News for 2020

Latest News

  • Short news

    Malinin’s epilogue – 01 Dec 2020

    After Vasily Malinin (1956–2020), a scholar of law and GM from St. Petersburg, died, Chess-News.ru published a statement by him that alleges match-fixing when Sergey Karjakin scored his final GM norm to become the world’s youngest grandmaster at 12 years and 7 months. Nigel Short called this on twitter “an open secret for years”.

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    Wesley So spoils fun for Carlsen – 30 Nov 2020

    Magnus Carlsen lost the final of the inaugural event of the Champions Chess Tour on his thirtieth birthday. The reigning American champion Wesley So clinched their closely fought match in the blitz tiebreak with 5,5:4,5. The Skilling Open started the second tour run by Play Magnus and hosted by chess24. So wins $30,000 and a place in the Grand Final.

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    Español, français, deutsch – 30 Nov 2020

    ChessTech 2020 introduces conference sessions in three other languages than English. Spanish-speakers will meet on Saturday at 14–16 GMT, French-speakers on Saturday at 16–18 GMT and German-speakers on Sunday at 14–17 GMT.

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    Brazilian conference documented – 30 Nov 2020

    The Second Meeting of Investigators of Chess was run online last week by the Chess Federation and the Federal Institute of the Brazilian state Paraná. Links to presentations in English, Spanish and Portuguese can be found here.

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    Poor air quality causes errors – 30 Nov 2020

    The economists Steffen Künn, Juan Palacios and Nico Pestel measured the indoor air quality at different otb tournaments in Germany and analysed the games played there. They found a significant increase of errors in poor air quality.

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    AI to predict human moves – 29 Nov 2020

    Maia Chess is learning from games between humans to predict moves by human players relative to their rating. Predicting situations where humans error is the main goal behind this joint project of the University of Toronto, Cornell University and Microsoft Research, but it can potentially make a big difference to the statistical evidence tools to detect cheaters. Maia Chess will present at ChessTech 2020.

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    Dutch federation magazine goes online – 28 Nov 2020

    Schaak, the bimonthly member magazine of the Dutch Chess Federation, will publish only one more print edition and from early 2021 go online with a new concept.

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    Gold bar for first Swiss GM under 20 – 27 Nov 2020

    The Swiss Youth Chess Foundation will award a kilo of gold, currently worth €48,000, for the first Swiss to become GM before his or her 20th birthday. The first girl from Switzerland to get the WGM title will be awarded with 500 gramm in gold. The award will be available until 2030.

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    ChessTech 2020 programme announced – 27 Nov 2020

    The ChessTech 2020 online conference will feature more than thirty sessions and about hundred expert speakers and discussants. The programme for Saturday, 5 December, is announced. The Sunday programme is about to follow.

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    Isle of Man to join FIDE – 25 Nov 2020

    The Isle of Man is going to be the 189th territory to join FIDE at its General Assembly on 6 December. The Isle of Man is the venue of the Grand Swiss qualifiers for the next world championship cycle in October 2021 and residence of its sponsor and Chess.com-investor Mark Scheinberg.

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    Rogozenco leaves – 24 Nov 2020

    The German Chess Federation has dissolved the contract of national coach GM Dorian Rogozenco after seven years in reaction to a joint boycott by 12 national team players. He will not be replaced for the time being, since the players prefer to hire different top GMs for training sessions and during major team events.

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    Rockefeller donates 3 million – 24 Nov 2020

    US Chess receives the biggest ever donation in its 81-year history by John D. Rockefeller V., who has been serving as Scholastic Director of the Maryland Chess Federation since 2010. The $ 3 million will sustain competitions and scholastic chess programmes.

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    62 million households saw Queen’s Gambit – 23 Nov 2020

    The miniseries about an orphan chess prodigy in the 1950s and 1960s set a record for Netflix with 62 million households seeing it within four weeks. The series was the most watched Netflix series at some point in 63 countries. 37 years after its release, the novel by Walter Tevis, on which it is based, has reached the New York Times Bestseller list. Meanwhile new registrants drive chess platforms to new peaks. A few days after Lichess reported its first 100,000 players at the same time, Chess.com shared on Sunday that it was sure to have more than 3 million unique users within the day. Chess sets are selling at speeds unheard of since 1972.

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    Wave of resignations hits German federation – 23 Nov 2020

    12 German players have resigned from the national team after the German Chess Federation ignored their demand to fire national coach Dorian Rogozenco because of alleged rudeness, favouritism and ignoring agreements. The voluntary sport director and the captain of the women’s team had annouced their retirement before. Rogozenco started the job in 2014 on a 50% basis and became full-time national coach later on. “He couldn’t help the men’s team, but we would not oppose him if he hadn’t started to create problems. After all, since 2011 the federation hires an actual help for the yearly team competition“, said Georg Meier. He had been involved in an earlier player boycott at the Chess Olympiad 2010, after which the federation doubled the fees for the players and hired Rustam Kazimdzhanov as a temporary coach for the European Team Championship 2011, which Germany won.

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    Champions Chess Tour starts – 23 Nov 2020

    Play Magnus has announced the dates for the Champions Chess Tour. It starts with the Skilling Open (22–30 Nov 2020). Since there is no Rapid and Blitz World Championship after christmas, the first Major with a $200,000 prize-fund will take place between 26 December and 3 January, followed by 6–14 February (Regular $100,000 prizefund), 13–21 March (Major), 24 April – 2 May (Regular), 22–30 May (Regular), 26 June – 4 July (Major), 31 July – 8 August (Regular), 28 August – 5 September (Regular) and 25 September – 3 October the Final with a $300,000 prize-fund.

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    Sagar Shah joins Champions Chess Tour – 23 Nov 2020

    ChessBase India founder and director Sagar Shah and his wife Amruta Mokal have been hired by Play Magnus to run a special broadcast for the Indian market. The Champions Chess Tour that started on Sunday with a mouse slip by Magnus Carlsen that costed him the full game against Ian Nepomniachtchi, comes with many more appointments and broadcasts in different languages on chess24 and other platforms. A TV studio has been installed in Oslo that produces the main show in English presented by Sport Director Kaja Snare together with David Howell and Jovanka Houska. Chessable runs its own broadcast hosted by Simon Williams.

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    iChess acquired by Play Magnus – 18 Nov 2020

    The US chess video publisher iChess becomes part of the Play Magnus Group for an undisclosed sum. A library of 1000+ instructional videos in English and Spanish, strengths in search engine optimization and online marketing and an annual $ 800,000 turnover are cited as motives. Gerald Tan has been appointed by Play Magnus as Chief Product Officer. Felipe Longé stays on board as Head of Product and Engineering. The first quarterly report since going public six weeks ago quotes for the first nine months of 2020 revenues of $ 4,952,265 and losses of $ 2,862,160. Biggest shareholders are with 9,5% each the personal company of Magnus Carlsen and LT Holdings, owned by chess24 founders Enrique Guzman and Jan Gustafsson, followed by Morgan Stanley with 8,8%. Recently, a shareholder meeting enabled the board to buy back up to 10% of the shares on behalf of the company.

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    Three weeks on top of Netflix charts – 18 Nov 2020

    The Queen’s Gambit is the worldwide top-listed Netflix series since three weeks. During the last weeks chess teachers report a surge in new clients and online platforms a surge in new registrants, up to five times as many as during prior weeks. The surprise hit about a young woman prodigy between chess and addiction in the 1960s topped the list in more than thirty countries at some point, but is now about to be overtaken by the longer running series The Crown. Both series are far ahead of all others.

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    Dragon plays Nakamura two pawns down – 17 Nov 2020

    The newly released hybrid programme Komodo Dragon is playing a handicap exhibition match against Hikaru Nakamura. At 15 minutes / game + 10 seconds / move the American grandmaster will start all eight games with two pawns more and will stream the match this Wednesday and Thursday from 22 GMT on his Twitch channel.

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    Kasparov ahead of Carlsen in chess24 Hall of Fame – 17 Nov 2020

    Peter Heine Nielsen and Jan Gustafsson presented their top 50 players from chess history in reverse order. Before revealing their top three did a poll on twitter between Magnus Carlsen and Garry Kasparov. Even though the current world champion won that poll by 56% : 44%, Nielsen and Gustafsson put his predecessor and short-time coach on top of the chess24 Hall of Fame ahead of Carlsen, who they are both working for. Third came Bobby Fischer, fourth Emanuel Lasker, fifth Alexander Alekhine. The full video is available for premium subscribers.

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    Seirawan’s company was first – 17 Nov 2020

    When Play Magnus went public in October, we claimed it was a first for a chess company. Now we have learned that International Chess Enterprises, founded by grandmaster Yasser Seirawan, was listed on the Vancouver Stock Exchange in 1989. It was later renamed to Masterpiece Games and then to Grand Master Technologies. Major shareholders besides CEO Seirawan were Faneuil Adams and Duncan Suttles, also a GM. It was a “penny stock” that traded above C$ 6 at its peak. Since the scandal-ridden Vancouver Stock Exchange was closed in 1999, the stock was moved to the Toronto Stock Exchange, where it was unlisted when the company was sold (and Seirawan retired) in 2003.

  • Short news

    First hybrid open canceled – 16 Nov 2020

    The Barcelona World e-open tournament cannot take place in the end of November because of lockdowns in several countries where arbiter supervised tournament halls were planned. With regard to the unclear Covid19 situation the sponsoring Catalan Chess Federation does not yet announce a new date.

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    Three candidates bid to run French federation – 14 Nov 2020

    Joel Gautier, a lawyer, has joined the race to run the French Chess Federation. His list includes former supporters of President GM Bachar Kouatly, who seeks reelection. The third candidate is GM Eloi Relange who started his campaign in spring. The election has been postponed repeatedly due to Covid 19 and is now scheduled for 3 April 2021.

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    Strongest Swiss system event ever – 13 Nov 2020

    While the next world championship has been rescheduled to November 2021, two participants of the candidates tournament of the following cycle will already be decided earlier between 25 October and 8 November 2021 at the Grand Swiss on the Isle of Man. The first 100 of the world ranking list plus nine FIDE nominees and five organiser wildcards will be invited. If the pandemic will be over by then and even if a few invitees decline, it will almost certainly be the strongest Swiss system tournament ever. In line with its policy to rebuild the women’s world championship following the men’s model, FIDE also announced a Women’s Grand Swiss to be held in parallel with the first 40 female players of the world ranking list, seven FIDE nominees and three organiser wildcards. The prize-funds are $425,000 resp. $125,000.

  • Short news

    Champions Tour with unified system, shorter events – 12 Nov 2020

    chess24 has published details of the Champions Chess Tour it hosts, starting on 22 November with the Skilling Open. All ten tournaments will be held over nine days without rest days. The six regular tournaments (each with $100,000 in prizes) and three major tournaments (each with $200,000 in prizes) will start with a round robin and the first eight players proceeding to k.o.-matches. K.o.-matches will be two one-day-matches with blitz and armaggedon only if the players traded match wins or both matches ended in ties. The final will be a ten player round robin in September 2021 ($300,000 in prizes), and the qualified players bring in points depending on their prior results.

  • Short news

    Chesskid to hire event manager – 11 Nov 2020

    Chesskid is looking for an event manager and arbiter with otb and online experience to work remotely. The educational subsidiary of Chess.com will be present at the ChessTech 2020 conference, where there will be sessions on online arbitration, tournament administration, anti-cheating and new online formats.

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    Madwoman’s Book Club launches – 11 Nov 2020

    This Friday will be the first online meeting of the Madwoman’s Book Club with Jennifer Shahade and Adia Onyango from USChess. When the queen became the most powerful piece five centuries ago, new chess was sometimes refered to as the “madwoman’s game”. Initiatives like this will be discussed in the ChessTech 2020 conference session Online projects for girls and women.

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    Dvorkovich joins esport commission – 11 Nov 2020

    FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich is one of six founding members of a Global Commission for Tolerance in Esports and Gaming, that was formed ahead of the inaugural Tolerance Esports Games this Friday and Saturday, sponsored by the UAE. Apart from DOTA 2, Hearthstone and eFootball PES 2021 there will be an online chess tournament hosted on Chess.com.

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    Audience award for chess documentary – 11 Nov 2020

    “Glory to the queen”, a documentary about the four Georgians who once dominated women’s chess, has won the audience award at the Slobodna Zone film festival in Serbia. The first preview of the Austrian-Georgian-Serbian coproduction was shown at the London Chess Conference 2019.

  • Short news

    DGT boards can be used on Lichess – 10 Nov 2020

    The electronic chess boards of DGT are now compatible with on Lichess, allowing to play or analyse with board and pieces rather than screen and mouse or touchpad.

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    ACP proposes World Open Circuit as part of the cycle – 09 Nov 2020

    The Association of Chess Players has published a proposal to FIDE to award 20 places in the Worldcup to qualifiers from a World Open Circuit of open tournaments that could be created out of the ACP Tour system. This is meant to integrate more players into the world championship cycle and to diminish a widening gap between the elite and the mass of chess professionals.

