Spirit of Atticus


Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008

Dedicated to the 'Spirit of Atticus'

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



24th December 2012

Seasons Greetings!

To all our chessfriends and colleagues wherever you are or whoever you are, have a pleasant Christmas and a successful and healthy 2013.

7th November 2012

The 4NCL First Weekend 2012/13 by John Carleton


Sunningdale Park grounds in Autumn

'Dull November brings the blast, then the leaves are falling fast' - Sara Coleridge.



... is typical of the generally poor profile that November has in literature and the public imagination but once again the start of the new 4NCL season was greeted by a beautiful crisp bright November day.


And as ever we travelled with eager anticipation ready to play our part in the greatest chess league in Britain. Additionally this was an excellent opportunity to catch up on old friends, some not seen since May, and a welcome chance to fill in mutual progress in ailments, medications and ... [...Read more].






7th November 2012

They don't like it, Upham

There are signs that concern and indeed anger levels are rising in the chessworld after BCM's peremptory termination of their agreement with July issue cover-boy, journalist, Spirit of Atticus stalwart and all-round good egg Andy Smith.


The chess public are particularly concerned that the conciliatory and constructive approach of editorial board member John Upham was overturned by another member of the board. We will advise of any developments in this sensitive matter.

11th October 2012

October's CHESS magazine


William Shakespeare, James Joyce, Andy Smith and Fred Reinfeld are just some of the famous Spirit of Atticus players to have put pen to paper.


They have now been joined by Nick Ivell in the October 2012 issue of CHESS magazine with Learning to Love the Endgame - Nick Ivell teaches the Vancura position. Bravo! - JC.


Download a PDF sample from the Oct issue. Unfortunately it doesn't include Nick's article but take a look anyway.


On 4NCL: Now that the draw for the first seven rounds is available the Sp. of Atticus teams for the first two rounds will be announced in a couple of days.






3rd October 2012

FIDE Grand Prix, Topalov, Gelfand, Mamedyarov tie for first


Boris Gelfand beat Rustam Kasimdzhanov, Veselin Topalov outplayed Anish Giri with black, while the previous tournament leader Shakhriyar Mamedyarov settled for a draw against Peter Leko. This left three players tied for first, with 7.0/11 points each, and although Topalov had the highest tiebreak the official tournament report calls all three winners.


R11 pictorial report and GM commentrary | Official site | PGN |

20th Sept 2012

FIDE Grand Prix, London


The FIDE Grand Prix organised by AGON has started at Simpson's-in-the-Strand, London.



Late information and unusual website arrangements, by design or by accident - who knows, has resulted in a muddled beginning to the 2012/13 World Championship cycle. Nonetheless 12 players (average rating 2739) have arrived suited and booted to play for a prize fund approaching 170,000 ?#65533; (Euros).


Favourites are probably Ivanchuk and Gelfand but behind the scenes deals, not unknown for such high profile events, could mean just about any outcome is possible.


Previously announced rest days have been changed but the schedule until yesterday failed to say what the new dates were. All very confusing. Largely because of space restrictions, spectators are not allowed into the chosen venue despite the availability of a plethora of top ranking alternatives in central London.

25th August 2012

4CNL | Best Game Prizes 2012


Well done to Spirit of Atticus player Andy Smith for winning one of the three £50 best game prizes in the 4NCL's 2011/12 competition.


Judge Paul Littlewood awarded the prize for Andy's 'imaginative' win against Paul Girdlestone (Brown Jack) during round 6 at De Vere Sunningdale in February 2012.


?#65533;  View Andy's annotations | Download


Andy has  been a game inputter at the prestigious Gibraltar Masters and is a highly original player. He holds the FIDE Master title and is currently rated 2194.


He has organised some Lewisham Congresses and often writes on chess. He was captain of the Jersey team in the 2006 Olympiad.




?#65533;  Spirit of Atticus 4NCL page

?#65533;  4NCL official site

?#65533;  The game in PGN









photo © Ray Morris Hill



14th August 2012

Svetozar Gligoric 1923-2012


Svetosar Gligoric. | www.chess.co.uk/twic


Svetozar Gligoric has died in his home city of Belgrade at the age of 89 as a result of a stroke. Born Belgrade February 2nd 1923 died 13:30pm 14th August 2012.


Gligoric was a three time World Championship Candidate in 1953, 1959 and 1968 but did find these events rather tough going. His professional career was delayed by the war but he became an IM in 1950, GM in 1951.


