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Meet Grandmaster Natalia Pogonina

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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 25 December 2014
Train your brain by solving chess puzzles

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Natalia Pogonina (born March 9, 1985) is a chess grandmaster and one of the best female chess players in the world. Since 2004 she has been a member of Team Russia and is the reigning Olympic Women's Chess Champion.

Woman Grandmaster (WGM), three-times European champion (U16, twice U18), bronze prize winner at the World Championship (U18) and European Women's Championship, winner of the gold medal at the 1st International Mind Sports Games, co-winner of the 2008 Student World Championship and Russian Superfinal-2010, and #1 at multiple prestigious international tournaments (2005 Bykova Memorial, 2007 Rudenko memorial, 2009 Moscow Open, etc.). Ranked as 3rd most successful female chess player in the world in 2009 by the Association of Chess Professionals. In 2011 Natalia became the only chess player in the world to simultaneously win the Eurocup and European Team Chess Championship and in 2013 - the only person to hold the individual and team Russian Champion titles. She was runner-up at Women's World Team Chess Championship-2011 and earned the bronze medal in 2013.

Natalia's FIDE rating is over 2500 a mark associated with the GM title.

Natalia is the reigning Olympic Chess Champion (gold medals for both team and individual performances).

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Last Updated ( Friday, 09 May 2014 )

Puzzle of the Day Widget

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Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 23 December 2014

By WGM Natalia Pogonina, Russia
FIDE rating: 2501

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I've been receiving a lot messages from people who like to solve chess puzzles, especially interactive ones. Previously we used to post static diagrams from time to time, but they probably were old-fashioned and not user-friendly enough.

Also, there have been many requests to provide more information about my own games.

As a result, I am glad to share with you the new widget. On the board, using your mouse, you can solve the "puzzle of the day" or a random puzzle. Please note that you are not obliged to stop solving the puzzle after the widget displays the "Puzzle solved" sign. If you are interested in the final position or not sure what the evaluations is, you can always play the game out against an inbuilt chess engine. Similarly, if you make a "wrong" move, the widget will tell you that, but you can always insist on your choice if you like and see how the match would unfold. These features make the widget highly interactive and fun: you are encouraged to act in a creative way and improve your chess by practising to take important decisions in exciting tactical positions! Finally, don't forget about using the "hint" button if you get stuck.

As of now all the puzzles are based on positions from my own games. Please let me know in the comments to this post what you think about the widget and whether you would like to see examples from the games of other chess players.

Every day a new problem will be added to the collection. Have a great time solving the puzzles!

P.S. If you have your own site, please feel free to embed the widget, thus making it easier for yourself and your audience to access the puzzles. Don't hesitate to contact us if you experience any technical problems or need special tuning.

Large version (345x450 - you can change the numbers to 215 and 310 accordingly and remove ?w=45 from the code posted below if you prefer the small version):

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 May 2014 )

FIDE September 2014 Rating List

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Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 31 August 2014

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The # of 2700+ players is 47.

Anish Giri (2758), Ding Liren (2754), Bu Xiangzhi (2722), Radoslaw Wojtaszek (2736), Richard Rapport (2713) have improved their personal top ratings. Olympic champion Yu Yangyi (2700) has entered the 2700+ club for the first time. Congratulations!

Updated list of all-time chess rating records

Yu Yangyi, the world's most recent 2700+ GM
August was a remarkable month for the Chinese players: they won the Chess Olympiad and gained lots of rating points

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 31 August 2014 )

GM Saric - GM Carlsen annotated by GM Balogh

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Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 30 August 2014
By GM Csaba Balogh, Hungary
Best FIDE rating: 2672

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Carlsen played a dubious opening and got convincingly beaten by the Croatian grandmaster.

View the game or check out the "text + diagrams" version below.

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 30 August 2014 )

Congratulations to Newly-Elected Grandmasters

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Written by Administrator   
Friday, 29 August 2014

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The following grandmaster titles were approved at FIDE ongress meeting in Tromso on August 4-15:

  Zilka, Stepan CZE  
  Glud, Jakob Vang DEN  
  Shoker, Samy EGY  
  Arribas Lopez, Angel ESP  
  Riff, Jean-Noel FRA  
  Bromberger, Stefan GER  
  Stern, Rene GER  
  Dambacher, Martijn NED  
  Rozum, Ivan RUS  
  Bagrationi, Alexander UKR  
  Bernadskiy, Vitaliy UKR  
  Nguyen, Huynh Minh Huy VIE  
  Dimitrijevic, Aleksandra BIH  
  Fomina, Tatyana EST  
  Duisenova, Madina KAZ  
  Enkhtuul, Altanulzii MGL  
  Seps, Monika SUI  
  Nguyen, Thi Mai Hung VIE

Guidarelli, Laurent FRA  
Akbaev, Kazbek RUS  

As of today, there are 1459 GMs and 284 WGMs in the world.

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Last Updated ( Friday, 29 August 2014 )

Ian Nepomniachtchi Won Tournament of Champions in Yaroslavl

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Written by Administrator   
Friday, 29 August 2014

The main event of the Yaroslavl-2014 festival in Russia was the 'Tournament of Champions". Six European Chess Champions took part in a double round robin: Alexander Motylev (2014 Champion, Russia), Alexander Moiseenko (2013, Ukraine), Dmitry Jakovenko (2012, Russia), Vladimir Potkin (2011, Russia) and Ian Nepomniachtchi (2010, Russia). The time control was 15m/game and 10s/move starting from move one. The tournament was organized in a history museum as part of the program 'Chess in museums".

