Nihal Sarin stuns Jorge Cori in World Cup chess

Teen sensation Nihal Sarin pulled off a clinical win against Jorge Cori in 57 moves to take a 1-0 lead in the two-game Round One of the World Cup chess championship here on Tuesday.

P. Hari Krishna and B Adhiban were the other winners and need only a draw on Wednesday to move into the second round.

Vidit Gujrathi, M. Karthikeyan, Abhjeet Gupta and Aravindh Chithambaram were involved in drawn encounters. However, Surya Shekhar Ganguly, S. L. Narayanan and S. P Sethuraman lost their games.

Nihal, at 15, the youngest member of the Indian contingent, punished Cori for a series of sub-optimal moves after the Peruvian handed over the initiative on the 18th move. Leading to the 40th move, both players could not filter out the best available options but Nihal reinforced his grip. Eventually, Cori resigned when Nihal threatened to trade his rook for a bishop and polish off the queen-side pawns.

“I am pleased with how things went and also happy with the quality of the game. Will try to repeat that tomorrow,” said Nihal after the victory.

The Results

Round One - Game One:

Yuri Gonzalez Vidal (Cuba, 2552) lost to P. Hari Krishna (2746);

Vladimir Fedoseev (Russia, 2664) bt Surya Shekhar Ganguly (2658);

M. Karthikeyan (2617) drew with Ernesto Inarkiev (Russia, 2693);

Aravindh Chithambaram (2609) drew with Michael Adams (England, 2694);

David Anton Guijarro (Spain, 2674) bt S. L. Narayanan (2611);

Eduardo Iturrizaga Bonelli (Venezuela, 2626) lost to B. Adhiban (2639);

Alan Pichot (Argentina, 2600) drew with Vidit Gujarathi (2718);

Abhijeet Gupta (2609) drew with Anton Korobov (Ukraine, 2679);

Nihal Sarin (2610) bt Jorge Cori (Peru, 2676);

S. P. Sethuraman (2624) lost to Tamir Nabaty (Israel, 2658).

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Russia and Cuba coordinate joint transport projects

Representatives of Russian and Cuban transport ministries Dmitry Zverev and Naima Alfonso Acosta have signed a final protocol at the session of the transport group of the Russian-Cuban intergovernmental commission, a TASS correspondent reported.

"Agreement was reached on many pressing issues of cooperation between Russia and Cuba - Russia's longtime partner and good friend. An agreement was reached on cooperation in the sphere of railway, maritime and aviation transport and on implementation of concrete investment projects with participation of Russian investments and Russian companies, as well as of joint projects with Cuban partners," Russian Deputy Transport Minister Dmitry Zverev said. "In accordance with the agreement which was signed in June in St. Petersburg between our governments, preparations are underway to coordinate a schedule of events and discuss terms of the contract, so that the sides can start the process of modernizing the island's railway system," he added. Zverev said that the ministries will also cooperate on training pilots.

The Russian Transport Ministry's delegation headed by deputy minister Dmitry Zverev held meetings with representatives of the Cuban Transport Ministry on Wednesday and Thursday. At the session of the Russian-Cuban intergovernmental commission, the sides discussed issues of bilateral cooperation on railways, aviation, maritime and automobile industries.

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Russia offered to sell Trump hypersonic weapons – Putin

Moscow offered Washington the chance to purchase Russian hypersonic weapons instead of developing its own, Vladimir Putin has revealed. The US, however, is seeking to create analogues.

The bombshell revelation was made by Russia’s president on Thursday, as he was speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok.

“I’ve told Donald [Trump]: Do you want us to sell it [hypersonic weaponry] to you? And we would balance everything by that,” Putin said when asked how new Russian weaponry might fit into existing arms-control agreements.

It remains unclear if the US president has considered the offer, as Washington is seeking to create hypersonic weapons of its own.

“Well, maybe they will. But why spend money when we’ve already spent it and could have got something in return without hurting our own security and for the sake of creating balance?” Putin added.

It was not immediately clear if Russia’s president was serious about his offer or if it was an example of very high-profile trolling, since Moscow – just as anybody else – has always been quite reluctant  to sell the newest weapons abroad or, at least, created special export versions of them. The hypersonic missiles can achieve very high speeds which make them more difficult – if not impossible – to intercept with existing systems designed to counter their slower counterparts.