A 12 time national champion he won many international tournaments remaining competitive into the early 1980s where he met Kasparov. His last published chess was a two game USSR vs Yugoslavia match in Moscow 2007 where he lost 1.5-0.5 vs Korchnoi. He won 13 medals in the Chess Olympiad for Yugoslavia - two gold, six silver and five bronze. [Read more]



12th August 2012

New Chester League Fixtures

These are now available for all divisions | Div 1 | Div 2 | Div 3 | KO |

30th July 2012

Biel: Carlsen shares first with Wang Hao 


Chessvibes - Magnus Carlsen collected six points in just two days, and is now in shared first place in Biel together with Wang Hao. On Sunday Carlsen beat Victor Bologan with Black in their postponed game, and in Monday's 7th round the Norwegian also won against the tournament leader from China.


The other two games, Giri-Nakamura and Bologan-Bacrot, ended in draws. [... more]


Photo | Biel Chess Festival






22nd July 2012

Biel Chess Festival starts


Today the Biel Chess Festival starts with an exhibition blitz tournament, to celebrate the 45 years of the festival. It's a knockout with Magnus Carlsen, Hikaru Nakamaura, Alexander Morozevich, Wang Hao, Etienne Bacrot, Pentala Harikrishna, Yannick Pelletier and Alexandra Kosteniuk.


Here's a press release from July 6th.


'To celebrate its 45th anniversary, the Festival is pleased to announce that World Number 1 Magnus Carlsen, who has already won twice in Biel (2007 and 2011), will come back for the 2012 edition. The Norwegian will replace Leinier Dominguez Perez to take part on Sunday, July 22 in the 45th anniversary blitz tournament and from Monday, July 23, in the Grandmaster Tournament, which will be a category XXI tournament (2756 Elo average) for the first time in its history ...' [read more]


21st July 2012

Dortmund Rd8 ?#65533; Caruana beats Kramnik


In round seven, all the games were drawn although Vladimir Kramnik pressed Peter Leko for over 130 moves. He had had a large bind throughout, but somehow the Hungarian escaped. Round eight saw Fabiano Caruana do the unthinkable by beating Kramnik in their second straight encounter. Leko beat Bartel in a French line rarely seen at the top, while Ponomariov beat Gustafsson.


Dortmund is a ten-player round robin event. Draw offers are not allowed ?#65533; a game can only be declared a draw, by the arbiter, if there is no possible win for one side, or if a position is repeated three times. The winner of the tournament will be determined after nine rounds.


Official tournament site | Games in PGN

25th June 2012

Johannes Zukertort grave restoration


The campaign organised by Stuart Conquest for the restoration of the grave of Johannes Zukertort (1842-1888), who is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London, has had a pleasing outcome, and the work is now complete.


There will be a service of re-dedication on Tuesday June 26th at Brompton Cemetery, at 13:00. Everyone is welcome!


See photos of the completed work & more.







24th June 2012

Svidler beats Navara


Peter Svidler (left) with David Navara


Peter Svidler defeated David Navara with a score of 3-1 in the traditional Čez Chess Trophy match in Prague, Czech Republic. The Russian grandmaster decided the match on Saturday with a second win, and then the last game was drawn on Sunday.


The event was sponsored by Čez Group, a conglomerate of companies. It took place in the Malostranská beseda in central Prague.


Games in PGN | Chessvibes report


Photo by Anežka Kružíková





18th June 2012

Tal Memorial: Round 9 Carlsen wins


Magnus Carlsen has again won the Tal Memorial after a dramatic final round. He outplayed Luke McShane who himself could have won the event if he had won this game and the other results had remained the same. McShane's solid opening allowed Carlsen to equalise quite easily and then he subsided in time trouble after missing the key move 21...a5 in his calculations.


Fabiano Caruana misplayed a Gruenfeld sideline against Levon Aronian and was quickly in terrible difficulties on the board and the clock. Aronian started "playing rubbish" in his own words but won all the same.


Hikaru Nakamura played a Sicilian sideline against Teimour Radjabov and this finished in a draw.


Rajdabov admitted to lousy form and many discarded chances. Tomashevsky-Grischuk was a sort of Benoni where Tomashevsky had to hang tough to draw. Kramnik-Morozevich was a draw in a Semi-Slav ending where it looked like Kramnik was close to winning at one stage [... more]


Official final round 9 standings including tie-break: 1st Carlsen 5½/9, 2nd Caruana 5, 3rd Radjabov 5, 4th Kramnik 4½, 5th Morozevich 4½, 6th Levon Aronian 4½, 7th Grischuk 4½, 8th Luke McShane 4, 9th Nakamura 4 and 10th Tomashevsky 3½.


Official site | All games in PGN | Final Table



17th June 2012

Tal Memorial: Round 8 Caruana beats Kramnik


To call the eighth round incendiary is almost light. It is certainly hard to imagine a more astonishing one. The seventh round seemed to have used up the surprise factor, but then again, what could be odder than both leaders losing in the same round, except losing again in the very next!


