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FIDE - International Chess Federation
  1. Ju Wenjun emerges sole leader at the Women's Grand Prix

    s Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R06

    The game between Ju Wenjun (2576) Alina Kashlinskaya (2487) was a French Winawer with 7. Qg4 Kf8. The World Champion wasted no time on launching the attack on the kingside, as it is the standard plan in this variation. Alina looked for counterplay on the queenside, grabbed two pawns, and tried to create some threats, but in the end, she had to sacrifice her queen for minor pieces. It was an ingenious try, but the main problem for the Russian player was that her h8 rook was trapped for most of the game and came into play when it was already too late. Ju Wenjun played the attack with precision and scored a point that takes her to the top of the table.

    Valentina Gunina (2502) drops from the co-leadership, after losing against Elisabeth Paethz (2479). Gunina run into the home preparation of Paehtz in the Two Knights Variation of the Caro-Kann Defense, where the German IM sacrificed a pawn on move 11 in order to open lines. When Valentina was starting to be short of time, Paehtz added more fuel to the fire with an exchange sacrifice that, even if not completely correct according to the engines, it was a great practical decision. Just when frustration was starting to build up for her, Elisabeth got her first victory in the tournament to reach a plus score (3½/6).

    Quietly, the World Championship Challenger Aleksandra Goryachkina (2564) climbed to the second position in the standings, thanks to a victory against Harika Dronavalli (2503).  In one of the most exciting games of the round, the Indian player met the Saemisch Attack in the King's Indian Defense with an aggressive attack on the kingside. Goryachkina reacted opening up the center right on time, and managed to bring a pawn to the seventh rank that gave her a decisive advantage.

    Pia Cramling's (2487) tried to avoid the main lines in the Catalan Defence against Indian top seed Humpy Koneru (2560), but the position transposed into a reverse Benoni Defense, where black managed to increase the positional edge gradually. In order to keep the material balance, Pia was forced to concede the e-column and that, with an exposed king, was a decisive factor. The Swedish legend had to resign on move 40.

    Kateryna Lagno (2545) played the Gruenfeld defence against Antoaneta Stefanova (2491). White came out from the opening with the upper hand, but from then on, Stefanova was outplayed by Lagno, especially in the transition to the endgame. The Russian player took the whole point and is still unbeaten in the tournament.

    The only draw of the round happened in the game of Alexandra Kosteniuk (2495) and Marie Sebag (2450).  Kosteniuk achieved a slightly better position in a Neo-Gruenfeld Defense, and with precise play, she could have gotten a nice edge. But after a couple of inaccuracies, the position came to a drawish rook endgame, and the players agreed to a draw on move 30.

    Standings after 6 rounds: 

     Ju, Wenjun
     Goryachkina, Aleksandra
    4 2564
     Koneru, Humpy
    4 2560
     Lagno, Kateryna
    4 2545
     Paehtz, Elisabeth
     Gunina, Valentina
     Harika, Dronavalli
     Kosteniuk, Alexandra
     Kashlinskaya, Alina
    2 2487
     Sebag, Marie
    2 2450
     Stefanova, Antoaneta
    2 2491
     Cramling, Pia

    Today, September 17, is a rest day. The seventh-round games will be played on September 18, at 3 pm local time (GMT +3).

    Spectators can follow the games with English and Russian commentaries:

    Official website:

    A gallery with photos in high resolution is at the disposal of the press on the official FIDE Flickr account.

    Text: Keti Tsatsalashvili
    Photos: David Llada 

    m 20190916 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R06-34 Ju Wenjun Alina Kashlinskaya CHINA RUSSIAm 20190916 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R06-67 Humpy Koneru INDIAm 20190916 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R06-80 Elisabeth Paehtz Valentina Gunina GERMANY RUSSIAm 20190916 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R06-85 Ju Wenjun Alina Kashlinskaya RUSSIA CHINAm 20190916 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R06-92-2 Aleksandra Goryachkina Harika Dronavalli INDIA RUSSIAm 20190916 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R06-97 Elisabeth Paehtz GERMANY cropm 20190916 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R06-107 Aleksandra Goryachkina RUSSIAm 20190916 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R06-114 Ju Wenjun CHINAm 20190916 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R06-141 Elisabeth Pahetzm 20190916 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R06-160 Harika Dronavalli INDIA mirada eyes

  2. World Cup: Round 3 kicks off in Khanty-Mansiysk


    The starting games of the Round 3 of FIDE World Cup were played in the Ugra Chess Academy on September 16. Seven encounters resulted in victories.

    The biggest upset of the day was Kirill Alekseenko's (Russia) beating the higher-rated Pentala Harikrishna (India). The Russian GM broke through on the queenside and despite Black’s counterplay in the center infiltrated with his rooks into the opponent’s camp and took total control over the position.

