Short News

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    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.

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    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.

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    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 Kasparovchess.com- 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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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 Chess.com, the billionaire admitted that he had taken hints from Grandmasters, computers and even Anand himself during the game and apologized.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    More celebrity building on Chess.com – 03 Jun 2021

    Chess.com 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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Crypto themed charity chess – 18 May 2021

    Just after the announcement of the FTX Crypto Cup held on chess24, competitor Chess.com 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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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 Chess.com will match the donations.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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 Chess.com-hosted events.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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 Chess.com with coaching and competitive online sessions for beginners and advanced beginners and a marathon charity blitz.

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    Chess.com 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 Chess.com. 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 Chess.com and Nakamura, which Eric Hansen from Chessbrah made public.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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 Chess.com-hosted Bullet Chess Championship, netting him $10,000 and raising his bullet rating to 3355.

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    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.

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    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.

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    Design the new Chess.com! – 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 Chess.com.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

  • Short news

    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

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    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.

  • Short news

    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.

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    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

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    Bullet championship sponsored by SIG – 17 Mar 2021

    Chess.com 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 Chess.com’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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

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    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

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

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

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    Charitable moves by Chess.com – 02 Mar 2021

    Chess.com 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 Chess.com’s presence and followership on Twitch and was won by the French streamer Sardoche.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

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    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

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    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 Chess.com. 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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

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    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.

  • Short news

    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.

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    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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 Chess.com has pledged to match the viewer donations by up to $100,000.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

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    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.

  • Short news

    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 Chess.com. 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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

    Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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.

  • Short news

    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 Chess.com. 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.

  • 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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

  • Short news

    Team Hikaru raises $352,000 for CARE – 30 Dec 2020

    While streaming the quarter final of the Airthings Masters on his Twitch channel Hikaru Nakamura, Levy Rozman and Anna Rudolf raised more than $352,000 for the charity CARE’s fight against hunger.

  • Short news

    Maghsoodloo banned for cheating – 29 Dec 2020

    The former U20 world champion Parham Maghsoodloo has been banned during a qualifier of the recent Levitov Cup on Lichess. The arbiters were convinced that the Iranian used computer prompted moves. Maghsoodloo is currently 59th in the FIDE ranking and the highest rated player banned for cheating.

  • Short news

    Russia expands World Cups – 29 Dec 2020

    The next World Cup shall be played with 206 participants instead of 128 and the prize-fund increased to $1,89 million for the men, while there will be 103 participants and $676,000 at stake in the Women’s World Cup. The 50 respectively 25 top rated players shall be seated in round two of a k.o. Both events shall start on or around 10 July, and Sochi is mentioned by FIDE as the most likely venue.

  • Short news

    50,000,000th member – 27 Dec 2020

    Chess.com reports its 50 millionth member signed up.

  • Short news

    Phish challenges its audience again – 26 Dec 2020

    Phish, one of the most versatile US rock bands, has announced a New Year’s Eve performance “Dinner and a Rematch” during which they will take on their audience to an online chess match, hosted by Chess.com, 25 years after they played the audience during a tour one move per gig.

  • Short news

    Award for best swindle of 2020 – 26 Dec 2020

    David Smerdon, author of the ECF Chess book of the year The Complete Chess Swindler, will pick the best chess swindle of 2020. His publisher New in Chess provides a € 250 award.

  • Short news

    MuZero publication in Nature – 24 Dec 2020

    The Deepmind team explains how MuZero, the successor of AlphaZero, masters abstract games as Chess, Go and Shogi as well as Atari video games in the journal Nature. The article is behind a paywall, but the Deepmind blog is sufficiently detailed and links several other articles and presentations.

  • Short news

    Botez sisters join Team Envy – 22 Dec 2020

    The Canadian sisters Alexandra and Andrea Botez, who are among the chess streamers with the biggest followership on Twitch, have signed up with Team Envy, an E-sport agency based in Dallas, Texas.

  • Short news

    German chess kids channel launched – 20 Dec 2020

    Grenke Chess Kids, a Youtube channel in German language to teach chess to children, has been launched by The Chess Centre Baden-Baden and chess promotor Sebastian Siebrecht with support by the Grenke Foundation.

