Chessbase 12 Publishing

Just a quick test on Albert Silver's explanations for web publishing.
A game that I liked (ChessBase 12)

[Event "Schaakfestival 2010 Open A"]
[Site "Groningen"]
[Date "2010.12.28"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Bojkov, D."]
[Black "Bok, Benjamin"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C45"]
[Annotator "Dejan Bojkov"]
[PlyCount "99"]
[EventDate "2010.12.??"]
[SourceDate "2001.12.26"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 {Played for the first time in my life. But there is
always a first time.} exd4 4. Nxd4 Bc5 5. Nxc6 Qf6 6. Qf3 bxc6 7. Nd2 d6 8. Nb3
Bb6 9. a4 a5 10. Bd2 Qxf3 11. gxf3 Ne7 12. Rg1 Ng6 {Another possible plan is:}
(12... O-O 13. Be3 Bxe3 14. fxe3 {as Anand-Aronian, Bilbao 2008 is more usual,
but as a whole this line is still in developing progress.}) 13. Be3 Bxe3 14.
fxe3 {Diagram [#]} Bd7 {The beginning of a wrong idea. The bishop is
vulnerable on d7. The simple:} (14... Ne5 {is more to the point, for example:}
15. Be2 g6 16. f4 Nd7 17. Bf3 c5 18. e5 Ra7 19. exd6 cxd6 20. Nd2 {with a
slight pool for White occured in Radjabov,T (2744)-Aronian,L (2737)/Bilbao
2008/CBM 126 (34)}) 15. f4 O-O 16. O-O-O c5 17. Nxc5 Bc6 {[%csl Rc5][%cal
Gc6a4,Gc6e4] The point behind Black's play. However, it seems that he
underestimated the follow up:} 18. Na6 Ra7 {Both:} (18... Rfc8 19. Bh3) (18...
Bxe4 19. Rd4 {cannot be recommended.}) 19. e5 {Bad is:} (19. Rd4 Rfa8 20. Rg5
Rxa6 21. Bxa6 Rxa6 $15) ({But serious attention deserved:} 19. Rg5 $5 Rfa8 20.
Rxa5 Bb7 21. Nxc7 Rxa5 22. Nxa8 Rxa8 23. b3 Bxe4 24. Rxd6 $14 {and as the
pawns become more valuable in the endgame, White has the better chances.})
19... dxe5 20. f5 Nh4 21. f6 g6 (21... Ng6 22. fxg7 Kxg7 23. Nc5 $16) 22. Nc5
Nf5 {[%csl Re3][%cal Rf5e3,Gf5d6] Diagram [#] So far the game for more or less
forced. Black needs to make one more move-Nf5-d6 to put his pieces together,
after which he will be out of danger. Therefore:} 23. Bb5 $1 {Much better than:
} (23. e4 Nd6 24. Bg2 Raa8 {and Black is only marginally worse.}) {Temporarily
sacrificing the pawn I manage to get the maximum of my pieces, while keeping
the rook on a7 in a "box".} 23... Bxb5 24. axb5 Nxe3 25. Rd7 {With the threat
b5-b6.} Nc4 26. b3 (26. Re7 a4) 26... Nb6 27. Re7 a4 {White's idea is
supported tactically:} (27... Nd5 28. Nd7 $1 Nxe7 (28... Rfa8 29. Rxe5 $16) 29.
fxe7 Rfa8 30. Nf6+ Kg7 31. e8=Q Rxe8 32. Nxe8+ Kf8 33. Nf6 $18) 28. bxa4 Nxa4
29. Nd7 {'!' I was also considering the position after:} (29. Nxa4 Rxa4 30. Rg5
Rf4 31. Rxc7 Rxf6 32. Rxe5 $14 {But then realized that the move in the text is
even stronger.}) 29... Rfa8 (29... Rd8 30. Nxe5 Nc3 31. Nc6 $18) 30. Rg5 {Not
the most accurate. Better is:} (30. Nxe5 Nb6 31. Rg4 Ra1+ 32. Kd2 Rd8+ 33. Ke2
{when White keeps all his active pieces on the board.}) 30... Nb6 {I spent
most of my time calcuating the line:} (30... Nc3 31. Rgxe5 h5 {Diagram [#]} 32.
Rxf7 $1 Kxf7 33. Re7+ Kg8 34. f7+ (34. Rg7+ $2 Kh8 35. Ne5 Ra1+ 36. Kb2 Nd1+
37. Kb3 R1a3+ 38. Kb4 R8a4+ 39. Kc5 Rc3+ 40. Kd5 Ne3+ 41. Ke6 Re4 42. Kf7 Rxe5
43. Rg8+ Kh7 44. Rg7+ Kh6 45. Rxg6+ $11) 34... Kh8 35. Re8+ $18) 31. Nxb6 (31.
Nxe5 Ra1+ 32. Kd2 Rd8+ 33. Ke2 Ra2 34. Rxc7 Nd5 35. Rd7 Rxc2+ 36. Ke1 Rc1+ 37.
Kd2 Rcc8 {is not something that you would like to enter in the coming
time-trouble.}) 31... cxb6 {Black can also keep the second rook, but his
situation is no better:} (31... Ra1+ 32. Kd2 cxb6 33. Rgxe5 Rd8+ 34. Kc3 Raa8
35. Rc7 $16) 32. Rxa7 Rxa7 33. Rxe5 {Diagram [#] The arising endgame is
technically won for White. He has more active pieces, and will soon organize a
strong distant passed pawn.} Ra8 (33... Kf8 34. Rd5 Ke8 35. Rd6 Rb7 36. Kb2 g5
37. c4 g4 38. Kc3 h5 39. Rd5 (39. Kb4 Rb8 (39... h4 40. Rd4) 40. Rd5 (40. c5
bxc5+ 41. Kxc5 Rc8+ 42. Kd5 Rc2 43. b6 Rd2+ 44. Kc6 Rc2+ 45. Kb7 h4 46. Rc6 Rd2
47. Kc7 Rd7+ 48. Kb8 Rd2 49. Rc4 Kd7 50. Rxg4 Rxh2 51. Rd4+ Ke6 52. b7 Rb2 (
52... h3) 53. Rxh4 Kxf6 54. Rh5 Ke6 55. Ra5 f5 56. Ka8 f4 57. b8=Q Rxb8+ 58.
Kxb8 $18)) 39... Ra7 40. Rxh5 $18) 34. c4 Kf8 (34... Rc8 35. Kd2 Kf8 36. Kc3
$18) 35. Kc2 Rd8 36. Kc3 $6 (36. c5 $1 bxc5 37. Kc3 {is more precise.}) 36...
Rd6 37. c5 bxc5 {In time trouble Bok did not find the best defense:} (37...
Rxf6 $1 38. Kc4 Rf4+ 39. Kd5 f6 40. Re2 Rf5+ 41. Kc6 Rxc5+ 42. Kxb6 Rc3 43. Ka6
Ra3+ 44. Kb7 $16 {compared to the game, Black will have several extra tempi.})
38. Kc4 Rxf6 39. Kxc5 Rf2 40. b6 Rb2 (40... Rxh2 41. b7 Rb2 42. Kc6 Rxb7 43.
Kxb7 $18) 41. Kc6 f6 42. Rb5 Rc2+ 43. Kd7 {Diagram [#] Now there is not even a
reason to win the rook immediately, as Black will not have any counterplay.}
Rd2+ 44. Ke6 Rd8 45. b7 Rb8 46. Kxf6 Ke8 47. Ke6 h6 (47... Kf8 48. Kd6 Kf7 49.
Kc7 Re8 50. b8=Q Rxb8 51. Kxb8 Kf6 52. Kc7 g5 53. Kd6 $18) 48. h4 Kf8 49. Kf6
g5 50. Rc5 {I believe this was my best game in Groningen.} 1-0


