Monday, August 23, 2010

Mikhail Tal

Mikhail Tal was the greatest attacking Grandmaster of all time.

Born in Riga, Latvia on Nov 9, 1936, he learned chess while watching his father. In 1951 he qualified for the Latvian championship and by 1954 became a Soviet Master. By winning the Soviet Championship in 1957, he got the title of Grandmaster.

He defeated Botvinnik in the famous 1960 match to become the youngest (till then) World Champion at the age of 23. His highest ELO rating was 2705 achieved in 1980.

Tal won several strong tournaments like Bled 1961, Hastings 1963, Tbilisi 1969, Novi Sad 1974, Montreal 1979 and Buenos Aires 1991.

His playing style was magical. He often sacrificed material for attack and created vast complications in which his opponents would get lost. During his later years, he adopted a more positional style.

He was troubled by health problems throughout the better part of his career, which seriously affected his chess results. Every time he would recover and score another victory.

He was also a profilific journalist of repute (editor of Latvian chess magazine) and authored some famous chess books (Life and Games of Tal). He was a popular person among fellow masters who would be obsessed with blitz chess even during free time.

He died of kidney failure on June 28, 1992 in Moscow.

Tal on
Wiki & Chessgames
Best Games of Tal
Play through over 3000 games of Tal

Check this win over Spassky which was awarded the Brilliancy Prize

Friday, August 20, 2010

Immortal Game

White: Adolf Anderssen 
Black: Lionel Kieseritzky 
London 1851 
Kings gambit accepted 

 1.e4 e5 
2.f4 exf4 
3.Bc4 Qh4+ 
4.Kf1 b5 
5.Bxb5 Nf6 
6.Nf3 Qh6 
7.d3 Nh5 
8.Nh4 Qg5 
9.Nf5 c6 
10.g4 Nf6 
11.Rg1 cxb5 
12.h4 Qg6 
13.h5 Qg5 
14.Qf3 Ng8 
15.Bxf4 Qf6 
16.Nc3 Bc5 
17.Nd5 Qxb2 
18.Bd6 Bxg1 
19.e5 Qxa1+ 
20.Ke2 Na6 
21.Nxg7+ Kd8 
22.Qf6+ Nxf6 

Play through Immortal game on my Lichess study 
Immortal game on Wiki & ChessGames 

World Junior Chess Championship 2010

Dmitry Andreikin of Russia and Anna Muzychuk of Slovenia won the Boys and Girls events at the prestigious World Junior Chess Championships respectively.

The tournament took place in Chotowa, Poland between 3rd to 16th August and had 13 rounds of swiss league. 122 participants were in the Boys event and 81 in the Girls event.

Dmitry was the top seed and tied for top place with fellow russian Sanan Sjugirov; he was declared winner on tie-break. Dariusz Swiercz of Poland playing on home turf took the bronze medal. Parimarjan Negi of India was placed 11th in the open event.

Anna dominated the girls event. Despite the loss to Deysi Estela of Peru, she won the event with 11/13. Olga Girya of Russia was second while Padmini Rout of India was third.

Official Tournament page
Detailed info - Boys & Girls
Download all Games in PGN

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hou Yifan wins Women’s Grand Prix

Hou Yifan of China won the 5th FIDE Women’s Grand Prix Chess Tournament 2010 at Ulaanbataar in Mongolia.

Hou topped the field with 8 points out of 11 rounds, a clear half point ahead of Antoaneta Stefanova who ended with 7.5 points. Koneru Humpy from India played well and ended 5th with 6.5 points.

In the final round Hou faced Antoaneta and needed just a draw to clinch first place. Antoaneta needed to win to overtake Hou for first place; after a tough game, a draw was the result.

Hou remained undefeated throughout the tournament and in the interview said that her main goal was to play well and not worry about the result. She said the first round game with Kosintseva where she survived a very dangerous position was the most difficult game for her in the tournament and was happy to have won this event.

Click here to find the official tournament site
Click here for final standings and round-by-round results
Click here to find Hou Yifan on Wiki

Below is a game from Round 3 in which Hou defeats Xu in a sparkling game.
White: Hou Yifan
Black: Xu Yuhua
1. e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.Ngf3 cxd4 5.exd5 Qxd5 6.Bc4 Qd6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Nb3 Nc6 9.Nfxd4 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 a6 11.Re1 Bd7 12.Bg5 0-0-0 13.Re3 Bc6 14.Rd3 Be4 15.Rd2 Qc7 16.Nxe6 Rxd2 17.Qxd2 Qd6 18.Nxf8 Qxd2 19.Bxd2 Rxf8 20.f3 Bg6 21.c3 Rd8 22.Be3 Nd5 23.Bd4 Nf4 24.Re1 b5 25.Bf1 Nd3 26.Re2 Nc1 27.Rd2 Nxa2 28.Be3 Rxd2 29.Bxd2 Kb7 30.Kf2 Kc6 31.Ke3 a5 32.b4 axb4 33.cxb4 f6 34.Kd4 Bf7 35.Bd3 h5 36.h4 g6 37.g3 g5 38.f4 g4 39.Be4+ Kd6 40.Bc2 Kc6 41.Bd3 1-0

Immortal Zugzwang game

White: Friedrich Saemisch
Black: Aron Nimzowitsch

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. Nc3 O-O

7. O-O d5 8. Ne5 c6 9. cxd5?! cxd5 10. Bf4 a6 11. Rc1 b5
12. Qb3 Nc6 13. Nxc6 Bxc6 14. h3? Qd7 15. Kh2 Nh5
16. Bd2 f5! 17. Qd1 b4! 18. Nb1 Bb5 19. Rg1 Bd6 20. e4 fxe4!
21. Qxh5 Rxf2 22. Qg5 Raf8 23. Kh1 R8f5 24. Qe3 Bd3
25. Rce1 h6!!
Check the video on the above Immortal Zugzwang game

Aron Nimzowitsch

Aron Nimzowitsch was the most famous of Hypermodern chess masters. He was born in Riga in 1886 into a wealthy family. He learnt chess from his father and chose a career of professional chess player in 1904. The next few years saw him score several important tournament wins.

During the 1917 revolution, Nimzowitsch escaped to Berlin and after a few years to Copenhagen, where he lived the rest of his life.

His chess career was at a peak in the late 1920s and early 1930s. He became the third best player in the world during this time (behind Alekhine and Capablanca). Among his notable achievements were first place at Copenhagen 1923, Marienbad 1925, Dresden 1926, Hannover 1926 and Carlsbad 1929.

He is recognized as one of the greatest writers in chess. His works influenced numerous other players; the book "My System" written in 1925 is one of the most important books on chess strategy, even today. Concepts such as 'overprotection', control of the centre by pieces, 'blockade' and 'prophylaxis' were first discovered and elaborated by him. He was also the leading advocate and exponent of the fianchetto development of the bishops.

His death came early at the age of 49, in 1935, when he was bedridden for several months before succumbing to pneumonia.

Click here to find a site dedicated entirely to Nimzowitsch
Click here to find Nimzowitsch on Wiki

Click here for the Immortal Zugzwang game won by Nimzowitsch

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Czech Open 2010

Anton Korobov won the Grandmaster event of the Czech Open in a convincing manner, ahead of 38 GMs and 54 IMs, with a score of 8/9.

The tournament was the 21st edition of international chess and games festival with dozens of tournaments, and brought 1314 players from 44 countries.

Click here for Final Standings, many nice photographs and few sample games by the winner

Click here to download all games in PGN