  • Short news

    Anand biopic in the works – 19 Dec 2020

    The screenplay for a movie about the life of Indian world champion Vishy Anand is ready and to be directed by Aanand L. Rai, a specialist in Hindi-language romantic comedies, reports the Indian Express.

  • Short news

    Free female membership at English federation – 19 Dec 2020

    Inspired by the Netflix hit, the English Chess Federation introduces the Queen’s Gambit Scheme, a free one-year membership for women who were not formerly ECF members, along Free Junior Silver, a free one-year membership for female and male juniors.

  • Short news

    No Russian symbols at world championship – 18 Dec 2020

    The two-year-ban against Russian sport by the Court of Arbitration for Sport has little consequences on chess because it concerns only Olympic Games, Paralympics and the Men and Women World Championship, but not age-related or qualifier events. Should a Russian qualify as world chess championship challenger, the Russian flag, anthem and national symbols will not be allowed. The next world championships matches must not be held in Russia. Since very few international sport events will be held in Russia until December 2022, the Chess Olympiads in Moscow and Khanty-Mansisk and other international chess events held in Russia during this period will likely gain in importance for the host nation. World team championships are not currently planned and are now even more unlikely to come back before 2023.

  • Short news

    Liechtenstein federation facelift – 18 Dec 2020

    The Liechtenstein Chess Federation has skipped its German name and goes now officially by the English name. It has also a new logo. For its 50th anniversary in 2021 the tiny state between Switzerland and Austria will issue two commemorative stamps.

  • Short news

    Aagaard steps down at Trainers Commission – 17 Dec 2020

    Mikhail Kobalia, the head junior coach of the Russian Federation and former Kasparov second, is new chairman of the FIDE Trainers’ Commission. He replaces Jacob Aagaard who already stood down in June and has recently started Killer Chess Training to provide online coaching together with colleagues and former students.

  • Short news

    Nepomniachtchi Russian champion – 16 Dec 2020

    Jan Nepomniachtchi, the co-leader of the interrupted Candidates Tournament, has for the second time won the Superfinal of the Russian Championship ahead of Sergey Karjakin and of Daniil Dubov who had beaten both. The tournament was held in the Central Chess Club in Moscow with table top separators made of plexiglass. Mikhail Antipov left the tournament half way after testing positive for Covid-19.

  • Short news

    ChessPlus sensationally wins 4NCL – 15 Dec 2020

    The second online season of the British 4NCL was won by the second team (or Kingston team) of ChessTech managing partner ChessPlus who overcame a 150 ratings points disadvantage in the final 2,5:1,5 against Wood Green and an even larger rating gap two weeks ago in the semifinal against Guildford. Rating favourite Chessable White Rose lost their semifinal against Wood Green.

  • Short news

    Airthings sponsors Champions Tour event – 15 Dec 2020

    The Play Magnus Group introduces Airthings, a Norwegian producer of indoor air quality monitors, as sponsor of the Champion Chess Tour first Major from 26 December to 3 January. Air quality monitors will be installed at the homes of players. Poor air quality has been shown to lead to more mistakes in chess.

  • Short news

    New date and partner for corporate event – 15 Dec 2020

    FIDE has announced a new date for the first Corporate World Championship on 19–21 February 2021. Teams of four players have to play with at least one woman, three full-time employees and not more than one player above 2500. The online tournament will be hosted by Chess.com and broadcasts on Twitch and other channels are planned in nine languages. Originally the event had been announced for the end of November in partnership with the Play Magnus Group.

  • Short news

    Carlsen loses Speed Chess semifinal – 12 Dec 2020

    Hikaru Nakamura beat Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the final of Chess.com’s Speed Chess Championship this Saturday from 17.00 GMT. The Frenchman eliminated Magnus Carlsen by 13:11 in the semifinal. Matches consisted of eight games each at 5 minutes, then 3 minutes, then 1 minute per player. The final was presented by Onjuno, an online bank.

  • Short news

    Player representatives wanted – 11 Dec 2020

    FIDE extended the deadline for players who participated in the last world championship cycles to present their candidature for the new Athletes Commission until 21 December. Ten out of fifteen commission members are currently voted by GMs and WGMs until 2 January 2021. The other five commission members will be nominated by the FIDE Council.