  • Short news

    Eurosport deal boosts Play Magnus share – 09 Nov 2020

    Eurosport, an international sport network belonging to US-owned Discovery, will broadcast the new Champions Chess Tour live to subscribers in more than fifty countries. Highlights from all ten tournaments will be shown on Eurosport 1, Eurosport Asia and Eurosport India in prime time and on the following day. This doesn’t apply to Norway, where NRK and TV2 share the rights and will take turns in primetime broadcasting the online tournament series. Eurosport will also feature the tour on its social media. Even though the announcement doesn’t mention any direct revenues for tour organiser Play Magnus, its share price at the Oslo stock exchange hiked by 15%. Eurosport has earlier provided distribution services to the former world championship organiser WorldChess in 2018 and 2019.

  • Short news

    Iranian federation could face suspension from FIDE – 07 Nov 2020

    Nigel Short and Malcolm Pein have submitted to the FIDE General Assembly on 6 December a resolution to expel the Iranian Chess Federation after the next General Assembly in August 2021, if in the meantime it fails to calls its players to play against everyone they are paired with, or if one of their players once again boycotts a player. This has happened regularly when players representing Iran were paired with players from Israel. Israel is not explicitly mentioned in the resolution but in the appendix. More background on chess24.

  • Short news

    Chess.com apologizes to falsely accused – 07 Nov 2020

    Julio Palencia, a chess teacher from Guatemala, had been suspected of cheating by Levy Rozman and Hikaru Nakamura while they were streaming a simul. This was noticed by a Chess.com moderator who forced Palencia to abandon the simul game just before he could checkmate Nakamura. The moderator had not consulted the fair play team, which later on cleared Palencia from the accusation after he complained in a blog post. He has been offered apologies by Chess.com, free premium membership, and the game score has been corrected.

  • Short news

    Grandmasters to vote Athletes Commission – 06 Nov 2020

    FIDE has announced a new Athletes Commission: 5 from 15 members will be nominated by the FIDE Council. 10 will be voted by GMs and WGMs by email between 11 and 18 December. Candidates need endorsement from their national federation and to have participated in one of the last three world championship cycles.

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    Invitational honours Razuvaev – 05 Nov 2020

    The 75th birthday of coach and grandmaster Yuri Razuvaev (1945–2021) is celebrated this Thursday and Friday with an invitational on Chess.com that features former students like Kramnik, Gelfand, Lautier and Nepomniachtchi. Karpov is missing, but Alexandra Kosteniuk is streaming. A planned otb event in Razuvaev’s memory had to be canceled in spring.

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    Candidates may be completed as hybrid – 05 Nov 2020

    In an interview with the sports website of the Russian news agency RIA FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich said that the second half of the interrupted Candidates tournament may be completed with participants in different venues playing online under supervision of arbiters, if the global pandemic situation doesn’t allow all eight players to travel and meet in the same place safely. He also said that there are no bidders yet for the Chess Olympiad 2022 and that Russia may run two Chess Olympiads in a row.

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    Chess promoted at schools ahead of Paris Olympics – 05 Nov 2020

    The French Chess Federation partners with USEP, the national organisation for sport in primary schools, to launch chess as an educational tool in schools around Paris ahead of the Olympic Summer Games 2024 and on the Génération2024 website.

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    Inactivity treshold doubled – 03 Nov 2020

    When a player is more than 12 months without a rated game, the FIDE list will usually put him or her on “inactive” outside of the published list. This treshold has now been doubled to 24 months and already applied for the November rating list. The modification shall be reverted when regular tournament picks up after the pandemic.

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    Online broker Skilling sponsors Carlsen and tour – 03 Nov 2020

    Skilling, an online broker and fintech company with Scandinavian roots and offices in Cyprus, Malta and Spain, has announced Magnus Carlsen as global brand ambassador. It is title sponsor of the first tournament of the rebranded Champions Chess Tour, run by Play Magnus and presented by chess24, that will start on 22 November. This $1,5 million online series with participation of “all the top players in the world” comprises six regular and three major tournaments and one final in September 2021. Full audience access won’t be free of charge as during the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour earlier this year, with single event tickets now starting at €10,99, Premium subscriptions and VIP passes. A basic version will stay free, and other sites will also be able to transmit the tour.

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    Otb chess canceled in most of Europe – 02 Nov 2020

    A second lockdown has brought over-the-board tournaments and leagues in most of Europe to a halt until at least the end of November. A notable exception is the invitational Tegernsee Masters held near Munich which started under special provisions on Saturday. One participant had to leave after round one, because he had been with an infected classmate a few days earlier.

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    Analysis of chess data suggests cognitive progress – 02 Nov 2020

    In a PNAS paper by three economists, moves from 24,000 professional games played between 1890 and 2014 were compared with Stockfish choices to indicate how cognitive intelligence develops over life-time and over generations.

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    Playing with a different type of mask – 02 Nov 2020

    To celebrate Halloween chess24 staged an online invitational of 16 titled players, who wore scary full-face masks and only revealed their identity, when the k.o.-event ended for them. Gravedigger alias Peter Svidler won.

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    Politics expert to direct Norwegian Federation – 02 Nov 2020

    When Geir Nesheim retires as general secretary of the Norwegian Chess Federation on 1 February 2021, he will be followed by Eirik Natlandsmyr, a politics graduate who was national spokesperson for conscripted soldiers and worked for the liberal party Venstre and the NGO Care.

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    Wesley So wins US online championship – 30 Oct 2020

    Three weeks of US Championships held by the Saint Louis Chess Club online on Lichess at 25 minutes per game plus 5 seconds per move instead of classical time control and more than 330,000 USD in prize money came to an end with Wesley So winning the men’s (or Open) championship with 9 out of 11.

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    Athletes Commission to be introduced by FIDE – 30 Oct 2020

    The introduction of a new commission to represent the players will probably be decided at the FIDE General Assembly on 6 December. FIDE International Director Mohamad Al-Mohdiahki will discuss this initiative at our online debate next Tuesday (03 Nov 2020). The representation of athletes in sports federations is promoted by the IOC.

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    Former European U16 champion banned for cheating – 30 Oct 2020

    Patrycja Waszczuk, a Polish junior and European Girls U16 champion of 2019, had been suspected of cheating by her colleagues for more than 18 months. She was finally caught in August during an Open. She has now been banned for two years from FIDE rated competitions. Her father insists on her innocence and is preparing to fight the ban in a Polish court.

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    New sports director at Play Magnus – 26 Oct 2020

    The Norwegian sport reporter and moderator Kaja Snare has been appointed as Sport Director by Play Magnus. She will direct the international broadcasts and be host of the second Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour, that will start in November and that the two main Norwegian channels NRK and TV2 will take turns to transmit. Snare worked for both in the past as well as for Viasat, Nettavisen and during the 2016 world championship for Worldchess.

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    Three refuseniks in Minsk – 24 Oct 2020

    The Championship of Belarus was completed with seven participants instead of ten. Three qualified players refused to accept politically motivated restrictions that were put up before the tournament like not talking to the press without permission. The top rated Vladislav Kovalev dropped out just hours before the first round and was defaulted in all games.

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    Kasparov and Pandolfini consulted – 23 Oct 2020

    Chess in movies and TV series is notoriously misrepresented. The miniseries “The Queen’s Gambit”, that is released by Netflix today, gets it all right according to Chess.com. Among the chess experts that consulted are Garry Kasparov and Bruce Pandolfini, a legendary New York coach, who wrote about it for US Chess magazine Chess Life.

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    School chess survey – 23 Oct 2020

    A joint group by FIDE and ECU is conducting a survey on chess in education. Key experts from federations and school chess providers are called to contribute answers and data from their country.

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    World Youth announced – 22 Oct 2020

    Online World Championships from U10 to U18, boys and girls, have been announced by FIDE with continental qualifiers starting in the end of November and Tornelo as hosting platform.

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    Participation gap doesn’t explain performance gap – 21 Oct 2020

    When cognitive scientist Wei Ji Ma recently claimed that the lower performance of women could be fully explained by their lower participation rate in competitive chess based on an analysis of rating data of Indian players, it was a hit on Twitter. Computer scientist José Camacho Collados has applied the same analysis on ratings from 20 countries and found that India was an outlier, while in 18 countries the performance gap is significantly bigger than expected based on the percentage of female players.

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    Up-to-date overview on benefits of chess – 21 Oct 2020

    Healthline, a US publisher that aggregates quality health information, lists ten benefits of chess and references each with recent research. Among the cognitive benefits improved through the game are intelligence, empathy, memory, creative abilities, planning and problem-solving skills.

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    Carlsen accepts Chess.com invite – 20 Oct 2020

    The world champion and major shareholder of the Play Magnus Group has moved on and makes a comeback on the rival platform Chess.com in their Speed Chess Championship series of three-hour-long k.o.-matches that that will run from 1 November to 13 December. Nine invited world class players are joined by a bunch of young qualifiers with the last spot to be decided next Sunday.

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    Low time alarm triggers blunders – 20 Oct 2020

    An analysis of 68 million online games played on Lichess, published on GitHub by an unnamed Physics student, found that blunder rates, i.e. moves that drop your evaluation by 2 points, jump significantly at the moment when the low-on-time warning sounds, that is with 20 seconds to go in a 3 minute game, or with 60 seconds during a 10 minute game.

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    Grischuk has conditions – 20 Oct 2020

    Alexander Grischuk clarified in the Russian press his conditions for playing the second half of the Candidates tournament, picked up in an article on chess24: The Russian grandmaster will refuse to wear a mask at the board, to stay in a "bubble" he is not allowed to leave, and to undergo quarantine before or after the competition. He wonders how FIDE can possibly satisfy his conditions when other participants, like Wang Hao, ask for utmost security.

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    Premium Chess runs championships for pupils – 20 Oct 2020

    The Italian platform Premium Chess owned by Carlo Stellati hosts the first online chess championship of the International School Sports Federation ISF. The Belgium-based organisation that promotes competitions for pupils between 13 and 18 held an otb championship in 2019 in Armenia. Since presence events are now impossible during the pandemic, the ISF has discovered online chess and just recently signed a partnership with FIDE.

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    Anonymous and quick – 17 Oct 2020

    It only takes two minutes to anonymously share your experience with online cheating in this online questionnaire by David Smerdon from the University of Queensland. The Australian grandmaster is conducting research on the number one topic in online chess.

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    To be continued (in spring) – 16 Oct 2020

    The Candidates tournaments second half cannot take place as planned in Yekaterinburg or Tbilisi in November but is postponed to spring 2021. According to the press release two players didn’t have clearance from their countries to travel. The new date and venue will be announced by FIDE at least two months in advance.

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    Interviewed by Judit Polgar – 16 Oct 2020

    Videos from the 2020 online edition of the Global Chess Festival are now available on Judit Polgar’s youtube channel, eg. interviews with Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Simen Agdestein, John Nunn and Jan Timman.

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    9th title for Stockfish – 15 Oct 2020

    The final of the unofficial computer world championship TCEC 19th season has a winner: Stockfish, now a hybrid programme that combines neural networks with a classical engine, leads against the neural network based Leela by 50,5:42,5 and is about to win its 9th title with a similar margin as in the 18th season (53,5:46,5).

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    Quarantine league rebrands as Lichess Bundesliga – 15 Oct 2020

    What started on 15 March on initiative of Jens Hirneise, the editor of the German chess magazine Rochade, with online blitz matches on Lichess every Thursday and Sunday evening between improvised teams from Germany has since become an international competition. The league is now rebranded as Lichess Bundesliga.

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    World Blitz and Rapid canceled – 15 Oct 2020

    2020 won’t see a World Rapid and Blitz Championship. FIDE says it is trying to make it happen in spring.

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    Halma meets chess in new app – 14 Oct 2020

    Revolution Chess is the name of a new app that adds a fancy animation to a variant where the pieces are starting out from the corners. The PR highlights that author Jesse Shaw is a furniture designer from Boston.

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    London chess festival goes outdoor in summer 2021 – 14 Oct 2020

    The cancelation of the London Chess Classic in December 2020 is finally confirmed with the announcement of an outdoor chess festival in summer 2021. The London Chess Conference on 5 and 6 December will go through online.

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    Bianca de Jong-Muhren to lead Dutch federation – 14 Oct 2020

    The board of the Royal Dutch Chess Federation has selected WGM Bianca de Jong-Muhren to become the new chairwoman. At the general assembly on 28 November, the 34-year-old clinic manager will follow Marleen van Amerongen who steps down because of her cancer treatment.

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    Igor Rausis harassed at unrated event – 12 Oct 2020

    The Latvian, who was stripped of his GM title and banned from rated chess events for six years after being caught and photographed while cheating on a toilet during a game in Strasbourg in July 2019, left an ongoing rapid event in the small Latvian town Valka after players protested against his participation. He was entitled to play because the tournament wasn’t FIDE-rated. In an interview with Chess.com he revealed why he changed his name to Isa Kasimi and that he has been a cancer patient since 2003 and is undergoing chemotherapy.

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    Gibraltar festival canceled – 12 Oct 2020

    The first cancelation of a major chess event in 2021 due to the pandemic comes from the Gibraltar International Chess Festival. It shall return in January 2022.

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    Carlsens unbeaten streak lasted 125 games – 11 Oct 2020

    With a loss inflicted by Jan-Krzysztof Duda at the Altibox Norway Chess tournament ended the world champion’s record 125 games without a loss at long time control. Carlsen remained unbeaten for two years, two months and ten days.

