Chess Junior World Championship 2013 in Al Ain

Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates is currently stage for the Chess Junior World Championship 2013. The title duels of the Under 8 to Under 18 years old are scheduled until December 29th and will therefore take place over the holidays.


Record number of participants at championship

Offizielle Eröffnungsfeier Schach Jugendweltmeisterschaft 2013

The 1,800 boys and girls from 120 nations are divided into six age groups. This very large number of participants is a new record. Matches are fought in Swiss Tournament System in which 11 rounds will be played. The competitors have 90 minutes for the first 40 moves; the time for the remaining duel is set at 30 minutes with an additional 30 seconds per move. 119 girls and 184 boys will be competing in the group of Under 8 year-olds and 141 girls and 211 boys in the group of Under 10 year-olds. Another 147 girls and 218 boys will be competing in the category Under 12, while 127 girls and 201 boys have registered to compete in the category Under 14. 118 girls and 186 boys have signed up for the under 16 competition and lastly 101 girls and 137 boys

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will play in the Under 18 category.

German Chess Association with 40 participants

One of the participating nations is Germany. The country sent 40 chess players to the Emirates to compete at the Chess Junior World Championship 2013. Some of these players even made it to the top of the seeding lists. First of all, Hanna-Marie Klek is one of the German top-favorized players among the Under 18 year-olds. With an ELO-rating of 2283 she is seeded 4th, while her teammate Filiz Osmandoja (2247) is ranked 8th. Both players were able to win their opening duels in the United Arab Emirates so far. In the boys’ division, Germany’s hopes are on Matthias Bluebaum (2510) and Dennis Wagner (2481) who are numbers 3 and 3 of the seeding list of Under 16 year old boys and have already managed to win their very first game at the championship.


written by Michael, translated by Birthe

Mind Games 2013: Sergey Karjakin dominant in Basque Rapids

The final stage of the World Mind Games 2013 was played in an odd but unique playing mode: the Basque rapids. This competition was dominated by Sergey Karjakin who literally crushed his opponents after he had already won the rapid chess tournament.


Sergey Karjakin two points ahead of runner-up

World Mind Games 2013

When playing Basque rapids, two duels are fought out at the same time on two boards. At the World Mind Games 2013 in the Chinese capital Beijing, the thinking time amounted to 20 minutes plus an addition of 10 seconds per move. Once again, Sergey Karjakin proved his remarkable skills and dominated the field. Out of 10 duels he scored 8.5 points and did not lose a single match against his five opponents. In the end, the Russian was even 2.0 points ahead off the runner-up Shakriyar Mamedyarov. The chess grandmaster from Azerbaijan scored 6.5 points. The bronze medal was obtained by Ruslan Ponomariov with 6.0 points, while the world’s number 2, Levon Aronian, only ranked 11th out of 16 in overall standings. A glance at the final rankings provides deeper insight:

Rank Name Rtg Federation Pts Res. vict MBl RtgØ
1 GM Karjakin Sergey 2787 Russia 8.5 0.0 7 5 2771
2 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2795 Azerbaijan 6.5 0.0 5 5 2771
3 GM Ponomariov Ruslan 2748 Ukraine 6.0 0.0 4 5 2762
4 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2732 Ukraine 5.5 0.0 4 5 2758
5 GM Kamsky Gata 2734 USA 5.5 0.0 4 5 2733
6 GM Grischuk Alexander 2828 Russia 5.5 0.0 3 5 2759
7 GM Wang Yue 2729 China 5.5 0.0 3 5 2758
8 GM Le Quang Liem 2756 Vietnam 5.0 0.0 4 5 2760
9 GM Wang Hao 2690 China 4.5 0.0 4 5 2763
10 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2799 Russia 4.5 0.0 3 5 2740
11 GM Aronian Levon 2797 Armenia 4.5 0.0 2 5 2774
12 GM Dominguez Perez Leinier 2758 Cuba 4.5 0.0 1 5 2783
13 GM Giri Anish 2700 Netherlands 4.0 0.0 3 5 2744
14 GM Radjabov Teimour 2749 Azerbaijan 3.5 0.0 1 5 2754
15 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2761 France 3.5 0.0 1 5 2731
16 GM Leko Peter 2738 Hungary 3.0 0.0 0 5 2739

