After a relatively sedate start on day one, things have begun to heat up at the Tata Steel Chess India Rapid 2018. On the second day we had eight decisive encounters out of the 15 games that were played. Hikaru Nakamura was on fire as he scored 3.0/3 beating Mamedyarov, Ganguly and Nihal. Levon Aronian has kept up the pace and with 4.5/6 is in joint lead with Nakamura. In this report we have the perfect balance of pictures, videos, and analysis. This article tells you how a tournament like Tata Steel Chess India 2018 is making such a big difference to chess culture of our country. We also bring you exclusive footage of Nihal Sarin battling out the big guys. After all, how often do you see a 14-year-old fighting it out against the big guys!
In modern day chess it is always a question - what should you do when you are facing your opponent's opening preparation? And yes, your opponent is none other than Fabiano Caruana, who has an excellent teams of seconds, great computer hardware for accurate analysis and extremely high chess talent. Of course, you do not want to fight him in his own terrain and hence after Fabiano played 10...Rd8 in the second game of the World Championship Match 2018, Magnus Carlsen went into a less ambitious mode. This helped Caruana to equalize without any difficulty and be on the better side of the draw. After two games the score of the World Championship now stands at 1.0-1.0. We have an overview of the entire game with the help of diagrams and young talent Prithu Gupta has annotated the game.
The World Championship 2018 kicked off in London on the 9th of November 2018. Usually World Championships start off slowly and pick up steam after a few games, but that was not the case in the Carlsen-Caruana match. Caruana started off with 1.e4 and Carlsen responded with the Sicilian. It was a full fledged struggle where Magnus showed his true skills. Slowly and steadily, move by move, he outplayed Caruana. It was such a clinical effort by Magnus that people started to feel that the match was already over! But all of a sudden on the last move before time control, Magnus erred in a big way. He took the pawn on c3, and Caruana resurrected his position. Miraculously the American GM escaped from the jaws of defeat. We have the key moments of the game to give you a gist of what happened and analysis by Jan-Krzysztof Duda.
Harika drew with former Women's World Champion GM Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia after a grueling battle of almost 5 hours in round 3.1 of FIDE Women's World Championship. The Indian GM started with Catalan opening which Kosteniuk equalized easily out of the opening. Until this game the head-to-head statistics was 3 draws and 3 wins a piece for each player. They are going to face each other in round 3.2. The player who wins that game will advance to the quarter finals. Ju Wenjun, Jolanta Zawadzka, Anna Muzychuk and Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova were victorious in round 3.1. In this report, we bring you the best games, photos and videos from Khanty-Mansiysk. Photo: Official site
The first day of the first super tournament in India was fascinating. Of course, having ten great chess players fighting it out always feels great, but what was even more heartening was the jam packed crowd. The ICCR auditorium which had a capacity of 200 people was filled to the brim with people waiting outside the auditorium to go inside and view the games. The players held nothing back to entertain the crowd and in the first round itself Vishy Anand had everyone on the edge of their seats as he fought for 145 moves against Wesley So. At the end of three rounds of rapid chess at the Tata Steel Chess India we have three players in joint lead with 2.0/3 - Harikrishna, Mamedyarov and Aronian. A detailed report from Kolkata.
The FIDE Women's World Championship 2018 is being held from the 3rd to the 25th of November 2018 in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia. The top seed and the defending World Champion is Ju Wenjun from China. India has a strong representation in the form of Koneru Humpy, Harika Dronavalli, Padmini Rout and Bhakti Kulkarni. It is a 64-player knock out event. The one to win this tournament will become the FIDE Women's World Champion. In 2017 Harika won the Bronze medal. Can she better her performance? Can Humpy, who is the second seed, show her mettle and become the World Champion - a title that is missing in her list of achievements. Follow the games live with commentary on this page. All games begin at 15.30 hours IST.
And we are off! The opening ceremony of the first super tournament on Indian soil was held in the evening of 8th of November 2018. For chess fans across the country this was a big moment. At one place we had the absolute best chess players of the world which included our very own Vishy Anand, the man in form Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Sergey Karjakin, Levon Aronian, Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So. This will be a great exposure for players like Harikrishna, Vidit Gujrathi, Surya Sekhar Ganguly, Nihal Sarin (rapid) and Praggnanandhaa (blitz). The short time control of 25'+10'' in rapid and 5'+3'' in blitz makes this an event to look forward to. It starts on the same day as the World Championship between Carlsen and Caruana. ChessBase India brings you pictures from the opening ceremony by Amruta Mokal and video interviews by Sagar Shah and Shahid Ahmed.
