5 14 Nge2 Qc7 15 0-0 a4 16 f5! gxf5 17 exf5 Bxf5 18 Bxf6! exf6 19 b4 Ne6 20 Nb5 Qb6+ 21 Kh1 Ng5 22 Bxb7 Qxb7 23 Rxf5 Ne4 24 Qd3 Rfe8 25 Ned4 Rac8 26 Rf4 Bf8 27 Rdf1 Re5 28 a3 Kh8 29 Nf5 Rd8 30 Nc3 Nxc3 31 Qxc3 Rde8 32 Rg4 Qc8 33 Qg3 h5? 34 Rg8+ Kh7 35 Rxf8 1-0

The game between L.Nisipeanu (ROU 2662) and S.Karjakin (RUS 2776) was drawn. World Champion Viswanathan Anand (IND 2817) defeated Alexei Shirov (ESP 2709) in a six game rapid match scoring three wins and three draws in Leon,Spain.

 The World Chess Federation Presidential  Board Meeting in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates last week decided to publish the World Rating List monthly  and to lower the rating floor to 1000 (from 1200)  from 1 July 2012.

The Grandmaster norms for George Xie of Sydney were approved and he will become a grandmaster if his FIDE rating reaches 2500. The International Master norms for Tomek Rej also of Sydney were  approved and he will become an IM if his FIDE rating reaches 2400.

 Integra NSW State Championship at Norths round 3 results (10 players,9 rounds):-  FM M.Stephens (2312) 1  FM V.Smirnov (RUS 2405) 0, A.Bird (2185)  1  G.McNamara (2174) 0, IM G.Xie (2457) 1  IM V.Feldman (2270) 0, FM G.Canfell  (2310) 0.5  FM M.Illingworth (2372) 0.5, FM T.Rej (2290) 0.5  FM V.Berezin (UKR 2370) 0.5.  The round nine game between Illingworth and Rej played in advance was drawn. There are three players above 50% :-  Illingworth 3/4, Canfell 1.5/2 and Bird 2/3 with 5 players on 50% :-  Stephens 1.5/3, Feldman,Smirnov and Xie 1/2 and Berezin 0.5/1. Phillip Viner leads the Norths Seniors with 3/3.

 The Integra NSW Open  Grand Prix Weekender organized by the NSW Chess Association at Parramatta RSL has attracted an entry of 141 players in two divisions with a total prize fund of $10,000.  The top ten seeds all won their first round games but scored only 6.5/10 in the second round. Twelve players including GM Z.Zhao 2579, FM M.Illingworth 2372, IM G.Lane 2366 and FM J.Ikeda 2315 have scored 2/2 in the 7 round 75 player title event . IM Gary Lane,seeded fourth, won his first two games in 15 moves and 14 moves. There are  66 players in the supporting event for competitors rated below 1600.

 There are three other Grand Prix weekenders in progress.  The 84  player Victorian Open in Melbourne, 21 in the Queens Birthday tournament in Adelaide and 15 are in the Tasmanian Open in Hobart.  The four weekenders are all events in the Yulgilbar-Think Big Australian Chess Grand Prix. Leading GP scores  after 22 of the 49 events :-  S.Solomon 66.86,  A.Deviatkin 41.86, A.Khamparia 40.33. 

Anand  3  v  Shirov  1

Peter Parr (6/6/11)

 World Champion Viswanathan  Anand (IND 2817) leads 3-1 against Alexei  Shirov (ESP 2709) in a six game rapid match in Leon,Spain.  Game 2  -  Anand v Shirov 1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 Nc3 e6 5 Bg5 h6 6 Bh4 dxc4 7 e4 g5 8 Bg3 b5 9 Be2 Bb7 10 Qc2 Nbd7 11 Rd1 Nh5 !? N 12 d5 Nxg3 13 hxg3 Qb6 ? 14 dxe6 ! fxe6 15 Nxg5 Bc5 16 Bh5+ Ke7 17 Nxe6 ! Ne5 18 Nxc5 Qxc5 19 Be2 Raf8 20 0-0 Rhg8 21 b4 Qxb4 22 Qd2 Qc5 23 Qxh6 Bc8 24 Qh4+ Ke6 25 Qh6+ Ke7 26 Qh5 Kf6 27 Qh4+ Ke6 28 Nd5 cxd5 29 Rxd5 Qb6 30 Qh5 Qb8 31 Rfd1 Rf6 32 Rxe5+! Qxe5 33 Bg4+ Rxg4 34 Qe8 mate.  The demonstration rapid match between Anand and Shirov at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 was drawn.

 The Bazna,Romania Kings six player  double round robin tournament 11 -22 June is very strong with an average rating of 2758. The players are :-   M.Carlsen (NOR 2815), V.Ivanchuk (UKR 2776), S.Karjakin (RUS 2776), H.Nakamura (USA 2774), T.Radjabov (AZE 2744) and L.Nisipeanu (Romania 2662). 

 The 82nd German Championship in Bonn ( 34 players, 9 rounds) resulted in a tie for first place between grandmasters  I.Khenkin 2620  (winner on countback) and J.Gustafsson each scoring 6.5/9.    Huschenbeth,Niclas (2502) - Gustafsson,Jan (2646) [C51]  Evans gambit 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 Na5 7.Be2 exd4 8.Qxd4 d5 9.Qxg7 Bf6 10.Qg3 dxe4 11.Nd4 Ne7 12.Nb5 Nd5 13.c4 a6 14.cxd5 axb5 15.Nc3 Qd6 16.Bf4 Qb4 17.Be5 Qe7 18.Bxf6 Qxf6 19.00 Bd7 20.Nxe4 Qd4 21.Qf4 Kd8 22.Rac1 Nc4 23.Bxc4 bxc4 24.Rxc4 Qxc4 25.Qf6+ Ke8 26.Re1 Rf8 27.Nd6 double checkmate # 10.  A 23-year-old law student rated 2363 was caught using a chess program on his smart phone during his last round game. He had scored an International Master result (now cancelled) without defeat in the first eight rounds. He admitted he was cheating,apologised and was expelled from the tournament. He will be investigated by the ethics commission.

 For the June 2011 Australian rating period there were 131  tournaments rated (96  Classic, 35  Rapid) and 10254   games of which 6917  were in the ACF Classic rating system and 3337  were in the ACF Rapid rating system. Top 10 GM Z.Zhao NSW 2607 , GM D.Smerdon ACT 2533, IM G.Xie NSW 2512 , IM S.Solomon QLD 2413, GM D.Johansen VIC 2408, FM M.Ly QLD 2396, FM M.Illingworth NSW 2394, FM V.Smirnov NSW 2386, IM I.Goldenberg VIC 2378, FM J.Sales NSW 2373

 Over 80 P.Viner NSW 1934, over 70 FM A.Flatow NSW 2134, over 60 IM M.Rujevic VIC 2301.  U20 FM M.Ly QLD 2396,  U18,U16,U14 - FM B.Cheng VIC 2335.  U12 - K.Zelesco VIC 2038, and U -10  A.Smirnov  NSW  1991. Women WIM A.Caoili  QLD  2267, IM I.Berezina-Feldman NSW 2088  ,WIM B.Dekic NSW 2048,  WIM E.Guo ACT 2045. Most active M.Ali  ACT 1767 with 57 games in the 3 month period. 

 Results of the second round of the Integra NSW State Championship at Norths,Cammeray (10 players,9 rounds):- FM V.Smirnov (RUS 2405) 1  G.McNamara (2174) 0 ,FM M.Illingworth (2372) 1  FM M.Stephens (2312) 0, FM V.Berezin (UKR 2370) postponed FM G.Canfell (2310), FM V.Feldman (2270) 1  FM T.Rej (2290) 0,  A.Bird ( 2185) 1  IM G.Xie (2457) 0.  Andrew Bird the 2005 NSW Champion beat the top seed IM George Xie who won the event in 2002 and 2004.. Players above 50%  :-  Illingworth 2/2, Canfell,Feldman,Smirnov  each 1/1.   Max Illingworth has an ACF Rapid rating of 2675?? 

 Frank Low and Phillip Viner who were both Secretaries of the Australian Chess Federation in the 1970s share the lead with 2/2 in the Norths Seniors. Leading scores after 2 rounds (8 games) of the NSWCA inter-club grade match competition :- Under 2150 - Harbord Diggers 6, St George Saints 5.5. Under 1800 - Ryde-Eastwood 6, St George Saints 4.5.  under 1600 -  Ryde-Eastwood 6, Norths Grizzlies 5.5.  Under 1400  - St George 5.    The Integra NSW Open and Under 1600 rated tournaments with a total prize fund of $10,000 based on 145 entries will be held over seven rounds at Parramatta RSL  11-13 June.   

Gelfand  v Anand in 2012

Peter Parr (30/5/11)

 Boris Gelfand will play a twelve game match for the World Championship against the defending champion Vishy Anand (India)in April/May 2012. The first five games of the  Candidates Final Match in Kazan, Russia were drawn and Gelfand won the following final sixth game.    Gelfand,Boris (2733) - Grischuk,Alexander (2747) [D76]   1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nb6 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.e3 00 9.00 Re8 10.Re1 a5 11.Qe2 Bg4 12.h3 Be6 13.b3 a4 14.Rb1 axb3 15.axb3 Qc8 16.Kh2 Ra5 (Gelfand has used 9 mins in his favourite Fianchetto Grunfeld,Grischuk 1hr and 9 mins) 17.Rd1 Rh5 18.Nh4 Bf6 19.f4 Rd8 20.Qf2 Bxh4? 21.gxh4 Nd5 22.Nxd5 Rhxd5 23.Bb2! Rb5 24.Qe2 Rh5 25.e4 Bxb3 26.Rdc1 Na5 27.d5 b6 28.Be5 c5 29.dxc6 f6 30.Ba1 Rc5 31.Rxc5 bxc5 32.Qb5 Qc7 33.Rxb3 Nxc6 34.e5 Nd4 35.Qc4+ 10

 The ten highest rated players in China all competed (draw offers were not allowed before move 30) in the 2nd Danzhou, Hainan,China GM tournament .  Sixteen-year-old Yangyi Yu won the event convincingly well ahead of his closest rivals. Yu was equal 2nd in the World Under-10 in Greece 2003 and became Chinas 29thgrandmaster at the age of fifteen. His rating performance in Danzhou was 2880. Leading final scores :- Y.Yu (2646) 7/9,Y.Wang (2714) and X.Bu (2662) 5.5, J.Zhou (2636) and H.Wang (2732) 5.  

   Zhou,Weiqi (2610) - Yu,Yangyi (2646) [E39]  1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 c5 5.dxc5 00 6.Nf3 Na6 7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.Qxc3 Nxc5 9.e3 a5 10.b3 d6 11.Be2 e5 12.Nd2 Qb6 13.f3 Re8 14.e4 Nh5 15.g3 Bh3 16.Qe3 Bg2 17.Rf1 Bxf1 18.Kxf1 Nf6 19.Kg2 Qc6 20.Bb2 Nfd7 21.Rd1 Rf8 22.Ba1 Kh8 23.Kg1 Ne6 24.Nf1 Ndc5 25.Rd5 a4 26.b4 Nb3 27.Bc3 Ned4 28.Bxd4 Nxd4 29.Bd3 Ne6 30.Be2 Nd4 31.Bd3 b5 32.Nd2 f5 33.Kg2 f4 34.gxf4 Ne6 35.Rxb5 Nxf4+ 36.Kf2 d5 37.exd5 Qh6 38.Bf1 Ra6 39.Qc5 Nd3+! 40.Bxd3 Qxd2+ 41.Be2 Rxf3+! 42.Kxf3 Qf4+ 43.Kg2 Rg6+ 0-1

 Former Australian Champion Aleks Wohl (AUS 2411) drew his final two games against GM R.Vera (CUB 2500) and GM J.Oms Pallisse (ESP 2501) in the last two rounds of the Open Division of the Capablanca Memorial tournament in Havana,Cuba. Wohl seeded 34 finished 17-29 equal and is now playing in Santa Clara,Cuba.

 The World Chess Federation has awarded the following titles from the 2011 Oceania Zonal tournament :- IM A.Brown (AUS 2252), FM G.Oliver (AUS 2179),WIM E.Guo (AUS 1999), WFM M.Setiabudi (AUS 1683),WFM N.Tsoi (NZL 1716).

The four Australians are all from Canberra. There are no minimum rating requirements or norms necessary to gain international titles from a zonal tournament.  The regular requirements are :- two or more norms (performance IM 2450  men, WIM 2250 women) covering at least 27 games as well as a minimum 2400 rating for the IM title and a minimum 2200 rating for the WIM title.  The FM Title is gained by achieving a minimum rating of 2300 and the Womens WFM title a minimum rating of 2100.

 Results of the first round of the Integra NSW State Championship at Norths,Cammeray (10 players,9 rounds) :- FM M.Illingworth (2372) 1  A.Bird (2185) 0,  G.McNamara (2174) 0  FM G.Canfell (2310) 1, FM M.Stephens (2312) 0.5 v FM T.Rej (2290) 0.5, FM V.Berezin (UKR 2370) v IM V.Feldman (2270) postponed. The important game between the top two seeds Dr Vladimir Smirnov (RUS 2405) and IM George Xie (2457) was also postponed.   P.Viner 1907,Y.Chen 1905,H.Jens 1801 and F.Low 1673 (average age 75) have won their first round games in the Norths Open Seniors (Aged over 60, 10 players,9 rounds) Championship also at Norths. 

The five clubs competing in four ratings divisions (total 22 teams)  in the NSW Chess Association interclub grade match competition are evenly matched after the first round last week. The combined teams scores are :- Ryde-Eastwood  7.5/12,  St George 12.5/24,  Harbord  8/16, Parramatta 9/20, Norths 7/16.

Three draws in Candidates Final

Peter Parr (23/5/11)

 The first three games in the World Championship Candidates Final Match in Kazan,Russia between Alexander Grischuk and Boris Gelfand has resulted in three drawn games. The final three games will be played on Monday,Tuesday and Wednesday this week . A four game rapid match will be played if the match is tied 3-3 and if the tie is still not broken then up to five two-game blitz matches followed if necessary by a sudden-death final deciding game.  The winner will play a twelve  game World Title Match against the current World Champion Vishy Anand (India) in April/May next year.  Grischuk gained a strong initiative in the first two games but Gelfand defended well in both games escaping with two very hard fought draws.