A whole bunch of new weapons, including hypersonic missiles, lasers, cruise missiles and underwater drones with nuclear power engines, were unveiled by Russia’s president in March 2018. Some of the weapons, such as an air-launched hypersonic Kinzhal missile, have already been shown in action to the general public. Other systems, namely the Peresvet ‘combat laser complex’ are veiled in mystery and their exact purpose and capabilities remain unknown.

Also on Pentagon plans to spend $2.6 billion on developing hypersonic weaponry

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Russia yields to Argentina 61-69 at 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China

The Russian national men’s basketball team suffered its first defeat at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China losing to Argentina 61-69 in the closing match of the first group stage.

Both teams, which played in Group B alongside the teams from Nigeria and South Korea, have earlier secured their places in the second group stage, each winning two of their previous matches.

Russia edged out Nigeria 82-77 on August 31 and blazed past South Korea on September 2, while Argentina defeated South Korea 95-69 and then routed Nigeria 94-81.

Argentina finished Group B in the top with six points and is followed by Russia with five points. Earlier in the day, Nigeria enjoyed a devastating win of 108-66 over South Korea to finish the group stage with four points and leaving South Korea with three points at the bottom.

Having finished in top two places of Group B, Argentina and Russia will continue their voyage at the 2019 Basketball World Cup in Group I of the second group stage along with the teams from Poland and Venezuela, who finished in the top of Group Group A.

Each team in Group I will play two matches against opponents, which they did not face in the previous stage, which means that Russia is set to clash with Poland and Venezuela. Points received in the second group stage will be summed with the points from the previous round.

National basketball teams from Group I will be playing their matches in the Chinese city of Foshan on September 6 and 8.

The 18th edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup for men’s teams is being hosted by China between August 31 and September 15. The matches are being played in eight cities across the country, namely in Beijing, Nanjing, Wuhan, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Foshan and Shenzhen.

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Turkey in ‘talks’ on buying Russian Su-57 jet fighters – Erdogan

Ankara is holding talks on purchasing Su-57 jets from Moscow, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. But Turkey's foreign minister stressed his country is not giving up hopes on the US unfreezing the F-35 deal.

“Our ministries continue to have meetings with their counterparts [on this issue],” Erdogan told reporters on Friday, after being asked whether Turkey will purchase Su-57s.

The president’s words came a few days after he personally inspected the fifth-generation plane during an air show outside Moscow, where its export model was unveiled for the first time.

Also on ‘Why not? We didn’t come here for nothing’: Erdogan on buying Russian Su-57 as alternative to F-35...

Turkey began eyeing Russian warplanes after its NATO ally, the US, refused to sell it F-35 jet fighters. Washington was trying to pressure Ankara into scrapping a contract to buy the Russian S-400 air defense missile system. Turkish officials refused to budge, insisting the country is free to get weapons from whoever it chooses.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu noted that Turkey prefers sticking to its original plan of getting the jets from the US, as well as remaining in the F-35 program. However, the country will explore other options, if that does not happen, he said.

Turkish officials have been saying that Washington should deliver the F-35s as promised. At the same time, they warned that Ankara will look for alternatives elsewhere, not only in Russia.

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‘We’re going to work towards that end’: Pompeo on inviting Russia back into G7

US State Secretary Mike Pompeo has said that the Trump administration, himself included, will make an effort to secure Russia’s return to the G7, as it is what US President Donald Trump thinks Washington should do.

Pompeo doubled down on Trump’s earlier statement that Russia, booted out of the cohort of the most industrialized nations over its reunification with Crimea and the Ukrainian turmoil, should be invited to the group’s next meeting in an interview on Tuesday. Asked if Russia should be invited back so the group can become the G8 once again, Pompeo said: “Yeah, the President thinks so.”

However, when asked if he agrees with his boss’s stance on the issue, Pompeo dodged the question, merely stating that he would be pursuing that goal as well.

The President thinks that’s what we should do. I work for the President. Of course, we’re going to work towards that end.

