The 2018 Candidates Tournament starts this Saturday in Berlin, and we’re delighted to be able to reunite the dream team of Peter Svidler and Jan Gustafsson to commentate live on 12 of the 14 rounds. For the first two rounds Sopiko Guramishvili will be filling in for Peter, while we’ve recently learned her husband Anish Giri will be busy in Berlin… as a second for Vladimir Kramnik! Check out all the details in our preview of at least the second most anticipated chess event of 2018.

Peter Svidler and Jan Gustafsson will once again team up to provide the best commentary around on top level chess, with the duo covering all rounds except the first two. For those two rounds we’re delighted that Jan will be joined by Sopiko “Miss Tactics” Guramishvili, who has plenty of experience, including teaming up with Svidler for official commentary on the 2014 Carlsen-Anand match (it’s probably enough to mention the user “DamnS” to jog your memory!).

The schedule looks as follows, with a rest day after every three rounds. All games start at 15:00 Berlin time = 06:00 Los Angeles, 09:00 New York, 14:00 London, 17:00 Moscow, 19:30 Delhi, 22:00 Beijing, +01:00, Sydney. Note the times in the Information tab on our tournament page adapt to wherever you’re based.

Saturday 10 March | Round 1 | Jan and Sopiko
Sunday 11 March | Round 2 | Jan and Sopiko
Monday 12 March | Round 3 | Jan and Peter

Tuesday 13 March | REST DAY

Wednesday 14 March | Round 4 | Jan and Peter
Thursday 15 March | Round 5 | Jan and Peter
Friday 16 March | Round 6 | Jan and Peter

Saturday 17 March | REST DAY

Sunday 18 March | Round 7 | Jan and Peter
Monday 19 March | Round 8 | Jan and Peter
Tuesday 20 March | Round 9 | Jan and Peter

Wednesday 21 March | REST DAY

Thursday 22 March | Round 10 | Jan and Peter
Friday 23 March | Round 11 | Jan and Peter
Saturday 24 March | Round 12 | Jan and Peter

Sunday 25 March | REST DAY

Monday 26 March | Round 13 | Jan and Peter
Tuesday 27 March | Round 14 | Jan and Peter
Wednesday 28 March | Tiebreaks/Closing Ceremony

Tiebreaks are highly unlikely, since once again they’ll only take place if players tied for first are equal on: 1) the mini-match between them, 2) total no. of wins, 3) Sonneborn-Berger. That’s despite the almost unanimous opinion of the chess world since 2013, when Carlsen finished ahead of Kramnik on “most wins” (also = “most losses”), that a playoff should be held if the players tie for first.

For that reason Giri’s employer Kramnik might be one of the most interesting opponents for Magnus, but what’s certain is that anyone who survives the ordeal of the Candidates Tournament will be a fitting opponent for the World Champion.

So all that’s left to say is: don’t miss Round 1 of the FIDE Candidates Tournament with commentary from Sopiko Guramishvili and Jan Gustafsson from 15:00 CET this Saturday!

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis on chess24
  • A look at the Candidates: Mamedyarov, Kramnik, Aronian, Grischuk, Caruana, Ding Liren, So, Karjakin
Jan 06, 2017

Susan Polgar is committed to inspiring more girls in chess

Very few women play chess, and no wonder,” Webster University chess coach Susan Polgar said. “When a woman goes into a chess club, she’s the only one. It’s an unnatural and unhealthy social environment when you are a minority in a certain group.

Chess is a game long dominated by men. The world champions have always been men. The Grandmaster title — the highest title in the game — is carried by more than 1,500 men and just 33 women. Two years ago, created an imaginary tournament that pitted the 16 greatest chess players of all time against one another. All 16 were men.

Susan Polgar is not a man. But at 15, she catapulted to the top ranking in female chess and held a position in the top three for 23 years. She broke gender barriers — first woman to qualify for the Men’s World Championship Cycle, first to earn the Grandmaster title and first to win the U.S. Open Men’s Blitz Championship — and now, after retiring from competitive play, she hopes to bring chess to the masses of young girls who, for centuries, have been neglected by the male-dominated game.

In late October, Polgar sat before a blue-and-white chessboard in the Clayton Plaza Hotel, outside St. Louis, where she was holding her annual Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence (SPICE) Cup. She’s now a coach for Webster University in Webster Groves, Missouri, but Polgar’s focus remains on young women. She hopes to make chess more accessible for young girls by organizing and traveling to all-female tournaments around the world: Geneva, Switzerland; Baku, Azerbaijan; Santa Clara, California.

