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Sunday Puzzle-23

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Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 07 October 2012
Puzzle courtesy of Barry R. Clarke, columnist for The Daily Telegraph and international puzzle expert

Play on Words

At Gamblers Synonymous there was a game in progress. The words 'fear (4 letters), 'alarm (5 letters), 'afraid (6 letters) and 'frightened (10 letters) were written on four pieces of paper and surreptitiously sealed in four envelopes, one word to each envelope. Sid and Sally took it in turns to randomly choose an envelope, viewing their chosen word immediately after selection without showing the other person. The game ended when each had two words, and the winner was declared to be the one with the greater total of letters (e.g. 'alarm and 'afraid total 11). 

In the game, Sally went first, but straight after her selection, she received inside information as to which envelope contained the word 'afraid. Being the second largest word this was certainly to her advantage. She decided to select this envelope on her second turn should it still be available after Sids first turn. 

Replaying this scenario many times, should her expected word total be less than Sids, more than Sids, or the same, and why?

Related reading:

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 07 October 2012 )

Participants of World Women's Chess Championship-2012

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Saturday, 06 October 2012

The FIDE Women's World Chess Championship will take place in Khanty-Mansyisk, Russia from November 9 to December 3. It is a knock-out event with 64 players participating:

a) From World Womens Championships 2010-2011:
01. Hou, Yifan (CHN) World Champion
02. Koneru, Humpy (IND) World Champion Finalist 2011
03. Zhao Xue (CHN) World Championship Semi finals 2010

b) World Girl Junior Champions 2010-2011:
04. Muzychuk, Anna (SLO)
05. Cori T Deysi (PER)

c) Rating List average 7/2011 & 1/2012:
06. Gunina, Valentina (RUS)
07. Galliamova, Alisa (RUS)
08. Zhu, Chen (QAT)
09. Kosteniuk, Alexandra (RUS)
10. Skripchenko, Almira (FRA)
11. Ushenina, Anna (UKR)

d) 28 players from European Womens Championships 2010 & 2011
12. Cramling, Pia (SWE) (2010)
13. Cmilyte, Viktorija (LTU)
14. Socko Monika (POL)
15. Sebag, Marie (FRA)
16. Kosintseva Tatiana (RUS)
17. Zhukova Natalia (UKR)
18. Dembo Elena (GRE)
19. Stefanova Antoaneta (BUL)
20. Kosintseva Nadezhda (RUS)
21. Muzychuk Mariya (UKR)
22. Rajlich Iweta (POL)
23. Ziaziulkina Nastassia (BLR)
24. Kovalevskaya Ekaterina (RUS)
25. Khurtsidze Nino (GEO)
26. Danielian, Elina (ARM) (2011)
27. Matveeva, Svetlana (RUS)
28. Khotenashvili, Bela (GEO)
29. Lahno, Kateryna (UKR)
30. Javakhishvili, Lela (GEO)
31. Arakhamia-Grant, Ketevan (SCO)
32. Foisor, Cristina-Adela (ROU)
33. Bodnaruk Anastasia (RUS)
34. Pogonina Natalija (RUS)
35. Ovod Evgenija (RUS)
36. Romanko Marina (RUS)
37. Hoang Thanh Trang (HUN)
38. Mkrtchian Lilit (ARM)
39. Khukhashvili Sopiko (GEO)

e) 8 players from Americas
40. Arribas Robaina, Maritza (CUB) (Continental)
41. Zatonskih, Anna (USA) (Zonal 2.1)
42. Abrahamyan, Tatev (USA) (Zonal 2.1)
43. Krush, Irina (USA) (Zonal 2.1)
44. Khoudgarian, Natalia (CAN) (Zonal 2.2)
45. Castrillon Gomez, Melissa (COL) (Zonal 2.3)
46. Aliaga Fernandez, Ingrid (PER) (Zonal 2.4)
47. Lujan, Carolina (ARG) (Zonal 2.5)