Chinese are dominant in women’s competition

Zhao Xue

The competition of women at the World Mind Games 2013 was clearly controlled by the home team from China. The three participants from China secured the bronze, silver, and gold medal! The world champion Yifan Hou was ‘only’ able to obtain 2nd place with 7.0 points out of five matches or 10 duels. In 1st place is team member Zhao Xue who scored 7.5 points and therefore secured the gold medal. Bronze medallist Ju Wenjun also scored 7.0 points, but due to fewer victories she came off 3rd. Best non-Chinese player in the women’s division was the player with the lowest ELO-rating of all female participants: Viktorija Cmilyte from Lithuania (6.0 points). The German player Elisabeth Paehtz scored 4.0 points during the tournament and thus ranked 13th. Here is the final placement of the women’s competition at the World Mind Games 2013:

Rank Name Rtg Federation Pts Res. vict MBl RtgØ
1 GM Zhao Xue 2489 China 7.5 0.0 7 5 2524
2 GM Hou Yifan 2579 China 7.0 1.0 7 5 2554
3 WGM Ju Wenjun 2552 China 7.0 1.0 6 5 2521
4 GM Cmilyte Viktorija 2450 Lithuania 6.0 0.0 6 5 2544
5 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2588 Russia 6.0 0.0 5 5 2541
6 GM Gunina Valentina 2543 Russia 6.0 0.0 4 5 2574
7 GM Muzychuk Anna 2566 Slovenia 4.5 0.0 4 5 2538
8 GM Sebag Marie 2502 France 4.5 0.0 3 5 2571
9 GM Ushenina Anna 2478 Ukraine 4.5 0.0 3 5 2542
10 GM Lagno Kateryna 2566 Ukraine 4.5 0.0 3 5 2541
11 GM Cramling Pia 2513 Sweden 4.5 0.0 3 5 2524
12 GM Koneru Humpy 2626 India 4.5 0.0 2 5 2526
13 IM Paehtz Elisabeth 2513 Germany 4.0 1.0 4 5 2521
14 GM Dzagnidze Nana 2575 Georgia 4.0 1.0 3 5 2519
15 GM Kosintseva Tatiana 2503 Russia 3.5 0.0 1 5 2560
16 GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2582 Bulgaria 2.0 0.0 0 5 2525


Pictures: Turnierseite & wikipedia/Leigh Atkins

written by Michael, translated by Birthe

Mind Games 2013: Yifan Hou and Sergey Karjakin win rapid chess tournament

The Chinese city Beijing is currently hosting the SportAccord Mind Games. During the opening stage, the rapid chess tournament of men and women took place in which Yifan Hou and Sergey Karjakin were able to prevail.


Winners in rapid chess at the Mind Games are final after 30 rounds

Sergey Karjakin-1

The rapid chess tournaments in both men and women’s category of the Mind games 2013 took 3 entire days. Within this time frame, each of the 16 male and female players played the 30 rounds in everybody-against-everybody mode. The final decisions were made on the last day; in the men’s category, Sergey Karjakin, who already became rapid chess master last year, was able to prevail in his area of comfort. The women’s category is led by Yifan Hou who is the current world champion and seems undefeatable.


Youngest chess grandmaster of all time wins men’s tournament

Sergey Karjakin is not only rapid chess master and number 12 in worldwide rankings; he is also the youngest grandmaster the world of chess has ever seen. Particularly in the final stage of the tournament, Karjakin was able to score. Earlier, it seemed that Shakriyar Mamedyarov would be the great winner, but on the final day several changes in overall standings were made and therefore the Russian grandmaster secured the victory. Sergey Karjakin prevailed over Levon Aronian who had equally scored 19.5 points. In a previous direct duel, he had defeated the world’s runner-up Aronian at 1.5:0.5 points which put him in a favorable position. The Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave follows in 3rd place at 18.0 points.


