News Articles · News · 2021

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  • MVL wins Blitz overshadowed by Covid-cases – 30 Dec 2021

    Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won the World Blitz Championship in Warsow after a tie-break against Jan-Krzysztof Duda. Alireza Firouzja ended equal on points and received the same $50,000. Levon Aronian had led the event for a long time but scored only one point out of the last five rounds and came in fifth, ahead of Magnus Carlsen who ended twelfth and rapid World Champion Nodirbek Abdusattorow who ended 46th. Several participants, including Hikaru Nakamura, tested positive for Covid-19 on the final day and had to withdraw from the tournament and enter quarantine. Masks were not mandatory at the board.

  • Hybrid FIDE Congress held – 30 Dec 2021

    FIDE held its annual General Assembly for the first time in a hybrid way with some Council and Management Board members meeting in Warsow during the World Rapid and Blitz Championship and online presentations, deliberations and voting. One of the decisions taken is that a tie at the Candidates Tournament will not be decided by Buchholz but by rapid games.

  • Madrid stages Candidates – 28 Dec 2021

    The Candidates Tournament is taking place between 16 June and 7 July in Madrid. is the main sponsor with backing of the Scheinberg family who made their fortune with online poker and are shareholders.

  • Abdusattorov wins World Rapid – 28 Dec 2021

    Nodirbek Abdusattorov and the regulations spoilt the Rapid World Championship in Warsow for Magnus Carlsen. The world champion led after two days but lost the first game of the final day against the 17-year-old Uzbek, who claimed the title after winning the blitz tie-break against Ian Nepomniachtchi. Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana also ended on 9,5 points out of 14 but were left out. Alexandra Kosteniuk won the women’s event.

  • Lichess crashed during Agadmator tournament – 21 Dec 2021

    A bullet tournament hosted by Youtuber Antonio Radic, better known as Agadmator, with roughly $60,000 in cryptocurrency sponsored by a cryptocurrency platform, attracted more than 12,000 registrants including Magnus Carlsen and other world class players, but the server crashed halfway. Lichess is planning to restart it at a later date with the interim results standing.

  • Nakamura and Dubov get Grandprix wildcards – 21 Dec 2021

    The field of 24 Grandprix participants (listed here) has been completed by the wildcards of FIDE to Hikaru Nakamura, whose last classical game was in the Grandprix in November 2019 in Hamburg, and by organiser WorldChess to Daniil Dubov. Each participant will each get to play two out of three Grandprix-Tournaments in Berlin and Belgrade, starting on 3 February 2022. Each tournament is starting with preliminary groups of four players each with two qualifying for quarter finals, followed by semifinals and final, thus making tie-breaks frequent and rapid chess skills an important success factor.

  • Strong line-up in Warsow – 21 Dec 2021

    Being spared a trip to icy Kazakhstan, top professionals keep entering the World Rapid and Blitz Championship after its relocation to Warsow, giving it its probably strongest line-up ever. From the top ten at classical chess only Wesley So and Ding Liren don’t make the trip. The main sponsor Tatneft, a Russian oil and gas company with interests in Kazakhstan, apparently doesn’t mind the relocation.

  • Madrid likely Candidates venue – 19 Dec 2021

    FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich told the Russian website Championat that Madrid presented a very strong bid for the Candidates Tournament 2022, but since it came after the deadline, other options are still checked.

  • Hastings Congress canceled – 18 Dec 2021

    The 96th Hastings Chess Congress is one of many tournaments after christmas that are canceled due to another wave of Covid-19 infections. Hardly any of the reports on the London Chess Classic, where masks were not mandatory earlier this month, mentioned that several players and commentators got infected and Nigel Short had to be hospitalized.

  • Søren Hoby Andersen joins Skoleskak – 16 Dec 2021

    Søren Hoby Andersen, a political scientist, is the new Development Director of Dansk Skoleskak, after Andreas Weidinger returned to climate politics.

  • FIDE General Assembly on 28 December – 16 Dec 2021

    FIDE has finalized the schedule for its 2021 Congress held online. Commissions have been meeting since 6 December. The General Assembly will be on 28 December, coinciding with the World Rapid Championship.

  • Chessbase joins NFT craze – 14 Dec 2021

    Carl Eriksson, who freelances as a designer for Chessbase, has created an NFT series brought on the market by the German software house. Meanwhile Concordium, a blockchain company headed by Norwegian Lars Seier Christensen, announced that it is minting NFTs at a lower CO2 footprint for the Play Magnus Group.

  • Christopher Yoo earns GM title – 14 Dec 2021

    A few days before his 15th birthday, Christopher Yoo has completed the requirements for the GM title after he reached 2500 and fulfilled three GM norms earlier this year. The Californian is coached by Sam Shankland, and his talent has been praised by Vlad Kramnik and Judit Polgar.

  • Corsica to host Mitropa Cup – 12 Dec 2021

    Corte, an old town in the heart of Corsica, has been chosen as venue of the Mitropa Cup 2022 on 27 April to 8 May. The ten participating federations have recently founded the Mitropa Chess Association to also collaborate on school chess and other projects. The Italian arbiter and lawyer Marco Biagioli is the President, the Austrian Walter Kastner is the General Secretary.

  • Carlsens retains world champion title – 11 Dec 2021

    The most one-sided world championship match in recent history was won by Magnus Carlsen in Dubai by a margin of 7,5:3,5 after challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi blundered repeatedly. Carlsen nets the biggest purse of his career €1,2 million. Online viewership records for chess competitions were broken. FIDE plans to hold the next world championship match in spring 2023.

  • Warsow hosts Rapid and Blitz world championship – 10 Dec 2021

    After it transpired that the Rapid and Blitz World Championships cannot be held at christmas in Nur-Sultan because Kazakhstan introduced mandatory quarantine for travelers from many countries, it took FIDE less than three days to relocate the event at the exact same date 25–31 December in Warsow.

  • Petition to save Max Euweplein – 10 Dec 2021

    The city of Amsterdam is considering not to bring back the public giant chess on the centrally located Max Euweplein (plein is Dutch for square) after ongoing renovation works. There is a petition to save the best known giant chess in the world.

  • Norwegian campaign against sportswashing – 06 Dec 2021

    The Norwegian Helsinki Committee, a human rights organisation, accuses FIDE of awarding its major events to authoritarian regimes like the United Arab Emirates, Russia, China and Kazakhstan for sportswashing, directing attention away from poor human rights records and corruption, in an article of the newspaper Aftenposten.

  • One million for Danish school chess – 06 Dec 2021

    Dansk Skoleskak has secured DKK2 million annually from 2022 to 2025 from the Danish Government which is €1,08 million over four years. Lobbying for its subsidy the organisation presented an economic analysis of the benefits of chess instruction by Damvad, an economic consultancy.

  • Most watched top game – 05 Dec 2021

    Carlsen’s win in the sixth game of the FIDE World Championship on Friday reached a live audience on all streams combined peaking at 613,376 viewers according to Esports Charts. However, when in March Irene Sukandar played Dadang Subur aka Dewa Kipas to expose him as a cheater, 1,25 million had watched on several streams combined.

  • Jerry Nash appointed as EDU secretary – 02 Dec 2021

    After eleven years, Kevin O’Connell has stepped down as Secretary of the FIDE Chess in Education Commission, formerly Chess in Schools Commission. The Irishman who has served in different functions in FIDE since 1990 stays on as Honorary Chairman. The new Secretary is the American education consultant Jerry Nash who created the Chess in Education network.

  • UAE team played Israeli team – 28 Nov 2021

    The World School Tournament at the Spanish Expo 2020 pavilion set the precedent of a first match between a team from the United Arab Emirates and a team from Israel. The Green Village School team from North Tel Aviv won by 4:1.

  • Next world championship in spring 2023 – 26 Nov 2021

    FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich said in an interview with the Russian Chess Federation that the next world championship match shall take place in spring 2023 and the host of the Candidates Tournament in the second half of 2022 is to be chosen during the next days.

  • Black Friday sales have started – 22 Nov 2021

    Discounts for Black Friday and Cyber Monday have started at Chessable, Everyman Chess, USChess, Chesshouse, ICC and probably other chess retailers.

  • Firouzja breaks record, but Ukraine takes gold – 21 Nov 2021

    Alireza Firouzja reached a 3015 rating perfomance at the top board of the European Team Championship in Terme Čatež, Slovenia. Arguably the second best performance in history after Caruana’s 3080 in St. Louis in 2014 makes Firouzja at 18 years, 5 months, and 13 days the youngest player ever over 2800 and the new number two in the world. It was still not enough to give France the gold medal, that went to Ukraine. Bronze was claimed by Poland. Russia dominated the women’s competition ahead of Georgia and Azerbaijan.

  • Erigaisi excelled in Kolkata – 21 Nov 2021

    Hundreds of spectators watched two days each of rapid and blitz at the Tata Steel Chess India in the National Library in Kolkata. They saw the 18-year-old Indian Arjun Erigaisi winning the rapid and becoming second at blitz after he lost a close tie-breaker against Levon Aronian.

  • French federation embraces social uses of chess – 21 Nov 2021

    The French Chess Federation has created a commission “Santé Social Handicap” led by Franck Droin, a business consultant specializing in strategy and health.

  • By Morillas, Barcelona

    World championship branding revealed – 19 Nov 2021

    FIDE hired the Spanish branding agency Morillas to create the branding for the World Championship that is opening next Wednesday and has its first game on Friday. See more on the official website.

  • Chess hall in the Spanish Expo pavilion

    Spanish Expo pavilion hosts chess – 19 Nov 2021

    Next Thursday, on the day before the first world championship game, ten school teams from all over the world will compete at the Spanish pavilion at the Expo 2020 in Dubai. During the match, Judit Polgár will lead the chess24 commentary from there. Coinciding with the end of the match on 14–16 December an educational seminar will take place.

  • FIDE continues aid for open events – 18 Nov 2021

    FIDE continues its support programme for open tournaments with €150,000 budgeted for 2022. Organisers must apply until 15 December. In 2021 FIDE supported 27 open tournaments with €120,000 combined.

  • PMG emphasizes E-sport leadership – 17 Nov 2021

    With the publication of its Q3 report and continued growth, Play Magnus Group strengthened its claim to lead the development of online chess as an E-sport.

  • ECU plans cities cup – 17 Nov 2021

    At its General Assembly at Terme Čatež in Slovenia, the ECU announced plans for a European Cities and Towns Chess Championship 2022 to be probably held in hybrid. The 2023 European Individual Championship was awarded to Moscow and the 2023 European Team Championship to Montenegro.

  • Tornelo sneak preview – 17 Nov 2021

    More than 150 upgraded features and a new layout will be presented this Saturday by the online and hybrid tournament platform Tornelo.

  • Rädler is back – 16 Nov 2021

    Walter Rädler is back at the helm of the German School Chess Foundation. Three years ago he passed on the office to Boris Bruhn, then Vice President of the German Chess Federation. Under Bruhn’s leadership the foundation became largely inactive. The member of the FIDE Education Commission and the FIDE-ECU Working Group neither delivered a report nor showed up for the assembly.

  • Online chess is 27th E-sport by earnings – 14 Nov 2021

    Unsurprisingly, Magnus Carlsen leads the prize money list from online chess events listed by with $843,791 and 60 cent since 2014, making him 143rd in live-time earnings among e-sporters, but unlike them he has significant otb earnings. The other chess players north of $100,000 are 2. Nakamura, 3. So, 4. Aronian, 5. Nepomniachtchi, 6. Giri, 7. Caruana, 8. Radjabov, 9. Vachier-Lagrave, 10. Ding, 11. Dubov and 12. Firouzja. Overall close to $6 million distributed makes online chess the 27th biggest E-sport in the list.

  • Worldchess plans London IPO – 13 Nov 2021

    Worldchess has hired the London broker firm Novum Securities to prepare an IPO at the AIM section of the London Stock Exchange. The company controlled by Ilya Merenzon organised world championship matches until 2018. It is connected with the upcoming 2021 match as vendor of the official chess set and as representative of sponsors Kaspersky and Algorand. Worldchess is still the organiser of the FIDE Grandprix 2022 to be held in Berlin, where the company is planning to open a chess centre.

  • Karjakin helps Nepo – 11 Nov 2021

    Carlsen’s 2016 challenger Sergey Karjakin revealed in an interview with, transcribed by chess24, that he trained with his compatriot Ian Nepomniachtchi.

  • Sweden gets a chess gymnasium – 11 Nov 2021

    Following the example of the Norwegian sport gymnasium NTG, where Magnus Carlsen, Jon Ludvig Hammer and Aryan Tari combined their academic studies and chess training under guidance by Simen Agdestein, the Celsiusskolan, a sport gymnasium in Uppsala near Stockholm, is opening for top chess talents in cooperation with the Swedish Chess Federation.

  • Rozman announced scholarship recipients – 10 Nov 2021

    Levy Rozman, one of the most popular chess streamers on Twitch, announced 11 scholastic chess programmes in the US and one in Nigeria as recipients of $100,000 in scholarships he is donating in cooperation with Chesskid.

  • Kazakh capital hosts World Rapid&Blitz – 09 Nov 2021

    Nur-Sultan, formerly Astana, has been announced by FIDE as venue of the World Rapid Championship and World Blitz Championship with a combined $1 million in prizes, after there was no 2020 edition due to the pandemic. During the event on 25–29 December the temperatures in the Kazakh capital are expected to hover between -10 and -25 degrees Celsius. Players above 2550, respectively 2250 for women, and reigning national champions are eligible to take part.

  • Nepo, Carlsen and Caruana interviewed – 08 Nov 2021

    Chess24 has transcribed interviews Magnus Carlsen gave to the manager of the Royal Hideaway Sancti Petri hotel in Spain where he prepared and his challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi gave to Match TV from Russia. Nepo also talked to, that also conducted an in-depth video interview with the last challenger Fabiano Caruana.

  • FIDE launches its own NFTs – 08 Nov 2021

    FIDE announced a partnership with TON Labs, a blockchain company, to launch a market place for chess-themed NFTs and Best Chess Moments that celebrate the forthcoming world championship match.

  • Firouzja, Caruana and Lei go Candidates – 08 Nov 2021

    Alireza Firouzja won the Grand Swiss, held by FIDE in Riga amidst a national lockdown, cashing in $70,000 and climbing to the fifth place in the world ranking. Runner-up Fabiano Caruana also qualified for the next Candidates Tournament. The one place at the Women’s Candidates was claimed by Lei Tingjie, who won the Women Grand Swiss by a dominating 1,5 points margin.

  • World Teams goes rapid – 01 Nov 2021

    The World Teams Championship is shifting from classical to rapid chess 45 minutes plus 10 seconds per move. The best four of each of two preliminary groups of six teams will qualify for the quarterfinals. FIDE is calling bids for April 2022.

  • Nornickel sponsors Nepo – 29 Oct 2021

    The world championship challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi adds Russian mining giant Nornickel as a personal sponsor, having secured support from Sima-Land and earlier.

