Boris Gelfand: A portait of the Chess Grandmaster

After the grandmaster Boris Gelfand attained another great victory at the 8th Tal Memorial in Moscow, we will take a closer look at the career of 2012’s runner-up World Champion. The Byelorussian currently ranks 12th in the international FIDE positioning.

European Youth Champion in 1998 and several candidates’ tournaments in the 1990s

Boris Abramovich Gelfand was born June 24th, 1968 in the Byelorussian capital Minsk. In the mid 1980s he was recognized by the chess community for the first time, celebrating his first triumph as the Soviet Youth Chess Champion. Three years later, Gelfand and Alexei Drejev won the European Youth Championship at Arnheim, Germany. Another year later, he was honored with the grandmaster title of the FIDE. In the 1990s, the Byelorussian repeatedly participated in candidates’ tournaments – aiming for the World Championship title. Despite winning the interzonal tournament, it was never enough for the big shot. In 1993, he even beat current World Champion Vladimir Kramnik (4.5 : 3.5), but was then defeated by Anatoly Karpov.

Runner-up World Champion of 2012 after tie-break defeat by Anand

After the reconstruction of the FIDE concerning World Championship matters, Gelfand was always close to participating in the important international competition. At the first FIDE World Championship that was played in K.O. System, he even made it to semi-finals, but his opponent Visvanathan Anand from India turned out much stronger. In the following years, Gelfand, who was already playing for Israel to that time, tried hard. After all, he ranked 3rd behind Anand and Vladimir Kramnik, came off ahead at the candidates’ tournament in 2011 and challenged Anand, the World Champion to that time. Though defeated in a tie-break, the Byelorussian reached the greatest success of his career as the runners-up World Champion.

Numerous tournament victories for the chess grandmaster

The chess player from Belarus has been living in Rischon LeZion, after immigrating to Israel in 1998. Competing as both, Byelorussian and Israeli player, he has obtained many victories at international tournaments. Only few of them are Moscow (1992), Belgrade (1995), Vienna (1996), Cannes (2002), and the first FIDE Grand Prix tournament series of 2012/13 in London. In addition, he participated in the Chess Olympics 1990 (USSR), also lined up for Belarus in 1994 and 1996, and since 1998 for Israel. The top class player led the Israeli national team to silver at the Chess Olympics in 2008 and triumphed at this year’s Tal Memorial. Boris Gelfand’s highest ranking in worldwide standings of the FIDE was 3rd place in 1991.

written by Michael, translated by Birthe

Boris Gelfand: Vice World Champion of 2012 wins Tal Memorial in Russia

Once again, the grandmaster in chess, Boris Gelfand, proved his remarkable skills: The Bulgarian master, who plays for Israel, triumphed over all world-class participants at the 8th Tal Memorial in the Russian capital.

Ten of the best grandmasters lined up in Moscow

The Tal Memorial is a prestigious chess event that was first set up in 2006 in Moscow to honor the former World Champion Michail Tal. In 2011, the Tal Memorial was classified as a Category 21 tournament, and is thus one oft the best-cast competitions worldwide. Each year, ten invited grandmasters line up and compete in the one-round tournament, to which the traditional rule of time limit applies. This year’s prize money amounted to 100,000€, 30,000€ of which were given the lucky winner. Participation lists show: This year the Who Is Who of chess gathered for the Tal Memorial! The past two years, the field was led by the Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, the FIDE first worldwide.

Leading FIDE players were unfortunate

This year, anyway, the FIDE champion Magnus Carlsen had to take 2nd place. At 5.5 points he ranked immediately behind the victor Boris Gelfand. The Israeli achieved 6.0 points in nine matches and therefore won the tournament. The last three ranks of the 8th Tal Memorial 2013 in Moscow were taken by Alexander Morozevich (10th in worldwide positioning / 3.5 points at Tal Memorial), Viswanathan Anand (4th / 3.5), and Vladimir Kramnik, who is listed 3rd in worldwide rankings and considered the best Russian player at the present time. Instead of leading FIDE champions, other players (ranking behind Anand and Kramnik in FIDE ratings) took over the first ranks. The Italian Fabiano Caruana (9th) came off third, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov from Azerbaijan (14th) and the Russian Dimitry Andreikin (29th) came off fourth and fifth at each 5.0 points. Hikaru Nakamura (5th / 4.5) and Sergey Karjakin (7th / 4.0) ended The Tal Memorial 2013 on sixth and seventh rank.

