It just seems like a normal year when the Wimbledon of chess begins in January! That's exactly what has happened in 2021! With the Covid-19 pandemic threat, it seemed likely that the Tata Steel Masters would be called off. But the will of the organizers and the excitement of the players to get back on the chess board has ensured an exciting 83rd edition of this world class event in the town of Wijk Aan Zee, Netherlands. Day one began with an amazing onslaught by Magnus Carlsen. He won his game against Alireza Firouzja. Anish Giri got the better of Aryan Tari in an Ant-Berlin. Nils Grandelius was the other winner on day one. All of this and much more in our illustrated report from day 1 of Tata Steel Masters 2021.
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Our last article on this subject was well-received. A number of autism experts and groups have shown great interest in the experiences Simon has made with chess – which might be the ideal entry point for people with ASD to interact with others. In the second part Simon describes how playing in tournaments was a big step for him – how it helped him to make and enjoy new contacts. | Illustration by Bobby Lopez
While we all eagerly wait for the pandemic to be over and get back to pushing pieces over the board and press a physical clock next to it, Tata Steel Chess continues its tradition as the 83rd edition of the 'Wimbledon of Chess' starts on Saturday 16th January 2021. Pentala Harikrishna will make his return to the historic event for the first time since 2017. He will be seen in action along with Carlsen, Caruana, Vachier-Lagrave, Giri, Firouzja, Duda, Wojtaszek, Jorden Van Foreest along with five debutants - David Anton Guijarro, Andrey Esipenko, Alexander Donchenko, Nils Grandelius and Aryan Tari. Photo: Niklesh Jain
It is safe to say that last year we witnessed the least number of over-the-board tournaments of the decade, perhaps the century too, due to Covid-19 pandemic. However online tournaments witnessed more than the usual number of games in a top level tournament, at least the ones which had a 'set' format like tennis. We often hear players saying that they have forgotten this line or move, but is chess all about opening preparation and engine lines? There are still less trodden paths and some where no footprint exists. Who ventures on them? Srikanth Govindaseshan takes a look at the less trodden paths.
Smoking is a dangerous vice. Once you are addicted to it, it is difficult to get rid of the habit. People often have to take days of therapy in order to solve this problem. But here's the inspiring story of one of our viewers on YouTube. He calls himself "Just a Random Guy." He would like his identity to be concealed, but his story is 100% authentic! From smoking 20 cigarettes a day, he has come down to 1 every couple of days! How did this transformation happen? Chess played a huge role in it and here's the story of how it transpired!
The Sicilian is the most popular opening against 1.e4 because it is theoretically sound but offers Black double-edged play at the same time. Whilst you must know how to handle the main line (2. Nf3 and 3.d4), sidelines are also very important. In this video series I give a strong and practical Black repertoire against these sidelines such as the Bb5 Sicilian, the Grand Prix Attack, the Alapin and many more, from my years of experience playing the Sicilian. Photo: ChessBase
Jeroen van den Belt has already explained how the search booster came about and how it works in an interview with Frederic Friedel. But how the high-speed tool will be used in practical tests may still be unclear to some. That is why we have simply opened ChessBase 16, and let the booster work. Check out the tutorial video to find out how the search booster of ChessBase 16 works and how you can make the most out of it.
IM Julia Osmak wins 11th Sharjah International Cup for Women Online Final. She scored 7.0/9 and finished a half point ahead of the competition. Three Indian women qualified to the Final stage. Out of them IM Bhakti Kulkarni made a fantastic start taking sole lead with 4.5/5, however she suffered three consecutive losses and finished 12th with 5.0/9. WIM Vantika Agrawal was the highest performing Indian, scoring 5.5/9 and finished at 10th place. IM Padmini Rout is the only other Indian in the Final, she was placed 20th with 4.5/9. Photo: Niklesh Jain
After a prolonged rift at the All India Chess Federation, the elections were held on the 4th of January 2021. At the end of it, Bharat Singh Chauhan and Sanjay Kapoor became the Secretary and President of AICF respectively. Bharat Singh Chauhan was already the secretary of AICF in the previous years, while Sanjay Kapoor is currently the Chairman of the Kanpur Cricket Association. Vishy Anand has joined in as the advisor of the Federation. In this article we acquaint you with the new AICF team as well as tell you about their vision in the upcoming three years (2021-23).
When World Class players are organizing a webinar, of course you want to seize the opportunity and make the most out of it. Former Women's World Rapid and two time World Blitz champion Anna Muzychuk and Germany no.1 woman Elisabeth Paehtz are going to hold a webinar this month on Saturday and Sunday 23rd and 24th January respectively. It will be an interactive session, so you will get to ask your questions and queries answered. That's not all, you can choose the topics you want to learn or improve on. The webinar is open for all but only 20 seats are left. So hurry up and register fast!
Seven-time British champion, former World no.4 and current England no.1 Michael Adams was on the brink of winning Caplin British Online Championship 2020, but the 17-year-old Tanmay Chopra delayed his triumph by putting up a staunch defence and held him to a draw after a 122-move long game. It was a tournament played in almost a classical time control of 1 hour + 15 seconds increment for all games. Adams had to play Playoffs against IM Ameet Ghasi because of this draw, although Adams won it comfortably 1.5-0.5. Check out the annotations from Tanmay Chopra himself.
Do you want to play against a GM? But you are not sure how to approach them? This is your chance to play against India's latest GM Leon Luke Mendonca. Leon will be playing against the Premium members of ChessBase Account in a 3 minute + 2 second increment encounter. The games will be commented by IM Sagar Shah and after it ends he will be discussing with Leon with regards to why he made certain decisions and together they will analyze the game in depth. You not only get to play against a future world class opponent, but also get your games analyzed in the process! Join in on the 10th of January 2021 at 8 p.m. IST for the Blitz Challenge with Leon. Photo: Amruta Mokal
Covid-19 pandemic has drastically reduced the number of over-the-board tournaments all over the world. However FIDE continues to evolve and adapt to changing circumstances. In one of the firsts, FIDE announced about the first edition of Intercontinental Chesskid FIDE Challenge which will take place online on 23rd January 2021. There will be two sections - ages 9 to 12 and under-8. There will be two tournaments on the same day, each kid can play in either one or both as per their convenience. Photo: FIDE
Sasikiran became the first Indian to win a major chess tournament in 2021 as he defeated Aleksandr Shimanov in the Finals by 2-0 to win Rilton Winners' Cup. The tournament was a 16-player Knockout invitational event between the winners of past editions of Rilton Cup. It was played online in Rapid time control of 15 mins + 10 seconds with tie-breaks having the time control of 5 mins + 3 seconds increment. Sasikiran remained undefeated in the entire Semi-Final and Final. He took only two games each to win the last two important stages. Photo: Niklesh Jain
Our new database program, ChessBase 16 has, as you know, a blindingly fast search. If you ask the program whether, and how often, a particular position has occurred in a collection of eight million games, and which were the moves played in that position, with what success, then you get an answer in less than one second! How is this possible? The author of this search booster function is Jeroen van den Belt, and he explains how he implemented the new search booster.