  • Only a third of 2700+ players in Riga – 26 Oct 2021

    The FIDE Grand Swiss that starts in Riga this Wednesday with an exemption from the national lockdown has about twenty last minute cancelations, among them Grischuk, Mamedyarov, Rapport, Nakamura, Vidit and Le Quang, bringing the number of participating 2700+ rated grandmasters down to 13 (14 on the live rating list).

  • Carlsen and Caruana headline Tata Steel Chess – 26 Oct 2021

    13 out of 14 participants of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament on 14–30 January are announced. If the top group goes “on tour” with some rounds elsewhere than Wijk aan Zee and what amateur events will be possible isn’t clear. Clear is that the 2022 edition won’t clash with Gibraltar.

  • Chess in education online conference – 26 Oct 2021

    The FIDE Education Commission invites presentations for an online conference on 20 and 21 November. The bilingual English and Spanish conference will deal with chess in preschool, in school and in university.

  • Lichess publishes opening tool – 25 Oct 2021

    The enhanced Opening Explorer tool lets you see how you have been scoring on Lichess with different opening moves, or prepare for a specific opponent based on their Lichess games. According to the announcement, the innovation has been inspired by, another open source tool.

  • Grand Swiss in Riga despite lockdown – 21 Oct 2021

    The Latvian government has issued an exemption for top sport events held in the country during the strict lockdown that starts today with non-essential shops, schools and entertainment venues closed and a night curfew. FIDE can go through with the Grand Swiss and Women Grand Swiss, that have been moved to Riga from the Isle of Man in view of UK travel restrictions. The first round is scheduled on Wednesday. The invited players are asked to confirm their participation by this Friday. Since two places each for the next Candidates Tournament and $550,000 in prices are at stake, most of the top players are expected.

  • Vitiugov is Russian champion – 21 Oct 2021

    As usual the Russian Championship took place in a museum with a grant from the Elena and Gennady Timchenko Foundation, this time the Nesterov Art Museum in Ufa. The most experienced participant Nikita Vitiugov won ahead of Maxim Matlakov and Vladimir Fedoseev, all from St. Petersburg.

  • Wesley So wins third US title after tiebreak – 20 Oct 2021

    Fabiano Caruana overcame a poor start at the US Championship and was close to winning it in the last round and again in the tie-breaker against Wesley So, who in the end won his third US championship plus $50,000 and conceded that Caruana would have deserved it.

  • McDonald’s now has a chess ad, too – 19 Oct 2021

    “Bishop takes fries” is the title of this chess-themed ad about players who meet at a South Chicago McDonald’s restaurant and have started to win scholastic titles.

  • Pragg dominates Challengers – 17 Oct 2021

    Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa smashed through the final of the Bank Julius Bär Challengers Chess Tour. He needed only nine games to win his three matches against Murzin, Keymer and Yoo, conceding a single draw and winning all other games, to secure $12,500 and a fix spot on the next Champions Chess Tour.

  • 15 times Baden-Baden – 17 Oct 2021

    The Bundesliga season that started in November 2019 has finally been completed after 23 months with seven rounds centrally played in Berlin. The OSG Baden-Baden won the German league for the 15th time. The SV Hockenheim 1930 was on an equal score until their direct encounter in the penultimate round, which Baden-Baden won by 4,5:3,5. Hockenheim, who also lost the last round to SF Deizisau and had to concede the second place to them, retreat to the third league as announced earlier.

  • Dutch players fight Corona-regulation and lose in court – 15 Oct 2021

    Six Dutch players, including 2019 champion Lucas van Foreest, tried to overcome the regulations of the Dutch Championship that has begun this Friday requiring a Corona-passport (being fully vaccinated of recovered from a Covid-19 infection) or daily tests. The court upheld the regulations and condemned the plaintiffs to pay €3,364 to the Dutch Chess Federation and the town of Hoogeveen. Lucas van Foreest, who is known to love publicity, was called a hero by the right-wing populist Thierry Baudet.

  • Agreement instead of divisive vote – 15 Oct 2021

    Mike Truran, the Executive Director of the English Chess Federation, and his challenger Malcolm Pein have made a power-sharing agreement, foregoing a divisive vote this Saturday. Truran stays at the helm, while Pein gets more funding and responsibility as Director of both International Chess and External Relations.

  • Google Cloud features – 15 Oct 2021 as a power user of cloud services and a global success story is featured ahead of the forthcoming Google Cloud Next online conference.

  • Challengers decide their winner – 14 Oct 2021

    The top-scoring seven juniors and one woman from the four Julius Bär Challengers Chess Tour events, held online on chess24, juggle out in k.o.-matches the absolute winner, who will take $12,500 and a fix place on the next Champions Chess Tour.

  • Zaksaitė calls for whisteblower protection – 14 Oct 2021

    Salomėja Zaksaitė, chairwoman of the FIDE Fair Play Commission and legal scholar, discusses in a scholarly publication how to investigate and sanction computer-assisted cheating and match-fixing and calls for the creation of a global online screening tool as well as whistleblower protection.

  • French youth championship on app – 13 Oct 2021

    The 16 competitions of the French Youth Championships later this month can best be followed on a new app that has been developed by Datapix on behalf of the French Chess Federation.

  • German assembly went digital – 13 Oct 2021

    The German Chess Federation held an Extraordinary General Assembly, after the regular one could not complete the agenda. The meeting was partly live-streamed on Twitch. The voting was accelerated by electronic devices. A decision on member and rating administration was postponed after criticism of sourcing it out to a closed source system provider.

  • Meier leaves German federation – 13 Oct 2021

    Georg Meier, the fifth-ranked player in Germany, will represent Uruguay, the home country of his mother, from 1 November, even though the Uruguyan Chess Federation cannot pay him or provide him good tournaments. The 34-year-old is fed up with bullying by players and officials. He is the second player from the team who won the European Team Championship in 2011 to leave after Arkadij Naiditsch, who wanted to return after representing Azerbaijan and was refused by the German Chess Federation.

  • History of Soviet chess is ECF book of 2021 – 08 Oct 2021

    Soviet Championships Volume 1 (1920 – 1937) by Sergey Voronkov, published by Elk and Ruby, won the prestigeous book of the year award of the English Chess Federation with Winning by Nigel Short (Quality Chess) getting a honorable mention.

  • Chess streamers Twitch income leaked – 07 Oct 2021

    Hackers obtained at least 125 GB of confidential data from Twitch and published what the streaming channel has paid to streamers, which doesn’t include income from merchandising, youtube and sponsorships. A list of the top earning chess streamers has been published on Reddit, with 12 chess streamers paid more than $100,000 since August 2019.

  • Superbet sponsors Romanian chess – 05 Oct 2021

    Vlad Arduleanu is the new President of the Romanian Chess Federation. In the postponed election the former Superbet manager was the only candidate. Ionuț Șerban Dobronăuțeanu decided not to run in exchange for the new position of Counselor to the President. Superbet is now the main sponsor of the ongoing Rumanian team championships in Mamaia. A Romanian Chess Gala is planned for December.

  • Radjabov and Aronian overtake So – 04 Oct 2021

    By winning the last six matches, including wins in a row against the top-ranked Aronian, So and Carlsen, Teimur Radjabov secured himself the second place in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Final. Wesley So, the only player who gave tour winner Carlsen a fight for first, ended fourth after being overtaken by Levon Aronian in the final round.

  • is Dutch corporate champion – 03 Oct 2021

    45 teams with nearly 200 players competed in the Dutch Corporate Championship held as a rapid Swiss in Wijk aan Zee with support from Tata Steel. The outright favourite, a booking website founded by chess lover Kees Eldering, won only by a small margin, after top player Jorden van Foreest conceded two points and ended only 28th in the individual scoreboard.

  • Russian women are team world champion – 02 Oct 2021

    The “CFR Team” won the Women’s Team World Championship held in Sitges under a new format, mixing rapid chess and k.o. mode in the absence of China, whose team wasn’t allowed to travel. CFR stands for Chess Federation of Russia. During the WADA ban until 16 December 2022 no athlete or team can straightforwardly represent Russia in a world championship.

  • Second tour title for Carlsen – 02 Oct 2021

    With two rounds to go in the final tournament Magnus Carlsen won the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour and added $100,000 to bring his tour winnings to $315,000.

  • Breast implant sponsorship backfires – 01 Oct 2021

    FIDE’s announcement of Establishment Labs, a producer of breast implants, as sponsor of women’s chess is drawing lots of criticism. Lichess gathered statements from female players, mostly anonymous. announced that it considers this sponsorshop as not positive for women’s chess and inappropriate and will not feature it in its future reporting.

  • Only Nakamura misses US championship – 30 Sep 2021

    All US top players except Hikaru Nakamura will compete on 6–18 October at the Saint Louis Chess Club for $194,000, of which $50,000 goes to the winner, at the US Championship. The prize-fund in the parallely held women’s competition is $100,000.

  • Online Super League for Indian market – 28 Sep 2021

    The comedian Samay Rana, Chessbase India and the E-Sport company Nodwin coproduce a Super League on 11–17 October with teams that mix world class players like Ding, Giri and Nakamura with top Indian adults, juniors, celebrities and business leaders. The prizefund is $54,000.

  • Meyer-Dunker joins Schachbund – 27 Sep 2021

    The German Chess Federation has appointed Paul Meyer-Dunker for its public relations and social media. The 29-year-old is President of the Berlin Chess Federation and has a background in E-sports and Green politics.

  • Motiva sponsors women’s chess – 27 Sep 2021

    FIDE has announced a partnership with Establishment Labs, producer of Motiva silicone breast implants, throughout 2022, which has been declared the Year of Women in Chess. The Costa Rican company has seen its share price on the Nasdaq skyrocket in the early summer, even though it is not yet profitable.

  • Festival programme announced – 25 Sep 2021

    Judit Polgár has announced the programme of the Global Chess Festival on 9 October at the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest. Inspirational speeches followed by a short concert of Juga di Prima and an Educational Chess Summit with international experts will all be streamed.

  • Nepo’s team wins Arena Royale – 25 Sep 2021

    The Russia Wizards won the Arena Royale season of the PRO Chess League with a final win against the Saint Louis Arch Bishops. Challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi was in good form throughout and scored 3,5/4 in the final, as did his team-mate Alexey Sarana.

  • St Petersburg wins European Club Cup – 24 Sep 2021

    The St. Petersburg team, named after the Bronze Horseman monument of Tsar Peter that was immortalized by a poem of Alexander Pushkin, won the European Club Cup held in Struga, Macedonia, for the second time after 2018. Top seated Alkaloid Skopje couldn’t repeat its 2016 win and finished only on the eighth place. Magnus Carlsen joined Offerspill Oslo for three games and signed the world championship contract in Struga, before returning to Oslo for the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour final starting this Saturday.

  • Keymer secured another ticket on the tour – 22 Sep 2021

    Vincent Keymer has won his second Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour event, the Hou Yifan Challenge. The German will compete in at least two tournaments of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour 2022.

  • Arena Royale in full swing – 22 Sep 2021

    An interim season of the PRO Chess League called Arena Royale with $100,000 in prices is taking place on until Friday. Challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi came out for the Russia Wizzards and was the third highest scorer after Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So.

  • Mastercard enters chess – 21 Sep 2021

    Magnus Carlsen becomes ambassador for the global brand Mastercard, which announced a partnership with the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. Cardholders are invited to a virtual event with the world champion on 22 October. For holders of expensive cards chess offerings are planned within the Priceless scheme.

  • Chess ambassadors for the environment – 20 Sep 2021

    Probably for the first time, an international chess organisation campaigns with a pro-environment message. As first revealed at Work4Chess, the ECU partners with the WWF and Judit Polgár to launch the Chess Ambassadors for the Environment at the Global Chess Festival on 9 October.

  • Carlsen found his form – 19 Sep 2021

    Magnus Carlsen won four games in a row in the second half of Norway Chess and came first. The world champion condeded a draw only when playing with Black against his challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi, who lost against Aryan Tari and scored only 50 % in the classical games. Carlsen is expected in Struga to play some European Club Cup games for the club Offerspill he founded in 2019.

  • Gaprindashvili sues Netflix – 17 Sep 2021

    Former women’s world champion Nona Gaprindashvili is suing Netflix for $5 million in damages because a commentator in the final episode of The Queen’s Gambit said “there’s Nona Gaprindashvili, but she’s the female world champion and has never faced men”, which according to her lawyer Rodney Smolla is false and sexist.

  • Tour final with three players in Oslo – 17 Sep 2021

    The Final of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour on 25 September to 4 October cannot be held as hoped over-the-board in San Francisco. Still, three of the ten qualified players, world champion Magnus Carlsen, Jan-Krzysztof Duda and Anish Giri, will not compete from their home but from the main production studio in Oslo, giving the $300,000-event a hybrid element. Out of the first ten in the standings, Ian Nepomniachtchi bowed out to concentrate on his preparation for the world championship. His place went to the 12th in the standings, Shakriyar Mamedyarov.

  • Russia won all matches – 15 Sep 2021

    In an Online Chess Olympiad with hardly any surprises Russia won all their matches. The US was luckier than China and Hungary and met the big favourite only in the final of the FIDE rapid event.

  • Pein runs for ECF leadership – 15 Sep 2021

    Malcolm Pein declared his candidacy for Executive Director of the English Chess Federation at the 16 October election. The managing director of retailer Chess & Bridge, CEO of Chess in Schools and Communities and director of the London Chess Classic runs against Mike Truran, the long-term director of the 4NCL league, who seeks a third term. Pein advocates more active leadership and marketing and opposes the shifting of ECF funds to the Chess Trust, as proposed by Truran.

  • ChessMood celebrates expansion with open – 15 Sep 2021

    The Armenian online academy ChessMood has raised an undisclosed amount from investors, including their early student Badreddine Ouali, founder of the Vermeg group that specializes in insurance software. ChessMood sponsors a strong open tournament on 4–12 October in the Armenian resort town Tsaghkadzor.

  • Dutch chess loses sport tax privilege – 14 Sep 2021

    From 2022, Dutch chess clubs and events have to pay VAT, unless they claim to be ruled as small enterprises with an annual turnover below €20,000. Mind sports are losing the tax privilege in the Netherlands following a ruling of the European Court of Justice in 2017 that Bridge is not a sport for the purposes of the VAT directive, which confirmed the rejection of claims of the English Bridge Union with support from the English Chess Federation to become accepted as sport.

  • ECU calls bids for 2023 – 14 Sep 2021

    Bids for eight European chess championships 2023 can be submitted until 1 October through the national federations. For the European Individual Championship and the biannual European Team Championship the European Chess Union requires combined bids.

  • Work4Chess free thanks to Play Magnus sponsorship – 13 Sep 2021

    Thanks to Play Magnus Group of Companies joining Work4Chess this Saturday 18 September as a sponsor and exhibitor, access to the conference is now free.

  • Historical case study on Reshevsky – 13 Sep 2021

    Andrea Graus Ferrer, a historian of science and knowledge from Barcelona, will discuss her research on “The child prodigy as a global celebrity: the chess wonder Samuel Reshevsky”, published in an open access journal, at the free Work4Chess Conference on 18 September with Indian coach R.B.Ramesh.