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    Afro-Americans star on World Chess Day – 09 Oct 2020

    To celebrate World Chess Day this Saturday, Hennessy V.S. and Chess.com present a show match between hip-hoppers Wu Tang Clan and Maurice Ashley. The first African-American to get the GM title is the face of a chess-themed campaign by the spirit producer. He is constantly misrepresented by the partners and in all media as the first ever black grandmaster. That honour really belongs to Román Hernández Onna from Cuba who became a grandmaster 21 years earlier than Ashley.

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    Fair play analyst wanted – 08 Oct 2020

    Chess.com is hiring a chess expert with a statistics degree or equivalent experience to join their Fair Play team in the hunt of cheaters. Find more openings on our jobs page.

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    Building up corporate chess – 06 Oct 2020

    15 companies participated in the first European Corporate Chess Championship held by the ECU on Tornelo, after the otb edition in Rotterdam in June had to be canceled. The first World Corporate Chess Championship, originally planned in Barcelona, has also moved online to 27–29 November. FIDE teams up with the Play Magnus group that not only brings in chess24 for play but also offers its apps and special training events on CoChess in preparation of the event.

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    New leader at Swedish Federation – 06 Oct 2020

    Håkan Jalling, a marketing executive, has been elected as President of the Swedish Chess Federation at its first online congress. He embraces the hybridisation of otb and online chess as the way forward.

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    First chess database used stereo cassettes – 05 Oct 2020

    Chessbase co-founder Frederic Friedel, who recently turned 75, recollected on video the story of the first commercially available chess database. It was part of a chess computer named “Intelligent Chess” and developed by him and David Levy. It hit department stores in 1980. This machine displayed games that were stored on compact cassettes as usually used for music. Stereo cassettes had two channels, one was used to store the moves and the other for voice annotations. It took several more years until searchable databases for personal computers changed chess training forever.

    (YouTube)

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    Foreign participants quarantined at Stavanger – 04 Oct 2020

    The Altibox Norway Chess, the first otb tournament of the world champion since the pandemic, has reduced its usual ten players to a field of six who will compete in a double round robin from Monday. All have been tested for Covid-19 twice, all negatively. Unlike the Norwegians Magnus Carlsen and Aryan Tari the four foreign competitors Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian, Alireza Firouzia, Jan-Krysztof Duda, who replaced Giri, and the foreign tournament staff have also been quarantined at the tournament hotel since ten days before the start. With the tables also a bit broader than usual, no masks will be required during the games. Tournament host chess24 describes all safety measures.

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    Digital club nights awarded – 03 Oct 2020

    The online chess nights each Thursday of Tempelhofer SV Mariendorf, a Berlin club, have won the “Schach dem Virus” award of the German Chess Federation for the best online project by a chess club. The mix of Chess.com, Whatsapp, TeamViewer, Skype, Jitsi and Zoom has convinced the jury.

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    Petrosian banned, Armenia Eagles disqualified – 02 Oct 2020

    Tigran Petrosian has been found violating fairplay rules by Chess.com’s anti-cheating crew both in the semifinal and final of the PRO Chess League last week-end. The hosting platform and the league have banned the Armenian grandmaster for life. The league has also disqualified his team, the Armenia Eagles, and stripped them off their prize money. The $20,000 first prize is passed on to the Saint Louis Arch Bishops, while the semifinalists China Pandas and Canada Chessbrahs each receive an extra $5,000. The semifinals and finals are normally held as a live event but were played online this year due to the pandemic. Update: Petrosian denies the allegations about which he learned from his team manager just before Chess.com went public. “I am playing internet chess for 20 years on 15 websites and always play fair”, Petrosian told ChessTech. He played the semifinals and finals from a friend’s office with strong internet connections complying with the requirements to share his screen and have his webcam on from 30 minutes before each game to its end. Reddit has translated a press conference by Petrosian and his team manager.

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    Kasparov, Kramnik and Leguizamo join – 02 Oct 2020

    Judit Polgar and her team have added more highlights to the Global Chess Festival on Saturday 10 October: Talks with world champions Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik and actor-director Joe Leguizamo whose chess movie Critical Thinking has just been released in the US. Further lectures, exhibitions, learning and playing activities will be accessible freely online for all who register thanks to sponsor Morgan Stanley. The investment bank is celebrating its 85th birthday with an online chess tournament among 85 employees from its offices worldwide.

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    Biggest chess investment ever – 02 Oct 2020

    The first placement of Play Magnus AS shares, that was reserved to institutional investors, went so successfully, that the group has increased its goal from € 36 million to € 40 million ahead of the second open placement, making it the biggest chess investment ever. The first day of trading on the Merkus segment of the Oslo stock exchange is expected to be 8 October.

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    Asian Nations Cup held online – 01 Oct 2020

    An online competition for national teams from Asia with $ 20,000 in prizes will be launched on Chess.com from 10 to 25 October. Registration is still open. The Asian Team Championship has been an irregular event in the past, while the popular Asian Cities Championship has fallen victim to the pandemic.

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    “Complete CHESS Swindler” ECF book of the year – 30 Sep 2020

    The jurors of the English Chess Federation have picked “The Complete CHESS SWINDLER”, published by New in Chess, as book of the year. Its author David Smerdon, a grandmaster and behavioral economist at the University of Queensland, explains what knowledge and psychological resources are required to save lost positions or turn them around.

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    FM Prymula appointed health minister – 30 Sep 2020

    Roman Prymula, an epidemiologist, vaccination expert, former hospital director and FIDE master without political affiliation, has been appointed by the Czech government as minister of health, after priorily heading the Central Crisis Staff to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. Chess players that held government positions in the last years include WGM Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Minister of Economy resp. Minister of Finance in Latvia, WGM Alisa Maric, Minister of Youth and Sport in Serbia, and GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili, Deputy Minister of Sports and Youth in Georgia.

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    Photo competition for exhibition in Porto – 29 Sep 2020

    The renowned architect Eduardo Souto de Moura heads the jury of a photo competition to celebrate the 80th anniversary of Grupo de Xadrez do Porto with a public exhibition in November. Any photo connected with chess that was not published in any prior competition can be entered until 19 October to grupoxadrezporto@gmail.com by means of wetransfer.

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    Armenia Eagles clinch PRO Chess League – 28 Sep 2020

    The huge rating favourite Saint Louis Archbishops succumbed in the final of the PRO Chess League by 6,5:9,5 to the Armenia Eagles. Parham Maghsoodloo, Haik Matirosyan, Tigran Petrosian and Raunak Sadhwani shared the $20,000 winning prize. Curiously, Maghsoodloo and Matirsyan face each other as opponents on the very next day in the Junior Speed Chess Championship that is also held by Chess.com.

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    So and Le qualify for Carlsen Tour – 27 Sep 2020

    Magnus Carlsen faces Wesley So in the final of the Banter Blitz Series on chess24 this Tuesday at 20 CEST (6 pm UCT). Both shared the first place at their last tournament, the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz. This time the $12,000 top prize is not for sharing. Apart from So, also Liem Quan Le has secured a spot in the second Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour that will start in November.

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    Grants for women-led chess projects – 24 Sep 2020

    Walter Rädler, a German chess philanthropist, offers up to ten grants of € 500 each for chess projects and clubs led by women in German-speaking areas. The grants cannot be used to pay staff or promote competitive chess.

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    Survey on social situation during pandemic – 24 Sep 2020

    The Association of Chess Professionals is inviting everyone whose income depends at least partially on chess to participate in a survey on their social situation during the pandemic and to collect suggestions for improvement.

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    Play Magnus about to go public – 24 Sep 2020

    The Play Magnus Group has applied to the Merkur Market of the Oslo stock exchange and is expected to be listed within two weeks. The company that merged with chess24 and acquired Chessable in 2019 is reporting organic growth of 120% within the first half of 2020 alone and more than € 6 million revenues over the last 12 months. It estimates its value at € 72 million before the public offering. Six months ago Play Magnus raised € 12 million from Norwegian and Swiss investors and intends to raise a further € 36 million now from Luxor Capital, DNB Capital Management, TIN Fond, TD Veen and other investors. Shareholder Magnus Carlsen is quoted: “The company has a unique vision and strategy for bringing chess to a wider audience. Our model will help many more chess players and coaches to be able to make a living from chess.“

  • Short news

    PRO Chess League finals held online – 23 Sep 2020

    The Saint Louis Arch Bishops, equivalent with the US national team, and the China Pandas, basically China’s top players, face each other in the semifinal of the PRO Chess League this Friday on Chess.com. The winner will compete in the final on Sunday against the winner of the match Armenia Eagles – Canada Chessbrahs. $40,000 prize money is divided between these four teams. Each team has four players that will face each player of the opposite team at 10 minutes + 2 seconds per move. The final playoffs of this fourth season were meant to be held live in front of a crowd at an event called Chess Party near Oslo. This event was canceled due to Covid-19. Meanwhile Chess Party 2021 has been announced for 26 – 30 May.

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    Seven variants added on Chess.com – 23 Sep 2020

    Chess.com users can now play seven new variants including no-castling chess, as promoted by former world champion Vladimir Kramnik, or capture-all chess, which allows moves that capture a piece of your own, or blindfold, where you click the start and end square of a move on an empty board that doesn’t display the pieces.

  • Short news

    Enrique Irazoqui (1944–2020) – 21 Sep 2020

    After his retirement as a professor of literature, Enrique Irazoqui wrote about computer chess and organized computer tournaments in Cadaqués, Spain, and supervised among other events the “Brains in Bahrain” match between Kramnik and Deep Fritz in 2003. He died last Wednesday in Barcelona.

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    European youth event validates hybrid concept – 21 Sep 2020

    The Russian Federation won both the male and female team ranking and claimed 13 medals altogether at the first European Online Youth Championship. It was a hybrid event with participants from each country required to come together in the same place. No cheating was detected. While the team standings weren’t transparent during the competition, other aspects of the presentation on Tornelo looked attractive. The same platform will be used by the ECU for the European Corporate Championship in two weeks.

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    14th German title for Baden-Baden – 21 Sep 2020

    The interim Bundesliga tournament, facilitated by chess24, was won by the favourite OSG Baden-Baden after a nerve-wrecking 4,5:3,5 against SV Viernheim in the final round. Both teams had won all their earlier matches. Nearly fifty grandmasters competed in Karlsruhe. The players were not required to wear masks at the board thanks to plexiglass separators, which had one downside though: Making a move on the opposite side of the board through the gap above the pieces was tricky and time-consuming.

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    Carlsen and So share victory – 20 Sep 2020

    The Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz ended in a tie between Wesley So, who had dominated the rapid part, and Magnus Carlsen, who was superior in the blitz. The tournament was held online and facilitated by Lichess. Levon Aronian, the winner of the last two otb editions, played Bundesliga in parallel and finished in the middle.

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    Participants sought for training study – 18 Sep 2020

    If you are rated below 1800, at least 16 years old, and keen to improve at chess, you can take part in an experimental study. Mathew Hobbs from the University of Otago in New Zealand wants to test the efficacy of training methods. In spite of all the literature on chess training, there is not a single peer-reviewed study on chess improvement. There is an introductory questionnaire and a participant information sheet.

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    Dvorkovich feared walkout – 18 Sep 2020

    The controversial decision of FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich to award gold medals to both finalists of the Online Chess Olympiad, Russia and India, was partly based on an aspect that he didn’t mention in his interview with Chess.com but in a consequent interview in Russian with Maria Emelianova on Chess.com’s Russian Twitch channel: An official of the Russian Federation warned him that the Russian players would refuse to play if the games would be restarted. Dvorkovich said that he wasn’t certain but that he felt obliged to prevent such a scenario.

  • Short news

    Carlsen disconnects and loses – 16 Sep 2020

    On the first day of the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz, none less than the world champion disconnected in an equal position against Ian Nemponiachtchi and lost because he could not reconnect to the Lichess-Server within the 35 seconds left on his clock. Pentala Harikrishna, co-leader after the first three rounds, told Chess.com that he prefers to participate from the apartment of his friend David Navara who has a stronger internet connection. “I think with online, the best preparation is to make sure that your Internet connection is stable and you don’t get disconnected!”

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    General Assemblies to be held online – 16 Sep 2020

    After FIDE recently announced its 2020 Congress to be held online 1–6 December with the General Assembly on the final Sunday, ECU will also hold its General Assembly by teleconference two weeks later, on 19 December.

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    German sponsor Grenke under fire – 15 Sep 2020

    On the eve of the German Team Championship, its sponsor Grenke has come under fire from Fraser Perring, an English investor that specializes in investigating financial companies and shortselling their stocks. The leasing company that sponsors world class tournaments, the world’s biggest open and the German team champion OSG Baden-Baden, lost more than 20% of its market value, after Perring’s company Viceroy Research published a report with damaging accusations that were quickly picked up by news media. Grenke rejects the accusations, and Germany’s supervisory authority Bafin is investigating not only Grenke but also the shortsellers.

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    Chess podcast launched by Eric van Reem – 14 Sep 2020

    Let’s talk about chess is the title of a new podcast by Eric van Reem. The Dutch journalist, photographer and airline employee, based in Germany, interviewed grandmaster Surya Ganguly and Tony Rich, the manager of the Saint Louis Chess Club, for the first two editions.