The chess tournament is the Russian Metropolis was won by Kramnik, Karjakin, and Mamedyarov in the past.

written by Michael, translated by Birthe

100 year anniversary of Dr. Paul Tröger – the founder of the German Cup

When talking about Karpovs, Kasparovs, Anands, and Carlsen today, one recognizes that most honorable German Grandmasters of the post-World-War-II-era have been long forgotten. One of them is Dr. Paul Tröger, born June 23rd 1913 in Augsburg, is celebrated as a jubilee. Tröger was partially overshadowed by Wolfgang Unziker and Lothar Schmid, but was never to be underestimated and shared enthusiasm for sports, soccer in particular, and was a journalist for many newspapers.

One of these papers, that was founded in 1920 and forced to be laid off in a late WWII stage, is the ‘Kicker’ for which Tröger was one of the founding members. For four years he was in charge ofeditorship until he engaged in circles ofwell-established German chess magazines as an editor.

In 1936 he earned his doctorate in philosophy for his dissertation Newspaper and Life (originally “Zeitung und Leben”) and was considered a strong of creative combinations. Tröger began playing chess at a late age of 15 at the chess club SK Augsburg 1873. Quickly, he gained national recognition, peaking in 1957 at the German Individual Chess Championship in Bad Neuenahr. Despite the time-consuming job as a journalist, this was not his only tournament success. At the Chess Olympics he lined up for Germany twice, in 1958 and 1962 (as team captain even). Though, Unzicker, Schmid, Klaus Darga and later on Helmut Pfleger were ahead.

Many times he surpassed himself in German Major League games and contributed to five championships. Most times he played in Cologne for the SG Porz and in 1988 dropped out at the highest German chess category. Two years later Tröger played his last tournament that he completed on second rank being equal in score with the winner Dr. Rudolf Palme (7. Leutascher Senior Tournament 1990).

Oblivious to many, he called out to the German Individual Chess Cup in 1948/ 49: “Trophy? That smacks of sensation, knock- out, and soccer field!” Soccer always inspired Tröger; he was fascinated by the idea of David fighting Goliath. He had a thought of making chess a popular sport, a thought that was supposed to renew tournament behavior back in the day.

The first cup championship neither required costs of participation nor team membership. The papers Caissa andthe Nürnberg Sports Magazine announced the competitions, sponsored the trophy and travelling expenses for the sixteen final competitors. Tröger was involved in the tournament director back then and crowned Lothar Schmid the winner of over 1,800 participants.

His newspaper columns of the 1930s in German papers will never be forgotten: He showed real enthusiasm for the sport and frankly shared his thoughts with the entire chess community. The development of Major League Chess and the questions whether or not chess can be considered a sport were evergreens in his publications. Also, exchanges of letters with Lothar Schmid, conflict resolution in the old school way, were a public matter to him. His book publications are precious antiquities and popular among collectors. Dr. Paul Tröger passed away on January 20th in 1992.

written by Frank, translated by Birthe



Russia is new World Champion in Braille Chess

The Russian chess team has triumphed at the Spanish city Saragossa and ensured their World Championship title. While Poland was defeated in finals, the German team achieved vardenafil hcl a solid drug interactions between prozac and plavix 4th place at the IBCA World Championship 2013.

14 teams competed in Saragossa

Ordinarily, 16 teams line up for the World Championship of the International Braille Chess Association (IBCA). This year, however, two teams withdrew their participation on short notice and therefore only 14 teams were part of the event in Saragossa. Among them, members of the German Chess Association of Blind and Partially Sighted. The preliminary round was played in two groups of each seven teams. Group A was headed by Russia, as expected, with 19 points. Columbia ranked 2nd, followed by Venezuela, India, Romania, and Croatia. In Group B Poland (17.5 points) and Spain (16.0 points) emerged to semi- finals, while the Ukraine, Serbia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, and Great Britain dropped out after the preliminaries.

