Astronaut vs. Earth Chess Match

NASA photo
NASA photo

International Space Station flight engineer and science officer Greg Chamitoff has no problem playing chess in zero gravity while traveling at 5 miles per second. In fact, he made short work out of defeating the NASA Mission Control Center crew in his spare time while in orbit on the International Space Station. Now comes the real challenge. Can Greg defeat a democracy of earthlings headed by third graders?

   Beginning Monday, September 29, the kindergarten through third grade U.S. Chess Championship Team and its chess club teammates from Stevenson Elementary School in Bellevue, Washington will select up to four possible moves that the inhabitants of earth will then vote on to select the final move sent to Greg. Greg Chamitoff will then transmit a move back to earth and its elementary school advisers. The match organizers at NASA and the USCF has this to say about the historic match:

“For the past 10 years, the International Space Station has been an important platform to learn about living in space. We’re excited to have the opportunity to engage not only young students, but the public at large in this unique chess match,” said Heather Rarick, lead flight director for the current space station mission at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

“We hope the excitement and interest this game generates will inspire students to become interested in chess,” said USCF Executive Director Bill Hall. “Chess is a valuable tool to lead students to become interested in math and to develop critical thinking skills, objectives we focus on in our work with schools nationwide.”

To find out more information on this match or to take part in it you need to visit http://www.uschess.org/nasa2008

Below is a game played by the crew of the International Space Station vs. Nasa Mission Control:


Crew – MCC [D00]
ISS Space game, Earth Orbit, 13.08.2008
1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 c6 3.Bf4 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.e3 e6 6.Ne5 Qa5 7.Bd3 Nxe5 8.Bxe5 Ba3 9.Qc1 Bb4 10.0-0 b6 11.a4 Ba6? 12.Nb5! 0-0 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.c3 cxb5 15.Rd1 Rac8 16.axb5 Bxc3 17.Rxa5 17…Bxa5 18.Qb1 Bb7 19.b4 f5 20.bxa5 bxa5 21.Rc1 a4 22.Rxc8 Bxc8 23.Qb4 Bd7 24.Qxa4 Rc8 25.Qxa7 Rc1+ 26.Bf1 Bc8 27.b6 Kg7 28.b7 Bxb7 29.Qxb7 Kf6 30.f3 h6 and Black resigned. 1-0

Vladimir Kramnik in Germany

   The upcoming World Championship Chess Match against Viswanathan Anand is not Vladimir Kramnik’s first chess match in Germany. In July of 2000 Kramnik played another high profile match in Deutschland. This time his opponent was the highly touted computer program Deep Junior. Because his opponent was a computer, Kramnik used anti-computer strategy that would not work against someone like Anand. This does not take anything away from Kramnik’s achievement in the game below. His play was nothing short of brilliant.
   Playing 2. e3, Kramnik is obviously playing a slightly inferior move to take the computer out of its opening book. Kramnik’s strategy is to eliminate any opening advantage the computer may have and then lock up the pawns to reduce the computer’s calculation advantage. Kramnik then will use the human advantage of being able to form a long term plan to set up a position that favors the human. Its amazing how coordinated Kramnik’s pieces become after 23. Bd1. His bishop, 2 rooks, queen and knight are all focused on Deep Junior’s king. In contrast, Deep Junior showed little understanding of what was happening when Kramnik played his 12, 15 and 18 move. Becuse of this lack of understanding the aspects of the advancing pawns in a closed position, Deep Junior’s pieces are caught in the wrong locations late in the game. After 25. e4 Kramnik unleashes his dark square bishop thus using all his pieces together in the same attack. The rest of the game Kramnik plays with the great accuracy that is needed to defeat a strong computer opponent.



[Event “SuperGM”]

[Site “Dortmund GER”]

[Date “2000.07.12”]

[EventDate “2000.07.07”]

[Round “5”]

[Result “1-0”]

[White “Vladimir Kramnik”]

[Black “Junior (Computer)”]

[ECO “D00”]

[WhiteElo “2770”]

[BlackElo “?”]

[PlyCount “65”]
1. d4 d5 2. e3 Nf6 3. Bd3 e6 4. f4 Be7 5. Nf3 c5 6. c3 O-O
7. Nbd2 Ng4 8. Qe2 c4 9. Bc2 f5 10. Rg1 Nc6 11. h3 Nf6 12. g4
Ne4 13. Qg2 g6 14. Qh2 Kh8 15. h4 Nxd2 16. Bxd2 fxg4 17. Ng5
Qe8 18. h5 gxh5 19. Rxg4 Rf6 20. Rh4 Rh6 21. O-O-O a5 22. Rh1
b5 23. Bd1 Ra7 24. Bxh5 Qf8 25. e4 Bd8 26. f5 b4 27. Bg6 Rxh4
28. Qxh4 bxc3 29. bxc3 Bf6 30. Qxh7+ Rxh7 31. Rxh7+ Kg8
32. Bf7+ Qxf7 33. Rxf7 1-0

Earn Money Teaching Chess to Children in After School Programs!

Earn money teaching chess to children in after school programs!The Torres Chess & Music Academy, a nonprofit organization, is currently looking for outgoing individuals who work well with kids.
Our schools are located in the Cupertino, Palo Alto, Fremont and San Bruno areas.
Join our team now!
There is plenty of room for advancement within the company.
If you are interested please call
Chris Torres at:

Compensation: DOE

  • This is a part-time job.
  • This is at a non-profit organization.
  • OK to highlight this job opening for persons with disabilities
  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
  • Phone calls about this job are ok.
  • Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.