 Game 2   B.Gelfand (2733) v A.Grischuk (2747)  A37  1 Nf3 c5 2 c4 Nc6 3 Nc3 e5 4 g3 g6 5 Bg2 Bg7 6 a3 Nge7 7 b4 d5 8 cxd5 Nxd5 9 Ng5 (An aggressive new move) Nc7 10 d3 cxb4 11 axb4 e4 12 Ngxe4 f5 13 Bg5 Bxc3+ 14 Kf1 Qd4 15 Nxc3 (Whites position looks bad but the position is very unclear with many tactical possibilities)Qxc3 16 Bf4! Nb5 17 Rc1 Qf6 18 Rc5! a6 19 Bxc6+ bxc6 20 Be5 Qf8 21 Qc1 Bd7 22 Bxh8?! (22 Qc4 seems stronger) Qxh8 23 Qe3+?(23 h4 is more logical) Kf7 24 Re5 Qf8! 25 h4 h5 26 Qf4 Qd6! 27 Kg2 Kf6 28 Re4 Qxf4 29 Rxf4 Be6 30 Rc1 Ke7 31 f3 Kd6 32 Kf2 Rb8 33 e4 Nc7 34 g4 fxg4 35 Rf6 gxf3 36 Rxg6 Rxb4 37 Rh6 a5 ? (Grischuk is very short of time 37..Rb3!) 38 Rxh5 a4 39 Rhc5! Bd7 40 Kxf3 Ne6 41 R5c4(41 Ra5 better) c5 42 h5 Rb2 43 Rh1 Nd4+ 44 Ke3 Be6 45 e5+ Kxe5 46 Rxc5+ Bd5 47 Rxd5+ Kxd5 48 h6 Re2+ 49 Kf4 Ne6+ 50 Kg3 Nf8 51 h7 Nxh7 52 Rxh7 a3 53 Kf3 Re1 54 Ra7 Ra1 55 Ke3 a2 56 Ra5+ Kc6 57 Kd4 Kb6 58 Ra8 Kb7 draw.

 Gelfand playing black in game 3 sacrificed a pawn in the opening and had compensation in the position when a draw was agreed  after only 14 moves and two and a half hours play.  The final scores in the semi-final matches were B.Gelfand 6  v G.Kamsky (USA 2732) 4 and A.Grischuk  5.5  v V.Kramnik (RUS 2785) 4.5. The four standard games in each match were all drawn and the rapid matches were both drawn 2-2. The two matches were decided by two blitz games.

 The Capablanca Memorial Tournament in Havana, Cuba was won by V.Ivanchuk (UKR 2776) and Q.Le (VIE 2687) each scoring 6.5/10.  IM Aleks Wohl (AUS 2411)seeded 34th  was in joint 16th place with one game to play in the open supporting event in Havana.   The Asian Youth Championships with 278 players from 20 countries in 12 divisions finished on Saturday evening in Subic, Philippines. Final scores of the two Australians were U14 girls Savithri Narenthran  1.5/9, U12 open Daniel Lapitan  4.5/9. India won 10 of the 12 Gold Medals.

 The first leg of the big board match at St.George Leagues club last Tuesday evening was won by St George 24.5-17.5 against Norths. Grandmaster Zong-Yuan Zhao,the Australian Champion,drew with FM Max Illingworth(Norths) on top board. Norths led 10.5-9.5 on the top 20 boards but were outrated losing 7-15 on the bottom 22 boards.  The 2011 Integra NSW State Championship will be played over nine consecutive Tuesday evenings starting tomorrow at Norths in Cammeray. The ten players in the round robin event are :-  IM G.Xie 2457, FM V.Smirnov RUS 2405, FM M.Illingworth 2372, FM V.Berezin UKR 2370, FM M.Stephens 2312, FM G.Canfell 2310, FM T.Rej 2290, IM V.Feldman 2270, A.Bird 2185, G.McNamara 2174. The Norths Open Seniors Tournament (age 60+ men, 55+ women) also starts tomorrow evening at Norths.  The NSW Chess Association Interclub grade match competition starts tonight with 24 teams in four rating divisions ( U2150 - 6, U1800 - 4, U1600 - 7, U1400 - 7) from 5 clubs. Parramatta RSL and St George 6 teams each, Norths 5, Harbord Diggers 4 and Ryde-Eastwood 3  teams.     

Close Matches in Kazan

Peter Parr (16/5/11)

 The first three games of each of the four game World Championship  Semi-Final Candidates Matches have all been drawn in Kazan,Russia. Vladimir Kramnik will play with the white pieces in his final regular match game against Alexander Grischuk and Boris Gelfand is white against Gata Kamsky.  In case of a 2-2 tie there will be a four game rapid match and if the tie is still not broken then up to five two-game blitz matches followed if necessary by a sudden-death final deciding game. The most exciting encounter from the six semi-final drawn games sees Kamsky then Gelfand in winning positions but with mistakes on both sides the tense game with both players short of time ends in a very hard fought draw.

 Game 3 :- Kamsky 2732 v Gelfand 2733 B90 The Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defence. 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be3 e5 7 Nb3 Be7 8 h3 (An unusual and interesting move. Gelfand thought for 30 minutes before his reply)  Be6 9 Qf3 Nbd7 10 g4 h6 11 0-0-0 Rc8 12 Nd5 Bxd5 13 exd5 Nb6 14 h4 (Novelty) Qc7 15 c3 Nbxd5 16 Bd2  (white has compensation with the two bishops and his king is safer) Nb6 17 g5 Nfd7 18 gxh6 gxh6 19 Kb1 Qc6 20 Qh3 d5 21 Be2 Nc4 22 Bc1 Nf6 23 Rhe1 Qe6 24 Qh2 Qf5+ 25 Ka1 Kf8 26 f3 Bd6 27 Qg1 Bb8 28 Bd3  Qh5 29 Qh1 (29 Bxc4 was stronger)  Ba7 30 Qh3 Re8 31 Bxc4 dxc4 32 Na5 e4 33 Nxc4 Qxf3 34 Qh2 Ng4 35 Qc7 Bf2 36 Rf1 e3 37 Bxe3 Nxe3 38 Ne5 Qf5? (The winning move was 38Qh5 !)  39 Qc5+ Kg7 40 Qxe3 Rxe5 41 Qxf2 Qxf2 42 Rxf2 Rhe8 43 Rg1+ Kf8 44 Kb1 Re2 45 Rf4 R8e4 46 Rgf1 Re1+ 47 Kc2 R4e2+ 48 Kb3 Rxf1 49 Rxf1 Kg7 50 Rf4 Re6 51 a4 Kg6 52 Kc4 f5 53 a5 Kf6 54 Kd3 Re7 Draw agreed. The rook and pawn ending is equal.

 The final scores in the quarter-finals were :- B.Gelfand (ISR 2733) 2.5 v S.Mamedyarov (AZE 2772) 1.5 ; G.Kamsky (USA 2732) 2.5 v V.Topalov (BUL 2775) 1.5 ; A.Grischuk (RUS 2747) 4.5 v L.Aronian (ARM 2808) 3.5. The four games were all drawn and Grischuk beat the top seed 2.5-1.5 in the rapid play-off ; V.Kramnik (RUS 2785) 7 v T.Radjabov (AZE 2744) 5. All eight games were drawn in the normal and rapid time controls. The first blitz match was drawn 1-1 but Kramnik won both games in the second blitz match.   The overall winner of the Candidates will play a 12 game match for the 2012/2013 World Title in April/May 2012 against Viswanathan Anand (India) the reigning World Champion.

   The tenth Asian Continental Championship was held in the Holy,historic and touristic City  of  Mashhad,the second largest city in Iran.  Many successful tournaments have been held in the City in recent years. Continental Championships are part of the qualification system of the World Championship Cycle and each National Federation can enter one official player in the Open and one official player in the Womens Division with free accommodation. Extra players 2300+ rating for men and 2000+ rating for women may also play without conditions.  There were no players from the six Oceania Countries in this years event.   Leading final scores  (50 players including 28 grandmasters ):- P.Harikrishna (IND 2666, undefeated), Y.Yu (CHN 2646), N.Nguyen (VIE 2635) all 6.5.  Yangi Yu was in the lead throughout but lost to Ngoc Nguyen in the last round.  Former World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov (UZB 2685) the top seed finished 19th.  IM D.Harika (IND 2520) won the Womens Title scoring 6.5/9.

 Russia led by GM Vasiukov won the European Senior Team Championship in Thessaloniki, Greece scoring 15/18 match points. Germany led by GM Uhlmann were second with 14 and Montenegro with GM Ivanovic on top bop board finished in third place on 13 points.  Meanwhile in Sydney Norths (Cammeray) defeated Harbord Diggers 11.5 3.5 in the Little Board Match. David Webster (Harbord) beat Paul Glissan(Norths Captain) on top board.

8000  in NSW Schools Event

Peter Parr (9/5/11)

The NSW Junior Chess League's main primary and secondary schools teams competitions for 2011 have commenced.  The primary schools competition is being held in 36 zones across the state with 985 teams from 348 schools, nearly 4% more teams than last year.  There has also been growth in secondary schools with 306 teams from 97 schools participating in the metropolitan competition. A separate country districts secondary schools competition started last term with 128 schools.

Matches are held weekly in second and third terms with finals continuing into fourth term. As each team consists of four players a total of over 5600 students are competing each week. However, with the substitution of reserves during the season it is expected that approximately 8000 players will take part before the competitions have finished.

FIDE Master Khamparia Akshat  aged 20 won his first five games and coasted home to outright victory with draws against grandmasters in the last four rounds of the Sydney International Open. Leading final scores (69 players,9 rounds) :- FM K.Akshat (IND 2328) 7 ; GM D.Arutinian (GEO 2575),GM A.Deviatkin (RUS 2566), IM W.Goh (SIN 2382), FM C.Wallis (AUS 2305), IM S.Solomon (AUS 2398), GM Z.Zhao (2579), FM M.Steadman (NZL 2217) all 6.5; GM D.Bojkov (BUL 2523), FM V.Smirnov (RUS 2395), FM J.Ikeda (AUS 2296), FM M.Ly (AUS 2381), FM M.Illingworth (AUS 2345) all 6.   H.Press (AUS 1423), M.Zajac (SVK 1980) and T.Davis (AUS 1887) tied for first place with 7/9 in the  52 player challengers event.

FIDE Master and seven time NSW State Champion Greg Canfell outclassed the field to win the FIDE Rated Norths Championship at Cammeray scoring 9.5/11 a full two points clear of his closest rivals. The first Leg of the Big Board match between Norths and St George will be held at St George Leagues Club on Tuesday evening 17 May.

The FIDE Candidates Matches for the World Championship cycle 2011/2 are being held in Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia. Progress scores of the four matches each of four games (rapid play off if required) after game three :- L.Aronian (ARM 2808) v A.Grischuk (RUS 2747) three draws with top seed Aronian gaining better positions but Grischuk playing well to draw.  V.Kramnik (RUS 2785) v T.Radjabov (AZE 2744) three draws with both players cautious.   B.Gelfand (ISR 2733) v S.Mamedyarov (AZE 2772) two draws then Gelfand won game three with six pawns and active play for a rook.  V.Topalov (BUL 2733) v G.Kamsky (USA 2732).   The only decisive game which  was won by the US Champion follows.

Game 2   V.Topalov 2775 v G.Kamsky 2732.  A15     1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 cxd5 Nxd5 5 Qb3 Nb6 6 d4 Bg7  7 Bf4 Be6 8 Qa3 Nc6 9 0-0-0 (N) Nd5 10 Bg3 Bh6+ 11 e3 a5  12 h4? (better was 12 Kb1) Ncb4 13 h5  c6 14 hxg6 hxg6 15 Rd2 (black is better but 15 Be2 is more logical) f6 16 Ne4 b6 17 Be2 Qc8 18 Rh4 Kf7 19 Rd1 g5 20 Rh2 g4 21 Nfd2 c5 22 dxc5 f5 23 Rxh6 Rxh6 24 Ng5+ Kf8 25 Nxe6+ Qxe6 26 Bc4 Rc8 27 Bf4 Rf6 28 e4 Rxc5 29 exd5 Qxd5 30 b3 Qd4 31 Be3 Qc3+ 0-1

The overall winner plays a World Title Match against the defending champion Viswanathan Anand (India) in 2012. The first brick was laid of the  FIDE (World Chess Federation) Academy in the CBD of Kazan by the President Of FIDE and the President of the Republic of Tatarstan.  The Chess Academy will be a 25 storey building with a total  area of 22,500 sq m and will be completed in 18 months at a cost of 50 million dollars.  Kazan is interested in holding the 2016 Chess Olympiad.

The President of Azerbaijan opened the newly constructed Chess School in Agjabadi last Friday. The President of Armenia has confirmed that chess will be made a compulsory subject  later this year from the age of six in all primary schools   in Armenia.

Akshat ahead in Sydney International

Peter Parr (2/5/11)

 FIDE Master Khamparia Akshat maintains the sole lead with one round left to play in the Sydney International Open at Parramatta Town Hall. Akshat won his first five games then drew with his three closest rivals Deviatkin,Arutinian and Goh.  The Australian Champion Zong-Yuan Zhao has the white pieces against Akshat in the final round. Leading scores after round 8 (69 players,9 rounds):-  FM K.Akshat (IND 2328) 6.5, GM D.Arutinian (GEO 2575), IM W.Goh (SIN 2382), GM A.Deviatkin (RUS 2566), IM S.Solomon (AUS 2398), GM Z.Zhao (AUS 2579) all 6. 

 Junior Harry Press (ACT 1423) and Tony Davis (VIC 1887) share the lead with 6.5/8 in the 52 player  supporting challengers event. The City of Sydney Lightning at Parramatta was won by GM David Arutinian. The Canterbury Lightning Championship will be held at Lakemba Services Memorial Club next Monday evening 9 May.

 Grandmaster Andrei Deviatkin won the 49th annual Doeberl Cup Easter Weekend tournament in Canberra.  Leading final scores  (69 players including 6 GMs, 9 rounds) :-  GM A.Deviatkin (RUS 2566) 7.5 (draws with three GMs) , GM D.Bojkov (BUL 2523) (draws with 4 GMs) and GM S.Hansen (DEN 2603) 7, GM D.Smerdon (AUS 2512), FM K.Akshat (IND 2328),FM M.Illingworth (AUS 2345) 6.5.      A.Huynh (1972) and C.Cloudsdale (1960) tied for first scoring 6/7 in the Major Under 2000 rated event. 72  competed in the under 1600 contest and a further 29 in the Under 1200 rated tournament.

 Sydney seeded tenth finished in tenth place in the  nine round Asian Cities Team Championship in Jakarta(INA). Scores of the Sydney players in board order were:-  IM G.Lane (2366) 6.5, FM T.Reilly (2271) 4.5, FM L.Jones (2109) 3.5, FM B.Jones (2046) 4 points.  Sydney played 3 teams rated higher and six teams rated lower scoring 4 match wins, 2 draws and 3 losses finishing with 10/18.  Shi Jiazhuang (CHN) the top seeds won the event winning all nine matches for a perfect 18/18.

 Top ten players on the May World rating list (total 130,291 players with 218 active above 2600) V.Anand IND 2817, M.Carlsen NOR 2815, L.Aronian ARM 2808, V.Kramnik RUS 2785, V.Ivanchuk UKR 2776, S.Karjakin RUS 2776,  V.Topalov BUL 2775, H.Nakamura USA 2774, S.Mamedyarov AZE 2772, V.Gashimov AZE 2760.  Women J.Polgar HUN 2699, H.Koneru IND 2614, Y.Hou CHN 2612, N.Kosintseva RUS 2567, T.Kosintseva RUS 2559.

 Leading Australians GM Z.Zhao 2579 (world no 298), GM D.Smerdon 2520 (world no 650), IM G.Xie 2457 (world no 1238), GM D.Johansen 2416 (world no 1868), IM A.Wohl 2411, IM M.Chapman 2394, IM I.Goldenberg 2388, IM S.Solomon 2385, FM M.Ly 2375, FM M.Illingworth 2372 (up 61! since Jan 2011).     Women WM A.Caoili 2260, IM I.Berezina 2199, T.Nguyen 2118, WM B.Dekic 2095, WFM E.Guo 1999, WM A.Jule 1981.   Country rank by average rating of the top ten active players Russia 2734, Ukraine 2696, China 2659, Armenia 2654, France 2648, India 2645.    Australia 2430 is ranked 57 out of 142 countries.

