Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ukraine vs Russia in the WWC Final in Sochi

Natalia Pogonina (Russia) and Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine) will fight for the title of FIDE World Women’s Champion in Sochi. They qualified for the final match after a stunning tiebreaks day. At earlier stages Pogonina and Mariya Muzychuk were encouraging and supporting each other, and on April 2nd they will face each other for the highest women prize in chess.

Natalia Pogonina will defend the honor of the hosts and Olympic gold winners Russia. She qualified after a dramatic 116 move thriller against Pia Cramling (Sweden).

Mariya Muzychuk made a miraculous save in rapid game 3 and eliminated Harika Dronavalli (India).

The tiebreaks were a climax point for the online audience. During the second game a total of 30,000 simultaneous viewers collected across the ChessArena.com viewers, making the FIDE World Championship in Sochi possibly the most viewed women chess event in history.

Ray Robson on KSDK TV

Ray Robson, Anna Sharevich, and Katerina Nemcova on KPLR channel 11

Strong nerves required for a spot in the Women's World Championship Final

The SCC Galactica (Sochi, Krasnaya Polyana) hosted the second games of the Semifinals. The Russian Natalia Pogonina defeated Pia Cramling (Sweden) as White and equalized the match. The game between Harika Dronavalli (India) and Mariya Muzychuk (Ukraine) ended in a draw. Both matches are tied, and their outcome will be determined on tie-breaks.

In the recent years, Natalia Pogonina plays 1.d4 more frequently, however, today she needed to win on demand, and went for the more aggressive 1.е4. The players arrived at a very sharp line of the Paulsen variation of the Sicilian. On the move 8 White offered a pawn sacrifice, but Black declined the offer, aiming at a rather cramped but solid position.

In the middlegame Black wasted a couple of tempi for purposeless queen maneuvers, helping White to rearrange her pieces for a direct attack. In addition, Cramling got into the time trouble, and therefore was not defending perfectly. White won a pawn, penetrated the enemy camp with her queen and finished the game with a nice tactical blow on the move 38. Black resigned due to inevitable material losses.

Harika Dronavalli tried to break Mariya Muzychuk's armor in the Dutch defense. The Indian player arranged her pieces harmoniously and created unpleasant central pressure. However, she failed to use her advantage in the best way. White won a pawn, but the game transposed into a rook ending with four pawns against three, all on the same wing. Dronavalli's attempts to play for a win were void – Muzychuk defended accurately, and the game ended in a draw.

The tie-breaks are played on March 31 and start with the following games: Cramling (Sweden) – Pogonina (Russia), and Dronavalli (India) – M. Muzychuk (Ukraine). All games start at 3 pm Moscow time.

Live stream with grandmaster commentary is available in two languages (Russian and English) on the official site of the championship (http://sochi2015.fide.com) and the Russian Chess Federation website (http://ruchess.ru/).

Webster University / SPICE - Full and partial chess scholarships available

If you would like to be a part of the #1 College Chess program in the United States, please feel free to contact me (SusanPolgar@aol.com). Full and partial scholarships available for qualified student players.

Webster University – SPICE Chess Program Top 5 Facts

1. Webster University has 10 Grandmasters from 9 different countries. The SPICE program has 4 World Champions, 12 Olympians, and 19 National Champions...

2. Webster University chess team has been ranked #1 in Division I College Chess since its inception in August 2012 (with 4 freshmen and 1 sophomore on the A team), which is over 140 consecutive weeks. Webster University A team has never relinquished the top ranking and has never lost a match.

3. Webster University team members won 2 world championships and 29 national titles in the past 2 years. Webster University won the last 3 straight Pan Am InterCollegiate Championships and Final Four Championships.

4. Webster University sponsors and hosts the annual SPF Girls' Invitational, the most prestigious all-girls event in the U.S., as well as the annual prestigious SPICE Cup. Students of Webster University actively volunteer in the community to bring chess into schools. They, as a team, also maintain a very high GPA.

5. The SPICE chess program has won 5 consecutive Final Four Championships, and has not lost a match in 4 straight Final Four Championships.

