Monday, June 30, 2008

Dortmund 2008 Round 2: Kramnik, Leko, Gustafsson prevails

Here's another one of my own comprehensive analysis and commentary I provide for everybody to enjoy. Once again, I hope you will bear with it :)

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 (Black opt for the Queens Gambit Decline rather than continue with the Slav Defense (4…Bf5). the push…e6 releases Black’s dark-squared bishop, but blocks the light-squared bishop.)

5.b3 (supporting the c4 pawn and allow the dark squared bishop to occupy b2 square where it has more influence.)

5…Nbd7 6.Bb2 b6 (fighting for the control of the important c5 square while b7 square is to be occupied by the light-squared bishop)

7.Bd3 (an interesting move. white opt to defend the e4 square with his light bishop rather than his knight on d1. 7.Nbd2 is the common move which has a more decent result in the past.)

7…Bb7 8.0-0 Bd6 9.Nbd2 0-0 10.Ne5 (always post your knight in the center of the board, right?)

10…Qe7 (An early slight mistake. Although it connects both rooks early, the other alternative move 10…Qc7 looks sharper and continues the fight for the control of the e4.)

11.Qf3 (A trick! You will see)

11…Rfd8?! (A mistake. Kramnik abandon the idea to fight for the control of d5 for the time being since it was well covered by black. His eye is on e5 and controlling it was the key to Kramnik’s strategy to win the game. Black has put so much attention on guarding and protecting d5 that he forgot to pay attention on his opponent’s own strategy. Black should find a way to get rid of the strong knight at e5 quickly instead of the move 11…Rfd8 which will only result on black’s passivity as we will be seen)

12.Qh3 (the intention is clear.)

12…h6 13.f4! (Very nice. White just want to make sure that his Queen on h3 won’t be threaten by any counter offensive by black by securing the all important e5 square for white. Now the knight on d2 can maneuver by way of f3 square and ready to occupy the e5 square once an exchange of pieces in the center begins.)

13…Bb4 (but white has already anticipated this move)

14.Ndf3! Ne4 (now the exchange can begin without worrying about white’s loosing center domination. )

15.Nxd7 (from this on, watch how white dictates the tempo of the game. It’s a beauty. Black has no answer but dance with white’s tune.)

15…Rxd7 16.Ne5 (should we say more?)

16…Rc7 (this is the direct result of black’s bad move 11…Rfd8?!. Now the rook finds himself in a most awkward position.)

17.Bxe4 dxe4 18.c5 bxc5 19.a3 Ba5 20.dxc5 Qxc5 21.b4 Qb5 22.Qg3 Bb6 23.Nd7 g6 (not 23…Rxd7??? 24. Qxg7 mate!) 24.Nf6+ Kf8 25.Be5 Rcc8 26.Qh4 h5 27.Nh7+ Ke8 28.Bd6 Rc7 29.Rfd1 Black cannot force the issue without loosing materials so black resigns 1-0.

(2) Gustafsson,J (2603) - Naiditsch,A (2624) [D37]
Sparkassen Dortmund GER (2), 29.06.2008

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e4 Bb4 6.Bg5 c5 7.Bxc4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Qa5 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Bxd7+ Nxd7 13.0-0 a6 14.Rb1 Qc7 15.Qh5 Ke7 16.f4 Qxc3 17.Rfd1 Rab8 18.e5 Qe3+ 19.Kh1 Rhd8 20.exf6+ Ke8 21.Nxe6 Nxf6 22.Nc7+ Ke7 23.Qh4 1-0

(3) Leko,P (2741) - Ivanchuk,V (2740) [B46]
Sparkassen Dortmund GER (2), 29.06.2008