f) 12 players from Asia/Oceania
48. Pourkashiyan, Atousa (IRI) (Continental 2010)
49. Harika, Dronavalli (IND) (Continental 2011)
50. Ghader Pour, Shayesteh (IRI) (Zonal 3.1)
51. Ranasinghe, S D (SRI) (Zonal 3.2)
52. Li, Ruofan (SIN) (Zonal 3.3)
53. Davletbayeva, Madina (KAZ) (Zonal 3.4)
54. Ju Wenjun (CHN) (Zonal 3.5)
55. Shen Yang (CHN) (Zonal 3.5)
56. Huang Qian (CHN) (Zonal 3.5)
57. Gu Xiaobing (CHN) (Zonal 3.5)
58. Berezina, Irina (AUS) (Zonal 3.6)
59. Soumya, Swaminathan (IND) (Zonal 3.7)

g) 3 players from African Womens Championship 2011
60. Mona, Khaled (EGY)
61. Mezioud, Amina (ALG)
62. Frick, Denise (RSA)

h) 2 nominees of the FIDE President
63. Guo Qi (CHN)
64. Olga Girya (RUS)

While quality matters more than quantity, here is some statistics on which countries the players are representing:

Russia - 12
China - 7
Georgia, Ukraine - 4
India, USA - 3
France, Peru, Poland, Armenia, Iran - 2
Slovenia, Qatar, Sweden, Lithuania, Greece, Bulgaria, Belarus, Scotland, Roumania, Hungary, Cuba, Canada, Colombia, Argentina, Sri-Lanka, Singapore, Kazakhstan, Australia, Egypt, Algeria, South Africa - 1

Official website

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 06 October 2012 )

Ron Langeveld from Netherlands is the New World Chess Correspondence Champion

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Written by Administrator   
Friday, 05 October 2012

The 26th World Correspondence Chess Championship is coming to an end. ICGM Ron Langeveld (rated #4 in the world on the ICCF list) won the event in advance - congratulations.

Here is the tournament table, pay special attention to the number of draws, a product of the computer engine era.

Ron A. H. Langeveld was born in Utrecht, the Netherlands on October 10, 1966. He has an university degree in Business administration from the Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus university) and works as a systems engineer for a company that sells insurance software. His hobbies include correspondence chess, photography, traveling and hiking. (Source)

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 October 2012 )

Parliamentary Games - Head of Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov Playing Chess

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Friday, 05 October 2012


The traditional Parliamentary Games have started in Moscow. Deputies from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus are competing in football, mini-football, table tennis, badminton and chess. On the videos you can see the Head of the Russian Olympic Comittee and chief deputy of the Chairman of the Russian State Duma Alexander Zhukov playing as White. Alexander is known as a proficient chess player and is now a top-level official in the Russian Chess Federation. Earlier (from 2003 to 2009) he used to be the federation's President.

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Last Updated ( Friday, 05 October 2012 )

Chess Week on Twitter

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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 04 October 2012 offers you a selection of some of the most informative chess tweets from last week. All the fresh chess news in one short post:

Quote of the week

Chess epidemic: studying Russian

Mixed emotions regarding the Grand Prix

Congratulations to Mariya Muzychuk

Chess press

Topalov, Gelfand and Mamedyarov scored 7/11 at FIDE Grand Prix in London

New details about Boris Spassky's flight from France to Russia

Jakovenko is leading the Poikovsky tournament

Caruana is in the lead so far at San Paulo-Bilbao

Another attempt to promote chess in schools

Have we missed some of the best tweets? You can contribute to our next top-10 stories chart by retweeting the post you like and adding @Pogonina to the message so that we can see it.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 October 2012 )

Topalov, Gelfand, Mamedyarov win FIDE Grand Prix in London

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Thursday, 04 October 2012

The first stage of the new FIDE Grand Prix took place in London from September 21st to October 3rd. Here are the results:

According to the regulations, the GP ranking points will be shared equally between Topalov, Gelfand, Mamedyarov.
The two winners of the GP series (don't confuse it with this stage) will become World Chess Championship candidates.

