News for 2020

Latest News

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    Chess.com among 200 top websites – 26 Jan 2021

    The traffic and engagement on Chess.com 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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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 Chess.com.

  • Short news

    Pogchamps 3 announced – 16 Jan 2021

    Chess.com 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 Chess.com 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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    All streamers welcome – 08 Jan 2021

    To promote chess streaming Chess.com 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.

  • Short news

    Webster wins college championship – 07 Jan 2021

    The Pan-Am Intercollegiate Championship was held online on Chess.com 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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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 Chess.com. Krishnan Sasikiran came out victorious.

  • Short news

    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.