In the Kings vs. Queens tournament in Saint Louis the men’s team has taken a 12-8 lead after 2 rounds. Momentum is with the women, however, as after a crushing 7-3 win for the men on the first day the teams only drew on the second, with Hikaru Nakamura conceding his first draw of the event.
Sunday 11 September was a rest day for the players at the 2nd FIDE Women's Grand Prix in China, and judging from the photos at the official website they spent part of it in... Switzerland, or rather Shenzhen's own model version of the Swiss Interlaken. It seems to be a Chinese thing, as Shanghai, for instance, has a rather surreal miniature England: Thames Town.
The tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks has provoked much reflection on how the world in general has changed in the last decade, but it seems we’ve come full circle in the chess world. After Alexander Grischuk and Vassily Ivanchuk won their tiebreaks today the semifinals of the 2011 World Cup are confirmed as Ivanchuk - Grischuk and Ponomariov - Svidler. Replace Grischuk with Vishy Anand and you have the semifinals of the 2001 FIDE World Championship in Moscow.
Round 1 of the Kings vs. Queens tournament has started in Saint Louis, USA. A team of men, led by Hikaru Nakamura, is competing against a team of women, led by Kateryna Lahno (Judit Polgar and Anatoly Karpov were late withdrawals). Over the next five days each team member will play all five members of the opposing team in rapid and Fischer Random chess.
The draw death of chess once again seems a distant memory in Khanty-Mansiysk. Vassily Ivanchuk started the day needing only a draw but was undone by a stunning attacking idea from Teimour Radjabov. Peter Svidler and Ruslan Ponomariov were slight underdogs after taking quick draws with White the day before, but won with Black and now play each other in the semis. David Navara and Alexander Grischuk drew, but only after the Czech grandmaster let a winning advantage slip.
The Round 4 showdown between the Chinese leaders Zhao Xue and Hou Yifan at the Women's Grand Prix in Shenzhen was an anticlimax - they drew by repetition in 15 moves (and fewer minutes). Anna Muzychuk (Slovenia, in the photo above) took advantage by beating Betul Cemre Yildiz (Turkey) with the black pieces to join the leaders on 3/4.
Vassily Ivanchuk beat Teimour Radjabov in the only decisive game of the first day of the World Cup quarterfinals in Khanty Mansiysk. Of the three draws only Grischuk – Navara featured a real struggle, as it seemed as though some of the players needed an unofficial rest day to recover from the excitement of the Round 4 tiebreaks.
On a relatively quiet day at the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix in Shenzhen, Viktorija Cmilyte (Lithuania – in the photo above) won a sharp tactical struggle against Elina Danielian (Armenia) while Tan Zhongyi (China) converted an extra pawn in a rook ending against Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (Russia).
Later today, Friday 9 September, the opening ceremony of the Kings vs Queens tournament takes place in Saint Louis, America. The event celebrates the opening of the World Chess Hall of Fame, with two teams of men and women competing in rapid and Chess960 chess. Although the line-up still includes players like Hikaru Nakamura and Alexandra Kosteniuk, it's now lost two stars, Judit Polgar and Anatoly Karpov.