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 October 2012 )

Interview with Boris Spassky: "I have to start from scratch"

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Thursday, 04 October 2012

Earlier we reported on how Boris Spassky had to flee from France to Russia. Later it seemed like the situation was controversial, because his sister and son commented on the events using the term "abduction".

Above you can see an interview with Boris Spassky for Briefly speaking, Boris says he is now feeling better, following chess events and hoping to hold a chess training session for kids soon. He also mentions that a certain sponsor is supporting him and paying for the medical treatment. Talking about his relatives, the ex-World Chess Champion says he doesn't understand their motives. According to him, his sister started to try to participate in things she has no idea about, and there is a distance between him and his son. They don't communicate. Boris confirmed once again that he hasn't been abducted, but decided to return to Russia himself. In part this decision was based on the fact that, in his opinion, he was treated badly by the medical institution in France. Additionally, he mentioned that some of his private belongings have been sold without his consent. When asked if another woman had played a role in his trip to Russia, Boris started making jokes and saying there is always a woman involved.

Also, Boris philosophically says that we are all mortal and can make mistakes. He refrains from making direct accusations and underscores that he is not looking for conflicts with anybody. When he came to France in 1976, he had to start from scratch. Now, he says, the time has come to start from scratch in Russia.

P.S. The final phrase of the interview: "I was suffering a lot when Fischer died".

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 October 2012 )

Chess Tactics

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Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 03 October 2012
Rakhmangulova (2254) - Lahno (2542), 2012
White to move

Black is clearly dominating and has many threats. How should White react?

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 October 2012 )

Muzychuk M., Lahno and Ushenina win Ukrainian Women's Chess Championship

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Wednesday, 03 October 2012
Mariya Muzychuk vs. Anna Ushenina

It's been a long time since the Ukrainian Women's Chess Championship has attracted all the top players. This year was a pleasant exception.

Here is the tournament table:

 1 Gritsayeva, Oksana         UKR WFM 2319 14104652  4.0 2384  9  4   +0.29

  2 Lahno, Kateryna            UKR GM  2542 14109336  6.5 2359  9  6.5 -0.07

  3 Andrenko, Irina            UKR WIM 2228 14118270  3.0 2394  9  3   +0.40

  4 Kononenko, Tatiana         UKR IM  2374 14102358  3.5 2378  9  3.5 -0.96

  5 Muzychuk, Mariya           UKR IM  2466 14114550  6.5 2368  9  6.5 +0.83

  6 Ushenina, Anna             UKR IM  2433 14110911  6.5 2371  9  6.5 +1.28

  7 Dolzhykova, Kateryna       UKR WIM 2313 14113414  2.0 2385  9  2   -1.67

  8 Rakhmangulova, Anastasiya  UKR WIM 2254 14117479  2.5 2391  9  2.5 -0.43

  9 Zhukova, Natalia           UKR GM  2442 14101513  5.5 2370  9  5.5 +0.17

 10 Gaponenko, Inna            UKR IM  2404 14101181  5.0 2375  9  5   +0.16

There were no tie-break matches, so the winners were determined according to the SB score. Mariya Muzychuk won the gold medal, Kateryna Lahno - silver, Anna Ushenina - bronze. Mariya and Kateryna will soon be playing in the European Club Cup for the reigning champion AVS along with Natalia Pogonina, Antoaneta Stefanova and Viktoria Cmilyte.

Updated women's live chess ratings
Official website

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 03 October 2012 )

Chess Insight from GM Pavel Maletin

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Wednesday, 03 October 2012

Grandmaster Pavel Maletin

Highest FIDE rating: 2636, current - 2587

Editors note: GM Pavel Maletin kindly agreed to publish the analyses of his games at This way he is following Mikhail Botvinniks advice to masters comment on your games in public and accept critique in order to improve. The author hopes that his notes will be interesting to you. Any chess feedback is welcome!

The following game fragment is from a game against Inarkiev. Ernesto is a rather strong chess player in general (about 2700 FIDE - who performs very well against me. Before this game the score was 3.5-0.5 in his favor, and I had White in all the games. However, this game didn't change much: I had White again and drew.


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Last Updated ( Friday, 26 April 2013 )
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