Cuban Miranda remains leader in FIDE Women´s American Zonal 2.3

With 5.5 points, Cuban WIM Yerisbel Miranda remains leader and will play today the eighth and penultimate round of the 2019 FIDE Women´s American Zonal 2.3 chess tournament.

Despite drawing with Cuban-born Costa Rican WIM Tania Hernandez, who ranks second with 5 points, Miranda will face today the other Cuban attending this contest, WGM Oleiny Linares, current Cuban national champion.

The latter now appears seventh with 4.5 units after beating Jamaican CM Rachel Miller.

The locals WIM Ingris Rivera and WGM Beatriz Irene Franco rank three and four, in that order, both with 5 units and according to the tiebreaker system used in this competition.

The 2019 FIDE Women´s American Zonal 2.3 is a 9-round Swiss tournament attended by 25 players and grants only one ticket to the 2020 World Cup.

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The 43rd World Olympiad opened with a spectacular show!

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The festive ceremony, which was held in Shekvetili, at the Black Sea Arena, was attended by the participants of the Olympiad, the presidents of FIDE and the 185 countries’ chess federations, the officials and supporters.

Approximately 1000 people worked on this massive event. As numerous guests mentioned, the show turned out to be really unforgettable.

The five-time World Champion, the eleven-time triumphant at Chess Olympiads, the goodwill ambassador of Batumi 2018 – Nona Gaprindashvili said: “Everything starts with the opening. I have attended a lot of Olympiads, but none of them had an opening similar to this. When I talked to our foreigner guests, they were all stunned and I am extremely proud as a Georgian and as a host! I’m overwhelmed with emotions! This show included everything: the history of chess, our region… Directors did a great job!”

The music for the Olympiad’s opening ceremony was created by Maestro Nikoloz Rachveli and DJ Kordzi. Nina Ananiashvili choreographed the ballet performance and the Sukhishvili ensemble presented a new dance, which was choreographed by Iliko Sukhishvili.

Batumi Georgia

The Opening Ceremony presented representatives from not only classical music, but also modern culture. Guests at the Black Sea Arena saw the performances of Nino Katamadze, Lado Ataneli, Liza Bagrationi, Giorgi Ushikishvili, Giorgi Tsagareli, Nika Kocharov and Young Georgian Lolitaz, the folk ensemble “Lashari”, the Adjara Capella, the Evgeni Mikeladze State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nikoloz Rachveli, the Iliko Sukhishvili and Nino Ramishvili Georgian National Ballet.

The text for the Opening Ceremony booklet was written by famous Georgian writer Aka Morchiladze.

Zaal Chikobava was the Stage Director for the opening ceremony, the Painter was Tamar Potskhishvili, Musical Director- Nikoloz Rachveli, Stage Choreographer – Iliko Sukhishvili.

Among the guests of the Black Sea Arena, were the President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia Mikheil Batiashvili, the Chairman of the Government of the AR Adjara Tornike Rizhvadze. Besides them, the FIDE Deputy President and presidential candidate Georgios Makropoulos made a speech.

The President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili announced: “I am pleased to welcome participants, athletes, coaches, guests, and supporters of the 43rd World Chess Olympiad!

Georgia and one of its most beautiful cities, Batumi are hosting the largest sports event - Chess Olympiad 2018. It would not be exaggerating to say that this Olympiad is a huge celebration not only for our chess players, but also for the entire country.

Georgia is well-known for its hospitality and I am sure that the Organizational Committee of the Olympiad, as well as the Chess Federation of Georgia will generously host this remarkable tournament.

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Chess has always been very popular in our country. We are deservedly proud of Georgian legendary champions: Ms. Nona Gaprindashvili and Ms. Maia Chiburdanidze are both five-time world champions, while Ms. Nana Alexandria is the two-time vice-world champion and six-time champion of the Chess Olympiad.

Overall, the chess queen crown has been kept in Georgia for 30 years! I wish Georgia would celebrate the world championship once again in the nearest future.

The Olympiad is a team contest; Georgian chess history has witnessed numerous triumphs: four Olympiads won under the Georgian flag, world championship, etc. I do understand that you feel extremely responsible while performing in front of your supporters, though the joy caused by your victory at home is also extremely overwhelming.

I would like to wish successful performance to Georgian women’s and men’s teams and pleasant days to guests, visiting Batumi and participants of the Olympiad.”

The Olympiad starts today, September 24, from 15:00. Tournament will end on October 5.

During the Olympiad, the World Chess Federation – FIDE and Continental Chess Association’s presidential elections will be held. FIDE has 3 presidential candidates: the Deputy President Georgios Makropoulos (Greece), Arkady Dvorkovich (Russia) and Nigel Short (England). FIDE’s presidential elections will be held on October 3.

The European Chess Union has an only presidential candidate - one of the leaders of the Organizing Committee of the 2018 World Chess Olympiad - Zurab Azmaiparashvili. He has been working at this position since 2014.

After the Olympiad ends, the winner of the Nona Gaprindashvili Cup will be chosen. This award was established by FIDE in 1997. Since the 1998 Chess Olympiad, the Nona Cup is awarded to the country’s federation, whichs teams of both men and women achieve the most points.

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Vaishali to be India's first visually impaired player at World Chess Olympiad

Blind chess player Vaishali Narendra Salavkar will become the first Indian female to be part of the International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) team at the world chess Olympiad, starting September 23 at Batumi in Georgia, a top IBCA official said.

The IBCA, affiliated to FIDE, sends its teams - open and women - to compete at the chess Olympiad. "Vaishali will be the first Indian blind chess player to participate in the World Chess Olympiad," IBCA President Jadhav Charudatta told IANS on phone from London on Saturday.

Charudatta is also the President of All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB). "Forty-five-year-old Vaishali from Maharashtra has been playing chess for the past 20-25 years. She is an eight-time national champion," AICFB Treasurer Swapnil Shah told IANS. Vaishali has an Elo rating of 1,357 points. An Elo rating is a system which calculates the skills of chess players. 

Shah said two Spanish women chess players were not able to play in the Olympiad and hence the chance came to Vaishali. As per the Olympiad official website, the other Indian female chess player who will be playing in the Olympiad is Malika Handa (ELO rating 1,334) as part of the International Chess Committee of Deaf (ICCD) team.

With these two players, the total number of Indian women chess players including the normal women`s team at the Batumi Olympiad will be seven. The Indian women`s chess Olympiad team consists of Koneru Humpy, Harika Dronavalli, Tania Sachdev, Karavade Esha, and Padmini Rout.

Meanwhile, Charudatta requested FIDE - the global chess body- to extend its cooperation in developing chess for the blind. "For instance, FIDE has specific programmes like chess in schools. It can be extended to blind school students. The blind school students could be allowed to attend the chess classes held in normal schools," Charudatta said.

He said the three chess federations for differently abled - IBCA, ICCD, and International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPDCA) - could first look forming a common platform to address the problems faced by their players.


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Cuba without GM Leinier Dominguez for World Olympiad

Cuban chess player and Grand Master Leinier Dominguez was temporarily dismissed from the Cuban national team to represent the island in the 43rd next edition of the World Olympiad in the city of Batumi, Georgia, from September 23 to October 6, 2018, said Cuban national chess commissioner Carlos Rivero here today.

'When he decides to come back to Cuba we will evaluate his reinsertion to the national team, starting from the established rules in the sport,' Rivero said in a press release by the Cuban National Chess Federation that was read and published during the official presentation of the 53rd edition of International Jose Raul Capablanca in Memoriam.

This will be the second consecutive year Dominguez is absent from the national team's list, since in 2017 he asked permission not to participate in Cuban tournaments for a non-specified period of time.

At that time the chess player born in Güines, 60 kilometers southeast of this capital, resided outside the country and worked as a commentator on the website Chess24.

The Adolfo Luque Hall of the Latin American Stadium was the place where the Elite Group to compete at the Capablanca International was revealed, led by US Grand Master (GM) Samuel Shankland, owner of the 70th place in the world ranking with .2671 Elo points.

Cuban GM Lazaro Bruzon, his Russian counterparts Alexey Dreev and Aleksandr Rakhmanov, Spanish David Anton, and the Venezuelan Eduardo Iturrizaga will also participate.

The tournament will begin on Tuesday, May 8, at the Embajadores Hall of the Habana Libre Hotel and will hold its first round the following day, starting at three o'clock in the afternoon.

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The king is back: Chess legend Garry Kasparov comes out of retirement

He was the "monster with 100 eyes, who sees all" whose painful defeat against IBM's Deep Blue computer heralded the end of human dominance over artificial intelligence.

Yet 20 years on Garry Kasparov is still considered the greatest chess player in history, a genius so special he became world champion at 22 and was then almost invincible for two decades.

Now, 12 years after he turned his back on the professional game, the king is back.

To the delight of fans, the 54-year-old Russian exile has announced he will return to competition next month.

Kasparov will appear at the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz tournament as one of four wildcard picks playing for a total prize fund of $150,000.

The event is part of the prestigious Grand Chess Tour, a "grand slam" set of tournaments that is bankrolled by UK billionaire Rex Sinquefield and seen as a rival to the events organised by Fide, the official world governing body.

Kasparov, whose nickname of "The Beast" was earned by his bullish behaviour, has previous form at challenging Fide.

In 1993, he led a split after an acrimonious dispute to form the Professional Chess Championship.

The PCA subsequently collapsed when computer chip maker Intel withdrew its sponsorship, although the parallel world championship limped on until 2006.

In 2014 Kasparov, with the backing of Sinquefield, launched an attempt to unseat eccentric Fide president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov which ended in failure.

