Play Together, Have Fun Together – Part 2

Gemeinsam spielen

We recently talked to one of our partners from Schachclub Vaterstetten-Grasbrunn and co-organizer of the Chessimo Cups. An interesting conversation about his love for chess, the game’s benefits for young people and an unusual concept for tournaments, part two:

Could you elaborate on your concept of competitions for amateurs and youths?

First of all, it it probably important to mention that we capped the DWZ (German ELO) at 1500, because players who are better than that have plenty of opportunities to compete in events. It was important to us to focus on amateur chess in the broadest sense, such as tournaments where children play adults and where people can compete, even though they might only have discovered chess late in life. So the motto of the Chessimo Cups is: play chess together, have fun together.

Our concept, initially developed by Dr. Konrad Müller, consists of two parts: the youths championship goes up to age eleven and a DWZ of 1000. This limit ensures that the competing children play at a similar level and have a real chance of winning – which makes them significantly more motivated! The second approach is an amateur cup and involves a system with groups of four, meaning four players at a single table, who play each other. These groups are organized in a similar manner to ensure equal opportunity and prevent matches from already being decided before they have even begun.

Another aspect that’s special about this: all of the games are played in a single day. Time-wise, it does not only ease the load on parents, but also provides the players with the opportunity to play multiple matches in a day – that’s quite different from other tournaments.

In the end, how did you come to partner up with Chessimo?

That’s because I’ve had a lot of positive experiences with Chessimo. After downloading the app in spring 2015 I came to an agreement with my daughter while we were on vacation: “for every minute that you play chess on Chessimo, you get to watch a minute of Minecraft Let’s Play videos” – which was a big deal to her at the time (laughs). The result: 90 minutes of practice time each day and more than a 1000 completed problems. When we got back home, she beat two of our top boys – which right away got people to question me about the contents of her breakfast.

I think repetition-based system that Chessimo is built on is ideal. The point being: if you have learned mate in one, the mate in two is going to involve the previously learned mate in one. I am convinced that learning through repetition is an ability that is taught less or even actively unlearned in elementary school nowadays, even though children still need it. Chessimo helps them acquire this skill while having fun at the same time!

If you look for chess apps, you‘ll mostly find apps that are only suited for either play or analysis. If you do manage to find an app to practice with, it’s often going to be targeted at a very narrow audience. Chessimo is not only suited for children or beginners, but also for experienced players, thanks to the different levels of difficulty. All of these positive aspects lead me to try and establish a partnership with Chessimo and thereby link two parts that really haven’t been linked too much in chess: online and offline.

…which we at Chessimo are very happy about, of course. Thank you very much for the conversation, Mr. Schmitt!

Play Together, Have Fun Together – Part 1

Matthias Schmitt

We recently talked to one of our partners from Schachclub Vaterstetten-Grasbrunn and co-organizer of the Chessimo Chess Cups. An interesting conversation about his love for chess, the game’s benefits for young people and an unusual concept for tournaments, part one:

Mr. Schmitt, to start off with, a question that is almost obligatory: how did you come to play chess?

I’ve got to admit that I really was a late bloomer in that regard. Even though I had already been curious as a child and  had tried to teach myself to play chess with a manual from a collection of board games, I had failed in this endeavor and subsequently lost interest. When my daughter discovered her own love for chess five years ago, she kept improving her skills at a local community college (in a class that was taught by a member of the Vaterstetten-Grasbrunn chess club, by the way) and then pushed me to get back into it. We spent a lot of time together during that period and I turned from an eager player into a huge fan of the game. That is mostly due to the remarkable and positive developments that can be seen in children who play chess – not just for school, but for life in general.

The crucial effect that I have noticed not just with my daughter, but other children as well, is that their level of concentration in school is much higher. Thanks to this concentration, they absorb the subject matter immediately and can cut the time needed for homework in half. More time for more pleasurable things is an added bonus, of course. I can tell you about children whose performance in school became much better when they started playing chess. This was also confirmed by a study that was conducted at Trier-Olewig elementary school.

What other positive impacts can be seen in children and youths who play chess?

Longer games improve the ability to concentrate as well. They teach children how to focus on one thing for hours on end. Self-esteem also plays a big role, especially for the girls. What could possibly be better at this age than beating the boys? (laughs)

The positive social aspect that players solidify by taking part in classes or tournaments should not be ignored either. Children play against adults with the same skill-level in our club and that teaches them how to get along with people of all ages and heritage. Competing in events like the Bavarian Championship, team competitions or a chess summer camp builds a strong sense of community and positive relationships. That’s something that many people have lost sight of: chess is often a team sport!

