Is It a Bird? Is It a Plane?
No, it's Hikaru! After winning the recent ICC-Mainz Chess960 qualifier, U.S. Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura (Smallville) lived up to his Superman-themed handle by going on to win the FiNet Chess960 crown at the Mainz Chess Classic in Germany!
The FiNet Chess960 Open started though on a somber note with a one minute silence in respect of Bobby Fischer, the former world champion who died earlier this year and who endorsed his own version of shuffle chess used in Mainz.
And among the 83-player field, there were 44 grandmasters with the average rating of the top 10 players being 2687! Players like Sergei Movsesian and Pavel Eljanov, who have a 2700+ rating and once again some players came to Mainz who have a 2650+ rating like Sasikiran, Najer, Kasimdzhanov, Almasi, Motylev, Fressinet, Tregubov and Bareev.
But ICC qualifier Hikaru Nakamura, a dark horse tipped by many to do well, took first place on tiebreak ahead of Motylev and Movsesian, as all three finished in equal first on 9/11. Congratulations Hikaru on picking up yet another major European title!
The Mainz Chess Classic includes a cornucopia of tournaments and Opens in traditional and Random Chess featuring a whole galaxy of chess stars old and new - and we urge you to checkout the links below to follow all the results from this extravaganza.
All of which is just a warm-up act for the main event now underway, the Grenke-Leasing Rapid Chess World Championship featuring the current World Champion and world #1 Vishy Anand, the young Norwegian pretender Magnus Carlsen, Russian maestro Alexander Morozevich and the strongest female player of all time, Judit Polgar. ICC will be relaying the games from this event live each day, and also not to be missed is GM Ronen Har-Zvi GOTD from Mainz. Full
Chess.FM's Macauley Peterson is also in Mainz and he'll be bringing you video reports on all the action and news. His first video comes from the opening press conference and a preview of what's to come all weekend long.
Game of the Day Video Commentary
Chess.FM presents GM Ronen Har-Zvi on Round 1 of Mainz 2008.
Watch video: Morozevich-Anand and Polgar-Carlsen.
The latest ICC qualifier in-play right now is for the Sants Open in Barcelona, Spain. This week, we've had four qualifying events for the 16 player knockout final, which takes place this coming Sunday, August 3, starting at 14:30pm ET. A total of 882 ICC members played in the four qualifiers, with the top three from each guaranteed a spot in the final, with the final four spots going to the top four accumulated scores from all of the qualifiers.
Accumulated Best scores: Baltimora (25.5), worcester (25.5), tamangis (25.0) and vutru (24.5)
We have on offer a top prize of return air-ticket, free hotel, breakfast and entry for the overall winner; 500 Euro (approx. $785) and free entries to the Sants Open for the next three places; plus ICC extension prizes totaling 48 months.
- 1st prize: Round-trip air travel (*conditions apply - see below) t0 Barcelona, plus hotel including breakfast for the duration of the Sants Open in Barcelona, plus free entry to Sants Open
- 2nd prize: 300 Euro, plus free entry to Sants Open
- 3rd/4th prize: 100 Euro each, plus free entry to Sants Open
- 5th-8th prize: 6 months ICC extensions
- Eight 3 months ICC extension prizes will be raffled between all participants who orderly finish a qualifier, two in every qualifier.
- Please note that there is no cash equivalent for the round-trip air travel for 1st prize to Barcelona. Should the winner be unable to accept the invitation to Barcelona, he/she will forfeit this prize - also note that other ICC conditions apply for main prize, so please check further in Rules & Guidelines. ICC reserves the right to award the main prize to another player in that case. Also, 2nd, 3rd and 4th prizes can be paid directly by wire transfer.
Do You Want To Play Magnus Carlsen here on ICC? You may remember last year that World Champion Vishy Anand raised $10,000 on ICC for a charity that was close to his heart? Well, this year rising star Magnus Carlsen has agreed to do a similar fundraising simul at ICC, with 100% of the monies raised going to help a young fellow grandmaster in need of urgent medical treatment.