Russia and Poland with clear victories at semi- finals

Semi- finals ended in two vardenafil very obvious victories: The Russian team had no mercy with the home team and therefore defeated Spain at 3:1. Such outstanding result was by all means to be expected. While Alexey Pakhomov (Elo 2396) and Stanislav Babarykin (Elo 2283) ended their games against Augustin Fernandes Manrique (Elo 2190) and Gavril Draghici Flutur in a tie, Yuri A. Meshkov (Elo 2356) and Sergey Krylov (Elo 2333) clearly defeated Manuel Palacios Perez (Elo 2914) and Roberto Clemente Llamero (Elo clomid 2149). An equally distinct loss was recorded for the German team, which lost 1:3 to Poland. Oliver Müller and Anton Lindemair drew remise in their duels, but Frank Schellmann and Dieter Riegler lost to their Polish opponents.

Russia defeats Poland, Spain ahead of Germany

The game for 3rd rank at the Championship in Saragossa was a clear thing: The home team left the Germans far behind at a score of 3.5 : 0.5. Frank Schellmann achieved a remise, but Oliver Müller, Dieter Riegler, and Jürgen Pohlers were unfortunate and thus their defeats were distinct. Much tougher was the battle for the gold medal: Alexey Pakhomov lost the duel to Piotr Dukaczewski (Elo 2226), while Yuri A. Meshkov and Stanislav Babarykin achieved the crucial victories for the title at the IBCA World Championship 2013.

written by Michael, translated by Birthe

Swedish Grandmaster Nils Grandelius wins Golden Sands Open 2013

The Golden Sands Open is yet another exciting event in the world of chess. Grandmaster Nils Grandelius with an Elo of 2544 came off winner in Bulgaria. He achieved 7.5 points in nine rounds.

222 participants from 31 nations at the Golden Sands Open

Four players ranked immediately behind Grandelius at an equal score of 7.0 points. The silver medal went to the Czech player Zbynek Hracek (Elo 2625) and bronze was won by Vladislav Nevednichy from Romania (Elo 2580). The two following ranks of the Golden Sands Open were also taken by grandmasters: With a score of 7.0 also, Vladimir Georgiev from Macedonia and M. R. Venkatesh from India completed on 4th and 5th position. Overall, 222 competitors deom 31 nations participated at the tournament in Bulgaria, among them 38 grandmasters. Duels were fought in Swiss Tournament System in nine rounds.

First move by Bulgarian Director of Gymnastics

The winner Nils Grandelius received a winning bonus of 6,000€. In total, 40,000€ prize money were given to the lucky winners at the Grand Europe Open Golden Sands 2013. Certainly no prize money did the Russian player Merkin German win; He was disqualified from the event for cheating. German used his Smartphone to support his game. Anyway, the official opening of the tournament was performed by Yordan Yovochev, the multiple world champion and Olympic medallist.

German participants far behind

The German team was hardly successful at the Golden Sands Open 2013: The best German player, Matthias Röder (Elo 2409), completed on 78th rank. In nine duels he only scored 5.0 points. At an equal score of 5.0 fellow team member Klaus Friedrichs (Elo 2293) was placed three ranks behind Röder. Michael Tscharotschkin (Elo 2217) and Dr. Guntram Hainke (Elo 2310) finished the tournament on ranks 84and 89 at 5.0 points. Last but not least, Dr. Philipp Limbourg (Elo 2187) scored 4.0 and therefore achieved the 135th rank at the Golden Sands Opening 2013 in Bulgaria.

written by Michael, translated by Birthe

European Championship of students gathers chess talents in Serbia

The Serbian Novi Sad is the current center of attention in the chess world. Having started yesterday, the European School Chess Championship 2013 has drawn in almost 300 participants from all over Europe.

Championship in twelve categories

Altogether, the championship is held in twelve different categories: U7, U9, U11, U13, U15, and U17 for both boys and girls. Thus, a wide range of ages is covered, which is common for junior tournaments in Europe. The championship is scheduled to run until June 28th, which will be the day of final announcements of the lucky winners. The starting list records 273 girls and boys, who are eager to compete. While no German students are participating, juniors from thirteen European countries

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line up for their nations.