  • Short news

    Grand Chess Tour returns for summer – 11 Dec 2020

    After being cancelled this year due to Covid-19, the Grand Chess Tour returns with five tournaments in summer, after it has become clear that there won’t be a Chess Olympiad in 2021. Between classical time control events in Bucharest from 3 to 15 June and the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis on 16–28 August there will be combined rapid and blitz events in Paris, Zagreb and St. Louis. The total prize-fund is $ 1.25 million. The participants will be announced later.

  • Short news

    MagnusTrainer downloads quadrupled – 09 Dec 2020

    The Play Magnus Group revealed today in a “Newbies in the Nordic” seminar at ABG SC, a bank, that downloads of the MagnusTrainer iOS app quadrupled from October to November due to interest driven by The Queen’s Gambit. As a main driver of further growth, the presentation mentions mergers and aquisitions to “expand portfolio of content and premium services”. After two months of trading the Play Magnus stock has recovered and reached its IPO price.

  • Short news

    Ilya Levitov sponsors blitz series – 09 Dec 2020

    Ilya Levitov, the former head of the Management Board of the Russian Chess Federation who hosts regular talks about chess and chess policy in Russian, sponsors 1 million rubles, €11,200, for a Lichess-hosted blitz tournament series with the first qualifier tonight and the finals on the Christmas days just before the second tournament of the Champions Chess Tour.

  • Short news

    Moscow to host Chess Olympiad 2022 and World Cups 2021 – 09 Dec 2020

    After Belarus had refused to make scheduled transfers for the Chess Olympiad 2022 and the World Cup 2021 and Women’s World Cup 2021, FIDE reopened the bidding for these events but to no avail. In the FIDE Newsletter President Arkady Dvorkovich announces that thanks to a kind proposal from the Russian government all these events will be held in Moscow. He mentions that the Chess Olympiad for Players with Disabilities is still planned to be held in Khanty-Mansisk in summer 2021 if circumstances allow. There is no mention about the postponed Chess Olympiad that was earlier annouced to be held in Moscow in summer 2021, which hints that its official cancellation is likely. 2021 is anyway packed with planned chess events, starting with a reduced Tata Steel Chess and Women’s Grand Prix in Gibraltar in January. If the pandemic situation allows, there won’t be a shortage of otb chess.

  • Short news

    Tornelo announced new year festival – 08 Dec 2020

    A week-long online Festival of Chess is run by Tornelo around the clock 28 December to 3 January with the goal to raise funds for developments of the platform like dark mode, colour and pieces choices, additional arbiter services and organiser services. The festival offers individual and team, Chess960, Loser’s Chess, thematic and intergenerational tournaments, lectures and webinars.

  • Short news

    Hungarian chess in state of crisis – 08 Dec 2020

    FIDE has awarded the Chess Olympiad 2024 to the only bidder Budapest, while the Hungarian Chess Federation has more than €200,000 in debts and could not organise individual championships this year, and the league has been postponed. Last week János Rigó (1948–2020), organiser of many events and Bobby Fischer’s stay in 1992–1994, passed away.

  • Short news

    Hybrid events become ratable – 07 Dec 2020

    During the first online FIDE-Congress in the last days, the Qualification Commission has prepared regulations that allow for arbiter-supervised hybrid tournaments to be rated. For a start experimental phase, approval by the Qualification Commission and the FIDE Council is required. The FIDE treasurer reported cash reserves of more than € 3 million. The General Assembly voted with 75% to empower the FIDE Council to sanction the Iran Chess Federation if its players continue to boycott Israelis.

  • Short news

    Danzhou goes hybrid – 06 Dec 2020

    The top international tournament in China ran its Covid-19-year edition as a hybrid event. China’s top four Chinese grandmasters have come together in Danzhou, from where they competed under the supervision of arbiters in a round robin with four European grandmasters that each played from their home with their camera on. Richard Rapport won. Similarly, an event with China’s top five women meeting in Xi’An, and five international participants has just been completed with the highest-ranking woman Hou Yifan as the winner. While the men played rapid with 15 minutes per game plus 10 seconds per move, the women competed with a 5 seconds increment. Both events were hosted by Chess.com.

  • Short news

    Chessable to release free classroom tool – 05 Dec 2020

    A new tool for video lessons, homework and assessment management and group tournaments is presented by Chessable today for the first time at ChessTech 2020. It will be free for chess academies and schools and allows to bring other Chessable content into online and real classrooms.