With five leaders, and two rounds to go, the stage was set for upsets and players to be upset, and it was all there. The only table that didn’t have a leader playing was Alexander Grischuk against Hikaru Nakamura, but the American was in no mood for a quiet game, and the Sicilian Dragon said it all. Being the kind of opening where the smallest misstep can have huge consequences, it was a logical looking move that turned out to be the culprit, and it was all downhill from there for Nakamura.


Teimour Radjabov had the unenviable task of having to beat Levon Aronian, and the nervy game saw the advantage swing both ways before they finally concluded a double-edged draw.


Whatever had been ailing Luke McShane in the beginning of the tournament with his 0-2, the win over Kramnik the previous round had been just what the doctor prescribed.  [... more]


Round 9 Mon June 18th 12.00pm BST


Official site | All games in PGN |







16th June 2012

Tal Memorial: Round 7 Five way tie


The 7th Tal Memorial resumed after Friday's rest day and saw both leaders defeated by the tail-enders. This has left Carlsen, Morozevich, Radjabov, Kramnik and Caruana tied on 4/7, Nakamura on 3½, Grischuk, Aronian and McShane on 3 and Tomashevsky on 2½.


Alexander Morozevich tried one too many tricks against Tomashevsky in time trouble in a King's Indian and was lost at first time control. Vladimir Kramnik seemed to be the one pressing in Luke McShane's time trouble but the Englishman had his own trumps and after first time control it gradually became apparent to the players and audience alike that it was Kramnik who had to defend. The position was very hard to calculate but in the end McShane got his win.


Teimour Radjabov blew a winning advantage against Fabiano Caruana and only drew.


Aronian survived Grischuk preparation for a draw and Nakamura - Carlsen was a drawish Catalan that eventually became drawn [... more]


Round 8 Sun June 17th 12.00pm BST


Official site | All games in PGN |





15th June 2012

Tal Memorial: Round 6 Kramnik joins Morozevich in the lead


It was a tumultuous round with dramatic results on several boards, though not all, and shifts in the leaderboard.


Magnus Carlsen tried to keep his quest for gold alive, but faced an equally resolved Levon Aronian who refused to be the tournament sob story in spite of his two losses. He held his ground and after a long struggle they shook hands. Teimour Radjabov and Alexander Grischuk also squared off in a protracted fight, but neither was able to create any momentum, and the draw came as no surprise.


The first dramatic result was the incredibly hard fought game between the leader Alexander Morozevich and Hikaru Nakamura. Unsurprisingly, Morozevich played his risky brand of chess to create chances against the American’s king, and seemed to be getting just that. As time trouble appeared on the horizon for both players, Nakamura managed to cutoff White’s pieces from his king, and proceeded to setup his own counter chances. A slip by the Russian suddenly left him wide open to Hikaru’s clever optimism, and a few blows later, it was over. Morozevich was unconsolable in the post-game conference [... more]


Round 7 Sat June 16th 12.00pm BST


Official site | All games in PGN |





14th June 2012

Tal Memorial: Round 5 Morozevich beats Aronian


Alexander Morozevich took control of the 7th Tal Memorial Chess tournament with a dramatic victory over Levon Aronian. Morozevich lined up a kingside attack with black but Aronian sacrificed a piece first. Aronian's pawn centre disintegrated in terrible time trouble and he resigned on move 40.


Morozevich move a point clear of the field after Magnus Carlsen scored his first win. Carlsen was allowed to equalise fairly early as black against joint leader Teimour Radjabov and then he worked his endgame magic to put pressure on and win a fine endgame. Nakamura vs Kramnik. Nakamura again didn't know old theory, Kramnik only vaguely did. They drew an ending.


Caruana built up a huge advantage vs Grischuk but a careless move (He "forgot about 20.Nc7" - 19...Re8!) turned the game around.


Grischuk eventually forced a draw in time trouble. Tomashevsky and McShane went at each other as predicted, McShane lost an advantage in his usual time pressure and drew. Right now I'm not seeing the upside to a lot of the clock handling we're seeing in this tournament [... more]


Round 6 Thur June 14th 12.00pm BST


Official site | All games in PGN |





13th June 2012

Tal Memorial: Round 4 Caruana back to 50%


The 7th Tal Memorial returned after Monday's day off with four draws and just one win, for Fabiano Caruana over Evgeny Tomashevsky. The most exciting game was between Magnus Carlsen and Alexander Grischuk which rather got out of hand on the board and the clock for both players.

Fabiano Caruana beat Evgeny Tomashevsky really rather easily in an Anti-Marshall Ruy Lopez which turned out to be mostly theory. Tomeshevsky took ages on the clock and played worse than Aronian did in 2008 in the same position.