 Bernard Yarnton Mills  AC  who represented Australia in the historic beam wireless chess matches against Great Britain and Canada in 1947 died in Sydney last week at the age of 90. Mills tied for 4th place with Frank Crowl behind Steiner (who he beat),Purdy and Koshnitsky in the 1946/7 Australian Championship in Adelaide. His grandfather Daniel Yarnton Mills was eight times Champion of Scotland (1885-1900) and British amateur champion in 1890. Mills was a Professor of Astrophysics and his pioneering contribution to radio astronomy included the development of the cross-type telescope later known as the Mills Cross west of Sydney in 1953.  Mills maintained a keen interest in chess throughout his life.

Deviatkin leads Doeberl Cup

Peter Parr (25/4/11)

 Grandmaster Andrei Deviatkin aged 30 has taken the sole lead conceding only one draw to GM Dejan Bojkov in the 49th  annual Doeberl Cup Easter Weekend tournament in Canberra.  The top ten placings after round six are (69 players from 13 countries including  6 GMs and 6 IMs with a total of 28 titled players,9 rounds) :- GM A.Deviatkin (RUS 2566) 5.5, GM D.Bojkov (BUL 2523) and GM S.Hansen (DEN 2603) 5, GM D.Smerdon (AUS 2512), GM D.Arutinian (GEO 2575),FM M.Ly (AUS 2381),GM D.Johansen (AUS 2419), IM W.Goh (SIN 2382), FM B.Cheng (AUS 2345), IM A.Toth (HUN 2378) all 4.5.   There are three supporting events :- Under 2000 67  players, Under 1600 72  and Under 1200 29 players.

IM James Morris and Jason Hu tied for first with 8/9 in the 45 player Doeberl Cup lightning.

 The  nine round Sydney International Open (61 early entries) and Challengers tournament (39 entries so far) will be held at Parramatta Town Hall, 27th April to 1st May. The top six seeds are grandmasters -  Hansen , Z.Zhao (AUS 2579), Arutinian,  Deviatkin , Bojkov  and  Johansen .   The City of Sydney Lightning will be held tomorrow evening 26th April at the same venue.  FIDE Master Vladimir Smirnov (2382) won the Parramatta RSL Championship scoring 7.5/9 above FM Greg Canfell (2297) in second place with 7 points.

 The nine round Eastern Suburbs Leagues Club Autumn challenge  tournament starts on Monday 2nd May.  Johny Bolens won the  Summer Challenge scoring 8/9.   The NSW Junior Leagues Autumn Two-Day Tournament was jointly won by 16-year-old Kinto Wan and 15-year-old Tim Li.  Leading final scores (150 players, 11 rounds): Kinto Wan and Tim Li  9,  Austin Shen, Darryl Chan, Daniel Cheng and Mathew Yan 8.5 each. The Australian Chess Federation announced last week that the next Australian Championship will be held at The Sphinx Entertainment Centre, North Geelong, Victoria from  27 Dec 2011 to 8 Jan 2012.

 Former Australian Champion IM Aleks Wohl (NSW) leaves Sydney tomorrow via Frankfurt to compete in the Capablanca Memorial Tournament in Havana, Cuba.  Tehran (IRI 2531) has scored 11.5/12  in the  Asian Cities Team Championship in Jakarta (INA) after 3 rounds.   The 10th (out of 24)seeded Sydney team ( average 2198) of IM G.Lane 2366, FM T.Reilly 2271, FM L.Jones 2109 and FM B.Jones 2046 defeated Pekanbaru (INA 1559) 3-1 but lost to Jakarta (INA 2450)  and  Erdenet (MGL 1754) by the same score.  Lane has 2/3,the other three 1/3 (total 5 wins, no draws, 7 losses).

 The top three seeds F.Vallejo Pons (ESP 2707), N.Short (Eng 2676) and J.Gustafsson (GER 2647) tied for first place on 7.5/9 in the 141 player Thailand Open in Pattaya.  Gustafsson won the trophy on  the Thai tie-break.  FIDE Master Max Illingworth (Sydney 2345) scored his first International Master result (2450+ performance rating) finishing 8th with 6.5 points.  IM James Morris (Melbourne 2227) scored another IM result (2450+) on 5.5/9 against a strong field.

FM Tim Reilly (Sydney 2271),  IM Guy West (Melbourne 2360) and Mathew Drummond (Sydney 2240) each scored 5 points.

 GM Abhijeet Gupta (IND 2580) won the Dubai Open (UAE) ahead of  47 other grandmasters from 33 countries scoring 7.5/9.  IM Irina Berezina (AUS 2199) finished with 4 and IM Vladimir Feldman (AUS 2270) 3.5 in the 167 player event.

The powerful Russian team championship in Olginka (Krasnodar Territory) had 32 players rated above 2650. Team  ShSM-64 (winner on tie-break) led by Gelfand (ISR 2733) and Tomsk-400 led by Ponomariov (UKR 2743) each scored nine match wins,two draws and no losses.  

Tomek Rej wins Sydney Title

Peter Parr (18/4/11)

 FIDE Master Tomek Rej has won the City of Sydney Championship at Sydney Chess Centre,Burwood conceding only one draw in the final round.  Rej was Australian Junior Champion in 2003. Leading final scores (39 players, 7 rounds,):-  FM T.Rej (2344) 6.5, FM N.Stawski (1892) 5.5, F.Plaza (1915),C.Skulte (1833), E.Shchedrynsky(unr) all  5 points.    ACT Junior Champion  Wenlin Yin conceded only one draw against top seed Australian Correspondence  Olympiad Captain  Don Keast of Broken Hill, NSW to win the Dubbo RSL   Grand prix weekender.  Leading final scores (48 players, 6 rounds):-  Wenlin Yin (ACT 1746) 5.5,  T.Bemrose (NSW 1767) 5 , C.Skulte (NSW 1833), A.Setiabudi (ACT 1940), M.Bennett (ACT 1715) 4.5.

 NSW Junior Under-12 champion Cedric Koh has won the NSW Junior Leagues Autumn One-Day Tournament with a clean score. Leading final scores (180 players,8 rounds): Cedric Koh 8,Erik Ostman, Daniel Cheng and Darryl Chan 7 each. The leagues Autumn Two-Day Tournament will be held on Wednesday and Thursday. For details see www.nswjcl.org.au or contact Richard Gastineau-Hills, phone 9412 4579.    Grandmaster Darryl Johansen defeated the joint leader eleven-year-old Karl Zelesco in the final round to win the strong Melbourne Club Championship. Zelesco beat International Masters Guy West and James Morris in the event. Leading final scores (59 players,9 rounds) GM D.Johansen (2419) 7.5, D.Dragicevic (2196) 7, IM M.Rujevic (2319), D.Stojic (2306), K.Zelesco (1809), FM B.Cheng (2335) 6.5.   There are 189 early entries so far in the Doeberl Cup Easter weekend tournament in Canberra. Six GMs are competing in the 70 player title event and 119 in  three supporting events. The Sydney International  has so far 50 players in the Open including 6 GMs and 30 in the Challengers to be held at Parramatta Town Hall 26 April to 1 May.  

 Dubai Open (UAE) Leading scores after round 7 (167 players including 48 GMs from 33 countries) P.Negi (IND 2618,aged 18) and J.Hammer (NOR 2606,aged 20) 6.  Ahap Sanal aged 12 from Turkey beat GM Hammer in round 1 and has a 2524 rating performance so far.  IM V. Feldman (AUS 2270) has 3.5 and IM I.Berezina (AUS 2199) 3/7.    The top three seeds F.Vallejo Pons (ESP 2707),N.Short (ENG 2676) and J.Gustafsson(GER 2647) share the lead with 6.5/8 in the Thailand Open in Pattaya (141 players,12 GMs  from 32 countries,9 rounds). The best scores of the 9 Australians are:-  FM M.Illingworth (2345) 5.5, IM J.Morris (2227), FM T.Reilly (2271),IM G.West (2360) 5.  There are 78 in the Thailand Challengers including 3  Australians.

 Eighteen-year-old Ding Liren (2637) defeated  the top seed Wang Yue (2734) in the last round of the Chinese Championship. Liren scored 7 wins and 4 draws in the 11 round event for a powerful 2868 performance rating and finished two points ahead of his closest rivals.   Xiu Deshun (2508) - Ding Liren (2637) [E84] Rd 10  1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 00 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Qd2 a6 8.Nge2 Rb8 9.h4 h5 10.Nd5 b5 11.000 bxc4 12.Nxf6+ exf6 13.Nf4 f5 14.Bxc4 Ne7 15.Bb3 c6 16.Kb1 a5 17.e5 Rb5 18.Bc4 Rb4 19.b3 d5 20.Be2 c5 21.dxc5 Qc7 22.Bd4 Rxd4 23.Qxd4 Bxe5 24.Nxd5 Nxd5 25.Qxd5 Be6 26.Qd2 Qxc5 27.Rc1 Qb6 28.Bc4 Rd8 01    World Womens Champion Hou Yifan (2602) aged 17 competing in her home city of Xinghua improved her rating scoring 6/11.

 The eight player  team of OSG Baden-Baden has won the German Bundesliga for the sixth time. The team scored 14 match wins and one draw in the 15 round event. Naiditsch with a modest 2674 rating achieved the best result 13.5/15 on bottom board. The top five players in the team Shirov, Svidler, Movsesian, Bacrot and Adams are all rated over 2700.  GM Mihai Suba (ROM) won the European Senior over 60 championship (101 players from 20 countries) in Courmayeur, Italy.   World Womens Champion 1962-1978 Nona Gaprindashvili (GEO) won the womens title.

Ding Liren Champion of China

Peter Parr (11/4/11)

Eighteen-year-old Ding Liren (2637) has dominated the Chinese Championship in Xinghua and has won the event with a round to spare. Ding Liren has scored 8/10 (performance rating 2833) and is 1.5 points ahead of his closest rivals with only one round left to play.  He tied for first place in the World Under - 10 Championship in 2002 and became the youngest ever Champion of China in 2009 at the age of sixteen.

 Zhou Jianchao is in joint second place on 6.5/10 and the following game is his only loss. Li Chao who won the game in only 16 moves won the Doeberl Cup Easter Weekend Tournament in Canberra last year.

Li,Chao b (2646) - Zhou,Jianchao (2660) [B94] Sicilian Najdorf  1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.Bc4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.00 Qc5 11.Bd5 Nxd5 12.Nxd5 (winning) f6 13.Ne6 Qc4 14.Rb4 Qxa2 15.Nec7+ Kf7 16.Nxa8 10

 Hou,Yifan (2602) - Yu,Yangyi (2652) [B30] Sicilian Rossolimo  1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 g6 5.h3 Bg7 6.e5 Ng8 7.Bxc6 dxc6 8.d3 Nh6 9.g4 00 10.Qe2 f6 11.Be3 Nf7 12.000 fxe5 13.Nd2! b6 14.h4 h6 15.Nde4 Be6 16.Rdg1 a5 17.Kb1 a4 18.a3 Ra7 19.Qd2 Kh8 20.f3 c4 21.Ng5 hxg5 22.Qh2! Kg8 23.hxg5 Nh8 24.Qh7+ Kf7 25.f4 cxd3 26.f5 dxc2+ 27.Kc1 Bc4 28.Rh2 Rg8 29.f6 exf6 30.gxf6 Ke8 31.Rd2 Qxf6 32.Ne4 Qe6 33.Nd6+ Kf8 34.Nxc4 Nf7 35.Bxb6 Qxc4 10 Black resigned (a serious mistake!) overlooking that 36 Bxa7? Loses for white due to 36..Bh6! 37 g5 Rg7 and the white queen is trapped.

 Hou Yifan aged seventeen competing in her home city of Xinghua is the reigning World Womens Champion and has so far scored 5.5/10.

 Aruna Anand wife of World Champion Vishy Anand (India) delivered a healthy baby boy on Saturday morning. The child and mother are doing fine.    The autographed chess set and board used in the brilliant third game (won by Fischer) of the Match of the Century between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in  Iceland 1972 was sold at auction last week in New York. The price of $ 76,275 was paid by the anonymous new owner.

 GM Algimantas Butnorius of Lithuania is the sole leader on 4/4 in the European Senior (over 60 ) Championship (101 players from 20 countries)in Courmayeur,Italy. Nona Gaprindashvili (GEO) the World Womens Champion 1962-1978 is in joint second place on 3.5 points.

271 players are competing in the Thailand Open (11-17 April) in Pattaya including 12 Australians led by IM G.West 2360, FM M.Illingworth 2345, FM T.Reilly 2271, M.Drummond 2240 and IM J.Morris 2227.  The top seeds are F.Vallejo Pons (ESP 2707), N.Short (ENG 2676), J.Gustafsson (GER 2647) and S.Hansen (DEN 2603).

 Progress scores in the City of Sydney Championship at Sydney Chess Centre,Burwood after six rounds (39 players,7 rounds,World Rated) :- FM T.Rej (2344) 6,  F.Plaza (1915) 5, C.Skulte(1833) and FM N.Stawski (1892) 4.5.  Leading scores in the World Rated Norths Championship in Cammeray (12 players,11 rounds):- FM G.Canfell (2297) 6.5/8, M.Morris (2112) 6/8, B.Mandla (2110) 7/10, WIM B.Dekic (2095) 6/9.

 The NSW Junior Chess League's activities in the coming school holidays include a coaching clinic on Wednesday 13 April and two tournaments a one-day tournament on Thursday 14 April and a two-day tournament on Wednesday and Thursday of the following week. The coaching clinic caters for young players of different levels and includes a class for beginners who do not yet know the moves. The one- and two-day tournaments are suitable for players of all strengths, including players new to competitive chess. For details see www.nswjcl.org.au or contact Richard Gastineau-Hills, phone 9412 4579.

Potkin  is Champion of Europe.

Peter Parr (4/4/11)

 Russian Grandmaster Vladimir Potkin  won the title of European Champion in Aix-Les-Bains,France on Saturday evening after a twelve move draw in the final round against Hungarian Judith Polgar, the strongest woman player of all time. Potkin led the event from start to finish after winning his first five games. Four players tied for first and Potkin was awarded the title due to the best performance rating.  The top 23 finishers qualified for the World Cup  Aug/Sep 2011 in Siberia.

