Yifan Hou is Women World Chess Champion! (UPDATE)

Yifan Hou defeats Ruan Lufei after four tiebreak games

WWCC Hou Yifan square

Yifan Hou is Women World Chess Champion 2010! The Chinese prodigy defeated her teammate Ruan Lufei after 4 classical and 4 tiebreak games of exciting chess. In the classical games Yifan Hou took early advantage by winning game 2 with black, but Ruan Lufei came back in the last moment to equalize the score. The tiebreak started with a draw which Yifan Hou could turn into a win with precise play, but that did not affect her play afterwards, as she won tiebreak games 2 and 4 to claim the World Champion Title.

Congratulations!

Hou Yifan became the youngest ever World Chess Champion in history (men’s or women’s) by winning the Women’s World Championship in Hatay, Turkey at the age of 16.

Turkey is a country that brings particular luck and energy to Hou Yifan. She won the Ataturk Chess tournament a full point ahead of competition there. In October 2007, she competed at the 12th European Club Cup in Kemer, Turkey on board two for team Southern Ural Cheliabinsk.

In August 2008 she competed in the World Junior Chess Championship held at Gazientep, Turkey where she competed as the only female in the boy’s section for the first time in her career and was the 16th seed on the entrant’s list. Hou finished joint 3rd-7th on 9/13 (+6 =6 -1) achieving a performance rating of 2661, in the process obtaining her second confirmed GM norm.

At the age of 12, she became and still holds the record for being the youngest ever player to participate at the FIDE Women’s World Championship (Yekaterinburg 2006), and at the Chess Olympiad (Torino 2006).

She achieved the titles of Woman FIDE Master in January 2004, Woman Grandmaster in January 2007, International Master in September 2008, for reaching the final of the Women’s World Championship.

Earlier, in June 2007, she became China’s youngest ever National Women’s Champion, and in September 2008 she became the youngest ever finalist for the Women’s World Championship title.

Hou Yifan became the youngest ever female in history (at the age of 14 years 6 months) to qualify for the title of Grandmaster. This happened in 2008 and ever since her chess star is shining on the horizon and all women top lists.

In the most recent (November 2010) FIDE rating list her world rankings are: the no. 1 girl player, the no. 3 female player, and the no. 2 player of either sex born in 1994 or later.

Despite having full 45 articles on Chessdom.com dedicated to Yifan Hou and her success at multiple events, it would have never been possible to follow her career without the hard work of multiple chess enthusiasts updating her Wikipedia page on a regular basis.

Career of Hou Yifan

Hou started playing chess regularly at the age of 6, but became fascinated with the game when she was 3 years old. “I took up chess because I was fascinated by the pieces – I just liked it. In the future, I want to be a professional chess player or maybe study to be a doctor”, she said in 2007.

Hou’s father, Hou Xuejian, a magistrate, often took his young daughter to a bookstore after dinner. He noticed that the little girl liked to stare at glass chess pieces behind the window. He later bought his daughter her first chess set. Only weeks later, the 3-year-old was able to beat her father and grandmother. In 1999, her father found a chess mentor for his 5-year-old daughter.

The teacher, IM Tong Yuanming, was a member of China’s national chess team. Two weeks later, Tong told Hou Xuejian that his girl was an unusual talent, showing “strong confidence, distinguished memory, calculating ability and fast reaction.” The young girl’s talent impressed many people.

Ye Jiangchuan, chief coach of the Chinese National Chess Teams (men’s and women’s teams), believes that Hou has a bright future. When she played against Ye for the first time in 2003, the chess master was surprised that the 9-year-old could identify almost all of his weak moves. “Then I knew she was an exceptional genius”, Ye said. That year, Hou became the youngest member of the national team and won first place at the World Youth Championship for girls under age 10. In June 2007, she became China’s youngest ever national champion.

She was admitted to the National Chess Center, an academy for young talented players from all over the country, in Beijing when she was 10, and has leading Chinese grandmasters Ye Jiangchuan and Yu Shaoteng as her trainers.

In order to better support her chess career, her family relocated to Beijing in 2003, leaving a small town about 12 hours by train from the capital. Hou’s mother, a former nurse, accompanies her daughter on the international tournament circuit.

She is homeschooled and lists her interests as reading and studying, and her favorite chess player as Bobby Fischer.

Chess writer Leonard Barden has said that she could rival Judit Polgar as the best ever female player.

Hou Yifan in 2003

Hou Yifan’s first major tournament was on August 31 – September 12, 2003 at the Chinese Team Chess Championship (Men’s) in Tianjin. She scored 3/7 and had a 2246 performance rating.

Her first international tournament brought early success when she came first (9½/11; +8 =3 -0) in the girl’s under-10 section of the World Youth Championship in Halkidiki, Greece in 23 October-2 November 2003.

In November (15th-26th), she made her debut in the National Women’s Chess Championship, held at Shanwei, Guangdong. She finished in 14th place with 3½/9. Her performance rating was 2202.