Magnus Carlsen didn't get a lot in the opening against Alexander Grischuk but got chances by allowing his bishop to be shut in. Later rather than go passive Carlsen launched a kingside attack the tested both player's calculating abilities and they repeated in quite major time pressure.


The leaders Alexander Morozevich and Teimour Rajdabov drew a Ruy Lopez. After thinking a long time over 19.axb3 white couldn't find anything challenging for his opponent. Vladimir Kramnik was disappointed that he didn't make more of an opening advantage against Levon Aronian and the game was drawn in 40 moves [... more]


Round 5 Wed June 12th 12.00pm BST


Official site | All games in PGN |





10th June 2012

Tal Memorial: McShane beats Aronian


Aronian 0-1 McShane An a6 Slav. McShane ate up tonnes of time early on, sacrificed the exchange in an idea he got from Topalov. Aronian was playing for complications after 14...Nc6 when he realised he was worse. McShane defied time trouble to bring home the point.

Carlsen ½-½ Caruana

Gruenfeld sideline from Carlsen that didn't go well. Caruana liquidated into a completely drawn opposite coloured endgame. 30 moves.

Radjabov ½-½ Kramnik

A heavyweight Ruy Lopez Berlin, Kramnik solved his problems with an exchange sacrifice and Radjabov took a repetition that was available.

Grischuk 0-1 Morozevich

Reti/Slav - messy position where Grischuk sacrificed on move 46 but had only a minute to make it to move 60 plus increment. Morozevich with about half an hour on the clock found a defence and beat him.

Nakamura ½-½ Tomashevsky

A Kings Gambit from Nakamura and he had to find tactical compensation for the two bishops. In the end they traded to a drawn ending) Full report at the end of play. Games and results updates throughout the day.

Round 4 Tue June 11th 12.00pm BST


Official site | All games in PGN |



9th June 2012

Tal Memorial: Round 2


Kramnik once said that the biggest lesson he learned from the elite was how resiliently they defended.


Today Carlsen showed the same gumption as he saved a nightmare position in which Morozevich had doubled rooks on his seventh. McShane cracked at move 40 against Radjabov, while Kramnik played a model game in an impressive win over Grischuk.


The event is a ten-player round robin event, is taking place from June 8th to 18th in the Pashkov House (Vozdvizhenka Street 3/5, p.1), Moscow, Russia.


Rest days are June 11 and 15. Time control: 100 minutes for the first 40 moves, 50 minutes for the next 20 moves, and 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one.


Games start at 15:00h local time (last round 13:00h). Draw offers are not allowed until after the first time control.


The participants are required to comment on their games in the press center after each round. The prize fund is 100,000 Euros [... more]


Official site | Live Video | All games in PGN |


Round 3 Sun June 10th 12.00pm BST

Carlsen-Caruana, Grischuk-Morozevich, Radjabov-Kramnik,  Aronian-McShane,  Nakamura-Tomashevsky.



8th June 2012

Tal Memorial: Four wins for white Round 1


The first round of the 7th Tal Memorial saw four wins for white and a draw in a position that had probably been winning.


Morozevich 1-0 Caruana (was unclear for a long time but Caruana's 47...Bf7 stopping his own threatened Qxe3 from working in key lines was the decisive error).


Carlsen 1/2 Kramnik (Carlsen missed something trivial with white in the opening, played a sharp but probably losing continuation which led to Kramnik time trouble and an eventual draw by repetition).


Grischuk 1-0 McShane (Grischuk made McShane struggle right from the opening), Radjabov 1-0 Tomashevsky (blunder from Tomshevsky in a difficult position), Aronian 1-0 Nakamura (Aronian was maybe better until 16.Bh3 but Nakamura made a more serious error with 21...g5? which was punished with 22.Bd7 after which Aronian made no mistake) [... more].


Round 2 Sat June 9th 12.00pm BST

Kramnik-Grischuk, Caruana-Nakamura, Morozevich-Carlsen, Tomashevsky-Aronian, McShane-Radjabov.


There were both Russian and English (with Ian Rogers) commentaries available.


Official site | All games in PGN |



7th June 2012

Tal Memorial 2012 Preliminary Blitz


The Tal Memorial started with a blitz tournament (3 mins plus 2 seconds extra per move) to determine the draw numbers for the players. Alexander Morozevich took the ?#65533;5000 first prize on tie-break from Magnus Carlsen (?#65533;3000) who he also defeated (on time) in their individual game.


Both players scored 6½/9 a point clear of Alexander Grischuk and Teimour Radjabov.