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 d5 8.0-0 Nf6 9.Qf3 Be7 10.Qg3 Nh5 11.Qf3 Nf6 12.e5 Nd7 13.Qg3 g6 14.Bh6 c5 15.Na4 c4 16.Be2 Bb7 17.b3 Bc6 18.Nb2 Rb8 19.Nd1 Nc5 20.Ne3 Ne4 21.Qh3 Ng5 22.Qg4 c3 23.a3 Bb5 24.Bxb5+ axb5 25.f3 Qb6 26.Rae1 d4 27.Nd1 d3+ 28.Kh1 dxc2 29.Nf2 Bc5 30.Nd3 Be3 31.Bxg5 Bd2 32.Re2 0-0 33.Nc1 b4 34.Bxd2 cxd2 35.Rxd2 bxa3 36.Rxc2 Rfc8 37.Qe4 Rxc2 38.Qxc2 Qd4 39.Na2 Qxe5 40.b4 Rd8 41.h3 h5 42.Rb1 Qe3 43.Rd1 Rd5 44.Qb1 Qe2 45.Re1 Qd2 46.Rc1 Rd8 47.b5 Rb8 48.Rc3 h4 49.b6 Qd6 50.Rb3 Rb7 51.Nc3 Qc6 52.Rxa3 Qxb6 53.Qxb6 Rxb6 54.Ra4 g5 55.f4 Rb3 56.Ne2 Re3 57.Ng1 1-0

(4) Nepomniachtchi,I (2634) - Mamedyarov,S (2752) [C84]
Sparkassen Dortmund GER (2), 29.06.2008

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 d6 7.c3 Bg4 8.Nbd2 Nd7 9.h3 Bh5 10.Re1 Nc5 11.Bc2 Ne6 12.Nf1 Bg5 13.Ng3 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 0-0 15.Be3 g6 16.Bb3 Kg7 17.Ne2 Nc5 18.Bc2 f5 19.Bxc5 dxc5 20.exf5 Rxf5 21.Qg4 Bh4 22.Rf1 Kh8 23.Ba4 b5 24.Bb3 Na5 25.Be6 Rf8 26.a4 Qf6 27.g3 h5 28.Qxh4 Qxe6 29.Qe4 Qf5 30.Qxf5 gxf5 31.axb5 axb5 32.f4 e4 33.dxe4 fxe4 34.Rfd1 Nc4 35.Rxa8 Rxa8 36.Rd7 Ra1+ 37.Kf2 Nxb2 38.Ke3 Nc4+ 39.Kxe4 Re1 40.Kf3 1/2-1/2

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

1 Kramnik,V 2788 +42 * ½

1 1.5/2 1.25
2 Gustafsson,J 2603 +293 ½ *


1.5/2 1.25
3 Leko,P 2741 +195

* ½

1.5/2 1.00
4 Mamedyarov,S 2752 -64

½ * ½

1.0/2 1.25
5 Nepomniachtchi,I 2634 +54

½ * ½

1.0/2 0.75
6 Naiditsch,A 2624 -196

½ *

0.5/2 0.50
7 Ivanchuk,V 2740 -221


* ½ 0.5/2 0.25
8 Van Wely,L 2677 -103 0

½ * 0.5/2 0.25

Official website

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dortmund 2008: All games drawn in 1st Round

Here's a game analysis I provided in a match between Kramnik and Gustaffson.

GM Mamedyarov (2752) - GM Leko (2741) [E25]
28.06.2008 / Dortmund Round 1

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 c5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.dxc5 Qa5 9.e4 Ne7 10.Be3 0–0 11.Qb3 Qc7 12.Ne2 Nd7 13.Nf4 Nxc5 14.Qc4 b6 15.Bxc5 bxc5 16.Nd3 Nc6 17.Qxc5 Ba6 18.Nb4 Bxf1 19.Nxc6 Rfc8 20.Ne7+ Kf8 21.Ng6+ Kg8 22.Ne7+ Kf8 23.Ng6+ Kg8 24.Ne7+ Game drawn ½–½

GM Naiditsch (2624) - GM Nepomiachtchi (2634) [B86]
28.06.2008 / Dortmund - Round 1

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 Nbd7 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.0–0 g5 11.Nde2 Rg8 12.f4 gxf4 13.Nxf4 Qg5 14.Kh1 Ne5 15.Na4 Bd7 16.Nb6 Rd8 17.Qe2 Bb5 18.c4 Bc6 19.Rae1 Bg7 20.Bd1 Ng6 21.Nh5 Be5 22.Nd5 exd5 23.exd5 Bd7 24.Nf6+ Ke7 25.Ne4 Qh4 26.g3 Qh3 27.Nf2 Qf5 28.Ne4 Qh3 29.Nf2 Qf5 30.Ne4 Game drawn ½–½