Tournament in Swiss System

The duels between the young talents at the European School Chess Championship are fought in Swiss System with 9 rounds. Especially many students from Serbia are part of this tournament, which takes place in the Master Center on the exhibition grounds of the second largest Serb city. Furthermore, many young talents from Bosnia- Herzegovina, Slovenia and Albania have signed up for the competition. Equally strongly represented are Eastern- European countries, such as Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Lithuania. In addition, many other countries, like Turkey, Austria, England, France and Israel, have sent students to Serbia to be part of the championship.

Within the next days, we will definitely witness striking games and find out, how the chess coaches have prepared their students and countries for this challenge.

written by Michael, translated by Birthe

Chess magazines at a train station..

I observe the other platforms, as I ride the tram. I image for the rails to be infinitely connected throughout the entire world. The fact, that this is not real, keeps me from fading into a dream world. Just like the finite rail network, the cosmos of chess is limited. The automated tape announcement in the tram reminds me of having reached the train station – my destination. Smoking people gather tightly at the main entrance and silently puff their cigarettes. Not a sight of heated discussions like at the most recent elections of the World Association.

Consistently, like the rigid rail network, I approach the shop with printed papers and gaze at the current publications of my interest. It’s fascinating how many papers are produced for the German chess’s sake and how fragmented this community of readers seems. I pick one or two magazines and aim for the cash register. Lost in my thoughts, I wonder how far in the future the last of these newspaper stores will have vanished and whether or not I will miss them. Probably so. ‘Don’t forget – no cheating!’ am I reminded by the cashier, who smiles at my choice of magazines. A little confused, I hand her them to her and don’t dare asking what made her believe the contents of these publications would serve as cheat- sheets or whether that is her actual impression of the sport. I pay, stow the papers in my backpack and leave the store.

Outside, I find myself waved at by a woman holding a 5€ bill. Out of curiosity I stop and listen to her request: She needs change for the ticket vending machine. As I hand her coin by coin and in exchange slide the bill into my pocket, my eyes travel across the station clock. Damn, I’m five minutes late and the unpleasant feeling of a shortage in time occupies my mind, while I hurry towards my next destination. Doing this, I already have the idea of making these few minutes of my morning the content for my next blog..

written by Frank, translated by Birthe

A portrait of the new European Chess Champion Oleksandr Mojissejenko

After a tough battle with a breath- taking finale in Legnica, Oleksandr Mojissejenko emerged as the new European Chess Champion 2013. The Ukrainian, who is listed as ‘Alexander Moissenko’ at the World Chess Association FIDE, triumphed over nine opponents with an equal score of 8 / 11. Due to a superior rating of his matches, he was declared winner and will therefore compete in the Chess World Cup 2013.

Mother taught Moissenko chess game as a tot

Alexander Moissenko, born on May 17th 1980, began playing chess in his early childhood years. Once his mother taught him, and at an age of six he was registered for the chess group of the pioneer castle in Severomorsk. Three years later, in 1989, the entire family moved to Charkiv in the Ukraine. In 1996, Moissenko already made a noise in the world winning the U16 World Cup in Spain. At only seventeen, he began his studies at law school in Charkiv. In the local chess community, for which the soon-to-be grandmasters Eljanov and Andrejev played also, he was taught and mentored by the former Soviet master Savon. In 1998, Alexander Moissenko ranked 2nd at the Ukrainian Youth Championship in Kharkiv and continued the series of success in Murek as an under-18-player. Crwoned IM in 1996, he officially joined the circle of chess grandmaster in 2000.

Many national and international successes for the chess grandmaster

Numerous successes followed for Moissenko, such as winning a meaningful chess event in Krashodar In south Russia (1999) and a second rank at the Ukrainian Youth Championship in 2000. Moreover, he was a thriving national player for the Ukraine and has attended many chess tournaments since joining the team. Moissenko and his teammates accomplished two championship victories at chess tournaments in 2004 and 2010. Over and above this, he lined up for Turkish,