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    Free lectures, workshops, exhibitions… – 14 Sep 2020

    Judit Polgar and her team have published the online programme of the Global Chess Festival on 10 October. It includes lectures, workshops, exhibitions and games. International contributions shall be added later. Participation is free.

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    Carlsen and Nakamura again – 14 Sep 2020

    Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura share the first and second prize, worth $31,500 each, at the 9LX event hosted on Lichess. Levon Aronian, who lead after the second day, shared third place with Fabiano Caruana. Kasparov came eighth. All ten invitees won and lost at least once. Carlsen’s only defeat came from Wesley So, who already beat him at the Fischer Random Championship last year. It wasn’t called Chess960 because the Saint Louis Chess Club’s sponsor Rex Sinquefield had his lawyer register it as a trademark in the US. Recently the trademark protection for Chess960 has run out. Now the trademark 9LX (LX is 60 in Latin numbers) is used by the Saint Louis Chess Club. The action picks up again from Tuesday with the Rapid & Blitz and some fresh players.

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    Mouse trouble costs Kasparov game – 13 Sep 2020

    Garry Kasparov was a healthy pawn up against Fabiano Caruana at the 9LX, a Fischer random aka chess960 event, sponsored by the Saint Louis Chess Club and hosted by Lichess, when he tried to play his queen from e4 to c2. The mouse instead recorded a move to d3, but as Kasparov had tried to correct the square a premove from d3 to c2 was also recorded. Not as versatile in online play as his younger colleagues, the 57-year-old former world champion didn’t understand what was going on and didn’t disable the premove before Caruana replied. Kasparov watched in disbelief as the premove was executed, which cost him a piece and possibly a full point. After a decent first day, on which he held Carlsen to a draw, Kasparov ended up with only half a point from three promising positions on day two.

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    French federation to vote on 5 December – 13 Sep 2020

    After the French Chess Federation’s election in spring had to be postponed due to the pandemic, the board of President Bachar Kouatly decided to move the vote to April 2021. The challenger Eloi Relange, also a grandmaster, protested and demanded a mediation. Mediators of the French Olympic Committee judged the delay as too long and proposed to hold the general assembly and election on 5 December. In the French Chess Federation the president is voted by the 900 clubs, and elections are preceded by the candidates touring the country to meet club presidents. This year much of the campaigning shifts online.

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    England shifts to Elo type ratings – 12 Sep 2020

    The English Chess Federation is replacing its sixty-years-old gradings by a system based on Arpad Elo’s seminal work. The September list is the first with the new ratings. It is led by Matthew Sadler on 2808E followed by Michael Adams on 2763C, who is the highest rated Englishman in the FIDE list. English Elo ratings tend to be higher than FIDE Elo ratings and include an additional letter that indicates the recent activity from A=very active to E=no recent rated games. Many tournaments in the UK are not eligible to be FIDE rated because adjournments and adjudications are still practiced there.

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    Chessable mobile app enters beta – 11 Sep 2020

    A mobile app for Chessable is finally around the corner. The e-publisher, that belongs to the Play Magnus AS group, is currently looking for beta-testers.

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    EU grants €420,000 for school chess project – 10 Sep 2020

    “Chess: A Game to Spread at School” is the name of a transnational three-year-project that has been granted nearly the maximum available in the Erasmus plus programme. The project is coordinated by the Italian Centre for Educational Sport CSEN. The ECU, the Italian association Alfiere Bianco, the Spanish club 64 Villalba, the University of Turin and a few schools are the partners. The project will spread chess in elementary and pre-school education based on peer-training from teacher to teacher. It has been perceived by Alessandro Dominici, a pioneer of chess in education who coordinated a €246,000 Erasmus plus project named CASTLE in 2014 to 2017.

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    ACP calls FIDE to focus on restarting otb – 10 Sep 2020

    Following the recent Online Chess Olympiad, the Association of Chess Players has released a statement that calls FIDE to focus on restarting over-the-board chess. It states that “online chess is a different game and should be treated as such”. If due to the ongoing pandemic FIDE continues to hold online competitions, it should be on a transparent platform that FIDE owns rather than on platforms with commercial and other interests.

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    Carlsen and Kasparov to meet in tournament after 16 years – 10 Sep 2020

    For the first time since their famous rapid games in Reykjavik in 2004, world champion Magnus Carlsen will meet his predecessor and former coach Garry Kasparov in a tournament this weekend during the 9LX (aka Fischer random chess or chess960) invitational online event sponsored by the Saint Louis Chess Club and hosted by Lichess. The games, at 20 minutes/game plus 10 seconds/move, start on Friday to Sunday at 6 pm GMT (20 CEST).

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    Candidates to be continued in Yekaterinburg (probably) – 08 Sep 2020

    The Candidates Tournament will continue on November 1st. FIDE is sticking to Yekaterinburg as the venue for the time being. If travel restrictions to Russia apply to at least one of the World Cup candidates traveling from China, France, the Netherlands and the USA because of Covid-19, the Georgian capital Tbilisi is intended as a replacement. After 7 of 14 rounds the Frenchman Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and the Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi lead the field with 4.5 points each. The winner will challenge defending champion Magnus Carlsen in a 14-game match to be held in Dubai in 2021.

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    Pogchamps 2 below expectations – 07 Sep 2020

    The second tournament for celebrity streamers was won by Rumay Wang, an American World of Warcraft and Hearthstone gamer and Twitch streamer. It attracted significantly less viewers than the first Pogchamps edition that had been hosted by Chess.com in June.

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    First chess tournament by an esports agency – 05 Sep 2020

    Counter Logic Gaming (CLG), an esport agency from Canada, will run its first tournament next Tuesday with $2,100 in prices and in cooperation with Chess.com. CLG had earlier been the first esport agency to sign up a chess master, the Canadian WGM Qiyu Zhou, before TSM signed up with Hikaru Nakamura.

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    Automatic courtesy option on Lichess – 04 Sep 2020

    Lichess users can now choose to tell their opponents “Good game, well played” automatically after a loss or draw. Founder and chief programmer Thibault Duplessis is confident that the new setting option “makes Lichess a better place”. A lively debate of the function and phrase has evolved.

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    FIDE prepares to move Chess Olympiad from Minsk – 03 Sep 2020

    In an unprecedented step FIDE announced that it will reopen bidding to host the World Cups of women and men in 2021 and the Chess Olympiad in 2022 unless the organisers in Belarus meet unnamed obligations before 7 September. The President of the Belorussian Chess Federation and organiser of the Minsk events Anastasya Sorokina had joined the protests against the 26-year-rule of President Aleksandr Lukashenka. FIDE President Dvorkovich has not only signed an agreement about the three international chess events with Lukashenka but also dealt with him as a Russian minister in the past. The Belorussian President is trying to keep in power with support from Russia.

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    The Check Weekly launched – 31 Aug 2020

    Worldchess, the event management company of Ilya Merenzon that also runs the FIDE Online Arena, has launched a weekly video digest of current events called The Check Weekly. The ten minute programme is edited by Dylan Loeb McClain, formerly New York Times and now based in Paris.

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    Server failure ends final – 30 Aug 2020

    Both finalists Russia and India have been declared winners of the first Online Chess Olympiad. The first match of their final had ended 3:3. The return match was tied 1,5:1,5, when the remaining Indian players lost their connections. Humpy Koneru managed to reconnect, but her position was bad and she soon lost. Nihal Sarin who had a drawish position and Divya Deshmukh who had a clear, but not decisive edge didn’t manage to reconnect and overstepped the time. The Indian Chess Federation submitted a protest. It was established that the cause didn’t lay in India nor with hosting platform Chess.com but with servers run by Cloudflare. After the appeals committee could not agree what to do, FIDE President Arkadi Dvorkovich decided to give gold to both finalists. Two days earlier FIDE had rejected a similar protest by Armenia.

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    Comedian mobilizes Indians to watch chess – 29 Aug 2020

    Samay Raina, a 22-year-old stand-up comic from Mumbai, has been running chess-for-charity streams throughout the pandemic. He cooperates with Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal from Chessbase India on streaming the Online Chess Olympiad matches on his Youtube channel which now has 364,000 followers. Within one day more than 400,000 have seen their video of the match between India and Armenia. Raina has been profiled on ESPN India.

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    Armenia defaults in protest – 29 Aug 2020

    The Playoffs of the Online Chess Olympiad are overshadowed by Armenia forfeiting the second round of their quarterfinal against India. The first round was 2,5:2,5 and the only left game was a drawn position when their player was disconnected from the hosting platform Chess.com but not from the internet, as zoom still worked. The game was declared lost anyway. After an appeal was rejected by FIDE, the three-time Chess Olympiad winner left the competition in protest.

  • Few players and spectators wear masks at the Polish League in Krákow.

    Short news

    Few preventions at Polish League – 28 Aug 2020

    The Ekstraliga, that has started in Krákow on Wednesday and is transmitted by chess24, is the strongest otb event currently with three dozen GMs including some from neighbouring countries and Pentala Harikrishna, who is based in Prague. Most of the players from the Polish Online Chess Olympiad team participate.

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    Esport leader signs up Nakamura – 28 Aug 2020

    Team SoloMid, a Californian esports agency that made its name at League of Legends and now manages professional teams in a diversity of games, is adding chess to its portfolio by signing up Hikaru Nakamura. Verge reports that Cloud9, another esport agency, is courting Magnus Carlsen.

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    Carlsen wins Qatar bullet – 27 Aug 2020

    Roughly 10,000 participants were attracted by the $10,000 bullet tournament on Lichess sponsored by the Qatar Chess Federation. The top five of three qualifiers and the world champion took part in the play-offs, with Magnus Carlsen prevailing in the final against Daniel Naroditsky who had eliminated Alireza Firouzja in the semifinal.

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    Global Chess Festival invites contributions – 27 Aug 2020

    Judit Polgar and her team extend this year’s Global Chess Festival by an immense online programme including a conference and chess film festival. Always held on the second Saturday in October with a main event in Budapest, in this case the National Gallery, which falls on 10 October 2020 (read: Ten, ten, twenty, twenty). In the past Global Chess Days was celebrated with activities in more than thirty countries. Once again, organisers all over the globe are invited to contribute chess activities, online or offline, on 10 October.

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    Highlights from Mind Sports Olympiad – 27 Aug 2020

    The first online edition of the Mind Sports Olympiad includes several chess-related events hosted on Lichess. Here are video segments from Atomic Chess and here are the interim chess standings before bullet. In Othello, which is also played on 8×8 squares, the winner was disqualified and banned for ten years. The best performer of five different strategy games combined will win the prestigeous Pentamind award. The award-winning documentary “Pentamind” (60 minutes) is streamed freely until the end of the Mind Sports Olympiad on Sunday.

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    New date for Barcelona hybrid – 25 Aug 2020

    The Ciutat de Barcelona 2020 tournament that was postponed due to Covid-19 and the clash with the Online Chess Olympiad has a new date: 27 November – 6 December. It is still planned as a hybrid, global event with arbiter-supervised tournament halls in different cities, sponsored by the Catalan Chess Federation and hosted by Chess.com.

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    China faces Ukraine in first top match – 25 Aug 2020

    The FIDE Online Chess Olympiad hosted on Chess.com has reached its playoff stage. The winners of the four top division pools are seated into the quarter finals on Friday. The other eight qualifiers start their play-offs on Thursday, with China – Ukraine as the first top fixture (winner to play USA). Also on are Hungary – Germany (winner to play Russia), Bulgaria – Poland (winner to play Azerbaijan) and Greece – Armenia (winner to play India). The semifinals and final will take place on Saturday respectively Sunday.

  • Short news

    Match your rating chart – 25 Aug 2020

    The FIDE rating list has a new feature: You can compare rating charts of up to four players back to 2003.

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    First major event for Tornelo – 24 Aug 2020

    The Australian platform has been chosen by the ECU to host the European Online Youth Championship on 18–20 September, which will be a hybrid event. Tornelo emerged out of providing software to manage tournaments and claims a different approach to prevent cheating based on trust-building within a non-anonymous community.

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    German Chess Youth splits off – 22 Aug 2020

    The German Chess Federation held an extraordinary assembly where it decided to split off its youth association into a legal entity of its own but keeping some connections, including shared offices. The move was motivated by years of haggling over liability questions for youth chess events, which escalated when the federation’s newly appointed director refused to cooperate with the Schachjugend director and initiated his dismissal, which cost €20,000 in lost subsidies. It is the first time a German sport organisation separates from its youth association, and it is hoped that the decision will not lead to further losses of subsidies. Since raising membership fees in 2014, the Schachbund has been piling up assets that it is spending now on this and other conflicts.

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    US Chess in excellent shape – 22 Aug 2020

    An impressive annual report has been released by US Chess. Celebrating achievements on the board and away from it (like the Accessible Chess Event Guidelines) and award winners it is a tool to keep members and attract donors. Its last fundraising campaign Chess: A Game for Life netted $1,2 million. With assets of more than $2,7 million and new activities on Youtube and Twitch US Chess is in excellent shape to cope with the consequences of the ongoing pandemic.