Full report on the blitz event | Blitz games in PGN | Official site




6th June 2012

Tal Memorial 2012


Mark Crowther: The 7th Mikhail Tal Memorial starts with its opening ceremony on Thursday 7th June 2012. They've come up with an incredibly clever idea (one which would only work in such a well financed event) of having a blitz tournament to decide the draw numbers of the players.


The top 5 finishers will have more whites than black. 15:30 start UK time. We're promised high quality video and commentary so it should be well worth watching. Friday's Round 1 starts at 12pm BST.


The event sees return to action of World Number 1 Magnus Carlsen after a long break in a super-strong field of Aronian, Kramnik, Radjabov, Nakamura, Caruana, Morozevich, Grischuk, Tomashevsky and McShane.


Games, results and stories provided throughout the event.

1st June 2012

Happy birthday Nigel!


Nigel Short, Britain’s most recognisable name in the chess world, turns 47 today. He has had a distinguished career which included a match with Garry Kasparov for the world championship title in 1993.


Married with two children, in 1999 he was awarded an MBE for services to chess. Nigel is currently rated 2705 and is ranked 40th strongest player in the world.


[Read more]




Photo © Ray Morris-Hill


30th May 2012

WCh Tiebreak: Anand draws final game, retains title!

The fourth game of the tiebreak brought a tangible advantage for Challenger Boris Gelfand, who needed to win with the black pieces to stay in the match. But World Champion Vishy Anand kept things under control and found a very neat solution to the problems. With a draw the World Champion won the tiebreak 2½-1½ and keeps his title.


Games in PGN | Classical Games | Rapid Games | Official site                                                                             © Chessbase.com

28th May 2012

Game twelve: Draw in 22 moves


All 12 match games


It has not been a great match, but there can be no peace, as the rules will not allow it. After a very strange game, Anand entered an endgame a pawn up, and precisely when he had an advantage and Gelfand had 15 minutes for 18 moves, they drew!


This means that the classical world champion will be decided by rapid games, and possibly blitz.


The twelfth and final classic game of the match epitomized this encounter in many ways. Entering the match, in spite of the World Champion’s distinct lack of form in the previous months, it was presumed that he had been saving his best for the upcoming battle and would steamroll Boris when the time came.


The time came, the time passed, and the impending massacre never took place. In fact, with few exceptions, the match has been lacking not so much great technical qualities as great fighting spirit.















26th May 2012

Game eleven: Anand draws with a Nimzo Indian


Game 11 in progress


It was the penultimate game of the match, and the last white for Gelfand. The game was a Nimzo-Indian once more, and though it ended in a draw after 25 moves, the tension came from Gelfand’s extensive use of the clock, leaving him with only twelve minutes when they shook hands. Will Anand go all out with white in the last game, or prefer the rapid playoffs?


The 11th game was a tantalising one, having its exciting moments initially, which perhaps raised hopes of a positive result for fans of reigning World Champion Anand ... [Pictures, videos, GM commentary]





© Chessbase.com

24th May 2012

Game ten: An offbeat Sicilian is flavour of the day

With two whites to go, Anand chose 1.e4 as one means to try and keep his opponent off-balance. Gelfand was ready with his Sicilian, and even Vishy's 3.Bb5, and fairly offbeat 5.b3, were replied to nearly instantly. The queens came off by move eleven after which the position remained equal until their handshake at move 25 ... [more]

© Chessbase.com

23rd May 2012

Game nine: Anand saves a tough game to a draw


After a near defeat in round eight, Gelfand regrouped and won a moral victory in round nine. Anand stuck to his Semi-Slav, and Gelfand showed he had found a way to gain an edge once more. But despite clearly having the better chances, he was unable to manoeuvre to a win, and drew after making Anand suffer until move 49.


The match is being staged in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, over twelve games and lasts from May 11 to 30. The prize fund is US $2.55 million, the winner getting $1.53 million (60%), the loser $1.02 million (40%) ... [more]




© Chessbase.com

21st May 2012

Game 8 | Anand strikes back, wins in 17 moves!


What a game, what a fascinating turn of events! World Champion Vishy Anand shockingly lost the sixth game and let Challenger Boris Gelfand take the lead. Today he struck back with a resounding 17-move win.


Anand was in full flow today and showed his natural aggressive side. It was a fantastic effort by him as one seldom comes across a decisive miniature less than 20 moves in World Championship games. What is more important is the way Anand shrugged off yesterday’s defeat and would definitely be enjoying a psychological edge and to a certain extent some peaceful sleep and rest on the free day ... [... continued]





Analysis by IM Andrew Martin



19th May 2012

BBC News | Chess in India: Why is it on the rise?

by Rajini Vaidyanathan


The world chess championships are under way in Russia, where Vishwanathan Anand defends his title. His success is widely credited for the growing popularity of chess in his home country, India, the nation widely believed to have given the game to the world.