Hou Yifan in 2004

On 1 January 2004, she received her first International FIDE rating of 2168, which automatically qualified her for the title of Woman FIDE Master (>2100 Elo points).

In April, she competed at the Chinese Team Chess Championship (Women’s) in Jinan, Shandong. She scored 1½/7 having faced an average opposition rating (Rc) of 2316.

In 3–14 November, she came in third place (9/11; +8 =2 -1, tied for first on points) and won bronze this time in the boy’s under-10 section of the World Youth Championship, held in Heraklio, Crete.

At the 11th Asian Women’s Championship that took place in Beirut, Lebanon 4–11 December 2004, she came 11th with a score of 4½/9 (+4 =1 -4; TPR 2278). Wang Yu of China won the event with 6½/9.

Hou Yifan in 2005

In February, she competed at the 4th Aeroflot Open (Group C) in Moscow, where she scored 2/5.

In April, she came to the notice of the international chess community for her fifth place and a score of 7/11 (+6 =2 -3) (tied for fourth) at the 3 Arrows Cup 2005 ladies tournament in Jinan, China. In that tournament, she defeated international master Almira Skripchenko and achieved a performance rating of 2393.

From 28 June – 6 July at the 2nd China-France Youth Match, which took place in Shenzhen, Guangdong, Hou Yifan scored 3/8 (+2 =2 -4). The Chinese team (Zhou Jianchao, Zhao Jun, Zhao Xue and Hou) won the match 19-13.

In 18–29 July at the World Youth Chess Championship in Belfort, France, Hou Yifan came 5th in the Boy’s Under-12 Section with 8/11. Earlier in the month at the Festival Open International des Jeunes in Saint-Lo, France she came second out of 75 players with 6/8, behind Wen Yang.

In October, she managed to qualify for the World Women’s Chess Championship to be held in March 2006. Only rated 2220 and ranked women’s number 28 in her own country, she did so by winning the Chinese Women’s Zonal (3.5) tournament, ahead of a group of well known Chinese players. She scored 6/9 points with a performance rating of 2401.

The sixth World Team Chess Championship was staged in Beersheva, Israel in 31 October-11 November. China fielded two teams – the men’s and women’s, which was only the second time in the championship history where a women’s team competed in what has traditionally been a male team event. This was Hou Yifan’s first major team tournament and she was the youngest participant there at 11 years of age. She played as second reserve and finished with 0/3. The Chinese women’s team drew one match and lost all their others (+0 =1 -7) finishing last. The tournament was won by Russia, with China (men’s) coming in second and Armenia third.

In December Hou came second at the China Women Selective Tournament in Beijing for the 37th Chess Olympiad to be held in May–June 2006 in Turin, Italy. She scored 16½/28 and gained a whopping 121 elo-points. She made the Olympiad team with Wang Yu and Shen Yang, the other top three finishers.

Hou Yifan in 2006

Hou proved that her performance at the 3 Arrows Cup 2005 was not a fluke by reaching the third round (the last 16) of the Women’s World Chess Championship in March 2006. Despite being rated 2269 and seeded 56th out of 64 players, she defeated IM Nadezhda Kosintseva (rated 2480) of Russia 1½-½ in the first round, then the former 2000 European champion WGM Natalia Zhukova (2432) of Ukraine 2-0 in the 2nd round, but lost to IM Nino Khurtsidze (2430) of Georgia 0-2 in the third to post a decent performance rating of 2504.

In May–June 2006, China came third winning bronze at the 37th Chess Olympiad in Turin, Italy. Hou Yifan at her Olympiad debut confirmed her talent with a score of 11/13 (+10, =2, -1), all played on the third board, and finished with a performance rating of 2596.For her winning percentage of 84.6%, she won a silver medal for fourth (reserve) board performance, and her performance rating of 2596 was the third highest overall.

The Chinese Championships for men and women took place in Wuxi, Jiangsu 25 June – 6 July 2006. Ni Hua took the men’s title and Li Ruofan the women’s. Hou Yifan came fourth in the women’s category V (2369) event with a score of 7/11 (+5 =4 -2) and a performance rating of 2477.

In July–August, she had a lacklustre performance at what has been traditionally the strongest women’s tournament – the North Urals Cup in Krasnoturinsk, Russia. Although seeded third, she failed to win a game scoring 3/9 (+0 =6 -3) with a performance rating of 2357. She finished 8th out of 10 players.

The China-Russia Summit Match saw two double round robin Scheveningen format events, one for men and one for women (cat. VIII (2444)), taking place in Ergun, Mongolia 10–20 August 2006. Russia won the men’s event 26½-23½ but China won the women’s section 28-22, therefore in the combined standings China beat Russia 51½-48½. Hou Yifan was the highest scoring female player on tiebreak with 6½/10 (+5 =3 -2).

China and France played for the Trophée MULTICOMS in Paris 4–9 September 2006. This was also a Scheveningen team match with six men and three women in the teams. France edged out China 20-16 in the men’s event. The women’s section was a complete mismatch in terms of Elo ratings in favour of the Chinese and they confirmed this over the board winning 12½-5½. The overall result was China 28½ France 25½. Hou Yifan was again the highest scoring female player with 5/6 and a performance rating of 2498.