    Alexander Grischuk (Russia) defeated Xu Xiangyu (China) demonstrating superior calculation of variations in a very complicated position. It should be noted though, that after 24…Be7? he could have found himself on the brink of defeat. Alexander confessed that in the variation 25. Rxh7+ Bxh7 26. Nxh7 Qxh7 he completely missed 27.Qe4! with a decisive advantage for White. Luckily for the Russian GM, the Chinese player opted for 25. Qc6? which left him high and dry. 

    Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan) obtained a very comfortable position in his encounter with  Daniil Yuffa (Russia) and despite an early queen exchange shattered Black's defense combining the threats on both wings.

    Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan) bested his compatriot Eltaj Safarli although the capitulation of the latter in the final position looks premature.

    Dmitry Andreikin (Russia) was very close to equality in his game with Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland) but several inaccuracies snowballed into a disaster in a four-rook endgame.

    Nikita Vitiugov (Russia) won one of the most important games in his chess career, beating Sergey Karjakin (Russia). "Sergey was defeating solidly, and after the time control, it seemed to me that the biggest part of my advantage has disappeared," said Nikita in a post-game interview. "However, Black's problems were bigger than they seemed at first sight. I am not sure about his decision to take a pawn on b3, maybe he could just stay. After the capture, it is sad for Black."

    If Vitiugov makes a draw in the second game of the match against Karjakin, he will at least repeat his best result at the World Cups so far (Round 4 in 2009).

    Welsey So (USA) “squeezed water from a stone” winning a drawish rook endgame against Santosh Vidit (India).

    Other games - Tomashevsky - Nepomniachtchi, Jakovenko - Vachier-Lagrave, Ding Liren - Firouzja, Aronian - Matlakov, Dominguez - Wang Hao, Yu Yangyi - Wei Yi, Le Quang Liem - Artemiev, Giri - Xiong, and Nisipeanu - Svidler - ended peacefully.

    The second games of the third round with the colors reversed will be played on Tuesday, September 17.











    The competition is organized by the Government of Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug – Ugra, International Chess Federation (FIDE), Ugra Chess Federation, and Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation.

    Official website:
    General partner – Gazpromneft-Khantos LCC.
    Official airline – Utair.
    Official partners of the competition: OJSC RostelecomUgra Chess AcademyRussian Chess FederationAB InBev Efes and PJSC Rosneft.
    FIDE official partner – JSCo "RZD".
    General media partner – News Agency TASS.
    Media partners – Match TVWorld of Chess social network, OTRC "Ugra" News of Ugra regional newspaper, AIF-Ugra newspaper.

  3. Champions Crowned in World Youth Rapid and Blitz

    WYRB2019 top

    FIDE World Youth Rapid and Blitz Championships (under 14, 16 and 18 years old categories) finished in Salobrena, Spain. 178 players from 22 countries, including 1 GM, 5 IMs, 12 FMs, 1 WIM, 12 WFMs participated in the chess forum in Granada. After three days of intense battles, we have all twelve champions.

    Final results of the World Junior rapid championships in Salobrena (11 – 12 September 2019):

    Winner U-14 Girls: Thien Ngan Nguyen (Vietnam)

    Winner U-14 Open: Aspet Tadevosyan (Spain)

    Winner U-16 Open: Pedro Antonio Gines Esteo (Spain)

    Winner U-16 Girls: Cecilia Guillo Longares (Spain)

    Winner U-18 Open: Lucas Van Foreest (Netherlands)

    Winner U-18 Girls: Honorata Kucharska (Poland)

    Final results of the World Junior blitz championships in Salobrena (13 September 2019):

    Winner U-14 Open: Pham Thien Phuc Vo (Vietnam)

    Winner U-14 Girls: Thien Ngan Nguyen (Vietnam)

    Winner U-16 Open: Dominik Horvath (Austria)

    Winner U-16 Girls: Ngoc Thuy Duong Bach (Vietnam)

    Winner U-18 Open: Lucas Van Foreest (Netherlands)

    Winner U-18 Girls: Kamila Hryshchenko (Ukraine)

    18-years-old Dutch grandmaster Lucas van Foreest celebrates double success winning both rapid and blitz world championships under 18.


    He comes from the famous Van Foreest chess family: his brother Jorden won the 2016 Dutch Championship, and both his great-great-grandfather Arnold and great-great-granduncle Dirk were three-time Dutch Champions. It has been a very good year for Lukas so far - earlier in July he won the national championship and is now a part of the Dutch national team together with such grandmasters as Anish Giri and Erwin L’Ami. We will see him in action at the European Team Championship in Georgia in October.

    "I feel quite relieved, happy. I played such tournaments for the first time in my life. I came here to win," said Lucas in an interview given to his compatriot Sergey Tiviakov.