Does the Vaterstetten-Grasbrunn chess club specifically foster children and youths?

Exactly! That’s why our club is one of the few to have a paid volunteer who teaches chess in local schools. The costs are completely covered by the club, since we’re convinced that anyone who’s interested in the game should have the chance to join a workshop.

That’s also why children can join our club for only 9€ per year. We thereby make sure that anybody can afford a membership, no matter their financial background. That fee does not only cover regular events and training, but we also pay their starting fee for external competitions.

Time for real opponents!

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Have you heard of Chessimo Play yet?

Our app on Facebook lets you test your chess skills in real matches! Whether it’s real time or correspondence chess – play against opponents from around the world or invite friends to a challenge online!

In case you don’t have a Facebook account: don’t worry, you don’t need one to use Chessimo!

Click here and try it out now!

New Chessimo app for iOS

iOS

It’s finally here: as of today, the new and optimized Chessimo app for iOS will be available on the App Store.

And there’s good news for all existing users: you can conveniently transfer your TRAIN status onto our platform via an update and won’t lose anything when you make the switch to the new version.

But hold on, there’s more: as a cherry on top, we’ll cut you a deal and make Chessimo available for only 7,99€ for the first two weeks.

Have fun! We’re looking forward to your feedback.

It’s finally available: Chessimo for Android

Arrange_final-Web

We heard you: since the iOS-Version of Chessimo has been enchanting our loyal users all over the world, 8×8 Media AG is finally releasing the popular chess academy for Android!

It’s not just about the brand new design and running Stockfish, one of the strongest chess softwares out there. We are especially excited about the new sync-feature which makes sure that you can use Chessimo on all platforms (iOS, Android, Web) and devices alike!

Of course our new version will also include the features TRAIN, CHECK, and PLAY, offering you the same variety of functions as our iOS app.

The unique method of feedback and efficient learning techniques as well as the dynamically adapting AI opponent complete the package and make Chessimo the ideal companion for anyone who’s looking to improve their game.

Become part of the Chessimo community and get our app right here!

Caruana Prevails At Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund, Germany

Sparkassen Chess Meeting

Source: http://www.sparkassen-chess-meeting.de

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The city of Dortmund in Germany was stage to the Sparkassen Chess Meeting from June 27 to July 5 2015. The tournament is one of Germany’s best cast chess events that had eight participants this year:

  • Former world champion Vladimir Kramnik who has participated in this even for twenty-three years and won ten times. The forty year-old Russian currently ranks 8th in worldwide standings and is considered one of the most experienced players in the world.
  • Fabiano Caruana, who did not only come off winner last at last year’s edition but also prevailed in 2012. At an age of nineteen he caused a stir back then when winning the tournament for the first time. Caruana currently holds an ELO of 2797 points.
  • German player Arkadij Naiditsch who also won the Sparkassen Chess Meeting at the age of nineteen. This sensational victory happened ten years ago when he managed to defeat chess professionals like Kramnik, Topalov, and Adams. By the way, the exceptionally talented player beat world champion Magnus Carlsen twice.
  • Georg Meier, who is third best German player and contributed majorly to Germany’s victory at the European Team Championship 2011. It’s his fifth time to compete at the Sparkassen Chess Meeting at which came off second last year after defeating Kramnik.
  • Women’s world champion Hou Yifan participated for the first time this year. She is a prodigy and as the strongest female chess player in the world, she was by no means an easy opponent at the event. The twenty-two year old was world champion three times already and is a serious challenge even to experienced grandmasters.
  • Ian Neopmniachtschi competed in the 2008 edition of the tournament and came off second at that time. His victory at this year’s edition of the well-known Aeroflot Open in Moscow qualified him for participating in Dortmund. “Nepo” was considered favorite player for the overall victory, as he has severely gained in playing strength recently.
  • German-Rumanian player Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu looks back on a long history of chess expertise. When other players competing at the Sparkassen Chess Meeting were still in diapers, he had already been announced Rumanian Champion and even made it to semi-finals in 1999’s world championship. The former European champion transferred from Russia to the German Chess Federation in 2014 where he currently ranks second.
  • Philippine player Wesley So is persistently one of the world’s Top Ten players (currently rank seven) and has supported the American team since 2014. He became grandmaster at only fourteen years old and was also considered one of the event’s favorite players which he impressively proved with victories over Caruana and Nepomniachtschi.