In October in Yerevan, Armenia at the World Junior Chess Championship (Girl’s section) she went on to take second place on tiebreak with a score of 9/12 (+7 =4 -2; tied for first on points) behind her compatriot Shen Yang. Her rating performance was 2469.

At the start of 2007 in January, Hou achieved a respectable fifth place in Group C (Cat. 10, 2486) of the Corus Chess Tournament. She scored 7/13 (+4 =6 -3) with a performance rating of 2513. It was at this tournament when she earned her WGM title, formally conferred by FIDE in late January 2007. She achieved her WGM norms at the following tournaments:

* 2005 Zonal 3.5 Women’s Championship in Beijing (October 20–25, 2005); score 6/9

* 2006 37th Chess Olympiad in Turin (May 21-June 4, 2006); score 7/9

* 2006 Chinese Championship (Women’s) in Wuxi (June 25-July 6, 2006); score 7/11

In her first A1 Group event at the Aeroflot Open in February 2007 a few weeks before her 13th birthday, she started well with two wins out of two defeating first Russian IM, Nikita Vitiugov rated 2604, and then the former (2001) European Champion, GM Emil Sutovsky of Israel rated 2629. However in the third round she was defeated by the Russian Championship runnerup, Dmitry Jakovenko, and managed only one draw in her next five games. She rallied in the final round with a victory against the strong Greek grandmaster, Vasilios Kotronias and finished with a respectable 3½/9.

In March, at the 1st Ruy Lopez International Festival (cat. XV (2607)) in Zafra, the birth place of Ruy López de Segura, Hou suffered a bad performance finishing in last place with 2/7 (+1 =2 -4). Her performance rating was 2462.

In April Hou Yifan came second at the China Women Selective Tournament in Ningbo for the 2007 Asian Indoor Games to be held in October. She scored 8/14 (+6 =4 -4).

In 1–11 May 2007, in Dagomys at the 8th Russian Team Chess Championship (Women’s), she played for Southern Ural Chelyabinsk on board one and scored 6½/10 (+5 =3 -2). In 19–30 May 2007 in Ekaterinburg, the 1st World Women’s Team Chess Championship was held. Hou Yifan was part of the winning China national team that also included Zhao Xue, Ruan Lufei, Shen Yang, and Huang Qian. Hou Yifan played in every round on board two and scored 7½/9 (+7 =1 -1) winning the gold medal for that board. Her performance rating was 2559.

In June 2007, she won her first Chinese Women’s Chess Championship in Chongqing, breaking WGM Qin Kanying’s—who won her first title at the age of 14 in 1988—record as the youngest champion with a score of 9/11 (+7 =4 -0). Second and third place went to Zhao Xue and Shen Yang, respectively.

In July, she improved on the previous year’s performance at the North Urals Cup in Krasnoturinsk, finishing in 7th place out of 10 players. She scored 4/9 (+3 =2 -4) with a performance rating of 2436. The tournament was won by Zhu Chen and second placed was Zhao Xue.

In 4–15 August, she competed in what was then her strongest closed tournament – the 5th Győrgy Marx Memorial (Cat. 14, 2582) in Paks, Hungary. Being the lowest rated player and the only non-Grandmaster (out of Pentala Harikrishna, Peter Acs, Csaba Balogh, Ferenc Berkes and Viktor Korchnoi), she finished in last place in the double round robin event with 3/10 (+1 =4 -5; TPR 2444).

At the UK-China Match in Liverpool 3–9 September 2007, China had a comfortable 28-20 win against the UK team. Hou Yifan competed in the men’s team and scored 2½/6 (+1 =3 -2) with a performance rating of 2540. The average rating of her opposition (Rc) was 2598.

In late September, she came first at the 2007 Chinese Women’s Zonal (3.5) tournament in Tianjin with a score of 8/9 (+7 =2 -0).

In October 2007, she competed at the 12th European Club Cup in Kemer, Turkey on board two for team Southern Ural Cheliabinsk, which came in at fourth place in the women’s tournament. She came 5th in the individual women’s standings with a score of 5/7 (+3 =4 -0) and a performance rating of 2547.

From October 26 to November 3, she competed for Team China at the 2nd Asian Indoor Games in Macau. The national team won team gold in the classic chess mixed team event with 11 match points (18½ game points out of 24) The Chinese team were Zhao Xue, Xu Yuhua, Hou Yifan, Wang Hao, Ni Hua and Bu Xiangzhi. Hou Yifan also won an individual gold medal for her board two display with a score of 5½/6 (+5 =1 -0; 91.7%) and a performance rating of 2596.

Hou Yifan in 2007

This year she began a concerted attempt to become a grandmaster (GM).

In the January Corus 2008 chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee, Hou competed in Group B where she finished in a tie for 7-10th place (9th by tiebreak) achieving 6/13 (+3 -4 =6) with a performance rating of 2598 and victories over three grandmasters, including a 23 move win over Nigel Short.