Learn to Play Chess App

We live in times where speed is everything. The flow of information is faster than ever before and this affects our beloved game of chess. New ideas are discovered, played and used by other chess player in days and sometimes in mere hours.
This might be extremely unpleasant for the creative part of the chess world.
On the other hand, technology widens the boundaries of the game.
More and more products help new people learn how to play chess from their homes or even vehicles while travelling back home.
The following app is one of those, it teaches
Piece and pawn moves, captures and special moves, checkmate and stalemate.

Players who have never tried the game of chess before can use it for free. People who are willing to give it a try can use the arrows on the app for changing the pages.
The creator Simon Louchart of France was kind to grant permission for anyone who wishes to learn something new and fun.


Dynamic and Positional Pawn Sacrifice

The seminar Chess 431 – Dynamic and Positional Pawn Sacrifice was concluded this Sunday on one of the best chess sites.
Among the examples that were covered was the following masterpiece by Veselin Topalov:
Topalov,Veselin (2812) - Wang Yue (2738)
Sofia MTel Masters 5th Sofia (4), 16.05.2009
[Rogozenco. D, Topalov V.]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Nxc4 Nb6 8.Ne5 a5 9.f3 Nfd7 10.e4 Nxe5 11.dxe5 [11.exf5 offers prospects of a slight advantage (Huebner,R): 11...Nec4 (11...Ned7) 12.Qb3 Nd6 13.Bd3 g6 14.g4 Bg7 15.Be3 Nd7 16.0–0–0 Qb6 17.Qxb6 Nxb6= Ѕ-Ѕ Carlsen,M (2770)-Wang Yue (2738)/Leon 2009 (47)]

11...Qxd1+ 12.Kxd1 Be6 13.Kc2 f6 [13...Bc4 14.Bxc4 (14.Be3 Bxf1 15.Rhxf1 is slightly better for White.) 14...Nxc4 15.e6 fxe6 16.b3 Nd6 17.e5 Nf7 18.Re1 gave good compensation to White in Berczes,D (2232)-Carlsen,M (2250)/Heraklio 2002]


14...Nd7 An over-the-board novelty according to Topalov. Previously: [14...fxe5 was played, for example- 15.b4 Nc4 16.bxa5 (16.Bxc4 Bxc4 17.bxa5 0–0–0 18.Rd1 Rxd1 19.Nxd1 e6 20.Ne3 Ba6 21.Ng4 Bd6 22.Bb2 Rd8 23.Rd1 h5 24.Nxe5 Bxe5 25.Bxe5 Rxd1 26.Kxd1 g6= Ѕ-Ѕ Vallejo Pons,F (2629)-Kasparov,G (2847)/Linares 2003 (41)) 16...Nxa5 17.Be3 Bc4 18.Bb6 Bxf1 19.Rhxf1 Nc4 20.Kd3 and White was slightly better in Berkes,F (2614)-Kiss,P (2394)/Hungary 2005]

15.b4! [15.exf6?! exf6 would be better for Black only.]

15...Nxe5 [15...axb4 16.Rxb4 0–0–0 17.Be3 Nxe5 18.a5 would give strong initiative to White.]

16.bxa5 Bc8 [16...0–0–0? 17.a6+–]


The positional sacrifice disconnects the black pawns and creates plenty of weaknesses in the opponent's camp which can be used by the White pieces.]

[17.Bd2 Rxa5 18.Nd5 Rc5+ (18...Rxa4 19.Nb6) 19.Nc3]

17...bxa6 18.a5 [Black's queenside is very weak, he has problems completing his development and finding any activity. Therefore White's compensation for the pawn is more than enough and secures him better prospects.]

18...Nd7 [18...Be6 19.Rb6 Bc4 20.Bf4 Bxf1 21.Rxf1 Nc4 22.Rxc6 Nxa5 23.Rc7

23...e5 24.Bd2±]

19.Na4 e5 [19...Rb8 20.Rxb8 Nxb8 21.Nb6 Bb7 22.Bc4 e5 23.Be3±]

20.Bc4 [20.Be3!?]

20...Bc5 [White's compensation is more than obvious in case of-20...Bd6 21.Be3 Ke7 22.Rhd1]

21.Rd1 [A good alternative was 21.Nxc5 Nxc5 22.Rb6]

21...Bd4 22.Ba3 c5 23.Rb3 h5

[23...Ke7 24.Rxd4! exd4 25.Nxc5 Nxc5 26.Bxc5+]

24.Rdb1 Ke7?! 25.Bd5 [25.Nc3]

25...Ra7 26.Rb6! Topalov could not stand the temptation to sacrifice further the exchange!

26...Rc7? [The decisive mistake.]

[Necessary was 26...Nxb6 27.axb6 Rd7 and White has nothing forced. After 28.Bxc5+ (28.b7 Bxb7 29.Bxb7 Rb8 30.Nxc5 Rc7!; 28.Nxc5 Rxd5! 29.exd5 Bxc5 30.Bxc5+ Kf7! Topalov) 28...Bxc5 29.Nxc5 Rxd5! 30.exd5 Bf5+ 31.Ne4 Rb8 Black retains good chances of escaping with a draw. (31...Bxe4+ 32.fxe4 Rb8! (32...Kd6 33.Kb3+–) 33.Kd3 Kd6 34.Kc4 h4 is better for White, but there is no obvious win for him (Topalov).) ]

27.Re6+ Kd8 28.Nb6+– Nxb6 [28...Ra7 29.Kd3!? (29.Rd6 Topalov) 29...Bb7 30.Kc4+–]

29.axb6 Rb7

30.Rd6+! Ke7 31.Rc6 Rd7 32.Re6+ Kf7 33.b7


I would like to thank to all the participants who took part in this event and to wish them many successful pawn sacrifices, both positional and dynamic!
Those of you who have missed the chance to take part in the seminar still have a chance to purchase it. Just go on the left side of the blog and choose the paypal button under the Chess.com seminar sign.
I will send you the link with the videos and the pgn files once that you are ready.
Best regards!


The True Value of Pieces

My new DVD was released the last week. Here is the short description by chessbase:
Queen against two rooks or three minor pieces, as well as a rook plus pawn vs two minor pieces - these are typical constellations where the material is unbalanced. In our first steps in chess we are taught about the nominal value of the pieces. The queen is equal to nine pawns; a rook to five, a minor piece is worth three pawns. This is a common sense solution aimed at teaching the beginner a system of values so that he or she does not trade a more valuable piece for a less good one. Later however, situations occur in games in which one side can trade two minor pieces (six pawns) for a rook and a pawn (also six pawns). Theoretically speaking, this should result in an equal position, but in reality one of the two sides will profit from the exchange. There are many cases of material imbalance in chess. In his new DVD GM Dejan Bojkov of Bulgaria makes an attempt to systematise the most important ones and gives valuable advice on how to handle the resulting positions. He also explains the hidden factors behind the imbalances, explanations which will guide you through the art of exchanging pieces.
And a fragment:


Chess and Poker

(Pictures Veronika Andreeva and Denitsa Kukleva)
Bulgarian team championships are always a good occasion to meet the old friends, check out how their lives go, chat, socialize, enjoy. We are also spoiled of the choice of good places for the event. These are either the mountain resorts, or, more likely- the see resorts.

Sunny Beach is one of those nice places where the championships take place and it hosted the events from 19-25 September.
For those of you who are not familiar with the system- eight teams play each other on the top A division, with the last two relegated from the group and the top two of the second B division promoted to the “masters”. The male teams consist of six players and two substitutes and the female teams have four players and one reserve.
This was my first year for the extraordinary team of “Abritus”Razgrad. It is a rare bird at the Bulgarian team competitions for many reasons. First, we have the largest fan club. In most of the cases the supporters of the team are more than the players during the event. Second and foremost, poker is supporting the team.
While Loek van Wely claims that chess sponsors his poker adventures, it is the other way up in “Abritus”. The costs for the team are equally distributes between a pharmaceutical company and three successful poker-chess players. Stelyan Georgiev (Spirit), Vladimir Velikov (Bushi) and Yanko Yankov have a lot in common. They are professional poker players but have started as chess players at first. Their trainer, the chess master Rosen Rusev is an experienced poker player as well. For a few years now they support the club not only morally, but financially too. Last year they even brought GMs P.Eljanov and K. Miton at the Bulgarian team championship.
Moreover, in order to free room for professional players Stelyan and Vladimir played in other teams, in second division. They did well there, especially the former, who scored 4/5 at his board…
At the beginning of the tournament we had a couple of problems to deal with. The first one was the team composition. Our team consists of five GMs, and two strong IMs (and one of those is the Bulgarian runner-up from the individual championship I. Enchev!) It seems as we chose wise at the end as the plan to hold on top boards and win on the back was perfectly fulfilled. Moreover, all the players finished on positive score.
The second problem was more serious. We had to decide where and when to celebrate our title…At the end of the team meeting we “voted” the wise decision to win the tournament with a spare round to have enough time to celebrate.

And since we all are very responsible people we had to stick to the plan. All the six matches were duly won and before the final round we were unreachable with 12 team points, clear four ahead of the second team…
The champion’s team was composed of GMs K.Rusev, V. Georgiev, B.Chatalbashev, M. Nikolov, D. Bojkov and IMs I. Enchev and K.Karakehajov.

The silver medals went for the last-year champions- Lokomotiv Plovdiv and the bronze- for Lokomotiv Sofia.
The female championship was more interesting as usual.

Three teams had clear chances before the final round and two of them CSKA and Shah 21 were facing each other. The third contender Lokomotiv Plovdiv won their last match with a minimal margin and had to wait to see the color of the medals. It turned out to be silver as the last game of the vent between E. Raeva (Shah 21) and A. Stojanovic (CSKA) ended in favour of the former which gave her team the victory and the gold medals.
The champion’s team was- WIM E. Raeva, WGMs M. Velcheva and S. Maksimovic and M. Stefanova.

Yuri Benderev Pernik and CSKA promoted to A group in the male section, and Etar and Krakra Pernishki to the female group.


What Rooks Want Survey

The FIDE trainer's commission site keeps on posting interesting educational articles.
The end of September saw my first survey, titled "What Rooks Want". Here is an fragment of it:

Pfleger,Michael (2270) - Tiemann,Christoph (2075)
BL2–Sued 0809 Germany (3.8), 30.11.2008

[If in the previous example the rook went on a passive position volunateerily, in this case it was forced:]

28.a4! Rb4 [Or else- 28...Rc5 29.c3

followed by Kc1–d2–e3–d4 when all the black pawns fall.]

