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News Banned from Covering the Olympiad

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Wednesday, 29 August 2012
Zhdanov Peter editor Peter Zhdanov, one of the leading chess websites in the world, was banned from covering the Chess Olympiad in Turkey. According to its chief editor Evgeny Surov, when he tried to obtain an accreditation for the event, he received a rather rude letter stating that he is not a journalist and he had better not come to Turkey at all.

Evgeny decided to travel there at his own risk. However, according to his own statement, when he attempted to enter the playing hall, the organizers didn't offer him a badge, and the guards virtually kicked him out of the playing hall. Later during the press conference Turkish Chess President Ali Nihat Yazichi mentioned that the playing hall must be free from "people who should not even be there". According to Evgeny Surov, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov promised he would try to resolve the matter peacefully, but, obviously, this hasn't been done.

Frankly speaking, I don't know the exact reason for the conflict. Some say it's about Chess News covering the Atalik case; others point out that it all started from allegedly illegally copying moves from the Turkish Chess Federation website and releasing an article in 2011 that not all the teams will be able to come to the Women's World Chess Championship in Turkey. In his short interview for ChessVibes Ali made a vague statement, one of the interpretations of which could be that Chess News is trying to blackmail the organizers by threatening to write something negative about the event...

What unites Evgeny Surov and Viktor Korchnoi? Both are severe, but just

Adding a personal touch. I have known Evgeny Surov for quite a few years. He is a passionate chess lover, an esteemed professional and a very liberal and critical-minded person. While many websites are posting glossy reports and praises, Evgeny is always looking into the essence of things and interviewing people about the most urgent and unspoken matters. In my opinion, it is unacceptable to prevent one of the leading chess journalists from working just on the basis of some personal feuds. Injustice done to one is injustice to all. I strongly believe in freedom of speech and want to support my friend and colleague.

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 August 2012 )

Style Check

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Wednesday, 29 August 2012
Normally top grandmasters are only compared on the basis of their ratings. introduces a new humourous weekly poll where we will be choosing all sorts of criteria, a new one every week. Of course, the players will also be different each time.

This week's battle: two well-known super grandmasters born in 1990: Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniatchi.
Criteria: style.
Magnus Carlsen                                                                    Ian Nepomniatchi
Photo (C)
                                                   Photo (C)

Make your choice!

Who is more stylish looking?

View Results

Sharing this post is appreciated. The more people respond, the more interesting the result!

UPDATE: Ian Nepomniatchi won the contest with a small margin:

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 August 2012 )

Chess Olympiad: Round 1 LIVE

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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Live games
Video broadcast with commentary

21:35 While there were some local sensations on individual boards, all the rating favorites won their matches. Hope you have enjoyed the first day of the Olympiad!

21:25 FM William Puntier had Evgeny Tomashevsky (2730) on the ropes, but the game ended peacefully. Yuri Dokhoian joined the post-mortem and patted Evgeny on the back to support him:

Natalia Pogonina contacted me via Skype and said that she likes our live broadcast. Hope you are enjoying it too!

21:18 Wang Yue escaped: draw. Tomashevsky is desperately trying to flag his opponent.

21:05 The playing hall is almost empty now, but a few interesting games are still happening.

Wang Yue (China), one of the most solid players in the world, is under pressure from his Zambian opponent.

The official website says that Belarus is losing to Panama 0-3. I guess it's the other way around.

20:33 IM Jomo Pitterson (2221), Jamaica, beats GM Matej Sebenik (2552), Slovenia. Upset of the day in terms of rating difference?

20:28 Women's tournament: Ukraine - El Salvador 3.5-0.5. India - Macedonia 4-0. Poland - Dominican Republic: 4-0.

Andrei Obodchuk (2399) has a few World Champion titles among disabled chess players. Today he won as Black against the ACP President Emil Sutovsky (2687)!

20:20 Russia beats Bolivia 4-0. China defeates Bangladesh 4-0. In the women's tournament, of course.

20:15  Grandmaster Yuri Dokhoian, Russian team's coach, grabbed a chair to watch the game of his protege:

20:10 USA - Jordan, 4-0. Azerbaijan - Luxembourg: 4-0.