Spanish and Israeli league teams. Playing individually, Alexander Moissenko won the Canadian Open in 2003, 2004, and 2008, the Aeroflot Open in Moscow in 2009 and the World Open in Philadelphia in 2008. At the Chess Championship 2004 in Tripoli he made it to third round, but dropped out after being defeated by Vladimir Hakobjan from Armenia. The highest Elo- rating reported for Moissenko was 2694 in 2009.

written by Michael, translated by Birthe

Fraudsters and Spies without Picklocks and Keyholes

Many years ago, provocative news spread through the world of chess: Bobby Fischer plays online! The British Grandmaster Nigel Short, who had even played Garry Kasparov in the PCA- World Championship, caused this rumor to proliferate throughout the news. Nigel Short competed against someone online, who called himself ‘Bobby Fischer’ and played odd opening moves, but gradually turned out to be a very strong chess player. Having lost eight matches in a row, Short came to the conclusion that his opponent could be no other than Bobby Fischer himself! This triggered a massive demand of competing against this ‘Fischer’. None of them stood a chance and suffered disastrous defeats. Unfortunately, this supposedly strong chess player turned out to be an imposter, who had used chess software to gain an advantage using Bobby Fischer’s name, while winning game after game.

 Fact is, wherever a ranking list can be headed or prizes and even money can be won – cheaters are around. Due to enormous calculating power of software, chess players are affected to a much higher extent than supporters of the so-called Go- Play. Here, the abuse of software can only lift a cheater from ‘knows the rules’ to a ‘slightly better than beginner’ status. Detecting imposters on chess servers is possible, though expensive, and is already performed by several server operators. This can be done in many different ways: From checking changes in tasks of the users, to process bars and examining headlines of all occupied websites. Cheating can be assumed, when losing focus on the dialog window occurs repeatedly. In case of Free Internet Chess Servers, suspicious matches can be reported by the community and will then be examined for irregularities by a special task force.

However, cheaters have quickly enhanced their abilities and make it increasingly difficult to track down fraud. The use of cross- linked computers can hardly be proven and experienced computer programmers can easily invent new tools, which change headlines by using special program- interfaces and by acting in different dialog windows. With a lot of effort, cheaters can be tracked down by the statistical analysis of their error frequency in their style of playing. This is a reasonable tactic, because a significant and typical error frequency exists for every chess player – varying by their abilities.

The first fraud case was revealed at the German Youth Online Championship in 2003, when a U25 player cheated his way up to finals! An analysis could prove, that the order of moves he had made was identical to the program Fritz 8. The player admitted to cheating and was consequently disqualified from the tournament.

Written by Frank, translated by Birthe

Mitropa Cup 2013: Home team Germany with two silver medals

At this year’s traditional Mitropa Cup, Germany could not draw benefits from playing on home turf. The men’s team as well as the women’s team came second and left first place to Slovakia and Croatia.

Only small points gap for German women chess duo

Both German teams were narrowly defeated. The women’s team of Marie Klek and Filiz Osmanodja scored a total of 12.5 at the Mitropa Cup in Meissen which was rewarded with a second rank, right behind the Slovakian team that was cast with Eva Repková and Júlia Kŏchetková. The East/ European pair with a score of 13 points was therefore declared winner. Overall, Filiz Osmanodja played an excellent tournament, as she earned eight points in nine matches, but after all endeavours failed at the Women Grand Master Norm with too low average performances of her opponents. Altogether, ten women competed in the Mitropa Chess Cup 2013, of which the Austrians with 3.5 points were clearly at the bottom of the ranking.

The German men’s quintet also barely missed the victory

Like the women’s team, the German men only just missed their chance of the gold medal at the popular chess tournament. Daniel Fridman, Dennis Wagner, Uwe Bönsch, Alexander Donchenko, and Matthias Blübaum scored 12.0 points among ten teams, leaving the top spot to the Croatian quintet, which earned 13.0 points. The bottom ranks in the 32nd edition of the Mitropa Cup were taken by Switzerland (7 points) and Austria (5 points).

German team in previous years more successful

The German men won the 2011 tournament in France, followed by a victory of the German women’s team in 2012 in Croatia. The European chess tournament offers especially great opportunities for this century’s young chess talents. Although Germany didn’t come off ahead in the cup, they deservedly took second place in both men and women’s ranking.

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written by Michael, translated by Birthe