 Potkin,V (2653) - Sarbok,T (2347) [D20] Rd 1    1d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e4 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.Bxc4 Nb6 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Be3 Be6 8.Nc3 Qd7 9.Nf3 000 10.00 Bc4 11.Bxc4 Nxc4 12.d5 N6xe5 13.Nxe5 Nxe5 14.Qd4 Nc6 15.Qa4 Nb8 16.Qxa7 e6 17.Rac1 exd5 18.Na4 10

 Potkin (2653) - Savchenko,B (2616) [A52] rd 5  1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Bf4 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bb4+ 6.Nbd2 Qe7 7.e3 Ngxe5 8.Nxe5 Nxe5 9.Be2 b6 10.00 Bb7 11.Nf3 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Rd8 13.Be2 Bd6 14.Qc2 h5 15.Rad1 c6 16.Rd4 Bc7 17.h4 g6? 18.Bg5 f6 19.f4!! fxg5 20.fxe5 Qg7 21.Rf6 Bxe5 22.Rxg6 Qe7? 23.Bxh5! Bh2+  (23.. Rxh5 24 Rg8+ Kf7 25 Qg6 mate) 24.Kh1 10

 Leading final scores (393 players including 167 grandmasters and 84 rated above 2600 from 42 countries) :-  V.Potkin (RUS 2653,pr 2849),R.Wojtaszek (POL 2711,pr 2826), J.Polgar (HUN 2686,pr 2799), A.Moiseenko (UKR 2673,pr 2755) 8.5. Eleven players scored 8 points. The top four were :-  F.Vallejo Pons (ESP 2707,pr 2819), M.Ragger (AUT 2614,pr 2783,seeded 73), S.Feller (FRA 2657,pr 2766), P.Svidler (RUS 2730,pr 2751,seeded 1). The second seed, Russian Champion and defending European Champion Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS 2729) was 48th on 7 points with a disappointing 2680 performance.   The Chinese Zonal was held in Tianjin (55 players,9 rounds) for two qualifying places in the 2011 World Cup. Grandmasters Bu Xiangzhi 2677,GM at age 13, now aged  25 and GM Li Chao (2646) aged 21 tied for first place. Li Chao won the Doeberl Cup Easter weekend tournament in Canberra last year.

 The 2011 Doeberl Cup 21-25 April with a prize fund of $17850 in four tournaments  has so far attracted 157 early entries of which 65 are in the Premier event. The top six Grandmasters to date are S.Hansen (DEN 2603),D. Arutinian (GEO 2575), A.Deviatkin (RUS 2566),D.Bojkov (BUL 2523),D. Smerdon (AUS 2512),D. Johansen (AUS 2419).   The Sydney International Open and Challengers event will be at Parramatta Town Hall 27 April-1 May. 55 players have so far entered including grandmasters Hansen,Z.Zhao (Australian Champion 2579), Arutinian, Deviatkin, Bojkov, Johansen.  Progress scores in the Yulgilbar Think Big Australian Grand Prix 2011 after 8 of the  47 events held in Jan-March :- IM S.Solomon(QLD) 22.5, IM J.Morris (VIC) 20, Y.Liu(QLD) 20,FM G.Canfell (NSW) 15.  The next Grand Prix weekender will be the six round Dubbo RSL Open 9-10 April 2011      

 Kaggle,the global leader in crowd sourced data modelling and home of statistics and predictive modelling competitions for companies and governments,announced last Wednesday at an exhibition in George St,Sydney CBD that Deloitte,Australia  are sponsoring an international competition ($10,000) prize aimed at using data analytics to find the most accurate rating system to predict chess outcomes. Contest participants (well over 100) will examine over 1.84 million FIDE game results for over 54,000 chess players over an eleven year period. Jeff Sonas of California,USA  who has calculated historical ratings from Jan 1843 is regarded as a world authority and the competition will lead to an improved World (FIDE) Rating System. FIDE General Secretary Ignatius Leong (Singapore) in a recent visit to Sydney advised that FIDE will soon restructure its rating fees with no extra charges for thousands of games. One player,one FIDE rating for every chess player worldwide would eliminate the need for individual countries to produce their own rating lists.   

Aronian Wins Final Amber

Peter Parr (28/3/11)

 Levon Aronian has won the 20th and final Amber  Blindfold and Rapid tournament in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The event this year was the strongest in the series with 10 of the top 11 rated players in the world  competing . Aronian won the blindfold section  scoring an undefeated 8.5/11 with World Champion Vishy Anand in second place on 7 points. Magnus Carlsen won the rapid very convincingly scoring 9.5/11 a full 2.5 points ahead of Aronian in second place. The only three players in the world rated above 2800 took the top three places in the overall standings with none of the other nine contestants scoring above 50%.

 Topalov,V (2775) - Nakamura,Hi (2774) [C11] rapid rd 9 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Qb6 9.Qd2 Qxb2 10.Rb1 Qa3 11.Bb5 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 a6 13.Rb3 Qe7 14.Ba4 b5 15.Bxb5 axb5 16.Nxb5 Qd8 17.Qc3 Qa5 18.Nc7+ Kd8 19.Nxa8 Qxa8 20.00 Qa4 21.Kh1 Be7 22.Rfb1 f6 23.exf6 gxf6 24.Rb6 Qxa2 25.Re1 Qc4 26.Rbxe6 Bb4 27.Bxf6+ Nxf6 28.Qxf6+ Kc7 29.Re7+ Bd7 30.Qe5+ Kc6 31.Qxh8 Bxe7 32.Qa8+ Kc7 33.Qa7+ Kd8 34.Qb8+ Bc8 35.Qe5 Bc5 36.f5 Qxc2 37.f6 Qf5 38.Qe8+ Kc7 39.Rc1 Kb6 40.f7 d4 41.Qd8+ Kb5 42.Qc7 10

 Carlsen,M (2815) - Grischuk,A (2747) [B90] rapid rd 10 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.Nf3 a6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.Be3 Ng4 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Bg3 Bg7 10.Qd2 Nc6 11.Nb3 Be6 12.h4 gxh4 13.Bxh4 Qb6 14.000 Rc8 15.Kb1 h5 16.Nd5 Bxd5 17.exd5 Nce5 18.Re1 Ng6 19.f3 Bh6 20.Qe2 N4e5 21.Bf2 Qc7 22.Qe4 Bg7 23.Bd4 Bf6 24.Be2 Nd7 25.Bd3 Be5 26.Qf5 Nf4 27.Bxe5 dxe5 28.g3 Nxd3 29.Qxd3 Qc4 30.Qd2 b6 31.Rh4 Qc7 32.f4 f6 33.g4 a5 34.Rxh5 Rg8 35.g5 a4 36.Nc1 a3 37.gxf6 exf6 38.fxe5 fxe5 39.Nd3 axb2 40.Nxe5 Nxe5 41.d6 Qd7 42.Qd5 Kf8 43.Qxe5 Rc5 44.Rf1+ 10

 Final scores (12 players,2770 average rating, 22 rounds) :-  L.Aronian (ARM 2808) 15.5, M.Carlsen (NOR 2815) 14.5, V.Anand (IND 2817) 13,  A.Grischuk (RUS 2747), V.Ivanchuk (UKR 2779) 11, V.Gashimov (AZE 2746), B.Gelfand (ISR 2733), H.Nakamura (USA 2774), V.Topalov (BUL 2775) 10.5, S.Karjakin (RUS 2776) 10, V.Kramnik (RUS 2785) 8, A.Giri (NED 2690) 7.

 The European Individual Championship in Aix-Les-Bains,France is in progress with 393 participants  from 42 countries. There are 269 titled players including 167 grandmasters. The top 84 entrants are rated above 2600 including nine  above 2700.  The top seeds are Peter Svidler (RUS 2730) five-time Russian Champion (1994-2008) and Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS 2729) the current Russian Champion and 2010 European Champion. The top 23 finishers qualify for the 2011 World Cup.

Grandmaster Vladimir Potkin (RUS 2653) seeded 43 has taken the early lead by winning his first five games. Potkin aged 28 frequently works as a second for World no 3 Levon Aronian. Three players have scored 4.5/5 :-IM A.Wirig (FRA 2480),GM M.Parligras (ROU 2598) and L.Nisipeanu (ROU 2673). The top five seeds have each scored 3.5/5 in the 11 round event.

 FIDE Master Tomek Rej (2344)  has won his first four games in the City of Sydney Championship at Burwood.  FM Nik Stawski (1892) and Sean Gu (1870) are in joint second place on 3.5 points.  The game between WIM Biljana Dekic (2095) and FM Greg Canfell (2297) in the seventh round at Norths,Cammeray was drawn. Progress scores in the FIDE rated event :- G.Canfell 6/7, M.Morris (2112) 4/6, B.Dekic  4.5/7.   

Aronian ahead in Amber

Peter Parr (21/3/11)

 World no 3 Levon Aronian of Armenia is ahead of World no 2 Magnus Carlsen and World no 1 Viswanathan Anand,the World Champion, after 14 games  in the Amber Blindfold and Rapid tournament in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

World no 5 Vassily Ivanchuk won the following rapid game on Saturday evening earning him the game of the day prize for the third consecutive day. World no 10 Grischuk offered the exchange but Ivanchuk declined to give up his  knight for a rook. Ivanchuk later sacrificed the exchange and there was no defence.

 Grischuk 2747 v Ivanchuk 2779   1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 Bb4+ 4 Bd2 Qe7 5 g3 Nc6 6 Nc3 Bxc3 7 Bxc3 Ne4 8 Rc1 0-0 9 Bg2 d6 10 d5 Nd8 11 Nd2 Nxc3 12 Rxc3 e5 13 c5 dxc5 14 Qc2 c6 15 Rxc5 Bf5 16 e4 Bg6 17 Qc3 b6 18 Rc4 c5 19 b4 a5 ! 20 b5 Nb7 21 0-0 Nd6 22 a4 Rae8 23 Qb3 f5 24 Rc3 f4 25 Nc4 Nxc4 26 Qxc4 Qd7 27 Qe2 Rf6 28 g4 Bf7 29 f3 g5 30 h4 gxh4 31 Bh3 Rg6 32 Kf2 h5 33 Rh1 Qe7 34 Rcc1 Kh7 35 Rcg1 Reg8 36 Kf1 Kh6 37 Rg2 c4 38 Qxc4 Qa3 39 Rf2 hxg4 40 Bxg4 Rxg4 41 fxg4 Rxg4 42 Qe2 Bh5 43 Rf3 Qc1+ 44 Qe1 Qc4+ 45 Kf2 Qc2+ 0-1  (after 46 Qe2 Rg2+ wins the queen).  

Carlsen leads the rapid section on 5.5/7 (5 wins,1 draw,1 loss) and Aronian leads the blindfold on 5.5/7 (4 wins,3 draws).  Anand has 4/7 in each division.  Leading scores after  14  games (12 players including 10 of the top 11 rated players in the world,2770 average rating,22 rounds) :-  L.Aronian (ARM 2808) 10, M.Carlsen (NOR 2815) 9.5, V.Anand (IND 2817) 8,  A.Grischuk (RUS 2747) 7.5,  V.Ivanchuk (UKR 2779 ) and World no 7  V.Topalov (BUL 2775) 7.

 The Reykjavik , Iceland Open with 166 players including 29 grandmasters from 30 countries resulted in a six  way tie for first place between Y.Kuzubov (UKR 2627) winner on countback, I.Sokolov (NED 2643), V.Baklan (UKR 2602), K.Milton (POL 2600), J.Hammer (NOR 2606) and fourteen-year-old ,I.Nyzhnyk(UKR 2563)the worlds youngest grandmaster. Illya Nyzhnyk seeded 18th performed at 2688 losing only to his fellow countryman 21-year-old Yuriy Kuzubov who had also become a grandmaster at the age of 14. 

International Master James Morris of Melbourne aged 16 won the 45th Begonia Open Labour Day Weekender in Ballarat (VIC) conceding only one draw in the final round against former Australian Champion IM Guy West.

The popular ACF Grand prix event has regularly attracted over 100 players for nearly 40 years.  Leading final scores (129 players, 7 rounds) -  IM J.Morris (2248) 6.5:  FM C.Wallis (2331), IM Solomon (2428) 6: IM G.West (2339), D.Dragicevic (2174), C.Savige (1968), FM B.Cheng (2350), M.Pyke (2121) 5.5. 

FIDE Master Greg Canfell who has won the NSW State Championship seven times has taken a commanding lead in the FIDE Rated Norths Championship at Cammeray (12 players,11 rounds) with a score of 5.5/6 (draw with Blair Mandla and five wins.  WIM Biljana Dekic who has represented Australia in nine Olympiads is in second place on 4/6.

 Blair Mandla 2139 won the 49 player City of Sydney Rapid (20 mins plus 10 secs per move)on 6/7  ahead of IM George Xie 2499 and Johny Bolens 2233 who tied for second place on 5.5 points at Parramatta RSL .  Progress scores in the City of Sydney Championship at Sydney Chess Centre,Burwood (39 players,  7 rounds) -  FM T.Rej (2344) 3/3, B.Encel (1948),M.Yu (1920),FM N.Stawski (1892),M.Zajac (1825),S.Gu (1870)  all 2.5. 

Top eight in Monaco

Peter Parr (14/3/11)

 The 20th and final Amber Blindfold and Rapid event (prize fund  $ 311,000 AUS ) unparalleled in chess history started on Saturday afternoon in Monte Carlo, Monaco. The top eight seeds (12 players, 2770 average rating ,22 rounds) are the eight highest rated players in the world.  Viswanathan Anand (age  41,IND 2817) became undisputed World Champion by defeating Kramnik in 2008 and retaining his title beating Topalov in 2010. He has won Amber 5 times.

 Magnus Carlsen (age 20,NOR 2815) last year  was the youngest player ever to be ranked world no 1 (now just below Anand).  He is a model for G-Star Raw. Carlsen tied for first place in Amber 2010.  Levon Aronian(age 28,ARM 2808)won Amber in 2008 and 2009. Vladimir Kramnik(age 35,RUS 2785)won World Title matches against Kasparov in 2000 and Topalov in 2006 -  Amber six times winner.  Vassily Ivanchuk (age 41,UKR 2779) played all 20 Amber  tournaments 1st in 1992 and 1st equal in 2010.

 Sergey Karjakin (age 21,RUS 2776) Youngest ever grandmaster at the age of 12. He was 5th in 2010 Amber.  Veselin Topalov (age 35,BUL 2775) lost his world title to Anand in 2010. He has had a four months break from chess and got married. Hikaru Nakamura (age 23,USA 2774) won Wijk aan Zee in Jan 2011 above Anand,Aronian,Carlsen and Kramnik.

 The top three seeds won their first round matches :- Anand 1.5 v Topalov 0.5 , Carlsen 1.5 v Nakamura 0.5 , Aronian 2  v A.Giri (NED 2690) 0. The lower rated players each won 2-0 in the other 3 matches. A.Grischuk (RUS 2747) bt Kramnik, V.Gashimov (AZE 2746)  bt Ivanchuk, B.Gelfand (ISR 2733) beat Karjakin.

 Eight players including former World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov (UZB 2681) tied for first place on 8.5/11 in the 19th Fajr International Open in Mashhad, North-eastern Iran (246 players including 24 grandmasters from 18 countries). Sergei Tiviakov  (NED 2623) was declared winner on countback. 

 The next event in Mashhad is the 10th Asian Continental championship 1-11 May, $ 65,000 AUS prize fund. The top four qualify for the 2011 World Cup. Jamie Kenmure is Australias representative for this event. The following game was played last week in the Reykjavik, Iceland Open (166 players including 29 grandmasters from 30 countries) .  H.Stefansson ( ICE 2557) v J.Herms (ESP 2098)  B01   1 e4 d5 2 exd5 Nf6 3 Nf3 Bg4 4 Bb5+ Nbd7 5 h3 Bh5 6 c4 e6 7 g4 Bg6 8 Qe2 a6 9 dxe6 axb5 10 exf7+ 1-0 (10.. The double check forces checkmate Kxf7 11 Ng5+ Kg8 12 Qe6+ Bf7 13 Qxf7 mate).