He's been described by some as the Sachin Tendulkar of chess, a role model to thousands of Indian school children and arguably one of the country's most successful sportsmen.


Vishwanathan Anand is India's biggest chess star, and was the first in the country to secure the game's highest honour, by becoming a grandmaster ... [full story]



19th May 2012

Chess: Will India checkmate Russia?


As the world championships take place, correspondent Vaidyanathan reports on the rising popularity of chess in India | Listen



18th May 2012

Game six: another draw


It was a sixth straight draw, though possibly Gelfand's best position so far. Despite never achieving any significant advantage, the chances were his, and this in itself was both promising and worrisome. Promising as he got a small edge, but worrisome as Anand has neutralized Gelfand so easily with black so far.


Kasparov was guest of honour and at the press conference, he answered  questions ... [full report with pictures]


?#65533; Games in PGN ?#65533; Replay ?#65533; Official site ?#65533; Match Schedule             



© Chessbase.com

17th May 2012

Game five: drawn in 27 moves


The wait wasn’t long for enthusiasts expecting the King Pawn Opening from World Champion, Anand.


Playing with white in the fifth game, he opened with the king pawn for the first time in this game twelve match.


The surprise element as expected was missing with the Israeli GM too having anticipated this move by Anand. Gelfand counter surprised Anand by skipping his favourite Petroff Defence and instead opted for the Sveshnikov Variation of the Sicilian Defence. Anand was once again not his usual self, and it was another slow and safe approach by the Indian, who is fighting in the Classical World Championship format for the third time, having defeated Vladimir Kramnik in 2008 and Veselin Topalov in 2010 ... [read more]


16th May 2012

Game Four


The fourth game of the ongoing World Chess Championship at the Treyatov Gallery in Moscow was a rather tame affair, in stark contrast to the lively, exciting and entertaining one played in the third round yesterday. The eventual outcome, however, was the same as in the third game ?#65533; a draw after 34 moves ... [more]









14th May 2012

Anand tantalizingly close to first win


The players on the stage


A well fought, fantastic struggle ended without much fanfare, the World Champion Viswanathan Anand perhaps playing it safe in the dying stages of game three of the World Chess Championship to draw the game against Boris Gelfand.


The position was complex and appeared promising for the NIIT MindChampion Anand, but experts commenting on the game could not come to any firm conclusion, and only analysis by chess engines later should provide more insights into the game.









It was one of those very rare times that Anand found himself in time trouble, and impending checkmate threath with both Gelfand’s rooks patrolling his seventh rank, had him settling for a draw with repetition of moves. The game lasted 37 moves and literally had the followers on the edge of their seats ... [full report with games]

13th May 2012

World Championship 2012, Moscow


Ilyumzhinov starts the first game

The World Chess Championship 2012 is being staged in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, between the current World Champion Viswanathan Anand of India and the winner of the Candidates tournament Boris Gelfand of Israel. The match is over twelve games and lasts from May 11 to 30. The prize fund is US $2.55 million, the winner getting $1.53 million (60%), the loser $1,02 million (40%).



IM Malcolm Pein reports


In game one of the 2010 WCC final, Anand played the Gruenfeld against Topalov and after 24 moves he could resign. In 2012, Anand had to face the Gruenfeld in the first game and after 24 moves, the challenger Boris Gelfand had secured a draw with black and will be the slightly happier of the two ... [more]



10th May 2012

Cup finals for the Wirral and Chester Leagues 2012 by John Carleton


Chester CC's venue: The Town Crier

The start of May saw the end of unfinished business in the form of the K.O. finals in each of the Chester and District and Wirral Chess Leagues. First up was the match against Wrexham over 6 boards on the 1st May.


The balance of grades on the top 3 boards saw Wrexham slightly favoured but this was offset by Chester having 2 whites. Chester's slightly greater advantage in grades on the bottom 3 boards was likewise balanced by the colours. In short, the match was too close to call. The tension was palpable throughout as Cup holders Wrexham strove to prevent a Chester League and Cup double. It was first blood to Wrexham when Charles Morris's central control proved decisive against Jeff Smith ... [... read more]





10th May 2012

The 4NCL Fifth Weekend by John Carleton


Hinckley Island Hotel

The Atticus team assembled in a mood of well-founded optimism [contrasting with the usual baseless over-estimation of our prospects] after the fine result in the first of our demotion pool matches. The subsequent inspirational motivational input carefully crafted by the Club Management Board also contributed to the squad reaching close to peak condition.