Serbian GM Dusan Popovic tragically took ill earlier this year and diagnosed with chronic kidney failure and now is in urgent need of a transplant. You can read more about Dusan's plight here at http://www.chessdom.com/dusan-popovic
Magnus Carlsen has magnanimously agreed to give of his time by hosting a 30-board simul here on ICC on August 11, starting at 14:00pm ET, to help a fellow player in need. Details will be coming soon on how you can bid on eBay to play in the simul, and also how you can play here in a qualifier on ICC for a few chekels to win a spot in the simul. You will also be able to donate a small sum to help the cause. For those playing in the simul, we will have lots of special "thank you" chess prizes. Watch this space - and please give generously!
NM Dan Heisman "Improve Your Chess"
National Master Dan Heisman is a
name that is synonymous with excellence in chess coaching
Over the years, Dan has produced
many winning students and scholastic teams - and now
he can help you, too! In this series of five instructional
videos for ICC Chess.FM, Dan brings you his innovative
teaching methods on how to play better chess - and
all packed with sound advice from the maestro himself.
1. Introduction to Safety and Counting
(below 1500) -- Watch
2. Introduction to Time Management (all players)
3. Introduction to Thought Process (800-1800)
4. Common Evaluation Misconceptions (1000-2200)
5. Is It Safe? (below 1900) - this video is a follow-up
to "Introduction to Safety and Counting"
These 5 videos are available exclusively
for ICC members - but as a special launch promotion, non-members
can view for free Dan's
first video in full. To view the other four video in
the series, sign
up for membership!
Mondays: GM Ronen Har-Zvi "New Ideas
in the Petroff's Defense"
The Petroff Defence (sometimes
called the Russian Defence, and named after Russia's
Alexander Petrov, 1794-1867) is considered as one
of Black's most reliable and solid methods of meeting
the king's pawn opening. It is easy to play and an
excellent choice for someone looking for an alternative
to the Scotch Opening, the Italian Game and the ‘Spanish
torture’ of the Ruy Lopez.
Until a few years ago, the Petroff was an opening that was favored by only a few top Grandmasters, including Anatoly Karpov and Artur Yusupov. However, the last few years have seen a dramatic rise in its popularity, and it now provides battlefields for many top clashes of the modern elite players, including Anand, Kramnik, Leko, Topalov, and Shirov. And in the latest of his "New Ideas in..." series, GM Ronen Har-Zvi, takes a closer look under the microscope at the solid Petroff.
Click here for a free 5 minute preview of Ronen's latest video. To
listen to the full videos, sign
up for membership!
Tuesdays: Chess Talk with IM John Watson
for Chess Talk with IM John Watson on ICC Chess.FM. John's
weekly 60+ minute show (members only) will feature an interview
with leading chess personalities. All shows run on demand
for members after airing.
This week (Tue., 29 July), joining IM John Watson on Chess Talk is English IM John Cox (a.k.a. octavia on ICC). A former British junior champion, John has made a name for himself as an author of four clearly-written and praised opening books for publishers Everyman Chess: Starting Out: Sicilian Sveshnikov, Starting Out: Alekhine's Defence, Starting Out: 1 d4, and Dealing with d4 Deviations
Chess Talk will be on its summer break throughout August - but John Watson will be back in early September for a new season of his show with lots of new guests!
Find below a selection of free 5-minute
previews of the latest shows. To listen to the full shows, sign
up for membership!
Wednesdays: Attack with LarryC!
at ICC Chess.FM - Attack With LarryC! A
weekly 30 min+ show on Wednesdays at 15:00 EDT (and available on-demand thereafter for members), featuring
three-time U.S. Champion Larry Christiansen, one of the
most dangerous and respected attacking players of his generation.
Larry is a feared competitor and attacker
who authored two popular books that showcase his aggressive
the Barricades and Rocking
the Ramparts. And each week on his show, Larry
will feature various attacking motifs and themes and showing
you how best to play for mate.
Video" for a free 5 minute preview of Larry's latest
video. By popular demand from members, we are now archiving
with LarryC shows. This video is just one of the many
benefits of being a full member of ICC - so, sign
up for membership!
