"My opponent left a glass of whisky 'en prise' and I took it 'en passant". - Henry Blackburne | SINCE 2007

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Obama, Clinton and Chess

Border Chess Team Prepares To Conquer South Africa

By Atule Joka

BORDER Chess all divisions’ team looks set to be a team to beat at this year’s South African Junior Chess Championships to be held in December, in Pretoria.
The squad which consists of “approximately 70 players” according to their head coach Sven Stocklose, is undergoing meticulous training in various schools around East London. “Besides the two coaching sessions we have for each division every month, we have also lined up inter-provincial games against Eastern Province (EP) in October ahead of the tournament” said Stocklose.
The Border team did not fare well at last year’s tournament and their only highlight was the U/8 team who managed to finish eighth .
“This was the best considering the division they competed in, our U18’s managed to secure a silver medal but it was in the lower division” said Stocklose. Despite a multiple of senior teams in the squad it is surprisingly the U/10s that carry the burden of winning the coveted gold medal.
“I’m optimistic they could bring us the gold, they have matured and are playing the best chess of their lives”, said Stocklose of the team that mostly featured last year’s U/8 players.
Among Stocklose objectives for this year’s tournament is to see more players selected to the national squad. “I am optimistic we will perform better this year, but it will be great to have more of our players having South African colours”.
Rebecca Selkirk, who became the first Border player to receive national junior colours last year, and eventually went to represent South Africa at the Commonwealth Chess Tournament in Delhi, India, is expected to be a key member of the squad .
“Rebecca has participated in a number of international tournaments her experience will spur on the rest of the team and hopefully she will do well in team matches and will hold her own in individual matches” added Stocklose.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Joshua Colas

WHITE PLAINS — Chess prodigy Joshua Colas has already begun receiving help to fund his upcoming trip to Greece, where he has been invited to represent the United States in the "Boys 12 and Under" level at the World Youth Chess Championship in Halkidiki.

The White Plains Foundation for Public Education is accepting donations to help send Joshua and his father to Greece in October. Total expenses for the two-week tournament are estimated at $5,000. Donations will also help get Joshua a personal chess coach. A top-level coach, a grandmaster, is estimated to cost $7,500 to $10,000 per year.
Joshua also will appear on Fox TV's "Good Day New York" on Wednesday morning, when he will compete live against White Plains Middle School chess team co-captain Michael Ainsworth, 11, in "speed chess."
Joshua is the national champion in speed chess and is ranked No. 1 in the country, and Michael, son of Ray Ainsworth, the middle school's chess coordinator, is ranked in the top 20.
The elder Ainsworth received about 30 telephone calls last week from people looking to help Joshua achieve his goal of becoming the youngest African-American chess master in the world. The White Plains Rotary Club also is interested in Joshua's chess career and has reached out to Ray Ainsworth and the Colas family.
"We have gotten a very positive response overall," Ainsworth said.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chess Puzzles

Some gems from chess curosities.

How many consecutive checks(both white and black) can you have in this position?

Can you find a proof game for the above position?

Bobby Fischer

By DYLAN LOEB McCLAIN The New York Times

The life of Bobby Fischer was one strange odyssey, in which he went from chess prodigy -- at 14, the youngest U.S. champion ever -- to the vanquisher of the famed Boris Spassky in 1972 in a match followed around the world, to a fugitive from the United States on charges of violating a trade embargo against Yugoslavia, to an increasingly odd recluse, one who denounced Jews and praised the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Read more

Thursday, July 22, 2010

More Chess Fun

Narrated Chess can be Hazardous to the Listener

Speaking as a fan and occasional player of the fascinating International Worldwide Game of Chess, I have a few observations to share.
First, let me say, for us chess fans, computers and the net have revolutionized our experience. My favorite is YouTube which carries wonderful videos made by good chess players who are also good communicators. The video reports of chess matches, classic games, and personal or locational sidelights are entertaining interesting and educational. A wonderful use of the YouTube medium. Read the full article

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chess Fun

Wole Soyinka Chess Tournament

Nigerian literaly icon and Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka

By Niyi Alebiosu,
Lagos Monday, 19 July 2010

The Nigeria Chess Federation (NCF) has earmarked $100,000 (about N15million) as prize money for the maiden edition of Wole Soyinka International Master Chess tournament to commemorate the 77th birthday anniversary of the Nobel laureate next year.

