Monday, 30 April 2012

Interview with Nils Grandelius (Part 2)

Nils Grandelius

Grandmaster Nils Grandelius. Born in 1993. Currently No. 8 between Swedish players in the world rankings, FIDE rating 2545.The gold medallist of the 2011 Youth European Championship. Lives in Dalby, Sweden. He became a grandmaster in 2010 and that is a current Swedish record for that title.

This is a second part of my interview with Swedish GM Nils Grandelius.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Chess history and training combined

By seeing this title many would think that I am trying to combine something completely unimaginable, and probably that a next text doesn´t has something to do with either chess history or chess training. I shall let you (my dear readers, who outnumbered all my expectations) to judge me after reading it.
Black on move
First of all, I am challenging you to find this position in your database. It doesn´t matter is it mega2012 or TWIC with all possible updates. Of course, every chess game can not finish in a database and probably some weak players play it, or maybe a game is very old, or tournament where a game is played was not so important, or , or....
Nothing out of that is a truth.
This position arose in a game between two players rated 2435 (White) and 2315 (Black) , but today both of them are grandmasters. So is that game very old? No, because it is played in 1989 (yeah, old, give me some Caruana-Giri game, would say some of nowadays juniors) and a tournament was indeed very important, USSR Championship.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Interview with Nils Grandelius (Part 1)

During EICC in Plovdiv

Grandmaster Nils Grandelius. Born in 1993. Currently No. 8 between Swedish players in the world rankings, FIDE rating 2545.The gold medallist of the 2011 Youth European Championship. Lives in Dalby, Sweden. He became a grandmaster in 2010 and that is a current Swedish record for that title.

Kramnik vs. Aronian after four games

Aronian played 11...Nxc3
It would be unfair to not start with diagram position. It is already very famous and is discussed on all possible levels.
It is , of course, position from a third game from Kramnik-Aronian match. Kramnik played with white pieces and he surprised his opponent with 1.e4 (he is well known as a player who likes 1.Nf3 or 1.d4 ). He even said in press conference after game two, that he was not surprised by Aronian´s 1.e4 and that even he can play that move. In the press conference people thought that he was joking but apparently he was very serious.
It seems that 1...e5 is almost automatic replay on the highest level especially in the match games. In the tournaments, you sometimes have to play for a win and have to play 1...c5 or 1...e6 (witch gain on popularity lately) but on the very top level 1...e5 is a main choice.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Cappelle la Grande 2012

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Cappelle la Grande International Chess Open is probably one of the biggest open tournaments in the World in terms of number of participants. Cappelle la Grande is a small town in the north-west France very near to Dunkirk (Dunkerque on French) . Dunkirk in famous for a battle from World War Two and there is a very nice monument for those who died there. It is already third time that I played there, but this time was my best time there. About 500 players played in 2012 and about 100 of them are invited by organisers. Basically, everything is organised very good, from free shuttle service from Brussels or Paris, to free accommodation in Dunkirk and a meals before and after the game. Even free shuttle service between Dunkirk and Cappelle la Grande is included and if you don´t want to use it, organisers provide free tickets for  bus lines.

Influence of chess computers on thinking process

By solving a combination from my favourite combinations book nowadays (Tactical targets in chess by Istvan Pongo) I found very interesting detail in solution of next position.
Chess combination
Black to move
 Of course combination is not hard and Black wins by:
1...Bxf2+ ...which is typical geometry motive. There are four possible moves, but three of them are real candidates.

a.) 2.Kxf2
b.) 2.Qxf2
c.) 2.Kh1
d.) 2.Kf1

I will show short lines in every variation with special focus on variation D.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Kramnik vs. Aronian after two games

After first to games in interesting match between former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik and World´s number 2, Levon Aronian, result is 1,5-0,5 in advantage for Armenian Grandmaster.
There are a lot of chess sites where you can find commentated games and PGN files, and it is not easy to say something new about first two games, but I will try to share some thoughts about it.
Black to move
This is position is already very famous, and every serious chess player knows that both players followed a game from Women European Championship between Gunina V.  -Mazychuk A. and that White won after not so impressive 16...Qd6 ?! . As was pointed by many sourcies 16...Qe6! is by far better choice and Aronian didn´t miss a chance to try it. Kramnik said in after game press conference that he watched a Gunina - Mazychuk game but he forgot to switch on his engine. What that tells me is that leading players like Vladimir Kramnik more believes to practice (reference games) and own analyses than to recommendations from chess magazines and books. Or, at least in this case Kramnik didn´t knew it that CEWN (Chess Evolution Weekly Newslater ) analysed a game very deeply. Of course, I don´t think that Kramnik lost a game because of his poor preparation. That is just one of the reasons.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Solution for a combination

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So a question for this position was, is it better to misplace Black queen with 25.Rd2 or just to take an exchange with 25.Nd6 .

