Posted May 11, 2022 in News

Rest in Peace, GM Yuri Averbahk

The chess world suffered a major loss earlier this week with the death of Russian Grandmaster Yuri Averbakh. GM Averbakh was born in 1922 in Kaluga, Russia, and was the oldest living (and first centenarian) Grandmaster after recently celebrating his 100th birthday on February 8th of this year. He was the chairman of the Soviet Chess Federation from 1973 to 1978 and was the Soviet Chess Champion in 1954, just two years after earning his International Grandmaster title.

Yuri’s contributions to the chess world evolved over the years but he remained active in the game until his death. After rising to the top of Soviet chess and finding himself equal with the likes of greats like Boris Spassky and Mark Taimanov, he became a major contributor to the world of chess literature. He was known as an expert on endgame theory and was a major editor of the Soviet chess magazines Shakhmaty v SSSR and Shakhmatny Bulletin.

In addition to being a well-known endgame tactician, Yuri is also known throughout the chess world for his attacking style, as indicated in this game (notes by Yuri).

Posted February 28, 2022 in News

FIDE Crushes Russia and Belarus

Today, on February 27, 2022, an extraordinary meeting of the FIDE Council was held on the current situation and the urgent measures to be taken after the military action launched by Russia in Ukraine.

As stated by the FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, the FIDE Council regards its main mission in preserving the unity of FIDE and respecting the basic human rights enshrined in the FIDE Charter.

In this regard, the FIDE Council has adopted a number of important emergency decisions.

FIDE Council approves the following statement condemning the military action:

  • “FIDE expresses its grave concern about the military action started by Russia in Ukraine. FIDE stands united against wars as well as condemns any use of military means to resolve political conflicts. FIDE will take any necessary action to ensure the security of chess players and other members of the chess community. No official FIDE chess competitions and events will be held in Russia and Belarus.”
  • Following the call from IOC, the FIDE Council decides that no Russian and Belarusian national flag be displayed or anthem be played in all FIDE-rated international chess events. Instead – the national chess federation’s flag or the official symbol/logo shall be used. A simplified procedure for performing under the FIDE flag would be followed where it is crucial for the players or any other chess officials under the current geopolitical situation.
  • In order to safeguard FIDE from reputational, financial, and any other possible risks, FIDE terminates all existing sponsorship agreements with any Belarusian and Russian sanctioned and/or state-controlled companies and will not enter into new sponsorship agreements with any such companies.
  • FIDE Council condemns any public statement from any member of the chess community which supports unjustified military action and brings the case of chess grandmasters Sergey Karjakin and Sergey Shipov to the Ethics and Disciplinary Commission.
Sergey Karjakin deleted this tweet, but the internet never forgets. It’s my opinion that this lowlife garbage should never play in an international tournament again.

The FIDE Council reaffirms the FIDE Congress dates, welcomes the AICF’s bid to host the 44th Chess Olympiad, and suggests 10 days for other bids.

The FIDE Council suggests that regardless of the organization of the Chess Olympiad 2022, FIDE will organize the annual FIDE Congress during the previously planned dates – from 27.07.2022. till 02.08.2022. with the election date on 01.08.2022.

The preference is to combine the FIDE Congress with the Chess Olympiad 2022. However, consultations with the potential organizers of the Chess Olympiad 2022 will be carried out and adjustment of the FIDE Congress dates is possible if it does not imply a notable delay of elections. The FIDE Council confirms that the continental elections shall be organized within their constitutional terms.

The FIDE Council confirms its commitment to the continuation of all the established development programs for national federations, zones, continents, and affiliated organizations.

Posted November 18, 2021 in FIDE, News

The World Chess Championship Approaches

It’s upon us! The great day of judgment where two of the world’s best chess players will meet to do battle for the title of World Chess Champion. GM Magnus Carlsen has held this title 2013 after defeating legendary Indian GM Viswanathan Anand. Since then, he has defended his title against Anand, GM Sergey Karjakin (2016) and GM Fabiano Caruana (2018). This year, he will face Russian GM Ian Nepomniachtchi in Dubai.

As of this entry, the official website from FIDE has not launched, but the schedule of events has been released.