2014 - 2015 Webster University – SPICE chess team members

1. GM Le Quang Liem (Vietnam) – World Blitz Champion, National Champion, Olympian
2. GM Wesley So (Philippines) – World University Champion, National Champion, Olympian (just turned pro after winning Millionaire Chess)
3. GM Illia Nyzhnyk (Ukraine) – National Champion, European Champion
4. GM Ray Robson (USA) – National Champion, Olympian
5. GM Georg Meier (Germany) – National Champion, Olympian, European Champion
6. GM Vasif Durarbayli (Azerbaijan) – World Youth Champion, National Champion, Olympiad
7. GM Fidel Corrales Jimenez (Cuba) – National Champion, Olympian
8. GM Manuel Leon Hoyos (Mexico) – National Champion, Olympian
9. GM Andre Diamant (Brazil) – National Champion, Olympian
10. GM Denes Boros (Hungary) – National Champion
11. GM-elect Ashwin Jayaram (India) – National Champion
12. IM Vitaly Neimer (Israel) – National Champion
13. FM Jake Banawa (USA) – National Champion
14. WGM Anna Sharevich (Belarus) – National Champion, Olympian
15. WGM Katerina Nemcova (Czech Republic) - National Champion, Olympian
16. WIM Inna Agrest (Sweden) – National Champion, Olympian
17. WFM Luisa Mercado (Colombia) – National Champion
18. Mara Kamphorst (Brazil) – National Champion
19. Paul M. Truong (USA) – National Champion
20. Tori Whatley (USA)
21. Reginald Jackson (USA)

Webster students are around the world. There are 22,000+ students enrolled at Webster University - with students from 50 states and 148 countries around the world.

Webster University offers academic excellence in more than 100 programs offered at a vibrant home campus and at locations throughout the world, with all the benefits of a student-centered education and a real-world perspective.


Experience Webster University — in two minutes

A historic mission. An inviting home campus: Founded in 1915, with five students and a pioneering educational mission, Webster has a history of shaping the future of higher education.

Local and global: With 22,000 students at locations around the world, Webster is defining global education for the future.

Students from 50 states and 148 countries: You experience the diversity of the world in a richly educational way.

Average class size: 10 : Small, highly interactive classes encourage innovation, collaboration, and self-expression.

Faculty-to-student ratio: 1:9 : Students have all the advantages of a student-centered university that supports personalized learning and gives every student an opportunity to excel.

Global locations: We have metropolitan, military, and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional campuses in Asia, Europe, and North America. Our Study Abroad programs are ranked in the top 2 percent by U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges 2013."

163,000 Alumni: A growing and involved alumni community are connecting online, in-person, and at worldwide events.

One and only: Webster is the only Tier 1, private, nonprofit university with campus locations around the world including metropolitan, military, online and corporate, plus traditional, American-style campuses in North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Diversity is a core value: Webster is one of the most diverse universities in the country, which is an enduring part of our history and central to our future.Undergraduate and graduate programs. More than 75 different majors and around 60 graduate programs in a supportive, educational environment that allows students to excel.

A global, Tier 1, private, nonprofit university

* Global feature in academic programs. Globalized curriculum is our distinctive hallmark
* Academic programs engage your mind and stimulate your understanding beyond your home country and culture
* Every student experiences a global learning component
* Every student is exposed to a worldwide network of fellow students who live, work and study around the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia
* Learn in class today and apply it in real life tomorrow
* Five schools and colleges: Arts & Sciences; Business & Technology; Communications; Education; and Fine Arts

Titles won by Webster University - SPICE in the past 2 years

World Championships (2)

June 2013
- 2013 World Blitz Championship: 1st place (GM Le Quang Liem)

July 2013
- 2013 World University Championship: 1st place (GM Wesley So)

National Championships (29)

August 2012
- 2012 U.S. Open Championship: 1st place (GM Manuel Leon Hoyos)
- 2012 U.S. Open Rapid (g/15) Championship: 1st place (GM Andre Diamant and IM Vitaly Neimer)
- 2012 U.S. Open Blitz Championship: 1st place (GM Andre Diamant), 2nd place (GM Anatoly Bykhovsky)

December 2012
- 2012 PanAm Intercollegiate Championship: Both A and B team tied for 1st place
- 2012 PanAm Intercollegiate Championship: Top reserve player (GM Manuel Leon Hoyos)

April 2013
- 2013 College Chess Final Four: 1st place (GMs Georg Meier, Wesley So, Ray Robson, Fidel Corrales Jimenez, Manuel Leon Hoyos, and Anatoly Bykhovsky)