  • Carlsen out of form – 12 Sep 2021

    In what is probably his last classical chess event before the world championship match, Magnus Carlsen has scored only four draws, no win and suffered one loss against Sergey Karjakin during the first half of NorwayChess. His challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi is performing solidly so far with one win and four draws.

  • Maciej Brzeski is best strategy player – 11 Sep 2021

    Maciej Brzeski, a 2358-rated machine learning specialist from Cracow, won the Pentamind World Champion title for the best player across different strategy games at the Mind Sports Olympiad that was held online for the second time.

  • Chess evening on Swedish public TV – 11 Sep 2021

    Swedens national TV network SVT will broadcast a full evening of chess on 14 November. The highlight will be Schackmästaren vs Sverige, a match between top player Nils Grandelius and the audience that votes for its next move via SVT’s Duo app. Star streamer Anna Cramling will commentate.

  • Sweden gets E-sport chess league – 11 Sep 2021

    Sweden is the first country to launch a national E-sport chess league. The E-sport group Fragbite and the Swedish Chess Federation jointly announced the start of Svenska Schackliga later this year with two annual seasons and the goal to reach non-club players.

  • Favourites dominate Online Olympiad – 11 Sep 2021

    FIDE’s Online Chess Olympiad 2021 reaches its final stage. No underdogs have made it into Monday’s quarter finals Kazakhstan – USA, Ukraine – India, Russia – Hungary and China – Poland.

  • Kasparov came close to victory – 11 Sep 2021

    Leinier Dominguez won the $37,500 first price at the 9LX Champions Showdown, a Fischer Random tournament at the Saint Louis Chess Club. Former world champion Garry Kasparov, who performed terrible at blitz in Zagreb two months ago, was temporarily in the lead and a contender for first place until a final loss against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

  • Strong rapid at Tolstoi museum – 10 Sep 2021

    Ten strong grandmasters including Anish Giri, Anton Korobov and Dmitri Andreikin compete in the rapid tournament Tolstoy Cup during a four-day chess festival at the former estate of writer Leo Tolstoy 220 km South of Moscow.

  • Nepo sponsored by – 08 Sep 2021

    World championship challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi has signed a sponsorship deal with From today he is wearing clothes with logos of as well as his Russian sponsor Simaland at the Norway Chess tournament, where he will play twice against Carlsen on this Friday and again next week Friday.

  • Warsaw joins Grand Chess Tour – 08 Sep 2021

    The polish capital shall host a rapid and blitz event in the Grand Chess Tour in August 2022 thanks to an extended sponsorship by Superbet. The final tour stop will again be at the Saint Louis Chess Club with a classic tournament rather than two consecutive tournaments.

  • Gibraltar festival takes gap year – 08 Sep 2021

    The Gibraltar International Chess Festival, inaugurated in 2003, won’t see its 20th edition in January 2022 because the Caleta Hotel will close and be demolished to make place for a new Hilton. Festival Director Stuart Conquest told ChessTech that an invitational event is underway to keep the tradition going until the festival can come back.

  • Trainers conference on 1–3 October – 07 Sep 2021

    The European Chess Academy and the European Chess Union run the ECU Online Trainers Conference on 1–3 October. Registration is free.

  • ECU cooperates with Work4Chess – 07 Sep 2021

    The European Chess Union supports the Work4Chess online conference on 18 September, enabling officials and staff of European federations to claim free tickets. This offer is extended by ChessTech to volunteers and staff of federations in Africa.

  • Original chess designs from Ugra – 06 Sep 2021

    In promotion of the 2022 Chess Olympiad that Khanty-Mansisk cohosts with Moscow, the Ugra Chess Federation is running an art project that has resulted in some original designs.

  • Demchenko and Keymer share first – 05 Sep 2021

    The Russian Anton Demchenko won the European Championship in Reykjavik thanks to a better tiebreak than German youngster Vincent Keymer, who also ended on 8,5 points out of 11, both winning €17,500. As usual, the thirty highest ranked European players missed out because they can expect to be seated into the Worldcup 2023, whereas many who played in Reykjavik contended themselves with short draws in the last rounds to assure their qualification.

  • Mouseslip can’t stop Carlsen – 05 Sep 2021

    Magnus Carlsen has won the first match of the Aimchess US Rapid final against Vladislav Artemiev in spite of losing one game due to a curious mouseslip. The world champion got doubts about his planned move and dragged the queen back to its original square to think more. Only when he wanted to move a minute later, he realized that a queen move to a square in between had been registered and that it was Artemiev’s turn. (Update:) Of the other games in the final Carlsen won four, drew two and lost none, scoring a clear victory and $30,000. Alireza Firouzja defaulted the match for third place in order to recover from being unwell before he travels to Stavanger for Norway Chess.

  • Chemmy awards for user-generated content – 04 Sep 2021 announced the Chemmy Awards for the best user-generated content in nine categories. Voting on Twitter starts on 9 September. The winners will be announced during a ceremony, presented by streamers Andrea Botez and QTCinderella on Twitch in the night from 18 to 19 September, the night before the Emmy Awards of the TV Industry, from which the Chemmy is taking its cues.

  • India seeks a league organiser – 03 Sep 2021

    The All India Chess Federation has published a call for sports marketing and event management companies interested in running an Indian chess league.

  • Saint Louis Fischer Random returns – 03 Sep 2021

    A $150,000 Fischer Random rapid tournament is hosted on 8–10 September by the Saint Louis Chess Club under its trademark title Chess 9LX Champions Showdown. Among the ten participants are all US top players, former world champion Garry Kasparov and Levon Aronian, who moves from Armenia to Saint Louis next week.

  • Regan estimates rating lag – 02 Sep 2021

    Chess rating systems are distorted by the pandemic and will be so for some time. Young and novice players who keep studying chess are underrated due to a lack of rated games. Ken Regan presents calculations and estimations, like adding 15 rating points per pandemic month for players below 13 years. The computer scientist considers a large scale adjustment for junior players much like FIDE’s addition of 100 points to all women’s ratings (except Zsuzsa Polgar’s) in 1987.

  • Chevannes joins Work4Chess – 01 Sep 2021

    Sabrina Chevannes, winner of the Redesign Contest and its $10,000 first prize, joins the Work4Chess conference on 18 September as speaker. The owner of the London web design and digital marketing agency Complex Creative will co-lead a workshop on user experience.

  • Paris gets a chess bar – 31 Aug 2021

    The always fashionable 6th arondissement of Paris will be home of the chess bar Blitz Society that shall open on 14 October on Rue du Sabot. One of the four owners is chess coach Vincent Riff.

  • Postponed election in Romania – 31 Aug 2021

    Ten days before the scheduled election on 15 August during the European Women Championship in Iasi, the leadership of the Romanian Chess Federation declared two candidacies illegal. This would have secured the presidency for the only left candidate Ionuț Șerban Dobronăuțeanu, who is the grey eminence of Romanian chess since 2006 and is on the ECU board since 2010. Lawyers stepped in on behalf of his challenger Vlad Ardeleanu and forced a postponement. Now the presidency is vacant until the Romanian clubs finally get to vote on 26 September. Ardeleanu was CEO of Superbet when the gambling company started to sponsor the Grand Chess Tour in 2019 and now runs the medical imaging chain Medima Health. He is tipped to win thanks to his big plans to increase the membership and budgets and support by top players like Liviu Dieter Nisipeanu, who out of frustration over Dobronăuțeanu changed to the German Federation in 2014, and Garry Kasparov who sent a video message.

  • British championship in October – 30 Aug 2021

    The postponed British Chess Championships will be held in the first half of October. Men and women compete at the University of Hull, juniors and seniors in Milton Keynes.

  • Champions Tour gets Indian subsidiary – 30 Aug 2021

    Play Magnus Group Asia-Pacific is partnering with Mobile Premier League, India’s biggest E-sport provider, to run the MPL Indian Chess Tour with $100,000 in prizes and qualification spots for Indian players in the next Meltwater Champions Chess Tour, creating the tour’s first regional subsidiary.

  • Haichess complies with Lichess rules – 29 Aug 2021

    Haichess has evolved from a Lichess clone into a Chinese-language chess training platform that is not any more violating the open source licenses. It is free for clubs and coaches and connects them with a few thousand individual members who want to improve their chess.

  • MVL wins Sinquefield, So wins GCT – 27 Aug 2021

    Wesley So is the overall winner of the Grand Chess Tour, netting $242,500, while Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who came first in the concluding Sinquefield Cup, walks away with $206,250. In the absence of Magnus Carlsen there was less attention than usual, and presenting partner Kasparovchess could not fully compensate this.

  • Online Youth World Cup – 25 Aug 2021

    16 players per age group and gender play out the first Online Youth Rapid World Cup held by FIDE on Tornelo and sponsored by the Azeri oil company SOCAR. This will be followed up by a Youth Grand Prix and a Super Final in December to replace the otb youth world championships canceled due to Covid-19.

  • PMG increases sales and aquires Silver Knights – 25 Aug 2021

    The Play Magnus Group reports stronger sales and bookings and increases its expected 2021 turnover by $2 million. Its newest acquisition is Silver Knights, a US chess training provider with a strong online business. The appointment of Scott Dodson as Chief Marketing Officer rounds up the management team. A few days ago, TV 2 signed a 5-year-contract to broadcast the Champions Chess Tour in Norway.

  • €384,300 for French chess projects – 24 Aug 2021

    French clubs and leagues have been awarded a record €384,300 from the grants programme of the Agence Nationale du Sport. The French Chess Federation has for the first time published a list of all applications and granted projects.

  • Hot tub stream – 23 Aug 2021

    Magnus Carlsen streamed the first 30 minutes of a Titled Arena on Lichess on his Twitch channel while playing on a cell phone from a hot tub. Streaming in a bikini from an inflatable pool has been a trend set by female streamers on Twitch in recent months, yet the world champion refrained from wearing a bikini.

  • Pogchamps 4 announced – 22 Aug 2021 announced another celebrity Twitch streamer tournament for 29 August – 12 September with $100,000 in prizes and fundraising for mental healthcare charity Rise Against the Disorder. The cryptocurrency trading platform Bitcoin is the presentation sponsor. One of the commentators will be Zhou Qiyu.

  • Online Olympiad started – 21 Aug 2021

    With hardly any changes, FIDE has started its second Online Chess Olympiad. 153 national teams, each with three females and two juniors on the six boards, are seeded into four divisions and play matches at 15 minutes per player on The first three of a group of 12 or 10 teams will promote to the higher division. The top seeded 25 nations join on 8–10 September, with the best two teams from each of four Division 1 groups qualifiying for the final k.o.-matches on 13–15 September.

  • Champions Tour announces 2022 dates – 20 Aug 2021

    The next Meltwater Champions Chess Tour will consist of nine online tournaments between 19 February and 20 November 2022.

  • Evgeny Sveshnikov (1950–2021) – 19 Aug 2021

    The eminent theoretician, grandmaster and fighter for intellectual property rights in chess Evgeny Sveshnikov passed away. Born in the Ural area of Russia, where he briefly worked as a research engineer, he moved to Latvia in the 1990s.

  • Nationwide tournament for everyone – 19 Aug 2021

    Schaak-Off, a nationwide tournament that is suitable for novices, is run by the Dutch Chess Federation on 13–26 September. Clubs, mind sport centres and cafés all over the Netherlands will host the games to celebrate the return to the boards.

  • FIDE endorses U21 championship – 18 Aug 2021

    While the U20 world championship is unlikely to be held otb this year and the other age groups are to played online, FIDE is endorsing a Junior U21 championship organised by Chessbomb in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. U21 championships are held in several countries including Russia.

  • Kevin Högy appointed Sport Director in Germany – 15 Aug 2021

    The German Chess Federation has separated the functions of Executive Director and Sport Director and appointed Kevin Högy, an experienced coach and event specialist, who joined the federation headquarters two years ago for the German Youth Chess Association.

  • Transcend Fund invests in Chess Universe – 13 Aug 2021

    King of Games, the company of Slovenian GMs Dusko Pavasovic and Luka Lenic, whose lead product Chess Universe has been downloaded a million times, raised an undisclosed sum from Transcend Fund, a major investor in game startups.

  • Berlin elected by popular vote to host Grand Prix – 12 Aug 2021

    Three Grand Prix tournaments, that will decide the last two participants of the Candidates Tournament, are to be held in Berlin in February to April 2022. The German capital drew 16% of the popular vote, outnumbering São Paulo and London. The series is organised by World Chess.

  • Grand Swiss moved to Riga due to UK restrictions – 12 Aug 2021

    FIDE has moved the Grand Swiss and Women’s Grand Swiss from the Isle of Man, where UK travel restrictions could have withheld many players from participating, to Riga, where currently a strong open is underway. The dates 25 October – 8 November remain the same as does sponsor Mark Scheinberg, who made his fortune in online gambling. The lists of qualified players are published. The top two of each event will qualify for the Candidates Tournament resp. Women’s Candidates Tournament 2022.

  • Successful meeting in New Jersey – 11 Aug 2021

    US Chess had its first big meeting since the beginning of the pandemic in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where Alex Lenderman won the US Open, many awards were handed out, and the 2021/22 board members were announced.

  • Germany completes the 2019–21 season – 11 Aug 2021

    While Schachbundesliga has yet to complete the season started in 2019 with seven centrally played rounds on 13–17 October in Berlin, the second leagues have wrapped it up during the last week-end with each of the four groups holding two centrally played rounds. The group winners Düsseldorfer SK, SC Heusenstamm, Münchener SC 1836 and König Tegel advance to Bundesliga. The level of the advancing teams and the announcement of champion OSG Baden-Baden to recruit younger international top players and that recent changes at its sponsor don’t come with any budget cuts promise a strong next season.

  • Wesley So wins Chessable Masters – 09 Aug 2021

    Wesley So is the only player in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour who made it past the preliminary in all events and with real chances to steal the overall tour win from leader Magnus Carlsen. The American who declined a start at the World Cup won the chess24-hosted Chessable Masters in the absence of the World Champion who went to Sochi to gather practice before his title match later this year.

  • A Smyslov Memorial – 07 Aug 2021

    A round robin of ten Russian grandmasters starts this Saturday at the Botvinnik Central Chess Club in Moscow to commemorate the 100th birthday of the seventh world champion Vasily Smyslov (1921–2011). The event is run by the litte-known Association of Chess Federations.

  • Noël Studer announces end of career – 06 Aug 2021

    The 24-year-old Swiss grandmaster Noël Studer cites health issues and unspecified issues with chess organisations as motives for stopping to play competitively after the European Championship and the Swiss League at the end of 2021. He is planning to focus on writing and coaching.

  • Stockfish increases the margin – 06 Aug 2021

    The 21st TCEC season final is the fourth in a row won by Stockfish against LeelaChess by 56:44, the biggest margin so far, and the eleventh title overall for the leading open-source engine.