In February 2008, Hou gained her first Grandmaster norm (GM norm) with a performance rating of 2605 at the Aeroflot Open in Moscow by finishing in 31st place with a score of 4½/9 (+2 =5 -2).

This was followed in March 2008 with a victory at the 1st Atatürk International Women Masters Chess Tournament (cat. IX (2461)) in Istanbul, Turkey where she finished a point ahead of the rest of the field on 7/9 with a tournament performance rating of 2674. She did not lose a single game having won 5 games and drawn 4. Her victory in this tournament also provided her a GM norm that was not used in her official grandmaster title application. This GM norm was conditional on FIDE ratifying then WGM Zhao Xue’s attainment of her GM title.

In April 2008, she competed in Mérida, Spain at the 2nd Ruy Lopez Chess Festival tournament. In the category XV (2616) round robin event she failed to gain a GM norm after finishing in 7th place out of 8 players with 2/7 (+1, =2, -4) and a rating performance of 2467.

In May–June 2008, she became the Chinese Women’s Champion for the second time running with 9/11 points (+7 =4 -0) in Beijing and having a performance of 2599.

At the July 2008 First Saturday GM Tournament in Budapest, Hou Yifan was the top seed but came in second place with 9/12 narrowly missing a GM norm by half a point. Her performance rating was 2574.

In August 2008 she competed in the World Junior Chess Championship held at Gazientep, Turkey where she competed as the only female in the boy’s section for the first time in her career and was the 16th seed on the entrant’s list. Hou finished joint 3rd-7th on 9/13 (+6 =6 -1) achieving a performance rating of 2661, in the process obtaining her second confirmed GM norm.

In September 2008, FIDE referred to her as a “GM-elect”, indicating that her Atatürk norm had been confirmed. This means Hou Yifan qualified for the title of grandmaster in August at the age of 14 years 6 months 2 days, making her one of the youngest grandmasters in history, and the youngest female. She is also one of the very few players to achieve the Grandmaster title without first gaining the International Master title, and the first female player to do so.

She competed in her second Women’s World Chess Championship in August – September 2008 where she finished as runner-up. She qualified by being one of the six highest rated players from the average of the July 2006-January 2007 period. In this 2008 Championship knockout tournament held in Nalchik, Russia, she was seeded no. 3 out of 64 players. She defeated WGM Mona Khaled (Egypt) 2-0 in the first round, and WGM Bathuyang Mongontuul (Mongolia) 2-0 in the second. In third round, she had to go to rapid playoffs to eventually beat IM Elena Sedina (Italy) 3-1 (1-1, 2-0). In the quarterfinals she won against Armenian IM Lilit Mkrtchian by 1½-½. In the semifinals she defeated Indian GM Humpy Koneru, the no. 2 seed, by 4-2 (1-1, 1-1, 2-0). She lost the final to Alexandra Kosteniuk by 2½-1½. In this tournament she became the youngest ever finalist for the Women’s World Championship title. By reaching the final, she automatically gained the International Master (IM) title and a “runner-up 9-game grandmaster norm”, her fourth GM norm overall.

As a member of the Chinese team at the 1st World Mind Sports Games in Beijing on 3–18 October, she won the bronze medal in the Women’s Individual Blitz event, the gold medal in the Mixed Pairs Rapid event (with Ni Hua), the silver medal in the Women’s Teams Blitz event, and the gold medal in the Women’s Teams Rapid event.

She played in the Cap d’Agde Rapid tournament that was held from October 24 to November 1, losing to former world champion Anatoly Karpov in a tiebreaker match at the end of the qualifying stage, despite winning the second tiebreak game.

At the 38th Chess Olympiad in Dresden from 12 to 25 November, she played at no. 1 board in the Chinese women’s team. Although her team did not win a prize, she had some consolation in winning an individual board prize of third place. She played in every round and her final result was 7½/11 (+5, =5, -1), performance rating of 2563.

At the 79th FIDE Congress, held on 16–26 November 2008 in Dresden, Germany, her GM title was approved making her the 27th Grandmaster of China. Her three approved GM norms were:

* Aeroflot Open Tournament A1 in Moscow, February 2008; score 4½/9 (requirement=4½ pts)

* World Junior Chess Championship in Gaziantep, August 2008; score 9/13 (requirement=8 pts)

* World Women’s Chess Championship in Nalchik, September 2008; reached the final round (equivalent to a 9-game GM norm)

Hou Yifan in 2009

Hou Yifan competed in the Grandmaster Group B of the 71st Corus chess tournament in Wijk aan Zee, from January 16 to February 1, 2009. She was seeded 12th out of 14 players and finished in 9th to 10th place with a performance rating of 2620.

On March 7–19, she competed at the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix Tournament in Istanbul, scoring 8/11 (+6=4-1) with a 2648 performance and finishing third.