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Final Results

 Sparkassen Chess Meeting

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Individual Results. Rounds 1 through 7
Round 1. June 27, 2015. 3 p.m.
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
½-½
Caruana, Fabiano 2805
Meier, Georg 2654
½-½
Hou, Yifan 2676
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
0-1
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
1-0
So, Wesley 2778
Round 2. June 28, 2015. 3p.m.
Caruana, Fabiano 2805 0-1 So, Wesley 2778
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722 0-1 Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
Hou, Yifan 2676 0-1 Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720 ½-½ Meier, Georg 2654
Round 3. June 30, 2015. 3 p.m.
Meier, Georg 2654 0-1 Caruana, Fabiano 2805
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783 1-0 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654 ½-½ Hou, Yifan 2676
So, Wesley 2778 0-1 Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
Round 4. July 1, 2015. 3 p.m.
Caruana, Fabiano 2805 1-0 Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
Hou, Yifan 2676 ½-½ So, Wesley 2778
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720 ½-½ Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
Meier, Georg 2654 0-1 Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
Round 5. July 3, 2015. 3 p.m.
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783 0-1 Caruana, Fabiano 2805
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654 ½-½ Meier, Georg 2654
So, Wesley 2778 1-0 Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722 ½-½ Hou, Yifan 2676
Round 6. July 4, 2015. 3 p.m.
Caruana, Fabiano 2805 1-0 Hou, Yifan 2676
Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720 1-0 Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722
Meier, Georg 2654 ½-½ So, Wesley 2778
Kramnik, Vladimir 2783 ½-½ Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654
Round 7. July 1, 2015. 1 p.m.
Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2654 0-1 Caruana, Fabiano 2805
So, Wesley 2778 1-0 Kramnik, Vladimir 2783
Naiditsch, Arkadij 2722 ½-½ Meier, Georg 2654
Hou, Yifan 2676 ½-½ Nepomniachtchi, Ian 2720

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Caruana won this tournament all over again and left the other participants at a 1.5 point advantage behind.

Find game sheets and pictures on the official tournament website.

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

87 Year-Old Beats Capablanca’s Record

Brigitta Sinka

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Last Sunday, 87 year-old Brigitta Sinka from Hungary accomplished what she had set as a goal five years ago: The retired chess player beat the simultaneous chess record of the chess icon José Raúl Capablanca who had played remarkable 13,545 matches during his life until, finally, he passed away in 1920.

While attending a one-week open chess event at an immense tent in Budapest, the chess mentor, who played her first duel against her father at the early age of four, proved her physical and mental health by keeping up with her mentees – after all, she did have to play up to thirty rounds per hour.

Sinka states that chess makes up her entire life and simultaneous chess is her passion. In her lifetime she was supposed to compete in two world championships, both of which she tragically couldn’t attend, as fate had planned otherwise for her – the ambitioned Hungarian has endured heart surgery three times. Fifty-eight years ago, she made first contact with simultaneous chess at the Chess Olympics in Budapest. She has played enthusiastically ever since, especially at summer camps against students. She kept thorough records of every single match as if she had had a feeling that those might come in handy one day. Her chronicle include all matches’ opponents, their dates, locations and results; and she had witnesses sign her every one of her records.

Five years ago, the chess historian Sinka pointed out the record of the Cuban grandmaster Capablanca during an interview. She had already kept record of 9,000 duels at that time and had the idea of breaking his record right away.

Last Sunday was her day: having played over 13,600 matches of simultaneous chess, Brigitta Sinka broke Capablanca’s record. Now, she is waiting for recognition of her accomplishment by the Guinness Book of World Records. Having reached her goal, she still has no intention of quitting the game yet. Sinka plans on improving her record as long as her state of health allowed her to.

Best of Luck!