The final rankings of the rapid chess tournament of the Mind Games 2013:

Rank Name Rtg Federation Pts Res. vict SB MBl
1 GM Karjakin Sergey 2837 Russia 19.5 1.5 15 290.50 15
2 GM Aronian Levon 2817 Armenia 19.5 0.5 16 275.00 15
3 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2825 France 18.0 1.5 13 255.00 15
4 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2721 Azerbaijan 18.0 0.5 15 256.00 15
5 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2830 Russia 17.0 2.0 13 246.25 15
6 GM Le Quang Liem 2841 Vietnam 17.0 0.0 13 240.75 15
7 GM Grischuk Alexander 2798 Russia 16.5 0.0 13 242.25 15
8 GM Ponomariov Ruslan 2774 Ukraine 14.5 1.5 11 201.25 15
9 GM Giri Anish 2747 Netherlands 14.5 0.5 9 211.50 15
10 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2750 Ukraine 14.0 0.0 11 209.25 15
11 GM Kamsky Gata 2671 United States of America 13.5 1.0 9 185.25 15
12 GM Dominguez Perez Leinier 2769 Cuba 13.5 1.0 8 193.25 15
13 GM Radjabov Teimour 2755 Azerbaijan 12.0 0.0 6 179.25 15
14 GM Wang Yue 2723 China 11.0 1.5 4 165.25 15
15 GM Leko Peter 2722 Hungary 11.0 0.5 5 161.25 15
16 GM Wang Hao 2698 China 10.5 0.0 5 152.00 15



Women’s category: Yifan Hou solid, Elisabeth Paehtz in bottom position


The final decision about the tournament victory in the women’s division was also made on the 3rd and last day. In the end, the Chinese world champion Yifan Hou was clearly ahead. In the final rankings of the Mind Games 2013 in Beijing she was in 1st place at 21.5 points, two points ahead off Valentina Gunina. The Russian, however, was one point superior to Anna Muzychuk from Slovenia and two points superior to Anna Ushenina from the Ukraine. At the very bottom of the rankings is the German representative Elisabeth Paethz who scored 9.5 points.


The complete rankings in the women’s category of the Mind Games 2013:

Rank Name Rtg Federation Pts Res. vict SB MBl
1 GM Hou Yifan 2559 China 21.5 0.0 19 302.50 15
2 GM Gunina Valentina 2527 Russia 19.5 0.0 18 271.50 15
3 GM Muzychuk Anna 2639 Slovenia 18.5 0.0 17 274.75 15
4 GM Ushenina Anna 2489 Ukraine 17.5 0.0 15 242.50 15
5 GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2508 Bulgaria 17.0 0.0 13 244.25 15
6 GM Lagno Kateryna 2532 Ukraine 16.0 0.0 12 225.50 15
7 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2612 Russia 15.0 0.0 10 220.75 15
8 GM Dzagnidze Nana 2579 Georgia 14.5 2.5 13 203.25 15
9 GM Zhao Xue 2471 China 14.5 2.5 11 195.50 15
10 GM Koneru Humpy 2558 India 14.5 1.0 12 211.75 15
11 GM Sebag Marie 2501 France 14.0 1.5 12 206.50 15
12 GM Kosintseva Tatiana 2480 Russia 14.0 0.5 13 209.75 15
13 WGM Ju Wenjun 2454 China 13.5 0.0 11 198.75 15
14 GM Cmilyte Viktorija 2532 Lithuania 10.5 0.0 7 152.75 15
15 GM Cramling Pia 2430 Sweden 10.0 0.0 7 144.75 15
16 IM Paehtz Elisabeth 2574 Germany 9.5 0.0 7 128.75 15


Pictures: wikipedia/ Stefan64 & Clément Bucco-Lechat

written by Michael, translated by Birthe

Färöer Island European “Junior” Chess Champion

A little while ago, Azerbaijan secured the title “European Chess Champion 2013”. Now, another European Chess Championship was hosted in Monte Carlo which was won by the team from the Färöer Islands.


