Thursday, 20 November 2014

Grischuk wins Petrosian Memorial

With all the attention being focussed on the current World Championship match. the 2014 Petrosian Memorial ended up being a little overlooked. The early news was the 3-0 start by Alexander Grischuk, and in a 7 round event, this proved to be decisive. He beat Peter Leko in the 5th round to go to +4 and finished with 2 draws, to score 5.5/7. His final round draw against Vladimir Kramnik allowed Kramnik to take second place on 4.5/7, half a point ahead of Gelfand and Aronian.
While Aronian's result continued a run of 'not quite top' finishes, he did manage to play a nice final round game. After an aggressive opening by Black, the game quickly reached an ending where Aronian increased his advantage with a few nice tactical moves. It eventually ended in a charge of pawns where Black was always winning, the interest in being exactly how he did it.

Inarkiev,Ernesto (2688) - Aronian,Levon (2797) [C65]
Petrosian Memorial 2014 Moscow RUS (7.4), 11.11.2014



Wednesday, 19 November 2014

2014 World Championship Game 8

Game 8 of the 2014 World Championship match saw a lot of home preparation from Magnus Carlsen, although this failed to catch out Viswanathan Anand. While the game was drawn in 41 moves, it only lasted 2 hours and 45 minutes, showing how much up it was prepared beforehand. Possibly the most interesting part of the game was when Carlsen appeared to doze off, resulting in a number of excited twitter posts from people following the match online.
With 4 games to go, the odds of Carlsen retaining his title increase. He still holds a one point lead and could just cost to victory by drawing the remaining games, which is the exact scenario Bobby Fischer campaigned against in 1975. Of course this relies upon his opponent not being able to come up with something in the next 4 games. Possibly Game 10 will be the be indicator of Anand's frame of mind, as it is the next game he has white. Of course if Carlsen comes out of the rest day with a win in Game 9, then everyone will be packing their bags for an early departure.

Anand,Viswanathan (2792) - Carlsen,Magnus (2863) [D37]
WCh 2014 Sochi RUS (8), 18.11.2014



Tuesday, 18 November 2014

2014 World Championship Game 7

Game 7 of the 2014 World Championship  ended in a draw after 122 moves, and over 7 hours of play. Anand played the Berlin Defence as black, but Carlsen was clearly prepared for this. Despite being a pawn down Carlsen had plenty of play, and most commentators (and computers) gave him an advantage. Anand then made the brave decision to sacrifice a bishop for 2 pawns and defend a R+N+2P v R+4P ending, with all the pawns on the same side of the board. Anand was confident he could build a fortress with his rook and pawns, and so it turned out. However Carlsen kept probing for a weakness, as the game went on and on. Eventually all the pawns came off, leaving a R+NvR ending, which was duly drawn (but not always).
Both players will take something away from this game, with Anand being able to defend a position most players could not, while Carlsen will hope the effort tires Anand out just that little bit more.


Carlsen,M (2863) - Anand,V (2792) [C67]
WCh 2014 Sochi RUS (7), 17.11.2014



Monday, 17 November 2014

GM Ian Rogers speaks!

While no longer active as a player Grandmaster Ian Rogers is still heavily involved in the chess world. He is still a sought after journalist, writing for a number of publications  around the world (including the Canberra Times), and is also a well respected coach and trainer.
Just as importantly for Australian chess he spent a lot of his career promoting chess in this country, both as a player and a journalist. And even in retirement (as a player) he is still carrying out this role.
Just today he gave an interview on ABC Classic FM. The host, Margaret Throsby, spent an hour talking with Ian about chess, chess history, his mown career, and the current state of World Chess. Interspersed throughout the interview was music chosen by Ian, starting with "Smoke gets in your eyes", which he sais was a tribute to his early years playing at the Melbourne Chess Club.
Even if you missed the interview, you can hear it again, either as a podcast or in streaming format at http://www.abc.net.au/classic/content/2014/11/17/4130036.htm Do to copyright restrictions you may miss out on all the music, but the rest of the interview more than makes up.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

2014 Vikings Weekender - IM Moulthun Ly wins

IM Moulthun Ly has won the 2014 Vikings Weekender, with an undefeated 6/7. He finished half a point ahead of IM Anton Smirnov, with IM Junta Ikeda in third place on 5. Ly and Smirnov were tied for first on 5 points going into the final round, but Smirnov drew with Ikeda, while Ly defeated Michael Kethro. Alana Chibnall and Andrey Bliznyuk shared the Under 2000 prize, after a hard fought last round game. Dillon Hathiramani finished an outstanding tournament by tying  for 4th place and winning the Under 1700 prize.
In the Minor tournament (Under 1600) , Tim Pearce was the runaway winner with 6.5/7. Bill Egan finished in 2nd place on 5.5, ahead of a group of players on 5. Cam Cunningham took the Under 1200 prize with an impressive 5/7, while young William Rumley won the Under 900 prize with 3.5/7. Newcomer Yafei Zhang shared the Best Female prize with Aniska Jain, both on 3/7.
Overall the tournament could be considered a success. Numbers were up on last years tournament, and with 3 current Olympiad players taking part, it did not want for strength. For an arbiters point of view it was one of the easiest events I have run, as there were no disputes or problems, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Internet coverage was trouble free, with the dgt boards showing all the games from the top 2 boards, and the results being posted to the net in a timely fashion.
Full results from both tournaments are available via http://members.iinet.net.au/~shaunpress/ The final two games from the tournament are also available under the live games link.


Ly,Moulthun - Chibnall,Alana [C63]
2014 Vikings Weekender (6.2), 16.11.2014



2014 World Championship Match Game 6

Game 6 of the 2014 World Championship match will probably go down as a 'game for the ages', but not in a good way. On move 26 both players seemed to overlook the advice (from CJS Purdy) that your should look at 'all checks and captures', and produced an astonishing double blunder. After 26. Kd2 Anand missed 26. ... Nxe5 27.Rxg8 Nxc4+ 28.Kd3 Nb2+ when the knight escapes and he recaptures on g8 with a couple of pawns in the bag. Instead he though for a minute before playing 26. ... a4 and Carlsen avoided any further danger with 27.Ke2 It was only after playing his 26th move did Anand realise what he had missed, and this probably affected his play for the rest of the game. Although Carlsen was only a little better after this, he quickly improved his position and Anand resigned on move 38.
After the first half of the match Carlsen lead 3.5-2.5.  And once again momentum seems to have shifted, with Carlsn getting a clear boost from this game. While mistakes of this nature have occurred in previous World Championship matches, the shift to fewer games does make it harder to recover from.


Carlsen,Magnus (2863) - Anand,Viswanathan (2792) [B41]
WCh 2014 Sochi RUS (6), 15.11.2014



Saturday, 15 November 2014

2014 Vikings Weekender - Day 1

After 4 rounds of the 2014 Vikings Weekender, IM's Moulthun Ly and Anton Smirnov share the lead with 3.5/4. Smirnov got off to a slow start, drawing his first round game with Canberra junior Dillon Hathiramani, before winning his next 3. Ly started with 2 wins before drawing his third round game with Jason Hu. In round 4 he took a share of the lead, beating previous leader IM Junta Ikeda in a game that went right down to the wire. Ikeda shares third place with Alana Chibnall and Jason Hu.
In the Minor event (Under 1600) Shay Keinan is the sole leader on 4/4. Close behind are Jamie-Lee Guo and Tim Pearce, who draw there top board clash in the final round of the day.
The tournament has attracted a good field of 60 players, with 22 in the Open and 38 in the Minor. Clearly the battle for the top prizes should be between the 3 IM's but a there are a couple of other players in the field capable of causing an upset.
Results from the tournament are available at http://members.iinet.net.au/~shaunpress/ Just click on the links to take you to the tournament required. Live coverage of the top 2 boards is also available from this page.


Ly,Moulthun - Ikeda,Junta [B42]
2014 Vikings Weekender (4.2), 15.11.2014