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

Topalov Wins Norway Chess 2015

norway chess 2015

From June 15 to 27, Norway was stage to one of this year’s chess highlights, the Norway Chess Tournament. They couldn’t have chosen a better pool of participants:

  • Magnus Carlsen. World Champion from Norway and number 1 in world rankings, currently holding an ELO of 2876 points.
  • Visvanathan Anand. Indian former World Champion and current runner-up. Number 2 in worldwide standings at an ELO-rating of 2804 points.
  • Fabiano Caruana. Recent Grand Prix victor and 3rd in world rankings with 2803 ELO points.
  • Hikaru Nakamura. 27 year-old American who ranks 4th in worldwide standings and is current Chess960 World Champion at an ELO of 2799 points.
  • Veselin Topalov. Current number 5 in world rankings. The Bulgarian holds an ELO of 2798 points.
  • Alexander Grischuk. Ranks 6th in international comparison. Holds an ELO of 2780.
  • Anish Giri. Ranked 8th at Gashimov Memorial in April. The 21 year-old ranks 9th in worldwide rankings ar an ELO of 2776 points.
  • Levon Aronian. Armenian with an ELO of 2776 points who currently ranks 10th in international comparison.
  • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Triple French Champion who was recently defeated by Yi Wei at the City of Leon Masters Tournament. Now 12th in world rankings, 2754 ELO points.
  • Jon Ludvig Hammer. Grandmaster and Norwegian born in 1990 – like Magnus Carlsen. Won the Norwegian National Championship in 2013 and ranks 75th internationally with an ELO of 2665.

*ELO-ratings from May 2015

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The competitors started with a blitz chess tournament on June 15 (3 minutes + 2 seconds, begging at 1st move), the results of which determined the starting positions of the actual tournament.

The prize money fund contained 300,000 US-Dollars, 75,000 of which were reserved for the victor. Ranks two and three were rewarded with 50,000 and 40,000.

Veselin Topalov prevailed with 6.5 out of 9 points after 9 suspenseful rounds over Vishy Anand (6 points) and won the overall tournament. Until the very last round, the two of them fought for the title. Hikaru Nakamura came off 3rd, while Magnus Carlsen, who usually isn’t satisfied with anything other than the gold medal, only ranked 5th at disastrous 3.5 points.

The livestream archive has videos of the individual rounds as well as helpful comments.

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Final Results
Name Rat Fed 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Score
1 GM Topalov, Veselin 2798 BUL *  ½  0  ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1  1st
2 GM Anand, Viswanathan 2804 IND  ½ * ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ ½ 1  2nd 6
3 GM Giri, Anish 2773 NED  1 ½ * ½ ½  ½  ½ ½ 1 ½
4 GM Nakamura, Hikaru 2802 USA  ½ ½ ½ * ½ 1 ½  1 ½ 1  3rd 6
5 GM Carlsen, Magnus 2876 NOR 0 0 ½ ½ * 0 ½ 1 1  0
6 GM Caruana, Fabiano 2805 ITA  ½ ½  ½ 0 1 * ½ 0 ½ ½ 4
7 GM VachierLagrave, Maxime 2723 FRA  0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ * 1  ½ ½ 4
8 GM Aronian, Levon 2780 ARM  0 ½ ½  0 0 1 0 * ½ ½ 3
9 GM Grischuk, Alexander 2781 RUS  0 ½ 0 ½ 0 ½  ½ ½ * 1
10 GM Hammer, Jon Ludvig 2677 NOR 0 0 ½ 0  1 ½ ½ ½  0 * 3

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Pairings and Individual Results Rounds 1 to 9
Results Round 1
Anand Viswanathan  Caruana Fabiano  ½ – ½
Carlsen Magnus  Topalov Veselin  0 – 1
 Giri Anish  Grischuk Alexander  1 – 0
 Nakamura Hikaru  Hammer Jon Ludvig  1 – 0
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  Aronian Levon  1 – 0

 

Results Round 2
Grischuk Alexander  Aronian Levon  ½ – ½
Hammer Jon Ludvig  Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  ½ – ½
 Topalov Veselin  Nakamura Hikaru  ½ – ½
 Caruana Fabiano  Carlsen Magnus  1 – 0
Giri Anish  Anand Viswanathan  ½ – ½

 

Results Round 3
Anand Viswanathan  Grischuk Alexander  ½ – ½
Aronian Levon Hammer Jon Ludvig  ½ – ½
 Carlsen Magnus  Giri Anish  ½ – ½
 Nakamura Hikaru  Caruana Fabiano  1 – 0
Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  Topalov Veselin  0 – 1

 

