Spirit of Atticus


Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008

Dedicated to the 'Spirit of Atticus'

News Archive - 2009 [2013 2012 2011 2010 2008 2007 2006]



29th December 2009

Magnus Carlsen: The 19-Year-Old King of Chess

TIME interviews Carlsen  

At age 13, he was the third youngest grandmaster in history. A few years later, he was already beating the world’s top players. And on Jan 1st, 19-year-old Magnus Carlsen of Norway will officially become the youngest person in history to achieve chess's No. 1 ranking. TIME caught up with the grandmaster at a tournament in London to probe the mind of a chess genius. Read more ...


In December 2009 Carlsen won the London Classic ahead of Kramnik, Nakamura, Short and others. As a result of this victory he will become the first teenaged chessplayer in history to occupy the first place in the official world rankings (to be published on 1st January 2010).


28th December 2009

Korchnoi-Spassky match in Elista, 17th-27th Dec




Two of the most legendary chess players have just completed their 8-game match in Elista, Kalmykia.


The match for a prize fund of US $20,000 had a time control of 90 mins + 30 seconds per move.



Photo © Official site


The match ended all square at 4-4.

Official site (Russian) Games in PGN












16th December 2009

London Chess Classic, December 8th-15th, 2009


Winner: Magnus Carlsen


Magnus Carlsen won the London Chess Classic after a nail-biting finish against Nigel Short. The game ended in a draw and the single point gained was enough to put him one point clear of Vladimir Kramnik, who drew with Hikaru Nakamura. The other two games ended decisively. David Howell played a superb game with Black to defeat China’s Ni Hua, while Michael Adams outplayed Luke McShane in another close struggle.


This is another momentous tournament victory for Magnus Carlsen. As a result of his victory in London, Carlsen will become the first teenaged chessplayer in history to occupy the first place in the official world rankings (to be published on 1st January 2010) - John Saunders, Press Chief, LCC.


Official site Reports Photos Standings and Crosstable All games in PGN

• Replay: Round 1  Round 2  Round 3  Round 4  Round 5  Round 6  Round 7


The 10,000 brilliancy prize was awarded to Luke McShane for his round 5 win over Nakamura.






15th December 2009

World Cup, Khanty Mansiysk, 20th Nov - 15th Dec 2009


Final report from Chessbase 14th Dec: Gelfand has beaten Ponomariov to win the World Cup. After drawing the regular games they went into the perilous tiebreaks. They won a rapid chess game each and drew two to proceed to the blitz, where again each won a game. Game three and four went to the Israeli, who thus won the World Cup. Gelfand is now part of the eight-player tournament to find a challenger for the World Champion.


The FIDE World Chess Cup took place in Khanty-Mansiysk from November 20th to December 15th 2009. It was a seven-round knockout event ... more


Official site Schedule LIVE link and photos Results Games in PGN


30th November 2009

BNbank Blitz 2009 - Nakamura beats Carlsen in the final


A strong field of players competed in the BNbank Blitz 2009 which took place in Oslo on Sat, November 28.


Ten players were invited and divided into two groups, insuring that the two designated finalists, Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura, would meet in the final. And that's exactly what happened!


Official site Full results with tablesVideos and games in PGN


30th November 2009

Preston Congress 2009

Fri 27 - Sun 29 Nov at University of Central Lancashire, Foster Building (Foster 25), PR1 2HE.

Official siteLIVE games and further details


23rd November 2009

British Rapidplay Championships 2009

This took place at the Halifax Leisure Centre, HX3 6TE - 11 rounds over Sat 21st & Sun 22nd November.


Final scores for the leading players: 1st= David Howell and Mark Hebden 9/11; 3rd Peter Wells 8½; 4th Richard Palliser with 8. Over 300 players took part in 4 sections.


Official siteLIVE Games and times Photos Reports


19th November 2009

World Blitz Championship 2009

Magnus Carlsen lead by 2½ pts with just four rounds left after beating Anand in Round 38. He wrapped up the title a couple of rounds later. Anand was well clear in second place. In addition to his World no.1 spot he is also World Blitz Champion 2009, not bad for an 18yr old.


Official site ResultsVIDEO feedMore links Games in PGN


16th November 2009

Tal Memorial 2009


Vladimir Kramnik has won the Tal Memorial in Moscow. Anand was beaten easily by Aronian, Ponomariov beat Morozevich and Svidler and Gelfand drew. In the last game to finish Magnus Carlsen beat Peter Leko with black and will now be the world’s number one in the live ratings ahead of Veselin Topalov.