The tournament which is being initiated by Vice Admiral Jubril Ayinla, (Rtd) Dr. Silvanus Ebigwe, Theophilus Caiafas, Professor Abisogun Leighh, Chief Dave Irabor and the incumbent President of NCF, DCP Sani Mohammed is scheduled to hold from July 10 to 17, 2011 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.
Speaking at a media parley in Lagos, Vice Admiral Ayinla said that the tournament would also have a Master Section.

Friday, July 16, 2010

FIDE 2010 Elections:Karpov Vs Kirsan

An intense but interesting fight expected in forthcoming Fide presidential election.
COME this September, we shall see what will possibly be the most acrimonious presidential contest for the World Chess Federation (Fide) for a long while.

Lining up on one side of the contest is the incumbent president of the world body, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is seeking re-election since first getting elected to the top post in 1995. On the other side is his very worthy opponent, former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov.
When nominations closed at the end of last month for the submission of electoral tickets, the only two teams that met the deadline were that of Ilyumzhi­nov and Karpov. This means that they will go head-to-head in a direct clash of wills and personality that will see no compromise from either party.

Lined up on Ilyumzhinov’s team are Georgios Makropoulos, Ignatius Leong, Nigel Freeman, Beatriz Marinello and Lewis Ncube.
Makropoulos is the president of the Greek Chess Federation but he is also the Fide deputy president (since 1996). Leong has been the president of the Singapore Chess Federation and the Fide general secretary since 2005. Freeman, the president of the Bermuda Chess Federation, is the current Fide treasurer, a position he has held since 2006. Marinello is a former president of United States Chess. NCube is a former president of the Zambia Chess Federation and presently a Fide vice-president (since 2006).

All of them, except for Marinello, are seeking to be returned to the same positions they are currently holding in the federation while Marinello is seeking to fill a Fide vice-president’s slot.
Karpov’s ticket consists of Richard A. Conn Jr of the United States who is the candidate for deputy president, Ukrainian Chess Federation president Viktor Kapustin who is the candidate for treasurer, Malaysia’s own Abdul Hamid Majid who is the candidate for secretary general, and the two candidates for vice-presidents, Angolan Chess Federation president Dr Aguinaldo Jaime and woman grandmaster Alisa Maric who is also the vice-president of the Belgrade Chess Federation.

As I said earlier, this Fide election may be the most acrimonious in recent years. For the first time in many years, Ilyumzhinov faces a very serious opponent. The credentials of Anatoly Karpov speak for itself. People know him as the 12th world chess champion, having succeeded Bobby Fischer in 1974 and only giving up his world title to Garry Kaspa­rov in 1985. Truly, he is one of the greatest chess players of all time.

However, Karpov’s very attempt at becoming the next Fide president has been full of obstacles, not least from within Russia itself. This is because Fide regulations require all candidates to be nominated by their own chess federations, and only one candidate at any one time.
And therein lies the problem because both Ilyumzhinov and Karpov are from Russia. The problem became even more complicated after both of them claimed to have their federation’s nod.

According to reports, the Russian Chess Federation had narrowly nominated Karpov as its candidate at a meeting in May. A few days later, at another meeting which was purportedly just shy of a quorum, Ilyumzhi­nov was nominated. The sticky situation became more absurd when the Russian Government sacked the president of the Russian Chess Federation and installed someone else to look after the federation’s affairs.

Lawsuits have also been flying around from both parties. Earlier, Ilyumzhinov had sued Karpov for libel. The former world champion fought back with a suit to force Fide to disclose the nomination forms of Ilyumzhinov’s team. At the heart of the matter was the status of Marinello because it was claimed that she was not a member of either the Chilean or Brazilian chess federations.