While Pompeo fell short of explicitly agreeing with Trump’s Russia policy, despite being his country’s top diplomat and thus the man in charge of implementing it, he still reaffirmed Trump’s interest in seeing Russia return to the club.

The US president has repeatedly spoken about the need to readmit Russia. As the G7 summit in Biarritz, France wrapped up on Monday, Trump tentatively invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to the next year’s G7 meet-up hosted by the US.

Saying that he would “certainly” invite the Russia leader and “it would have been easy” if Russia had been represented during many of the roundtables, Trump noted that Putin, as “a proud person,” might as well not accept the invite.

Also on ‘End of Western hegemony’: Why does Macron want Russia at Europe’s side?...

It was not the first time Trump has floated the idea, and he has not been the only one warning of the dangers of alienating Russia from the West. The host of the recent meeting, French President Emmanuel Macron, called the idea of pushing Russia away from Europe a “strategic mistake,” arguing that this ill-conceived approach would pave the way for a potentially menacing alliance between Russia and China.

Calls for rapprochement with Russia, however, have been lost on European Council president Donald Tusk. Tusk, never a fan of Moscow, said that while having Russia might be useful from a practical standpoint, inviting Ukraine would be “a better option.”

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‘We’re living the end of Western hegemony’: Macron urges to stop pushing Russia away from Europe

French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that it would be a “strategic mistake” for Western nations not to change their attitude toward Moscow.

“We are living the end of Western hegemony,” Macron told diplomats on Tuesday, after hosting the G7 meeting in the city of Biarritz on France’s Atlantic coast over the weekend. He named the rise of Beijing and Moscow as signs of a shift on the world scene.

Pushing Russia away from Europe is a profound strategic mistake.

“We’re either pushing Russia into isolation, which increases tensions, or to ally itself with other major powers like China, which would not be in our interest,” Macron said, calling for the “rethinking” of relations with Moscow. Otherwise, Europe will be stuck with “frozen conflicts” and will remain “a theater for strategic struggle between the US and Russia,” he stressed.

Also on Trump would ‘certainly’ invite Putin to next G7 summit...

Macron’s rhetoric towards Moscow has somewhat softened in recent months. During cordial talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin last week, he vowed to do his best to rebuild trust between Russia and the EU.

US President Donald Trump, meanwhile, suggested inviting Putin to attend the G7 event next year, which he will be hosting. He argued that it would be more useful to discuss pressing world issues with Russia, a major player, present at the table.

Also on Putin-Macron meeting heralds glorious summer after long winter of disconten...

The French leader also talked about the “unprecedented crisis” plaguing the global market economy.

The world order is being shaken like never before.

“It’s being shaken because of errors made by the West in certain crises, but also by the choices made by the United States in the past few years – and not just by the current administration.”

These “choices” are impacting “the conflicts in the Middle and elsewhere, making it necessary to rethink military and diplomatic strategies,” the president noted.

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Cuba grateful for Russia’s position on US sanctions pressure — Foreign Ministry

Cuba is grateful to Russia for its position on the United States’ sanctions pressure on Havana, the Cuban Foreign Ministry said on Twitter on Friday.

"Cuba expresses gratitude to Russia’s government, parliament, state agencies and people for their constant solidarity and support of demands to put an end to the United States’ blockade and abolish the Helms-Burton Act," the tweet reads.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during his July visit to Cuba that the United States’ trade blockade was absolutely unacceptable. He also pointed out that by activating Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, the US once again showed disregard for international law as it sought to apply national laws extraterritorially.

US sanctions on Cuba

The United States severed diplomatic ties with Cuba in 1961 in response to the nationalization of American property on the island. Washington later enforced a trade and economic embargo on Havana.

In December 2014, then US President Barack Obama admitted that Washington’s previous policy towards Cuba was not working and announced a new policy aimed at mending bilateral relations and easing sanctions. However, the rapprochement policy was rejected by Donald Trump. He tightened the rules for Americans travelling to Cuba and imposed a ban on doing business with organizations controlled by the Cuban military.

Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which makes it possible for US nationals to file lawsuits over property confiscated in Cuba in the past, had been continuously suspended by US presidential administrations since 1996 but Donald Trump moved to lift the suspension.

  • Published in Cuba
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