Thursday, April 23, 2009

AICF may reconsider ban on GM Gopal
CHENNAI: The All India Chess Federation (AICF) has expressed its willingness to reconsider its ban on Grandmaster GN Gopal.
Talking to TOI on Wednesday, AICF secretary DV Sundar said the federation would look into the matter again if the player appealed against the ban.

"We have kept the options open and we have told the player that he can appeal against the decision," said Sundar.
GN Gopal was banned by AICF afer the Kerala-based GM took part in a tournament in Canada skipping the National A in Mangalore late last year.
The chess fraternity, including the Chess Players Association of India, had reacted sharply against the decision. AICF came under pressure because World champion Viswanathan Anand and some former national champions also supported Gopal.
Sundar said the federation would organise a series of GM tournaments in India to give more opportunities to the players. The first of it will be an open tournament with 26 GMs in Mumbai from April 30 to May 10.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Anand finishes fourth as Grischuk wins Linares tourney
LINARES (Spain): World champion Viswanathan Anand had to content with a fourth place finish following his final round draw against Magnus Carlsen of Norway in the Magistral Ciudad De Linares chess tournament on Sunday.
Grandmaster Alexander Grischuk of Russia won the tournament after settling for a draw with Levon Aronian of Armenia. Gr
ischuk finished with eight points in all and tied for the top spot along with Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine.
The tiebreak favoured Grischuk as he had won three games in the event compared to two victories by Ivanchuk who drew with Lenier Dominguez of Cuba in his final round game. The tiebreak favoured player with more decisive games and despite remaining unbeaten, Ivanchuk finished second.
Carlsen finished third on 7.5 points, a half point ahead of Anand who in turn had half a point more than Aronian, Wang Yue Of China and Teimour Radjabov of Azerbaijan. Dominiguez finished last on 6 points.
The final day did not have even a single decisive game and the standings remained same as they were after the penultimate round.
Grischuk gained a great deal from his performance here as apart from the trophy and winner's cheque, the Russian also earned right to take part in the Grand Slam final scheduled to be held in Bilbao, Spain later this year.
This was by far the best performance ever by Grischuk who was the semifinalist in the world championship of 2000 when it was held at New Delhi.
For Anand the final day did not have much excitement as Carlsen played solid and safe with his black pieces. Anand came back to the queen pawn and faced the Grunfeld defense, got just an optical advanatage out of the opening and when Carlsen regrouped his forces well, the draw was agreed after 29 moves.
Grischuk had to defend well with black against Aronian and he did precisely that. It was a King's Indian defense where the Armenian got a whiff of an advantage but Grischuk neutralised in quick time. A series of exchanges led to a balanced position with queens, rook and a minor piece onboard but it was quite difficult for Aronian to make progress. The game lasted 41 moves.
Ivanchuk did not get any chance either against Dominguez who played the white side of a closed Ruy Lopez. Equalising early, Ivanchuk was never in any troubles and exchanged pieces at will to get a level rook and minor piece end game where the draw was a just result.
The other match of the final round saw Wang Yue settling for a draw with Radjabov.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Abhijeet wins, Sasikiran loses again
WIJK AAN ZEE (The Netherlands): World Junior champion Abhijeet Gupta came back reckoning for top honours with a fine positional triumph over veteran Grandmaster Oleg Romanishin of Ukraine in the 9th round of the 'C' group of Corus International chess tournament.
But Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran suffered a defeat at the hands of David Navara of Czech Republic in the 'B' group to make it a mixed day for the Indian contingent.
Abhijeet took his tally to a respectable 5.5 points out of a possible nine and is now in joint third position along side Frank Holzke of Germany and David Howell of England.
The lead position remained unchanged after Tiger Hillarp Persson of Sweden played out a draw with D Harika and inched himself up to 6.5 points. The second place is held by Wesley So of Philippines who made short work of local hopeful Ali Bitalzadeh.
In the 'B' group Sasikiran will look forward to saving some of the vital elo points.
The Indian has 3 points and is playing much below his expected score. Abhijeet played his moves well to beat the experienced Romanishin. Expectedly the Ukrainian employed the Nimzo Indian and faced the Capablanca variation.
Abhijeet got a bind in the center and slowly his pieces gained in strength.
Romanishin opted to go for an inferior endgame to cut down on some pressure but ended up losing a pawn for effectively no compensation.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sasi held by Motylev at Corus chess
WIJK AAN ZEE (The Netherlands): Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran played out a draw with Alexander Motylev in the eighth round of the 'B" group of Corus chess tournament.
Sasikiran took his tally to 3 points with the draw and it seems that the fortunes of the top seed Indian in the fray are just not changing.

Ahead of the second rest day Sasikiran again could not get much to hope for with his white pieces as Motylev kept himself in contention in a Queen pawn game and after the dust subsided the players just had a level position on board. The peace was signed in 32 moves.
It turned out to be a bad day for Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta too in the 'C' group as he went down to Grandmaster Friso Nijboer of Holland.
The loss dented Abhijeet's chances in the event considerably after Tiger Hillarp Person of Sweden managed to eek out a win against Mexican Manuel Leon Hoyos.
Persson emerged as the sole leader in this section on 6 points out of a possible eight and stretched his lead to a full point after top seed Wesley So of Philippines blundered and lost to Frank Holzke of Germany.
Wesley remained on 5 points and in sole second spot despite the disaster and Abhijeet now shares the third spot with David Howell of England and local hopeful Manuel Bosboom who played out a draw with D Harika in this round.
Playing the black side of a Ruy Lopez Abhijeet was surprised early in the opening after sacrificing a pawn and did not get a chance to recover during the remaining part of the game.
The Indian was forced to spend a lot of time in the early middle game and Nijboer increased his advantage after a couple of more inaccuracies by the Indian world junior champ