Assembled is perhaps a loose description as the team were spread over the bank-holiday hit motorway network until quite close to the start of the first match of the weekend against Cambridge University 2. We could draw parallels with last season where we needed two wins from the three matches to be confident of promotion as this year we felt two wins from three matches would maintain our elevated status in division 2 ... [continue reading]




5th April 2012
Spirit of Chester : Semi-finals week by John Carleton
On the 27th March the Chester K.O. team, under the guidance of the holidaying skipper Dave Bryan, faced Rhyl and Prestatyn over 6 boards in the semi-final of the Chester and District League K.O. at the Town Crier. The following night with the skipper returned, he took the reins and captained the team over 7 boards away against cup holders Penyffordd in the semi-final [... more]

4th April 2012
4th London Chess Classic


Tournament Director IM Malcolm Pein

photo © Ray Morris-Hill

TWIC - Tournament Director IM Malcolm Pein has tweeted that the London Chess Classic will definitely take place again this year December 1st-10th 2012.


The 4th edition will again be an elite 9 player all-play-all.


Details to follow ...










2nd April 2012
The 4NCL Fourth Weekend by John Carleton


Barcelo Hinckley Island

With the prospect of relegation hanging over us, we headed, in a nonetheless relaxed frame of mind, to meet Warwickshire Select on the Saturday of the fourth weekend at Hinckley Island. This match for us was a visit to the last chance saloon, a long shot but an opportunity to avoid playing the last 4 rounds in the demotion pool of Division 2.


Once the teams were published it was clear that the Warwickshire team were not in the mood for taking any chances outranking us on average by over 100 points per board. This may have been in recognition of the fact that we were fielding no fewer than three products of the Warwickshire Academy in our own ranks, including two members of the all conquering County U18 Champions of 1964, but there again it may not ... [continue reading]




27th March 2012

Spirit of Atticus in Chester/ Spirit of Chester by John Carleton


Chester CC's venue: The Town Crier

My anticipation of a tough start to the second half of the season proved amply justified as the pressure on Chester 1 began to mount through January and February. Things started straightforwardly enough with our game against Formby.


In the Wirral Chess League to date we had mainly met new opponents in new surroundings but this match was very much a case of meeting up with old friends and rivals ... [... continue reading]








9th March 2012

London Candidates puts Classic in doubt


IM Malcolm Pein at the ceremonial start

of round 7 of the 2011 London Classic.

photo © Ray Morris-Hill

TWIC - London Chess Classic director IM Malcolm Pein says that the staging of the Candidates tournament in London October 24th - November 12th puts the viability of a prospective 4th London Classic in December in doubt.


Do you want the good news or the bad news? The good news is that some more top flight chess is coming to London. Agon, FIDE's new commercial partner has announced that the Candidates Tournament will take place in London from October 24 - November 12.


The bad news is that this development raises serious questions about the 4th London Chess Classic, which would have taken place in December. [read more ]







20th February 2012

Magnus Carlsen: The Mozart of Chess


Demolition, not defeat, is the goal of 21-year-old Magnus Carlsen. No, he's not a boxer, not a wrestler.


Rather, Magnus is the top chess player in the world, and he takes it on like an athlete. First, there's the tough physical workouts to prepare himself for the tough mental workout of competition ...


At age 21, chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen is the number one player in the world and says he loves to see his opponents squirm.


Mozart of Chess: Magnus Carlsen A chess prodigy explains how his mind works

20th February 2012

Bunratty 2012

The Bunratty Masters took place 17th - 19th February 2012. Nigel Short, Michael Adams and Gawain Jones finished on 5/6. Keith Arkell and Constantin Istratescu were half a point further back. Andrei Istratescu (defaulted in Rd5), Malcolm Pein and Simon Ansell finished on 4/6.


The event took place at Bunratty Castle Hotel with a prize fund of ?#65533;5500.


Official site: www.bunrattychess.com | Games in PGN

17th February 2012

Magnus Carlsen & Bobby Fischer on 60 Minutes


On Sunday 19th February the very influential CBS TV news magazine 60 Minutes will be turning to chess, with a segment concentrating on the exploits and personality of Magnus Carlsen. He was filmed extensively during last year's London Classic. At times the intrusion was extreme with footage being shot well into the rounds


To get people in the mood they are streaming a "60 Minutes Rewind" of a report produced in 1972 on the upcoming match between Boris Spassky and challenger Bobby Fischer.







Bob Simon's profile of 21-year-old prodigy Magnus Carlsen is this Sunday at 19.00 ET/PT on CBS.

14th February 2012

The 4NCL Third Weekend by John Carleton


February in Sunningdale, Berkshire

photo © Ray Morris-Hill

We arrived at the southernmost venue in the 4NCL panoply determined, as promised, to show what we could do to ignite our season and begin in earnest the big battle against relegation.


The snow cover gave the grounds of Sunningdale Park a Christmas-card feel on the crisp sunny Saturday morning that awaited us but provided an extra worry for the captains and management of teams such as ours.