If the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, rules in Karpov’s favour, it could mean the automatic disqualification of the whole of the Ilyumzhinov ticket because there’s also another Fide regulation that stipulates that at least one member of a ticket must be a woman candidate. It would be impossible for Ilyumzhinov to replace Marinello at the last minute.
In the meantime, both candidates are continuing to circle the globe to visit national chess federations and drum up support for their teams at the Fide election in Khanty Mansiysk, Russia. Yes, it’s going to be an intense but interesting fight indeed.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Vacancy: Chess Job

From The New York Times

Here’s a job that doesn’t come around everyday. The Peace Corps is seeking a chess coordinator to work in Saint Lucia, the island nation in the Caribbean. The job begins in August and runs for 12 months.
Candidates need to have at least intermediate chess skills, good communication skills, basic computer skills and experience creating community programs.
The job description seems to have been written by a true chess enthusiast:

Saint Lucia faces many challenges including unemployment, crime, and an under-educated population. It is unrealistic to expect any one program to fix all of these issues. However, it is obvious that the country would benefit from a giant infusion of self-discipline, strategic thinking, and increased self esteem. Surprisingly, the beginning of change for this small country of 150,000 people and 238,000 square miles may be connected to a classic game. The needed change may start with the children who take to the game with unbelievable enthusiasm and then spill over to the tight knit communities where they live. The game is chess.

There is no mention of salary, but the job will obviously have a few unusual perks. Anybody want to apply?

Friday, July 9, 2010

"Simutowe Is Africa's Pride"

GABONESE Chess Federation president Bongo Akanga has described Zambian chess sensation Amon Simutowe as Africa's pride.Speaking ahead of the 2010 FIDE Africa seminar, Akanga said the event should be used as a revival of the continentís chess fortunes."Simutowe is a good chess player who has made Africa proud. It is a good thing for the continent," he said.Akanga expressed delight at the presence of FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov for the four-day seminar."This is a very important seminar for Africa as we are going to be with the FIDE president during the deliberations," he said.The four-day event will draw participation from 20 African countries affiliated with the World Chess Federation.Akanga said Gabon shared a mixed football history with Zambia."We have an interesting history with Zambia; they beat us at the Africa Cup and their players died in our country," he said.

Fischer's Body Exhumed

(Reuters) - The body of former chess champion Bobby Fischer, who died in Iceland two years ago, has been exhumed to provide forensic evidence in a paternity suit, the police said on Monday.
Iceland's Supreme Court ruled in favor of the exhumation in mid-June, overturning the decision of a lower court to deny an earlier request.
In its ruling, the top court said tissue samples were needed to determine the paternity of Jinky Young, the Filipina daughter of Fischer's former lover. Young provided a DNA sample last year during a trip to Iceland.
"This (exhumation) was performed this morning in accordance with the order from the Supreme Court," said Olafur Helgi Kjartansson, chief of police in the southwestern town of Selfoss, where the chess champion was buried.
Fischer, who spent his last years as a fugitive from U.S. authorities because he defied international sanctions against the former Yugoslavia, spent time in the Philippines and Japan before moving to Iceland, where he was offered citizenship in the mid-2000s.
The former child prodigy became the United States' only world chess champion by defeating Soviet masters, but refused to defend his title and relinquished it to the Soviet champion Anatoly Karpov in 1975.
His estate, estimated at around $2 million, has been the subject of a long-running inheritance dispute involving claims by a former wife, two nephews and the U.S. tax authorities.
Fischer died in Reykjavik at the age of 64 after an unspecified illness and was buried near the town of Selfoss, about 60 km (40 miles) east of Reykjavik, in 2008.

Queens' Gambit

Queen Elizabeth shows President Zuma a chess set given to her by Nelson Mandela.

Kirsan Ilyumzhinov Blows A Vuvuzela.

FIDE President, Head of Republic of Kalmykia Kirsan Ilyumzhinov blows the now famous Vuvuzela.

FIDE President In Africa

From left to right: General Secretary of Kenya Chess Federation Lawrence KAGAMBI, FIDE President and the Chairman of Kenya Chess Federation Andolo AMBASI

On the 7th of July FIDE President, Head of Republic of Kalmykia Kirsan Ilyumzhinov continued his visit to Zambia. He held the working meetings with the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Zambia, Mr. Boris Malakhov, the embassy staff, and the permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development, Mr. Teddy Mulonga. Kirsan Ilyumzhinov also spoke at the Administrators seminar for the leaders of African Chess Federations, opened simultaneous game which was continued by GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili. As part of this forum, FIDE President met and discussed the numerous issues of chess development in the African continent with the leaders of chess federations of Malawi, Botswana, Seychelles Islands, Madagascar, Sao Tome and Principe, Rwanda, Burundi, etc.