20:07 Oswaldo Zambrana (2471) beats Sergei Movsesian (2698). This is a sensation! Official result: Armenia-Bolivia 3:1.

20:00 Two-times World Blitz Chess Champion Alexander Grischuk won his game. What about Evgeny Tomashevsky? He has two light pieces for a rook and two pawns.

19:55 Officlal result: Ukraine, the reigning Olympic Champion, beats Iraq 4-0.

19:50 Dmitry Jakovenko and Sergey Karjakin won!

19:46 The relay seems to be half-broken again.

19:36 I didn't see the actual moves, but the way the kings are standing on the board means that Natalia Pogonina is the first player to score for Team Russia!

19:32 The best female chess player in the history of chess, Judit Polgar (2698), won her game against Andrei Maznitsin (2283). As you remember, she is playing in the Open section against men.

19:28 I took a look at the Russian positions. Should I get a coffee, or something more efficient?

Some players are already in severe time trouble. If the clocks are accurate, Natalia Pogonina's opponent has two minutes for 20 moves.

19:14 Gata Kamsky scores for USA, Shakhriar Mamedyarov - for Azerbaijan. Tigran Petrosian (Armenia) also won his game.

19:07 It is always nice to take one more look at the Russian women's team:

19:00 Alexandr Moiseenko (2706) vs. Salih Aka Ali Salih (2282), 1-0. FMs have a tough time playing super grandmasters.

I don't like the position of the ex-European Chess Champion Evgeny Tomashevsky...

Pavel Eljanov (2693) vs. Ali A Hussein (2343), 1-0. You can follow Pavel on Twitter.

18:47 Azerbaijan: advantage on three boards. Safarli is slightly worse as White.

18:37 Ukraine (Open): Movsesian and Eljanov should win their games.

18:30 Armenia (Open): Petrosian has a large advantage. More or less balanced fights on the other boards.

18:22 Ex-FIDE World Chess Champion Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine) is nervously patting his hair:

18:15 The Chinese women's team is doing rather impressively. Meanwhile, Russia vs. Bolivia is a rather tense match. The games will be decided later, in the endgame and closer to time trouble.

18:00 The press conference is still going on. Meanwhile, I have briefly checked the positions. The tough is tougher than might have been expected. There are no decisive games on the top boards yet.

The President of the Turkish Chess Federation Ali Nihat Yazichi says he is counting on Turkey to win a medal in the 2016 Olympiad!

17:38 FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, press conference:

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 August 2012 )

Russian Superfinal & London Olympics

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Tuesday, 28 August 2012
by Natalia Pogonina for her Tuesday column

Part I of the story dealt with the first five rounds of the championship. I wasthe leader with 4/5, and among my pursuers were Olga Girya and Alisa Galliamova, whom I was to face in the rounds to come.

During the rest day I decided to take a ferry ride on the Moscow river. It was hot, so in the evening I discovered that my skin, especially cheeks and knees, became sunburnt. So, no more skirts for me, but at least the impressions from the trip have more than compensated for this disadvantage. Alas, at some point I noticed that the batteries in my camera were low, so I didnt get to make pictures. However, here is part of the bridge right next to the hotel:


Round 6 was rather challenging. I made the wrong choice in the opening and ended up in a tricky position. Alisa didnt make use of some of the chances, and the game ended in a draw.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 28 August 2012 )

Theory of Success in Life Applied to Chess

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Monday, 27 August 2012
Zhdanov Peter
Candidate master Peter Zhdanov's article for ChessBase

What are the factors that define success? How does one become successful in life in general and in chess in particular? Peter Zhdanov explains KPIs (key performance indicators) used to measure success and seeks to apply them to the game we all love. By objectively evaluating all the components described in his article, you can create your own plan of becoming a successful person.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 27 August 2012 )

Guess the Players-72

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Monday, 27 August 2012

Can you name these two great chess players?