GM Ivanchuk (2740) - GM VanWely (2677) [B84]
28.06.2008 / Dortmund - Round 1

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e6 7.a4 Nc6 8.0–0 Be7 9.Be3 0–0 10.f4 Qc7 11.Kh1 Re8 12.Bf3 Bf8 13.Qd2 Rb8 14.Rfd1 Na5 15.Qf2 Nc4 16.Bc1 e5 17.Nde2 exf4 18.Nxf4 Be6 19.b3 Ne5 20.Bb2 g6 21.Ncd5 Bxd5 22.Nxd5 Nxd5 23.Rxd5 Bg7 24.c4 Nxf3 25.gxf3 Bxb2 26.Qxb2 Re5 27.Rad1 Rxd5 28.Rxd5 Qb6 29.Kg2 Rc8 30.Qc3 Rc5 31.h4 Rxd5 32.cxd5 Qd8 33.Kg3 Qb6 34.Kg2 Qd8 35.e5 Qxh4 36.exd6 Qg5+ 37.Kf2 Qh4+ 38.Kg2 Qg5+ 39.Kf2 Game drawn ½–½

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pacman ready to make history.

the best Asian boxer ever?

Philippine boxing icon and numero uno best pound for pound boxer in the planet, Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao (46-3-2, 35 KOs) is all gear up to invade the lightweight division and make history as the first Asian boxer to hold world titles in four weight classes, after capturing WBC and IBF belts at flyweight, junior featherweight and super featherweight. He's up against a tough Mexican-American David Diaz (34-1-1, 17 KOs). I remember a Los Angeles Times sports columnist hail the 29 year old from General Santos city as the greatest warrior from Asia to conquer the western world since Kublai Khan. Well of course this maybe to much of a praise but one thing is for sure though, Manny Pacquiao is arguably one of the greatest Asian contact sports fighter ever.

Good luck Pacman!

image courtesy of

Friday, June 27, 2008

Games Annotations from Dortmund 2008 coming up!

Hi everyone!,

the moment we get our hands on the official PGN result from the tournament, we will try to have it analyze and posted here on CH. Thanks.

GM Mark Paragua rules 1st Annual Marshall Chess Club New York International!

Here's a piece of good news to all Filipino chess fans and supporters. GM Paragua wins a tournament in New York, the Marshall Chess Club in New York. Paragua will take home the top prize of $4,000.

The final standing is HERE

Dortmund 2008 starts tomorrow

Dortmund, Germany

Category 18 Super Grandmaster tournament, The Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting starts tomorrow June28 in the German city of Dortmund. It is one of the three "majors" on the chess tournament circuit along with Corus and Linares.

Dortmund is an invite-only event, and only the strongest grandmasters are invited. This year the average rating of the participants is 2695.


Vladimir Kramnik
Shakhriyar Mamedjarov
Peter Leko
Vassily Ivanchuk
Loek van Wely
Ian Nepomniachtchi
Arkadij Naiditsch

Jan Gustafsson

The tournament official website

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Kramnik turns 33 today. Happy birthday!

World Chess Champion 2000-2007

One of my favorite chess player celebrates his 33rd birthday today. His charming and humble personality marked with his amazingly beautiful positional style of chess makes him a true hero of the game. Here's some highlight of his illustrious career.

  • Born June 25, 1975 in Tuapse (Krasnodar Region/Russia)
  • 14th Classical World Chess Champion.
  • Three-time Olympiad winner as a member of the Russian team.
  • Russian Honoured Master of Sport.
  • Three-time winner in World Championship Matches
  • World Chess Champion 2000-2007
  • Current ELO rating: 2785

photo courtesy of his official website

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Survey Ends!

Hi there!