  • Duda and Karjakin qualify – 03 Aug 2021

    The World Cup remains the top event that Magnus Carlsen never won. In the semifinal’s tie-break in Sochi he was eliminated by Jan-Krzysztof Duda, who already broke the world champion’s 125 unbeaten classical games streak last year. The 23-year old Pole faces Sergey Karjakin in the final, both having secured their ticket for the Candidates Tournament 2022.

  • Mind Sports Olympiad registration opened – 03 Aug 2021

    The Mind Sports Olympiad is taking place online again. Between 13 August and 5 September there will be more than 80 different board game competitions including several chess competitions on MSO’s new server that is based on the open source code of Lichess. Registration is free, donations are welcome.

  • Kosteniuk wins World Cup – 02 Aug 2021

    13 years after conquering the women’s world championship title in a k.o.-competition, Alexandra Kosteniuk won the Women’s World Cup in Sochi. In an all-Russian final, she beat the rating favourite Alexandra Goryachkina.

  • The only top 10 player left is Carlsen – 28 Jul 2021

    The Candidates Tournament 2022 won’t be as strong as the 2016 and 2018 editions and may not reach the level of 2020/21 after Radjabov has been promised a place and all participating top ten players except the world champion have been eliminated at the World Cup in Sochi, where two will qualify for the Candidates. It’s better news for the Grand Swiss in October and the Grand Prix in spring 2022, which will likely attract contenders like Caruana, Ding, Giri and Vachier-Lagrave and be stronger than ever.

  • Life events and chess performance – 28 Jul 2021

    David Smerdon, an economist at the University of Queensland, leads a study that investigates the impact of life events like marriage or childbirth on the performance of players. The survey asks personal data in order to analyze the participants’ rating development and quality of their games.

  • 9% more teams in Switzerland – 25 Jul 2021

    318 teams have registered for the Swiss Team Championship, which is 26 more teams than in 2019 participated in the last season before the pandemic. The season (which is played within the calendar year) has been shortened, team sizes and entry fees have been reduced by the Swiss Chess Federation.

  • Education conference on Thursday and Friday – 24 Jul 2021

    The US Chess Trust sponsors the Third International Koltanowski on Chess in Education ahead of the US Open Chess Championship in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, on 29 and 30 July. The conference is dedicated to the former US Chess President and Professor Emeritus of Literary Studies Tim Redman. To follow the livestream, a free registration is required.

  • De Montfort University hosts English chess library – 24 Jul 2021

    The English Chess Federation has resolved one of its long-term worries: Its library, packed up in nearly 200 boxes, found a new home at the De Montfort University in centrally located Leicester where it is currently being catalogued and can be browsed at regular library hours.

  • 6,000 at ChessFest in London – 24 Jul 2021

    Chess in Schools and Communities ran a chess festival on Trafalgar Square that attracted 6,000 participants and included three eminent art institutions, the Royal Gallery, the V & A, and the Wallace Collection, as noted in the gratulations by Britain’s Minister of Culture, Digital, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden. ChessFest was sponsored by the trading company XTX Markets and is planned to return in 2022.

  • Seven more in Chess Hall of Fame – 24 Jul 2021

    In a ceremony during the US Open Championship on 6 August, the St Louis Chess Centre-hosted World Chess Hall of Fame adds Judit Polgar, Miguel Najdorf and Eugenio Torre, and the US Chess Hall of Fame adds its benefactors Rex Sinquefield and Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield as well as ChessLife founding editor Frank Brady and US championship record holder James Sherwin.

  • New faces at Chessable Masters – 23 Jul 2021

    Since the Chessable Masters from 31 July to 8 August will clash with the semifinals and final of the World Cup, three of its participants are not yet announced. The line-up revealed so far includes Mamedyarov and Firouzja, who were eliminated early in Sochi, two female players, Humpy Koneru and Ju Wenjun, the youngest grandmaster Abhimanyu Mishra, and Eduardo Iturrizaga as one of the first Latin Americans.

  • Chessbase sued by Stockfish – 23 Jul 2021

    After infringements of its open-source license, the Stockfish team hired the Berlin law firm JBB to reach a recall of Fat Fritz 2 and termination of Houdini 6 sales. Even though Stockfish withdrew the General Public License from Chessbase, the German software house keeps selling Stockfish-based products. Stockfish has now announced a lawsuit against Chessbase in a German court.

  • Favourites keep falling at World Cup – 21 Jul 2021

    After Aronian had to withdraw, three more top favourites stumbled at the World Cup in Sochi: Caruana was eliminated by Jumabayev, Giri by Abdusattorov and Mamedyarov by Martirosyan. To qualify for the next Candidates Tournament they will have to try the Grand Swiss in October and the Grandprix in spring 2022. Caruana also lost his second spot in the live rating list to Ding Liren, and Carlsen is right now the only life-rated player above 2800. Meanwhile the parallely held Women World Cup is getting little attention.

  • Anand remains king of no-castling – 20 Jul 2021

    When Vishy Anand won the world championship 2008 against Vladimir Kramnik, the Indian didn’t castle in any of his three winning games. Unsurprisingly Anand now also won an exhibition match in No-castling chess against Kramnik that headlined the 48th edition of the Dortmund Chess Days with 2,5:1,5 (one win and three draws). Analyses by the players can be seen on the Dortmund Chess channel.

  • NBCSN to cover world championship – 20 Jul 2021

    FIDE announced an agreement with the NBC Sports Network, the second most watched sports cable network in the US, to broadcast the world championship from 27 November. 30 minute-programmes on all games will be presented by Maurice Ashley. NBCSN will cease business at the end of the year. It remains to be seen if chess will be among the sport contents picked up by the USA Network on cable or the streaming platform Peacock.

  • Caruana quarantined, Aronian “withdrew” – 17 Jul 2021

    After two Indonesian players and their delegation leader tested positive for Covid-19 at the FIDE World Cup in Sochi, their opponents, including Fabiano Caruana, were confined to their hotel rooms. If negatively tested and symptom free, the American will probably be allowed to play the third round on Sunday. However, two female players from Indonesia were preventively banned from the tournament. Levon Aronian who developed a fever due to a Tonsillitis, agreed to withdraw, all in spite of negative tests.

  • Kouatly takes care of Morrocan mess – 16 Jul 2021

    After the Moroccan Chess Federation failed to function properly since years, FIDE has appointed its Deputy President Bachar Kouatly as a Reverse Delegate of the Morrocan Federation to assist in the reconstitution. Arabic is the mother tongue of the former President of the French Chess Federation who has a big network in the Mahgreb.

  • A second Online Olympiad – 16 Jul 2021

    FIDE has announced another Online Chess Olympiad for national teams mixed of men and women, adults and juniors and hosted by The preliminaries start on 13 August and the final stage will be 13 to 15 September.

  • Arian Gonzalez detained in Cuba – 14 Jul 2021

    Arian Gonzalez, a Spanish GM and lawyer of Cuban origin, has been detained by Cuban police during the mass protests on Sunday. The Spanish Chess Federation has demanded his immediate release.

  • Yakovich to coach Germany’s women team – 12 Jul 2021

    The German Chess Federation has appointed Yuri Yakovich as coach of their women team. The 58-year-old Russian GM has worked with many talents and the Kazakh and Russian federations.

  • Carlsen does the job in Pamplona – 12 Jul 2021

    Before going to the World Cup in Sochi, Magnus Carlsen stopped in Pamplona as star guest of a San Fermines without bulls. From a hotel room once used by Earnest Hemmingway whose writing made the Basque festival internationally known, the world champion played online blitz against rivals who competed from their homes in the chess24-hosted event. On his way to victory Carlsen beat Wesley So and Levon Aronian.

  • MVL wins GCT Croatia – 12 Jul 2021

    A strong run in the blitz secured Maxime Vachier-Lagrave a clear first place at the Grand Chess Tour Croatia tournament in Zagreb. After the rapid and still after the first day of blitz Ian Nepomniachtchi led the field, but the challenger had a poor last day and was also overtaken by Giri and Vishy Anand who did very well at 51, while for the seven years older Garry Kasparov the age and lack of preparation showed with a meagre 2,5 out of 18 in the blitz. The tour concludes in August in St. Louis.

  • Russia’s richest sponsors FIDE – 09 Jul 2021

    FIDE has announced a partnership dedicated to the global development of youth chess with the mining company Nornickel, formerly known as Nickel Norilsk, whose main shareholder Vladimir Potanin is a chess lover, was Russia’s richest man until recently and has excellent relations with President Putin.

  • Simen Agdestein leads Norwegian chess – 07 Jul 2021

    Simen Agdestein is the new President of the Norwegian Chess Federation after beating incumbent Morten Madsen with 66:49 votes. Agdestein, who is a chess and football coach, played football professionally until an injury stopped him at 24. He was a top 30 player in the 1990s and later on coached world champion Magnus Carlsen, whose manager Espen is his brother.

  • Vögtlin is President of Swiss Federation – 07 Jul 2021

    André Vögtlin, a career and executive search consultant (“headhunting”), follows Peter Wyss at the helm of the Swiss Chess Federation.

  • FIDE discusses ratings and titles – 06 Jul 2021

    Following the twitter debate over the legitimacy of the most recent youngest GM record, FIDE invites suggestions on ratings and titles in two open Zoom sessions on 19 resp. 21 July.

  • Grenke sponsored Bischwiller wins Top12 – 06 Jul 2021

    The French league aka Top12, held in Chalons-en-Champagne, was won for the third consecutive time by the team of the Alsatian town Bischwiller that is sponsored by GRENKE as well as the German team champion from Baden-Baden which lies a mere 30 km across the Rhine to the East.

  • Stockfish 14 is out – 04 Jul 2021

    The Stockfish team credits its cooperation with Leela Chess Zero for improvements in its new 14th version, estimating its pace of advancing at 80 rating points per year. A significant jump has been made in Fischer Random (that some people started to call Chess959).

  • Aronian dominated Goldmoney Asian Rapid – 04 Jul 2021

    Levon Aronian won the preliminaries, the semifinal against Carlsen and the final against Artemiev with two games to spare as well as $30,000 in the Goldmoney Asian Rapid. The Armenian, who will represent the US in the future, has jumped to the 7th spot in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour ranking.

  • FIDE partners with Binance – 02 Jul 2021

    After the Play Magnus Group and, FIDE also partners with crypto currency companies: The Malta-registered trading platform Binance sponsors a rapid tournament for teams from business schools that is announced at short notice for 9 to 11 July and hosted by Lichess.

  • Yuri Dokhoian (1964–2021) – 02 Jul 2021

    GM Yuri Dokhoian who was Garry Kasparov’s permanent second and later on coach of the Russian Chess Federation and most recently of Andrei Esipenko has died from Covid-19 in Moscow.

  • Nepo got fitness checks and advice – 01 Jul 2021

    World championship challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi spent a few days in Munich for sport medical checks and fitness training with Marcus Lindner, athletic coach of the Bayern München basketball team, who will stay in touch with him during the preparation for the match in November.

  • Grenke and Noppes leave – 01 Jul 2021

    The future of the biggest German chess sponsorship GRENKE is in huge doubt after an announcement that founder Wolfgang Grenke will leave the supervisory board on 29 July and Sven Noppes will be replaced at the helm of Grenke Bank before the end of the year. Noppes managed the Bundesliga teams of Baden-Baden and Deizisau as well as the Grenke Classic and Open, which was Europe’s biggest chess festival until 2019. The company had come under fire from shortsellers who brought attention to deficits in the bank’s control mechanisms.

  • Mishra becomes youngest GM in history – 30 Jun 2021

    In the tenth consecutive tournament he played in Budapest since mid-April, Abhimanyu Mishra has completed the mission for which his father took him out of school a year ago and let him play or train 12–13 hours each day. The 12-year-old from New Jersey has fulfilled his final GM-norm and beats the dubious record that had been set 19 years ago by Sergey Karjakin with (allegedly) a little help.

  • Karpov appearance in Moldovian campaign – 30 Jun 2021

    Igor Dodon, the President of the Moldovian Chess Federation and until December President of Moldova, hosted a two-day simul and lecture visit of former world champion Anatoly Karpov, himself a parliamentarian for Putin’s United Russia, just ahead of the parliamentary snap election on 11 July, for which Dodon’s Socialists formed a coalition, likely to come out on top, with the Communist Party that he had left in 2011. Dogon’s party colleague Viorel Bologan is a member of the Moldovian parliament, FIDE Executive Director and National Coach of Qatar.

  • Conservative dress-code at World Cup – 30 Jun 2021

    Jeans, sneakers, T-shirts and caps are banned in the playing hall of the upcoming FIDE World Cup in Sochi, where a conservative dress code will be in place along with a health protocol of PCR tests every 4–5 days and daily health checks for everyone. At the board, masks don’t have to be worn. Tabletop separators will be put up between opponents. Seconds and spectators will not be allowed in the hall.

  • Jobs get more diverse at – 28 Jun 2021

    From graphic and sound design to curriculum and business analysis, the job roles advertised by are getting more diverse. Most positions can be filled from anywhere, a notable exception is the future Chief Operating Officer who must be a US resident.

  • Chess for French army clubs – 26 Jun 2021

    The French Chess Federation has signed an agreement with Clubs de la Défense. The federation provides chess presentations and training with the objective to build chess sections in many of the 410 army clubs in which 160,000 members are organised. The agreement is a fruit of the work of the Paris lawyer and chess organiser Joël Gautier, who was a candidate in the recent presidential election.

  • E-sport pioneer joins Play Magnus board – 26 Jun 2021

    Jens Hilgers, founder of the E-sports venture capital fund Bitkraft, has joined the board of the Play Magnus Group.

  • Horst Rittner (1930–2021) – 24 Jun 2021

    Horst Rittner, who for 26 years edited the German magazine Schach, presented chess on Eastern German TV and became correspondence chess world champion in 1971, has passed away in Berlin on 14 June, as has become known only now.

  • South Westphalia tries something new – 24 Jun 2021

    The chess district of South Westphalia in the centre of Germany has decided to suspend the 2021/22 team season and invite those who want to play to test new match formats with smaller teams or two shorter games instead of a long one. Some regional leagues are considering hybrid matches.

  • So wins Paris Rapid & Blitz ahead of Nepo – 22 Jun 2021

    Wesley So confirms the great form he has been showing in the Champions Chess Tour by winning both the rapid and the blitz at the Paris leg of the Grand Chess Tour, while challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi came in as clear second. No spectators were allowed at the broadcast event. Next is the Croatia Rapid and Blitz in Zagreb on 6–11 July where the wildcard is reserved for a Croatian citizen, Garry Kasparov, who will make a rare appearance at the board.

  • NYC kids campaign goes strong – 22 Jun 2021

    Providing 10,000 kids from disadvantaged families in New York City with chess instruction, learning software and a set is the goal of The Gift of Chess campaign, that has raised two thirds of its goal within a month and is covered by ABC.

  • Dansk Skoleskak appoints development director – 21 Jun 2021

    Andreas Weidinger, former head of the Danish Conservative People party youth and a climate policy expert, is the newly appointed Director of Development at Dansk Skoleskak, an innovator in school chess that is planning to open a “chess house” by 2025.