Kramnik vs. Anand 2008 preview: A 1996 game played by Kramnik

Just 18 days until Anand plays Kramnik for the title of World Chess Champion in Bonn, Germany. Below I continue with my preview for this historic match by examining a timeless game played by Kramnik in 1996.



In 1996 Vladimir Kramnik played an exceptionally brilliant game as black verses a very strong opponent named Vassily Ivanchuk. Kramnik used fantastic opening preparation as well as brilliant tactical play to pressure Ivanchuk to error and finally resign. On move 6. Bg5 Ivanchuk initiates a Richter-Rauzer attack which provides the much needed tactical fuel for Kramnik’s fire. Kramnik move 14…Ng4 was a brand new idea that caught his opponent off guard. The move sacrifices the exchange but gives Kramnik long term pressure on the dark squares as well as some initiative to attack with. On 17. g3 Ivanchuk makes a small error which allows black to gain even more initiative. Ivanchuk should have played 17. Qf3. Kramnik’s 19…f5 was paticulary powerful and kept his attack going. On move 27 Kramnik makes a huge error with only five minutes left on his clock. I believe Kramnik should have tried 27…Qe7. To everone’s shock, Ivanchuk played 28. Nd3 which allowed Kramnik to win easily.


[Event “It (cat.19)”]
[Site “Dos Hermanas (Spain)”]
[Date “1996.??.??”]
[White “Ivanchuk Vassily (UKR)”]
[Black “Kramnik Vladimir (RUS)”]
[Round “8”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “B33”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3
d6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8. O-O-O h6 9. Be3
Be7 10. f4 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 b5 12. Qe3 Qc7 13. e5
dxe5 14. Bxe5 Ng4 15. Qf3 Nxe5 16. Qxa8 Nd7 17. g3
Nb6 18. Qf3 Bb7 19. Ne4 f5 20. Qh5+ Kf8 21. Nf2
Bf6 22. Bd3 Na4 23. Rhe1 Bxb2+ 24. Kb1 Bd5 25. Bxb5
Bxa2+ 26. Kxa2 axb5 27. Kb1 Qa5 28. Nd3 Ba3 29. Ka2
Nc3+ 30. Kb3 Nd5 31. Ka2 Bb4+ 32. Kb1 Bc3  0-1

Missed A Post

My five month old daughter, Rosaleia Jane Torres has acquired a terrible head cold. Yesterday, instead of posting to this site, I was rocking her to sleep over and over again. I really need to start bragging about my daughter more as most of my students’ families have no idea I am a father. Here goes:

Rosaleia Jane Torres is now ranked number 3 in the world for chess players under the age of six months!


Anand vs. Kramnik: Backround Information

Anand vs. Kramnik should provide the most entertaining chess we have seen in quite some time. Below is a comparison of the achievements of these two chess titans.


Vladimir Kramnik’s achievements
(source: www.vladimirkramnik.com

* 1990 Russian Championship, Kuibyshev (classical) I
* 1991 World Championship (U18), Guarapuav (classical) I
* 1992 Chalkidiki (classical) 7.5/11 I
* 1993 Belgrade (classical) 6/9 II
* 1993 Interzonal Tournament, Biel (classical) 8.5/13 II
* 1994 Overall result PCA Intel Grand Prix’94 I
* 1995 Dortmund (classical) 7/9 I
* 1995 Horgen (classical) 7/10 I-II
* 1995 Belgrade (classical) 8/11 I-II
* 1996 Monaco 16/22 I
* 1996 Dos Hermanas (classical) 6/9 I-II
* 1996 Dortmund (classical) 7/9 I-II
* 1997 Dos Hermanas (classical) 6/9 I-II
* 1997 Dortmund (classical) 6.5/9 I
* 1997 Tilburg (classical) 8/11 I-III
* 1998 Wijk aan Zee (classical) 8.5/13 I-II
* 1998 Dortmund (classical) 6/9 I-III
* 1998 Monaco (blindfold and rapidplay) 15/22 I
* 1999 Monaco (blindfold and rapidplay) 14.5/22 I
* 2000 Linares (classical) 6/10 I-II
* 2000 Dortmund (classical) 6/9 I-II
* 2000 Classical World Chess Championship: Match Kramnik vs. Kasparov 8.5:6.5
* 2001 Match Kramnik vs. Leko (rapidplay) 7.0:5.0
* 2001 Monaco (blindfold and rapidplay) 15/22 I-II
* 2001 Match Kramnik vs. Anand (rapidplay) 5.0:5.0
* 2001 Dortmund (classical 6th win!) 6.5/10 I-II
* 2002 Advanced Chess Match (computer usage allowed) Kramnik vs. Anand (Leon) 3.5:2.5
* 2002 Man vs. Machine (Bahrain) 4.0:4.0
* 2003 Linares (classical) 7.0/12 I-II
* 2003 Dortmund (classical) 5.5/10 II-III
* 2003 Cap d’Agde (France)
* 2003 Rapid World Chess Championships 8.5/13 II
* 2004 Handicap Simul (classical)
* 2004 Kramnik vs. National Team of Germany 2.5:1.5
* 2004 Linares (classical) 7.0/12 I
* 2004 Monaco (Overall result) 14.5/22 I-II
* 2006 Gold medal at Turin Olympiad with overall best performance (2847) 7/10
* 2006 Dortmund (classical) 4.5/7 I
* 2006 FIDE World Chess Championship: Match Kramnik vs. Topalov 6.0:6.0 (2.5:1.5 tiebreaks)