Our survey ended yesterday, June 23, 2008 and we had a number of respondents for our fourth poll. We asked the readers this simple question: Next to Russia, which country do you think produced quality players? Out of 10 respondents (the largest we had so far), India and Ukraine each had 3 votes while China, Hungary, Armenia and the Philippines had a vote a piece. According to FIDE list, it is Russia (quite expectedly) remains the top country that produced world class players with a total of 147 GM's and 1039 total titled players and with an average rating of their top ten players of 2719, while it is Ukraine with 65 GMs claimed the second spot with 262 total titled players and with an average rating of their top ten players of 2684.

Thanks for participating people! Thanks!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Paul Morphy turns 171 today!

"The Pride and Sorrow of Chess"

Paul Morphy often called the "Pride and Sorrow of Chess" was born on this day June 22, 1837 in New Orleans Louisiana. He was considered as the greatest player of his days and unofficial world champion. Today many amateurs think of Morphy as a dazzling combinative player, who excelled in sacrificing his Queen and checkmating his opponent a few brilliant moves later.

for a complete online biography of Paul Morphy, see HERE

and here is one of the most distinguished of all of Paul Morphy's games. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Peter Long: nothing essential has been outsourced

Regarding to the current issues surrounding FIDE Honorary president Florencio Campomanes displeasure about NCFP decision to give a Singapore-based company the right to organize, manage and control all international chess tournaments to be held in the country, HERE is the full article.

The following comment is posted by Peter Long,
Executive Director of the ASEAN Chess Confederation on the Closet Grandmaster blog. It is an interesting fact that's worthy of attention.

We should not agree/disagree based on Campo's calculated outburst and vested interest - and he would not appreciate me revealing the real facts. But luckily I am in the position to throw some light on the facts of the matter on hand yet logic should have dictated:

1. NCFP is organiser - National Federations issue invitations and submit rating reports.

2. So Intchess Asia is merely event organiser - key responsibilities are to get players, help find money. and explore media options to create greater value to sponsors.

3. We are not talking about Olympiads - just International Opens. But after many events NCFP has realised that sponsors are giving only as personal favours as the value of chess or the event has not sunk it.

4. At the same time NCFP has so much to do with limited resources to fix things from grassroots development, restoration of institutions, to looking after top players, etc. to the point where the Philippines can perhaps again be No. 1 in Asia.

5. No one questions Philippine talent, commitment or capability. Just how to best and most quickly marshall it all for the benefit of all.

You can see that nothing essential has been outsourced!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Marvelous Magnus Carlsen wins Foros

Mean at seventeen

Marvelous Magnus does it again. The Wunderkid from Norway held his fellow young phenom and local hero GM Sergei Karjakin into a draw on the final round but enough to win the tough Aerosvit Foros in Ukraine. Carlsen's overall performance in this tournament is 2877, and his live rating is 2791.5. Which means that if the FIDE world rankings were published today he would be second in the world, seven points behind Anand. I have little doubt that the talented Norwegian will become World Champion himself someday. Having just turned 17 years old, he still has plenty of time to hone his skills.

Here's a notable game by Carlsen as he demonstrates the lethal capabilities of the Sicilian Dragon Variations which produced some sort of revivals and slowly becoming popular these days just because he's playing it.

Final standings:

1. Carlsen, Magnus g NOR 2765 8

2. Ivanchuk, Vassily g UKR 2740 7

3-4. Karjakin, Sergey g UKR 2732 6
3-4. Eljanov, Pavel g UKR 2687 6

5-7. Volokitin, Andrei g UKR 2684 5½
5-7. Jakovenko, Dmitry g RUS 2711 5½
5-7. Shirov, Alexei g ESP 2740 5½

8-10. Alekseev, Evgeny g RUS 2711 5
8-10. Svidler, Peter g RUS 2746 5
8-10. Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter g ROU 2684 5

11. Van Wely, Loek g NED 2677 4

12. Onischuk, Alexander g USA 2664 3½

HERE is the official tournament web site

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

New look for Philippine Chess Portal

I dropped by on one of my favorite site about Philippine chess, the Philippine Chess Portal when suddely, a bluish glow greets my eyes (now how's that for a chess poet?) although the photograph of GM Wesley So in the center of the header seems to be a little bit out of place. I mean... It looks too iconic to me. Anyway there's more than of web designing in this site since the Philippine Chess Portal is one of the most valuable piece of information you can get anywhere in the web about Pinoy chess.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Irina Krush got his King busted!