Final standings: 1st Kramnik RUS 2772 6; 2nd= Ivanchuk UKR 2739, Carlsen NOR 2801 5½; 4th= Aronian ARM 2786, Anand IND 2788 5; 6th Gelfand ISR 2758 4½; 7th Ponomariov UKR 2739 4; 8th Svidler RUS 2754 3½; 9th= Leko HUN 2752, Morozevich RUS 2750 3.


Official site Games in PGN Chessbase Rd9 ReportFinal Crosstable


12th November 2009

Magistral Casino de Barcelona 2009


The Casino GM tournament in Barcelona finished with a surprise win for Spanish IM Daniel Alsina Leal with 6½/9 a point clear of Josep Manuel Lopez Martinez and Jordi Magem Badals.


Dreev, Tregubov and Fier all had a bad time the latter having five losses and finishing on a catastrophic 2/9. • Final table PGN games





11th November 2009

World Junior Championship, Puerto Madryn (ARG) 22 Oct - 4 Nov


Maxime Vachier-Lagrave has won this title after a dramatic last round in which he caught up with Sergei Zhigalko from Belarus. David Howell finished 10th= with 8/13. Express report from Chessdom.


This was a massive 13-round Swiss system event. Results were compiled thankfully by chess-results.com as the official site struggled severely thoughout. David lost to Vachier-Lagrave in Rd9 and to the newest US GM Ray Robson in Rd10 so his chances of a medal were scuppered after that • Official site Results Boys Results Girls


5th November 2009

4NCL 0910

The new season started over the weekend 24th/25th Oct. Divisions 1&2 took place at De Vere Venues, Sunningdale and Division 3 at Barcelo Hotel, Daventry. LIVE games were broadcast on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th.


Click for all results and PGN games. See photos and a short video here.


5th November 2009

Karpov v Kasparov, Rapid Match, Dec 2009

Karpov's planned return match with Kasparov in December has been cancelled. Not a bad idea from Karpov's viewpoint given his poor performances. At 58 and with a rating well over 2600 he is still a considerable force in world chess. With some better preparation he will ready for his return and a re-scheduled match in 2010.


4th November 2009

Magnificent win at 13th Univé Open, 18th-24th October

  Stewart Haslinger

Stewart Haslinger (right) from Formby has won the 13th Univé Tournament, Hoogeveen, Netherlands with 7½/9, a clear point ahead the field and with a TPR of 2707.


Stewart's event took place alongside the Crown group  which saw Sergei Tiviakov the surprising winner with 3½ ahead of Vassily Ivanchuk, Anish Giri both on 3 and Judit Polgar 2½.  See the official site for all the latest details, crosstables and PGN games.


4th November 2009

New ECF Board members

CJ de Mooi  

CJ de Mooi (BBC Eggheads fame) is the new ECF President, Nigel Short is the new FIDE delegate and Adam Raoof the new Director for Home Chess. This must be good news for Chess in England.


However, the ECF will still have their work cut out following a decision by the DCMS (Department for Culture, Media and Sports) to suspend the annual £60,000 grant until a properly formulated business plan is submitted and they appoint a Finance Director.





2nd November 2009

Anand v Karpov, Rapid Match


World Champion Vishy Anand played former World Champion Anatoly Karpov in a rapid match in France. The event took place in Bastia on October 31st and continued in Ajaccio on November 2nd.


All games were 15 mins + 3 secs per move. The match was held alongside Corsica Masters, taking place in Bastia. Official site. Karpov was beaten easily finding it hard to equalise against the much sharper and in-form Anand. See the games here.


Rapid Match Corsica (FRA), 31 x - 2 xi 2009


Ti NAT Rtng 1 2 3 4 Total Perf

Anand, Viswanathan

g IND 2788 1 ½ 1 1 2812

Karpov, Anatoly

g RUS 2619 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 2595


1st November 2009

European Team Championships phone incident

In the round 3 Bulgaria v England match Alexander Delchev's cellphone went off just before the start of play. See about 2:40 into the video (courtesy of Europe Echecs). Stuart Conquest was the beneficiary and as Cheparinov lost to McShane on board two, England won the match 2½-1½. Full report on Chessbase.