Sitting in a room filled with long tables and chessboards, Polgar began explaining the game that shaped her life and made a young girl from Budapest the face of a female movement.

“Imagine a real-life war,” Polgar said in a soft Hungarian accent.

She’s talking about openings: the first few moves a player makes in any game.

“You have your soldiers and your tanks, your missiles — whatever tools you have to fight with, you get them ready to fight,” she said.

The game is built on initial equality: two players, two sides, 32 pieces, 64 squares, infinite moves, no flirtation with chance. But two sides are hardly ever equal. In the United States, roughly 12,000 of the 91,555 chess players rated by the United States Chess Federation (USCF) are women. It’s a numbers game — a war, if you will — and it’s one Polgar is hoping to equalize.

She began talking about her upbringing in a home that preached equality. Polgar grew up in Budapest, the oldest daughter of Laszlo Polgar, a teacher and child psychiatrist, who believed genius could be taught. Susan discovered the family chess set tucked away in a cupboard just before her fourth birthday. She loved chess, and her father patiently taught her — describing the game like a fairy tale, filled with kings and queens, horses and knights in shining armor. He believed he could help his children become prodigies.

Within months of learning the game, Polgar won the city championship for students twice her age. She began competing in tougher tournaments, with older and more experienced opponents, and she took trips to the local chess club with her father. Before she turned 10, Polgar got her first glimpse of inequality within the chess world. Men told her to go play with dolls, that women were dumber than men, that a woman’s place was in the home — not the chess club.

“Very few women play chess, and no wonder,” Polgar said. “When a woman goes into a chess club, she’s the only one. It’s an unnatural and unhealthy social environment when you are a minority in a certain group.”

The easiest way to combat the discrimination was winning. And she did plenty of that. But even in the 1980s, when Polgar competed for the Hungarian national team, a male teammate couldn’t fathom a woman earning the Grandmaster title.

“I like you. I have nothing against you,” she remembers him telling her, “but don’t make insane statements that you want to be a Grandmaster yourself. That’s impossible”

Less than a decade later, she earned the game’s highest title — the first woman to do so through conventional norms. Chess has always been a game of war for Polgar, both on and off the board, and she credits her success to a mindset she and her sisters developed early.

“It was an ‘us against the world’ mentality,” she said.

Article source

Oct 27, 2016

Next month, the World Chess Championship will be played in NY

Next month, the World Chess Championship will be played in New York City between the reigning champ, 25-year-old Magnus Carlsen, and 26-year-old Sergey Karjakin, who still holds the record as the youngest person to become a grandmaster at the age of 12. At stake? A prize pool of over $2 million dollars.

Not bad for a game that’s over 1,500 years old.

It was nearly 20 years ago that Garry Kasparov, the then World Champion of Chess and by consensus the dominant player in the world at the time, resigned in game 6 of his famous match versus IBM’s Deep Blue. The “Man vs. Machine” contest had ended in victory for the machine. And since then, computers have only gotten better.

You might think computer dominance would be the beginning of the end of chess, but you’d be wrong. Chess is undergoing something of a renaissance, and that’s thanks to – not in spite of — the ability of computers to beat the toughest human opponents.

“Cars can outrace humans but humans still run against each other,” Chess Grandmaster Maurice Ashley told me. “I think people are thrilled to watch humans play each other. Part of that thrill is the errors — it’s not about perfection. It’s about how to come back from mistakes.”

To avoid those mistakes, people are taking advantage of the power of computers to train them to play better chess.


May 19, 2017

Top 12 French Team Championship got off to a fighting start in Chartres on Thursday

David Navara, Arkadij Naiditsch and Grzegorz Gajewski were among the well-known players to taste defeat as the Top 12 French Team Championship got off to a fighting start in Chartres on Thursday. The 11-round event is one of the world’s strongest national team tournaments and may get stronger if the likes of Maxime Vachier-Lagarave, Paco Vallejo and Teimour Radjabov show up to represent their teams in the latter stages.

Chartres, a city to the southwest of Paris, is best known for its huge Gothic cathedral, but from 18-28 May its Exhibition Centre is hosting 80 grandmasters from 30 countries for the Top 12 of the French Team Championship.

See also: