A traditional Christmas event – Nutcracker Generation Tournament – will be held on December 18-24 at the Central Chess Club in Moscow. Like a year ago, there will be two Scheveningen matches: Kings vs. Princes and Queens vs. Princesses.

The line-up of the Kings: Challenger for the World Chess Championship 2012 Boris Gelfand (Israel), World №4 Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan), winner of the final Candidates Match 1999 Alexei Shirov (Latvia), and Russian Champion 2005, head coach of the Russia women’s national chess team Sergei Rublevsky (Russia).

The team of Princes will be represented by the leading young Russian players: winner of the Russian Championship Higher League 2016 Grigoriy Oparin, Russian blitz champion Vladislav Artemiev, the youngest grandmaster of Russia Andrey Esipenko, and winner and prize-winner of many international tournaments Daniil Yuffa.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov will go into 2018 with a new lifetime best official rating of 2804 after starring as the Kings beat the Princes in the classical section of the Nutcracker Battle of the Generations. The world no. 3 scored three wins and was close to four, but the Kings were prevented from sealing the match by Sergei Rublevsky losing to Andrey Esipenko, Grigoriy Oparin and Vladislav Artemiev. Eight rounds of rapid chess will now decide the match.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov has looked out of place so far – a chess destroyer at the top of his game rather than a veteran ready to give the youngsters a subtle lesson or two in positional chess. We already saw how he beat Grigoriy Oparin in Round 1 of the Nutcracker tournament in Moscow, and he continued in the same vein.

15-year-old Andrey Esipenko showed the fearlessness of youth when he sacrificed a pawn to try and attack Mamedyarov, but he was swiftly punished until it was just a question of how the Azeri no. 1 would conduct the execution.

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis on chess24  
  • Mamedyarov back over 2800 as Nutcracker begins
May 30, 2016

The youngest International Master in history!

Houston, we have an IM – and he is 10 years and ten months of age! Better learn to pronounce his name: Praggnanandhaa, Pragg-na-nan-dhaa. A couple of hours ago he won his ninth round game at the KiiT International Chess Festival in Bhubaneswar, India, and made his third IM norm (after norms in Cannes and Moscow). We congratulate Praggu on this historical achievement.

Uzbek GM Marat Dzhumaev was hanging on to dear life in the chill of Delhi as a ten-year-old youngster kept pressing, giving him no respite. Time pressure did not help the grandmaster either, but he had a lucky escape as he played accurately to hold the draw. The boy seemed to be putting in more efforts to pick the pieces from the last rank than in calculating one of the many tough variations. He was disappointed that he could get no more than a draw.

The title of grandmaster has a certain charm to it that entices people to revere the ones who achieve it. Even more so, when the one who annexes the title is a youngster. Many of the top players today have made it to the youngest grandmasters list in the past. In fact, the World Champion today was the third youngest grandmaster in chess history, and his challenger to the title, Karjakin that is, is the youngest ever. Although it in no way assures what is in store for the future, one thing is certain — the group of juniors who rule the roost today is likely to be ruling the top in the coming decade.

Youngest grandmasters in history

A. Rameshbabu’s children Vaishali and Praggnanandhaa were giving him sleepless nights. The kids were so good at chess that they kept winning titles at state, national and international levels. Vaishali became the Indian National Women’s ‘B’ champion in 2015, besides winning a handful of medals in the various youth events. Praggnanandhaa, besides his share of youth medals, is in the process of rewriting history books. People who knew the siblings understood that both the kids would go far.

In early April, Praggnanandhaa made his way to the Asian Youth Championship 2016, and almost effortlessly won Gold in the Under-12 section, although the field was devoid of any real challenge. On May 23, 2016 he started as the twentieth seed in the KIIT International Open in Bhubaneswar, India with a rating of 2368. And although the tournament is not over yet, and the organisers have not bothered to provide us the PGN, Praggu was well on course to register, at least, his final IM-norm.

Praggnanandhaa has been working with GM R.B. Ramesh for three years now, and Ramesh firmly believes that this is him just doing his thing. Results take care of themselves.

Well, the tournament began, and he managed to defeat GM Karen Grigoryan in the fourth round. Praggnanandhaa has managed to remain solid in the remaining games, barring a loss in the eighth round. He has already touched the 2400 mark in this tournament. He was just a regulation finish away from doing the needful, and he did so, with a win in the ninth round over Al Muthiah (2308), just an hour ago (May 29, 2016). At ten years and ten months of age, Praggnanandhaa has created history by becoming the world’s youngest International Master.

But this is hardly the end, this is just the beginning. Praggnanandhaa is up there in the bunch of prodigies creating humongous waves of late, and he has only just begun. Exciting times ahead!

Article source

Oct 19, 2021

18-year-old Carissa Yip has won her first US Women’s Chess Championship

Carissa Yip has been in incredible form since losing to Gulrukhbegim Tokhirjonova in Round 5, with five wins in a row leaving her uncatchable going into the final round. Her penultimate round clash with 2-time US Women’s Champion Nazi Paikidze looked like a potential stumbling block, with Carissa herself commenting afterwards:  ” I guess it still hasn’t really sunk in, but I’m so happy I can’t stop smiling! I was really surprised to win this game, because I was mostly thinking Nazi is really solid with White, I’ll just probably have to fight it out for a draw, and then tomorrow just try not to lose, so this was really a surprise.”

Until move 21 it looked as though Carissa might be in trouble, with her Modern opening leaving her a shaky position, but a very healthy lead on the clock. That factor may have been decisive when she played the double-edged 21…h5!?, relying on the resource 22.Bxg5 h4! 23.g4 Bxg4! That continuation would have been good for Black, but Carissa realised that if her opponent essentially did nothing the position would still be tough to play.

Instead 22.f4? left White dead in the water.

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the US Championship games with computer analysis: Open | Women   
Mar 12, 2016

Women’s World Chess Championship LIVE!

Women’s World Chess Championship Match 2016 between the current World Champion Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine and her challenger Hou Yifan of China (former World Champion 2010-2012, 2013-2015) is taking place in Lviv, Ukraine, on March 1-18, 2016.

The prize fund for this match is 200,000 Euros and will be split between the players as follows: 60% for the winner and 40% to the loser if the match ends within the 10 regular games. In case the winner is decided by tie-break games, she will receive 55% and loser 45%. Mariya Muzychuk is holding the title after 2015 Women World Championship in Sochi while Hou Yifan had a right to challenge her after she became first in the Grand Prix Series 2013-2014.

Mariya Muzychuk and Hou Yifan played two times against each other in the past. They met first time during Gibraltar tournament in 2012 and the second game has been played during FIDE Women Grand Prix in Monaco 2015. The games between them have been hard-fought but in both of them Hou Yifan defeated her opponent. According to FIDE rating on 1st of February 2016 Hou Yifan (2673) holds the first position among women, while Mariya Muzychuk (2554) shares the fourth place with Alexandra Kosteniuk.

Official website