World championship matches and qualifiers

* PCA Quarterfinals, June 1994, New York, Kramnik-Gata Kamsky (1.5-4.5).
* FIDE Quarterfinals, January 1994 Wijk aan Zee, Kramnik-Leonid Yudasin (4.5-2.5).
* FIDE Semifinals, August 1994 Sanghi Nagar, Kramnik-Boris Gelfand (3.5-4.5).
* WCC Candidates, 1998, Carzola, Kramnik-Alexei Shirov (3.5-5.5).
* FIDE Knockout, July 1999, Las Vegas, Kramnik-Tiviakov (1.5-0.5); Kramnik-Victor Korchnoi (1.5-0.5); Kramnik-Veselin Topalov (3-1, including rapid playoff); Kramnik-Michael Adams (Quarterfinal) (2-4, including rapid playoff).
* Classical World Chess Championship 2000, London, Kramnik-Garry Kasparov (8.5-6.5)
* Classical World Chess Championship 2004, Brissago, Kramnik-Péter Lékó (7-7), Kramnik retains.
* FIDE World Chess Championship 2006, Elista, Kramnik-Topalov (6-6, 2.5-1.5 rapid playoff), Kramnik unifies the title

Viswanathan Anand’s achievements

(source: http://www.niit.com/vishy/career.htm)

Won Reggio Emilia Chess Tournament (Category 18) ahead of Kasparov and Karpov in the strongest tournament ever held until this time.
Won the Alekhine Memorial (Category 18) in Moscow. Won the tournament ahead of Karpov. Attained a 2700 rating, only the 8th person ever to do so in the World 

Joint champion in Goodricke Open International Tournament

Won the PCA Interzonal, Groningen Champion. The strongest Swiss tournament ever
Qualified for the FIDE Candidates Cycle Interzonal, Biel

Qualified for PCA World Championship Candidates Final, after beating Michael Adams
Won PCA Grand Prix, Moscow Champion Won ahead of Kasparov

Won Melody Amber Tournament, Monaco Champion Won ahead of stalwarts like Karpov, Kramnik, Ivanchuk

Lost the final of the PCA World Championship, New York to Kasparov
Beat Gata Kamsky in PCA World Candidates Final in Las Palmas and qualified for final against Kasparov



Won the Credit Swiss Rapid Chess Grand Prix, Geneva beating Kasparov in the final.

Joint winner at Dortmunder Schachtage, Dortmund with Kramnik.



Won the Knock-Out Championships in Groningen which was the qualifier for the world championship finals. He beat 3 out of the top 10 in the world, Shirov, Gelfand & Adams in the final tiebreak.
Won the InvesbankaChess tournament”, Belgrade
Won the Credit Suisse Classic Tournament in Biel (also won prize for most beautiful game)
Runner-up in Dortmunder Schachtage, Dortmund
Won the Chess Classic Rapid Tournament, Frankfurt beating Karpov in the Final.

Won 4-2 in an Exhibition against 6 computers at the Aegon Man Vs Computers chess event. One of the few players to play 6 computers simultaneously and win.

Won the 6th Melody Amber Tournament, Monaco. Finished overall first and individually first in blindfold and rapid to become the first player in the history of the tournament to do so.

Won the Torneo de Ajedrez, Dos Hermanes. This was a Category 19 Tournament.




Won the Fontys-Tilburg International in Tilburg
Won the Siemens Nixdorf Duell which had Computers in the field in Frankfurt
Won the Siemens Nixdorf Duell Rapid event in Frankfurt
Won the strong “Torneo Magistral Communidad de Madrid
Won the Category 21 Linares Super torneo
Tied for first place at the Hoogoven’s Schaak Tornoi in Wijk Aan Zee
Won the Torneo Magistral de Ajedrez in Leon by defeating Anatoly Karpov 5-1

Won the Chess Oscar for the second straight year!

Won the 1999 Wydra Memorial Rapid Chess in Haifa
Won FIDE World Championships final in Teheran beating Shirov 3.5-0.5

Won FIDE World Qualifier in New Delhi, won five rounds without losing a game

Won the FIDE World Cup in Shenyang, China beating Bareev 1.5 – 0.5 in final

Joint first with Kramnik in Sparkassen Chess Meeting in Dortmund

Won the Fujitsu Siemens Giants Rapid in Frankfurt

Won “Torneo Magistral” an Advanced Chess Tournament, where players can use Computers in Leon beat Shirov in final

Won the Wydra Int’l Rapid in Haifa

Won the Plus GSM World Blitz Cup in Warsaw 

Wins the Corsica Masters title in Bastia, in November

Won the Rapidplay event in Villarrobledo in Spain

Drew the WDRTV Match with Peter Leko in Cologne in August. But as per rules, having played black and drawn, Anand will qualify to play the match next year.
Won the Duel of World Champions in a 10-game rapid clash with Vladimir Kramnik in Mainz, Germany in June

Won the Merida International tournament in Mexico

Won “Torneo Magistral” an Advanced Chess Tournament, where players can use Computers in Leon

Winner of the The Corsica Masters three times in a row

Winner of World Cup Chess Championship in Hyderabad.

Wins Corsica Open Rapid Chess for the 4 th year in running

Wins official World Rapid Chess Championships in Cape d’Agde re-affirming his position as the world’s best rapid chess player winning the official World Rapid chess title

Chess Classic Winner at Mainz, Germany, fourth success in as many years
Highest scorer in the German league
SIS-MHMasters, Denmark winner with an incredible score of 5.5/6

Melody Amber Blind and Rapid Chess champion for the third time
Winner at the 65 th Corus Super GM Chess 2003

Anand retains Corus Super Grandmasters title in Holland
Retained the 2004 Corus Grandmasters Chess tournament title in Wijk Aan Zee, Holland. Anand retained the Corus Grandmasters chess title in Wijk Aan Zee with8.5 points from 13 rounds with five wins, seven draws and one loss.