  • Short news

    Documentary about best strategy players – 04 Dec 2020

    “Pentamind”, an hour-long documentary about the world’s best multi-strategy games players is available on Youtube until Sunday night. Pentamind is the highest title awarded at the annual Mind Sports Olympiad for the best performance across five disciplines. Etan Ilfeld will talk about the Mind Sports Olympiad’s first online edition on Saturday at ChessTech 2020.

  • Short news

    Malinin’s epilogue – 01 Dec 2020

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

  • Short news

    Wesley So spoils fun for Carlsen – 30 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Español, français, deutsch – 30 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Brazilian conference documented – 30 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Poor air quality causes errors – 30 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    AI to predict human moves – 29 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Dutch federation magazine goes online – 28 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    ChessTech 2020 programme announced – 27 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Isle of Man to join FIDE – 25 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Rogozenco leaves – 24 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Rockefeller donates 3 million – 24 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    Wave of resignations hits German federation – 23 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Champions Chess Tour starts – 23 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Sagar Shah joins Champions Chess Tour – 23 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    iChess acquired by Play Magnus – 18 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Three weeks on top of Netflix charts – 18 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Dragon plays Nakamura two pawns down – 17 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    Seirawan’s company was first – 17 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    First hybrid open canceled – 16 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Three candidates bid to run French federation – 14 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Strongest Swiss system event ever – 13 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    Chesskid to hire event manager – 11 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Madwoman’s Book Club launches – 11 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Dvorkovich joins esport commission – 11 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Audience award for chess documentary – 11 Nov 2020

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

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    DGT boards can be used on Lichess – 10 Nov 2020

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

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

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

  • Short news

    Eurosport deal boosts Play Magnus share – 09 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Iranian federation could face suspension from FIDE – 07 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Chess.com apologizes to falsely accused – 07 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Grandmasters to vote Athletes Commission – 06 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Invitational honours Razuvaev – 05 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Candidates may be completed as hybrid – 05 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    Inactivity treshold doubled – 03 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Online broker Skilling sponsors Carlsen and tour – 03 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Otb chess canceled in most of Europe – 02 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Analysis of chess data suggests cognitive progress – 02 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Playing with a different type of mask – 02 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Politics expert to direct Norwegian Federation – 02 Nov 2020

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

  • Short news

    Wesley So wins US online championship – 30 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Athletes Commission to be introduced by FIDE – 30 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Former European U16 champion banned for cheating – 30 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    New sports director at Play Magnus – 26 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Three refuseniks in Minsk – 24 Oct 2020

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

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    Kasparov and Pandolfini consulted – 23 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    School chess survey – 23 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    World Youth announced – 22 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    Carlsen accepts Chess.com invite – 20 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Low time alarm triggers blunders – 20 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Grischuk has conditions – 20 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Premium Chess runs championships for pupils – 20 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Anonymous and quick – 17 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    To be continued (in spring) – 16 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Interviewed by Judit Polgar – 16 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    9th title for Stockfish – 15 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Quarantine league rebrands as Lichess Bundesliga – 15 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    World Blitz and Rapid canceled – 15 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Halma meets chess in new app – 14 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    Igor Rausis harassed at unrated event – 12 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Gibraltar festival canceled – 12 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Carlsens unbeaten streak lasted 125 games – 11 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    Fair play analyst wanted – 08 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Building up corporate chess – 06 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    New leader at Swedish Federation – 06 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    First chess database used stereo cassettes – 05 Oct 2020

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

    (YouTube)

  • Short news

    Foreign participants quarantined at Stavanger – 04 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Digital club nights awarded – 03 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Petrosian banned, Armenia Eagles disqualified – 02 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Kasparov, Kramnik and Leguizamo join – 02 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Biggest chess investment ever – 02 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

    Asian Nations Cup held online – 01 Oct 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    FM Prymula appointed health minister – 30 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    Photo competition for exhibition in Porto – 29 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    Armenia Eagles clinch PRO Chess League – 28 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    So and Le qualify for Carlsen Tour – 27 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    Grants for women-led chess projects – 24 Sep 2020

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

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    Survey on social situation during pandemic – 24 Sep 2020

