14-year-old IM Volodar Murzin looked shocked, then thrilled, then determined as he checkmated 44-year-old Viorel Iordachescu to qualify for a Round 2 clash with fellow Russian Vladislav Artemiev. The FIDE World Cup Round 1 tiebreaks largely saw the favourites win, but English IM Ravi Haria convincingly outplayed Russian GM Vadim Zvjaginsev, while Egyptian no. 9 Abdelrahman Hesham beat Egyptian no. 2 Ahmed Adly. Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Aleksandra Goryachkina and all the other top seeds now join the event.

19 matches went to tiebreaks in the Open Section on Wednesday, with the stakes high — it was not just about the chance to play some of the world’s best players, but that Round 2 losers take home $6,000. The format for the tiebreaks is the same as in previous World Cups, with two 25-minute + 30-second increment rapid games follow by pairs of games at increasingly fast time controls, until a potential Armageddon game. Let’s take a look at how the matches went.

25 min + 30 sec: 14 matches completed

  1. GM Evgeny Alekseev 2.5:1.5 GM Adham Fawzy (EGY), plays Radoslav Wojtaszek in Round 2
  2. GM Hjorvar Gretarsson (ISL) 2.5:1.5 GM Kirill Stupak (BLR), plays Maxim Matlakov
  3. GM Gukesh D (IND) 2.5:1.5 GM Pawel Tecla, plays Daniil Dubov
  4. IM Ravi Haria (ENG) 3:1 GM Vadim Zvjaginsev, plays Etienne Bacrot
  5. GM Hovhannes Gabuzyan (ARM) 3:1 GM Bilel Bellahcene (ALG), plays Bassem Amin
  6. GM Benjamin Bok (NED) 3:1 IM Asyl Abdyjapar (KGZ), plays Samuel Sevian
  7. GM Varuzhan Akobian (USA) 2.5:1.5 IM Esteban Alb Valderrama Quiceno (COL), plays Nils Grandelius
  8. GM Boris Savchenko (RUS) 2.5:1.5 GM Nikita Afanasiev (RUS), plays Anish Giri
  9. GM Bobby Cheng (AUS) 3:1 GM Vahap Sanal (TUR), plays Levon Aronian
  10. GM Abdelrahman Hesham (EGY) 2.5:1.5 GM Ahmed Adly (EGY), plays Constantin Lupulescu
  11. GM M.amin Tabatabaei (IRI) 2.5:1.5 IM Basheer Al Qudaimi (YEM), plays Ferenc Berkes
  12. GM Haik Martirosyan (ARM) 3:1 IM Chitumbo Mwali (ZMB), plays Mustafa Yilmaz
  13. GM Krikor Sevag Mekhitarian (BRA) 2.5:1.5 GM Juan Carlos Gonzalez Zamora, plays Shakhriyar Mamedyarov
  14. GM Susanto Megaranto (IDN) 2.5:1.5 GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (IRI), plays Fabiano Caruana

The clear favourites such as Benjamin Bok, Varuzhan Akobian and Haik Martirosyan largely took over in tiebreaks.

See also:

  • Official website
  • All the games with computer analysis and commentary on chess24: Open | Women
  • Magnus Carlsen plays the 2021 World Cup
  • FIDE World Cup 2021 pairings are out
  • FIDE World Cup 1.1: The battle begins
  • FIDE World Cup 1.2: 80 players out, 28 tiebreaks
Sep 29, 2020

The Life and Games of Vasily Smyslov

For the past several years the Russian chess historian Andrey Terekhov has been working on a biography of Vasily Smyslov. The first volume of this work, focused on the beginning of the chess career of the seventh World Chess Champion, will be released in November 2020. This article describes Smyslov’s first major victories in junior and adult tournaments, which took place in 1938. 

In the history of chess Vasily Vasilievich Smyslov (1921-2010) is mostly remembered as the strongest player of the 1950s, one who battled with Mikhail Botvinnik in three consecutive World Championship matches. More recently, in the 1980s, Smyslov surprised the world by making it through the Candidates all the way to the final match with Kasparov at the age of 63.

Today, however, only true connoisseurs of chess history know that in the beginning of his career, in the years immediately preceding the Second World War, Smyslov was a wunderkind of sorts. His swift rise from complete novice to the youngest grandmaster is the stuff of legend. In the 1930s only Paul Keres’s debut on the world stage could rival Smyslov’s pace of growth. Both Keres and Smyslov made their mark as juniors, and both became grandmasters at the age of 21.