White to move!  
Bejtovic J. (2335)- Bednar M. (1988) Ceska Trebova 2008

As I said in a previous post, black put a hard resistant after very good opening preparation from me. This is somehow critical position in the game. I could play 25.Nd6 and White will indeed win a exchange but I somehow felt that after 25.Rd2 must be a combinational solution. It forced me to look deeper in the position and I found quite interesting ideas, but one detail was not in right place. As you will see from the text it is trivial detail but that is often reason behind all missed combinations.

Old game from Czech Republic

Bejtovic combination Bednar Marcel
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This is position from one of my old games (played in 2008). I was white and I got very nice position from Alekhin´s defence. I have to admit that my preparation succeed very well, however ,   my young oponent put a very good resistant. In the position on the diagram I can play 25.Nd6 and win an exchange. Is it the best option? Is there something better for White? 
It is quite obvious that White can win control over diagonal with:
25. Rd2  and only move is 25...Qa3. Now White checks with 26.Qd4+ and Black plays 26...Kh6 ( this is by far the safest square for Black´s king). Is there something for White? If it is Black´s move he would play something like 27...Bd5 or 27...Bf5 and in good moment Qc5 with exchange of queens. Solution will be published tomorow.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Kramnik vs. Aronian

Vladimir Kramnik Former World Champion    
Click to enlarge

The big recommendation for a next few days is a six game match between Former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik from Russia (current number 3 in the World with rating of 2801) and Armenian Grandmaster Levon Aronian (current number 2 in the World with rating of 2820). The match started few minutes ago and Kramnik has a White pieces.
Levon Aronian Armenia chess
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The opening in the first game is Moscow variation of Slavic defence.
They are playing in Zurich, and main purpose of this match is to these two players have some practice before candidate matches witch are on the schedule in the beginning of 2013.
You can follow live game with computer analyses on following link :
.....and if you like commentary from other players there is a very good coverage from IM Werner Hoog and GM Yannick Pelletier (both from Switzerland) on following link :
Kramnik Aronian with video from playing hall and commentary

My prediction for a result is that match will be even and will finish 3-3. 

Update: Aronian won a first game with black pieces.  Kramnik-Aronian 0-1

Friday, 20 April 2012

White to play and win

Here is some easy study which is quite interesting.
The most important think is to get right coordination between white pieces which seems to be broken.
White Chess Study
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White on move. What to do against 1...a1Q ?

Here is a solution:

My next tournament, Bosna 2012

Sarajevo chess tournament
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In the beginning of May I shall take part in open tournament Bosna 2012. The tournament will be played in Sarajevo, capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 5th May to 11th May this year. This is already 42th version of the tournament and by means of tradition only Wijk an Zee and Hestings can be compared. During a time tournament format was changed. I don´t know very well a long history of this tournament but what I know is it had a very strong field in the 80s with and leading World players took part in it (with exeption of Karpov and Kasparov). After the Bosnian war, in the late 90s, tournament was one of the three top tournaments in the World (together with Linares and Dortmund ) and almost all of leading players at that time were playing in the tournament. I don´t remember well, but Kasparov played two or three times, and other big names were Short, Bologan, Movsesian, Morozevic, Adams e.t.c.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

The truth to be told

Chess is not an deterministic game, but from practical point of view it can be solved. Of course, I don´t think it´s  going to happen during my lifetime. The same can be told about position which is discussed in the previous posts. It can´t be solved completely but from practical point of view it is possible to calculate all important lines. I will show what I saw during a game and that was a bit polished in the analysis.

I would like to thank Anders and Mladen for they took a time to analyse position. I´ll be free to point some details about their approach. Mladen was very straight to the point, but he didn´t considered all candidate moves. He discussed position with me and did the best with "try and fail" method. Anders calculated some lines which are not relevant for position, but he spot some good moves (like 14.Nxc6! in sub-variation with 13...Bxe3). He has some unclear assessment of positions. The position with tripled pawns on the last diagram in previous post is clearly better for White (it seems that he has some doubts).
At the end, I am not sure witch kind of game presentation is better, with viewer or with diagrams and text so I would appreciate feedbacks about that.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Reader feedback

Today, I got a mail from Anders Johansson , Swedish chess amateur player and big chess fan, and he wrote something about position from a game Bejtovic-Engman witch is published in the post with title "Playing chess and calculating variations".
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I´ll copy the whole mail and put some diagrams for readers to follow his thoughts without difficulties. Of course everything begins with: 11.Qc2, f6 

Venice of the North

Stockholm by night
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This phrase in the title is usual reference to Swedish capital city Stockholm. Stockholm is a city situated on fourteen islands and indeed is very beautiful (although I don´t know much about comparabilities with Venice because I never been there). I don´t remember how many times I visited Stockholm but not all of my visits were related to chess. The very first time was in the summit of 2007 when I played Rilton Cup , the biggest Swedish (many would say, and only serious) open chess tournament. I never went back to play Rilton Cup again despite good memories from 2007/2008 . There are a few reasons. First of all I usually play in Czech Republic in January and one more tournament would be to much and second reason is that there are not good conditions for IMs (which is partly my fault)

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Playing chess and calculating variations

Every chess player, who at some point of his career considered himself serious and ambitious but never reached high level, probably tried to figure out what is the essential thing which divide strong GM´s ( let´s say 2600+ ELO points but I am not so sure with all that rating inflation issues ) and mortals like him. I don´t have simple answer to that question (because I am not strong GM), and probably there is no simple answer at all. It should be something like a accumulation of all small advantages like slightly better opening preparation, a bit better concentration, better knowledge about middlegames and endgames, slightly better calculation of variations e.t.c. So, if we talk a little just about calculating variations (according to many good players, the most important ability in modern chess, but I am not so convinced) we can divide this ability to some sub-abilities, like tactical vision, process of choosing candidate moves and ability to organize your calculation by famous variation-tree.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Coming soon....

Report from top Swedish league, Elitserien , from perspective of my club Eksjö-Aneby Alliansen (EAA). Trip to Stockholm.
Stockholm, Gamla Stan

Promises to be made

As I promised in my last post I work to provide some decent viewer for chess games. Games can be watched now and I will publish most of analyses and games using a viewer, but some of the games will be published in the old fashion text and pictures format (especially when I want to point out something with a diagram)
Here is a whole game (with analyses) which is published in the last post.

Study like position

All right, after a few fancy posts it is time to do some work.
The next position is from already mentioned tournament in Marienbad. It was really strange start for me, losing a much better position (on the board and on time) against Algerian IM Hamdouche just to follow with two nice wins (one of them against GM Chernyshov with black pieces). Then I deservedly lost against GM Vladimir Tala, who got a revenge for his lost against me in Olomouc 2008. In fifth round I played against polish junior Oscar Wieczorek (I also played him in the same tournament 2011 but missed a win in close to wining position).

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Czech tour, Prague and Franz Kafka!

If you are asking yourself question where to play during January, I have a simple answer. Czech Republic!
All my chess friends knows that I usually begin my season by playing one or two tournaments in Czech republic.
Tournaments are organised by AVE-KONTAKT group and are known like a Czech tour series. I already played eleven tournaments in Czech Republic but two tournaments have a special place in my calendar. The first one is Prague Open usually played in the first half of January, and second one is tournament in Marienbad (which is more like a chess festival, because there are many groups). Marienbad (or Mariánské Lázně) is small town with big chess history. You can found many reference games from the 1930s which are played in Marienbad.I can recommend you to read very good article about place and tournament written by my friend Jan Lundin and published on great blogg Inte bara schack by chess journalist Lars Grahn.

There it all begins...

I started my blog to provide a quality (at least I think it is a quality) information about chess tournaments, chess training, life as chess professional and all this will be nothing without reports from places where I played (or where some of interviewed players played). The idea of blogging was born in my head about one year ago. Why it took so much time to be realised is not easy to answer. Probably because I am lazy by my nature, but there were some objective problems on my way. I am not sure how successful will be this project but I´ll do my best. What can readers expect in next few days will be interview with half-professional (let´s put it that way) chess player from Sweden. I´ll try to summarise tournaments in which I played this year and write about my next tournament. Readers can expect deep analysed games as well.