Anand wins Blitz Match against Vesselin Topalov in Sofia, Bulgaria
Anand won the Blitz Match for Bulgarian TV beating Veselin Topalov 1.5-0.5 in his first appearance in Bulagria.

Anand wins Rapid Title in Melody Amber at Monaco
In Monaco, where he has been a champion many times in the past at the Melody Amber tournament, Anand won the rapid title, once again re-iterating that he was the best player in the world in rapid. He also finished third overall. The joint winners were Vladimir Kramnik and Alexander Morozevich.
Anand leads World Squad to Win over All-Star Armenian Team (Team Petrosyan) in Russia
In a unique match in Russia captained a Rest of the World team, which beat an all-star Armenian team that also had Garry Kasparov in it. This was the second time he has led a world team to such a win. In the past, he led a Rest of the World team to a win over a Russian team.
Anand wins the Dortmund Super Grandmasters Chess Title
In a masterly display at Dortmund Super GM tournament, Anand won the title in a convincing manner making it two out of two in Super GM classical events for 2004. Winning two major classical events like Corus and Dortmund is indeed a matter of great prestige.

Anand Wins the Chess Classic of Mainz for Fourth Time in a Row
Anand outplayed Alexey Shirov in his favourite international venue, Mainz, as he won the Chess Classic of Mainz, an annual event, where he has been winning for last four years. In he past he has beaten Vladimir Kramnik, Ruslan Ponomariov and Judit Polgar in the one-on-one battles on the banks of River Rhine.
Anandwins Corsica title for record fifth time
Anand, steamrollered over Russian Sergei Rublevskyfor his fifth successive Corsica Masters Chess title in Bastia, France. The Indian ace won 2-0, the third time in this tournament he had achieved this wipeout result.

Anand won the Sao Paolo Rapid Chess Challenge
Anand won the SaoPaolo Rapid Chess Challenge with a three-point margin over the runner-up. He beat each of his other rivals at least once in the round robin event. His victims included Anatoly Karpov.

Anand wins the Paul Keres Challenge in Tallinn, Estonia
Anand demolished the field in a tournament held to mark the memory of Paul Keres in Estonia. Anand outplayed each of his five rivals to win the title by an unprecedented margin.



Anand makes a clean sweep of three titles at Melody Amber
Playing in Monaco at the famous Melody Amber Blindfold and Rapid Chess tournament, started with a string of 2-0 victories, which helped him build a huge lead. He won the Rapid, Blindfold and Overall sections, marking only the second time any player has performed a clean sweep. And the first to do so, was none other than Anand himself!
Anand win the Leon Rapid Chess Challenge
Anandplaying in Leon after a gap of two years, emerged winner for the fifth time in six years. Anand won the title beating Rustam Kasimdzhanov in the final. Anand’s earlier victories in Leon have included a match against Miguel Illescas in 1997; match against Anatoly Karpov in 1998, Advanced Chess title in 1999, 2000 and 2001. He was second in 2002.


Anand became the only player in the tournament’s 70-year history to win the Corus Chess event five times (1989, 1998, 2003, 2004 and 2006).


1’st place at the Linares tournament.

Became highest rated player

Became World Champion at the 2007 FIDE World Championship tournament in Mexico

Viswanathan Anand

Viswanathan Anand was born on December 11, 1969 in Madras India. At the age of 14, Vishy won the 1983 National Sub-Junior Chess Championship with a score of 9/9. A year later he became India’s youngest player ever to achieve the International Master title. In 1987, Anand became the first Indian to win the World Junior Chess Championship. The following year he became India’s first ever Grand Master. After several tries, Anand was recognised as World Champion by FIDE after defeating Alexei Shirov 3.5 – 0.5 in 2000. Vishy never received the recognition he deserved due to the fact that he did not defeat Garry Kasparov to win the title. Anand captured the title again in 2007 by way of a FIDE tournament. This time around, Anand’s critics point out that he did not win the World Championship through match play which was the historical standard for the title. Viswanathan Anand can silence these critics by defeating Vladimir Kramnik in the World Championship match beginning on October 14, 2008.
   Below is an outstanding game played by Anand in 2001. The first 13 moves are all book in the petroff defense. Perhaps Piket should have played 13… f6 which is favored by a lot of top players. 15. Nh4 is Anand’s evil invention which confused his opponent. Piket’s 19… bxc5 helped Anand develop his final combination by freeing up the d4 square for the bishop. This game is an outstanding example of why Viswanathan Anand is one of my all time favorite chess players.

[Event “Corus”]
[Site “Wijk aan Zee NED”]
[Date “2001.??.??”]
[White “Anand,V”]
[Black “Piket,Je”]
[Round “11”]
[Result “1-0”]
[WhiteElo “2790”]
[BlackElo “2632”]
[ECO “C42”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4
d5 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. c4 c6 9. Re1
Re8 10. Nc3 Nxc3 11. bxc3 Bg4 12. Bg5 Rxe1+ 13. Qxe1
Qd7 14. c5 Bc7 15. Nh4 h6 16. Bd2 Qd8 17. f4
Bc8 18. Qg3 b6 19. Re1 bxc5 20. dxc5 Qf8 21. Be3
Na6 22. Bd4 g5 23. Qf2 1-0

Countdown until Anand vs. Kramnik


   In 22 days Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik will face off in Bonn, Germany for the title of World Chess Champion. According to my database these two elite chess players have faced each other in 127 official games. On these occasions, Anand beat Kramnik 19 to 15, with 93 draws. Below is Vladimir Kramnik vs. Viswanathan Anand from the so called fide World Championships in Mexico City. Kramnik missed 35 Qh6! after 35…Qd6 36 Qxg5 f6 37 Qg8 Rd8 38 Qh7 Rd7 39 Qh4. After running computer analysis on that line I feel Kramnik would have had much better winning chances.   


[Event “WCh”]
[Site “Mexico City MEX”]
[Date “2007.09.24”]
[Round “10”]
[White “Kramnik, V.”]
[Black “Anand, V.”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “D43”]
[WhiteElo “2769”]
[BlackElo “2792”]
[PlyCount “81”]
[EventDate “2007.09.13”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 dxc4 7. e4 g5 8. Bg3 b5
9. Be2 Bb7 10. O-O Nbd7 11. Ne5 Bg7 12. Nxd7 Nxd7 13. Bd6 a6 14. Bh5 Bf8 15.
Bxf8 Rxf8 16. e5 Qb6 17. b3 O-O-O 18. bxc4 Nxe5 19. c5 Qa5 20. Ne4 Qb4 21. Nd6+
Rxd6 22. cxd6 Nd7 23. a4 Qxd6 24. Bf3 Nb6 25. axb5 cxb5 26. Bxb7+ Kxb7 27. Qh5
Nd5 28. Qxh6 Nf4 29. Kh1 Qd5 30. f3 Rd8 31. Qg7 Rd7 32. Qf8 Ne2 33. Rfe1 Nxd4
34. Red1 e5 35. Rac1 Qd6 36. Qg8 f6 37. Rc8 a5 38. h3 a4 39. Qe8 Kb6 40. Rb8+
Ka5 41. Ra8+ 1/2-1/2

Nigel Short Forfeited By Cell Phone

The European Union Open Championships took place from September 9th to 18th September 2008 in Liverpool, England. Hometown hero and former world chess champion contender Nigel Short was penalized in this event for allowing his cell phone to ring. Before his game against Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant, Nigel Short turned off his brand new Nokia cell phone and placed it on top of a biography of Fidel Castro beside him on the table. Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant admits that this occurred before the game. After receiving loss for that round, Short explained that his phone had had a low battery and played a theme to remind its owner to charge it. The offending phone had been a gift from a sponsor at a recent tournament and Nigel had just started using it. Below is the F.I.D.E. rule relating to such a disturbance:

“It is strictly forbidden to bring mobile phones or other electronic means of communication, not authorised by the arbiter, into the playing venue. If a player`s mobile phone rings in the playing venue during play, that player shall lose the game. The score of the opponent shall be determined by the arbiter.”

from Paragraph 12.2 in the Laws of Chess

I understand the need for chess tournaments to limit distractions and maintain an honest playing area, however I feel a warning should be issued on the first offense. Speaking as a regular attendee of the symphony, I know from experience how easy it is to make a call at intermission and then forget to switch the phone back to silent mode. The reason I have never been embarrassed by having my cell phone add to the music is due to the fact that the symphony makes a public service announcement reminding attendees to mute their cell phones. I wonder if the Chief Tournament Director for the European Union Open Championships delivered such a reminder.

The game Nigel Short lost because of his cell phone is below.

Short,N (2655) – Arakhamia,K (2448) [B45]
4th ch-EU Liverpool ENG (2), 10.09.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Be3 Nf6 7.f3 Be7 8.Qd2 0-0 9.g4 d5 10.g5 Nxd4 11.Qxd4 Nh5 12.0-0-0 Bxg5 13.Kb1 Kh8 14.exd5 exd5 15.Bxg5 Qxg5 16.Rg1 Qf4 17.Qxd5 Nf6 18.Qg5 Qxg5 19.Rxg5 Be6 20.Bd3 h6 21.Rb5 b6 22.a4 Bd7 23.Rb4 Bc6 24.f4 Rad8 25.Rc4 Bf3 26.Re1


Ray Robson Wins Miami Open

Congratulations to13 Year-Old Ray Robson on placing first at the 2008 Miami Chess Open. After nine scheduled rounds, Ray ended in a tie for first with GM Darmen Sadvakasov. Ray defeated Darmen in an Armageddon game to capture first place. Below is the final cross-table as well as a beautiful game to put his achievement in perspective.

[Event “Miami Open 2008”]
[Date “????.??.??”]
[White “IM Ray Robson”]
[Black “IM Renier Gonzales”]
[Result “1-0”]
[PlyCount “49”]
[WhiteElo “2467”]
[BlackElo “2549”]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 c6 6. Bc4 Bf5 7. Bd2 e6 8. Nd5 Qd8 9. Nxf6+ Qxf6 10. Qe2 Nd7 11. O-O-O Nb6 12. Bg5 Qg6 13. d5 Nxc4 14. Qxc4 exd5 15. Rhe1+ Be6 16. Rxd5 Be7 17. Bxe7 cxd5 18. Qb4 Rc8 19. Nd4 Qh6+ 20. Kb1 a5 21. Qxb7 Qd2 22. Bb4 $3 axb4 23. Qxc8+ Ke7 24. Qc7+ Ke8 25. Nf3