1st November 2009

Anand, Kramnik and Carlsen will play in Grandmaster group A of the 2010 Corus Chess Tournament. London Classic competitors, Nakamura and Short will play too and Ni Hua and David Howell will play in the B group. The event is held in the Dutch coastal town of Wijk aan Zee. The event runs from January 15th-31st. Click for full details.


21st October 2009

Nanjing: Carlsen wins Pearl Spring with 3002 performance

Already sure of a sole victory, Magnus Carlsen added even more brilliancy to his Pearl Spring victory by defeating Dmitry Jakovenko in the last round. Full story.


25th September 2009

Karpov v Kasparov re-match 22-24 Sept, Valencia



This match commemorated the 25th anniversary of the first Karpov vs Kasparov World Championship match in 1984-85 in Moscow.


There were 12 games, four rapid, played on the Tues and Wed, plus eight blitz games on Thurs. Each round started at 18:00 (GMT).


Both players expressed 'surprise' that their match could generate so much publicity but it was obviously intended to be that way. The real-time game coverage was patchy, in particular during the blitz part (eight games with only a 30 min break) but it was nevertheless a spectacular event. They have agreed to meet again for something similar in December.  


Official event site (in Spanish). Click to see photos, videos and all games in PGN.


20th September 2009

John Littlewood 1931 - 2009. A personal appreciation by John Carleton



It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of John Littlewood this week. His loss to the world of chess is immense. At the personal level I have found his passing distressing but am grateful for having known him and the many happy memories he has left me.


Over the years I usually found myself in an opposing team to John; we were briefly team-mates at Atticus, for Lancashire and latterly for North-West Eagles but frequently we found ourselves in different camps. As a result I have played John dozens of times, over fifty serious games, far more than against any other opponent; I doubt that he played anyone more than he played me either.


I can honestly say that there was never a disagreement [except perhaps on the best move in a given position, and where there is disagreement in such matters I would advise the neutral to back John L's judgement] in the many years I knew him. Read in full.



17th July 2009

Staunton Memorial 2009

All games from the Scheveningen match


Final match score:

England 26½ - 23½ Netherlands


In round 10 - Van Wely 0-1 Short, Smeets 1-0 McShane, L'Ami ½-½ Adams, Sokolov ½-½ Jones & Werle ½-½ Howell.


Individual scores:

England: Short 8/10, Adams & Howell 5/10, McShane 4½, Jones 4.

Netherlands: Smeets 6/10, Sokolov 5½, Van Wely 5, L'Ami 4½, Werle 2½


Official sitePGN ScheveningenPGN All Play AllTWIC Chessbase


The event took place at Simpson-in-the-Strand 8-17 August in two player groups, a  double round Scheveningen System match between the UK and the Netherlands and an all play all single round with ten players. Adams, Short, McShane, Howell and Jones played in the top group. Howell arrived slightly late on the first Saturday, travelling from Torquay as the newly crowned British Champion.













9th July 2009

British Championships 2009

David Howell became British Champion with 9/11 after drawing his final round game against IM Gary Lane. He also picked up the British U21, U18 and the Tony Miles English Championship titles.


The 96th Championships was be held from, 26 July - 8 August at the ultra-modern English Riviera Centre, Torquay.

British Championships 2009

Located just off the seafront, the Riviera Centre is a purpose built conference and exhibition venue enjoying a wide range of accommodation within walking distance. More information on the official site.


20th July 2009

116th Scottish Championships, Edinburgh

This nine round FIDE rated event ran from 11th - 19th July in the splendid City Chambers. Final scores: 1st GM Arun Prasad IND 2556 7½, 2nd GM Jan Markos SLO 2555 7, 3rd GM Mark Hebden ENG 2468 7, 4th GM Magesh Chandran Panchanath IND 2493 6½, 5th GM Aaron Summerscale ENG 2454 6½ ... 88 players. Official site.


1st July 2009

Laws of Chess

The latest edition was adopted at the 77th FIDE Congress in Dresden, November 2008, coming into force on 1 July 2009. There are a few notable changes a) to do with start times (page 9) and b) mobile phones (page 14). See full details here.


10th May 2009


See some photos from rounds 9-11, May 2-4 2009.


8th March 2009


Linares, 18 Feb - 8 Mar


Alexander Grischuk won the event with 8/14 ahead of Vassily Ivanchuk, also on 8. Grischuk had three wins to Ivanchuk's two and on the Linares tiebreak system they award victory to the player who has more wins.


