AlphaZero became a worldwide sensation when it defeated the world's strongest chess engine in a long match just hours after being fed the rules of the game. At the time, Garry Kasparov said that it had shaken chess to its roots. In the opinion of Matthew Sadler and Natasha Regan, the authors of the book 'Game Changer: AlphaZero's Groundbreaking Chess Strategies and the Promise of AI' this all-new silicon monster developed by DeepMind has helped us discover that there is lots of fresh potential in chess. ADITYA PAI spoke with the authors about their book, the impact AlphaZero has (and will have) on our royal game and whether chess will be solved one day in the light of such technological advancements.
We can say that Indian chess is in safe hands when we know that we have a strong administration in the form of AICF and the government of India supporting the sport. 33 Indians will be travelling to the Aeroflot Open 2019 on 18th of February 2019 sponsored completely by the Government of India. It includes both male and female players in senior, junior and sub-junior category. These players will have absolutely no cost as the sports authority of India will take care of not only flight and accommodation, but also visa costs and also give the players a daily allowance. Aeroflot Open has three sections: A (above 2550), B (2300 to 2550) and C (below 2300). One of the Indian GMs will be the top seed in the B section. Can you guess who he is?
Vishy Anand will be having a training workshop at the PYC Gymkhana, Pune from 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. on the 16th and 17th of February. Anand will be joined by India no.3 Vidit Gujrathi as a co-trainer. This is your unique chance to learn from two of the greatest chess players that our country has ever seen. A common question that we have been receiving is - for which rating level of players is this camp useful. In this article IM Sagar Shah tries to explain how the camp would be useful to just about any ambitious player with the help of his favourite Vishy Anand game - Ivanchuk vs Anand, Linares 1992.
When people talk about the youngsters of Indian chess they usually speak about Praggnanandhaa, Nihal Sarin, D. Gukesh, Raunak Sadhwani, Prithu Gupta and so on. But there is one lad, slightly older than the rest, born in 2003 and 15 years old, who is taking the chess world by a storm. He is none other than Arjun Erigaisi, Telangana's first GM. At the recently concluded World Youth Olympiad 2018 in Turkey he performed at an Elo of 2678 and beat three strong opponents - Abdusattorov Nodirbek of Uzbekistan, Andrey Esipenko of Russia and Viktor Matviishen of Ukraine. In this article you can go through all the three games and two of them have been annotated by Arjun himself. This is the perfect way to know how strong Arjun really is.
While strong male players are constantly being churned out from the country, women's chess has been a matter of worry for the current administration of AICF. In order to set this problem straight they have decided to seriously invest in bringing world class international players to India and give a chance to the young talents to fight it out against them in Round Robin format. The six Indian girls who have got a chance in the Velammal-AICF WGM Round Robin tournament are Michelle Catherina, Varshini, Divya Deshmukh, Aakanksha Hagawane, Saloni Sapale and Chandreyee Hajra. The international players are Nakhbayeva, Munguuntuul, Osmak, Uuriinuya, Babiy and Franco. Olga Babiy from Ukraine is leading the event with 3.0/3. On her heels is India's future in women's chess WIM Divya Deshmukh. An illustrated report with pictures from Chennai by Niklesh Jain.
Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik, a former world champion, has just announced his retirement as a professional chess player at the age of 43 years. Kramnik was world champion from 2000 to 2007. He dethroned the indomitable Garry Kasparov to become the world champion. Kramnik won three individual and three team medals for his country Russia. He has won almost all top tournaments, including the Tata Steel Chess Tournament in 1998. Kramnik's biggest significant contribution to chess would be his ideas in opening theory which has been adopted and used by many strong players. The 'Big Vlad' will be missed in competitive chess tournaments. Photo: Alina L'Ami
Magnus Carlsen won his seventh Tata Steel Chess title after holding a draw against Anish Giri despite all of the latter's attempts to keep the game going. Peace was signed after 30 moves as Anish contented himself with the second place. There was a three-way tie for third between Ian Nepomniachtchi, Ding Liren and Vishy Anand, who had all scored 7½/13. As for Vidit Gujrathi, he finished sixth, just one spot behind Anand, with a score of 7.0/13. In the Challengers' Vladislav Kovalev took the title, winning with a staggering 1½ point margin, having beaten Stefan Kuipers in the final round. GM R Praggnanandhaa finished his run with a draw against IM Dinara Saduakassova. | Photo: Alina L'ami
Indian chess is powered by the wonderful organizers who organize world class events, by the administrators who work hard day in and out, by the journalists who burn the midnight oil to write about the talents, by coaches who guide the players towards their ultimate goal, by arbiters who ensure law and order in a tournament. However, there is no mechanism where someone can ask a pressing question to an expert and get his doubts answered. Today, 28th of January 2019 is the birthday of IM Sagar Shah, the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India. At 6 p.m. IST is a live show where you can ask any pressing question related to chess that is on your mind. Sagar will try his best to answer it. Also if you would like, you can contribute towards a good cause.