# Name Rtng Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Rd 5 Rd 6 Rd 7 Rd 8 Rd 9 Tot Prize
1 GM Darmen Sadvakasov 2629 L23 W57 W28 W10 D13 D20 W21 W11 W2 7.0 3750.00
2 IM Ray S Robson 2467 W51 W18 W19 W11 W6 D7 W10 D3 L1 7.0 3750.00
3 GM Victor Mikhalevski 2680 W15 D12 W16 D9 L7 W23 W29 D2 W11 6.5 850.00
4 GM Julio J Becerra 2642 W48 D13 W12 D22 D9 D11 W32 W20 D6 6.5 850.00
5 IM Davorin Kuljasevic 2528 W35 W55 L10 L23 W37 W48 D13 W12 W14 6.5 850.00
6 IM Salvijus Bercys 2454 W52 D29 W17 W32 L2 W36 D20 W18 D4 6.5 850.00
7 Marc R Esserman 2350 W53 D32 W21 W27 W3 D2 L11 D10 W20 6.5 850.00
8 IM Jacek Stopa 2507 W39 L16 D37 W42 W14 D13 D27 D9 W22 6.0 325.00
9 IM Andrei Co Florean 2471 W54 D27 W26 D3 D4 L10 W19 D8 W24 6.0 325.00
10 IM Renier Gonzalez 2549 W57 W23 W5 L1 D22 W9 L2 D7 D13 5.5 108.33
11 IM John Bartholomew 2501 W34 W45 W20 L2 W23 D4 W7 L1 L3 5.5 108.33
12 IM Vinay S Bhat 2481 W50 D3 L4 D37 W39 D26 W17 L5 W32 5.5 108.33
13 IM Dean J Ippolito 2471 W43 D4 D27 W39 D1 D8 D5 D26 D10 5.5 108.33
14 IM David Pruess 2464 L45 W24 D38 W58 L8 W25 W23 W27 L5 5.5 108.33
15 FM Keaton Kiewra 2331 L3 W50 W45 W18 L20 L27 D39 W44 W31 5.5 108.33
16 Eric Rodriguez 2249 W61 W8 L3 L20 L18 W43 D44 W35 W29 5.5 1500.00
17 GM Alexander Ivanov 2625 W41 D22 L6 W59 L36 W42 L12 D31 W33 5.0  
18 IM Joshua Ed Friedel 2581 W49 L2 W33 L15 W16 W50 W22 L6 U— 5.0  
19 IM Irina Krush 2516 W37 W47 L2 D48 L21 W45 L9 D39 W40 5.0  
20 IM Dionisio Aldama 2495 W24 W33 L11 W16 W15 D1 D6 L4 L7 5.0  
21 IM Justin Sarkar 2487 D40 W59 L7 W38 W19 D22 L1 L24 W39 5.0  
22 FM Marcel Martinez 2469 W44 D17 W29 D4 D10 D21 L18 X36 L8 5.0  
23 FM Kazim Gulamali 2399 W1 L10 W36 W5 L11 L3 L14 W43 W38 5.0  
24 Ernesto Alvarez 2143 L20 L14 W53 W30 L29 W37 W48 W21 L9 5.0 550.00
25 Ryan Joseph Moon 2073 L36 B— D35 D28 D47 L14 W42 W41 H— 5.0 550.00
26 GM Alexander Shabalov 2657 D59 W40 L9 D31 W56 D12 D36 D13 U— 4.5  
27 GM Jaan Ehlvest 2637 W31 D9 D13 L7 W41 W15 D8 L14 U— 4.5  
28 IM Marko Zivanic 2552 W56 D36 L1 D25 L49 W58 D33 D38 D30 4.5  
29 GM Gildardo J Garcia 2517 W42 D6 L22 D41 W24 X31 L3 D32 L16 4.5  
30 Tautvydas Vedrickas 2347 D60 L58 D40 L24 L43 W53 W55 W50 D28 4.5  
31 Patrick Scharrer 2291 L27 D51 W44 D26 W57 F29 W49 D17 L15 4.5  
32 Victor Kaminski 2291 W38 D7 W58 L6 D48 W49 L4 D29 L12 4.5  
33 Artem Edm Ruppert 2217 B— L20 L18 L50 W40 W57 D28 W34 L17 4.5  
34 Troy Daly 2148 L11 H— L59 H— W60 D41 W52 L33 W44 4.5  
35 Gregory J Kimmel 2143 L5 W56 D25 L36 L44 W46 W45 L16 W42 4.5  
36 IM Drasko Boskovic 2504 W25 D28 L23 W35 W17 L6 D26 F22 U— 4.0  
37 Karel Gonzalez 2179 L19 W46 D8 D12 L5 L24 L43 W58 W52 4.0  
38 Sylvain Leburgue 2168 L32 W53 D14 L21 L45 W54 W51 D28 L23 4.0  
39 Brian Goldstein 2152 L8 X61 W47 L13 L12 W56 D15 D19 L21 4.0  
40 Matan Prilleltensky 2116 D21 L26 D30 L47 L33 B— W56 W48 L19 4.0  
41 Evan S Rosenberg 2229 L17 D44 W51 D29 L27 D34 W50 L25 U— 3.5  
42 FM Renard W Anderson 2200 L29 D52 W54 L8 W51 L17 L25 W45 L35 3.5  
43 Juan Camilo Arango 2091 L13 L48 B— L51 W30 L16 W37 L23 D46 3.5  
44 Alexander Velikanov 2024 L22 D41 L31 W54 W35 D47 D16 L15 L34 3.5  
45 Robert M Perez 1959 W14 L11 L15 H— W38 L19 L35 L42 W55 3.5  
46 Alonso USCF Jaramillo unr. L47 L37 L50 D53 W55 L35 W58 D51 D43 3.5  
47 IM Daniel Fernandez 2446 W46 L19 L39 W40 D25 D44 U— U— U— 3.0  
48 Corey Acor 2297 L4 W43 W60 D19 D32 L5 L24 L40 U— 3.0  
49 Andres Santalla 2224 L18 D54 D52 W60 W28 L32 L31 U— U— 3.0  
50 Christopher Heung 2092 L12 L15 W46 W33 W59 L18 L41 L30 U— 3.0  
51 Misael D Mestres 2049 L2 D31 L41 W43 L42 W59 L38 D46 U— 3.0  
52 Humberto Cruz 1820 L6 D42 D49 H— D58 H— L34 H— L37 3.0  
53 Emilio Gustavo Hernandez unr. L7 L38 L24 D46 H— L30 H— D55 B— 3.0  
54 Hans M Morrow 1900 L9 D49 L42 L44 B— L38 X60 U— U— 2.5  
55 Juan E Dominguez 1751 B— L5 L56 L57 L46 W60 L30 D53 L45 2.5  
56 Rodelay Medina 2259 L28 L35 W55 B— L26 L39 L40 U— U— 2.0  
57 Jose Cabrera 2144 L10 L1 B— W55 L31 L33 U— U— U— 2.0  
58 Leonardo Campiz 2065 H— W30 L32 L14 D52 L28 L46 L37 U— 2.0  
59 FM Charles A Galofre 2323 D26 L21 W34 L17 L50 L51 U— U— U— 1.5  
60 Jose Antonio Carrillo unr. D30 H— L48 L49 L34 L55 F54 U— U— 1.0  
61 Rainer Selva unr. L16 F39 U— U— U— U— U— U— U— 0.0  