Carlsen was 3rd with 7½ disappointing his fans after bizarrely missing a win in round 13. World Champion Anand finished 4th with 7, a result which will be of interest to Topalov who will challenge him later in the year for the World Championship. Aronian, Radjabov & Wang finish 5th= with 6½ with Dominguez 8th on 6. So only two points separate the players after nearly 3 weeks and 56 games!


Final positions: 1-2 Grischuk, Ivanchuk 8; 3 Carlsen 7½; 4 Anand 7; 5-7 Aronian, Radjabov, Wang 6½; 8 Dominguez 6. All games in PGN. Official site (Spanish).



28th February 2009

Aeroflot 2009

Etienne Bacrot FRA finished on 6½/9 alongside Alexander Moiseenko UKR and takes 1st place (more black piece games). See official site for details. Games in PGN.


26th February 2009

Candidates Match, 16 - 28 Feb


  National Palace of Culture, Sofia, Bulgaria

Match venue in Sofia

Veselin Topalov and Gata Kamsky played their eight-game candidates match from 17-28 Feb in Sofia, Bulgaria. The opening ceremony was held on 16 Feb and Topalov had white in the first game.


Rated 2796 and on his home turf, Topalov was hot favourite against Kamsky rated 2725, although he admitted beforehand that the match 'will be very tough'. The prize fund was mouth watering US $250,000. Final Result: Topalov won the match by defeating Kamsky in game 7 after Kamsky got into time trouble in a good position [Click to replay]. Match score 4½-2½. All games in PGN Official tournament site. Topalov will now play Anand for the World Championship later in the year but don't hold your breath over that taking place.


17th February 2009

'I was there'

Read a nice article by John Carleton on the historic international chess events in Liverpool 2006-8.


6th February 2009


Peter Svidler beat Vadim Milov 2-0 in the tie-break for first place and the £15,000 winner's cheque after they finished tied on 8/10. Nana Dzagnidze drew with Golod to secure the £6,000 women's prize. Leading scores: 1-2 P Svidler (RUS, won play-off), V Milov (SUI) 8/10, 3-6 V Gashimov (AZE), H Nakamura (USA), E Berg (SWE), V Akobian (USA) 7½, 7-11 P Harikrishna (IND), N Dzagnidze (GEO), I Sokolov (NED), A Stefanova (BUL), P Cramling (SWE) 7, etc ... more - John Saunders BCM Editor.


2nd Feb 2009

Corus 2009 from Wijk aan Zee


16 Jan - 1 Feb 2009. Games start daily at 13.30 local time, 12:30 GMT. Watch them live on the official site.


Latest: 'The smoke has cleared, and out of the six leaders who entered the last round with a shot at the title, Ukrainian Sergey Karjakin emerged as a the sole winner.' Full details with a final round report here.


Mickey Adams finished 11th= in the A group with 5½/13, Nigel Short 2nd= in the B group with 8/13 and David Howell 4th= in the C group with 7½/13.


The average rating of the A group was 2716, 26 points less than 2008  a category 19 event instead of 20. The B group average of 2641 was 23 points higher than 2008, and was category 16. The C group average of 2521 made it a category 11 event. 


Live coverage from all sections was also provided on Playchess and ICC with daily reports on Chessbase by English FM and writer Steve Giddins. Video coverage was presented by ChessVibes and Europe Echecs.


6th Jan 2009

Hasting Masters 2008/9

Final positions: 1st GM Kurnosov, Igor 2606 RUS , 2nd= GM Berg, Emanuel 2623 SWE 7, GM Neverov, Valeriy 2571 UKR 7, 4th= GM Howell, David W L 2593 ENG , GM Conquest, Stuart C 2526 ENG , GM Hebden, Mark L 2515 ENG GM Williams, Simon K 2494 ENG , 8th= GM Jones, Gawain C B 2548 ENG 6, GM Pavlovic, Milos 2524 SCG 6, GM Haslinger, Stewart G 2506 ENG 6 ... 104 competitors (performance table).  The event took place between 28th December 2008 - 5th January 2009. Alongside the masters event were several other sections including, Weekender, Open, Major, Minor, Under-100. The congress manager was Stewart Reuben. See the official site www.hastingschess.org.uk for more details. All master games can be downloaded too in PGN.



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