From May 12–23, she competed at the 8th Asia Continental Chess Championship at the Subic Exhibition and Convention Center, Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Olongapo City, Philippines.She scored 7½/11 with a 2640 performance and finished 7th out of 86 on tiebreak. By finishing in the top 10 she qualified for the 2009 World Cup.

In 9–15 August at the Jubilee Open, Zürich, she won the “best female prize” by coming joint 17th with 6½/9.

In 19 August-1 September at the NH Hotels Risings Stars vs Experienced, Amsterdam, she finished with a score of 3½/10.

Hou Yifan in 2003

In January, she finished with 4½/9 at the Moscow Open.

In February, she finished with 4/9 at the Aeroflot Open.

In April, she won the third Kuala Lumpur Open.

In August she won the 2010 Women’s Grand Prix in Mongolia.

In November, she won the women’s individual gold medal in the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. She finished with 8½/9 and with a performance rating of 2798. She won another gold medal from the women’s team event, representing China as the first board, along with her team mates Ju Wenjun, Zhao Xue, Huang Qian and Wang Yu, beating Uzbekistan 2½-1½ in the final.

In December she won the Women’s World Chess Championship 2010 in Hatay, Turkey, making her the youngest women’s world champion in history. Her compatriot Ruan Lufei was her opponent in the finals, where the score was tied 2-2. Hou won the title by beating Ruan 3-1 during the rapid playoffs.

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Parimarjan Negi Wins India Premier Championship

Negi is the first Indian to qualify for the next World Cup

New Delhi (22 Dec 2010): Second seed and local favorite Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi of PSPB clinched the coveted National title with nine and half points after settling for a quick draw against Grandmaster Tejas Bakre in the final round of the REC National Premier Chess Championship here at K R Mangalam World School, GK-II on Wednesday.

Playing with white pieces in the final round, Negi needed just half point to ensure the title and secured the same within 15 moves against his Air India rival. Three players tied for the second spot with eight and half points but better Bucholz tie break score helped Kochi based top seed G N Gopal to lift the runner-up trophy and pocketed a cash prize of eighty thousand rupees.

India Parimarjan Negi 1

Parimarjan Negi receiving trophy

In the final round battle Gopal settled half point against defending champion Grandmaster B Adhiban. Adhiban finished third while former national champion Abhijit Kunte satisfied with fourth spot finish after beating International Master Vidit Gujarathi in the final round.

Along with his national title and cash prize of Rs. 1.25 lakh, Negi become the first Indian to secure the berth for the next world cup in Khanty Mansiysk as India awarded separate zone status by World Chess Federation in the recent FIDE Congress. Moreover Delhi Chess Association President Bharat Singh Chauhan announced a cash award of Rs. 50,000/- during the closing ceremony to Negi for becoming the first Delhi player to become the National Premier Champion.

In the closing ceremony, Shri. Ajai Choudhry, Secretary Ministry of External Affairs Govt of India gave away the prizes in presence of Shri. Bharat Singh, President Commonwealth Chess Association and Smt. Jyoti Gupta, Principal of host school.

India G N Gopal

G N Gopal receiving runners-up trophy

India Negi Gopal

Final standings:

1 GM Negi Parimarjan IND 2603 9.5

2 GM Gopal G N IND 2609 8.5

3 GM Adhiban B IND 2515 8.5

4 GM Kunte Abhijit IND 2517 8.5

5 IM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi IND 2489 8

6 IM Lalith Babu M R IND 2481 8

7 GM Thipsay Praveen M IND 2465 8

8 GM Arun Prasad S IND 2519 8

9 GM Bakre Tejas IND 2525 8

10 IM Vaibhav Suri IND 2418 8

11 IM Venkatesh M R IND 2434 7.5

12 IM Sethuraman S P IND 2547 7.5

13 Stany G A IND 2329 7.5

14 GM Sengupta Deep IND 2558 7.5

15 IM Shyam Sundar M IND 2439 7

16 GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J IND 2480 7

17 IM Konguvel Ponnuswamy IND 2421 7

18 GM Neelotpal Das IND 2486 7

19 Navin Kanna T U IND 2369 7

20 GM Sundararajan Kidambi IND 2449 6.5

21 GM Laxman R R IND 2479 6.5

22 WGM Soumya Swaminathan IND 2332 6.5

23 IM Kamble Vikramaditya IND 2374 6.5

24 IM Prathamesh Sunil Mokal IND 2408 6.5

25 IM Shyam Nikil P IND 2373 6

26 IM Saptarshi Roy IND 2382 6

27 IM Thejkumar M S IND 2448 6

28 IM Debashis Das IND 2411 6

29 IM Karthikeyan P IND 2382 6

30 IM Singh D P IND 2326 6

31 Tiwari Arjun IND 2341 6

32 FM Ramakrishna J IND 2253 6

33 IM Babu N Sudhakar IND 2318 5.5

34 IM Suvrajit Saha IND 2392 5.5

35 Thakur Akash IND 2358 5.5

36 IM Sangma Rahul IND 2400 5

37 WGM Padmini Rout IND 2352 5

38 Matta Vinay Kumar IND 2274 5

39 FM Rajesh V A V IND 2295 5

40 IM Sharma Dinesh K IND 2371 5

41 Joshi G B IND 2292 4.5

42 IM Vishnu Prasanna V IND 2406 4.5

43 Shashikant Kutwal IND 2303 4.5

44 Anilkumar O T IND 2289 2.5

Levon Aronian wins the World Blitz Championship

Radjabov takes silver, Carlsen bronze

Levon Aronian

The 2009 World Rapid Champion Levon Aronian defended his fame of strong fast game player and won the 2010 edition of the World Blitz Chess Championship. After 38 rounds Levon Aronian gained 24,5 points, which was enough to conquer the World Blitz Chess Champion title.