29.c3 Rxa4 30.Kb1! [The rook is now locked forever on a4.]

30...h6 31.Rxd5

Let's stop for a moment to analyze the situation. There are two pictures on the board. Picture one are the completely frozen pieces on the queens-flank: the black Ra4, and pawns on a5 and c4 as well as the white Kb1 and pawns on b2, c3. They are not going anywhere and we can easily neglect them and concentrate on the other side of the board, where the white R+ 3 pawns is fighting the black K and 3 pawns. The battle is uneven though and the king has no chance.]

31...Kf8 [Another possible line is- 31...Kg7 32.h4 The pawns should help the rook find targets- 32...Kf6 33.Rd6+ Ke7 34.Rb6 Kf8 35.h5! discovers the h6 pawn. 35...gxh5 36.gxh5 Kg7 37.f5 f6 38.Rb7+ Kg8 39.Rc7

and it is zugzwang- Black will have to give up one of the f6 or h6 pawns.]

32.h4 [Not the only winning plan, but a very convincing one.]

32...Ke7 33.h5 Kf6 34.Rd6+ [34.g5+ Kg7 35.hxg6 fxg6 36.Rd7+ would also win.]

34...Kg7 35.Rc6 [White is no hurry as he knows his opponent has nowhere to go. ]

[The immediate- 35.f5 would soon lead to zugzwang as well.]

35...Kh7 36.hxg6+ fxg6 37.Rc7+ Kg8 38.f5

The rook got support and the end is close.]

38...gxf5 39.gxf5 h5 40.f6 h4 41.Rg7+ [41.Rg7+ a possible end would be- 41...Kf8 (41...Kh8 42.Rg4 h3 43.f7) 42.Rh7 h3 43.Rxh3 Kf7 44.Rf3 and Black will have sooner or later to give up the rook on a4...]

You can check the complete article here.


Panamercian Youth Championships

Pocos de Caldas is small town in Brazil, situated approximately 250 km away from Sao Paolo. The place is famous for its thermal waters and is one of Brazilian beloved resorts. This year it hosted the Panamerican Individual Championships for girls and boys aged up to eighteen.

From 25-th of July to 1-st of August the best players of South and North America competed in the event. By character the tournament is equivalent to the European Championship. By scale it should be bigger than that as there are two continents involved in the competitions.
North America was represented mainly by USA, Jamaica and Mexico, while South by almost all the countries. The most impressive was the group from Peru with approximately a hundred of competitors.

It is winter on the south part of the hemisphere and during the first couple of days it was rainy and gloomy. Not the kind of weather one should expect from Brazil. It was the people that made the days fine though. No matter if they speak your language or not, with a smile on their faces Brazilians will try to help you in every aspect they can in a most patient and polite way. And once that the rains were over none could guess what the actual season was. Warm and pleasant weather, plus 25 degrees Celsius all day long- just the perfect conditions to enjoy your stay. The majority of the players were accommodated in the nice Golden Park hotel, which was equipped with swimming pool, sauna, and tennis court and situated five minutes away from the venue. Food was perfect, exuberant and tasty, and…
The kids had only six days to take advantage of these wonderful characteristics of Brazil. Throughout those days they had also to play nine games of chess. A tough program which included three double rounds, an opening round at 7 p.m and a last round at 9 a.m. On the top of that the blitz tournament took place soon after the classical tournaments were over. Indeed, chess is getting more and more competitive in any sense.
I flew to South America as a coach of three of my American students. All of them are members of NorCal House of Chess in Bay Area, California. This remarkable club is run by the Pilipino-born coach Ted Castro who cooperates with a bunch of Grandmasters and experienced coaches all over the world to provide the best education for his students. Many of the club members belong to the list of Top Kids in the country.
My students did well in Pocos de Caldes. Ashritha Eswaran ended sixth in the group under fourteen, Chenyi Zhao-fourth under ten while Aksithi Eswaran took home the trophy of the youngest girls (under eight). Aksithi owes her success not only to coach Ted, but to coaches Mathew Benson, Ronald Cusi and Ricardo de Guzman.

Two more American kids deserve special attention in this report as both Kevin Chor (under 8) and David Peng (under 10) left no chance to their opponents and won all their games!
Overall the seventeen Americans took eight medals and the cup of the second best team. First place came naturally for the Peruvians. In some categories they swept all the medals! My personal award for most supportive team went to the Chile fellows. They were most expressive during the closing ceremony! Which was a feast of colours and sounds.
Results in each group and games here.
On the way back I enjoyed the hospitality of a friend of mine. IM Herman Claudius van Riemsdijk is a living legend of the Brazilian chess. Born in Netherlands, he was raised in Brazil and won the national title three times. Many of the country records are owned by him, including the number of finals that he played-30! Herman is a walking encyclopedia who met all the world champions starting with Euwe and was one of the arbiters at the WCC in San Luis.
He showed me in a fast mode the sights of Sao Paolo, all the famous chess spots including the place where Najdorf game his famous simul.
Thank you for the hospitality, Brazil!


Material Unbalance

In our chess games often situations occur in which one side can trade two light pieces (six pawns) for a rook and a pawn (also six pawns). Nominally speaking, this should be equal, but in reality it is one of the sides who profits from the exchange.
The general rule states that the pieces are stronger, especially at the beginning and in the middle game, but this is not always the case.
If the rooks have open files and can create direct attack against the enemy king they might be the better pieces.
Have a look at the following example:

Short,Nigel D (2440) - Tempone,Marcelo (2335)
Wch U20 Mexico, 1981

White's activity is overwhelming and it is no wonder that he can start decisive attack.

16.Bxf7+! Rxf7 17.Nxf7 Kxf7 18.Rae1!

The last reserves are coming in the action and Black cannot hold the king's flank.

18...Bf8 [Or: 18...Bd6 19.Bxf6 gxf6 (There is an in-between check in the line- 19...Qxf6 20.Ne4 Qxf3 21.Nxd6+) 20.Qh5+ Kg7 21.Ne4 where Black is helpless. Just have a look at his flanks and you will know why.]