Harika defeated Bela Khotenashvili of Georgia 2.5-1.5 in round 2 to advance to the pre-quarter finals of the FIDE Women's World Championship. She got an early advantage in round 2.3 after Bela was unable to find a good square for her light squared bishop and eventually lost some more tempi. Despite getting a winning endgame, Harika was not willing to take any risks and settled for a draw after 75 moves. In the second tie-break, Bela blundered a bishop on the 31st move and never got a chance to make a comeback in the game. Harika will face former Women's World Champion, Chess Queen Alexandra Kosteniuk in round 3. This report contains selected best games, photos and videos. Photo: Official site
Humpy made a shocking exit from FIDE Women's World Championship after suffering a loss against Jolanta Zawadzka of Poland in round 2.2. Humpy made a quick draw in round 2.1 with the black pieces. In the second game in the endgame she arrived at an inferior position, lost a pawn and eventually the battle. Harika made a quick draw against Bela Khotenashvili of Georgia in just 20 moves. Harika is the last Indian hope alive at the tournament. She will have to play tie-breaker matches against Bela in Rapid time control and Blitz too if required. In the report you will also find the key results of other players apart from the Indians. Photo: Official site
Both Humpy and Harika started round 2.1 with a draw. However Humpy's game was a tepid draw in Petroff's Defence in just 26 moves, while Harika kept fighting until the end. The Indian GM tried to force her opponent Bela Khotenashvili to commit a mistake, but the Georgian had no intentions to budge. After a 64-move long battle, a threefold repetition resulted in a draw. Humpy and Harika both had black pieces, so a draw is definitely a result they will be happy with as tomorrow in round 2.2 they are going to have white pieces where they will not hold any punches back. We bring you games, photos and videos from Khanty-Mansiysk. Photo: Official site
Vietnamese GM Tran Tuan Minh is the winner of the first edition of the Thailand Pattaya Open Chess Championship which took place from 20th to 31st of October 2018. A total number of 105 players from 24 different countries took part in the open section of the event. Tran scored an unbeaten solid 8.0/9 points, a one point lead from the 1st runner-up to become the champion of the tournament. The field included 6 GM, 3 IM, 1WGM, 10 FM/WFM and 8CM/WCM. In the first part we read about the winners in different categories and also the interview with the organizer and now in this 2nd and final part of the coverage Peter Long shares with us a detailed pictorial report of the event and also announces the dates for the 2nd edition.
The first Quality Chess Academy Camp is being held in Lyttos Resort near Heraklion, Greece from the 4th to the 10th of November 2018. This camp is open only for players above the rating of 2300. A lot of strong players have taken part in the camp, including one of India's top GMs. The trainers for the camp are GM Jacob Aagaard and GM Boris Gelfand. In this article we show you the serene environment in which the camp is taking place and also present you a Jacob Aagaard challenge. Jacob shows us a position from the game of his student Sam Shankland and asks you to find the best move! Are you up for the challenge? If yes, check out the article for the position.
Lady luck shined on Harika as she survived a massive scare in round 1.4 against Sopiko Khukhashvili. After drawing her first tie-breaker match, Harika was going to draw the second one too, but she gave an opportunity which Sopiko was not expecting. Khukhashvili not only missed it but she blundered in a drawn game, thus allowing Harika to advance it round 2. Padmini drew her first tie-break game with ease, however in the second game, her opponent's queen proved to be too strong and it snagged a lot of pawns which proved to be fatal. We bring you photos, games and videos from Khanty-Mansiysk. Photo: Official site
The World Youth Championships 2018 came to an end with two medals for the Indian team. Divya Deshmukh from Maharashtra won the bronze in the girls under-14 section, while Sanskriti Goyal from Uttar Pradesh took home the bronze medal in girls under-16. When the final two rounds began nine Indian players had a chance for the medal but finally only two of them were able to finish in the top three. Places four to six were also given medals and the Indians who finished in this bracket were Aashna Makhija (6th in under-16 girls), L. Jyothsna (5th in under-14 girls), Tejaswini Sagar (4th in girls under-18) and Arpita Mukherjee (6th in girls under-18). In this report we analyze two important games of Divya and Sanskriti's final round and also tell you about a cheating accusation.
A chess lover from Bangalore, who wishes to remain anonymous, instituted the Pursue your Chess Scholarship of Rs.50,000 for a deserving player who had made at least one of his/her norms (WIM/IM, GM/WGM). The winner of this scholarship is Sammed Shete from Kolhapur. Sammed is just 19 years old but has already seen great number of ups and downs in his life. His father passed away in November 2016 due to mouth cancer. The youngster lost a lot of money when his visa was recently rejected for an international trip. But Sammed has kept powering on and currently has an Elo of 2368 with one IM norm. This scholarship is sure to be useful for him in his chess career. In this article we tell you about the scholarship and also the story of Sammed's life until now.