 FIDE master Tomek Rej, the top seed in the 39 player City of Sydney Championship at the Sydney Chess Centre, Burwood has defeated veterans Karl Art and Mark Baterowicz in the first two rounds. Leading scores after round two of the World Rated event:- FM T.Rej (2344),B.Encel (1948), F.Plaza (1915), FM N.Stawski (1892) and M.Zajac (1825) all 2.   FM Greg Canfell  (2297) leads the Norths World Rated Championship (12 players,11 rounds)with 4.5/5.

The Sydney International Open Fund Raising Lightning tournament organized by the NSW Chess Association will be held over 11 rounds on Saturday afternoon 19 March at Parramatta RSL Club.

Koneru wins in  Doha

Peter Parr (7/3/11)

Humpy Koneru  won the FIDE Womens Grand Prix tournament in Doha, Qatar.  Leading final scores (12 players, 11 rounds) :- H.Koneru (IND 2607) winner on countback and E.Danielian (ARM 2454) 8, M.Sebag (FRA 2489) 7.  Koneru (23) from Andhra Pradesh,India will  play a match for the womens world title against  defending champion Yifan Hou (17) from Taizhou,China later this year.  GM Grzegorz Gajewski (POL 2569) won the   Cappelle-La-Grande, France Open  (570 players including 58 rated above 2500) scoring 7.5/9.

The 20th and final Amber Blindfold and Rapid tournament will take place in Monte Carlo, Monaco 11-25 March.   The first event in 1992 was won by Ivanchuk, the only player to take part in all the Amber tournaments. Ivanchuk and Carlsen were equal first in 2010.  This year the field includes 10 of the top 11 rated players in the world -  Anand, Carlsen, Aronian, Kramnik, Ivanchuk, Karjakin, Topalov, Nakamura, Grischuk, Gashimov as well as Gelfand and Giri.

Top ten players on the March World rating list  (127,412 rated with over 800 active above 2500) V.Anand IND 2817, M.Carlsen NOR 2815,   L.Aronian ARM 2808,  V.Kramnik RUS 2785, V.Ivanchuk UKR 2779, S.Karjakin RUS 2776, V.Topalov BUL 2775,   H.Nakamura USA 2774 , S.Mamedyarov AZE 2772, A.Grischuk RUS 2747.  

  World Champion Viswanathan Anand  replaces Magnus Carlsen at no 1.   The average rating of the top 100 players is 2697. Women J.Polgar HUN 2686,   H.Koneru IND 2607,  Y.Hou CHN 2602,  N.Dzagnidze GEO 2567,N.Kosintseva RUS 2567,  T.Kosintseva RUS 2559.

 Leading Australians GM Z.Zhao 2579 (world no 287),  GM D.Smerdon 2512 (world no 713),  IM G.Xie 2457 (world no 1240),  IM J.Gil  Capape 2444,   GM D.Johansen 2419,  IM A.Wohl 2417 , IM S.Solomon 2398,  IM I.Goldenberg 2388, FM M.Ly 2381, IM G.Lane 2366, (World no 3052).  

Women WM A.Caoili 2247,  IM I.Berezina 2199,  T.Nguyen 2111,  WM B.Dekic 2095,   WFM E.Guo 1995, WM A.Jule 1970.  Country rank by average rating of the top ten active players Russia 2732  , Ukraine 2697, China 2657, Armenia 2656,  France 2650, India 2642.   Australia 2436 is ranked 56 out of 135 countries.

For the March 2011 Australian rating period there were 80 Tournaments rated (49 Classic, 31 Rapid) and 7619 games of which 4706 were in the ACF Classic rating system and 2913 were in the ACF Rapid rating system.  Top 10 - GM Z.Zhao  NSW  2623, GM D.Smerdon ACT 2515, IM G.Xie NSW 2512, IM S.Solomon QLD  2428,  FM M.Ly QLD 2418,  GM D.Johansen VIC 2411,   FM M.Illingworth NSW 2392, IM I.Goldenberg VIC 2378, FM J.Sales NSW 2373, FM V.Smirnov NSW  2371. 

Over 80 P.Viner NSW 1907, over 70 - FM A.Flatow NSW 2095, over 60- IM M.Rujevic VIC 2314, U20 -  FM M.Ly QLD 2418,   U18, U16 and U14 - FM B.Cheng VIC 2350, U12 and U10  - A. Smirnov NSW 1913, Women - IM I.Berezina-Feldman NSW 2088,  WIM B.Dekic NSW 2015, WFM E.Guo ACT 2002,  S.Yu VIC 1890.

The City of Sydney Rapid Play over 7 rounds (20 mins plus 10 secs a move) will be held at Parramatta RSL on Sunday 13 March. The Canterbury Championship over 7 rounds starts on Monday evening 14 March at Lakemba Services Memorial Club.

Five World Champions in Qatar

Peter Parr  (28/2/11)

 Five former Womens World Champions are in Doha,Qatar for the  FIDE Womens Grand Prix.  Nona Gaprindashvili (GEO 1962-1978) is an official at the tournament, and the scores of the other four former world champions after five rounds are Maia Chiburdanidze (GEO 1978-1991) 2.5, Zhu Chen (CHN,now QAT 2001-2004) 2 , Antoeneta Stefanova (BUL 2004-2006) 2, Xu Yuhua (CHN 2006-2008) 2.  Leading scores after round 5 (12 players, 11 rounds):-  Elina Danielian (ARM 2454) 5, P.Cramling (SWE 2516), M.Fierro Baquero (ECU 2353), M.Sebag (FRA 2489) 3.

 The third World Champion Jose Capablanca (Cuba) remains a legendary figure in chess history.  The international tournament in San Sebastian Spain (Feb Mar 1911) was held exactly one hundred years ago.

Emanuel Lasker (Germany) the reigning world champion did not participate but all the leading contenders for the world title accepted their invitation. Capablanca, aged 22, had recently won a match against Frank Marshall (USA) but was the only player who had not won a number of prizes at the highest level.  The entry of Capablanca was criticized by  Bernstein,a doctor of law.  Capablanca later wrote I had the good fortune to play Bernstein in the first round, and beat him in such fashion as to obtain the Rothschild prize for the most brilliant game of the tournament

 Capablanca,Jose Raul - Bernstein,Ossip [C66]  San Sebastian (1), 20 Feb  1911 Spanish Game,Berlin Defence.   1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.00 Be7 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bxc6+ bxc6 7.d4 exd4 8.Nxd4 Bd7 9.Bg5 00 10.Re1 (10 Qd3 Lasker-Salwe 1909) h6 11.Bh4 Nh7 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Qd3 Rab8 14.b3 Ng5 15.Rad1 Qe5 16.Qe3 Ne6 17.Nce2 Qa5 18.Nf5 Nc5 19.Ned4 Kh7 20.g4 Rbe8 21.f3 Ne6 22.Ne2 Qxa2 (Bernstein had not the slightest idea of what was coming Capa) 23.Neg3 Qxc2 24.Rc1 Qb2 25.Nh5 Rh8 26.Re2 Qe5 27.f4 Qb5 28.Nfxg7! Nc5? 29.Nxe8 Bxe8 30.Qc3 f6 31.Nxf6+ Kg6 32.Nh5 Rg8 33.f5+ Kg5 34.Qe3+ Kh4 35 Qg3+ 10 (35..Kg5 36 h4 mate!)

 The young Capablanca (CUB) won the tournament with 9/14 ahead of Vidmar (SLO) and Rubinstein (POL) 9 : Marshall (USA)8 : Nimzowitsch (LAT), Tarrasch (GER) and Schlechter (AUT) 7 : Bernstein (UKR) and Spielmann (AUT) 7: Teichmann (GER) 6 : Maroczy (HUN) and Janowski (POL) 6 etc.   Capablanca lost only to Akiba Rubinstein (a relative of Sydney veteran A.Rubinsztein who is still an active player in 2011) and won six games including a win over Nimzowitsch who had also objected to Capablancas invitation to the event.   He retracted this statement after I defeated him with ridiculous ease in many blitz games Capa.

 Capablanca became the 3rd World Champion defeating Lasker in Havana 1921 by 9-5 (4 wins, 10 draws).  Capablanca was World Champion for six years and lost only three games as champion.  Alexander Alekhine (Russia) became the fourth World Champion defeating Capablanca (+6 -3 = 25) in a historic 73 day match in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1927.  Fischer and Karpov were greatly influenced by Capablanca and Kasparov by Alekhine.

 United States Life Master Ron Gross an active player for 59 years from Las Vegas is currently visiting Sydney. Gross competed in the US Junior alongside 12-year-old Bobby Fischer in 1955. Fischer became US Mens champion at the age of 14,GM at 15,World Champion in 1972 and died in Iceland in 2008. Gross was on good terms with Fischer from 1955-1982. A fishing trip with Gross to Mexico in 1982 was leaked to the press and Fischer never spoke to him again. Gross described Fischer in his younger days  - It was all chess for him every waking moment  without a break.  

The World Rated City of Sydney Championship over seven consecutive Wednesday evenings starts on 2 March at Sydney Chess Centre,Burwood. Details from NSW  State Champion Brett Tindall   tel 9745-1170.

Le Wins Aeroflot Open

Peter Parr (21/2/11)

 Quang Liem Le (Vietnam 2664) has won the powerful Aeroflot Open in Moscow for the second consecutive year. There were 87 players including 75 grandmasters ( 49 rated above 2600) in the A tournament restricted to players rated above 2549.  Le aged 19 and seeded 19 won his first four games.   Le lost to I.Cheparinov (BUL 2665) in round eight but won the event on tie-break.  

Kotsur,P (2559) - Volokitin,And (2678) [C45] Rd 2   1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 Nb6 9.Nc3 Bb7 10.Bd2 g6 11.Ne4 000 12.f4 c5 13.000 d6 14.Bc3 Bh6 15.Ng5 dxe5 16.Rxd8+ Rxd8 17.Qxe5 Qd7 18.b3 f6 19.Qxf6 Qd1+ 20.Kb2 Kb8 21.Ne6 Rd6 22.Qe5 Bg7 23.Nxg7 Na4+ 24.Ka3 Qc1+ 25.Bb2 Nxb2 01

Kotronias,V (2599) - Xiu,D (2508) [B94] Rd 6   Sicilian,Najdorf  from move 14 white sacrificies his pieces for checkmate. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.f4 e5 8.Nf5 Qb6 9.Qf3 Qxb2 10.Rb1 Qxc2 11.Bc4 Nxe4 12.00 Qxc3 13.Qxe4 Nc5 14.Bxf7+ Kxf7 15.Qd5+ Be6 16.Rxb7+ !! Kg8 (16.. if Nxb7 17 Nh6+! gxh6 18 fxe5+ Kg6 19 Qxe6+ Kxg5 20 Qf5+ Kh4 21 Rf4 mate) 17.Rxg7+! Bxg7 18.Ne7+ Kf7 19.fxe5+ Bf6 20.Rxf6+ Kxe7 21.Qxd6+ 10 (after 21..Ke8 22 Rf8+ Rxf8 23 Qe7 mate

 Leading final scores : -  Quang Liem Le (VIE 2664),Nikita Vitiugov (RUS 2709) and Evgeny Tomashevsky (RUS 2695) all 6.5/9

 Sixteen-year-old Yangyi Yu (CHN 2607) was half-a-point behind first place with a 2762 rating result. He had a similar score in the recent Moscow Open.  IM Daniil Dubov (RUS 2459) aged fourteen played nine grandmasters all rated above 2620 scoring an undefeated 5/9 for a GM norm and an impressive 2700 performance rating. Two fifteen-year-old Russian juniors IM V.Fedoseev (2505) and FM I.Bukavshin (2458) also scored GM norms (2600+ performance).

 Anton Smirnov (AUS 2002)  aged nine from Sydney beat sixty-two year old Volodymyr Andreev (UKR 1939) in the final round of the C group for players rated below 2300. Smirnov gained rating points from the strong event but more importantly gained valuable international experience at a very young age.    World no 8 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE 2772) won the World Blitz (3 mins + 2 secs per move) Qualifier in Moscow scoring 14.5/18. Former World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR 2744) was second on 14 points in the 189 player event.

 Leading final scores in the ACF Grand Prix weekender at Newcastle Panthers Club (51 players, 6 rounds) :-  FM M.Illingworth (2284)  5.5 :  J. Watson (1951), B.Mandla (2039), B.Harris (1870) 5.  James Watson won his first five games  but lost to Max Illingworth in the final round.   The City of Sydney Championship is one of the most important annual tournaments on the NSW Chess Association calendar.  The contest this year at the Sydney Chess Centre, Burwood (details tel NSW Champion Brett Tindall 9745 1170 ) will be held over seven consecutive Wednesday evenings commencing on 2 March.  The event open to all players will be rated by the World Chess Federation and the Australian Chess Federation. The New South Wales Chess Association first organized this tournament in 1937 and the 2011 Sydney Championship will be the 73rd annual tournament in the series. Gary McNamara won the 2010 title.

Belous Wins Moscow Open

Peter Parr (14/2/11)

 Vladimir Belous (RUS 2497) a seventeen-year-old untitled player finished in outright first place scoring 8/9 (performance rating 2735) in the  Moscow Open with 582 participants ahead of 146 titled players including 47 grandmasters and 53 international masters from 34 countries.  Belous was the Russian Under - 10 Champion in 2003.  Anton Smirnov of Sydney aged nine scored a  creditable 4/9.

 Belous,Vladimir (2497) - Filippov,Anton UZB (2604) [D11] Rd 7  1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 6.Bd2 00 7.Rc1 Bg4 8.Qb3 Bxf3 9.gxf3 Qd7 10.Bg2 Na6 11.cxd5 cxd5 12.00 e6 13.Nb5 Rfb8 14.Rc2 Ne8 15.Rfc1 Bf8 16.Bf1 Qd8 17.Qa4 Qg5+ 18.Bg2 Qd8 19.b4 Ng7 20.e4 Nh5 21.e5 Qh4 22.Nd6 Bxd6 23.exd6 Rf8 24.Qd7 Rad8 25.Qe7 Qxd4 26.Bh6 Ng7 27.Qxd8 Rxd8 28.Rc8 Qf6 29.d7 Kf8 30.Rxd8+ Qxd8 31.Rc8 Ke7 32.Bg5+ 10

 The following game was played in the final round

Kabanov,Nikolai (2482) - Belous,Vladimir (2497) [B31] Rd 9  1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.d3 Bg7 6.h3 Nh6 7.Nc3 f6 8.Be3 b6 9.Qd2 Nf7 10.000 e5 11.Ng1 Be6 12.Kb1 Qe7 13.f4 000 14.Nf3 exf4 15.Bxf4 Rhe8 16.Rhe1 Kb7 (Last year Belous played 16.. Qb7 in this position)  17.Qf2 Qd7 18.g4 Qc8 19.Ne2 Ka8 20.Bc1 Nd6 21.b3 Bg8 22.Bb2 Rd7 23.Ng3 Kb7 24.Rd2 Qd8 25.a4 Bh6 26.Rde2 c4! 27.g5 cxd3 28.Bxf6 Qc7 29.cxd3 Bf8 30.Ne5 Bxb3 31.Nxd7 Qxd7 32.Rb2 Bxa4 33.Ne2 Nb5! 34.Qf3 Ba3 35.Ra2 Qd6 36.Ka1 Bb3 37.Rb1 Bxa2 38.Kxa2 Qc5 39.Ka1 Qc2 40.Bb2 Rf8 41.Bf6 Qa4 42.Rf1 Bc1+ 01

 There were five other events in the Moscow Festival held at the same time as the Open.  The Young GM round robin (average 2623) was won by Boris Grachev (RUS 2660) and the Womens GM round robin was won by former World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS).  The Moscow Festival was followed by the Aeroflot Open in Moscow currently in progress in three ratings divisions.