19.Ne4 Ra5 [The rooks are ruling in the line- 19...Nbd5 20.Nxf6 Nxf6 21.Bxf6 Qxf6 (21...gxf6 22.Qh5+ Kg8 23.Rg3+) 22.Qh5+ Kg8 23.Rf3

While 19...Bg4 loses material- 20.Bxf6 Bxf3 21.Bxd8]

20.Nxf6 gxf6 21.Re8 Qd6 22.Qh5+ Kg8

23.R1e7! Qxe7 24.Rxe7 Bxe7 25.Qe8+ [Black resigned because of the line-]

[25.Qe8+ Bf8 26.Bh6 Nd7 27.Qxc8]



A Camp with the Champ

The third edition of the Metropolitan Chess Camp took place in Los Angeles from 10 to 14 July. More than one hundred players took part in it. The age of the participants varied from young kids aged five or six to experienced masters aged above sixty.
The trainer’s team was a mixture of experienced local coaches (GM Melik Khachiyan, IMs Armen Ambartsoumian, Andranik Matikozian and Zhanibek Amanov) plus two non-US residing GMs- Vadim Milov and yours truly.

However, the pearl in the crown was the presence of the reigning World Champion Vishy Anand. For a second consecutive year the Metropolitan Chess founder and national master Ankit Gupta managed to treat the lucky campers with the knowledge of a world class player.
The lectures were conducted in the comfortable Radisson hotel situated within a walking distance from the Los Angeles International airport.
The schedule was tough, especially for the lower-rated participants and included after-class activities like simuls, blitz tournament and even a bughouse one! After all, chess should be fun, should not it?

Anand showed some of the recent top GM games, including his own victory against Jon Ludvig Hammer from the Sandes Masters tournament in Norway in May as well as games of his colleagues from the recent top-GM events.
The last day of the event saw a simul by the World Champion against twenty selected players from the camp and a game against the chess.com members. More than ten thousand players took part in the latter, but it had to end prematurely as the servers went down. From Anand’s over-the-board opponents two were luckier than the others. Michael Brown drew his game (and he did so in the previous year as well!) while the ten year old Marcus Miyasaka won his one!

The sessions of the World Champion were recorded and will be released on a DVD soon. So were mine in one of the training day :)


Hello, Africa

This is an old article but I hope you will enjoy it!
Organizing and conducting TRG seminars (FIDE training seminar) is part of my job as a FIDE Senior Trainer. A couple of months ago when from the trainers council wrote me about the seminar in Botswana, I did not hesitate at all and applied for the job. This was a great opportunity to visit and see the cradle of civilization- Africa!

Moreover, I already knew a lot about it by my friend Ruppert Jones, a colourful chap from Leeds, who used to live and develop chess in Botswana, now represents Papua New Guinea and helps the developing countries play better chess.
The course coincided with the African Zonal tournament for men and women. Botswana has strong players in its disposal but the tournaments were dominated by the representatives of Zambia and South Africa respectively.
FM Bwalya Gillian left no chances at all to his opponents. He started with seven straight wins and was 1.5 point ahead of his closest rival before the final round. The overall win of the event granted him a spot for the World Cup and the IM title.
The remaining players fought hard for the titles as well as the top three players had chances in obtaining it in case that they score at least six points out of the nine rounds played.
The ladies section saw another foreign triumph. Charlize Van Zyl started with a draw but won the next five games and the overall.

The South Africans did a great job with their junior squad and showed clearly what should be the aim of any country which wants to develop chess.
In Africa I met Peter Leko. Not the Super GM, but probably a future one. One of the strongest female players in Botswana Tshepiso Lopang felt in love with the games of the Hungarian GM and decided to name her son after him. Leko would proudly announce his name at the events and stand next to his Mom while she plays her games.
The logo of the Botswana Chess Federation says “30 Years of making smart moves.” They made one more of those with their decision to host a FIDE training seminar in the capital city of Gaborone from 3-8 May. Many of the participants in the Zonal tournaments took part at the seminar as well, thus improving their knowledge in both the competitive and teaching area.
All the participants of the TRG seminar successfully passed the exam and are now ready to be more effective and skilled as chess coaches. They received their certificates at an impressive closing ceremony.
It was a great experience to see the exuberant nature that Botswana offers to everyone. The variety of animal species, the colourful shops and markets, beautiful gift shops everything was so unusual.
And finally, the new word that I learned. Botho. It is a bit complicated to explain it, but as whole this is the positive and passionate attitude towards the people. The human behavior.


Out-going President of Botswana Chess Federation Honored

Report by: Keenese Katisenge (BCF PR-Director)

The out-going President of Botswana Chess Federation and FIDE Zone 4.3 President Mr. Tshepo Sitale was on Saturday 8th June 2013, awarded the 2012 Sports Administrator of the Year at the 33rd Botswana National Sports Council Awards held in GICC, Gaborone. The award is given to the administrator who have led a Sporting Code that has excelled and there is clear demonstration of accountability, attraction of sponsors, positive media coverage and grassroots development.

Mr. Sitale was commended for successfully leading the Federation to great heights in 2012. In the year, the Federation celebrated 30 years of existence with the slogan ’30 years of making smart moves’. This is attested by ‘Re Ba Bona Ha’ grassroots program (Re Ba Bona Ha is a Setswana phrase that means catch them when young), which is run in Gaborone West, a high-density populated area mostly comprising of low income earners. The program which is sponsored by Debswana and the Botswana National Sports Council is meant for kids aged 6 years to 13 years in the community and are assembled during the week to play chess.
BCF is one of the active Federations in Africa and shining example that there is progress in African Chess. The Federation hosted the reigning World Chess Champion, Mr. Viswanathan Anand in 2009. The federation has hosted various Zonal & Continental event and they have local tournaments in average of every 2 weeks. Chess is recognized as a sport in Botswana and the Federation receives funding from the Botswana National Sports Council and has various Sponsors from major companies in the likes of Debswana, Metropolitan and National Development Bank.

Administratively, the Federation is run in a democratic system and annual Congress are held where clubs and associate members are given opportunity to have input on the affairs of the Federation. The award winning administrator Mr. Tshepo Sitale has voluntarily stepped down in May 2013, after leading the Federation for over 5 years and Presidency has been assumed by the former Vice President Mr. Tshenolo Maruatona. The new Executive Committee led by Mr. Maruatona is to lead the Federation for the next 4 years.