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

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    Play Magnus about to go public – 24 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    PRO Chess League finals held online – 23 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    Seven variants added on Chess.com – 23 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    Enrique Irazoqui (1944–2020) – 21 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    European youth event validates hybrid concept – 21 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    Carlsen and So share victory – 20 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    Participants sought for training study – 18 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    Dvorkovich feared walkout – 18 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    Carlsen disconnects and loses – 16 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    General Assemblies to be held online – 16 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    German sponsor Grenke under fire – 15 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    Chess podcast launched by Eric van Reem – 14 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    Free lectures, workshops, exhibitions… – 14 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    Carlsen and Nakamura again – 14 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    Mouse trouble costs Kasparov game – 13 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    French federation to vote on 5 December – 13 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    England shifts to Elo type ratings – 12 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    Chessable mobile app enters beta – 11 Sep 2020

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

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

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    Pogchamps 2 below expectations – 07 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    First chess tournament by an esports agency – 05 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

    Automatic courtesy option on Lichess – 04 Sep 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    The Check Weekly launched – 31 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Server failure ends final – 30 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Comedian mobilizes Indians to watch chess – 29 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Armenia defaults in protest – 29 Aug 2020

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

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

    Short news

    Few preventions at Polish League – 28 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Esport leader signs up Nakamura – 28 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Carlsen wins Qatar bullet – 27 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Global Chess Festival invites contributions – 27 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Highlights from Mind Sports Olympiad – 27 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    New date for Barcelona hybrid – 25 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    China faces Ukraine in first top match – 25 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Match your rating chart – 25 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    First major event for Tornelo – 24 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    German Chess Youth splits off – 22 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    US Chess in excellent shape – 22 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Saint Louis announces events – 22 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Second tour announced – 22 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    73% of cheating bans automated – 21 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Most epic rapid chess match – 20 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Norway Chess with reduced field – 20 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    chess24 reports live viewer record – 20 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Irish otb chess shut down – 20 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    FIDE survey to guide anti-cheating – 20 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Sorokina signs against Lukashenka – 19 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Chessmatec endorsed by FIDE – 18 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Pähtz withdrew from Olympiad – 16 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Lichess pirated in China – 15 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Wrong camera – lost! – 14 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    German federation website relaunch – 13 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Dream final at Magnus Carlsen Tour – 13 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Chessbase stocked up videos – 13 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    ECF direct members vote – 11 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Jobs in chess listed on ChessTech – 11 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    FIDE call for game viewer – 10 Aug 2020

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

  • Prague Summer Open tournament hall on Saturday

    Short news

    Prague open without visible restrictions – 09 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    World Open online version profitable – 08 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Bundesliga strongest otb since March – 07 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    #impactchess – 06 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    2000+ kids competed online – 06 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    chess24 and Kiva – 05 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Carlsen keeps winning – 04 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    18,488 participants – 02 Aug 2020

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

  • Short news

    Nakamura in Final Four and possibly Ding – 30 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    Extra attention justified extra costs in Biel – 30 Jul 2020

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

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


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

    Short news

    Hit cover – 29 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    350 million views – 28 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    Mind Sports Olympiad moves online – 25 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    New nations compete – 25 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    Who or what can stop Carlsen? – 25 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    Chess meets Anime – 25 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    Most influential chess sites – 23 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    A Stockfish/Leela hybrid – 22 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    Carlsen plays from a boat – 21 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    UN hosted webinar on chess – 21 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    Russia and China are favourites – 19 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    First hybrid worldwide open announced – 18 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    Chess.com hosts Online Olympiad – 17 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    CoChess launches – 16 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    German season extended to 2021 – 13 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    Youth vs Experience – 13 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    Teach a beginner for World Chess Day – 11 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    FIDE recommends mask use – 10 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    Nakamura wins Choker final – 10 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    European Corporate Championship to launch online – 06 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    Online Commission liquidated – 06 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    Carlsen wins Chessable Masters – 05 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    FIDE plans online chess titles – 04 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    Stockfish turns the table – 04 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    Puzzle Duel free for two weeks – 01 Jul 2020

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

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    Online Chess Olympiad mainly in August – 01 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    World champion praised for sportmanship – 01 Jul 2020

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

  • Short news

    Longest ever recorded game – 29 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    Protective shields at Innsbruck – 29 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    4NCL invites feedback – 28 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    Testing impact of speed tactics – 28 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    Biel festival can be held – 24 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    Reykjavík wants to host world championship – 23 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    Yasser Seirawan commentates for chess24 – 22 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    Julius Bär sponsors – 22 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    US Chess Women online grants – 19 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    Chess on Twitch keeps growing – 19 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    Fair play commission holds webinar – 19 Jun 2020