Ten national teams at the European Small Nation Team Championship

Färöer Schach Europameister der Kleinen

Overall, ten national teams participated in the European Chess Championship of small nations in

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Monaco. During nine rounds in eight days Europe’s smallest of nations fought out duels in the Hotel Hermitage, in which the chess players from the Färöer Islands showed their strengths and top-class abilities. Throughout the entire tournament almost, the team led the field at the championship. With 8 victories and 1 defeat, the Färöers scored 16.0 points and obtained the gold medal. While chess players like John Arni Nilssen (ELO 2366) are usually not in the spotlight, they were now able to prevail at the European Small Nation Team Championship.


Andorra and Monaco secure remaining medals

Furthermore, the national teams from Andorra and Monaco managed a place on the podium at the European Small Nation Team Championship. Andorra finished the tournament at 14.0 points in the runner-up position. The chess players of this small nation were able to achieve 6 victories, 2 draws, and were defeated twice. The team secured the silver medal in the final round when prevailing over medallist Färöer. The final score of the game was 2.5:1.5 points in Andorra’s favor. Other results of Andorra were a draw against Malta (2:2) and a defeat against Cyprus (1:3). The home team from Monaco obtained the bronze medal at 13.0 points. Along with the draw against Andorra and the 1:3 and 1.5:2.5 defeats by Färöer and Luxembourg, the team from Monaco achieved 6 victories. Cyprus and Luxembourg follow in ranks 4 and 5 at 12 and 10 points as the final rankings show.


written by Michael, translated by Birthe


London Chess Classics 2013 begin December 11th

Today, on Wednesday, December 11th 2013, the London Chess Classics begin with yet another world-class cast. While the chess festival has already begun, the ‘Super 16’ will start today in the English capital London.


Five Top 10 players of the worldwide rankings

As the name indicates, 16 of the world’s best chess players will be participating in this chess event. Yet again, the organizers of the 5th edition of the ‘Super 16’ were able to recruit several top-rated players. Although the new Chess World Champion Magnus Carlsen will not be present, former World Champion Visvanathan Anand will compete – for the first time since his defeat at the World Championship in Chennai against the young Norwegian. The Indian will face four other Top 10 chess players: Vladimir Kramnik, Boris Gelfand, Fabiano Caruana, and Hikaru Nakamura. The competitors will play a rapid chess tournament as part of the London Chess Classics 2013, which are carried out from December 7th through 15th.


The playing mode of the London Chess Classics 2013

First of all, the 16 participants will play a preliminary round in four groups of each four players. A victory will be rewarded with 3 points, a draw still adds 1 point to the players’ scores. The best two players of each group qualify for the Knock-Out-Round of the ‘Super 16’. The thinking time for every duel is 25 minutes, plus 10 seconds per move. The tournament’s final victor will take home 50.000€ of the total amount of 150.000€ prize money. Undoubtedly, it would have been interesting to see Magnus Carlsen’s performance so short after the World Championship victory, as the Norwegian was able to win the 1st edition of this event in 2009 and the 4th edition last year.