  • US Chess comes together – 21 Jun 2021

    The US Open can take place between 31 July and 8 August in Cherry Hill near Philadelphia. The venue hotel is already booked out. While the players are required to wear masks, participants of the US Chess governance meetings are not since all of them are supposed to be fully vaccinated.

  • Asia-themed tour event – 17 Jun 2021

    The next Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event from 26 June to 4 July will be the Goldmoney Asian Rapid with the majority of the participants born in Asia and earlier playing hours to the benefit of participants like 15-year old Dommaraju Gukesh who narrowly won the second Challengers Chess Tour event. The recently inactive female number one Hou Yifan receives a wildcard. The title sponsor is again a financial company, the Canadian precious metals platform Goldmoney.

  • FIDE Grand Prix stays with Merenzon – 17 Jun 2021

    Two places for the next Candidates Tournament shall be decided in a series of three Grand Prix events in February to April 2022, each with 16 players, a group and a knockout phase. The full series shall be held in one yet unknown city according to Ilya Merenzon from World Chess, still entrusted by FIDE with the organisation.

  • Carol Jarecki (1935–2021) – 15 Jun 2021

    Carol Jarecki, chess organiser and head arbiter of the 1995 PCA World Championship Kasparov vs Anand, the Kasparov vs Deep Blue-match in 1997 and many other events and also one of the most profound critical voices in FIDE, has passed away.

  • Photo: Schjærven Reklamebyrå

    Design awards for Champions Tour logo – 15 Jun 2021

    The logos of the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour and its ten chess24-hosted events, created by Schjærven Reklamebyrå in Oslo, have won two golden European Design Awards. The logos are generated from game data, e.g. the tour logo is based on the Armageddon game between Carlsen and Nakamura that concluded the first Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour in 2020.

  • Carlsen headlines bullet open – 15 Jun 2021

    The culture foundation Katara and the Qatar Chess Federation sponsor a $12,800 bullet (1 minute per player and game) tournament on Lichess with qualifiers on 20 June and a 16 players-k.o. on 23 June into which the 2020 winner Magnus Carlsen is seated.

  • From coach to investor – 14 Jun 2021

    Susan Polgar, the former woman world champion, has recently retired as head coach of the top US college chess team at Webster University, where Liem Quang Le has taken her job. She has relocated to Florida and started Chess Maven for business investments.

  • Billionaire apologized for computer assistance – 14 Jun 2021

    Nikhil Kamath, cofounder of the Indian trading platform Zerodha, won a game against Vishy Anand in a charity online simul. After being banned by, the billionaire admitted that he had taken hints from Grandmasters, computers and even Anand himself during the game and apologized.

  • Krause remains German chess President – 13 Jun 2021

    When Michael S. Langer refused to run for the Presidency of the German Chess Federation, the reelection of Ullrich Krause was all but certain. The unpopular incumbent was still challenged by Olga Birkholz who, despite having hardly a programme, team or record in the national federation, collected 92 votes in Saturday’s online congress vs Krause’s 118. Birkholz ran and was elected as new Vice President Federation Development after the only candidate Boris Bruhn couldn’t secure a majority. Another Krause team-mate, Carsten Schmidt, fell through as Vice President Finance. That office was won by Gulsana Barbiyeva, a finance professional. New Vice President Sport is Ralph Alt, a former judge, who will work with GM Gerald Hertneck, who was elected as Top Sport Officer. After nearly 13 hours the assembly was postponed to 9 October.

  • ChessFest in London on 16–18 July – 11 Jun 2021

    The UK charity Chess in Schools and Communities runs a Alice in Wonderland-themed weekend of chess in Central London culminating on Trafalgar Square.

  • ECU announces 2021 events – 11 Jun 2021

    The European Club Cup will take place in Lake Ohrid (Macedonia) 17–25 September, the European Teams Championship in Terme Omilia (Slovenia) 11–22 November, and the European Rapid and Blitz in Katowice (Poland) 16–19 December. A decision about the European Youth Championship has been postponed by the ECU board to early July.

  • Caruana biggest fighter in top ten – 10 Jun 2021

    David Smerdon has published a Fighting Chess Index (FCI) based on the proportion of draws by a player and the average number of moves in their drawn games during the period 2015–2020. The Australian grandmaster and lecturer in Economics at the University of Queensland has published a list of the 50 players with the highest average rating in 2015–2020, among whom the now inactive Vladimir Kramnik has the highest FCI score. Fabiano Caruana is the highest top ten player on 4th place with Magnus Carlsen not far behind. Alireza Firouzja’s rating was too low to make this list, but if he would have his FCI would rank him just above Caruana. The clearly lowest FCI among the 50 top rated players is listed for Teimur Radjabov to whom FIDE recently awarded a spot in the Candidates Tournament 2022.

  • Carlsen plays World Cup – 10 Jun 2021

    Magnus Carlsen has confirmed his participation in the World Cup that starts on 14 July in Sochi where he will fight for a $88,000 first prize (according to the regulations 20% of the nominal prizes are retained by FIDE). His challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi is one of the few missing top players. If the world champion reaches the final, the second qualification spot for the Candidates Tournament 2022 goes to the winner of the match for 3rd place. Except for a few nominees of national federations the list is complete and the pairings shall be announced within two weeks.

  • Chessable supports chess-related research – 09 Jun 2021

    Karel van Delft, a Dutch psychologist, chess coach and author, has joined Chessable as science project manager and is calling university-based scientists who plan chess related projects.

  • 25 million worldwide in school chess – 09 Jun 2021

    A joint working group of FIDE and ECU has presented a worldwide survey that estimates that more than 25 million pupils learn and play chess in schools. Since 15 million of these are in India and 5 million in China, the numbers on the other continents seem lower than circulated earlier. More than 90,000 school teachers and more than 140,000 chess instructors are estimated to be involved. It is not clarified if these numbers are current or prepandemic. The survey forms the basis for a new strategy and policies that shall be formulated in the next months.

  • Jordi Lopez returns to French Federation – 07 Jun 2021

    Jordi Lopez, who already worked full-time for the French Chess Federation 2007–2018, is back as Technical Director. His dismissal by former President Bachar Kouatly led to a lengthy law suit.

  • Dutch leagues to start on 17 September – 05 Jun 2021

    The Dutch Chess Federation is running relegation matches this June for the new regular season to start on 17 September.

  • Fröwis appointed as Austrian junior coach – 05 Jun 2021

    The IM, law graduate and twice Austrian champion Georg Fröwis is the new junior coach of the Austrian Chess Federation after Harald Schneider-Zinner retired in April.

  • More celebrity building on – 03 Jun 2021 adds a new format to feature its content creators: The Winner Stays series that starts this Friday matches platform celebrities on three different levels, below 1400 rating, above 2400, and in between.

  • Carlsen and Nepo to play twice in Stavanger – 01 Jun 2021

    Norway Chess 2021 has secured the participation of both the world champion and his challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi for another double-round-robin edition on 7 to 18 September. The other players are Karjakin, Firouzja, Rapport and Tari.

  • Webinar on chess after Covid-19 – 01 Jun 2021

    For French speakers the agency Léonard offers a webinar this Thursday at 19.00 CEST on how chess can restart after the pandemic.

  • Carlsen broke the spell against So – 01 Jun 2021

    Magnus Carlsen won another Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event, the FTX Crypto Cup, and finally overcame Wesley So in a final that was still tied after ten games and was decided in an Armaggedon game. The world champion secured his participation in the Grand Final, $60,000 and the equivalent of $22,000 in Bitcoin.

  • Jobava qualifies in spite of fatal mouseslip – 30 May 2021

    36 European players, among them 14 Russians, each won three matches to qualify for the World Cup that starts on 10 July in Sochi. One of them is Baadur Jobava who resigned his White game immediately after his mouse pushed a pawn one square too far, but managed to win with Black and in the tie-break. The full prize-fund of €32,000 is illogically distributed among the 36 qualifying players after 9 rounds of rapid this Sunday. Both the qualifiers and the rapid were played in hybrid fashion from arbiter-supervised venues all over Europe.

  • Kasparovchess broadcasts Grand Chess Tour – 28 May 2021

    The Grand Chess Tour that starts on 5 June in Bucharest is exclusively broadcast by Kasparovchess. Ding Liren passed on his place on the tour to Richard Rapport. After becoming the world championship challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi is also not a full tour player any more. He will probably play at least one event with a wildcard like Magnus Carlsen.

  • Study competition to honour Jan Timman – 28 May 2021

    The Dutch Chess Federation announced a study composition contest with €600 in cash and more prices to honour the 70th birthday of Jan Timman on 14 December.

  • Strong Q1 performance at Play Magnus – 26 May 2021

    Higher turnover than expected in the first quarter 2021 and significantly increased spending per customer has driven the Play Magnus Group share price up. The only publicly traded chess company has increased its expectation for 2021 by $2 million.

  • Birkholz wants to head German Federation – 25 May 2021

    Olga Birkholz has declared her candidacy for President of the German Chess Federation. This is actually good news for the incumbent Ullrich Krause. Since Birkholz has even less support, he can expect a convincing looking majority in the vote that is held during an online general assembly on 12 June. Without a challenger Krause would have faced lots of abstentions, possibly more than half of the delegates.

  • Wildcard or rating won’t make you a Candidate – 25 May 2021

    FIDE has announced the ways how to qualify for the Candidates Tournament 2022: Two spots will go to the finalists of the World Cup held in July 2021 in Sochi, two spots to the winners of the Grand Swiss held in October 2021 on the Isle of Man, and two spots to the winners of a reformed Grand Prix planned between February and April 2022. The loser of the world championship match in November 2021 in Dubai will be invited and so will Teimour Radjabov, who refused to play in the last Candidates Tournament due to the pandemic. There is neither a wildcard for a player chosen by the organiser nor a spot for the highest rated player that has not qualified in any other way.

  • French clubs to benefit from sport voucher programme – 22 May 2021

    The French government issues a Pass Sport to mobilize the youth to return to sport. 5,4 million minors will receive the vouchers worth €50 that can be spent for memberships or courses, including those offered by chess clubs.

  • French league 2021 is saved – 20 May 2021

    The French Top 12 will take place on 24 June to 4 July in Ville de Châlons-en-Champagne in Eastern France. The French Chess Federation’s former president Diego Salazar fills in as organiser after Chartres turned down and is running its own invitationals instead.

  • Join Judit Polgar on 9 October – 19 May 2021

    Chess organisers everywhere are called to join the Global Chess Festival on 9 October 2021, run by the Judit Polgar Foundation and sponsored by Morgan Stanley. The choice of the second Saturday of October goes back to a proclamation of US President Ford to make 9 October 1976 the first National Chess Day.

  • Crypto themed charity chess – 18 May 2021

    Just after the announcement of the FTX Crypto Cup held on chess24, competitor unveils the charity tournament Cryptochamps on 12 and 13 June with pundits from the world of digital currencies who will donate their Coinbase-sponsored prizes to charities of their choice.

  • PMG acquires Aimchess – 18 May 2021

    The Play Magnus Group has made its first technology-driven acquisition with the take-over of Aimchess, the brainchild of the Russian IT-entrepreneur Anton Gora and managed by Stanford-MBA-candidate Ross Venhuizen. Neither the prize nor the number of paying subscribers is known. Aimchess offers personalized training based on analysis of the client’s games. A similar app, ChessZebra, is in open beta-testing.

  • Bitcoin for the winner – 17 May 2021

    The next Champions Chess Tour event from 23 to 31 May is branded as the FTX Crypto Cup with a record prizefund of $220,000 in cash and an additional equivalent of $100,000 in Bitcoin for the winner thanks to a sponsorship by FTX. The trading platform for derivatives based on digital currencies has recently bought the naming right for the stadion of the NBA team Miami Heat for $135 million. The tournament will feature the first game between world champion Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi since the latter has become the challenger on Saturday at 18.00 CEST.

  • Hybrid regions cup in Slovakia – 14 May 2021

    The Slovak Chess Federation has launched a championship of regions that is played as a hybrid team event on four boards in six venues.

  • European Girls and Women Chess Weekend – 13 May 2021

    A full programme of online tournaments, coaching sessions and workshops in English and German for girls and women is offered from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon by the German Youth Chess Association with coaches and speakers from several countries. Participation is free.

  • 35 hybrid venues across Europe – 12 May 2021

    272 participants are registered for the ECU qualifiers to decide 36 places in the Men’s World Cup to be held in Sochi in July. The European qualifiers are played in hybrid mode from at least 35 venues across Europe. Not all countries operate their own venue. The only Swiss participant Noël Studer will compete from Magdeburg in Germany. The start has been postponed from 22 May to 24 May because less than 288 players registered. After several uncorrected mouseslips at the Mitropacup move confirmation will be the default setting on Tornelo.

  • Italy dominates Mitropacup – 12 May 2021

    Probably inspired by the venue, e-sport centre QLASH, both Italian teams won the men resp. women Mitropacup. A survey of the players about their hybrid chess experience is underway and its outcome will be reported later.

  • ABChess is best online academy – 11 May 2021

    The FIDE Trainers Commission has elected ABChess Academy, run by Berik Akkozov from Kazakhstan, as the best online chess academy thanks to its gamification and AI integration.

  • Grandmasters replace bulls – 10 May 2021

    For the first time in seventy years, the Sanfermines festival in Pamplona, Spain, will take place without a running of the bulls. Instead, Magnus Carlsen will come to the Spanish town to compete in a €50,000 online blitz tournament hosted by chess24 with seven other players, four of which will be decided through a qualifier.

  • Covid charity for India – 10 May 2021

    Viswanathan Anand, Nihal Sarin, R. Praggnandhaa and Humpy Koneru give an online simul this Thursday to raiss funds for Covid relief in their hard-hit home country. The simul’s host will match the donations.

  • Conference connects prison projects – 07 May 2021

    FIDE holds an online conference Chess for Freedom next Tuesday to present findings about chess in reintegraton programmes and to connect prison chess projects.

  • Italian E-sport cooperation – 06 May 2021

    QLASH, an E-sport company, provides the Italian Chess Federation with a venue for the Mitropacup, that is currently played as a hybrid event. The Italian teams compete under supervision of arbiters and the newly appointed national coach Loek van Wely from the QLASH House in Villorba near Venice, where the setting induces the players to think on the screen rather than the board.

  • Chess training study looks for participants – 06 May 2021

    The Development of Chess Expertise study by scientists in Austria and the UK invites competitive players to complete a questionnaire on motivation, chess activities and cognitive tasks. Those who spend the required 35–45 minutes can compare themselves with others. The questionnaire is available in English and in German and soon in Russian and Chinese.

  • Only one candidate in Germany – 04 May 2021

    Christian Kuhn has withdrawn his candidacy for President of the German Chess Federation due to health motives. The unpopular incumbent Ullrich Krause may still face a challenger until the election on 12 June. Traditionally, a lengthy “congress broshure” is published.