Success during troubled economic times

Most of the Torres Chess and Music Academy’s chess programs have started and it is clear that our organization is on pace for its best year to date. Interesting that this should be the case with the United States economy in a dire situation. I may complain about the 4-5 hours driving time but at least I have a secure job in unstable times. Who would have guessed that a chess coach would utter such a statement?

World Chess Championship?

Here are the new world chess rankings based on FIDE ratings. This makes the upcoming Kramnik vs. Anand match seem questionable in its ability to crown a new world champion. Then again, any match is better than another FIDE farse world championship tournament.

01 Topalov off 2790          
02 Morozevich off 2787          
03 Carlsen off 2786          
04 Ivanchuk off 2785          
05 Anand off 2783        
06 Kramnik off 2771        

To Teach or not to Teach?

It happened again. I have received a very good offer to give chess lessons to another chess instructor who is not officially working for the Torres Chess and Music Academy. Teaching this individual would involve profiting personally but creating potential professional competition. I have yet to make my decision on whether to accept this opportunity.

  In other news of the day, I spent five hours commuting. My day involved traveling from my residence in Oakley to teach a class in San Bruno (a little under a 2 hour drive). After my class in San Bruno was concluded, I then taught a class in Palo Alto (45 minute drive) that finished at 5:00. I did not get back to Oakley until a little after 8:00.  This kind of hectic schedule has been a consistent feature of my 2008-2009 school year thus far. As you might imagine, this wasted travel time creates difficulties for me running the TCAMA as well as takes away quality opportunities to spend time with wife and new baby. I love teaching chess but am finding my recent commutes and business workload to be rather dissatisfying.  

   On a more positive note, it seems that the Torres Chess and Music Academy’s chess classes in Bakersfield got off to a good start this week. I was more than a little apprehensive turning over the reins of these classes when I moved back to the Bay Area.

Kosteniuk become World Champion

On September 17, 2008, GM Alexandra Kosteniuk became the new Womens World Chess Champion by managing a draw against a very formidable fourteen year old opponent named  Hou Yifan. The Women’s World Championship took place from August 28th to September 18th in Nalchik, Russia. Below are all the games from the match. Enthusiasts can put them in any PGN reader to play threw the moves of these games on their computer. Congratulations Alexandra!

[Event “WCh-Women”]

The talented and beautiful Kosteniuk!
The talented and beautiful Kosteniuk!

[Site “Nalchik RUS”]
[Date “2008.09.14”]
[Round “6.1”]
[White “Hou Yifan”]
[Black “Kosteniuk, A.”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “C90”]
[WhiteElo “2557”]
[BlackElo “2510”]
[PlyCount “96”]
[EventDate “2008.09.14”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a3
d6 9. c3 Bg4 10. d3 Na5 11. Bc2 c5 12. h3 Bd7 13. d4 Qc7 14. d5 c4 15. Nbd2 Nb7
16. Nf1 Nc5 17. g4 h5 18. N3h2 hxg4 19. hxg4 Qc8 20. f3 Nh7 21. Ng3 Bg5 22. Nf5
Qd8 23. Kg2 g6 24. Ng3 Kg7 25. Rh1 Rh8 26. Nhf1 Qf6 27. Be3 Bxe3 28. Nxe3 Ng5
29. Qe2 Rag8 30. Raf1 Qf4 31. Rxh8 Rxh8 32. Rh1 Rxh1 33. Nxh1 Nd3 34. Bxd3 cxd3
35. Qf2 d2 36. Ng3 Nxf3 37. Qxf3 Bxg4 38. Qf2 d1=Q 39. Nxd1 Bxd1 40. Qe1 Bf3+
41. Kg1 f5 42. exf5 gxf5 43. Qf2 Kg6 44. b3 e4 45. c4 bxc4 46. bxc4 Qg5 47. c5
f4 48. cxd6 fxg3 0-1