1938 was the turning point in the chess career of the future 7th World Champion. At the start of that year, Smyslov had only been playing in official chess tournaments for two and a half years. In that short time span Smyslov had quickly marched through all the stages of the Soviet qualification system, and in the autumn of 1937 he became the youngest first category player in the Soviet Union. Naturally, Smyslov was considered a “promising young talent”, yet no-one could have predicted the quantum leap that he would make in 1938.

1938 Soviet Junior Championship

Smyslov’s first tournament of 1938 started in the very first days of January. On the 2nd of January the national junior championship, which was officially entitled the “Third All-Union Children’s Tournament,” kicked off in Leningrad, at the newly inaugurated chess section of the Palace of Pioneers. It was a bi-annual event, with the first championship organized in 1934, and the second in 1936. It was the last year when Smyslov was eligible to participate, as he graduated from school in the summer of 1938.

The structure of the championship was rather complicated. There were 18 teams representing the largest cities of the Soviet Union, and both personal and team scores were tracked. Each team consisted of four people: a 16/17-year old, a 14/15-year old, a girl chessplayer and a checkers player. (In the 1930s, chess and checkers were “joined at the hip” in the Soviet Union, with events often running side-by-side, and team competitions usually involving both chess and checkers players. 64 covered both chess and checkers until 1941.) All the players were divided into preliminary groups in their respective categories. The winners qualified for the final competition, with their scores from the preliminary group carrying over to the final.

Smyslov represented Moscow, along with Yury Averbakh, who played in the 14/15-year-old category. Exactly 80 years later, Averbakh recalled in the interview for this book (February 12, 2018) that in 1938 he shared a hotel room with Smyslov during the tournament and that they got along well. Smyslov was somewhat patronizing towards the younger and less experienced second category player. Averbakh explained they were in different “weight categories” at the time, both in terms of chess (Smyslov was already a first category player) and even in terms of their physical appearance – there was a 15 centimeter height difference between them at the time (182 for Smyslov, 167 for Averbakh), and so Smyslov called his younger teammate “a tot.”…

Read full article at chess24

Jan 11, 2017

A lot of players used the Christmas Holidays to take part in a chess tournament

A lot of players used the Christmas Holidays to take part in a chess tournament. Or two. One of them was Azeri grandmaster Nijat Abasov. After winning the Christmas Open in Zürich he started in Basel, in the Chess Festival that took place from 2nd to 8th January. But in Basel he “only” finished sixth. Another Azeri won the tournament on tie-break: Eltaj Safarli.

Eltaj Safarli wins Chess Festival Basel 2017

The Chess Festival Basel included a Masters tournament, amateur tournaments, youth tournaments, and a blitz tournament. The main attraction was the Masters. This year more than 100 players took part, among them 12 grandmasters and a women grandmaster. After 9 rounds three players shared first place with 7.0/9: the Azeri Eltaj Safarli, Chinese talent Jinshi Bai and Christian Bauer from France.

op seed Safarli had the best tie-break and won the tournament, Jinshi Bai was second, Christian Bauer third. Nijat Abasov, the winner of the Zürich Christmas Open, finished sixth with 6.5/9.

With five wins and four draws Safarli played a solid tournament. He started with 4.5/5 and then finished the tournament with three draws and a win against Christian Bauer in round eight.


Next year, the Chess Festival Basel will take place from 2nd to 7th January 2018.

Tournament page…

Article source chessbase

Nov 03, 2016

Serbian Open Chess Championship 2016

Chess Federation of Serbia and Novi Sad Chess Union are organizing the 2016 Serbian Open Chess Championship from 6-13th November in Novi Sad, Serbia.

The Championship is supported by the Novi Sad Department for Sport and Youth and the playing venue is SPENS small hall. SPENS takes a special place in the chess history as venue of 1990 Chess Olympiad and 2009 European Team Chess Championship.

The Serbian Open Chess Championship is held concurrent with the 2016 European Club Cup, one of the strongest chess events in the international calendar. The games of Serbian Open will be starting at 17:00 and the participants will be able to visit the European Club Cup in “Hotel Park”.

The total prize fund is 10,000 EUR

New Trophies for the European Club Cup
The European Club Cup 2016 will have a big number of participants: 61 teams in Open section and 17 teams in Women section, total 78 clubs!

For the first time and as previously announced, the ECU is presenting new cups specially designed for the European Chess Club Cup 2016 for Men and Women.

The designer of the trophies is Mr. Erekle Purtseladze and he created two versions of the trophies both for the Open and Women section.
The 3D designs of the cups can be seen below.

The European Club Cup 2016 will take place from 5-13th November in Novi Sad, Serbia. The playing venue will be at the 5-star Hotel Park.cup_ecu