This year, the Chigorin Memorial in St petersburg has assembled a brilliant line-up. But by established tradition it began with a rapid tournament, in which the majority of the stars...did not play. Even so, 173 players took part. And the winner, by a clear margin, was Denis Khismatullin - he scored 8/9, ahead of a group of chasers.
The Olympiad is a huge event that doesn’t fit into the traditional logic of chess tournaments. In order to grasp the ungraspable we chop it up into separate parts: the women’s tournament, the men’s tournament, the matches between the leaders and the encounters between the outsiders, the competition on the first boards and so on and so forth. It’s easier that way, more comprehensible…
Walking around the hall of the Olympiad during the opening rounds resembles fishing: you never know what you’re going to catch. Studying the plan before the round can drive you to distraction, and a chance meeting is always pleasant. It’s particularly pleasant when, wherever you look, the camera lens captures the great and the good of this chess world…
In contrast to the less than action-packed round for the men the Women’s Superfinal simply dazzled with events. Four of the five games ended decisively, and three of them were won by Black! Both Kosintseva sisters suffered losses: Tatiana fell to Pogonina, and Nadezhda to Gunina. Girya outplayed Kovanova and Ovod did the same against Charochkina. After the 2nd round there are no less than three leaders: Gunina, Pogonina and Girya.
A friendly match between Viktor Laznicka and Alexei Shirov has started in the Czech town of Novy Bor. Six classical games will decide who becomes the proud owner of a unique work by local glassblowers – the “Asteroid”. A year ago the glass bowl was given to Rafael Nadal after he won a tennis tournament of six leading players in Abu Dhabi.
The ambitious plans for the new World Championship cycle took a step closer to reality today as FIDE and AGON revealed the venues and players for the 2012/13 Grand Prix. Although Carlsen, Aronian, Kramnik and Anand are skipping the 6-tournament series, every other player in the Top 16 of the July FIDE rating list is set to take part. The venues, apart from Tashkent, are the promised Western European capitals, with London (replacing Chelyabinsk) joined by Lisbon, Madrid, Berlin and Paris. Updated!
A press conference was held in Kiev on July 3rd to announce a new project developed jointly by FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov and Ukrainian heavyweight boxer Vitaly Klitschko. Vitaly and his brother Vladimir are no strangers to chess. Details of the project are currently sketchy, although it’s certainly ambitious: “Thanks to the development of modern means of communication the developers are counting on an audience of 500 million active players within 1.5-2 years.”
In a tense final round in the FIDE Grand Prix in Rostov-on-Don, World Champion Hou Yifan drew with Antoaneta Stefanova to guarantee herself tournament victory. Tatiana Kosintseva started the day with a chance of sharing first place, but lost to Alisa Galliamova and dropped to fourth. The other decisive result was Ekaterina Kovalevskaya’s win against the luckless Alexandra Kosteniuk.