Thursdays: Ask the Renaissance Man
Tune-in for "Ask the Renaissance Man" with National Master Dan Heisman every Thursday at 21:00 EDT. You send in the questions and Dan provides the answers every week on his Q&A show. Questions on tournament rules, opening play, chess books, chess politics, current events, and more!
"Play Video" for a free 5 minute preview of Dan's
latest show. To listen to the full show, sign
up for membership!
And this week for non-members, you can listen to the full show for free by clicking here. So, all the more reason to become a member now and get to listen each week to all the shows on ICC Chess.FM!
Thursdays: Boris Alterman's Gambit Guide
Israeli GM Boris Alterman is best known as a leading chess advisor for the multi-title
winning chess software program (Deep) Junior, where he specialized
in developing its opening book.
Fridays: GM Joel Benjamin "Game
of the Week"
U.S. Champion GM Joel Benjamin starts his
weekly show every Friday at 15:00 Server Time. Click "Play
Video" for a free 5 minute preview of Joel's latest
show. To listen to the full show, sign
up for membership!
Joel is regarded by many as one of
the best commentators and analysts' we have in the game
today, and each Friday he will be giving us his insight
and spin with his selection of Game of the Week.
This not-to-be-missed weekly video
series is exclusive for ICC members only -- so if you want
to get ahead of the game, get ready to tune-in! By popular
demand and requests from members, ALL
of Joel Benjamin's GOTW videos are available. Enjoy!
Starting Out: the Modern - Nigel Davies
Modern Defence is a dynamic, ambitious and universal
opening, one that can be used against virtually every
system White can play. Black's provocative strategy
is based upon allowing White to construct an imposing
pawn centre in the anticipation that a well-timed
strike will bring about its downfall. Both sides can
play for high rewards, albeit at some risk: White
can hope to succeed with a direct attack or to squash
Black with a space advantage, while Black will aim
to destroy White's centre and mop up the remains.
All in all this can lead to intriguing battles in
which one slip from either side is often fatal. In
this book, Nigel Davies studies the Modern by going
back to basics, introducing the key moves and ideas,
and taking care to explain the reasoning behind them
- something that has often been neglected or taken
192 pages, soft cover.
Price: $23.95 - Buy now!
Zuke'Em! The Colle-Zukertort Revolutionized - Dave Rudel
For decades, the chess world has run down the reputation of the Colle-Zukertort (a.k.a. the Rubinstein Attack) as an unassuming opening, claiming it did not exact the full measure of pain from Black in the quest to equalize.
If such is the case, why do strong players (as Black) avoid the Zukertort? Instead, they opt to play any of several pet defenses rather than deal with the constriction and onslaught from the main line.
In Zuke ‘em: The Colle-Zukertort Revolutionized, David Rudel explains the basics of the Zukertort and then provides plenty of new ideas to address these various pet defenses that cowardly opponents may choose.
256 pages, soft cover.
Price: $25.00 - Buy
Test Your Chess IQ Grandmaster Challenge - Livshitz
Recently re-issued by Everyman - this is a reprint of the classic title that first appeared in 1993.
There is no better way to improve your tactical ability than by working out winning combinations in positions taken from Grandmaster games.
In this final - and most challenging! - part of his best-selling three-volume course in chess tactics, Russian chess teacher Livshitz provides a wealth of test-yourself positions identified under recurring combinational themes such as diversion, interference, X-ray attack and many more!
Solving these positions will stretch your imagination to the full and enable you to test and assess your Chess IQ.
Price: $19.95 - Buy
Roman's Lab 58: Taking Advantage of Common Endgame Mistakes
Volume 58: Taking Advantage of Common Endgame Mistakes
Made by All Tournament Players
On this DVD Roman answers one of his most frequently asked questions: How to improve in the endgame.
Roman takes several highly instructional examples from tournament play, these are common mistakes made by all players.
It is essential to know opening and endgame theory and to follow chess principles such as:
- Activate your pieces
- Theory - before entering into the endgame know whether it is a win, loss or draw
- Never allow an outside passed pawn
- Knowing how to use an extra tempo can change a draw into a win
Over one hour of instructional video.
Price: $19.95 - Buy