On the Doping

“Jerry, hurry up! I just got a man with beep-beep!!!” In his overexcitement the Romanian born Gabriel Mirza could not find the appropriate word for a computer device but came in the hall fast sprinting. Gerry Graham urged to the Gents. Mirza then forced the door and pulled out the suspect. It appeared to be sixteen-year old boy who admitted that had used the device. This happened on the 21 of April at the final day of the Cork Chess Congress in Ireland. Mirza and his opponent were on the lead with 3/4 at the time of the incident, a point behind their main rival.
The results of the player who was caught red-handed were erased and he was expelled from the tournament. So was Mirza who overreacted in this case. At first he peered from the top of the cubical wall and tried to grab the tablet from the hands of his opponent and later broke down the door. “What could I do?” said the devastated player later- “what would you do if someone steals from you?” However, since a minor was involved in the case and there was an aggressive behavior by the opponent the whole thing will be deeply investigated by the ICU.

It would have been funny if this was a separated case, but things start to get out of control lately.
Once that I was back in Bulgaria after this wonderful tournament I visited the Bulgarian Individual Championships. “Everyone here talks about one person”, said one of the participants, “-about Borislav (Ivanov)”. After his success in Villava, Spain- Ivanov took part at another rapid tournament- the “Bogomil Andonov Memorial” in Bulgaria. It was conducted just a couple of days prior to the start of the Bulgarian finals. Ivanov started with 3/3 then lost to IM Sasho Nikolov and recovered with three wins. Two of them were against Grandmasters. Peter Drenchev felt victim to fabulous tactics in the endgame, while Kiril Georgiev was simply swept off with simple moves. What they obviously did not like about the games (other than the result) was the fact that they opponent spent very little time on his clock to finish the game in his favour. And, as Kiril wrote on facebook “all moves after move 10 were with Houdini 3.”

Ivanov’s next opponent GM Grigor Grigorov solved the suspicion problem easily- he did not sit on the table for the game and lost on forfeit. This allowed a chance to the former to win the tournament with a draw in the last round.
The story felt too mean to happen at a tournament in memory of such a marvelous and easy-going personality like Bogomil. The first price of the event was 150 euro and the people did not gather there for the money but from respect of the man.
Therefore, during the finals the participants took actions and published the following statement:
“We are deeply convinced that the individual Borislav Ivanov uses electronic help during his chess games.
We declare that we are not going to participate in any tournament in which he might play if there is not specialized technique supplied which would guarantee that the usage of electronic devices in the venue is impossible.”
The letter was signed by almost all the participants in the final.
In the meanwhile the organizer of the 1-st Open Old Capital in Veliko Tarnovo denied access to Ivanov at his tournament. The latter threatened with court. Another scandal was looming, when a tricky solution was found.
Ivanov was granted access to the event. And after a draw in the first round he confidently grabbed the lead and with 5.5/6. It seems as another bright victory is on the way. But there was a catch…
The tournament regulations state that:
“If a player has more than two unplayed games he/she will not participate in the distribution of prizes!”
Guess what? In round four and round six Ivanov defeated IM Sasho Nikolov and Peter Drenchev on forfeit… He then defeated Alex Rombaldoni in round seven, and drew in round 8 against IM Kukov.
In the final round Ivanov was paired to play against IM Sasho Nikolov again. This was possible as the latter did not show for the first game.
Nikolov did not show once more, Ivanov won on forfeit. He should be the overall winner of the event with 8/9, but as he did not play 3 games, this is how the standings look like.
The players too care of the suspect...
In the meanwhile ACP launched the following statement:
“Dear friends,
We are glad to inform you that FIDE has supported the idea to establish the special anti-cheating committee, that will include a number of ACP representatives. If you are interested to be a member of the committee, please, submit your ideas and vision in a letter to the ACP Board

We will revise all the proposals and select two or three of our members that will represent the ACP in the anti-cheating committee.

Let's fight this plague together!”

You can read my opinion here.
We will be happy to hear more ideas and ways to handle the real doping in chess!


And an American One

Approximately at the time when Akito's title was confirmed the US All Nationals Championship took place. Ashritha Eswaran confirmed her title from the last year in a most convincing way. She won all her games! A critical game was the one in round five when everything was hanging by a thread:
Arab,Kiana (1957) - Ashritha (1999)
All girls nationals 2013 5th rd Shredder for iPad, 28.04.2013

[White's initiative on the king's flank is most unpleasant. Ashritha decided to go for counter attack.]

16...Nxe5!? 17.fxe5 Nxg4 18.Qxf7+ Kh8 [It seems as White should checkmate at any moment. However, it turns that her king is vulnerable too.]

19.Qxg6 [The most obvious continuation lets the initiative slip away.]

[19.Rf4 Qh4 would transpose into the game but:; 19.Qf4! was extremely strong. The logic of the game have changed, and White needs no longer to attack, but to play against the knight on g4 which lacks pawn defense. Endgame would work best! 19...Qh4 20.Rf3 Rf8 21.Qg3 Qxg3+ 22.Rxg3±]

19...Qh4 20.Rf4

20...Bxe5! [The point of Ashritha's counter attack. ]

21.Qxg4? [Black would be also close to winning in case of: 21.dxe5 Rg8! 22.Rxg4 Rxg6 23.Rxg6 d4!; Only a narrow path would have kept the balance- 21.Rxg4! Qh2+ 22.Kf1 Rg8 23.Qxg8+ Rxg8 24.Rxg8+ Kxg8 25.dxe5 Qxe5 when a draw is a most likely result.]


Tables have turned. It is Black who completely overtook the initiative!]

22.Bg6 Rxg6! 23.Qxg6 Bxf4 24.Kf1 Rg8 25.Qxg8+ Kxg8 26.exf4 Qh1+

with decisive material advantage and attack as compensation, Black wins easily.]

27.Ke2 Be8 28.b4 Bh5+ 29.Kf2 Qh2+ 30.Ke1 Qg1+ 31.Kd2 Qxd4+ 32.Kc2 Bg6+ 33.Kb3 Qd3 34.f5 Bxf5 35.Bb2 Qc4+ 36.Ka4 Bc2+ 37.Ka5 b6#


The trophies of the winners were presented by Garry Kasparov himself!