Second place is for Teimour Radjabov, who finished just 1/2 points behind Aronian. Radjabov had a difficult start, being in the bottom half of the table after day 1, trailing full 3 points behind the leaders. In day 2 he managed to score 8,0/14, including a win with black over Aronian, and climbed to shared 3rd-5th. In the last day Radjabov was the only one to challenge the leader’s position. He started with 7,0/8, but lost game 37, which could have put him in favorable position for the title. A win in the last game of the tournament secured the silver medal for Radjabov.

Magnus Carlsen, the defending World Blitz Champion, finished 3rd a point behind Aronian. The bronze medal came after yet another good performance by the Norwegian young talent. With strong first day Carlsen was top of the table after the 14 games. The second day started with a disastrous 3,5/9 for Carlsen, which allowed Aronian to have a 1,5 points lead at the end of the day. Despite playing better in day three, the gap was too big for Carlsen to close, and he finished clear 3rd.

Scroll down for standings and videos. More videos can be found at the previous report.

More about Levon Aronian

Standings

1 GM Aronian, Levon ARM 2801 24.5

2 GM Radjabov, Teimour AZE 2744 24

3 GM Carlsen, Magnus NOR 2802 23.5

4 GM Gelfand, Boris ISR 2741 21.5

5 GM Nakamura, Hikaru USA 2741 21.5

6 GM Karjakin, Sergey RUS 2760 20.5

7 GM Kramnik, Vladimir RUS 2791 20.5

8 GM Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar AZE 2763 19.5

9 GM Svidler, Peter RUS 2722 19.5

10 GM Eljanov, Pavel UKR 2742 19

11 GM Grischuk, Alexander RUS 2771 19

12 GM Mamedov, Rauf AZE 2660 18

13 GM Nepomniachtchi, Ian RUS 2720 18

14 GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime FRA 2703 18

15 GM Movsesian, Sergei SVK 2721 17.5

16 GM Andreikin, Dmitry RUS 2683 17.5

17 GM Grachev, Boris RUS 2654 16.5

18 GM Savchenko, Boris RUS 2632 15.5

19 GM Caruana, Fabiano ITA 2709 13.5

20 GM Ponomariov, Ruslan UKR 2744 12.5

Closing ceremony part 1

Aronian – Nakamura

Peter Svidler – Boris Savchenko

Videos by Sergey Sorokhtin and bumblebee1607

Steven Zierk Featured in San Jose Mercury News

Zierk was recently crowned World U18 Champion

When Steven Zierk was just 8, he was called a chess prodigy, a child whose talents at calculations and competition were beyond his years.

Around his hometown of Los Gatos, the shy little boy with spiky blond hair was known as “that chess kid.” Expectations were endless. How far could he go? Would he stick with it?

Well, now, a decade later — and after a five-year hiatus that crushed his coach and relieved his mother — the 17-year-old Los Gatos High School senior has stormed back with a world championship gold medal he brought home from Greece over the weekend.

“It’s huge,” he said Monday from his family home, where his mother and two younger sisters had filled his room with 300 gold balloons. “I went in expecting just to play, to do well. The Top 10 was my goal. So obviously, it’s a great surprise.”

Read the full article

Several brief video interviews with Steven Zierk in Porto Carras, Halkidiki, can be found in the WYCC video section

Steven Zierk

Steven Zierk

Amity University honours Parimarjan Negi

Negi also recipient of the Arjuna Award in August this year

Parimanjan Negi

Barring World champion Viswanathan Anand, no other chess player in the country has ever received the kind of felicitation that Amity School extended its student and chess prodigy Parimarjan Negi on Tuesday.

In a well-attended and well-organised function at the Amity University auditorium, the 17-year-old Grandmaster was presented with a well-crafted heavy-weight trophy along with a cheque of Rs. 200,000 for being the recipient of the Arjuna Award in August this year.

“I was completely overwhelmed by the experience,” said a grateful Negi and added, “I owe it entirely to the Amity group, my principal, staff and fellow students.”

The Founder-President of Amity Group Dr. Ashok Chauhan and Chairperson Dr. Amita Chauhan, who have supported Negi since he joined the school in 1997, not only hailed the youngster’s achievements but also admired their ‘celebrity’ student’s upbringing and demeanour.

“I must admire the role played by Parimarjan’s parents in shaping his career. Over the years, I have seen many parents of talented children but never humble a couple,” said Dr. Ashok Chauhan.