At the closing ceremony of the Goa GM International 2018 we interviewed a young boy named Vishrut Parekh, who had finished second in the C category event (below 1600). When his interview was uploaded on YouTube, there were a lot of comments which pointed towards the issue of sandbagging. Sandbagging in chess is the phenomenon where players lose their rating so that they can participate in the below rating category events where the prize money is high and win good amount. Vishrut's case is very transparent as he beats 1500 opponents on a regular basis in important events while loses to 1100 rated oppositions in less important tournaments. With this article we are bringing forth this issue and ask our readers for a solution to this growing problem.
At the conclusion of the penultimate round of the Tata Steel Masters, it became clear that the race for the title will be only between Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri. With a win over Jan-Krzysztof Duda in the twelfth round, Carlsen has taken the sole lead. Giri remained half-a-point behind the World Champion after avoiding defeat thanks to a sudden draw offer by Teimour Radjabov. Other wins of the round were scored by Vladimir Kramnik (over Vladimir Fedoseev) and Sam Shankland (over Ian Nepomniachtchi), while the game between Vishy Anand and Ding Liren ended in an exciting draw. | Photo: Alina L'ami
The Grand Chess Tour has been a boon to the professional chess players. Inspired by Garry Kasparov and backed by Saint Louis Chess Club, the tour began in 2015. The good news is that we are in 2019 and the tour is going strong. This year apart from the tour increasing its prize fund to a total of $1.75 million (approx 12 crore, 40 lakh INR), the number of events has also increased to eight and will span across four continents! Kolkata will host the penultimate event of the tour from 20-27 November for the Tata Steel Rapid and Blitz event. The Indian connection to the tour got even more stronger as Vishy Anand is one of the participants and Gameplan sports, an Indian company is appointed as the official sponsorship and branding partner of the tour.
The eleventh round of Tata Steel Chess saw Vidit Gujrathi score another emphatic win over a much higher rated opponent. This time, Vidit's victim was the 2817 rated Shakhriyar Mamedyarov! But despite there being this huge upset in the round, the biggest story of the day was Sam Shankland's resignation against Anish Giri. The American Grandmaster had, as Giri put it, "a hallucination of some sort" as he resigned in a drawn endgame. With this win, Giri joined Carlsen in the tournament lead. Two tournament leaders emerged in the Challengers group too after Vladislav Kovalev defeated Parham Maghsoodloo and joined Maksim Chigaev in the lead. Round 11 report
GM Levan Pantsulaia made a quick draw with GM Alexandr Predke in the final round and won 11th Chennai Open 2019 with a score of 8.5/10, half point ahead of a pack of five players. Few days ago he won the biggest tournament of the world - 17th Delhi Open 2019. Since Levan had already defeated GM Maxim Lugovskoy, he just needed a draw in the last round to secure the championship. GM Ivan Popov and GM Aleksej Aleksandrov secured the 2nd and 3rd position by defeating GM Maxim Lugovskoy and IM Nguyen Van Huy respectively. We bring you selected final round games and few interesting positions. Photo: R R Vasudevan
11-year old CM Raahil Mullick of Mumbai won First Move Chess Club and We One Non Rated Open Rapid 2019. Raahil finished with 7.5/9 along with three other players FM Sauravh Kherdekera, FM Mithil Ajgaonkar and IM Sameer Kathmale. However due to a better tie-break score, Raahil was declared the winner. This might well be the first time that an 11-year-old won a Mumbai rapid event! Sameer Kathmale won the Blitz event scoring 8.0/9. FM Mehar Chinna Reddy C H also finished at 8.0/9, however he was defeated by Sameer in the penultimate round resulting in Sameer clinching the Blitz title. The report contains photos from the tournament and an annotated game by the champion Raahil himself. Photo: Amar Godbole
Planning trips out of India is not easy. You have to take care of the flight, then the hotel accommodation, communication with the organizers, entry fee and not to forget the Visa! In all of this planning you lose so much of your time that many people simply feel planning an overseas trip is impossible. With ChessBase India Power, we want to change that notion. We want to help you with all your logistics related issues so that you can play tournaments outside the country. From 21st of March to 11th of April, you have two super strong open events taking place in UAE - the Sharjah Masters (21st to 31st March) and the Dubai Open (1st to 11th April). ChessBase India Power not only has packages for you to travel to the event, but also has the option of group tour so that youngsters can travel to this tournament without their parents and guardians!