    The closing ceremony included speeches delivered by FIDE Deputy President GM Bachar Kouatly and President of the Spanish Chess Federation Javier Ochoa, vibrant Flamenco dances by local artists and presentation of awards to all the winners. 






















  4. A miracle save allows Gunina to keep pace with Ju Wenjun

    s WGP Skolkovo

    The first game to come to an end was the clash between Elisabeth Paethz (2479) and the tournament co-leader Ju Wenjun (2576). The World Champion went for a Petrov defence, and some early exchanges quickly lead to a dull position, in which the players found no better option than a threefold repetition on move 23. The German IM seemed to be particularly unsatisfied with the outcome of the game (her fifth consecutive draw in the tournament), while Ju Wenjun took it as a good result: the top-seeded is playing quite solid, avoiding unnecessary risks in the tournament.

    A much more dramatic turn took the game of the other co-leader, Valentina Gunina (2502), against the former World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova (2491). The Russian Grandmaster went wrong in the opening and soon found herself under the fire of heavy artillery. Her King was cornered in the open h-file, and it looked like if she was about to get checkmated in spectacular fashion. In a hopeless situation, Gunina found the most aggressive ways to complicate the position. Stefanova started to consume lots of time in her moves, so much so that this was the last game to finish. With a rook down and thanks to her opponent's time trouble, Gunina found a way to save the game with perpetual check. She added half-point to her score and with 3,5 points she managed to keep pace with Ju Wenjun.

    The only decisive game of the round five was the victory of Kateryna Lagno (2545) over Pia Cramling (2487). In a Rauzer Variation pieces were quickly traded, and the position came down to an endgame with one rook and knight per side. Lagno had a majority of pawns on the queenside, but it looked completely equal until Cramling blundered with 36...Nc6. A simple tactic left Kateryna with two connected passed pawns, that eventually costed Pia her knight, and the game.

    Indian number one female player Humpy Koneru (2560) made a short draw with the World Championship Challenger, and this Women's Grand Prix youngest participant, Aleksandra Goryachkina (2564). It was a Slav Defense with symmetrical pawn structure, the rooks were quickly traded in the open c-file, and a draw was agreed on move 27.

    Harika Dronavalli (2503) achieved a significant advantage in a Scotch Game against former World Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk (2495). Harika tried to convert the positional edge into a material advantage, but Kosteniuk's energetic counterplay forced a massive piece exchange. Players agreed on a draw with only rooks, opposite colour bishops, and three pawns each in the kingside.

    The Classical Variation of the Petrov's Defense was played between Marie Sebag (2450) and Alina Kashlinskaya (2487). Both opponents chose a risk-free approach, and the game ended with a draw on move 27.

    Standings after 5 rounds:

     Gunina, Valentina
     Ju, Wenjun
     Goryachkina, Aleksandra
    3 2564 
     Koneru, Humpy
    3 2560 
     Lagno, Kateryna
    3 2545 
     Harika, Dronavalli
     Paehtz, Elisabeth
     Kashlinskaya, Alina
    2 2487 
     Kosteniuk, Alexandra
    2 2495 
     Stefanova, Antoaneta
    2 2491 
     Cramling, Pia
     Sebag, Marie

    The sixth-round games will be played on September 16, at 3 pm local time (GMT +3).

    Spectators can follow the games with English and Russian commentaries:

    Official website:

    A gallery with photos in high resolution is at the disposal of the press on the official FIDE Flickr account.

    Text: Keti Tsatsalashvili
    Photos: David Llada
    m 20190915 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R05-19-2 venuem 20190915 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R05-38-2 Ju Wenjun Elisabeth Paehtzm 20190915 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R05-109 Marie Sebag Alina Kashlinskaya RUSSIA FRANCEm 20190915 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R05-199 venue
    m 20190915 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R05-10 Keti Tsatsalashvili Elisabeth Paehtz
    m 20190915 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R05-59 Valentina Gunina RUSSIA
    m 20190915 Skolkovo Women Grand Prix R05-80 Kateryna Lagno RUSSIA
  5. WTCC in Astana Round 5

    WTCC logo KAZ
    World Team Chess Championships 2019, held from March, 4 - 15 2019 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

    Open section and Women section board results.

    Round 6 starts March, 11 2019 at 3 PM local time.

    Please visit the official website for LIVE GAMES.