The 16 participants of the ‘Super 16’ at the London Chess Classics 2013

Here is an overview of the four groups of the preliminary round of the ‘Super 16’ tournament at the London Chess Classics 2013:


Group A 

1. Luke McShane (2684)

2. Andrei Istratescu (2709)

3. Michael Adams (2746)

4. Vishy Anand (2784)


Group B 

1. Vladimir Kramnik (2777)

2. Jonathan Rowson (2569)

3. Matthew Sadler (2646)

4. Peter Svidler (2789)


Group C

1. Boris Gelfand (2718)

2. Gawain Jones (2615)

3. Hikaru Nakamura (2812)

4. Judit Polgar (2669)


Group D 

1. Nigel Short (2711)

2. Fabiano Caruana (2783)

3. Emil Sutovsky (2663)

4. David Howell (2649)


Picture: wikipedia/Autopilot

written by Michael, translated by Birthe

Russia is Team Chess World Champion 2013

The Russian national team secured the World Championship title 2013 at the Turkish city Antalya. With seven victories, one draw, and one defeat the Russians won the gold medal and prevailed over nine other participating teams.


Russia defeats Ukraine in preliminary decisive duel

Ian Nepomniachtchi

Even before the final 9th round, the Russians took the overall lead at the tournament. In the ending stage of the event, the Russians achieved the expected victory against the Egyptian team which hadn’t won a single duel throughout the championship. Still, the team from Russia had a hard time winning; former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, Sergey Karjakin, and Nikita Vitiugov were not able to triumph over their much lower-rated opponents and ended the duels in draws. The decisive point to the final score of 2.5:1.5 was secured by Ian Nepomniachtchi (ELO 2721) who won against Sam Shoker (ELO 2500). Therefore, Russia had an overall ending score of 15.0 match points and secured the gold medal, while Egypt ended up on 10th place with zero points. The preliminary decision, though, was already made in 8th round, when Russia defeated the Ukraine at 2.5:1.5 points. Again, Ian Nepomniachtchi scored the decisive point against Yuriy Kryvoruchko. The Ukraine finally prevailed over Armenia at 2.5:1.5 points and with an overall score of 14.0 points and secured the bronze medal of the Team Chess World Championship 2013 in Antalya.


China obtains silver medal, European Champion Azerbaijan is far off

The silver medal was obtained by the Chinese team, which in the end had a score account of 14.0 match points. China first prevailed over Germany in round 8 at 2.5:1.5 points; Yu Yangyi became the match-winner, as he decided the match against German player David Baramidze (ELO 2614) to his favor. In the following round, the Asian team scored an easy 3:1 victory against the home team from Turkey. The Turkish came off 9th at the Team Chess Championship 2013 with a final score of only 3.0 points. Germany, on the other hand, ranked 7th in overall standings, after a victory (3:1) against European Champion Azerbaijan in the final round. Daniel Fridman (ELO 2600) defeated Nidjat Mamedov (ELO 2616) and Germany’s top-rated player Arkadij Naiditsch (ELO 2727) prevailed over Vasif Durarbayli (ELO 2559). The European Team Champion from Eastern-Europe ended up in 8th place with disappointing 7.0 points, while the Netherlands became 4th (9.0), followed by Armenia and the United States at each 10.0 points.


Picture: wikipedia/Bzmarko

written by Michael, translated by Birthe


Chess World Rankings: World Champion Magnus Carlsen remains top of the list

The world rankings of chess remain unaltered in December 2013 with Magnus Carlsen still in the leading position. Compared to before the World Championship though, the Norwegian was only able to slightly increase his ELO-rating.


Peter Svidler ascends into Top 10

Magnus Carlsen

A look at the December 2013 edition of the Chess World Rankings tells us that Magnus Carlsen is still in the leading position with an ELO of 2872 points. The young Norwegian was able to increase his rating by 2 points, like the runner-up Levon Aronian. At 2803 points though, he is still far behind World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Aronian is followed by the best Russian player and former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik (ELO 2793). Within the Top 10 of the list, Veselin Topalov was able to advance from rank 9 to 5, as he improved his ELO-rating by 11 points to 2785. The dethroned World Champion Visvanathan Anand from India fell back one rank and is now in 9th place with an ELO of 2773 instead of the previous 2775 points. Peter Svidler can newly be found among the Top 10 too, whose increase in ELO from 2652 to 2758 rewarded him with advancement from rank 13 to rank 10. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, however, dropped out of the Top 10.


