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Sunday, March 30, 2008

GM Barden unconvinced

According to British GM Leonard Barden, in his weekly chess column at,,2269190,00.html, Barden is unconvinced that 13 year old chess phenom Hou Yifan has sufficient tactical prowess to surpass GM Judit Polgar.

Harvey has some of the positions in which Yifan has shown her tactical prowess at: (Can you find the tactical solutions which Yifan found?) Here some other puzzles Harvey has made from Yifan games:

Can Yifan surpass Judit Polgar? Participate in the poll at the bottom of my blog.

FIDE Chess Tournaments:April

According to the FIDE website, the following chess tournaments are scheduled for April:

(1)8th Bangkok Chess Open:official tournament website: The top-rated player in this event is Varuzhan Akobian of the USA (elo: 2599) His official website is at: .He won the 2007 World Open and was born in Armenia, and according to Wikipedia, "Akopian began playing chess at age 5, when his family moved to Mongolia, as a way of dealing with the "bad" weather."

(2) Intomarkt GfK Open 2008-to be played in Hilversum Ned. from April 5th-13th:GM Humpy Koneru played in last year's tournament. Official tournament website:

(3) 10th Dubai Open 2008 this 9-round swiss open will be played from April 5-15th in Dubai UAE. Website:

(4) Balagne Open International 2008 : Chinese GM Ni Hu won last year's event. This tournament runs from April 6th-12th (9-round swiss). Website:

(5)9th European Individual Chess Championship: An 11-round swiss with a prize fund of 140,000 Euros. This event is being played in Plovdid, Bulgaria from April 20th-May 4th. The official tournament website is at:; (not accessible at this time).

(6) XXI Open Internacional Villa de Benidorm 2008- A 10- round swiss tournament being played from April 25th-May 4th in Benidorm, Spain. Official website:

Friday, March 28, 2008

Aronian wins Melody Amber

GM Levon Aronian of Armenia won the 2008 edition of the Melody Amber Chess tournament. The tournament is unique in that the format involves playing both blindfold games (using real blindfolds!) and active games. Aronian finished the tournament with a score of 13.5/22 ( for a performance elo of 2848). Kramnik and Leko finished second and third in the event, with Topalov and Carlsen ending the event in fourth and fifth place respectively (despite the fact that all four players ended the tournament with identical scores of 12/22. For more about the tournament go to:

Leko-Carlsen match

According to the website, an eight-game rapid chess match will be played between GM Peter Leko of Hungary's and the 17-year-old Norwegian GM Magnus Carlsen, from May 27th to June 1st 2008 in Miskolc, Hungary. For more details concerning the match go to:

Irina Krush-Mkrtchian match

US Women's Champion, IM Irina Krush, will play four-time Armenian Women's Champion, IM Lilit Mkrtchian, in a match from March 31st-April 3rd in Chicago. The match consists of 4 games, played in consecutive days, .The time control for this match is: 40/100 +15 after 40 moves + 30/sec per move from move 1. And no draw can be agreed to between the two players before move 30 (except for stalemate, repetition of position, or no insufficient mating material.) The official website for this event is and the games can be followed live at

Kramnik to play Sebag and Werle simultaneously

According to Susan Polgar, (, World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik will play 21 year-old WGM/IM Marie Sebag of France, and 24 year- old GM Jan Werle of the Netherlands simultaneously on April 2nd, starting at 14:00 local time. The official to tournament website for this event is:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Women's World Chess Championship to be held in Istanbul?

According to an article at entitled "Women's World Championship in Istanbul? "

" The Women's World Chess Championship was scheduled to be held in Argentina from June 18 to July 11 this year. It is a knock-out event ." However, the Argentineans have backed out of holding the Championship FIDE President Ilyumzhinov was able to gain a new location when Ali Nihat Yazici, President of the Turkish Chess Federation and Turkish Minister of Sports Murat Başesgioğlu indicated that they were willing to stage the event in Turkey. Let us hope that the Turkish bid becomes a reality. Source:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Short draws in GM Chess

The issue of short draws in GM chess tournaments has been in existence for a while. An interesting discussion (written by a mathematician) of this topic can be read at:

Hou Yifan wins the Atatürk International Women Masters Chess Tournament

Chess Phenom Hou Yifan, who just turned 14, won the Atatürk International Women Masters Chess Tournament with a score of 6.5/8! She finished a whole point up on second place GM Pia Cramling. Yifan finished the tournament undefeated, with 5 wins and 3 draws. Congratulations to her!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Atatürk International Women Masters Chess Tournament:Round 7 update

After 7 rounds of play in the tournament, there are two leaders, GM Pia Cramling and WGM Hou Yifan, both have scores of 5.5/7. Ekaterina Atalik is in sole third placee, with a score of 5/7.Tied for fourth place are Zhao Xue and Harika Dronavalli with 3.5 points.Irina Krush and Lela Javakhishvili have scores of 3/7.In eighth place is IM(m) Betul Cemre Yildiz with a score of 2.5/7. GM Zhu Chen has 2/7 and Anna Ushenina has a score of 1.7/7. Two rounds remain to be played in this tournament.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Atatürk International Women Masters Chess Tournament

The Turkish Chess Federation is sponsoring the Atatürk International Women Masters Chess Tournament which is being held from March 10th-March 21st in Ýstanbul . Here is the list of players who will participate in the event:GM Pia Cramling, GM Zhu Chen, WGM Zhao Xue, WGM Hou Yifan, WGM/IM Anna Ushenina, WGM Dronavalli Harika, WGM/IM Irina Krush,WGM/IM Lela Javakhvili, WGM Katerina Atalik, and WIM Betul Cemre Yildiz. The official tournament website for this event is:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I am sad to be an Albertan