    Standings after Round 5. OPEN

    Rnk. Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 MP Pts.
    1 Russia *   2   3     3 9 13
    2 India   * 2   2 2     7 13
    3 England 2 2 * 2         7 11
    4 United States of America     2 *   2   1 3 6 10½
    5 Iran 2     *     3 5 11½
    6 China 2   *       5 11
    7 Kazakhstan 1   2     * 3 2   4
    8 Sweden   ½     ½   1 * 3 4
    9 Azerbaijan     3   ½ 2 1 *   3 8
    10 Egypt 1 ½   1 1       * 0 5

    Standings after Round 5. WOMEN

    Rnk. Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 MP Pts.
    1 China *         10 13½
    2 Russia *       3   4 8 15½
    3 Ukraine     * 2   2 2   3 4 7 13
    4 Georgia   2 * 2     3   6 12
    5 India   ½   2 *   2   4 6 11
    6 United States of America     2 ½   * 3 3   5 10
    7 Kazakhstan 1 2   2 *       4 9
    8 Armenia ½     1   *   4 2
    9 Hungary ½   1 1   1     * 2 6
    10 Egypt   0 0   0     0 * 0


    6.1 10 Sweden   - 8 United States of America  
    1 GM Grandelius Nils 2694 : GM Swiercz Dariusz 2655
    2 GM Blomqvist Erik 2488 : GM Onischuk Alexander 2647
    3 GM Smith Axel 2487 : GM Lenderman Aleksandr 2637
    4 IM Johansson Linus 2479 : GM Izoria Zviad 2603
    6.2 9 Russia   - 7 Azerbaijan  
    1 GM Karjakin Sergey 2753 : GM Naiditsch Arkadij 2710
    2 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2771 : GM Mamedov Rauf 2701
    3 GM Grischuk Alexander 2771 : GM Safarli Eltaj 2662
    4 GM Artemiev Vladislav 2736 : GM Abasov Nijat 2627
    6.3 1 India   - 6 Kazakhstan  
    1 GM Adhiban B. 2683 : GM Jumabayev Rinat 2609
    2 GM Sasikiran Krishnan 2678 : GM Ismagambetov Anuar 2545
    3 GM Ganguly Surya Shekhar 2633 : GM Kazhgaleyev Murtas 2587
    4 GM Sethuraman S.P. 2637 : IM Makhnev Denis 2476
    6.4 2 Iran   - 5 England  
    1 GM Maghsoodloo Parham 2673 : GM Adams Michael 2708
    2 GM Idani Pouya 2604 : GM Mcshane Luke J 2661
    3 GM Tabatabaei M.Amin 2600 : GM Howell David W L 2693
    4 GM Firouzja Alireza 2657 : GM Speelman Jon S 2516
    6.5 3 Egypt   - 4 China  
    1 GM Amin Bassem 2709 : GM Ding Liren 2812
    2 GM Adly Ahmed 2611 : GM Wei Yi 2733
    3 IM Fawzy Adham 2461 : GM Bu Xiangzhi 2731
    4 IM Abdelnabbi Imed 2435 : GM Ni Hua 2683


    6.1 10 Egypt   - 8 Georgia  
    1 WGM Wafa Shahenda 2175 : GM Khotenashvili Bela 2474
    2 WIM Moaataz Ayah 2036 : IM Arabidize Meri 2392
    3 WIM Elansary Eman 1944 : GM Batsiashvili Nino 2454
    4 WIM Ehab Tasneem 1841 : IM Melia Salome 2385
    6.2 9 Kazakhstan   - 7 Hungary  
    1 IM Abdumalik Zhansaya 2469 : GM Hoang Thanh Trang 2454
    2 IM Saduakassova Dinara 2462 : IM Gara Anita 2384
    3 FM Assaubayeva Bibisara 2374 : WGM Gara Ticia 2324
    4 IM Nakhbayeva Guliskhan 2295 : WIM Terbe Julianna 2306
    6.3 1 Armenia   - 6 Ukraine  
    1 GM Danielian Elina 2402 : GM Muzychuk Mariya 2560
    2 IM Mkrtchian Lilit 2390 : GM Muzychuk Anna 2555
    3 WFM Sargsyan Anna M. 2340 : IM Gaponenko Inna 2427
    4 WIM Gevorgyan Maria 2264 : IM Buksa Nataliya 2416
    6.4 2 Russia   - 5 United States of America  
    1 GM Lagno Kateryna 2559 : WGM Abrahamyan Tatev 2377
    2 GM Gunina Valentina 2515 : WGM Nemcova Katerina 2315
    3 GM Goryachkina Aleksandra 2504 : FM Yip Carissa 2279
    4 WGM Girya Olga 2456 : WCM Wu Rochelle 2120
    6.5 3 India   - 4 China  
    1 IM Karavade Eesha 2357 : GM Tan Zhongyi 2513
    2 WGM Soumya Swaminathan 2401 : IM Shen Yang 2453
    3 IM Padmini Rout 2332 : WGM Huang Qian 2441
    4 WGM Kulkarni Bhakti 2322 : GM Lei Tingjie 2477
September 2019
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