  • Carlsen’s first victory after 30 – 04 May 2021

    The world champion has finally won his first tournament since turning 30 last November, which is also his first victory in the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour in its fifth event. Magnus Carlsen beat Nakamura in the final and now leads the overall standings. In a first for the tour, he played the first rounds in a hybrid form under supervision from offices of sponsor Meltwater. The event was named the New in Chess Classic after the magazine that has recently been acquired by the Play Magnus Group.

  • Polish championship in k.o. format – 29 Apr 2021

    The Polish Chess Federation shows its vitality by running its championship since 2020 in a media-friendly K.o.-format with 16 players and a €70,000 prize-fund. The venue is Bydgoszsz, birthplace of the Minister and member of Polish Parliament and former U10 Polish champion Łukasz Schreiber, who patrons the event.

  • Fuller picture of Play Magnus Group growth – 29 Apr 2021

    The Play Magnus Group has now 140 employees and full-time consultants, about thirty women among them, from more than thirty countries according to its first Annual Report 2020 full of information about its merger with chess24 in 2019, operative expenses, board members, shareholders, social engagements and more.

  • Gazprom extends FIDE sponsorship – 27 Apr 2021

    The gas, oil and electricity giant Gazprom, majority-owned by the Russian state, is now “General Partner” of FIDE until 2023. Gazprom has already been a FIDE sponsor since 2019 and will be a sponsor of the World Cups 2021 and 2023, the Chess Olympiad 2022, and all World Junior Championships, World Team Championships and Women’s Grand Prix during the period. There is no mention of the individual World Championship to which the two-year-ban of Russia by WADA applies.

  • Time to say Dubai – 26 Apr 2021

    Ian Nepomniachtchi has won the Candidates Tournament with a round to go and will challenge world champion Magnus Carlsen in a 14-round-match scheduled to start on 24 November in Dubai.

  • Céline Roos (1953–2021) – 23 Apr 2021

    WIM Céline Roos, the oldest of the Roos-siblings, passed away in Strasbourg. She was an English teacher, chess coach and translator. She blogged about literature, sometimes with reference to chess, and deconstructed a short story by Borges as based on a chess game.

  • ChessFellow pilots with KNSB – 22 Apr 2021

    The community app ChessFellow that is developed by a Dutch team and currently beta-testing is offered to all members of the Royal Dutch Chess Federation, that in return will get access to unregistered chess lovers who live in the Netherlands.

  • E-sport chess in Catalonia – 22 Apr 2021

    Organised sports in the Spanish region Catalonia are encouraged to partner with the Lliga Catalana d’esports. The Catalan Chess Federation is promoting chess as an e-sport in events.

  • Chessable and chess24 sponsor FIDE – 19 Apr 2021

    The Play Magnus Group has signed a 5-year-contract with FIDE. The size of the deal with effect from the Candidates Tournament that starts this Monday isn’t disclosed but well in the seven figures. While Chessable is now an official sponsor of the World Championship Cycle, Chess Olympiad and World Blitz and Rapid Championship, chess24 becomes broadcasting partner for the same events. Chessable has also pledged to give $150,000 annually into a newly created FIDE Chessable Youth Development Fund.

  • Bologan wins tournament of parliamentarians – 17 Apr 2021

    Grandmaster Victor Bologan is not only the FIDE Executive Director but also member of the parliament of Moldova. He took first place in a Tornelo-hosted rapid tournament of members of national, regional and transnational parliaments of Europe ahead of rating favourite Loek van Wely, parlamentarian in the Dutch region Noord-Brabant. Antoaneta Stefanova from the Bulgarian parliament came in fifth in the ECU-organised event.

  • Stefanova becomes politician – 16 Apr 2021

    Antoaneta Stefanova, the FIDE Woman World Champion of 2004, is the next Eastern European woman grandmaster who enters a career in politics. She is elected into the Bulgarian parliament as member of the populist, anti-corruption, pro-European party Ima Takav Narod (There is Such a People), named after a song of the party founder and leader Slavi Trifonov.

  • English online festival – 15 Apr 2021

    The English Chess Federation announced a six-days-long Chess for All Festival on 30 May to 4 June in cooperation with with coaching and competitive online sessions for beginners and advanced beginners and a marathon charity blitz.

  • and Nakamura distance themselves from donor-moderator – 14 Apr 2021

    A high profile moderator and donor who goes by Chessbae94 was stripped off all moderator rights by Hikaru Nakamura apologized to the chess community for what were apparently her actions. Chessbae94 has been spending significant time and money to support chess streamers and bought herself influence that she used against streamers she didn’t approve of. Her behaviour has been controversial for some time. It escalated after she dished out copyright infringement claims against other streamers on behalf of and Nakamura, which Eric Hansen from Chessbrah made public.

  • Caruana has Intel inside – 14 Apr 2021

    Intel is the new sponsor of Fabiano Caruana. The world nr 2 told Ad Age that he has another brand endorsement that will be revealed soon. In January Caruana surfaced in the campaign of Manhattan District Attorney candidate Tali Farhadian Weinstein.

  • TV ads feed appetite for chess – 14 Apr 2021

    Chess themed TV advertising is thriving in the aftermath of The Queen’s Gambit. As Ad Age reports, Hennessy clips with Maurice Ashley and the Wu Tan Clan got 300 million exposures. A Mobil 1 spot with basketballer Anthony Davis has been seen by 85 million. A Chanel clip with Keira Knightly was booked again after the Netflix show and has now been seen 700 million times.

  • Candidates tournament resumes with few restrictions – 13 Apr 2021

    The FIDE Candidates Tournament will resume on Monday in the same venue, the Hayat Hotel in Ekaterinburg, where it was interrupted on 26 March 2020. The players and their accompanying team members need negative PCR tests to fly to Russia this Wednesday and Thursday and will be tested again before the first round, but not afterwards unless they show symptoms. Masks won’t be required at the board. Even some audience will be allowed inside the hall, all to avoid the “extremely paranoid” atmosphere of the first part and in line with Russia’s back to business policy. Even though the organisers say that foreign reporters are welcome, only one – from Finland – is expected so far. The online shop Sima-Land is the main sponsor. The other event partners Kaspersky, PhosAgro, Algorand and Mercedes are joined by Chessable.

  • Praggnanandhaa won first Challengers – 11 Apr 2021

    Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa won the first tournament of the Challengers Chess Tour just launched on chess24. The 15-year-old Indian qualified for the next Meltwater Champions Chess Tour event starting on 24 April. The best female players Lei Tingje and Zhu Jiner shared the 11th place.

  • Brunettes outperform blondes – 09 Apr 2021

    The promotional blitz match between two female Russian teams, selected by the hair colour, was won 37:27 by the brunettes in the Central Chess Club of the Russian Chess Federation in Moscow. The players and most spectators didn’t wear masks.

  • Firouzja shines – 08 Apr 2021

    After winning two Titled Tuesday tournaments in a row, Alireza Firouzja, the 17-year-old French resident, was also victorious at the Bullet Chess Championship, netting him $10,000 and raising his bullet rating to 3355.

  • E-sport contract for Andy Navrotescu – 07 Apr 2021

    Andreea “Andy” Navrotescu, a French streamer and WIM, has signed up with the French E-sport Team Vitality.

  • Austrian Federation returns money to the clubs – 06 Apr 2021

    The Austrian Chess Federation has decided to distribute €75,000 among its clubs for project #restart, after which the treasurer resigned. The former board has been abolished. The operative power is now concentrated in the presidium which consists of the new President Christof Tschohl and the Presidents of the nine regional federations.

  • Design the new! – 06 Apr 2021

    The world’s biggest chess site will award $13,500 in prizes and probably job offers for the best ideas to redesign

  • 20 youngsters selected for Challengers Tour – 05 Apr 2021

    Ten strong male juniors and ten female talents have been announced as participants of the Challengers Chess Tour by chess24 and its sponsor Julius Baer, a Swiss bank. Among the selected are Awonder Liang (USA), Nihal Sarin (India) and Vincent Keymer (Germany). Vladimir Kramnik and Judit Polgár serve as team captains and coaches together with Boris Gelfand and others. The tour consists of five online rapid tournaments with altogether $100,000 at stake and the winners qualifying for the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour. The first of these tournaments starts on Thursday and ends on Sunday.

  • Carlsen has a new fun account – 04 Apr 2021

    Magnus Carlsen has created the new account DrGrekenstein on Lichess and streamed the April Blitz Titled Arena during which he routinely made two early king moves and played no castling chess with two tempi less.

  • Eloi Relange wins French election – 03 Apr 2021

    With 632 votes, 41% of the 1539 valid votes, Eloi Relange has been elected in Paris as new President of the French Chess Federation. The former poker professional and internet entrepreneur who is supported by the top players and ran a long and ambitious campaign follows the incumbent Bachar Kouatly who got 36,5% of the votes. Kouatly reached several important government contracts for the federation in the early part of his presidency but his conflicts of interest as the biggest chess entrepreneur – organiser of chess camps, courses and communal events and publisher of the dominant magazine Europe Echecs – outraged many, even though he didn’t claim a presidential salary. Relange is expected to reconcile the top players with the federation. It’s not known if he will keep or fire the efficient General Directrice Mathilde Choisy.

  • Tornelo platform of choice for hybrid events – 01 Apr 2021

    The second Hybrid Cities Cup on 17–18 April will be the next serious test of hybrid chess, followed by the European Small Nations Hybrid Championship, an individual tournament from 17 to 24 April, and the Mitropa-Cup, a competition between national teams, from 3 to 11 May. All three events will be held on Tornelo.

  • Deizisau wins European Club Cup – 01 Apr 2021

    GRENKE, the top German chess sponsor, supported two teams in the European Club Cup held online on Tornelo. Curiously, their international team, led by Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, OSG Baden-Baden failed in the playoff phase. The second Grenke-sponsored team Deizisau, which consists of German top players, made it to the final and won ahead of several nominally stronger teams.

  • 20 disqualified at University Championship – 31 Mar 2021

    The Fair Play Panel of the FIDE World University Championship hosted on Tornelo has disqualified 20 players for fairplay violations, not claiming proof of cheating. The most prominent culprit is the initial winner of the Women’s Rapid IM Yulia Osmak from Ukraine, who represented the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley that organised the championships. Osmak’s innocence is maintained by Ruslan Ponomariov, a former FIDE world champion.

  • New Arbiter Manual – 30 Mar 2021

    FIDE has published a fully revised Arbiter Manual with a new online chapter and improved clarity and guidance for arbiters, players and organisers. The revision was led by IA Shoreh Bayat who has recently been appointed Events Director by the English Chess Federation.

  • Norway Chess postponed to September – 30 Mar 2021

    The Norway Chess world class tournament in Stavanger has been rescheduled from May to 7–18 September after Norway has imposed stricter rules due to increasing Covid-19 infections. Earlier, the TePe Sigeman & Co Chess tournament in Malmö that was planned in May has been postponed to August or later.

  • Vienna won hybrid test match – 27 Mar 2021

    Teams from Vienna and Berlin sucessfully tested a hybrid set-up with Tornelo and regular boards. They also played rapid games directly on the computer. The classical games counted forfould and ended in a tie. Vienna won 20:12 thanks to dominating the rapid part.

  • Giri wins Carlsen Invitational – 21 Mar 2021

    Magnus Carlsen is still without a first place since turning 30 four months ago. He lost his semifinal at the fourth Meltwalter Champions Chess Tour tournament named after him against Ian Nepomniachtchi, but managed a clear win in the match for third place against Wesley So. Anish Giri won a close final against Nepo. In April a Challengers Chess Tour sponsored by Julias Baer, a Swiss bank, and promoted by Judit Polgár and Vladimir Kramnik with $100,000 in prizes will give top juniors and women a chance to qualify for future top events.

  • Curricular chess for 60,000 Indian university students – 21 Mar 2021

    The Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology and the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences in Bhubaneswar, that form one of India’s best private universities introduce chess as a curricular activity for its 60,000 students, making it the biggest university chess programme in the world.

  • One million raised for CARE – 20 Mar 2021

    Streamers Hikaru Nakamura, Anna Rudolf and Levy Rozman have raised above $1 million for the charity CARE during just three streams on the GMHikaru Twitch channel this year.

  • Poor air quality induces draws – 20 Mar 2021

    Joris Klingen and Joos van Ommeren, two Dutch economists, have analyzed more than 17,000 Dutch league games played between 2002 and 2018 for which they could establish the local weather conditions. They found that an increase in particulate matter led to a small but significant increase in draws by 5,8% or a tendency to take less risks.

  • London Mindsports Centre

    London gets Mindsports Centre – 19 Mar 2021

    Donors connected with bridge, go and chess have joint forces to establish the London Mindsports Centre at Ravenscourt Park in West London. With the Hammersmith Chess Club among its tenants, the renovated former Salvation Army Citadel now has several playing halls, offices and a café.

  • French federation celebrates 100th birthday – 19 Mar 2021

    The French Chess Federation has been founded exactly 100 years ago in Paris, yet club and tournament chess is much older in France, and there were even earlier French championships. A free online conference with presentations in French and English takes place this Saturday.

  • Mexican online conference – 19 Mar 2021

    A First International Congress of Educational and Inclusive Chess in Spanish is held on 22–26 March online by activists from Xalapa, the capital of the Mexican state Veracruz. Participation is free.

  • The bird-seller who beat a master – 18 Mar 2021

    Wired has an in-depth story on Levy Rozman pointing out an obvious cheater on his stream and the hate messages he received from the cheater’s country afterwards. The cheater was later invited to play a well paid public match, in which he lost all games clearly against top Indonesian woman Irene Sukandar.

  • First German player signed E-sport contract – 17 Mar 2021

    Steve Berger, an IM from Berlin, is now representing the E-sport team Alternate Attax of the online computer shop ALTERNATE.

  • Bullet championship sponsored by SIG – 17 Mar 2021 has announced its annual Bullet Chess Championship on 5–7 April and qualifiers for high-rated bullet players on 31 March and 1 April. As winner of’s Open Bullet Championship last December Hikaru Nakamura is the only player already assured of a place among the 16 finalists. The $25,000 prizefund is sponsored by Susquehanna International Group (SIG), a global trading company that has a gaming blog and a chess team that recently won the North American Corporate Chess League hosted by Lichess and the US Amateur Teams East in 2020.

  • University world championship starts – 12 Mar 2021

    About 300 universities registered players or teams for the First World University Online Championship that starts on Saturday with an inidividual blitz.

  • chess24 cross-promotes with poker platform – 11 Mar 2021

    Top grandmasters Alexander Grischuk and Peter Svidler teamed up with top-earning poker professionals Isaac Haxton resp. Patrick Leonard for Battle of the Minds, a cross-promotion of chess and poker and the respective platforms chess24 and partypoker. The cooperation may seem a surprise, since the partypoker brand belongs to the UK gambling group Entain, which competes with Carlsen’s sponsor Kindred Group, that is also offering online poker but doesn’t contract poker professionals of Haxton’s and Leonard’s level. chess24 was founded by Enrique Guzman with earnings from his former company PokerStrategy and merged with Play Magnus in 2019.