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

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    FIDE Online Arena relaunched by Worldchess – 18 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    Carlsen victorious at Clutch Chess – 15 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    Mamedyarov wins World Stars – 14 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    Female leadership in chess – 13 Jun 2020

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

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    US federation introduces online rating – 12 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    Chessable Masters announced – 12 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    ECU started Online Academy – 09 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    USChess endorses Chess.com – 09 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    Pogchamps lead Twitch charts – 07 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    Artemiev claims first Speed Chess Grandprix – 03 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    Carlsen and Caruana meet in Clutch Chess – 03 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    Dubov victorious – 03 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    First post lockdown GM event in Oslo – 01 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    Sarana is European Online Champion – 01 Jun 2020

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

  • Short news

    A chess tournament! Offline! – 31 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Carlsen stopped by Nakamura – 30 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Rauf Mamedov unstoppable – 30 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Wesley So wins US Clutch Chess – 30 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Carlsen shuns Chess.com – 29 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Chess streams grow fast – 29 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Artemiev is Konevlad – 27 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    How AI impacts chess – 27 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Composing with a distance rule – 26 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Guidelines for a restart – 25 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Twitch all-star tournament – 25 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    German league chess goes online – 20 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Free puzzles until end of May – 19 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Chess with physical distancing – 19 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Favourites take first places – 17 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Quarantäneliga hit 4000+ players – 17 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Firouzja is top Chessbrah – 17 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Checkmate Coronavirus – 16 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Record chess charity in Russia – 14 May 2020

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

  • Short news

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

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

  • Short news

    One million tour headlined by Carlsen – 14 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    FIDE Council first meets online – 13 May 2020

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

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    ECU reports high participation – 12 May 2020

    The European Online Championship that starts in the weekend on Chess.com passed 2600 registrations on Tuesday including 98 GMs. Registration is still open.

  • Short news

    China wins Nations Cup – 11 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Steinitz Memorial blitz event – 09 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Free Carlsen video lesson – 09 May 2020

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

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    Swiss format tournaments on Lichess – 07 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    1,000 students looking for coaches – 05 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Victorious Carlsen – 04 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Young men watch chess – 04 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    300 Titled Cheaters – 02 May 2020

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

  • Short news

    Team up with a streamer – 30 Apr 2020

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

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    Worldwide schools event – 30 Apr 2020

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

  • Short news

    Adly blitzed best – 30 Apr 2020

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

  • Short news

    Finally the Finals – 30 Apr 2020

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

  • Short news

    Marathon charity in France – 28 Apr 2020

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

  • Short news

    Stockfish wins TCEC rapid cup – 28 Apr 2020

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

  • Short news

    Webinars in high demand – 27 Apr 2020

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

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    Pessimistic professionals – 27 Apr 2020

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

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    12 players barred in Online League – 26 Apr 2020

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

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    Three Daily Lessons in Denmark – 26 Apr 2020

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

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    Russian charity to fight Covid19 – 26 Apr 2020

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

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    Strongest Titled Arena ever on Lichess – 26 Apr 2020

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

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

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

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    Online power grab in Indian federation – 24 Apr 2020

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

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    Millennium and Magnus – 22 Apr 2020

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

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    The HUN-GER Games – 21 Apr 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Biggest chess competition ever – 19 Apr 2020

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

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    Very busy saturday – 17 Apr 2020

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

    Help us by registering your events in the ChessTech Calendar.

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    Banter Blitz Cup – 17 Apr 2020

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

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    Pepe Cuenca and Divis Invitational – 17 Apr 2020

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

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    Abu Dhabi Super Blitz Challenge – 17 Apr 2020

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

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    Chess for charity – 17 Apr 2020

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

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    Platforms with new features – 17 Apr 2020

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

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    IM not a GM Speed Chess Championship – 17 Apr 2020

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

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    European Online Chess Championship – 16 Apr 2020

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

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    Chess.com Clubs League – 16 Apr 2020

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

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    Donate CPU time – 16 Apr 2020

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

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    Connecting via Online Chess – 16 Apr 2020

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