To many's surprise Ashritha's younger sister Aksithi became a champion in her age as well! She scored 5.5/6. "Now they will no longer fight about who got the bigger trophy", joked their delighted father.

One more of my students did very well in Chicago. Chenyi Zhao scored 5/6 and tied for the second place in her section.


An English Champion

Good news came from England. My student Akito Oyama won the national championship under fourteen years convincingly. He won alone or shared the first place in all the qualification tournaments that he played and was sure winner even before the final event! He deserved the right to represent England at the World Youth Championship in UAE at the end of the year, and the right to compete at the British adult championship.
Akito is an original player who does not put the onus on theoretical preparation. He has a taste on the attack and almost always prefers interesting to the orthodox and the exciting to the solid lines.
Here is a game that he annotated for the blog:

Janik,Robert (1866) - Oyama,Akito (2041) [E18]
Poland and England Fide (5), 27.10.2012

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 b6 4.Bg2 Bb7 5.0–0 Be7 6.c4 0–0 7.Nc3 c5 [7...Ne4 This was more accurate and could be followed with f5.]

8.d5 d6

I was hoping to play e5 and close the position but my opponent stopped me.]

9.dxe6 fxe6 10.Bh3 e5 11.Ng5 Qe8 12.Ne6 [12.e4 This was a better continuation for white because it shuts down my light squared bishop]

12...Qh5 13.Bg2 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 Ng4

This attack I was about to start could have been defended with best play but it looked interesting so i tried it.]

15.Nxf8 Qxh2+ 16.Kf3 Nc6 17.Qd5+ [The knight was untouchable because after 17.Kxg4 Rxf8 The threat of h7–h5# is alsmost unstoppable.]

17...Kh8 18.Ng6+ [This was a mistake that gave me the upper hand as well as more mating chances.]


Now Qh5 will be the answer to Kxg4.]

19.e3 [This move increased my advantage even more. Better was Qxc6.]

[19.Qxc6 Rf8+ 20.Ke4 Qg2+ 21.f3 Qxf1 I am only a pawn up but the attack will still continue.]

19...Rf8+ 20.Ke2 Rxf2+ 21.Rxf2 Qxf2+ 22.Kd3

Here I missed a simple mate in 2.

22...Qf1+ [22...Nb4+ 23.Ke4 Nf6#]

23.Kd2 Nb4 24.Qe4 Nh2 25.Nd5 Nf3+ 26.Kc3 Qe1+ 27.Kb3 Qd1+ 28.Kc3 [28.Ka3 Nc2+ 29.Ka4 Nxa1+ 30.b3 I am a piece up in this variation.]

28...Nd4 29.b3

29...Nxa2+ [My opponent resigned here because he realised he would lose too much material to survive.]



The Second Title!

(by Iva Videnova)

For 2nd year in a row I have the honor to be Bulgarian champion for women and this way, to represent my country at the European Individual Championship in Belgrade, Serbia (22 July – 4 August).

Bankya – a small town near Sofia and a famous Bulgarian Spa Resort, held the 62nd Bulgarian female championship. The word “bankya” means “small bath” and completely fits, as a lot of mineral water springs with pleasant temperature (36,5°-37°) offer balneological treatment and relax. The nature, the water, the air made this place perfect for our chess tournament.
Surrounded by Lyulin mountain, with pine trees all around, Bankya has extremely fresh air. Almost all of the participants used their free time before or after the game to walk around. The organizers provided us 4**** hotel with sauna and steam bath for another kind of relaxation, as well as mineral water for all the players and arbiters during the game. The view from the playing hall was inspiring, which can be confirmed by most of the players, who were staring through the window while their opponents were thinking.

After the first 4 rounds I was a single leader with 100% and expected a similar result at the end of the competition. This is partly explained by the fact that I grabbed the title with 8/9 last year. Though… it wasn’t exactly how it happened.
The young girls showed a solid progress. The best achievement was made by Simoneta Ivanova who took a bronze medal. She is just 16 years-old, but managed to fight for the bronze (and perhaps could do even for more). Simoneta was the only one who beat me at this tournament. This happened in the 7th round, when WIM Elitsa Raeva and WGM Margarita Voiska (the reigning European champion for seniors - women) also lost against respectively Darena Sirkova (19 years-old) and Stefi Bednikova.
Another good impression left Maria Vasova (15 years-old) and the youngest participant Nurgyul Salimova (almost 10 years-old). Maria finished 4th, but had the chances for a medal in the last round. Direct derby between her and Simoneta decided the bronze to go to Ivanova (after draw).
Nurgyul managed to finish equal with Raeva, Sirkova and won against more experienced players like Galunova and Vasova.

The pairings left the match for the 1st place between me and Elitsa Raeva for the last round.
Videnova,Iva (2329) - Raeva,Elitsa (2269)
BUL-ch (w) 62nd Bankya Bankia (9.3), 25.04.2013
[Iva Videnova]

[The situation before the game was: Elitsa had 6/8, while I was half point behind. So only a win would bring me the title. And only the title would send me to European championship for women. My opponent needed draw and I had to win. Psychologically, the harder task was hers.]
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 [Elitsa is a very creative player. She always surprises me with the opening choice. Every time - something new. As usual against her, I couldn't guess the opening in my preparation. According to database, this is her 2nd Pirc ever.]
4.f4 [Playing only for win, the Austrian Attack is, in my opinion, the best choice.]

4...Bg7 5.Nf3 0–0 6.Bd3 Na6 7.0–0 c5 8.d5 Nc7?! [It's not a bad move, but it's less precise than 8...Rb8. As after 9.Qe1 Black cannot answer 9...Nb4.]

[The main moves are 8...Rb8; and 8...Bg4]


with the typical idea f5, Qh4, Bh6.]

9...a6 10.a4 Bd7 [Too slow is 10...b6 as in the game Videnova,I 2329-Martic,Z 2323/ Golden Krk-op 1st 2013, 1–0 11.f5 Bd7 (11...gxf5?! illustrates the way White must attack: 12.Qg3! Kh8 13.Qh4! Rg8 14.e5± with crushing attack.) 12.Qh4 b5 13.Bh6 b4 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.Nd1І]

11.a5 Bb5 12.f5 [12.Qh4!?]