  • Lichess under fire – 10 Mar 2021

    Lichess was heavily affected when thousands of servers were lost in a fire at a data centre in Strasbourg on the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. Puzzles, Puzzle Storm, game GIF exports and push notifications went down. The Lichess team was able to restore them from backups within a few hours, but 24 hours of puzzle history were lost. The opening explorer will take a few days to restore its terrabytes of data.

  • Breakthrough Prize Foundation presents tour event – 09 Mar 2021

    Ahead of the Magnus Invitational that starts on 13 March, the Champions Chess Tour announced a partnership with the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, philantropic vehicle of tycoons Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Sergey Brin (Google), Jack Ma (Alibaba) and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, who initiated the sponsorship. The fourth tournament of the tour will promote the Breakthrough Initiatives in space exploration and the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a global research competition for secondary school students.

  • Queen’s Gambit headed for the stage – 09 Mar 2021

    Level Forward, an LA-based company that develops theatre plays and musicals for stage, movies and television with a mission to support gender and racial diversity, has acquired the stage rights of The Queen’s Gambit from the Walter Tevis Family Trust. The Netflix series hit shall be adapted into a musical, but neither a team nor date nor venue have been announced.

  • 2022 year of woman in chess – 08 Mar 2021

    The FIDE Council has declared 2022 the “Year of Woman in Chess” to boost female participation in all aspects of chess. Christelle Hafstad and Xu Yuhua have joined the Women’s Commission.

  • One million for development – 08 Mar 2021

    FIDE Managing Director Dana Reizniece-Ozola announced a budget of €1 million for development grants and invited applications from national federations, continental associations and commissions. In 2020 the Planning and Development Commission (PDC) granted €285,000 to 58 national federations. This amount is expected to rise as there will be FIDE elections in 2022.

  • Saison blanche in France – 06 Mar 2021

    The French Chess Federation has nullified the team season 2020/21. The only otb event still planned is the Top 16 on 27 May to 6 June in Chartres.

  • Hybrid qualifiers for Worldcup – 06 Mar 2021

    After the European Individual Championship in Reykjavik has been postponed from May to August or September, it cannot serve as a qualifier for the Worldcup that FIDE plans to hold in Russia in July. The ECU will therefore hold hybrid qualifiers for 36 places in the Worldcup and €30,000 in prizes on 22–30 May on Tornelo and is calling European federations to provide venues and arbiters.

  • New playzone of chess24 open to premium members – 05 Mar 2021

    The reformed chess24 playzone that has been in the works since 2019 and has surfaced during the Champions Tour is now open to premium members. It is not connected with the old playzone and test games will not count for existing ratings.

  • Sigeman tournament in April – 04 Mar 2021

    The TePe Sigeman & Co invitational in Malmö mixes young talents like Jorden van Foreest and Nihal Sarin with veterans like Anatoly Karpov and Alexey Shirov on 24–30 April. Together with the Candidates Tournament from 19 April in Russia and Norway Chess from 9 May, Northern countries lead the return to otb chess.

  • Western professionals missing in Athletes Commission – 04 Mar 2021

    Seven women and six men have been announced by FIDE as members of its newly formed Athletes Commission. None of them is currently rated over 2700. European professionals are underrepresented, not a single one is from a Western country. Since there were only nine candidates for ten places, no vote was taken, and additional players were nominated by the FIDE Council which will select two more.

  • 27 opens to receive FIDE grant – 04 Mar 2021

    27 open tournaments planned during the next 11 months, exactly half of the applicants, have been selected to receive grants of up to 20% of their budget from FIDE which has raised the total from €100,000 to €120,000.

  • Everyman Chess acquired by Play Magnus – 04 Mar 2021

    The Play Magnus Group keeps investing in content with the acquisition of Gloucester Publishers for an undisclosed amount. Gloucester Publishers was founded in the late 1940s as Pergammon Chess. In recent decades its main brand has been Everyman Chess, which has many successful adaptations by Chessable, and there are also the imprints Cadogan Chess and Chess Press. The UK publisher generated a turnover of approximately €635,000 and was profitable in 2020. The announcement comes two days after news that Play Magnus signed a long-term cooperation with the UK author and presenter Simon Williams.

  • Canty and Johnson got E-sport contracts – 04 Mar 2021

    James Canty III and Frank Johnson, both in the streamer programme of, have signed up with the E-sport agencies Noble respectively Premier.

  • Charitable moves by – 02 Mar 2021 partners with Chess in Slums Africa. The announcement comes after Pogchamps 3 brought in more than $50,000 in viewer donations, which the platform double-matched to more than $150,000. The celebrities tournament strengthened’s presence and followership on Twitch and was won by the French streamer Sardoche.

  • Chess-based videogame to treat ADHD – 01 Mar 2021

    Chess has been used in the therapy of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) for years. A group from the Puerta de Hierro hospital near Madrid has teamed up with the games company Gammera to develop the videogame The Secret Trail of Moon with chess elements as a cognitive training tool for adolescents with ADHD. A clinical trial that ended in January is currently analysed.

  • World’s richest chess club expands – 27 Feb 2021

    The Saint Louis Chess Club uplifts its dining space and studio and expands its tournament and class-room spaces to an overall (including the World Chess Hall of Fame across the road) 2000 sqm to be ready for three event-filled months starting from 15 July with the US Juniors Championship. Here is an animation of the expansion.

  • Independent leads Austrian Federation – 27 Feb 2021

    After decades of politicians at the helm, the Austrian Chess Federation has elected Christof Tschohl, an independent lawyer and privacy activist with an ambitious programme, as its president. His predecessor Christian Hursky didn’t stand for another term after he was critized for running top events in spite of the pandemic. Johann Pöcksteiner, one of ECU’s Vice Presidents, initially prepared a candidacy but decided not to run.

  • Aronian changes to U.S. – 26 Feb 2021

    Three-times Chess Olympiad winner Levon Aronian has announced on facebook his move to Saint Louis and that he will change from the Armenian federation to represent US Chess. The 38-year-old had been courted for years by Rex Sinquefield, the financier of U.S. top chess, and finally gave in because his support in Armenia has dried up since the change of government in 2018.

  • Norway Chess announced for May – 25 Feb 2021

    The world-class tournament Norway Chess in Stavanger is planning to be back on 9–21 May with ten players instead of the reduced six in the delayed 2020 edition. Carlsen, Caruana, Ding, Aronian, Mamedyarov, So, Firouzja, Vachier-Lagrave and Tari are confirmed. chess24 is the platform partner.

  • Fat Fritz repackaged – 25 Feb 2021

    Chessbase has repackaged Fat Fritz 2.0 into two installation files, the search engine based on Stockfish and the proprietary neural network. Why exactly the initial release violated the General Public License and what enraged the open source community in the statements of Fat Fritz developer-trainer Albert Silver and his distributor Chessbase is reported in detail by Peter Doggers.

  • New Shogi-server based on Lichess – 24 Feb 2021

    Lishogi is the name of a new open source platform for Shogi, a traditional chess variant that is most popular in Japan and is very dynamic because you can set in captured pieces (as in crazyhouse chess). It is based on the Lichess open source code that has already led to the draughts (10x10) server Lidraughts.

  • Tech Mahindra plans World League – 24 Feb 2021

    Former world champion Vishy Anand has been hired by Tech Mahindra, an Indian IT service provider, as advisor and facilitator-in-chief of a yet-to-be-launched World League. Eight franchise teams shall play each other online. The press release doesn’t mention a platform partner but claims to break new ground by integrating 5G, AI and virtual reality. It is not specified if the teams are to meet locally. Instead of hybrid chess Tech Mahindra calls it “phygital”, a neologism for blending digital and physical experience.

  • Presidential debate in France – 23 Feb 2021

    The three candidates in the French Chess Federation election on 3 April will debate each other this Saturday at 14.00 CET on the Twitch channel of the club Cergy Pontoise.

  • Grenke Bank is Corporate World Champion – 21 Feb 2021

    Grenke Bank, a subsidiary of the leading German chess sponsor Grenke AG, has won the first Corporate World Championship that was held on Among 288 participating teams it was the only one with three women and only one man. The fundraising didn’t go quite as well as FIDE expected. Until now $6,840 have been collected for three social chess projects, but many companies have not yet decided on their donation and the fundraising site will stay open throughout the week.

  • First rated hybrid event – 21 Feb 2021

    Barcelona won the Hybrid Cities Cup, the first FIDE-rated hybrid chess event. The first two rounds were played on DGT boards via Lichess, but the transmission into the platform didn’t work reliably. During the final third round the players still moved on the board and entered them with a mouse directly on a screen, which went without problems. A second similar event is planned for 13–14 March. A longer article will follow to describe what was learned.

  • Stockfish pushes ahead – 19 Feb 2021

    In reaction to the Fat Fritz 2.0 release, a commercial programme that looks by and large like a Stockfish clone without giving all the due credit, Stockfish 13 has been released. The team claims a gain in strength of 35 rating points and has promised to publish updates more frequently. It also announced a cooperation with Leela to strengthen open source chess.

  • Indian federation has grand plans – 19 Feb 2021

    A long power fight in the All India Chess Federation between factions led by Venketrana Raja and Bharat Singh Chauhan seems to have been settled. Sanjay Kapoor, an affluent cricket official who already headed Uttar Pradesh’s chess association, was elected as president in a close online vote by 33:31 votes against Raja. Chauhan was reelected as secretary. Kapoor announced plans to introduce a national chess league, hold a women’s Grand Prix tournament, create a National Chess Centre and to bid for the Chess Olympiad 2026.

  • Kramnik and Anand headline Dortmund revival – 19 Feb 2021

    The Dortmund Chess Days will be back on 13–18 July with a match between former world champions Vladimir Kramnik and Vishy Anand in No-castling chess, an invitational Deutschland Grand Prix that matches German with international top players, and a junior cup tournament. Originally a strong open was planned which is postponed to post-pandemic times. The organisers partner with Chessbase to run the Sparkassen Playchess Open online.

  • Play Magnus expects quicker growth – 17 Feb 2021

    In its presentation on the fourth quarter of 2020, the Play Magnus Group has increased its expected bookings for 2021 from $14–16 million to $19–21 million and identifies Chessable with its fast output and higher revenue per customer as the main driver of growth. Thanks to sponsorship and media right deals the Champions Chess Tour has contributed 19% to group revenues in 2020, which doesn’t yet include new sponsorships by Meltwater and just announced Aker Biomarine. The tour final is planned not to be held online but otb in San Francisco in September, if the pandemic allows. The burn rate across the group increased in Q4 from $500,000 per month to $800,000 due to one-time-costs connected to the stock exchange listings, acquisitions and the set-up of a TV studio in Oslo. How much was paid for iChess and Interchess BV (the company behind New in Chess) is not revealed, but a combined $4,8 million can be estimated from the current cash position of $31 million. Acquisitions will remain important said CEO Andreas Thome and that the first priority is content followed by bringing technology and talent from start-ups into the group. The weak spot is the chess24 Playzone which has been in development since 2019 and has yet to launch. Localization efforts include the push of Chessable into the Spanish-speaking market and increased attention to India and Russia.

  • Stockfish team shocked – 16 Feb 2021

    The team behind the open-source engine Stockfish has released a statement that condemns the publication of Fat Fritz 2.0, saying that in spite of claims of originality most of the code is copied from Stockfish and the modifications are not sufficiently documented as stipulated in the open-source license.

  • More fundraising at Pogchamps 3 – 16 Feb 2021

    In the third Pogchamps tournament on Twitch the participating celebrity streamers and youtubers pick charities for which the two-weeks-long online event serves to raise donations. Host has pledged to match the viewer donations by up to $100,000.

  • CSR guidelines in chess – 15 Feb 2021

    FIDE has published Corporate Social Responsibility Guidelines, initiated by treasurer Zhu Chen, and added them as a chapter to its handbook on occasion of the Corporate World Championship next weekend. FIDE has teamed up with online fundraiser Softgiving to collect donations for three social projects.

  • Harold Winston passed away – 15 Feb 2021

    Harold J. Winston, a lawyer and public defender in Chicago and avid chess organiser, who served as President of US Chess in 1987–1990 and from 1999 as chairman of the US Chess Trust, has passed away.

  • Candidates to resume on 19 April – 15 Feb 2021

    FIDE has announced the schedule for the completion of the second half of the Candidates Tournament in Yekaterinburg from 19 to 27 April with rest days on 22 and 25 April. All eight players have confirmed their willingness to travel and play.

  • So bests Carlsen again – 14 Feb 2021

    Wesley So has won the Opera Europe Rapid, the third tournament of the Champions Chess Tour. As in the Skilling Open, So beat Magnus Carlsen in the final and cashed in $30,000.

  • Naiditsch not welcome in German federation – 13 Feb 2021

    In 2015 Arkadij Naiditsch signed a 5-year-contract with the Azerbaijan Chess Federation that paid a €30,000 transfer fee to the German Chess Federation. After this contract has run out, the 35-year old German grandmaster and founder of the company Chess Evolution wants to return to his old federation, and Azerbaijan waives a transfer fee, but the board of the German federation rejected.

  • 282 teams at first Corporate World Championship – 12 Feb 2021

    Magnus Carlsen, Ian Nepomniachtchi and Anish Giri will come out for their sponsors Kindred Group, Sberbank resp. Optiver and lead an impressive list of players to compete at the first Corporate World Chess Championship that will be held online on 19 to 21 February on FIDE has attracted 282 companies to send teams of four players, at least one of whom has to be female and at most may not have a formal work relation. Instead of a fixed fee, the companies are expected to donate to a chess cause as much as they wish.

  • Online arbitration course – 10 Feb 2021

    The ECU runs an online arbiter course 23–26 February. The certificate is required for those who want to arbitrate ECU online events.

  • Failed castling incident – 07 Feb 2021

    When Alexander Grischuk entered the castling move (king to g1) in round one of the Opera Europe Rapid, the third tournament of the Champions Chess Tour, the mouse recorded his king on f1. The Russian had to play on from there and saved a draw against Anish Giri.

  • MyChessApps acquired by Square Off – 07 Feb 2021

    The Bangalore app company (FollowChess, AnalyzeThis, iChess) is now part of Square Off, the Indian producer of electronic boards. Asim Pereira, profiled here, founder of MyChessApps and cofounder of Square Off, leaves the chess business.

  • Spanish summer in Andalucía – 06 Feb 2021

    The Spanish Chess Federation is one of the most active chess federations during the pandemic. It is planning to hold championships in the same Andalucían places as in 2020, the youth in Salobreña during July and in August the adults and teams in Linares where the last championship had been overshadowed by Covid-19 infections.

  • Designed by Thomas Steinacker.

    Stamp to commemorate Deep Blue win – 02 Feb 2021

    The German postal service is issuing a stamp to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the first winning game of Deep Blue against the best human player Garry Kasparov on 10 February 1996 in Philadelphia. The Russian went on to win this match by 4:2, but lost the rematch in May 1997 by 2,5:3,5.