June 2013
- 2013 National Open: 1st place (GMs Wesley So and Manuel Leon Hoyos)
- 2013 National Open Blitz Championship: 1st place (GM Wesley So)
- 2013 National G/10 Championship at National Open: 1st place (GM Wesley So)

August 2013
- 2013 US Open G/15 Championship: 1st place (GM Manuel Leon Hoyos)
- 2013 US Open Blitz Championship: 1st place (GM Manuel Leon Hoyos)

October 2013
- 2013 US National G/30 Championship: 1st place (GM Georg Meier)
- 2013 US National G/60 Championship: 1st place (GM Georg Meier)

December 2013
- 2013 PanAm Intercollegiate Championship: 1st place (A team won with a perfect 6-0 score)
- 2013 PanAm Intercollegiate Championship: Top board 1 (GMs Le Quang Liem, Fidel Corrales Jimenez)
- 2013 PanAm Intercollegiate Championship: Top board 2 (GM Anatoly Bykhovsky)
- 2013 PanAm Intercollegiate Championship: Top board 3 (GM Wesley So)
- 2013 PanAm Intercollegiate Championship: Top board 4 (GM Ray Robson)
- 2013 PanAm Intercollegiate Championship: Top overall performance (GM Wesley So)

April 2014
- 2014 College Chess Final Four: 1st place (GMs Le Quang Liem, Wesley So, Georg Meier, Ray Robson, Fidel Corrales Jimenez, and Anatoly Bykhovsky)

June 2014
- 2014 National Open Blitz Championship: 1st place (GM Wesley So)

July 2014
- 2014 World Open: 1st place tie (GM Illia Nyzhnyk)

August 2014
- 2014 US Open: 1st place tie (GM Illia Nyzhnyk)

December 2014

- 2014 PanAm InterCollegiate Championship: 1st place (A team scored 5.5 - 0.5)
- 2014 PanAm InterCollegiate Championship: Top board 1 (IM Ashwin Jayaram)
- 2014 PanAm InterCollegiate Championship: Top board 2 (GM Illia Nyzhnyk)
- 2014 PanAm InterCollegiate Championship: Top board 3 (Ray Robson)
- 2014 PanAm InterCollegiate Championship: Top board 4 (Andre Diamant)

March 2015

-2015 College Chess Final Four: 1st place (GMs Le Quang Liem, Ray Robson, Illya Nyzhnyk, Vasif Durarbayli, Fidel Corrales Jimenez, Andre Diamant)

Polish Championship LIVE!

Polish Women's Championship LIVE!

Women's World Championship in Sochi LIVE!

Aeroflot Open LIVE!

Chess accuracy tactic

White to move. What is the best continuation for White?

r3r2R/1b2k3/pn2N3/3pN3/1b1P4/np6/5P2/2RK1B2 w - - 0 1

How to Build Your 1. d4 Repertoire - GM Jan Gustafsson ... and more

On Magnus Carlsen - GMs Gustafsson / Jussupov

Posted on March 30,2015 By OnlineChessLessons.NET Contributor in Strategy & Game Review, All Articles w/ Videos. Improve by studying the games of the World Champion! In the "On Magnus Carlsen" video series, the GMs Gustafsson and Jussupov show you the current world number one chess player and World Champion in a dazzling series of games. These games chronicle his rise as a player and show his improvement from the past up to the current day. The Grandmasters presenting the material are also highly regarded players and do a terrific job of explaining the thin[...]

Typical play in French for White (Part II)

Posted on March 27,2015 By GM Levan Aroshidze in Strategy & Game Review. The French middle game is rich with strategic and dynamic ideas. Even during the opposite castles, it is not so clear whether white has to attack the king or has to play against the Black's "bad bishop". In the end, everything depends on the concrete position. Black normally tries to exchange his bad bishop and develop initiative on the queenside. Let's analyze typical middle game position that arose in my game against GM Peralta. Aroshidze 2537[...]

How to Build Your 1. d4 Repertoire - GM Jan Gustafsson

Posted on March 26,2015 By OnlineChessLessons.NET Contributor in Strategy & Game Review, Chess Openings, All Articles w/ Videos. Use 1. d4 as a strong weapon against your opponent! In the video series, "How to Build Your 1. d4 Repertoire", GM Jan Gustafsson teaches you about all the different openings that can be played against 1. d4 and how white can combat each one of them. Jan focuses a lot on being unpredictable by not playing the same exact line in every game against black and emphasizes how the best players in the world are also the most flexible. He also shows you h[...]