Thus concerns about travel conditions from the North added to pressure on the captain already feeling the heat about his lack of IT skills in general ... [... more]






14th February 2012

Aeroflot 2012


The 11th Aeroflot Open is taking place in Moscow from February 7 to 15 for the first time in the Cosmos Hotel, which is one of the largest in Moscow. Tourney mode: Open tourney 9 rounds Swiss System. Time control: 100 minutes/40 moves + 50 minutes/20 moves + 15 minutes + 30 seconds/move starting with the first move. Game start: all rounds 12:00 (15:00 local Moscow time).

All Open A games in PGN | Official website

13th February 2012

Could it be true? A Candidates tournament in London


TWIC - IM Malcolm Pein reports further on the exciting news that the FIDE want to hold the Candidates tournament in London.


FIDE officials are privately confirming reports in the Russian press to the effect that the Candidates Matches will be held in London from October 23-November 13th. If I had a plastic chess set for every time this kind of story appeared, I could teach the world to play, but there is something in the rumours. FIDE has a potential new partner in American entrepreneur Andrew Paulson and he has expressed an interest in staging the event in London. I understand he is considering a bid for all major FIDE events. [full story]

8th February 2012

Tradewise Gibraltar Masters 2012 - Round 10 bulletin by John Saunders


Winner Nigel Short with Tradewise CEO James Humphreys


The 10th Tradewise Gibraltar Festival ended yesterday at the Caleta Hotel with England’s Nigel Short winning the tournament for a record third time after tying for first with tournament sensation Hou Yifan of China and then winning a pulsating rapidplay play-off by 1½-½. Short and Hou Yifan had finished on 8/10, with Michael Adams (England), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), Viktor Bologan (Moldova), Emil Sutovsky (Israel) tying for third place on 7½ points.



For winning, Nigel Short netted the £20,000 first prize and also the £5,000 special prize (set up in honour of the  Queen's diamond jubilee) for the best placed Commonwealth competitor.


17-year-old Hou Yifan takes home £12,000 for finishing second plus the £10,000 women’s prize and the £600 Junior prize. The four players in the next score group shared £26,500 equally.


[Read more]










7th February 2012

WL Div 1: Tuesday 24th January 2012 by John Carleton

Well sometimes a draw feels as good as a win! We started quite brightly [here in Andy Smith style I should say my master plan was 2/3 on the top boards and half a point from the two bottom boards to reel in the draw]. Ray on 4 had a small advantage, mine was going pretty well. Joe on 5 was having some problems and shed a pawn. Our Richie was under a bit of pressure as was their Richie facing Dave playing at a thoughtful tempo ... [... report continues here]

16th January 2012

The 4NCL Second Weekend by John Carleton


Hinckley Island Hotel

The weekend of 14th-15th January saw the return to Hinckley Island, a venue with warm memories for us for it was here that we clinched promotion to Division 2.


Despite our setbacks of the first weekend we headed into play in buoyant mood and the revival of those pleasant memories when we saw Bradford, who pipped us on tie break [points scored] receive the Division 3 Championship trophy at the start of play of round 3 of the current campaign did no harm to our mood. [More]








4th Jan 2012

Spirit of Atticus in Chester/ Spirit of Chester by John Carleton

Over the Summer 2011 we decided that we should be playing more chess and looked at some alternatives. Should we form a new club? Should we join an existing club that would take the five or six of us available? Once we decided against the first option [plenty of time for that when we start to get old] and a serious attempt at joining a Merseyside club fell by the wayside, I decided to take up an offer to play for Chester Chess Club in the Chester and District Chess League. [Read more]

1st Jan 2012

Carlsen 30 points clear


TWIC - The January 2012 FIDE Rating list has been released. Magnus Carlsen has opened up a 30 point lead over his closest rivals after picking up points in the Tal Memorial and London. Levon Aronian moves up to 2nd after gaining points in the European Teams and Tal Mem but losing in London.


Kramnik more than made up losses at the Tal with his win in London to go 3rd. World Champion Anand drops 12 points to 4th after lacklustre perfomances in both of these events likely to be his last before his World Title match in May ... more.






4th Jan 2011

Hastings Congress 2011-12


Favourite Wang Yue led throughout and won with 7½/9 half a point clear of Andrei Istratescu, Babu Lalith, M.R.Sundar M.Shyam,


The Hastings Masters is a traditional nine round accelerated Swiss tournament which took place 28th December 2011 - January 5th 2012. . Other events included a Christmas Tournament, a Weekend Congress and New Year events. The Weekend Open was scrapped because of budget cuts.


?#65533; Official site ?#65533; All Games in PGN


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