Yesterday in my home province of Alberta, a provincial election was held to determine which political party would run the province for the next three years. What was the most disheartening aspect of this election for me, was that only 42.2 percent of eligible voters actually decided to vote, (which represents the lowest voter turnout in Alberta history.) In a world where individuals and groups of people have often died fighting for the right to vote in a country, I find it absolutely appalling that such a low turnout at the polling stations in Alberta occurred last night. The Premier of the province, Ed Stelmach won the majority of votes cast (53%), however, of all eligible voters in Alberta, just 22% supported the Tories. Albertans are spoiled, and irresponsible, and our political leaders are too! The ruling Progressive Conservative party in Alberta has refused to outline near-term targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions . Instead, their plan, which was supported by Albertan voters in yesterday's elections, only sets a target for reducing GHG emissions by the year 2050. ""Premier Stelmach's announcement today is shockingly irresponsible, it continues to delay action and promises only a plan to plan. There are no short-term targets for absolute reductions in GHG pollution and no requirements for large polluters to reduce emissions," says Dan Woynillowicz, a Senior Policy Analyst with the Pembina Institute. "Alberta is the largest greenhouse gas polluter in Canada, producing close to one third of Canada's emissions. Albertans want action and Premier Stelmach is playing games by trying to dodge responsibility for delivering any real results until 2050." (source:

"Rapid production of the Alberta oilsands will account for nearly half of the projected rise in greenhouse gas emissions in Canada by 2010, making it the country's fastest growing source of pollution, according to data released the Pembina Institute."

And yet the Stelmach government has no desire to change their perspective on greenhouse gas emissions, which will have effects on all wildlife and plants in Alberta as well as on us human beings!


The 2008 Reykjavik Open Chess Tournament is being held from March 3rd through March 11th in Reykjavik. The games are being held at the Reykjavik Chess Center.
The top-rated player in the tournament is GM Wang Yue of China (elo 2698). The following women are participants in the event: GM GM Antoaneta Stefanova of Bulgaria (elo 2464),WGM/IM Ketevan Arakhmia-Grant of Scotland (elo 2457), WGM/IM Tania Sachdev of India (elo 2421), WGM/IM Elisabeth Paehtz of Germany (elo 2420), WGM/IM Jana Jackova (elo 2375),WGM/IM Tatjana Vasilevich of the Úkraíne (elo 2370), WGM Anna Zozulia Belgía 2344, WIM Katerina Nemcova (elo 2342),WGM Sarai Sanchez Castillo Venesúela (elo 2312), WIM Ellen Hagesaether (elo 2234), WIM Christin Anderson (elo 2194), WFM Simona Limontaite (elo 2152), WFM Steil-Antoni, Fiona Lúxemborg (elo 2122) and Elsa Maria Kristinardóttir (elo 1721). This tournament is a nine-round event. The official tournament website is at:

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Corus Wijk aan Zee 2008

GM Levon Aronian of Armenia won the top section of the Corus Wijk aan Zee Chess tournament on a tie-break with GM Magnus Carlsen. Both had finished play with identical scores of 8/14. The B-tournament was won by GM Sergei Movsesian with a score of 9.5/14. WGM Hou Yifan of Chinafinished in 9th place (after tie-breaks) with a score of 6 points. GM Humpy Koneru of India ended the event in eleventh place with a score of 5.5 points. GM FabianoCaruana of Italy captured the C-tournament with a score of 10/14. WGM/IM Irina Krush of the USA finished in 5th place (after tie-breaks (with a score of 7 points.GM Zhaoqin Peng of the Netherlands ended the event with 4.5 points (12th place) and WGM Anna Ushenina with 4.5 points (13th place).

1st Pfalz Open

The 1st Pfalz Open Chess tournament took place in Neustadt a.d. Weinstraße from February15th-23rd February 2008. GM Tomasz Markowski won the tournament with a score of 7.5/9. The top-scoring woman in the tournament was WGM Natalia Zdebskaja of the Ukraine (elo 2313) who finished in 34th place after tie-breaks with a score of 6 points. WIM Ljubov Kopylova, of Germany finished with 5.5 points (52nd place).

Four Nations Chess Challenge

The Four Nations Chess Challenge took place in Oslo,Norway between February 15th-17th 2008. The team from Sweden won the event. A number of women participated in the e vent (including GM Pia Cramling of Sweden). The official tournament website for this event is:

Final standings
1. Sweden 3 3 0 0 20.0 6
2. England 3 2 0 1 14.0 4
3. Latvia 3 0 1 2 13.5 1
4. Norway 3 0 1 2 12.5

Final standings:
by 1. Match points and 2. Individual points. To see the performance of the individual participants go to the official tournament website.

2008 Moscow Open Chess tournament

GM Artyom Timofeev won the 2008 Moscow Open Chess Tournament with a score of 7.5/9 (This was the highest-rated event in the tournament, the A-tournament). An all- Women's section was also held at the Moscow Open and was won by IM Anna Muzychuk (elo 2460) of Slovenia with a score of 8/9!

Visit GM Alexandra Kosteniuk's Women's Chess Blog:Please click on the image below:

Visit GM Alexandra Kosteniuk's Women's Chess Blog:Please click on the image below:
Chess needs more women and girl participants and administrators!

Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed

Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia

A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed

Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein

The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi

The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns

Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -

Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.