Typical play in French for White (Part I)

Posted on March 25,2015 By GM Levan Aroshidze in Strategy & Game Review, Chess Openings, General Chess Articles, Beginner's Corner. Nowadays French Defence is again becoming popular on the high level. We see new ideas and theoretical discussions in almost every line of this playing system. Weakness of this opening setup is the passive light-squared bishop on c8, but as a compensation, - Black gets active play in the center. Let's analyze one of my recent games against the strong GM Peralta. Aroshidze 2537 - Peralta 2582 C 11 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 One of the main continua[...]

OnlineChessLessons.net is a producer of thousands of free chess articles and free chess videos by FIDE chess masters. They recently released the renowned Empire Chess series that has been taking the chess world by storm. Please consider checking out their chess blog and chess shop with tons of free updated previews.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Chess is a global game and it’s fitting that the 3-time champions represent a global university

Webster University Chess Team Wins Third Consecutive National Championship
March 30, 2015

Webster University’s chess team won its third straight College Chess Final Four championship over the weekend. The championship team is now undefeated in all college chess matches for three years in a row.

The win also set a new record for Coach Susan Polgar. This is the first time that a coach has headed five consecutive winning teams – three as the coach at Webster University and two as the coach at Texas Tech. She also is the first female coach to lead any college team to five straight national championships.

“I am proud of the Webster University students who are able to compete on the national stage,” said President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble. “Chess is a global game and it’s fitting that the three-time champions represent a global university.”

This year’s President’s Cup challenge was held in New York City. Also known as the “Final Four of Chess,” Webster University was the No. 1 seed going into the competition, a ranking the team has had for three straight years. In order to qualify, Webster had to place in the top four of the annual Pan Am Challenge college chess tournament. Webster’s team has won that championship three years in a row.

Playing for Webster in the Final Four were Liem Le, Ray Robson, Illia Nyzhnyk, Vasif Durarbayli, Fidel Corrales Jimenez (first alternate) and Andre Diamant (second alternate).

With the exception of Diamant, all have been students at Webster since their freshman year. They faced teams from Texas Tech, University of Maryland Baltimore County, and University of Texas in Dallas.

This year was the strongest finish for Webster University’s team out of the past three championships. Collectively the team earned 10 points out of the 12 games played. Teams receive one point for each win, one-half point for a draw and no points for a loss.

Webster had nine wins, four draws and no losses, giving the team 4.5 points more than UT Dallas, the second highest scoring team in the tournament. This is the largest point spread in Webster University’s history for the President’s Cup.

“I am so proud of the students,” Polgar said. “The starting squad of two freshmen and two sophomores, with the assistance from their teammates, trained very hard for the past three months. Not only they won but they shattered a number of previous Final Four records. This is truly a team effort.”

She added that President Stroble visited the team the day before the competition, which boosted the students’ confidence.

For more information about Webster University’s chess team, visit www.webster.edu/spice/chess-team.

View more photos from the competition and homecoming here.

1 more day before Millionaire Chess lower entry fees deadline ends

1 more day to take advantage of lower entry fees to MC2: https://millionairechess.com/register

I hope Millionaire Chess stages a lot of million dollar events across the world. The format for the event guarantees a nail-biting finish. A great development for chess. - Yasser Seirawan, 4 time U.S. Champion

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The MC team did an outstanding job to follow through their promise to make it a memorable event for the players and their families. We are anxiously waiting for the next one! - Zeba Ibrahim, Chess Mom

Best tournament I've ever participated in, by a huge margin. - Jones Murphy, Participant
Millionaire Chess is a game changer in chess. - Bruce Tendai Mubayiwa, AfricaChess.net


Millionaire Chess is committed to revolutionizing the conventional models of chess tournaments globally. We believe in providing chess players with the respect they deserve and rewarding them for the time, effort, energy, and resources that they invest in the game. By holding high stakes tournaments in destination capitals, we intend to encourage players of all ages and skill levels to play, study and enjoy the game they love. Our mission is to run the best chess tournaments the world has ever seen and to help raise the bar for chess tournaments worldwide.