Final standings:

1. Ian Nepomniachtchi - 7.5
2. Dmitry Jakovenko - 6.5
3. Evgeny Tomashevsky - 5.5
4-6. Vladimir Potkin, Alexander Motylev, Alexander Moiseenko - 3.5

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Last Updated ( Friday, 29 August 2014 )

Ju Wenjun Leads Sharjah after 4 Rounds

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Written by Administrator   
Friday, 29 August 2014

Women's World Chess ChampionHou Yifan defeated her main rival Humpy Koneru in Round 4
Image from the
official site

Standings after Round 4:

1. Ju Wenjun - 3.5/4
2-5. Hou Yifan, Anna Ushenina, Tuvshintugs Batchimeg, Harika Dronavalli - 3
6. Tatiana Kosintseva - 2.5
7. Zhao Xue - 2
8-9. Elina Danielian, Humpy Koneru - 1.5
10. Nafisa Muminova - 1
11-12. Zhu Chen, Alina L'Ami - 0

Women's live chess ratings

Pairings & odds for Round 5:

Based on Peter Zhdanov's ChessBet model

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Last Updated ( Friday, 29 August 2014 )

Logic in Complex Openings

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Written by Administrator   
Friday, 29 August 2014

By IM David Pruess, USA
Best FIDE rating: 2438

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IM David Pruess commentates on the game between GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave at Sinquefield Cup.

Other videos by David:
Blitz w/Commentary 3
Blitz w/Commentary 2
Blitz w/Commentary
Attacking in Chess: Reserves

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Last Updated ( Friday, 29 August 2014 )

Shen Yang and Bela Khotenashvili in the lead @ Erfurt

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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 28 August 2014

Stephan Oliver Platz reports from Erfurt/Germany

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Four rounds have been played in the international women's grandmaster tournament in Erfurt. GM Bela Khotenashvili from Georgia and IM Shen Yang from China are in the lead with 3 points, followed by IM Elisabeth Paehtz (Germany) and IM Lela Javakhishvili (Georgia), both 2 1/2. Three players have 2 points: WGM Tatyana Melamed (Germany), IM Lilit Mkrtchian (Armenia) and GM Monika Socko (Poland). GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant (Scotland, 1 1/2), IM Anastasia Bodnaruk (Russia, 1) and IM Ketino Kachiani-Gersinska (Germany, 1/2) have scored under 50%. But five rounds are still to go and a lot can happen during the next few days. With an average ELO rating of 2438 the event is the strongest women's chess tournament that has ever taken place in Germany. For a GM norm 6.5 points out of 9 must be reached.

Two other interesting competitions are taking place in Erfurt: an international women's junior tournament with young players from Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Germany and the open international German women's chess championship. In the junior tournament Edit Machlik (Norway) is in the lead with 3 1/2 points, followed by Tran My Linh (Germany) and WFM Alisa Frey (Germany), 3 points. Teodora Rogozenko (Germany) and Monika Machlik (Norway) have scored 2 points. The other participants are Sarah Hund (Switerland, 1 1/2), Fiona Sieber (Germany, 1 1/2), Alina Zahn (1 1/2), WCM Nezihe Ezgi Menzi (Turkey, 1) and Josefine Heinemann (Germany, 1). In the open international German women's chess championship Christina Winterholler and Anastasia Erofeev from Germany are leading with 3 1/2 out of 4 ahead of four players with 3 points each: Lena Georgescu (Switzerland), Nguyen Ha Than (Germany), Daria Shmarina (Russia) and Madita Mönster (Germany). The 24 participants must play 9 rounds (Swiss system). It is very remarkable that six very young girls are competing for the title, the youngest being seven year old Anouk Lorenz (born in 2006).

The participants of the international women's grandmaster tournament and of the international women's junior tournament in Erfurt during the opening ceremony on Sunday, August 24th. The tournament will last until August, 31st.

Anouk Lorenz is the youngest participant competing in the open international German women's chess championship 2014.

In this first report I'll focus on two games for which the winners were awarded a special brilliancy prize:

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 28 August 2014 )

Book Review by Natalia Pogonina: "Journey to the Chess Kingdom"

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Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014

By WGM Natalia Pogonina
Best FIDE rating: 2508

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Journey to the Chess Kingdom, 2014

Publisher: Chess Evolution

Authors: GM Yuri Averbakh, Mikhail Beilin
Edition: Paperback medium
ISBN: 978-83-934656-6-8
Pages: 284
Language: English

Cover price: $26.99/19.99
Available at: Chess Evolution site

Look and feel

GM Arkadij Naiditsch presented a copy of Journey to the Chess Kingdom to me during the recent Chess Olympiad in Tromsø. The cover and illustrations are quite attractive and stand out in a positive way among the popular chess board on the cover designs. The diagrams are neat-looking and the paper is glossy and nice to touch. Overall, the book has a positive aura and feels inviting to read.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 27 August 2014 )
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