Here's the YouTube video of the controversial Armageddon match between Irina Krush and Anna Zatonskih . Irina was playing the white piece and Anna the black. The play off games will decided who will win the tournament after the two tied for first place in the just concluded 2008 US Women's Chess Championship. Irina had 6 minutes on her clock to finish and win the game and Anna had 4 1/2 minutes.

And take a careful watch on the innocent bystanders at 1:11 as one of them got hit by a flying King!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A haunting funeral photo of the late Armenian GM Karen Asrian

Armenian Chess Organizers Paying their last respect

This is a photo of open coffin funeral of late Armenian Grandmaster Karen Asrian last June 11, in Yerevan Armenia. Asrian died suddenly of heart attack at a tender age of 28. He was one of the top chess players of Armenia and three time champion of his country
. Among his major victories are the tournaments of Dubai 2001 and Stepanakert 2004. In 2006, Asrian won the Chess Olympiad in Turin as a member of Armenian team. He was playing on board three. The Armenian Chess Federation decided to interrupt the ongoing "Chess Giants Yerevan 2008" event for a few days, and then rename it to the "Karen Asrian Memorial".

Asrian was ranked 92nd by the World Chess Federation, or FIDE with a ELO rating of 2634.

Here is some of the chess games of Asrian

photo courtesy of

Thursday, June 12, 2008

GM Wesley So to compete in Corus Chess Tournament next year


GM Wesley so will finally have the chance to show his wares in the European soil against some of the top players in the planet next year. In a recent posting appeared at Philippine Chess Forum, So accepted the invitation by Jeroen van den Berg, the Director of Corus Chess Tournament,that will be held on January 15 to February 1 2009 in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands. He will compete in Gandmaster group C.

Monday, June 9, 2008

GM Paragua - Almost but not quite

Paragua pondering his next move against Kamsky

GM Paragua of the Philippines had his chances and had the better much of the game against his super grandmaster opponent but failed to capitalized with his lead and lost to former world title contender Gata Kamsky of the US in the ongoing Las Vegas Chess Festival. Some chess expert claimed that Kamsky escaped with this one. But I guess that's what great grandmasters are made of. Here's my first attempt of annalyzing games in this blog. Hope you'll bear with it. :)

Image source

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Chess opening: learning the hard way

I spend a great deal of time memorizing long opening openings for my chess game. But there are times that during one of the matches I played, especially in club or below master levels, deep theory of complex openings such as the Sicilian and various Indian variations, no matter how scientific they are, are not always that easy to put it into practice or have it execute the full potential of the specific openings in this levels. Maybe there were moments in one of your matches that you claimed you are an "expert" in memorizing say the Nimzo-Indian Defense variants all the way up to 15 moves or so and you are feeling comfortable that you're opponent is falling to your trap but then suddenly your opponent, whom you keep crossing your finger all through out the opening will stick with the theory, but suddenly divert the flow of your opening into something "new". Isn't that the most frustrating thing that can happen to a chess player especially if you are a die hard fan of a particular openings and variations that only spring up in about one per ten matches you've played?

I have always though that the most depressing opening for me in my reply's to white's 1.d4 goes something like this: 1...Nf6 2.c4 e6 3. Nf3...oh no this can't be! He's denying me the opening theory that I spend a great deal of time memorizing but what the look what this fellow had done. I have to admit that Nimzo Indian has always been my favorite reply against whites 1.d4. But since I can no longer always hope that white would always give me the option of playing that opening, He left me no choice but to push 3..a6, the Queen's Indian, an opening that I'm quite insecure to play about. But anyway, memorizing openings without understanding how each moves work, especially for the more inexperienced player is generally a waste of time. It is good to see what the opening options are, but sticking with the same opening and ignoring the play on the board is a mistake. I learned it the hard way.

Chessheroes is back...with a vengeance!

Hi everyone, after a month, we're back online. We'll keep everyone updated and informed on everything about chess from now on.