Arkadij Naiditsch advanced seven ranks in world rankings

From a German point of view, a look at the Top 20 players of the world gives great pleasure; the best German player, Arkadij Naiditsch, enhanced his ELO-rating by a total of 10 points to 2737 and therefore moved forward from rank 25 onto rank 18. Likewise, the Russian grandmaster Vladimir Malakhov took a great leap forward and improved from rank 40 onto rank 31 with an altered ELO of 2716 (+8).


Slight changes in Women’s World Rankings

The top of the Women’s World Rankings remains completely unchanged in December 2013. Undisputed leader is still Judith Polgar from Hungary (ELO 2693), followed by Chinese talent Yifan Hou (ELO 2629), and Humpy Koneru from India (ELO 2607). Switched were positions 4 and 5 – the Chinese Xue Zhao (ELO 2566 / +3) is now ahead off Slovenian Anna Muzychuk (ELO 2566 / +0). Furthermore, former World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk from Russia was able to fight her way back into the Top 10. With a remarkably improved ELO of 2527 (+17 !!) she advanced from rank 13 onto rank 9. The best German chess player, Elisabeth Paethz moved three ranks forward and is now in 32nd place.


Picture: wikipedia/Autopilot

written by Michael, translated by Birthe


Ukraine, Russia, or China – Who will be new Chess World Champion 2013?

Seven out of nine rounds of the Team World Championship 2013 in Chess have been played already. At this moment it is certain that only three of the ten teams still have chances on winning the title: The Ukraine, Russia, and China.


Ukraine takes lead two rounds before the end of World Championship 2013

Loek Van Wely

A glance at the overall standings shows us that the Ukraine has taken the overall lead with a score account of 12 match points. The Eastern Europeans were able to decide 5 games in their favor and had to comply with only one defeat. This defeat happened in round 6 against the Netherlands. While during this match three duels ended in draws, Loek Van Wely (ELO 2678) was surprisingly able to beat Anton Korobov (ELO 2713) who had shown a strong performance in previous rounds of the tournament. Round 7 was then again characterized by the victories of Korobov and Yuriy Kryvoruchko (ELO 2701) against Egypt, and the two defeats of Alexander Areshchenko (ELO 2720) and Amin Bassem (ELO 2652), which resulted in a final score of 2.5:1.5 points. In case the Ukraine is able to win both outstanding matches against Russia and Armenia, the World Championship title is safe and sound; possibly, prevailing over the Russians may even be enough to win, if also China unexpectedly loses against the German team.


Russia and China still with chances on title

On ranks 2 and 3 follow Russia (11 points) and China (10 points), who both still have chances on winning the title in Antalya. The Russians were able to decide 5 matches to their favor, played one draw and were defeated once. In the previous two duels, the Russians were able to score clear victories with 3.5:0.5 points against Germany and 3:1 against the home team from Turkey. The Chinese, on the other hand, have triumphed 5 times so far and were defeated twice. The Asians also won the previous two duels with 3:1 points against Egypt and 2.5:1.5 points against the United States. The Americans have a current score account of 8.0 match points out of four victories and three defeats, like Armenia and the Netherlands. Theoretically speaking, these teams even have a chance on the silver or bronze medal, if one of the top-favorite teams makes a severe mistake in one of the upcoming duels.


European Champion Azerbaijan far off

Out of all ten participating teams, the German team currently ranks 7th. With three victories and four defeats, the Germans, led by Arkadij Naiditsch, have only 6.0 match points at the moment. With China and European Champion Azerbaijan, they have two strong opponents to face in the remaining rounds of the World Championship 2013 in the Turkish city Antalya. Azerbaijan, however, still ranks behind Germany on 8th place with 5.0 points out of two victories, one draw, and four defeats. Azerbaijan is followed by the teams from Turkey (2.0) and Egypt (0) who both have no chances on successfully finishing the tournament.


Picture: Stefan64

written by Michael, translated by Birthe