Says 14-year-old Avathanshu Bhat, who is the editor in chief of ChessBase India Juniors, "I never realized, that in all the years which I would call a journey, I have had it surprisingly easy as compared to a lot of other people." There are tales of struggles that are related to chess out there. Through the string of interviews in the last month, the author began to see a pattern: they were mostly woes related to either or more of five points mentioned in this article - Parents, Coaches, Essentials, Schools or Friends. Avathanshu through this article would like to share what a perfect circle of a young player looks like. What follows is a note on each of these Five and what exactly they mean to us.
The Kalashnikov is a favourite weapon of mine in the main line of the Sicilian Defense. It is closely related to the Sveshnikov but with much less theory to learn. This increasingly popular opening is easy to pick up as the Black pieces can usually be developed quickly and smoothly. When I was looking for a Sicilian variation to play, this one ticked all of the boxes. Many of the ideas are thematic and Black can achieve attacking positions in several of the variations. The lines have all been thoroughly checked and will hopefully provide the viewer with the confidence to play this opening.
Former Women's World Champion GM Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria maintained her half-point lead going into the rest day with a score of 5.0/6. Among the Indians, Harika continues to struggle as she made her fifth consecutive draw to reach 3.5/6. Soumya Swaminathan is also at 3.5/6, she drew with Georgia no.1 woman GM Nana Dzagnidze in round 4 and suffered her first loss in the next round against WGM Olga Girya. WIM Pratyusha Bodda continues her stellar performance by holding Harika and WGM Ni Shiqun to a draw in round 4 and 5 respectively. WIM Rucha Pujari suffered two consecutive losses and she is now at 1.5/6. Photo: Misty Pine/China Intelligence Sports Network
There are many chess prodigies in the world today but Christopher Yoo, the 12-year-old International Master from USA, stands out among them for his unusual precocity in chess composing. Perhaps, his talent in this field is comparable to the great American puzzle maker Samuel Loyd, who too became phenomenally successful in composing at a very early age. Presently there are not many youngsters interested in chess composition. The record of becoming the youngest ever Grandmaster of chess composing is held by Reto Aschwanden of Switzerland who earned the coveted title in 2010 at the age of 36 and that's quite late by the standards of over-the-board chess. Some say that the subtle understanding of abstraction and beauty comes only with age. Be it what may, for now it can safely be said that we have found someone very exceptional in our midst in Christopher Yoo!
The previous instalment of The Problemist Diary series dealt with a geometric theme distinctly graphical in nature. But geometry doesn't have to be purely visual, it might as well be conceptual, underlying relationships between squares and lines, and pieces that occupy or move along them. Today's article is also about chessboard geometry but the flavour is bent more towards the strategic and the abstract side of it. This time, the author Satanick Mukhuty, brings you a feast of tactical fantasies based on the well-known clearance theme. Five old and new assorted directmates, all by renowned specialists of the problem art, have been presented with in-depth analyses. So what are you waiting for? Put your thinking caps on and plunge in!
The Grand Prix last year used to be filled with a lot of draws, but this year in 2019, since the format has changed to knock out, it has become extremely interesting. After the first one was won by Ian Nepomniachtchi in Moscow, the second leg of the Grand Prix has begun in Riga, Latvia. It is particularly interesting for Indian fans as Harikrishna is fighting it out against world no.4 Wesley So. The players fight it out in two games with classical time control and if it ends in a 1-1 draw, then we move to rapid, followed by blitz and finally an armageddon game to decide the outcome. In the first game of the mini-match, Harikrishna managed to hold his own and drew the game with black pieces. But what an amazing game it was! Let's have a look.
Indian chess has been blessed with a spurt of young talents coming up and becoming IMs and GMs at a very tender age. But behind every such accomplishment goes in tremendous hard work and dedication by the player, his parents, coaches and the entire team. Here's the story of Bharath Subramaniyam from Chennai who became an IM at the age of 11 years and 8 months. Bharath is a lively lad, full of laughter and mischief. However, when he sits on the chess board, he is picture of concentration and confidence. In this article we tell you about Bharath's journey, with inputs from his father and also his coach R.B. Ramesh. Pragg and Gukesh couldn't break Karjakin's record of world's youngest GM, but who knows maybe Bharath might be the chosen one!