 Grandmaster Le Quang Liem of Vietnam (2664)  has taken the early lead with 4.5/5 in  the A Group with GMs M.Kobalia (RUS 2666), E.Tomashevsky (RUS 2695), J.Zhou (CHN 2655) and former World Champion R.Kasimdzhanov (UZB 2681) half-a-point behind.

 The A group is restricted to players with a minimum rating of 2550 87 players including 75 grandmasters, 10 rounds, 49 rated above 2600).  Le Quang Liem now aged nineteen won the A group last year in Moscow above 80 grandmasters.

 Vladimir Belous (2497),winner of the Moscow Open is currently in eighteenth place on 3.5/5   in the 106 player B Group for players rated between 2300 and 2550 .The leader on 4.5/5 is GM John Gomez (PHI 2527).  Nine-year-old Anton Smirnov rated 2002 of Sydney has scored 1.5/5 in the 106 player C Group for contestants with ratings below 2300.

 Ehsan Ghaem Maghami is the new Guinness record holder for simultaneous chess games. He played 614 games scoring 590 wins,16 draws and eight losses in over 25 hours walking a total of 55 kms. Alik Gershon (Israel) was the previous record holder with 523 opponents in October 2010 breaking the previous record of Morteza Mahjoob (Iran) with 500 games in August 2010.

 International Master Gary Lane a former Australian Champion will be giving a simultaneous exhibition on Wednesday evening at Rooty Hill RSL Club.

Zhao Wins Zonal

Peter Parr (7/2/11)

Australian Champion Grandmaster Zhong-Yuan Zhao won the Oceania World Championship Zonal tournament in Rotorua, New Zealand conceding only half a point in the nine round event. Eighteen-year-old Andrew Brown of  Canberra defeated GM David Smerdon in a tense final round game to  finish second. Brown was a promising junior at the age of 7 and scored his first IM norm in Queenstown, New Zealand in Jan 2009 at the age of 16.

Leading final scores (56 players,9 rounds):-  GM  Z.Zhao (2586) 8.5, A.Brown (2175) 7, FM M.Illingworth (2311) , M.Ly (2321) 6.5, IM V.Feldman (2262), FM B.Cheng (2335), IM G.Xie (2478) (all AUS) and  FM S.Lukey (NZL 2244)  6 .

The top three players outclassed the field in the womens zonal but surprisingly  Berezina-Feldman and Dekic only drew their games in the last round against lower rated players and Guo won. A play-off match will be held at a later date in Australia  between Berezina-Feldman and Guo and the winner qualifies for the 64 player womens world championship in Siberia 2012.  Women (11 players,10 games) :- IM I.Berezina-Feldman (2238)  and WFM E.Guo (1969) 8.5 , WIM B.Dekic (2095) 8, M.Setiabudi (1627) all AUS  6, N.Tsoi (NZL 1675) and J.Gao (NZL 1914) 5.5.  Irina Berezina-Feldman tied for first (WIM Title) in the Jakarta Zonal in Feb 1993 returning to Sydney for health reasons postponing the play-off match. Lindri Wijayanti (Indonesia) later advanced to the inter-zonal with no match taking place. The Oceania sub-zone was created in the late 1990s and now the maximum number of new  international titles created from a sub-zonal held once every two years has been reduced to 10 (1xIM,1xWIM,2xFM,2xWFM,2xCM,2xWCM). A minimum rating of 2400 for IM,2300 for FM,2200 for WIM etc  are not required and norms are not required under sub-zonal regulations.  Applications for the range of new titles from the Rotorua Zonal have been lodged for consideration by FIDE including the IM Title for Andrew Brown (ACT) and WIM Title for Emma Guo (ACT).

Hikaru Nakamura (USA) won the strong Tata Steel tournament in Wijk aan Zee above the top three players in the world.

Nepomniachtchi,I (2733,Russian and European Champion) - Nakamura,Hi (2751) [B12] rd 11  1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.h4 h5 5.c4 e6 6.Nc3 Ne7 7.Nge2 Bg4 8.f3 Bf5 9.Ng3 Bg6 10.Bg5 Qb6 11.Qd2 Nd7 12.a3 f6! 13.Be3 Qb3! 14.cxd5 Nxd5 15.Nxd5 Qxd5 16.Rc1 Nb6 17.Ne2 fxe5 18.dxe5 Qxe5 19.Bd4 Qc7 20.Qg5 Bf5 21.g4? hxg4 22.fxg4 Be4 (22..Be7! 23 Qxg7 Rh7) 23.Rh3 Be7 24.Qxg7? (Qe3 was better) Rh7 25.Qe5 Qxe5 26.Bxe5 Bxh4+ 27.Ng3 Nd7 28.Bd4 Bf3! 29.g5 Bg4 30.g6 Rh6 31.Rxh4 Rxh4 32.Rc3 Bf3 33.Rxf3 Rxd4 34.Bh3 Ne5 35.Rf6 Nd3+ 36.Ke2 Nf4+ 37.Ke3 e5 38.Rf7 Rd3+ 39.Ke4 Rxg3 40.Bd7+ Kd8 41.Bf5 Nxg6 42.Rg7 Rb8 43.b4 b5 44.Bxg6 Rg5 01

Leading final scores (14 players,2740 av rating,13 rounds):-  H.Nakamura (USA 2751) 9, V.Anand (IND 2810) 8.5, L.Aronian (ARM 2805), M.Carlsen (NOR2814) 8, V.Kramnik (RUS 2784), M.Vachier-Lagrave (FRA 2715) 7.5.

B Group (av 2659):-L.McShane (ENG 2664) and D.Navara (CZE 2708) 8.5.   C.Group :- D.Vocaturo (ITA 2570  aged 21) 9,  I.Nyzhnyk(UKR 2530  aged 14) 8.5.    

Leading final scores in the Gibraltar Festival (232 players including 53 grandmasters from 46 countries) :- V.Ivanchuk(UKR 2764) 9/10,N.Short(ENG 2658) 8.5.   IM Aleks Wohl(AUS 2409) scored 6, WFM V.Reid(AUS 1841) 3.5 .   Anton Smirnov (aged 9) of Sydney rated 2002 and seeded 357 has scored 4/8 and is in place 297 in the 582 player,9 round Moscow Open.

Leading final scores in the NSWCA Australia Day Grand Prix weekender at Norths,Cammeray (74 players, 7 rounds):- FM G.Canfell (2229) 6.5, B.Harris (1870),A.Ayvazyan(2127) 6, J.Bolens (1985),N.Kordahi (1753) 5.5.  The next ACF Grand Prix event will be at the Newcastle Panthers Club over 6 rounds 12-13 February.  Canterburys nine round rapid play championship over three Monday evenings starts tonight at Lakemba Services Memorial Club. The Norths,Cammeray Club Championships with 71 players in 7 divisions start tomorrow evening.

Nakamura Leads Before Last Round

Peter Parr (31/1/11)

US Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura has maintained his lead with one round left to play in the strong Tata Steel tournament in Wijk aan Zee ,Netherlands ahead of the three highest rated players in the World.   Vishy Anand,the World Champion, and Levon Aronian are undefeated and World no 1 Magnus Carlsen has fought back after a slow start defeating Nakamura in one of the best games of the tournament in round 8  

Carlsen,M (2814) - Nakamura,Hi (2751) [B92] Sicilian Najdorf (8)  1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Be3 00 (8..Be6 prevents 9 g4) 9.g4! Be6 10.g5 Nfd7 11.h4 Nb6 12.Qd2 N8d7 13.f4 exf4 14.Bxf4 Ne5 15.000 Rc8 16.Kb1 Qc7 17.h5 Rfe8 18.Ka1! Bf8 19.Nd4 Qc5 20.g6 Nec4 21.Bxc4 Nxc4 22.Qd3 fxg6 23.hxg6 h6 24.Qg3! Qb6 25.Bc1 Qa5 26.Rdf1 Ne5 27.Nd5 Bxd5 28.exd5 Qxd5 29.Bxh6! gxh6 (29..Qxd4 30 Be3 wins) 30.g7 Be7 31.Rxh6 Nf7 32.Qg6 Nxh6 33.Qxh6 Bf6 34.Qh8+ Kf7 35.g8Q+ Rxg8 36.Qxf6+ Ke8 37.Re1+ 10

Progress scores after round 12 (14 players,2740 av rating,13 rounds):- H.Nakamura (USA 2751) 8.5, V.Anand (IND 2810) 8, M.Carlsen (NOR 2814) and L.Aronian (ARM 2805) 7.5, V.Kramnik (RUS 2784) and M.Vachier Lagrave (FRA 2715) 7.  B Group(av 2659):- D.Navara (CZE 2708) and L.McShane (ENG 2664) 8/12.    C Group:-  D.Vocaturo (ITA 2570) 8.5, I.Nyzhnyk (UKR 2530,GM aged 14) 8.

231 players from 45 countries are competing in the Gibraltar Festival. English GM Nigel Short leads with 5/5 and 79-year-old Viktor Korchnoi has a remarkable 2741 performance rating so far scoring an undefeated 3.5/5.  IM Aleks Wohl(AUS 2409) has scored  3 points and WFM Vaness Reid(AUS 1841 ) has 1.5  points.

There are six current FIDE Member Countries in Oceania Australia, New Zealand ,Papua New Guinea ,Fiji ,Palau and Solomon Islands. The Oceania World Championship Zonal tournaments  are in progress in Rotorua,New Zealand. The events are  open to all players from beginners to grandmasters with free entry to selected players from each national federation and higher entry fees for   lower ranked participants. There are 56 players ( 33 Australia, 19 New Zealand , 2 Papua New Guinea, 2 Fiji , 0 Solomon Islands, 0 Palau) in the 9 round Open event. Leading scores after round 7 :-  GM Z.Zhao (2586) 7, FM B.Cheng (2335) 5.5,  A.Brown (2175), FM M.Illingworth (2311), M.Ly (2321), IM V.Feldman (2262), FM J.Ikeda (2262), IM G.Xie (2478) 5.  The Australian Champion and top seed Grandmaster Zong-Yuan Zhao has dominated the event  by winning his first seven games. Zhao will finish outright first with a round to spare if he  wins or draws  in round 8 against  Australian Junior U18 Champion FIDE Master Bobby Cheng (World Under 12 Champion in 2009) from Melbourne. The winner qualifies for the next World Cup 128-player knockout match tournament. The top  13 players in the zonal who have  scored 4.5 or more after 7 rounds  are all from Australia.   

Women (11 players  - 7 AUS,3 NZL, 1 FIJ   10 games) Leading scores :- IM Irina Berezina-Feldman (AUS 2238) 6/7 (draws with Dekic and Guo),WIM Biljana Dekic (AUS 2095) 6.5/8 (loss to Guo),WFM Emma Guo (AUS 1969) 6.5/8 (3 draws), Nicole Tsoi (NZL 1675) 4/7.    FIDE Master Bobby Cheng of Melbourne has won the Australian Junior Under 18 title for the second consecutive year. The other winners in the Under 14 to under 18 divisions at Billanook College Melbourne were :- Under 16 Open Alistair Cameron(SA). Girls U18 Savithri Narenthran (VIC). Girls U16 - Ruihong Lu (VIC).  Under 14 Open-Daniel Zhang (NSW).  Under 12 Open- Daniel Lapitan(QLD).  Girls U 14 May-Yi Foo(VIC). Girls U12 - Kashish Christian (NSW).

Leading scores in the NSWCA Australia Day weekender at Norths,Cammeray (74 players,7 rounds) Armen Ayvazyan,Benjamin Harris and Michael Morris all 4/4, FM G.Canfell and B.Mandla 3.5.  The Eastern Suburbs Leagues Club 9 round Easts Summer Challenge tournament open to all players commences next Monday evening 7 February.

Nakamura On Top in Tata Steel

Peter Parr  (24/1/11)

United States Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura is at the top of the score-table at the half-way stage of the Tata Steel tournament in the 73rd annual event in the wind swept coastal resort of Wijk aan Zee,Netherlands. Nakamura born in Japan moved to the USA at the age of two and learned chess from his stepfather FIDE Master Sunil Weeramantry (Sri Lanka) at the age of 4. He became a USCF Master at the age of 10 and a GM at the age of 15. Now at the age of 23 he is rated world no 10 and defeated the world no 7 as follows in the first round.

 Nakamura,Hikaru (2751) - Grischuk,Alexander (2773) [D38]   1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 d5 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.e3 c5 8.dxc5 Qa5 9.Rc1 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 00 11.Nd4! (a surprise) Qxc5 12.Bd3 Ne4 13.Bf4 Nb6 14.Qc2 h6 15.f3 Nf6 16.g4 Re8 17.Kf2! Nc4 18.h4 Bxg4?! 19.Bxc4 dxc4 20.fxg4 Nxg4+ 21.Kf3 Ne5+ 22.Bxe5 Rxe5 23.Kf2 Rae8 24.Rh3 b5 25.Rg1 Re4 26.Qd1 b4 27.Qf3 Rxe3 28.Rxg7+! Kxg7 29.Qg4+ Kf8 30.Rxe3 Rxe3 31.Kxe3 bxc3 32.Ke2 Qe5+ 33.Kd1 Qh2 34.Ne2 Qd6+ 35.Qd4 Qxd4+ 36.Nxd4 Kg7 37.Nc6 a6 38.Nb8 a5 39.a4 Kf6 40.Nc6 Ke6 41.Nxa5 Kd5 42.Kc2 10.  Nakamura has not yet played World no 1 Carlsen,World no 2 Anand and World no 4 Kramnik - all former winners at Wijk aan Zee.

 Progress scores after round 7 (14 players, 13 rounds, 2740 average rating) -  H.Nakamura (USA 2751) 5.5, V.Anand (World Champion, IND 2810) 5, L.Aronian (ARM 2805),V.Kramnik (RUS 2784) 4.5 the top four are all undefeated ,M.Carlsen (NOR 2814),I.Nepomniachtchi (RUS 2733) 4, M.Vachier Lagrave(FRA 2715 a GM at age 14) 3.5.   B Group   (av 2659) -  Z.Efimenko(UKR 2701),W.So (PHI 2673 a GM at age 14), L.McShane (ENG 2664) all 5/7.   C Group -  I.Nyzhnyk (UKR 2530,aged 14 and currently the youngest grandmaster in the world) and D.Vocaturo (ITA 2570) 5.5/7.