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Last Updated ( Monday, 27 August 2012 )

Chess Week on Twitter

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Monday, 27 August 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:

Sergey Karjakin has a new sponsor (Alpari) and a new personal website
Sergey Karjakin: I can finally tell you about my main sponsor Alpari at

An unexpected tactical bite? Kasparov was cleared of charges
Laios Portisch had 20 Chess Olympiad appearances; Eugenio Torre breaks the record
How high were the stakes?
Universal cure
Anticipating the Chess Olympiad
Berik Balgabaev: Tomorrow the 40th World Chess Olympiad begins. 158 national federations are participating! The 83rd FIDE Congress will also take place there.

Congrats to the veterans!
Oops, I did it again
Results of the Junior European Chess Championship
Chess News: All the results of the Junior European Championship:

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 ( Monday, 27 August 2012 )

Sunday Puzzle-18

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Sunday, 26 August 2012
Puzzle courtesy of Barry R. Clarke, columnist for The Daily Telegraph and
international puzzle expert.

The Baffled Brewer

Burper the brewer had just received an order for three barrels of beer, containing 16 litres, 10 litres, and 7 litres. Now he had the correct total quantity in three equal-sized barrels, however, the barrels were all half full. His problem was to produce the correct quantities in each barrel. To help him he had three measuring jugs having capacity three litres, two litres and one litre. Since Burper was clearly in a fix, he telephoned his mother on her cellphone who gave the following advice. Each measuring jug must be used once only to transfer a full jug of beer from one barrel to another. Furthermore, each barrel must be involved in at least two transfer operations so that on each occasion, there is either a gain or loss of beer. What operations are required?

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Sunday Puzzle

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 26 August 2012 )

Vladimir Kramnik drew Vitali Klitschko

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Friday, 24 August 2012
A rare photo: Kramnik seems to be small

The Russian Chess Federation has very strict regulations regarding attending the training sessions before the Chess Olympiad. All the members of the men's and the women's team must be present. The only notable exception is the Russian #1 player, ex-World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik. He is in Austria, where he played a friendly game against his long-time friend, WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko. As far as we could understand, Vladimir offered a draw to his mighty opponent instead of checkmating him. Let's hope he won't be so gracious during the Olympiad! The event made Sergey Karjakin joke in an interview to the RCF website: "Maybe Vladimir is preparing for chess-boxing!".
Photo from the Kramnik-Leko WCC match in year 2004
Both Klitschko brothers have PhDs and generally like to associate themselves with intellectual activities, specifically, with playing chess

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Last Updated ( Friday, 24 August 2012 )

Russian Superfinal-2012

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Tuesday, 21 August 2012
by Natalia Pogonina for her Tuesday column

The main Russian chess event of the year started on August 2nd in Radisson Slavyanskaya Hotel in Moscow. 10 male and 10 female chess players were to compete for the title of the Russian Chess Champion. In each section, the contestants were: three medalists from last years Superfinal, two by highest rating, five qualifiers from the Top League. For me it was my 7th Superfinal. Until this year my best result was tying for first in 2010 (I got the silver medal after a rapid two-game tie-break). As compared to the 2011 lineup, the Kosintseva sisters were back, but Alexandra Kosteniuk was absent.

Heres the result of the computer-generated tournament table (normally the participants used to draw the lots themselves, but this year for some unknown reason the procedure was modified): 1. Charochkina, 2353 2. Ovod, 2419 3. Pogonina, 2448 4. Galliamova, 2465 5. Girya, 2433 6. N. Kosintseva, 2524  7.Kovanova, 2408 8. Ubiennykh, 2367 9. T. Kosintseva, 2530 10. Gunina, 2507. Hence, I was to play 5 games as White and 4 as Black. In top-level mens chess an extra White is considered to be an advantage, so most people prefer to end up in the first half of the tournament table. In womens chess, however, the importance is milder. For example, I scored 3.5/4 with Black, which made some analysts make witty observations that I had a Black strategy for this tournament.

Here is a more detailed preview mens tournament; my previous results prizes, etc.

In the first round I missed a promising chance to win:

Round 2 was pleasant for me because I finally managed to defeat Tanya Kosintseva, my long-time nemesis:

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 August 2012 )
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