12...Bxd3 [12...gxf5 13.Qh4 (In the recent game Dzhumabayev chose another plan, which seems also possible: 13.exf5 Bxd3 14.cxd3 Nfxd5 15.Nxd5 Nxd5 16.Ng5 is quite dangerous for Black. 16...Nf6 17.Ra4 Qd7 18.Rh4± e6 19.Nxh7 Nxh7 20.Rxh7 Bd4+ 21.Be3 exf5 22.Bxd4 cxd4 23.Qh4 Qe6 24.Rf3 f4 25.Rh3 f6 26.Rg7+ 1–0 (26) Dzhumabayev, R-Kotsur,P (2562) Astana 2011) 13...fxe4 14.Ng5±; 12...c4 13.Be2 gxf5 The best move according to the engine is 14.Nd4 (although I have to admit the move I was planning to play during the game was 14.Qh4 fxe4 (14...e6 15.dxe6 fxe6 16.exf5 exf5 17.Bxc4+І) 15.Ng5‚) 14...Nxe4 15.Nxf5 Nxc3 16.bxc3 Be5 17.Nh6+ Kg7 18.Ng4±]

13.cxd3 Nb5 14.Qh4 Nd4 [One more example why 14...g:f5 is not good in almost all the variations: 14...gxf5 15.Bh6 Bxh6 16.Qxh6 Ng4 17.Qh3±]

15.Nxd4 [The other option was 15.Bh6 Nxf3+ 16.Rxf3 Bxh6 17.Qxh6 Ng4 18.Qh4± Ne5 19.Rh3 h5 20.Qg5 Kh7 21.Ne2 Rh8 22.Nf4+– 1/2 (54) Tomba,I (2244)-Gromovs,S (2368) Cesenatico 2007]

15...cxd4 16.Ne2 Rc8 17.fxg6 hxg6 [Neither 17...fxg6 can help: 18.Nxd4±]

18.Nxd4 Qd7

19.h3!? [I decided not to allow Queen-exchange, because of Black's weak King.]

19...Nh5 20.Nf5± 20...Bf6 21.Qg4 [Also possible and perhaps winning was 21.Bg5 Rc2 (21...Bxb2 22.Nxe7+ Kh7 (22...Kg7 23.Nxc8 Bxa1 24.Rxa1 Rxc8 25.g4+–) 23.Nxc8 Bxa1 24.Rxa1 Rxc8 25.g4+–) 22.Bxf6 exf6 23.Nh6+ Kg7 24.Ng4+–]

21...Qb5 22.Bg5 Rc2?

It's a serious mistake, but I cannot blame Elitsa too much. Because her position is already too problematic.]

[Slightly better, but also hard for the defensive player, was 22...Rc7 23.Bxf6 exf6 24.Qf3±]

23.Nxe7+ Bxe7 24.Bxe7 Re8 25.Bxd6+– Qxd3

26.Rxf7! Qe3+ [26...Kxf7 27.Qd7+ Kf6 28.Qxe8 Rxg2+ 29.Kxg2 Qe2+ 30.Kg1 Qe3+ 31.Kf1 Qxh3+ 32.Kf2 Qh4+ 33.Ke3 Qg5+ 34.Kd3+– and Black can resign, as White King successfully escaped from another check.]

27.Kh2 [Also winning was 27.Kh1 Ng3+ 28.Bxg3 Rc1+ 29.Rf1+–]

27...Qxe4 28.Qxe4 [Much stronger and faster was 28.Rf8+ Kh7 29.Rxe8 Qxe8 30.Rf1+–]

28...Rxe4 29.Raf1 Ree2 30.Rc7? [30.Rf8+ Kh7 31.R1f7+ Ng7 This position so far I saw, but I wasn't sure if I'm winning... Os course, my intuition had to tell me that a move as (31...Kh6? 32.Rh8+ Kg5 33.Be7++–) 32.h4!!+– exists and I had to look for it more deeply. After 32.h4 Black's best move would be simply to resign.]

30...Rxg2+ 31.Kh1

31...Rxc7 32.Rf8+ [32.Bxc7 Rd2 (32...Rc2 33.Bh2±) 33.Rf3 Rxd5 34.Rb3 Rb5 35.Rxb5 axb5 36.Kg2 Kf7 37.Kf3 Nf6 38.Bd8 Nd5 39.Ke4 Ke6= and it seems drawish: 40.Bh4 Nb4 41.Be1 Nc6 42.b4 Ne5 43.Bc3 Nc6 44.Bd2 Ne5 45.Be1 Nc6 46.Bc3 Ne7=]

32...Kg7 33.Bxc7 Rc2 34.Rc8 Kf7 35.d6 Nf6 36.b4

Usually after so many missed chances the stronger side does not win. But, fortunately for me, Elitsa blundered in her zeitnot.]

36...Rd2? [Time pressure didn't let my opponent find the equalizing continuation: 36...Rc4! 37.b5 axb5 38.Rb8 Ra4 39.Rxb7 b4 40.Bb8+ Ke8! (40...Ke6?? 41.Re7+ Kd5 42.d7+–) 41.a6 Rxa6 42.Rxb4= and it must be draw.]

37.Rb8+– [The rest is just technique:]

37...Ne4 38.Rxb7 Ke6 39.Bb8 Ng3+ [39...Ng5 40.b5 Nf3 41.d7+– the mating picture does not succeed.]

40.Kg1 Ne2+ 41.Kf2 Nc1+ 42.Ke3 Rd3+ 43.Ke4 Rxh3 44.Re7+ Kf6 45.Ba7 Rh4+ 46.Kd5 Rxb4 47.Re6+ Kf5 48.d7 Nd3 49.Kd6 Rb5 50.d8Q Nf4 51.Rf6+ Kg4 52.Rxf4+


This game and many other last round games (the losses of Carlsen and Kramnik – the last round in London, in example) show that chess is, most of all, psychology. However computers changed the game, however the preparation matters, human psychics is that factor which changes the result. And perhaps, which makes chess still vital.

(Pictures by Iva Videnova and Vladimir Petrov)