 The top seeds in the Gibraltar Festival starting today are V.Ivanchuk (UKR 2764), M.Adams (ENG 2723), F.Caruana (ITA 2721,GM at 14).  The Australians competing are IM Aleks Wohl (2409) and WFM Vaness Reid (1841).  The Oceania World Championship Zonal tournament (56 players including 33 from Australia, 9 rounds)  is being held in Rotorua, New Zealand 25-31 Jan. The top seeds are are all from Australia :- GM Z.Zhao 2586,GM D.Smerdon 2531,IM G.Xie 2478, IM G.Lane 2373,FM B.Cheng 2335,M.Ly 2321,  FM M.Illingworth 2311 and FM B.Smith(NZL 2287).    Womens Zonal (11 players) -  IM I.Berezina 2238,WIM B.Dekic 2095,WFM E.Guo 1969 (all Australia), J.Gao(NZL 1914)

 The Australian Junior Championships are being held at Billanook College Melbourne with over 200 entrants in six age divisions. The winners were:- Under 8 open Kevin Willathgamuwa(NSW),Girls-Jody Middleton(VIC).  Under 10 open  David Cannon(VIC), girls Denali Durden(QLD). The following are leading their divisions with one round left to play :- Under 12 Open- Daniel Lapitan(QLD).  Under 14 Open -  Daniel Zhang (NSW).  Girls Under 12/14 -  May-Yi Foo(VIC). Under 16 Open - Alistair Cameron(SA).  Under 18 Open -  Bobby Cheng (VIC, World Under 12 Champion in 2009).  Girls U 18/16  - Savithri Narenthran(VIC). 

 Nine-year-old Anton Smirnov  achieved a convincing victory in the NSW Junior Leagues Summer two-day tournament winning every game. NSW Girls Champion Shirley Gu(aged 13) followed up her excellent three-day and one-day results by finishing clear second. Leading final scores(136 players,12 rounds): Anton Smirnov 12,Shirley Gu 10,Dominic Mah 9.   Anton is seeded 332 out of 511 players including over 40 grandmasters in the Moscow Open starting next Saturday and he will also be competing in the Aeroflot Open 7-18 Feb in Moscow.    The Australia Day Weekend tournament  organized by the New South Wales Chess Association will be held at Norths,Cammeray,Sydney over seven rounds on Saturday  29 Jan and Sunday 30 Jan. The prize fund in various categories is $2340 based on 60 entries. Details Lou Damaschino  Tel 0411 457 733

George Xie is Australian Open Champion

Peter Parr (17/1/11)

 International Master George Xie won the Title of Australian Open Champion at Norths,Cammeray,Sydney on countback from Grandmaster Zong-Yuan Zhao and Moulthun Ly.  Xie won his final round game against Junta Ikeda but the game between the two leaders Ly Zhao was agreed drawn in  sixteen  moves. FM Vladimir Smirnov needed to beat FM Greg Canfell in the final round to also tie for first place but playing white exchanged queens on move eight and a draw was agreed. Andrew Brown played well to defeat Max Illingworth.

 Leading final scores (85 players,11 rounds) : -  IM G.Xie (NSW 2478), GM Z.Zhao (NSW 2586), M.Ly (QLD 2321) 8.5 : Dr V.Smirnov (RUS,NSW 2382),A.Brown (ACT 2175) 8 : FM J.Ikeda (ACT 2262),FM G.Canfell (NSW 2297),IM V.Feldman (NSW 2262), J.Papantoniou (NSW 2023), B.Mandla (NSW 2110) 7.5.   IM Aleks Wohl currently in Marrakech,Morocco won the last Australian Open on countback from IM George Xie each scoring 9/11 at Manly in Jan 2009. Xie will now need to increase his rating by 27 rating points after the Gold Coast and Australian Open results are processed to reach 2500 for his grandmaster title. An application is being made via the Russian Chess Federation for consideration for the International Master Title by the FIDE Qualification Commission for long time Sydney resident but Russian registered Dr Vladimir Smirnov. Moulthun Ly and Greg Canfell both moved their ratings closer to 2400 for their IM titles.

The Australian Minor (46 players,11 rounds) was jointly won by Dennis Wan(NSW 1544) and Megan Setiabudi(ACT 1397) on 9 points.

 The Australian Chess Federation medal winners are as follows : - 2010 Steiner Medal(player) IM George Xie(NSW), 2011 Koshnitsky Medal (for administration presented by the grand old lady of Australian Chess 95-year-old  Evelyn Koshnitsky)

Dr Kevin Bonham(TAS), 2011 Purdy Medal (presented by veteran John Purdy) David Cordover(VIC), 2010 Arlauskas Medal (junior) FM Bobby Cheng (VIC) former World Under 12 Champion.

 The NSW Junior Chess League's Summer One-Day Tournament, like the previous week's Three-Day Tournament, produced a tie for first place. Fourteen-year-old Erik Ostman again featured in the tie, this time with rapidly improving Dylan Siow-Lee (aged 10). Leading final scores (119 players, 9 rounds): Erik Ostman, Dylan Siow-Lee 8, Jonathan Ren, Shirley Gu, Suraj Ashok, Tim Li, Methew Yan 7. The Junior League's Summer Two-Day Tournament will take place this Wednesday and Thursday; for details see www.nswjcl.org.au or contact Richard Gastineau-Hills, phone 9412 4579.  The Australian Junior Championships are being held this week 15-23 January with over 200 entrants at Billanook College,Melbourne.  

Fourteen grandmasters with an average rating of 2740 are competing in the A GM division at Wijk aan Zee,Netherlands which started on Saturday. World number 1 Magnus Carlsen (NOR 2814) was fortunate to draw against World number 3 Levon Aronian (ARM 2805). World Champion Viswanathan Anand (IND 2810) outplayed former World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov(UKR 2744) and won. Hikaru Nakamura(USA 2751) beat Alexander Grischuk(RUS 2773) and Jan Smeets(NED 2662) won against Alexei Shirov(ESP 2722). The other games were drawn.

 International Master Greg Hjorth of Melbourne died suddenly on Jan 13 at the age of 47. Hjorth finished second at the age of 16 in the 1980 Australian Championship in Adelaide and played for Australia in the Chess Olympiads in 1984 and 1986.  He was equal first with Ian Rogers in the Commonwealth Championship tournament in 1983 and won the Doeberl Cup in Canberra in 1982,1985 and 1987.Hjorth,a professor of mathematics, moved to the USA in 1993 but returned recently to Melbourne University.

Ly and Zhao lead Australian Open

Peter Parr (14/1/11)

 Moulthun Ly, the 2011 Australian Lightning Champion  has won his last four consecutive games and shares the lead with Grandmaster Zong-Yuan Zhao the Australian Champion  with one round to play in the Australian Open Championship at Norths, Cammeray, Sydney.  Ly lost to  IM George Xie in round 4 and resigned in a drawn position (as pointed out by IM Solomon) against Illingworth in round 6.   Ly has won his other eight games (no draws) including the following win in round ten.  Canfell had been undefeated in the first nine rounds.

 FM G.Canfell  2297 v  M.Ly 2321  B92 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Be2 g6 7 0-0 Bg7 8 f4 0-0 9 Kh1 Qc7 10 Bf3 e5 11 Nde2 Nbd7 12 Be3 b5 13 a3 Bb7 14 Qe1 exf415 Bxf4 Rae8 16 Rd1 Ne5 17 Qg3 Qb6 18 Rd4 Re6 19 Rfd1 Rfe8 20 Be3 Nxf3 21 Qxf3 Nxe4 22 Rxe4 Bxe4 23 Nxe4 Qc7 24 N2g3 d5 25 Rxd5 f5 26 Nd6 Rxd6 27 Bf4 Re1+ 28 Nf1 Qc4 29 Rd3 Rxd3 30 cxd3 Qc6 31 Qf2 Qe6 32 h3 Qe2 0-1.

 Canfell playing black against Zhao in round nine defended accurately after another sharp Scheveningen Sicilian Opening. White retained a slight advantage when the game was drawn by repetition of position on move 26.

Vladimir Smirnov became outright leader after round nine when his bishop proved stronger than IM Solomons knight winning the endgame after 52 moves.  Zhao regained the joint lead in round ten  when his strong central pawns  proved decisive winning a bishop against   Smirnov. 

 IM George Xie won the following brevity in round 10 . F.Zulfic  2024 v G.Xie 2478 E25   1 d4 e6 2 c4 Nf6 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 f3 d5 5 a3 Bxc3+ 6 bxc3 c5 7 cxd5 Nxd5 8 dxc5 f5 9 Nh3 0-0 10 c4 Qh4+ 11 g3 Qxc4 12 e4 Qc3+ 13 Bd2 Qe5 14 Bg2 fxe4 15 0-0 Qd4+ 16 Kh1 e3 17 Bb4 Nc6 18 f4 a5 19 Qa4 e2 20 Rfe1 Ra7 0-1 black wins a piece.

 14th seed Andrew Brown beat third seed and former Australian Champion IM Stephen Solomon.  Junta Ikeda beat John Papantoniou. Seven of the top eight seeds and Brown are in the top eight places before the final round. The title of Australian Open Champion will be awarded on count back if there is a tie for first place. GM Zhao has a higher count back score at present.  Ly beat GM Zhao in the recent Gold Coast International and is paired with the white pieces against Zhao,the top seed, in the final round in Sydney.

 Leading scores after round 10 (85 players,11 rounds)  - GM Z.Zhao (NSW 2586, aged 24) and M.Ly (QLD 2321, aged 19) 8, IM G.Xie (NSW 2478,aged 25), FM J.Ikeda (ACT 2262,aged 19), FM V.Smirnov (RUS,NSW 2382,aged 36) 7.5,  FM M.Illingworth (NSW 2311,aged 18), FM G.Canfell (NSW 2297,aged 40), A.Brown (ACT 2175,aged 18) 7.  Zhao was Australian Junior Champion in 2001, Ly in 2005, Ikeda in 2008, Solomon in 1980. The average age of the top ten players in the world in Jan 2011 is 30 compared to Australia 40 so it is pleasing to see six of the leading eight players in the 2011 Australian Open are under the age of 26.

 Dennis Wan (NSW 1544) and Megan Setiabudi ( ACT 1397) are joint leaders in the  46 player Australian Minor Under 1600 rated event.  Meanwhile at the Auckland Chess Centre IM Anthony Ker won the 118th New Zealand Championship with an undefeated score of 9/11 finishing 1.5 points clear in the 26 player field.    The 2011 Australian Junior Championships with over 200 entrants will be held at Billanook College, Melbourne 15-23 January.

New leaders in Australian Open

Peter Parr (12/1/11)

 Three players Greg Canfell, Vladimir Smirnov and Zong-Yuan Zhao share the lead with three rounds left to play in the Australian Open Championship at Norths,Cammeray,Sydney.   Junta Ikeda of Canberra the sole early leader on 5.5/6 met seven time NSW Champion Greg Canfell in the following  game on board 1 in round 7. The Scheveningen variation of the Najdorf Sicilian is sharp and dynamic leading to an unbalanced position.  Canfell sacrifices a pawn and Ikeda  was forced to advance up the board moving his king 12 times between moves 27 47 .  Ikeda  also had a number of threats but Canfell became the new sole leader by escaping from checks and queening his passed pawn.  

G.Canfell  2297   v J.Ikeda  2262    B82   1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 a6 5 Nc3 Qc7 6 Bd3 Nf6 7 f4 d6 8 0-0 b5 9 Kh1 Nbd7 10 e5 dxe5 11 fxe5 Qxe5 12 Nf5 Bb7 13 Bf4 Qc5 14 Qe2 g6 15 Ng3 Be7 16 a4 b4 17 Nce4 Nxe4 18 Bxe4 Bxe4 19 Nxe4 Qc6 20 Qf3 Rc8 21 Rad1 f5 22 Nd6+ Bxd6 23 Bxd6 Qxf3 24 gxf3 Rxc2 25 Bxb4 Nf6 26 Rd6 Nd5 27 Rxa6  Kf7 28 Bd6 Rhc8 29 Ra7+ Kf6 30 f4 e5 31 Bxe5+ Ke6 32 Rxh7 Ne3 33 Rg1 g5 34 Rh6+ Kd5 35 Rd6+ Ke4 36 Rd4+ Kf3 37 fxg5 Ng4 38 Rf4+ Ke3 39 Rg3+ Ke2 40 Rg2+ Kd3 41 Bc3 Rc1+ 42 Rg1 Rc2 43 Rfxg4 fxg4 44 g6 Rc5 45 Rg3+ Ke4 46 Rxg4+ Kf3 47 Rg3+ Kf4 48 g7 Rh5 49 g8(Q) 1-0

 Ikeda had earlier defeated Zhao and Smirnov.  In other round 7 games IMs Solomon and Xie seeded 3rd and 2nd  respectively drew in 74 moves with only king v king left on the board in the final position. FM Smirnov won a pawn in the early middlegame against FM Illingworth who fought for 93 moves before Smirnov won. GM Zhao the top seed beat Michael Morris who had a bad bishop in the endgame on board 4.  Progress scores were   Canfell 6/7 with 6 players on 5.5 points.

 Solomon emerged from the Classical Scheveningen Opening against the leader Canfell in round 8 with a slight initiative and a rook and opposite colored bishop endgame resulted where Solomon increased his advantage.  Solomon is noted for his excellent end-game technique for the last 30 years and his two united passed pawns and possible mating threats left Canfell in a very difficult position. Canfell had earlier drawn against Xie when he was two pawns down in a queen and pawn endgame and he fought back to draw  after some inexact play by Solomon.

  Top seed GM Zhao beat second seed IM Xie in a rook and pawn endgame with a strong outside passed pawn proving decisive.   FM Smirnov won a pawn on move 27 in a rook and  bishop endgame against FM Nakauchi and won after 142 moves but the game was unnecessarily  prolonged by both players for the last 50 moves.  Ly beat Ikeda with a strong queenside attack after Ikeda castled on that side of the board.  Three players remain undefeated after round 8 FM Greg Canfell, IM Stephen Solomon and IM Irina Berezina.

Leading progress scores after round 8 (85 players,11 rounds)  -  GM Z.Zhao (NSW 2586), FM V.Smirnov (RUS,NSW 2382),FM G. Canfell (NSW 2297) all  6.5.    FM M.Illingworth(NSW 2311),IM S.Solomon (QLD 2408), A.Brown (ACT 2175), M.Ly (QLD 2321)  all 6 and nine players on 5.5 points.   Four players M.Setiabudi (ACT 1397),B.Zoud (NSW 1428),D.Wan (NSW 1544) and T.Parker (NSW 1506) share the lead with 6/8 in the Australian Minor Under 1600 rated event.

Ikeda Leads Australian Open

Peter Parr (10/1/11)

 FIDE Master Junta Ikeda of Canberra aged 19  has taken the sole lead after six rounds of the Australian Open Championship at Norths,Cammeray,Sydney.  Ikeda won the Japan Open in Tokyo in 2006,the Australian Junior Under 18 title in 2008 and two weeks ago won the Gold Coast International  above the top two seeds GM Z.Zhao and IM G. Xie.  Ikeda beat GM Zhao who was making  a tactical error when he lost on time on move 39 in round 5 at  Norths.  Ikeda won again in round 6  against FM Vladimir Smirnov.  Canfell drew a queen and pawn ending two pawns down against Xie.  IM Solomon beat IM Feldman.  Ly resigned against Illingworth in round 6 but Solomon demonstrated he could have drawn in the final position. 

 Leading scores after round 6 ( 85  players, 11 rounds) -  FM J.Ikeda (ACT 2262) 5.5 2597 perf,   IM S.Solomon (QLD 2408), IM G.Xie (NSW 2478), FM M.Illingworth (NSW 2311,aged 18 2466 perf), FM G.Canfell (NSW 2297) 5,   FM V.Smirnov (RUS,NSW 2382), GM Z.Zhao (NSW 2586), C.Kluger (GER  2081), M.Morris (NSW 2112), FM D.Hamilton (VIC 2207), FM G.Nakauchi (QLD 2149), B.Mandla (NSW 2110) 4.5.  Dennis Wan (NSW) leads the 46 player Minor(U-1600) with 5.5/6. Sarwat Rewais(NSW) won the Norths Classic ( 22 players,under 1800)  on 6.5/7 ahead of David Lovejoy (QLD) on 6 points.   The Australian lightning championship (80 players,11 rounds) was won by Moulthun Ly on 10/11 ahead of Max Illingworth 2nd   and IM George Xie 3rd

 With many of Sydneys top juniors competing in the Australian Open,the NSW Junior Leagues Summer Three-Day Tournament attracted 72 players,three less than last year. The event was exceptionally closely fought and produced a five-way tie for first place,between Morgan Chang(aged 12),Erik Ostman(14),Joshua Lau(14),Tim Li(15) and Daniel Lee(17). Half a point behind were four more players,including the 2009 and 2010 NSW Girls Champions,Caroline Shan and Shirley Gu(both aged 13). The NSW Junior League will hold a one-day tournament on Wed 12 Jan and a two-day tournament the following Wednesday and Thursday these events are ideal for juniors new to competitive chess as well as for experienced players. For details see www.nswjcl.org or contact Richard Gastineau-Hills, phone 9412 4579.

 The newly formed Sydney Blitz chess club meets at the Spanish Club, 88 Liverpool St, Sydney City every fortnight on Saturday afternoons 2-6 pm. The next blitz/lightning open event for about 40 players will be held on Sat 15 Jan. 

There are over 200 entrants so far in the six age divisions ( 60 under 12, and 46 under 10) of the Australian Junior Championship 15-23 January at Billanook College, Melbourne.   Australian Open Champion IM Aleks Wohl (NSW 2409) scored 6/9 (performance 2458) in the Hastings England International.

 The Tata Steel  tournament  in the seaside village of Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands  starts next Saturday 15 Jan. The four highest rated players in the world are all competing (14 players, 2740 average rating ,13 rounds). The top nine seeds are   World no 1 Magnus Carlsen (NOR 2814,aged 20) -  last years winner .   2 World Champion Vishy Anand (IND 2810,aged 41) who has won the event a record five times  in the 73 year history of the event.    3 Levon Aronian (ARM 2805,aged 28) - the first time 3 players rated above 2800 are competing.     4 Vladimir Kramnik (RUS 2784,aged 35) former World Champion. 7 Alexander Grischuk (RUS 2773), 10 H.Nakamura (USA 2751).  11  R.Ponomariov (UKR 2744 former  World Champion).  15  I.Nepomniachtchi (RUS 2733 aged 20) European and Russian Champion.   17 Wang Hao (CHN 2731). The 14 players in the all  GM B Group have an average rating of 2659. There are over 1600 masters and enthusiasts playing in a whole range of supporting events.

Smirnov and Xie Lead

Peter Parr (7/1/11)

 Dr Vladimir Smirnov and George Xie share the lead with four wins each after the fourth round of the Australian Open Championship at Norths,Cammeray,Sydney.  Smirnov steadily built up pressure against Kerry Stead  of Melbourne in round three and won a piece and outplayed Gustavo Salaberry of Argentina who became very short of time in an inferior position in round four. 

IM George Xie is in excellent form so far defeating FM Gene Nakauchi  in round 3 and his central pawns in the following game proved decisive against Moulthun Ly.  Ly beat GM Zhao and IM Xie last week in the Gold Coast International.  Xie needs to increase his rating to 2500 to become Australias fifth grandmaster.   Max Illingworth of Dee Why, Sydney  sacrificed a few pawns against top seed GM Zong-Yuan Zhao in round 4 and obtained adequate compensation with active play resulting in a draw.  Third seed IM Stephen Solomon gained no advantage against Junta Ikeda , the winner of the Gold Coast International, and a draw was agreed at move 62 in an opposite colored bishop endgame.  

 Rd 4 IM G.Xie 2478 v  M.Ly 2321  A15  1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 b3 Bg7 4 Bb2 0-0 5 g3 b6 6 d4 Bb7 7 Bg2 c5 8 d5 d6 9 0-0 Na6 10 Nfd2 Nc7 11 Qc2 Rb8 12 e4 e5 13 Nc3 a6 14 f4 exf4 15 gxf4 b5 16 Rae1 bxc4 17 bxc4 Nd7 18 Na4 Bxb2 19 Nxb2 Qe7 20 e5 dxe5 21 fxe5 Nxe5 22 Nd3 f6 23 Ne4 Ne8 24 Nexc5 Bc8 25 Qf2 Nd6 26 Nxe5 fxe5 27 Qxf8+ Qxf8 28 Rxf8+ Kxf8 29 Bf1 Rb2 30 Nd3 Rxa2 31 c5 Nf7 32 Nxe5 Rc2 33 d6 Nxe5 34 Rxe5 a5 35 Bb5 Kf7 36 c6 Bh3 37 Re3 Bf5 38 d7 1-0

 GM Zhao lost to Andrew Brown in round 3 at the Gold Coast but defeated Brown in 27 moves in  round 3 in Sydney.

 GM Z.Zhao 2586 v A.Brown 2175  B33  1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e5 6 Ndb5 d6 7 Bg5 a6 8 Na3 b5 9 Nd5 Be7 10 Bxf6 Bxf6 11 c3 Ne7 12 Nxf6+ gxf6 13 Nc2 Bb7 14 Bd3 d5 15 exd5 Qxd5 16 Ne3 Qe6 17 a4 e4 18 Be2 Rd8 19 Qc2 f5 20 axb5 f4 21 bxa6 fxe3 22 axb7 exf2+ 23 Kf1 Nd5 24 Qa4+ Ke7 25 Qa7 Qd7 26 Rd1 Ke6 27 c4 1-0

 The title event is very hard fought with only four of the forty-two games resulting in draws in round three.

The son of tournament leader Vladimir Smirnov is nine-year-old Anton who is already rated at 2002 and is ranked 25th out of the 155 players competing in the Championship and supporting events. Anton won his first two games and was paired against FIDE Master Greg Canfell, a seven times NSW State Champion in round three.  A draw was agreed in an equal endgame of rook and five pawns each.  Anton also drew in round five against International Master Vladimir Feldman a former Oceania Champion by repetition of position at move 25.   Anton is performing well above his rating.

Leading scores after round 4 (85 players,11 rounds) FM Dr Vladimir Smirnov (RUS,NSW 2382) and IM George Xie ( NSW 2478) 4 , FM Junta Ikeda ( ACT 2262), Australian Champion GM Zong-Yuan Zhao ( NSW 2586), IM Stephen Solomon (QLD 2408),FM Max Illingworth ( NSW 2311),FM Gregory Canfell ( NSW 2297) 3.5.  There are 11 players on 3 points. Dennis Wan (NSW) leads the  46 player Minor (Under 1600 rated event) with 4/4 and Sarwat Rewais is the early leader on 4/4 in the 7 round 22 player Classic  (Under 1800 rated event). The Australian Lightning Championship open to all players will commence at 2pm on Saturday 8 January.

155 in Australian Open

Peter Parr (5/1/11)

 The Australian Open Championship and supporting tournaments at Norths, Cammeray,Sydney commenced on Sunday afternoon with 155 competitors from 10  countries.  The highlight of the Opening Ceremony was a performance of a Tango on the dance floor by the current Australian Tango Champions Sophia and Pedro Alvarez  (tango teachers of Australias chess WIM Arianne Caoili ) who have been recently in Buenos Aires,Argentina.  

 Nineteen players including the top eight seeds (GM Z.Zhao NSW 2586, IM G.Xie 2478, IM S.Solomon QLD 2408, FM V.Smirnov  NSW 2382, M.Ly QLD 2321,  FM M.Illingworth NSW 2311, FM G.Canfell NSW 2297, FM J.Ikeda  ACT 2262),have  all won their first two games in the 85 player, 11 round  title event.   GM Zong-Yuan Zhao,the Australian Champion, won the exchange in the endgame to defeat local  Peter Lay who was Australian Junior champion 51 years ago.

IM George Xie won the exchange with a tricky tactic against Hamish Selnes. Stephen Solomon won both games in fine style. Vladimir Smirnov built up a powerful kingside attack to defeat Club President and Chief Organiser Paul Glissan. Alana Chibnall of ACT has won both her games against much higher rated opposition.

 The following game from board 32 in round 1 shows a decisive  queen sacrifice followed by a mating attack by  International Correspondence Master Shane Dibley his evergreen game.  S.Dibley v O.Wang  B45  1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 e6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 Nc6 6 a3 Be7 7 Nxc6 bxc6 8 e5 Nd5 9 Qg4 Kf8 10 Ne4 h5 11 Qg3 Bh4 12 Qf3 g6 13 Bd3 Kg7 14 Nd6 Qf8 15 g4 Be7 16 c4 Nc7 17 gxh5 Rxh5 18 Qxh5 !!  gxh5 19 Rg1+ Kh8 20 Bh6! (the point)  Bxd6 21 Bxf8 Bxf8 22 Rg5 Bc5 23 Ke2 Be7 24 Rxh5+ Kg7 25 Rg1+ Bg5 26 Rhxg5+ Kf8 27 Rg8+ Ke7 28 h4 Rb8 29 b4 a5 30 h5 axb4 31 axb4  1-0 . Oscar Wang was a member of the winning North Sydney Boys HS Team in the Australian Schools Teams finals last month in Perth and is an excellent pianist. Nine-year-old Anton Smirnov (rating 2002) quickly defeated Shane Dibley in round 2 and also shares the lead with 2/2. Smirnov is one of only three players in the world born in the 21st century and with a World rating above 2000.

 The first Australian Open was held 40 years ago in Adelaide and was won by GM Lajos Portisch (HUN). The event is held once every two years.   The most frequent individual  winner was Max Fuller,a current member of Norths,who won it outright three times in the 1970s.  Douglas Hamilton of Melbourne has scored 50% so far (loss to Alexander Papp NSW in round 2) . He won the Australian Championship Title  three times in 1964,1966 and 1981 and remains at the age of 71 strong and active.

Australian Open Starts

Peter Parr (3/1/11)

 The Australian Open Championship and supporting events with over 150 players has commenced at Norths,Cammeray,Sydney. The top  seeds are  Australian Champion Grandmaster  Zong-Yuan  Zhao (NSW 2586), IM G. Xie (NSW 2478), IM S.Solomon (QLD 2408), FM V.Smirnov (NSW 2382), M.Ly (QLD 2321), FM M.Illingworth (NSW 2311) and FM G.Canfell (NSW 2297).

  Top ten players on the January World rating list (average age 30) M.Carlsen NOR 2814,  V.Anand IND 2810,   L.Aronian ARM 2805,  V.Kramnik RUS 2784, S.Karjakin RUS 2776, V.Topalov BUL 2775,  A.Grischuk RUS 2773, S.Mamedyarov AZE 2772,  V.Ivanchuk UKR  2764,  H.Nakamura USA 2751.  Carlsen replaces World Champion Anand at no 1  after winning in Nanjing, China above Anand.  Karjakin moves up 4 places to no 5.  The average rating of the top 100 players is 2696.

 Carlsen has withdrawn from the World Championship cycle. The challenger of the World Champion Viswanathan Anand (India) will be determined by the winner of the Candidates Matches in Kazan Russia in May 2011. The eight players are Topalov, Kramnik, Aronian, Gelfand, Mamedyarov, Grischuk, Radjabov and Kamsky.

 Women J.Polgar HUN 2686,   H.Koneru IND 2607,  Y.Hou CHN 2602,  T.Kosintseva RUS 2570,  N.Kosintseva 2552.  Leading Australians GM Z.Zhao 2586 (world no 263),  GM D.Smerdon 2531(world no 564),  IM G.Xie 2478 (world no 1019),  IM J.Gil  Capape 2444,   GM D.Johansen 2419,  IM A.Wohl 2409 ,IM S.Solomon 2408,  IM I.Goldenberg 2388,  IM G.Lane 2373,  IM G.West 2360 ( world no 3228).  Women WM A.Caoili 2260,  IM I.Berezina 2238,  T.Nguyen 2111,  WM B.Dekic 2095,  WM A.Jule 1970,  WFM E.Guo 1969.

Country rank by average rating of the top ten active players Russia 2734 (average age 28) , Ukraine 2694,  France 2654,China 2653, Armenia 2649, India 2641.   Australia 2440 (average age 40) is ranked 56 out of 159 countries.

FIDE Vice-President and New Singaporean GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili from Georgia has won the  Asean Championship in Singapore.  Illya Nyzhnyk (UKR 2530) has finally completed the requirements for the grandmaster title at the age of 14 years and 3 months. Nyzhnyk caused a sensation in Group B of the 2007 Moscow Open scoring 8.5/9 and a 2633 performance rating at the age of ten. His first GM norm was in April 2008 and two years ago he was rated above 2500. Nyzhnyk scored his final GM result last week by finishing equal first at Groningen(Ned) in a field with 14 grandmasters and becomes the youngest GM.  Australian Open Champion IM Aleks Wohl (2409) has so far scored 3/5 (performance 2500) in the Hastings Masters in England.

 Leading final scores in the Canterbury Summer Swiss GP event in Melbourne(68 players,7 rounds) Christopher Wallis and FM Max Illingworth (NSW) 6, John Dowling and Thai Ly  5.5.  The Gold Coast International Chess Festival in Broadbeach,Queensland was won by FM Junta Ikeda (ACT).  J.Ikeda J.Shanks C33  1 e4 e5 2 f4 exf4 3 Bc4 Be7 4 Nc3 c6 5 d4 Bh4+ 6 Kf1 Ne7 7 g3 d5 8 Bb3 Bg5 9 h4 Bh6 10 g4 g6 11 Qf3 Be6 12 Bxf4 Bg7 13 Re1 0-0 14 h5 Qd7 15 Rh4 h6 16 Nh3 f5 17 exf5 Nxf5 18 gxf5 Bxf5 19 hxg6 Bxh3+ 20 Kg1 Na6 21 Nxd5 cxd5 22 Bxd5+ Kh8 23 Rxh6+ Bxh6 24 Be5+ 1-0. Moulthun Ly and Ikeda each won 6 games in the first 7 rounds and drew with each other in round five. Ly beat top seeds Zhao and Xie.

  Leading final scores (55 players,9 rounds,3 points for a win,1 point for a draw) - FM J.Ikeda (ACT) 22 (7 wins), M.Ly(QLD,6 wins) and GM Z.Zhao(NSW,7 wins) 21, FM G.Nakauchi (QLD) 20, IM G.Xie (NSW) and IM J.Morris (VIC) 19

 Grandmaster Zong -Yuan Zhao (NSW)  won the Yulgilbar-Think Big Australian Chess grand Prix 2010 scoring 132.5 followed by IM G.Xie (NSW) 121.00, FM E.Teichmann (VIC) 73.92, FM V.Smirnov (NSW) 69.75, GM D.Smerdon (ACT) 68.92.   WFM Emma Guo (ACT) won the womens and girls divisions.