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    Saint Louis announces events – 22 Aug 2020

    Two online tournaments with ten invited players and worth $150,000 each have been announced by the Saint Louis Chess Club. Former world champion Garry Kasparov, now 57, will participate on 11–13 September in Fischer Random Chess aka Chess960. On 15–19 September a combined rapid and blitz event will match the US top with the world top. Magnus Carlsen has confirmed his participation in both. No hosting platform is named as the organisers want the audience on the official website or their Youtube or Twitch channel.

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    Second tour announced – 22 Aug 2020

    Magnus Carlsen and chess24 have announced a second Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour to start in November with finals in September 2021.

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    73% of cheating bans automated – 21 Aug 2020

    Chess.com has revealed that on an average day 500 accounts are closed for computer-assisted play and 120 for other fairplay violations. Altogether more than 400,000 accounts have been closed. Even though the platform’s fairplay supervisory team now consists of 16 people, 73% of the account closures are now automated. Only in 1 out of 3000 an appealed case was overturned.

  • Short news

    Most epic rapid chess match – 20 Aug 2020

    Magnus Carlsen won the Final of his tour against Hikaru Nakamura in the closest possible way: After seven long days with the lead changing several times, he chose Black and drew in the Armageddon game, that became necessary after another 2:2 in the rapid games and 1:1 in blitz. “Just no rhythm, no flow, back and forth and nerves and anger and joy, everything at once! It’s been unbelievably stressful!”, said Carlsen. He added $140,000 prize money to bring his tour winnings to $315,000, while Nakamura doubled his winnings to $160,000.

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    Norway Chess with reduced field – 20 Aug 2020

    It is announced as the first world class otb tournament since the end of the Candidates: Norway Chess in Stavanger on 5 to 16 October has invited four top ten players (Carlsen, Caruana, Aronian, Giri) plus Firouzja and Tari. Mamedyarov, So, Ding and Nepomniachtchi were all on the original list if the tournament could have taken place in June, are currently not allowed to enter Norway, therefore the field was reduced from ten to six with for a double round-robin, reports Chess.com. Firouzja, arriving from France, and Giri, from the Netherlands, may face 10 days quarantine.

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    chess24 reports live viewer record – 20 Aug 2020

    The dramatic Grand Final has drawn more than 50,000 concurrent viewers on chess24’s live broadcast and Twitch channel, which is their highest attention during the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour. The total viewership is much higher. 68,8 million views have been counted during the tour on all channels together according to the tour’s press officer Leon Watson. The broadcast on Norwegian TV 2 was sometimes the most watched TV channel in Norway during the last days. The tour was also on the sport streaming platform DAZN and Nakamura’s Twitch channel. After three match wins each by Carlsen and Nakamura the Final will be decided tonight.

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    Irish otb chess shut down – 20 Aug 2020

    Having just run the Irish Championship with one of the most comprehensive safety plans the Irish Chess Union has canceled its Major because newly released Covid-19 restrictions limit indoor events to 6 persons.

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    FIDE survey to guide anti-cheating – 20 Aug 2020

    In order to shape an encompassing policy against computer-assisted cheating FIDE invites proposals and feedback on questions like if online violations can lead to sanctions in over-the-board play to be sent to anticheating@fide.com

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    Sorokina signs against Lukashenka – 19 Aug 2020

    A protest letter by the sports community of Belarus to demand a fair new Presidential election and the liberation of all detained protesters has been signed by Anastasia Sorokina, President of the Belorussian Chess Federation, organiser of the World Cup 2021 and Chess Olympiad 2022 and FIDE Vice President, and by grandmaster Sergei Azarov.

  • Short news

    Chessmatec endorsed by FIDE – 18 Aug 2020

    FIDE has announced a strategic partnership with Chessmatec. This child-friendly learning software, developed and distributed by Israeli grandmaster Boris Alterman and his family, is now available at half the original prize. We will publish a review shortly.

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    Pähtz withdrew from Olympiad – 16 Aug 2020

    Germany’s best female player has asked to be replaced in the German team for the Online Chess Olympiad, since she keeps receiving hate mails and defamations on social media, even though the cheating allegations against her have been refuted. Pähtz is participating in the German Masters though, because it was too late to replace her there.

  • Short news

    Lichess pirated in China – 15 Aug 2020

    A Chinese version of the open source software Lichess has popped up. Instead of being correctly licensed Haichess claims copyrights and tries to charge premium users. So far there are hardly any.

  • Short news

    Wrong camera – lost! – 14 Aug 2020

    At the Online Chess Olympiad, a Portuguese player whose computer doesn’t have a webcam, was zeroed because he used his cellphone as camera, which had been accepted in earlier rounds. The Angolan team had earlier lost a full match when their internet connection broke down. The players have received nine pages alone of set-up and technical requirements from FIDE and host Chess.com. Meanwhile, 40 out of 163 teams are still in the competition that continues on Friday with Russia and China as favourites. For teams from Bhutan, Sant Lucia and Grenada the online edition is their first ever Chess Olympiad.

  • Short news

    Chess.com signs up with esports marketer – 14 Aug 2020

    One week before the start of Pogchamps 2, a tournament of prominent streamers to be broadcast on Twitch, Chess.com has signed an agreement with Rumble Gaming, a marketing agency that specializes in esports.

  • Short news

    German federation website relaunch – 13 Aug 2020

    Just in time for its Championship Summit starting this Friday, the German Chess Federation has launched a tidy new website, developed by the Berlin office of the internet agency Redmind and hosted by Hetzner Online. Some new features follow FIDE.com.

  • Short news

    Dream final at Magnus Carlsen Tour – 13 Aug 2020

    Hikaru Nakamura (3:0 match wins vs Dubov) and Magnus Carlsen (3:1 vs Ding) have both won their semifinals at the chess24 hosted Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour Finals benefiting Kiva, a microfinance non-profit, and are struggling out the final over $140,000 for the winner and $80,000 for the runner-up in the final. Carlsen’s streak of 19 match wins ended on day one against Ding.

  • Short news

    Chessbase stocked up videos – 13 Aug 2020

    The video collection available to Chessbase Premium Account users now contains 13,000 entries or 6,500 hours.

  • Short news

    ECF direct members vote – 11 Aug 2020

    The direct members of the English Chess Federation were invited to vote their representatives online based on the election addresses of the candidates.

  • Short news

    Jobs in chess listed on ChessTech – 11 Aug 2020

    24 open positions, all related to IT, many of them allowing to work remotely from home, are listed on our brandnew jobs page. We want to list IT and other jobs in chess that are open to qualified international applicants. Contact gm@chesstech.org

  • Short news

    FIDE call for game viewer – 10 Aug 2020

    FIDE has announced plans for a comprehensive new platform “Chess ID” to give every player a unique reference code and profile, and to provide a consolidated database and other services. A first element shall be a game viewer to display live and recorded games. Developers are invited to apply until 24 August.

  • Prague Summer Open tournament hall on Saturday

    Short news

    Prague open without visible restrictions – 09 Aug 2020

    The Prague Summer Open that has started on Saturday with 278 participants in two groups looks like any tournament hall before the pandemic.

  • Short news

    World Open online version profitable – 08 Aug 2020

    The 48th edition of the World Open attracted 954 participants who paid between $78 and $180 to compete for $20,000 in cash prizes plus $5,000 in memberships and videos by host ICC. 31 grandmasters took part in the Open Section won by Iniyan and Sjugirov. In spite of obligatory Zoom surveillance and strict fairplay rules, numerous cheaters were found out, with most of those caught in the early rounds under 16.

  • Short news

    Bundesliga strongest otb since March – 07 Aug 2020

    The interim German Team Championship on 16 to 20 September will be the strongest over the board event since the interruption of the Candidates Tournament in March and be presented by chess24. It will see up to 50 GMs from eight teams in action in Karlsruhe. Spectators won’t have access. The league that started in 2019 is planned to be continued in 2021 and completed in May.

  • Short news

    #impactchess – 06 Aug 2020

    The Magnus Carlsen Tour Final benefiting Kiva launches a new hashtag. The semifinals between Carlsen (3 events won) and Ding Liren (25 tour points) and between Dubow (1 event won) and Nakamura (27 tour points) start on Sunday on chess24. 3 mini-match wins (best of 5) are required to reach the final.

  • Short news

    2000+ kids competed online – 06 Aug 2020

    The first US Elementary School Online Championship drew more than 2000 registrants paying starting fees from $40 to $75. The hosting platform Chesskid required everyone to watch a fairplay video and to sign a fairplay agreement.

  • Short news

    chess24 and Kiva – 05 Aug 2020

    For the final of the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour, chess24 has partnered with non-profit organization Kiva. Founded in 2005, Kiva raises money through crowd-funding. People lend this money to low-income entrepreneurs and students worldwide. In its own words, Kiva’s mission is “to expand financial access to help underserved communities thrive”. During the final, chess24 will support this model by donating 50 per cent of the turnover of bought and donated premium subscriptions to the Kiva ecosystem.

  • Short news

    Carlsen keeps winning – 04 Aug 2020

    With his 19th rapid match win in a row Magnus Carlsen sealed first place at Legends of Chess hosted by chess24. The $300,000 Grand Final of the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour with Carlsen, Nakamura, Ding and Dubov started on Sunday 9th August .

  • Short news

    18,488 participants – 02 Aug 2020

    The Summer Marathon on Lichess drew 18,488 players eager on bullet chess with one minute per game and player. Andrew Tang collected more points than everyone else from 553 games. Altogether the participants spent nearly 3 man years according to Lichess-Blog.

  • Short news

    Nakamura in Final Four and possibly Ding – 30 Jul 2020

    Hikaru Nakamura goes through to the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour Grand Final, starting 9 August, thanks to points, after Ding Liren failed to reach the semifinal in the Legends of Chess preliminaries. The Chinese number one still has the best chance to qualify for the fourth spot besides Carlsen, Dubov and Nakamura. Ding qualifies if Carlsen comes first, and his winning streak of 15 won rapid chess matches in a row suggests that this is the most likely outcome. Anish Giri or Jan Nepomniachtchi, who face each other in the semifinal that starts this Friday, or Peter Svidler, Carlsen’s semifinal opponent, qualify in case he wins the chess24-hosted event.

  • Short news

    Extra attention justified extra costs in Biel – 30 Jul 2020

    The first otb event with 2700+ rated participants, the Biel International Chess Festival, has finished with a victory by Radoslav Wojtaszek in the “triathlon”, a combination of classical, rapid and blitz. Organiser Peter Bohnenblust concluded: "The pandemic-related requirements led to various additional expenses, but as things stand today, it can be concluded that the measures taken have proved their worth and could serve as a model for other organizers around the world. We were able to offer chess to the world, and it was noticed all over the world and associated with the name Biel/Bienne."

  • [Neil Jamieson][1] created the August 2020 cover for Chess Life


  [1]: https://www.instagram.com/the_sporting_press/

    Short news

    Hit cover – 29 Jul 2020

    The “New Chess Boom” cover of the August issue of USChess member magazine Chess Life is an instant hit on social media. Eric Rosen wrote the cover story..

  • Short news

    350 million views – 28 Jul 2020

    Chess videos on Youtube have been watched more than 350 million times since the beginning of the year, according to Insider.

  • Short news

    Chess.com among the 300 most relevant websites – 28 Jul 2020

    The current online chess boom leads to new heights of chess websites in the global Alexa ranking that measures traffic and user engagement. For the first time, Chess.com as number 299 ranks among the 300 most relevant websites worldwide. By comparison, Lichess.org ranks 1,058, chess24.com 5,899 and ChessBase.com 21,655.

  • Short news

    Mind Sports Olympiad moves online – 25 Jul 2020

    The annual gathering of strategy game players in London has been moved online. Participation in the 90 competitions of the ongoing Mind Sports Olympiad is free this year.

  • Short news

    New nations compete – 25 Jul 2020

    For teams from Bhutan, Sant Lucia and Grenada the Online Chess Olympiad, just started by FIDE and hosted by Chess.com, is the first participation in an Olympiad.

  • Short news

    Who or what can stop Carlsen? – 25 Jul 2020

    The world champion has won his last ten mini matches of rapid online games in a row without tie-break. Carlsen won six matches from a beach house in Denmark. During the ongoing Legends of Chess, hosted by chess24, he won two matches from a boat on the Mediterranean, one on the same as travelling back to Norway, and during one match he even went to the grocery store between games.

  • Short news

    Chess meets Anime – 25 Jul 2020

    The Anime community was targeted by Chess.com through an invitational $5,000 Tournament Arc with eight “anitubers”, youtubers that review, parodize and sample the East-Asian animation genre. One week before the start of Pogchamps 2, a tournament of prominent streamers to be broadcast on Twitch, Chess.com has signed an agreement with Rumble Gaming, a marketing agency that specializes in esports.

  • Short news

    Most influential chess sites – 23 Jul 2020

    Chess.com, The Week in Chess and chess24 lead the latest list of chess sites, blogs and influencers published by Feedspot, based on social media followers and Alexa rank. ChessTech is listed on place 30 for now. We like to think that ChessTech is more relevant than most of those that are higher placed.

  • Short news

    A Stockfish/Leela hybrid – 22 Jul 2020

    How would an engine do that can calculate like Stockfish and evaluate like Leela? We are about to find out. The still experimental but already extremely strong Stockfish+NNUE will debut in the coming chess.com Computer Chess Championship. It represents the attempt to incorporate an Neural Network into a traditional engine. Stockfish will do its search as quickly as ever, but its handcrafted evaluation function is replaced by a NN, a method first seen in Shogi engines. First tests have shown that Stockfish+NNUE may already be stronger than Stockfish/Leela on their own.