Results Round 4
 Alexander Grischuk Hammer Jon Ludvig  1 – 0
 Topalov Veselin Aronian Levon  1 – 0
 Caruana Fabiano  Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  ½ – ½
 Giri Anish  Nakamura Hikaru  ½ – ½
 Anand Viswanathan  Carlsen Magnus  1 – 0

 

Results Round 5
 Aronian Levon  Caruana Fabiano  1 – 0
 Carlsen Magnus  Grischuk Alexander  1 – 0
 Hammer Jon Ludvig  Topalov Veselin  0 – 1
 Nakamura Hikaru  Anand Viswanathan  ½ – ½
 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  Giri Anish  ½ – ½

 

Results Round 6
 Grischuk Alexander  Topalov Veselin  0 – 1
 Caruana Fabiano  Hammer Jon Ludvig  ½ – ½
 Giri Anish  Aronian Levon  ½ – ½
 Anand Viswanathan  Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  1 – 0
 Carlsen Magnus  Nakamura Hikaru ½ – ½

 

Results Round 7
Aronian Levon  Anand Viswanathan  ½ – ½
 Hammer Jon Ludvig  Giri Anish  ½ – ½
 Nakamura Hikaru  Grischuk Alexander  ½ – ½
 Topalov Veselin  Caruana Fabiano  ½ – ½
 Vachier-Lagrave Maxime  Carlsen Magnus  ½ – ½

 

Results Round 8
 Grischuk Alexander  Caruana Fabiano  ½ – ½
 Giri Anish  Topalov Veselin  1 – 0
 Anand Viswanathan  Hammer Jon Ludvig  1 – 0
 Carlsen Magnus  Aronian Levon  1 – 0
 Nakamura Hikaru  Vachier-Lagrave Maxim  ½ – ½

 

Results Round 9
 Vachier-Lagrave Maxim  Grischuk, Alexander  ½ – ½
 Aronian Levon  Nakamura Hikaru  0 – 1
 Hammer Jon Ludvig  Carlsen Magnus  1 – 0
 Topalov Veselin  Anand Viswanathan ½ – ½
 Caruana Fabiano  Giri Anish  ½ – ½

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Find official reports and summaries on the official tournament website.

CEZ Chess Trophy 2015

CEZ

From June 12 to 16 2015, Prague, the capital of Czech Republic, hosted the CEZ Chess Trophy 2015 tournament. The city is home to David Navara who has been challenging world class players in this very event for thirteen years now. This time

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he competed against the current number 9 in worldwide rankings, Wesley So. No doubt that this was going to be a tough one for the thirty year-old Czech. He has gone a little bit over board a few times before and has had to comply with bitter defeats on home turf at previous CEZ Chess Trophy tournaments. His score account from 2003 to 2014: two victories (against Viktor Korchnoi and Sergei Movsesian), two ties (against Anatoly Karpov and Boris Gelfand), and eight defeats (against Shirov, Short, Kramnik, Ivanchuk, Polgar, Svidler, Yifan, and Nakamura).

During the four scheduled matches (90 minutes/40 + 30 minutes – 30 seconds/move from 1st move) Navara had the chance to finally come off winner at the event which he hadn’t managed to do since 2011.

The chess event began with a simultaneous introduction of the players at which Wesley So impressively demonstrated his skills. Within an hour and forty minutes, the American faced twenty-two opponents, eighteen of which he effortlessly beat. Three duels ended in draws, while one match, against the event’s manager and sponsor Libor Kicmer (ELO 1992), ended in So’s defeat. The two of them were no less than 800 ELO points apart.

Navara had relatively good chances on a victory this year, as he is at a high point in his career. His ELO amounts to 2751 points at the moment and in a live rating shortly before the tournament he ranked 13th in world rankings.

However, Navara had no luck this time and a suspenseful draw in round 1 was quickly followed by a defeat in round 2. Round 3 was again an agreed on tie, which meant suspense until the very end. Navara could have turned the tides to an overall tie with a victory, but his efforts were useless. The Czech had to admit defeat and lost the competition at a final score of 3:1 to Wesley So.

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June 13. 14. 15. 16.
Names/Round Nat. 1 2 3 4 TOTAL
NAVARA CZE 1/2 0 1/2 0 1
SO USA 1/2 1 1/2 1 3

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David Navara lost 26.7 points in the ELO live rating and again fell behind on rank 27 in worldwide standings. What a setback!

Find pictures and game sheets on the official website.

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe