The Indian team in the open section on Tuesday handed over an handsome defeat to the host Azerbaijan in the fifth round of the World Chess Olympiad held at Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.

The Indian team won 3-1 with World No 16 Grandmaster P. Harikrishna made a quick work to win against GM Mamedyarov in 34 moves on the top board.

While Indian GMs B. Adhiban and S.P. Sethuraman split points with their opponents, GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi won against GM Naiditsch in just 37 moves.

Gujrathi has a perfect score of winning all the five games he had played till now. Interestingly this is his first Chess Olympiad.

On the other hand, the Indian womens drew their match against much lower-rated Vietnam 2-2.

On the top board World No.5 Indian GM Harika Dronavalli and on the fourth board WGM Soumya Swaminathan drew their games against their Vietnamese opponents.

But in the other two boards it was mixed results for India with International Master Tania Sachdev suffering her first defeat in the tournament.

After suffering a loss in the fourth round, Indian IM Padmini Rout bounced back defeating her Vietnamese opponent.

The biennial World Chess Olympiad is an 11-round Swiss open, with one rest day on September 7. The open section features 181 teams from 176 countries, with the 899 players.

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Nov 11, 2020

ACP to change the World Championship cycle

The Association of Chess Professionals today published a proposal to change the current system for deciding the World Championship cycle by forming a “World Open Circuit”. The best performing players in open tournaments, “the bread and butter of the chess world”, would qualify for the first round of the FIDE World Cup, thereby gaining access to the World Championship cycle. The ACP suggests such a system would allow for more rags to riches stories like the one currently taking the world by storm in The Queen’s Gambit.

Check out the full proposal below:

Chess is often unfavorably compared to tennis. Unlike the tennis world, chess lacks an open, all-inclusive cycle that would encompass the top and the bottom of the pyramid. In tennis we have the Grand Slams at the top, but also the local Futures tournaments at the bottom. The structure is clear, easy to understand and  the players see the way to the top ahead of them. Needless to say, a bottom-to-top cycle is a product that sponsors love to be part of. Dear Colleagues,

In chess we have a well-established upper part of the pyramid. The World Championship match is the cherry on top, the Candidates Tournament is the most-awaited tournament, the Grand Prix tournaments, the World Cup and the Continental Championships all form a coherent system of qualification.

The system works, but it is an elitist system. The lowest entry point for qualification in the World Championship cycle are the Continental Championships and these are not easily accessible to the lower-rated professionals, among other things because they are very expensive tournaments to play in. What is obviously missing here is the bottom part of the pyramid.

The bottom part of the pyramid is formed by the numerous open tournaments, which are the bread and butter of the chess world. It is in opens that the vast majority of chess players participate in. However, many chess players feel trapped in this “swamp” of opens without a clear idea how to go “upwards,” how to feel integrated in the big picture and feel part of the whole chess family. In its current state the chess world is a segregated place with the elite and the rest living in different worlds.

It seems natural then to make the open tournaments part of the World Championship cycle.

We would like to propose a concept where many open tournaments are part of a World Open Circuit. For this purpose the already well-established ACP Tour system or a similar one may serve as a basis on which the Circuit can be built.

At the end of the year, the top 20 of the World Open Circuit qualify for the first round of the World Cup, thus providing direct access to the World Championship Cycle. This would ensure that chess is as meritocratic as it can be and as it should be.

The current FIDE leadership has proven to be very pro-active and has shown willingness to live up to its motto. We see this as a historic chance for FIDE to unite the chess world.

The pause in over-the-board activities that the pandemic has forced us to have is an excellent opportunity for FIDE to prepare and reform the World Championship cycle by including the open tournaments in it.

Having an all-inclusive World Championship cycle from the bottom to the top will be invaluable and will revolutionise the chess world. We would like to emphasise 3 main advantages:

  1. The whole system will be all-inclusive and based on merit where EVERY chess player in the world can see the perspective and the way forward from start (the opens) to finish (the World Championship match)
  2. A unified cycle can be sold as a product, just like in tennis. The sponsors can choose to support a single open, the World Open Circuit (in which case there can be money prizes for the top finishers of the Circuit), the whole cycle, or anything in between as they see fit.
  3. The perspective of being part of the World Championship chain will incentivise players, sponsors, organisers, arbiters and national federations given that sponsoring, organising and playing in over-the-board tournaments that are part of the great cycle will be an honour for all stakeholders. In the long term, this may well cause chess to flourish, also thanks to the popularity brought about by Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit” series, where such a climb from bottom to top is at the very center of the story that is currently inspiring the whole world.

By making the open tournaments part of the World Championship cycle FIDE will give hope to every chess player on earth and by doing so affirm its unifying role in the chess world. Every chess player will feel part of the big chess family. After all, gens una sumus, aren’t we?

The ACP Board

What do you think — does the World Championship cycle need to change and would this be the way to do it?

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Jun 15, 2021

Mamedyarov wins the Superbet Chess Classic trophy

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov took a quick draw against Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the final round to clinch first place in the Superbet Chess Classic along with the $90,000 top prize. The Azerbaijan no. 1 finished a full point ahead of Levon Aronian, Alexander Grischuk and Wesley So in 2nd place. Caruana-Deac was by far the longest game of the day, but Fabiano Caruana couldn’t improve a disappointing tournament, while MVL finished last before heading to his home city this weekend for the Paris Rapid & Blitz.

The Superbet Chess Classic ended as it began, with all five games drawn, which left the final table looking as follows — click on any game to open it with computer analysis, or hover over a name to see all of a player’s results.

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis on chess24
  • Superbet Chess Classic Round 1: Giri’s gamble almost backfires
  • Superbet Chess Classic Round 2: Deac shocks MVL
  • Superbet Chess Classic Round 3: Lupulescu stuns Giri
  • Superbet Chess Classic Round 4: So & Grischuk snatch lead
  • Superbet Chess Classic Round 5: Shakh attack!
  • Superbet Chess Classic Round 6: Grischuk & Mamedyarov extend lead
  • Superbet Chess Classic Round 7: Shakh strikes again
  • Superbet Chess Classic Round 8: Shakh on the brink