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Chess support for girls in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh chess tournament supports girls
Posted: Monday, March 30, 2015 2:00 am | Updated: 8:57 pm, Mon Mar 30, 2015.
Nerine Sivagnanam / Staff Writer

Armed with kings, queens, knights and pawns, girls are defying the idea that chess is a man’s game.

On Saturday, girls between second and eighth grade gathered at Oakland Catholic High School in North Oakland to participate in a chess tournament.

The free event was organized by Pitt freshman Anjana Murali, who is also a staff writer for The Pitt News. The ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative, a partnership between Ann Taylor LOFT and Vital Voices, which invests in leadership programs for women, gave Murali a $1,850 grant to put on the event.

Three teams competed based on ability, ranging from beginner to advanced, and were coached by Pitt and Duquesne students.

John Ahlborg, a Pitt senior majoring in neuroscience and pharmacy, taught the girls how to play the game and encouraged them to stimulate their thinking and learn how to problem-solve. He taught them how to win using specific game strategies.

“I play chess on my own, and I wanted to start teaching it a little,” Ahlborg said. “The chess tournament was a great idea for a great cause.”

Jeff Flohr, the event coordinator and a former teacher at Oakland Catholic High School, said the event promotes gender empowerment.

“The goal of this event is to emphasize that chess is gender neutral,” Flohr said. “It’s also to encourage the girls to play chess even though it is perceived as a male sport.”

The three groups played together, learning from each other and making new friends. As the girls played, they laughed while remaining competitive and focused. Several girls prodded each other on and insisted that their opponents take their turns faster. Many of the young women said they enjoyed chess and already knew how to play.

Olivia Oleary, a third grader from Environmental Charter School participating in the chess tournament, said she usually plays chess with her dad and brother.

“The tournament sounded really fun, and I wanted to get better at chess,” Oleary said.

Eila Weathington, another third grader in the tournament, also wanted to improve her chess skills.

“I thought the tournament would be cool, and I wanted to learn other people’s playing styles and techniques,” Weathington said.

The older facilitators admired the capabilities of these young girls.

Kaitlyn Loh, a Pitt freshman majoring in psychology and volunteer at the event, said she was impressed by the young women and their knowledge of the game.

“I’m really impressed by how mature these girls are,” Loh said.

At the end of the tournament, all the girls participating received a free T-shirt — designed by Murali — a free chess set, a medal and some new chess-playing friends.

Loh explained that even though the chess tournament wasn’t specifically designed to teach the girls to take initiative and be good leaders, the girls still took away these skills at the end of the tournament.

“We saw one of the girls teaching a younger girl how to play, and she took initiative to be a leader,” said Loh. “We didn’t have to tell them to do any of that. They did that on their own.”

Source: http://www.pittnews.com

Pogonina: My opponent went into a variation that is considered dangerous for Black


Natalia Pogonina managed to come back for the third time at the World Championship, defeating Pia Cramling with a swift attack. After the game Natalia came to the press center for an interview.

Anastasia Karlovich: Natalia, this is the third time you win on demand at this championship! How did you do it today?

Natalia Pogonina: My opponent went into a variation that is considered dangerous for Black – a strange choice in a situation when you need a draw to advance. We arrived at a complicated position with good attacking chances for White. My maneuvering was probably not ideal, but her 17...Qc5 gave me a tempo for 18.Nb3 and 19.Nd2, after which White should have a very comfortable edge.

After that I had so many tempting continuations that it was difficult to choose between them, that's why I took so much time for my moves.

– Yet Pia was spending more time than you, and in the end you had some extra time on the clock, which allowed you to calculate the nice finale! Or did you see it instantly?

– No, I discovered 38.Nd7+ only after some thought. I had 10 minutes left, so I could afford using some of this time.

– It must be very pleasing to end the game in such fashion...

– I would take any win, to be honest.

– On the move 28, did you consider other ideas apart from 28.f4?

– I calculated some knight leaps, but eventually decided to strengthen my base on e5, and then push the h-pawn. It looked a solid plan to me.

– What about 28.Rxc4?

– I looked into it, but not very deeply. Now I see that I don't have to regain an exchange after 28...Qxc4 29.Nd6, but can simply continue the attack. Looks good for White, too.

– Which of the three matches you saved on demand was the most difficult?

– All of them were difficult – there were tough opponents, and I needed to win... I don't want to single out any of them.

– What is your mood before the tie-break? What color do you have in the first game?

– My mood is good as usual. I will play Black in the first game.