  • Short news

    Carlsen plays from a boat – 21 Jul 2020

    The world champion played his first match of the chess24-hosted Legends of Chess on a boat, beating Anish Giri with 3:1. Carlsen told Norwegian TV 2 that he is not much concerned that his internet connection fails. He will also play Anand in round 2 from the Mediterranean sea, before he completes his holiday and returns to Norway.

  • Short news

    UN hosted webinar on chess – 21 Jul 2020

    “Chess for Recovering Better” was the theme of a webinar hosted by the UN-ambassador of Armenia and UN’s under-secretary of communications and organised by FIDE on World Chess Day with presentations by Anand, Aronian, Dvorkovich, Hou, Kouatly, Kramnik and Short that has been captured on video.

  • Short news

    Russia and China are favourites – 19 Jul 2020

    The line-ups of most of the 163 teams participating in FIDE’s Online Chess Olympiad and the divisions have been published. The top division will start on 19 August with the five highest scorers from the Gaprindashvili-Cup 2018, five top teams from each continent (Europe, Americas, Asia-Oceania, Africa) and the 15 top teams from division 2. Rating averages are based on rapid ratings, which can be misleading.

  • Short news

    First hybrid worldwide open announced – 18 Jul 2020

    The 25th Ciutat de Barcelona tournament on 21–30 August will be played in the presence of arbiters but online, hosted by Chess.com, as Jordí Magem announced here earlier. The Catalan Chess Federation guarantees the €18,000 prize-fund. It cooperates with organisers all over the world who run tournament halls with a minimum of 25 participants, and each arbiter to supervise up to 30 participants.

  • Short news

    No chess in the internet for 30 minutes – 18 Jul 2020

    Several chess websites (and a large part of the internet in general) went down on Friday when Cloudflare, one of the Internet’s largest DNS services, suffered a major outage. chess.com, chess24, Lichess and other sites were unreachable for a period of about 30 minutes starting around 2.15 pm Pacific Time (21.15 GMT). Discord and many gaming websites were affected as well. Cloudflare quickly issued a statement, saying this wasn’t the result of an attack: “It appears a router on our global backbone announced bad routes and caused some portions of the network to not be available.”

  • Short news

    Chess.com hosts Online Olympiad – 17 Jul 2020

    The nations tournament by FIDE will be hosted by Chess.com. 160 teams – each with four adults and two juniors, half male, half female – have registered. A dedicated website is being prepared. Each match consists of two rounds played with changing colours. Each player gets 15 minutes per game plus 5 seconds per move. The nations are group by strength and recent results into five divisions. The competition starts on Wednesday, 22 July, from the lowest division with the best teams promoting to the higher division. The top teams enter on 19 August. The final knockout stages will be played from 27 to 30 August. Fair play shall be monitored by a panel consisting of the chief arbiter, members of the FIDE Fair Play Commission, Chess.com’s anti-cheating experts, statisticians and grandmasters. The Fair Play Panel can pass on extreme and evident cases to the FIDE Ethics Commission which may ban cheaters for up to 15 years.

  • Short news

    CoChess launches – 16 Jul 2020

    5795 students and coaches have listed for the new coaching platform that belongs to the Play Magnus group. For its launch on Friday, 16 July, CoChess has called up the coaches to fill in their profiles.

  • Short news

    German season extended to 2021 – 13 Jul 2020

    The clubs of the Bundesliga never really considered online matches to complete the season that was interrupted by the pandemic. Playing the last seven rounds centrally in September was also rejected by several clubs who feared not to have a full team due to travel restrictions and other obligations of their players on weekdays. In a video conference the clubs decided unanymously to stretch the season until May 2021. The clubs that were willing to compete in September will meet for a five-day tournament to crown the champion of 2020 most likely in Karlsruhe during the second half of September.

  • Short news

    Youth vs Experience – 13 Jul 2020

    The fourth event of the Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour starts on Tuesday, 21 July, and will, true to its name Legends of Chess, match players in their 40s and 50s – Anand, Gelfand, Ivanchuk, Kramnik, Leko and Svidler – with current top guns Carlsen, Ding, Giri and Nepomniachtchi, all semifinalists of the recent Chessable Masters. There are some changes compared to the earlier events, starting with the reduction from 12 to 10 participants. They face each other in matches over four 15-minute-games, before the best four struggle it out in semifinals and final until 5 August. The winner and one more player will qualify for the Final Four two weeks later.

  • Short news

    Teach a beginner for World Chess Day – 11 Jul 2020

    To celebrate the International Chess Day on 20 July FIDE is calling the chess community to teach someone chess and share the experience on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram during 20 July, a Monday, using the hashtag #Internationalchessday.

  • Short news

    FIDE recommends mask use – 10 Jul 2020

    In its medical security guidelines for the return to over the board competitions, FIDE endorses the use of masks for players and arbiters. The world federation recommends not to allow spectators and to let all players to sign a declaration that they are free of symptoms. The guidelines don’t mention play in non-closed spaces nor protective shields as they are going to be used in Innsbruck in late August or in Biel from this weekend, with large transparent plexiglass shields between the top grandmasters. In the other adult competitions broader tables will be applied in order to keep 1.5 meters distance. Long moves will require players to stand up, in order to compensate for this the increment per move is 45 seconds instead of 30. Participants that show symptoms will be refused to enter the tournament arena.

  • Short news

    Nakamura wins Choker final – 10 Jul 2020

    A game that combines CHess and pOKER has been promoted through a tournament with influencers. Its winner Eric Rosen lost the final against Hikaru Nakamura who had been seated. chess24, whose CEO Sebastian Kuhnert is also on the board of Queen Side Games, the UK based company that owns Choker, promoted and transmitted the final.

  • Short news

    Online Arbiter (OA), a new certificate by the ECU – 09 Jul 2020

    Competitive online chess is new – and it’s growing. That’s why the board of the European Chess Union (ECU) has established the title of Online Arbiter (OA). The new certificate from the ECU Arbiters Commission confirms special skills and knowledge of the arbiter that enables him or her to work in online events. In European Online Championships for instance the OA certificate will be mandatory.

  • Short news

    “Game Changer”, best book of 2019 – 08 Jul 2020

    The Averbakh-Boleslavsky Award from FIDE for the best book of 2019 has been won by Matthew Sadler’s and Natasha Regan’s “Game Changer: AlphaZero’s Groundbreaking Chess Strategies and the Promise of AI”, published by New In Chess. The jury, lead by Artur Yusupov, praises “Game Changer” as a unique project that combines human achievements with remarkable development in AI and opens a new approach to our beloved game. Yusupov: “We could not choose a more deserving winner for the best book award of 2019.” Also see our interview with Matthew Sadler on chess and Artificial Intelligence.

  • Short news

    European Corporate Championship to launch online – 06 Jul 2020

    While European Individual Championships – open, women and youth – have been postponed to 2021, ECU still works towards holding the European Club Cup and European Rapid Championship over the board later this year according to its newsletter. The first European Corporate Championship that was originally planned to be held in Rotterdam in June will be launched online in September. FIDE has virtually the same project: Its first corporate world championship can probably not take place over the board on 16–18 October in Barcelona.

  • Short news

    Online Commission liquidated – 06 Jul 2020

    FIDE has dismantled its Online Commission since their assigned tasks have become FIDE’s operative core since the pandemic began. Its chairman Ilya Gorodetsky belongs to FIDE’s Moscow staff and remains head of online activities. In line with the empowerment of athletes throughout the sports world, FIDE announced the creation of an Athletes Commission, too. Its members will not be appointed by federations but elected.

  • Short news

    Carlsen wins Chessable Masters – 05 Jul 2020

    The world champion has also won the third event of his chess24-hosted Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour, the Chessable Masters, by clinching two matches in a row against his final opponent Anish Giri who failed to pick his chances. Carlsen lost the second game of his first semifinal match against Ding Liren on purpose in order to return the point he won in the first game from a drawn position when Ding disconnected. Carlsen was widely praised for his sportmanship. Disconnections and slow connections often lead to unsatisfying outcomes of online games. Yasser Seirawan joined the commentary team, and the Swiss private banking group Julius Bär was first seen as a chess sponsor. While Carlsen and Daniil Dubov have qualified for the Final Four in August, two places are yet to play for at Legends of Chess that will start on 21 July. Nakamura with 23 tour points and Ding Liren with 21 tour points and another invitation guaranteed, because he reached the semifinal, have the best chances to qualify.

  • Short news

    FIDE plans online chess titles – 04 Jul 2020

    The FIDE Council has in its second quarter meeting decided to hold online events for top juniors, seniors and a world championship in bullet chess, which is usually played with one minute per player and game. The Council called the Qualification Commission to look into online titles. Online Competition Guidelines and the Laws of Chess Apendix E for online chess are still in the works.

  • Short news

    Stockfish turns the table – 04 Jul 2020

    The 18th TCEC season saw another 100 games final between Leela Chess Zero and Stockfish, which the later won by 53.5:46.5, taking revenge for a 47.5:52.5 loss in the previous season. Enterprising opening repertoires lead to a high rate of 39 decided games. The 73rd game, which ended in a draw after 357 moves is now the longest recorded game, breaking the record of the longest recorded tournament game between humans, Nikolic – Arsovic, Belgrade 1989, that lasted 267 moves.

  • Short news

    Puzzle Duel free for two weeks – 01 Jul 2020

    Chesskid has temporarily unlocked its popular feature where learners can match each other online at solving exercises.

  • Short news

    Online Chess Olympiad mainly in August – 01 Jul 2020

    FIDE has announced the regulations of its first Online Chess Olympiad. The national teams will play each other on six boards: there will be four adult boards, two of which are reserved for women, and two junior boards with one reserved for a female junior. Everyone can play from their home as the teams are not required to meet in one place. Each match consists of two rounds played with changing colours. Each player gets 15 minutes per game plus 5 seconds per move. The nations are group by strength and recent results into five divisions. The competition starts on 22 July from the lowest division with the best teams promoting to the higher division. The top teams enter on 19 August. The final k.o.-stages will be played from 27 to 30 August. FIDE has called the platforms to apply for hosting the event. Fair play shall be monitored by the hosting platform, which have to decide on the use of webcams and other measures, and a panel consisting of the chief arbiter, members of the FIDE Fair Play Commission, anti-cheating experts of the hosting platform, statisticians and grandmasters. The Fair Play Panel can pass on extreme and evident cases to the FIDE Ethics Commission which may ban cheaters for up to 15 years.

  • Short news

    World champion praised for sportmanship – 01 Jul 2020

    Magnus Carlsen lost the second game of his first semifinal match against Ding Liren at the Chessable Masters hosted by chess24 on purpose in order to return the point he won in the first game from a drawn position when Ding disconnected. Even though the audience missed out on a game, Carlsen was widely praised for his sportmanship. Disconnections and slow connections often lead to unsatisfying outcomes of online games.

  • Short news

    Longest ever recorded game – 29 Jun 2020

    It took 357 moves for Leela Chess Zero and Stockfish to draw the 73rd game of their ongoing final match of the 18th season of TCEC. The longest recorded tournament game between humans, Nikolic – Arsovic, Belgrade 1989, lasted 267 moves.

  • Short news

    Protective shields at Innsbruck – 29 Jun 2020

    The Innsbruck Chess Festival on 22–30 August can be held with a maximum of 250 participants. Organiser Giorgio Gugler has produced protective shields that were tested in his club and will be distributed to all participants.

  • Short news

    4NCL invites feedback – 28 Jun 2020

    The British 4NCL online league that is about to complete its first season this Tuesday with a first division final between Chessable White Rose and Guildford Young Guns is inviting feedback from players, parents of junior players and captains – especially with regard to revised anti-cheating rules.

  • Short news

    Testing impact of speed tactics – 28 Jun 2020

    Elijah Logozar, a US junior player and Chess.com blogger, calls for volunteers to test the impact of speed tactics training, in this case with Puzzle Rush. In his own experience he was more alert and quicker in calculating both in otb and online play when he did tactics training on the same day.

  • Short news

    Biel festival can be held – 24 Jun 2020

    The 53rd edition of the traditional Biel International Chess Festival from 18 to 29 July will be played over-the-board with an elaborate protection concept to prevent Covid infections. The top grandmasters in the invitational will compete with transparent plexiglass shields between them. In the other adult competitions broader tables will be applied in order to keep 1,5 meters distance. Long moves will require players to stand up, in order to compensate for this the increment per move is 45 seconds instead of 30. Participants that show symptoms will be refused to enter the tournament arena.

  • Short news

    Bundesliga plans to finish the season at a stretch – 24 Jun 2020

    The German Schachbundesliga strongly considers finishing the 2019/20 season in one go. There are seven rounds left to play that may be played in the end of September in a central location with all teams being present – no live spectators, though. The league’s management and clubs are investigating the feasibility of this undertaking currently according to president Markus Schäfer. The alternative would be to extend the current season into 2021. A decision shall be taken on July 12th in an online meeting of the board and all clubs.

  • Short news

    Reykjavík wants to host world championship – 23 Jun 2020

    Gunnar Björnsson, the reelected President of the Icelandic Chess Federation, has told the FIDE newsletter that he is preparing a bid for the world championship match to commemorate 50 years since the historic Fischer – Spassky match. However, this depends on the final taking place in 2022.

  • Short news

    Yasser Seirawan commentates for chess24 – 22 Jun 2020

    The popular American grandmaster has been hired by chess24 to explain the games of the Chessable Masters together with Peter Svidler. They have been co-commentators at Saint Louis Chess Club events. Besides being an author of Chessable, that is featured by this event and also belongs to the Play Magnus Group, Seirawan excels at making chess understandable to a lower rated audience.

  • Short news

    Julius Bär sponsors – 22 Jun 2020

    The leading Swiss private banking group has joined the Chessable Masters on chess24 as education partner. This sponsorship is meant to promote chess learning and the hashtag #studychess.

  • Short news

    US Chess Women online grants – 19 Jun 2020

    Online project ideas to educate, retain or promote women and girls in chess in the US during the rest of 2020 can now apply for special grants from the Saint Louis Chess Club.

  • Short news

    Chess on Twitch keeps growing – 19 Jun 2020

    Viewer numbers for chess on Twitch peaked during the recent Pogchamps event. According to Sullygnome stats there is now an average of 60 concurrent streams with chess. The growth is especially marked in Germany.

  • Short news

    Fair play commission holds webinar – 19 Jun 2020

    A webinar on issues around cheating for arbiters, organisers and FIDE commission members is to be held on 26 June.

  • Short news

    FIDE Online Arena relaunched by Worldchess – 18 Jun 2020

    The FIDE Online Arena, formerly hosted by Premium Chess, has been relaunched and is now hosted by Worldchess, the company that organizes the FIDE Grand Prix. As of today, a beta version of the new arena is online. It is now a web-based playing platform instead of the client-based previous one. Apparently, the old client is still in use, though. Basic membership is free. Users who want to acquire a FIDE online rating pay 25 Euros per year. There’s also an “E-sports package” for 25 Euros/year that allows members to take part in monthly live workshops with grandmasters. According to Worldchess, already with its launch “the new FIDE Online Arena has redefined online chess with the global launch of the new gaming experience”.

  • Short news

    Carlsen victorious at Clutch Chess – 15 Jun 2020

    The world champion won a hard-fought and narrow final of the Lichess-hosted Clutch Chess International and $ 75,000 against Fabiano Caruana who evened the score four times during the 12 games final.

  • Short news

    Mamedyarov wins World Stars – 14 Jun 2020

    An invitational online tournament of six top GMs run by the Sharjah Masters, that had to be cancelled in April, and hosted on ICC was won by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov.

  • Short news

    Female leadership in chess – 13 Jun 2020

    Alice O’Gorman from the ECU Women’s Commission organised a webinar documented on video here.

  • Short news

    US federation introduces online rating – 12 Jun 2020

    US Chess is introducing an online rating for rapid games. Certified online competitions are starting this week-end, also to promote renewal of the membership which is not through clubs but between the individual and the federation. This is the next step after experts from US Chess have been shown the cheating detection measures by Chess.com and Chesskid and endorsed them. The US federation is inviting other platforms to follow the same process.

  • Short news

    Chessable Masters announced – 12 Jun 2020

    The third event of the Magnus Carlsen Tour starts on 20 June with a slight change in the format. The 12 invitees will not play a full round-robin, but the preliminary stage will be two groups of six players who play each other with each colour. The first four of both groups qualify for the quarterfinal. The event is hosted by chess24 and features Chessable, the digital publisher of the Play Magnus.

  • Short news

    ECU started Online Academy – 09 Jun 2020

    Lectures of the ECU Online Academy are started on Tuesday, 09 June 2020. A webinar for Arbiters in Online Events followed on Wednesday, a webinar on Women in Leadership Roles on Friday. The ECU May newsletter also includes recommendations on returning to over the board play.

  • Short news

    USChess endorses Chess.com – 09 Jun 2020

    Experts from US Chess, after signing non disclosure agreements, have been shown the cheating detection measures by Chess.com and Chesskid and endorse them. The US federation is inviting other platforms to follow the same process.

  • Short news

    Pogchamps lead Twitch charts – 07 Jun 2020

    The Pogchamps competition of star Twitch streamers run by Chess.com has been the most popular English language stream on Twitch on all the first three days.

  • Short news

    Artemiev claims first Speed Chess Grandprix – 03 Jun 2020

    Chess.com’s popular Titled Tuesday series has been rebranded as Speed Chess Grandprix and is sponsored by the games website Gambit. After ten rounds of Swiss the first eight players slug it out in knockout mode and also gain points towards a grandprix. Vladislav Artemiev from Russia won the first edition.

  • Short news

    Carlsen and Caruana meet in Clutch Chess – 03 Jun 2020

    The Clutch Chess International fills the gap until the start of the second Magnus Carlsen Tour Event. Four US stars – So, Caruana, Dominguez and Xiong (instead of Nakamura who is busy with PogStars) – met four European stars: Carlsen, Vachier-Lagrave, Aronian and Grischuk. World champion Carlsen meets his last challenger Caruana in the final of the $ 265,000 competition played with a time control of 10 minutes plus 5 seconds/move and hosted by Lichess.

  • Short news

    Dubov victorious – 03 Jun 2020

    Hikaru Nakamura had beaten Magnus Carlsen in the semifinal of the Lindores Abbey Rapid hosted by chess24 and won the first match of the final against Daniil Dubov, but the 24-year-old Russian claimed the following two matches and therefore the first event of the Magnus Carlsen Tour and qualifies as first player for the final four in August.

  • Short news

    First post lockdown GM event in Oslo – 01 Jun 2020

    An over the board tournament with classical time control has started Wednesday, 10 June 2020, at Offerspill, the club Magnus Carlsen founded a year ago.

  • Short news

    Sarana is European Online Champion – 01 Jun 2020

    Alexey Sarana from Russia won the European Online Championship 2300+ category. The time control was 10 minutes plus 2 seconds per move. More than 4400 players participated in different categories, hosted by Chess.com

  • Short news

    A chess tournament! Offline! – 31 May 2020

    The first over the board tournament with classical time control since the Candidates was the Mestarit Areenalla, a six player invitational round-robin held in Helsinki, Finland from 31 May to 4 June 2020. Average rating: 2320 elo.

  • Short news

    Carlsen stopped by Nakamura – 30 May 2020

    The world champion won’t claim first prize at the Lindores Abbey Heritage Rapid inaugural event of the Magnus Carlsen Tour hosted by chess24 in spite of a clean 3:0 against Hikaru Nakamura on the first day of their semifinal. But the American won their next two mini matches, the last one in an Armageddon blitz game, and qualified for the final against Daniil Dubov from Russia that starts on Sunday.

  • Short news

    Rauf Mamedov unstoppable – 30 May 2020

    With two tournament victories, Rauf Mamedov (Azerbaijan) has underlined that he is especially good in blitz. After winning the French Championship (where foreign guest players were invited) Mamedov has also won the Silkway Cup that was initiated to celebrate Independence Day in Georgia (May 26) and Republic Day in Azerbaijan (May 28). 55 players took part, Mamedov won with 11,5/15 ahead of Badur Jobaava (11/15).

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    Wesley So wins US Clutch Chess – 30 May 2020

    Wesley So has won the Clutch Chess Champions Showdown, organized by the Saint Louis Chess Club. In the end both he and the other finalist Fabiano Caruana had scored the same number of points, but So had won more “clutch games”, the final two games of each day.

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    Carlsen shuns Chess.com – 29 May 2020

    The world champion made a brief comeback after a long break on Chess.com, a rival of chess24 which belongs to his Play Magnus Group. Carlsen streamed how he attempted to push a newly created account to lead the rating list, then deleted it and promised to never come back.

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    Chess streams grow fast – 29 May 2020

    Viewing hours of chess on Twitch are up 164% since the end of February while the hours of chess broadcast doubled, and there are now 6953 broadcasters (up 121%) connected with chess.

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    Artemiev is Konevlad – 27 May 2020

    During recent weeks a certain “Konevlad” has been performing extremely well in the Lichess Titled Arena. This Reddit-article argues why it is none other than Vladislav Artemiev, a strong Russian grandmaster and excellent blitz player.

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    How AI impacts chess – 27 May 2020

    The English news weekly Economist runs a free webinar with Peter Heine Nielsen, second of Magnus Carlsen, and Sebastian Kuhnert, CEO of chess24, this Thursday at 14.00–15.00 CEST.

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    Composing with a distance rule – 26 May 2020

    The German chess magazine Schach awards the best unpublished checkmate and helpmate problems and endgame studies where the pieces keep a physical distance in the beginning position and in the main line. The competition is open until 10 July.

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    Guidelines for a restart – 25 May 2020

    The ECU ran a meeting of the federations with medical experts to discuss guidelines for a step-by-step return to over-the-board chess. A video of the recent tournament to test chess under physical distancing and other safeguarding rules is now available.

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    Twitch all-star tournament – 25 May 2020

    16 famous video gamers and other streamers will participate in the best ever funded invitational for mere hobby players who are known as yassuo, Voyboy or Boxbox. Most of them have probably not played a chess tournament before. “Pogchamps” is organised by the streaming site Twitch in cooperation with Chess.com. $ 50,000 will be at stake between 5 and 19 June. The most successful male and female chess streamers Hikaru Nakamura and Alexandra Botez will provide coaching and commentary together with Chess.com’s Danny Rensch.

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    German league chess goes online – 20 May 2020

    The German Chess Federation (DSB) is about to introduce its first online league with longer time controls. The DSOL, hosted on playchess, will be open to all German clubs. Similar to the British 4NCL online, teams will consist of four players each. Time control according to the DSB: 45 minutes/game.

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    Free puzzles until end of May – 19 May 2020

    With a free account you can only solve up to three puzzles a day. Now Chesskid unlocks puzzles for everyone until the end of May. Chesskid also announced a collaboration with the Judit Polgar Foundation.

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    Chess with physical distancing – 19 May 2020

    A longer article about the experimental tournament under physical distancing conditions in a Vienna park and a video with English subtitles have been published. Health experts expect physical distancing to be practiced until 2021.

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    Favourites take first places – 17 May 2020

    Magnus Carlsen wasn’t happy with his level of play but won the men’s section of the Steinitz Memorial, a blitz tournament collaboration beween FIDE and chess24, regardless. In the women’s section the top-rated Kateryna Lagno came first.

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    Quarantäneliga hit 4000+ players – 17 May 2020

    The online league set up by Rochade, a German Chess Magazine, on Lichess in March has now more than 4000 players in several hundred teams spread over 11 levels with promotion and relegation. The next round of 3-minute games is on this Sunday evening with a dozen players streaming.

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    Firouzja is top Chessbrah – 17 May 2020

    The Canadian chess streaming and promotion group Chessbrah ran a strong invitational blitz. After a double elimination event broadcast on Twitch Alireza Firouzja came out first ahead of Giri, Grischuk and Vachier-Lagrave. A seven hour video of the top games is available.

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    Checkmate Coronavirus – 16 May 2020

    FIDE has announced a series of more than 2,000 online tournaments, running daily from May 18 to June 16. The project is called “Checkmate Coronavirus”. There are 1,500 prizes to win with 64 main prizes: one-week invitations to the 2021 Chess Olympiad in Moscow with flight and lodging expenses fully covered. Other prizes include souvenirs, tickets to chess workshops and mini-matches with grandmasters. Every chessplayer can take part in the almost 80 tournaments played per day on Lichess, chess.com, chess24 and the FIDE Online Arena. Instead of giving the prizes to the tournament’s winners there will be a prize draw among all participants.

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    Record chess charity in Russia – 14 May 2020

    The Play for Russia online blitz initiated by Vladimir Kramnik and organised by the Russian Chess Federation raised €311,000 for the fight against Covid-19. Match TV broadcast the three-day-event won by Alexander Grischuk.

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    Nakamura and So are ready for double shift – 14 May 2020

    A $100,000 dollar clash of US stars Caruana, So, Dominguez and Nakamura on 26–29 May will test a new match scoring system devised by Maurice Ashley and called “Clutch Chess” has been announced by the St Louis Chess Club. Double points in games 5 and 6 and triple points in games 11 and 12 shall make sure that each match stays exciting for as long as possible. If Nakamura and So reach the quarterfinal at the first tournament of the Magnus Carlsen Tour they will end up playing double shifts on the same day. A larger international event, also sponsored by Rex Sinquefield, shall follow from 6 to 14 June.

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    One million tour headlined by Carlsen – 14 May 2020

    Four qualifiers, each worth $150,000, and a grand final for $300,000 make the new Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour on chess24 is announced today at a press conference in Oslo. Including the Magnus Carlsen Invitational in April, the whole tour distributes $ 1,250,000 in prize money. The action already starts next Tuesday with an event sponsored by the Scottish whiskey distillery Lindores Abbey. The final is scheduled for 9–20 August. The gap between the third qualifier ending 5 July and the fourth qualifier starting on 21 July will likely be filled by the Online Chess Olympiad, as chess24 and FIDE cooperated on the calendar.