[Event “WCh-Women”]
[Site “Nalchik RUS”]
[Date “2008.09.15”]
[Round “6.2”]
[White “Kosteniuk, A.”]
[Black “Hou Yifan”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “C07”]
[WhiteElo “2510”]
[BlackElo “2557”]
[PlyCount “114”]
[EventDate “2008.09.14”]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. Ngf3 cxd4 5. exd5 Qxd5 6. Bc4 Qd6 7. Qe2 Nf6 8.
Nb3 Nc6 9. Bg5 Qb4+ 10. Bd2 Qb6 11. O-O-O Bd7 12. Bg5 h6 13. Bh4 Bc5 14. Kb1
O-O-O 15. Bg3 Nh5 16. Be5 f6 17. Nxc5 Qxc5 18. Bxd4 Nxd4 19. Rxd4 e5 20. Rd5
Qc7 21. g3 g5 22. Rhd1 Ng7 23. Nd2 Bc6 24. Rd3 Rxd3 25. Bxd3 f5 26. f3 Re8 27.
Re1 h5 28. Qe3 g4 29. fxg4 e4 30. Be2 hxg4 31. Qxa7 b6 32. Qa3 Rd8 33. Qb4 Ne6
34. Nc4 b5 35. Ne3 Nd4 36. c4 Qd6 37. Qxd6 Rxd6 38. cxb5 Nxe2 39. bxc6 Nd4 40.
Rf1 Kc7 41. Nxf5 Nxf5 42. Rxf5 Kxc6 43. Re5 Rd4 44. Kc1 Kd6 45. Re8 Kd7 46. Rf8
Ke6 47. Rf4 Ke5 48. Rxg4 Rd8 49. Rg5+ Kf6 50. Rc5 e3 51. Rc2 Kf5 52. a4 Ke4 53.
Rc4+ Kd3 54. Rc3+ Ke4 55. Rc4+ Kd3 56. Rc3+ Ke4 57. Rc4+ Kd3 1/2-1/2

[Event “WCh-Women”]
[Site “Nalchik RUS”]
[Date “2008.09.16”]
[Round “6.3”]
[White “Hou Yifan”]
[Black “Kosteniuk, A.”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “C88”]
[WhiteElo “2557”]
[BlackElo “2510”]
[PlyCount “143”]
[EventDate “2008.09.14”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. h3
Bb7 9. d3 d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nxe5 Nd4 12. Nd2 Re8 13. c3 Nxb3 14. Nxb3 c5 15.
Qh5 g6 16. Qf3 f6 17. Nxg6 hxg6 18. c4 Qd7 19. cxd5 Bxd5 20. Qg3 g5 21. Be3
Rac8 22. Qg4 Qxg4 23. hxg4 Bd6 24. Rec1 Kf7 25. Nd2 Be5 26. Rc2 Be6 27. Ne4 c4
28. dxc4 Rxc4 29. Rxc4 bxc4 30. Rd1 Rb8 31. b3 cxb3 32. axb3 Rxb3 33. Bd4 Bxg4
34. f3 Bxd4+ 35. Rxd4 Be6 36. Rd6 a5 37. Nc5 Rb1+ 38. Kf2 Bf5 39. Ra6 Rb5 40.
Ne4 Bxe4 41. fxe4 Rb2+ 42. Kf3 Ra2 43. Kg3 a4 44. Kf3 a3 45. Kg3 Ra1 46. Kh2 a2
47. Kg3 Ke7 48. Kh2 Kd7 49. Kg3 Kc7 50. Kh2 Kb7 51. Ra3 Kb6 52. Ra8 Kb5 53.
Rb8+ Kc4 54. Ra8 Kd4 55. Ra4+ Kd3 56. Kg3 Ke3 57. Kh2 Kf4 58. e5+ Kxe5 59. g4
Kd5 60. Kg2 Kc5 61. Ra8 Kb4 62. Ra6 Kc4 63. Ra3 Kd4 64. Ra6 Ke5 65. Ra4 Ke6 66.
Ra8 Ke5 67. Ra4 Re1 68. Rxa2 Kf4 69. Rf2+ Kxg4 70. Rxf6 Re2+ 71. Kg1 Kg3 72.
Rf1 1/2-1/2

[Event “WCh-Women”]
[Site “Nalchik RUS”]
[Date “2008.09.17”]
[Round “6.4”]
[White “Kosteniuk, A.”]
[Black “Hou Yifan”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “B45”]
[WhiteElo “2510”]
[BlackElo “2557”]
[PlyCount “111”]
[EventDate “2008.09.14”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Be2 Be7 8.
O-O a6 9. a4 O-O 10. f4 Qc7 11. Kh1 Bd7 12. Nb3 b6 13. Qe1 Bc8 14. Qg3 Bb7 15.
f5 Kh8 16. Rad1 Rae8 17. fxe6 fxe6 18. Qh3 Bd8 19. Nd4 Nxd4 20. Rxd4 e5 21. Rc4
Qb8 22. Rd1 b5 23. axb5 axb5 24. Nxb5 Nxe4 25. Bd3 Nf6 26. Rh4 e4 27. Be2 Bc8
28. Qg3 Ba6 29. c4 Bxb5 30. cxb5 Bb6 31. Bf4 Qa7 32. Bxd6 Bf2 33. Qf4 Nd5 34.
Qc1 Rc8 35. Qd2 Rfd8 36. Rxh7+ Kxh7 37. Qxd5 Qe3 38. Bg4 Ra8 39. Qe6 Kh8 40.
Qe7 Qh6 41. h3 Qg6 42. Qe5 Bb6 43. Bh5 Qh6 44. Bg4 e3 45. Qe4 Qf6 46. Rd5 Ra1+
47. Kh2 Qxd6+ 48. Rxd6 Bc7 49. Qf5 Bxd6+ 50. g3 Kg8 51. Qd5+ Kf8 52. Qf5+ Ke7
53. Qe6+ Kf8 54. Qf5+ Kg8 55. Qd5+ Kf8 56. Qf5+ 1/2-1/2