Full article on The Hindu website

Adhiban Becomes India’s 23rd Grandmaster

Final norm at the Olomouc International tournament

Chennai: National champion B. Adhiban of Chennai became India’s 23rd Grandmaster when he completed the final GM norm in style by winning the Olomouc International tournament in the Czech Republic on Thursday.

Adhiban had completed the first Grandmaster norm by winning the National “A” chess championship in Mumbai last year. He completed the second norm at the SCS International Open in Bhubaneswar in May.

At Olomouc, Adhiban scored seven points from his nine games in the 10-player all-play-all, and won with a round to spare. He remained undefeated, making four draws and scored five wins. His wins included those over GMs Konstantin Chernyshov and Marek Vokac.

The 1992-born Adhiban was World under-16 champion in 2008 and had played a key role in India winning the World Youth Chess Olympiad in the same year. He was also a member of India’s bronze medal-winning Indian team in the World Team championship this year.

Adhiban

B. Adhiban

Adhiban is supported by Indian Oil Corporation and trained by K. Visweswaran of Chennai, said his father Baskaran.

Final placings: 1. IM B. Adhiban 7/9; 2. GM K. Chernyshov (RUS) 6.5; 3. GM Marek Vokac (CZE) 5.5; 4. GM V. Talla (CZE), 5; 5.IM Jan Krejci (CZE), 5; 6. IM D. Semcesen (SWE) 4.5; 7. IM Pavel Simacek (CZE) 4; 8. FM G. Oparin (RUS), 2.5; 9. WGM Monika Krupa (POL), 2.5; 10. IM A. Payen (FRA) 2.5.

Article by Arvind Aaron for The Hindu

Anand roots for Spain against Germany in the FIFA World Cup

Anand calls Spain his second home

Anand champion

As the FIFA World Cup nears its final with an impending semifinal clash between Spain and Germany, chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, an avid fan of the beautiful game is rooting for Spain, a country he calls his second home.

“I am closely watching Spain. I like their style of play,” Anand said.

The grandmaster who catches the FIFA World Cup fever on television says he was also keenly following Argentina and its star player Lionel Messi before the South American team crashed out to Germany in the quarterfinal stage.

“Spain are the current European champions and it looks a little less difficult for them to make it a double,” says Anand.

Read the full article in Times of India

Anand says he would be participating in five to six tournaments this year including the London Chess Classic.

Anand also exuded confidence in the young chess brigade of the country but said it’s difficult to pick the best among such talent.

“Yes we have quite a few names coming up– Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika, Tania Sachdev and amongst the boys’ we have Abhijeet Gupta, Parimarjan Negi and others, but I don’t think they are breaking away from each other, it’s difficult to pick one, they are a talented lot,” he says.

Already a book old with ‘My Best Games of Chess’ in 1998, Anand says he might get into the shoes of a writer again in the near future.

“Yes it could be, quite possible, but nothing confirmed yet,” he said.

For the real football and chess fans

Magnus Carlsen, King Among Chess Kings

by Lubomir Kavalek for the Huffington Post

Magnus Carlsen Bazna

Imagine Usain Bolt, the fabulous Jamaican sprinter and world record-holder, running a 100 meter dash against some of the world’s best contenders and winning by 20 meters. This is how the Norwegian chess superstar Magnus Carlsen dealt with the opposition at the elite Kings tournament in Medias, Romania, last week. Undefeated, with five wins and five draws, Carlsen left his nearest rivals two full points behind, scoring 7,5 points in 10 games. It was an amazing display of chess dominance.

Carlsen, 19, is the world’s top-rated player and his new rating is projected at 2826, some 23 points above the second-placed Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria. Nobody, except Garry Kasparov, ever climbed that high. It could soon be lonely up there. Every time he plays, Magnus is expected to win, often by big margin.

Carlsen began the event in Medias slowly with three draws, but accelerated the pace with four consecutive wins, leaving the other players a mere spectators. They finished as follows: Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan and Boris Gelfand of Israel, both 5,5 points; Ruslan Ponomairov of Ukraine, 4,5 points; Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu of Romania, 4 points; Wang Yue of China, 3 points.

Appropriately, Carlsen honored the Kings tournament by playing the King’s gambit for the first time in his life. The opening evolved over the years. The old romantic masters loved fireworks as presented, for example, in the analysis by the Italian master Gioacchino Greco (1600-1634). To some chess historians, Greco was the first chess professional.

By contrast, Carlsen’s treatment of the King’s gambit was purely positional. It has been done before, for example, by Akiba Rubinstein and Richard Reti at the beginning of the last century. William Steinitz and Boris Spassky were the finest King’s gambit connoisseurs among the world champions. It is possible that Magnus turned to the gambit to avoid the solid Petroff defense the Chinese GM Wang Yue employs regularly. In any case, it worked.