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    FIDE Council first meets online – 13 May 2020

    A Council that includes officials and players has recently replaced the Presidential Board in FIDE. The first meeting of the new Council took place online.

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    China wins Nations Cup – 11 May 2020

    China sufficed a 2:2 against the US in the final to win the FIDE Chess.Com Nations Online Cup thanks to the better score in the preliminary rounds. The matches were transmitted in China on CCTV 5. Magnus Carlsen didn’t play but commentated many rounds on chess24.

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    Steinitz Memorial blitz event – 09 May 2020

    FIDE and chess24 have announced a blitz competition to commemorate the first world champion. The tournament starts next Friday and lasts until Sunday, exactly 184 years after Steinitz was born in Prague. Carlsen headlines the men’s section together with Grischuk and Dubov. There is also a women’s section that will play its rounds in the afternoon.

  • Short news

    Free Carlsen video lesson – 09 May 2020

    Ahead of releasing a full course by the world champion Chessable has released a 27 minute sample lesson.

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    Swiss format tournaments on Lichess – 07 May 2020

    The Arena format will no longer be the only available tournament format on Lichess. The site is about to introduce Swiss format tournaments, the result of a long debate in the site’s forums. Round robin tournaments might be the next feature. There is a Charity Blitz Tournament to be held on lichess.org (with Kramnik, Nepomniachtchi, Grischuk and others) which will be played as a round robin. Since this shows that round robins are already implemented there is a debate to make them accessible in general. These developments have been caused by the recent run on the site by many smaller clubs whose members wanted an alternative to the Arena format.

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    1,000 students looking for coaches – 05 May 2020

    Play Magnus‘ upcoming platform for live coaching, CoChess, will be a crowded place from the get-go. According to the new chess company, more than 1,000 students have lined up on the waiting list to use the platform once it’s live in order to find the right chess coach. Much of this demand has been generated by CoChess advertisement during the Magnus Carlsen Invitational. While potential students are lining up, there are also more than 1,000 chess coaches who have registered with Cochess. Also, there’s a new CoChess promotional video.

  • Short news

    Victorious Carlsen – 04 May 2020

    The world champion has won his Magnus Carlsen Invitational hosted by chess24 thanks to a 2.5:1.5 against Hikaru Nakamura in the final. Apart from one remarkable case of blindness against Ding Liren in the semi final, Carlsen played excellently in the end.

  • Short news

    Young men watch chess – 04 May 2020

    Men between 25 and 34 were the biggest group among the spectators of the Magnus Carlsen Invitational followed by men between 18 and 24. At the final on Sunday chess24 alone had 114,000 spectators, which was on a similar level as the world Championship match, said CEO Sebastian Kuhnert to ChessTech.

  • Short news

    300 Titled Cheaters – 02 May 2020

    After what chess.com considers a “breakthrough” with its anti cheating algorithms the company has closed multiple grandmaster accounts in recent weeks due to fair play violations. CCO Daniel Rensch reported via Youtube that to date, chess.com has received confessions from more than 300 titled players who admitted their wrongdoing.

  • Short news

    Team up with a streamer – 30 Apr 2020

    In this team event run by Lichess on Saturday you can join the team of your favourite streamer for two hours packed with 3 minute-games in the waiting-time reducing arena style.

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    Worldwide schools event – 30 Apr 2020

    The Spanish pavillon at the Dubai Expo is organising an online competition for school teams. Registration is now open until 31 May. If the Expo is postponed, registration will reopen later.

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    Adly blitzed best – 30 Apr 2020

    At the Sunway Sitges Online Open, the first ever online open with a classical time control played on Chess.com, nine players ended up with 7 out of 9. Seven more players on 6,5 points joined for the knockout with 5 minutes + 3 seconds. Ahmed Adly from Egypt cashed in the €1500 first Prize.

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    Finally the Finals – 30 Apr 2020

    At the Magnus Carlsen Invitational on chess24 the preliminaries are finally over. Nakamura and Caruana play the first semifinal on Friday, while Carlsen and Ding play the second semifinal on Saturday. The winners face each other Sunday. All rounds start at 16.00 CEST.

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    Marathon charity in France – 28 Apr 2020

    This Saturday at 3 pm starts a 24 hour-marathon blitz by the French Chess Federation on Lichess to collect funds for the fight against Covid-19.

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    Stockfish wins TCEC rapid cup – 28 Apr 2020

    Following the 17th season played with 90 minutes + 5 seconds per move, the Computer Chess League TCEC staged its 5th Cup event with 30 minutes + 5 seconds per move. Again Stockfish and Leela made it to the final, and Stockfish prevailed by 2,5:1,5.

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    Webinars in high demand – 27 Apr 2020

    A webinar by FIDE Competitions Director Maxim Korshunov drew 90 attendees twice. A similar number attended the ECU webinar on women in chess where a survey was presented.

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    Pessimistic professionals – 27 Apr 2020

    Two dozen professional players asked by German chess magazine Schach for its May issue report significant to complete loss of income and scepticism about online chess because of widespread cheating. Some consider retirement if classical chess isn’t coming back.

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    12 players barred in Online League – 26 Apr 2020

    After three rounds in the recently created 4NCL Online League, already twelve players have been barred from further participation. Seven were caught using engine assistance. Five more used accounts that were priorily marked as using computer assistance. All cheaters were detected by the Lichess team without prior complaint by the opponent.

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    Three Daily Lessons in Denmark – 26 Apr 2020

    Dansk Skoleskak, one of the world’s leading school chess providers, has started on 20 April to broadcast live chess lessons from Monday to Friday in cooperation with Chesskid. At 10 am for beginners, at 11 for the intermediate level, and at 1 pm for advanced pupils. There is a similar project by Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) in Britain

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    Russian charity to fight Covid19 – 26 Apr 2020

    Vladimir Kramnik is coming out of retirement for an online blitz tournament to raise funds that shall take place in mid May. The former world champion mobilized colleagues like Nepomniachtchi, Grischuk, Karjakin and Svilder to take part in the event that is organised by the Russian Chess Federation.

  • Short news

    Strongest Titled Arena ever on Lichess – 26 Apr 2020

    More than 100 GMs, including 4 top-ten players, were among the more than 1000 participants of the popular Titled Arena on Lichess. World champion Magnus Carlsen won the 500 Dollar first prize using his less-known handle Manwithavan ahead of Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

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    Line-ups for Online Nations Cup announced – 24 Apr 2020

    China is the favourite with a 2717 average team rating (3 male, 1 female) at the Online Nations Cup on 5–10 May run by FIDE, followed by Europe (2687), Russia (2662), USA (2641), India (2605) and Rest of the World (2597).

  • Short news

    Online power grab in Indian federation – 24 Apr 2020

    In its first ever online meeting the General Body of the All India Chess Federation ejected President Raja and replaced him by a five-member-committee. Newspapers report that Raja’s supporters call this illegal as the statutes don’t have provisions for a General Body online meeting.

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    Millennium and Magnus – 22 Apr 2020

    German chess computer company Millennium sponsors the Magnus Carlsen Invitational. During the tournament Millennium machines will be available in the chess24 shop for a special price. Once the new chess24 playzone will be launched it will be possible to connect the Millennium chess computers to the server as an e-board. Will Millennium get exclusive access or will the interface be open for any e-board (a solution that Lichess introduced recently)? That’s an open question. According to chess24 CEO Sebastian Kuhnert chess24 hasn’t decided yet about its interface policy for the new playzone.

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    The HUN-GER Games – 21 Apr 2020

    It’s not quite a death match, and it won’t be played in Panem, but on chess.com instead. Tonight’s HUN-GER games feature the Hungarian and the German women’s national team who are going to battle it out in ProchessLeague mode. Four players, each playing each. Elisabeth Pähtz will stream her games on her Youtube channel, commenting in English. Comments in German and Hungarian will also be available, provided by IM Georgios Souleidis on Twitch and the Hungarian Youtube channel Hello Sakk.

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    A “digital copy” of the Chess Olympiad – 19 Apr 2020

    With the Chess Olympiad 2020 being postponed, the World Chess Federation plans a “digital copy” of the world’s largest international team competition. “It’s a big project,” confirmed FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich without going into detail. According to him there’s more on FIDE’s online menue: competitions among schools, universities, corporations and cities. There may also be a World Online Rapid Championship in the making.

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    Bring children online, connect them to chess – 19 Apr 2020

    Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC) has announced a project to get up to one million children online playing chess. Together with the chess.com brand ChessKid the UK charity has made it possible for every child at a UK primary school to get a free gold membership on the platform. CSC will be running events, challenges and tournaments for children with these free accounts. This new initiative complements CSC’s new Chess at Home programme, covering the basic rules of chess.

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    Coaches and CoChess: now beta-testing – 19 Apr 2020

    The new e-coaching platform CoChess by chess24 is about to start beta-testing. Adverts running since late March resulted in far more registrations than required.

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    Biggest chess competition ever – 19 Apr 2020

    With more than 23,000 participants the Spring Marathon on Lichess broke the record of the biggest chess competition ever, priorily held by an event with 20,000 players in Ahmedabad, India, in 2010.

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    Very busy saturday – 17 Apr 2020

    Will there be enough servers to carry all the online chess traffic expected this Saturday, 18 April 2020? Besides the Magnus Carlsen Invitational and IM not a GM there will also be the final stage of the German Amateur Internet Championship on Playchess.com, the FIDE Candidates Countries Young Players Online Tournament featuring U16 teams from five countries, a world team selected by FIDE and the slogan “Be smart against Covid-19”, round two of the first ever classical time control Sunway Sitges International Online Open, both on Chess.com, and surely plenty more that we haven’t digged up yet.

    Help us by registering your events in the ChessTech Calendar.

  • Short news

    Banter Blitz Cup – 17 Apr 2020

    Alireza Firouzja the Iranian wunderkind won the innovative Banter Blitz Cup that was organised and broadcast by chess24. The 16 year-old confirmed his prodigy status by beating none less than world champion Magnus Carlsen who was biting his tongue in the final. The tournament was played as a knockout at 3 minutes each per game. In banter format the players were talking through their games live on webcam although they may occasionally have become speechless. There was surprisingly little trash talk. More than 100 Grandmasters took part in the series that started in September 2019. The event was a business success with $50k distributed in prize money and the accumulation of 200 hours of chess footage.

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    Pepe Cuenca and Divis Invitational – 17 Apr 2020

    A kind of dress rehearsal for the Magnus Carlsen Invitational was run by chess24 with eight top Grandmasters. Jan-Krzysztof Duda came out on top of the Pepe Cuenca and Divis Invitational.

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    Abu Dhabi Super Blitz Challenge – 17 Apr 2020

    The Abu Dhabi Chess and Culture Club had to cancel its annual open tournament, but is keeping the brand alive by donating $10k for a Super Blitz Challenge. It was run by Chess.com and broadcasted on Twitch (chess.com/tv). The announcement looked like a four-way invitational with Caruana, Vachier-Lagrave, Grischuk and Nakamura, but none of the stars reached the top eight places and knockout stage among 880 participants after the 11-round-qualifier. The $5k first prize was clinched by Vladislav Artemiev.

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    Chess for charity – 17 Apr 2020

    Chess for charity events are springing up everywhere. French players including Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, collected €11,250 for Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders). A simultaneous display by the Indian national team, spearheaded by Viswanathan Anand, brought in 450,000 rupees ($6k) for families hit by Covid-19 and was lauded by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Twitter.

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    Platforms with new features – 17 Apr 2020

    If you are teaching chess, the platforms have cool new features that you may want to check out. Lichess has launched the Class teaching mode. Chesskid has introduced a Classroom Lesson Planner. We will come back to this soon.

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    IM not a GM Speed Chess Championship – 17 Apr 2020

    Have you also wondered how Chess.com would react to chess24’s Magnus Carlsen Invitational? Here comes the IM not a GM Speed Chess Championship starting also on Saturday and running into May. It features 16 hand-picked International Masters including Chief Chess Officer Danny Rensch who fell in love with the idea faster than you can scream “get me out of here!” German afficionados may be surprised to learn that Elisabeth Pähtz is not Grandmaster. Next up, starting on 3 May, is the Premium Arena for paying subscribers and titled players, with the majority of prizes reserved for those who will stream.

  • Short news

    European Online Chess Championship – 16 Apr 2020

    Many federations are moving competitions online. The European Chess Union has opened registration to the first European Online Chess Championship to be played in the period 16–31 May on chess.com. Every FIDE-rated member of a European federation can take part. The event will be played in five rating groups (0–1400, 1401–1700, 1701–2000, 2001–2300 and 2300+). Cash prizes are restricted to the 2300+ group.

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    Chess.com Clubs League – 16 Apr 2020

    Would your club join an international online league? Check out the brandnew Chess.com Clubs League.

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    Donate CPU time – 16 Apr 2020

    Are your computers not yet exhausted from all the online chess (and Netflix)? Donate CPU time to Lichess computer analysis based on the open source engine Stockfish and the Fishnet app.

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    Connecting via Online Chess – 16 Apr 2020

    Many are using online chess to make new friends elsewhere. Contact us if you want to reach out through our newsletter. Here is an example: Are you connecting female players in your country? Arrange an online match against Germany and contact Lilli Hahn! hahn@deutsche-schachjugend.de