  • 24 November: Opening Ceremony
  • 25 November: Off day
  • 26 November: Game 1
  • 27 November: Game 2
  • 28 November: Game 3
  • 29 November: Off day
  • 30 November: Game 4
  • 1 December: Game 5
  • 2 December: Off day
  • 3 December: Game 6
  • 4 December: Game 7
  • 5 December: Game 8
  • 6 December: Off day
  • 7 December: Game 9
  • 8 December: Game 10
  • 9 December: Off day
  • 10 December: Game 11
  • 11 December: Game 12
  • 12 December: Game 13
  • 13 December: Off day
  • 14 December: Game 14
  • 15 December: Tie break (or Closing Ceremony)
  • 16 December: Closing Ceremony

Live coverage of the event will be available on Chess24 and Chess.com. For additional details on the event itself, visit FIDE’s official press release on the World Chess Championship and Expo 2020 Dubai.

Posted October 3, 2017 in Chess Informant, News

Major Changes Underway at Chess Informant

Without a doubt, Chess Informant is my favorite regular chess publication and has been since I picked up my first issue several years ago. It has some of the most comprehensive game analysis and its databases are beyond reproach. Earlier today, Chess Informant’s CEO issued a heartfelt memorandum to its subscribers announcing his departure from the company after 11 years. Josip Asik is leaving to focus his creative efforts on American Chess Magazine. There is no word on an apparent successor or what this means for the future of Chess Informant itself, but I am confident that someone with a passion for maintaining the periodical’s legacy will press on.

Here is the letter in its entirety:

> I want to reach out to all of you with the news that I will soon be stepping down from the position of CEO of Chess Informant. This will give me time to fully focus on the further development of the American Chess Magazine, which has just completed its first full year of production. It will also mean that these two publications will continue their presence in the chess market place entirely separately.

> Over the last seven years I have been responsible for all Chess Informant activities. This covered the period in which Informants 109-133 were published. What I am mostly proud of here is the editorial work I carried out on all the magazine sections of Informants 110 to 130 and also, partly, 131 and 133. Moreover this included my introduction of English language articles and annotations.

> Most of you I consider as true chess friends, even if we have never met in real life. This has come about as a direct result of starting a new subscription management in 2010 – after which, step by step, we have got to know every subscriber’s name. Together, we have become one big chess family and so now it’s quite an emotional moment for me to have to say goodbye to you all. I am so grateful for the support you have given to the new-style Informants which I initiated and indeed experimented with – always in the hope that it would be as successful as it in fact turned out to be.

> At this moment in time I cannot predict what will be the style of future Informants, starting with 134. However, bearing in mind the venerability of this house, I have no doubt that Informant will continue to flourish as it carries on its long and bright journey through the world of chess publishing.

> For my part, I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to check out and hopefully join the American Chess Magazine. Essentially, this new publication brings you all the good things you have been enjoying in the first half of Informant, only bigger, richer and colorful. The ambition of the ACM is to develop into a superb international chess magazine.

> So thank you all once again and rather than bid you a final farewell, let me sign off instead with the words – “So long!”

> With best regards,

> Josip Asik

As a loyal Chess Informant reader, I wish Josip the best on his new endeavors with American Chess Magazine, which has proved immensely popular with chess readers since its debut! Godspeed, Josip!

Posted September 23, 2016 in News

Daily Caller Fires Shots at Queen of Katwe

The Disney adaptation of Tim Crothers’ book, The Queen of Katwe is due out next week and buzz is high on social media. Phiona has held countless interviews and reveled in the international spotlight on the eve of the film’s release. Yet, as is often the case with newfound international fame, some are not taking her rise to mainstream stardom too well. The Daily Caller recently published this hit piece in which phantom grandmasters are quoted and heavy attention is paid to tearing down any hint of success and triumph that makes her story worthy of such attention.

Her actual performance in the chess world shows these to be puff pieces with very little attention paid to empirical fact. Mutesi has no doubt achieved something as a young Ugandan girl living in poverty, to capture the attention of the world, but that something she accomplished is not being good at chess.

Given the deplorable conditions in which she was raised and the odds of becoming good at anything in her life, is it not fair to say that Phiona Mutesi overcome immense odds to become much better at chess than people who live in similar conditions? ELO is not always an indicator of chess greatness. A 1600 ELO player can inspire millions with her story and encourage others to sit down at a chess board far more than a 2000+ ELO player with no personality, no spirit, and no understanding of what really makes the game great.

The Queen of Katwe will be released in most major theater markets on September 30, 2016.