Read the full article by Lubomir Kavalek

Fantastic Ivan Cheparinov takes another Ruy Lopez Masters

Fabiano Caruana and Vladimir Malakhov share second place

Cheparinov unhappy 1

Ivan Cheparinov

Replay the games with computer analysis

The fourth edition of the Ruy Lopez International Festival is taking place on 11-19th June in Villafranca de los Barros, Extremadura, Spain. Numerous events are planned, some of them being youth and amateur tournaments, lectures, master tournament, meetings, rapid open…

The main event of the Festival was round robin Master Tournament with 8 players which concluded Friday. Ivan Cheparinov of Bulgaria beat the reigning European Women’s Chess Champion Pia Cramling in the final round and concluded the campaign with 6.0 points, full point and a half ahead of the opposition, which is an impressive feat in such a short tournament.

Cheparinov also won the last year edition of the Ruy Lopez Masters.

Vladimir Malakhov crushed Cori Deisy after the thematic Knight sacrifice in the pawn formation characteristic of Rubinstein French variation, while Fabiano Caruana’s lectured us on checkmating with Bishop and Knight in the game against Ivan Salgado. Caruana and Malakhov share the second place with 4.5 points each.

The clash between Manuel Pérez Candelario and Gabriel Sargissian was a wild affair, with the Armenian sacrificing a piece for an attack, but White defended well and the point was finally split on move 79.

The Festival concludes Saturday with the International Rapid Open “Opening Ruy Lopez” and official closing ceremony.


Fabiano Caruana square 3

Fabiano Caruana

Round 7 results:

Iván Cheparinov – Pía Cramling 1 – 0

Vladimir Malakhov – Deisy Cori 1 – 0

Fabio Caruana – Iván Salgado 1 – 0

Manuel Pérez Candelario – Gabriel Sargissian draw

Final standings:

1. Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2640 – 6.0

2. Caruana Fabiano ITA 2675 – 4.5

3. Malakhov Vladimir RUS 2722 – 4.5

4. Salgado Lopez Ivan ESP 2606 – 4.0

5. Sargissian Gabriel ARM 2677 – 4.0

6. Cramling Pia SWE 2536 – 2.0

7. Perez Candelario Manuel ESP 2527 – 2.0

8. Cori T. Deysi PER 2409 – 1.0

Festival time-table:

June 11, 19:00 – Opening ceremony and simultaneous exhibition

From 12 to June 18, beginning at 17:00 – Master Tournament

June 13, 10:00 – Final School Chess Tournament Team Intercentros

From 14 to June 18, beginning at 17:00 – Closed Tournament with promising young players from Extremadura

From 18 to 20 June – Meeting of Portugal and Extremadura Young Talents

June 18, 19:20 – Conference “Life and Works of Ruy Lopez” by Joaquin Perez de Arriaga

June 19, 10:00 – Children’s Tournament

June 19, 10:00 – International Rapid Open “Opening Ruy Lopez”

June 19, 20:30 – Closing ceremony

Official website

Replay the games with computer analysis

Wesley So Wins 3rd Battle of Grandmasters

Third consecutive title for the young star

The third edition of Battle of Grandmasters, organized by the Phoenix Petroleum, was held from 25th May to 2nd June, 2010, at the Character Hotel in Tagaytay City, Philippines. A total of 12 titled players were supposed to compete in a round robin event to determine this year’s champion. However, GM Jayson Gonzales has withdrawn from the event and the race concluded with 11 people.

The top seed and two times winner of the Battle of Grandmasters, GM Wesley So, clinched his third consecutive title after the furious finish, leaving the earlier leader GM John Paul Gomez full point behind. In the last round So defeated IM Dableo with black, while Gomez drew IM Bitoon.

Grandmaster Rogelio “Joey” Antonio, Jr., the winner of the Harry Angping Cup which was played this weekend, had a bye on the closing day and finished joint third with IM Julio Catalino Sadorra, each having 7.0 points.

world cup Wesley 1

Wesley So

Round 11 results:

IM Nolte Rolando - FM Garcia Jan Emmanuel 1 – 0

GM Gonzales Jayson - GM Antonio Rogelio Jr - – -

IM Bitoon Richard - GM Gomez John Paul ½ – ½

IM Dimakiling Oliver - GM Laylo Darwin ½ – ½

IM Dableo Ronald - GM So Wesley 0 – 1

IM Sadorra Julio Catalino - FM Pascua Haridas 1 – 0

Final standings:

1. GM So Wesley 2665 - 8.5

2. GM Gomez John Paul 2507 - 7.5

3. GM Antonio Rogelio Jr 2572 - 7.0

4. IM Sadorra Julio Catalino 2450 - 7.0

5. GM Laylo Darwin 2527 - 6.0

6. IM Nolte Rolando 2420 - 4.5

7. IM Dableo Ronald 2464 - 4.0

8. IM Bitoon Richard 2476 - 4.0

9. FM Pascua Haridas 2358 - 3.5

10. IM Dimakiling Oliver 2443 - 2.0

11. FM Garcia Jan Emmanuel 2315 - 1.0

12. GM Gonzales Jayson 2441 - 0.0