  • European Club Cup – 02 Feb 2021

    ECU has announced a European Online Club Cup on 27–31 March. It’s a team event on four boards at 15 minutes + 5 seconds/move and hosted by Tornelo. A qualification through national results and club memberships are not required.

  • New in Chess taken over by Play Magnus – 01 Feb 2021

    Interchess BV, the publisher of New in Chess magazine, Yearbooks and twenty other titles that are published in print and digitally every year, is taken over for an indisclosed cash amount by the Play Magnus Group. The acquisition is motivated by access to its quality content, some of which has already been adapted earlier by Chessable, that belongs to Play Magnus, and by adding €2 million turn-over and a positive cash-flow. The deal includes the New in Chess online shop and €400,000 worth of Play Magnus shares held by Interchess. The company and brands will stay operational and independent, and Allard Hoogland remains the publisher. New in Chess was founded in 1984 at the Dutch publishing house Elsevier and went independent a year later under publisher Wim Andriessen who gradually passed on the business to Hoogland in the 2000s.

  • Dutch on top of Tata Steel Chess – 31 Jan 2021

    The two Dutch participants ended on top of the Dutch world class tournament Tata Chess Steel with 8,5 out of 13. In the end a nerve-wrecking blitz tie-break had to decide between Jorden van Foreest and Anish Giri. Van Foreest won the final Armaggedon game. It looked like he won on time in a lost endgame, but in reality the transmission broke down on move 58, Giri blundered and resigned on move 62. Giri had already lost a tie-break in Wijk aan Zee against Carlsen in 2018. Esipenko, Caruana and Firouzja all scored 8 points to leave Carlsen with a disappointing 6th place. Already before the event, the world champion had been concerned about his form.

  • Stockfish won again – 31 Jan 2021

    Stockfish wins its ninth title in the 20th season of the TCEC (Top Chess Engine Championship). With 50,5:45,5 Stockfish is sure to win its third final win in a row against LeelaChessZero. The remaining four games are still played out.

  • Donate-as-you-wish in corporate championship – 30 Jan 2021

    American Express, Facebook and Morgan Stanley are among the corporations that registered for the first World Corporate Chess Championship run online by FIDE on 19–21 February and hosted by It’s a team tournament on four boards, with at least one female on each team. Instead of a starting fee, a free donation is expected.

  • FIDE commits to Dubai – 28 Jan 2021

    The classical world championship is announced for 24 November – 16 December in Dubai for a €2 million prizefund, twice what was at stake in the last three matches. The event is part of the Expo, that had been postponed by a year due to Covid-19. Tournaments at the early world exhibitions London 1851, Paris 1867 and Vienna 1873 were instrumental in internationalizing and popularizing chess. Carlsen’s challenger shall be known by the end of April, by when FIDE wants to have completed the second half of the Candidates Tournament in Ekaterinburg.

  • Anna Cramling got esport contract – 27 Jan 2021

    The esport agency Panda has signed up the 18-year old Swedish Twitch streamer and Woman FIDE-Master Anna Cramling.

  • Gamified puzzling on Lichess – 27 Jan 2021

    Covering Lichess puzzles a few weeks ago, we wrote that gamification would remain for other developers. With the release of Puzzle Storm the open-source platform has proved us wrong.

  • University team events – 27 Jan 2021

    Kasparov Chess Foundation holds an online rapid competition for university teams on 6/7 February hosted by Lichess with a training camp by the former world champion as first prize. The event is partly a test run for the first FIDE World University Online Rapid and Blitz Championships planned between 13 and 28 March.

  • Peterson hired by Play Magnus – 27 Jan 2021

    Macauley Peterson joined Play Magnus as Business Operations Associate. The Hamburg-based American former Editor-in-chief of Chessbase and Content Director of chess24 is mainly working with CFO Dmitri Schneider.

  • among 200 top websites – 26 Jan 2021

    The traffic and engagement on during the last three months, exactly overlapping with the release of Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, has led it to climb from number 299 to number 198 in the world according to the web analytics service Alexa.

  • Play Magnus secures Polgár factor – 26 Jan 2021

    Judit Polgár, the top female player in chess history who retired in 2014 to focus on promoting chess, especially in education, has been signed by the Play Magnus Group as Educational Ambassador, in which capacity she will launch the Julius Bär Challengers Chess Tour for talented juniors. She will also produce educational content for Chessable.

  • Trendy conference for German speakers – 24 Jan 2021

    An experimental online conference is run next Saturday by the German Youth Chess Association that has just become independent from the German Chess Federation. The half-day long BarCamp offers short parallel workshops on various hot topics, all in German language. Registration is free.

  • Carlsen rusty – 24 Jan 2021

    The world champion was beaten convincingly by Russian youngster Andrey Esipenko in round eight of the Tata Steel Masters that has been dismantled of the usual festival due to Covid-19. With five rounds to go Carlsen is stuck at 50 percent. 17-year old Alireza Firouzja overcame his first round loss against Carlsen and leads with 5,5 out of 8.

  • Polgár serialized – 24 Jan 2021

    Rocambole, a French app that packages fiction and non-fiction for young readers into easily digestible five-minute-pieces, has been inspired by the success of the Netflix production Queen’s Gambit to commission a series on Judit Polgár. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave contributed a preface.

  • Climate action website launched – 23 Jan 2021

    Following a call to the chess community to act against climate change, at the ChessTech 2020 conference a group was formed by climate activists from different countries: Chess for Future has now launched its website with examples of how to make chess carbon-neutral.

  • Leadership change in Austria – 22 Jan 2021

    Christian Hursky announced that he will not seek another term as President of the Austrian Chess Federation. His decision to hold league matches this weekend against the will of half of the teams and several regional federations, escalated the criticism. The Social democrat politician served 13 years in the Vienna and Austrian federation and led some sporting successes. Christoph Tschohl, a lawyer and privacy advocate who hasn’t been engaged in the federation and is linked to the Presidents of the federations of Vienna and Vorarlberg, is tipped to be elected as Hursky’s successor in the assembly on 27 February.

  • New French magazine – 22 Jan 2021

    Route64 is the name of an artfully lay-outed chess and lifestyle magazine with literary ambition, that avoids tournament reports and technical articles and has just launched in France. Three print issues are planned per year at a €25 cover prize. Route64 is also planning to publish books and podcasts and to organise events. The website has a daily chess history rubric.

  • FIDE provides aid to open tournaments – 21 Jan 2021

    €100,000 in financial support have been earmarked by FIDE through its Global Strategy Commission to support the organisation of open tournaments in 2021. Their importance for the development of young players and the survival of professionals who don’t belong to the world top is cited. Further details shall be available by the end of January.

  • SuperNationals canceled – 21 Jan 2021

    Even though the planned date in May was still 15 weeks away, US Chess has canceled the SuperNationals citing that the pandemic forecast suggests no significant improvement by then. The US championships for students from all elementary and secondary school grades are united every four years in the SuperNationals, making it the biggest chess tournament in the world. The sixth SuperNationals in 2017 had 5,577 participants. Scholastic chess in the US is by and large equivalent with club-driven junior chess elsewhere. Only the US Junior Championships for the U20 age group, with some players having entered college or university, are held apart.

  • Bundesliga adjusts plans – 21 Jan 2021

    Seven rounds of the German Schachbundesliga season that started in November 2019 have yet to be completed. The 15 clubs agreed to cancel planned weekend rounds in March, April and May. Instead they favour a central event with all rounds played in Berlin in June or early July, setting the stage for – if the pandemic allows – a busy German chess summer, with the Dortmund Chess Days and the national Championship Summit also planned in July. A proposal to limit the number of foreign players in Bundesliga didn’t find a majority.

  • Grand Chess Tour without Carlsen and Nakamura – 20 Jan 2021

    Magnus Carlsen has declined to participate in the Grand Chess Tour that has planned otb classical, rapid and blitz events between June and August with a combined prizefund of $1,275 million citing his tight schedule with the Champions Chess Tour, Norway Chess and preparations for a world championship match planned in November. According to a report on chess24 this is not the only blow to the tour, since Hikaru Nakamura, arguably the second most popular player of the moment, is also missing out. The American keeps his focus on streaming. Both can yet participate in some events at short notice with wildcards.

  • Database pioneer joins Tornelo – 20 Jan 2021

    Helmer Wieringa has been appointed to represent the platform Tornelo in Europe. The Dutchman developed a chess database for Elsevier and New in Chess in the early 1980s. Since retiring from the publishing industry he has developed and marketed apps for bridge and worked as a consultant.

  • German federations launch joint channel – 20 Jan 2021

    With a broadcast of the first round of the second season of the German Online Chess League this Friday the German Chess Federation launches its presence on Twitch in cooperation with regional federations from Bavaria, Berlin and Lower Saxony. Other regional federations are expected to join the channel which starts with a focus on event broadcasts and presenting German clubs.

  • Austrian League takes place – 19 Jan 2021

    The Austrian Chess Federation has decided to start its first league this Friday to Sunday in a hotel in Graz. The decision is based on the argument that the restrictions won’t be levied soon but currently allow the event. All players and officials have to undergo an antigen rapid test for Cocid-19 before the first round. Seven men’s teams and four women’s teams have registered. Men and women will compete in separate spaces without audience and without relegation. The top teams Jenbach and Maria Saal, who led the previous season before it was ended without the last three rounds played, are not taking part.

  • Lubomir Kavalek (1943–2021) – 19 Jan 2021

    The Czech-born American grandmaster who reached 10th in the world ranking, organised the pathbreaking Tournament of Stars in Montreal in 1979 and World Cup series in 1988/89, coached Nigel Short in 1990–93 and penned acclaimed columns for the Washington Post and the Huffington Post, passed away in Reston, a suburb of Washington, due to cancer. An excellent obituary was written by Peter Doggers.

  • Minecrafter tournament breaks Twitch record – 18 Jan 2021

    The Canadian streamers Alexandra and Andrea Botez organised and streamed a tournament between streamers of the videogame Minecraft, named BlockChamps after the building blocks that are the essence of Minecraft, with which many gamers have created their own chess sets. The tournament stream attracted up tp more than 91,000 concurrent viewers, making it the most watched chess stream on Twitch. All streams together peaked above 150,000 concurrent viewers according to

  • Pogchamps 3 announced – 16 Jan 2021 has announced a third celebrities tournament to be broadcast on Twitch on 14–28 February. Apart from celebrity streamers (xQc, Pokimane) and youtubers (MrBeast) as in the first two editions an actor (Rainn Wilson) and a poker professional (Dan Negrescu) join the field which will share a doubled prize money of $100,000. In addition the event will be raising funds for non-profits, and has pledged up to $100,000 to match incoming donations. The event already creates chess content on Twitch with the participants training while streaming or while their chess coaches are streaming.

  • GM Gildardo García died – 15 Jan 2021

    Ten-times Colombian champion Gildardo García passed away at the age of 66 at a clinic in Medellín after several weeks of battling Covid-19.

  • Optimizing competitions for spectators – 13 Jan 2021

    The Trophée Immopar, created thirty years ago in Paris, was arguably the first big chess event that was a viable tournament (not just a match) and at the same time a spectator event with live commentary, rapid time control and a k.o.-mode with tie-breaks, elements that are are still there in the Champions Chess Tour. This Thursday the creator and director of Trophée Immopar Dan-Antoine Blanc-Shapira will look back thirty years in a webinar, in French language, hosted by Léonard.

  • Play Magnus expects break even by end 2022 – 09 Jan 2021

    In an interview with Der Aktionär, a German investor magazine, Play Magnus CEO Andreas Thome said that he expects the group to become profitable by the end of 2022 but stressed that the priority is growth. He singled out Chessable as a driver of growth and that the e-learning platform is to launch an app next month.

  • Rating fees for rapid and blitz waived – 08 Jan 2021

    To highlight its general policy to reduce fees, the FIDE Council has temporarily waived the rating fee for rapid and blitz tournaments in 2021 and 2022.

  • All streamers welcome – 08 Jan 2021

    To promote chess streaming runs the Arena Kings series of 24 blitz tournaments with $700 or $1,500 in prizes each, starting next Monday. To win money you have to stream all your games on Twitch.

  • Webster wins college championship – 07 Jan 2021

    The Pan-Am Intercollegiate Championship was held online on and won by favourite Webster University with an average rating of 2624 on four boards. Three more college teams from the US chess capital Saint Louis and two teams from Texas had line-ups above 2550, with Alex Lenderman being the only player who grew up in the US and most others from Eastern Europe. The top individual score was claimed with 8 out of 9 by Andrew Tang from Princeton University.

  • Interim President at French federation – 04 Jan 2021

    After a majority of the French clubs refused to support the leadership of the current board, President Bachar Kouatly (who is also FIDE Deputy President) stepped down. The court of Nanterre nominated the diplomate Yves Marek as interim President until the twice postponed elections on 3 April. Kouatly is one of three candidates for Presidency, while Marek maintains his full neutrality.

  • Online and hybrid regulations published – 04 Jan 2021

    FIDE has published the Annex 6.4 to the Laws of Chess for online competitions which include a special section for hybrid competitions.

  • Dana Reizniece-Ozola joins FIDE management – 04 Jan 2021

    A new position of Managing Director has been created by FIDE to appoint Dana Reizniece-Ozola. The 39-year-old Woman Grandmaster was Latvian Minister of Economics 2014 to 2016 and consecutively Minister of Finance until 2019, when her party didn’t join the governing coalition. She led the liberation of the Latvian energy market formerly controlled by Gazprom and fought against money laundering. She is a board member of the European Chess Union ECU since 2014 and a member of the Latvian parliament since 2010, though she rests her mandate now in order to focus on her new role, in which Reizniece-Ozola will focus on development, especially in the areas of education and social inclusion, and on FIDE’s relations to international institutions and governments.

  • Radjabov wins Airthings Masters – 03 Jan 2021

    Teimur Radjabov is the surprise winner of the first major in the Champions Chess Tour after a final win against Levon Aronian, who had beaten Nakamura and Vachier-Lagrave earlier. Carlsen was eliminated in the quarter final by Dubov, who then succumbed to Radjabov. At the end of the tournament sponsored by Airthings, a Norwegian producer of air quality instruments, Play Magnus presented Meltwater as the new title sponsor of the Champions Chess Tour. Meltwater is a media analytics company that was founded in Oslo in 2001 and has since moved its headquarter to San Francisco.

  • Sasikiran wins Rilton Winners Cup – 02 Jan 2021

    With its 50th edition postponed by a year due to Covid-19 the Rilton Cup Open in Sweden invited former winners for a k.o.-tournament that was hosted by Krishnan Sasikiran came out victorious.

  • Ju Wenjun 4th in Chinese Championship – 02 Jan 2021

    Yu Yangyi is Chinese Champion 2020 thanks to a direct win against Wei Yi, who, together with Lu Shanglei, also scored 8 out of 11. Women’s world champion Ju Wenjun scored a credible fourth place. The Candidates Tournament participants Ding Liren and Wang Hao didn’t take part in Xinghua.