Every once in a while we hear a story of a chess player who surpasses the established norms and achieves truly something special. At that point a thought does cross almost every chess fan's mind - would he be doing it the clean way? This is the case of 58-year-old GM Igors Rausis who saw a phenomenal surge in his rating that brought him to a rating of 2686, gaining over 50 Elo points in the last year. For a player who had long passed his prime, Igors performance was closely scrutinized. And while him playing against too many lower rated players didn't go down well with the chess community, on 11th of July he was caught red handed in the Strausborg Open in France where he was cheating with his mobile phone inside a toilet. Full story.
WGM Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova, GM Antoaneta Stefanova, IM Batkhuyag Munguntuul and WIM Zhu Jiner are in a four-way lead having 2.5/3 at the conclusion of round 3 in Belt and Road Women International Open held in Shaoxing, China. Among the Indians, IM Soumya held GM Harika to a draw in round 3, before that she drew with former Women's World Champion GM Stefanova to a draw in round 2. WIM Pratyusha Bodda defeated IM Sara Khadem in round 3 after the latter made a tactical blunder. Pratyusha also defeated GM Lei Tingjie in round 1. WIM Rucha Pujari made a brilliant start of the tournament by defeating former Women's World Champion GM Tan Zhongyi. Photos: Misty Pine/China Intelligence Sports Network
The life story of each disabled athlete is unique and could make a book in itself. The value of chess in particular and sports in general in the life of a disabled person lies in the fact that they are great levellers. The International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA) recognizes this and gives all disabled chess players the special opportunity to excel in the chess sport in their own way. The 19th IPCA World Individual Chess Championship 2019 recently came to conclusion. Even though chess is primarily a mental game, it demands from its players great physical stamina. To keep finding good moves on the chessboard even after hours of strenuous battle is not for the faint hearted. Every participant of this event showed great tenacity sitting at the board and fighting it out for 3-4 hours at stretch, despite their serious physical limitations. In this report we bring you the glimpses of their bravery, their games, results, and more.
Second seed IM Neelash Saha started the tournament in a strong way by scoring six consecutive wins and gained a lead by a full point. Then he made three consecutive draws and tied with Arjun Gupta of Delhi. However he won the last two rounds and finished with 9.5/11 to clinch the title. In the girls section, Samriddhaa started with a loss in the opening round. Then she made a strong comeback and played some inspired chess in the last two rounds to finish at 8.5/11, half point ahead of the runner-up WFM Saina Salonika. Photo: M Ephrame
One of the latest International Master of the country, Koustav Chatterjee posted this position on his facebook just little over an hour ago. He said that this is the hardest position he has ever solved. He also challenged everyone to solve this under 30 minutes. Are you ready to take his challenge? Do you agree with Koustav? Give it a shot and let us know your answer. Photo: Shahid Ahmed
What distinguishes the Mega Database from other databases? For one, it does not become obsolete and remains "up to date" with just a few clicks! Because the delivery of the Mega Database 2019 includes not only approximately 7.6 million games but also the weekly mega update service. Every week we provide you with a database of around 5,000 new games. (Plus, the included 72,000 annotated games alone corresponds to a set of over 1,000 chess books!) With a few clicks in ChessBase 15, your Mega Database will always be up to date. A "mega help" for every tournament player. Here's how...
16-year-old IM Nguyen Anh Khoi of Vietnam won Asian Junior 2019 in open category with an emphatic 8.0/9, finishing a full point ahead of the runner-up IM Raghunandan K S of India. Anh Khoi also won Gold in Rapid format. Among the girls, WFM Serikbay Assel, despite suffering two consecutive losses in round 5 and 6, bounced back strong and finished at 7.0/9 to clinch the Gold., edging out WIM Vantika Agrawal on tie-break as she also finished with the same score. Vantika also won Silver in the Rapid format. IM Novendra Priasmoro, FM Sagita Catur Adi and WFM Sharfina Juwita Ardelia are the Silver in open Rapid, Bronze in open Standard and Bronze in girls Blitz medal winners respectively. Photo: Mulyadi R
The World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen has really been showing phenomenal dominance over the current chess scene with his back-to-back tournament wins. On Sunday he put another feather in his cap by winning the second leg of Grand Chess Tour 2019 in Zagreb, Croatia. This was a truly elite event with twelve of World's top Grandmasters competing but Magnus's domination over the field culminating into a sizzling final round victory was unmatched and almost unchallenged. Exactly how much ahead of the curve the Norwegian really is? The question has been speculated multiple times in the past week with none other than Kasparov comparing him to Fischer and himself at his peak. In this report we bring you the move by move analysis of Magnus's crushing last round game, photos, and more.