But what matters most to fans is the series of mouth-watering old versus new clashes Kasparov's return sets up over the board.

While he will not face the current world's best, his former protégé Magnus Carlsen, Kasparov will take on Carlsen's Russian challenger Sergey Karjakin and two top Americans, Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana.

Kasparov has had outings in minor exhibition matches since retiring, but this time he is entering pa one of chess's elite level "grand slams".

"Ready to see if I remember how to move the pieces! Will I be able to announce my re-retirement afterward if not?!", he tweeted.

Held in America's official chess capital of Saint Louis, Missouri, the tournament pits the world's best against each other at tournaments in London, Paris and most recently in Leuven, Belgium.

Kasparov's epic duels with his predecessor, the 12th world champion Anatoly Karpov, made him a household name in the 80s, a decade when chess made headlines and the England team were number two in the world.

In 1993 he beat the Leigh-born Grandmaster Nigel Short in a breakaway world title match that was broadcast live on Channel 4.

It remains the only time an English Grandmaster has challenged for the title. But Kasparov is perhaps better known outside chess for the epic 1997 battle with an IBM computer that ended an era of human dominance, which is the subject of his recent book Deep Thinking.

IBM inflicted a narrow but psychologically crushing defeat on Kasparov, who later claimed the computer's programmers had the unfair advantage that he wasn't able to study its games beforehand.

Three years later Kasparov lost his world crown to the well-prepared Russian Vladimir Kramnik, who appeared to nullify Kasparov's attacking flair with a solid opening called the Berlin Defence.

In 2005, Kasparov retired from professional chess in tears after losing a game in Linares. It brought to an end a record 20 years as the world's top-ranked player.

At the time he said: "It is very difficult to quote one reason. But if I try I could tell you that, as you know, I am a man of big goals.

"I have to achieve something, I have to prove something, I have to be determined. But I no longer see any real goal in the world of chess."

Since then he has become a prolific author, human rights campaigner and a fierce critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin, himself a fan of the game.

Speaking yesterday, Kasparov said: "It's a thrill to officially be returning to the game, and certainly not something I would have anticipated more than a decade after my retirement.

"Coming back to the board in Saint Louis is truly an honour – I wouldn't want to commemorate this moment anywhere else."
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Cubans to participate in Chess World Cup

With the presence of 13 Latin American players, including five Cubans, it will be inaugurated on Thursday in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, the Chess World Cup, attended by 128 contestants.

The Cuban representatives will be the GMs Leinier Dominguez, Lazaro Bruzon, Yunieski Quesada, Isan Ortiz and debutant Ermes Espinosa.

Leinier, 25th in the world ranking with 2732 ELO points, will face in the first round tArgentine GM Federico Perez, who is the fourth player of his country with 2,563 ELO units.

In turn, the second Cuban player GM Lazaro Bruzon ( 2659), who appears 85th in the world rankings, will rival Santos Vidit, who ranks sixth in India (2651).

The GM Yunieski Quesada (2643) will have a tough opponent in the Russian Ernesto Inarkiev (2660), who is located in the 83rd seat of the world list.

Finally, the less experienced in the Cuban delegation, Isan Ortiz and Ermes Espinosa, will clash in the opening with the French Maxime Vachier Lagrave and Russian Sergey Karjakin respectively.

The Frenchman ranks 16th with 2,744 points while the Russian is12th with 2,762 units.

The other Latin Americans competing in the World Cup come from Brazil, Peru and Argentina, all with two players, and Venezuela and Chile , with one each.

The best of these players are the Peruvian GM Julio Ernesto Granda (2667) and Venezuelan Eduardo Iturrizaga, who will face Brazilian Alexander Fier and Israeli Maxim Rohstein in that order.

The top two players of this contest will earn tickets to the Candidates Tournament. The venue will be one of the newly built "Flame Towers ".

Each elimination round includes two games. In case of draw the players would play a tiebreaker match.

The first round will be played from September 11 to 13. The contest runs until October 4.

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World Team Chess Championship: First Round

The meetings of first round of the World Team Chess Championship took place today in Tsaghkadzor. The confrontations Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Armenia were central. Pavel Eljanov defeating Evgeny Tomashevsky gave his team a victory with the minimum score 2.5 : 1.5. The same score was in the match Israel-Armenia. Here the winning point was scored by Maxim Rodshtein who took advantage over Vladimir Akopian.

It seemed that the match USA-China would end in peace. But when the match score was 1.5 : 1.5 and the draw was predictable around the 1st board, Ding Liren took victory over Samuel Shankland and China took victory. In the match India-Egypt the favourites were found stronger and the Indians took victory with the score 3 : 1. The only in-draw was signed in the match Hungary - Cuba with the score 2 : 2.

In the second round will compete India - USA, Hungary - China, Russia - Cuba, Armenia - Ukraine, Egypt - Israel.

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